Sunday, August 27, 2006


We made it!! My visa was approved at the boarder, after MUCH discussion and debate over why exactly we had MA plates on our car when we'd never lived or worked in MA before ( "So, you were that sure your visa would be approved hey?"). Sigh. It was stressful, but not at all as traumatic as I had anticipated. I learned a few things:
1) Boarder guards are not allowed to be pleasant under ANY circumstances..even after they approve your visa.
2) They refuse to actually tell you they are approving it...they just send you to pay the cashier - that's how you know your approved.
3) They don't care if you have a cat, or what is in your car at all (not one question or glance at the inside of the car).
4) They can't quite understand that the female is the one getting the visa.
5) They care nothing about your spouse, except to tell him that you will be deported if he tries to work in the US.
6) They like to make fun of your salary..."You know you're not making very much..."
7) They make mistakes too, but will never admit it. At one point the guard called Daryl over and asked him the exact question he'd asked me 5 times already, I'm sure in an attempt to trip us up and get a different answer. Except he asked it wrong. He asked "So, why do you have a MA drivers liscence?!?" Daryl looked at him, we looked at each other, and Daryl said "Do you mean liscence plates?? Because I don't have a MA drivers liscence." The guard looked down and moved on to the next question. Said nothing. I thoroughly enjoyed it though :-).

So we are in our apartment, which we love. We are within walking distance of everythng, some of which are:
-3 grocery stores including Trader Joes, which a friend told me about. This amazing organic/natural food store with better prices than the regular grocery store...I'm in love.
- Cafe/Bakery (essential, we've already tried it out).
-Liqour store
-Southwestern, Japanese, Chinease, North American, Fast food, Italian, etc restaurants. Amazing.
- A fedex kinkos (where I am now using internet)
- Used CD store
-Pet food store
-Hair salon, nail salon, tanning place.
- Bank,
- Dentist

And when I say walking distance, I mean under 5 minutes. So, we're all set. Must run now though, we're off to find my new work, and make the first essential visit to Ikea. And wash the dead bugs off of our poor poor car.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Night driver

OK, so we've realized throughout this trip that Daryl is the day time driver, and I am the night driver. I can't stay awake during the day driving (??), and he is sleepy at night. So after we disembarked the ferry last night at 12am (well this morning tecnically), I took over the driving. My body failed me eyes were drooping and I had to pull over, then start again, then pull over. Daryl kept trying to take over driving, but I was not willing to give in. I am the night driver THE night driver. I pounded back another Sobe Arush drink (mmm), but it was not helping. I was praying for the first town to appear, with a Tim Hortons or something. Finally, over the horizon, I could see the glow of the white sign with red writing, and the yellow sign below. I pulled in just before Owen Sound, and decided desperate times called for desperate measures. I loaded up on coffee, tim bits (it has been like years since I've had those!), and changed the tunes. I had to bring out the big guns - MJ. That's right, Michale Jackson. Some of you know how much MJ inspires me, and wakes me up. So, we piled back in the car, MJ cranked ("Billy Jean..." "I'm Bad, I'm Bad..."), timbits and coffee in hand and I went into the zone. I was amazing. At one point, shortly after we got going again, I reached to get something and Daryl looked at me and said "what was that?" - he had thought my reaching was a sweet dance move reminicent of Elaine from Sienfeld. We laughed. I then, of course felt compelled to demonstrate the Elaine dance. Picture it: Bombing down the highway in no-where Ontario at 1am, coffee in hand, doing the Elaine dance in my seat, to MJ's "Bad." Stellar. It was beautiful. We rolled into Hamilton at 5am and crashed. We meant to get up earlier to decide if we wanted to go further today to the boarder. Ya..we slept till 2:30pm. So, no travel today. We'll head for the boarder at about 4am tomorrow, then on to our new home! We may be without internet for a while though.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Here we are...

...sitting in an internet cafe in South Baymouth, ON hungrily devouring blog updates and emails. I have been terribly remiss in chronicling our adventure..mostly because it's been almost exclusively driving and sleeping since we left Edmonton! We have SO many great pictures which I'll upload at a later point. So for now...I'm just going to list it off...

Places we've been:
1)Langley (Late arrival, early departure - I'm so sorry to everyone we didn't get to see while there).
2) Kamloops - Caught up with my family, many good long talks on the patio with wine and a great dinner out. Tearful goodbyes.
3) Edmonton - Had a wonderful but much too short visit with dear friends Bean and P. It always amazes me how easily Bean and I reconnect. We go months and sometimes more than a year without seeing eachother or talking. When we meet up again though, we always have an excellent time. Also visited my cousin and aunt, which was great.
4) Saskatoon - not much to say..we got in late, we left early. Nice hotel.
5) Dryden (ON)- Gross motel. Waxy towels, red shag carpet, yellowed duvet covers and just...ick.
6) Wawa (ON) - My favorite town EVER - mostly because of the name. Just say it. Wawa.
7) Eventually tonight we'll end up in Hamilton..well early tomorrow around 4am. Sigh.

Animals I've almost killed driving fast on Ontario highways at night:

1) A bear. Yes, a bear. Ran right in front of my car.
2) A fox (as above). ]
3) 900 Dear. There are a lot of dear. They line the highway faking you out. It's a little game they have called "make the tin animals flinch." I think they get bonus points for making you vear into oncoming traffic.
4) NOT a moose. I'm both thankful and disappointed. I really wanted to see a moose. I was totally petrified of hitting a moose.

Things I've had to drink:

1) Starbucks..mmm...
2) Zack's coffee...mmm...
3) Tim
4) Espresso at Beans (made by her!) - to die for
5) "Complimentary" coffee at cheap motels - disgusting. Seriously. This was of the "toss it out the window as fast as you can" variety.
6) Sobe Energy drinks. A -something. They are amazing! And SO tasty!! Way tastier than any I've had before. They came up to bat after I winged the nasty coffee out.
7) Flavoured it.

I need to take a moment to recognize the moths of Saskatchewan and the varied bugs of Manitoba. Seriously. The moths/butterflies pummeled our windshield and blanketed our radiator for the duration of our drive through Saskatchewan. During they daytime!?! Daryl took pictures. I refuse to post them on my blog..but if you must, you can see them at his blog eventually.

She is amazing. Turns out she a)Will just sleep all day in her carrier if in the car, b)Has astounding constitution. c) doesn't like the carrier at night when she usually is tearing apart our house d) Has no problem wth a harness but e) Is kind of freaked out by being outside and f) Is so super cute when we leave her free in the car while we go in to eat at a restaurant. We are nerds - we sit in a window seat by the car so we can watch her. So she is handling the trip SO well. We are amazed.

The "Lakes"
We've been fooled. There is a whole other ocean in the middle of Ontario. It looks like ocean, there are rocks, sailboats, seagulls (dont' they need a SEA?), sandy beaches, cliffs, there are even FERRIES. It's beautiful!

Onwards...Well, I can't believe we are this far already, and that I start work at NECC on Monday. It's hard to believe and hard to adjust to. We've had a good time on the trip so far. The only regret we have is not having had more time for the Ontario portion of the trip. The drive over Lake superior is SO beautiful. So, onwards to Hamilton tonight to stay with my cousin, and then make a run for the boarder. Wow. Those of you inclined please pray for our crossing. We're a bit nervous about it..I have to do my visa interview, and all that. I'm sure it will be fine, but it's just a bit nerve wracking.

Must run before the time is up, but will update and post pictures later. I wish I had time to formulate this blog better!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New beginnings.

Well, we actually made it out of our apartment and onto the last ferry last night. I am astounded. And sad. And excited.

We only got through the last few days by the grace of God, and with such amazing friends and family. I have wonderful pictures to post, will post later today though. Monday night, several friends from Church came over and helped us clean our apartment (even though it wasn't packed yet!). You know someone loves you when they scrub your toilet and pull rotten cucumbers out of your fridge!! I scrubbed the stove at 2am, then we collapsed on our air bed and didn't sleep until about ummm I think 3am.

We were going to a 6am liturgy on Monday morning (perfect way to end our time in Victoria) and our priest was picking us up at 4:45am. We had thought we'd set the alarm for 3:30. So, I woke up to the sound of our priests van...and Daryl still in the shower, and me NOT WOKEN up!! Turns out we set the alarm for 4:30. all worked out - we got to Church, had a beautiful service, were anointed and prayed for for our travels, cried a lot, had breakfast, and went home.

There was a huge debacle with the liscence plates. So, the liscence plates for our car arrived at 4PM. So, we had to get the car, pack it, wrap everything for shipping, ship it, finish cleaning the apartment, figure out how to attach the roof top carrier (which also just arrived yesterday). It was impossible. But not with our friends and family. Daryl's aunt and cousin, and my dear friend showed up to help us out. They wrapped and cleaned and organized like a storm. Julie packed our whole car, and got more into it then I we could ever have done ourself I think. I managed to put the car top carrier on UPSIDE DOWN and FILLED it, and closed it. Daryl and his cousin went to put it on and realized it was upside down and had to flip it, totally full! Ya, I won't be asked to do that again. I, unlike Magnificent M. am NOT a stellar packer.

So, we pulled into the ferry terminal at 8:45, and drove on the 9:00 ferry. We had a long LONG day after only an hour or so of sleep. So we crashed here, and are just about to get ourselves ready to head to Kamloops.

Bastet did amazingly well with the pandemonium. She was great in the car, and is doing wonderful being at Daryl's parents house. This is a huge relief!!

So, we are tired, emotionally drained, and excited all at once. On to our next stop today. I'll post pictures of the moving fiasco (I have a nice before-after sequnce of packing the apartment ;-) later on.

Once again, goodbye Victoria, and soon to be goodbye lower mainland.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Missing Victoria already...

Why is it that we never appreciate things until we are loosing them? D. And I just went for a walk to get a coffee...I was tearing up the whole way thinking of leaving our quaint (sp?) little "avenue," the apartment that was really our first home together and the west coast air. I haven't appreciated all this until recently though. Does anyone else have trouble living in the present? I find I'm usually longing for the past, or pining for the future. Rarely am I ever really absorbing the present; being truly thankful for what I have, where I live, and the wonderful people I'm surrounded with. Maybe it's the downside to being very goal oriented. I think that one of the benefits of blogging is that it gives you a venue that is almost exclusively devoted to describing, enjoying, sharing your present life. It allows you to bask in your day-to-day joys and struggles, and to reflect on them. This type of reflection is what allows me to live "in" my life, rather than just observe it, or completely miss out on it. One thing each day that is beautiful and joy-creating - that's what I want to try to blog about.

Today. We had one of my favorite "in law"s over. Daryl's aunt, who he lived with when he first moved over here came for dinner. I love her. She is a wonderful, warm, dynamic, FUN person. I feel completely at ease with her, like I can talk to her, be myself with her, and really enjoy her company. She came for dinner tonight, and I just really enjoyed our time together. I have such fond memories of coming to visit Daryl while he was staying with her - she always took such good care of me. I remember one valentines we went for a nice dinner, and on a carriage ride. I had dressed up in clothing not nearly warm enough, and it was FEBRUARY, and really really cold! When we got "home" (back to her place), she brought out a fleece sweater, these amazing slipper-socks, a blanket etc, and wrapped me all up and made tea for us. It was lovely. She also knows Victoria like no one else - knows when and where all the fun events are happening. I have told her many times that she MUST open a B & B. It would be perfect. I would SO pay money to stay with her ;-).

That's it for today. I'm in denial about the 5 days till we move. I can't handle it. I'll let you know when I can :-). Today I made a big pot of soup. I used a lot of our food that needs using up, and it was pretty good :-). Tonight my contribution to the moving task will be making some oatmeal raisin cookies. This is progress because 1) I found a recipe that uses banana, oatmeal, honey, sunflower seeds, raisins etc..all of which I have large quantities of that I need to get rid of, and 2) It keeps me from crying or yelling, which allows D. to keep his sanity. It also provides us with nourishment. Yes, I know it's 10pm. So I like to bake at night.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A party, two friends, and a lazy morning.

We are leaving Victoria in 6 days. SIX days. If you could see how full our apartment still is and how completely un-ready we are to leave it you would understand my mounting panic.

We had our "Take away our stuff" get together on Saturday. We had a wonderful time visiting with many people, and were overwhelmed by the generosity of our Church family. We will miss our community here so much. I am sad that we haven't gotten to know more people more deeply while here. There are so many astounding people we've had the joy of knowing, and I only wish we could know them more.

So, the only downside was that only a limited amount of stuff was "taken away." So, we have a lot to clear out still. The good thing though, is that it is sorted, and at least we know WHAT we have to get rid of. That's a step anyways.

It's been a busy last few days. We had Mag here for a few days, and spent time visiting, watching some Buffy from the "glory days" as she called it (Read: Season 2), celebrated her birthday with her (this is becoming a tradition...she better fly out to Boston next August!), and said a tearful goodbye. It was a wonderful visit, and it was so nice to spend some good quality time with her before we go. I'm only sorry we were so wrapped up with preparing for the Saturday get together and moving events.

She left on Sunday, and my dear friend M. arrived Sunday. We had a mad couple of days of work and play together, both of which I enjoyed more than I can describe. I was saying to my mom on the phone after she left that M. is the one person who, no matter what else is going on or how stressed out I am, can make me laugh. It's interesting too how most people in my life know when I need some "M. time." My mom commented on it - "You really needed some good time with M. I knew you'd feel better after you saw her." Daryl has, on numerous occasions shipped me off to the mainland for some time with M. when I was debating whether I should go or not. They both know that somehow, no matter where I'm at, after seeing M. I'm in a better place. That's just the way it is :-). As always we had good food, good wine, and good conversation...all of which both of us love.

After M. left I found two things: 1) She'd left a bottle of Desert Hills Gamay Noir on the counter in the kitchen. We used this to celebrate the recent discoveryt that our applications for interest relief on our student loans has been approved. It is an amazing wine. Sooooo good. Thanks M. :-).

2) I discovered a pile of presents and cards on my desk behind my computer. I read the card - so completely appropriate for our friendship...and her additions to it...and cried. I will miss her so much...and it means so much to me to know she's behind me in this move. She also left a beach picture of rocks to add to my planned wall of west coast beach photos (It's my inexpensive decorating project for when I get to Boston), a Sonya Kitchell album (songs that are SO "us" on it - an excellent new driving tunes album!), and a starbucks card. Could she know me any better?!? So, as I'm driving on the freeway, with Sonya blaring, downing my 10th tripple americano of the day (this would be during hour 15 of a driving day), I will think of M., and of the amazing supportive friend she's been to me.

So, now we ahve 6 days to get things in order. I have the day off today, so, I slept in till 9:30 (so wonderful), snuggled with my DH (also so wonderful), watched grey's anatomy (I just discovered re-runs are on CH at 10am on weekdays!!), and ate salt water taffy. It's now 11:30, and I'm still in my PJ's, and have done nothing constructive today yet. But I think that's ok. I will shower and get going after this, sit down and outline a plan of attack for the next six days, and start in on it. Aiyaiyai! I go.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Goodbye to UVic..

I turned in my keys at the Psych department yesterday. It was sad. I went in in the morning meet with the prof I'm TAing for and hand in exams. We talked for about an on to new research ideas, debating and discussing. He was on his way to a research meeting to discuss what another student was going to do for their honors thesis in the coming year and said I should come along. I thought "I have a thousand things I need to be doing...I have scheduled in other things for this time"...then I thought "YES!" So off I went and spent another 2 hours discussing research etc...a quick trip to drop exams turned into a 4 hour morning. But I just couldn't leave. I LOVE the process of discussing and planning new research projects. It's so exciting...coming up with ideas, and pondering how they would pan out...thinking of what we could find, getting excited, and listening to two very intelligent profs argue (can they ever argue) over the best way to do things. Excellent. I'm sad to leave :-). I"ve learned so much from them, and from this process, I have so much more to learn! But, I will have new people to learn from :-) . I've gotten a good degree at UVic. I'm very glad I came here to finish it. I think the research experience and coursework in my area that I've been able to get I couldn't have gotten anywhere else. Also, the two profs I've been working with really took me under their wing and have pushed me, guided me, and helped me to learn and grow immensely.

Goodbye UVIc.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Much to say about nothing?

Well, I felt it had been too long since I last posted...but I don't have much to say! I finally finished a stack of marking last night, I feel like I can breath again. Whenever I have marking on the go I feel like I can't do anything else until it is finished. These exams were a little fun to mark, but also a little painful. They are for a class that is exactly "my" area of psychology and I was appalled at how little some students seemed to have learned. The last one I marked was the worst. The student literally stated the polar opposite to the correct answer for each and every question. Arg! There were some very good exams too though..and they were fun to mark.

So now I must get on with the packing and cleaning and moving stuff. We're getting down to the wire now - 13 days exactly till we leave. That is frightening! This weekend will see most of the stuff we're not taking with us leave our apartment. We decided to do the open house/come take away our stuff get together this Saturday, and we've heard rumors that it will be crashed by Church friends and turned into a going away party ;-). So, hopefully most of our stuff will sell/be taken away on Saturday. What doesn't go will be carted off to BB or VV or something. After that, all that will be left will be our bed and a few additional things to store, which my parents will pick up the following weekend.

The "last time" s are starting to happen now. We had a wonderful weekend last weekend with two of my dearest friends and their significant others. We had a BBQ...lots of talking, a jam session, arguing about Meyers Briggs personality profiles, and walked to the beach to see the fireworks. I think this was the last time I'll see them before we go, and it was a wonderful visit. I got to hug J. and R. and congratulate them on their engagement (possibly the single most exciting event of this year for me), and have good catch up time with two of my "chicks." We've been friends for so long, and have watched each other grow from 13 to adults. We've stayed close through all the life changes, graduating highschool, graduating university, kids, weddings, everything! I know that a large part of the person I am today, is tied to them. I said to Daryl after we left, that when I am with them I feel like I can breathe. It's hard to describe, but I think it's something that just comes from growing up together.

This weeknd we also had a short but reviving vist with another couple who are moving accross the continent days after us! They have been such an unending support and comfort throughout the process. B. has been my "packing buddy" and despite being a "J", I don't think I could possibly have gotten through all of this or made any headway at all without her! We were all tired and stressed out when we met up..but we managed, by the end of the evening to have some laughs, and bolster ourselves for the coming weeks.

I'm so excited too, as this week we have TWO dear friends visiting back to back to say goodbye., Today Mag comes, and we'll have some therepeutic evenings watching..hmmm...I'm not sure what we'd watch together? She is my "safe"friend. I say this because whenever I see her when things are stressful and hard ( wedding rehearsals and mid-moving maddness) I end up just crying. I'm not entirely sure I don't "just cry" often. But I think it might be because she's one of those people who never puts demands on me...and she's not involved with any of the stressfull parts of my life.

Then on Sunday, I get to have M. here for two nights. I can't quite believe I have to say goodbye to her yet. Since I've moved here, as with many people, we haven't seen too much of each other.But...we still have our record length phone calls intermittently, and recently have been able to see each other in person fairly frequently. Which is no fair, because now we have to go back to rare visits! She's my dance partner, my nerdy graph buddy (we both love them a little too much), she loves decorating, good food, good wine, good coffee, ikea, God, and her work (which happens to be the same as mine) - could we be a better match? I remember once as we were preparing food for one of her amazing dinner parties, we found ourselves finishing each other's sentances, exclaiming the same comments in stereo, laughing hysterically (as we frequently do), and oohing and awing over the dishes she had chosen for the evening. We were amazed by this - since we literally hadn't seen each other for months. I mean I was expecting us to laugh hysterically...but finish eachother's sentances and speaking the same?? We decided at that juncture that it was a tragedy that we'd never been roomates. I don't think I have more in common with a single other person I know, and because of that she gets me in ways others don't.

Ah..friends, glorious friends. I truely am an extrovert! I really believe that so much of who we are is influenced by those close to us. All of my firends have given me a part of themselves. I hold it for safe keeping :-), and it strengthens me.

Ok ok..enough of all this smeepyness. And I thought I had nothing to say!?!