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Published: August 18th 2009
First day after arriving and it's off to hang out with Sonia and Danielle, and about 20 horses!
Canada - Our New Home!
We arrived on July 18th after a relatively easy flight, although it was supposed to stop in Nova Scotia, but due to bad weather the plane skipped Nova Scotia and instead went straight to Toronto. This meant we got in about 2 hours early, whoo hoo! We went to customs where Pen had to fill out a bunch of paperwork, then got stamped as an immigrant…whoo hoo! We declared the goods we shipped to Vancouver, then went out to wait for my mom and dad. We waited for about 20 mins in the Tim Horton’s line where Pen got a French Vanilla Cappuccino, now she’s definitely arrived!
We spent most of the first week with my parents, we got some photo’s in the ravine, did a bit of shopping, and ordered some of our favourite foods, Pizza Pizza, Thai and Harveys. We also caught up with some family. Pena and I met my cousin Sonia and her daughter Danielle and went to see the horses on the farm Danielle is working on. That was cool. My dad and I also went to my cousin Tony’s place for a boys night. We BBQ’d over an
My 72 year old father jumping over cousin Tony's fire....for reasons known only to himself.
open firepit, had a few beer and watched in fear/amusement as my 72 year old father decided jumping over the fire was a good idea. Sadly I missed his attempt, and he had to do it a few more times before I got him on film! The next week was pretty much spent taking care of a few things and visiting friends. Penny started converting to the Canadian way of life, getting her national insurance number, a bank account, and applying for a visa card. We also caught up with Morgan and his girlfriend Hannah, Morgan is a family friend I grew up with and plays some guitar and after a few Guinness we pulled out my ukulele and jammed. Hannah is part Thai and made one of the best Thai dishes I’ve had, it was awesome!
We also spent a few days with my mate Barry and his family up at their trailer, Penny went mad taking photo’s of the chipmunks, I did more relaxing than anything else! We also stayed with Tracy and Stu for a night then headed off to Nelson and Karen’s for a BBQ. The night with Stu and Tray, and the BBQ at
Penny has been learning the ancient art of crochet from my mom, here is her first effort...a bookmark. Not bad, too bad she's 20 years too early for crochet!
Nels’s were awesome, but sadly disaster struck. We had an incident and the incident has some serious implications for Pen and I. We were having a friendly game of football/soccer when sadly Pen ran for the ball, heard a popping/ripping sound and felt a sharp searing/stabbing pain in her calf. That was it for her for the rest of the night. She spent the rest of the evening observing silly drinking games, and toasting by the fire. More about this a little later on.
We were supposed to go to see the Toronto Blue Jays play the New York Yankees and also drive to Montreal. We didn’t know if Penny could attend either given that she couldn’t walk. Fortunately my dad borrowed crutches for Pen and that got us to the Jays game and Montreal. We went to the baseball game with Barry and a few friends where we watched the Jays take a lead before being hammered by the Yankees, I thoroughly enjoyed the game, but not as much as Penny! Then a few days later it was off to Quebec, la belle province. We went to Montreal to visit my dad’s sister Fanny and her family, and
No dad didn't land in the fire. After he jumped over the fire, we let it die down and cooked dinner on the best grills in the world!
after plenty of traffic accidents and delays we arrived at Fanny and Johny’s place around 8pm. We all had an early night as the next day we were off to Quebec City and enjoyed the old European feel, especially as there was a festival on and they were reliving ye “olde” days. Johny let us borrow a wheelchair for Penny so we wheeled her around historic Quebec City before heading back to Montreal. Penny and I were staying with my cousin Andre and his wife Elvira, and once we got back we had a few drinks and stayed up past our bedtime chatting before Penny hit the wall and had to hit the sack. Andre and Elvira drove us around Montreal the following day and we had some great Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, saw Notre Dame Basilica before heading over to Andre’s mom’s (my dad’s sister) place for dinner on Saturday night. Teta (Aunt) Fanny makes some legendary food and Sat night was no different. We had chicken goulash, polenta, potatoes and salad, as well as her home made strawberry shortcake, and Elvira’s homemade cheesecake. Can anyone say stuffed? We also caught up with my uncle Johny (Fanny’s husband)
The forest behind my parents place, I spent many many hours here as a kid.
and cousin Mike, Andre’s brother, whom I haven’t seen in years and it was good to see everyone. I have to say at this point that the drive to Montreal is 8 hours. That’s 8 hours of my dad’s driving, with my mom backseat driving the whole way. Pen certainly had a proper and thorough introduction to the family on this trip! Upon our return we traded in our British drivers license, and are now waiting for our Ontario driver’s license to arrive in the mail/post.
Penny is still on crutches, and we’re hoping to get her to a doctor in the next day or so as she still can’t walk. As mentioned this little incident has some serious implications. When Pen and I arrived in Canada the plan was to stay with my parents for 3-4 weeks until Penny’s permanent Visa arrived, then fly into South America at the end of August then on to India, and Africa before returning to Vancouver to settle down, get jobs and a house towards the end of January.
Sadly, when we arrived it was with a 25kg rucksack on our backs, and around 8kgs of rucksack on our fronts. At
While out for a walk in the woods my mom found this spider guarding her egg sack.
the moment Penny can’t walk, and there is virtually no chance that she’ll a) be walking by the end of August b) be able to walk with her rucksacks c) be able to hike for 4 days and 3 nights up to Machu Piccu in Peru. So it looks like our trip around the world is on the rocks. We’re hoping that she may be ok around the beginning of October, but in the meantime we’re making plans to drive around Canada instead. As a result we’ve bought a 2002 Ford Explorer, and are hoping to leave next week to drive out to the East coast of Canada before driving back to Ontario then heading up to Northern Ontario, and driving out to Vancouver. Then if Pen is okay to hike we’ll try and get to South America for 6 weeks or so around the beginning of October, but if she’s not okay to hike then we’ll drive up the West Coast to the Yukon and Alaska for a few weeks. It’s all a bit uncertain though, and depends on Penny’s calf. She was at physio yesterday and it made a huge difference as she can walk much more comfortably,
My mate Barry invited us up to his trailer for a few days, this is his daughter Abby feeding the chipmunks.
but she’s definitely ready to leave for South America on Sept 1st!
So the trip has been good up until Penny’s unfortunate accident, and the rest of the trip is hanging in the balance. It doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to go to India or Africa, but may get a chance to see quite a bit of this wonderful country called Canada and hopefully get off to South America. We’ll need to wait and see how it all pans out. Check back in a few weeks and hopefully we’ll have an update from Canada’s East Coast!!
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