Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Transition to CA ...'eh!

So the transition to Canada has been with fits and starts and its ups and downs.  We had a wonderful last week in MPLS where we tried to cram 50 lbs of sh_t in a 5 lb bag and I'd say we did a pretty good job!

The movers came and packed us up. Literally, if you stood still, you'd get wrapped in paper and put in a box. The dog was a bit more than freaked out but managed to love up the packing crew so she got lots of extra attention that day. Packers are an interesting folk, many tattoos, lots of course language and really nice Jordan sneakers. Plus, they were all Dads so we got some extra sympathy with the kids. Sue came into to town to help and THANK  GOD! she was able to distract them (the kids) with activities and such.

We managed to see all our friends, eat at all our favorite spots (one last time), and see Jimmy's baseball team make it into the playoffs.  We even "crashed" the Golden Valley Street dance and made it our own. If you ever get to hear Ladies of the '80's, you NEED to go. It was a gas.

What wasn't a gas was living in a hotel room in downtown MPLS with 3 kids and a dog. I have to admit, the dog did better than the kids. Thankfully the hotel had breakfast each morning and 3 TVs. We were bad parents and broke all our own rules on TV time, but you do what you gotta do.

The flight to Toronto was nice and uneventful until we landed. It seems they had a big storm blow through and many flights were stuck on the tarmac waiting for their gates. This means...LONG lines at customs AND immigration, which we had to go through to get the kids their visitor visas. 50 Min's and 1 crabby customs official (who was trying hard not to be crabby but not doing a very good job) and we were off to our next hotel room. Keep in mind, now its 10:30pm and we haven't eaten dinner yet. You can see where this is going. We managed to get checked in and find a sports bar for dinner. It was 1am when we got back to the room. Enough said.

We needed to be at customs at 8am the next morning to clear our truck o stuff through. Easy enough on its own, but we were sharing some truck space with a coworker of mine. They forgot to mention the "no alcohol on your shipment" clause and the drivers spent the rest of the day digging through the truck to find the contraband for customs officials. Luckily, we weren't necessary and were able to head out and finish our chores - registering the kids for school, grocery shopping and a drivers licence for Tracy.  We even managed a swim in the hotel pool with the kids.

Tuesday our truck arrived at our house before we did, but no worries. Remember the packers? There is a sister team on the "other side" that unpacks. They were SUPER nice and we were done the same day (ie: all the boxes were off the truck, beds set up and furniture put together, the rest was up to us). We were finally able to sleep in our own beds and cook our own food. Heaven!

As we were unpacking, its was hysterical what we found.....As highlights...
~ a wet dish towel from the kitchen
~ a Tupperware container, with holes poked in it containing dirt grass and caterpillars
~ Tom's misplaced sunglasses (thank God, he was a mess!)
All wrapped in paper, neatly tucked into a box and part of "Kay's stuff". Note my aforementioned packers commentary.

Wed & Thurs Tracy had to go to work so Tom finished up errands and packing. Friday Tracy took the kids on errands and to work in order to give Tom a break. While they were initially hesitant to go to work, they quickly met Catherin and Jamie (The senior buyer of toys) and were entertained with all the newest toys. They LOVE my office (actually they love Jamie, but whats the diff?!)

Sat & Sun we tried to find kids and fun for them. We went to an outdoor pool, a Canada day celebration, a neighborhood picnic and the movie The Hunger Games.  We are a bit starved for other kids but they are hanging in there pretty good.

Tom got signed up for a club and Tracy managed a bike ride or 2. We also finished unpacking and hanging photos. Its starting to feel like home.

Now, we just need to meet some friends. We have 2 good leads from the picnic and some potential at work. Once the kids get into their summer camps and then finally, when school starts, we are hoping to collect more.

The kids miss Nikki (bringing her back with us next month) and their friends. BUT...we figured out how to Face Time and Kay got her 1st pen pal letter. Exciting stuff!

In the meantime, we are adjusting to crazy traffic (not quite Indian-esqe but lets just say lots of Indians live here) , cool restaurants (the kids love Swiss Chalet and Tim Hortons donuts) , expensive prices (milk = 5.00/gallon and eggs = 3.50/dozen), convenience of walking/biking everywhere (school 2 blocks away and subway 5 blocks away) and the gorgeous weather (so far):)

Our new furniture!

The dining room set looks amazing!

The music "room", boy is it loud! 

The guest room is ready for guests!

Jimmy in his element, 50" screen tv and video games

So, more to come, lots of love and keep sending us vibes of peace in the process.