Saturday, April 21, 2007

Glenn, now you can come and visit.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

We returned home yesterday afternoon from our Seattle trip. We attended the anniversary/birthday/retirement party of Glenn P. We had a grand time and it certainly was great to see everyone again. Jerry and Linda had come to Victoria on a Clipper package and we had had a drink with them at their hotel on Wednesday night. It was a little surreal seeing everyone in Seattle and then driving home via the ferry. We loved seeing our friends but were VERY glad to come home.

In Seattle we went to
Pikes Market for our big expedition. We really enjoyed the sights and sound. Yes, it is very touristy, but we had a good time there. We also managed to do a little shopping at Cost-Plus, Bath and Body Works, Trader Joe’s, the state liquor store and the various grocery stores.

We had no problem coming through Customs. We stayed in Anacortes our last night there so we could be at the ferry at 6:45am. In the future, we think it is better to go Swartz Bay/ Tsawwassen and drive down. The Anacortes ferry is small and has lovely scenery but the BC Ferry is fast and has many more amenities.

Before our trip we had the opportunity to meet with Melissa (2moms2canada) for dinner on Wednesday night. We went to Santiago’s. MSEH had dined there for lunch, as well. So now, the running joke is, ‘Where do you want to go to eat? Santiago's?’. We did love the Paella we had there. The next day we got to meet Bob of movingtocanada blog fame. It seemed like we had all known each other for years. Bob and David will be just a hop across the water in Vancouver so we hope that they will visit us here in Victoria. And who knows, MSEH, if the East Coast doesn’t work out for your family . . .

Oh, and I saved the best news for last. Diane got the job! They are hammering out contract language this week. We are thrilled. What about me? We have a plan that I am trying to stick too. I can’t talk about it in detail. It’s just that I’m a little impatient sometimes.

Friday, April 06, 2007

We received our permanent residence cards in the mail on Wednesday. After 2 plus years of waiting, it becomes so real when you have those cards in hand.

This is Good Friday. Easter weekend is a huge celebration here. Turkeys, ham, pumpkin pie, cranberry hot cross scones. It is a four day weekend with many businesses closed for that time. Heather and Darren are supposed to be coming over this weekend and hopefully some of our other friends, Ruth and Tom.

Yesterday we went to get our drivers licenses. We got our 10 year driving record from the States before we came. We thought we were completely prepared.

Immigration tip#133: If your driver’s license was renewed within the last 2 years, the date of issue on the license will prevent you from getting a Canadian drivers license because it will look as if you have been driving only a few months. Logically, you think, but I have a 10 year driving record from the DMV from my state. Doesn’t matter. You could have received citations without a driver’s license. You would be issued a graduated license (substantial impact on insurance rate) and be required to take the entire driving test again here in Canada. As it was, we had to take a vision test and a verbal test with the representative. You absolutely need a copy of your original driving application (in my case from 1974) if you have renewed your license within the last 2 years. After several calls to the Nevada DMV (while standing at the counter of the
ICBC), Diane managed to persuade them to get a copy of the records off microfilm, type a letter on DMV letterhead, and fax it back to the ICBC while we waited (several hours). The Drivers Services representative was very surprised that DMV was willing to do this, as she has seen it rarely done. (Well, Diane requested it, obviously the representative did not know who she was dealing with!:)

We received our temporary licenses, a yellow piece of paper, while we wait about 30 days for our official licenses to come in the mail.

We are looking forward to next weekend when we go to Seattle for probably our only vacation this year. This week we will meet on Thursday with other BC immigrants and are looking forward to that, as well.

Okay, now for the really good news. We had an offer on our house this week. It fell through, but we had an offer! Second really good news, Diane has an interview on Tuesday with a major international engineering firm that is very interested in her. All of your positive thoughts are appreciated. We love our new home and are anxious for our new lives to get going.

Canada is so worth the wait!

Monday, April 02, 2007

We woke up this morning to a light dusting of snow on the ground. Yesterday, there was a mix of flurries and rain in the morning. We took a drive to Metchosin and Sooke. There was not a lot to see, but it is a part of our area we had not been to.

On Saturday night we invited Wayne and Mark over to the house. They contacted us after reading our blog. They are 2 more Americans living in Victoria. They have been here a year. It was interesting to share similar and different experiences of the journey so far. We all agreed that the limited and pricey wine selections in BC are hard to get accustomed to. When we go to Seattle next month, I know what will be on our shopping list to bring back. Since DUI is a deportable offense here in BC we will be very careful to never drink and drive. Wayne brought up an interesting point in our conversation. On the goods to follow list, you have a year to bring those items across. Use you imagination on how that rule can bend.

We still own the house in Las Vegas and want someone to buy it today. As soon as that is complete, it will take quite a bit of pressure off of us. Our realtor says there have been some looks, but nothing serious. Come on buyers, buy it!

I had been filling up the bird feeder frequently thinking that these little winter birds are eating a lot of seed. Then, yesterday morning, I got up and snapped pictures of the real culprit.

We did have sunshine for 5 days. Here is another picture of our driveway. Once we get back to reality (read: work) I probably will not have as much time for walks and picture snapping.