Thursday, July 29, 2010

Arrived in Niagara Falls!

After waking up at 5 AM yesterday morning to the sound of booming thunder and flashing lights, with a pounding headache, I was not off to a good start. I managed to finally fall asleep again only to be woken up to my alarm at 6AM signaling it was time to get up for breakfast. This was the only hotel of the 3 we stayed at that offered a continental breakfast, so we were going to take advantage of that. I finally managed to get downstairs and make myself a bowl of oatmeal, and pour a cup of coffee, then made it back to the room to put them both down untouched while I tried to make the nausea stop. I was able to swallow a few spoons of oatmeal before crawling back into bad, squeezing my eyes shut, hoping the pounding headache and accompanying nausea would go away. It didn't. I was not well. Headaches always make me feel nauseous, but this is the first time it's actually made me throw up. Not a nice picture, I know. So we didn't actually leave the hotel until around 9, or 9:30 in the morning. Rather than the 7 or 8 we were aiming for.
But you know, when you consider the time difference: 9AM in Wisconsin is really 7AM in BC, so were actually doing alright. That was our third early morning, following several days of extreme heat and dehydration in the car, little sleep, lots of "excitement" and emotions in Kamloops, etc. etc. etc. I think we did alright.

Yesterday may have been the longest drive day of my life. I slept off and on in the car until noon or so. The hour of 4PM seemed to drag on for days. We stumbled in at 9:30PM EST, and sat here dazed for two hours before crawling into bed. I think we were both pretty out of it.

But you know what? Most importantly, we made it! We are now in Niagara Falls. We are at our new temporary home, with Ian's parents, until we find jobs and an appartment.

I can't quite wrap my head around it yet. It still feels like we're visiting, although we drove ourselves here this time, rather than being picked up at the airport. I guess it will feel different when we're settled in our own place. Maybe it will take a few days to adjust. I still have no idea what to expect. This feels so weird.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Photographs smotographs, who needs photographs?

I saw fireflies tonight! I don't think I've ever seen a firefly before! Oddly enough, they're apparently a bit like fairies and when you return for photographic proof, they disappear.

The moon is red. It's awesome. Tried to take a picture of that too, but it just looks so tiny and insignificant.

Today was not a good picture day. Every time I tried to take a picture, it seems it didn't turn out. I tried to capture the Mississippi River as we raced over it, but alas, the picture is pathetic.

This morning I was scanning the sky for tornados. All I saw was some awesome fork lightning and one heck of an ominous rain cloud. At first I thought it might be a huge tornado from a distance, because of the angle of the rain falling. It seemed to have a curve to it. It wasn't. I think I'm glad. Besides, I like lightning, so I'm happy with that. However, again, no pictures.

Thunderstorms in the morning kept us a bit cooler at the start. It wasn't until 1 or so that I started feeling really hot. Luckily I planned ahead this time and filled the cooler bag with ice from the hotel before we left, two bottles of water, a can of Sprite, and two Red Bulls for Ian. We savoured the water throughout the day, and I dipped paper towel into the melting ice water to hold on our necks. I wiped it down my arms, my face, my legs, and tucked it in the front of my dress. It was fantastic.

Ian drove all day. He did a great job. But I'm still exhausted and I feel one heck of a headache coming on. I can't imagine how he must be feeling!

Looking forward to arriving tomorrow and I think it will be some time before I want to do another road trip!

Monday, July 26, 2010

West to East Day 2

The morning started bright and sunny, and a wonderful temperature in the Gas City, Medicine Hat. I drove to Regina, Saskatchewan today. I must say, the first hour was great. The second hour was okay. The third hour I was bored. Bored silly. I have never been so bored while actually driving. It's not that the prairies aren't pretty, because they are, but it's just that it's straight. Then there's a little hill. Then there's a sign warning of a slight bend in the road. Then it's straight. Repeat for 11 hours. That was much of our day!

We stopped in Moose Jaw for lunch and to take the requisite picture standing under the giant moose. The pictures are on the cameras and I'm too tired to post them tonight. Besides, everyone who's been there has a picture under the giant moose so I'm sure you can figure out what it looks like. Replace the person/people in any said picture with Ian and myself. Done.

In Regina we switched drivers and Ian drove to Winnipeg. A few hours out of Regina I started feeling really car sick. I was trying to nap in the car when suddenly I felt like I couldn't breath, and I realized how hot it had gotten. Earlier in the day the sun was hot, and it felt hot on your skin, burning hot. But okay! I can handle that hot. Suddenly the air was so thick and heavy, even with the window wide open, that I couldn't seem to catch my breath. And I was thirsty! I took a sip of my water, only to realize it was hot. Like tea. But just water. And it wasn't satisfying my thirst at all. In fact, the warm water in my throat was making me feel worse and I suddenly felt dizzy and nauseous! I warned Ian to drive carefully - I might suddenly need to pull over. We were just about in Brandon, and when we got there I thought, it's not toooo much further to Winnipeg, certainly a bit longer and I'll be okay. Besides, we drove through it before I noticed really. Then, probably ten minutes or so out of Brandon I realized I really needed water. I was still feeling horribly nauseous and sooooo unbearably hot!! This stretch of highway seems to go forever without a single gas station/shop that sells cold drinks. Finally I asked for the TomTom and looked at where we were on the map. It indicated a "town" coming up, you know when the area is shaded brown? So we figured that was a good bet. The town was Sidney, Manitoba. We finally turned in, it's just off the highway a bit. No gas station. Luckily, there's a corner store. It happens to double as the Post Office, Library, Coffee Shop, etc. There were two little girls playing outside with water guns. The thought crossed my mind to ask them to shoot me. Instead, I went in and got two bottles (one for Ian of course!) of blissfully ice cold water. I've never been so happy to have cold water in my life. I paced by the car for a few minutes, willing the nausea to pass, and it did very quickly once I drank some water. I put the bottle down my shirt, held it to my neck, my cheeks, put it down my shirt again. It felt absolutely wonderful! My bottle was warm in about 20 minutes. Then Ian let me use his. That's love. I really have the most wonderful husband in the world.

The rest of the way to Winnipeg I watched these huge cumulonimbus clouds puffing up in the sky. It clouded over quite a bit and we even got a few drops of rain. I was willing those clouds to dump some rain on us and cool me down. I was begging them, silently. About half an hour after arriving in Winnipeg they had collected together and resulted in a thunderstorm. We went for a walk, and at the first clap of thunder I heard I think I cheered. It was a bit late, but I do love a good storm. Sadly, I never did see any lightning. We didn't go far because it did start to rain, and we hadn't had dinner yet. About ten minutes after we got back to the hotel, the clouds released a torrential downpour. We would have been soaked. I happened to notice on the Weather Network tonight that there was a tornado warning for Winnipeg, and one reportedly touched down in the North East apparently. I'm a bit sorry we missed that! (Just a bit!)
Tomorrow's supposed to be even hotter and I'm very scared I'll be car sick all day. We're driving south, into the states, and I'm really nervous about driving in these big cities. The love of my life says he'll drive all day if he has to. He says it's okay.

Could I be any luckier?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

making mountains out of no hills

I'm trying not to focus on the leaving friends and family part. There have been a few tears shed. My head hurts, my stomach feels like it's in knots, my eyes are still red, and my face is breaking out big time. But I'm trying not to think about it.

Instead, let me tell you about our first day on the road.

Ian drove to Salmon Arm, then I drove to Canmore, then he drove the rest of the way to Medicine Hat. I drove from Salmon Arm to Canmore because he's never been through the mountains here. He was impressed. At least, I figure he must have been impressed because he killed the battery in his own camera, and then took a ton of mountain pictures with mine.

It's also Ian's first time in Alberta, and the first song we heard on the radio after we entered Alberta was by the band that "brought us together". It must be a sign!

As we were driving away from the mountains I felt incredibly sad to see them disappearing behind us. I kept looking for them off in the distance. At one point, looking east into the horizon I was sure I could see rocky mountainous peaks poking through the clouds. You know how around Vancouver and the Fraser Valley you can see the mountains just barely behind the smog on hot summer days? It was a bit like that, but I was just hallucinating mountains I guess.

Here are a few shots from the day.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Enough excitement already!

We've been in Kamloops for only four days, today is the fifth, and I think I've had enough excitement. When visiting with one of my grandmother's the other day she had a small stroke! So we convinced her to let us take her to the emergency room, thank goodness, and thank goodness she's okay!! But I think that's enough excitement for one trip.

Besides that we've done some cleaning and some shopping, visited with quite a bit of family, cuddled babies, checked out my other grandmother's new computer skills, eaten pachos, hiked a bit, and taken a ton of photos.

My cousin's wedding is this morning, then a reception this afternoon.

Then tomorrow we're back on the road.

I'm not ready for this.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

En Route

Well, the first leg of the trip is underway. The boxes are gone, the car was loaded up, and we drove to Kamloops. We will be here for four days, enjoying time with good friends and family, and attending the wedding of one of my cousins on Saturday. I am looking forward to seeing everyone here, but am not looking forward to four days of "goodbyes." That's emotionally draining. However, I am looking forward with optimism now, I have hope that there are wonderful things awaiting us in Ontario. I heard Tim McGraw's "Where the Green Grass Grows" on the radio in the car yesterday, and it actually made my eyes water and my throat tighten up! I had to stop singing along! It was just the silliest thing, but these emotions well up out of nowhere. I am so happy to be sharing my life with Ian, and it really feels like it's beginning now. When we got married there was really no change in our day to day lives. This feels like it. This is a new beginning together.

Monday, July 19, 2010

All our boxes are packed!

This is our lives in boxes.

This is supposed to fit in our car.

All packed up and ready to go. Waiting for the moving truck. Packed the cutlery. Had to eat my oatmeal with a dough hook, while balancing on an air mattress. Ian had a beater. It was good. It's hard to eat when you're laughing.

Then we're going to clean this place as fast as we can and make another quick trip to the Salvation Army. We donated a whole truck load of stuff to them yesterday.

Still not feeling excited. Maybe because there's too much to do? Still not sure if we're leaving today or tomorrow morning, but I think we've decided we can't sleep here another night. Our air mattress was cold, and uncomfortable, and doesn't seem to be filling with air properly. It's holding the air in alright, but took forever to fill. Friends of ours have generously offered their spare bedroom for the night and if we stay in Vancouver we just might have to take them up on that offer. My only issue is that we'd have to load the car, unload when we get there, load again, then drive to Kamloops. Then we'll repeat that every day next week on our road trip east.

Had a lovely brunch with said generous friends yesterday at our favourite diner! Had my last half Romero with Home Fries, and shared a peanut butter and raspberry milk shake with Ian. Delicious!!! Brings back a lot of memories of my first year here.

Then we spent an hour driving around trying to find a car wash after a bird, or ten, left ten lovely gifts on our windshield. There was an hour line up at the local car wash, so we drove south to where we thought there was one, and there wasn't. Then we knew there was one at Granville and 41st so we went there, but it's closed Sundays apparently. So we drove down to Marine Drive because we know there's a coin wash at 70th and Marine, but alas, it was a big dirt lot when we arrived! We continued our trek east and found one on Marine at Fraser, where we then sat for twenty minutes longer because the car in front of us was trying to use a code that didn't work. The oh so efficient attendant ran back and forth three times trying to figure out why it wouldn't work.

When we dismantled our bed yesterday we discovered that the vertical slat boards (it's an Ikea bed) have spots of mold on the edges!! We're not sure if the boards we keep over that also have mold on them, and we're not sure what to do about it. I guess we can try to wash it and dry it when we arrive in Ontario. Or just throw them out and replace them. I do NOT want to bring mold into my "new home!" No wonder we haven't been well here! There must be mold on everything! I'm re-thinking keeping the mattress too! Do you think it can be cleaned??

Followed up that exciting day with a voyage to Langley for dinner with my cousins and their significant others (whom I adore, just for the record!) I feel very lucky that I've been able to spend so much time with these cousins in the past several years. Not many other people in my family get to see them very often. I will miss being close to them! Being close to family at all actually.

Now it's 9AM and I'm sitting on an air matress with my bum on the floor, balancing my lap top against my knee. I've eaten my oatmeal with my hook, I'm drinking my coffee from a cup I will donate this afternoon. I'm waiting for Ian to get out of the shower. I've already had a phone call from a wonderful friend checking on my sanity. I can't wait to leave this apartment. I can't imagine leaving these people...

Friday, July 16, 2010


With only three days left before the moving truck arrives, I feel the knot in my stomach, or the lump in my throat, or the squeeze in my chest getting heavier, bigger, or tighter, daily... It's rendering me pretty much useless at times. I can just sit and try not to think about moving. I've played countless rounds of Bejewelled when I could have been packing boxes, sorting junk, dealing with things myself. But I find myself overwhelmed, and staring at boxes, or watching whatever I can find on TV to avoid doing anything. In reality I've been packing for two weeks on and off and I am nearly done. I keep saying (for the past three days) that I could wrap this up in a day if I really wanted to, but I need to keep out some stuff so we can actually live here until the move day. I believe that's true. I could pack all of this up in a matter of hours. But I can't. I open a cupboard and I just stare at the contents. And I tell myself "those are my spices. I can't pack those yet. What if I decide to make something?" Or I'll think "No, I shouldn't pack those yet. I should probably just throw them away anyways. Well some of it I'll keep. I'll have to go through it. Later I guess." And I close the cupboard. And I walk away. And I look in another cupboard. And the situation repeats itself. Again and again, several times a day. I'll try to pack the same cupboard the next day, and the same thing happens. I've packed my clothes. I've packed the bathroom. The more I pack, the harder breathing gets. As the boxes pile higher, my chest gets tighter. I feel my head about to explode. I don't know if it's simply the clutter and mess and disorder in here, or if it's more than that.

I always get anxious before a trip, be it on an airplane, or a roadtrip. But this time I won't be coming home again. Home will be going with me, and with any luck, will implant itself where we stop... We'll set up a new home. I know that. But in the meantime, I will have no home. It's a hard thing for me to wrap my head around.

It's difficult entering into something with such mixed feelings. I am so excited to start a new "life", get a new job, make a new home, find new friends, get to know Ian's family better... I'm sure all of those will be wonderful. But I am still incredibly sad to be leaving my own family, and my close friends here. The sadness at leaving is overshadowing the possibility of excitement right now. It's putting a real damper on things. I just can't get myself excited for this. I feel it there, deep down, but it's like someone has put a big, sad, wet, gray, blanket over it, and it's stifling...

Maybe tomorrow I'll be excited and I'll get the packing finished.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Attitude is everything

I know I have a bad attitude sometimes. I can be negative. I assume the worst is going to happen. This is not a good quality. I justify it by saying I prepare for the worst so that I can be happy with the turn out, whatever it may be, rather than disappointed or unprepared. I'm happier being right then feeling let down. But being "right" isn't everything. I want to go into this move hoping for the best, rather than preparing for the worst. I want to be happy and naive. I'm not sure why I equate naivety with happiness... Maybe I think you'd have to be stupid to think everything was going to turn out wonderful. Not a good attitude, right?

I'd like to change this. I'd like to click my fingers, or my heels together, or something, and make this negativity go away. I'm a pessimist. I'd like to be an optimist. Prepare for the unexpected, but not expect the worst. I know this move will be a difficult life adjustment for me, but I'd like to go into it knowing I can handle whatever life throws at me, and that everything happens for a reason (which I do believe, absolutely), and that everything will turn out all right "in the end." This in itself is an illusion. I don't believe in "happily ever after." I know life goes on after that, and not all of it will be happy. Some will be miserable and difficult, and I hate difficult!!! But I don't want to assume that this will end up horrible and my life will unravel. It won't. I'm tougher than I look. I may have a miserable attitude, but I'll be able to handle it. I just hope I don't push people away who are trying to help me...

I need to keep reminding myself of this. I can handle this. I am starting fresh. This could be a wonderful thing for our future, and I need to go into this with a hopeful and positive attitude. While it may be hard work, I know that I can handle it, and I will have my husband at my side.

I am the luckiest girl in the world. I really do have the best husband. He is absolutely supportive of me no matter what. He encourages me, he loves me, he cuddles me when I'm down, he works hard, he takes care of me when I'm not feeling well, he washes the dishes when my ezcema breaks out on my hands and he never complains about it, he has never yelled at me... I want to make him happy. He deserves this move. He deserves a positive attitude and support from me. He came here to be with me. This is what he wants, and I want him to be happy.

The cup is half full.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mixed emotions

Sometimes I don't even have the words to express how I feel about moving. I think I'm going to miss it here soooooo much! I'm going to miss our places, our friends... I know we'll meet new friends and find new places, but this is where we had our first date. This is where we used to go for picnics. This is where Ian likes to ride his bike up hill. This is where I used to work, and here, and here... Our days have been filled with "do you remember when..?" or "we used to..." These are all such sweet memories as we wander around our city these days, trying to take it all in, again... And it doesn't feel like there's quite enough time to spend as much time with our friends as I'd like to.

We sold our couch and our microwave this evening, and our bookshelf may be leaving tomorrow. Our table and chairs, and several other odds and ends returned to Kamloops earlier this week, and for this we are very greatful to Cindy's parents!! So we'll be sitting on the floor this week. But that's okay. I usually sit on the floor anyways.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Half-iversary!

Today is our six month anniversary! I can't believe how fast time has flown by! And after only six months, I still feel like the luckiest girl on Earth, and I am certainly married to the best guy. This is a good start, right?

We're going to take a break from our packing and sorting today to go for a nice dinner at the Stone Grill , under the Granville Bridge on the downtown side. We've been meaning to go there for ages. We thought this was a nice excuse to do it. We have a coupon, too! I just love having a coupon for a nice dinner. A ridiculously expensive restaurant that we can't justify visiting becomes an incredibly expensive restaurant we have to visit just this once, to use the coupon! So our lovely dinner will still end up costing more than we can usually justify, but it seems acceptable when you've used a coupon. I mean, can you imagine how bad it could be if you didn't have a coupon?!

Twisted thinking maybe.

Sorting sucks. Packing's okay, it's the part where I have to sort what we're keeping that's throwing me off. Laundry sucks too when it's piled as tall as me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

On packing

Well packing has seriously commenced today. After we sorted the things from the closet, we did nothing. After a few minor panic attacks when I realized we're planning to leave in just TWO WEEKS!!!! I got things going this morning. I've sorted the catch-all box I had brought home from school containing all of the odds and ends you end up with in the end of packing your classroom. If you're not a teacher you may have no idea what this includes. Because you're packing your class while school is still in session, you end up with all sorts of odds and ends. Most of the stuff from my desk (pens, pencils, stickers, etc.), my glue gun, a list of Theatre Sports and instructions to play, clip boards, my mini white board, a few leftover binders, a duotang with some professional development stuff I'd been working on, cards from students, about twenty sharpie fine-liners, etc! So I had brought this box home and left it in the middle of the floor with the intent to sort it and repack everything in their "proper" places. It stayed there for nearly a week. Now it's sorted. And I have about four other half-packed boxes spread across the living room floor. I have piles of things (school stuff, books, things I'm giving to particular people, things I'm giving away to anyone, garbage, and scrap book stuff - I haven't the faintest idea what I'm going to do with this! Yes I do, I'm going to pack it!) So packing is really and truely underway now. Ian is going to be so impressed when he gets home! And alarmed. What a mess.
On saying goodbye
I have been blessed with some of the best friends, family, and work buddies a girl could wish for. Thank you just doesn't cut it! I will miss you all more then you will ever be able to imagine. Please come visit!

Dani and Ian at EuroFest 2010
Sorry Dani, it's the most recent picture I have!! hehe
Mom and I in Merritt
Jay and Amie, the last waffle Sunday
Britta and Sean, the last waffle Sunday

Fred and Cindy, the last waffle Sunday

Heather, her BFF Tomoko, and Josh at the last waffle Sunday

Lyn and I, Canada Day at her house

Grandma and I, Birch Bay

Gagan and I, her wedding day!! :D