Monday, June 23, 2008

Exciting Canadian Facts:

I have been tallying up the interesting things about London and Canada in general that I find most interesting...

1. "Eh" is highly catchy. BEWARE! You will be suseptable. There are no limitations to the uses for "Eh". I fear when you talk to me again I will be completely beyond repair... and I might like it.

2. $1 coins are called "Loonies" and $2 coins are called "Toonies". ALSO: although canadian coins look different than US, no one cares about you using US coins. "IT'S ALL THE SAME TO US" is the answer I got.

3. In general, people here are SUPER courteous and polite.

4. Corn dogs are called "pogo's"

5. They serve gravy with fries

6. Humidity is by far the worst thing that happens... EVER. Everyone complains.

7. Farmers keep their lands absolutely PRISTINE. The country side is so tidy it looks fake.

8. Lots of Londoners refer to Quebec as "Ka-bek" Apparently the french style. Although people we met from Quebec say it like we do in the states.

9. Milk is sold in bags. As in, you slide your bag of milk inside a pitcher and cut off the corner and use it like that. The liter bags are quite handy.

10. Tons of parks and all of them have Splash Pads for the 2 hot months in the summer. London is VERY kid friendly.

11. In London we have not only a street named "Wonderland" but a housing development called "Sherwood Forest". It feels very fairytail-ish in that area. :)

12. Gas is $6 a gallon (sold in liters). OUCH!

13. Sales tax is 13% and about everything is 50% more expensive.

14. Half of our local channels are in French

15. We are loving it... although we are currently taking donations to pay for food and gas. :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Our New Life Has Begun

Zach's First Day of School! Check out the sweet scooter he gets to ride to save on gas prices!

Canada's "Beach" 45 min. away from us on Lake Huron. This really is a nice beach with waves and everything. The town even has surf shops and boardwalks. We were quite impressed. I'm a huge fan of waves AND fresh water. Too bad it's still pretty cold.

Our living room/dinning room area of the house.

Kaitlyn's hair LOVES the humidity as you can see. She's in heaven without her skin being so dry all the time. She also really likes our community backyard and the playgrounds.

The Kitchen View. These really aren't the greatest pictures ever, I know but atleast I did something. Right?

So we are on week 3 here in London and I've got to say, we are LOVING it. My pregnant self hasn't even cried in about a week so that's really looking good. I really do just cry a lot when I'm pregnant. But the upside is that I also laugh a lot too so I guess it's a trade-off.

Well folks! I went to my ultrasound appointment on Friday and we have a ruling on #2.... IT'S A GIRL! The ironic thing is that the tech is legally restricted from telling me the sex and you don't actually meet the radiologist here in Canada so she wouldn't even tell me. I convinced her to really work on getting a good shot so that I could figure it out for myself. I am no radiologist but I've been around the block once so I made the call and she backed me up without doing anything to get her fired. Apparently people around here sue if they are wrong about the sex so no one says anymore. Woo hoo. I'm able to just day-dream about my 2 girls running around.

I am putting together a list of interesting and funny Canadian facts for all of your enjoyment so stay tuned for my little tid-bits to come.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

We Have Arrived and are Alive

Well, I’ve got to admit I can’t believe we are all here and the last week has come and gone. The only way I can sort out anything to tell is by doing a timeline of events:
May 16 - Zach practiced general dentistry for the last time and said goodbye to his staff and patients.
May 23 - Packed up the GI-NORMOUS moving truck with the help of Pop, Jim (Calkins), Charlie, Zach’s Dad, and the one ward member that showed up on time. J Other ward members came but we were finished. I can’t thank Kathy and Sharon enough for coming over in the morning and afternoon to clean my apartment and for Teresa and Zach’s Mom for taking care of Kaitlyn for about the whole week. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
May 24 - Left SLC at 4 am (thought it would be 3 am but you know how that goes) Set off on I-80 towards Omaha. We made it there at 9 pm. Kaitlyn was a traveling angel. Zach’s Mom and Dad made the drive with us and talk about LIFE SAVING. It’s a good thing the moving truck could only go about 65 because we stopped and gave Kaitlyn so many breaks that our mini-van driving time was worse then theirs. J
May 25 - We left Omaha at 8 am (we needed to recover from the previous day) and drove straight through to Detroit which incredibly enough took us until Midnight! Poor Dave and Kar stayed up for us and had their basement set up better than the Hilton, it was such a great way to finish off 2 long days of driving. Kaitlyn did great again but I had a heart attack when we stopped for lunch and after changing her pants I was putting things away and Kate fell out of the car right on her face on the asphalt. Of course she got over it in a few minutes, although the left side of her face is still healing, I on the other hand am still shaken up from being right there and having it happen. I’m sure it won’t be the last time.
May 26 - We slept in until 9 am and left around 10 to head for the border. Luckily we didn’t look too suspicious and after a 45 minute meeting with the customs agent about all of our visas and other paperwork they let us through around 1:30. We drove to our new city of LONDON. On the drive in we passed every major store we are used to seeing in SLC. There really isn’t any visible sign that we’re in another country besides the speed limit being in Kilometers. We found our way to Platt’s Lane where we live and pulled up to our town home and… it was not what I expected. The exteriors are older and ours looked pretty shabby, the yards hadn’t been cared for and there were tall weeds around. The playground across the street looked old and faded and I thought “well at least this isn’t the inside.” Now, let me just say that I made the mistake of conjuring up in my mind what it would be like based on our experience in Omaha and the pictures I found on the internet. I also had the floor plan from the management and made the mistake of picturing it MUCH bigger than it really is. So that’s a preface. I walked through it and went upstairs and the 3 bedrooms are more like 2 bedrooms and a 3rd space we’ve affectionately named “Mary’s Walk-in Closet” because it’s so small and our master bedroom is too small for our dresser so it had to go in the 3rd one. The basement is 2x4’s and cement, not finished at all. I saw the whole thing, went upstairs in the bathroom and started bawling. It was a great cry. I really needed it too. Packing, moving away, driving 3 days, little sleep, stress, etc plus the added disappointment of my new home feeling more like a mouse cage welled up and I was out of commission for 5 minutes. The beauty of hitting my low point right at the start is it’s all gotten better from there. While we moved in and I directed traffic, Mom put the kitchen together, Kar took over as full-time babysitter for Kate, Zach and Dad and Dave had their hands full with the entire truck’s contents. We couldn’t have done it without Dave and Kar coming to help. Kar also served as our PR rep. By the time she left, she’d met all of our neighbors and introduced us all. J
May 27-28 - We spent unpacking and working out the details of money, school insurance, etc. Which are still not resolved but in the works.
May 29 - WE TOOK OFF! We decided we all needed a break and drove to Niagara Falls and Palmyra for a 2 day trip. For the record, Niagara Falls is tons cooler than I expected it to be. It’s HUGE and the Canadian side was so well manicured and looked more like how clean and pristine the church keeps all of their buildings and facilities. What a cool place. We went on the Maid of the Mist right up to the falls complete with a drenching when we got there. Kaitlyn screamed her head off the whole time but it served to wear her out and she slept for the next couple hours. We had so much fun in Niagara that we only made it to Rochester and found a hotel.
May 30 - Palmyra trip. There is such an incredible spirit at the church history sites there. Mostly felt for me when we walked through the sacred grove. We all had an great experience. Even Kaitlyn was overcome by the peace and fell asleep for the morning. When we were done it was already 3 pm and we decided to head for home. 2/3 of the way there at the junction for Toronto I hear “Why don’t we just go to Toronto?” That’s all it took. We headed off to Toronto and found a hotel. We are a little crazy.
May 31 - TORONTO. It’s not as big as NYC even though that’s what all the Canadian’s refer to when they try to give us a comparison. Not that I’ve been to NYC but Toronto just feels open even in the heart of the city. We all decided it feels A LOT like San Francisco, complete with China town, Greek town, India town, Tour boats, a castle, a huge Beach, and it wasn’t a degree warmer than 70 the whole time there. We had a great time looking around and seeing the sites. We got home at 7 pm and hit the sack for the most part.
June 1 - Today! We went to our ward which is small but strong. There are 2 families that live here in Platt’s Lane that we’re getting together with for FHE tomorrow night. I’m not sure how many callings we’ll both get, it looks like they need the help. I guess we’ll find out next week. We’re on our way for a walk since it’s turned sunny and a little warmer for the first time all week. Zach starts his first day of school at 9 am tomorrow morning! Wish us luck.
I’d love to hear from any one and I’ll try to do a better job updating instead of the crazy long e-mail. Our info is:
TELEPHONE: 801-738-0212 (yes it’s a UTAH number)
ADDRESS: 568 Platt’s Lane London, ON N6G-3B1 Canada
Love you all!