Friday, 8 August 2014

One Year Canniversary

August 7th was our 1 year anniversary of arriving in Canada.
Here's a little summary of the story so far:
We covered a lot of miles (OK, kilometres) in the first month, going back and forth to Calgary to register for this, that and the other, and heading in the opposite direction to Kananaskis, Banff and Lake Louise for days out.
We opened our bank account with Scotiabank, and used our line of credit with them to buy a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan (with a DVD player for the kids, thank god). Yesterday we traded it in for a new Ford F-150 pickup to pull our new 31' travel trailer, treats to ourselves and the kids, and we're looking forward to many a roadtrip camping adventure.
It was a pleasant surprise to us how quickly we bought a house. We had engaged a local realtor before we even left the UK, and on our second day in Canada we started looking at properties. We looked at 14 in a week before putting an offer in on our current house in Airdrie. We used a Scotiabank broker to help us apply for the mortgage and we moved in two weeks after the offer was accepted, 1 day before our 40' container arrived from the UK.
Lara started in Grade 1 a few days later, in French Immersion, and is loving school. Getting a yellow school bus like in the Simpsons excited her too.
Last Winter was cold and snowy, but the novelty didn't wear off, although I'm sure it will in a few winters' time. We skied most weekends at Nakiska, and we've bought passes already for next season, as they had a mad sale where adult season lift passes were $199.
Spring passed in the blink of an eye, I think. There was a good month to six weeks of cloudy, warm days with rain during May and June, but since the start of July it's been hot, with the threat of thunderstorms most afternoons, though they don't always materialize, but when they do, the hail can be spectacular (and expensive if it trashes your car).
We've been "tenting" a couple of times - the word "camping" here has a very different meaning, so we've learnt!
Our neighbours are lovely, and through them we've made some other Canadian friends, and whilst we haven't yet built up the circle of friends we had in the UK, we're certainly not feeling lonely and isolated. We get out to the pub from time to time, albeit separately so one of us looks after the kids while other meets up with friends. We're not within walking distance of a pub here, so we don't have the opportunity for "a swift half" like we used to, but I'm happy to trade that for the skiing and camping. We do still get our fix of British pubs by watching Coronation Street, but it's 2 weeks behind here so I have to be careful not to talk about it when I'm skyping Grandma back in Manchester.
One year has flown, we love it here, we feel we have settled in - the truck and the trailer attest to that - we're in no rush to return to the UK, and whilst we miss nights out down the pub with friends, we keep up with gossip on facebook and chat regularly with family on Skype.
What's not to like, eh?

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