Sunday, October 19, 2008

How we met and my move to Canada (September 1999 - December 2001)

September 1999 - April 2000:
As I told you in my intro I met this wonderful Canadian guy over the internet.  I met Michael in September 1999 on the Internet! I placed an ad on the net at one of those penpal-relationship services to find someone to write with.  Actually my ad was just to see what kind of reaction I would get, not so much to find someone. I didn't mind having more friends from all over the world. But of course I thought to myself: "Hey, you never know".  And boy, I can tell you that it was the best thing I ever did, as Michael was one of many guys who sent me a message and wanted to get to know me!  For some reason Michael’s respond to my ad attracted me, so I wrote him back.  I also wrote 2 other guys back that sounded quite interesting, one was from Australia but living in Belgium and the other one was in Australia somewhere (not sure what city).  Michael is from Canada (New Westminster, close to Vancouver) and I am from a little village in Belgium (called As, close to Genk), which is in Europe! Well, we started off as friends, send pictures to each other and tried to get to know each other by e-mail by asking each other A LOT of questions! Strange you might think, but to me this was a great way to get to know Michael!  Of course there are also people who just pretend, but we were both taking that risk in a way I suppose.  I felt that him and I were honest with each other, but of course you never know. 

I totally forgot about those other 2 guys I was supposed to write back, as Michael was such an interesting person. I e-mailed those other 2 guys to let them know I got to know a very interesting person (Michael) and that I wanted to concentrate on him.  I never heard from those 2 guys again and could fully concentrate on writing to Michael.  It didn't take long before we fell in love and started to express our true feelings in our e-mails.  Each time I knew Michael was going to write I felt a billion of butterflies in tummy and felt so happy.  And each time I read his e-mails I would get all warm inside and had that special feeling I had never felt before.  Michael and I were getting stronger feelings for each other and that showed in our e-mails.  Michael told me that he fell in love with me and one day he e-mailed me and asked if he could call me sometime? He wanted to hear me on the phone.  Oh yeah, of course he could.  So, I gave him my phone number and he gave me his.  We made arrangements by e-mail so I would be home when Michael would phone as there is a 9 hour difference between us.  The day was there that Michael was going to phone me.  I was sooo nervous and excited, you can’t imagine!

Then the phone rang and so much went through me, you can't believe it.  I picked up and heard the loveliest voice on the other side, which gave me butterflies in my stomach.  Oh, it was so nice to talk to him and to hear his voice.  We talked for 2 hours about all kinds of things…we just clicked.  From then on we phoned each other every week and talked for an hour or 2 on the phone.  Everything went just great between the 2 of us even though we never met!!  After a while Michael said he still had 3 weeks of holiday left that he still had to take!  He asked me if he could use those 3 weeks to come to Belgium to visit me and to see with whom he fell in love!  I didn’t know what to say, I was so flattered when I he said he wanted to come and visit ME!  Of course I wanted him to come and visit me…I was so excited. Not too long after that he phoned me up and said he booked his trip and will be coming from the 4th of December 1999 till the 21st of December 1999. The only thing that I had to take care of was to find him a nice hotel and that I would pick him up at the airport!  That would be no problem!  My parents were actually quite happy for me, I was surprised and at the same time very happy of course.  They even suggested that Michael could stay at our place, but since I had to work it would be better for him to stay in a hotel close to the center of the city as my parents can't speak much English.  Michael had suggested that himself as well, he didn't feel comfortable staying at my parents place if I wasn't there...which I could understand.

I graduated as a nurse in June 1999 and started working on the 1st of October 1999 in a hospital in Hasselt. I had a contract for 6 months and then I would get another contract for 6 months. That’s why I have to work when Michael is coming…I just started working and can’t take any holidays yet. But I had a few days off during the week and could take some hours off here and there. I would make sure I could spend every moment I was off with Michael. I was looking forward to his stay soo much, you can’t imagine. After a few sleepless night of excitement the day was there that I had to go to the airport to pick up Michael! All kinds of feelings and thoughts went through me. I felt so excited, nervous, happy, but at the same time I felt scared and insecure.  You see, we knew each other only from pictures, talking on the phone and e-mails, but you actually don't know how it will be when we are going to be face to face??  We both had such high expectations about our first meeting and boy was I ever scared that it wouldn't turn out, that I wouldn't meet Michael's expectations, maybe he wouldn't show up...who knows!  At the time so many things went through my head. What if he didn't like me?  What if we can't get along? But I thought, if it really doesn't turn out we will just try to be friends and make the best of it! If it doesn't work out, at least we know we tried.  Well, no more time to think about all that, as it was time for him to come out of that gate where I was waiting. He told me he had the same running shoes on as he had in some of his pictures that he sent me and he was going to wear a yellow jacket with blue in it. He could be there any minute now, I was just so impatient and nervous you can't imagine.  I even started calling "Michael, Michael" to another guy that walked by as he had the same shoes on and a yellow and blue jacket!  Although I knew it wasn't him as his plane didn't even land yet!  My oh my, I must be going crazy. 

Haha, I guess I was just worried that he might just walk by me.  I think I was just too excited and couldn't wait to see him. And then all of a sudden...THERE HE WAS!!! He came out of the gate where I was waiting. I saw him before he saw me, and he looked even better than he did in his pictures.  I saw him look around, first he looked to the left and didn't see me yet...then he looked to the right and finally he noticed me!!! He smiled at me with that gorgeous smile, I think I was just melting where I stood.  We looked at each other and just knew that this was it.  Boy, it was the greatest moment of my life!  He dropped his suitcases and before I knew it our lips were locked!  Oh that was such a great moment! I was in heaven and I didn’t want to get out of it.  He kissed me and kissed me and told me how great it was to finally meet me in person.  I felt exactly the same way about it as he did!  It was better than I could ever imagine, he was so happy and knew he found something special and I felt the same way!  It was love at first sight and since then we never ever wanted to let go of one another.

We had the most wonderful time together in Belgium, my parents liked him from the first moment they met him, my friends liked him, but most of all I was crazy about him! We treasured every moment that we spend together cause I had to work during some of the days he was in Belgium. I always picked him up after work so he could come home with me and stay for dinner at my parents place.  The days that I was off he stayed at my parents place (I still lived with my parents). I didn't work long enough to have holidays yet, so I did have to wait for a while yet! On the days I was off when Michael was in Belgium we went to Bruges (a romantic old city in Belgium) by train one day and visited some other things in Belgium.  Every day that we spend together, we got to know each other better and better. And the more we got to know each other the more we were falling in love with each other! We had a great time and it was so hard to think of the moment when he had to leave me behind in Belgium to go back to Canada.

Michael and I talked about our future (already) and he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I was so happy as I felt the same way. Michael also asked if I would come to Canada some time to visit him. Of course I would love to do that, but I didn’t know when. I started to work in October 1999 and I didn't know when it was possible for me to get holidays. They would let me know in January 2000 if I would be able to have holidays in 2000 and how many days I could take off. So, it was hard for us not knowing when I would be able to visit him in Canada. You see, Michael and I talked about moving in together and we decided that it would be the best for me to move to Canada. I still live at my parent’s place, while Michael has his own house, his car, his job that he has for 10 years and he doesn’t know any Flemish.  For me it would be easier, I know enough English, I just graduated and didn't have a permanent job yet, I didn’t have a car, an apartment or anything like that. But of course I wanted to visit Michael first and see if I would even like it over there as I didn't know much about Vancouver until I met Michael!

Well, the day to bring Michael back to the airport was here. He stayed over at my parents place the night before he left, so we still had some time together. We enjoyed every last minute we still had together. My Dad drove us to the airport; Michael and I sat in the back of the car all snuggled up, as I knew I had to let go of him in awhile. I felt literally sick because he had to go, my stomach was upset and I was sooo sad. Michael was so sad himself; he wished he could stay with me. But we knew he had to go back! Once we arrived at the airport he was getting his suitcases checked in and then we still had 45 minutes together. We both cried because we didn't want to be without each other! We just tried to keep in mind that we would be together again someday. We just had to hold on to our love and what we had together until we would meet again. The final moment was there, we kissed and hugged each other with tears in our eyes. Michael walked into the custom area where I couldn’t join him anymore. I looked at him while he was walking away from me. He looked back and waved at me. I wanted to run to him so badly and tell him to stay with me, but I knew I had to go because it was too hard on me. I was afraid I wouldn’t want to let him go.

Then I heard Michael calling my name and I turned around. He came walking towards me with this sad look on his face. He wanted a last big kiss and hug before he had to go. He told me how much he loved me and he said that we would find a way to be together again soon! That was so good to hear, it made it a bit easier to say goodbye as we knew we would be together again. So, we said goodbye with a lot of pain in our hearts not knowing when we would meet again!!! I wished him all the best and a safe flight! He said he would be thinking of me all the way home and phone me as soon as he gets back! And indeed, when he was back in Canada he called me right away; we both couldn't stop crying on the phone as we were missing each other like crazy already!!!! His stay in Belgium was so great and we both knew we found true love. We were so sad, but tried to hang on to the thought that we would be together again someday!  We kept on phoning each other a few times a week and we e-mailed at least twice a day. Finally, January 2000 was there and I asked at my work if I could have any holidays that year!  Woohooo, they told me that I could take 3 weeks off from work anytime in 2000! I phoned Michael to tell him the good news, he said he could take holidays anytime he wanted too…so we would have 3 weeks off together when I would go to Canada. Michael was sooo happy to hear that I could come over and that we would see each other again. Well, I couldn't wait much longer to get some travel information and I went to the travel agency to find out when there were still some flights available and what the cost would be! There were flights available in February 2000. I went home, talked it over with my parents and they were happy for me that I could go to Canada!  I talked to my boss at work and asked if I could take 3 weeks off in February 2000…it was NO PROBLEM. 

Well, I rushed off to the travel agency and booked my flight to Vancouver, Canada on the 12th of February 2000. I bought some nice presents for Michael and for his parents (it would be the first time that I would meet his parents). For Michael I bought an Adidas fleece jacket, a polo shirt and some very nice shorts (he loves Adidas clothing and shoes). Then I also got 2 boxes of Belgium’s finest chocolates (called Leonidas, these are made with real butter and are freshly made.  When I arrived in Vancouver on February 12, 2000 I got off the plane into the airport, went through customs got my suitcases and rushed out of there like a mad man!  Michael was waiting for me outside the gate as I walked towards him…I’d rather say run as it couldn’t go fast enough. I just threw my suitcase on the floor and jumped in his arms when we met again! Michael hugged me and kissed me as if his life was depending on it. Ooooooooh that was just such a wonderful and heavenly feeling!!!! I couldn’t believe I was with him again; we were so happy that we were together again! Michael and I looked so much forward to the 3 weeks we would be spending together. It seemed like they announced nice weather for the first week, so that was a plus on top of everything else. Michael said he missed me so much and said that I made him so happy. That made me very happy when he told me that. I feel exactly the same way about him. It was so great to know that we would be together for 3 weeks now. This was the start of the most wonderful time. Michael was off for those 3 weeks that I would be in Vancouver…so we could do whatever we wanted! I stayed at Michael's place because he has his own place! So, for us this was the ultimate test as we were going to be together for 3 weeks, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

When we drove to his place, I was stunned by the views of the mountains and the ocean we had on the way. Wow, what a beautiful place…but most of all I couldn’t take my eyes of Michael. Once we got to his place I unpacked some stuff and he showed me around. After that we went to his parents place to meet them. Another exciting and nervous moment in my life, but it was great! Michael’s parents were wonderful and so nice to me. They were so happy to meet me and I was very pleased to meet them. We got along very well which was so good and I felt at ease.  We talked about all kinds of stuff and Michael’s parents could see that I was serious about my intentions with Michael. They were very happy with the nice chocolates I brought for them from Belgium.  They were so friendly and kind to me. Michael showed me around in Downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park, the beaches, big shopping malls, shopping streets, Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, Gastown, The Canada Place and more. All these places are located at the Pacific Ocean and the West Coast Mountains. What a beautiful city by the ocean with a wonderful view on the mountains. 

Some views are really breathtaking, I had never seen such an amazing and beautiful place in my life before. We saw a whole lot of Vancouver and visited most of the tourist attractions. We visited Capilano Suspension Bridge, North Vancouver, Stanley Park, downtown Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Park, White Rock and much more.  We also took the ferry to Victoria for a day, how beautiful!  And most importantly we spend quite a bit of time at home just talking, cleaning the house, making dinner and all other kinds of stuff that has to be done in and around the house and all the stuff you do as couple that lives together!  It didn't matter what we were doing as long as we were together we were happy.  We knew both that we had found our true love!

Michael told me over and over again that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Oh, that made me feel soo happy, as I want to spend the rest of my life with him too.  One evening Michael and I went for a nice walk in his neighborhood, we talked about all kinds of things. When we got back home, Michael asked me to sit on the sofa for a minute, which I did. I didn’t know what was going on, but I just listened to him.  All of a sudden he sat in front of me on one knee and took my hand. He looked at me so seriously and smiled. He explained how much I meant to him and how much he loved me. It was so touching that I had tears in my eyes. He expressed his deepest feelings to me while he took a little box out of his pocket and asked me to marry him. I just cried from happiness and said "Yes, I want to marry you"... Michael opened the little jewelry box and put the most beautiful ring on my finger. It was a white golden ring with a beautiful sparkling diamond on top of it. Boy, that was an emotional moment…we were both crying tears of happiness while we hugged and kissed! I can’t believe it, but we are engaged now.  I would go back to Belgium as an engaged woman. I phoned my parents the day after to tell them the good news.  I wasn't sure how they would respond to that, but my parents were happy for me and in a way a little sad, as they knew I would move probably make a permanent move to Canada. My mom was afraid I wouldn’t even come back to Belgium...hahaha, she thought I was going to stay in Canada there and then.  But I couldn't do that, there was still too much to take care off in Belgium, so I had to go back. There were still some documents I needed and I needed to take care of some things before I could move permanently to Canada. Michael and I didn’t know when we were going to get married yet, because I would have to make plans to move permanently to Canada first.

We talked a lot about me moving in with him, which he really wanted badly. I would love to move to Canada, as I really like it here. It wouldn’t be easy without my family, but I would have to make a choice.  Well, that would be for the near future, first I had to go back to get all my papers in order.  Once I would be living in Canada I would have to get register as a nurse as well before I can start working here. I also have to try and get my landed immigrant status so I wouldn’t have to worry that they would send me back to Belgium. We figured that I would come to Canada as a visitor/tourist and extend my stay as needed.  In the mean time we could figure out how I could stay permanently.  This way we could take our time to arrange everything with the nursing registration and immigration. After all that would be over we could start planning our marriage. 

It was March 3rd, 2000 and the 3 weeks were over again and time for me to go back to Belgium. Michael and I had the best time of our lives. We did everything together and enjoyed every moment of it.  I couldn’t believe those 3 weeks were already over and that we had to say goodbye “again”.  I was soo sad because the more I was with Michael the more I wanted to be with him. The thought of going back to Belgium was hard on us, but we had to go through it.  I needed to take care of some documents before I could move here. Michael drove me to the airport and we were both so sad, that was the hardest part of all!  We had to say goodbye the first time (when he was in Belgium) and now it was happening again. Our hearts were bleeding cause we didn't want to be apart anymore!  It was a real heartbreaking goodbye with lots of tears.  We had to be strong, as I would be coming back forever sometime as soon as possible.  I didn’t know exactly when, but we would figure something out.  Michael and I hugged and kissed…we just couldn’t let go of each other. I made my way to the customs where I had to let go of Michael. We looked at each other and knew we would be together forever soon. A quick look back at Michael he was standing there with tears in his eyes waving goodbye to me. I went into the washroom before I went to my gate to get onto the plane and I cried and cried. I felt like I couldn’t stop, but I had to pull myself together and be brave as I was coming back someday in the future, but not knowing when made it so difficult at that time? 

My engagement ring! :o)

When I arrived in Belgium, my parents were waiting for me at the airport. It was so good to see them again, but at the same time I was sad because I missed Michael.  I phoned Michael right away and he felt so sad and empty as I was gone. He missed me and hoped I could come back for good soon. I said that I would do whatever I could to move to Canada soon. I informed my parents about my plans of moving to Canada and I was so happy when they said they were supporting me. I told everybody the good news and I was so sure about my future with Michael. My parents were happy and a little sad at the same time, because they knew I was going to move to Canada. I can understand that, but they knew they had to let go of me someday. I am their little girl because my brother is 10 years older than I am. He is married and has 2 wonderful children. After my brother got married, my parents only had me around and they gotten so used to me. It will be hard for them when I will leave for good. It will be hard for me too, but in a different way, as I will start a new life. 

I missed Michael so much, I just couldn't be without him anymore! It was back to the e-mailing and phoning, which made it hard as we wanted to be able to see each other, touch each other, kiss each other,…I tried to figure out when I could move to Canada and how I would do all that. I had an idea…I was working as nurse and I started to work in October 1999, my contract would end on March 31st, 2000. I figured that this was my big chance to stop at that hospital, as my contract would end. They would sign me up for a new contract for another 6 months, but I don’t have to sign it.  So, I decided after I finished my first 6 months on March 31st, 2000, I wouldn’t sign for a new contract. I informed the hospital that I was going to move to Canada and that I didn’t want to sign a new contract. They agreed and wished me all the luck. I said goodbye to all my colleagues and wished them all the best in their life. They were all happy for me. Especially Eva, who was my best colleague who turned into a great friend! That was the perfect idea, as I wouldn’t break my contract. I just had to make sure that I would gather all my important papers that I might need in Canada. And also take care of some things before I leave Belgium. I talked it over with my parents and they helped me to get everything done.

I went to the travel agency to see what flights were still available for the near future. They gave me the information and I talked about it with Michael and with my parents. I made a decision and went back to the travel agency to book my flight to Vancouver so I could be with the love of my life again!  This time it would be for the rest of my life! No more saying goodbye, no more e-mails, no more explaining and expressing feelings in letters and on the phone!  Now, everything would be all in real life again! 

I was leaving on April 3rd, 2000.  I took care off all the things that had to be done in that month I was back in Belgium so I could leave Belgium with no worries in my mind!   I said goodbye to everybody, which brought a lot of tears. It’s not easy to leave everybody and everything behind, but I knew I would go to something that is "Heaven" for me!  My own little paradise with Michael for the rest of our lives.  Well, April 3rd was here…everything was ready to go and I had all the documents I needed.  My parents drove me to the airport and with pain in my heart, because I had to leave my parents behind, I took the first steps into my new life on the other side of the world!  I said goodbye to my parents and promised that I we would keep in touch as much as we could.  I thanked them for everything they did for me in my life. They wished me all the best in my life with Michael.  With tears in our eyes of sadness and at the same time happiness I walked to the gate. I turned around for the last time, as I knew it was going to be a long time before I would see them again.  I had all kinds of thoughts when I was in the plane, happy thoughts because I was going to be with Michael, confusing thoughts, as I didn’t know how it would feel to be without my parents family and friends?  I guess I just had to wait and see! 

I arrived safe in Vancouver Airport, but I had to go to the immigration department because I was going to stay for 6 months.   After all the usual questions why I was staying and such they gave me a visitor visa and told me that I could stay 6 months, I could extend this visa for another 6 months if I applied a month before this one would expire.  That would be great and in the mean time I could find out what I have to do to officially immigrate so I don’t have to return to Belgium. Michael was waiting for me at the gate; he didn’t know what was happening as it took me so long to come out of the gate. He figured I was in the immigration office and patiently waited for me to come out of the gate.  Finally when my paper was ready I could go to my fiancé (Michael),…I am so happy that we are engaged.  I walked through the hallways and finally saw Michael standing there.  I jumped into his arms and cried lots and lots of happy tears that I finally would be with him for the rest of our lives!It was so good to see him again and know that I was going to be here for the rest of my life! Oooh, he is such a sweetheart!  He brought a bouquet of flowers with him, they were all hanging down by now, as he had to wait so long.  We made our way to the car and went home.  Yes, we were going home together.  I felt so happy to be here, knowing that I didn’t have to go back anymore. Michael had a few days off so we could catch up with all the things we missed when we were apart! 

Michael had to go back to work after a few days and I was going to be by myself.  It was weird in the beginning to be all by myself during the day in a big house that I didn’t know that well.  But no problem…I was going on my own crusade to explore the house, the area I am living in now and the big city of Vancouver.   I took the bus and the skytrain to downtown Vancouver which worked out fine and I absolutely love this place. There are the shopping streets and just a few minutes away you are the beautiful beaches of the Pacific Ocean overlooking the mountains. Michael and I would go out now and then down to the beach and sit down there to watch the sunset while we are in each other arms, enjoying each other's company! How much better can life get...

April 2000 - December 2000:

I got all my papers ready, booked a flight and made my way (hopefully forever) to a new life in Vancouver, Canada on April 3, 2000. My parents were quite sad to see me go, but they kept themselves strong at the airport. I told them I would be in touch every week to give them an update on what’s going on here. After a little bit of delay at Canada customs they wondered why I was back in Canada so soon again. I explained my story and they gave me an official tourist visa that would be valid for 6 months. After that I would be able to re apply for an extension of that visitor visa for another 6 months. Michael was waiting for me at the airport and it was so good to see him again and to know that I didn’t have to leave him anymore! What a wonderful feeling we both had.

Michael was only off for a few days after my arrival and then he had to go back to work. His parents offered their help to me at any time. They took me out shopping, they came to see how I was doing and to see if I needed anything. It was so nice to feel so welcome in Michael’s family. His parents are great people and they have helped me so much to get me started in Canada

Me in Stanley Park, Vancouver

When we had time in the weekends we would go for walks and visit places. I also kept in touch every week with my parents as they were always wondering how I was doing and if Michael was nice to me and such. For them it’s hard to imagine how we live, where we live and how our day looks like. While Michael was at work I tried to get around myself by bus and skytrain. I got to enjoy this beautiful area and realized how beautiful it really is over here. Vancouver is such a wonderfully located city as it’s situated right by the ocean with the beautiful beaches and surrounded by mountains and unspoiled nature. Downtown Vancouver is also great with many beautiful modern buildings, great shops, tons of restaurants and views of the water and mountains from many areas in the city. 

We had internet at home so I could look up many things on the area we live in and find out about the things to see and do. In the summer of 2000 we went to Mara Lake for 1 week which is about 500km east of Vancouver. This is a beautiful place that Michael and his parents have been going to for many years. It’s a family get together as some of his family from his mom’s side from the province of Alberta and Saskatchewan come to Mara Lake as well. This was an opportunity for me to meet some other family members. It was great, everybody was so nice and seemed to like me. We rented a cabin at Mara Lake and are only a few steps away from beach. It was hot most of the time so we did a lot of swimming in the lake and resting on the beach. We also went to town for some shopping and such. We had a wonderful time as it was such a fun and relaxing holiday. We will be doing this every year which sounds great to me!

Michael at Mara Lake

Further not much happened this year except for finding out how I could become a nurse in Canada as well. I had to do a bundle of paper work so they could compare my education with the education of Canada. After that I would have to wait until they would let me know if my education is equivalent and what my next steps would be. Then it was getting on for Christmas and we drove around to some places that had lots Christmas decorations and lights on their houses. Wow, this is so much different than in Belgium…but I really like it though. It was my first Christmas without my parents, which was pretty weird because I always spent Christmas with my parents. 

We spend Christmas at Michael's parent’s place which was really great. I did miss my parents very much during Christmas as it was the first year I’d celebrate without them. I suppose those are just days you think a little more of your family then usual. Second Christmas Day, or Boxing Day over here is something totally new for me. On this day all the stores are open early and sell lots of merchandise/clothes/groceries at 50% to 70% reductions. There are many line ups at the electronic stores because they have amazing deals on TV’s, Computers and much more. So, we did quite some shopping on this day. We bought some clothes, groceries and more. I think we will be enjoying this holiday every year which is really cool. I enjoyed this very much.

Michael with the wonderful Christmas lights in our area

January 2001 – December 2001:

I wasn't able to go on holidays to Belgium yet this year because I only had a temporary visitor visa. I didn't want to take the risk to go home and then I might not be able to re-enter Canada. I talked to my parents about it and they wondered if they could come and see us in Canada. Wow, that would be so great. This way they would be able to see how Michael and I live, in which area we live, how life would be over here and all that. So, my parents decided that they would come in May of 2001 for 2-3 weeks. I was so excited about it and May couldn’t come soon enough. 

Once they were here I realized how much I missed them. I enjoyed every moment that they were here. Michael was off for 2 weeks too so we had lots of time to show them around in this beautiful area. My parents loved Vancouver and they thought it was a very beautiful city. They also enjoyed the beautiful nature around here that we showed them! Their favourite spots were downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth Park. We also went a day to Whistler which is a popular ski resort about 2 hours driving from Vancouver. They also liked Victoria on Vancouver Island. They had the time of their life and they saw now how we live here. It was so hard again when they had to leave, but Michael was such a great comfort! He gave lots of attention and soon I was feeling much better. My parents called me up after they arrived home safe and sound. We still would phone every week and e-mail every week. My dad learned how to use the computer and how to e-mail so we can send some pictures to them as well which is really nice. Sometimes we would chat on MSN Messenger. That’s really fun!

My mom and dad in White Rock during their Canada visit

In July 2001 we went on a holiday again to Mara Lake, the lake we go to for the family get together. It was so much fun again and great to see everybody again. I also met a girl from Switzerland online who was going to move to Vancouver, Canada for her boyfriend. She went to school here for 1 year a couple of years ago and in the meantime she got to know this guy and she wanted to move to Canada for him as well. Once she moved to Canada we met up a couple of times and she really knew her way around in Vancouver. Once a month we would go visit some nice place for the whole day. Thanks to her I got to see the most beautiful and some less popular places in and near Vancouver. I soon realized what a beautiful place this really was and I really started to fall in love with Vancouver as well. 

In October 2001 Michael and I went for a weekend to Kamloops (400km east of Vancouver) where we stayed in a Bed & Breakfast. We were close to Sun Peaks Resort which is a very popular for skiing in the winter, but there was no snow yet. We went up the mountains for some hiking and to enjoy the views. It was a wonderful weekend and we enjoyed it very much. Then Christmas came around again and Michael was off for 2 weeks..t.hat was great as we did a lot of things together. We spend Christmas at Michael's parents place again. As usual that was great, lovely dinner and a nice evening. I still miss my parents on these kind of days. Well, once in awhile I really miss everybody back in Belgium. It makes me sad, but then on the other hand I have the love of my life by my side and live in a wonderful place. I try to stay in touch with my closest family and friends in Belgium as much as I can. Michael is always there for me and he always knows how to make me happy. He really knows how to make me smile again! Michael treats me like a princess and he makes me so happy! He is always honest, always very attentive and always there for me...what more can I ask for?? I feel like the happiest person on this planet who is loved by the most fantastic man!

Me with Mona, a puppy dog at the B&B in Kamloops Michael at Heffley Lake near Kamloops

Please go to the next post "My life in Canada (January 2002 - December 2002)" to read the rest of the story!


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