Thursday, October 23, 2008

My life in Canada (January 2005 - July 2005)

January 2005 - July 2005:

Another year has gone by and it has been a fairly good year. At my previous work place they layed everybody off because they wanted to reconstruct the staffing. We all could apply again to get our old job back, but instead I looked around for another job as the boss there wasn't all that nice. I found a new job at a different place about 10-13km from our place and I have a great routine to work and it goes like this: 2 day shifts (7.00am to 3.00pm) followed by 2 evening shifts (3.00pm to 11.00pm) followed by 2 days off and then I start again with 2 day shifts, 2 evening shifts and 2 days off...and that's how it goes on and on. I love this routine and I can plan things way ahead as I know when I'll be off. I am still working as nurse, and I still work at a care facility. I love working with the elderly people and enjoy my job very much. I also have a wonderful boss and great colleagues. Michael is still working at the same place which is the Vancouver School Board. He has a good position there and he enjoys his work. He is so lucky because he gets lots of holidays and he has a great boss as well. We enjoyed some snow in the beginning of January and we went to Burnaby Mountain (5 minutes driving from our place) to enjoy some of the beautiful views of the snowcapped mountains. It's so beautiful to see! We also went to Belcarra Regional Park (about 15-20minutes driving from our place) a few times in the spring do some nice hiking. We hiked the Jug Island trail which is about 5km return over a fairly steep terrain. The view at the end of the hike is just marvelous and is great to spend a little time on the beach for a picnic. We have hiked several trails there and it has become one of our favorite parks in our area to enjoy some hikes through the lush forest and have the beautiful mountain vistas.
The other thing that occupied our time in the beginning of 2005 was getting everything ready for our wedding. I invited my brother and his family to our wedding this summer as I thought it would be nice to have them here too and it would be nice for my mom so she wouldn't have to come alone. He sure liked the idea and soon we heard that they wanted to come together with my mother. So, now we could really get started on all the preperations for the wedding. The wedding arrangements itself wouldn't be too bad, but trying to find accommodations for everybody would be quite the challenge. We started looking for wedding rings. We found a pair of very nice white gold wedding rings, we wanted white gold because my engagement ring is white gold. They are plain white gold bands, but we got them engraved with our names and the date of our wedding. The rings are really beautiful. Then it was time to look for a wedding dress. Well, I found out that wedding dresses are so expensive and it will be worn for half a day to be never used again. I wasn't sure whether I wanted a wedding dress or something else. I wrecked my brain and I came up with the idea to look around for a prom dress as they can be very pretty too! And besides that fact, the price a lot less than a wedding dress. We went to several places to find a dress without any luck. Then one weekend we hit some good stores. There were many dresses that looked gorgeous, but they had no shoulder straps which I wasn't too crazy about. But there was one dress that looked sooo had no shoulder straps, but because it was so beautiful I just had to try it on. And WOW, perfect...what a dress, it looked like a real wedding gown. The dress is simple and the colour is beautiful (kind of cream colour)...I had made my choice!

Our wedding rings and my wedding dress:

Michael will be wearing some nice dress pants, a dress shirt and a nice dress jacket. The place where the wedding ceremony would take place was also arranged. We also got in touch with a grocery store near Mara Lake where we could have some trays arranged for our wedding. We were thinking of having some sort of a dinner like cold plates including different kind of deli trays: one with deli meat and cheese, one with vegetables and vegetable dips, one with fruit and on top of that fresh buns to eat with all of this. We also hoped that we could find a store for a wedding cake. We found a store near Mara Lake that could do all of this for us as long as we would go there a few days before the wedding to order all of it. So at this moment we didn't have to worry about our wedding for a while yet! But now it was time to focus in on places to stay for my family while they would be in Canada for our wedding. They would like to stay in an apartment type place in our area, some sort of a cabin/chalet near Mara Lake and after that we would go to the Canadian Rockies for about 5 days so I had to find a place to stay for all of us. I found a place near our house for my brother and his family to stay at for a decent price. That was arranged pretty quickly and easily. After that I started looking around for a place to stay for my brother and family near Mara Lake where we all would go to for a week and during that week we would get married. Goodness, that wasn't all too easy, but finally I found some places that they might like. After discussing it with them via e-mail they choose a nice place where they could stay for 1 week. My mom could stay with us in Vancouver and she could also stay with us in the cabin at Mara Lake. After that was arranged that there was only one more thing for me to do...finding a place to stay for all of us (my brother and his family, for my mom and for Michael and myself) while we would visit the Canadian Rockies. We planned 2 nights in Golden and 2 nights in Jasper. My oh my, was that ever a difficult thing to do. I e-mailed so many places in Golden and Jasper to find a place to stay for all of us. After weeks and weeks of research and e-mailing up and down with many Bed & Breakfast places we realized that there were no places that could accommodate all of us in one place at the same time as that would be for 7 people. So I had to change the plans and find seperate places for all of us. My mother, Michael and myself would stay together in one place and my brother with his family in another place. So I tried to make sure we found places that weren't too far apart and that were nice and not too expensive. Well, that took almost forever...but finally I found a place to stay for both parties in Golden and Jasper. I think that took a few months to get it all properly arranged, but we got it done! We also decided to rent a mini van so all of us could travel together while we would be in the Canadian Rockies. We found a nice Toyota Sienna which could hold up to 8 people and lots of lugguage, so that was a great vehicle! Anyway, everything was arranged so all we had to do was to wait for the July to come around.
It was July 6, 2005 in the early evening when my family arrived at Vancouver Airport. It was so good to see my mom and my brother...I was so excited and so happy to see them! The kids sure have grown, Jessie (the daughter) would turn 16 that year and Gert (the son) would turn 13 already. Wow, I hadn't seen them for over a year and they grow taller by the year! I was so excited for them to be here and to be able to spend time with them. I was also looking forward to show them some of the beautiful parts of Vancouver, the interior of British Columbia and the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains. This way they could get an idea of where we live and how it is over here. The first couple of days we didn't do too much as we would all leave on Saturday July 9th together with Michael's parents to Mara Lake which is about 500km from Vancouver. This way my family could rest a little from their long flight and they also had the chance to meet Michael's parents before we would leave on Saturday. July 9th, 7.30am...time to leave for Mara Lake. With the van stuffed up to the top we leave Vancouver and start driving east to Mara Lake.
We would take our time and stop here and there along the way. First stop was just passed the toll booth of the Coquihalla Highway where we stretch our legs for a minute and get some fresh air. By this time it was around 9.00am. Around 11.00 - 11.30am we arrived in Kamloops where we always stop to have lunch at McDonalds. The kids sure liked that and of course the grown ups liked it too! We walked around for a little while and hit the road again around 12.30pm. Around 2.00 -2.30pm we arrived in Salmon Arm which is only about half an hour from Mara Lake. Here we stopped to do our grocery shopping for the first few days. Well, we took our time over here and the we drove to Mara Lake where we were staying at Willowshores Resort. We stopped here first so we could take all our stuff out of the van and drag it into the cabin. My mom, brother and his family had the chance to meet Michael's Aunts (Dorothy and Fay) and cousin (Deborah, who is Dorothy's daughter) before they would head up to the place that they would be staying at. They had the van for that week so they could go wherever they wanted to go during that week. We would have to arrange a few things for our wedding anyway and since we were only about 5 minutes driving from where they stayed they could come by and see us in our cabin whenever they wanted. Michael and I went to visit Griffin Lake on the first Sunday with my family where we would meet with the wedding commissioner and the owners of Griffin Lake Lodge to get the final arrangements done for our wedding and the ceremony. On the way there are some really nice waterfalls and a suspension bridge, so we figured it would be fun to stop there and have a look. I think the kids enjoyed that very much...the waterfall looked amazing and you could go over the suspension bridge to see the waterfalls even closer. My mom wasn't too crazy about the brigde, but she did like the waterfalls very much.

My brother and I at Crazy Creek near Mara Lake

Jessie & Gert (my brother's kids) at Crazy Creek

My mom at Crazy Creek

The whole family at the beach of Mara Lake
Please visit my next post "My life in Canada (July 2005 - December 2005) for the rest of my story!"

1 comment:

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