We're Home at Last!

Trip Start Aug 18, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sorry for the delay in getting news out. This is going to be a long entry, so get your coffee now and relax while reading.

The drive through Washington State was another beautiful drive with wonderful scenery. There was a lot more traffic but all went smoothly. Going across the border was uneventful and took only about 5 minutes at the crossing we used.

When we arrived in Vancouver, Rachael was so wonderful, she and a friend of hers had made dinner for us...it was absolutely delicious! It was great to have a place to land. Rachael's place is well decorated with our boxes...they take up a good portion of her apartment. She is pretty good spirited about it, but will be glad when we get them out of there so she can get back to having a normal living environment.

Rachael's friend Katie generously offered to allow us to use her basement bachelor apartment while we were finding a place. We did not want to put her out for too long, so we felt a bit under pressure to find our own place ASAP. The first night in her place we were so tired that we slept through the night.

The next morning (Friday), we went and drove around different neighborhoods to get Steve familiar with Vancouver. He has never lived here so to him; it is just one big city at this point. We had tentatively set our mind on the Port Moody area and were trying to get in touch with the people we had previously communicated with there. Although unable to get in touch with those contacts, we managed to get in touch with a few places and we made an appointment to see one in Port Coquitlam (it is not far from Port Moody so we thought we would at least have a look)

We appreciated that Katie had given us her place but it was clearly an illegal suite. On Friday we had arrived back at Katie's and discovered that there was no light working in the bedroom area. The only furniture she has (she is in her early 20's) is a bed, dresser and TV. To see in the bedroom we had to turn on the light to the bathroom and to her walk in closet (she did have some Christmas lights along one wall to give the room some ambience), so reading was next to impossible. For a Bachelor it was a good size, nice large kitchen, however there was no furniture in it but lots of light, so sitting on the floor was the only option if you wanted to try to go through the paper there.

Around 9:00 (since there was nothing else to do) we went to bed and tried to get caught up on sleep. We could hear the phone in the next apartment on vibrate, and the guy might as well have been in our room by the bed when he answered it. He spoke a foreign language, and although we could hear every word, we couldn't understand a word he spoke. We just stayed as quite as we could, as we knew that Katie was not supposed to have someone else staying in her place.

At 4:00 in the morning we were both awakened with two men talking - it sounded like they were again right beside the bed...they were in the next apartment, and there was nothing we could do except for try our best to get back to sleep. Saturday we were not well rested. We set out to look at a couple more places.

One apartment had a great view and some nice amenities but it was small and one bedroom was painted fire engine red, the kitchen was a lime green color, the other bedroom was bright blue and it had bright yellow bathroom. We asked the owner if she was planning on painting and she said she had just painted before the present tenants moved in...yikes! We could not live with those colors.

Another place we saw also had a nice view and great building amenities but the carpets were really dirty, it was small and had lots of dents and marks...but most of all, no additional storage. In the condos here for some reason they do not build linen closets into them...where is one to put blankets and towels? Most condos or apartments have a storage locker in the basement, but this one didn't. So we knew that just keeping Steve's computer box would be an eyesore for our living environment, so that place was out.

The first few days here were stressful and after a weekend of viewing a few different places and having difficulty getting information and/or immediate appointments to see places, we went back to the first one we had seen in Port Coquitilam on Sunday - decided to take it. What happened next just amazed us and gave us a great relief after the stressful weekend.

The owner of our unit is a Real Estate agent. Thank heavens for us; she seems to have a good judge of character. She met with us on Sunday and without us having access to our funds or a cheque book she gave us the keys and told us we could begin moving in right away. What a relief! We did not have to stay another night at Katies...no offence to Katie, but we wanted to get out of her place and we could not imagine spending one more night there...we were ready to go to a hotel if had to wait another day to get the keys to our new place.

Our new place is in a brand new building (4 storey) we are on the 4th floor. The building just opened and all owners who pre-purchased just got possession on Friday (the day we first went to view the unit). It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms (lots of room for having company) and faces northwest (towards the mountains). It has dark hardwood floors in the main living area (kitchen, living room/dining room and hallway), carpet in the bedrooms. 10 foot ceilings, nicely painted and it has a fire place. We can see the mountains from our unit (so although not an unobstructed view, there is a view).

Our building is located in the downtown area of Port Coquitalm, a small suburb of Vancouver. There is a Waves coffee shop, beauty salon and other businesses opening on the main floor of the building. We are across the street from a little park and Starbucks. A block away is the Walking/cycling Park that goes for miles along a river. All amenities are either within walking distance or a short drive away. We will rarely need to go into the city other than to visit friends or Rachael.

The building we have moved into is part of a complex that will have a bar and grill, other small businesses along with other condos that are presently being built, as seen in the photos from our balcony.

As Steve and I were walking over to Starbucks to post this blog, we both noted that it felt like we were walking in downtown Kentville, NS. A quaint small village. Yet this one is at the foot of the mountains and on the doorstep of beautiful Vancouver.

Our new address is as follows:
414 - 2627 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam, BC V3C 3G5

Colleen's Phone Number: (778) 386-1904
Steve's Phone Number: (778) 288-3122

Our number for Nova Scotia is no longer active, so if you want to get in touch with us, please feel free to call us - please call after 10:00 pm Atlantic Time, 9:00 Eastern time, 8:00 Central time and 7:00 Mountain time (unless it can't possibly wait) as we have free airtime beginning at 6:00 PM Pacific time. We are not planning at this time to get a landline, so our cell phones are the best way to get in touch with us as well as email. We will have full Internet service as of Friday, so we will be back in business then. We have finally unloaded the trailer, now we are on our way to Rachael's to pick up the remainder of the boxes.

Once we get all the stuff in the apartment and go through the boxes we will begin to look at furnishings. For now, there is plenty to do. We will update the photos as we go along.

We will continue to post for a while so you live our adventure with us here in Vancouver area as we get settled. We look forward to hearing from you all and thank you to everyone for your support throughout the trip. It was a great adventure.

A quick upate for all of you wondering how Steve's Dad is doing. He is coming along nicely. He is up and walking with aid and is getting stronger every day. He is supposed to go home on Friday - for him they might as well have told him that he was going home at Christmas as he wants to go now...another good sign for all who know him - he is getting back to his old self.
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