The lead up to our Country/Life change was a big deal. Although we have not left Australia for good, all the goodbye’s, see you later’s and farewells took its toll on both of us, leaving us feeling many different things. Run down, emotionally drained and making it hard to feel excited for this trip. This in turn made us feel guilty, how dare we feel guilty? we have set ourselves up for such a fantastic opportunity in life, why should we not feel excited!?
I think many scary things about moving countries get forgotten things like its not just a holiday we also have to find work, find somewhere to live that’s furnished, Buy a car, set up bank accounts and such all in a strange place! The long flight is also a big thing to be prepared for, we have both experienced it before but sitting on a plane for hours is not my idea of fun and 7 hours in we had both just about had enough. Greg was feeling/looking quite unwell by the 10 hour mark and seemed to have come down with something like a stomach bug.
We were both so excited to get off the plane and make our way through customs where we would receive our work visas. It was nice and quiet being only 7.15am and we received our visas quickly. The weather was miserable in Vancouver and we only had a 3 1/2 hour layover so we chose to head through and spend our time in the lounge resting and re-hydrating before our connecting flight. We caught the flight and both of us crashed hard enjoying a nap for at least an hour, waking ups as they we’re preparing to land. Greg was so pale I thought he would need the spew bag for sure, but he held out until we got off the plane poor darling.
Our hosts picked us up from the airport and we enjoyed getting to know Jess & Jacqueline on the drive to our first Calgary home. I enjoyed snuggling their tiny rescue dog Walter, oh so cute! The scenery here is lovely all the pine trees looking ready for Christmas and there is a different feel to the air you breathe here as Calgary is about 1,045 m above sea level. Where we are staying is close to the edge of the city, its less busy and there is so much greenery around because of all the rain lately. This is unusual for Calgary in the summer. Our hosts kindly took us walking to a place called Fish Creek Provincial Park on Friday afternoon and we enjoyed watching the sun go down (not till 10pm!) what a beautiful view of the river and of downtown Calgary.
The next morning we enjoyed heading out to enjoy one of the 185 free pancake breakfasts held around Calgary to celebrate the Stampede! We headed down to the private community lake and took our spot in a very long line to wait for our free pancake breakfast. Our new friends Ronja & Minako held our places in line so Jacqueline could take us up to the man made waterfall filter for the lake. What a beautiful place it is for the whole community to enjoy with a toboggan hill for the winter and things to hire our like paddle boats, wind surfing and stand up paddle boarding for the summer as well as being able to fish the man made lake.
After waiting in line for what felt like forever and having a very funny conversation with Minako about how the Japanese love lines for food (it means it must be very delicious)
We finally got to the front, receiving two pancakes and two sausages which we then covered with maple syrup, sitting down to enjoy it we realized Minako might be onto something, it seems that the longer you have to wait for food the more delicious it is!
Before heading back home we enjoyed lining up again to enjoy a short wagon ride around the park, some of the biggest horses I have ever seen towing the wagon!
After letting our pancakes digest for awhile at home Greg and I were invited back to the lake to join the girls for a swim! The daily temperature was about 16 degrees, I put my togs on but did did not plan on swimming as the water temperature was a mystery!
I made it in with the girls assuring me that my body temperature would drop to the water temperature and that it would start to feel warm…. I wasn’t so sure, but eventually they were right and it was so refreshing! We enjoyed jumping off a dock and having funny conversations about Aussie & Canadian Slang. I stayed in for about half an hour as Greg watched from the shore… what a chicken! (he was actually still unwell, so ill let him off this time.)
To finish off this wonderful Saturday we decided to dine out and enjoy DIRT (Dessert for dinner! Just a little Aussie slang my best friend Emma & I came up with, Canadians seem to like this idea too) Jacqueline & Jess took us to this amazing place called THE CHEESECAKE CAFE where I enjoyed the best dessert of my life!
What an amazing way to start our first weekend in CANADA!
Keep on reading, I promise to make our next post a lot shorter!