compass Oh Canada! Oh My Belly! compass

March 31

Our flight from Easter Island (via a 6 hour stop in Lima, Peru) arrived into Toronto at 11 am where my Mom & Dad were waiting. Brrrrrr, we did not have proper clothing for Canada. We stopped in Belleville for lunch at Harvey’s then in Kingston for a few errands.

James had been gone two years, me another year out of the country and would be gone without a fixed address for fourteen months, so a lot had to be done in the six days we were in Canada. So Kingston was Licence renewal for me and international licences for both. And a quick stop at Timmies!

Once in Brockville we took off to Canadian Tire, Marks, The Dollar Store, Walmart and of course the Great Canadian Superstore. We had a grocery list worth 2 years of cravings. I think we grossed out my mom with our mix of selections.

We had a wonder first night at my parents. James worked on our to-do list and I had a bit too much wine with my dad.

April 1

Today was crazy. We started at the Brockville OHIP office where a most friendly, helpful lady helped us get everything straightened up. The Service Ontario changes seem to have made it almost easy to deal with OHIP.

Then to Ottawa to shop. UGH! Shopping is only fun when you are looking for nothing or if it involves girly shoes and purses. The list we had was long and pink shoes was not on it. New raincoats, sandals, backpack to fit the dive gear, dive bits and pieces, hiking shoes for James, mesh bags, carbineers, Costco jelly beans for dad…..and on and on it went. I have to giggle thinking about lunch that day, Reese Pieces and Lays Dill Pickle Chips in the van. Yummy!

We managed to make it back to Brockville for a meal at Swiss and more wine with dad!

Visit With Gram

April 2

I miss a good bacon & eggs breakfast out so we started the day with mom & dad at a restaurant that has changed names and owners so many times I have no idea what the name is now. Then off to Ottawa to Kanata Dive, the bank, a visit with gram, Kim, Tony, Liam and Olivia and pick up our fins! After months of trying, five thousand emails and a few hundred telephone calls (I might exaggerate) we have our fins. Thanks Kim & Tony!

There was the big travel show in Ottawa this weekend so we grabbed Dave & Laureen and went to check it out. We got some more great ideas (the last thing we need) and I bumped into past co-workers working the show.

Chicken wings were top of the list so we picked up take out and spent the night laughing, drinking and eating in Dave’s famous amazing bar. I have to admit I love staying at Dave & Laureens. In the morning after evil Dave has somehow tricked you into drinking into the wee hours you wake up to the most delicious breakfast made by Laureen. Not sure why they haven’t opened a B&B? They have a cool bar, a comfy deck, do an amazing breakfast and have a Bahama Mama Magarita machine. PS – thanks for the popcorn and a very fun night!

April 3

So after our wonderful breakfast it was off and running again. A few errands (another thanks! to our money guy who met with us on a Sunday!) then an early meal with a friend and her fiancé. I have two great friends getting married this summer on August 20 in their father’s backyard. What are the chances? I am upset that I will miss both, but James had a good point. I won’t be here and have to pick one. I’d probably insist on both and poor James, who rarely says no, would end up being like the cab driver in the movie 27 Dresses. After laughing until my cheeks hurt we said our “see you laters” and headed back to Brockville. Hera I will miss you.

Happy Birthday Adia

April 4

James did more paper work while I chatted with (at?) my parents and then back to Ottawa to meet up with Christine and Scott! We had a beer at a pub on Bank St. then went camera shopping before meeting back at Christine’s for her daughter’s third birthday party.

We had bought a Pentax camera about 6 months ago and had no problems with it. It went into the ocean, on hikes, a foam party, pools…then when walking into the ocean on Moorea the red light came on. It was done. It was the second one we heard do that so went looking for another more reliable one. We ended up with a beautiful shiny blue Lumix with an extra battery and a handy warranty on the batteries. Free replacement after 2 years, very cool. It has way too many features but hopefully will stay dry. On a side note – we are still waiting to see if the warranty will cover our Pentax waterproof camera for leaking. It cost us $35 to ship with a “We’ll take a look at it and see” response.

After camera shopping we got to see Christine & Nick’s new house and wish Adia a Happy Birthday! Loved the house (can’t wait to see what you do with it) and loved seeing adorable Adia. Three? Already? It was fun but I was feeling a bit selfish and wished I had a day and a half alone to catch up with Christine.

We bumped into a favourite co-worker of mine, her husband and their oh so cute baby Peach. We caught up and talked about the good old days.

Then….yup, back to Brockville, wine with my dad and the lumpy futon. If I win the lottery that would be the first thing I replace lol.

April 5

Day Off! Kinda…. I slept in while James did more paper work. We went to the post office to pick up boxes from Korea, visited the storage unit, got a haircut and miscellaneous waxings, did laundry, packed, ate junk food and drove my mom crazy. Their condo, although completely redone, looks amazing and is very comfortable, is a bit tight for 4 adults and exploded backpacks and boxes from Korea being opened and gifts to be mailed….so thanks Mom & Dad for letting us take over every flat surface for 6 days.

My mom made all our (James’ Note: Susan’s favourites – very similar to the time she told her mom I wanted the board game Clue for Christmas…I hate Clue and brussels sprouts) (Susan’s Note: In my defence whenever anyone asks what James wants for dinner, Birthdays, Christmas he says “I don’t care”, and I really really wanted the game Clue….and brussels sprouts) favourites for dinner. Meat loaf, brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, raw veggies and dip, olives, pickles, cheese and angel food cake, fresh berries and whip cream for dessert. It was our last night with my parents and as exhausted as I was I didn’t want to go to bed.

April 6

I had amazing breakfast of left over dinner, yup – meatloaf, brusselss sprouts and coleslaw then headed to Toronto. We stopped for Pitta Shack and a side of New York Fries poutine. Ohhhhhh my belly is really starting to ache.

My parents dropped us off at a cheap airport hotel and Gladys, who sat beside James for almost two years in Korea, stopped by for a drink. We talked and laughed about our time in Korea and hoped we would end up in the same place again.

Ignoring my belly ache we ordered takeout Pizza Pizza with garlic dip. I think we have now had everything on our list, gained 20 pounds and grossed out my parents and anyone reading this.

April 7

Today we are heading to the Toronto airport to catch our noon flight to Seoul. Yup, the cheapest flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is via Seoul. I hope the airport has a Tour Les Jour, I have a free coffee on my stamp card.

Bye Canada!

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