Once again we found ourselves needing to get to IKEA asap, as the apartments at UBC are unfurnished. Last time cause we were here for most of the year it was easy to buy a lot of stuff, this time we tried to be a little more restrained but we still needed to get the most basic stuff we could get by with, beds, dining table, pots, pans, plates, beds etc etc. The last time we were here the boys were 4 & 18mths old and it was a lot easier as Jamie was in the creche for a couple of horse at a time. This time we took the boys all the way through with us, once again they were troopers. So $1500 and a few hours later. The only sour point is IKEA (despite their false advertising) doesn’t deliver everything. Anything breakable they don’t deliver. We got a very nice woman who took pity on us, as they are only allowed to deliver big non-breakable stuff, and we boxed up so much stuff. We still had to carry so much crap on the bus – which is no small feat so far from our apartment.
Tag Archives: Vancouver
When the reality of going half way around the world with the boys dawned on us again, the first thing that came to Nina & my mind was the lack of crap that we won’t be taking with us this time. No nappies, no cots, no formula bottles blah blah blah, how easy was this going to be. Well as anyone who has done long haul flights will tell you, it’s never easy. But boy oh boy was it going to be easier than last time.
And sure enough, thanks to Air New Zealand and their genius direct flight Auckland to Vancouver (a mere 13hr flight) the travelling was a lot easier. Leaving Dunedin airport can be a bit underwhelming at times, and considering the security we were about to go through, a lot laughable. No security checks, just boarding pass and a short walk to the plane.
We were of course leaving early Winter in Dunedin, and in a few days (lay over in CHCH) we’d be in the middle of summer (or so we thought). The boys were excellent travellers. Yes it did help having the lay over in chch, after all we had Jamie’s 8th birthday to have with the grandparents – and yay no earthquakes.
Next was a short flight to Auckland, a very quick turn around late in the evening, and finally on our flight to Vancouver – that was after some power Duty Free shopping.
Aside from that fact that it wasn’t a 747 that we were boarding, and the seats we got for ourselves weren’t what we thought, the flight & plane was awesome. The 777 only has 3 middle seats, so poor Nina was stuck with the boys for about 2/3 of the flight. Being a late flight the formula was pretty simple. Get settled, get dinner into the boys, change into their PJs, watch some of their TV or play games then lights out and sleep. Well aside from some inevitable “i’m too tired to sleep” routine, this is how it went. Sure it was long, sure Nina and I got bugger all sleep, sure I didn’t drink as much as I was hoping to, but the Air New Zealand staff were bloody brilliant. Even when there was a full on medical emergency, things still went smoothly.
How happy were we the next morning to realise that not long after breakfast we’d be not too far off the NW coast of North America.
All in all it was a brilliant trip, bloody hard work, but the boys were of course spectacular in their behaviour and their patience, after all do they ever sit down for 10mins let alone 13hrs.
Landing in Vancouver, we were immediately greeted with a wave of heat (wasn’t to last) and free wi-fi, so of course I needed to make the most of that, sending out tweets and reading all the messages sent to us while in transit. Aside form the massive line (which moved very fast) the immigration was dead simple and over and done with in minutes. Collected our bags and we were back in Canada baby!
So 4 years on, the boys are older (so are their parents), Vancouver is a little bigger, they’ve had the olympics & almost a Stanley Cup, and we are back in town.
Back out at UBC loving the busses & of course the boys are having a ball of a time. We’ll be posting pics and videos as soon as I get my act together.
Nice to be back in town (even if the boys are missing their friends).
Our final couple of days in Vancouver saw my brother and sister-in-law fly over from Dublin as a stop over on their way back to NZ for Xmas with the family.
It was great to see David and Caira, as they have been in Dublin and London for years now, we just don’t get a chance to catch up. They stayed a couple of nights with us and on the day we left Vancouver, they headed up to Whistler for a couple of days in the snow.
The last few days were sad as we had made some great mates and had one hell of a time in Oh Canada. Of course making a couple of sports buddies myself, Jamie in pre-school, Jan over for 6 weeks, Nina’s work, and catching up with our old buddy Gerry, not to mention the travels within North America we both had, made for one hell of an expensive and unforgettable experience. It was really sad to leave Vancouver after only 6 months.
So back to the last few days, they were cleaning and last minute shopping, and of course the role of tour guide for Jamie and I with David and Caira. It was actually really nice to take them on the typical ‘tourist’ rounds of Vancouver, we got to see the town all over for one last time. Of course the weather did it’s best to show Vancouver in all of it’s winter glory and gloom.
The last day itself was madness and you could imagine. Had it not been for Janine’s hard work and forward packing the days before we left we would have been in the poo. I had been selling all of our stuff on Craigslist, only for people to email that they only wanted one or two things from the Kitchen loot, or the TV and not the Vacuum etc. However posting the Kitchen stuff at midnight before we left, I had an instant sale, so all we needed was for people to arrive not to early (one last sweep of the Vacuum) or not too late (plane). So all morning there were knocks on the doors of people collecting stuff. Dave and Caira helped clean and pack stuff up, then took the boys out for a walk so Janine and I could clean the shelves and bathroom etc etc.
The with all of our bags packed, and with the help of Joe our friend whom we met at Dunedin the week before coming our here, who helped for a huge part of the morning lugging things about and in the end taking our luggage to the airport in his buddies pick-up he had borrowed for the day, we finally got to the airport. We got there with heaps of time spare, check-in was a breeze and then we sat down from some relaxing before the potential horror of the flight to London via Frankfurt, but that’s for another post.
So cheers Vancouver you were a blast, and our boys really had one hell of a time there, they loved it even more than we did. This was our third time there and we WILL be back even sooner next time.
Mum Dad and the family unit from NZ to Vancouver and loving it.
Joe with his biggest Kiwi fans.
The photographer from the store emailed the pics of Batman and Batboy.
The cuddle was when he first met him, and all the staff went “ahhhwwwwlllll”. Very cute.
The second one Janine is intensely embarrassed as Batman was asking who made his outfit. The fleece cut-out bat on the back is cool in NZ.
The last one was when I was taking a pic of the two of them (you get some idea of the size of the guy), but don’t you just love the intensity in his face, he was so proud of being dubbed Batboy.
Hey guys, two things.
First the start of winter is still one month away and we have snow everywhere with predictions of up to 10-30cm in and around Vancouver!!! Still at least we aren’t in Manitoba where there are sever weather warnings again, yesterday the temps got up to -37°C and -41°C!!
The other thing was, last night Jamie met his hero Batman, who was so impressed with his dress-ups that he officially named Jamie BatBoy.
Batman was at the opening of a new Best Buy (Noel Lemings type) store out at Metrotown (huge freaking mall 5x riccarton). The line up was long and it was all boys 5-25 there to meet the caped crusader. Jamie was the ONLY one who put on his batman gear, and everyone was so impressed.
Thankfully there was an official photographer and he’s going to email me the pics, as my camera doesn’t do such a good job focusing in low light. Batman was so impressed with Jamie’s outfit that he talked extra long to him (they were trying to get the boys through fast) and asked him all about his uniform where he was from etc etc. It was so cool and all the staff and parents watching all went “ah” when Jamie walked up to Batman and gave him a huge hug.
PS Batman is Huge!!!
All images by Joe Sales, our Canadian buddie who spent the last 6 months in Dunedin NZ. We spent the morning down at Spanish Banks and Vanier Park in Vancouver. The temp was about 5°C and as you can see there was plenty of frost about and the sky was a stunning blue.
© All pics the property of Joe, but go and visit his flickr pics @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/joesales/