Monday, February 22, 2016

:. 2015 Roundup .: Surrey, BC

Welcome back! In an effort to share the many adventures we've had since this blog went on hiatus, we've decided to create a series of posts dedicated to our 2014 and 2015  adventures and geocaching trips. 
As was mentioned in a previous post, one of the requirements for immigrating to the United States was a medical. In order for me (Torran) to get that medical, we had to have an American Certified doctor do the examination. This doesn't seem like a big deal, however, in Canada there were only five approved doctors. All of them except one were located in eastern Canada. The one not down east was located in Surrey, British Columbia, which is the province to the west of Alberta. 

On May 3, 2015 we landed at the Vancouver International Airport and rented a Jeep Patriot to drive over to the Holiday Inn Hotel in Cloverdale. It was a nice little community and we were able to find the hotel with no issue. After check in, we headed to the larger community of Langley for dinner. There we ate at the Cactus Club which had some pretty good food. 

The next day we decided to head south and cross the border into the state of Washington to visit our niece and nephew. The drive down was gorgeous. We soaked in the mountains and vast stretches of green trees. It didn't take us too long to find where my in laws lived. We only got lost once. After visiting for awhile, we all went out to dinner and then on a ferry ride. After we had returned from the ferry, my nephew wanted to find a geocache with me. So we looked one up using the geocaching app and headed for the cache. It took some looking but we were able to find it. Once it got dark we said our goodbyes and headed back to Canada.

In the morning, Tatterhood and I headed for Surrey to get my medical. The process was fairly quick and the doctor was very friendly. Though we had to travel around to a few other facilities to get other tests done, the whole experience took less time then we expected. With time to kill before our departure flight, we decided to go on an excursion to Fort Langley. 

The fort itself was pretty awesome, like taking a step back in time. Surrounded with large trees, the fort seemed tucked away nicely at the edge of the nearby town. After we had thoroughly explored Fort Langley, we drove down by the river where we had lunch at a little cafe. If ever we go back to this area, we will definitely be going there again to eat.

Once we finished up with our late lunch, we drove back to Vancouver and caught our six o'clock flight home. This leg of our adventure was over, however the next one was only two weeks away in Montreal.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Happy Valentines Day!

Sorry for the late Adventure Monday post, but we were busy bringing this foxy little man into the world. Now our adventure team is up to three! Can't wait for that first geocache... leap day perhaps??

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Long Road South

Well, Adventurers, it's been quite a while since our last adventure post but that's only because we have just been on one our most incredible adventures to date!

It all started a year and a half ago when both Tatterhood and I felt inspired to finally act on our impressions to move south to the USA. Tatterhood is originally from the states, she having moved to Canada after we got married. The fact she was still an American citizen we thought would make it relatively easy to move down there. However the red taped hurtles and forests of paperwork kept us busy.

On our family reunion road trip to northern Michigan (which is worthy of a more in depth post later), we received confirmation that I qualified for immigration but more paperwork was needed. After submitting these and more papers later on, the wait game was on. It was around this time that we learned that in order to complete with my immigration process I would need to go west to Surrey, British Columbia for a medical and then east to Montreal, Quebec for an interview; all in the space of three weeks. Though inconvenient, we decided to make these two trips something of a vacation. I will be doing a few posts later about trips. 

Upon returning home from Montreal and after submitting even more documents to immigration, we began the long process of packing up our house. If you ever wanted to know how much stuff you have accumulated over ten years, try moving. You will find out fast how quickly your worldly possessions will fill up a large storage unit. 

On October 21st, the next leg of our journey began. With much help from dear friends and family, we started to load up the giant Uhaul truck. I couldn't believe we were able to fit everything in, even a pool table which we were originally going to leave behind (though I questioned this decision later when we had to offload the dang thing). It was a long day and a late night, but it was all complete. The next day we said goodbye to our little home which we have had since we got married and set out on the road south unsure of what to expect.

Our goal for the first day was the Canada-US Border. We figured if we crossed later in the night it would be less traffic and hassle. I drove the giant Uhaul truck which I nicknamed 'PutPut' while Tatterhood and her mom drove Obsidian with a little Uhaul trailer towed behind. It took quite some time to get used to driving such a large vehicle and now that it was loaded with our stuff, it seemed to crawl down the highway and lurch with its top heavy load around every curve in the road. Only once did I think that I might flip old PutPut. It was near Lethbridge, Alberta when I was going around a sharp curve. I could feel the truck shift and tip towards doom. Fortunately, no one was in the passing lane so I was able to take the turn as wide as possible even using the soft shoulder of the road. Disaster was averted and from then on I decided that I needed to slow way under the speed limit before taking anymore curves.

We wound up crossing the border not only once on the trip down but rather three times. The first time we were 'escorted' back to Canada because we needed a paper for our truck Obsidian saying it met all the emission standards. Without that we couldn't import the truck. Let me stop here and just point out that the border personnel were very kind and tried to help us in every way possible. The next day we obtained the required paperwork from Toyota and went through the border again. This time we got through without any issues, except they forgot to take the emissions letter from us. This worried me because I wanted everything to be done correctly and I didn't want to drive all the way to Utah only to find out I have to go all the way back to the border to properly import the truck. So once again we returned to Canada, made a u-turn and returned to the border crossing. This time they sent us inside to do the paperwork with the same nice border guard we had dealt with the night before. It was a miracle because he knew everything we needed to do and he helped us with it all. Like they say, third time is a charm.

With the border taken care of, we were free and clear to continue south to our new home in Utah. It has been a crazy adventure to this point, but it marks a new beginning for us and our continuing quest to enjoy life and the great outdoors. Stay tuned for more.