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I had all this time when I was down in California, now back home it is completely the opposite, I find myself wishing for more hours in the day. Particularly to visit with friends and family friends (I am living with my family so I see them all the time;). I was so excited to be home to have my friends around, and now that I am here I am swamped with school work, all of a sudden it is two and a half weeks into the semester! (how did this happen?) So I wanted to apologize to all my friends for not calling as often as I should since I am back in town. I am taking 4 classes, but two of which have are sciences with 3 hour labs so I feel like I might as well be taking 6 courses. I am also trying to fit in volunteering in at Saanichton elementary school!

Also living at home, we do not have the chance to entertain as we do having our own place. We had quite a few dinner parties in Mountain View that we really enjoyed, I wanted to do that here, but it has to be timed with my schoolwork and with my parents leaving the house, which is more than tricky, to not likely. On top of this Lloyd just started his new job and is busy getting up to speed so as I am swamped with school work, as usual he is swamped with work. I look forward to the future where we have our own place and can invite people over to dinner and maybe have marginally more time to enjoy my precious friends I haved miss so.

The first week of classes was interesting. It was more like a fashion show! All these girls walking around in their short mini skirts. It has cooled down a bit with people starting to get to work in classes, though I often hear people in my classes giggling about a cool party, or visiting each other in the dorms. I feel dated and old. Though with my baby face most professors think I too am a first year. I found out today that I am the same age as my Lab instructor who is working on his PhD. *sigh*

I have completed my correspondence course I was doing in California. I wrote my final exam the weekend after the first week of classes. I just got back my final assignment mark, and will probably have to wait for another 4 weeks for my final exam mark. I just checked the website and found out that my final grade has been posted, I managed to pull off an “A”, but I was one percent away from an A+, grr, oh well.  The final was a little unfair, some questions not on anything the course focused on. Oh well it’s over, and it means that I can know focus on my classes at UVic.

We finally received our stuff from the movers about a week ago. They called us when we came into town, and as most of you might remember from a previous post that I anticipated trouble because of what the customs lady told us when we entered through Blaine in the wee hours of the morning. We were told we only had $750 each for all goods that we aquired into the USA. We got to customs in Victoria (accompanied by our movers with our list of belongings) and the customs officer tells us that we have completely the incorrect form. We are given a new one, on the new one it said something to the effect “all goods that we are bringing in we’ve used for 6 months time”, and “this does not include bridal gifts”. It also has our departure and entrance dates on it, previously she told us it would not matter unless we have been away a year. It really could not have been more ideal (considering the first situation!). We signed the form, and were out of the office within 10 minutes. As we left the office we looked at ourselves pleasantly surprised (esp. with all the bureaucracy I have personally gone through at the border, this was the best yet!).

They delivered our goods that same day. We got a little slap on the wrist because the truck was way to big to be fitting down our street, we should have had to pay another $300 for them to load and deliver our stuff on a smaller truck, not wanting to incur the extra expense we took a chance. The movers were again quite pleasant. Here is a photo of the fancy driving they had to do to unload:

So far we have found nothing extremely damaged, but we are not unpacking most of our stuff until we have our own place.

Last week was hectic between packing and getting last minute things done to leave the USA.

Our friends, were gracious hosts and let us stay the night on Friday night. Nicole made us a wonderful traditional Swiss dinner, and we had a lovely surprise visitor, Elina, join us for our last evening (for now;) in Silicon Valley.

Only after a lovely breakfast and Nicole’s packed lunch and snacks, we said our sad goodbyes and left at 9:30 AM on Saturday morning.

And we started driving….. Lloyd drove, I tried to sleep… and I drove and Lloyd slept. We stopped in Roseburg, Oregon and found a tacky little place with good food for dinner. We arrived at the border around 2am, and stayed about an hour (just for kicks ya know). Oh the joys of customs. Because we have not been out of Canada for a year, we are only allowed to bring back the same amount as someone who has been gone 48 hours. Good news, they did not search our car, not so wonderful news, we may have to go back to the border for the arrival of our stuff (that is with the moving company currently).

We drove on and arrived at the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal at 3:40 AM. We slept in line for the ferry, and on the ferry. Being so tired we quickly feel asleep in our uncomfortable upright seats. There was limited room to put down your seat due to the amount of belongings we crammed into our car.

We took the 7 AM ferry to Victoria.

We are now living at my parents house for the time being (4 months max). Looking forward to visiting with people and getting settled in Victoria.

I do already miss my friends in the bay area though. Especially when many of my close girlfriends are pregnant or already have a baby. I love children (as most of you know), but it is not the right time for Lloyd and I to start having kids, not for another couple years we think. But I do feel left out of the baby talk and hope it does not ostracize me from my friends who are becoming parents because we have not caught up with them yet. I look forward to being “Auntie Jules” and helping out a lot. 🙂

I start classes at UVic September 6th, and have to finish my correspondence course as my final is scheduled for September 10th.

We will be getting cell phones in the next month I hope. But until such time you can use my parents phone number, but please do not call after 9 PM, as they go to sleep early 🙂

Yes we are moving again, can you believe it? Originally the idea was for me to go to Canada by myself to do some courses but we have decided instead to make it a permanent (for a couple years at least) move back.

It will be 6 months in our current place, and we wish we could move our house and neighbours back to Canada with us! Yup that’s right, we are on our way back “home” to Canada! I will have been in California 9 months when we leave. Since I graduated University in 2002 I will have moved 9 times! 9 times in 4 years is a lot of moving. And you know what? I do not even really like moving, but seems to be necessary in my life at the moment, so I do it. Every time I move, even if I think we are planning to stay in the place a couple years, I keep boxes for at least 6 months and guess what, every time I have made use of them again instead of discarding them!

Many people who have read my blog will know that being in the USA has been very challenging for me. Not being able to work, leaving my friends and family, not being able to do the program at University here I wanted, and having a husband working for a very demanding start up company have all been the challenges I have faced in the last 8 months. After trying many different things in California, and encountering so much bureaucracy and barriers, we have decided to move back to Canada.

Of course we will be sad to leave, we have made good friends, to name only a couple, we will be very sad to leave our wonderful friends Nicole and Ben (see post below), Cal and Elina, Jesse and Emily, and Rebecca and Japjit. Making friends takes time and I feel that we are just beginning to make those wonderful connections when we are leaving. Nonetheless my barriers are far greater than my opportunities, so we are moving back. The friends we have made will not be forgotten, and I look forward to keeping in touch and visiting them and welcoming them as visitors in Canada.

WHAT WILL LLOYD DO FOR WORK? Well the company Lloyd is working for currently, Flock, is not thrilled with our move, however they were going to try and humour us by trying to allow Lloyd to work remotely for them. With this transition Lloyd decided to contact a few exceptional people and has found himself another opportunity, however for less money.  I mention this because it is a concern of mine only, however on the brighter side at least we get to live in Canada.  Most of the new company’s team works remotely, and that is what he will be doing too, which will allow him to be in Canada. To help Flock with the transition he is not starting at the new company until the middle of September, and has not publicized who he will be working with as he wants to focus on a good transition with his current company Flock.

WHAT WILL WE DO & WHERE WILL WE LIVE IN CANADA YOU ASK? Well there are two parts to that question:

1) Short term: we will be moving to Victoria, and I will be going to school at the University of Victoria to do my pre-requisites for the post degree program in elementary education from Sept-Dec 2006. We will be living with my parents at first. My youngest brother Landon is moving to Calgary for a work term, so my Mom’s nest will not be empty with us moving in! My Dad also has some trips planned in this time period to promote some recent research he has done, including Ireland, New Zealand and Hawaii. So some of the time it will be just my Mom and us (+ all the cats). Our large belongings we are planning to put in storage in Victoria somewhere.

2) Long term: well not sure. January 2007 I will be looking for work in both Victoria and Vancouver in events coordination or human resources, depending on where I find work. Lloyd will be working remotely so Victoria or Vancouver location for him should not matter that much. For September 2007 I will be applying to both SFU and UVic for elementary education and depending on where I get into school, we may move (or not hopefully!) accordingly.

WHEN ARE WE MOVING?
Approximately the end of August! in two weeks time the movers will come and pick up our stuff. Yup THAT soon! We have known for a while, but has been hush hush due to transitions with Lloyd’s work. We are paying for the move so I am trying to make it the most reasonable as possible, looks like the best is the same company that moved us down here from Vancouver. So I will be organizing the move, packing (have been warned by my physical therapist to seek help to ensure not to strain my back further), trying to complete my correspondence course, and having last minute visitors. My parents were just here visiting and left early this morning. So last chance to visit us before we go!

If you drive by our place… you will see the following….