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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"...

What our man Lau-tzu doesn't mention is the other stuff that needs to get done BEFORE you take that first step.  Things like canceling the cable and other services, arranging for the same at the other end, packing up all the stuff that's going the thousand miles with you and absolutely worst of all - the dreaded address change.  This will be the 4th time in 5 years that I register an address change with Canada Post.  (I think I should get the 5th one free!)

My sister and her husband have been an incredible box resource.  I think we could pack up ourselves and the next door neighbour.  Notice the future tense there, we've packed a whopping single box.  True, we have two weeks of free time between leaving work and the movers arriving, but it gets pretty stressful when almost everyone asks you whether you've started packing or not.  (Not you fault, kindly meaning people, it's the logical question, I've done it myself.)  We have boxes stashed in every nook and cranny, just waiting for their turn to be useful.  (Sometimes I think I hear crying coming from the storage room in our suite...another cardboard receptacle's dreams yet unfulfilled.)

The weeding out of stuff is what's truly ridiculous. Question:  "Do you think we'll need this thumb tack in PEI?"  Answer: "You never know, better pack it just in case."  Really?  We haven't used a thumb tack in our nearly 20 years together, but we both agree that there's a slim possibility that we might.  Granted, I'm using that just as a reference, I haven't actually come across a thumb tack, but I think you get the point.

But back to our friend Lau-tzu.  The beginning of that rather famous quote goes something like this "Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small."  Fabulous!  Where was he when we started this whole thing...who said better late than never?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The BIG Four-Oh (or is it Four Uh-oh?)'s true.  Today I've hit another life milestone...40.  Now, I can understand why you might think that moving to PEI is the mother of all mid-life crises, but I swear that it is not.  I haven't cut off my hair (yet) or bought an fancy sports car, nor have I found two 27 and a half year olds to trade Ron in for.  (I don't know if I can even do that kind of straight exchange and let's be honest, would I really want to anyway?)

I have no plans for today, but my  oldest sister and her husband kindly took Ron and I on a lovely trip via train up to Whistler yesterday and took us out to a very nice dinner. Today I'm working.  (That just isn't right, but that's a whole other blog!)
'Chelle, Tom & Layla
The Rocky Mountaineer

I think I might even feel better now that the number is hanging there in cyberspace - virtual black and white, so to speak.  I'm looking forward to green pastures, walks in the snow and a little yellow house with gingerbread on it.  That's the key, no looking back - upward and onward.

By the way, Ron is out looking for the people who voted against the ride on lawn mower (specifically those of you who clicked the "NO" know who you are)...if he finds out who you are he's going to run you over once he gets his new ride.  (Assuming we aren't zoned for goats, of course.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Where we're going and where we've been...

We've had many people ask us "But where exactly IS Freetown???" So we've made a map to give everyone (yes, you!) an idea about where we're actually taking ourselves to. It looks like this:

Keep in mind that PEI is quite small and the drive to Charlottetown is only about 25 minutes.  (For you other Island folk, be it Prince Edward or Vancouver, I acknowledge the Island mentality of  traveling more than 5 minutes being a major commute.)

Now many of you don't know us in our "natural habitat", so to speak, so I'm also including some pictures or where we live now.  Two pictures (the hazy ones) are from our balcony, the other is a 10 minute walk down the sea wall.

We really live in the heart of the action right now.  There's probably 100 restaurants within walking distance.  But what is convenience compared to peace?  We'll let you know.  The house has a gourmet kitchen, so rest assured, we won't starve & did I mention how cheap the lobster is?
Re-roofing BC Place Stadium
Granville St Bridge and Granville Island
Cambie Street Bridge and False Creek

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Our Guide to PEI

No good traveler goes forward without some reference material about the new place they're headed to.  Doing a great amount of research, Ron and I settled on the PEI bible (which, ironically was also $6.99, just like lobster in our new home):

Like an Amex card, we won't leave home without it...we'll let you know how it works out.  (Not to worry, we did buy a couple of maps to get us the 6000 kms plus across the hard can it be?)

Home Sweet Home

Well, since the weather won't allow us to sleep on the beach in the winter, we figured that we would have to find a place to live.  In mid-July Ron flew back to PEI to look for our perfect home.  And here's what he found for us:

It's a lovely Victorian (102 years old) with a beautiful back yard on 3/4 of an acre.  Yes, it's the country life for us city dwellers.  Ron says that you can see the ocean in the distance from the front porch.  He's pushing (excuse the pun) for a ride on lawn mower...I think he has plenty of time...he's going to be retired, isn't he?


Back in the fall of last year, Ron and I decided to sell our condo and get out of the crazy housing market in BC.  But what now?  Ron could retire in June and we had nothing tying us down.  We started looking at retirement options.  Our conclusion?  PEI was the place for us, okay, so we'd never been there, but we had to go check it out, which we did in June of this year.

We found a place with great food, friendly people and beautiful scenery with the ocean in almost every panorama, but it was a big leap.  Were we up to it?  The answer was a resounding yes.  (Heck, with lobster at $6.99 a pound & housing prices 1/4 of what they are in BC (or less) who could say no?)

The road to retirement