All Change, All Change, All Change!

The fact that it’s been six weeks since my last post is an indicator of just how busy this summer has been. I had an amazing three weeks with my in-laws from mid-Wales, and enjoyed a whole month without rain. I visited Astoria, Cannon Beach and Gibsons (twice). I hiked the BCMC trail, ate brunch on Main Street and took advantage of Earl’s Mexican Bulldog Mondays – all for the first time.  I continued my summer traditions of reading magazines on the balcony, drinking coffee on the seawall and enjoying a cocktail in the gorgeous Reflections bar. Now Labour Day is here, and it’s time for me to start looking forward into fall. Usually I’d be disappointed that summer is coming to an end, but the last few months of 2013 (and beyond) are just holding way too many fun things for me to even think about the post-sunshine blues. Here’s a taster of what’s in store for me between now and the C word (Christmas, of course…).

1. Reconciliation Week – September 16th – 22nd 

Those of you who read my post on my new job at Reconciliation Canada will know that the week commencing September 16th is a big one in my calendar. Reconciliation Canada is hosting three major events during Reconciliation Week, including a traditional burning ceremony (Monday 16th), a visually stunning canoe gathering (Tuesday 17th), and top top it off, the biggest event of all: the 50,000 participant Walk for Reconciliation & A New Way Forward Celebration (Sunday 22nd). My job has been to lead the recruitment, scheduling, on-boarding and training of almost 1,000 volunteers who will make these events happen. With less than three weeks to go until it’s all over, the busyness starts now. On a related note, today is where my social life ends for a while…see you all on September 23rd (unless you’re someone who believes in renewing relationships among all Canadians, in which case I’ll see you at our Reconciliation Week events, won’t I?)! As I also mentioned in my previous blog post, my contract will be ending at the end of September, and I’ll be looking for another job. I’m not in a huge rush (mainly due to the length of this list), but there are couple of potential options floating around that I’m really excited about. Watch this space.

Join us in the Walk for Reconciliation on September 22nd in Downtown Vancouver

Join us in the Walk for Reconciliation on September 22nd in Downtown Vancouver

2. New Apartment – October 1st

After two years in our beloved Downtown apartment, we’re officially on the hunt for a new home from October 1st. We’re looking to stay in the Downtown core (Yaletown to West End) as we love our location so much, except this time it needs to be a pet friendly building (more to come on that). We’ve been scouring craigslist on the half hour, every half hour, and have a number of viewings lined up this week. We’re hoping to get somewhere sorted in the next week or so while I have evening hours available to look at places, otherwise the madness of Reconciliation Week will kick in and the manfriend will be searching solo. Pet friendly places are generally more rare of than their no-pet counterparts, and the laws of supply and demand have therefore driven the prices up substantially. Saying that, we’re really pleased with the viewings we’ve been able to secure this week, and have everything crossed that we find somewhere soon. We’ll really miss our current place, but are looking forward to moving somewhere unfurnished that we can customize just as we like. Wish us luck!

3. Vacation Baby – October 18th to 28th

Remember when I went to Hawaii and said it was one of the best trips I’d ever been on? And that I loved it so much I’d booked a return trip before I’d even finished writing that blog post? Well that return trip is coming up pretty damn quick, and the manfriend and I will be on our way to Maui on October 18th. We’ve booked our flights and all of our accommodation, and just have some trips & activities to book before we leave.  In true researcher-extraordinaire style, said trips & activities have been planned and decided on, I just need to actually book them. By the time October 18th rolls around we’ll be very much craving 10 days on the beach, and will do our best to enjoy every second.

4. Puppy Love – November

The most exciting thing entry on the list, as we’re not looking for a pet-friendly apartment just for fun. We’re in the process of becoming proud parents to a Boston Terrier puppy, one who has been a slowly forming dream for quite some time now. Now we have our Permanent Residence we know we’re not going anywhere any time soon, and are finally in a situation where we can welcome a third party, and a living one at that, into our lives. The researcher in me is more than done with reading every puppy book under the sun and practicing online shopping for supplies; I just want him to get here! If all goes well, you’ll meet him via this blog in November.

A very Christmassy cabin!

our very Christmassy cabin!

5. White Christmas – December 23rd to 26th

2013 will be my first Christmas away from home. We flew back for the first two Christmases that we lived in Canada, and last year decided that we needed to prioritize the other things on this list over a long-haul plane fare. It will be very strange and a little bit sad not being at home, but I’ve embraced the idea of creating my own Christmas. Because the manfriend and I lived on opposite sides of the country at home (though Wales to Ipswich seems like a mere trip for milk after living in the HUGE landmass that is Canada), we’ve never actually spent Christmas Day in the same place. This will be our seventh Christmas together, and this year we’ll actually be spending it…well, together. And in the most Christmassy of locations; a luxury wooden cabin at Mount Baker, Washington state. Our humble abode features four bedrooms, a full kitchen, a hot tub, a sauna, two outside decks and a fire pit. We’ll be joined by my brother and his girlfriend (so I will have some family with me) and our two Hawaii vacation buddies, as well as the new puppy (in his Christmas hat), for three nights in a snow-filled winter wonderland. Merry Christmas indeed.

Writing all this down has made me take a double breath as I realize just how much there is still to plan and organize over the next four months. Luckily, everything on this list is unbelievably exciting, and I feel so lucky that I have all of these wonderful things to look forward to. Sometimes things just fall into place, and as long as I make time to find a new job in there somewhere, I’m set for a pretty awesome end of 2013. If that wasn’t enough, my parents are coming to visit at the end of February 2014 (this already makes me so happy, and it will have been 14 months since I last saw them by the time they arrive) and then I’m off to Coachella (via a California road trip) in April. It’s definitely going to be go-go-go for the next seven months, so it’s a good job I don’t do ‘sitting still’ well. I’m looking forward to sharing all of these milestones with you as they happen, but for now I’ll take a deep breath and get ready to jump right into September. With both feet.


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About MarmitetoMaple

I'm originally from the UK and have been working and living the dream in Vancouver, BC, since January 2011. I am a firm believer in travel, good cheese, volunteering and community engagement.

8 responses to “All Change, All Change, All Change!”

  1. Ardie Collins says :

    I always love reading your updates! You seem to be having such a great adventure over there. Good luck with the move and the puppy – and I hope you have a great Christmas!

  2. hito86 says :

    Hah. I remember reading this back when I was in the UK. Now it has been 7 months since I have been in Vancouver! I am not going back to UK! I have a puppy which I got 2 weeks ago. A chihuahua. Walks on the seawall are awesome :). Eep 🙂 Busy busy busy!

  3. offtracktravel says :

    Your Christmas plans sound amazing! I’ve had the complete opposite experience to you and haven’t been back to the UK since I’ve been living in Canada (almost 2 years at this point), but am hoping to go back for Christmas 2014!!

    – Gemma

  4. marmitetomaple says :

    Love it, that’s always how the best adventures start, isn’t it? I can’t wait for ski season again!

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