Category Archives: Canada

Travels near home and around Canada.

Cycling Prince Edward Island

It’s a few months late, but our photos from PEI are now up on Flickr. Perhaps it’s also time to write a short recap of our trip.

Biking around PEI was a fantastic way to spend a holiday. I had been warned about API Call Errorhills by Marilyn, but only had problems with them the first day. It turns out that the central part of the island is quite hilly, and without topo maps, we stumbled into the worst of it the first day. It was a brutal day, as we also couldn’t stop because it was a part of the island with few services. Unfortunately, while there are frequent towns on the map, many of them only have a couple houses, and no stores or hotels.

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Arrival in Charlottetown

We’re off again, and after a long day of flying arrived in Charlottetown around 6:30 last night. Bringing a bike by airplane was a new experience for me, and it presented some challenges. The actual packing of the bike wasn’t too bad, but getting it on the airplane was slow.

First the baggage check agent was extremely slow with it. There was a lot more paperwork than you’d expect for just adding an oversized bag to the ticket and paying $50 for the privilege. Then there was the lineup for oversized bag screening. On our flight, there were also about 30 mounties with large luggage, as they were packing body armour and who knows what else to bring to the G20 meeting in Toronto. But even after getting to the front of the line, we were stymied, since the scanner in the Westjet terminal was not large enough to handle a bike box. I had to be escorted to the Air Canada terminal where my bag was scanned, and then escorted back to actually get my bag into the handling system.

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A Weekend by Bike

This past weekend, Kathy and I decided to try actually taking our bikes on a short tour. I’ve been commuting by bike off and on for years – pretty much every warm day this year and last – and have been wanting to do some longer rides. Since it was our first attempt, we went for a destination that wasn’t too ambitious – Gibbons, where we found a nice-looking B&B in our price range.

The weather forecast was looking decent – if a bit hot, so we set off Saturday morning with lots of water. Steph loaned us a cooler bag that attached to the top of my rack, and kept our supply ice-cold all day. The riding started well. We’d plotted a route made of almost entirely dedicated bike paths to the north-east edge of the city, and it was flat too. The wind from the north-west even pushed us a bit on the eastern stretches. The sprawling mass that is Edmonton seems to go on forever sometimes, so we were thankful when we got to Fort Road and into a API Call Errormore rural setting.

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Islands in the sun

Or rain. But hopefully sun.

We are off to beautiful British Columbia for a week. Lots of ambition to go cycling, canoeing, kayaking, spelunking, hiking… but chances are there will be a whole lot of laziness and reading involved. Either way, it’s good to be getting away for a few days, especially since Neil didn’t get quite the same holiday as I did back in May, as he worked for a good part of the week, while I was enjoying museums and parks and such.

Speaking of work, a quick update on Kathy’s ever-changing employment status – I have just accepted a one-year contract at Epcor, in the accounts payable department. A great company to work for, and I’m excited about the long-term prospects. The short term will be good, too.

So, off to BC we go, with about 70 pounds of luggage in tow. Good times! Of course, we’re renting a car, or else we’d have to re-evaluate the luggage!

We may or may not get the chance to post and upload photos as we go, so check back in a few days. I intend to practice lots with the new camera.

On Gulls, Ghosts and Galloping Geese

For the closest thing we’ve had to a real holiday since we got back, Kathy and I are in API Call ErrorVictoria this week. I’m not on holidays, but have taken a few extra days around a business trip to enjoy myself. Kathy gets a holiday. Anyway, so here we are, and we’re loving it. We’ve often toyed with the idea of moving out here…I think given the opportunity, we’d jump at it. The grass is literally greener. Things may be budding in Edmonton, but this is a city already in bloom. There are flowers everywhere, and things just grow. Not just in the designated places like they seem to at home. The people also seem to be friendlier. The service industries seem to be well staffed with people in good moods, and we have had random strangers on the street stop and give us a hand – recommending a place to eat when they saw us puzzling over a map, and directing us to a bike rental place when it was nowhere near where the tourist information people had said it would be. I just have a hard time picturing the rushed Albertans taking the few minutes to point a tourist in the right direction, let alone if there were as many visitors as Victoria gets.

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Still Home After all These Months

Well, we’ve now been home for quite a while now – longer than we were away. So, how have things been progressing?

I’ve landed a great job with a local engineering and land survey company, working in the Health, Safety and Environment department. I’d be lying if I said it was the most challenging work, but when I’m busy, it’s really enjoyable, and moderately rewarding. What’s most important, though, is that it feels like something that could develop into something resembling a career. Hard to say for certain at this point.

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So Now What?

It’s been about two weeks since we’ve gotten home, and it’s maybe been a little difficult getting back into the swing of things. At first we under a fair bit of stress, as while we were gone the already booming economy went crazy, and finding rental accommodation in Edmonton has proved to be a challenge. We were lucky enough to find a place we’re happy with, an apartment across the street from the university farm. It’s not exactly what we’d wanted – we’d been hoping for a main-floor suite in a house – but we do have a dishwasher, some included utilities, and the cost of using the laundry facilities didn’t sound too outrageous.

Neither of us is working yet, but we’re taking this opportunity to be picky about what jobs we take. We still have some savings, and, most importantly, there’s a shortage of workers, so you know that if you turn down one offer, there will still be more in the future.

Not much else to say, I’m afraid. Maybe we’ll post some more once the travel bug starts to stir again.