Thursday, 30 April 2015

Surprise, Dad!

Last weekend, my brothers & I flew to Seattle to surprise our Dad for his birthday.  The way our flights were scheduled, I was supposed to fly to Vancouver, then wait 4 hours before flying to Seattle.  My brothers were not excited about this, as it meant they would have to wait 2 hours for me to arrive before the 2 hour drive to my parents’ house.  In the weeks before the trip they kept telling me I should try to find an earlier flight, but the only one I could find would only allow for a 20 minute layover, which would not be enough time since I would have to go through a security check & customs in between flights.


My first flight was scheduled to leave Charlottetown at 6am, so I set my alarm for 4:45.  We live about 5 minutes from the airport, & I had checked in online, so I figured that would be enough time.  Inexplicably my alarm went off at 5:20 instead!  I quickly changed & woke PChad up, & he drove me to the airport.  The desk agent was not pleased to see me arrive so late, but I explained that I had already checked in, & just needed my boarding passes printed.  She printed them off, but told me I was too late to check my luggage.  That was fine since I had only a carry-on!


My next hurdle was security.  There were 4 security people, & I was the only person going through.  However, I was randomly selected for a second check, but it was simply for a hand swab, & it came back clear.  I made it on to the plane without incident & looked at my watch.  It was 5:35.  Incredible, but I don’t think I will press my luck like that in the future!  There was another passenger who came on the flight after I did, so at least they weren’t all waiting for me!


I flew through Toronto to Vancouver, & we had a good tail-wind & arrived 10 minutes early.  It was 10:50am.  I thought I’d try to make the 11:20 flight so I wouldn’t have to sit around for 4 hours, but I had to walk through a construction zone, security & customs yet.


Once I had made it to customs, I was surprised to find there was no line up of people waiting to speak to a border officer.  I quickly filled out my form & immediatly was called forward.  He asked where I was going, & where I had come from.  When I said, “PEI” his response was, “What’s that?”  So I explained that it was “Prince Edward Island”, & he told me to have a nice day!  I felt like running!  I’d never made it through customs so quickly & easily before!  Then I remember I DID need to run!


I made it to the gate for the 11:20 flight at 11:15.  I begged to be allowed on the flight, & the gate agent told me they they had not done a head count yet, so if I didn’t have any checked luggage, I could be put on the flight!  Wow, I’m not used to my flights working out so well!  I arrived in Seattle 2 hours before my brothers did, so they didn’t have to wait for me at all, which they were very happy about.

When we used to go to the airport with my parents, we always drove right past a Taco Bell, well I should say, we always STOPPED at the Taco Bell, because we rarely drove past it!  Since it had been airport tradition, we had all thought about delicious Taco Bell tacos, & we were all craving them at this point.  But, since we had rented a car, we left the airport a different way, so there was no Taco Bell in sight.  About 1/2 way home we remembered there was a Taco Bell off the freeway, so we stopped for a late afternoon snack.

IMG_7032 When we pulled up the house, Dad had been mowing the lawn.  He had stopped for his every-afternoon-at-3-o’clock Mello Yello, so he & Mom happened to be in the garage.  Dad asked, “Who just pulled up in a red car?”  Mom knew that we were coming, but she didn’t know what time, so she said, “Maybe it’s Nick & Candy, they have a red car.”

Then, between the vehicles, Dad saw Brian come out of the car, then me, then Kurt.  At that point Dad was thinking, “That’s not Nick!”  He was shocked to see us.  Despite almost spilling the secret a few times, we all managed to surprise him!


We had a nice dinner of salmon & asparagus, then we walked to the beach.  One of the things we always do at the beach is flip over rocks to look for crabs, so since we aren’t about to buck tradition, we flipped rocks for crabs!


Then we went back home for angel food cake to celebrate the birthday boy!


2015-04-17 18.04.08

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sunday Pictures

Asher – 8.5 years

Chancery – 6.5 years


IMG_1730 Chancery: “I don’t think Digby wants to have his picture taken today.”


IMG_1731 Chancery: “But we love him, so we want him to be in the pictures with us!”


IMG_1732 Asher: “Don’t worry, Digby.  It’s almost over!”


IMG_1733 Chancery: “See, that wasn’t so bad, was it Digby?”

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Definition Please

I’m not sure how it got brought up, but the other day at breakfast someone said they were going to ‘Hook Up’ with someone.  PChad said, “Well, that isn’t a good thing to do, so you shouldn’t do that.”


Asher: “Why, what does it mean?”


I listened intently, wondering how this conversation was going to go…


PChad: “It means a man & a lady who aren’t married, trying to make a baby together.”


Asher: “But they can’t!  You need a mommy & a daddy to make a baby!”


PChad: “Well, it means they are doing something they aren’t supposed to do before they are married.”


There was a brief moment of silence, then Asher said, “My brain is fizzing.”


Then the older boys admitted they had no idea that that is what ‘Hooking Up’ meant.  They thought it meant to meet up with some friends.  That demonstrates how important it is to fully understand slang before you go around using it!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sunday Pictures

Asher – 8.5 years

Chancery – 6.5 years


IMG_1723 Chancery: “I love you, Digby!”


IMG_1724 Chancery: “Isn’t it so nice to just sit on the couch together?”


IMG_1725 Digby: “No comment.”


IMG_1726 Chancery: “Digby was scared of Asher, so he ran away.”


IMG_1727 Asher: “Is it because I look like a hoodlum?”


IMG_1728 Asher: “Get it?  I’m wearing a hood!”


IMG_1729 Asher: “See, Digby was just playing around, he’s not scared at all!”

Monday, 6 April 2015

Saturday Fry Up, & Meet Up

Saturday I headed to Fiona's house to have a full English breakfast... for lunch!  I took a few busses to get there, but it was a relatively easy journey.  I got to meet her kids & husband, who were very welcoming, & lovely.  I had a fun afternoon just hanging out & chatting about British music & TV shows & movies.  We have similar tastes & it was nice to be able to talk to someone who has seen a lot of the same shows & listens to a lot of the same bands.

Later in the day I met up with Chad, & we stopped at a pub so he could have some good British Sausage & Mash.  We headed back to Geoff & Margaret's to spend the evening with them before heading back to Canada on Sunday.

We are very thankful for the blessing Geoff & Margaret have been to us.  They opened their home to us 13 years ago, when we were poor students struggling to find an affordable place to live in London, & failing miserably.  We have fond memories of walking their dog Tess, helping out when their 2 year old granddaughter Lucy was over for the day, & playing in the wading pool with the older grand-kids when the weather was hot.  We would have had a totally different experience of London if we had not lived with this generous couple.  They taught us what true hospitality was, simply by inviting us in.

Sadly, it was time to leave again, & hopefully it won't be another 7 years before we are back!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Wandering London

Friday I decided to walk around Oxford Street just to see the sights & perhaps do a little shopping.  I was amused when I stopped for a sandwich, by all the choices that I was not used to.
After awhile I thought I'd head to Brent Cross to a shopping centre I had heard about.  I wanted to take the Jubilee Line, but it was closed for upgrades, so I had to take the Northern Line.  When I got out at the station I decided it wouldn't take too long to walk to the shopping centre, but the area is really not set up for walking.  Every time I thought I was making headway getting closer to where I wanted to be, I'd find that the walkway ended, or there was no way to get from here to there.  At one point I was on the street below the shopping centre, & all that was between me & the shops was a brick wall of about 10 feet.  Unfortunately I could not figure out how to get from point A to point B, & at that point Fiona texted to see if I wanted to get together for dinner.  So, I wandered around for about 2 hours pointlessly, but I definitely got good exercise!
 I was glad for a rest after all that walking!
And I was happy that Fiona had thought about meeting up again!  Wandering around by myself was starting to get really old!  We spent a few hours talking about our families, & I even managed to get another invitation to hang out again Saturday!

Friday, 3 April 2015

A Visit to Ely

 A friend of mine from Washington State now lives in Ely.  Since Ely is only about an hour & 15 minutes, & I had not seen Meleah in about 10 years, & had never met her husband, & they just had a baby 10 days earlier, I decided to take a day to visit her!

 I had to take a train from King's Cross, so I decided to have a look at platform 9 3/4.  It was teeming with tourists!

Gemma & I bonded, & I got her all kitted out with some Canadian gear.
It was great to see Meleah again, & finally meet Luke & Gemma!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Meeting Up With the Old Crew

Wednesday morning I headed out to try to get my phone sorted out.  I had brought along the pay-as-you-go phone we had bought in Ireland when we visited in 2008 hoping it would work, but it said there was no service.  I took the train to Liverpool Street & stopped into a phone shop nearby.  The told me to go to a different shop where they could see if the phone was unlocked.  At that shop they told me that the phone was sadly locked & sent me to another shop to get it unlocked.  The third shop was closed dispite it being 10am.  I asked at the shop next door, where they directed me to a fourth shop to get the phone unlocked.  The fourth shop was also closed, so I gave up & headed to Tottenham Court Road to see how I'd fare.

I quickly found a phone shop & asked about getting a new pay-as-you-go phone.  They had some cheap phones I could get for around £25, but that would be about $50 Canadian.  I decided to head to the nearby Starbucks & see about adding a travel plan on my phone from home, which I discovered I could do for $5.  It was a lot of running around, but it used up some of the extra time I had.

After all that fun I headed to Covent Garden for some shopping!  I picked up some souvenirs for everyone & then it was time to meet up with my old workmates from when we lived in London.

As I walked to the pub where we were supposed to meet, I took a few pictures of the street signs
Apparently there were a few people I worked with who do not check their facebook very often, & they had no idea I had named my daughter after the street!
This is one of my favourites!
Fiona & Mora worked on the Reception desk with me, & were always fun to work with.
Ian & Pete
 I had not seen these people in over 12 years!  It was far too long & we had  a great time catching up.  We had planned to meet up at 3 in the afternoon on Wednesday, figuring that the pub would be dead & we would have the run of the place.  Strangely, there was a power cut, so all the nearby businesses had been let out & everyone had the same great idea to head to the pub!  Despite having no power, the pub carried on serving drinks.  After a few hours the lights came back on & everyone cheered.  At the end of the night you could see that the dishwasher had not been working, as the entire bar was stacked with glasses!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

We're Heading Back to Blighty!

Chad has been doing an executive Master's degree which has him travelling for a week at at time to either Oxford or Paris.  I decided it wasn't fair for him to have all the fun, so I decided to 'join' him on his trip to Oxford.  I say 'join' because basically we are traveling from Canada to England together & the spending the entire week at separate places until we meet up again to fly home!  We left a LOT of snow behind at home, so I was looking forward to some warmer temperatures.

 It was really cool to see the ice on the water crossing from PEI to Nova Scotia

 We had a 6 hour layover in Halifax, so we enjoyed a leisurely dinner

 And we took a few selfies to pass the time!

 After flying all night, I traveled to Geoff & Margaret's & took it pretty easy for the afternoon.  I read a bit & got all caught up with what has been going on in their lives.

I managed to stay awake until dinner time & Margaret even had some splodge for me for dessert!