Chapter 4: Je suis une baleine

People keep asking if I'm nervous to start work tomorrow, and the answer is: Nope! I am so ready to be working again. It will be really weird not to be with Steven 24/7 (...but also nice. Love you sweetie!)

Our boxes all came this week and there is no way to say how relieved we are. Everything got here in once piece, nothing was lost or damaged and it even arrived a week earlier than the estimate! Such a tender blessing to have our stuff arrive before I started work. We got all unpacked (as much as possible) on Friday, but with no dressers, table, bookshelf or couch there are a few things that will have to wait.

img_7471-webWe went to so many furniture stores this week! We decided that rather than find random stuff off craigslist, to spring for things we actually love. Since we have no car here, the options are basically walk, transit, or bike! We have mostly been fine walking everywhere, but we did SO MUCH biking Monday. Like 5 hours of Bixi bike rentals all over the city in half hour increments. Don't worry, it's super safe. Cars can hear us coming from a mile off - "I hate this! I hate this! I hate this!!!" - me.

img_7369-webWe've been becoming familiar with the bike culture and the city, trying to remember not to turn on reds and obey rules as if we are cars. (we heard rumours that cyclist get ticketed just like cars?) Biking was not in vain though! We bought a table and chairs and picked out a couch! Woo!! We're stoked :) Also google maps took us the weirdest way - down the parking lot to a path that goes up this bank and you walk along a raised gravel road, before going back down the bank again to a new parking lot. We could have just stayed on the main road!!! So weird google maps.

We have been trying to get me a bike, but as it turns out, there aren't a lot of options now. It's the end of the season for bike shops, and I am tall.. so no one has a bike to fit someone my height :( img_7501-webOne bike shop we went to, Steven went up to talk to the sales guy and said    "Parler vous Englais?" "Non." "uhhhh... Heather!!"   Haha! That was the first guy who we met who didn't speak English (or was pretending not to. that's my suspicion...) They didn't have anything for me anyways, so the bike hunt continues elsewhere! 

It has been a very full week, and so many times we have had to stop and say thank you for the crazy amount of blessings we are receiving. So much love! We also got to cuddle with some cats too. #blessings

img_7581-web PS Sometimes Steven gets taught hilarious sentences on DuoLingo - This week I overheard him say "Je suis une baleine." (I am a whale) Needless to say I loved that.

img_7604-web

Chapter 3: #NewHome

WE MOVED IN TO OUR NEW PLACE!!!!! On Friday we picked up the keys and moved our things into our new apartment!

This time around we decided to pay a little more for a nicer apartment with a great location and this one comes with all the major appliances! Let me explain; unlike BC, most Montreal landlords don't provide major appliances (ie. fridge, stove, dishwasher, washer, dryer). Tenants generally own their own appliances so moving day can suck big time. But we hit the mother load! All the major appliances are included but to be honest, we're just excited to have a dishwasher.

But there were a lot of things we needed to do prior to moving day. We had to set up utilities, internet, familiarise ourselves with the garbage pick up schedule and remember to eat. #realadultproblems. Luckily, we were able to stay with some friends of ours, the Dusealt family, who let us stay until Friday which we were so immensely grateful for. We got to hang out with them and their kids, play Pokemon pretend with their youngest and take head shots for their daughters who are aspiring actresses and models. They were also blown away that Heather worked in the film industry. "You worked on BARBIE?!" "Girls, Heather worked on stuff you actually watch, how cool is that??"

So, in preparation of our move, we figured we should pick up some essentials before the big day.img_2354 So many wonderful people gave us gift cards to Bed Bath and Beyond but upon arriving in Montreal we were informed that Bed Bath and Beyond has no location in the province of Quebec and furthermore do not ship to the province at all. So, ROADTRIP!!!! The Dusealt's let us borrow their car for the day and we headed to Ottawa, our nation's capital, for a little shopping spree. We arrived at the Ottawa location and went to work. Out of everything we bought the hardest decision for us to make was which silverware set to buy. I don't know how much you pay attention to the delicate art that is eating but you need silverware that sit comfortably in your hand, is well balanced, doesn't cause your hands to cramp from prolonged use and is aesthetically pleasing. It's a hard decision to make, believe you me, especially with two people like Heather and I...compromises were made. #marriedlife. But the day was a blast and we found everything that we needed. Having registered there for our wedding we received 20% off our entire purchase so #worthit. After 3.5 hours of shopping we loaded up our little hatchback and headed in town for a bite.

On a recommendation from a friend we treated ourselves to some burgers at The Works which were fantastic! Heather got herself one with pineapple and brie cheese and I got one with literal nachos inside of it! I mean WHAT DECADENCE. Then we topped it off with a strawberry cheesecake milkshake to go (AMAZING), made a quick stop at parliament (Heather's first time), grabbed some things from Walmart (chocolate milk and veggie pringles) and headed home.

We picked up a blowup mattress for us to sleep on while our things get shipped out here. After moving in and getting settled it was about 10:30pm so we unboxed our mattress and pulled out the pump only to find that it runs on 4D batteries. Naturally, we jumped on the computer to find out what stores were open at 10:30 at night and then I ran from img_1304store to store looking for batteries but, let's be honest, who carries D batteries anymore??? After a failed attempt to procure batteries I returned with nothing but a pack of stovetop popcorn (which I planned to use to boil water once the popcorn was popped because we don't have pots or pans yet). Luckily for us, we made some great friends at church last week who live nearby and they found some batteries at a corner store by their house! #newbestfriends.

All in all, it's been an adventure of a week. Next weeks adventure, furniture shopping!!!

Chapter 2: Nous Sommes Calme

This has been the most inexplicable week, full of love from family/friends we left in Vancouver and new friends we have been making here in Montreal. We have been (or at least I know I have been) completely overwhelmed by the love and the generosity that has been extended to us by people on all sides. Here are a few highlights of the past week, a little summary. img_2279_edited_topost

We made our flight! (It was close) after touching down in Montreal, it was a simple task to find the Airbnb where our friend was generously letting us stay in for a week as a wedding present. We got settled in and started setting up appointments to see apartments. We are winners, and winners are non-stop! So non-stop that we fell asleep at 3pm looking at apartment postings online. We awoke a few hours later to a knock at the door, who could that be? It was pizza! Our beautiful friend had gotten pizza delivered to us, and nothing was ever a better gift!

img_1204_edited_topostOur first full day in Montreal was spent walking for hours between apartments. The street art here is incredible, and the old french architecture is stunning! We hated the first apartment we saw, meh about the second and LOVED the third. Very Goldilocks style. By Thursday we found out we had gotten the apartment, and signed the contract on Friday!

img_2287_edited_topostMeanwhile we continued to explore our corner of this city, where there is a stunning number of amazing places to eat. We have not been disappointed yet! Unfortunately, it was all so good, we didn't even take photos, we just stuffed our faces, so you will have to come visit to see for yourselves :)

Friday we went climbing at Allez-Up, a climbing gym to spoil us for ever. It has these old 125ft. wheat silos that they have turned into top rope climbing during good weather. They're frighteningly high! It was threatening rain all day, so we weren't able to go up, but we plan to!! The gym is about a 10 minute bike from home, so we are planning on spending lots of time there.

I have to mention our new ward, the Montreal ward. It seems to be the place where pretty much every new young married couple moves into! Both Concordia and McGill are within the ward boundaries which is probably why we have at least 5 or 6 young couples our age without kids. We were accepted with open arms, introduced all around, and I have already been given a Visiting teaching companion haha. We are so excited to get to know these warm welcoming people and learn to serve them this year. Even the one that stole our umbrella from the coat rack...(please give it back!)

img_1225_edited_topost

All in all, we are loving this new province! The french is fun but scary, Steven is learning quickly although feels like a child when I quiz him on his numbers and days of the week. For some reason Duo Lingo keeps getting him to use the word Calme (calm) for everything! We are calm, he is calm, the cats are calm, the girls are calm, everyone is calm. I think it is trying to give us a message, and it has become our mantra lately. Nous sommes calme. (We are calm)

- Heather

ps. If you move across the country - Bring your marriage license, cheque book, rain gear, enough birth control to last until you can get a new health card, and make sure you have legally changed your last name before you move to a province that doesn't allow that. #regrets