Hotels and suitcases

Don’t live out of suitcases, particularly when there’s 7 cases to choose from. It’s as simple as that.

The first few days after arrival were mentally and physically draining. After the best part of 16 years of stability in the same house, living out of suitcases across 2 hotels was a slog. Why 2 hotels? Plan A involved securing rented accommodation by our first Saturday. It became clear that we wouldn’t achieve this and discovered that the Hilton in Metrotown, our home, was full as it was a holiday weekend. A desperate search ensued and we secured another hotel a few miles away from another 2 nights, then moved in to the holiday apartment we’d stayed in when out here in June.

So, in our first week we’d managed to make our temporary home in 3 different locations.

What was good about the experience. At no time was we anything other than well fed, clothed and housed. When thinking about things from that perspective, the first week was a breeze.

First thoughts

In her blog, Lesley neatly summarised the testing first few hours of our departure from the UK, and it certainly was a test of how calm we could remain. Delays in Maidstone, delays on the M25 and a fire alarm at Gatwick were all thrown at us, but the feeling was that it would take more than that to break us down. All of the cases were within the weight limit, the heaviest by under half a kilo (I’m so pleased that Phil & Ali had some bathroom scales).

Flying, well there’s nothing to beat business class. I’d decided that we’d get things off to the right start and it was so worthwhile. The extra space, food on real plates with metal cutlery makes all the difference and we arrived in Vancouver feeling awake rather than exhausted and walking as if we’d spent 9 hours in the foetal position. Oh, and yes, there was a delay in Calgary where we dropped of most of the passengers and waited for the luggage to be re-sorted. Fortunately all our cases and guitars arrived in Vancouver on the same flight as us.

The actual arrival process for immigrants was very straightforward, a few questions, a couple of signatures and we were in. A couple of weeks later we found out that we should have received a newcomers information pack which actually makes our achievements over the first week even more impressive.