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Canada Adventures

One Month As Canadians

I can’t believe we have been here over a month already. Aside from the office/craft room we are just about done unpacking and decorating. This has definitely been my favorite house to decorate so far. You will see why in the coming weeks when I reveal some of my favorite rooms in the house.

Although there isn’t a huge cultural change moving from the US to Canada there have been a few things that caught my attention over the last month that I thought would be worth remembering later on when we look back at this experience. Overall I love that the primary language is English, all signs are in English (and also French), their currency is’t too different than ours, and there are many chain stores here that we are use to like Michaels and Five Guys.

We now drink milk from a bag and if we want whole milk we grab the 3.25%.

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I was so wrong in assuming that all Canadians liked the cold weather and winter. I can’t believe how many have already started complaining about the cold weather.

Canadians CANNOT drive in the rain, at all. But they are super nice and will usually let you in without requiring you to be aggressive at first.

If you don’t understand what something says it means you are on the French side and need to turn it over.

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One way signs have no writing on them just the arrow. It’s such a tease and like a blank canvas I want to write all over it.

My absolute favorite is the use of the word “eh?” I can only hope that I catch onto it and start naturally using it in my lingo before we leave.

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My Canadian phone auto corrects to cheques, favourite, colour, and fibre. It makes me feel a little more sophisticated!

It’s AWESOME when the exchange rate is in your favor but balancing your budget sucks if you still have a US bank account and credit cards.

And the most surprising and a little disappointing is that Ritz crackers are in a bag….?!?!?!

Ritz Crackers

House Hunting Trip in Canada

As it turns out, we were approved for a house hunting trip last week. It was rather unexpected and didn’t get the final confirmation until the kids and I were already in New Jersey. Luckily Rob was able to pack a few additional things for us and bring along our passports!

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It was a busy week but very productive.

We ended up putting an offer for the first house we looked at. Although we saw several beautiful houses that day it had all the features we were looking for. It is much larger than our 2 bedroom apartment we currently have but it has our ideal open layout. There is a big space for their playroom, for those cold winter days, a nice office for my craft space just around the corner and there is a guest junior suite with a private bath perfect for visitors.

We explored the city and visited several playgrounds close to the new house. We watched the changing of the guards on Parliament Hill and their procession down the middle of the street, which apparently is a daily occurrence. We took the stroller out the first day but kept getting stuck around the canal limited to where we could go. The rest of the week we wore the kids and it was a blast. Definitely got our exercise on! The kids and I also got to visit the US Embassy so we could meet some of the staff and review the housing process.

The food was amazing, especially my first (and second) experience with Tim Hortons. We strolled around Byward Marker and stopped by Dunn’s for lunch. The poutine with bacon on top was incredible. Their hand carved smoked meat was equally delicious on their sandwiches.

Most nights we brought food back to the room and Rob and I went to bed when the kids did. It was a calm and relaxing week.

I didn’t quite realize how many things I would need to learn quickly once we move here. Luckily Ottawa is bilingual so everyone we encountered spoke English. All the signs are both in French and English and things like the elevator are spoken in both as well. I am planning to make up a cheat sheet for myself (and visitors) to help with the difference in currency, kilometers vs miles, and Celsius vs Fahrenheit.

I am so excited for our move in September! Now I just need to get things organized for our trip to Disney, trip to the shore, and for the packers to come and pack everything up! Not to mention plan Caity’s first birthday party and get everything together for our shortish stay in hotels both here and Canada before we finally move. Yikes, so many wonderful things coming up!