Autumn of 2012 - June 9, 2013
It took over four months for the motorcycle to arrive. That ruined any plans to leave that summer. Rocky was eager to start the repairs and fortunately we were offered a place to fix the bike at Dual Sport Plus. It's a local motorcycle shop owned by Les. Him and his staff were extremely helpful. Rocky assessed the damage and began ordering parts. I am amazed that he was able to completely take the bike apart and put her back together. He even got her running better than before. As soon as the bike was completed, we were able to place much more focus on preparing to leave. My first step was to get back on the motorcycle. I hadn't been on the bike since the accident and I felt nervous. It wasn't so bad. I was surprisingly comfortable and I was able to thoroughly enjoy the ride.
After a lot of organizing we were finally able to start packing. One would think it would be easier the second time around. But, now that I know what to expect, I caught myself over packing. It is difficult to travel with the bare minimum. Traveling through different climates definitely doesn't help. If I had forgotten anything, I could always pick it up along the way. I'll just have a heck of a time finding room for it though. Maybe I could find room for just one pair of my favorite high heels!
I definitely went through some mixed emotions. I felt excited, nervous, sad, happy. A shrink would have fun diagnosing my current state. My poor mom was in denial. She refused to acknowledge we were leaving. My brother was having dreams that I had changed my mind. I just wish that my cats could've spoke just once to tell me that they forgive me and they'll be waiting for our safe return. I have been so fortunate to have so many amazing people in my life but it makes it so much tougher to leave their side.
We will miss everyone. I am sure that I will cry and so will Rocky. Only he will pretend that a bug got in his eye.
Shortly after moving into our apartment, our landlords, Peter & Haarika, had a baby boy named Kushal.
Nikita, Haarika's daughter, & her baby brother, Kushal
Paula and I drove to Toronto to see Romi Mayes (pictured here) and Jay Nowicki. We first met both of them while couch-surfing in Medicine, Hat Alberta. Romi was awarded Song Writer of the Year and Album of the Year at the 2007 Western Canadian Music Awards. "Mayes' style has been described as edgy, bourbon-infused country blues and bluegrass, characterized by sympathy and honesty." -- Wikipedia
Romi & Jay rocking out the Dakota Tavern, in Toronto, Ontario.
Paula, Giovanni & Grace dressed up for Hallowe'en
Paula dressed up for Hallowe'en as a belly dancer, only to be told several times that she was actually Jasmine from the Disney animated movie, Aladdin.
Paula & her friend, Grace - Grace is a paralegal and one of the most well-read and knowledgable people I know. She also like to talk a LOT.
Paula and I spent New Years eve at Hess Village, in downtown Hamilton.
New Year's Eve
Happy New Year!
Paula on New Year's Eve
Paula & I on New Year's Eve
My grandmother lived to the ripe, old age of 94. She was only a few months away from her 95th birthday when she passed away in 2009. I use to visit her on weekends and she always baked me delicious pies - apple, peach, berry, custard... After the new year, I decided to take up baking. This triple-berry pie was my second attempt. It was delicious (if I do say so myself).
On March 15th, my niece, Maddy, turned four years old.
During the almost year and a half back home, I was able to see my favourite band, Sigur Rós
, twice. - photo by Balzz
Paula's niece, Josephine, turned five years old in April. Paula's sister and brother-in-law, Maryline and Dennis, have four children in total.
Paula's niece, Madison, is one of twins.
Sophia is the other half of the set of twins.
In April, Paula's friend, Catherine, had a baby girl named Avielle.
Paula's mother, Lucilia, hibernates in winter, but, at the first sign of spring, she is out all day working in her garden. She has one of the best gardens I have ever seen, full of plants, flowers, herbs and vegetables. She also makes amazing chicken wings.