Anzac Day 25th April 2017 – Calgary
It’s been a funny old time this last week. We have been super organised to the point where we actually had nothing to do for four days before our house sitters/dog sitters arrived on the evening of the 25th April. We went down to the Calgary cenotaph on the 25th to commemorate ANZAC Day. It is always a pretty good turnout. For a bit of trivia – Calgary is the last place to actually celebrate ANZAC Day every year.
You would think with all this spare time that we would remember something as important as our 28th Wedding anniversary on the 22nd April but both of us totally missed it. Fraser only remembered the next day and at least he had got a card!!! Di was vacant!!! We had had a very busy social day on the 22nd commencing with our neighbours two year old daughters birthday party; followed by scone, jam, cream and tea at our place with Sarah and Mark and then followed up with a beautiful dinner and fun evening at Pam and Darren’s place and with Lewis and Tracey joining us. So with all that eating and sugar fixes, maybe that was our reason for forgetting. We have never done that before. In fact, we have celebrated it with a special time away or the purchase of that special something every previous year. Is this what retirement does to you – send your brain cells mushy.
We have completed our packing and now have it down in the basement ready for those last few items to go in. We are most impressed with how we have got it down to one medium sized hard case back and a small soft North Face bag. We also have two small back packs.
Below is all our stuff laid out on the spare bed. Included are two bike helmets plus flashy clothes for the cruise boat. We will certainly be sick of what clothes we do take for the four and a half months.
The picture below shows all the stuff in the two cases with Maples checking in to see if there is the possibility of any room for her.
The girls definitely seem to know something is up as there has been all this activity around the house. We have used the opportunity to clean out the basement; declutter the house and garage and prepare the yard for Simon and Joannie. Simon and Joannie are our house and dog sitters whilst we are away. Joannie is keen to get into the garden and plant up some petunias and also do the pots up.
They are from Montreal. We found them through a website called House Sitters Canada and they have looked after people’s homes and pets in the UK and Tenerife. Simon is a house painter and Joannie had her own on line business. So it is a straight exchange where they get to live in our home free whilst we get our pets looked after. A no-cash society which economists don’t like. They left Montreal at 6.00am on Sunday 23rd April with a car journey of 40 hours ahead of them. Simon has not been to Calgary before so this is a big adventure for him. We have spent quite a bit of time setting a few things up for them as well as making sure they have good support from our neighbours and friends whilst we are away.
We have a three day overlap where we take them around the city to show them the lay of the land and get them set up with the vet and any other information they will find useful. We are sure they will love Alberta and as 2017 is the 150 anniversary of Confederation, all the National Parks are free to go into. No doubt they will be taking the girls on some great trips into the mountains.
We are hoping that whilst we are away Simon might have the opportunity to freshen up the interior house paint so we come home to a freshly painted and hopefully lighter home. We have also managed to score him a few painting jobs with friends. He might just need a holiday after being here.
Our plan is to hire a car for 24 hours on Friday the 28th April and drive out to the airport at the ungodly hour of 5.30am. You might say that is really dumb hiring a car. Well no. It is about $70 in a taxi; car2go is about $35 and a hire car for 24 hours is $17.94 plus about $5 for petrol and you get to drop it right at the front door to the departure gates. Our friend Sue told us about it as that is how they do it each time. Sue and her husband Steve are joining us on the cruises across the Atlantic and around the Baltic.
Due to a snow storm between Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, the guys were delayed by 24 hours which was still OK as that still gives us plenty of time to do the “induction”.
So today 27th April, was spent showing the guys how the house and the dogs work and also giving the pooches a bath. Tomorrow, it is a drive around Calgary to show them the lay of the land and as of 5.30am on Saturday, they are on their own. Toque has been very quiet and we are pretty sure she knows something is up. Maples, not so much – as long as she gets fed twice a day she is fine.
We fly to Toronto and then after a four hour lay-over it is down to Miami. We catch up with Sue and Steve on Saturday night in the hotel and then make our way to the monstrosity of a boat called the Getaway which is in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet. It is just a small tub at 3,900 passengers plus 1,600 crew!!
We might get the opportunity to blog from Miami but after that there will be no blogging due to the hideous cost of internet connection on the boat. Our first port of call is on the Azores, so with a bit of luck we hope to post there.
Adieu for now!!
Simon, Joannie, Fraser and the pooches all bonding.