In the months, weeks and days leading up to leaving Vancouver, we crammed in a lot of stuff. Most of it involved visiting with friends, family and coworkers, all of whom we hope to see again in Paris.
Towards the end of October, Jo and Keltie popped over from the island for Fright Night at the PNE, and a quick round of Karaoke. I have a video of the singing, but it is not yet time to make my public singing debut.
Allene came to town, twice, during the last month we were here. The first time to show off her new puppy, and the second to show off her Violin playing with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
The following weekend, we caught up with some High School friends of Sarah’s at a ‘Forbidden Love Child’ themed Halloween party. My favourite combination was Wolverina, a ballerina crossed with Wolverine. The Gene Simmons / Richard Simmons outfit gets bonus points for name continuity.
We snuck in two Brunches with David, Eddie, Kevin and Sheila, and numerous lunch and coffee visits with coworkers past and present.
On a totally unrelated note, I finally caved and bought some of the freshly roasted chestnuts. They taste like yams.
A week before the big trip, Sarah finished working at Vancity. They gave her quite the send off at Steamworks Brewing Co before she could officially call herself gone. There were two people leaving that day, which was cause for a shin dig, and they each brought an Irish Man with them to liven things up.
We had initially planned to leave at the end of August/September/October. We didn’t, we left mid November and were actually around for one last Remembrance Day, which I was happy to participate in. It rained, of course. Victory square was packed, making it difficult to find a spot to stand. I eventually managed to find a place near the top of the hill where I was able to share an umbrella with a homeless fellow and a drink with a veteran. I caught the tail end of a parade, but didn’t really hear much of the music.
Our final days were busy busy busy. We completely reworked our banking, and moved all of our RRSPs to a new institution, we got rid of all of our possessions in the last 4 days, and said all of our au revoirs and a bientots. Most of the packing was left, in traditional style, to the last minute. On the evening before we left, a bunch of our friends came over to say good bye. They also (much to our relief) did nearly all of the packing of our stuff.
We started the evening with a big pile of stuff on the ground, and a couch that we couldn’t get rid of. Crystal, Kathryn, Bryn and Sarah pulled together and packed about 90% of what we had left. I was in charge of adding to the pile, and making signs to get rid of the couch. About 3 minutes after posting our sign, someone actually called to take it. Nick and Alex turned into movers to get rid of the behemoth (and took out part of the ladies door while doing so). I think that Chris’s job was to chill, which significantly helped the mood of the evening.
We spent our last night in Vancouver the same way we spent our first night. Sleeping on the floor under a pile of coats and towels. At least this time it was carpet, and not hardwood. The morning of the big move, we still had a fair bit to do. I had to return some stuff to Costco, set up mail forwarding, drop some dresses off at the Church and get a hair cut. Sarah had to buy cat food, a harness, and take the cat to the vet. We also had to clean the apartment in order to get some of our deposit back.
Finally, we took a cab to the airport and walked our way through customs where we said our last good byes to the city.
About a month before we left, one of Sarah’s coworkers started to ask where the tears were. He made a point of asking each time he’d see her if she’d cried about leaving the city. She’d swear that she was sad to leave everyone, but if you asked her, she would tell you that she was too stressed to cry. As we sat down on our plane to leave, the first tear appeared, and a few would be shed each hour as we flew away from Vancouver.
Sarah had left her favourite umbrella at the airport.