Since my last post 184 days ago (OK, 12 days ago), I’ve been doing a variety of things such as hosting my parents, visiting with friends and itemizing every last do-dad I brought with me to the Great White Nort.
That’s right: itemizing. Every. Last. Thing.
First things first, we had houseguests. Mom and Dad came to say hi and tried out our converted guest room/office. Our pull-out sofa (thanks, IKEA) may appear small, but it’s mighty, and my longer-than-average parents found it to be satisfactory. Although, since I didn’t leave comment cards for them to fill out, I can’t be sure. No doubt they would’ve written in “Smells smoky” thanks to my ability to almost catch flowers on fire.
One highlight of their trip was our excursion via GO train into Toronto. We caught the 8:30 train and zipped into Union Station. We then walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked and walked. Up Bay Street. Over on Queen Street East. Up University Avenue. Down University Avenue. Over on College Street. Down McCaul Street. Over some more on Queen Street West. Down John Street. Over on Front Street West. To the CN Tower. To the “top of the world.” To Simcoe Place for some Lebanese food. To St. Lawrence Market. In the return direction on Front Street. And back to Union Station for some Dairy Queen and a seat. And then to the platform for the 14:43 return train.
I think I almost walked my parents’ kneecaps into the ground. But, I consider it a success that only two individuals stopped to ask if they could point us in a particular direction.
No thanks! We’re tourists! We have maps!
We had a good time. And, I think my parents did, too. We also had a chance (not on the same day) to visit with my in-laws, take in a Blue Jays game, do some shopping along Bloor Street and walk along Lake Ontario’s waterfront. We also sampled every coffee shop from here to Toronto.
It turns out I drink a lot more coffee these days then when I lived at home, or so my dad noted.
During the middle of my parents’ visit, I found out my passport was ready for pick-up in Detroit. I had sent it off to fulfill one of the last steps in completing all requirements for permanent residency. So, the day after my parents left, I made a run for the border to pick up a pile of documents. I was told I could “land” in Canada anytime before July 21 or else my immigration visa would be revoked, and I’d have to start the process all over again.
No worries. I plan to land soon. Because I certainly do NOT want to restart the process.
Anyway, I would like to take a moment and note that if you plan to visit Canada, do not ever take the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel when you return stateside. Ever. Never ever. You will want to poke your eyeballs out while waiting. Poke. Poke. Poke.
After 55 minutes underground, I continued on to Ohio for an evening of tacos and friends and Dietsch’s ice cream and deep conversation. The fun couldn’t last forever though, and I was back on the road the next day. After some quality time with Anna and Little Man Heath and a 4-minute connection with my parents, of course.
Now I’m planning my official landing (the date the Canada Border Services Agency recognizes me and activates my permanent resident status) and itemizing everything I brought with me because, yes, the Canada Border Services Agency wants to know exactly what I’ve brought into the country. Perhaps I’ll itemize my socks and underwear, just for fun.
So, I’m now THAT MUCH CLOSER to being a permanent resident, which is exciting considering it was exactly 9 months ago yesterday that I mailed off my application. Nine months and counting.
Good thing I’m good at counting.