Sunday, January 24, 2010

Obviously long overdue

So obviously this post is long, long overdue and there is a lot that has happened and is happening to post about. Michelle and I are no three weeks in to being in Vancouver. It feels like it has been longer, I guess because a lot has happened, and a lot has not happened to make it seem so long.

103-1338 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6H1J6 (we do accept mail):
We're finally getting settled into our new apartment. Three weeks after shipping our belongings out here they finally arrived and in fairly good order. Only one broken lamp and one broken platter. Otherwise, everything was there and accounted for and everything was in good condition. The biggest hit from the move was that it was more weight then we had expected, and therefore cost more money. I expect that these companies manipulate the weight of your things to increase the price they get. It was a shock to me that a move can almost double in its estimated amount. I guess we definitely learned a lesson from that experience. Nonetheless, everything arrived and is now in our possession and so I'm not going to complain or think about it any longer. 

Job hunt:
When arriving back in Vancouver I had a number of interviews lined up. On with A&W Canada and one with Sauder industries. The A&W interviews went amazing. I really connected with the people at the company and felt it was, or would be a great fit. I had four interviews with A&W and thought they all went great. Finally they asked for my references and I gave them a list of four people in Ontario to contact. This was the last I heard from A&W and it has been almost two weeks with no progress. They have not contacted my references yet and nothing has moved forward. The recruiter tells me that things take a while with A&W so I am trying to be patient and wait, but beleive me it is one of the most difficult things to do, especially when you NEED a job, and as soon as possible. Please pray that I will hear from this company, that they will make progress in the job search and that ultimately I would get this position with them in the purchasing department.  The Sauder interview did not go well, I knew during the interview that I just wasn't connecting to the guy and it wasn't going to be good. I felt this was ok because I just wasn't feeling the connection or fit either. I'm still working about three days a week at Polygon homes which is great. I've been blessed to be working at the head office the last three weeks which is literally right out my front door and around the block. I also have a contract with Acer computers for the Olympics supervising the promotional tents down in the Olympic village. I am super exciting to have this opportunity and can't wait to get down there. Its going to be one big party!!  Michelle is still working at American Eagle in the Pacific Centre mall. She has began to connect with some of the people there and is starting to gain some friendships. It is a cool atmosphere there because most of the employees are travelers from around the world who are working a part time job to have an income while they are in Vancouver. Lots of Aussies, Irish and Japanese who Michelle is really having a good time getting to know. I must admit she still misses the friends (and more like family) from the Cambridge American Eagle. Michelle is going to take a Manager position at the AE in March if I don't find a permanent position by then. Again, please pray that God would give me a great place to work to provide for us and our life here in one of the most expensive cities in Canada.

Car Trouble??!!
In November I drove our VW out across the US in what I thought was a great road trip. When I got to the city I was able to park it for free in Julie and Ben's neighborhood on the road. When I rented our apartment on the west side you have to have a paid permit to park on the street by your house. Therefore I had to get the car insured and registered right away with the BC gov't or ICBC to be more precise. The second day back from arriving back to Vancouver in January I went out and spent the day getting the car insured and licensed. By late morning I had everything completed, including my parking permit and arrived back home to the apartment, parking the car in the ally behind our building. About two hours later I was looking out the window when I noticed our car wasn't where I thought I had parked it. I proceeded to think hard whether I had actually parked it somewhere else. I didn't think I had so I went outside to take a look and try and find the car. I couldn't find it anywhere outside. Many thoughts went through my head, had it been stolen?? Was is towed?? Was I losing my mind???? Well, I found the phone number for the city parking authority and sure enough they had towed my car for parking too close to someone's driveway. Somewhere were I always see people parked, but I guess this was the city's was of initiating newly registered vehicles into the streets of Vancouver. Luckily, the impound lot was only a 20 minute walk from our place and I was able to go pick it up before I had to go get Michelle from work downtown. To make things even more interesting, last Sunday Michelle had to work so I drove her to work and proceeded to Westside church. After the service I was driving home when I drove into an intersection where a previously invisible 4X4 magically appeared and stuck the passenger side of our beloved VW. Fortunately, I, nor the other driver where injured. Unfortunately our cars were, and not by the fault of the other driver. Needless to say that our insurance is now through the roof and I have to pay a deductible to get the car back after repair, all without a job by the way. Oh, and we are car-less for a minimum or two weeks (we predict four). As my Uncle Ben warns, and him and Julie have experienced, Vancouver is a city that initially tries to spit you out. I guess an adventure is nothing without its challenges, right?!

Yes, there are many good things going on with us!! I know it seems like everything is falling apart and I'm sure many people will say that this is proof you shouldn't have made the move to Vancouver. This is the kind of Struggle that I know God brings us out the other side with more character and strength then we can every hope. In times of struggle like these it just reminds me that I have absolutely no control of life and what direction it can take. We may point in a direction (like Vancouver) and go, but you never really know what shape its going to take, or what your are going to experience. It's times like these that strengthens faith in a God that has the power to control our situations and has the power to bring great, wonderful things out of what we as humans might see as dire circumstances. It is times like these that draws us closer to a God whose strength and power is shown through our weakness, because we really cannot do "life" on our own!

We have amazing neighbors, who I hope to become good friends with as we begin to hang out together. Steve and Elissa are so fun and fresh and I can't wait to spend more time with them. We're looking forward to dinner at their place tomorrow evening, I think we're having Thai soup, made with stuff from Granville market! I hear Elsisa is a top notch cook!

We also are getting together with some other westsiders Mike and Carrie. We were supposed to do brunch today when Carrie got sick. Hopefully next Sunday we will get together to hang out. They live down by Kits beach which is so beautiful.

As the Olympics approach we will have a full house (one bedroom apartment)! Of course we hoped to have company soon and our hopes are now reality now that Nicole, Chris and Katie have all booked tickets to come out and stay with us for over a week in February. Michelle and I are so excited to have familiar faces hear, and especially such good friends. We can't wait for the fun we will have with them hanging out and partying during the games. It's going to be GREAT!

We're getting settled, slowly and surely and things will start to come together and stabilize soon. All we can do is work hard, spend less and trust that God will provide, not in the way we want... but in the way he has planned for us. We came here trusting that he would provide and we will continue to maintain that faith. We've had some great times here already and look forward to more adventures, (good or bad) in our future. 

Thanks for reading and we will try and keep the updates more frequent! Love you All. Jordan and Michelle

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Travel Day Three

Day three travel began a bit later than the other two because I left myself more time in the day to drive. The weather forcast was expecting snow in the mountains and heavy rain everywhere else. Breakfast was free at the hotel at 6am so I had a cinnamon raisen bagle and a coffee and got on my way. It was beautiful seeing the sun rise behind the mountains. It really creates at creat pink and purple sky!

I was very careful driving because of the rain and snow forcase, but it never really was an issue until I entered Vancouver (of course). There was a few feet of snow on the mountains already but the roads were fairly dry and cleared so it was a great drive. A few times it rained but it was nothing to slow me down.

I stopped at this lookout in Washington that looked out over a river at the bottom of a canyon. What a great view.  It was a petrified forest and was beautiful to look at.

Hours later I entered Seattle and thats were the traffic started. It took me a while to get through the greater Seattle area. Again the border crossing was no major deal and I floated through. Once on highway 99 to Vancouver the storm hit. Huge thunder and lightning, flooded highway areas and accidents (just to add the the regular Vancouver traffic at 5pm on a Friday evening. It took my about an hour and a half to get to the border to the Smiths house.

What an amazing house they have. They were generous enough to give me my own room which I was able to put all my belongs in and out of the car. We had waffles for breakfast this morning and coffee. I'm so excited to get out and see VANCITY!!!

Travel Day Two

My Day two drive started at 5am and I was on the road in the dark. When the sky was starting to lighten up and everything looked grey a big buck deer ran out in front of me and I had to hit the brakes. Luckily I say it running from a good distance so I was able to prepare the stop well in advance. Lets just say that woke me right up for the rest of the day!

My drive started out quite flat but to my surprise was mainly hilly and quite a beautiful landscape. I thought that because I was directly south of Saskathewan (sp??) that it would be flat flat flat. There was the a national park that had a big canyon and I drove past herds of deer grazing in fields. I found the drive to be quite relaxing.

The day ended around 5:30 pm, after driving the most km...about 1700km in one day. 15 hour drive when you include the time zone change. I was in the middle of Montana nestled in the mountains. What a great place to stay. It felt so comfortable being surrounded by the mountains. I got free wi-fi there so I was able to chat with Michelle and say hi to Carol and Anne which was nice. It was great seeing familar faces. I didn't expect it to be so difficult leaving Cambridge, I knew I would miss it but didn't expect that I would feel sad leaving. I am definately excited about the future here but will most defineately miss the past.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Travel Day One

Wednesday morning I left Cambridge at 4:45am to begin the three day journey our west.

I started driving west to the Sarnia border. At the border I got stuck behind a RV that was stopped in front of me forever. I was getting worried that I definately chose the wrong line to go through. Finally the RV was escorted away by a border officer and I pull up. The lady takes my passport, asks me where I was going and why. I told her I was moving out to Vancouver and she looked through the window and saw all I had stuffed in the car. She then turns to me and says I have to keep you here for one minute. I thought...oh great, now this is going to be a disaster. Then she instantly turned around and said "You're lucky"...I say, What? She said...The RV in front of you was taken for a Random vehicle search, If you were one car ahead you would have been searched! Honestly, I had every square inch of the car packed and if I had to take everything out and try and put it back together it would have been a disaster. The ironic thing was that I almost passed the RV coming up to the border, but decided to stay behind it and be patient.

Once I got into Michigan I started seeing dead deer everywhere. This gave me the idea to begin counting: 13 dead dear on the side of the road, just through Michigan. I drove through Flint Michigan and say a General Motors plant. All that is left is a bus and rail division....It was sad to see after watching Roger and Me, Especially with the automotive industry in the tank and most likely never returning to the glory days of the industrial revolution to the 1990s.

My final destination day one was my hotel at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was a massive mall....It might even be larger than the west Edmonton Mall. When I arrived I noticed something that made me leave the mall almost immediately. The Mall of America was a micocasm of America itself. Pure consumerism. All I really say on my first day drive was store after store, after billboard after billboard. When I got into the mall it was the exact same thing I was looking at for 12 hours as I drove to Minneapolis.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Departure Delay

Due to the unfortunate passing of my uncle Ron this Saturday I have postponed the departure to Vancouver until Wednesday, November 18th. I am staying to attend the funeral on Tuesday the 17th
and spend some extra time with my family before embarking on the long three day drive out west. I was given a great visual the other day about driving up to the mountains and then entering into them the closer I get to the coast. This image makes me so anxious to see the mountains and the ocean again. I can't wait to be engulfed by such beauty and nature. I have always had a passion for the ocean and never dreamed that I would live by it someday (well I dreamed of it but never thought it would become my reality)

I want to remember my Uncle Ron in this posting. He was a loving man with a big heart. Although he was taking through a rough journey on this earth he still had room in his heart to love his family so much. His passion for sports, food and family will define his live in my memories. We will miss you Uncle Ron.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Monday November 16th Jordan starts his roadtrip out to Vancouver. First stop will be Minneapolis, checking out the Mall of America (huge). Second night will be a stop in the mountains of Montata in the city of Billings. The third day I will drive the rest of the way to Vancouver and should arrive early evening. I'll be staying with my Aunt and Uncle Julie and Ben. We have been so thankful for them and all their help and support so far. We are so excited for this adventure to begin. Can't wait to see what God has planned for us in the near future. Check out our blog to keep posted on everything new. I will start posting on the road.

Jordan, Michelle and Pancakes