Arrival in Canada!

Landing on Canadian soil again was indeed refreshing. Especially after such a cramped coach ride on our super discount cheap tickets. Marc (a friend formerly from Fort Smith) met us at the airport with a big smile. After hugs all around we crammed our luggage into his car and proceeded to his house where Wendy had several huge homemade pizza’s waiting. Luckily, Marc works at the airport and merely went to the arrivals area with a good book after work to wait for us.

Before getting out of the secured customs area we went through the usual rigamarole (but for the last time EVER on this trip!) The agent we lined up at was an older guy who seemed friendly enough but was obviously tired after a long day. He clearly didn’t understand the significance of our four broad smiles and our barely containable excitement at being “home” again and getting our passports stamped in Canada! We politely and briefly explained the significance of our arrival and he gave us a tired yet very sincere “Welcome Home!”. The vacation charter airline we rode on was Condor Airlines. It had a handful of Canadians on board but most were German tourists landing in Halifax with plans to tour around the Maritimes a bit. Whatever they were doing, it seemed an impressive amount of Germans to be visiting the East coast.

After meeting up with Marc we trundled along quite a ways with our bags in tow to get to the public parking lot. The Halifax International Airport was under fairly extensive renovations, outside and inside. The most disappointing part was the severe lack of transportation options to get into the city. Not only was there no subway or train station out here (understandable considering that the city doesn’t even HAVE a subway or public train system) but there weren’t even public busses that ran out on any sort of schedule. There is only one lone guy that operates an extended van but his fees would be more than a $60 taxi ride for the four of us! With these pitiful options available, Marc was gracious enough to wait around for us after work instead. There was a little concern about fitting all our bags and bodies inside his little Suzuki AVERO (????), but with several months of experience under our belts we managed that too. Wendy greeted us all with huge hugs and lots of home made pizza, a great recept6ion on both counts. Marc’s mom was visiting from Fort Smith as well and filled us in on all the latest news from home.

After getting cozy and sorting out dirty laundry ect, we had the most wonderful time relaxing for the next week. We had bought a car through a broker in Montreal who got us exactly what we were looking for, (a Ford Freestyle) and for an excellent price. While we had tried to pre-arrange everything from Europe to have it waiting in Halifax for us, the brokers cronies messed everything up and we received the car about two weeks later than expected. We arranged with my Mom to mail our old car license plate, and had the motor vehicles in Yellowknife send us a new sticker. Shortly after buying the car we arranged from Europe to get full insurance and e-mail us the pink slip. All we needed was the actual vehicle… When we did finally get it we were all pretty happy (finally) but still made a list of deficiencies that needed warranty repairs. The Ford dealership down the street from Marc & Wendy’s house was swamped so we made an appointment to bring it in after spending a few days popping up to Newfoundland and back.

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