Monday, February 28, 2011


Last monday i flew to montreal
I knew things were going to be good when i opened the door into my bed at the hotel (just kidding... about the knowing things were going to be good part)
We got a good deal on this hotel because of Luke's AMA membership... and it was right beside this:

 and this....

which i am sure Luke knew and did on purpose to make me feel at home, or at least like i was in edgemont.
in all seriousness - it was kind of weird to get to montreal and suddenly not understand anything that was being said or was on signs.  Luckily the guy at the 747 bus place at the airport (who actually didn't speak any english) looked at my map and told me to get off at stop 7 - and it was "not far, not far".  That made me a little nervous, but the bus stop ended up being RIGHT outside the hotel lobby. 

like the hotel, the bus was also cheap.

i wandered down to where the u.s. consulate was, and then went to back to my hotel where i watched the only english channels i had (which there were 3 of) and went to bed - in my winter coat, because the heat didn't seem to be working.

the next morning i woke up bright and early.  and i got ready for my interview - here i am all ready:

 i walked to the US consulate once more and found myself in a huge line to go through security - my first wait of 3 that day.  after all the waiting, fingerprinting, paper dropping off and what not i finally had my interview. 

all my anxiety was for nothing. it was the fastest interview of my life, and probably easiest - i think maybe 3 or 4 minutes. and it was ended with the interviewer saying "welcome to the united states of america"

so there you have it - i have my green card. in a record 4 and a half months (at least for those of us applying in canada). most of the people there had applied AT LEAST a year ago. looks like we were certainly blessed.

but... it was only 10am. and my flight didn't leave til 8pm.  so i decided to wander downtown montreal

 i have never been to Europe - but it felt like what Europe might feel like to me

between the french and the chinese i decided to have a familiar lunch

i found out that i wasn't too far from the "underground city" - so that is where i headed.  it had TONS of shopping

 i then boarded the bus back to the airport around 4:30

got there around 5:30

and waited some more

i was sure happy to get back home (to english) and my husband  - with no more immigration worries

Thursday, February 10, 2011

taking care of things - or not taking care of them

this one time i couldn't find my camera. I figured it was at my mom and dad's house somewhere, safe and sound. 
then to my dismay one day i got out of Luke's car and found my camera... neatly tucked underneath the car i drive, right beside the tire.  I somehow managed to drive over it who knows how many times, and because of the weather the case and the camera were soaked through with water.
It was actually pretty sad for me... Since then my cell phone and my computer have also not been working.  it's all kind of sad.  you know what they say - things always happen in 3's.

Luckily i have a husband that lets me use his camera, cell phone and computer when i need it.

Anyways... my birthday was great
candi made me this cookie bouquet

my mom cooked me a great dinner

luke got me a great cook book

i also got a moleskin notebook from my dad - how he knew that i love those, and note books in general i'll never know.

i was spoiled and the best thing i think i got was a letter from US immigration - i could book my appointment!!!!  and so i went on the website and surprisingly there was one day available in February , and the next date was April.  So i took the February date in hopes that everything would work out with my medical in time.  

It did... i flew to vancouver this week

I was fortunate to have my dad book a business trip for the same days i needed to be there - which meant he could pick me up from the airport, i could stay at his hotel with him, and he would have a rental car.  

we went out for all you can eat sushi - and i ate all i could eat. It was really good. And kind of fun to just hang out with my dad for a night.

the jell-o for dessert reminded me of grandma takahashi.

The next morning i headed to my 6:30am physical. 
It was a long morning of waiting, tests, waiting, doctor's and then more waiting. 

Luckily our hotel was across the street and i could go back there and wait for the results to be ready at 1:30.

Before i left for home again, Dad took me to Stanley Park to check out something from my heritage.

The canadian japanese monument.

My great grandpa's name is on it 

it was pretty cool to see.

Also cool to see - these little raccoons.

So... up next is a trip to montreal for an interview and then all of this immigration will be behind us. And hopefully better luck with cameras, computers and cell phones is in my future as well.

I do feel lucky i got my appointment so quickly - i talked to a guy that has his appointment the same day as i do, and he applied March of last year - it's taken almost a year for him, and about 5 months for me. Talk about answers to prayers!