A to B in 4500km

Apparently it is May.

In the last month, Matthew and I have: completed our Master of Divinity degrees, finished up my work with CMHA, said goodbye to family and friends in London and surrounding cities, packed up our house and overseen it being loaded onto a moving truck, and packed up the corolla and driven through six states and five provinces with ourselves and a cat.

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After 4500km, we are in Victoria!

13091910_10101404984637131_5467908939173001290_nIt is a bit surreal. A month ago, we were both finishing up our last week of classes and looking at spending the next couple of weeks writing papers. It is hard to believe that three years (2.5 for Matthew) are over and done already. In so many ways, it feels like just yesterday that I was packing up everything in Victoria to move to London. And now it is all in boxes again…

The boxes remain on the moving truck and we are eagerly awaiting their arrival sometime in the next week or so. Meanwhile, we drove ourselves across the country, stopping in Minneapolis, Brandon, Lethbridge, and Sorrento before heading over to the Island.

For Matthew, most of the drive was new. For me, the entire route south of the Great Lakes was a new adventure and the cross prairie trek was a lovely reminder of the beauty of our country, as it hasĀ been 20 years since my family made our first major move from Belleville to Lethbridge.Attachment-1 IMG_7009 IMG_7011We crossed Manitoba and Saskatchewan in nearly one day, flying along the prairie Trans-Canada highway. Matthew marvelled at the flat flat flat of the land, attempting to see the horizon at every turn (who am I kidding: there were no turns in the road) but continuing to remark instead: “Nope, it’s still very flat!”

I drove from Swift Current to Lethbridge. Once we turned onto Highway 3 from the Trans-Canada, it was remarkable how familiar things began to look. I learned to drive in Lethbridge and it showed. I was still able to navigate the city quite well, taking Matthew by my old home, down to the Oldman River Valley to see the famous high level bridge, and around by my old high school.

bridgeThen it was off north through more prairie to foothills, through Calgary to the mountains. We could see the mountains from Lethbridge, but it never ceases to amaze me how one can drive all day and not seem to get any closer. Three hours from Lethbridge, however we finally entered the Rockies.IMG_7017

Their majestic peaks were still topped by snow and there were some valleys thick with snow alongside rushing streams as we wound through the mountain passes. Then we were out, into the Interior.

We stopped the night in Sorrento, BC, about an hour outside of Kamloops. The Anglican Church has a retreat centre there and a good friend works there full time. The last time I was at Sorrento was exactly three years ago, when I attended “ACPO” – the Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination and was recommended for theological training in advance of pursuing ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada. Talk about full-circle. It is a beautiful haven on the Shushwap Lakes with amazing programming all summer long.Attachment-1 (1)

From Sorrento we drove down the Coquihalla, through Vancouver (waving at Dad and Colleen as we travelled the new South Fraser Perimeter Road to the ferry terminal. After a one-sailing wait, it was onto the Spirit of Vancouver Island and over to Victoria.

We are blessed to have wonderful friends and colleagues in Victoria with whom we are staying while we wait to be able to get into our new suite. It has been an adventure and we are looking forward to what comes next!

Turkey: A Sneak Preview

Silence here the last few weeks has been because I was travelling in Turkey. We got back earlier this week and I’ve gotten as far as uploading my zillions of photos to my computer…but no further.

Until I get a little more organized, here are a couple peeks into the gorgeousness that was our trip there. (These are from the NEW! real camera, other pics from my phone can be found on instagram.)

Click on one photo to enlarge to a slideshow.

Friday Photo

Photos of fog are difficult to capture. They seem to look better in black and white.

I haven’t said much about my trip to St John’s 2 weekends ago. Here is the St John’s bit…

It was the spring meeting of PWRDF youth council, the council for which I am BC/Yukon representative. Since it is a 14+ hour trip to get from this Island on the left coast to that Island on the right coast (and Oh did I ever complain about this a whole heap on twitter!), I went two days early to spend some time in St John’s before the meeting. I was last in St John’s when I was 11 years old and I couldn’t tell you if much has changed. I have some specific memories of St John’s: Signal Hill, Cape Spear, fog, and rain. I was able to experience them all again this trip.

We walked up Signal Hill on my first afternoon in St John’s, and proceeded to be nearly blown off of the top (unzipping my jacket and trying to fly may have helped). We were unable to see much of anything. There were many cannons up on the top of the Hill and I’m not sure how the cannon operators could have ever seen their targets for all the fog. The lady operating the gift shop inside of Cabot Tower was fairly surprised that we had walked up the hill. Really, it wasn’t too far, but it was very foggy. From the top, it was as if we were in a cloud with no view of the city whatsoever.

I was booked into a hostel right downtown, in the middle of a street of colourful houses, with the other BC/Yukon rep. We befriended another in the 4-bed room and the three of us wandered around, exclaiming at colourful houses, going into shops, and finally stopping for fish and chips and beer at one of the local hot-spots for fish and chips.

The next day saw us needing to head out to the conference site mid-afternoon. Oh what to do for a morning in St John’s? With Signal Hill down and an iceberg seen (but others, not me… but it was out of our reach for that day), what to do but steal/borrow a van and drive the very hill and foggy half-hour drive to Cape Spear.

Cape Spear. The Most! Easterly! Point! in Canada. (L: The rocks and waves and crashing waves at the Most! Easterly! Point! M: Me contemplating the rocks and waves and crashing waves in the fog at the Most! Easterly! Point! while Tessa takes pictures. R: DANGER!)

The conversation went something like this:

Gillian: If my Dad were here, he would say something like “You’re not really at the most easterly point unless you are touching the water off the end of those rocks.” Mind you, it would mean jumping the fence and climbing down slippery rocks in the fog. Oh look, a Danger sign!

Tessa: Remember that we are the only vehicle in the parking lot right now and you have the keys and we have no cell reception. Maybe don’t go. It would be a long walk and I don’t want to get stuck here.

Gillian: Its okay, that’s just what my Dad would say. I never actually listen.

The End.

Friday Photo

I upgraded my phone a few weeks ago and boy has it been fun to be able to do things with it again. It really is a personal computer that fits in my pocket. These are all the same photo, edited on my phone… A gloomy day looks a whole lot happier when it becomes a rainbow!