Tag Archives: Travel

Yours is Mine in Montreal

My husband and I just got back to Houston from a family visit in Montreal, Canada. I love that city. From the bilingual element and temperamental weather, to the decidedly young population living among beautiful old buildings. Montreal has a whole lot to offer.

Winter in Montreal

We generally go twice a year to visit my in-laws, staying on average about one to two weeks at a time. In between the good ol’ family bonding, we usually squeeze in an awesome activity here and there. From learning how to snow board at the nearby resort of Mont Tremblant, train rides to Quebec City, and of course plenty of Cirque du Soleil performances: all barely scratching the surface!

This time around, our visit happened to coincide with one of the coldest winter weeks Montreal has seen in a very long time. With temperatures ranging from -30C to -10C (-22F to 14F) we were perfectly happy to spend most nights bundled up at home introducing my in-laws to the power and wonder of instant streaming on Netflix.

With my father-in-law approaching his mid-70s and my mother-in-law suffering from high cholesterol and diabetes, it wasn’t just the cold that kept us inside this time around. We went to stay with them expecting this trip to be a bit more low-key than usual. This time around, it was a vacation for the soul, of rest, and home cooked meals. And sometimes that’s just perfectly fine.

You see, my husband is really one of the good ones, the kind that doesn’t come around too often. He is the kind of son that grew up realizing his parents were his best friends. The kind who finds joy and content in helping them program different gadgets around the house and taking them to doctor appointments. The kind whose heart literally breaks when he has to leave his parents alone in a frosty city.

So if I can play a small part in making our week together more enjoyable, that’s what I’ll do. Because that’s love.

So to my husband: what’s yours is mine. Your joy is mine, your heartbreak is mine.

New Assignment: Shipping Sagas

So instead of going all the way back to our first assignment in Doha, Qatar. I’d like to write about something a bit more recent. A few weeks ago my husband and I received word that we’d be embarking on a new adventure. I use the term adventure quite lightly as I never would have imagined a place like Calgary, Alberta in good ol’ Canada to put up much of an adventure to be honest. But you’ll see how I was proven wrong in posts to come.

One of the many exchanges of the Company (dum dum dummm) moving us to a new place for work-related reasons, is the fact that a professional moving company wraps up and expertly packs away our belongings to ship to our new destination. Sounds great, right? I really would be lost without their services. But before they’re even booked to come to your house, you have to provide the Company and quite literally a series of different “expat advisers” an itemized inventory of all the things you’d like to ship with you. So in case your prized Beauty and the Beast mug from that family trip to Disney World years and years ago gets smashed to pieces, they will pay you back the $4 it is worth (Can anyone sense the irony, please?)

This move was relatively simple in the sense that the US and Canada share the same electrical socket, and also we wouldn’t be shipping any furniture since we knew we’d try to find a fully-furnished apartment to stay in for the 6-month duration of our assignment. Neither my husband or I had ever been to Calgary, so we really weren’t 100% sure what we were getting ourselves into. Not really sure what we’d need either.

Of course I set aside the few winter clothes we’d amassed over the last few years (living in Doha and then Houston doesn’t really prepare you for heavy winters.) Once the clothes were done I literally scourged the house for my necessities. From my yoga mat (which wasn’t as much of a necessity as I thought it would be), to packs of toilet paper I had stocked up on from Costco. Why not right? Hey, I knew we weren’t going to be stuck in no-man’s land, but if I had extra shampoo and laundry detergent laying around, why not make good use of it?

Behold, my all-encompassing inventory (without the estimated values, no judgement needed here.)

Lessons for next time? I forgot my all-important personal accumulation of recipes (oops, takeout it is) and extra toothbrushes would have been nice as well.

When the movers came, I snuck in a few extras having forgot to put them on the holy ‘list’: a pair of dinner plates, mugs, glasses, cutting board… The boring, not-so-glamourous or adventurous side of being a Petroleum-Wife.

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