It took us almost 5 years and probably 50 kg of paperwork but we were finally granted Permanent Residence in Canada. It has been a long journey and it was far from being fun. We were even close to give up for good but we finally made it through. We are finally allowed to life and work where we want without the hassle of renewing our work visas every year.
After all the headaches we went through I can only suggest to everyone to apply in their home country and then come to Canada after you have the papers. We met people that had theirs in 18 months – immigration from within Canada is inefficient and drawn out. But I would do it again if I had to.
The only question left now is: where next? Australia, New Zealand maybe even the U.S. I feel a certain unrest building up.
After getting up in the morning and packing our gear back into the van we headed out to Bryce Canyon. What can I say – we took hundreds of pictures of spires, bluffs and rocks, all very pretty but I will bore you with them later on just go and have a look yourself, it’s worth it.
The trip up the I15 to Salt Lake City was uneventful as it can be. Once we arrived we had a look at Temple Square and went for a Wiener Schnitzel. Other than this being the cleanest North American city I have ever seen, there’s not much else to report
It was a welcomed change after all the noise and lights (and cigarette smoke – its hard to get used to it again) of Sin City. We drove into Utah, exited I15 to cross into Zion NP and were blown away. Maybe because it was our first time here but the canyons and mountains were just beautiful.
We stopped in Bryce Canyon for camping
Wow, the town has changed since my last visit. Tons of new casinos like the Venetian, Paris Paris, Mandalay Bay and, most impressive, the City Center complex. I was stunned by the modern architecture that is so distinctive against the backdrop of all the “themed experiences”. Refreshing.
And then the town didn’t change at all. Behind the expensive canales, Eiffel Towers and glass fronts it’s still the gambling own it has been. Disneyland for adults – or soon-to-be-adults. The closer we got to the weekend, the more college kids were stumbling drunk along the strip. Oh the envy
Anyway, I guess we infected our kids. Marc especially wanted to go gambling, I had a hard time holding him back. So I promised we take them back as soon as they hit 21 (inside gambling joke)
After lounging around the pool in Phoenix we needed to do something again. So we headed out to the Grand Canyon. We took the route via Sedona and Flagstaff and it was a s fascinating as 15 years ago.
Sedona itself was a bit cheesy, like all other tourist villages I guess. But the landscape was breathtaking. Deep red cliffs and canyons – it’s worth the little detour on the way to the Grand Canyon.
Grand Canyon itself was majestic as always. But at this time of the year way too many tourists (mostly from Europe it seems). We had thunderstorms coming in so we decided to just drive along the rim instead of taking a tour down to the bottom of Grand Canyon – too bad, this was something I always wanted to do. Maybe in another 15 years then….
We initially planned to visit San Diego first but after checking the hotel prices we had to decide to skip San Diego completely and leave for Phoenix.
So we drove 6 hours in searing heat along Interstate 10. The only interesting thing on it was the sand storm that hit us just before we arrived in Phoenix.
Here we found a very nice hotel with swimming pools, outside BBQ and everything you can think of. So we decided to make this our official half time break and let the kids enjoy swimming while we doze off in the sun.
We really like this place and are thinking of coming back in the winter time because we enjoy it more than sitting on a beach.
Our break will soon be over and then we’re heading out to Grand Canyon; even the kids are excited to see it.
We were finally able to connect with a relative who immigrated to L.A. over 20 years ago. I visited her the first time I came over and we had a great time then and she was one of the reasons I always wanted to live in North America. Now it was time to introduce Evi to our family. We had a great day just hanging out in her beautiful backyard talking while the kids played with the pets. I’m still fascinated that she has real orange and lemon trees growing there.
Thanks Eva for the great time, will will visit again!
We promised this the kids – they wanted action not cuddly Disney stuff, so we decided to take them to the scariest rides in the area. And there were some really crazy ones. Jacqueline gave up after the first couple ones and I was able to hang on to the end, even if I felt sick to the bone. Too bad that it was scorching hot (43 degrees) and that everyone decided to go to the park at this day . We had to stand in line for hours for some of the better rides. My favourite (still): the riddler, where you ride standing up. I think the kids liked X2 the best, where you spin around while riding the coaster.
All in all a fun day but I couldn’t do two in a row…
Marc got sick last time we took the Pacific Highway with all its beautiful twists and turns so we decided to make it quick and painless. We took interstate 5 down to Santa Clarita which is a very uninteresting drive in itself. 700 km of desert and plantations. It’s almost unbelievable that irrigation allows them to grow a third of the US produce in this dry and arid area.
I am home. This is my city! I’m still fascinated by the bay, the steep hills and all the cafes and restaurants. And I hope the kids understand my fascination now as well. They really liked it.
I for myself, I think I will have to come back here at least once a year if I can’t live here. My plan is to have a personal weekend in San Francisco. We will post some pictures later