December 31, 2010 § 3 Comments
2010 was a really monumental year for me, even if I did spend a good part of it in the suburbs of Toronto, waiting for the next stage of my life to begin. Here’s an in-depth recap that I hope you’ll enjoy.
– I made several New Years’ resolutions (and completed them all!)
– I dealt with many frustrations with fielding questions from friends and family about my immigration situation, missed Nick terribly, and slowly adjusted and worked on expanded my patience even further to be able to live in the suburbs with my parents, working as a part time web manager and vowing to go to Toronto every weekend to keep my sanity.
– I got my beginner’s drivers license for the second time and drove a total of three times
– After weaning myself off of working for The Agency Group for 6+ years, I stopped doing their website updates
– Tracked down my lifetime vaccination records from three different areas of Canada I’ve lived in to prepare for my Visa Medical
– Spent a great Valentine’s Day with Nick in Whitby – made a bunch of great food and watched The Hurt Locker
– Watched way more of the Winter Olympics than I expected to and even held a torch in the Eaton Centre!
– Had my Visa Medical in Toronto. It was much less intrusive than I thought it would be and I managed not to faint after having my blood taken by eating a banana right up to the moment I got poked
– Dappled in Chat Roulette with Eli
– Bro’d down with former Smashing Pumpkins’ bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur while she was in town for CMW. Stayed in the same hotel and rode in a cab to the Horseshoe in between her and Nick. Talked about ’90s Canadian rock with her. Definite fan moment.
– Spent a remarkably warm St. Patrick’s Day with my family at my parents’ cottage
– Got fed up with Twitter haters and those ignorant of it and wrote this entry that got my blog more hits than anything else I’ve ever written
– Enjoyed Summer-like weather in Toronto with friends the first weekend of the month
– My camera bag fell off a crappy Union Station bathroom hook and my lens busted. This led me to finally buy that 50mm lens I had been talking about for months
– Went back to New York on the 12th for one last “visit” before my visa was approved. Had a way better time getting over the border without harassment.
– Took a roadtrip with Nick to Pennsylvania to visit his family, a chocolate factory, and saw Foxy Shazam
– Flew back to Canada with Nick, right into Montreal for my May 20 visa interview and NAILED IT
– Went back to Whitby to wait for my visa to come in the mail; finally started to plan our wedding
– I was so happy I got to attend Adam and Dana’s wedding in Toronto at the last minute!
– My visa finally came, a week and a half later than the man who interviewed us told us it would come. I missed seeing Conan O’Brien in New York, but got to go back for good on June 14!
– I took an online photography course from 503 Photography and learned how to use my camera on full manual
– My brother got married! Unfortunately, I missed it because I had to come back to New York, but it was a great day nonetheless
– Was glad I wasn’t in Toronto for the G20, but sad I wasn’t there for my sister while her husband had to work it
– Spent a great 4th of July with Nick at a Yankees VS Blue Jays game, then had rooftop seats to see the fireworks over the Hudson River
– Fell in love with Mad Men
– Couldn’t believe I was finally allowed to marry the love of my life
– GOT MARRIED at New York’s City Hall on July 22!
– Visited San Francisco for our honeymoon
– Had yet another medical exam for immigration purposes – this time it was the Greencard Physical where they determined I do not have tuberculosis. Phew! I was really worried about that. (Not).
– Attended Lollapalooza in Chicago
– Started Want Font with Courtney
– Had my Biometrics taken for my greencard application. Survived the trip through the scariest part of Brooklyn I’ve ever been to to basically have a photo taken and my fingerprints put into a computer.
– Helped set up and promote the Insound Design Store
– Had the best birthday surprise I could have asked for with Nick flying my sister to New York to hang out with me for less than 24 hours!
– Visited Nick’s best friend Rod and his family in Fort Collins, CO. Got altitude sickness in Denver.
– Prepared and gathered many, many documents for my Greencard interview
– Took a four week writing course from Mediabistro. Vowed to write a blog entry a day from then on.
– Had my Greencard interview. Got freaked out I wouldn’t be able to travel in time for Christmas.
– Turns out, I was an easy Greencard case. I received it in the mail two weeks to the date of my interview.
– After being approved for my Greencard, I got my social security number and was immediately hired on a contract for Insound!
– Enjoyed working full time for the first time in a year and a half. Also enjoyed the non-existent commute of a 10 minute walk between my apartment and office. Sweet!
– Pretty much worked my butt off until it was time to go away for Christmas!
all photos by Christina Storch except July’s wedding photo by Jesse Brown
December 30, 2010 § 5 Comments
Nick and I are home after our own version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles! Having to visit both families when they live in different countries is quite a feat, but doable if you are determined.
We set off on our journey last Wednesday. We took the train to Philadelphia where we rented a car to drive to Lancaster to see Nick’s parents. They are no longer together, so that always makes things a little more interesting. After alternating dinners, movies, lunches, and visits, we got up at 5:30 am Saturday morning (aka Christmas morning) to drive back to Philadelphia, return our car, and get on a plane to Toronto.
I was so excited about going home to Canada for the first time in 6 months that the early wake up didn’t bother me at all. I bounced in my car seat all the way to the airport and then on to the plane. Here’s a little secret I’ll let you in on: flying on Christmas day is the best! No one’s traveling, the workers are probably being paid double so they’re in a great mood, and there were only about 10 other people on our plane. Our flight ended up getting in about 25 minutes early, which is pretty early for a flight that only takes an hour to begin with. Hooray for Christmas day flying!
My parents picked us up and greeted us with huge hugs. We were whisked away to Whitby where soon we were surrounded by family. My sister’s family came over, complete with Ryan, Ben, and Jillian, and my brother Ryan and his wife Suzanne were staying there too. We had a Christmas dinner of turkey and pumpkin pie and opened presents together.
Boxing day (December 26 for you Americans) was just as wonderful with visits from my grandparents and Aunt Deb. Lots of food was eaten. Canadian beer was drank (the good kind!). We went to bed early both nights because we were just so relaxed and full and happy.
We all spent Monday at my parents’ cottage on Burnt River. More food was eaten.
Tuesday Nick and I spent the day in Toronto. We indulged on lunch from Fresh, a nice healthy departure from holiday food. That night, dinner with Julia and Jay turned into a surprise dinner with multiple friends at The Atlantic. It was so nice to see those who made it out!
Nick and I spent the night in Toronto. He was supposed to fly home Wednesday afternoon, but because of the massive New York snowstorm, his flight was cancelled and the airline told him he wouldn’t be booked on another until after the new year.
We heard stories of flight cancellations across the board, whether they were flying to or from NY and even worse stories of people who managed to get a flight sitting on the runway for ELEVEN HOURS while they waited for some customs/security precaution. Ridiculous, right? At the last minute, we decided to rent a car to drive home. Sadly, my visit was cut short by two days, but we actually made it home in 9 hours, driving a compact car without a GPS. The border was also very kind to me and didn’t hassle us much besides looking in my suitcase and our trunk. I received a baby book (a little prematurely ;) from my Mom for Christmas and it was sitting on top of everything in my suitcase. I think once the guard saw that, he decided we were just a nice young couple. Thanks, Mom!
All in all, it was a great Christmas and I can’t wait to go back to Canada for my next visit in a few months.
December 21, 2010 § Leave a comment
Today is my last day of work before Nick and I head out on our international family-visiting Christmas tour. Thank goodness! My back is pretty much done lifting boxes of vinyl due to lack of interns and I just can’t wait to set foot on Canadian soil after being away for 6 months. My mom’s been sending me countdown emails for the past 15 days or so, daily (so cute)! I’m also looking forward to spending some time at my parents’ wintery cottage and playing with my niece and nephew. Before that though, we will visit Nick’s family in Pennsylvania and try some wild game burgers and Belgian beers (well, me anyway) at the Half Moon Saloon.
I hope you all have a very wonderful holiday and I’ll be back in the new year to recap 2010 in photos!
photo: Vintage Rose Brocante
December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment
This poster has been floating around the web, hinting at the fact that an Arrested Development movie seems to be on its way (for real this time)! There’s also now an IMDB page listing the cast and stating it will be released in 2012. This is very exciting news for fans who have been either re-watching the three seasons of the show on DVD or trying to fill the void with less funny shows like The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret and Running Wilde.
Funnily enough, I’ve been re-watching the show lately and trying to force it upon my husband. Nick, you had better get caught up by 2012, or you’ll be saying “I’ve made a huge mistake”.
December 20, 2010 § Leave a comment
December 17, 2010 § Leave a comment
This week has been so busy that I broke my post-a-day streak! The job I’m working now has me ensuring everyone gets their online orders by that dreaded Christmastime deadline, so I have been working extra hard. In addition to getting together for holiday drinks with friends, I’ve been trying to keep up going to yoga and the gym so that I may indulge in whatever treats I care to next week!
Until I have the time to sit down and think of something new and original to write, here are some of my weekly favourite posts from around the web:
Did you know 2010 was apparently an important year for cats?
I keep telling everyone around me about John Kestner’s amazing new inventions
These Calendars of Silly Holidays will match any space
I’ll be sure to bring my robot headphone splitter with me on our travels next week, so Nick & I can share iPods!
Paul Smith’s kids’ line is adorably cool
I finally tried Momofuku’s famous Crack Pie last weekend! If you don’t live in New York, you can make your own
December 13, 2010 § Leave a comment
The Ballerina Project is breathtaking creative work that combines dance, fashion, design, and photography against great urban landscapes like New York and Boston. I couldn’t help but look through all of their images as the contrast of these pretty and talented ladies against a rough cityscape is just perfect.