Thursday, June 20, 2013

From Panama to Canada

Sun setting over the Caribbean on our return flight from Panama. 

I can't believe it's been four months since I've posted anything. No, we are not still sailing in Panama! We are, in fact, settled down for a few months while Erik works on a contract job and we get some positive cash flow going to finance the next adventure. I'm hoping to get back to blogging a bit more regularly, but for now, here's a little update on what's been happening the last few months. 

    We had a few really fun adventures during our last few weeks in Panama, and I will try to post some pictures soon. One of the highlights was a Jungleland adventure that included an overnight stay on Lake Gatun, exploring the Panama Canal, spotting wild monkeys, kayaking in the jungle, and hunting crocodiles by night.

    We flew back to the US on February 21st, and had a very short week in Eugene, unloading the contents of our storage unit into a trailer, visiting friends and family, and getting ready to head north. Last fall, in the aftermath of Hurricane (Megastorm?) Sandy, Erik had put in a call to a company that does contract work in his field. They basically offered him work when he was available, so we decided to take a job that would have us in the Northwest for a few months this spring.

    He is working right on a US/Canada border crossing, so we are living in Canada while he works. It's been nice to be settled here, and we've enjoyed exploring a new place. I grew up in Canada, and all the kids have dual citizenship, so I'm glad they're getting to experience Canada. We're in the process of figuring out our next step, and hope to have plans to share soon. Here are some pictures that show a few highlights of our time so far.

On our way North, we spent a day in Seattle and explored the Pacific Science Center.
The kids in front of the Space Needle.
One of the things I love about where we are is seeing the mountains around us. I was born in the mountains, and there is something about them that stirs my soul. This is Mount Baker, which I climbed many years ago. I dream about backpacking as a family someday.
We arrived here at the beginning of March, at the request of the company Erik is working for. We ended up having nearly three weeks before he started work, so we took the ferry over to Vancouver Island for a week. I love riding ferries. It reminds me of my childhood. The job was originally supposed to be done by the end of May, but it's dragging out a good couple of months beyond that. It's a good thing we're in flexible mode!
We enjoyed exploring Victoria and got to spend time with my niece, Savanna. It was fun for all of us and the kids enjoyed getting to know their cousin, whom we hadn't seen in years.
We stayed in hotels and vacation rentals while trying to find a house to rent. It ended up being quite an ordeal, and a very stressful first month here. People were either looking for a long term lease or didn't want to rent to someone with kids. After a couple weeks we found this place, which seemed ideal. We were so relieved and thankful. It turned nightmarish less than a week after we moved in, when the owner decided she wanted to live in it again. We then learned she was not to be trusted, and neighbors told us she'd been taken away screaming in handcuffs on more than one occasion. We moved out of this house, not having found another one, and ended up staying in vacation rentals for another week while we looked for better place to live. 
Poppy turned eight the day before we had to leave the house. 
And Raphael had his fifth birthday just a few days later. Yes, his shirt is inside out and backwards. That's the way he likes it.
We were so thankful to find a place to rent, and it's turned out to be wonderful. It's an older house, and the owners are planning to tear it down, divide the lot, and rebuild. The landlords have been so very kind to us, and we feel very blessed. It has way more space than we need and a huge yard where the kids have had lots of fun. When the weather is cold or rainy, they ride their scooters in the basement! The house was built to maximize sun exposure and has huge windows. Erik hung our Mayan hammock in this sunny room. We've all enjoyed being settled for a while. I'm loving the luxury of a full kitchen and a big bathtub. Cleaning a huge house? Not so much. It's been nice to be back into a routine with school and life, and it's made us realize we need to take travel very slowly. 
My handsome boy served up a Mother's Day feast! 
And the Pearlie Girlie turned three! 
We've had lots of real life learning over the last year, and this has been a nice time to do more "book learning", as well as some of  fun little projects and experiments.
Poppy's taken an interest in sewing, and made this little felt heart which she is very proud of. 
We joined millions of people worldwide to March Against Monsanto. Safe, reliable food sources are something I feel pretty passionate about and we had a fun day protesting together.
This is a little lake up near Whistler, where we went hiking one day. This is such a beautiful area.
Erik celebrated his birthday, with lots of love and homemade ice cream.
We're enjoying being near the Pacific Ocean.
This is just a short walk from our home. 


  1. I've missed you!! I was really, really loving your "travel diary" and I would check on your blog for a few weeks, just to see if I had missed anything...

    Glad to see you're back, for a bit.

    I'm loving your travels so much! Thanks for posting, and thanks for coming back and checking in!!

    1. Thank, Leanne! I've missed being around, but life has been busy and that's a good thing, right?


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