Dan and I made the drive from the ferry terminal to Dan's hometown of Courtenay. We took the new Island highway until we were about 20 minutes away and then Dan wanted to go down the Old Island Highway to enter Courtenay through the town. I remember the first time that I came here; I had heard so much about the small town of Courtenay prior to arriving that I was sure that I knew exactly what it looked like before I got there. I was surprised to get there and find it a much bigger place than I had been picturing - Dan had been describing the Courtenay of his childhood rather than the town that it had grown into today. This time there were no such surprises as parts of the town had become familiar. I was happy for Dan as we drove through the town; nothing beats the comfort of coming home. We headed up to his dad's place where I know Dan always loves being - you instantly feel transported to the "outdoors" when you get there. We had already been talking about having a fire there; having lived in the city for the last 5 years there haven't been many opportunities for outdoor fires and there's nothing quite like it. We ended up going back into town to get some sausages and buns to cook on the fire - gourmet campfire dinner, yum.
Saturday, March 31
This was the big day. Time to head to our future home, time to finally see the apartment that we picked over the internet. There was an excited energy in the car as we were looking forward to this realisation of what this whole trip had been about. Despite all that anticipation thee drive actually went relatively quickly, so quickly in fact that we actually arrived an hour before the walk-through of the condo. So, we did what anyone who knows about Red Fish Blue Fish would do and went for lunch. For those who haven't had the pleasure of experience RFBF, it's a seafood (obviously) restaurant run out of a shipping container conveniently located right on the dock. For my foodie friends, you would have seen it on Top Chef Canada since one of the chef's was on this season. The food is phenomenal, nothing too fancy just fresh, amazing seafood either wrapped in a tacone or deep-fried into the ever amazing fish and chips. We ordered far too much than we could ever possibly consume in one sitting but it just had to be done, we were at RFBF!
We walked, completely stuffed and with frozen hands, back to the car to head up to our apartment. It was pouring rain, just as it should be I suppose. I received warning after warning about all the rain and I am sure I haven't even come close to seeing the worst of it but I will take rain for my moisture-deprived skin over the winter dessert any day (at least for the time being). We arrived at the building which looked just like the images on Google Earth that I looked at about fifty times before we ever got here. We did the walk through of our apartment which was almost annoyingly thorough - I just wanted to explore it all on my own without having someone walk ahead of me pointing out every little flaw. Turns out the owner of our condo seems to think himself a bit handier than he actually is as a few things have holes cut out of them for power sources that aren't actually there and other things are super glued into place... like the wall... who super glues things to the wall? All the little flaws aside, the place was just as it was pictured and even better since the pictures fail to show the walk-in master closest and the half bath with in suite laundry. Once the agent from the property management company left we re-explored the place on our own. We ran out to the car in the rain and started bringing in the few belongings that we had deemed essential to last us the 5 days until our belongings finally arrived. This included: a television, the cable box, the PS3, one suitcase of clothes, 2 plates, 2 bowls, 1 pot, 1 pan, a knife, cutlery, and about 7 bottles of wine... The wine was not actually deemed that essential but they were given to us as parting gifts so they just wound up in the car, I like the sounds of requiring 7 bottles of wine to travel though.
Once the rain had finally stopped we decided to explore the area around our building. It took just a 30 second walk to get to the water, the ocean. Amazing. I have never lived near the water, but I like the way that it feels. We manoeuvred down some rocks and I bent over and put my fingers into the ocean. Are you sick of me saying the ocean? I'm not. We walked along a path by the ocean that went into a park. It was pretty muddy so we couldn't really wander off into the trees a bit more but I would like to one day when it's not raining. We passed by some hooligans (which seems to run rampant in our neighbourhood) sitting on a bench and they sang something at us as we went by. A few feet up there was a fresh bag from the liquor store, I determined that by using my detective abilities, so I am assuming that they were drunk. We also passed by two people with their dogs - we noted throughout our time in Vancouver and since our arrival in Victoria that everyone out here as a dog. Luckily it seems that my allergies are not as intensified when there is actually moisture in the air instead of just dander. There was nothing much else adventurous that occurred that day, we hung out inside of our empty condo - camping in a condo as I liked to call it, we slept on the air mattress that I had insisted on bringing and Dan said he wouldn't be able to sleep on.
Sunday, April 1
We woke up on the semi-deflated air mattress in the middle of our new living room with the sun shining in because the curtains that came in the living room were so sheer that they were almost non-existent. You could watch people walking through the parking lot which was a bit alarming especially since we are on the ground floor. So day 2 in our new place began with going to find new curtains to give us a better sense of privacy. I don't know if you have ever gone shopping for blinds for a patio door but it's a pretty aggravating process. Perhaps it was just aggravating because we didn't actually measure the size of the patio doors. We went first to Zellers, where we pulled a few curtains out of their packaging to try and get an idea for how big they were... sure they all have the measurements on them but I am self-proclaimed as the worst at spatial reasoning. Dan is constantly making fun of me for my inability to understand sizes and distances; he'll ask me how big an inch is and I'll hold my fingers about 5 inches apart... Not my strong suit. I wasn't a fan of anything at Zellers, but I did learn why I pick everything for the house because Dan would have settled on the first set that he thought would have fit the space regardless of colour or design. So we headed over to Winner's instead. Of all the Winner's I have ever been in, in the middle of cities this one out in this kind of rural area was the busiest one I had ever been in. I can't even remember if there was a single curtain in the place, I just remembered being amazed at how busy it was. Home Outfitters was next and proved to have the best selection of curtains, we found a set that we (I) liked and headed home only to discover that the curtains were too small. We crammed them back into the package and headed back to resume our search. Finally, we found a pair that were actually very close in colour to the first and much larger - too large in fact, as the bunch up onto the floor because apparently if you have a window that wide it must be significantly taller... does no one else put curtains on their patio doors? Baffled, we settled for it, at least they could be hemmed eventually. That big task out of the way for the day, we were trying to figure out what to do for dinner.
We went to a sushi place downtown called Ebizo - it came highly recommended from my Victoria insider Allie. It lived up to all the expectations from the recommendation and the reviews that we read on the internet. The place was so busy on Sunday that when we initially got there we were told that there were no tables, however we convinced the waiter we could be in and out of there in a very short amount of time - we are not slow diners. I have really been looking forward to some West coast sushi and I was quite delighted with my first taste of it. Shockingly, I really loved the spicy salmon rolls. Despite my best efforts I have really struggled to enjoy salmon, but it turns out that in the raw is what makes salmon work for me.
We had a prank-free April 1st. Instead we got a little more accustomed to our surroundings and I was anxiously awaiting the opportunity to go out and apply for jobs the next day - I hadn't worked in over a week which is an anomaly for me and I was going a little stir crazy in my mind.