Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Journey Begins....Canada Day 1

This was the day that we had waited for. Sometimes it seemed that this day would never come! We were finally going to get Joshua and bring him home from serving a 2 year mission for our church. For 2 years we got to speak to Joshua on Mother's Day and Christmas Day. We could e-mail every week and of course packages and letters went back and forth. Even though I am very happy and proud that Joshua served a mission, it was never-the-less difficult at times for this over-protective Mum!
We were scheduled to fly out of Tampa, Florida on October 10th at 6am. This would mean we had to leave our house at 4am. The night before, Jim set the alarm, we had everything packed, all we had to do was get up, get dressed, load the van and head off down the road. What is that saying about the best laid plans?? The alarm didn't go off. We woke up at 4am, that was the time we were meant to be leaving! We discovered that a family of 4 can get out the door in 15 minutes when the motivation is strong enough even with sloth children in tow! We made it to the airport, settled down to wait for our flight and eventually we taxied down the runway heading towards Halifax, Canada.

Samuel has a fascination with airplanes, buses and trucks. Whenever he hears or sees one he repeats their name, gradually getting louder and more frantic until you finally say, "Yes, it is a airplane!" He doesn't give it up! So, now we are flying from airport to airport and there are airplanes, buses and trucks everywhere! While sitting at the Boston airport waiting to taxi out to the runway, Sam had the window seat. "It's an airplane, it's an airplane, airplane, airplane, amazing, airplane, truck, airplane, it's an airplane!" I had to say airplane along with each of his airplanes. Also had to say, "Yes, it's amazing." Great relief when we were actually in the air!!! All that said, Samuel was very well behaved while flying. Only one melt down at the airport and quite frankly, I was ready to fling myself down next to him! More about that at the very end of our journey however!!
We flew from Tampa to Atlanta, then to Boston and finally to Halifax. The airport is undergoing construction, so we had to walk and walk and walk and walk to get our rental car. We don't have huge amounts of luggage when we travel, but we have enough to make it a major deal to get it from one place to another. The first thing we noticed was the wind and that it was quite "brisk".

We had bought our GPS with us, but for some reason it would not work for the city of Dartmouth. That meant that we didn't know how to get to the mission office to pick-up Joshua. We called the office and got the directions that we needed - so we thought! With a traffic accident backing the highway up and directions that sent us the wrong way, we didn't get to the mission office until about 4:30pm.

Joshua came out to greet us. If I had been more on top of things, I would have a photo of that moment to add here, but I don't, so this picture will have to do. Words can not describe how good it was to hug him and to see him. He looked good to my tired eyes! There was one thing that I wasn't expecting however! Joshua had an accent. I guess I have never spoken to anyone for Nova Scotia before and I didn't realize that they had such a strong accent. All the Canadians I had spoken to before all sounded very American (my apologies if that is upsetting to any Canadians reading!).

We drove to the Mission President's home and retrieved Joshua's luggage. We met President and Sister Jacobsen and visited with them briefly. Then, after a few loops around the neighbourhood courtesy of our out of wack GPS, we headed off to the hotel.

We stayed at the Westin Nova Scotian. It has just been remodelled and apparently, it is supposed to have a view of the water. Maybe if we had headed to the roof......Anyway, we settled in and relaxed for a little while. We had Italian for supper (In Nova Scotia, it is breakfast, dinner, supper). There was a statue of a half naked woman in the corner of the restaurant. Samuel, we don't know why, insisted on calling it Jesus. Joshua introduced us to "Wunderbars" - "Nectar from the Gods and worth its weight in gold". To quote Joshua.

You shall now be awed and amazed with the very first photo we took in Canada. Are you ready for this? You may ask yourself, "Why?" I know I do! Brace yourself. It is a doozy.

And, just in case that wasn't earth shattering enough for you! So ends our first day in Nova Scotia, Canada. A wonderful feeling to look at all the sleeping figures squished into the hotel room and know that our family is together again.



Rebecca said...

WOW!!! Time flies by so fast! Probably not as fast for the mother biting her nails everyday for two years that the whole return with honor thing actually works out! What are his plans now?

Sally-Ann said...

Joshua is planning on working until fall of next year and then he will return to BYU. At the moment he is planning on majoring in food science, then on to law school. He wants to be a patent attorney.
It is hard to adjust to the changes in him. Probably because we weren't around for those changes! He has matured into a wonderful young man. One of the biggest changes is....he helps around the house without being asked!! Woohoo