“I had someone who made every day mean something.  And now …” (Ian Lost)

We entertained my parents and my youngest brother from India who migrated to Canada in the last week of June 1980.

Lynda got everything under control.  The folks who were helping with the packing started on June 28th. and movers arrived the next day around 8:00AM.  They worked diligently and everything was loaded on the truck before 12:30PM on Sunday the 29th.  Lynda had help to clean the whole house as soon as everything was loaded on the truck.  Around 1:00PM we locked the door and went to a hamburger place in Pickering where we had a nice relaxed lunch before we went to the real estate office to give the keys.  We were assured that everything will be done tomorrow morning and money will be deposited in our bank account on Monday the 30th.

We drove to Whitby just outside of Oshawa, Ontario, and got a big room in a nice motel where they had a nice swimming pool, too.  Kids went swimming and we relaxed as we knew that we will start driving early enough in the morning on Tuesday and we had a long way to go.  Tuesday was a federal holiday for Dominion Day and our plan was to stay overnight in Quebec City. 

We knew that Quebec City was founded in 1608 by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Québec City is unlike any other city in North America with its dramatic cliff-top location overlooking the St. Lawrence River, its fortification walls, narrow winding streets and wealth of historic buildings spanning four centuries. Besieged five times in its history, Québec City was finally conquered by the British in 1759. Capital of New France, then capital of British North America, it is, today, the heart of French culture on this continent.  We also knew that year after year, travel magazines continually rank the Québec City Area among the world’s top destinations and we were looking forward to walk around in the city.

We managed to get it going around 6:00AM as we had an idea about the total distance to Quebec City was approximately 800 Km.  We stopped for breakfast around 8:00AM and we were on the road again until 12:00PM when we stopped for lunch. It only took another three hours’ drive to get to Quebec City around 4:00PM.  We checked in a nice hotel right in the middle of the city.  After putting our night bag in our room we went down to the restaurant for a cold drink before we headed out for a walk. 

There were tourists everywhere.  We ended up in Old Québec strolling North America’s oldest streets.  We walked along the fortified walls surrounding this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admire the view from every angle.  For all its 400 years of incredible history, it’s still very much alive: Full of charming little streets and local shops.  We found Old Québec was best visited on foot. 

On our way back we decided to hop aboard the most unique tourism experience of Horse-Drawn transport service in Quebec City.

As soon as we got back, we decided to have supper in the hotel as we wanted to retire early enough so that we can get it going first thing in the morning even though we only had 600 Km to drive the next day.

We managed to get to Fredericton on Tuesday around 3:00PM and checked in a nice motel just outside of the city.  It was the Dominion Day today which was a federal holiday in the country.

We decided to go swimming before we had supper.  Here was the first time when Adam learned how to swim.  I remember I was in the deep corner of the pool when Adam shouted dad, dad look at me I can swim.  He swam all the way to the deep end to demonstrate how good he can swim.  

Lynda called Margret to let them know that we arrived and mentioned to her that I am going to work tomorrow.

The next day I got up early.  Lynda said let’s go down to the restaurant as the kids were still sleeping and have coffee and toast if you aren’t hungry.  I didn’t see any point in rushing to work as I didn’t have keys to my office yet and I was supposed to meet with Garry at his office around 8:30AM.  I asked Lynda if she’s okay as Lynda wasn’t use to moving from town to town and city to city.  She lived in London for 25 years before she decided to migrate to Canada whereas since we knew each other only for almost 8 years and we had already moved four times.  She was very audacious, courageous, and daring to go along with my ideas of chasing opportunities.   

It was a beautiful morning in Fredericton and Garry was waiting for me outside of his office.  He asked me where did I park the car and told him.  He said why don’t you follow me as you will be working from a rented house where you will have plenty parking space on the street.  I followed him and after several turnings, he decided to park and I followed him. 

Here’s the house he said where the Consumer Sales Tax (CST) and Property Tax (PT) projects located for now.  He took me down in the basement where there were four or five people already on their desks.  He introduced me to those folks as a couple of them represented the user community and the other folks were working for the project.  There was a desk in the corner where I was supposed to be “parked”.  It was indeed an interesting setup but Gord had already told me about that.  I met those folks and took my jacket off and hung it up on the back of my chair.  The coffee pot was located not too far from my desk so I said how much do I have to pay for a cup of coffee? Peter the guy who was the project manager said nothing this week but the next week you will have to start contributing. 

Peter had already scheduled a meeting with the rest of the folks to brief me about the background of the project which took almost three hours in a small meeting room when we broke for lunch.  As soon as I got to me desk, Peter said we booked you for a business process modelling course in Toronto for a week the following week.  He said hope its okay with you.  I said it should be alright. 

I just wanted to pick my jacket to walk out to grab a sandwich as I was getting peckish.  I didn’t even put my jacket on Gord walked in our office and said have you got any plans for lunch.  Everybody was looking at Gord and wondering how the number one guy in the department popped in to see this new guy.  I said no plans and it was nice to see you, Gord.

Our Story – Chapter 32