Sander, Daniëlle & EmilyOur Family life...

Our Family life...

Canadian cold and snowshoeing…

After we opened the door from our Condo when we came back from our to short winter break in California we found a letter that the thermal unit (the whole door) would be replaced on that same day. After we watched up on some sleep the technicians came in the afternoon, within only minutes the whole unit was gone…outside it was about -14 degrees celsius and snowing and that made a 45 degree difference within 24 hours for us…

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You can imagine we felt really cold while waiting for the technicians to be finished in about an hour. After the unit was placed back we turned up the heating and soon it the temperature was back to normal again.

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On Thursday evening a colleague from Germany visited us, thanks for bringing the Whiskey! We decided early that day to go together to Jupiter Ascending, a movie, at the SilverCity across the street. The movie started but there was something wrong with the 3D image quality. After one of the other guests informed the staff is was resolved. The movie was good and when we left the theatre one of the employees handed out courtesy tickets for another movie because of the issue in the beginning. I love the service mentality here in Canada, you don’t even have to complain to get it…

And than it was time for a long weekend, we started early on Saturday with a visited to the Yorkdale Shopping centre. We went there to order a chair, we already looked at this chair for a long time but wanted to look for more options at other stores but nothing came close to this one…it’s in stock in the new jersey warehouse and we can pick it up in the local warehouse at the beginning of March and then our living room is finished!

Finished? Wasn’t there an Ottoman which still needed to be picked up? Yes there was and we did that today. The Ottoman is the perfect size, it’s much more convenient than the carton box we used the first months but…the it’s not the quality we would expect. One of the hinges is bend and the fabric is damaged. We send an e-mail with our remarks and within minutes after sending the mail we got a response back from John, our own furniture associate at the Crate & Barrel. A new one will be ordered for us to be built the same way and in the mean-time we can keep this one and use it as if it is ours. Again excellent service.

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That evening Danielle baked her famous Chocolate Chip cookies to bring the day after on a real Canadian adventure. Yes, I wanted to do something only die-hard Canadians would do… I planned to search for a geocache on a small island on Buckhorn Lake about 1:45 hours driving from our place. What’s so Canadian about geocaching you might think, the temperature. On this particular day the highest temperature was expected to be -20 degrees celsius with a windchill temperature somewhere close to -40 degrees celsius. And to get to the cache I needed to walk over the frozen snow-covered Buckhorn lake. Lucky for me the Geocache was placed by GEOmamma the mother of one of my coworkers and we were invited to visit their beautiful (and warm) cottage.

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The ride towards Ennismore was beautiful on its own and after a cup of tea and some cookies it was time to put on the snowshoes and walk over the lake. And I can tell you it was really cold, I never expected that you can actually feel the difference between -10, -20 or even -40 degrees but now I can tell you really cold starts at -30 or something. I felt things I’ve never felt before. After only minutes out there my face started to hurt, my coworkers laughed it away and told me to get used to it, it’s normal for real Canadians…oh boy I’ve got a long way to go before I can call myself a real Canadian I think…

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After posing for pictures in the middle of the lake and snowshoeing to Ground Zero it took me longer as usual to find the cache! It was made to blend in and normally I like the more creative geocaches but today I didn’t my hands started to hurt since my gloves aren’t suitable for Canadian winter weather…but I found it and I got some letters in the log, the pen gave up after being a couple of seconds out of my pockets.

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After warming up at a warm spot behind the island we started our walk back to the shore and the warm cottage. Although it was colder as I thought it was a really cool experience in every meaning of the word cool. I’m glad I did went out with this kind of weather to feel what a Canadian winter is about and in the end I was able to write my name down in the log of that geocache with difficulty level 4 and terrain level 5. After a warm lunch and a lot of small talk it was soon close to 4:pm and time to head home. Thanks for letting me experience this David and family!

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The monday was part of the long weekend as it was Family day, a statutory holiday which exists in Ontario since 2007, first time it took place was in 2008. We took it easy since we’ve quite busy week ahead of us but we decided to go see American Sniper in the VIP Movie Theatre at the Shops in Don Mills. It’s a great movie and with those full recliner seats and service in the theatre it got even better.

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Condo improvements…

And it didn’t look as good as we hoped. The place looked really empty after our beautiful Christmas tree was gone…

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Needless to say we went shopping in furniture stores on this clouded Saturday morning to look for possible solutions for this gap in our living room. We had some ideas but we wanted to see them for real instead of online pictures. We are in general in-store shoppers instead of online shoppers except for electronics and media. After we checked out the first the Restoration Hardware Outlet Store in the Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills, we saw some nice things but nothing for that empty spot so we left soon while it started to snow a little bit.

On the way towards the outlets we had checked out Pier1 and Urban Barn before it started to snow for real. We decided to have a warm lunch instead of a dinner and went to Montana’s Cookhouse. It’s a nice restaurant with a lot of theming inside and a nice and cozy fireplace. Danielle had a dish with chicken, mushroom sauce and rice but I tried something new… It’s called the Chicken Waffle Club Sandwich it’s described in the following way: “Between two flame-grilled Belgian sugar waffles, we sandwich our southern fried chicken breast with maple sriracha, lettuce, tomato, mayo and 2 strips of double-smoked bacon, and serve it with your choice of fries. Why waffles? Because bread needs a lunch break too. I can tell you the first half was delicious, but the second half was just too much. I didn’t finish my plate and wasn’t hungry for the rest of the day…
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Danielle drove back home to practice her snow-driving skills by driving through this snowstorm and it went well, although there was some slow-traffic we were back home in 30 minutes (3 minutes delay).

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On sunday the weather was beautiful and we still hadn’t found the perfect solution for our living room so we decided towards Lawrence and Avenue to visit the Royal Lighting store, on the way their we walked into my boss which is quite funny in a city of over 2.6 million people about 4km from your place. After we came back Danielle did her magic in the kitchen as more nights during the first workweek of 2015.

During the week the temperature dropped towards -19 degrees Celsius and I can tell you that ain’t fun, especially not when it feels like -27 due to the windchill. And off course I needed to get gas on the coldest evening of the week. Lucky for me the gas price gave me a warm feeling and I had fun paying with only 0.919$/liter (0.66 EUR). Later that week prices dropped another 2 cents.

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Friday evening we went to dinner at the Against the Grain Tavern about 4 km from our place, we both had a delicious burger and I even had a German Style Weizen. The first one since we left Germany and from a new brewery and it tasted great.

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During the week we came to the conclusion that a planter would be the perfect solution for the empty space and I found something nice near Mississauga, the Lechuza Store. It is a German brand with a very unique solution which means you only need to water your plants once every 12 weeks, I believe that’s perfect for us since we never had a plant in our house before.

Saturday morning early we first picked up the still missing nightstand lamp from Crate & Barrel, we checked out the Tommy Hilfiger store since they are starting to get the nicer European Collection in the store for this season (previously they only had the Outlet & Macy’s collection). And after a coffee stop at the Starbucks we drove to the Lechuza store.

After looking around at this combined Playmobil and Lechuza Store. Yes they sell both and maybe a fun fact is, all the Lechuza products are produced in Zirndorf, a town in Franconia about 30 minutes away from our former home. We found the perfect planter, the Rondo 40 and it was on sale. But the planter only wasn’t everything we needed a plant 2 which we found at the Home Depot in Brampton.

Close to that Home Depot we found a Applebee’s, which we didn’t knew that it existed in Canada. You can guess our lunch was covered. Afterwards we drove back home. Here we installed the new stuff, I tested out or I had green fingers. Doesn’t it look professional in the kitchen?

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And then we started on the next project, a new storage solution for our more than 900 DVDs. Due to multiple messed up deliveries from Amazon we couldn’t start this project earlier (our first time ordering was in November) and now after the 5th shipment we finally got a part of the correct items.

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Still waiting for one other and then I’m ordering the rest to finish this project, hopefully it’s finished next weekend because that would mean that everything is unpacked.  But now it’s time for a movie…and it’s hard to pick one if you just had 900 going through your hands…

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Shopping and cleaning…

In our last blog post we told you about getting the keys to our condo on friday evening. Well on Saturday it was time to do some serious shopping and start cleaning our condo.

After we woke up and got our Starbucks we drove to the nearest Best Buy because we needed a new TV. Best Buy you can compare to MediaMarkt in Europe. Sander off course already did his homework and knew which TV he wanted, but the service at this Best Buy was so bad, that we left the store after 30 minutes to drive to Future Shop. The service here was great and Shaq got us everything we needed and Sander could also negotiate about the price. We left the store with a 55″ Sony TV and a TV stand to put the TV on. On Monday Sander can pick up the Sonos Playbar we also bought, unfortunately this item was not in stock this weekend.

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With the TV and the TV stand in our car we drove to our condo at Yonge and Eglinton. Together we brought the TV up to our condo and then left to do some more shopping at Metro. Metro is a store like Walmart where you can buy everything you need and this store is open 24/7. I already made a list of thing we needed but it still was quite challenging to find all the cleaning stuff, because off course everything is different and has different names. But at the end we found everything we needed and we could start cleaning the condo.

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While I was starting to clean the kitchen Sander started to unpack the TV and install the TV stand. They always say “time flies when you’re having fun”, but the time was really flying, although cleaning is not my biggest hobby. But in a new condo with a view like we have, it is not too bad.

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On our way back to the hotel we went to Walmart and bought al lot of other stuff we did not find at the Metro for the next day. We had a late night dinner at the hotel and soon after that we went to sleep.

On Sunday, after we had a FaceTime call with our little nephew Jop, we drove directly to our condo to continue the cleaning. I even got to do my first load of laundry today. Furthermore there is not much interesting to tell about cleaning, because that is practically all we did today.

Tomorrow for Sander is a new work-week starting and I am going to continue organizing our condo. I’ll keep you posted!!!

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