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Monday, 20 May 2013

Getting Settled - Our First Few Days in Vancouver!

The last few days have been so crazily busy, it's been pretty non stop! But things are beginning to fall into place, and I'm still really excited about living here.

Granville Street, Shaughnessy - where we're staying till June!
We're getting used to the transport systems, the buses here run like clockwork, and the Skytrain is pretty cool, and it all connects up, is really convenient and runs from early in the morning till late at night. Perfect!

Our first day in the city was spent, as I mentioned in Arrival In Vancouver, sleeping away the jet lag and then finding our AirBnB accommodation on Granville Street, in the Shaughnessy district, where we're staying in a shared apartment with 2 other couples, and 2 single guys. It's weirdly quiet, in that we rarely see much of the others, it almost feels like we have the place to ourselves.

Friday was Day 2, and we made it a mission to get some of the important bits sorted out as soon as possible. So we headed out early to our nearest Service Canada and got our SIN's (Social Insurance Numbers) which are required for us to work. Then we wandered to Scotiabank and opened our bank accounts. We inquired about the StartRight program which is specifically for newcomers to the country, and is free for the first year! (You have to pay for banking out here!) Then we headed back to Oakridge, the mall close to where we're staying and we did our food shop for the week, which was interesting!

Our apartment!
We've been looking at places to rent from June 1st, as most places rental start from the beginning of the month, so we booked up 16 nights with AirBnB and have till then to find somewhere. So Day 3 began with a trip to Nanaimo, to view a room in another big shared house. It was a bit of a trek from where we are and took the best part of an hour, and we got there to knock at the door and no-one answered, though neither of us were too bothered as we weren't keen on that area. It was nice, but very suburban and quiet, not quite what we'd really been looking for. After that we decided to go and get our phones sorted. We chose Fido as our provider as we'd heard pretty good things about them, We wanted cheap and cheerful, and think we got a pretty good deal. For $25 a month we get 200 mins and unlimited text, and in a few months we can merge our accounts and be able to call each other for free. We spent that evening perusing the internet again for accommodation and found one we love! Despite the fact the next day was my birthday, we set up a viewing as we were so keen!

Yesterday was my 24th Birthday! We spent the morning chilling out a little, I opened my presents and cards and then we got up and wandered over to Downtown to check out a room. We had a look, then went for a coffee to think and discuss, and I had a birthday Peanut Butter Protein shake for breakie. Delicious! We chatted about the room and both came to the conclusion that we loved it, and went back and paid our deposit! We move in June 1st! The room is a little on the small side, but the location is amazing, it's on the 15th floor and our night time views are going to be stunning, and it seems to tick every requirement we set for ourselves . The building also has a pool, and a small gym, so I'll make full use of those :D

Gastown's Steamclock!
Then we were finally in tourist mode! We took the Skytrain down to the Waterfront, and did our first proper sightseeing! We walked down to Gastown and had a walk round, and then went north, taking in the Olympic Cauldron and Digital Orca sculpture, then further north to Harbour Green Park.
We discovered a really good nutritional shop with protein powders on Robson Street, once we have jobs we're definitely going to look into getting some! From there we went to Zefferreli's Spaghetti Joint, where we had a table booked, and had an amazing Italian meal together, our first meal out in Vancouver! IT was delicious and not as pricey as we'd anticipated!

Overall it's been a hectic few days, but the most rewarding and fulfilling week I have had for a long time. It feels so good to be doing something different and exciting!

Anyway, below are a few pictures we took during our sightseeing wander!

Credit to my boyfriend Ian for the photography!

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