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After a brief stop in Honolulu, (where Donna got to celebrate her birthday for a second time), we landed at Vancouver airport to do our immigration into Canada. This was a fairly straightforward process although the guy at immigration was under the impression that there was some issue with Donna’s visa that would preclude her from working with children… something of a problem when you are a teacher! As it turns out (we later found out after many phone calls!), he was actually mistaken and it was not a problem at all, but he spent so long investigated it that we were running late for our connecting flight to Toronto. We did eventually make it onto the plane in time, but as we tried to go through baggage check-in we got stuck behind a large group of Japanese tourists. I managed talked my way to the front of the queue, where the baggage guy said to just chuck them onto the conveyor and run for the plane.

We did make it onboard though with just enough time for the kids to get a quick look at the cockpit of the aircraft.

We arrived at Lester B Pearson Airport in Toronto at about 4:20pm on Tuesday 17th January – on the same day we left, after a 23 hour flight.

We were picking up our bags from the carousel when we spotted Dave and Heidi for the first time. They ran over and greeted us, it was hugs and handshakes all round and we stood chatting for ages. Great people, so easy to get along with, we felt like we had known them for ages. In fact we spoke to them for so long as we waited for the remaining bags to come off the plane that we didn’t realise that the carousel was now empty and everyone else had gone, but we were still waiting for three more bags. It was a bit disconcerting, but the airline people assured us that it happens all the time (especially when you’re late for a flight like we were), and they would probably be on the next flight. Donna, Heidi and Kate decided to go back home, while Dave, Alex and I waited for the next flight in about 40 minutes. As it turns out, the bags were on it, we got them ok, and we joined the girls back at our new home. The Graces live in a beautiful house in a really lovely area of Oakville, which we are quickly discovering is one of the more upmarket areas in the district. We feel really privileged that we will be able to call it home for a year.

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