For more than six years we lived in our lovely apartment in the family housing on UBC Campus. We fell in love with the place the moment we passed through the doors. We quickly made it ours and felt right at home. But we always knew the day would come when we would have to move out. Last week this day indeed came.
We had a few very busy weeks in Vancouver, starting with Gili’s graduation and visitors staying with us on and off for over a month. It was lots of fun and smartly we started selling our furniture early. Also the end date of my job at UBC was getting closer, so I had a lot going on there to.
We also tried to ski as much as possible as we knew that later this winter there isn’t going to be any skiing for us. We even managed to get two days of skiing on Mt. Baker just a few days before moving out. It was very important for me to ski at Baker this season, after I was injured there last year. It was a fantastic two days of skiing and something fun to do before the hardest part of the move. I managed to ski eight days in a month, not bad for this short ski season.
On Thursday evening we got back from Baker, the last time we we would return back from a trip to our safe refuge. On Friday morning I took the pictures off the walls and the apartment no longer felt as ours. Then in one hour we managed to sell all the rest of our furniture and the apartment started to look much emptier.
We even managed to go to Critical Mass that Friday, although only seven people showed up and it was the smallest Critical Mass we’ve been to. It was also a cold and rainy day which didn’t help, but it was still nice to be out.
On Saturday I mostly packed while Gili made several trips to the storage and other errands. On Sunday we finished packing and again Gili drove to the storage while I started cleaning. UBC Housing gives out a very detailed description of what needed to be cleaned, the list was quite long and the time was limited. We no longer had our own place, but our friends Beck and Hugues were in Australia and kindly let us stay at their cute town house.
Monday December 31 was the big day – by noon we had to return all of our keys. We said our fairwell to 806-2725 Melfa Rd. and to the Acadia High-rise. It served us well for this period of our lives. Then I collapsed at Beck and Hugues’ but somehow Gili kept on going. It was New Year’s Eve and we were too tired to do anything. We tried to watch the movie Tintin, we managed to stay awake to welcome 2013, but by 12:30 we were both fast asleep. When Gili said we survived another year I said we survived today, and we both promised to try not to make it a New Year’s tradition.
On the afternoon of the first of January there is however a tradition that I rather like. It is the Polar Bear Swim Club, in which everyone runs together into the ocean to welcome the new year. I’ve done it twice before in New York, but during two pretty mild winters. This tradition seemed rather big in Vancouver, and we decided to do it despite the cold day.
If you think we’re crazy for doing it we were definitely not the only crazy people. English Bay was packed with people, some of them dressed up. So when 2:30pm came we ran into the cold Pacific Ocean taking a plunge for the new year. It was cold, especially on the toes, but not as bad as I thought. The outside temperature was no more than 4 degrees, pretty chilly for a swim. At least I knew that my next swim was going to be warmer. After we grabbed a bite to eat we cycled up the hill back “home”.
The next two days were again crazy busy with preparations for the trip. We stayed downtown with Asaf which was very nice. It is always amazing how much there is left to do at the last minute, even though we were quite organized. On Friday morning everything was ready. After a last stop at the storage Hugues dropped us off at the airport and we were ready to begin our five month adventure of cycle touring in Central America, but not before we collapsed on the plane to catch some sleep…