Mina and I are sitting in Starbucks enjoying free wifi. Since the sun came out now that grandma went home, we thought it would be good to get out. Yesterday we went to Campbell park and Mina watched the kids playing with great intrest.

Our stuff arrived this week leaving the apartment a mess. You don’t realist how much stuff you have till it has to be packed and unpacked. Thing are slowly returning to the new normal though.

That’s it for now. Too hard to write with a squirrmy baby on my lap.


Life has been very busy in the last month. The Gehiere family has moved to California – though their household goods have not yet arrived. Although this site has not been updated I have been keeping a blog and photo albums about my California trip at http://www.barbaraburkard.com.


A portion of a movie Gary took of Mina and Mommy playing in the mirror above her change table in the apartment. I think we will need to get a big mirror for above her change table in her new room.

Avalon Campbell

Somehow Gary and I end up near trains. Our first apartment together was on Weber street in Kitchener near the VIA Rail station. When we moved into our house on Talbot Street we found ourselves a block away from a rail bridge running over Belmot Ave. Now we have our apartment here in California and it is on Railway Avenue in Campbell, named for the light rail line that runs beside it.

We will be moving into Avalon Campbell an apartment community near downtown Cambpell. The light rail station, walking paths and parks as well as downtown are with in walking distance. The light rail runs from Campbell to San Jose where I can transfer to CalTrain to San Fransico. Gary will have a aprox. 10 minute commute and I won’t need a car.

We have started looking at cars, right now it is looking like we will get a Ford Escape Hybrid. Though we won’t be able to do anything till Gary’s Social Security Number comes in.

We have had 2 of the 3 days alotted  with Destination Relocation. The first day David took Mina and I out to see apartments. It was fantastic! He only showed me apartments he thought would work as well as showing me around the area they where in. Where the parks moms go to are and where shopping is, how far away downtown is, all that good stuff you can’t tell from looking on-line alone (and not knowing the area). Thanks to him, I now know that we will be moving close to the Winchester Mystery House!

The second day Sashi took Gary to the Social Security Office and helped him through that process then showed us where the DMV is, helped him get a cashiers check for our deposit on the apartment and get his American bank account set up then took us to Avalon to sign the lease.  It is much easier to get these things done when you are with someone who seems to know somebody everywhere you go.

After I return to California Sashi would like to show me where all the fabric shops are for our third day. David and Sashi are married and also live in Campbell. They are excited that we decided to move there too, we already have offered to babysit.

Today is pack and clean (and maybe get some pictures) day as tomorrow morning we fly back to Canada!

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This is a movie Gary made of a tour of our apartment just after we arrived.

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Yesterday, after a good nights sleep, we ventured out to do a big shopping run. Fist up was house wares at Target. The apartment has the basics but there are still things we needed. (White sheets + Pink hair = Pink sheets same goes for white towels.)

After dropping off our loot we headed off to San Fransico to exchange our rental car. We opted for a larger vehicle, Kia Sorento, only to find it was too big to easily  park in our car port. Now we have a Nissan Rogue which still has the extra room we wanted but isn’t quite so big. Since we where almost there, we visited San Fransico.

San Fransico is a beautiful city but very different from anything I have ever experienced. The houses are everywhere and densely packed. The hills are steep, cars parked on them seem to be defying gravity. We stopped at Fluevog‘s so Gary could join me in my love of their shoes. We then had lunch at The Red Victorian Peace Cafe. We even got to meet Sami the founder.

On the way home we made some stops in Sunnyvale including Safeway, our first grocery store. Mina was quite tired of being in her car seat by the time we got home.

Looking forward to spending the day in today, maybe just exploring the grounds with the sling.

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We’re in California at our temporary accommodations, a furnished apartment just 1.5miles from Apple.

Grandma Barb dropped us off at Pearson Int’l Airport Terminal 1 at ~5:00AM today. We got our boarding passes and navigated the baggage check by ~6:00AM. Trina handled the baggage check really well, but it wasn’t easy to pass all out luggage, the carrier and stroller through the x-ray machine while holding Mina too. Thankfully everyone loves a baby so no one gave us dirty looks for moving slowly.

By ~6:30 we had gotten through the passport and visa process, and learned somethings about how to cross the border in the future, and also gotten a light breakfast.

Our plane boarded and left on-time at ~7:00AM on 5 hour 40 minute direct flight to San Francisco. Mina slept for most of the flight but as we began our 2 hour descent she woke up and cried because the change in air pressure was hurting her ears.

We arrived at SFO at ~10:00AM local time, got out bags and took the AirTrain to the car rental building.

We took our time getting to Cupertino because our check-in time here was not until 3:00PM.

By 12:00 noon local time we had not eaten for almost nine hours and used my iPhone’s “Yelp!” app to find somewhere to eat – we ended up just down the street from my new work place, at a tiny restaurant named Pebble’s Deli Cafe. Good sandwiches with kind of a asian flair.

And we’re already meeting people! Thanks to Mina, of course. At Pebble’s we met another couple with 2 little ones of their own and got directions to the nearest Whole Foods and some info on a local mom’s group. In the current style email addresses were exchanged.

Mina has just gotten to sleep after a bit of a fuss. She’s done so well today but ended up hungry and over-tired. It’s tough being a little person!

We’re going to bed very shortly too…

Want to see what $60 of groceries at Whole Foods and Target looks like? Check out the first image below. Other images illustrate our bare-bones but comfortable temp. accommodations minus the spare bedroom and 2nd bath. The man-made creek bed is right outside our kitchen/living room.

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The Bilmore

This is Gary’s last week at home. We fly on Saturday.

Apple travel has booked our flights early on December 12th, out of Pearson flying direct to San Francisco. We will land at approximately 9:50 AM (Pacific Time). Mina will have her own seat so we can bring the car-seat on the plane meaning we wont need to rent one when we get there. We will likely check her stroller. We almost flew out of Ottawa by accident but luckily the mistake was caught quickly and fixed. (It would have had 1 stop over on top of a very long commute to the airport.)

(We’re having a relative house-sit and take care of our cat Sebastian, so don’t worry about him. – Gary)

We will return Christmas Eve, flying out of San Francisco at 7:15 AM (Pacific Time) and landing at Pearson at 3:00 PM. Gary will return to California on the 27th and I will stay here to finish packing.

We also have our first month of accommodation confirmed. We will be staying in an apartment rather then a hotel; in fact one of the properties we were looking at for January, The Biltmore. We will be staying in the Clarion, but we are interested in the Drake or Crowne.

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Gary’s visa has been approved.

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Sleepover at Grandma’s

Mina is sleeping over at Grandma’s house tonight. Her mom and dad wanted some quality time together and I wanted a baby all to myself. It’s been going reasonably good. She was quite happy for the first hour or so, had a bottle and fell asleep; but when she woke up and Mommy wasn’t around she had about an hour of fussing and crying. It took another hour between nine and ten o’clock to really settle down, but I think she has truly fallen asleep now.
I’m not too worried about my sleep during the night — I never sleep through a night myself. I am hoping that, if she cries, it won’t disturb my neighbours.



Monday morning

We had a reasonably good night. I changed and fed Mina at 3:00 and 6:00, but otherwise she was in bed till 8:00 a.m. And this morning I had a beautiful smiley baby!

Good morning, world!

Good morning, world!

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