A funny thing happened on my way home

[Ed. Note: I’ve stripped out a bit of unnecessary bit at the beginning, and it was suggested that I sanitize it for sensitive eyes…]

So last week, I was huddled with my mom back in Oakville, Ontario. No, I didn’t publicize this because — and utterly¬†no offense meant to anyone — I didn’t want to see anyone but my Mom (and by extension, my sister and her family).

The story here isn’t the journey to Oakville, or even the events in Oakville. This is about my trip home to Calgary.

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The trip home

Well, Monkey, we’re home now. I know it doesn’t seem like it to you, because you’ve lived in three different homes since you were born. But this house, the one in Calgary (where we’re currently adjusting to serious sub-zero temperatures and drying out) is a home we hope you’ll come to know and love.

It’s not Costa Rica. It’s not always warm. It’s not filled with the sounds of parakeets, or tropical rainstorms, or filled with Spanish-speaking voices. This is the Great White North. It’s chilly for most of the year, leaves are seen for only five months, and the only monkeys you’ll see are at the zoo. It’s going to be an adjustment for you, and for Mommy and I, too.

It was a long road to get here.

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Taking a pet from Costa Rica

It figures, just when we thought we’d started to have everything figured out, we hit another snag. (There’s always another snag.) This time, it’s with Asia, our cat.

Our problem is not with Canada — all they need is a valid rabies vaccination, which we have. Our problem is not our airline (Continental) — we already have a reservation that allows us to take our cat. Our problem is with Costa Rica.

I’m so not surprised.

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Xmas in NYC, Day 1

Our first family Christmas away from Canada has ended up being colder than we expected it to be a mere couple of months ago. Back then, we were expecting to be in Costa Rica. But due to certain unforeseen circumstances, we’ve had to fly up north for Christmas.

Well, actually, the fact that we flew to New York City is itself a bit of a twist — we hadn’t planned to come here for Christmas until about a month ago. Until then, we were working on someplace a lot warmer. In the act of researching flights, I happened to throw out New York City mostly as a joke. I mean, we’ve been living in a tropical country for six months. Why on Earth would we fly five hours north to free our asses off? ¬†

Funny, how humour sometimes becomes reality…

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How to bring a pet into Costa Rica: Simplified

Okay, so a while back I was having kittens (pun intended) about bringing Asia into Costa Rica. Mostly because I simply could not seem to get a straight answer from anyone about the proper process. It was driving me batty.

So, to anyone bringing in their (small) dog or cat (this might also work for rabbits, but don’t expect success with gerbils or hamsters or any form of rodent; and it’s a one-way trip for all birds, you can’t take them out again) into Costa Rica, allow me to present the (current) process. It’s really easy.
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Enroute with the cat

Well, we’re on our way. I was up until almost midnight last night packing. Was originally thinking three bags, but went down to two. Which is good, because apparently I’d have been denied the third bag. As it stands, the backpack was overweight by three lousy pounds, so I got stuck with an extra bag fee and an overweight fee.

Where the heck did all these fees come from? It even costs me $100 to get the cat on the plane. Three and a half hours later, I’m in Houston, with a cat in a bag. Tried letting her out at the “Pet Relief Area” over in Terminal B, but all she wanted to do was hide in the tropical plants. I’m not even sure if she relieved herself at all.

Lunch was at Ruby’s, while Asia watched people go by. She’s been exceedingly good, and hasn’t had one freak-out as a result of all this. Whether or not she’s still in one piece when we get to our hotel in Costa Rica is another question.

Back in Costa Rica

Years ago, I used to think business travel was glamourous. You got to go to far-flung places, see different things, and engage in activities you just don’t do at home. Then I started going on business trips. I learned fast that the enjoyment is only so deep.

Worst experience was [[Live from Cincinnati|Cincinnati in 2000]]. Second, and only because I was utterly exhausted by the end (the trip itself was very helpful) was [[Je suis en Paris!|Paris in 2006]]. (As I learned, when you travel to Europe, you end up with 18-20 hour days, because you’re trying to stay sync’d with the home office.)

But today hasn’t exactly been a slice, either. And just because I’m currently in Costa Rica doesn’t mean I’m sitting on a beach.

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We have a travel-safe baby

I’ve had the luxury of travelling many places of the last few years. Of those times, I’ve been on more than a few planes that were exhibit to babies that did not travel well. And by not travelling well, I mean they cried.

A lot. Loudly. Ear-piercingly.

My biggest fear is that we would have one of those children. Loud. Ear-piercingly. So instead of casting disapproving glances at others, we would be the recipients of such withering glances as to kill off entire forests.

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Aloha from Hawaii

Yeah, I know — why am I on a computer if I’m on vacation?

Relax, I have good reason. Our house is now effectively sold, and for whatever reason we’ve been unable to fax properly from Hawaii back to Calgary. Very odd, indeed. However, when you need to communicate with your realtor and faxes don’t work, you resort to whatever “official” form of communication they suggest. In this case, email.

Hence the computer. But given the trouble we’ve had, I’m sticking out for a few minutes to make sure it went through.

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