(please note that we made 2 posts today ; this one and the one below)
As mentionned in our previous post, we arrived on January 22nd in the late afternoon.
At the airport in Cayman, our preparation paid off. It went really smoothly importing the animals. We will definately write emails to all the vets & Inspections Canada people who helped us with the formalities. Once cleared customs, we immediately made our way to our hotel, the Sunshine Suites ; a nice hotel with bedroom, livingroom, bathroom & kitchenette.
On the 23rd, we already had two homes to visit. We revisited the house in Mahogany Estates (see a post we did on Dec 27th for the pictures. Its house No.1) and a second house that was new on the market. Both had good potential. The owner of house No.1 did not seem very negociable on their price (too expensive), so the chances of renting it were slim. The new house on the market was a good size, but further from my work place & needed quite a few repairs.
Also on that day, we had to buy a new cage for Bijou. His old cage (see previous post) was too big to take in the luggage and was old anyway, so we abandonned it at our last hotel.
On the 24th, we looked at the local papers from the last two weeks that a buddy at work (Thanks Rory) had kept for us. In the papers, there were many private listings ; we called about 10 different owners to enquire about the properties, get the adresses and take a drive to see what they looked like. We visited one nice property (The Green house. Pics are further) in Savannah estates. 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, an office space, a double garage & in a nice area. Good potential.
On the 24th I also started to work; I got my new office, phone number & laptop. I missed not having a computer since our desktop is still in the container. 🙂
On the 25th, we revisited the Green house in Savannah for the second time & started discussions with the owner, a very nice lady. We made an offer to rent it for one year and asked for an answer by the 26th (friday) at noon.
On the 26th, we have a deal! 🙂 We are really happy with our deal. The house is a very good size & in a great area. Its 10 minutes walk to the grocery store & other stores, a 15 minute drive for me to work, has a really nice kitchen and large rooms, a fenced yard for Aipa and a big garage for me. The driveway is in a U shape and there are palm trees in front of the house. We have no neighbors behind us ; its a meadow.
Today, the 27th, we got our house. We went today twice to do some minor cleaning, bring part of our stuff. I went to CUC, the power company to get registered as a client, got our highspeed internet setup and scheduled our container from Canada to be delivered to our driveway monday morning. Meanwhile, Julie was at the house while the plumber was doing two minor repairs we had asked for in our contract.
Here are some pics of our new house for the next few years.
The kitchen with a gas stove & stainless appliances.
Other side of the kitchen with a fridge with integrated ice maker & water dispenser.
The front door & entrance. You can see that the house is all ceramics, this is pretty much standard in Cayman. Only the master bedroom is wood.
The dining room
The family room. We brought our TV cabinet and it will go here. The owner was nice enough to accept to remove some of the furniture we did not want.
This is my office/second living room. Some of the furniture here will be removed. My desk is still in the container.
The master bedroom. Good thing we brought our own bedding 🙂 Again, some of the furniture here will soon be removed.
The garage. The door almost looks “fortified”.
The grocery store, “Fosters” 10 minutes walk away (yes, we timed ourselves)
We felt it was worth going back in time and make a post about our drive to Miami from Montreal. Seriously, we really enjoyed it, even though the 1st day was quite complicated.
We left Brossard around 7am on the 18th and headed to the Lacolle border crossing into NY State. My dad was driving us that morning & my mom came with him for final goodbye’s and to pick up her car. She had lent us her Civic for 2 weeks since our Car was sold. We felt like teenagers borrowing our parents car. 🙂 Thanks so much Mom. On the road : 1st stop : US Fish & Wildlife department. He needed to give us a form for our bird. It was a rubberstamping ; he did not even ask to see the bird! Doh. Now, we had to go BACK to Canada since the US Vet who had to inspect the bird was not at Lacolle, but in Highgate Springs Vermont. They would not let us travel via the USA ; we had to go back to Canada and then to Vermont. Once at Highgate Springs, we waited a good 45 mins to see the vet. Then it was our turn. It took at least 30-35 mins to get the paper work. During this time, our 40 grams Lovebird was holding up 4 big trucks filled with Cattle. We thought it was funny ; the drivers of the trucks were not really amused that a Peach faced Lovebird was holding them up.
Once customs cleared, back to Interstate 87 in NY State. My dad (thanks SOOOO much PA; we really appreciated it) drove us to Albany where we had reserved a rental minivan. It was way cheaper to rent from Albany than to rent in Montreal. We were really pleased with the Minivan we got ; it was a Saturn Relay (same as Pontiac Montana) with all the bells & whistels such as leather seats, DVD, dual climate, heated seats, etc. We also took the optional GPS unit. GREAT Move. We did not look at a map the whole time. I highly recommend this option if you ever do a long drive.
The 1st night we slept about 45 minutes outside NY City. The second day we passed all the major cities ; NY, Baltimore, Philly & Washington. The second night we slept in Virginia, just before the state of N. Carolina. The 3rd day was really easy sailing ; the Carolina’s & Georgia. Nice highway & light traffic. We slept in southern Georgia, 10 minutes from Florida. The last day we basically had to get to Miami and cross the wholeof Florida ; our hotel was right next to the airport. Total KM : 2371km + the 300 or so KM from Montreal to Albany. The next afternoon (the 22nd), we flew to Grand Cayman on Cayman Airways. It was only a 55 minute flight.
Bijou was in the plane with us. Birds are really meant to fly… he seamed as confortable as he is inside our house. Aipa had taken 2 sleeping pills, she was not asleep but a litte bit drowsy. Anyway, she didn’t break the cage and was fine when she came out of the carrousel. It was funny to see her come out with the other luggage.
Our last family supper at Brossard with Julie’s parents & sister. Note that we are all at the kitchen island ; there were no more tables in the house. Julie’s parents took care of many things in the house once we were gone and spent at least 2 days on site cleaning the house, calling Hydro-Quebec, etc. MANY thanks to Julie’s parents for all their help.
Here are some pictures of our road trip.
Aipa comfortably seated in her leather captains chair.
Bijou also ; with the seatbelt. 🙂
Julie in front of one of the hotels. With all our luggage & pets, we always asked for a room at ground level and with easy access. We would park right in front of our door.
The Garmin GPS unit. Amazing! “In 200 yards, turn right”
The Saturn Relay Minivan. We had flawless performance and it was a big part of why our roadtrip was enjoyable and comfortable.
Everyone made it to the island. We are currently at the hotel but actively looking for a house. The drive to Miami was actually great fun. We will post pictures very soon. Please dont hesitate to give me news about what is happening to you. Just click on the “my email” link on the right.
I will post pictures & more details when I have more time. I just started my new job this morning.
We are leaving very early thrusday (the 18th) for Grand Cayman. We will arrive the 22nd. Until then, my desktop computer is on the atlantic and my sister will get her laptop back, so dont expect any updates until the 23rd-24th. We will be taking pictures on the way to Miami & I look forward to giving you news about what happens to us down there. Please feel free to send me emails (see the link on the right hand side of the window) & leave comments.
Today we are going to the Notary to finalize the sale of our house. Both Julie & I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, we are excited about going to live in the tropics, the job opportunity & to live new adventures. But on the other hand we had a great 6 years in this house & have some fantastic memories. This was after all our first house. So, 3 more nights in Brossard and we are out of here. I will post updates often.
This morning we received the import permits for both our pets. Its amazing ; tons of phone calls, tests, vet visits, agriculture canada visits, etc all for two pages of paper. Well, at least we have them and can make our way to Cayman now with both our beloved animals (yes, we are freaks) 🙂