That nasty looking storm did appear, but it brought most of its force to Vancouver Island, where they experienced high winds and heavy rain. Then it hit the coastal mountain range and seemed to dissipate. By 11 AM this morning, the rain stopped, so we took a walk on the False Creek seawall, just like last year.
Everything was gray and quiet, but there were a few other people out doing the same (perhaps taking a breather before a big Christmas dinner — we are keeping things simple with a roast chicken and delicata squash). I was surprised to see a crib-style baby stroller occupied not by someone’s child, but their border collie. I didn’t ask them why.
We’re taking it easy today because I have an important trip coming up tomorrow. I’ve decided that the best way to expedite our getting Landed Immigrant Status is for me to take all of the materials (passports, fees, photographs, other assorted papers) directly to the office that is processing our case. That office happens to be in Buffalo, New York. Most people immigrating here would go to the office in nearby Seattle, but because we moved from Boston, we (in retrospect, without much forethought) chose the East coast’s Canadian Consulate, rather than the west coast’s. Another tip for people considering immigrating to Canada: Choose the office closest to your destination area, not the US point you are leaving.
We could get away with sending our passports and the funds via courier and waiting for their return to us, but since I will be needing my passport soon in early January to attend MacWorld Expo — and frankly, because I’m just not comfortable with sending off these extremely valuable travel documents without accompanying them to their destination — I’ve decided to fly to beautiful downtown Buffalo in the week between Christmas and New Years. Yes, the office I’m visiting is indeed open for business on Wednesday. Tuesday, when I am traveling, it is closed for the Boxing Day Holiday.
So, I leave tomorrow morning, change planes in Chicago, and arrive in Buffalo at about 10 PM EST. Bright and early at 8 AM the next morning, I appear at the Canadian Consulate and present all of our documents. According to their web site, they make every effort to get cases processed the same day, and return all items between 1 and 3 PM. If all goes according to plan, I then fly back at 6 AM EST the next day. My route this time is via Washington, DC, which is an odd way to go, but strangely symbolic, I think. I should arrive in Vancouver at just before noon, and at that time, become a Permanent Resident of Canada. If all goes according to plan.