Thursday, May 21, 2009

Finding home

After a crazy trip home, including a marathon sprint through the O'Hare airport in Chicago to make our connection, we're back in Kentucky. Due to a problem with our first flight out of Winnipeg, we got to go through customs and security twice! (oh joys...) Our luggage arrived home significantly after we did. It didn't matter to us at all--we decided that it was far easier to fall into bed after nearly 12 hours of travelling than to stay up unpacking dirty laundry.

In our minds, by the way, this trip home qualified as an adventure because both we and our belongings got home safely. If we'd been stuck overnight someplace, or lost something? That's a travelling disaster, or if not a tragedy, definitely not usually an adventure. I try not to complain about adventures...travelling is always easier with good humor--like anything else, there are unexpected challenges. The customs story will likely be funny after I've rested up and had a couple of good meals and a glass of wine or two. :)

I've wrested the camera back from the professor. In between the real estate photos, I found some interesting things to share.

One night, we went out for sushi at a chain in Winnipeg called "Sushi Train." If you sit at the sushi bar, you get your orders delivered on the flat bed behind this cool train that goes around the restaurant! We're absolutely certain our three year old nephew, a huge fan of trains and sushi, needs to eat here when his family visits us. We can't wait!

After going through over 25 houses, I can guarantee we saw a fair cross section of the historic houses of downtown Winnipeg. We even put in a bid for an enormous and beautiful home...but since it's a seller's market in Winnipeg, our offer was seen as too low and "upsetting" and we said ...oh well. We couldn't afford to pay more, and it was truly bigger than we need. We did manage to take a lot of photos of the house, and here's one that I will likely think on for a long time. The staircases? I'm a sucker for a beautiful staircase--I'm just sayin'.

Alot of upscale houses in Winnipeg on our river front property. Having a river view is a big deal, apparently. Now, Winnipeg is located where two rivers meet, so there's a lot of river to see. Also, if you remember the recent spring floods in North Dakota?...that river, the Red River, flows north. Yes, north...and Winnipeg has Duff's Ditch. This enormous public works program diverts lots of water and keeps the city from flooding during the spring snow melt. Even so, people invest enormous amounts of time and money to cope with river bank erosion to protect their river front property. Here's what the backyard looked like at one house we visited... and apparently, most of the time? The backyard is several yards longer than it was when we visited. Note the tree on the left, still standing but now in the flood plain of the river.

We decided maybe riverfront property wasn't necessary for us.
While looking all over for a place to live, we drove past a house that was on the market last year. I nearly jumped out of my seatbelt--it was for sale again! This house, built in 1912, struck me as as so beautiful that I was ready to buy it a year ago when we tried to decide about this job, but before the Canadian gov't approved the move. The real estate agent tried and tried to get us inside again this year so we could see it one more time. No luck. It is on the market, but apparently not available to be shown to potential buyers. (go figure.) We're still working on that...the professor may be going back to Winnipeg soon to see it again. Here's a shot of the outside.
Inside? Craftsman details, all hard wood, built in bookshelves, a second story study with fireplace, 3 floors with well restored bathrooms, complete with a clawfoot tub...and a corner lot big enough to put in a two car garage and with enough room for dogs to play. (Winnipeg yards are very small.)

I meant to tell you jokes here, and be amusing. Honestly, I'm so tired as to be incapable of spelling in my first language (English) so I'm afraid funny will wait til another time. For now, imagine the professor and me plowing people down as we raced from Concourse C to Terminal 3 in under 20 minutes. Before going on this trip, I'd been afraid I wasn't getting enough exercise. After reviewing these statistics:
25 houses---with 2 or 3 stories...approximately 60 sets of stairs. Every house had a basement. Revise that to 85 sets of stairs, up and down. One day of walking to government offices to do paperwork downtown--about 1.5 miles. One hotel room on the 2nd floor (occasional sets of stairs) and a lightning fast chase through O'Hare airport? Likely enough exercise for this trip. I'm spending a lot of time on the couch with the dogs today.
Oh, and tomorrow? I drive off about two hours to the Tennessee Fiber Festival to teach and do a book talk. It's been nice being home. :)
Good stuff? We're safely home, got lots of bureaucratic details done...and have a line on a house.
Bad stuff? We're theoretically moving in July, and we are still working on the house thing...good things come to those who wait?

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Anonymous Donna Druchunas said...

That race from terminal to terminal is exactly why I don't go through Chicago on international flights any more.

May 21, 2009 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Oh, but we hadn't actually booked through Chicago in the first place! Our original flight (a change through Minneapolis) was delayed, so we were rebooked through O'Hare. It was just one of those things...glad it's over, though!

May 22, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Anonymous AlisonH said...

Welcome home, and I can't wait to see the house you end up with! And yeah, as for the riverfront ones... Near here, a whole block of houses on a cliff overlooking the Pacific got condemned, and just in time during the winter storms a year or two ago. They're now IN the Pacific!

May 22, 2009 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger Nancy said... insides quiver when I see that gorgeous Craftman home. Glad you're home safely.

May 22, 2009 at 5:02 PM  
Blogger Geek Knitter said...

Adventures in travel... at least it wasn't a dull visit!

May 22, 2009 at 9:40 PM  

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