It seems like ages ago when I was first planning this trip, yet between then and now I've completed only a fraction of the things I had hoped to. I'm currently in Paris awaiting a connecting flight to Venice... I'll be in Venice for two days and then from there I'll head to Ljubljana for Rok and Tamara's wedding!! :)
Two weeks ago I'd never even sat on a motorbike. As of yesterday, I officially have my class 6 license! This means I can now legally ride a motorcycle without any restrictions (besides those pesky road laws).
Leslie and I were in a time crunch as I'm leaving the country next week, and wedding season is starting for her. Most motorcycle schools are closed from the middle of October through the middle of February and since I was only in Vancouver this time around from the middle of October through the middle or March, this made things a bit tricky :). We ended up finding a great school which I'll blog about in a later post. They started courses on the 7th of Feb and had an option for a 7-day course which we took advantage of.
The reason Les and I decided to get our motorcycle license comes back to a (I think) half-joking half-serious comment about riding up the coast of Vietnam (á la Top Gear). Leslie has spent a couple of years in Asia before, but I've only spent a few weeks there, and the idea of traveling around Vietnam by motorcycle was just too awesome to pass up! We initially talked about doing it at the end of this March but it seemed a bit too intense to go so quickly (since at the time neither of us had any motorcycle experience), and we were both a bit broke.
We're going to aim for March 2012 now. In the meantime though, I plan to buy a bike in South Africa (probably something like a 250cc) and just use it to ride around Cape Town while we're there. Sam has a little mini, so we can easily fit it into the same parking stall.
I loved riding the bike WAY more than I'd expected to so I'm super glad I got it together and did the training and the exams before heading out of the country again. I'm really looking forward to some future motorcycle trips around various parts of the world :-).
One thing for anyone else in BC who thinks they may want to get their license... try and do it this year. Apparently the government is adding a graduated licensing type program for new motorcyclists in 2012 and it could be a much bigger pain if you wait. There's also apparently up to a 6 week waiting list to do the road test in the summer and most schools get fully booked up, so start trying to figure out timing of all that and book a school now. It's better to learn in the rain anyway :)
It originally started out as mostly a joke, but eventually the joke turned into what seemed like a good idea. For several reasons, Sam and I decided to get hitched in vegas this weekend!! We had a few of our best friends there, my parents, Sam's mom (which was kept as a complete surprise to Sam), and Elvis! The ceremony was quick and fun and we'll have plenty of pictures and hopefully some video up in the next week or so.
We still plan to have a "proper" wedding and reception with everyone, and the date for that will probably be December 14, 2011 in Cape Town, South Africa. We're hoping a lot of friends and family from Canada will be coming too, but realize that it's going to be quite a difficult trip to plan and budget for. We'll be organizing a number of events following the wedding including a trip up to Kruger park for a few days.
So right now I /should/ be in Las Vegas with Sam at a five star hotel... but instead I'm still in Vancouver and Sam's in Vegas by herself. We're going to Vegas with a few friends this weekend and me and Sam wanted to go down a bit early to have a night to ourselves. We drove down to Bellingham last night to stay in a hotel so we didn't have to stress about the flight the next morning (way cheaper to fly out of Bellingham). While we made it out of bellingham, we didn't both make it out as planned :)...
I've been pretty quiet online lately, and was even asked the other day if my camera was broken since I hadn't posted any photos for so long! Well, fortunately my camera /isn't/ broken, and Sammy bought me a new one for my birthday!!! (the S95 for those who are curious :) ).
The past few months have been pretty hectic and in fact it's been quite an insane year for me (and I think probably Sam as well :) ). Reflecting on the past year, I thought I'd just post a few of the cool things that have happened:
The year actually started out with me flying in a tiny little airplane. Sam's sisters boyfriend Nick took me up while he was doing training. Really quite an unforgettable experience! :)
Title: Flying an airplane! Author: Scott Hadfield Taken: 12 Jan 2010 - 2:48pm Nick took me up flying in a tiny cessna today. It was a pretty amazing experience, and he even gave me the "wheel" for a few mi...
A month later Sam and I took a weekend away to an amazing "lodge" where she "reverse" proposed to me and we got engaged! The whole weekend was amazing beyond words.
I was only in Vancouver for a month, before flying back to South Africa with Scott Mac and we did three week road trip from Kruger park to Cape town to Sodwana bay, almost completely circling the country (we really only missed the north west corner). Along the way we saw tons of wild animals, wine tasted in the cape, went great white shark cage diving (where I spent most of the time sea sick over the side of the boat), rode ostriches(!?), went scuba diving, and ended the trip by attended a friends wedding. Some of the driving through rural South Africa is pretty insane, and you really do feel like you're in "Africa". Fortunately out of sheer coincidence Scott Mac was driving through almost ALL of the crazier sections of the road, so Sam and I were able to sit back and just hope we survived.
Shortly after Scott left, Sam and I started apartment hunting in Cape town. We put in four offers in two weeks and our last offer was accepted! We bought our own apartment in Cape town!! w00t! We started doing reno's on it immediately, and as many of you already know we had quite some troubles with our builder. We ultimately had to fire him and mostly start over getting things fixed that he'd essentially broken. We weren't able to 100% complete the reno's before we left in August, but it was done enough that we could have friends and family stay there while we were away.
Our apartment is located only a few blocks from the Cape town soccer stadium and the FIFA world cup started only days after we moved in! The vibe was super amazing. The vuvuzela's (pronounced voo-voo-zella) were a little tedious at times ;).
We flew out to Europe in mid-august for Drupalcon and did a quick trip through a few big european cities (Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, and Paris).
When we got back to Canada, we almost immediately left for a road trip across Canada with me dad in the motorhome! We stayed at my brothers farm in new brunswick for about 3 weeks or so until just after thanksgiving.
We then settled down into Vancouver for a few months and Sam experienced her first "real" snowfall ever! Which she celebrated by face planting herself in a pile of snow. We spent Christmas in Vernon and now we're here!
Through all of this we were also quite busy getting our business wedful.com ready to launch. Which it now finally is!
So ya, it was a fun year to say the least! We got to spend time with so many of our awesome friends too which unfortunately is one of the toughest things for us when moving around so much.
We've got tons of plans already for the new year, and I'm sure it's going to be just as wild as 2010 :). But if all goes to plan, we should have a bit of a slow down in 2012 which should be nice ;-).