The Cool House: Schmap

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


You'll have to excuse my ignorance but I'd never heard of Schmap until this morning when I received an email letting me know that one of my Flickr photos had made it to the shortlist for the fourth edition of the Vancouver guide. Even if the photo doesn't make the final cut it's cool to know someone liked it.
We were in Vancouver, Canada in August 2006 for what proved to be the final trip out of the USA to renew our visas. The US Department of Immigration Services requires legal immigrants leave the country to get their visas renewed. Some people go back to their home countries, but we hadn't applied from our country of citizenship when we originally came here and that complicated things. The US Government has a pragmatic solution for people like us: a quick trip to Canada or Mexico.
We had only a few weeks to renew the visas and we intended to go to Montreal or Toronto or Quebec City to get the passports stamped but the wait time for an appointment at the US consulates there was 8-10 weeks. So we looked to see if there was an earlier slot anywhere else in Canada or Mexico. We were really lucky to get a 8AM slot the following Monday morning in Vancouver. We flew out at the weekend, made the appointment and eventually got the stamp. And we had one of the most enjoyable vacations in a great city to boot. I would move to Vancouver in a heartbeat, the scenery is unbelievable, the food is wonderful and Canadian people? It's a cliché but they are so nice.
Here's a link to my Vancouver slideshow. I won't spoil the possible surprise by singling out the submitted photo. But you can guess if you want to. Here's a hint: it's not this one

Steven on Ferry


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