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The Longest New Year’s Day

A Happy 2013 to all my readers!

On New Year’s Eve I took it relatively easy with a big family dinner followed by a party at Danny Wilms Floet place and then Champagne at home at midnight, because New Year’s Day would be longer than usual. Yesterday we flew to Vancouver with the family for a few days of winter vacation combined with several business meetings.

Because Vancouver is 16 hours behind Shanghai the day lasted 40 hour and my experience is that partying late or drinking a lot does not help a lot with jet lag. Certainly not if you also have to take care of the kids during the flight.

View from the lounge to the Air Canada plane

The trip itself went better than expected, although I did not get a lot of sleep. Air Canada has a rule that your kids have to sit in the row in front of you in their Executive First Class suites, something we did not know when we booked the flight. But the kids fly so much that they both did not mind that they could not see us during the flight. Take-off and landing are sometimes a problem for Elaine, but after talking to the purser Scott and Elaine were allowed to sit next to us at the beginning and end of the flight.

Elaine on board Air Canada from Shanghai to Vancouver

After dinner Scott watched a cartoon TV program for about 10 minutes and then went to sleep very quickly. Elaine, however, did not want to sleep. She got up from her seat all the time and wanted to watch films or play games. First I let her do that but after a while I also wanted to sleep myself, so eventually I decided to lie down next to her until she was asleep. Then she started complaining that her bed was too small… After about an hour of trying I just sat at the end of her bed and sang the Dutch song “Slaap Kindje Slaap” to her, which immediately worked.

Then I was not sleepy myself anymore and watched a stand-up comedy program with a glass of port wine and some cheese. When I went to sleep it was 7 AM in Vancouver already… About an hour later Scott woke me up because he had to go to the toilet. I helped him with that, but as a result I was completely awake again and could not sleep anymore. I nodded off a few times, but all in all I did not get more than an 1-2 hours of real sleep.

We landed in Vancouver around 12:45 PM, went through immigration and got our suitcases. My parents picked us up and drove us to our house in West Vancouver (booked through AirBnB). The place we rented is quite nice and I especially like the view over Howe Sound with the snowcapped mountains in the background. Beautiful!

View from our house in West Vancouver

At night a friend came over for a glass of wine and afterward we had a quick dinner in Horseshoe Bay. During the meal both Scott and Elaine almost fell asleep, so we didn’t stay long and put the kids to bed. I was so tired that I started to write this post but stopped after about 10 minutes and went to bed as well. It was a long but very eventful New Year’s Day, a good start of 2013.

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  1. We were also in Vancouver (and Whistler skiing) over holidays. Nice place but highest cost of living in Canada – mostly due to Chinese influence.
    Interesting phenoma almost worldwide where Chinese expats congregate and it generates some bad feelings.