Things That Are My Jam: Canadian Edition

Next week marks one year in Canada for me! I’ve learned a lot in this past year here and have discovered so many things I love about this place. I know I complain about the cold a lot, which probably leaves the impression that I’m not happy here, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. So let me give props to some of my new favorite things about Canada and where I live in the Rockies: 

Chinooks: These warm winds that get sent down from the mountains are definitely my jam. They can significantly raise the temperature for anywhere between a few hours to a couple days. It was snowing two days ago and then I ran in a tank top the next day thanks to a good chinook. I’m all for it.

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The current currency exchange rate – It’s changing a little bit, but whatever the price is here, you’re only paying about 80% of that if you’ve got American money. If you’re American or European, now’s a good time to visit!

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Thanksgiving in October: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because everybody’s together, there’s so much good food and family time, you get a long weekend, and nobody has to worry about shopping (unless you want to, after it’s over). Canadian Thanksgiving is the 2nd Monday in October. Most people eat on Sunday to use Monday to rest and recover. They cook turkey and dressing as well and I’m excited to contribute some southern side dishes in the mix. And, if I can make it home to Kentucky for American Thanksgiving in November, I’ll get to celebrate twice! #goals

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Stuart McLean – A Canadian institution in television, journalism, and the CBC radio world, Stuart McLean was one of the best authors and storytellers I’ve ever encountered. Fraser got me hooked on his stories from The Vinyl Cafe a few years ago and I have a couple of the albums that I love listening to. I was sad to hear of his death earlier this year from cancer. I was never able to see him live in his annual Christmas tour, but the kids always ask for his stories and I love playing them in the car. Listening to his weekly CBC show via podcast, Stuart helped me get to know Canada from afar in a way that was incredibly special. Knowing I would end up here one day made listening to his shows really heartwarming. If you’ll be traveling at Christmas, I recommend downloading The Vinyl Cafe Christmas Collection for the drive. It’s great for the whole family. My favorite is Polly Anderson’s Christmas Party.

Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, and Joshua Jackson – apparently I have a thing for Canadian guys… who knew so many of my boyfriends hailed from the North?

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Cozy slippers in waiting rooms – I’m not sure if this is just a mountain town thing or if it’s everywhere (I’m interested to hear from you Canucks in other places) but, because of the constant snow, you have to take your shoes off at the door in most places around here: doctors’ offices, dentists, hair salons, etc. It was super weird in the beginning, but some places have cozy slippers for you to wear while you’re there, so now I’m completely happy about it! I took the kids to the dentist not too long ago and they had probably 6 pairs of shoes to choose from. They were so warm and wonderful and I was kind of sad to have to take them off and put my boots back on when we left. If it’s going to be cold AF here, at least you have soft, toasty accessories to wear as a consolation.

My favorite (or should I say ‘favourite’) Canadian – My man-friend is THE BEST. If I had to move anywhere in the world, I’m glad that I had him as my tour guide to show me around this gorgeous landscape. He’s been extremely patient with me this first year and has done his best to indoctrinate me into Canadian life. Having a partner in life that doubles as a cruise director for the country has been really fun.

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