Monday, May 26, 2014

They Are Gone :(

Our Mexican friends Chris and Juan were up at 5:30 this morning, having showers and loading the SUV. They pulled out a little after 6:00, heading to Nanaimo and the ferry. They have a very ambitious schedule for the next three months of their Great Canadian Tour with many friends to visit across Canada. When it is over they will need a nice, long rest!

We had a lot of fun with them here and I am glad they got to meet Brooks and LindaLee. We ate really well and they got to taste a lot of the nice seafood we have available here. They got to sample Manila Clams, prawns, halibut and salmon. We ate well and both of us will have to replenish our vodka supply. We were sad to see them go but our kidneys and livers were doing a little happy dance. Brooks and LindaLee are heading home tomorrow when our official recovery period will start.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Our Mexican friends Chris and Juan arrived Thursday afternoon. They left their trailer in storage at a West Vancouver RV park and drove the SUV onto the ferry. It was their first time on a large ferry and they enjoyed the experience.

They found our house at about 1:00 and we spent a couple of hours catching up before heading downtown for a feed of Fish and Chips at Dicks' restaurant on the dock. It is always a great feed at Dicks, complete with 60's music. Dick and I met years ago when we were both called up (and rejected) for jury duty. After dinner we went home for more catching up and maybe a vodka y hielo (or three).

Friday morning we made a breakfast of eggs and hash browns and relaxed a bit before heading to Painter's Lodge and their free water taxi service over to their sister resort of April Point Lodge on Quadra Island. There is a very nice patio there where we had wine (them), beer (me) and lunch. It was threatening rain but none actually fell until we were just finishing eating. They pulled a large umbrella over to protect us for the last few minutes.

This morning we had waffles with bananas, blueberries and strawberries before the guys headed off to visit the Campbell River museum. Brooks, LindaLee and LindaLee's mom will be arriving later this afternoon and a feed of fresh Manila Clams is on the menu. We are really enjoying this visit and it is giving us a chance to repay some of the hospitality Chris and Juan have shown us over the years in Mexico.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Oh No! Rain In The Forecast!

Our Mexican friends Chris and Juan are crossing the border today and will be catching the ferry to the Island Thursday morning. It is starting to rain so I checked the forecast on the Internet and they are predicting "light showers" for the foreseeable future. Not a very nice welcome for first time visitors to Canada!

We had a few fun things planned to do with them. Dick's Fish and Chips down on the dock, a water taxi ride over to April Point on Quadra Island for lunch on their beautiful deck and an ice cream cone on the Campbell River Fishing Pier.

Rain is not what we need! Maybe there will be breaks in the rain long enough to do a couple of these things. It is too bad, we have been bragging about our home for years and now they are here they will not see the area at it's best.

Oh well, it's not called "The Wet Coast" for nothing.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Four Hour Power Outage and Mexican Visitors!

Our power went off at 6:00 AM. I know this because our cordless phone beeped a few times when it lost power. We never lose power here on the Island. Well, almost never and when we do it is only for a few minutes at the most. I called them at about 8:00 and a recording told me they were aware, etc, etc, and it should be restored by 9:00.

At 9:30 I called again and the rep was surprised, saying the power had been restored at 8:30. Well, it wasn't so she said she would call the repair crew out again. At just after 10:00 the lights came on.

When we lived up in Terrace we were used to power outages, many lasting for 24 hours or more. We never worried about it unless it was more than two days as they were usually in the winter so we could empty the freezer and take everything outside to keep frozen. Now we are spoiled. EVERYTHING depends on power. Computer, Internet, water heater..... COFFEE!

Damn, no coffee! I went out to the motorhome, fired up the generator and made a pot. I am willing to accept only so many hardships.

Mexican Visitors! 

I got an email from Chris and Juan this morning. They are getting close and predict they will be here next week. They are leaving the RV in Vancouver and will drive the SUV over on the ferry. We are looking forward to seeing them and returning some of the hospitality they have shown us in Mexico over the years.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Winter Reflections. What It Cost!

Well, here is what the winter cost us. It is quite a bit considering the lousy weather we had. In retrospect, we probably should have stayed put in the west, basking in the sun either in Palm Springs or Phoenix area. It would have cost a lot less but on the other hand, we would have missed all that Cajun Cooking!

When the exceptionally high vehicle repair and maintenance costs (see bottom of post) are added to this, it stretched the budget a little more than I am comfortable with and we had to dig into the Rainy Day Fund a couple of times and will be doing it again as the final Visa Card payment has to be made at the end of May.

Next year we will once again think about finding a place in the sun and parking for a few months. It would be easier on the pocketbook.

Here is a breakdown:

Fuel (Motorhome)                $4,800
Fuel (Honda)                        $300
Groceries (including liquor)     $4,400
RV Parks                             $3,560
Internet                                 $285
Dining Out                            $2,490 (this is also our "entertainment" budget)
Travel Medical Insurance         $3.391
Ferries                                   $457
Propane                                 $156

TOTAL                                 $19,839 or about $110.22 per day

The other large expense this year (not included above) was maintenance and repairs on the motorhome, car and dolly. This totaled $5,248 this year. It was a lot of money but is not representative of the average year. I keep telling myself! If you add repair costs it brings our daily costs to $139.37.

Many of these expenses would have been similar if we had of stayed home. Groceries, dining out, gas for the Honda are pretty much the same wherever we are.

Despite the weather we had a lot of fun and met so many interesting people. Louisiana was probably the most fun and the nicest city we visited was Savannah, Georgia.

Here is our +/- 9,000 mile route.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

This n' That, and More of That

I haven't been doing much but have been kept busy doing it. The other day I climbed up on the roof of the motorhome to clean the solar panel. I used the brand new ladder we had installed in Phoenix after I ripped the old one off with a tree branch. I put my hand on the top bar that is screwed to the roof and the screws pulled out and I was left dangling by one hand! It looks like the "professional" installer cut the top piece of the ladder about two inches too long and must have had to sit on it to get it down to the roof so he could screw it down. This left it with 40 or 50 pounds of pressure constantly trying to pull the two (only two) screws out of the roof!

I riveted each top bracket to a piece of aluminum stock and drilled four mounting holes in each one. I then cut two inches off each vertical bar so the new mount sat on the roof and screwed everything down solid. I followed up with a generous helping of Dicor to waterproof things and called it done. I should write to the repair facility that did the repair to tell them they owe me a couple of hours pay and a tube of Dicor. Pretty shoddy work which could have led to an injury.
We will be using the motorhome as an extra a bedroom this summer so I installed one of our extra StarChoice receivers in the RV bedroom as the PVR that was there is now in our bedroom in the house. That should keep complaints from guests to a minimum.

The Canadian flag we have on the roof of the house was ripped off in a winter storm so I climbed up and hung a new one on the flag pole. I buy these Canadian flags on eBay from somewhere in Asia for $5 each, shipping included. Canadian made Canadian flags cost five or six times as much and are of no better quality so we have an Asian made Canadian flag proudly flying.

I got an email from my nephew Don in Ontario saying he and his wife were going to bring my sister Gloria out for a visit. That will be great as I have not seen my sister since.. (checking back in the Blog)... oh my gosh! June, 2011. There is no excuse for that! We have been close without ever having lived close. She is 18 years older than me and was actually married  and moved to Ontario shortly after I was born. It will be great to see her and I promise it will not be as long next time.

So that is what has been happening in our lives.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Our get-up-and-go got up and went. We have done hardly anything since we got home on Monday. We have managed to empty the food out of the motorhome (not a small task) but that is about it. The to-do list is growing and our friends Chris and Juan are on their way to Canada and a visit to the island so we will have to get busy soon. ..... Soon.