Friday, December 31, 2010

Off to California

We fly out of Dulles International today at 4 pm, landing in LAX at about 6:45 PST. We will be in Oceanside for about 3 months then it is back to Ontario to do our obligatory 6 months and 1 day residency to maintain our health insurance. California here we come!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blogging from Maryland

We drove down to my sister's house in Maryland today, expecting snow and ice and bad driving conditions, but not getting anything bad! It was a great drive. The roads were dry and there was no snow and ice! Got to the house but we could not get in because we could not find the key. After breaking in through the basement doors, a neighbour was most helpful and came over and the key was found where it had fallen off the lintel. We are now inside, supper (chicken from Walmart and whole wheat rolls) is eaten and I am now doing a load of washing. We fly out of Dulles on Friday afternoon and get into LAX that evening. We will be in Oceanside, San Diego county for about 3 months then we reverse the trip at the end of March and go home for the summer.

Virginia is doing a lot better and hopefully we will see her get most of her incredible strength and love of life back. She is going to live each day to the fullest.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We are now in Toronto. The house we are in is an old Victorian Semi. It has been beautifully restored. We are cat sitting 2 cats. Don't know what their names are. We are just less than a kilometer from our son's house. He is away, sailing in Honduras (Roatan). Our daughter lives in the top 2 floors of his house. Greg's house is an old Edwardian Semi. This is perfect because we can  see our daughter and our grandkids every day yet not be on top of them.

Tomorrow we take the Seneca back to the dealership as we have discovered a leak in the front cab over compartment. Michael took the  large CRT TV out of the space and we will put an LCD in there as soon as we find the time to settle down and do things. I wonder if they will have a check for us, as they have sold our Regal.

We managed to set off the house alarm today. I was able to reassure the alarm company that we were legit, even the police came round and took Michael's information. Very quick response.

There is not nearly as much snow here as there was in London. For that we are very thankful.

I spoke to my American Mom today and she is feeling much better. My sister is still there. Her family arrive this evening and they will be there for Christmas. We will arrive there on New Years Eve. Our trip South will begin on December 28th, depending on the weather. We fly out of Dulles on December 31st.

We have decided to go down by car as it will work out much cheaper and quicker. I am a little sad that we won't be using the RV, but we do have to be practical.

Moving Day

Today we move from the house in London, Ontario where we have been cat sitting to a house in Toronto close to our daughter and family. We will be cat sitting there too!

We have some stuff to attend to before we head South for 3 months. We have a big decision to make. Do we take the RV down, staying at Truck stops on the way, or do we drive down in the car?

RV vs Car Prize Fight:

RV sleep at Truck Stops. Car sleep in motel ($$$).
RV 3 days. Car 2 days.
RV lots of Diesel ($$$) Car much less gas ($).
RV lots of space to carry stuff down. Car little space to carry anything.
RV can buy stuff in the US to bring back ($$$). Car $.

I think the car wins! Now to recalibrate my brain.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More news from California

It is not good. It seems that my dear American Mom may have bowel cancer. She is unable to eat anything and feels so weak and ill.  We have brought our travel date forward by a week and will fly out of Dulles on December 31st instead of the 7th.

I have arranged for someone to come in and see to the cat about every 3 days until Belinda comes home. We will still be driving down to Maryland and leaving the RV at Patricia's house. We still have to find somewhere to park the car for 3 months.

Changing the airplane tickets was very traumatic and now my credit card has an extra charge of about $1000 on it. Painful but necessary.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

News from California

News came from California this morning that Virginia is in hospital with pancreatitis. We are unable to leave at the moment so my sister, Patricia is flying out to California to be with her. She will be be there for 2 weeks, then we will see if I need to fly over to relieve her. Virginia said this morning that she is going to have surgery. I hope that she can handle the surgery at her age. At this time playing it by ear as to when I will go down.

Thursday: I just spoke to Virginia and she sounds much better. She is on a ton of antibiotics again and will not have the surgery until the infection in her pancreas has resolved. Patricia should be there soon for family support. I am very happy about that!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

London and SNOW!

We have been in London for a week and it has snowed every day! We arrived here on December 9th, having been delayed by a day because of a very bad multi-vehicle crash on Highway 401. The cat didn't care, she had food, water and a warm bed. We got ourselves settled, made up our bed and hunkered down. It has pretty much not stopped snowing for 7 days. It is just awful outside, difficult to get around, messy and slippery. I am very nervous about the trip down to Maryland in the RV in January. I hope that it stops snowing soon. They are also having some lake effect snow over on Highway 81 in Upstate New York as well.

Looking down the road. When we arrived at the house there was no snow on the ground.

The day we arrived Michael had to shovel the driveway before he could the car into the driveway.

The deck at the back of the house

Sunset over the roofs

Michael shovels the front pathway

Getting some help from Yvonne, a friend who stayed overnight as she could not get home

This is Milo, our ward.
Here are some pictures of the cat and the snow around the area where we are house and cat sitting.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Eleven days at Milton Heights

Our eleven days at Milton were very pleasant. It was cold, but we had very little snow.

The day we arrived at Milton
Site E 4
We rented a 100 lb propane cylinder for the furnace and hoped that it would last for the 11 days. It didn't. We switched over to the Seneca's tank on about day 8 and we tried to eke out the propane so that we would not have to pull up stakes and go and fill the tank. We were so frugal with the propane that we actually froze up one night. Luckily just the fresh water tank froze and for a short while we were unable to pump water. Luckily I had read that you could put a small ceramic heater into the basement storage area to heat up the underbelly, which is what we did and we were soon thawed out. We do keep a light in the utility area where all the drains and pipes are so that area did not freeze up. We also found that pulling the slides in at night helped to keep the RV warmer inside and we used less propane. One of the problems with a furnace in the MH is hat the furnace comes on and heats the inside up almost too much, then it turns off and the temp drops down quite far so we get cold before the furnace turns on again. If we ever have to spend an entire winter in Ontario, we will look into getting a catalytic heater. We did use 2 electric heaters as well which helped and as the cost of electricity was included in the price of the site, we took full advantage of that. We also kept the hot water heater set to electricity to save on the propane.

The 100 lb tank connected to the RV by an Extend-A-Stay connection
On the Saturday that we were camped there we hosted a dinner party for 4 other couples and we were quite anxious to see if we would all fit in. It was a fantastic evening and we had a lovely curry chicken dinner and a really good time.

A funny thing happened while we were there too. I have been a member on RV.NET for several years and I was online posting a question when I got a reply from a couple who are camped for the winter in Ontario. There was a picture of their rig and their toad car, which I recognized as the same vehicles parked right across the camp road from us. I emailed them and we went over for afternoon coffee and fresh bread with apple butter. They were the same couple who had stopped for a chat when we first arrived! We spent a few hours chatting and exchanging ideas for winter camping.

Paul and Marie's Winnebago Chieftain. Skirted and set up for winter with huge propane cylinders set up behind the RV
 The day before we left Milton Heights we had a light snowfall. We winterized the RV and set off for Ajax where we are storing the rig for December while we house and cat sit in London.

A dusting of snow just before we left

The Saturn is all hooked up and ready to go
When we were in Ajax, we heard that there had been a multi-vehicle accident on the 401 near London and that the highway was closed, so we decided to camp in Moodies for a night and carry on by car to London in the morning. The temp went down to -18C but we were warm and cosy and winterized, so no worry about freezing overnight. We had also filled up the propane tank so we could crank up the furnace.