Monday, September 24, 2012

Great News!

Where are we today? 
Cedar Beach Park, Stouffville, Ontario

Our occupation date for the house has been brought forward to the end of October. That means that we will be on the road by November 7th or so. Hooray! I have also found out that there are several people here in Cedar Beach Park who can do some minor repairs on the house over the winter. So all should be well until we return in the spring.

As many of you know we are members of Harvest Hosts and so I have been looking for free overnighting spots around the South East US. I came across one, near the ocean, which states in the description that they are looking for volunteers. I emailed them to ask if they would allow us to stay for an extended period in exchange for some volunteer work. I will be calling them today to see what the options are. Stay tuned.....

Talking about Harvest Hosts, we used them a few times last winter and found the program to be amazing. If you follow the link, please enter our names in the "Referred by" field and you and we will get an additional month added to our membership.

Bernardo Winery n Rancho Bernardo, California

Del Monaco Winery in Baxter, Tennessee

Del Monaco Winery in Baxter, Tennessee

Our proposed trip up north has been put on hold for now as we are still arranging a lot of stuff for the house purchase.

I am currently getting the RV sorted and removing all the extra stuff that has accumulated over the summer. With a heavier car to tow, we have to lighten the load to help defray the cost of fuel.

Monday, September 17, 2012

OK. Time to move for a week or so.

Where are we today? 
Cedar Beach Park, Stouffville, Ontario

I think it is time to take a short trip. Maybe up to Galvin Bay  or Lakefield in the Kawarthas. These are both membership campgrounds so it is cheap camping. We need to hook the new car up and tow it, to make sure everything is OK with the toad set up before we head South.

We also have to look for a place to stay for about 3 weeks in November. The sale on the house closes on November 15th, and as we have to be out of Cedar Beach on October 31st. Anyone have place for us on their property? We'll pay for the use of electricity!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How Time Flies When....

Where are we today?
Cedar Beach Park, Stouffville, Ontario

I can't believe it is so long since I posted.

We had just adopted our little Timmy and our lives were about to change drastically! Timmy is now 6 months old and has become such an integral part of our family. We have had him for 4 months, but it seems as if we have had him forever. He is a good little traveller, in both the car and in the motorhome. In the Seneca he sleeps just behind my seat, taking the time to sit up fro time to time, and check if we are going in the correct direction. In the car he sleeps on the seat behind us, always picking the shady side.

We have just traded the old Saturn ION in on a "new to us" Saturn Vue.

Our new 2008 Saturn Vue XR V6 FWD
Our site here at Cedar Beach is so much better than the one we had last summer. Much quieter and wonderful neighbours. We will come back next year. Stouffville is really convenient for visiting family in Toronto, and the park is open from the beginning of April right until October 31st, which makes it right for our time commitment in Canada. We have to be in Canada for 6 months plus 1 day in order to keep our health care. Five months of that time has to be in Ontario.

Starting to look like home
On the travelling scene, we have not done much. Just one, two part, trip to western Ontario. A week at Lake Huron Resort, North of Goderich followed by a long weekend at The Summer Place campground near Rondeau Provincial Park. I am now thinking about going away for a week to somewhere in the north to see the fall colours.

Lake Huron Resort was quite nice. They have sold a whole lot more seasonal trailers, so it is slim pickings for a good site. We were put onto a small site with no sewer to start with, then after the weekend, we asked to be moved and were given a much larger site with full hook-up. I won't be surprised if they drop out of the Coast to Coast organization next year.

Site 203 at Lake Huron Resort
Last year Goderich was hit by a tornado and we saw some evidence of the damage done in the town square, which was the hardest hit part of the town. There is a lot of rebuilding still going on.

The second part of our trip was to The Summer Place Campground and Marina. This is quite a nice establishment but our site was TERRIBLE! It was so narrow that it seemed to be little more than a grassy edge to the road. The sewer was on the wrong side of the motorhome, so we had to park at an angle to get anywhere near it, and then to top it all, there is a small marina, so we were right on the banks of the waterway, which is a green, smelly, mosquito infested body of water. We were parked so close to the water than any mis-step and we would have fallen right in. To add insult to injury, there was not a tree in sight and, with the passenger side of the motorhome facing the afternoon sun, it was so hot that the door actually swelled and stuck closed.

Only good thing about our site was that we could pick up Bell Expressvu very easily

Green muck next to our site. The mosquitoes flew in flocks!

Very narrow site. Almost on the road!

Parked at an angle so that we could reach the sewer.

Of course we had visits from our son, daughter and two grandsons, who just love to stay in the "monanone" as our younger grandson calls it. Lots of time in the pool and running round the park. Great times!

Owen pointing out the O for Owen
Noah getting in some swimming practice
Noah's favourite pastime. Jumping into the pool.
Our son Greg and Owen
Owen waters the flowers
...and sometimes himself
Can you say "ice cream"?
Ha ha, look what I've got!
Noah and Timmy love running in the playing field.

Then just over the past month, we have looked for and bought a house!! This all came about because our son has asked our daughter and family to move out of the top half of his house so that he can renovate. He bought his house in downtown Toronto back in early 2006. He renovated the bottom half of the house and has been living there. Our daughter and family moved into the top half, which was pretty much unrenovated except for the kitchen and bathroom. So Suzanne has been searching for a house or an apartment to rent and has come up empty. So we started looking for a place that they could rent from us until we are ready to quit the road in 5 to 10 years time.

We ended up buying a century home in South Whitby, which is very close to the train into Toronto. Sandy, our son-in-law, works for the Union which builds sets for TV shows and movies which are being shot in and around Toronto, so he needs easy access to the city.

The house is a little bungalow, built in 1903. It has had some renovations done, but there is still some work to be done. It is on a large piece of land (in Canadian terms) at 1/5 of an acre. I think they will be happy there. The location is perfect, and you know what they say in Real Estate....location, location, location.

Our new house. It has been doubled in size, from the original, with a big addition at the back.
Google Earth shot of the back yard. The parking pad has been removed. Lots of room for my favourite grandchildren to play.
Lots of parking. No Garage.
Side shot of the house. That is an awfully long sidewalk for Sandy or Suzanne to shovel. And it has to be done by midnight on the day of any snowfall. That hedge has to go!
I am pondering buying another Camping Membership and that is for AOR. This is selling for about $895. Gives us an additional 4 resorts in Ontario as well as 2 weeks at each resort as opposed to the 1 week allowed at various Coast to Coast resorts. We are allowed to stay at each resort for 2 visits a year. There will also be more resorts available to us as we travel the US. We are now free to travel more in the winter, so it may be a good thing. We also want to get a solar system for staying in boondocking areas, especially in the South West.

So that is pretty much what we have been doing since the middle of May. It has been a very busy summer, and now that we are winding down to the fall, it is time to start planning our trip to the south. We are probably not going to venture further than the Gulf Coast of Texas. So any and all suggestions are welcome.