This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Monday, 23 March 2020

Making the best of this time and celebrating another year

Staying home in Wheatley/Leamington, Ontario

Who would have thought what we are all experiencing this year? Every day is marked with more drastic measures or bad news to halt the spread of the covid-19 epidemic. As we are all scrambling to adjust to the new guidelines and prepare to stay in isolation, I personally found a bit of highlight in all this. You see my brother-in-law had to fly to London England for a business trip three weeks ago. When he was due to come back to Canada we knew he had to stay home for self- isolation, so my sister shopped for groceries, prepared their home for the event of a couple of weeks quarantine time and came to stay with Benno and I before he arrived back at their house. 

Reggy and Elsa love going out with Christina

Although I am sorry for my brother-in-law’s isolation, who said that he is healthy and feels ok, I am not sorry to have my sister Christina here with us. Actually I am really happy about that! Today is my birthday and I get to spend it with my hubby and sis, but it is also my brother-in-law’s birthday too and he, unfortunately, is spending this special day all by himself. Happy Birthday Paul and I hope we all can get-together soon.

Porcelan Clay in the works

In the meantime besides shopping for more groceries and essentials to hold us over for some time, we thought of fun things to do. Christina brought some clay that we used to create a few items. It is air-drying after sculpting and a few days later we painted them with the acrylic paints that I had. 

Painting the clay and rocks
Christina's creations

One day we had reasonable weather to have a stroll at the deserted beach here in Wheatley and we took the dogs with us for an outing. Several rocks and driftwood looked interesting enough that we brought them home for some more crafting. It would have been nice to spray them with clear gloss after painting, but my can is empty and the hardware store is closed.

Puzzle time
The hardest puzzle I ever worked on

But we have also three 1000-piece puzzles that we wanted to do. The first one that we attacked went reasonably fast. After that we amused ourselves with the painting and a bit out outdoor activity. The next puzzle we took out of the box we thought would go just as well.  Ha, we had no idea. We’ve been at it for several days now and not even half is done. I don’t think I ever worked on a puzzle that difficult. Not only are the colors blending into each other, the paint strokes are also in different directions so that you don’t know which way the pieces will go and the third difficulty is that all the pieces have different shapes and not one is the same. It is testing our patience for sure.

Scarf in the works
Benno entertained himself with his drone
and sometimes the drone snug up on us

While I was in the Kitchen preparing meals, Christina crocheted with a new yarn that she bought recently and I really liked the colors. I thought it would be a scarf for herself and to my delight it was a birthday gift to me! Thank you Christina so much! But wait, this scarf was still in progress yesterday and somehow the crochet hook broke in half and we had no spare. To fix this emergency, Benno tried to glue it together with crazy glue, but it didn’t hold. He ended up in his shop using the lathe to fabricate a threaded stud, bore out the two pieces of the crochet hook and thread the holes, to be able to screw them together using the stud. Now it’s better than new, but my poor sister worked on this scarf until midnight unbeknown to me. 

Turns out the lathe is good for all kinds of repairs

I had to model the new scarf

Kudos and admiration to Paul, who baked himself a cake yesterday and he showed us the wonderful results on Face-Time, where we toasted each other with a cup of coffee. I baked a cake also this morning. It is a walnut marzipan torte. The topping of the marzipan I brought back with me from my recent Germany trip, as it is difficult to find here in the stores. We sure devoured a slice of cake in no time at all. Now we are looking forward to the BBQ dinner later on.

Marzipan torte
That was a nice birthday celebration!

Hoping that everyone is healthy and endures the “distance yourself time” without problems. Lets all do what we have to do. I will keep you in the loop.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Change of Plans

At Home in Canada

Here we go again. We’ve been known to change our plans often and so we did it last week once more. As our time in the Blue Jay RV Park came to a close and we were getting ready for our move to the Alabama Gulf Coast, we discovered that the weather prognosis for the first week in the new campground would be a wet one and a bit on the cooler side. Checking on the temps back home it showed well above freezing for the next 14 days with sunshine and hardly any snow left on the ground. Then a quick look at the road and weather conditions on the route home displayed temperatures of 15C/59F for the weekend, so we left ahead of time on Friday morning for our return trip.

For sure we were not the only RV on the northbound I-75. My guess is there were about a hundred or so RVs that passed our truck, and who knows how many drove behind us, all using the wonderful weather window to head north. Not sure if the scare with the Corona virus had anything to do with the exodus or if it is the time of year where many RVs are already on the move.  Our first night we stopped in Byron, Georgia at the large Lowes parking lot. We found a good spot and there were several semis parked also around us for the night. In addition the wifi from Lowes is strong enough to reach the parking area so no need to use your own data.  Actually our first choice for the night was the parking lot at Camping World, but they do not allow overnight parking there anymore and the same goes for the Wal-Mart parking lot in Byron.

Saturday turned out to be another gorgeous driving day with sunshine throughout the day. When it came time to look for an overnight parking spot we went straight for the next Lowes store in Georgetown, Kentucky. Again it was peaceful there and free wifi to boot. However, that night it cooled down quite a bit and on Sunday morning we had a little bit of frost on the ground, which burned off quickly in the rising sun. Maybe if we had gotten up later we wouldn’t have noticed, but by 7 a.m. we were done with breakfast and cleanup and ready to roll heading for Cincinnati. 

At 9:30 a.m. past Cincinnati we took the exit 19 on the I-75 north to the IKEA parking lot. The store opens at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays, but the Restaurant is already open at 9:30 a.m. While we waited for the store to open Benno and I enjoyed our second breakfast of the morning with scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes with jam and a mug of coffee. There were a couple of items on my shopping list that got filled but while browsing the store we took a liking to a big picture on display and we thought we would purchase it for our living room. Big disappointment when we came to the Market Place to pick it up as it was temporarily out of stock. 

Benno mentioned later to me that it would be a logistic nightmare how to get the picture into the travel trailer, as the truck was already full. Well, when we got home and looked at the wall where the picture would have hung, I was relieved that we didn’t buy it because I think at 6-1/2ft x 4-1/2ft, it would have been far too big for our wall, Oops!

We rolled on to Detroit, actually testing our truck and trailer springs on the pothole galore stretch of the I-75N between Toledo and Detroit. There were long lines at the Ambassador Bridge Customs and Immigration booths, but the waiting time was not too bad. I had my list of purchases prepared and we were through quickly with best wishes for a good drive home.
At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1th we happily rolled into our driveway. All is unpacked and put away and we are relaxing in our cozy home.

I noticed the daffodils and tulips are poking through the ground. Maybe in a couple of weeks at spring beginning they will show some flowers. 

Thanks for visiting again and I will be sure to keep posting what we are going to do next.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

When the photographer is being photographed

Blue Jay RV & MH Resort, Dade City, Florida

We’ve had some fun this afternoon with the drone. Today was another beautiful day with warm temps in the lower 80ths accompanied with hardly any wind and that makes it an ideal condition to fly the drone. Benno has had several practices over the past weeks flying his drone at high winds just to find out how to handle it at those situations and he is getting better and better at it. So while he was out on the grassy fields in the neighborhood practicing with the drone, I took both dogs for a walk to the same area. We stayed by the country road as I found the grass in the field too tall for a comfortable walk and who knows what crawls around in it. Benno spotted us arriving via the drone from quite a distance and soon I heard the unmistakable humming sound from this little machine above us.  This was something new for Elsa and Reggy as they had not seen the drone in flight motion before and they were not sure what to make out of it. I had brought my little Lumix camera along and tried to take a picture of the drone as it hovered in front of us meanwhile attempting to keep both dogs motionless on the leash. Unbeknown to me, Benno took a picture via drone of me standing there with the dogs. We were quite the distance apart and had no way of communicating with other. Our walky-talkies would have come in handy had we brought them though.

I am taking a picture of the drone
and this is the picture that the drone took of me
Elsa is looking at the drone hovering right in front of her

Benno is looking at where the drone is going
but the drone is taking a picture of him

The drone is taking a picture of Benno
and he is looking at himself

This is the picture the drone took of me

A zoom picture of Benno's location from me

The real distance where Benno is parked (middle of picture)

This is not a leaf, it's a cow from the view of the drone ;-)

Our stay here in the RV Park is coming to an end in a week when we will move on. This winter we did not have an opportunity to hike, or see beautiful mountains, but we were blessed with many very nice days. Had I been sun tanning all those sunny and hot days, my skin would be dark brown by now. Shopping was good here as well as Zephyrhills is a vibrant little town and so is Lakeland where the Aldi store is located. We had never been to this area before in our travels, but liked it here very much. There are certainly a lot of RV and Mobile Home parks in this part of the country, so other snowbirds like it here too.

A lazy afternoon in front of the travel trailer

Hoping everyone has had a good time these past weeks and I will post our new location once we get to it. Presently, I do not know exactly where we will end up, but I’m hopeful it will be a good place.

Stay tuned everyone and thanks for checking in again.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Glad to be back but the weather could be warmer

Blue Jay RV & MH Resort, Dade City Florida

Hello everyone!
It is so wonderful to be back home even though it is only our temporary home for the winter. Benno was waiting with the doxies at the the Tampa International Airport cellphone lot and picked me up after I had called him 04.30 PM on his cell to get me at the arrival exit. This airport has a designated cell phone notification car waiting lot with large display panels showing the arriving planes and when the baggage of each arrival flight is being processed. After my 10 and a half hour flight from Frankfurt Germany, my pre flight from Hamburg to Frankfurt and two-hour drive in my rental car at 5 a.m. in darkness and pouring rain to the airport, I was tired and could hardly wait to fall into Benno’s arms. Two little doggies wagged their tails inside the truck as I got in and Benno whisked us away into the rush hour traffic of Tampa.

Tired but so happy to be back

Meanwhile here at the park we got some new neighbors occupying the spot next to us and another new RV one site over. The spot behind us is still empty and the folks next to that space left yesterday for a campground in the Florida Keys. An older type park model was torn down during my absence the next street over and the two new halves of a brand new park model still sit at the same spot as they were before I left waiting to be moved into place. There are always comings and goings at RV Parks and the longer you stay at the same spot, the more you find out about the residents. It is a nice and quiet community here and I find everyone very friendly. 

Apparently there were some windless days here while I was in Germany and Benno used those to get some practice in with his drone. I can tell he enjoys flying it and he showed me some of the moves. I realize it is easier to watch than to control this little machine, that’s for sure.

The weather in Germany was typical for this time of year and area we were at. Most days or I believe 98% of our stay we had an overcast sky with occasional rain or drizzle around 3-6 deg. C/37-42F, so just above freezing and in that part of the world at 6 p.m. it is already pitch dark outside. However, apart from the weather, our accommodations were wonderful. We had rented a vacation flat, fully furnished. It was on the first floor of a beautiful home with a balcony accessible from both of our rooms overlooking a nicely landscaped garden. The owners lived downstairs. My sister and I had each our own bedroom and own living room. We shared a fully equipped kitchen; separate dining area and a spacious bathroom with two sinks. There was nothing we missed or could have asked for and it made our stay a pleasant experience however sad the occasion.

My rental car with a glass roof

Our balcony but a bit cool to sit outside

A tribute to our Mom, may she rest in peace

After unpacking, taking inventory of the almost bare refrigerator before going shopping, one of my first chores was to try and revive the two flowering plants I had pampered and nourished before I left. Somehow they didn’t fare so good in my absence, but I am sure it must have had something to do with the weather. I am now trying to relax; knowing that our Mom is at peace and so are we.

I think the flowers will survive

Thanks for following my blog and lets see what we are going to do next.