Another Milestone

I have been struggling with my blog lately, like a lot of other bloggers … it is so hard to come up with something to write about, especially at this time of year when we are normally off on new adventures south. I have thought about giving it up and honestly I think that would be the easy route, but then I think once we start travelling again or even when the winter weather is done I will have stories and pictures I will want to share … so for now I will do my best and if I miss a week please stick with me, I will be back 🙂

Yesterday Dr. Henry, our Provincial Health Officer, announced some new restrictions for all of British Columbia and while they put a damper on plans for having my sister and cousin over for dinner on Sunday, I think they are a good idea. What I saw on the news and read in our local on-line news was that we could not have people into our homes, which I though was a little strange since it said nothing about meeting with people in a restaurant. However when I went to CBC and read the full story it states that we should not be meeting for social reasons with anyone outside of our immediate household. Dr. Henry has also made it mandatory for everyone to wear masks in all indoor public and retail spaces, and high-risk indoor group fitness activities and church services have been suspended as well. These rules are for the next two weeks and I really hope people follow them so that we can slow the spread of the virus down!

We have a FaceTime happy hour every two weeks with hubby’s cousins in Moreno Valley, California and our Wednesday coffee group has gone to a Zoom meeting weekly, so it really is possible to still socialize but to do it safely.

I still see the morning sunrises but I think I like them better without snow on the hills!

Dr. Henry did say that we could go out for a walk with a friend as long as we social distance, so at least my friend and I can still have our Friday morning walk.

So as you can see from above, between the restrictions now in place and the weather limiting what we can do outside, there really won’t be much to blog about.

I braved walking through the tunnel under the bridge to get what I though was going to be an awesome sunrise picture.

Hmm I think I could have skipped the tunnel, but you do have to push your comfort zone sometimes 🙂

But we did hit a new milestone in our lives this past Thursday … we are Great Grandparents 😀 and we couldn’t be happier about it! I know some people look at events like this as aging them but we don’t, we are just excited to be young and healthy enough to enjoy them 🙂 When I told a friend about our new great grandbaby she responded with “you two look and act way to young to even be grandparents – let alone great ones” which made us both feel wonderful. Really life is not about what age you are at, it’s about how you live your life.

An interesting cloud formation during one sunset.

So my plea to everyone is to follow the new COVID guidelines and help slow the virus down because I want to go and snuggle with my new great granddaughter in two weeks!

Until next time …

What A Difference A Day Makes!

We didn’t get up to much this past week. We did enjoy a few FaceTime happy hours with relatives in Palm Springs, well Morena Valley which is near Palm Springs, and friends from Kelowna who are still in Costa Rica, where they have been since the pandemic started.

So this week I am going to once again bore you with morning walk pictures … except this first series was taken last Sunday when hubby and I went out for an afternoon walk. We walked along a path I don’t take in the morning when I’m on my own.

And these are from my walk Monday morning, it was another beautiful fall morning 🙂

Sunrise over Okanagan Lake at Kelowna City Park.

Downtown Kelowna

Sun still rising a half hour later at Waterfront Park.

Later that afternoon it started to snow and the snow continued through the night. It was a totally different walk Tuesday morning but just as pretty 😀 I was surprised that the city had already plowed the walkway through the parks when I went out at 6:30 in the morning.

I had to stop and take a footprints in the snow picture since I often take a footprints in the sand picture. Hmm I think I have to say I prefer the footprints in the sand pictures!

Hubby’s footprints in the sand with the Atlantic Ocean washing in:-)

But lets carry on …

That is the skating rink on the left. They have just put up the fence around it so I think they are getting ready to lay the ice.

The boat locks from the lake into the canals in front of some condos.

This photo reminds me of a Christmas card.

I think this photo will probably become my winter blog header.

By Wednesday most of the snow was gone …

I went out at 6:00 on Wednesday because a friend and her big dog walk with me so we both feel very safe even though we start our walk in the dark 🙂

And by Friday we had another dusting in the morning …

By noon the snow had stopped and the rain had started but that didn’t put a damper on our sleepover fun with our eleven year old grandson 🙂

Until next time …

Remembrance Day 2020

Every year, November 5 to 11 is Veterans’ Week, an opportunity for Canadians to honour the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices of our veterans. Remembrance Day, November 11, marks the final day of Veterans’ Week and recalls the end of hostilities during the First World War on that date in 1918. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Canadians gather wherever they are and observe a moment of silence to remember those who have fallen in the line of duty and to recognize their service to our country.

Cenotaph in Kelowna City Park as the sun rises last Saturday.

I have been watching the progress of the Fields of Crosses Memorial Project in Kelowna’s City Park over the past week. The Field of Crosses features 240 white crosses that commemorate local Canadian Armed Forces personnel who died for our countries freedom.

The field is set up to allow people to walk among the rows of crosses that contain the name, rank, age, and date of death of each of our local fallen heroes.

It will definitely be a different Remembrance Day for us, not only are we home (which has only happened twice in the last seven years) but we are also unable to attend the ceremonies at City Park because of COVID. Instead we will listen to a service on a local radio station, which is what we do every year when we are south for the winter. While it would be much nicer to attend a service in City Park, we will still be able to recognize the day and send our prayers to all who have fallen, all who have served, and to their families who stand behind them.

Someone sent me the picture below when our son was on his second tour in Afghanistan and it stuck with me because it is exactly how I felt, and I’m sure how every other mother of a soldier feels or has felt.

Some people wonder if they have made a difference in the lives of others…. A soldier never has to.

My Morning Walk

Since you have suffered through my morning walks at Bear Creek Provincial Park and at Cocopah RV Park in Yuma I thought you should suffer through my COVID winter walk at our condo in downtown Kelowna … yup I’m sorry but it is what it is … do you hate that statement, “it is what it is”? I hate when people use it but it seem to fit in this case … but I still don’t like it 🙂

Last Sunday and Monday we had clear blue skies and as usual I enjoyed my morning walk. As I started my walk on Sunday I thought I should take pictures so you could travel along with me.

I forgot to take a picture as I left the condo but this is maybe two blocks away on Sunset Drive.

Halfway down Sunset Drive I turned onto the path along Waterfront Front Park and went by the bird sanctuary path where we saw the deer on Saturday.

I don’t go down this boardwalk early in the morning because I am chicken … or keenly aware of good places to walk and not so good places … it is pretty secluded down this boardwalk so I only walk it when I’m with someone or later in the day.

I continue along past condo units on the left and up to the beach area which is full of people in the summer.

Nice view of Okanagan Lake Bridge … sorry bridges interest me so you may see more pics of this bridge 🙂

And then I came upon a choice, I could walk through the centre of the park which is very pretty or I could walk along the boardwalk around the lake.

I chose the boardwalk around the lake … but this did come with some perils … early in the morning it is wet and slippery … but the view is stunning so it was the obvious choice … but I’m also a little paranoid about falling … am I am getting old 😦 No I consider myself smart not old 😀 Anyway I did walk around the boardwalk but I walked on the ledge above which is concrete and not slippery. I did have to get out of the way of some young women that were jogging along the concrete wall but that only made me realize how smart I was to chose the ledge versus the boardwalk!

Once I jumped down from the concrete ledge at the locks that led from the lake into the inner harbour I was once again on a concrete walk.

The sun was coming up.

A short distance later I past the Kelowna Yacht Club which I have mentioned our Quartzite Yacht Club membership gives us access to … for way less than it would cost us to join the Kelowna Yacht Club 🙂

Just past the Yacht Club I walked past the skating rink. At this point it looks like the City of Kelowna may open the rink this year but users may have to book times to ensure social distancing and the fire pit will be closed down.

Once past the skating rink I past the City of Kelowna Visitor Centre and the Marina Rental locations.

I looked up Bernard Avenue, the main downtown street, and then to the Sails. which I have written about before, and headed into City Park.

As I entered City Park …

I noticed something going on just off the walkway … this is the beginning of a Remembrance Day cross display. This brought up memories of laying a wreath one year on Remembrance Day for the Military Family Resource Centre when our youngest son was serving in Afghanistan.

After I pondered over that display I move on along the walkway and noticed the Peregrine Falcon statue, which our daughter, as Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake, was included in the dedication … yes that also brought up a fun few memories 🙂

I also came across another statue which I though was really well done.

And then I carried on around the lakeshore enjoying my walk.

A duck photo bombed my picture 🙂

I walked past the Volleyball nets …

And look at the incline on the bridge … I told you I liked bridges 😀 .

And then I came up to the walkway under the bridge access and decided it was time to head back towards home.

I was now walking along a path that hubby and I travelled many times on our bikes while riding from the Westside of the bridge into town.

But unlike our bike rides where we rode across the park I chose to head up to Abbot Street.

I walked along Abbot Street back towards the Sails.

I then headed up Bernard Avenue toward our COVID home.

As I walked up Bernard I paused at the corner of Bernard and Ellis Street … why? Well we are now living on Ellis Street but for thirty-five years I worked at the federal building just down the street from this corner.

Service Canada is in the Federal Building on the left and the main downtown bus loop in the middle of the street.

And a short walk later I was at our winter home 🙂

So thanks for coming along on one of my morning walks and while I painted a rosy picture of downtown Kelowna I do have to tell you that, like all other large cities, our downtown isn’t perfect 😦

I focus on the positive sides and that does work well but we do have a homeless population in our downtown area. Hubby and I knew that when we chose to live downtown and, after working downtown for thirty five years I saw it, but we accepted it as part of life in the downtown area. Is it an issue for us? No it isn’t! I dealt with homeless people when I was working, both in Kelowna and the Kootenay area of BC and never felt threaten … in fact many of them worked full time but can’t afford rent and work clothes so ended up living on the streets and it’s a sad situation 😦 I know there are people living on the street that are not in this situation but, for the odd scary person I come across (and I can count two times in all my years downtown), I am happy to give them a wide berth and carry on about my day.

I thought this was a terrible place to hunker down for the night because it would be very cold until a friend pointed out that it was actually a very safe place … you would hear people coming down the walk and because the walkway was on the water you would feel it move … hmm this was really very smart thinking … and can you think of a better view when you wake up!

Until next time …

We Are Thinking About Our US Friends :-)

We didn’t have any little gobblins show up at the door last Saturday but we were treated to a great firework display our our front window, but since I didn’t take any pictures I will share a picture our son sent us of their place decorated for Halloween. He said the candy slide was a big hit and the neighbours said they had way more kids than other years … not sure if they are happy about that or not but our son and daughter-in-law had a great time 🙂

Last weekend we met a couple of friends for coffee outside a local coffee shop. Do you remember the coffee shop with the pumpkins out front in my blog a few weeks ago? Well the pumpkins were gone before Halloween, some people just don’t play nice! After coffee we went for a walk along the waterfront and around the bird sanctuary where we saw some wildlife.

Two deer relaxing in the sun.

A Blue Heron enjoying the sun.

Earlier today I walked to my nail appointment, a half hour walk each way. It was a nice but slightly damp walk there.

And a nice but wet walk home 🙂

She told me about a different route home which gave me a view of Kelowna from above.

And I continued on a different street home … it’s nice to have choices 🙂

As we sit here tonight watching the US election results we were talking and both came to the same thought … we support the citizens of the US in their decision on who should be president whether we agree or not … because as Canadians we have no say on who you elect, it is your choice … but we do watch your election with interest because it does affect us. Canada and the United States have a very close economic relationship and we share a border, but ultimately our job is to work with whomever American voters elect. Hubby and I spend half our year in the US (okay not this year 🙂 ) so we have a keen interest in American politics and hope that our two countries can continue to get get along 🙂

Until next time …

It’s Warming Up :-)

After the snowfall at the end of last week and a cold start to this week it was a relief when it warmed back up to double digits on Thursday and it looks like it will stay that way for the next week.

It was a very cold walk last Sunday morning.

I did enjoy our snowfall but I’m not ready for cold temperatures this early into fall. I was hoping for a warm sunny fall that would allow for lots of bike riding and walking around our new COVID home, so let’s hope last week was a temporary blip and the weather will smarten up!

Last Saturday our daughter held a COVID baby shower for our granddaughter … despite the -5C (23F) temperatures twelve of us bundled up and sat outside around the fire for two hours enjoying hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and chili and hot dogs, oh and I can’t forget about the smores! Everything was individually portioned or set out so that it could be safely served during COVID … it does take some extra planning these days to keep everyone safe but she did a great job 🙂

This past Thursday I took our granddaughters maternity pictures and I think there are at least a few good ones. Fortunately it had warmed up a bit and the sun even peaked out of the clouds.

It won’t be long before we get to meet our great granddaughter 🙂

Last night our oldest grandson came for a movie night and sleepover and we had a great time. It’s nice that at sixteen he still wants to come and spend time with us 🙂 Next weekend our son’s son is coming to spend the night and then our daughter’s other two son’s are lined up for the following weekends … yes grandma and grandpa are loving this 😀

I will leave you with a series of pictures of our awesome sunset last Monday evening … it just kept getting more and more colourful … and Tuesday’s sunset was almost as pretty but I’m saving those pictures for a week when the sunset doesn’t show itself in full glory.

Until next time …

Beautiful Sunny Warm Days to Beautiful Snowy Cold Days 🙂

We have been in the condo for almost a week and are really loving it. Yes we would like to be heading to warmer weather but it is fun to be around family and friends and the pretty fall colours … and yes the big fluffy snow flakes 🙂

This is what we looked at all day Friday 🙂

My cousin sent me this picture. I don’t think Maxx is as happy with the snow as I am 😦

When we first began looking for somewhere to live this winter we set a rental budget and knew that on top of that we would have to pay for utilities, wifi, and possibly cable if we decided we wanted it over the winter. I was firm that I wanted two bathrooms and our next RV (don’t worry Maxx we have no plans to replace you!) will hopefully have two toilets. Finding a place with two bathrooms meant we were probably getting two bedrooms as well, which was okay with us because we want to have the grandkids for sleepovers during our time here.

But before Friday we were having really nice fall weather 🙂

We had no preference as to a condo, townhouse, or house … furnished or not furnished, but did eventually decide that we would look for a condo because we thought it was a good opportunity to try one out for an extended period of time before we considered what we want to purchase in the future. We looked at a lot of units and all of them were very small, between 500 and 750 sq. feet and at the top of our budget … in fact I thought we would have to increase our already very healthy budget. On top of the monthly rental they all wanted a $200.00 move in fee and a $200.00 move out fee, plus a $300.00 cleaning fee at the end of the rental.

When I found the listing for this condo I almost didn’t bother contacting the owner since the rent was almost $600.00 a month less than anything else we had seen, I figured there must be something wrong with it, but the pictures and write up looked good so we decided to arrange a viewing. Wow were we surprised! The location was perfect, it has eleven foot ceilings, two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, in suite laundry, fully furnished, and is about 1,200 square feet.

We were not overly fond of the furnishings but the owners had no problem with us bringing in some of our own furniture and storing theirs in our storage unit. And if the rent wasn’t low enough, it included all the utilities, wifi, and cable! Plus there were no additional move in/move out fees or cleaning fees!

View of hubby’s favourite chair and our awesome windows.

Our night view … I spent Friday washing all the windows so now we have nice clear views.

The place could not be more perfect for us … well it could be if it was on a much higher floor and the hallways/stairways were nicer but now I’m just nit picking. We think we will be very happy here this winter … especially with the big bank of windows showing the falling snow 😀

On the left is the side entrance that I use after my walks, it is really pretty but once you walked through the security gate and into the stairwell there really isn’t anything attractive about it.

The units all surround an outdoor courtyard which means we have an outdoor entrance which, with COVID, we actually like.

Since I no longer see the sunrises I will have to leave you with a sunset picture.

Until next time …

It’s Snowing!

I had planned to sit down this morning with my coffee and write my Saturday blog but I had to put those thoughts on hold and write a special one today about the snow 🙂

Yes that is me smiling, I love the snow … I know stop groaning, don’t call or text me, I know I’m pretty much alone … except for Blondie who, when we were working, would bundle up and head out for a walk with me as soon as it started snowing.

A friend and I are walking early Friday mornings and she was also happy to walk in the snow with me this morning, although it was just starting when we headed out. It was a nice, wet, walk and I will let the pictures tell the story.

We walked from the condo down to the lake and stopped to greet the Spirt Bear and say hello from Patti 🙂

Along the promenade at Waterfront Park

Kelowna looking pretty in the early morning light.

Most of the trees are starting to change colour.

The snow wasn’t sticking until a little later.

These cute pumpkins were greeting customers outside a coffee shop.

This is the earliest snowfall I can remember in all my years of living in Kelowna and it’s not suppose to last, so all you snow haters there is hope 😀

Until next time …

Goodbye Maxx, Hello Condo

After seven years of spending nearly every night in Maxx we waved goodbye to him yesterday and moved into our COVID winter home, we also waved goodbye to Summer 2020 and said hello to COVID winter.

Normally when we leave the park and head south I start a new category on the blog, which this year would have been Winter 2020, but it seems more appropriate to call it COVID Winter 2020. I was originally going to leave it at COVID Winter but I think this pandemic may go on for another year which means I may need a COVID Winter 2021 as well 😦

Everything went smoothly with closing Maxx up for the winter. You always wonder when you have been sitting for long periods what will go wrong, but everything went fine as usual … he has been a very good RV and has given us very few problems, other than tires!

Tanks flushed, winterized, and ready to roll after seven months.

Hubby winterized Maxx for the first time ever! We also pulled out all the items that might freeze and stored the generator and it’s gas can and the bbq and it’s propane tank at our daughter’s house. Hubby pressure washed the bbq but we have never stored it in the RV as no matter how clean you get it, the mice can always smell it.

If we were heading south we would have left a few days ago and it would have been just in time since the weather has really cooled down this week and snow is expected at the end of the week … and, after cold tootsies today, I had to breakdown and put my flip flops away 😦

Not a nice day out … good thing we weren’t going to far!

We took Maxx out to Peachland to keep an eye on my cousin and her family this winter … or is it the other way around 😀

Goodbye Maxx, we will miss you.

We enjoyed lunch with my cousin and her hubby and then headed off to our new adventure. We were given the keys to the condo two days early, on the 13th, and have had a busy week getting moved in and cleaning out our site at the park for the winter.

By the time we had put away the last of our items in the condo we were both exhausted. So while hubby set up our hard drives and TV system I went and had a shower and put on my jammies. It was only 3:00 p.m. but what I realized about a condo is nobody can knock on the door without buzzing us first, so even if someone did come to visit I would have more than enough time to get dressed before they got to our door 🙂 Maybe condo living is a good idea!

A wet view out the windows tonight.

Until next time …

Wow Seven Years!

Seven years ago today we moved into Maxx full time, wow that is so hard to believe and boy did the time ever fly!

Maxx at Bear Creek Provincial Park, our summer home for the past four years.

That works out to 2,557 days or 61,368 hours or 3,682,080 minutes … yup that’s a lot of time for two people to live together in a thirty-five foot fifth wheel, and yet we have done it and more importantly loved every 220,924,800 seconds of it 🙂

Maxx, decorated for Christmas, in Yuma Arizona.

Little did we know, when we sold our house seven years ago and embarked on our six month adventure south across the US to the Florida Keys and back, that we would still be living full time in an RV today. That was never our plan, our plan was to go south for the winter, spend Christmas in Marathon Florida (because that is where hubby’s finger fell when he closed his eyes and picked a spot on the map) and then come home in the spring and buy a new house. I think in the back of our mind we thought we would still go south for the winter but the only thing we knew for sure was that we would definitely buy another house because we didn’t think we could live full time in an RV. How the world turns … we found we loved travelling and living in Maxx and just couldn’t bring ourselves to settle down.

View from Maxx Christmas 2013 … the only Christmas that we did not return to Canada to spend the holiday with family.

We have seen some amazing places, met some amazing people, had some bad times, but even more good times … and probably more important than any of that is we are both travelling with the love of our lives and our best friend! Life doesn’t get any better than that.

Maxx at Poche RV Park in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

So what do the next seven years hold? Well hopefully more of the same, but first we have to get through this pandemic. While the pandemic has put our travels south this winter out of the question we still have a fun adventure ahead of us.

Our new winter home … more pictures to come in future blogs.

Tomorrow we will move into a condo in downtown Kelowna where we will spend the winter surrounded by wonderful views, city lights, many many craft breweries and great restaurants all within a very short walk, and endless walking and biking trails through the beautiful city of Kelowna, B.C..

Bike trail across the street from our condo.

So while the last seven years have been amazing, the next seven years hold just as much promise 😀

I couldn’t leave you without one last sunrise picture from Bear Creek Provincial Park 🙂  Our condo is tucked among those tall buildings across the lake.

Until next time …