More Friends

So Mr. & Mrs. McDuck, who are still living with us, invited some friends over this morning.  I first noticed them when I was up in the bedroom and I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye, I thought it was a big dog off leash walking through our site. I grabbed hubby’s cell phone and took some quick pictures through the bedroom window screen.  They were cute but one of them looked like he was going for my flowers, so I came down into the living room and saw through the window that they were being polite and leaving my planters and vegetable garden alone. I was able to quietly open the door and catch a few more pictures with my camera before they meandered out of sight. Mr. and Mrs. McDuck didn’t go with them, in fact I don’t think they were very good hosts because they just kept sleeping and didn’t even say goodbye! Deer are a problem for most people in Kelowna, they eat their landscaping and gardens, but here in the park they are very respectful of nature so I am always happy to see them 🙂

Until next time …

A Wonderful Week Followed By A Painful Weekend 😦

Last week started with a belated Mother’s Day dinner hosted by our daughter. It was a warm sunny evening with a great dinner outside and lots of visiting and even snuggles with our great granddaughter … a lot of fun and definitely worth the wait 😀

We were treated to a beautiful sunset that evening!)

On Tuesday five couples from our Tuesday coffee group came out to the campsite for three nights and boy was that a lot of fun! We had fantastic weather, spent lots of time on the beach during the day and evenings visiting in a large grassy area near their sites.

No pictures of all of us on the beach but the Seagull made the cut 🙂

We had a visit from a steam boat on our last beach day and of course hubby had to spend some time checking it out. These pictures are courtesy of hubby and he did tell me details about it but honestly, I don’t remember most of it, other than it took the owner twenty years to build it and the boat was originally a ferry from Granville Island in Vancouver, B.C.

On the last evening everyone was here I went up to the bedroom to put on some warmer clothes and felt a searing pain in my big toe! I thought I had been stung by a bee and that the stinger was still in my toe because the pain was searing and went on forever. I yelled for hubby to come and get the stinger out and he finally did pull something small and black off my toe but there were no venom sacs on it and the pain didn’t stop. It took about fifteen minutes before the searing pain stopped and the throbbing started. By the next morning my foot was swollen and I couldn’t walk on it. After a visit with Dr. Google and my own doctor it was determined that I had most likely been bitten by a black widow spider 😦 I was advised to go to Emergency at our local hospital but it had been about fourteen hours, and honestly all I wanted to do was sleep, so I decided I wouldn’t go unless the swelling got worse. I slept for two full days and by the third day I could put some weight on my foot and yesterday I was able to get out for my walks … so I survived my first black widow spider bite 🙂 When I first got bit I did look down and saw something small and black so I’m guessing it was a little spider and I got lucky. And since I didn’t want to end this blog with a spider picture, I will leave you with some pretty wild roses instead.

We have more friends staying at the park this week so I’m there will be more fun times ahead.

Until next time …

Family Time

Well the May long weekend at the park was everything we expected it to be! Very very busy, pretty decent weather, lots of people we know, and best of all time with our daughter and her family 😀

An early morning view of Kelowna.

Taken at the same time but it really looks like I took this picture in the fall not a few days ago.

They were able to reserve a site a few months ago and our grandson had finished his two week quarantine on Friday, and he didn’t get COVID, so they were here for the weekend. My cousin’s daughter and her family were also here, and there were about four other families that we know that were here, so it was a very social, with masks and distancing, weekend.

A nice lunch view at the patio of a local golf course.

Along with our grandchildren our great granddaughter was here and it was fun making faces at her and watching her smile. We still can’t hold her but at least she sees us and she doesn’t make strange so that is a relief!

Everything is starting to bloom in the park.

We did have some heavy rain last night but we need it so I’m not complaining. I tried to get a picture of the torrent of rain coming off the awning but it didn’t work, you will just have to take my word for it 🙂 This morning most of the park is packing up and getting ready to head back home and by this afternoon we will be back to peace and quiet. I love hearing all the kids during the weekend but the peace and quiet is also nice. We need to enjoy that before school gets out and it is noisy all the time.

Until next time …

We Have Roommates

Last weekend was very warm and sunny so a bike ride was definitely in order and Sunday was the day.  We spent the morning at the park, since it was really busy, but by early afternoon most people had headed home so we headed out.

This really cool car spent the weekend at the park.

We had a late lunch on a patio overlooking Okanagan Lake …

And then made a stop at Vice & Virtue Brewery to sample some craft beers 🙂

We left there, pedalled along the lake and back across the bridge, and stopped to admire the view of Kelowna from the other side of the lake.

Fifteen kilometers later we were done, it was a great day for our first bike ride of the year! And I will leave you with some pictures of our new roommates, Mr. & Mrs. McDuck.  They moved in a week ago and are very well behaved so we are happy to have them around 😀

They are not shy and don’t move when we sit in our chairs outside.

Until next time …

Happy Mother’s Day

I hope all the mother’s out there have a wonderful Mother’s Day. In BC we are allowed to visit outside with up to ten people, which meant this Mother’s Day I was going to be able to spend it with our daughter and family. YAY, much better than last year 🙂

I love the city view from this campsite

But sometimes the best laid plans just don’t work out 😦 On Thursday our almost fourteen year old grandson was exposed to a friend who tested positive for COVID and that means he must isolate for fourteen days. Now he lives with his parents and four siblings which means he has to isolate in his bedroom, alone, for fourteen days. I mentioned that he was almost fourteen … well his first full day of isolation was also his birthday.  I felt so bad for him but when we dropped off his present and talked to him through the window he was in a pretty positive mood. Maybe it was because he had unlimited iPad time and was able to spend some time in the family room playing video games by himself. Or maybe it was because I reminded him he wouldn’t have to do chores for two weeks 😀 He also thought it was pretty cool that he got all his meals served to him and was able to eat in his room.  When I talked with him yesterday morning, he was still upbeat but getting a little bored and that was only day three. Oh and of course Mother’s Day dinner had to be cancelled. We had our vaccine’s this past week but since two weeks have not past we are not able to be around him, so we will have to settle with visits through the window and FaceTime and hope that he can keep his spirits up for the rest of his two weeks. Stay safe everyone and wear your masks to help keep others safe!  Until next time …

Rain 🙂

It started to rain lightly around dinner time yesterday and it continued steady through the night, and at time of posting is still raining. I woke up this morning at 4:00 with a headache, my allergies already in full force, and the patter of rain on the roof. I had decided not to go out for a walk so instead I laid in bed played my two daily games on my phone and did my daily puzzles on my IPad. By 5:30, with my head still pounding, I decided to get up and go out, even if I only did a short walk. I thought the fresh air might help my head. I took a couple of Advil and an allergy pill and headed out the door … and that turned out to be a great decision.   The minute I walked out the door the smell of fresh spring air hit me and perked up my mood considerably. When I got down to the lake, I could see the mist surrounding it and it was so pretty.  It was about that point I realized my headache was gone which I think was due to the fresh air, because I don’t think the Advil would have kicked in that quickly.   What was going to be a quick walk turned into a longer than usual walk as I puttered around taking lots of pictures and just enjoying the morning.

It may not be the nicest weather but we still have lots of campers.

And the reason for the happy face on my blog title? Well, we really need the rain, not only for everything to grow but also to help keep fire season at bay.

Bear Creek is starting to flow pretty fast and heavy.

Until next time …

Spring Is In The Air

Once again I really have nothing to say and not even any pretty sunrise pictures to share.

The best sunrise picture of the past few weeks … I know a little disappointing but it was nice to view where we lived for the winter 🙂

Up until this past weekend the weather has been warm and sunny which means the campground has been a busy place. This past weekend it was only half full since the weather cooled down a bit and rain was forecasted. We did get rain overnight Saturday but it had stopped when I went out for my walk at 5:30 Sunday morning and it really smelt like spring was in the air 😀

But I did get the opportunity to see the trumpeter swans.

I did get the opportunity to see the trumpeter swans one morning. I keep forgetting to mention this in my blog … my blog posts automatically to Facebook, hubby set that up several years ago, but for the past year I have not been on Facebook so if you comment there, I usually won’t see it. I gave up Facebook last summer when a friend posted a comment that insulted me … this was a good friend and I’m sure they didn’t mean to insult me, I think they thought they were being funny, but it did and at that point I decided I didn’t need that stress in my life, so Facebook became a thing of the past. Honestly, I don’t really miss it, I hear directly from my family and friends and enjoy hearing first-hand about what’s going on in their lives. I do miss hearing what cousin’s, previous coworkers, and a few childhood friends are up to, but I can usually find out what they are doing through other family and friends.Anyway, long story short, I don’t miss Facebook but I am sorry that some of you are taking time to comment and I am missing those comments. Sometimes Facebook will send me an email saying someone has commented on the blog and I will go into my Maxx Trails Facebook page and read the comment but I don’t always get a heads up. So, I just want you to know that if you read my blog on Facebook, I really appreciate your support and your comments and I’m sorry if I don’t respond.  I hope you are all well and hopefully have been or will soon be vaccinated.  Hubby and I are still waiting but hoping to be among the vaccinated in May 🙂

Until next time …

2020 – 2021 Snowbird Year Wrap Up

We are settled in at Bear Creek Provincial Park and are very happy to be back at the park and living in Maxx again! I remember asking Laura of Chapter 3 Travels if they had any trouble moving back to their motorhome (Barney) after spending a couple of months in a sticks and bricks house in Austin Texas, and she assured me it wasn’t a problem and they were happy to get back to Barney. I did worry that it might be hard to go back to Maxx after five and a half months of living in a 1400 square foot, two bedroom, two bathroom condo … but it wasn’t, in fact I haven’t even given the condo a second thought. Of course that may change the first time hubby is in the washroom and I desperately need to use it, yup I could miss that second bathroom 😀

While we didn’t head south this winter, I still considered our condo adventure a Snowbird year and felt I should do a wrap up … so over the past six months:

We spent time in zero states and zero provinces other than British Columbia.

We may have driven 375 km but I would be surprised and that is down significantly from last year when we covered 6,196 mi (9,972 km) which was also less than previous years. Our first winter away still showed the most distance when we travelled 14,093 mi (22,663 km) from Kelowna, B.C. to Key West, Florida.

We spent $58.00 on fuel … yes that’s not a typo $58.00 and we still had a full tank when we left the condo! That compares to $1,681 in 2019/2020, $2,152 in 2018/2019, $2,719 2017/2018; $2,150 in 2016/2017; $1,526 in 2015/2016; $2,350 in 2014/2015; and $5,041 in 2013/2014.  On our one fill we paid $3.549 a gallon for diesel; up from $3.047 a gallon in 2019/2020, $3.252 a gallon in 2018/2019, $2.598 in 2017/2018, $2.514 in 2016/2017, $2.096 in 2015/2016, $3.128 2014/2015, but it was still less than the $3.813 we paid our first year 2013/2014.

Even with paying for our site in Yuma (we had to pay to keep the site even though we weren’t there 😦 ) and paying rent, we still spent much less this year than our other seven years. Although if it hadn’t been for COVID and our all-winter lock-down we probably would have spent a lot more since we were within walking distance to many great restaurants and many more craft breweries!

My poinsettia the day we moved out … still looking as good as the day I brought it home at the beginning of December. I gave it to my cousin as a thank-you for storing Maxx for the winter

We moved into the park just in time for the very busy Easter weekend but once Tuesday hit things have settled down and we are enjoying some rest and relaxation after a busy two weeks.

When I wrote last year’s wrap up I ended it with this line “The COVID-19 virus sure brought a crazy end to a wonderful winter. We hope all of you and your families stay healthy, do your part to self isolate, and that this pandemic is over soon!” Who knew a year later we would still be in the thick of COVID and still locked down and unable to see our families and friends, all though just recently we are able to have a bubble of ten that we can see outside while social distanced and masked.  Now the highlight of our day is watching the government website praying that our year of birth will appear and we can book our appointments for our first vaccine!

I’m not hopeful that we will be able to go south this winter either but I am praying that we can at least get vaccinated and be able to see our son’s, hug our grandchildren, visit with our daughter inside and without masks, see my sister and see hubby’s mom and siblings.

Another picture of my first sunrise at the park.

My prayers are with all of you that you, your family and love ones are, and stay, safe and healthy.

Until next time …

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly … of Condo Living

We are starting to pack up and get ready to move back to Maxx on Wednesday and yes we are both very excited. This winter was a good opportunity to try out condo living to see if a condo is something we want to purchase in the future … so how did it go?

Well, we didn’t have to shovel snow, so that is definitely a good thing! We actually could not have picked a better year to spend the winter in Kelowna; the snowfall was far less than normal, the temperatures were higher than normal, and the valley cloud was almost non-existent so we had a mostly bright sunny winter 😀

But back to condo living … let’s start with the bad … Hmm haven’t found anything really bad … well I guess you could say we see the occasional homeless person around the downtown area but I honestly think that is something you need to expect if you are living in a downtown area. When I was working, I would meet with homeless people and it would surprise you the number that are working full time but don’t have the money for a damage deposit to rent an apartment 😦

The ugly … well when we first moved in it was the inordinate amount of time it took to get hot water to any tap in the unit! When we sat down for breakfast I would turn on the kitchen tap to full hot water and when we were done breakfast it might … if we were lucky … be getting slightly warm!

Just as ugly … when I went to have a shower in the master bath I would turn the shower on full hot water, get changed, talk to hubby, watch the end of a TV show if it was at night, check the local online news if it was in the morning, go back to the shower wait for the water to get hot … yup after all of that it was still barely warm … once it was boiling hot I would spend another ten minutes getting it to a reasonable (settling on the cold side) temperature 😦

Now to be fair to condo’s we had stayed at a wonderful friend’s condo for a few Christmas’s, when we came home and she was away, and never had any problem getting hot water … so why was this condo so different? And more importantly was this something we needed to check when, and if, we decided to purchase a condo in the future?

Well after a week of complaining, and watching me turn water on long before I needed to, hubby went into investigator mode and discovered that this unit had low flow water restrictors in all of the taps. I get why this is a benefit when you are paying for water, but seriously there has to be a compromise between saving money and enjoying life … and faster, easier, warmer water, is enjoying life for me! Now if you are totally into the environment … and I get that within reason … then waiting more than half an hour for hot water may be your thing … I’m into protecting the environment and my quality of life so I’m willing to compromise in-between.

After hubby had done his work, the shower was a little better but still not great. Finally around Christmas time he took the facet apart and decided it needed a replacement cartridge. We ordered one, he put it in and wow it worked perfectly … life was so much more enjoyable 🙂 The landlords were so happy to hear it was fixed they asked hubby to fix the shower in the main washroom which was doing the same thing. After this experience I might be tempted to do a hot water check on a condo if I am considering a purchase in the future.

The other downfall we found was the fire alarm/sprinkler inspections that required us to be present, all day, twice during the 5.5 months. We also had to move our truck out of the parkade three times, once so that they could clean the parkade, and twice so that they could work on plumbing in parkade … which of course, because we live downtown, meant paying for parking. We are not sure how people who work full time deal with those situations and we are not sure how we would deal with those situations if we were south for the winter. Yes, we could ask someone to come and sit all day waiting for an inspection but I think we would quickly loose friends doing that!

I love the colourful reflection of the boats in the water

So onto the good … We had a nice deck and did get to use it several times in the fall, but I think the access to outdoor space would be something for us to factor in. Living in the condo this year during the winter months and COVID worked out okay but we both have the feeling that as soon as the warmer months arrive, we would be craving more outdoor space than the a small deck. Yes, we are very close to the beach and lots of park area but that is not the same as having my own flower and vegetable garden and space to entertain more than four people outside.

We do know that we absolutely love living downtown! The access to walking paths, being able to walk to the grocery store, walk to church on Sunday, and we were also close enough to walk to my sister’s place. From downtown it would also be an easy bike ride to our daughter’s place as well as several other friends. Of course none of that happened this year because of the COVID lockdown 😦

Our truck hardly ever went out because we could walk everywhere we needed to go, in fact we filled up the tank once this winter and still have more than half a tank left.

So, for our first winter at home since 2012 it was a good place to live but we don’t think condo living is for us. Although to be fair, as a good friend pointed out, it might be different if we had been able to entertain and have friends/family over for visits. And that may be true, I had a really hard time this winter being home and so close to everyone but not able to see anyone and maybe that soured my experience.

I guess we will just tuck this information away for the future when we decide to settle down and for now look forward to our move back to Maxx on Wednesday 🙂

Until next time …

Top Ten Pictures of 2020

I just realized I have never posted my top ten pictures for last year, so here they are. We would love your votes, on the poll at the end of the blog, to help us choose the best picture of 2020. And just in case you haven’t voted for previous years and would like to, here are the links.

Top Ten Pictures of 2019

Top Ten Pictures of 2018

Top Ten Pictures of 2017

Top Ten Pictures of 2016

Top Ten Pictures of 2015

Top Ten Pictures of 2014

Top Ten Pictures of 2013

Now off to 2020 …  1 – Evening view of San Diego from our cruise ship the night we left for our two week Panama Canal Cruise. Picture taken 1 February 2020.  2 – Parrot at cruise ship terminal in Cartagena, Columbia. Picture taken 11 February 2020.  3 – Dandelion gone to seed, taken on a hike near Bear Creek Provincial Park, Kelowna BC. Picture taken 23 June 2020.  4 – We had so much fun watching the Finch at our bird feeders last summer. Picture taken 13 July 2020.  5 – I see some amazing sunrises at Bear Creek Provincial Park but this one was a doosie! Picture taken 24 August 2020.  6 – And two months later the sunrises were just as pretty. I can just picture myself sitting on the bench with a cup of coffee enjoying the quiet beauty of nature. Picture taken 10 October 2020. 7 – Sunrise at the Cenotaph, Kelowna City Park four days before Remembrance Day. Picture taken 7 November 2020. 8 – Kelowna Skyline taken from City Park during my morning walk. Picture taken 23 December 2020. 9 – The Spirit Bear in downtown Kelowna, B.C. Picture taken 30 December 2020. 10 – Another Kelowna skyline photo taken from City Park. Picture taken 30 December 2020.

Wow this year all but two of my top ten pictures where from Kelowna which just goes to show we live in a beautiful place! Also different this year is the number of snow pictures which of course we don’t normally have because we are south for the winter … I’m not complaining, I love snowy days 🙂 Some browsers will not show the Poll below. If you do not see a poll that means your browser does not support this type of script. If that happens you can either switch to another browser or leave us a comment and we will add your vote manually. We appreciate all your votes as it help us narrow down which pictures we will eventually mount and hang in our new home … one day in the future.

Until next time