The Sweet Smell Of Spring

Spring is in the air … finally 🙂 When I walk I can smell the flowers, the sun is shining and the birds are chirping.

And the best part is we get to experience the start of spring all over again when we arrive home!

I came across this Heron early one morning.

We spent yesterday planning our route home and it is a pretty boring route, other than a few interesting overnight stops.

The mountain passes still don’t look good, so we will head north along I-5 for most of the trip, although hubby has planned a route that follows secondary roads as much as possible.

We will head to the lower mainland of British Columbia and spend some time visiting with hubby’s mom and siblings. Our fingers are crossed that we will find a good day to head over the Coquihalla and Connector and arrive home in Kelowna before Easter.

Until next time …

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Yuma Airshow

Our first year in Yuma we attended the Yuma Airshow and enjoyed it so much that we have tried to attend again, but sadly it usually occurs after we have headed home for the winter. Not so this year 🙂 The show was a few weeks earlier than it usually is and even better, next years show will be at the end of February!

The show runs Friday night and Saturday during the day. Admittance is free and you can bring your own chairs, but you can also buy grandstand and chalet tickets. We take our own chairs along with water and lunch and sit along the fence to watch the show. The only thing we were unable to see this year was the patient on the ground that Search and Rescue rappelled down to pick up, other than that we could see everything else, so we think free is a good option.

To attend Friday night you have to print off a parking pass, which is free, but allows the event organizers to ensure they have enough parking spaces available. We had planned to go Friday night but it was MAJOR windy so we skipped it … maybe next year.

To attend on Saturday you just need to show up, but be prepared to wait in line to be directed to your parking spot. Once we were parked we were quickly loaded on the bus and driven to the main event area.  Oh, and remember to bring ID with you, I almost left my wallet at home and would not have been able to enter the grounds.

We wandered around the static displays for a while … I was bored, hubby had fun … hmm sounds like the opposite of when he goes to the mall with me 🙂

You had to pay $5.00 a person, or $10.00 a family to enter this plane.

And another $5.00 a person, or $10.00 a family to enter this plane as well.

So we admired them from outside ☺

At 11:00 a.m. the show began and it went non-stop until 3:30 p.m. Well, since the Marine Corp and the Yuma airport share runways, we did have one short stop to allow a medical plane to land.

The first plane we saw was the AV-8B Harrier II, and I thought it was really interesting. This plane is capable of vertical/short takeoff and landings. It has 22,000 pounds of thrust, which enables it to hover like a helicopter and then blast forward like a jet. I loved the fact that it would just hover in the sky and pose for pictures!

The Shockwave Jet Truck followed the Harrier, and it raced down the runway at 350mi/563km per hour before deploying a parachute to help it stop.

I’m not going to give you a play by play of the airshow but I will share some of our favorite events.

The F-35B Lightning II was also very cooperative and didn’t mind posing for pictures, but I guess if you are really into planes you would be more impressed by the fact that it can also do vertical/short takeoff and landings.

The Search and Rescue HH-1N Twin Huey performed a SAR demo where I mentioned above we were unable to see the patient on the ground, but we saw everything else.

Exiting the plane to rappel down to the injured airman.

Lifting the injured airman back up to the plane.

The MV-22B Osprey followed SAR and displayed how they would deploy troops or  provide cover fire when required. It was interesting to watch the Ospreys as they often fly over top of us at the RV Park, fortunately they haven’t felt the need to provide anyone cover fire while over the park 🙂

An AH-1 Viper helicopter gunship … sorry I don’t know what to tell you about this helicopter, I guess you will have to go to the show sometime 🙂

Through out the show we had been watching two planes, sitting on the runway right in front of us, do their preparation before their flight.

Crew preparing the A-10 Thunderbolt II for it’s flight.

The P-51D Mustang heading to the runway for it’s flight.

The A-10 made many flybys both upright and upside down.

And then it had to get serious and take out some bad guys …

It was quick to fire

And quick to disappear!

But once the A-10 was finished making sure we were all safe it joined up with the Mustang for a heritage flight, which I found really very moving. The P-51D Mustang began service in 1940 and some were still flying in the early 80’s and the A-10 Thunderbolt entered service in 1976 and is still flying today.

I got a little choked up when I saw the A-10 next to the P-51D, it looked like it was taking the smaller plane under it’s wing and making sure it got home okay … ya I know sappy, but I’m a mother that’s the way we think ☺

The organizers made a special effort to ensure all of us Canadian visitors were welcomed by bringing in the Yellow Thunder Harvards aerobatics team. Drew and David Watson, two brothers from Ponoka, Alberta, Canada piloted these two Harvard’s and they did some amazing formation flying.

But by far the most powerful demonstration, at least in my mind, was Tora, Tora, Tora, and I really don’t have any pictures that do it justice, in fact I quickly gave up and just watched the performance.

“Tora, Tora, Tora” is the Commemorative Air Force’s recreation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that signaled the beginning of the American involvement in World War II. It was designed as a living history lesson, and is intended as a memorial to all the soldiers on both sides who gave their lives for their countries and I have to say it was very powerful, I felt like I was in the middle of the battle!

Tora, Tora, Tora debuted at the Galveston Air Show on June 25, 1972 and is still running forty-seven years later. And here is an interesting fact, the Tora aircraft and pilots participated in the filming of the Disney movie Pearl Harbor … now I’m going to have to watch that movie 🙂

Yes, we will definitely be going back to watch the Airshow again next year.

Until next time …

An Interesting Web Site

I have heard many opinions, from many different people, about how long Canadians can stay in the United States and none of those opinions have given me a clear answer 😦

At this point I am just talking about from a Customs and Border Protection perspective, not from an IRS perspective. We have been told that if you go on a cruise that leaves from the US and comes back to the US that time is considered time in the US because you are not staying overnight on soil outside of the US. We have also been told that you have to be out of the US for thirty days before you can deduct that time from your stay. But we have also been told, by someone who we believe really knows their stuff, that all of that information is false. So what is the real answer?

There are no pictures that relate to this post so I will share some sunrise pictures I took last November and never posted … they don’t come close to the beautiful sunrise we had this morning but I didn’t take pictures of it, I just enjoyed it.

Well I really don’t know, but here are a few things we found during our search for the answer.

First hubby found a website on the Customs and Border Protection page that provides individuals with their travel records … basically, once you put in your name and passport information, the site tells you dates for each time you have entered the United States. Whenever a foreigner enters the US an I-94 is created, and this website provides your I-94 travel history for the last five years, or up to 100 arrivals and departures, although mine only shows departures made by air. I really wish it showed departures by land, as that information would be handy to prove the amount of time we spent in the US, both for immigration purposes and medical insurance.

Some years we returned to Canada earlier than planned and that can reduce the amount of premiums we need to pay for our additional health care coverage. When I have applied for the refund I was required to provide proof of when we left the province and when we arrived back. If we have traveled by air, I can use our boarding passes, which I always keep an electronic copy of, but if we have crossed on land we don’t have a record. This website will give us proof of when we entered the US but unless our passport was stamped when we left (and they usually aren’t when you cross by land), we don’t have a record of our return date.

Hubby and I use our Visa card for all our purchases because we get cash back, on both our Canadian Visa and our US Visa. The first time I applied for a refund of our medical I realized what a great idea that was because I had proof of when we arrived back in Canada (luckily we had both used our cards the day we arrived home). Now we each make a point to purchase something using our Canadian Visa cards the day we arrive home so that we have a record should we ever need it.

Ahh, but I’m getting off topic here 🙂

The second interesting piece of information hubby found was an article on snowbirdadvisor.ca that has a lot of information in it and I would encourage you to read it. The article advises that the best way to determine how long you can stay in the US is to go to the I-94 website and click on the block that says “Get most recent I-94”. Once you have logged in you will be provided with your most recent I-94 document and that will tell you the date that you must leave the United States. In our case, because we went to the Cook Islands in January, our six months started over when we arrived back in the US and we don’t have to be out until June 29, 2019. Which just goes to prove the 30 day rule didn’t apply and, if you read the snowbirdadvisor site, neither does the myth about cruises, although they could apply which is why you need to look at the I-94 website.

All of the above information is only in relationship to Immigration status. The other thing Canadians need to watch is their time in the US for tax purposes and that calculation is very different. Is your head spinning? It’s hard enough making sense of Canadian tax law, now you have to understand some of the US tax laws! Stick with me you only have to read this, I had to try and write it 🙂

We are considered a US resident if we are physically present in the United States for at least 31 days during 2018 and 183 days during the period 2018, 2017, and 2016, counting all the days of physical presence in 2018 but only 1/3 the number of days of presence in 2017 and only 1/6 the number of days in 2016. This is called the substantial presence test.

Like any government the US collects taxes from its residents, and you can see from the paragraph above, we fit into that category. However, even though we meet the substantial presence test, we are not treated as a US resident for 2018 as long as we were present in the United States for fewer than 183 days in the year and we establish that during 2018, we had a tax home and a closer connection to Canada. In order to make this declaration we complete the IRS8840 each year and mail it to the IRS. This is an easy form to complete as long as you keep a record of all the dates you are in the US … even if you just popped down to do some shopping and didn’t spend the night.

I hope this information helps you, the two websites sure cleared things up for us … but the thing you really need to remember is I’M NOT AN EXPERT, THIS IS ONLY HOW I HAVE INTERRUPTED WHAT I HAVE READ.

I believe, but I could be wrong, that the information on snowbirdadvisor.ca should be correct so I am sharing that website with you below, but you need to read it and make your own interruption of what you have read. I have also provided the link to the I-94 website below, and the IRS8840. Happy reading 🙂

https://www.snowbirdadvisor.ca/dispelling-myth-30-day-rule-canadian-snowbirds

https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8840.pdf

Until next time …

I Think It’s Cold Everywhere :-(

I have been getting snow updates from home on a regular basis and it seems it just doesn’t want to stop.

While we are not having snow in Yuma, I have heard Las Vegas has had snow, which is unusual, although not unheard of, for them. Here in Yuma we have had some chilly weather the last few days. Yesterday it was 1C/34F when I went out for my morning walk at 6:00 a.m. … brrr, and it only got up to 15C/59F all day 😦 This morning, as we sat in bed drinking coffee, the sky was dark giving us a hint of what kind of day it was going to be.

As I write this blog it is still cold out and we have had a little rain.

It was warmer today when I went out for my morning walk, 9C/48F, but that is definitely not the temperatures we are used to at this time of year. Now I enjoy a good excuse to spend the day sitting under a blanket with my tea and a good book, but I am looking forward to next week when we are hopefully back up into the mid 20’sC/low 80’sF. And I do wish that those back home get some better weather as well!

Until next time …

And The Veggie Field Was …

Two people guessed what the veggie field below was.

Kudos to Dave from the blog Our Awesome View From Here and my sister, who both guessed that the above field was cauliflower.

We always have a hard time trying to determine which is cauliflower and which is broccoli. This cauliflower field was harvested just before I took this picture, but there are always some veggies that are left behind because they don’t make the grade.

Our park is surrounded by vegetable fields and you may think it would be no problem to walk up to them to check out the veggies, or help yourself to whatever is left behind after picking, but you would be wrong! If an unauthorized person or animal enters a vegetable field the farmer is prohibited from harvesting a specific area around the space that was entered. Entering a vegetable field is a public health hazard and is illegal and I am told the fines are pretty high. All the pictures I take of veggie fields are taken with my telephoto lens and I am a long way away from the field.

This is a cauliflower field being harvested.

Until next time …

Top Ten Pictures of 2018

Here are our choices for the top pictures of 2018, and believe me it was a tough choice … we finally had to close our eyes and randomly hit the delete button to get rid of the last four pictures! We would love your votes, on the poll at the end of the blog, to help us choose the best picture of 2018 🙂

And just in case you haven’t voted for previous years and would like to, here are the links.

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 2018 …

Sunrise, Cocopah RV Resort, Yuma, Arizona. Picture taken 23 January 2018.

Ferb the Great Horned Owl, Bear Creek Provincial Park, Kelowna, British Columbia. Picture taken 26 May 2018.

Water Lilies, Kasugai Gardens, Kelowna, British Columbia. Picture taken 25 July 2018.

Kettle Valley Railroad Trestles, Kelowna, British Columbia. Picture taken 27 August 2018.

SR 101, near Newport, Oregon. Picture taken 23 October 2018.

Avenue of the Giants, California. Picture taken 25 October 2018.

Mattole Road, Avenue of the Giants, California. Picture taken 26 October 2018.

Redwood Forest, Avenue of the Giants, California. Picture taken 26 October 2018.

Sunset, Caliente Springs RV Resort, Desert Hot Springs, California. Picture taken 1 November 2018.

Outdoor Skating Rink, Kelowna, British Columbia. Picture taken 26 December 2018.

This poll uses Java Script. If you do not see a poll below that means your browser does not support Java Script, either switch to another browser or leave us a comment and we will add your vote manually. We appreciate your votes.


Until next time …

Vegetable Field Update #2

Three months ago I posted pictures of three veggie fields around our RV Resort. I then posted updates at the beginning of December and the beginning of January, now less than a month later I have another update … but you won’t see many veggies!

Field one

Photo taken November 6, 2018

Photo taken December 5, 2018

Photo taken January 9, 2019

Photo taken January 30, 2019, probably a day after the field was harvested.

Field two

Photo taken November 6, 2018

Photo taken December 5, 2018.

Photo taken January 9, 2019

Photo taken January 30, 2019. The field was harvest while we were away on our holiday and is now being prepared for a new planting.

Field three

Photo taken November 6, 2018

Photo taken December 5, 2018

Photo taken January 9, 2019

Photo taken January 30, 2019. This field is still growing, although I expect it will be harvested anytime now.

I hope you enjoyed watching veggies grow 🙂

And I thought it might be fun to end this blog with a little vegetable skill testing question, what do you think is growing in this field? Please give me your guess in the comments section and I will post the results and the answer in a few days.

Until next time …