Top Ten Pictures of 2014

Well 2014 started with forty-four pictures, and I am shedding a lot of tears over eight of those photo’s that didn’t make the cut 😥 However I said I would only choose ten so, with hubby’s help, here are our top ten pictures of 2014.

Hobe Beach, Florida. Picture taken 24 January 2014

Hike Through Alpine Meadow in Manning Park, British Columbia. Picture taken 12 July 2014

Seagull, SR101, Oregon … can you believe I had a hard time choosing which seagull picture to post! Picture taken 23 October 2014

Port of Newport RV Park, Newport, Oregon. Picture taken 23 October 2014

SR101, Oregon. Picture taken 26 October 2014

Avenue of the Giants, Northern California SR101. Picture taken 28 October 2014

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California. Picture taken 01 November 2014

Rancho California RV Resort, Aguanga, California. Picture taken 8 November 2014

Rancho California RV Resort, Aguanga, California. Picture taken 8 November 2014

Rancho California RV Resort, Aguanga, California. Picture taken 8 November 2014

And because I have Irish in my blood I just couldn’t cut this photo so I have to give it an honorable mention.

Shamrock, Trees of Mystery, Klamath, California. Picture taken 26 October 2014

Again I would love your input on your favorite 2014 photo 🙂

Until next time …

Top Ten Pictures of 2013

I’m not a fan of the year-end blog review where bloggers recap what they have done for the past year. I totally get why people do it, it is a nice record of your year, but I have read your blog all year so it’s nothing new. Of course that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write one, I am very happy to peruse the pictures, ignore the story and wait for your next blog 🙂

However I did enjoy a blog written by Adventure Dog where she posted her favorite pictures of the year. I commented that I loved the idea and thought I would do that with my blog as well, and she replied “You’re very welcome although I’m not sure if you’ll be thanking me once you try to pick photos”, and wow was she right! I have been going through our pictures since the beginning of our travels making sure they are named correctly and thinning them out. Since I was doing that, I thought I would choose my favorites at the same time.

I decided I would limit my choices to our top ten pictures for each year.  I really thought 2013 would be easy because we didn’t start traveling until November 21, 2013, but I manage to come up with twenty-two favorite pictures. So in comes hubby to help wheedle it down to ten … it still wasn’t easy, but here they are 🙂

Feel free to ignore this blog; I won’t be offended … although FYI the rest of the years will follow every Monday over the next four weeks!

Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas, Nevada. Taken 27 November 2013

River Walk, San Antonio, Texas. Picture taken 7 December 2013

Blue Heron, Poche’s Fish-n-Camp Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Picture taken 10 December 2013

Of course there has to be a sunset in the top ten! Poche’s Fish-n-Camp Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Picture taken 10 December 2013

Suwanee River, Suwanee County, Florida. Picture taken 16 December 2013

Bobcat, Homosassa State Park, Homosassa, Florida. Picture taken 17 December 2013

I’m not sure what type of owl this is and when I asked hubby his response was “sleeping”, yup no help at all! So … Sleeping owl, Homosassa State Park, Homosassa, Florida. Picture taken 17 December 2013

Squirrel, Homosassa State Park, Homosassa, Florida. Picture taken 17 December 2013

Waldo the alligator, Homosassa State Park, Homosassa, Florida. Picture taken 17 December 2013

Waldo the alligator, Homosassa State Park, Homosassa, Florida. Picture taken 17 December 2013

If I am still blogging in another ten years, and I hope I am, I will probably do our top ten photo’s of the decade for my own records. If you want to vote on your favorite for 2013, feel free to do so in the comments … it would sure help me out, since we can’t come to an agreement on our favorite.

Until next time …

An Awesome Winter!

Our trip home yesterday was great; we were a little worried about hitting snow on the Coquihalla or the Connector but the only snow we saw was on the sides of the highway.

We hit wet roads from Langley to just north of Hope …

But after that the roads were dry and the skies cleared …

And then the snow disappeared …

And finally we got our first view of Okanagan Lake☺

And eventually we pulled into our daughter’s driveway and were welcomed by very happy and excited grandchildren and this sign on the door courtesy of our granddaughter!

Well our first snowbird adventure has come to an end and we both enjoyed it immensely but it sure is nice to be home!

Over the five months (137 days) we were away:

• we covered 14,093 miles (22,680 km);

• spent $5,041.40 in fuel and $3,703.34 for RV Parks;

• averaged 12.74 miles to the gallon;

• spent $236.61 on oil changes and routine maintenance to the truck and Maxx;

• spent $49.50 in road tolls (mostly in Florida and a few in Houston)

• cell phone and internet cost us $685.19;

• hubby cleared just over $1,000 in winnings between Vegas and his latest win in Fort Langley;

• I took well over 3,000 pictures and saved only 864! Still friends and family that is 864 pictures you may be forced to sit down and watch☺;

• and the most important fact of all …. Hubby and I have survived in a 400 square foot home on wheels and are still speaking to each other!!

I won’t be posting a daily blog again until we hit the road next fall but I will post throughout the summer whenever we hit the road for trips around B.C., so stay tuned☺

Until next time …

Homeward Bound … And So Excited!!!

We had a great time visiting with family on the coast although we unfortunately missed hubby’s sister, but we will be back in this area in the not so distance future.

But not being able to hook up with his sister left us some time to fill … what should we do … duh, no brainer, we should get on the road and head home!

We are so excited to see all our family at home that we just couldn’t wait any longer. We are now on the road and will be set up in our daughter’s driveway before the grandkids go to bed … warm squeezy hugs here we come!

Until next time …

A Visit to Steveston, B.C.

Today hubby and I had lunch with his mom, made a visit to Ikea, and then spent some time driving around Richmond where I grew up before heading to Steveston to meet up with my cousin and her husband.

I wanted to go and visit the daffodil farms at the end of Westminister Highway because the daffodil’s are in bloom now, but as I suspected the fields have given away to new subdivisions 🙂  When my sister, and I were young we lived along the ocean in Richmond and spent many hours walking and riding up and down the dike between the daffodil farms and Steveston so it was disappointing, but of course expected, seeing all the growth in the area. Even though the daffodil’s were gone there were tons of geese grazing in the fields along the dike as well as the dike itself.

They were so used to humans that the man in picture below walked through them and they didn’t even budge!

Steveston has also changed a lot over the years … gone are the corner stores full of penny candies and the fish stores. Now the area is full of condos, tourist shops and restaurants, but at least the fishing boats are still there.

And best of all the restaurant were we are having dinner has a great view of the marina and free Wi-fi so I was able to post this blog☺

View from the restaurant window 🙂

 

Until next time …

Welcome Back to Canada!

I guess Canada was happy to have us back because hubby and I went to the Fort Langley Pub for dinner last night and played the BC Lotto Pacific Holdem and won $372.00! We used to play it occasionally when we went out for dinner so we thought this would be a fitting welcome back to Canada, and it was! Of course it helped that hubby accidently spilt his beer (and yes it was his first☺) and the server gave him a new one. Up until then we won $6.00 so we reinvested that money to kill time while he finished his beer … and we won $372.00!

We have wondered what has changed at home since we have been gone and with our big win yesterday we discovered that Canada has release new $10 and $5 dollar bills.

Today we had a great lunch and visit with hubby’s mom and one of his brothers and sister-in-law and now we are headed over to his other brother and sister-in-law’s for dinner … it sure is nice to be back with family!

Until next time …

Vancouver 158 Miles Ahead!

It was so exciting to see that road sign, we are getting closer to home☺ Our plan was to stay in Anacortes, Washington tonight and cross back into Canada tomorrow but once we saw Vancouver on the road sign we both knew we wanted to cross over tonight. We made a stop in a Costco parking lot and pulled out our passports, Canadian money and credit cards and headed for the border at Lynden. There was no wait and we were through in less than two minutes!

The only questions we were asked where:

• Where do you live?

• How long were you away? And when hubby said five months she asked with some surprise in her voice “And you haven’t been back at all”?

• Total value of goods brought back?

• Any alcohol?

• Any repairs to the truck or trailer? To which hubby advised we had an oil change and some warranty work done on both.

And then she told us to have a good day and we were on our way! Wow, way to easy☺

We are now camped at Fort Camping at Brae Island Regional Park in Fort Langley. We plan to spend some time visiting with hubby’s family and my cousin before we head back to the Okanagan to get all those warm squeezy hugs from the little people waiting for us!

Until next time …

A Trip To The Mother Ship☺

Well our plan to make some big purchases in Oregon to save the sales tax did not really work out☹ Aside from the fact that we couldn’t find some of the things we were looking for, it turns out that while Oregon doesn’t have sales tax they do increase the price of the product to match what you pay in other states with sales tax. At least that was the case with the items we were looking for.

Today Maxx went back to the Mother Ship (the Forest River Factory in Dallas, Oregon) to get some warranty work completed (a chair, a blind, and the TV were replaced and a few other minor items were attended to). About six weeks ago we started having a problem with one of the front stabilizer jacks, it wouldn’t go down during the auto level process but we forgot to mention this to Forest River when we arranged the other servicing. Today when we took Maxx in we mentioned it and they quickly went to work to try and fix it but it turned out they needed a part that they didn’t have it site. It appeared we would have to wait until we were back home and have our local dealer order the part in and then we would have to take Maxx up to the dealer to have the part installed. Unbeknownst to us, Aaron at Forest River was working behind the scenes to try and find a better solution for us, and he did … once all the other work was done on Maxx they sent us over to the Lippert factory, who prepare the frames and leveling systems for Forest River RV’s before they are sent over to the main factory for the rest of the build. After a 20-mile drive the stabilizer was quickly replaced and we were on our way … and not a cent out of pocket!

Hubby has been dealing with Jodi at the factory for the last few months making all the arrangements for our arrival and it was great to finally meet her. We honestly can’t say enough about the service we received and how friendly and accommodating everyone we dealt with was, they all went above and beyond! Jodi even gave us a tour of the factory and it was interesting watching a trailer being built from start to finish. We were able to see some of the new layouts and I was happy that I didn’t see anything I liked as much as Maxx, although this years model comes with LED lights which I wish we had because it is very expensive to replace the old lights with LED … but seriously that was the only thing I wish we had that we don’t! The new models also have a nice LED rope light under the awning and an LED outside light and Jodi did try and get those added to our RV but the holes and wiring just didn’t line up, but wow thanks for trying!

Since Maxx was done earlier than we thought we decided to hit the road and head north and we have now settled down for the night at a city owned RV Park in Chehalis, Washington after effortlessly auto leveling Maxx☺. The park is nice with full-service and only $15.00 a night. The blinds are all open, the new chair is holding hubby comfortably and the TV sound is much better without the static! Life is good☺

Until next time …

Polk County Fairgrounds

Several months ago we made arrangements with Forest River to stop at their factory in Dallas, Oregon to have some warranty work done on Maxx. One of his chairs has broken arms and needs to be replaced, a cord on one of the small blinds frayed and we can no longer open that blind, and the TV has static which is very annoying. Our warranty rep, Jodie, was fantastic and she now has everything ready for us to pull into the factory tomorrow and get fixed up.

Since we want an early start in the morning we tried to find an RV Park close to the factory and the only one we could come up with was the Polk County Fairgrounds. For $17.00 a night we are in basically a gravel parking lot but we do have power and water (there is also a dump station but no septic at your site) and we are parked along the fields at the back so the view is beautiful … and since it is not an event weekend there are hardly any other units here so we have lots of space.

View from Maxx’s front window.

Even though it is drizzling outside hubby is out washing all of the Yuma dust off Maxx’s roof, so he will be a happy camper today☺

Maxx at Polk County Fairgrounds – with all the dust washed of 🙂

After lunch we plan to head into Salem, which is only 15 minutes away, and pick up a few things that we have been putting on hold until we arrive in a state with no sales tax.

Until next time …

Hmm .. Not That RV Park

We headed out this morning under clear blue skies but with a bit of a chill in the air.  Yesterday a worker at the RV Park was telling us that Lake Shasta is at the lowest point ever and when we drove by it sure seemed that way!

Not a bad pic considering I stuck the camera out the window of the truck and blindly took the picture!

So of course I had to check this out on Google and I found out that while the lake is currently 130 feet lower than normal, in 1977 it was 230 feet lower than normal!  This is however is the lowest the lake has been since 2008.  California really is having a water shortage:-(

The trip through Northern California was really pretty, with snow on the mountains and plants blooming on the side of the interstate.

We arrived in Medford, Oregon just before noon already to check into our RV Park, have some lunch, and then head out for our tax free shopping trip … but one look at the RV Park and we carried on!  We then pulled into the parking lot of a business that was closed so that we could use the washroom in Maxx and check for other RV Parks but a security guard came along and told us to move on … I’m really not sure what harm we were doing and he was very rude but it is private property so we moved on.

Since the security guard and the RV Park marred our first impression of Medford, Oregon we decided to head further north.  The weather had turned to rain so it seemed like a good idea to spend today driving and set ourselves up for a short drive into Dallas, Oregon tomorrow.  We have to be at Forest River in Dallas, Oregon early Monday morning for some warranty work on Maxx so the plan now is to arrive early tomorrow and do our shopping in Salem, Oregon, which is very close to Dallas.  With that thought in mind we headed to Camp Wal-Mart in Lebanon, Oregon where we are settled in for a nice evening and a good nights sleep.

Until next time …