Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's a new day, a new dawn...

Following two weeks of problems with Canadian Customs and getting vehicle titles mailed to us from U.S. banks, getting kicked out of Park Royal RV park due to our dog Gingee peeing on their grass and our complaining about the noise from the sleezy motel next door, forgetting a most important lunch date with one of our favorite aunts and encountering the Nazi RV Park owner at Oxbow RV park (Penticton), we are happy to report that we now have all our vehicles across the border into Canada.

Things are definitely looking up for us.  We're still in Penticton, British Columbia, the small Okanagan city between two lakes. We are now camped across the road from Skaha Lake at South Beach Gardens RV Park, a beautiful park along the old Oxbow Channel.
Old Oxbow Channel borders South Beach Gardens RV Park.

Along the shore of the Old Oxbow Channel.

John and I have enjoyed visits with John's dad and step mom and have made it a routine to go to Tim Horton's at least once a day for either coffee, a donut, or soup and sandwich or all four! Its been fun to people watch from the resturant that has great prices for good food.

The view from Tim Horton's in downtown Penticton.

 We've also enjoyed just exploring around Penticton and seeing some of the everyday sites.

Penticton mural painters.
We had a very good burger from Burger 55 one afternoon.

We still await the title for The Jazz which is due to arrive tomorrow. If it does arrive, we'll get right back down to the border to finish processing our RV into the country. We think we'll be heading down towards Vancouver for a visit with Jeremy, John's oldest son, early next week, then on to Parksville on Vancouver Island later in the week where we will establish our home base.

It is true that everyday is a new day to create happiness. But some days are more of a challenge than others.

Here's wishing you ideal conditions for creating happiness in your lives.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Loonies and Toownies and Such...

Want to take a look at Canadian money? Click here. So much more colorful than what we have in the U.S. Heavier too! Yep yep!

We're still trying to get the Matrix into Canada. It remains on the other side of the border down in Oroville, Washington. Getting the title has been a real scavenger hunt! But I think we're almost there. We may be ready to make a run down to Customs on Thursday. Cross your fingers for us.

Having a good visit with John's dad and step mom though in the interim!

We hope you have a very great week. And a happy Victoria Day to you all. Eh?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Penticton Here We Are...

Trees are blossoming all around Penticton, B.C., Canada.

Young man this morning fishing off Okanagan Lake (Penticton, B.C.).

Young mother starting her day by the Okanagan Lake (Penticton, B.C.).
We finally made it through Canadian Customs! We arrived in Penticton, British Columbia yesterday afternoon. It's beautiful here and the weather is just terrific.  This morning, John, Gingee and I took a walk along Penticton's main street by the shores of West Okanagan Lake and these were some of the sights we saw.

We're settling in at Park Royal R.V. Resort in the middle of town and by the lake. We still have Customs business to take care of with the vehicles but at least we made it past the border. We're in Canada!! And it's only Day 18 of being snowbirds!

Have you ever traveled in the Penticton, B.C. area?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Foiled at the Border!

On Thursday, John and I drove from beautiful Steamboat Rock State Park (Washington) to the Canadian border at Oroville, Washington with excitement.

Steamboat Rock State Park, Washington (We camped out there under the trees).
We weren't prepared to hear that we could not enter as "residents" of Canada without first presenting U.S. Customs stamped export papers for all our vehicles. Our prior research had not unearthed this detail.

In other words, we needed to have titles in hand for all our vehicles or else we couldn't take the vehicles into Canada. Luckily, we had the title to the truck with us. But the banks hold the titles for our Toyota car and The Jazz.

After hours at the Canadian and U.S. Immigration Offices, we turned back to Oroville (Washington) to take care of getting titles and officially exporting the vehicles from the U.S. Needless to say we were both exhausted, disappointed and frustrated. We wondered how many weeks all this would take.

Luckily, Miss Gingee is a good traveler
 even when picking up on our stress.
Today is Saturday. It's Day 17 of being snowbirds. This transition period into a  new lifestyle and moving to Canada is proving to have it stressors. I guess that's the nature of big change.  We definitely are having an RV adventure!

Oroville (Washington) has several camping options. You can camp up on Highway 97 for $8 per night (includes electricity) at Prince's RV Park or you can camp in one of two nice campgrounds - Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial State Park (no hookups but beautiful on the lake for $24 per night) or Royal Oaks RV Park (private and very nice for a weekly rate of $150). We've chosen Royal Oaks after the first noisy night by the highway at Prince's. I'm loving being camped by the Simikameen River.

View of the Simikameen River running behind The Jazz at
River Oaks RV Park in Oroville, Washington.
John and Gingee taking a walk at Osoyoos Lake State Veterans Memorial State Park.

We're trying to see the "opportunity" in this challenge and to keep a good attitude. After all it is a good "moment" even if we don't know whether we'll be taking care of the title business for another week or another month. Life unfolds and we practice being patient, flexible and living in the moment.

What do you do when things don't go the way you planned?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Crossing Over...

We're about 450 miles (750ish kilometers) from John's Dad's in Penticton, B.C. We'll reach his place by the end of the week. We're traveling casually northward through Washington via Yakima and will cross the U.S./Canada border at Osoyoos/Oroville.

We've had to have a brake job done on the truck and had to get new tires on The Jazz over the past week. We're going to run out of money before we get to Canada if this keeps up!!!! Then what kind of snowbird life will we have?!?!

Last evening, we pulled into a funky little Washington county campground along the Columbia River. The sound of freight trains and Highway 14 traffic serenaded us  throughout the evening and night. Ahhh...wonderful transportation! But at least we were in the forest!

Gingee and me last evening at our campground along the Columbia River (Washington).
John and Gingee.
How is the start to your week?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hayden Island R&R

John and I rose early this morning for a walk around Hayden Island (Portland, Oregon) where we're staying at Janzen Beach RV Park. Rhododendron and dogwood are blooming all around.

One of Portland's pink dogwoods from this morning's walk.
The rest of the day is pure R&R for me as we prepare to take The Jazz over to Les Swab for new tires tomorrow. John noticed significant uneven wear on one tire and a crack in another. Good he noticed before we got a big surprise out on a winding rode traveling at sixty miles an hour!

John and Gingee out by the Columbia River this morning.
Gazebo along Columbia River on Hayden Island (Portland)

How was your weekend?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cali to Oregon...

Today we traveled through northern California into Oregon via Interstate 5. What a beautiful journey! The scenary, especially snow-covered Mount Shasta, and rest stops along the way gave us delight.

We had lunch at a small-town northern California cafe at this stop.

This is the view from one of the fine rest stops along the way.
We left Rolling Hills Casino RV Park this morning - the buffet dinner at Rolling Hills was great and a great price. Under $16 for the two of us combined. We arrived at the Seven Feathers RV Resort  some 250 miles north (in Canyonville, Oregon) in time for John to get a soak in the hot tub and for us to get some dinner at a local 24-hour resturant. Being as we are now in Oregon, we were not surprised that it rained off and on all day.

We're going to sleep well tonight!

We hope that you have a as great a weekend as the scenery was beautiful today!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rolling Hills Casino Here We Come!

Today is John's and my sixth day as Snowbirds. After several days in Bodega Bay (Sonoma County California) and a great visit with (nearly) family in Sebastopol, we're preparing to leave. This morning I finished personal history work with my ninety-year-old friend Virginia.

Virginia and I in 1990.

Virginia is the person that welcomed me into her life and home over thirty-five years ago as I arrived from North Carolina to Southern California. We often tell one another what blessings we have been in each others lives. My good friend Kyle once said to me "Levonne. Everyone should have a Virginia." And I do believe that the world would be nearly perfect if everyone did have a Virginia in their life.

We said our good-byes and see-you-laters this afternoon and now John and I are preparing our route through Petaluma and Lake County to I-5 north. We are planning to boondock at Rolling Hills Casino in Corning, California tomorrow night. We've heard they have a great buffet dinner. That will make a two-hundred-mile day for us. From there, we'll figure out what's next.

Both John and I are beginning to relax into our new life as snowbirds. We've slowed down and are beginning to enjoy ourselves more. I remember this feeling I've been having. It's how our first year on the road in The Jazz felt. A new adventure nearly every day with my best friend Gingee! No really with John. Gingee is our sweet girl dog.

What's your next adventure?