Saturday, August 15, 2015

What a Time We Have Had!

Not the best of winter experiences - it's hard to travel without your own home once you get used to an RV.
We ended up spending more time trying to get away from there than we did being there.
We learned a lot about ourselves - we are not joiners nor are we resort-type people!

We like being on our own.

Our forays to the beaches in California were terrific - even though we previously avoided spending time in California – we overcame our reluctance and may end up there again next season - if we get away!

Why . . . if we get away . . . you say?

Well, Fred had some severe waterworks issues. He did have other problems besides an infection. He tried meds but to no avail – flow did not improve enough.
Long-story short – a TURP* was scheduled for July.

*a process of "roto-rooting" (doctor’s terminology) the urethra.   Google it for more detail

Travel Time
With no reason to stay in Lethbridge, we just couldn’t sit around. We headed out to British Columbia and Vancouver Island.

We spent time visiting friends - Langley, Courtney and Sooke and family (my brother in Victoria - my sister in Vancouver). Then we hit Tofino and Ucleulet and did the beach thing over there. (Good alternative to California if necessary).

First Stop – Langley, BC

As well as being dear friends, our relationship with Judy and Terry is very food-focused.

OMG – did they take us to some incredible foody places – certainly not fancy – just good ethnic foods.

We really do believe the old adage that . . . company and fish both start to smell after three days . . . so off we went to catch the ferry over to Vancouver Island.

Crossing to Van Is (2)

It was cold and breezy!

Second Stop – Vancouver Island

Up the Island to Courtney so we could check out our forever friend Sharon’s new digs.

The house, the setting, and even the area are just spectacular. She got herself a great place and it was nice to see her so happy.




(the house next door has a cat ladder going up the side of the house)

cat ladder

For us, Courtney is indistinguishable from Comox. This whole area has apparently grown existentially being an area attractive to those anxious to escape harsh Canadian winters.

Off to See the Sights

Comox Wharf. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many boats!



Crow vs Eagle

I know I’ve never seen this before. A bald eagle was sitting on top of the light post and this crow swooped down and attacked it. The Eagle just sat there with a “what do you think you’re doing” attitude while the crow kept diving at him.


 Eagle-crow-comoxEagle-crow-comox2  Eagle-crow-comox3


Filberg Park

As we walked the paths that wander through the nine acres of lush, randomly manicured gardens, I realized that for most of the last dozen or so years we had been surrounded by desert.

Not that the desert isn’t striking, fascinating and mysterious, but this profusion of growth and colour gave me a sense of warmth and security that I never felt in the desert.

Filbert Gdn1

Filbert Gdn2

Filbert Gdn3

Filbert Gdn4


They say there are 130 varieties of trees, gardens and hundreds of rhododendrons.

The property was opened to the public after the death of the original owner (R.J. Filberg, manager and superintendent of the Comox Logging and Railway Company) in 1977.

Oysters, Yum!

To me, the West Coast and oysters just go together so we went out  oyster hunting. Fanny Bay . . . great stories and photo opportunities!!

It was a Sunday and the fellow who owns the Seafood Market (Bob, I think) was there. It was not busy and he was into talking.


It was one of those places that hasn’t changed for generations!!

As Bob plied Fred with stories about his life and the sculptures he brought back from Viet Nam,



Sharon and I explored behind the building where they dump and shuck the oyster.





Tofino-Ucleulet: A couple Days of Beach Bumming

It was surprisingly quiet over on the West Side of the Island which suited us fine. The Bayshore Waterfront upgraded us to the honeymoon suite  . . . very nice.

At the Entrance to our suite



Our view



Exploring the beaches

The blustery cold was not going to stop us.







Wild Pacific Trail

Our last venture on the west side of the Island was the Wild Pacific Trail. Easy-going trails (the kind we like) that wander through old growth as they hug the coastline of the Ucluth Peninsula.

Wild Pacific Trail (1)

Amphitrite Lighthouse.

Wild Pacific Trail (2)

Wild Pacific Trail (3)

Wild Pacific Trail (4)

Wild Pacific Trail (5)

As their Web site says . . .

“The Wild Pacific Trail is wide and leisurely with numerous viewpoints to the ocean and guides you in and out of the forest on a constantly interesting route.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Oh Goodness – We came Home

We have a few favourite things in Yuma – the weather; some very special people; and the open air Jazz Concerts at the Mall.

Oh yes, did I mention the weather? Yuma, undoubtedly, has the best winter weather in the South-Western USA.

We like the Jazz Concerts . . . we can sit in our own comfy chairs . . . gaze at the stars and listen to some good live music.

February 5 - we went to the Jazz Series Concert.

We  left  very early because Fred was not feeling well and was sore - back, sides, everywhere. 

What with all else, we decided that we just wanted to go home - so we pack up and were on the road by Tuesday, the 10th .

Regrettably, we missed a visit from our friends from New Mexico and had to cancel a long awaited visit to Tucson to spend quality face-to-face time with writer friends from Penwheels (Escapees Group) and I will not be able to see my cousin who I haven’t seen since before we left Toronto in 1969.

We went over to a friends for dinner Sunday; lunch with other friends on Monday and our last Yuma supper (Mexican, of course) with Judy and Terry and were on the road by 7:30 the next day.

We left Yuma in good weather and it accompanied us all the way . . . no snow all the way home . . . just a little wind between Shelby and Great Falls, Montana . . . and a record 16 C (60 F) when we arrived in Lethbridge.

Too much to think we may miss WINTER

. . . but then . . .

Who knows?

What next? . . . Who knows that either ?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

My Latest Mantra

The less I do . . . the less I want to do
The less I want to do . . . The more I want to eat
The more I eat . . . the more weight I gain
The more weight I gain . . . the less I do
. . . and so on and so on.
 Last year, I decided that I wasn’t having fun writing.
As soon as I made that decision . . .  RV Lifestyles Magazine finally published and printed the Anza-Borrego Sculptures article; Smashwords let me know that there had been sales of Jacob’s Tail, and RV West had 2 articles printed in the last issue . . who da thunk?
(BTW you can order your own Jacob’s Tails E-Book through Smashwords or Barnes & Noble or Chapters-Indigo)
 Unfortunately, this park seems to be very cliquish and their interests are not really the same as ours . . . you know what I mean?. . . we have no grandchildren . . . the dog died . . . we are not party people . . . What to do? What to do?
Travelling to places we have not been is a given and the ocean has been our destination of choice.
Make Videos
I discovered the movie icon on my camera . . . Uh-huh let’s make videos!
It started on our second trip to the coast and beaches just north of San Diego.
The learning curve is steep and long!! Believe me, you would not like to see the first attempts . . . they are so bad  . . . like the old silent movies . . . jerky, blurry, but very funny.
Oh, no you can’t just shoot a video . . . you need to learn how to edit it . . . but first you need to find software that will let you work your magic.
In the meantime, we managed to find my computer was missing a few things and had others that shouldn’t be there. That kept Fred busy for a while.
Finally, finally, finally . . .
This first video is Swamis Beach after a good storm . . .
Swami's State Beach is an internationally known surfing spot named after Swami Paramahansa Yogananda a swami from the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram that sits on the cliff above the reef. The sand beach extends south from the point to the next beach access point.

Then we have the mighty surfer . . . 

Swami's is also known as a challenging spot to paddle, requiring a level of fitness above what other breaks demand. This is primarily due to the distance from the beach to the main peak several hundred yards from shore. As the waves become larger this distance increases, and after long rides, the paddle back to the main peak can take several minutes. For this reason, many surfers will choose to end their rides before the wave reaches the beach.
Southern Californians
To Southern Californians, theirs is the ideal life and why would anyone live or even visit anywhere else.
  Here are some of our favourite photos (among the 100’s we took).

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Eighty and Forty Five

Well, it has taken us more than a few days to get comfortable. The place is very worn and it seems everything we touch falls apart.
Fred has spent much of his time trying to make things safe and liveable:
After three weeks of considering alternatives - vacillating between whether to go or stay - we have decided to stay put and make the best of it. Our best strategy is to take many, many trips away.
January 6th , 2015 – a memorable day – Fred’s 80th birthday and our 45 years being together!
Gads – 45 years, imagine!
We found a funky little Inn north of San Diego on Leucadia Beach in Encinitas, California. With our usual pre-dawn departure, we arrived and were able to check in early in the afternoon.
First stop? The beach, of course!
Four levels on the steep staircase down to our first view of the surf, the birds, the people and the beach.




We spent time on three different beaches: Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Carlsbad and then we went up to Oceanside to see how the other half live. 

The People!!
Southern California has a culture of its own!
The beautiful people . . . whether it is the fellow running up and down the staircase leading to the beach, or the mother running along the road pushing a double stroller, or the matching Lululemon clad couple running along the beach . . . they do have their own culture. I was pleasantly surprised how friendly they seem to be – they actually talked to us and when asked, gave good directions. Having said that, there is an air of arrogance and rightness.
Many of the beaches charge for parking so the roads up from them are heavily lined with vehicles no matter what time of the day it is.

In Cardiff-by-the-Sea, I found my own old man by the sea and spent time just sitting and learning about his life. (I don’t think he was that old and he probably slept on the beach but he was quite a character and told great stories). 

In Oceanside, we stopped to talk with the tiny little woman who was polishing her husband’s motorcycle, “He promised to take it out for a long ride if I polished it for him,” she told us. She was standing in front of a parked small Class C motor home that she calls her clothes closet. Their small boat sits in the marina across the road and it’s smaller than the motor home.

Plants and Flowers
 Don’t know the names of them, but these are some of the plants and flowers we discovered:

Old Town
Our last excursion was to the Old Town right down in San Diego. We have been there before when I was down training with a group in Escondido but that was years ago. It certainly has become more touristy but still worth the time. 

We wondered around for a few hours and this enthusiastic young gal took Fred under her wing and gave him all kinds of directions on taking good pictures. 

 (Same picture-different perspective)

We’re back and planning our next excursion.