Friday, March 29, 2019

Eagles, lizards and pizza

Dunedin, FL -- After a couple of weeks in transit and getting settled in the RV park, it was time to get back to reality and check in at the local Weight Watchers outlet. All our indulgences along the way -- not that there were THAT many -- were impartially registered on the cold, hard surface of the WW scales and its large digital readout in front of us. The numbers were neither unexpected nor horrifying, so we were pleased to know where we stood, so to speak.

With our handy dandy RV waiting outside in the parking lot, we were able to enjoy breakfast before we stopped in at the grocery store in the same mall. Restocked with healthy fruits, vegetables and a frozen pizza, we headed for the beach once again for an invigorating walk. More on the pizza later.

Honey-moon Island State Park is more than just a beach, and after our stroll we thought we'd drive to the end of the access road to refresh our memory of the park from past years. Mostly, there were groves of palmettos on either side, but at one intersection I spotted a tall tree with what looked like eagles perched in the branches. We turned back for a closer look, and sure enough, there were three of them, each on their own branch, and on a fourth was calmly perched a large white crane, undaunted by the nearby predators. I guess when you're twice as tall as the other guy, you don't have to worry. I managed to get a picture of the group without scaring them off.

One of the joys of spending a lot of time outdoors is seeing all the creatures that share our neighbourhood with us. Our RV park has several rabbits that keep the greenery nicely trimmed, and if you're sitting out on the concrete pad next to your site for any length of time, you're bound to catch sight of a lizard darting out of the shadows, or sunning itself on a warm patch. Sometimes you can see the red of their fleshy throats pulsating in and out. Not sure what that means they're doing but it's neat to watch.

It was while I was pondering the lizard that I started to ponder what we'd have for supper, and my thoughts strayed to the frozen pizza we'd picked up. We often treat ourselves to one after our weigh-in, and there are some pretty tasty ones out there that aren't too fattening. The one we'd found had a cauliflower crust which really reduced the calories. Only problem is, although we have nearly every modern convenience in our little home on wheels, we don't have an oven. Oops.

Fortunately, there are some pretty kind people in the park who do have ovens, and Gloria and Gary were only too willing to help us with our little problem. Their gleaming, spacious fifth wheel trailer has everything including a convection oven, so at supper time I trotted down to their place with our little pizza and they cooked it in no time. Whew! Made our day!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Snowbirds and other feathered friends

Our second week in the new RV is unfolding nicely. Now that we have stopped site-hopping, we feel a bit more settled, but with an RV that's your only transportation, "settled" is a relative term. Today we set off in it once again, and we are getting our mobilization routine worked out pretty well. There are only a few small things we need to do before we head out, as a result of our discipline regarding putting things away when not in use.

Honeymoon Island beach was stop number one; we never get tired of strolling along the shore of this beautiful spot. This time we headed toward the pet beach, where a number of visitors were letting their dogs romp in the waves and sniff other dogs. Even though I have a basket full of pretty shells at  home, I couldn't resist picking up a couple more.

Next was Camping World. That was a bit further afield, so by the time we got there, we were ready for lunch. No problem; just put 'er in Park and head for the fridge, two feet away! After enjoying a bite to eat, we went in to the store and started browsing. The number of gadgets for RVers and campers is truly amazing, from sporks (an eating utensil that's a fork at one end and a spoon at the other) to foldable rocking chairs and everything in between.

Val was looking for a device to keep our awning from flapping in the breeze. We deployed the awning for the first time yesterday but we couldn't leave it out for long because the wind had picked up. The wide expanse of material is like a sail if a gust catches it, and we had no desire to become airborne, let alone face a nasty repair job if it should rip. Unlike other awnings, this one rolls out with two V-shaped arms under the fabric, rather than straight ribs on either edge. Once extended, you can release telescopic legs to anchor the awning to the ground or to a couple of clips on the RV wall. Unfortunately, the flap preventers we saw at the store weren't designed for our style of awning. So we'll just close it when it's breezy.
With a couple more errands attended to while we were mobile, we came back to our spot and got settled once again. As we bustled about preparing supper, we could hear the local neighbourhood mockingbird trilling away from a nearby tree. The serenade continued while we ate. I sure wish this bird would fly north and do its thing back home; it's so uplifting to hear this plain-looking creature singing its heart out with every variety of birdsong you could imagine! Meanwhile, other large white birds with red legs and a long, probing beak meandered through the park providing free soil aeration services. And down the way, an egret has been spotted, courting a cute plastic version of himself that someone has planted next to their RV. It looks like true love.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Off to the duck race

Dunedin, FL -- I wouldn't have thought I'd appreciate a down-filled sleeping bag for Florida nights, but it's been a real boon since we got here. Overnight temperatures have been in the low sixties, and that extra warmth has made all the difference. The days have started off quite cool, and some might feel the highs lately have been disappointing, but not me. Low 70s are my kind of weather, if you throw in some sunshine and breezes. We should be hitting that for the rest of the week at least.

The main activity of the day in the park today was the annual duck race and Tiki party, centred around the swimming pool. Dozens of bobbing yellow plastic ducks are set afloat inside a boom of pool noodles. When the noodles are lifted, a team of swimmers armed with squirt guns tries to nudge the ducks toward a narrow opening near the deep end. On the other side of the opening is an opposing team, similarly armed, whose objective is to keep the ducks out. Great shouts of encouragement fly forth from the excited crowds, who have a stake in which duck gets through first. Each little floater has been numbered and paid for, and the winning duck garners a nice prize for the sponsor! Smart observers park themselves at a certain distance, unless they don't mind being doused with stray squirts from time to time!Of course, the fun is augmented by a tasty barbeque lunch and drinks.

We enjoyed our burgers in a shady spot and watched the first couple of heats, but since we weren't around when they sold the tickets, we didn't have a stake in the results. So we headed out on our borrowed bicycles to try the home-made ice cream at the Causeway Café. One of our friends told us about the place and piqued our interest.

Lots of bikers were out today on the Pinellas Bike Trail. There was every type of two-wheeler imaginable, and every level of biking expertise as well. With ours carefully locked at the bike stand next to the café, we went in to see what we might want to sample.

Ten flavours in the glass case enticed us. Val chose vanilla and strawberry, and I picked one labeled "Heath"; I thought it was "health" with a typo, but it was really a flavour resembling a chocolate bar of that name, with chocolate bits and toffee crunch. Yum. Neither of us could remember the last time we'd had ice cream, but it was worth the wait! We enjoyed our treats, sitting in comfy Adirondack chairs watching the passing throng.

I'm sure our feverish cycle home again canceled several of the calories we'd enjoyed....yeah, right.

Friday, March 22, 2019

No fixed address

Dunedin, FL -- We got mobile again today. Our rental time at our temporary spot ran out at 11 o'clock this morning, so we disconnected, battened down the hatches and set off to run a few errands to take advantage of our freedom. It was reassuring to see how few things we had to do compared to the setting-out routines from our previous motorhome and fifth wheel. With them, there were so many important steps to take, which if forgotten could have dire consequences, that we wrote up a checklist and had it laminated. So, just before pulling away from a site, we'd go through each item like a pilot before take-off! You never saw us peeling down the highway with a hose dragging behind or an awning flapping in the breeze!

The grocery store we picked just happened to be in a mall with a hairdresser I'd used before, so after stowing our purchases, I left Val to make himself some lunch while I trotted off to get a haircut. Lucky me: Cheryl led me to a barber chair immediately and I was nicely shorn in no time!

It was too nice a day to spend entirely on chores, so we decided to visit the beach at Honeymoon Island State Park for a stroll in the sunshine. This lovely expanse of powdery sand is beautifully unspoiled, and we could feel all our knots coming loose as the foaming surf curled around our toes and the breeze ruffled our hair. It was delightful to see little kids with their plastic pails and shovels, bright umbrellas planted in the sand and kites flying overhead. As we walked along, tiny sandpipers and plovers scampered out of our way and gulls screeched overhead. What a treat.

When we returned to the RV park, we had a new temporary spot at Val's brother John and Fawn's site, where we squeezed in next to their car for the next couple of nights. On Sunday we'll move again to Anna's site, after she and Doug vacate it to return to Canada. She kindly sublet the space to us for the duration of our stay.

Anna had a little gathering on her site to bid farewell to her RV park friends and neighbours, so we got a chance to meet some of the ones we hadn't met before, and to let them get to know who their new site occupants would be. I'm looking forward to the shady spot we'll have for sitting outside.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Friends and neighbours

Dunedin, FL -- Our temporary rental spot is in a very public location, right along the main drag of the RV park, so if we are outside doing anything, there is no place to hide from the passing throngs! As a result, the smallest chore can take up to an hour, as folks drop by to say hi and catch up.

Such was the case today, as Val tried to stop an annoying drip from our hose connection at the back of the RV. He hates leaks. No matter what he tried, there was always a wet spot under the rig. That's when Chuck, our neighbour, strolled over and offered to take us to his favourite RV supplier in his truck. He also said we could drop by at Walmart to pick up a filter for our water supply -- that got me excited, as there were a few other items we'd noted that we could pick up there at the same time. So, off we went, with me in the back seat, and Val and Chuck up front exchanging war stories from their working days with great gusto.

After a successful outing, Val was out there attaching the new filter and dealing with the drip again, when another couple stopped to chat. Then some more folks meandered by and joined in the conversation. Before we knew it, most of the day had passed and we'd hardly done anything -- but we'd had a lovely time doing it!

It has been breezy and fresh again today, and delightfully cool overnight, promising another peaceful sleep in our little home on wheels.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Shanks mare

Dunedin, FL – The patter of raindrops on our RV rooftop told us this morning that we probably wouldn’t need the sunscreen any time soon. And the thermometer reading of 55 degrees nixed the shorts and sandals to boot! However, we’d slept soundly and in comfort, with nothing to complain about.

Our plan for the day was to get Val’s cellphone up and running with a U.S. SIM card from T-Mobile. Some years back we’d been stung by unexpected roaming charges from our Canadian service provider when we used our cellphones outside the country; a surprise we did not want to repeat. We decided to head over to the store on foot, for the exercise as much as to avoid unplugging the water and electricity which tethered the RV to our site. It wasn’t raining very hard by that point anyway.

We stopped in at the clubhouse first to post some mail and talk to the park manager, and as soon as we stepped inside we were greeted with cries of recognition and hugs from a group of park regulars! It was delightful! I just wish my mental databank of names was a bit easier to access after a year’s absence!

There were a few other customers at the cellphone store when we got there, but our wait to be served was short. Getting Val’s phone unlocked, its Canadian SIM card replaced with an American one, and a new account set up was not short – and there wasn’t a bench or chair in the whole place! We must have been there for the better part of an hour. Still, Val was delighted to have all his favourite apps at his fingertips once again.

Just before we left, a customer came in for some help with her cellphone, and then asked for her umbrella. Turns out it was T-Mobile Tuesday, when they give out free umbrellas! We asked if we could have one too, and they gave us one each – a black one for Val and a T-Mobile pink one for me! Perfect for today’s weather! I used mine all the way back to the park, once again providing free advertising for a U.S. enterprise. Well, the price was right!

Next to the mall as we were walking back, we noticed a line of small trees with plaques in front describing each one. It was a mini-arboretum of local trees, the most beautiful one bearing showy yellow blossoms. Unfortunately, it was the only tree without a plaque, so I still don’t know what sort of tree it was, but it sure looked pretty.

After supper this evening, we set about sticking up removable hooks in various strategic spots, so now we will be able to free up a bit more cupboard and drawer space by hanging some items on them. We’re gradually getting settled, and we’re also realizing how glad we are to be RVers once again.

Monday, March 18, 2019

The geyser!

Dunedin, FL – We have reached our destination! We’ve parked the RV on a lovely concrete pad in the Dunedin RV Park, had a nice supper and even had a friendly chat with some of our old friends from previous visits. It’s almost like coming home.

Our travel itinerary today was amended by a conversation we had in a Wal-Mart parking lot the other day. We learned that Interstate 4, the principal east-west corridor we’d planned on using, would be congested with traffic and construction much of the way, so we decided to cross from the Atlantic side to the Gulf side via State Route 50. We could follow most of the route on our paper map, but the spaghetti pile of highways around Orlando made it impossible to trace the 50 through to the other side. It looked like we could get through, so we set off with our GPS on “view map” and hoped for the best.
It was nice to get a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean as we started southward on Highway 1 from Titusville. The scenery changed to stretches of country until we got closer to Orlando, where it was pure suburbia for miles. However, this gave us the opportunity to pull off at a mall to shop for collapsible lawn chairs at a sports store called Dick’s. We were amazed to find a pair of chairs on sale for $6.95 each!

A little further along, we found The Home Depot, where we picked up one of those lightweight garden hoses that shrink down to nothing, some batteries and a few removable hooks to increase the storage possibilities of the RV. It was satisfying to check those items off our list!
As we expected, Route 50 did take us through the Orlando spaghetti and out the other side. In addition, it gave us some lovely rural scenery to enjoy, complete with bucolic scenes of grazing cattle, splashes of pink wildflowers in the ditches and a distinct lack of 18-wheelers. Before long, we had turned south on Highway 19, tracing the west coast of Florida on a route that was very familiar to us.
It was great to see the US and Canada flags flapping at the entrance of the RV park when we finally arrived, and to be welcomed by familiar faces at the park office. We wanted to pick up some groceries, so we headed out once again to do that before settling in our site.

Back at the park, Val wanted to fill the holding tank with water, so we set up the hose, fed it into the inlet by the driver’s side door and turned on the shore water tap. We’d put a small amount of water yesterday, but now we wanted to fill the tank and see how the pump worked. I was inside sweeping out some accumulated grit on the floor when suddenly kapow! A geyser of water gushed out of the inlet hole all over the open driver’s door, driver’s seat and beyond! Guess the flow was more intense than we’d realized! Another item to chalk up to experience.
When we were finishing our supper on the picnic table outside, Anna and Willem dropped by to welcome us, so we pulled out our brand new chairs and set them up. That’s when I noticed the big white letters on each chair back: DICK’S Sporting Goods. Great! Our thrifty chairs are doing ad promotions on the side. I guess we can’t complain since they were quite the bargain.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Doing the dance

Mims, FL – We slept well in the new RV last night, probably more because we were super tired than for any other reason! It began to rain a bit in the night, and I noticed that the automatic fan hood on the ceiling gently closed itself to keep out the wet, thanks to its rain sensor feature.
We were both surprised to see the time when we finally came to this morning – 8:30! Never happens! Once we were up and about, we busied ourselves with coffee-making, breakfast preparations and trying to remember where we put all the pieces of stuff we needed to proceed through our day. Not only that, but we had to make space for each other where there was no space – you stand here while I do that, and then I’ll get out of your way and you can do your thing. We call it ‘doing the dance’, and we learned all the steps in our last RV – we just have to modify them a bit for the new configuration.

I dressed up the place with my shamrock scarf to mark St Patrick’s Day, and picked out my green pants to wear. It was none too warm when we stepped outside, and we never did peel off  many layers as the day continued. Still, we were enjoying our first non-travel day since we left home, and we got a lot done towards feeling settled. I even toted a couple of loads to the laundry room, conveniently located right behind our site.

We went for a walk around the campground in the afternoon. There were lots of live oaks on the property, draped heavily with Spanish moss that swayed in the breeze. It looks like a lot of guests are longtime visitors, judging from the whirligigs and gnomes planted in front of motorhomes that had permanent wooden steps up to the doors. There were also lots of kids having a ball in the play area nearby.

Tonight we enjoyed our first home-prepared dinner in the RV. Last night we planted the pedestal and tabletop at the front for our store-bought supper, sitting in the driver and passenger seats that swivel around when we’re not driving. Tonight we tried out the rear location, seated on the sofa/mattress. I think we’ll stick to this spot, as the tabletop sits at a better height. The front location put the surface almost right under our chins!

As I sat down to write this, a new motorhome pulled in next to ours with a very appropriate label: “Leprechaun” by Coachmen! Bet they got some ribbing today!

The Zanin Hotel

No blogpost yesterday; my usual time slot for writing up the day was instead filled with getting organized and settled for our first night in the RV, having bid hotels goodbye for the time being. We are in Mims, FL at a KOA campground neighbouring the Kennedy Space Center.

There is still a ton of stuff to do in our tiny home! At the moment, every move is new, every spot taken by something that hasn't yet found a permanent, logical home, and all sorts of RV features we have to figure out for the first time. But we are so happy to be traveling this way, with our own food, our own bed, and a wide road ahead.

We'll be here for a second night before completing our journey to Dunedin, our ultimate destination. Today will be a busy one, to be sure, as we have laundry to do and other settling-in things, plus a lovely campground to explore and neighbours to meet. And, it's St. Patrick's Day! Lucky thing I brought my green accessories to mark the occasion.

Stay tuned for more exciting chapters yet to come.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Like a box of chocolates

Savannah, GA – You never know what you’re going to get when you set out on a road trip, but most of the time, it’s pretty interesting stuff! Today I got to sit next to Forrest Gump on a Georgia park bench with a beautiful backdrop of a southern city square – courtesy of the Georgia State Welcome Center. It was clear he had many seat partners throughout the day, as at least two other groups swooped in right behind me for their photo op! I didn’t manage to figure out how to open that beribboned box of chocolates during my sitting.

Our route was very straightforward today, due south on the I-95 all the way from Fayetteville to Savannah. We shared the road with lots of traffic, which is understandable as the March break beckons winter-worn people to the warm places – but, surprisingly, there was quite a bit of traffic heading north as well.

By the time we stepped outside to have lunch, the temperature had already hit 73F, and it climbed another ten degrees before day’s end, to Val’s delight. I must say it was nice to feel the humidity in the air after spending the winter in a forced-air, dry environment at home.

As we drove southward through North Carolina, we came to a series of roadside signs heralding Pedro’s South of the Border. They had cornball messages like the one, illustrated by an enormous hot dog, that said “You never SAUSAGE a place! You’re a WIENER at South of the Border!” Soon enough, just over the South Carolina state line, we glimpsed an enormous sombrero atop a giant tower visible for miles, and there it was. Ole.
As we were boarding our RV after the Forrest Gump encounter, a woman came over saying “’Scuse me, scuse me!” Carol and her husband Robin were dying to see our RV and ask what we thought of it. We gave them a tour and had a lovely chat. They came from Selma NC,  had recently retired and wanted to do more traveling. Just one of the neat things that happen when you hit the road.

The highlight of our day was a visit to historic downtown Savannah, where we drove after dropping our luggage off at our hotel. Our destination was West Jones Street where there’s a house built in 1851 by my great-great grandfather, John Nevitt. His grandson, Richard Barrington Nevitt, was bundled off with his younger sister and brother at age 14 to Canada to escape the Civil War. RBN married my grandmother’s mother and the rest, as they say, is history. The house is privately owned, so we could only look at the outside, but it was wonderful to see a place where some of my family roots began.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Country roads

Fayetteville NC – Steaming trays of fried okra, hush puppies, grits and gravy, turnip greens and other southern delicacies tempted our tastebuds at supper tonight as we browsed the buffet at the Golden Corral across the way from our hotel. We are definitely not in Canada any more!
Warm southern greetings this morning from Doris, our server, started our day pleasantly in Charlottesville, and off we headed toward Thomas Jefferson’s famed residence at Monticello, just outside the city, for a quick visit. When we arrived and saw crowds of people filing off tour buses, and the impressive array of visiting choices at the ticket counter, we realized “quick” was not going to work. To have a proper look, we’d be better off coming back on the way north again when we could give this world heritage site our unhurried attention.

So, off we went in the direction of Fayetteville, North Carolina, opting to travel along state highway #15 rather than those crowded interstates. The lovely countryside and less congested traffic were our reward. Not only that, but as we continued southward, there were more and more signs of spring! We rounded a curve and there on a hillside was a sunny yellow clump of daffodils, and a bit further on, fruit trees adorned in a froth of blossoms. The drab beige of yesterday’s fields was mingled with green sprouts and even a few expanses of pure emerald green. Lovely.

Shortly after crossing the state line into North Carolina, we arrived in Oxford, and as we drove through on its main street, we passed some magnificent antebellum mansions, complete with stately columns and formal gardens. They reminded us of some of the homes we saw in New Orleans.

Getting through Durham was a challenge. The maps we had with us indicated a spaghetti pile of roads, highways and interstates, and we did experience a few glitches, but that’s all part of the adventure, right? We emerged on the other side and eventually, thanks to the patient GPS lady, got to our hotel, so all’s well that ends well.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Corridors of commerce

Charlottesville, VA – We have escaped the snow. For the last few hours of today’s trip, no matter how carefully I scanned the roadside, even deep amidst dense bush, I saw not a single trace of white. Not only that, but when we stepped out of our RV for a breath of fresh air this afternoon, we had no need of extra layers, scarves, gloves or anything! We even saw some people outside the hotel this evening in shorts and T shirts! Though I might not have gone that far with a high of 17 degrees (or 64 as they measure it here).

There was white stuff this morning when we got on our way; some vehicles in the parking lot had frost on their windshields, but ours didn’t. We took to the Interstate 81 again, southbound. It wasn’t terribly busy to begin with, but before long we found ourselves surrounded by 18-wheelers, with just as many – or more – heading in the opposite direction. On a dry day like today was, it didn’t present too many challenges. We’ve been on rainy highways when the passing of one such vehicle would shroud us in a deluge of muddy water, half-blinding us momentarily! What it did demonstrate in no uncertain terms is the huge movement of goods that takes place every day across the country.

Factories with smokestacks belching plumes of smoke into the sky flitted past our windows, as well as large business complexes with crowded parking lots, and towns and cities of various sizes. The odd work crew was tinkering away on the highway but with little impact on the constant presence of cracked pavement, dips and potholes, some of alarming proportions. Fortunately, though, as we continued further south, the condition of the roads improved quite a bit, so Val didn’t have to scrutinize every metre of surface as we sped along.

We hit four states today, passing out of Penn-sylvania into Maryland, crossing a very brief section of West Virginia and entering Virginia for the final leg of our trip to date. We stopped at the Virginia welcome centre to pick up some literature, as we hope to spend more time here on the way home. There was a nice photo backdrop of the word LOVE in huge stand-up letters that beckoned to us. It took some doing to capture us, part of the big word and the “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan in one selfie shot, but I did it finally!
In late afternoon we left the humming 81 interstate and turned eastward on Interstate 64 toward Charlottesville. It was a much more peaceful drive, with hardly any transport trucks and quite a bit of attractive natural scenery, including rolling blue mountains and farm fields dotted with cows (or, as Val calls them, bovine flatulators) and sheep – and even some hillsides that were beginning to turn green!
Our hotel was just off the interstate, so we settled in quickly and had a nice dinner at the hotel restaurant, which meant we didn’t have to go hunting for a place to eat.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The long and bumpy road

Wilkes Barre, PA – Day one of our journey south is done! After many days of preparation, loading up our new RV with kitchen stuff, linens, clothes, maps and what-have-you, we pulled out of our driveway and hit the road at about 8:30 this morning with clear skies and mostly dry roads.

Since our destination is far from Ottawa’s snowy climes, we wore several light layers rather than humping our parkas and snowboots for the few (we hope) miles that might involve the white stuff. There were a few flakes drifting lazily down as the trip started, but nothing more than that.

In no time, we were inching forward to the border crossing at the Thousand Islands bridge, and at the next turn, there were the Stars and Stripes flapping on a nearby flagpole, welcoming us to the U S of A. When lunch time rolled around, we’d nearly reached Scranton, where we found a welcoming Cracker Barrel restaurant, complete with its signature rocking chairs out front and crackling fire in the large stone fireplace inside. We indulged in the hot biscuits and corn muffins along with our lunch, but managed to resist the buttermilk strawberry pie.

Our biggest challenge heading down the Interstate 81 through upstate New York and on into Pennsylvania was dodging potholes. Some parts were so rough they reminded us of Newfoundland! Fortunately, traffic was relatively light, so our serpentine moves didn’t bring us into the pathway of any semi tractor trailers. And we did spot one highway crew dumping warm asphalt into some of the craters, so maybe tomorrow’s drivers won’t have to do what we did – at least for the mile and a half that was attended to today!

We arrived at Wilkes Barre shortly before five, which meant we had time to find a cellphone service provider to hook us up to a US service. We had a bit of a wait, since there were several customers ahead of us in the queue, but we chatted with Sylvester, a plumber from Mississippi who was also waiting his turn, and that helped pass the time. When our turn finally came, the clerk knocked $20 off the cost because we’d had to wait so long! Bonus!

Monday, March 11, 2019

On the road again!

In February of this year, we purchased a brand new Roadtrek Zion SRT camper van, and very shortly we'll be on the road again. After two years without a motorhome, since selling our last one, we decided we hadn't had enough of RVing, but we wanted to be as small and nimble as possible this time around -- no trailer pulling or toad hauling, no slides, no bulk. Just a beautiful, sleek, silver bullet, short enough to fit into a city parking space, but fitted with all the comforts of home, from a queen-size bed to TV and microwave, and top-of-the-line lithium batteries plus solar panels on the roof to keep us humming in the most remote locations.

In the deep freeze of Ottawa's winter, we've been trotting loads of supplies out to the van, lining shelves and cupboards with cushion foam, and figuring out where everything will go. A fun challenge, but a bit uncomfortable when your fingertips start to go numb and your feet turn to ice. It's hard to believe we may be sweltering in this space in a week or so, but that's our hope! Our destination is Florida for our maiden voyage, and if you are interested, check back soon and you can follow us along on our journey.

Bye for now!