Photo: Aboard the Algnonne Ferry from Port Townsend to Oak Harbour on Whidbey Island.
Following a rather abrupt and lengthy blog interruption some folks have contacted me claiming that they’re suffering symptoms of Blog Withdrawal.
The trouble with travel blogs is that getting back to real life can keep a person too busy to maintain them.
Anyway, here’s a quick overview of recent events.
From Port Townsend we drove to Tweetie and Art’s place (mansion) in Langley, which I was surprised to find out, is only a twenty minute drive from Bellingham, Washington. When Art got home from his job – as Vice President for National Home Warranty – he barbecued some tenderloin while Tweetie worked on the rest of a fabulous four-course dinner. As usual, Art and I had a little too much Scotch. The women would probably deny that they got slightly tipsy on red wine. As always, our overnight was interesting, and fun.
Photo: Tweetie and Art’s home in Langley has twenty-three foot ceilings.
Photo: Tweetie, departing in her Mini Cooper while Golden Lab twins, Ben and Walter, look on. The garage has three fourteen-foot bays. Janice and my quarters above the garage has the same size footprint as our house. Their house also sports an elevator and an indoor pool.
We left our trailer in Langley and drove to North Vancouver where we gathered up Janice’s mom, Rhelda, before taking: first the bus, then the Sea Bus and finally the rapid transit, to my Mom’s place in False Creek. We had picked up some lunch fixings at Urban Fair along the way and, seeing as it was Mother’s Day weekend, Janice and I fixed the lunch. OK, mostly Janice fixed the lunch. Janice also got Dorothy’s computer up and on track again. It’s hard to get a wireless system to work when the router isn’t plugged in.
Photo: Rhelda, Janice and Dorothy at Dorothy’s place in False Creek.
Later in the afternoon, back on the North Shore, we met our long-time friend, George Robb, for a drink at the Black Bear Pub in Lynn Valley. He gave me a couple of solid Blue Chip stock tips and I gave him info on VUZE – a very handy website. George is in good shape and enjoying life, despite the looming prospect of a total knee replacement. It’s always nice to see old friends, especially as so many seem to be dropping off around us these days.
The very weekend we got back to BC we heard about the death of another long-time friend, Jimmy Martin. I hadn’t seen Jimmy in about fifteen years but, last year, returning from a trip to the coast, we bumped into him at a service station in Hope. He was with his estranged wife, Michelle, and they were returning from a relative’s soccer event in Kamloops. Jimmy and his dog died in a house fire in North Van.
The next day I hooked up with my brother, Mark, and we returned to Mom’s so that we could take her to brunch. She wasn’t feeling at the top of her game though, so we stayed at her place and prepared her some fruit, yogurt and toast. Then we went about fixing anything that she needed doing. It was a nice morning and later, because I had the pick-up truck, I helped Mark take some junk from his house in Coquitlam to the dump.
Photo: Me and my brother, Mark.
Mark returned with me to Rhelda’s where Janice and her brother, Gordon, were preparing Mother’s Day ribs. Janice’s other brother, Alan, joined while we listened to Mark regale us with insider stories regarding his job in the movie industry.
On Monday, Janice and I stopped into Mom’s again so that Janice could give her a computer lesson. Then we drove out to Langley, back to Tweetie and Art’s, where we helped Tweetie do a little weeding of her garlic farm. By the time Art got home Janice had prepared dinner. Art has a closet full of different brands of Scotch so he and I tried a few – you know, to make sure they were still good.
The next day we met Art at his office and then he took us to lunch at The Vault Restaurant and Bar in Langley. Before lunch, Tweetie had driven Janice and I around on a quick, but successful, shopping trip. We had needed a few clothing items, both for the meetings in Whistler, and for going back to work.
On Thursday we drove to Whistler and spent two hours trying to find a place to park the trailer. If you’re planning to RV in Whistler, enquire ahead. Later, we met some of my fellow work crew at the Delta Hotel lounge for a drink.
I spent all day Friday in seminars. Janice toured around the village, eventually finding a better spot for the truck and trailer.
Photo: Janice talks Tim into posing on the balcony of the Delta Hotel in Whistler, as a person about to re-enter the world of work.
At the Annual Awards Dinner that night I was very surprised, as was just about everybody else, I’m sure, to find out that I had won several awards; including a much coveted trip to Ottawa. How’d I do that? I had worked the first five months of 2010 and the awards were cumulative, for consecutive quarters, achieving certain levels of performance – in my case, six consecutive quarters.
Later, after we had partied a little with some fellow workers, we had called it a night and were on our way to our suite when we ran into more of the crew, on the elevator. They were looking to have a glass of wine so they came back to our suite. We finally called it a night at 1:00am.
I was in seminars again on Saturday morning while Janice had brunch with the girls. Later, she went zip lining with another bunch of my crew while the rest of us golfed at Nicholas North. Janice enjoyed the zip lining but claimed it wasn’t all that scary. I made up for it by being pretty scary on the golf course, where I just missed beaning a big black bear on the 18th.
Saturday evening everybody went to Dublin’s Irish Pub for dinner and then our little gang met for drinks back at the hotel.
Sunday morning was seminar time once again and, after saying our goodbyes to the crew, Janice and I hit the road for the last leg of our year-long journey. We left Whistler in the pouring rain and took the Duffy Lake Road through Pemberton, Lillooet and Cache Creek to Kamloops. The leg between Mount Currie and Lillooet is just as winding as Highway 1 in northern California, but a lot steeper. Luckily, there was no snow on the road. As is almost always the case, by the time we got to the interior, the clouds cleared and it was partly sunny; the air much drier.
We stopped in at our friends, Peter and Debbie’s, new townhouse in Kamloops where they prepared another fabulous dinner for us. We enjoyed a little wine too while we snuck the occasional peek at the Canuck’s game. Their new-to-them townhome has a panoramic view of the rivers. Of course, as is their bent, they’re ripping up and replacing just about everything.
We stayed the night at Peter and Debbie’s and, on Monday morning, we met the Property Manager at our house. I’m very happy and surprised to report that the renters hadn’t even scratched a scrap of paint off the walls. The entire rental arrangement couldn’t possibly have worked out better.
By 11:00am Janice and I were moving things back from the neighbour’s garage. By dinner time we had the bedroom, kitchen, bath and living room pretty well set up. That night our neighbours, and friends, Michael and Ellen Smith, had us over for yet another fantastic dinner. It was greatly appreciated too, especially considering we hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet.
Over the next two days, with Michael’s help on a couple of heavy items, we completed the move back in to our house.
In between moving, on the second night I was home, I managed to play cajon with Just Like That, the acoustic band, at The Art We Are. Thursday night I had practice with the electric band, Dr. Recommended, and had my first taste of electronic drums. The band was lots of fun but the jury’s still out on the drums.
We both go back to work on Monday.
On Thursday we had our friend Lynda, who’s going back to Manitoba for the summer, over for dinner and a sleepover. JR, the guitar player in both bands I play with, joined us and then he and I headed out for practice. By Saturday evening we were set up sufficiently to have Howard and Leia over for dinner. We also managed a few hours with Peter and Debbie wandering around the hills at Grasslands Provincial Park, behind our place, on Victoria Day.
Photo: Tim, Janice, Debbie and Peter at Lac du Bois Provincial Park, part of Grasslands Provincial Park.
Thanks to anybody who’s been following along on the trip via the blog. It was fun. Yes, we could go another year, but it’s also nice to be home.
I had so many people say to me before we left, “A year!!! How can you do that?” Well, now we know exactly how to do it, and how much it costs, pretty well down to the penny.
I’m going to develop a website where it‘s free to look to see what it was like to be on the road in an RV for a year, but, if people want all the money saving, time-saving and peace of mind secrets that we now know, they’ll have to pay. It might cost, say $9.95, to log into the full meal deal. We’ll see…
Anyway, thanks again for riding along.
Tim & Janice
Photo: The truck and trailer were sold almost immediately. We had put on 53,000 kilometers on the year-long trip.