Harvest Hosts

For one night stays, a great concept is a membership to the Harvest Hosts database. Breweries, wineries, farms, museums, golf courses across North America offer space for travelers to spend a night on their properties. For free! Of course patronizing them is encouraged.

Our first Harvest Host stop was at the Big Axe Brewery in Nackawic, home of the largest axe. Flights of sample beers were served in mini picnic tables. The beers were good! A few other RVs stayed there also, but it was very quiet.

Interestingly to get there we drove through a covered bridge.

Our next Harvest Host was in St. George at the Granite Town Blueberry Farm. We were the only guests. They had blueberries in many forms, jams, chutneys, syrups, wine and pies. The blueberry crumble was very tasty! They also sold Beyond Meat sausages… yum!

There was a marsh trail that we started, but gave up after being attacked by mosquitoes. Saw this weird yellow thing growing on some plants. Not sure what it is. We were lulled to sleep by the marsh frogs singing for their mates.

People are people

On our return from Quebec City we found out that the local RV mechanic couldn’t solve our water issues until late the next day. The park staff recommended another who was quite helpful. We drove to a local RV dealer. The manager informed me that he wasn’t the mechanic (who had the day off), but would take a look at our problem. After spending a long time troubleshooting the water service centre of the RV in 30 degree heat, it was time to look inside. In the end he realized that the problem was caused by certain winterizing valves weren’t set right by our dealer’s technician. This was the boss on his hands and knees helping us out. What a great guy!

We were so grateful that he could help us in such short notice. It wasn’t long before we were back on the road and headed to Edmundston and spent the night in the Walmart parking lot, along with several other RVs.

Now we have to get some water in the tank…

Old yet refreshing

Crossing the St. Lawrence river at Levis, you can see that this was a fortified old city. The garrison walls with their cannons stand guard over the river. The Chateau Frontenac hotel looms over the horizon in full grandeur. Taking the funicular train is a great way to get there.

We watched this motley trio enact the protection of the city.

more pictures to come…

 

La belle province…

Nothing quite prepares you for a night in a Walmart parking lot. Yet these are a must for boondockers… in a pinch.

After a great trip to Belleville, we needed a stopping off point before hitting Quebec. Brockville was the answer. Specifically a Walmart parking lot. A noisy trucker night it was.

A local couple eyed the RV, and filled us in on checking out the St. Lawrence waterfront.

When we woke up, we freshened up at Walmart, and made our way to Quebec, a brutally bumpy ride. I Google mapped our route, wanting to avoid going through Montreal’s busy city traffic. Somehow, as has happened before, the Google AI lost her voice, and before long we were traversing Montreal’s traffic chaos caused by a mass of construction.

Eventually  we were routed the wrong way. We pulled over in a parking lot and put Google away. I punched in the coordinates to our camping destination on the RV’s navigation and it guided us to the front door step. London friends Rob and Wendy suggested we stop at Camping Transit. Not a bad spot. They have a shuttle service that will take us to the ferry to Quebec City. A bonus is that their  restaurant delivers to your campsite! Which we took in.

Once we backed into our site, I was keen to use my YouTube knowledge and hook up our water and electricity. Everything seemed so simple. The A/C kicked in right away, cooling the rig, but when I checked the fresh water tank level it was empty. I checked the rig’s built-in service centre and noticed that there was a huge water pond building up.

Several calls to our dealer proved fruitless. I believe that a plug wasn’t put back after de-winterizing by the dealer. Anyway, a mobile rv mechanic will take a look tomorrow and hopefully will determine the problem.

Until then, bon soir.

Brockville bites…

After meeting a nice couple who loved our RV and suggested we go to check out Brockvilles waterfront, we headed over after a late dinner here. Gourmet microwaved Mac & cheese ??waterfront was a nice place but swarms of midges around. Frank said ‘watch out for the midges they can bite!’, so I misheard and was looking everywhere for biting midgets.
So after we sat for a little looking at the St. Lawrence and the top of my head getting eaten alive (Frank had a cap on so was saved) we left. Walking down the pathway ran onto another swarm and I did one of those flailing wildly and clapping with the arms thing. A couple were coming towards us and as they passed by with wary looks I wondered if they might have thought I was doing some weird greeting at them. Oh well, they had about 10 feet to walk into midge hell and they would understand heh heh.

Belleville Eden

Yesterday was great, left early and made it to our friends Ric and Catherine early afternoon in Belleville. They used to be our neighbours in Unionville and we haven’t seem them in years. They now live in a beautiful home with the most amazing huge backyard with a waterfall pond, lovely gardens, loads of very old trees and an abundance of wildlife. We sat outside enjoying it all while chatting.

Great to catch up again. Ric always played Santa ? at local malls after retiring as a ?. Good generous man. He always signs off with love, see below.

So a busy day today with more unexpected back and forth (no I didn’t leave my phone anywhere!). Reached Brockville a few hours ago and are parked at Walmart as they allow free parking across North America. We just needed an overnight spot and a few groceries so perfecto. We did our shopping, came back for a wee nap ? then Frank wanted to go back in but I was tired and hot.

So then I managed to drive Frank INSANE hee hee. He comes back and within a few minutes this weird high pitched buzzing/whine sounds off to the right side of the rig. We couldn’t figure out where it was coming from, looked outside, Frank went online to a forum, did the Systems check. He was getting rather stressed out!

Meanwhile when he was gone earlier it was getting hot so I found my little fan but it wouldn’t work….so I put it in the car door pocket. Then, it suddenly started working IN the car door after Frank got back. ! So after about 15 minutes of stress Frank said, is there anything down there? Voila! The noise is discovered and promptly turned off. I got one of those ‘too the moon Alice!’ fist shakes while I was killing myself laughing ?

Poor Frank.

Oops

 

Day 1 of our ‘freedom from the rat race’ didn’t quite go as planned but there were some bright moments! After a hectic running around getting last minute packing, a teary and huggy ? goodbye to Rhiana we HIT the road. Whoo hoo. Frank drove us to Toronto to meet with his lovely and fun Mum (Ann) for lunch at Congee Queen. That harkens back to years ago when I would take her to her eye doctor appointments and then we would go for fish congee with chinese doughnuts that you dip with, shrimp paste stuffed eggplant, green pepper and tofu. Good memories. So we ordered a small feast that we all enjoyed and lots of leftovers for her to take home.
After that we had a short but great visit with his Auntie Mina and Uncle Richard in Thornhill. So nice to see them again, it’s been ages! Really good people, if we were living closer I’m sure we would be getting together more often.

So catastrophe happens….I realize I left my phone charging back in London WITH my health & hospital cards tucked in a pocket on the back.
Oy Vey!!!!!!! So we try to figure out a plan with Rhi possibly sending it overnight by Fed Ex but we are not sure where we will be as we are flying by the seat of our pants!

So, Frank takes charge and said, we will just drive back (Which Rhiana had advised but I hate back tracking). So we had a great first day on our excellent adventure driving 200 km for lunch & a quick visit then back to London heh heh. Poor Frank, rather tired after leaving at 9am then pulling back in at 5:30. Luckily I was not the only one to blame as he left a few things too.
We went to Swiss Chalet and made a list of everything we need this time around.

Plan is to depart again tomorrow morning and head to Belleville to see our fav Unionville neighbours Ric and Catherine. Park overnight at their place and then head east. It’s been a bit of a hiccup but nice to come back to Rhiana after almost 10 hours and announce ‘we had a great trip!!!!!’

www.wonderwheels.ca

Time to downsize

With retirement looming ahead, we decided long ago to downsize.

Moving to London, Ontario from Unionville (north of Toronto) we chose a house slightly large than the previous and one much older, sitting in a well-establish community. Having owned five houses between us, this was by far the best and the neighbours on this block are irreplaceable, all of them friendly, warm and inviting – right from day one. We realized that the house was just too big, and after seven years of living in it with age and changing health patterns creeping up on us, it was time to put downsizing into motion.

No not the RV.

Don’t get the wrong idea. Moving from a house to an RV is a bit extreme – even for us. Though truth be told, we did consider it. For now we’ll settle for a solid roof over our heads, but with less of the upkeep that our lovely house afforded. When the snow thrower cacked, it was tough going shoveling snow out of our long shared driveway, with no where to go but straight ahead. When we found out that our cast iron drainage pipes were completely rusted through from one side of the building to the other. The house seemed to be pushing us away. And rightly so. We were done.

What to do next? Purge!

One of Robyn’s favourite pastimes is to go local garage sales on the weekends, when the weather permitted. Coming home with an assortment of trinkets and tidbits that other people disgarded for pennies. It was her thing, and for the most part she has had great pickings. She was always proud to point out the tasteful items around the house and garden that were garnered from someone’s weekend yard sale. She even instigated a street sale with our neighbours with the hopes of unloading some of our disgards too. Well, the thought was there. The buyers weren’t always around, so whatever had sentimental value stayed, while the rest went to the Goodwill charity.

Having a large house means that it can hold more stuff. There is so much room to cram things in and accumulate more things that we know of or really care about. It was time to go.

Landfill or recycle.

Modern age has spawned a throw away society. We live in a time where we spend and disgard frivolously. Giving unbroken or unworn items to charity allows those items a second life in another’s hands by keeping those once-used things out of a landfill and enhancing someone’s being.

We are not perfect by any means, but we’d rather giveaway than dump. Which is what we have done in our quest to rid ourselves of useful belongings. I always feel guilty bringing a load to the dump. Will it be buried for generations only to be dug up by some futuristic archeologist, or made into landfill extending a building project into the Great Lakes? On a recent occasion where we were dropping off used items to Goodwill and later visiting the dump, I mentioned to the Goodwill worker that “only part of our items were to be recycled – the rest were going to the dump”. To which he commented under his breath, “some people think we’re the dump”!

The purge continues.

Photo by Pascal Thauvin

 

 

The Chosen One

Many factors come in to play when you have the choices put forward by the motorhome industry. How you approach those choices depends soley on personal visions and aspirations.

Our manufacturer of choice was Leisure Travel Vans from Manitoba, Canada. Handmade quality with years of experience building recreational vehicles that exude first class design and construction. What a sales pitch! Sure they are not the cheapest in the field, but as a much sought after product, these vehicles hold their value, and that meant a lot!

We liked the three LTV brands, the Serenity, the Unity and the Wonder. And with over 10 different floorplans between them, we were going to have to dig deep and reason out our choices. We sent away for all the brochures and watched the LTV YouTube channel repeatedly until we narrowed down what we each liked about the vans.

floorplan

We fine-tuned our choice to the Unity TB and the Wonder RTB.

Both floorplans had rear twin beds that could convert to one huge Queen+ bed. Both had ample storage. The Unity is built on a Mercedes chassis, while the Wonder is built on a Ford chassis. As previously mentioned, storage and functionality feature high on our list as did price. However serviceabliity was a big factor with me being non-mechanically inclined. As was the expansive storage and price. Add in all the available options (four solar panels, an onboard generator plus loads more) and we have a winner!

By now, you will have realized our choice was the Wonder RTB.

Check out the video below to see what we got ourselves into.