Thursday, 20 March 2008

19/3/2008 - 30/03/2008

26/03/2008 - 29/03/2008 - The Bonds have come and gone and it was really great to catch up with them all. We managed to get them all up the mountain for skiing for the first day, okay 1/2 day by the time they were already to go, (they seem to come from Dave's time management school). The Bond family all took a lesson for the first day and did extremely well. I think Darrin really wanted to give Boarding ago, but was a bit frightened of doing an injury so early on in the holiday. We managed to get up to see the Vees take on the Westside Warriors at Westbank in one of the play off games. Darrin decided to rename the start of the game - The Face Off to the Puck Off - needed to be careful when saying this out aloud. It was sad to see the Bond's go but I think they were excited to start their next leg. That's the last of our Australian visitors - which was really sad because it meant this leg of our holiday was coming to a close.

The Penticton Vee's won the first play off with the Vernon Vipers. (Best of 7 games.) The final score in game seven was five 5/2. The Vee's now play Westside Warriors for the Interior Conference title. Once again it will be a best of seven series.

We finally put a deposit on a motor home. We ended up buying a new unit because the older ones were far too expensive. I think that is more to do with the Canadian dollar being so weak a few years ago and with the depression of the US economy dealers are heavily discounting new RVs. We also think our re-sale on the new model will be less expensive for us when we go to sell it. Attached are the photos so you will get a good idea on how we are going to live over the coming months.

The Vee's won the Interior Conference title by beating the Westside Warriors in 4 straight games. This will enable them to rest up for the Coastal Conference. The winners of that are now playing off. Hopefully they are giving themselves a battering.....

29/03/2008 - Saturday I spent the day helping Tony grinding tree stumps on their second property. Saturday evening was a great time to have a few drinks with Tony and Lisa to say goodbyes. They have been fantastic in helping us make our Canadian vacation so memorable for us and all our visitors. Tony and Lisa who started out as our Landlord's have really become great friends. It was disappointing to leave Canaon House.

30/03/2008 -Sunday we went to the mountain for one more run and there was still plenty of snow. Over the last week approximately 50cm fell. (Even the rocks under the quad chair were covered.) We skied the first and last day of the season. Bobbie and Brant had organised Sunday dinner and we were able to say goodbye to all the Howard family including May, and Mike and Karen from Victoria Island. The Howard family really has made us feel so welcome. They have really carved a special place in our hearts and we just hope to be able to repay some of their hospitality when they come to visit us back home in Australia.

It has been a sensational winter and now it is time to move on. (Immigration is kicking us out of Canada tomorrow anyway...)

31/03/2008 - We are off to the Kelowna airport (thanks to Bobbie) still not knowing whether we will be able to enter the USA as our I-94 card was still in our passport from when we arrived in LA 6 months ago. We had one last lunch at the Hooded Merganser with Brant, Bobbie, Lisa and Peter. We said our goodbyes and headed off to Kelowna. We stopped of at Maurie and Gwen's house (Bobbie's brother and sister-in-law) for a cup of coffee and to see their lovely house that they have built. We checked our luggage for weight and we had to leave even more stuff with Bobbie as our bags were overweight. It was extremely sad to say goodbye to Bobbie, but we had to leave - our Visa was going to expire at midnight. At this stage we have flights booked to Albany, New York to pick up our new motor home, but because of a bit of a mess up with our Visa we are not sure if they will let us back into the country - only one way to find out. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:35pm however didn't leave until 10:00pm. This was pretty interesting as we had two other connecting flights. The good news was the delays were caused by high winds in Chicago which was one of our flight legs. We managed to get though Immigration and Customs with no problems with our I-94 and they gave us 6 months on our new I-94. Our only problem was we were carrying a bank cheque for the Motor Home which had to be declared. That caused some angst as they have a big money laundering problem in the States. We finally got through and had to run and catch a couple of trains to the other side of the airport. Seattle is one of the biggest airports I have ever been in. We jumped our flight to Chicago and flew through the night. We had breakfast at the Chicago airport and then boarded a 9:00am flight to Albany. (Albany is the capital city of NY state...Not New York City as I thought.) We finally arrived in Albany and headed straight for a motel to recharge the batteries.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

25/02/2208 - 18/03/2008

Just another quick update to let you all know that everything is going well.

Since our last update sadly Dale and Kaye have left us and Ross and Liz have come and gone. We have really had some great times with all our visitors - and we have already gained a lot of memorable moments and a huge amount of laughs. Spring has really set in, the birds have returned, to Ross's frustration though not the woodpeckers - he thinks they've seen him shooting and they are running scared. The golf courses are starting to open up and Spring Skiing has begun. Okay not sure about the Spring Skiing in the last couple of days we have received 21cm of snow, however the temperature has warmed up it was a nice -10 degrees.

The deer have also returned a couple of times - and I've finally got to hand feed the deer - I was so excited - they are like feeding horses, all lips. They are really timid and I must admit it took a fair bit of patience for me to get them - as you would probably know patience is not normally one of my stronger points.

Ross being the expert marksman decided to realign the sights on the gun before he could even think about going after a wood pecker. Well Ross had the sights all aligned properly or so he thought - different story from Dave (who sadly still leads the woodpecker count). Ross was shooting extremely well. He then called Dave out to have a few shots - well Dave couldn't hit the side of a bus - he was spraying his shots all over the place and blaming Ross for his handy work. Well I went outside had one shot hit the middle target and left - no problems with the alignment from my side of things - I think this is why Dave is leading the woodpecker count - he had aligned the sights to suit himself when we first arrived at the Canyon House.

Ross, Liz, Tony, Lisa, Dave and I all had a lovely lunch at the Hooded Merganser to celebrate the the lovely Tony and Lisa's engagement. What a great day we all had. Lunch was just beautiful overlooking the Okanagan Lake and sipping several bottles of wine. Of course after lunch we all headed to another bar at the Casino and had another couple of drinks (because we needed more to drink). After these drinks we all headed up to the Casino to have a few bets. Well the night finished just as well as it all started everyone of us had a win - what a fantastic night.

Ross and Liz left with a few more injuries than what they arrived with. On day one up the slopes and Liz's first lesson she had a fall which left her thumb black and blue and very swollen and sore, no amount of ice or strapping was going to fix this in a hurry. Liz being the trooper she is took one day of the skis and was back up the mountain the next day. Ross had a fall on his second day which left him with some very sore ribs, but this wasn't enough for Ross the next day he was back up the mountain and fell on the other side to hurt his ribs on the other side - needless to say it was somewhat painful for Ross to laugh, sneeze or cough. Ross spent the first few days with his ski pants on backward. Once we fixed that he did ski allot better. The hot tub was put to good use to try and help alleviate some of their pain.

The last couple of weeks Dave and I have been trying to purchase a motor home - this task has consumed a lot of our time and energy. We have spent more time and energy on this task than any other task we have faced together - if we get through this alive I think we can face anything together, perhaps even 12 months in a 31 ft motor home. We have done a mountain of research - sometimes I think too much and we start second guessing our choices etc. Unfortunately for Ross and Liz they have been here to witness all our ups and downs. As I write this update we are in the process of purchasing a New Class A Motor home from Albany in New York State, so yet again we have another change of plans on our next adventure. We will still leave Penticton on 31 March and fly into Albany, New York to pick up our new RV, we will then head down the East Coast of the States. Arriving in Texas around mid to end of June and then leaving Texas mid to end July and then heading home for a couple of months. We will put the RV in storage in LA for the time we are at home. We will then fly back to LA pick up our RV and continue our adventure around Mexico, USA and Canada. We are both looking forward / scared to driving our RV and starting our next adventure.

The attached picture is what we are looking to purchase.

This is what a woodpecker looks and sounds like. The only time Ross saw one he didn't have a gun. (only a camera.)