FIRST CAMP-OUT

FIRST CAMP-OUT

This isn’t what I thought it would.  No not at all. But there you have it.  We, in our little home on the east coast in the province that everyone was calling the ‘safest place’ in North America (if not the whole world…although I think New Zealand can claim that title), are now in a province-wide lock down.  It’s all for the best though. We were never promised a quick resolution and with science evolving in real time we should never have expected it to be anything other that what it is. People from away are entering and not self-isolating as required and there are a few just generally not behaving.

F and I now have our first dose of vaccine , with the second scheduled a bit down the road… which doesn’t really change much for us.  Our first reserved camping trip is coming up soon…but I’m not sure that will happen when expected.  We’ll see.  But hey! it’s spring and what beautiful weather we have been having!  Usually the boat would have been in the water at this point so definitely time to de-winterize RED II, our little land trawler.

Several days ago, my daughter asked if they could visit this weekend…a family sleep-over. They (2 adults/2 monkeys) are presently living in a one-bedroom 750 sq ft apartment  while they wait for their house to be built…because, as she said…she wants really nice appliances for their home so some sacrifices are necessary.  But then the lock-down struck.  We’ve come up with what I feel is a reasonable solution.  They will take over our house for the weekend and we will move into RED II and get acquainted.  It didn’t take F much convincing

Room with a View

Friday night was move-in time.  We dined on camper pizza, sipped a little red wine and watched the stars come out.  Honestly, we could have been a hundred miles from home or a hundred feet…it really didn’t matter.  It all felt very luxurious compared to our times on R.E.D.  Even if we ignored having running water and a real flush toilet it seemed so fancy. An oven for the pizza.  Ice cubes for our happy hour cocktails with a lovely view of Duck Pond.

Camper Dining

During this latest lock-down we are allowed a bubble of two consistent social encounters. We have our Hooligan cohorts but they each have there own bubbles and cross contaminating (couldn’t think of another term) is not encouraged.  My daughter, her husband and two kids have been our consistent family bubble since last year so we chose the two monkeys to be our ‘plus two’.  Two parents working from home since last year  and two little ones  now ‘enjoying’ online schooling, so we thought this would be the least of the worst case risks.  The kidlings are allowed to visit us in the camper and when things go sideways we can happily send them back to Mom and Dad.

Breakfast with the Monkeys

We haven’t quite come to terms with having ‘guest’ sleepovers but dropping the couch into a bed as a demonstration of what could be, brought squeals of delight.

Super Cool Bed

So that’s it folks.  Camping without having gone anywhere was a complete and absolute success.  As my little family packed up to vacate RED by the SEA, amazingly leaving it cleaner then when they had arrived, my son-in-law asked if I have a new list of ‘wants’ or ‘needs’ after this weekend. Nope, we are deemed complete.  Nothing more needed.

Update as of this writing: numbers of COVID cases continue to creep up so I expect our first scheduled away camping trip might be postponed yet again with an extension of the current two-week locked down a possibility.  We enjoyed this weekend so much in our cosy little cabin on wheels that it’s doubtful it will matter much.

During our weekend of isolation, F continued to ‘work’ in the Crow’s Nest caring for his special plants. We did some outdoor gardening and even took a walk to Gramma Beach…all to keep within Public Health protocol.  Life goes on as usual.  We remain safe and don’t feel cheated at all.  F even suggested moving RED II to another spot in our yard so maybe our next camp-out will come with a new view.

Thanks for stopping by.  Sending virtual hugs to you all. Be safe and well.

Peace and love!

SPRING BREAK

SPRING BREAK

Well!  If the kids can have their spring break than so can we…even if it was just an over-nighter.  An offer to join friends at a cabin right on the ocean’s edge was far too good to decline. There’s still the dreaded virus among us but our friends are part of our consistent ten-person bubble and we felt good supporting a local sea-side resort.

Seaside Paradise 2021

We have so many treasures to explore  near by and this one was no exception.  Last time we had visitors from away, what now seems like a life-time ago, we drove here for a bite, a sip of wine and a tour of a local sculpture garden.  Even on the edge of winter it was spectacular.

Sculpture Garden 2019

We lounged in the ‘bunny’ chairs and soaked up the warm sunshine for a brief while  then walked the expanse of white sandy beach.

#greatday 2019

This time we stayed in a seaside cottage and at night I opened the bedroom window and the soothing sounds of waves lulled us to sleep.

Room with a View 2021

And of course the bunnies were ever present following us and begging for treats.

Easter Bunny 2021

A warm  afternoon sunset and chilled bubbly on the balcony of our cabin with our friends was the perfect way to welcome spring.

Cheers 2021

Thanks for stopping by. We have our first camping expedition coming in a few weeks so check back with us to see how we transition from time away on the water to time away by the water.  How hard could it be?

Peace and love….

SPRINGING FORWARD

SPRINGING FORWARD

“The earth has music for those who listen”

March is here. One of my favourite months. When winter is less wintery.  When things planted last year begin to poke boldly through the still cold ground. If they can be so optimistic then for sure so can I.  After all, the ground hog said it would be an early spring back in February. There will no doubt be more white stuff dropped on us I’m sure, although this has been a very mild couple of months, even by east coast standards.

Brave Souls

It’s been a year now since the pandemic entered our lives and ensuing restrictions descended on us….a year like no other.  I remember with clarity that time last March when celebrating my son’s birthday, friend’s invited to make it more festive, those comfortable enough with human contact came. Cake with lit candles. Traditional wish made.  Candles blown. It was at the very moment that I realized that something as common place and customary as a puff of breath over cake shared with others to extinguish a candle would forever change.

That Moment

It’s been a year to reflect.  A year to decide who and what and where we wanted to be. In essence, a year to return to factory default settings.  When you are two retired folks living in a seaside country village, reset is minimal.  We focused on things we love…F, his plants, his terrain, his construction projects….me, who spends a good deal of time in the kitchen, I focused on improving my culinary interests and planning for and designing future renovation projects.

We keep in touch with our small group of friends, locally known as the Hubbards Hooligans, because with exception of one short period of restricted groupings we have been allowed gatherings of ten consistent friends….and one family bubble.

RED II

So now we are springing forward to our next phase of retired life.  RED II landed in Canada just before Christmas and has rested safely at our local RV dealer for the past three months.  We visited once to gather the keys, secure an appointment to install the ‘extras’ to make us and her road-worthy….and to have a peak at her.  Even though she is a few inches shorter than our dear RED (sailboat), she looks so big by comparison.  Twenty-three feet of indoor awesomeness that we can actually stand upright in with not just one but two sinks with running water, a real porcelain flushing toilet and an actual refrigerator. I’m in land-based heaven.

I know I will miss sailing…and RED… but that feeling of loss will fade with time. We continue to get updates from RED’s new owners who were consummate camping folks before buying our water baby last year (they are our mirror image). They have been a great resource for what to do in the camping world…and what not to do.  I can’t imagine it being too much different from being on the water.  Most of my galley gear will come aboard our land trawler and we’ve been collecting bits and pieces to make our little home on wheels more ‘homey’.  Being ‘on the way’ or in a storm on the water will be similar to land travel, making sure things are secure.  We have friends who are a few steps ahead of us who warned to take care to stow the ‘pretty things’ before heading out.  She said when they reached their destination it looked like a cyclone had descended inside her home on wheels. Message received!

Crash Course

When we went to bring our baby home last week, the getting-familiar-course was rather intense but our technician John was very patient giving us a thorough run through both inside and out.

Supervisor Pig

Major Pig (ret) has gone from First Mate to Supervisor and he continues to perform his duties in his usual dependable quiet watchful manner.

Road Ready

RED II looks quite fine coupled with our tow beast but this will be our first road venture with 4000+ pounds of dry weight and it’s a little unnerving although my Captain remains confident. Total length is actually a touch shorter than RED on her trailer but RED II runs wider by about two feet.

Coming Home

Parking our baby at home base seemed a lot easier than parking a sailboat and the mast stepping and un-stepping  process (AKA coupling and uncoupling) took no more that 30 minutes from parking to unhooking to levelling to where’s the wine.  This is the type of ease of operation I was hoping for. I can see us doing this for many years to come.

Happy Couple

So here we are, very excited, very happy and we can’t wait for our first real adventure.  We have some ideas of where we would like to go…after a bit of nesting at RED by the Sea while waiting for warmer weather of course…but there is a life time of wonderfulness to experience not too far from our front door while we wait for this virus thing to be gone.  Remember, in Nova Scotia, we are never more than sixty kilometres from the ocean no matter where we go.

The Ovens (photo cred Tourism Nova Scotia)

Because prime sites book up quickly, I secured three days at a nearby campsite called the Ovens Natural Park (https://www.ovenspark.com) a mere hour drive down the coast from us to begin the season with a roar. The site boasts not only of coastal hiking trails, of natural sea caves to explore, of chances to pan for gold on the beach but the best will be the spectacular view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and hearing the sounds of the waves as we drift off to sleep.

Camping with a View (photo cred Tourism Nova Scotia)

Thanks, as always, for stopping by.  We love it when you do.  Stay well and please drop by soon to catch up and see what’s happening in our little corner of the world.

Peace and love