Sunday, 31 December 2017

Now look what we've done

The other night we had Vickie, Bruce, Dave and Karen over to the firepit. We had been told we couldn't use it but the other night the owner was here and he said we could... don't have to tell me twice. It was fantastic to have that fire going to keep us warm outside while we visited with friends.

We've been here for about 5 weeks now and while the temperatures have been fantastic from 7am - 5pm, once that sun goes down it feels damn cold even though it's still around 17C but being in 30C temperatures all day heats your body core making 17C feel cold. So that firepit was a fantastic addition to our experience here.

So some of you will be aware that this whole RV thing was my idea and Brad was kind enough to indulge my wanderlust. He mumbles and grumbles, mostly because it's just what he does, but he likes it here too. This resort is fantastic. With 5 swimming pools, 5 whirlpools, 2 tennis courts, 6 pickleball courts, a fishing lake, 4 laundry rooms, exercise room, horseshoes and even a fishing lake. It is a luxury resort with a 14 hole golf course with the 15th hole being the name of the new restaurant opening any day. The palm trees and rolling greens of the golf course make this resort so stunning I can't even explain it, best to check out the website which has a short video showing everything.

This resort is different in that it is a condo corporation. The lots are for sale, we're told there are not many with this option and I am inclined to believe that. Apparently back in the day (20 years ago) it was a Thousand Trails that ran into financial trouble.

Anyway, we just bought a site here. Many of you will be disappointed I'm sure, but that's alright by me. The point of our RVing was to get away from Canadian winters... now we have a place to go every year and can branch out from here if we desire.

To be clear, this is not a timeshare. Noone was preaching the wonders of it to us, in fact the office didn't know we were considering it until we showed up to make an offer. There is a seperate website which has listings of what is for sale and what is for rent, should anyone be interested. You can also get a feel of what a build out could consist of on that website.

The resort has a management office which also has a rental pool so when we are not here the office can rent our site out. We have not decided whether we will or not as there are obvious income issues with this concept. We could create a U.S. corporation and do it that way with proceeds being put into lot development or some such but we have yet to figure out whether we want the hassle.

This alteration to our style means we will likely change our rig, we purchased this little one for boondocking and state park purposes, now we can go a little bigger.

We still plan to 'RV' slowly back and forth to Canada stopping here and there, ,so there are a lot of considerations that we have yet to decide on.

Given the rental rates at other places, we feel that this is a good fit for us and the offer we made was very low, so low in fact that there was a reasonable chance it would not be accepted, but the current owner has personal complications which require him to sell it fast. The site has limited improvements on it and we don't like them anyway, so they will have to go and we will be designing a new build-out and do most of the work ourselves since we are able. The purchase also includes a golf cart which is the transportation of choice around the 600 site resort. Our current landlord has just purchased new furniture for this rental site and while talking to Brad we purchased the current furniture (livingroom set) for $100 so at least we have comfortable seating for the remainder of this season.

I do not have any pictures as yet of our new site but will make a point to get some. The site is one of the larger sites in the resort, easily double the size of the rental site we are on currently. It's exciting to have this new endeavor.

Neither of us ever expected to be purchasing anything in the U.S. and while we gave a lot of consideration to it when we first arrived several weeks ago, we decided not to 'jump in' without giving this long and serious thought. We also wanted to make sure it was a sound purchase by gathering intel from others who have purchased here.

The other day we decided that since we both really like it here and it is so much less hassle than trying to find new places to go all the time, this was a great opportunity. There are many improvements in the works around this area in California which we hope will only help our bottom line in the end but the offer we made did not take any of that into account, obviously.

We are only about 2 hours from LA, less than an hour from Palm Springs, an hour to the beach in Oceanside, San Diego about 1.5 hrs and of course Mexico just the other side of San Diego. From LA you can get anywhere... a cruise, or flights. Plus the bonus that flights from Palm Springs go straight to our family city, as so many people there go to Palm Springs for a winter getaway.

We hope you will continue to follow along as our new endeavor blossoms and we get our site built the way we want it.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Jeep lid, Massage and 1950's

Yesterday Brad replaced the old soft top on the Jeep with a new one he got from Santa. He also put the mesh one underneath so when the windows are off I won't have to worry about the dog falling out. Now we're going to have to clean up the black trim of the rest of the Jeep...

New Jeep soft top being put on

Brad had a massage this afternoon so I went with him as I needed to go to Lowe's. After his massage we decided to go out for supper. Our favourite place 'back home' is a 50's diner, so when I saw Richie's Read American Diner on Google maps.... that's where we headed.

Richie's Real American Diner

The place was not empty by any stretch but this was a small section they didn't have open. I chose to take a picture of that rather than worry about someone not wanting their picture taken.

Unlike back home, this diner has a bar.

My pomagranate lemonade came in a milkshake cup. Huge.

Brad's meal came with a salad

Brad ordered Spaghetti

I order a bacon cheese burger

Brad's flavourless spaghetti was soaking in a pool of water in the bottom of the bowl.
He did not enjoy it. At all.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Our 1st RV Christmas

What a blast we've had this Christmas. When we left 'home' we never expected things to go the way they have and certainly didn't expect to be with so many new friends at Christmas!

On Sunday, Vickie and Bruce had a Xmas Eve Brunch, Potluck so there was plenty of different options to eat. I was so busy scoffing and gabbing that I forgot to take pictures through most of the event, but I did get a couple.

Brad's 1st plate

My only plate

Vickie - Hostess with the Mostess

On Christmas morning Robbie was soooo excited. He understands -somehow- that he gets stuff, likely treats, when Santa comes. As soon as we were out of bed and I told him Santa had been he ran over to our stockings and started pawing at them... "let's do this" he seemed to be saying. Brad helps him open his presents, literally just holding it so Robbie can tear the paper off himself. 

Come on, there's stuff in here for me

Pulling the wrapping off

A Nerf for dogs ball!!! Yippee!

Janice and Dave who are part of the group we have been hanging with were gracious enough to include us in their Christmas Day dinner. (The group are mostly Entegra owners, with 40+ ft coaches and we are lowly 30fters..)

Again the dinner was potluck and I made 2 small Broccoli and Cheese dishes which hardly anyone touched. Bonus for me as its one of my favourite dishes and I only bother to make it for these events and usually it's gone and I only get a small bit myself - I got to bring all but a couple of servings home to eat all to myself!!! Merry Christmas Bonus.

There was a ton of food there and I sampled most everything, filling my plate far more than I usually would. It was all so delicious, I filled another plate. Man oh man was I full. Brad was so full he offered to do the dishes!! Knowing if he sat down he'd likely fall asleep from being so stuffed, he figured the dishes would get him over the hump and keep him awake. It did. Everyone made quite the spectacle that he was doing the dishes... all in good fun.

No apron? No problem. Glad to the rescue.

...and a bit of duct tape.

Dave cutting the Turkey

Oh, why are we waiting....

As I've mentioned before Brad likes to carry on like an Archie Bunker with a 'women should be in the kitchen routine'. Imagine everyone's surprise when he broke their pre-conceived notion of him.. Made for a lot of laughs.

Grubs up!

Archie Bunker my a**...

... and dried them too.

Someone welt to a lot of trouble to make these adorable little mice, didn't notice if 3 were blind.

After dinner we all sat around chatting and then Janice introduced a game we'd never heard of, quite simple. I have no idea what it was called, perhaps Vickie will include it in the comments if she is recovered enough at some point to read this blog..... Vic?

Before we knew it it was 9:30pm and we headed home. We had hoped to visit with Karen and Dave at some point yesterday, but time just didn't allow for it. I trust we will see them today at some point.

Santa was very good to us again this year, I don't know why- we're hardly angels... well I am, but....

One of Brad's gifts was a new soft top for the Jeep, we intend to attempt to put that on today... we'll see how that goes and I will take pics. Perhaps we should have Vic & Bruce over for a couple of drinks first so it becomes a fun task instead of a stressful one... 

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Meeting Dave and Karen

We met some new people yesterday, well not really new as we had met them previously at the dog park, etc. but they have recently purchased the site next to ours.

Yesterday was the first time we had actually had any real meaningful conversation with them and it was great. Brad and Dave talked about politics - Brad's favourite topic,  and Karen and I talked travel, RV and options.

I had given them a Xmas card earlier in the day and included one of our 'business cards' in with it. Karen texted last evening to see if we would like to join them as they were going for dinner in Temecula tonight. We have yet to work out the details of when/where but we look forward to spending time with them again.

Its a lonely road this RV life, while we are used to that it has been profoundly noticeable which is rather odd to us at least, so it's nice to make new acquaintance.

They are going to a resort further south next month and it has been suggested that we drive down for a day trip to see the sights and visit again. Likely we will.

Feels a bit bit weird talking about Dave and Karen as my brother is a Dave and his wife is Karynne (pronounced Karen)... anyway, just a tidbit I thought I'd throw out there.

We are off to the post office shortly to see if any last minute mail has arrived. When I checked yesterday there was nothing there and we are expecting at least 2 items from family.

We also have to get a few groceries for the Xmas potluck events, not to mention normal groceries like bread, etc. We are not sure if we will get groceries during the day or after supper this evening. Decisions decisions.....

Friday, 22 December 2017

Breakfast Xmas Party

We were invited to a Xmas party at George & Andy's yesterday morning. We'd never heard of a Xmas Party for Breakfast and we were looking forward to it since there would be a fair number of people there that we had previously met.

George & Andy have a beautiful spot with a gorgeous view.

They were serving breakfast margarita's, I could not bring myself to drink alcohol at 9am so I had orange juice and Brad had his staple coffee. The margarita's looked amazing though with shrimp, asparagus, celery and bacon. Wow.

Of course there was proper breakfast foods as well, the guys had everything there bacon, croissants, muffins and cakes, quiche and bread pudding it was a great spread. We enjoyed spending time with some of the people we have met at this park and even met some new people which is always nice. There were probably 15-20 people there which I thought was a great turn out for 9am! George & Andy are great hosts and we appreciate being included in their event.

Brad had an appointment at Noon so we had to leave earlier than we would have liked but enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Day trip to Palm Springs

Yesterday, after our binge the night before Janice and I arrived for Pickleball but The Vicster was nowhere to be seen... Today, I was the only one who showed, actually there was one other person there who managed to make a call and get 2 others to join us...

This morning, after Pickleball of course, we loaded in the car and headed to Palm Springs once again. Well, technically a first since the last trip we didn't actually go to Palm Springs but actually Palm Desert which is sort of a suburb.

I was quite surprised by Palm Springs itself to be honest with you, not at all how I - imagined or was led to believe?- thought it would be.

They do a pretty cool thing to their palm trees which I hadn't seen anywhere else but otherwise it was pretty dull. We drove around thinking perhaps we were 'on the wrong side of the tracks', but it didn't get much better.

Somehow I guess we had imagined it to look more like Beverly Hills than Temecula. It really wasn't much different than Temecula, in fact I think Temecula has better housing.

Anyway it was a beautiful warm sunny day for a drive and we had a fantastic meal there. Saw the fancy palm trees and even saw some dune buggies doing their thing on a sandy hill beside the highway on our way home. We took the short route there and the long route home through Hemet.

Hemet is actually a pretty big place and I was shocked by it. Another town I think was Romano... I'll check... well, clearly I was abducted because I can't find anything even remotely close to a town name of Romano... no idea where that was, but it was also surprising how much they had for such a small town.

All in all a great family outing day.

Can anyone explain to me?:
I placed an order through Walmart (if you'll recall) for Quality Street Chocolates about a week ago. In order to get free delivery I had to up my order from $27 to $35. Since we are always looking for something to munch on I figured okay. Twizzlers, Maltezers and Starburst were added to the original order. The order was then broken up into 3 deliveries... Starburst arrived first, delivered to the RV, Twizzlers and Maltezers came next, delivered General Delivery to the local Post Office, I'm still waiting for the Quality Street - should be delivered tomorrow... I don't know where...

My question is: Why would items from the same order be delivered to different places? Isn't there a more efficient means of doing this? Surely putting a small flat bag of Starburst in a 8"x10"x5" box with some stuffing and the maltezers and twizzlers in another even larger yet box - half empty.... is not the most environmentally nor sensibly financial way to sell a couple bucks of candy... I think the Post Office won on that whole deal. I'll take pictures of whatever they send the Quality Street in.

Monday, 18 December 2017

Hawk Watch Winery

So I didn't get to Pickleball yesterday because the girls had plans for late morning. Brad dropped me at Vickie's around 10:45am and after picking up a couple of others (Janice and Lisa) Vickie drove us to Warner Springs where we had plans at Hawk Watch Winery for a glass of wine and a Xmas craft class to make Xmas ornaments out of wine corks. I have so many pictures....

From left to right: Lisa, Vickie and Janice

Lisa, Myself and Vickie

Beautiful enough for a wedding

Great views


Jams, spreads, sauces, wine, T-shirts... lots for sale.

The lights bounced off everything - and everyone.

Creative Xmas tree

One of my ornaments

One of Lisa's ornaments



I think this one is Janice's

Anna's (she joined our table and is also from this resort)

Back of mine

Back of mine

Table full of options 

Janice's anatomically correct Reindeer


Back of Anna's


Back of Lisa's

Group's ornaments

My favourite ornament of the day belongs to another Victoria

The whole group

On the way home the girls wanted to show off the reindeer to some friends so we stopped but they were not home so they moved all the decorative ducks around on their lot.


Back to George and Andy's for a visit

Be naughty, save Santa a trip

Having a laugh

Considering we showed up unannounced the guys were more than gracious hosts until well after dark. Providing us unprepared girls with sweaters and blankets to keep us warm. As well as providing us with some of their finest wines, which we downed like drunken sailors.

George with Andy in the background. I think I caught him while he was talking, sorry George.

Having had far too much wine, Brad reheated leftovers from the previous nights dinner out. I managed to stay awake until 10pm - somehow and then we all just said to hell with it and went to bed. 

It was a great day with new friends and I'm so glad I went. I hadn't been particularly excited about having what I would consider a foo-foo day but it was an all around good time.