Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Evacuation practice

Sierra has been asking lots of questions about what will happen if we (me and Ian) die in a fire. She wants to know who she will live with. Pretty serious questions for a 5 year old (on a less serious note, but yet funny...she wants to live with some one who will let her have a kitty).

With her questions about us possibly dying in a fire we decided it was time to practice an evaction plan for the travel trailer in case of an emergency. We had never really thought of doing it before. We made plans to do it the next morning as it was getting late.

That night while Ian and I were sitting out by the fire Aayla woke up crying. We went to the trailer door to go in to see what was wrong but couldn't get in...Aayla locked the door as she tried to open it (don't worry it's NOT a fire).

We told her to go wake up Sierra. She didn't have any luck trying to do that as Sierra sleeps on a top bunk. Luckily Sierra left her window open and Ian liften me up so I could reach in and shake her leg to try to wake her...but no luck. I shook her leg a bit harder and yelled "Emergency" and she sat right up.

Sierra was able to wake up when she heard it was an emergency and came to unlock the door to let us in. It wasn't a huge emergency but we were proud of her that as soon as she heard emergency she woke right up and sprang into action.

First thing in the morning we put our new evacuation plan into action. The girls had to lie in their beds and pretend to be asleep. When they heard emergency they had to get to the living room window as fast as they could. Sierra was then repsponsible to open open up the window and help Aayla get out first by helping to hold her hands as she slid to the ground. Next she had to get herself out and go find an adult.

They are both monkeys and thought it was fun to preform the practice a few times. This is something we will continue to do on a regular basis because you just never know...

Do you practice emergency evacuation procedures with your kids while travelling?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Enjoying our days at Nicholston Dam RV Park

We have settled into Nicholston Dam RV Park in Alliston where we will stay until June 1st. I will do an actual review later but I wanted to share with you some of the natural wonders we have been enjoying at this park.

There is a family of baby Canada Geese who we see almost every day. It's amazing in less then 2 weeks how much they have grown.

We woke up one morning in the middle of a butterfly garden (see more butterfly pictures HERE).

We've watched many fish jumping in the river...however I was not quick enough to get a good picture! We haven't tried our luck in fishing here yet.
We did go to the Orillia Perch Festival where Sierra became quite the little fishermen!

The girls have enjoyed singin' in the rain...take note of the tree in the background where Sierra is singin' in the rain...then see the next photo. When the rain stopped the river rose about 3 feet!

With all the rain, the buds are all branching out...
 And the birds are busy flying around and singing when the sun comes out.

Baltimore Oriel and their nest

A little Robins egg we found on the ground :(

a sweet little goldfinch right outside our window
The bees are buzy buzzing.

So far we are quite impressed at this park with all the space we have.

We got a spring early bird rate for booking the space before they opened. We've had most of the park to ourselves as there are only a couple other campers here right now but the sites are large for the most part, the river runs directly behind us and the large trees make it a beautiful setting to relax and enjoy.

Life is good!

Monday, April 23, 2012

So Many Thank yous...

Our last few days in BC were kind of hectic with packing and cleaning and saying our goodbyes to family and friends but we managed to get everything packed and in the moving truck... including the hot tub :) 

I must say that craning the hot tub over the neighbours house was a little nerve racking but the crane held up and we managed to get it into the moving truck.

We were very thankful that we were able to find a truck that the hot tub would fit in and almost had to leave it in BC. We hired a moving company to move it for us but on the day he was to show up to pick it up he said his truck was full and couldn't move it. Needless to say we were scrambling to find alternate arrangements. 

Luckily we found Universal Truck Rentals and we were able to cancel the UHaul (they had no trucks with door openings wide enough to fit it in). They had a Diesel truck that happened to have an opening just big enough to slide in the hot tub and gave us a discounted truck that was bigger so he could get it back East (apparently more people move to BC from Ontario then head back to Ontario from BC). 

We expected to have lots of room left over in the truck but it's amazing just how much stuff we still brought even though we sold off twice as much as we are bringing in the last few months! It's incredible how much stuff accumulates and how fast. We thinned out sooo much but still managed to fill this huge truck and the trailer we towed behind it!

Finally everything was packed up, the house was all cleaned (A HUGE thank you to Ania for spending all day cleaning all the bathrooms and the kitchen...We owe you!And thanks to my mom for taking Sierra for the night so we could finish packing) Then it was time to load ourselves in the truck and say goodbye to our home.

Luckily our dear friend Jay flew out to help us drive across to Ontario. Believe it or not I have never pulled the trailer...I'm scared of having to back up (yes Ian did drive all 30,000km's we drove on our trip last summer!). The plan...was for us to rush so Jay could be back for work in 5 days! So we quickly threw the last few items into the truck and headed out.

I am extremely thankful Jay did come because the next morning Ian woke up and was very sick and we were only parked at a roadside stop just past Kelowna.

The girls had been sick before leaving and were still sickish too so our drive was anything but fun and I had to drive for the first time as we didn't have time to sit around.

 And would you believe it...two days later I was sicker then I have ever been in my life! I managed to drive from Kelowna to Winnipeg before getting sick and forcing Ian to drive again. He wasn't 100% but he made it to Sioux Saint Marie.

Jay had to leave us in Sioux Saint Marie and fly home to work and we had to sit in a truck stop while I recuperated. If Jay hadn't flown out to help then we probably would have been in Calgary still! After 2 nights  we had to move again because we needed to unload the truck and get it back. We loaded the girls into the moving truck with Ian so I could have complete silence to concentrate on driving. Whewww that was tricky but we arrived safe and sound! A HUGE thank you to Mark and Jeff for helping to unload the truck and to Ed, Keith, Matt and Alex for helping to unload the hot tub! (See the trend here of why this post was titled so many Thank yous... We have called on so many friends to help us with this move and we are very grateful for all their help)

Our next little hicup happened almost immediately. We couldn't park the trailer where we originally hoped so we scrambled to find an RV park that was open. Apparently no parks in Ontario open until May. Luckily the storage facility where our belongings are in storage had one space left we could rent until a local park opened. It was nothing more then a parking space along their driveway but it was a blessing to have as we waited for the camping season to open.

We spent Easter here...

Luckily the Easter Bunny found us and he brought wonderful nature bags and real binoculars for the girls. He also brought geode eggs the girls had fun cracking open.

Even though we were parked on the side of the road we were thankful for the hill beside us.

Sierra studies her snail she found

Remember curling dandelion stems as a child? They picked the stems
 too short but we managed to get a few curls.
The girls cousin Charlie came for a sleep over and had a great time on that little hill.
Sierra found an egg on a branch of a fir tree. It must have
been pushed out of the nest after it didn't hatch.
 The girls got out the bird book and tried to figure out what type of bird it was...we think it was a Starling's egg.

They also discovered how fragile eggs can be...

Charlie searching for clues

Charlie and Sierra doing some investigative work
under the tree where the egg was found.
 Then they caught a butterfly...

And if that wasn't fun enough...they also spotted a wild turkey on that hill...

So next time you see a little hill don't take it for granted. Be thankful for all it has to offer if you take the time to look :) It provided us with lots of fun rolling down it and also housed many dandelions and creatures to entertain the girls when we weren't out exploring Barrie and it's great parks or swimming at the fabulous pool here.

Many thanks to all of you who helped in so many ways with our move...we are truly grateful and appreciate everything you have done. Now we head off to our RV park to see what adventure lays waiting to be found.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Times they are a changing...and so do our minds almost daily!!!

The house sold (no changing of our minds there) and we have been sorting and selling and deciding what to keep... hence comes the changes of mind!

We decided to sell our house and move to Ontario where we can buy acreage which is more affordable then here in BC. We want to build our Earthship and still be able to afford to travel in the winters. Since we would be living out of our Surveyor travel trailer for a couple years while we build the Earthship we were planning on selling almost everything we own; keeping only the bare minimums and sentimental items instead of paying to move them and then store them for a couple years.

We pondered the possibilities... and changed our minds on almost a daily basis and sometimes two and three times in the same day!

Since selling our businesses over a year ago we have been investing in rental properties in Ontario. Originally we planned on buying acreage right away to start building our Earthship but since we want a large acreage and the bank wants 50% down payment on land, we have decided to buy a rental which needs some work, fix it up to improve it's value and then look for land. Since we don't have typical jobs any more we will have the time to do this once or twice and be set to start the Earthship and continue to not have to work :)

With this change though we realized that selling off of our furniture was silly as now it would need to be replaced since we won't be living in the RV for 2 years while we build. So we bought a small trailer to load up the furniture that we wanted to keep. I say a small trailer because we needed to find a trailer that could be shipped since our truck is pulling our RV (we want the trailer to store tools etc on our land while we build and use it for maintenance on our Ontario rentals).

So we started to plot out what furniture we could take with us by mapping it out on our floor :)

The original quote for shipping the trailer full was reasonable but then the fees kept going up as we had to pay by pound...not such an economical choice after-all...and we already bought the trailer! So once again we put on our thinking we sell the trailer we just bought and go back to shipping things by pallets with our friend at Air Canada, pay by pound to ship the trailer or do we rent a truck and pull the trailer???

In the end we decided to rent a truck and pull the trailer. Yes we will be paying for gas in two trucks now to move but in the end we know roughly what the cost will be and have budgeted for it. It feels much safer then hoping we are guessing correctly at how much our possessions weigh (our bedroom suite is enormous). I have heard horror stories from people where their moving costs doubled or higher due to weight and we can't afford to take that chance!

Now we had one last decision to make...our hot tub! We and I mean the whole family loves our hot tub and we use it many times each week. We put it on craigslist to try to sell it but it was very expensive to buy even second hand when we bought it and selling it for basically nothing breaks our hearts! Since we going to be living in one of our rentals for a couple of years we have decided we should take it with us. As luck would have it, it is a couple inches too big to fit inside the rental truck! Still it is more economical to pay to ship it then it is to sell it for nothing and replace it in Ontario. So yeahhhhh we get to keep our hot tub!
So as the days disappear and we have less then a month before we leave BC things are finally solidifying and our decisions are starting to feel real! Some more sorting, selling and packing and March 30th will be here before we know it! If I am lucky... Ontario's winter will be over when we arrive...I'm already looking forward to travelling next winter and getting away from the dreaded cold winters in Ontario!

Friday, February 3, 2012


The sticker just went up!

It's hard to believe that it has all happened so quickly. We had an accepted offer 7 hours after the first showing and now they removed their subjects early so it's SOLD! Packing and selling and simplifying life begins :) Yeah for the next chapter of our lives! So exciting!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pinterest plus RVing :)

I just read THIS post on Rick & Paulette's RV Travels about using

for RV'ing and I just had to share it! In between cleaning and sorting and preparing to sell our house I have been totally addicted to Pinterest. I how ever have only used it for craft items, recipes, earthship ideas, things for the home, natural living etc and never even thought of the RV possibilities.

How many countless blogs do I follow? How often do I loose a blog post that was very informative, or a great camping review, or a place you read about on a blog and want to go there next time you are in that area? I loose ideas all the time and Pinterest is a great way to save all those ideas and know how to easily find them again.

I highly recommend you go read Ricks post if you aren't familiar with Pinterest...but beware...pinning is addictive!

I quickly went and made new pinboards HERE and pinned all my campsite and boondocking reviews from our 4 month trip last summer and can see many more pinboards being added soon :)

Crossing our fingers

Our house didn't end up on MLS until last Wednesday and on Thursday we has 3 showings. Seven hours after the first showing we had an accepted offer!!! Now we cross our fingers that everything goes well with their financing and their subject removal so we can make this a done deal by February 6th. In the meantime we are left continuing to show the house for back up offers just in case...and crossing our fingers it could be so easy!

Here's our finished yellow door...I'm still not sure if I LOVE it but heck it's better then the blue.
You can click HERE if you'd like to go check out our listing and see our home. Any of you locals looking for furniture? Most everything you see in the pics will be sold.

So the sorting and selling continues...thank goodness for Craigslist as it sure makes selling thing easier :)