Winter In Phoenix travel blog

In May, 4 years of owning the bus, worthy of a margharita...

End of May we went to Whitby to celebrate our great nephew...

Celebrating Mike's birthday with all the grands (Emery, Aaron and Charlotte)

We all certainly enjoyed the pool this summer, Aaron will miss it

Our new to us bike trailer got some good tryouts before we...

Michelle's sister and niece came to visit, so all the gang had...

There were quite a few beautiful sunsets, but we'll just post one...

Another summer has quickly passed and as all us ‘old folk’ know, as we age, the time seems to go so much faster. It’s been a good summer for us here in our northern camp on Mississippi Lake.

For Mike it was one of getting some needed errands done, new glasses, new hearing aids, a new dental implant, and a new glucose monitor for his diabetes which attaches to his arm and can monitor his sugar levels 24/7 (no more finger pricks). Does anyone else see a 'getting old' theme here? For Michelle it was her weekly game of golf with the ladies league she joined, where they played all over the Ottawa region at different golf courses. Mike got out for a few games with his buddies as well, but Michelle certainly got her golf routine working. We had Michelle's sister and Mike's brother (and their families) visit (at different times) which called for dinners out, of course. We helped two friends celebrate milestone birthdays while getting together with Kenmore friends (50 and 60, the youngsters!) We were lucky to have the grandson (2 1/2yr old) come out to visit almost every weekend, so he got to drive around the park on his own with one of those battery powered kiddy cars. He will miss that once Nana and Opa have a real house and he has to give the car back to his cousin Sloan. And, once in a while, Nana found time to also get together with the twin girls for her fix of grand babies.

After our tiring drive back home into Canada last spring, we weren’t sure how we would feel about being on the road again this winter, but with a summer of sitting still over, it is definitely time to move the bus to where it’s warm again. We’ve booked a spot for the winter, down in Mesa Arizona this time, which is on the outskirts of west Phoenix. The RV park we’ll be in, has two golf courses on the property, three swimming pools, six hot tubs, a pile of pickle ball courts, ten tennis courts and a softball field (you get the idea, it's big). If we get bored, it’ll be our own darn fault.

During the summer, our fridge in the RV decided to break down. It’s an electric and propane unit and they are unique. Mike was able to keep it sort of going but it took almost 2 months to get replacement parts. Some people, when they have trouble with these units, just swap them out for a house type fridge (which are half the price and much larger inside so they hold more), but we went for the repair instead. Now we just need to fix the waterline leak for the ice machine in the fridge so we don't run out of ice for our afternoon 'boat drinks' by the pool.

We both took some courses over the summer at Lee Valley (a business specializing in tools). Mike made an Ukulele and learned how to make wooden pens on a lathe. Michelle, even though she already knows most of it, took a 'power tools for the workshop' course and she also took a wood turning course for the lathe. If, in the future, you receive from us a wooden bowl, pen or something turned on the lathe as a gift, it will definitely be homemade with love from us.

After we parked here for the summer, one of the first nights while eating dinner, we noticed the front windshield had a crack in it... don't know where that came from but what ever, Michelle will have to work hard to get pictures of our travels without getting the broken window line in her scenic shots.

Our route south this winter is kind of up in the air, all depending on the weather. It should take us about 9 to 10 days to make the trip south. The recent tornado that passed through the Ottawa area missed us by 35kms (20miles) and makes us very aware of how quick things can change. As the summer camping season comes to a close we have to be packed up and out of our Mississippi Lake park by October 1, at which time we will send the RV in for some muffler repairs and a ‘Lookie over and check up’ before heading out on the highway. We plan to visit family, play some golf, tour Niagara Falls and hope to be able to loiter around southern Ontario until Halloween so that we don’t have to come back before May 1st. As we learned last year, the bus can only be out of the province for 6 months and our summer park here near Ottawa doesn’t open for the season until May 1st. We will fly home for two weeks at Christmas. Michelle got an awesome deal on plane tickets for our Christmas break home, so that’s a bonus. During the summer we found a trailer that we can tow behind the bicycles for sale - used. And with the grocery/liquor/hardware stores all being about 15/20 minutes away by bike, the trailer will make it a little easier to load up our goodies on shopping trips. Just picture, our last few winters, two old people on bikes with backpacks and saddle bags hauling milk, eggs, cases of beer and tequila - the little trailer will be so nice to have.

Since this may be our last winter driving south with the bus, we’re hoping again to cover a few new roads, highways and states that we haven’t traveled before. Weather permitting, we will try heading a bit farther west once we cross the border into the USA before heading south. We will see how this plan works out. Like, REALLY what could go wrong? (Michelle's note, he had to ask didn't he? Now it will be his fault if anything happens, you are all my witnesses, lol.)

Almost everything is packed, one thing left to do is see if the bus will start so we can pull the slides in and be on the road, fingers crossed!

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