Winter In Phoenix travel blog

Moving out of the kids and back into the bus. And Michelle's...

Reading with Opa, something the girls love

Aaron (grandson) and Sloan (great nephew) enjoying their hotdogs during a visit

Finally, it is beautiful enough to be in the pool! The neighbourhood...

A beautiful sunset in Ottawa driving home to the RV park

Aaron enjoying the bouncy castle obstacle course at the park

The grandson picks out his ride of the moment. We have quite...

One of these cuties will be our baby, picking her out in...

Guess what this key is to?? Read below to find out!

After getting the key, the skies opened up, we drove through this...

Our new home base :-) What adventures await us here?

Why is Michelle putting a hole in this wall??? Again, read on...

When we last posted, we were in limbo.

- Waiting for Michelle’s car – which she finally got Apr 30 and hasn’t stopped smiling about… and finally the weather has changed and it is warm enough that she's driving all over with the top down. PS: Now it's so warm she may have to leave the top up and run the A/C.

- The water levels dropped enough at our summer RV park so that we could finally move back out into the bus. We intruded on the kids enough and we appreciate them having us for 19 days. May 11 - we moved into the bus at the lake and are enjoying our last summer in the bus at Mississippi Lake, in Carleton Place

- Up to this point, since we’d been staying with the kids, we hunted and hunted for a home to buy, getting into over 30 houses and still not finding the right one. It seems that car hunting was so much easier than house hunting. After 5 years of living in 350sq ft of space in the bus, you’d think that we’d be happy with anything bigger, but ohhh no! Apparently we have a long list of criteria that we have to meet, especially when our son, who is also our real estate agent, is guiding us through the process. We do have our own wish/want/like list though and all that certainly cuts down the eligible list of ‘what house we would accept’ down even further. Here we are looking for a simple home to take us into our twilight years happily together, and the ‘Agent’ is more concerned about resale, hmmm.

The bad news about the local real estate market in Ottawa is that unfortunately its hot at the moment, (it has been for a year and doesn't look like it will change anytime soon) so it’s a seller’s market, with lots of places going for $50k to $75k over asking. The good news is we have all summer to look and if we haven’t found a place by fall, we can always introduce ourselves to the kids as a needy welfare case.

-of course we've had lots of visits with the grandkids. The girls can say Nana easily and have just started saying Opa when he's around. The girls seemed to have grown accustomed to his long white beard. Aaron is becoming such a little man, we can't believe he starts school this year, he'll be the class baby (youngest) with a New Year's Eve birthday.

-our daughter got her promotion to Master Corporal, and with it was a posting to Trenton. So we just come home and they're planing on moving out. At least it is just a three hour drive down the highway, and close to my sister and niece.

-we've gotten in a few golf games with friends and are wishing our scores were closer to what they were down south. Winter golf down south was three times a week, now back in Canada it's 'we are lucky if' we play every other week, guess it truly is back to reality!

-we managed to squeeze in some learning, Michelle did a couple fused glass courses making a necklace, a platter and a few other little pieces and Mike learned how to do live edge and resin trays/tables with epoxy.

-we celebrated Michelle's, our daughter-in-law's and Mike's birthdays. Mike turned 65 this year, and is excited to see what senior discounts he can get now! ("No Mike, the liquor and beer stores don't have discounts because you're old or a frequent customer".)

-we've also visited a few former neighbours, enjoying time to catch up and fell right back into our close friendships.

News updates:

-House #35 was THE ONE, (this was the 35th house we actually went into and looked closely at) Michelle found the open house and we saw it for the first time on her birthday. Today we took possession. It is a 1972 bungalow in a quiet Ottawa neighbourhood just 2 blocks from the local college, we're buying from the original owners and it is in great shape. That said, it still is from 1972, so we have some major renos to do before we can move in. The parquet flooring is in great shape, but it won't last the next 20 or so years that we hope to live in the home, so first up is remove all the parquet and put down new hardwood, then stain and finish it. Also on the agenda, gut the two bathrooms and redo them into the new century, enlarge a few archways, add/move a door here and there, move or remove some walls, add more insulation, change all the trim work, change the fireplace, change the wiring all around and add more outlets. Move the washer/drier upstairs from the basement onto the main floor. Oh and did we mention move the kitchen to where the dining room was and the dining room to where the kitchen was. Mike, when he heard all that, was shaking his head, and started mumbling something about vent stacks and opening up the drywall. I guess that also means a new kitchen and appliances too... Woo Hoo. But that means we'll be back to a dishwasher, he can get his soft, supple hands back after 5 years of washing dishes. Michelle keeps telling him that the good news is the windows and roof are still in good shape so it shouldn't be a problem.

After our last house, we know we can do it, and are looking forward to enjoying it, when it is all done (something we've never really done before, usually it is work hard to reno and make it nice all to then sell!) The picture is putting a hole in the wall that is going to come down, so we can measure how much long the wall will be to the window, to order our cabinets :-)

Our plan is to sell the bus at the end of the summer or when we move into the house, which ever comes first and if you've followed this blog for any amount of time, you know how us and plans change. What happens after that is up in the air. Our summer park will be open until Oct 15 (we've heard through the grapevine), so hopefully we're fully finished and moved into the house by then!

-We've bought a puppy! We've put our deposit on a Standard Schnauzer, pick her out in two weeks and get her early September. Yes, yes, we can hear all of you saying why, but we really miss the companionship that a dog gives you and Mike needs the exercise of walking her. We said we wouldn't have one in the bus and now that we've bought a house, we can't wait to cuddle our little furball. Name still up in the air; Rosie and Moki or Koko (from our Arizona trip) are contenders. Send us suggestions!

Thank you all for following us on the adventures of our dream vacation, our '5 year vacation'. We've been to places we wouldn't have thought of going to. Saw some of the most amazing things you only see on TV or read in books and magazines. We lived the way we wanted to, went where we wanted to go, and the best part, we enjoyed each others company so much even in the tight confines of living in the tiny space of the RV, we'd do it again. We still plan on traveling, but in different ways this time, a month here - a cruise there - so we aren't hanging up our coats, not just yet. Lots more to discover, time to close this chapter and start another.

Well, time for bed...the big work starts tomorrow, wish us luck. Guess we need to start a new blog, for the house progress, lol.

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