Jul 24, 2016
…pretty much within 40 minutes of waking up this morning Colin was in his car and driving to Vancouver. Every year he has a full days worth of aerial photography to do in Vancouver. Usually it happens the end of June or early July. Last year because of the smoke from forest fires he did not get job completed until October 6th. Of course the photography is totally weather dependent as in he needs perfect blue sky, no clouds and no haze. For years now the first thing I do in the morning is check the weather, our business depends on it not only for the aerials but for most of our jobs. Yikes, a big change. Today, Sunday the weather is perfect with clouds coming in Monday, certainly different from the forecast we saw at bedtime yesterday. Colin had planned to leave at 5AM Monday and do the aerials. He had a helicopter booked for the low elevations photos and a plane ( much much cheaper ) booked for the higher elevation shots.
He called the helicopter pilot at 7:45AM this morning and yes he would come in on his day off. Thank goodness as it is almost impossible to get a helicopter at a reasonable cost. Enroute he called me who called the plane pilot who said he could not do it until Monday morning as it was his day off. So I made arrangements for Colin to overnight in Vancouver. He was up in the air at noon exactly. The pilot told him he could only fly till 4PM. He flew a bit longer and by 4:45PM Colin called to say that he had done all the aerials., low and high elevations. That is beyond amazing. The photography is for 8 different clients. I guess the helicopter pilot did not have to wait too long for the Vancouver airport tower to proceed nor from the downtown harbor tower.
Of course that means that it did cost us more to fly all of the aerials by helicopter. But by the time you work out the time for him to drive from the Abbotsford Airport to Boundary Bay Airport where the plane is and the overnight expenses it all sort of sorts itself out. We may have been down $200.00 or up $200.00 more or less. No idea at this moment.
At 4:50PM Colin called to ask me how to get to Ladner ASAP from Abbotsford, he was in bumper to bumper traffic on HWY 1. We used to live in Ladner and got all of our fresh fish and tuna pies from Superior Fish. I had pre ordered 46 tuna pies ( frozen and vacuum packed )for Colin to pick up Monday end of day, enough for us to have once each week till we leave for Mexico and then every 2 weeks while on the Isla. They closed at 5:30PM today. It was touch and go. Colin had started off on the wrong ( in my opinion ) road and then called me. I felt like I was on the Amazing Race. Thanks to Google Maps I did get him on what I thought was the best route. I guess he should have taken the Lexus this morning……I have navigation 😀
Meanwhile I am calling the fish store, giving them my credit card and Colin’s ETA. He arrived only 5 minutes after closing. Whew 😯 Colin loves that I am his CPS ( Contessa PS ), he always has said that he does not need a GPS. So he is now on the road at 5:50PM and should be home by 11PM give or take 15 or so minutes.
This is not what I would call a free and fun day off for me. I was on call the entire drive into Vancouver lining up the pilots, etc and of course at the end of the flight. As I have said before, our life is full of drama, it seems that we thrive on it.
So here we at 6:20PM and Colin is heading home, happy to be back with us tonight and in his own bed. I have cracked open a bottle of the good stuff. I feel like I deserve it. The girls are insisting on their 6PM dinner time so off I must go. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Meanwhile I am so looking forward to seeing Colin later this evening. Life is good.
Jul 23, 2016
Yesterday, the 22nd was Colin’s special day. Mostly he worked and then we ran a few errands in the afternoon. But we were going out for dinner and it turned out even better than planned. But first the birthday tree.
Back in 2011 I surprised Colin with a tree for his birthday. We were not even living here yet, just the RV. We did not move here till October 2012. Our home was only moved onto the site in August of 2012 and then the add a room was built.
One year later on July 22 2012 you can see that the tree has grown. I was happy we had planted it the year prior as we now knew we would be moving to this site as our home across the road had sold. In fact by the end of May we were living on this site in the RV while our new home ( this one ) was being built.
Yesterday, only five years later the tree is huge. It has suffered damage from the winds over and over and still keeps on growing. Colin isn’t even as tall as our wind sculpture on the right.
We went to dinner at the award winning restaurant that is here attached to our RV Park. Those who have been reading for a while will remember photos of us there over the years for anniversaries and birthdays and other occasions. It is the perfect choice as we can take the golf cart and not worry about drinking and driving. Plus the food is always wonderful.
We had reservations for two outside on the patio next to the fountain. We were almost at the restaurant when friends and neighbours drove up to say hello. I spontaneously asked them to join us for dinner and they were willing. I quickly checked and due to a very recent cancellation we were able to change to a table for four. Rosalie and Barry are not only neigbours, in fact they are the ones who bought our house across the street, but now friends. We had a lively evening, lots of conversation, great meals and of course vino.
The view from our table.
No problems blowing out that candle.
The end of a great evening.
Happy 66th mi amore. We certainly have had a fun week.
Jul 22, 2016
Before the RV we used to travel and NYC was one of our favorite destinations. In fact I used to travel there almost every year after I graduated from nursing school. For me it was mostly about the theatre, usually plays both on and off Broadway. Music was also a large part of it from seeing opera at the Met, to performances at Carnegie Hall to seeing Blossom Dearie perform in a cool jazz lounge. We bought the RV so we could travel with the dogs and of course we would not have discovered Mexico had it not been for that. But we still miss New York and all the vibrancy of the city and of course the shopping. For now we have to be content with what theatre and musical performances we can find both here and in Mazatlan.
So I was excited when I saw that The Great Gatsby was being performed. We went last night.
We had never been to this theatre before, it is located within the Rotary Center for the Arts here in Kelowna. It is housed in a very modern building with wonderful architecture. Behind me are pieces of art for sale. I was happy to see some very nice items for reasonable prices. As I now live in a glass house I can no longer collect art but I did see something I really would have liked to hang, but where?
As well as theatre, there are many types of artists studios.
Apparently on Thursday evenings they have planned jazz performances followed by jamming sessions. Who knew? It was wonderful and the acoustics were fabulous.
Just to the right of this shot is a bistro complete with barista bar, gelato and small snacks. What a spectacular way to spend an evening, no purchase necessary.
The play itself was very well done and two performers really stood out. Certainly a special evening out, no not NYC standards but entertaining nonetheless.
Neither of us were ready to head home so instead we drove to the heart of Bernard Street, parked and strolled around looking for a late snack. So many places to chose from. We stopped in at Kelly O’Bryan’s Restaurant.
Turned out that it was the perfect stop. So many choices we could have enjoyed from the menu. As it was after 10PM we chose their 2 for 1 appetizers ( the 2 for 1 starts @ 9PM ) and a 1/2 liter of Naked Grape Pinot Grigio, not my favorite but affordable. I did take photos but they did not turn out. We shared two appetizers, the first was a plate of three fish tacos comprised of cod pan seared in Cajun seasoning with crispy caper and a chipotle cream sauce. Much, much better than the fish tacos Colin had last Monday at the Mexican place. The second appetizer was to die for, real crab meat, shrimp and cream cheese wrapped in egg rolls and deep fried ( but not overly, not too crispy nor greasy ) served with a sweet chili sauce. There were four of those and each appetizer plate was $12.95. A great deal to have both for that price. The half litre of wine was the same price. Looks like we have found a new place to have a light meal in town.
No it was not NYC but we still enjoyed theatre, great food, good wine and we had a magical evening. Guess what? Our next such evening is just a week away. We are on a roll.
Jul 21, 2016
The following are some of the things we see on our daily walk with the girls through Holiday Park, where we live.
I have to say that we do live in a beautiful area. That Mountain Ash tree is loaded with berries, as are others in the park. Perhaps nature is indicating that it will be a colder winter.
These planters on the corners are new this year.
The tennis/pickle ball court is just beyond that orange car. The adult conversation pool and spa are to the right.
I love these Calla Lilies. Sadly the lady who puts these out every year has sold her site. She took most of them with her.
This entire garden is all herbs that are planted and made available to anyone who might want to use them.
What you see when you first drive into the park. There a chess board on the floor of that gazebo to the left and there are hand carved 3 foot high pieces to play with.
The lap pool, one of three pools, is just behind this area. Volunteers do a lot of work in keeping this place looking spectacular.
Every year the gardens are planted with different flowers so it is always a changing kaleidoscope of color.
By choice my garden has shrunk to plant pots. However I do have my gardens on the Isla to play in. You can see the dark clouds in the horizon and if you look closely to the right of the rain chain you can sheet a sheet of rain pouring down.
About five minutes later we were hit by a wall of rain and strong winds.
The week ahead looks great. Summer has finally arrived.
Jul 20, 2016
I thought I understood our RV insurance policies however I learned something new recently. As we live in B.C. Canada we are forced to deal with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) which is a provincial crown corporation in British Columbia created in 1973 by the NDP government. I used to live in Alberta where there were competitive insurance agencies. Here it is a monopoly and ICBC is the only insurer. A few years ago there was a change and one was able to get a portion of their RV insurance, excess liability insurance, through a private company. Combined with using ICBC for the collision & comprehensive portion this did decrease the overall cost of insuring our RV. Once this was offered to us by the company that insured our home we made the switch.
This past May I read a post about insurance on Rae’s blog. Click here for the information on that post but pay close attention to the comment section. Croft who is also a friend of ours made some excellent points. The first is that if one travels to Mexico and is gone for 30 days or more, you can apply for a refund through both ICBC and your 3rd party insurer, which in both Croft’s case and ours is Aviva. It is my understanding that Ontario also has this refund policy if you travel to Mexico. The reason for this refund policy is that you must purchase additional vehicle insurance if you travel into Mexico as your provincial insurance will only cover you for travel within Canada and the USA. It only stands to reason that your insurer should return this to you. I have no idea what the other Canadian provinces do. Anyone know? I believe that those who live in the USA and travel to Mexico must also purchase separate insurance but again I have no idea if they are able to be reimbursed. Up until this year we also received a refund much larger than what we paid for the Mexican insurance. Sadly as our vehicles are older now both ICBC and Aviva are paying us less in reimbursement.. We still do break even though. In previous years the excess reimbursement actually covered the tolls on the roads within Mexico.
What caught my attention is that Croft commented that he let his ICBC insurance lapse when he had his RV parked at home. We have always purchased insurance for a full 12 months ( from both ICBC & Aviva ) and it never ever occurred to me to cancel the ICBC portion for the six months that we have our RV in storage. In 2014 our RV insurance cost us a total of $1470.00. As Colin turned 65 last year our insurance decreased to $1368.00. We only drive our RV for half the year as we work during the summer and it is parked for at least 6 months of the year. Aviva does cover the storage portion at no additional cost to us.
So I contacted ICBC and once we brought in our license plates, we were given a $314.00 refund for the remaining months that we had been insured for. Our RV is still insured for the same value it was whether we had kept the ICBC portion or not.
Thanks to Rae’s post and Crofts’s comments we saved $314.00 this year. However my mind is screaming at how much money I could have saved over the past years had I only known that I could have cancelled my ICBC insurance for 6 months of the year 😯 That would have amounted to an immense pile of pesos.
Oh well, live and learn.