Saturday 28 April 2007

Happy Birthday Danica and Lilly!

Sorry, this is belated. For some reason this didn't post on Saturday.

Taken near Portland, Ontario

Our niece, Danica is 19 today and our granddaughter, Lilly is 2 today.

We left Ottawa this morning under gray skies. Since there is no thermometer in the rental, I have no idea of the temperature although when we reached the RV our thermometer read 9C (48F) and for late morning, that wasn’t very high. It was also raining by then.

I suggested rather than returning by the same route we take Hwy 16 and take Regional Road 6 (which turns into 4) to Smiths Falls. We’ve gotten so used to the compass in the truck that we missed it a lot. I was completely turned around. Fortunately my husband has a good built in compass so we got to Smiths Falls without a problem. Continuing south on Hwy 15 we stopped at a few places to snap a few photos even though the day wasn’t really conducive for photography.

We arrived at the RV before noon, had something to eat, proceeded to sort the mail (tons of it), read and had a nap. It was just that kind of day!

Our Day in Ottawa

Friday was rainy and nasty but we had to go to Ottawa so we left at about 8:15 a.m. and arrived in Ottawa at 10:15 a.m. Gordon’s camera needed to be dropped off for repair, we had banking to do, income tax to look after and tried to find a campsite.

No sites at Rideau Heights except electric and water only. We didn’t want that. We couldn’t see the satellite and I don’t like to use their washrooms as they aren’t very clean. We tried to stop at Ottawa Municipal but they don’t open until May 1st and the gate was up so we still don’t have a campsite.

We had a late breakfast at the Bella Vista in the Alta Vista Shopping Mall and while we were there we got a call from the Dodge dealer in Kingston telling us that our truck was ready and that warranty was covering it and the rental. We told them we couldn't get to them until Saturday but they are closed till Monday so we'll pick the truck up on Monday morning and hopefully the rental will be covered for the weekend. If not, at least we didn't have to pay for the repairs to the truck! Gordon had asked them to price new tires for the truck as well and they came back with a good price so they'll be putting the new tires on sometime next week as well.

We arrived at my sister’s at about 2:45 p.m. She had just gotten home from work so we sat around and chatted for a while. Danica was home and she had just finished the last exam of her first year at Ottawa U and Saturday (28th) is her birthday so she was happy.

Nick and Becky arrived at about 5:30 p.m. for dinner with all of us so I got to see their whole family at one sitting! Danica took the car to a party she was attending so I volunteered us to drive Nick and Becky home since it was such a rainy, nasty night.

We had been invited to stay overnight rather than drive the two hours back to Kingston in the rain so shortly after our return to Margie’s, we hit the sack – long day!

I can’t believe I didn’t take any photos at all – must have been tired!

Thursday 26 April 2007

Bad News and Good News

This morning was very foggy and 6C (43F) for my walk around the park. I walked around the area where the seasonals are and found that there are quite a few for sale here. I wonder why.

Yesterday when we were out we noticed a whining coming from the truck. We thought it might be the tires as they need to be replaced and we are looking into that however Gordon decided this morning to take it into the Dodge dealer and found out that it is probably the differential however the technician at the first dealer he went to is on course and they couldn’t do anything about it including order the parts until Wednesday next week and we have to go to Ottawa tomorrow but Enterprise Rent A Car don’t have any cars and that’s who the Dodge dealer uses.

Since there are two Dodge dealers in Kingston, he went to the other one who started on the truck right away, got us a rental so we’re set up for going to Ottawa tomorrow. The only fly in the ointment is that the dealer says sometimes the warranty doesn’t cover these things even though our warranty is paid for, up to date and well within the warranty period. Go figure!

Since we’re supposed to leave Rideau Acres on Tuesday and we can’t tow with the truck the way it is, I went to the office and signed us up for another week (it was $80 more for next week than it was for this week even with Passport America during the week and Good Sam discount for the weekend).

However, the good news is the differential waited until we were back in Ontario so we weren’t stuck somewhere in the U.S. past the six months allotted for staying in the U.S. and on the side of some highway in the middle of nowhere!

Since we’ll be in Ottawa tomorrow and staying for dinner at my sister’s house, we may stay overnight so there might not be a posting tomorrow night.

Wednesday 25 April 2007

Our First Day in Kingston

It was mostly cloudy and 8C (46F) this morning and I had a nice walk around the park. Rideau Acres is a fairly large park and is on a point so has water on three sides. They have increased the size of the park and now have sites for rallies with just water and electric in one part of the park. As well as the usual ducks and geese around, they now have a pair of peacocks. The male didn’t spread his tail and show off for me but he was pretty just the same.

This morning I called Ottawa Municipal and the site we want has been booked for others for about eight days in the month so I called Rideau Heights and he can put us in an electric and water spot for a week or so and then maybe move us to a full hookup. We’re going to stop in and see him when we go to Ottawa on Friday to sign our income tax forms. Both campgrounds have put their prices up – Ottawa Municipal from $660/month to $704.00 and Rideau Heights from $749.50 to $500.00. Electric is included in both those amounts.

After lunch we decided to see what there was to see at each of the exits off Hwy 401. There isn’t much right near the highway but the fifth exit, being Gardiners Road is actually the shopping district. Bath Road is also a shopping area and there is shopping in downtown Kingston as well. We headed to Bath Road as I knew there was a Food Basics there and I needed to pick up some groceries, especially perishables. I finally was able to get some nice fresh fruit. It’s amazing that I had to return home to get it. Apples and plums are less expensive than most of the places we were in the U.S. Bread is also cheaper. Unfortunately wine is not. It’s about three times the price that we’ve paid all winter.

We drove through downtown Kingston on the way back. They now have the Farmer’s Market area ready. It’s been under construction for the past year or so.

We got home around 3:30 p.m. and I read for a bit. The sun started to come out around 4:30 p.m. and the temperature reached only 12C (53F).

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Back in Ontario

We left Erie, PA at about 8:00 a.m. under sunny skies and 46F. It was sunny all the way to Kingston, ON. There were low lying clouds for some of the way but they didn’t affect our sun. It didn’t get as warm today, only 55F and quite windy. We didn’t have nearly the mileage we got yesterday. I think we averaged about 13.0 mpg on our 398 mile trip.

We reached the border at around 2:00 p.m. and a temporary sign was up telling RVs to use the truck lane. We were asked a bunch of questions, then asked to pull over to the right where there was a big white truck. We had to get out of our truck and the x-ray machine x-rayed the whole RV. Then they wanted the slides out and the doors open to the storage areas. Don’t know what they were looking for but they were very neat about it and didn’t rip anything apart. I’m not sure how they decide who to check and who not to check. The whole thing took about 20 minutes, then we were on our way to Rideau Acres at Kingston. We arrived at about 3:00 p.m. but it took almost ½ hour to get checked in. We were set up including satellite dishes by 5:00 p.m.

We’re only staying a week here as their prices have gone up so will have to make reservations in Ottawa. Ottawa Municipal doesn’t open until May 1st and that’s the day we’re leaving Rideau Acres so we’ll either go there or Rideau Heights. I’d rather stay at Ottawa Municipal until our medical appointments are over as it’s quite near our doctor and it’s easier to get in and out of than Rideau Heights. Traffic on Prince of Wales (Rideau Heights is just off P of W) is usually very busy especially at rush hours. I was hoping for a relaxing three weeks here but it’s not to be!

The photo is of our site here at Rideau Acres.

Monday 23 April 2007

Two Family Birthdays Today

Happy Birthday Ian and Becky! Gordon’s son, Ian is 30 something today and Becky, Nick’s wife is 20 something.

We were on the road at 9:00 a.m. this morning under cloudy skies and 68F (20C). It was quite warm overnight and we had one of the bedroom windows open all night. We had a great tailwind all the way coupled with Ohio’s 55 mph speed limit we were able to achieve 16.4 mpg at one point and 16.3 mpg for the overall trip! That’s a record!

Here's the photo of our 16.4 mpg record

We arrived at Hill’s Family Campground at Erie, PA under partly cloudy skies with some rain but only in patches and only for a short time at about 1:30 p.m. and were set up by 2:30 p.m. We set up the internet but not the TV satellite as they have free cable here.

It was really windy making us feel like we were back in Texas. The wind gusts were rocking the RV. The temperature was 75F (24C).

Our site at Hill's Family Campground

After we settled in, we went to check out the Erie KOA which is at the same exit but south of I-90. It is a lot farther from the exit than Hill’s and there are a lot more trees around so a possibility of not being able to access the satellites.

Then we drove to Presque Isle State Park but by the time we got there the sun which had come out for a while had mostly gone. We took some photos anyway and then came home. We had a real burst of rain and some wind before dinner. After dinner Gordon headed back to Presque Isle SP for more photos but I stayed behind and cleaned up and did the dishes and just relaxed. Tomorrow is a long day and includes border crossing!

A view in Presque Isle State Park

Sunday 22 April 2007

Our Last Day in Columbus

It was 44F and sunny again this morning and turned into a beautiful sunny day with a high somewhere near 81F. At least when I noticed the thermometer in the truck around 6:00 p.m. it was 81F so it could have been warmer.

This morning I went to Walmart and picked up some last minute items. When I got home, Gordon went out and filled our empty propane tank. I spent some time sitting outside reading and I had to get my shorts out it was so beautiful.

Late this afternoon, Gordon decided that his weather station wasn’t working (it was 7 degrees off on temperature and it never did record the wind) so we took it back to Walmart for a refund and got another thermometer. We’ll have to look next year when we’re in the west to see if we can find his wind thermometer.

We stopped to say good-bye to Michelle, Eric and the kids, picked up Taco Bell and came home for dinner. Michelle had surprised Gordon yesterday with his favorite, his mother's butterscotch pie recipe so we brought the remainder of it home with us tonight. It's very yummy!

Tomorrow we head north and expect to stop at Hill’s Family Campground in Erie, PA for the night. Don’t know if the internet satellite will be hooked up or not so just in case I don’t post, we’ll post when we arrive in Ontario on Tuesday.