Home is Where we Hook-up

May 31, 2007

Border Inspection

Filed under: Travel,Travel in Canada — Heligypsy @ 9:57 am

Ok, all you RVers here’s a great piece of advice for ya – give your plants away to people who will enjoy them before you cross any borders. Ok? Getting into Canada they don’t much care what you bring in with you, oh, except for potatoes, they are VERY concerned about whether or not you have potatoes. We were asked if we had potatoes, the answer was “no”, the border guy leaned closer, looked at me and said “No potatoes?”, still the answer is no and though I felt like he thought I was lying about the spuds, he let us pass into his country.

Getting back to the U.S. was a different sort of event all together. For one thing, we crossed at the Peach Arch, and as we approached the border we were advised by signs that the lane we were in had a 12′ clearance, and over sized vehicles should use the Nexxus lane. Nexxus users have a special pass they flash and just cruise right through, and even though the signs told us to use that lane, the border inspectors don’t take it too kindly when a vehicle comes through the Nexxus without the appropriate expedited paperwork. Pull it over, get out, take the dog, go inside and explain yourself, oh great!

The young lady at the counter was friendly and understanding when we told her how we came to be in the Nexxus lane. But, what was done was done, they were going to search through our stuff – best to declare things now.

I honestly never meant to be deceitful, I really heard “Do you have any plant seeds or cut flowers”, what she really said was “plants, seeds or cut flowers”. Needless to say, when I said “no” Keith got a bit uncomfortable. Next we were talking about the dog food, can’t bring dog food in from Canada – well, we bought it in the U.S. – Ok, it has to be in it’s original packaging, she asks me to tell her where the dog food is, so she can inspect it. I say to her,

“It’s in a plastic tub on a chair in the dining area, underneath the philodendron”.

Her face goes sideways, eyes squint just a tad.

“So you DO have plants??????”

From here it just goes downhill. I say yes, I have plants, I thought she asked me if I had plant seeds…I mean really, sometimes being blonde can be such a hassle, ha ha ha. She makes sure I understand I am going to loose my plant. My Philly – oh, the heartbreak, really. I bought this little guy when we first bought the trailer, and have lovingly cared for it for a year now.

Here it is, brand new one year ago

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And here it is again, last month

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This picture was taken as part of my “mobile office” portfolio I had created, my hands are gesturing to the computer, not to the little violet – which by the way ALSO ended up in the trash at the U.S. Border. When the inspector returned from our RV, she was carrying a plastic tub (my plastic tub) with Philly in it, and of course, I knew what else was in there. One of the guys in the room hollered out “Salad!” but she didn’t crack a smile – she approached counter, set the tub on top looked into my eyes and said,

“Of course, you didn’t tell me about the OTHER plants you had in there!”

Ashamed, I hung my head and said,

“I know, but you were already out the door when it dawned on me, and by that time I already knew that you would get them.”

Really, I just didn’t have it in me to yell after her “Oh, there’s a violet, two rosemary’s and a lily……” I wasn’t hiding them, they were all in the same area of the trailer. She returned to her friendly self, assured I really wasn’t pulling anything, just to stupid to know better. She offered my pots back to me, and even allowed me to pull all the rosemary from the stems of the plants,

“As long as it can’t grow” she said. I just told her to take good care of the philodendron, and that’s when she told me that all my plants were going to the trash. All of which, really is just true form bureaucracy B.S. – the entire system is worthless for effectively preventing the spread of what ever it is they are concerned with. I will forgo the rant of how ridiculous it is.

The trailer is now in storage in Tumwater, WA for the next 4 or 5 months – so we’ll see what I do plant wise down the road. For now, I am kicking it at my mom’s for a couple of weeks and she has a nice yard with lots of great plants to look after, it’s all good.

May 22, 2007

Boats or Floating Houses

Filed under: Travel,Travel in Canada — Heligypsy @ 2:02 pm

For the last little while Keith has been talking about living on a boat. (My Uncle wrote and said he thought Keith was “smarter than that” – ha ha) I am not 100% sure how I feel about the idea. I do love living in the RV, and we have looked at some boats that rival our current living space – and it’s an interesting concept.

 

After coming here to the Ark Resort, maybe we have a new living arrangement to consider – the Floating House.

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Now, doesn’t that just seem like the best of both worlds?

May 12, 2007

Full-Timing

Filed under: Travel in the U.S. — Heligypsy @ 2:58 pm

Sometimes I come across messages or blogs about what the definition of a “Full-Time RVer” is. It seems to me that anyone who lives in an RV, with no other home base (or sticks and bricks, the travelers preferred jargon) would qualify for the term. The debate comes from those RVers who regularly travel about the country, not stopping in one destination for longer than, say, one 3 month season – pick your favorite. This train of thought goes on to assume then, that the people who live in an RV full-time with no other home base, but never move year after year are nothing more than regular trailer dwellers. Now, the authors are always quick to point out that there is nothing wrong with that, but there does seem to be some stigma about taking full advantage of having a home on wheels.

When we arrived at the Living Forest RV Park, we knew there were folks living here full-time in their RV’s, but it was a day or two before we saw the extent of their “nesting”. These people were not going anywhere anytime soon. Really, it gave a whole new meaning to Full-Timing!

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And to avoid any confusion – we are no longer at the Living Forest, I just had to share these funky add-ons with you.

May 7, 2007

From the Forest to the Lake

Filed under: Travel,Travel in Canada — Heligypsy @ 10:50 am

Saturday morning, 5:30 a.m. buzzed from our sleep by the alarm, our chores for the next hour were simple – pack the trailer and leave our paradise the Living Forest. Keith readies the outside, I do the inside, and between the two of us, we are ready to hit the road in a little over an hour. I think my mom got a kick out of watching me bring the dining room in, then the kitchen, the bedroom next and last but not least, the “office”. Our goal was to be on the road by 7 a.m., and at 6:54 a.m. we entered onto Hwy 19 heading for Port Alberni.

 

The drive to our next destination was not a long one, just over an hour and was fairly uneventful. My favorite moment was spotting the cutest little black bear creeping out of the woods towards the road. Probably a young bear, only 2 or 3 years old with a shiny and full coat, Keith tooted the horn and sent him back from where he came. This makes my second black bear sighting in my life – (the first was a Momma bear and her two cubs we spotted in a ravine somewhere outside of Boise on our way flying back from Houston) I only slightly hope I see more while we are here.

 

We arrived at the Ark Resort (an RV Park, Fish Camp, Marina and Floating B&B all in one) a little after 8 a.m. By 9:30 a.m. Keith had the outside of the trailer hooked up, I had the slides pushed out and we were set back up for living, only this time our view overlooks Great Central Lake, a 28 mile lake with a picturesque marina and the most charming floating houses along the edge. On the opposite side of the lake are the Della Falls, the “Highest Falls in North America”. I will look into the claim, but it doesn’t much matter; I’m entranced with the sounds of gushing water and can’t get enough of the scenery. Even though the move was not such a major one, we were all 3 very tired from the day. I lay my weary head down around 9 pm, it was still light out and though all I wanted to do was sleep, I found it strangely difficult to close my eyes – silly really, but I kept wanting just one last peek. It really is lovely here 🙂

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May 1, 2007

Have you seen any other interesting birds?

Filed under: Travel in Canada — Heligypsy @ 1:50 pm

The identification of the Barred Owl really went over well with a couple of my birding friends, and led to the question above, “Have you seen any other interesting birds?” Well, my mom and I took a little stroll in the RV park this afternoon and discovered a well protected (and hidden) chicken coop with 5 hens. I heard them before I saw them, and couldn’t wait to get a closer look. Zoe had them all on edge, though I tried to tell them she knows better than to behave badly towards chickens. With all the predators around here, I’d guess they’re pretty nervous birds!

Ok, so the chickens aren’t the interesting bird I was being asked about. How about the Golden Eagle we scared up the other day on Gabriola Island? Yes, now that definitely counts. The granddaddy of all interesting birds (in my book anyway). This gigantic sucker was having a snack on the side of the road, when we barged by. Not much for vertical lift-off this massive bird just floated for a second or two, trying to get his wings underneath him. HUGE! I tell ya. Eventually he gained enough of a climb to disappear into the treetops. One of the gals here at the park was thrilled when we told her, as she had seen a Golden recently, but had been convinced by some of the guys around here that she didn’t know what she was talking about, ha ha.

Though there is evidence of large Woodpeckers (probably Pileated) in the area, we have not seen them. I guess seeing California Quail on the Island constitutes interesting, we just saw two this morning. I am listening to the barking Raven as I type this, and the Robins are enjoying our 4th sunny day in a row.

It’s all very relaxing, calm and peaceful here at the Living Forest. We are really enjoying ourselves.

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