Friday, November 1, 2019

Black Beauty Dressed in White, Last Day in Ontario, Pizza Supper

Stratford, Ontario
I woke up on Friday, Nov. 1st around 7:30. Bill was up earlier, around 6:30, and that didn’t surprise me. We had a later night than usual so I also wasn’t surprised that I’d slept a bit longer. Stupid dreams though! So many stories mixed up in my head had me shaking it when I sat up. I joined Bill with my tea at the table and opened my laptop to finish my post from yesterday.

Yeuch!! That's what Black Beauty is saying too!
We caught up on what our blogger friends were doing and it is so nice to read that many are on their way to the sunny, warm southwest. Some are already in California, Arizona and Utah, posting beautiful ‘get your butts down here’ photos. Thank you for the encouragement, guys! We’re coming! Waking up to snow this morning was not unexpected, I could really feel it in the air last night when we returned home. It makes me even more excited to move.

Next door, you can see the snow on the roof and grass
Black Beauty had a covering and the roof and grasses next door were white. Guess where I plan on staying most of the day? We were low on water so Bill’s first project was to drain the last dregs and top us up from Bob’s shop supply. We just need to have about 35 gallons in the tank today and for the first few days of travel. We will have full access to water and dumps on Monday night for a few days.

Bob and Bill removed the 2 bad tires
I think I forgot to mention that our gas hot water heater is working again. We think something jarred it on our drive here to Stratford as Tuesday morning it was piping hot. We can use the electric heater here but are at least happy that it works on propane. Bill had some toast and went out to take care of things. Bob arrived around 9 and set about his tasks as well. They needed to remove two of their tires to take them to the dealer for replacement.

They shouldn’t be, but even though only 2 years old (on a new trailer!!) they are cracking already. He’ll do that today and bring them back for reinstalling. Why would a dealer put 2-year-old tires on a brand-new rig? Cheap, that’s why. Once that is taken care of, they will be good to go. Jo-Anne is busy today with last minute things at their house, wanting to leave it clean and tidy.

I like that Bob had someone make a bracket for his step ladder too
He had commented on ours and wasted no time have one made
Bill and I took a drive to the outskirts of town, just a couple of kilometers from us, to Walmart where I picked up some buns and crusty bread for our sandwiches. Bill topped up Black Beauty with fuel at the Canadian Tire pumps and then ran into the store for some truck cleaning supplies that he was low on. We were back to the Suite by 11:15 and I finished the little job I was working on. I had pulled out my gray accordion folder for storing all the receipts and campground info for our trips south.

A bullet proof coffee was called for today
Skimming through the receipts from 2018/19, I discarded the old ‘evidence’. I also updated my little record book where I record those expenditures from beginning to the end of our trip. These ride in the truck with us for easy access. I also keep an 8 ½” writing pad with rough details about when we leave each day, what stops we make, the temperature and our arrival at the day’s destination. With that done, Bill and Bob had decided they were to head out.

After Walmart, we fueled up
They stopped at Tavistock at the house so Bob could have lunch and then drove to Delhi with the old tires in the back of the Dodge. I proceeded to make sandwiches for tomorrow’s drive and Bob, before he left, teased me about being organized. It’s true, I find it helps keep my stress level down. When they were made, I wrote out the short list of food that we had in the fridge. We’ve done that for each year we cross the border to answer the guard’s queries. Again, helps the stress level.

And then some shopping in the store

That was it! I don’t think there was anything else to do. Just a few things to put away that we’ve used this week and we’ll be good for morning departure. So, I turned the tv on and pulled up the recorded episode of This Is Us and watched it. Unfortunately, we didn’t leave the satellite on while in Mexico so we’ve missed what happened on all of our shows last week. Oh well. Instead of turning the radio back on, I skipped down in the PVR list and brought up the recorded Highwaymen on PBS.

My accordion folder for keeping all receipts
 This is music I love not to mention how much I enjoy Willie, Kris, Waylon and Johnny. And I can skip through the PBS chatter during commercials. While it was on, I read my book. It is good and I’m already half way through it. That doesn’t mean I don’t stop when certain songs are being played. Like Willie’s Always on my Mind and Kris’s Why Me Lord? I did get a few good chapters read and then around 3:30 got a phone call from Jo-Anne that the guys were on their way.

I record each expenditure in this book
Everyone has their own system
Okay, that means the tires were ready for them and we will be moving on as planned in the morning. I decided to have my shower now, rather than wait until after supper. Speaking of supper, Jo-Anne also invited Bill and I to join them for pizza in the Redwood tonight with their kids who are coming to say goodbye. Cool! That saves me thinking any more about our meal. After my shower, more catching up on my blog post and then biding time until Bill got home.

This one works for us
The clouds were breaking up a bit and there was some blue sky showing to the east and west so we should have decent weather overnight. If my hair wasn’t wet, it would be a good time to bundle up and go for a walk. Bundle up for me, is layering. I try not to don the heavy winter coat if I don’t have to. Long socks, long sleeves, hoodies, wind breaker and poufy vest – that’s me. You get the picture. No point in dragging the big coat out when I shouldn’t need it after Sunday.

Selfie in my layers
Bill walked in just after 5 so they were back with 2 tires. While they worked on that, Jo-Anne and Higgins came in and sat with me for a few minutes. Before they arrived, I realized that I was feeling hungry so had a few pieces of cheddar to tie me over. Around 6:00, I asked Jo-Anne if there was something I could do to help her, she had quite an overwhelming job ahead of her. Unfortunately, it isn’t really the kind of thing where someone else can help.

The clouds were breaking up

The sun was trying to break through
 She had containers and tubs of food and bathroom supplies etc. that only she knows where to put them in their 5th wheel. I was with her only briefly before their son, daughter and their families arrived with pizzas for supper. We all congregated in Bob’s shop around 6:30 and shared them together. I’d never met any of them other than their son, Sean/Shawn/Shaun and as you can tell I never did get the spelling of his name. LOL

And most importantly the snow melted
The tires went back on quickly enough
The 3 little ones had fun running around and working on the foam puzzle of the United States that I took in for them. I offered Danielle, their daughter, the last 4 tomatoes from my garden. A couple had a bit of ripening to do but it was something that we could not take across the border. Thank you, Danielle for taking them and I hope you enjoy the sandwiches! The pizza and fries were delicious but the invitation to join the family was the best part.

The pizza came from Shakespeare Pizza
and it was yummy
There was enough room for everyone 

The little ones were putting the puzzle together
the best they know how

It was nice to chat with Danielle and Greg
We said goodbye shortly after 7, so they could spend some alone time with Mom and Dad, and came inside the Suite for the rest of the evening. Before supper, Bill and I swapped out our Canadian debit and credit cards as well as Canadian cash for the U.S. equivalents in our safe. There are also grocery, pharmacy, fuel and department store cards that get switched out too. Our passports came out as well so we are ready for morning.

Grampa Bob watches the little ones do the puzzle

Grams Jo-Anne approves of the pieces put together

And here is a special moment for Bill and I
Bill had his shower before bed to save time in the morning. Then, I sat and read my book. We have a folder of information on the campsite bookings for Bob and Jo-Anne but if not tonight, we can give it to them in the morning. It is nice to get the addresses in each of our gps units. This was a great day, and final things got taken care of. I hope yours was good and your snow disappeared throughout the day as ours did.

The last Ontario sunset for a few months
Good night!

Thank you for stopping in for the last Ontario visit. Your comments mean a lot to us.


  1. Wow, Jo-Anne is right, you are so organized. Your excitement of the trip comes through in the post and of course I wish I were in your position. Wishing you a very good start to this winter's travel to the southwest and lots and lots of fun and relaxation. We will be following your blog. Not sure yet when we will leave and even where to yet, still planning and waiting for confirmations.

    1. We certainly thank you for the good travel vibes and even more hope that you won't be too far behind us! Hoping for a reunion somewhere in the sunny southwest - Pilot Knob? We will be there for Christmas and New years.

  2. Sounds like you are as ready as you can be to take off. Enjoy your first travel day, wishing you a smooth border crossing, and safe travels.

    1. Thank you guys. Looking forward to our meet up in the Q again!

  3. Busy last day but is appears everyone is ready for tomorrow. Exciting to get started. Have a safe first day of travel.

    I put a safe in my MH and will feel much more comfortable leaving the MH unattended this winter.

    1. Yes, more for the newbies. They have never done any camping before other than up at our place in the summer. I remember the starting year. Thank you for the travel wishes.
      we do feel good about the safe as well. :)

  4. My hot water heater started to miraculously start working again when I gently tapped the overheat thermostat. Something to consider if you loose your hot water again.
    Does Bill jack under the axles or the frame of the trailer when he changes tires?
    Here's hoping your border crossing goes well. Safe travels!

    1. I'm going to let Bill answer about the tires and we'll keep that in mind for the h.w. heater.
      Thanks for the good vibes in all aspects!

    2. Dave, i used the reset buttons on the hot water heater and it finally started again on propane. We shut the propane off again and used the electric while we are plugged in. Last night, I shut the electric off and went back to the propane, we had hot water this morning.
      When I need to change a tire, I use the hydraulic leveling jacks to raise that side of the trailer, if I need both wheels off at the same time, I blog under the frame.
      If you have a double axle trailer, you can drive one wheel up on boards to lift the flat tire off the ground and change it, then you don't have to use a jack. I have done this and it works great.

    3. Thanks Bill! I forgot you had hydraulic jacks. Of course that would be the easiest and safest. I've heard about the trick of driving one wheel up on blocks. I hope I never have to worry about it but it's likely a question of when, not if.

  5. Nice that you got things all together and ready to hit the road in the morning. safe travels and I know you will enjoy the journey,

  6. Love your taste of music...not much better than Waylon, Willie and the boys! Kris, Johnny, oh my!
    Organized - the only way to be!
    What do you use to make your bullet proof coffee? I haven't tried it but would like to give it a try in my Nutribullet.
    Prayers for safe travels and a grand time.

  7. My advice to newbies is always start out with much less than you think you will need. Can't tell you how much food I finally got rid of, as well as clothes. Now I travel light and pick stuff up along the way. SO much easier. Love your recording notebook. Great idea! You should be on your way by now!!

  8. I keep track of our expenses the same way, good ole pen and notebook. :) What a great way to end your stay in Canada with pizza and good friends along with their family. Yep I bet you're ready to get out of the cold! Love your taste in music too! The dealer probably should have replaced all the tires under warranty, as it seems they started out with old tires...that's ridiculous..Travel safely guys! YOu're on you way!

  9. I always write down what food we have as well for crossing the border, like you say it makes it stress free. We each have two wallets, and Canadian wallet and a US wallet. That way we only have to switch over our driver's licenses, a few years ago we both got new Costco cards so we can keep one in each wallet. Safe travels today, it's good to hear you are on your way to warmer weather :-)

  10. You'll be well on your way by the time I commment. Safe travels!

  11. I guess you must be well on your way by now, probably well into the States. I wish you the very best of times. Since I'm going to be stuck here I'm trusting you to tell plenty of stories from those warm climes so I can enjoy them with you! None of the other three Ontario RVers I follow seem to be headed south this year, so I'm counting on you!