Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29, 2016 (Tunkwa Lake Campground, Tunkwa Lake Provincial Park, Logan Lake, BC)

Saturday morning I woke just before 6:00 to sun shining in my bedroom window obviously faces east! With all of the ugly clouds and rain and hail storms yesterday, sunshine in my eyes was quite welcome. Unfortunately, it didn't last long. It was also cold, with fresh snow in the surrounding hills and our thermometer registered 1.9C/35F outside and 11C/52F inside...brr. I got up, put the coffee on and turned up the heater...and jumped back into bed until it warmed up a bit.

With no internet, we sat with our coffee and at 7:00 Steve turned on the TV so we could watch our morning news. We actually ended up getting out for a morning walk around the campground before 8:00! We were bundled up...not only was it cold out but the wind made it even worse.

The waterfall from Tunkwa Lake (visible on the left) into Leighton Lake. These are man made lakes and are in the top ten for fishing lakes in BC...
 That's the day-use area...left centre...
 Quite the "camping car"...don't know what it is (but it's old)...
 Lots of geese wander around the park (leaving their markings as they go)....
 After our walk, we had breakfast, did the dishes and while I was finishing up inside, Steve went out to take the bikes off the back of the trailer. With that done, he continued on with some other chores and I decided to walk down to see Tucker. Sue had said that he was tied up in the compound. Of course, I took a couple of cookies for him and then we went for a walk around the campground. He seemed really glad to see me...was it me or was it the cookies? LOL!

By this time, you could see a low bank of clouds moving in over the hills on the other side of the lake...better get home before it starts pouring out! Steve had come down and joined me on the walk back.

We spent the rest of the day hunkered down inside out of the rain and wind. Steve read...and snoozed, while I did some crocheting and started writing this blog.

Shortly after 5:00, the worker-bees, Doug and Sue, arrived for a nice visit and dinner. It was so great catching up with them...
A beautiful sunset to end a very cool, rainy day...

Sunday was pretty much the same as Saturday...another cold, rainy day. We did manage to get out for a bit of a bike ride in the morning but with dark clouds rolling in over the lake, we made it short and headed home.

We warmed up by the heater for a couple of hours and then decided to take a drive into Logan Lake. I had been unsuccessful making a phone call to Chris (our son) using the pay phone here in the park and since we were planning on heading back down to the lower mainland tomorrow, we wanted to give him some warning that they would be having house guests for a night or two. Steve also had a propane tank he wanted filled, so he loaded it into the truck and we headed off just before noon.

Just as we arrived in Logan Lake, it started to pour out, so we decided to go to the local hotel and have a cup of coffee in their cafe...and catch up on the goings on since we had been without internet for the past couple of days.

With that done, we headed off to get propane. While Steve took care of that, I called Chris to let him know we would be coming back down to the coast. Thanks for putting us up, Chris and Angela...we will see you tomorrow afternoon!

We headed back to the lake and spent the rest of the afternoon hunkered down in the trailer with the heater going. Steve even managed to finish a, he read a book in two days! Not much to do on cool rainy days but sit in front of a heater and read!

Friday, May 27, 2016 (Travel to Tunkwa Lake Campground, Tunkwa Provincial Park, Logan Lake, BC)

We pulled out of our site at Fort Camping at was cloudy but at least it hadn't rained while Steve was finishing his pack-up outside.

We hit highway 1 east to Hope and then continued on the Coquihalla, Highway 5 north. We had pockets of rain, intermingled with breaks of sun, but mostly it was cloudy. Not the nicest travel day, but it was good to be back on the road.

The Fraser River, as we drive east towards Hope...

Fog coming up from the valley below...

It wasn't long into our drive when we started to hear the familiar "squeal" from the truck...we knew it hadn't been fixed but were going to have to bear with it for the summer until we returned in September. What happened as we started climbing into the mountains along the Coquihalla highway is something we hadn't expected...a new sound, this time as we accelerated, which had never happened before. A loud whistling sound...Steve likened it to an jet airliner taxiing along to a runway. That...and the familiar downhill squeal...was the worse it has ever been! Great! We certainly can't "live" with that all summer...we were even worried that this may be a new and different issue and would we make it to Tunkwa.

At Merritt, we took highway 97C north towards Logan Lake.

Mamit Lake...

We stopped at the sani-station just on the outskirts of Logan Lake to fill our fresh water tank. After going through rain, the sun was actually shining...but that was short-lived! Dark clouds let loose...first there was a downpour of rain, followed by hail. The hail came as we were filling the 5-gallon containers. Steve was putting them back into the truck while I took care of the hose...I managed to get it all wrapped up and put away but in my mad dash to get out of the hail storm, I left the brand new water filter on the tap...Steve discovered it missing later on. Sheesh! Wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't been the very first time we used it!

Before leaving Logan Lake...and cell service, Steve called the Service Manager, Dave, at Gold Key Isuzu. Dave wasn't there but Steve left a message telling him the truck is the worst it has ever been and that we will be bringing it back on Tuesday. So I guess we will be driving back down to the coast Monday afternoon to drop the truck off first thing Tuesday morning.

Lots of "wild" life on the road to Tunkwa Lake...
There were ball caps on all of the fence posts along this stretch...curious...don't know why, someone's sense of humour, I guess?

We arrived shortly before 2:00 at Tunkwa Lake Provincial Park where we were greeted by Doug and Sue. We pulled over to the side of the road, and after big hugs, Steve went off with Doug to check out the long term sites, leaving Sue and I to chat for a few minutes. I guess there are just a few of the long term sites available, none of which are near the lakefront. This is one of the few provincial parks that actually have long term sites...most have a maximum 14 day stay.

Doug showed Steve the available sites...only 3 we headed off to get set up. The one we picked (site 50) is at the end of the road so there are no neighbours on that side, has a great view and the outhouses are on the other side. That will be handy since we plan on being here at least a month and there are no hook-ups, so we will be conserving our black water tank and using the pit toilets through the day.

It was going on 4:30 by the time we were completely set up. We had some difficulty snagging a satellite signal but after moving the dish a little further away from the trailer, we finally got it. That took longer than usual, but we have TV all is good.

There were some dark ominous looking clouds hanging around but for the most part, they seemed to skirt around us...well, except for the occasional rain squall. We did managed to sit outside and toast our new location with a bevie...but that, too, was short-lived and it wasn't long before we retreated inside to warm up.

That is where the next thing in a day where nothing seems to be "going right" happened. Steve tried and tried to get the propane heater to light. Remember? The new one we just bought in Quartzsite last winter. He managed to get the pilot lit but when he turned up the gas, it went out. Great! We're going to freeze up here at this elevation (3700 feet) so early in the season! With neither one of us in a particularly good mood given the events of today...this just seemed to be "the icing on the cake". I happened to mention...hmmm, seems like it's plugged...which obviously triggered Steve's memory. He had used some masking tape to cover the end of the regulator because he could smell propane while the heater was being stored. Oops...he had forgotten to remove it. Thankfully that was all it was...and we have heat. Amazing that any propane was getting through at all.

The day ended with a lovely rainbow...a sign that things will get better?

Monday to Thursday, May 23 to 26, 2016 (Fort Camping, Brae Island Regional Park, Fort Langley, BC)

Monday was a dreary, cloudy day with the threat of rain. After our usual start to the day, Steve went out to cross another item off his "to-do" list...wash the bicycle rack. While he was doing that, I cleaned up inside and worked on our blog.

We were both finished our chores by late morning and decided to hunker down inside...although it hadn't really started to rain, it was misting a bit. I sent Chris a text inviting he and Angela out for a visit and dinner if they didn't have any other plans.

They arrived shortly after 3:00 and since it wasn't raining, we decided to get out for a walk...we headed down the park trail to Tavistock Point...

When we got back, it still wasn't raining, so Steve pulled out the Campfire-in-a-Can and we enjoyed a bevie outside...
Steve grilled burgers for dinner and then shortly after 7:30, it was time for Chris and Angela to head home. So nice that we were able to squeeze in one last visit with them.

Tuesday was a major shopping day...time to get stocked up before we leave Friday. Our first stop was Costco...we were there as they opened their doors and joined a huge crowd funneling their way in. What a zoo that place was! With that out of the way, we made our way to Save-On-Foods...then Walmart...and were home just before 1:00...whew, glad that was over with!

After putting the groceries away, we had a quick lunch...and then it was time to go to my ultrasound appointment. That didn't take long and we were soon on our way to run a couple of other errands and then home.

Steve dropped me off in Fort Langley...I made a stop at the pharmacy and the post office and was home shortly before 4:00. We really do love Fort Langley, it's such a cute little town and it's so handy being within walking distance from amenities.

When I got home, Steve had just finished washing the boat and was about to flush the fresh water tank...getting a couple more things crossed off his list. I puttered around a bit and then we sat enjoying a bevie...which, based on the forecast, would likely be our last chance to sit outside before leaving in a few days.

Wednesday morning we were up early. After coffee, showering and a quick breakfast, Steve was off to LoadIt Industries shortly after 7:30 for his 8 a.m. appointment. He needed a couple of more roller sleeves and assistance in replacing the front ones. At about 8:15 Glen was a no show so Steve called him. He's a one man show and a really nice guy but this was the second time over the years that he has forgotten our appointments. He apologized and finally showed up at 8:40 so they eventually got everything completed.

About an hour later, I finally got out of my chair and decided it was time to get ready to face the day. Mind you, I didn't really have a lot planned...just some odds and ends.

It was going on 11:30 by the time Steve got home. In addition to getting the boat loader dealt with, he had also stopped for a hair cut. We immediately got to a few chores...dismantling camp. We folded the outside mat and while Steve was putting it away, I collected all of the solar lights and cleaned them. Next, Steve put away the rope lights that had been strung under the trailer, outlining it...while I made lunch.

After lunch, Steve headed off take the truck back to Gold Key Isuzu to have the old exhaust brake re-installed. I decided to stay home...doing some banking and recording some expenses from our shopping trip yesterday. Once finished that, I went for a walk into town. It had turned out to be quite a nice day with lots of sunshine...I wasn't expecting it to be quite that nice out!

I was gone for about an hour or so and when I got home, I changed into shorts and sat outside. I was beginning to wonder if Steve was ever going to get home when he finally was 4:10, he had a couple of errands and would be home.

A half hour later, he pulled in...with good news and bad news...Gold Key was crediting our charge card with over $1300 (cost of the exhaust brake and labour) but the squealing issue had not been resolved, so the saga will continue when we return in September.

We sat enjoying a bevie outside while he told me about his afternoon...and then we had another chore to take care of....load the boat back onto the truck. With rain in the forecast for tomorrow, we wanted to get as much of the outside pack up done as we could today.

Thursday morning the rain started at about much for getting out for a bike ride. It hadn't been forecast to start until this afternoon...oh well, I got started on four loads of laundry instead. While I did that, Steve settled in his chair...watching "his"shows on TV.

I had been trying to get in the touch with my doctor's office...I was told that he would have the results of the additional mammogram and the ultrasound yesterday. Since we are leaving tomorrow, I really wanted to find out the results. Finally, I got through to the doctor's office. The doctor is in his Abbotsford office today and I was able to get in this afternoon at 1:45.

So after the laundry was done, we headed out to Abbotsford. We had a bit of a wait, but seeing the doctor (and it wasn't even our doctor) took all of maybe 2 minutes...results show no abnormality however another mammogram in 6 months is recommended. Whew! That is a load off our minds!! Why can't they just make a phone call when test results are good. Now the only thing "hanging over our heads" is Steve's heart issue...however, he doesn't expect any contact from the doctor's office until an appointment for the special test in a few months. So we will just carry on normally for now.

Since we were out in Abbotsford where gas and diesel prices tend to be a little lower, we stopped and filled up with diesel and we also filled up all of our gas preparation for heading out tomorrow morning. Great having that done instead of having to stop along the way when we are towing. One last chore was to fill our BBQ  propane tank at the campground.

Once home, I went inside and finished my chores...made the bed with the clean sheets, and then vacuumed. Whiled I was doing that, Steve was outside finishing his pack up...bikes on the rack; chairs, barbecue and table put away; awning tie-downs put away and awning up, etc.

With our chores was time to relax. We leave tomorrow morning for Tunkwa Lake Provincial Park where our friends (and co-workers from last summer), Doug and Sue, are working. Looking forward to seeing and "harassing" them as they work, LOL! The only downside is that there is no cell or internet service up there. So we will be "off the grid" for a month except for the occasional trip into Logan Lake. We might have to visit the local cafe to work on our blog like we did two years ago when we were in the area. Until then...stay tuned...

Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22, 2016 (Fort Camping, Brae Island Regional Park, Fort Langley, BC)

Saturday morning Steve decided to cross off another maintenance item off of his "to do" list...change the back rubber roller sleeves on the boat loader.
The front ones need to be done too but he needs help with that, so will be taking the truck in Wednesday morning to Loadit Industries, the company that built the loader.
The two roller sleeves he a casualty, the end collar was brittle and cracked from the sun and broke off...hopefully Glen has a new one in stock...

While he was busy outside, I cleaned up inside, had a shower and by the time I was ready to get on with the day, Steve was done so we walked into Fort Langley. We took our umbrellas along just to ensure it wouldn't rain on us! Crossing the bridge, Steve took a picture of the rowers...
We wandered inside one of the many antique's more like a museum...
We had noticed that they were filming inside here last week so we had to check it out,,,
The Trading Post Taphouse and Eatery just opened here in Fort Langley yesterday. So, of course, we had to go in and give it a try...
We sat at the bar and each tried a different beer. They have quite a selection, all brewed locally in Langley. We also had a look at their food menu...very limited and fairly expensive ($18 for a burger?!)...
We chatted with a local fellow sitting at the bar, enjoyed our beer and then continued on our stop, Marina's Gelato. Nothing like an outing that includes beer and gelato!

Some folks in canoes this time, as we cross the bridge over the Fraser River...
Back home, we just chilled for the rest of the afternoon. The hay rides for the kids have started today and tomorrow they have an Elvis impersonator coming...even has a pink Cadillac...
At about 5:30, we walked back over the bridge to The Fort Pub...for a pre-anniversary dinner at our favourite spot...
We enjoyed a couple pints of beer...a little more reasonably priced than our beer earlier today...a 12 oz glass at the Taphouse was $5.75 vs a 20 oz pint at The Fort Pub, $6.00. We had dinner...and then wandered back home. A lovely couple of hours "out on the town"!

Sunday, May 22 1982 was a beautiful (although a tad windy) day 34 years ago . It was also the day that Steve and I got married. As you can see from the picture, we haven't changed a bit LOL! Looking forward to many more years together as we continue in this wonderful lifestyle!
We started our day off relaxing with our coffee...nothing new there! After a light breakfast, we got ourselves ready for the day.

At 11:00 Deb and Ray arrived to pick us up...and we headed off to Empire Garden Chinese Restaurant for lunch. Our first time having Dim Sum...the food was amazing...
And the company was too!
After a delicious lunch...we'll definitely have to return sometime...we went back to our place and continued our visit for a little longer. Great seeing you both travels as you head into the interior of BC next week!

Shortly before 2:30, we jumped in the truck and were off into Coquitlam...a final visit with Chris and Angela before we leave next Friday. A very good friend (and Steve's "cousin-in-law"), Glenna lives fairly close, so she also popped by for a short visit and to see Chris and Angela's new home. Great seeing you Glenna...let's try for a "girl's weekend" next September when we return to Fort Langley! We really wanted to get a gathering of Steve's cousins together this visit to the area, but we just ran out of time with so much going on! We'll definitely put it on the top of our priority list come September!
We enjoyed a delicious dinner...Angela's mom, Lucy, also joined us. Her dad, Luigi, is away for the weekend. Nice seeing you Lucy!
It was after 7:30 when we gave them all big hugs and headed home. Thanks so much, Chris and Angela! Great seeing you both!

Friday, May 20, 2016 (Fort Camping, Brae Island Regional Park, Fort Langley, BC)

Friday morning we left shortly after 9:00 to make our way into Langley to Valley Medical Imaging for my 9:45 appointment. Once in the x-ray room, the technician had an image of my right breast up on a large monitor, with the area in question circled. She explained that this is the area that the radiologist wanted more images of, so this is the area she would be concentrating on. After some painful squishes...that I had to "grin and bear" in order to get the best possible shots. All I can say is OUCH!

After she took a number of images, she asked me to go back to the change room, but not to get dressed until given the okay. I waited in the small cubicle and a few minutes later, she returned telling me I could get dressed, however, there was definitely something there that wasn't there before so I would have to return next week...for an ultrasound. Of course, Monday is a holiday...thankfully, she was able to fit me in Tuesday afternoon.

Now...what I did not include in my blog last summer while working at Monck Provincial Park was that I discovered a lump in my right breast. After some humming and hawing about it, we drove into Kamloops on one of our days off and I saw a doctor who made a referral to the Kamloops Hospital to have a mammogram. On another day off about a month later, I had a mammogram and ultrasound. The results showed that the "site of the palpable concern demonstrates no abnormality". I did discuss with my doctor last September before heading south and he said to "just keep an eye on it and have another mammogram in the spring". By the way, he could feel it too. Now, this year, after getting a notice that I was due for a routine Screening Mammogram (every 2 years)...something is found. Perhaps it will turn out to just be a fibrous cyst...but still, I must admit it is worrisome.

Next on the agenda was a quick stop back at the Skechers Outlet store. After walking around in the trailer last night with the pair of 'Go-Walk' shoes on, I decided that I should have gotten a bit bigger size...the exchange was no problem; what took time was waiting in line to process the exchange!

After playing telephone tag with Gold Key Isuzu, Steve decided to stop in since it was close by. The outcome...they have to order in gaskets (why don't they stock them? Seems odd that they had a new exhaust brake in stock but no gaskets!) which won't arrive until late Tuesday morning (again, Monday is a holiday...sheesh!). We need the truck for my appointment Tuesday afternoon, and since Steve has already made an appointment Wednesday morning to take the truck in to the boat loader guy (needs new roller sleeves), we will drop the truck off Wednesday afternoon to have our old exhaust brake re-installed. We are running out of time to get this "squeal issue" resolved on this stay in the area...looks like the saga will likely have to continue next September when we return. Will it ever get resolved???

We headed home, had lunch and then Steve swept out the truck box in preparation for picking up our quads. While he did that, I went on line and paid a small amount that Steve owed on his income tax...a little tough after usually getting money back, but I received a good refund and what he owed was under a $100.

Around 2:00 we decided to head out to Abbotsford to pick the quads up. They hadn't called yet but we expected them to be ready by 3:00. Well, as we crossed the over-pass before heading onto the on-ramp for the freeway we managed to get a look at the traffic...and it was backed up as far east as we could see. Oh right...this is Friday afternoon before the May long weekend, the start of the camping season! And everyone was getting "outta dodge!" Oops! So, instead of getting in the backed up traffic on Highway 1, we decided to carry on to the Fraser Highway. It wasn't all that much better but at least it seemed to move, albeit slow.  It ended up taking us over an hour on a trip that would typically take about 20 minutes or so.

When we arrived at GA Motorsports, the quads were ready...and they had even detailed them! I guess they figured that was the least they could do to soften the blow of the $1445.00 bill they were presenting us with. Oh well, we knew it was going to be an expensive one since they hadn't been serviced in two years. Plus mine needed new front brakes and both needed a new left rear axle.

We were home before a campground that is just buzzing. A busy, busy long weekend here! We were very lucky for a cancellation that enabled us to stay another week! Steve took care of putting the new insurance papers in the quads, along with the decals on the plates, while I set up our chairs in the sunshine....yup, time to enjoy a bevie and soak up a little sunshine...something we really haven't had much of over the past week.

Monday to Thursday, May 16 to 19, 2016 (Fort Camping, Brae Island Regional Park, Fort Langley, BC)

Monday was a pretty laid-back kind of day. We decided to get back into our resistance exercises and then after breakfast and showers, I returned to my laptop to continue working on our blog...time to get caught up!

Steve wanted to get out for some cardio exercise, so went for a bike ride. I would have loved to join him but wanted to give my left knee a break. I'm afraid the cortisone shot I had April 29 didn't last long. After a power walk last Saturday morning, I've been limping around with a very sore knee. I'm going to have to call my Orthopedic Surgeon and see if he can fit me in sometime in the next week for a shot of the super-duper stuff he puts in my right knee. That will mean a day trip back over to Victoria...but I don't want to go all summer with a painful knee that I can hardly walk on! I just hope I'm able to get in before we leave Fort Langley May 27!

Once back from his bike ride, Steve concentrated on an important task...finding storage for our rig this fall when we go on our Africa/France trip. He responded to a few ads on Craigslist/Kijiji and after getting a reply to one, he spoke to the fellow and arranged to go check out the property. Since Steve has a cardiologist appointment this afternoon at 3:30, we decided to head out early and take a look...besides it wasn't far from the doctor's office.

As it turned out, the spot would work nicely for us. Ken has 29 acres and has built a ginormous workshop with two RV size bays, along with living quarters. Not only is it huge, but the building is very attractive looking. The property also has blueberry bushes that he harvests. He showed us where he was planning on expanding an area with gravel...that we would be able to back into and leave the rig hooked-up. Perfect!

Feeling pretty good about our "find" for $200, it was time to head to Steve's appointment. We arrived a little early but Steve thought he'd go in anyway...I waited in the truck. An hour and a half later he emerged...all "wired up" with a heart monitor he is to wear for 24 hours. He also has to go for blood tests first thing in the morning. So far the diagnoses is Heart Block. The ECG showed that at rest the electrical path on the right side of Steve's heart is slowed and during the stress test on the treadmill it was stopped or " blocked" completely. Apparently 15% of the population has this and some are born with it. Other than the occasional ache Steve has absolutely no symptoms. The doctor said the worst case scenario may mean that Steve will eventually require a pace maker 5 years earlier than the norm. The doctor wants him to go for further tests at the hospital that may take months to get, so we are waiting to hear back.

We didn't do much Tuesday...I worked on our budget, paid bills, etc...all that fun stuff. While I was doing that, Steve checked the trailer batteries and topped them up then puttered around outside a bit.

After lunch we headed off to the mall in Langley. Steve wanted his camera sensor and mirror cleaned at Kerrisdale Cameras...and after wandering around the mall, we headed off to Walmart to pick up a few things.

We checked out a new Sketchers Outlet store that just opened up in Langley...we're going to have to return when we have more time. This place was huge! I might just have to get some new walking shoes...I think my knees are telling me it's time!

By this time, it was after 4:00 and time to drop off the heart monitor Steve has been wearing for the past 24 hours. Although they shaved some of the hair off his chest, it wasn't nearly he wasn't impressed when he had to rip off the sensors.

Wednesday morning, bright and early, Steve headed to Gold Key Isuzu to drop the truck off...again. He was back home within an hour or so. A little later he received a phone call saying that the gaskets around the exhaust brake looked fine...they thought they'd try putting in a whole new exhaust brake, keeping the old one in case that didn't resolve the problem. They ended up having to order in gaskets and they won't arrive until the truck won't be ready until after 3:00 tomorrow afternoon. Steve has little faith in this diagnoses.

I spent the morning doing three loads of laundry...after wrestling with one of the washers in the laundry room that took my loonie but wouldn't accept it as payment, nor return it to me. Thankfully a couple of maintenance workers quickly responded to my pleas for help. While I was doing laundry, Steve emptied and flushed the blank and grey tanks.

Other than getting out for a bike ride in the afternoon, we really didn't do much...I managed to get a little baking done and Steve watched "his shows" on TV.

Thursday was cloudy and much cooler and with rain in the forecast...and no vehicle, it was an "inside" kind of day. We did do our resistance exercises and after a full breakfast and was almost noon! Steve received a phone call from GA Motorsports about our quads...they hadn't been serviced in two years, so lots needed to be done...and of course, it's going to be costly. Both machines make a clicking sound when turning left which means bad CV joints which means new left axles. The right side was replaced a few years ago. also one required new front brakes. Sheesh!

We decided that now we are back from our winter down south, that it might be interesting to see what our costs were for a few of our major I worked on that.

In the 5 1/2 months (October 11, 2015 to March 31, 2016), our average campground fee was $5.39/, that's pretty darned good! Our fuel cost (for diesel) while in Quartzsite (for 4 months) was minimal...but getting down there and back again (October and March) was $1500.00. The other four months, we only filled up 3 times...our total fuel expense was $1900.

Now...the kicker is the extra money we spent on the US dollar exchange....$5,775! Although tough to put out that extra money with nothing to show for it, we justified it by the fact that we would likely spend that much hunkering down here in Fort Langley for 6 months...and not have nearly as much fun sitting in the rain for the winter. The rate here for 6 months would be $2730...that's $15.17/night, which is an excellent rate, but is still 3x more than we spent going south. Whether we'd spend the remaining $3,045 difference is questionable...however, an important factor is our happiness and, honestly, I think we would be pretty miserable sitting here in the rain all winter! I guess another way to look at it is a 5 1/2 month vacation for $3,045. Having said that, we will still watch the exchange rate and decide next January if its feasible to go south.

I also received a phone call this afternoon...from Valley Medical Imaging. Apparently the radiologist reading the screening mammogram that I had last week wants me in for a more in-depth I have an appointment there tomorrow morning. Geez...always something!

At about 2:30 Steve received a phone call from Gold Key Isuzu saying that the truck was ready. A shuttle came and picked us up and after paying the almost $1600 bill (ouch!), we headed off. Our extended warranty expired Jan, 2015 however Isuzu has continued to warranty the engine work, however the engine brake is covered by GM and they do not consider this part of the original problem so won't cover it.'s the same frickin unresolved issue!!!Well we had barely driven off the lot when Steve slowed down for a traffic light and the squealing returned...needless to say, he had some choice words! He ended up dropping me off at the new Sketchers Outlet store and went back to take the mechanic out for a ride.

He arrived to pick me up just as I was trying to decide on a second pair of shoes (they have a buy one, get 50% off the second pair sale on). The result of his trip back to Gold Key...the truck will have to go back in next week, likely to have our old exhaust brake put back in (and get a credit for the new one). The big question right now is...will they ever figure out where the squeal is coming from?

Tuesday, May 10 to Sunday, May 15, 2016 (Fort Langley, North Saanich and back to Fort Langley, BC)

Tuesday was a total chore day. Conditions were right to get the trailer washed...the campground had sprayed the gravel roads to keep the dust down, and there was no rain in the immediate forecast. Steve had done the roof, awning and slide toppers, he continued with the underside of the slide toppers and the slide tops, then the rest of the trailer.

For me, it was a day spent cleaning inside...I even managed to put a couple of loads of laundry on in the afternoon. Not a very exciting day....

Wednesday morning Steve was picked up late by the courtesy shuttle and taken to Gold Key Isuzu to pick up the truck. Yesterday the service manager called to say that he and the BC rep for Isuzu did a road test and were unable to duplicate either issue, the squealing when the exhaust brake engages or the engine knocking when cold. They have in the past always been able to trace the squealing area by a dark soot trail, but not this time. Steve had requested that they get an early start when the temperatures were cooler to listen for the engine knocking when cold. Well they hadn't started it up until 10 a.m., way too late. So Steve wanted to leave the truck overnight again and pick it up early today to do the test drive with the service manager, but by the time he got to the dealership it was 9:45 a.m., again too late for the knocking test. Geez! The service manager hooked up the computer to the truck and away they went. Well Steve was also unable to duplicate the squealing noise. For the other issue the computer showed that one of the injectors had a high reading and is apparently the reason for the knocking until the engine warmed up. At this point he said it's not fatal but should be monitored. That's an eventual $1200 bill we're not looking forward to. It was decided that on our return in September and they would have another go at the exhaust brake squealing. Steve no sooner left the dealership and on the first time the exhaust brake engaged, it squealed, so he immediately turned around and went back. The service manager hooked up the computer and away they went again. Hearing the squeal it was decided that he would talk to the Isuzu rep about possibly replacing the exhaust brake. This saga will continue sometime next week!

While he was gone, I walked into town, mailed a letter, picked up a birthday card for Bryce and was back home about 35 minutes later. I was planning on wandering around the shops a bit more but most didn't open until 10:00 and it was only 9:30. I had a nice long conversation with my brother, Don...hope you had a great Birthday!

Steve finally got home late morning...and after lunch, got to work waxing the trailer. He got the back of the trailer done, along with the over-hang ("snout"). I helped out where I could but I mainly spent the afternoon doing odd jobs inside the's probably the cleanest it's been in a long time!

Thursday morning we were up and out before 8:30. Our first stop was at Langley Memorial Hospital where I had an appointment for a routine mammogram at the Screening Mammography Department. That was over with quickly and I was back out at the truck within 20 minutes or so.

Next on our morning agenda was a trip out to Abbotsford to drop the quads off at Checkpoint Motorsports for servicing. It's been two years since their last Steve asked that they be checked out "top to bottom". I don't think I'm going to like paying that bill when we pick them up!

With the "chores" done, we went back home, had lunch, finished packing and headed to the Tsawwassen ferry terminal to catch the 3:00 sailing over to Swartz Bay.
Yes, we are going back over to North Saanich to visit Rob, Angie and the kids. Today is Bryce's first birthday, so we are going over for a short visit. There is our ferry coming in...we'll be boarding it once it off-loads...

And we're off...another gorgeous day for a ferry ride!

With Rob back at work this week, we had to wait about a half hour to be picked up...after he collected the kids from daycare. Conner was anxious to help Bryce open the birthday gifts he had picked out... once Mommy (Angie) got home...
Bryce loves balls!
Conner playing with one of Bryce's presents...a whistle (a noisy purchase which was quickly "hidden" LOL)...
After dinner, we had "Treatzaza Pizza" from Dairy Queen...

Bryce enjoyed it!
Steve and I, along with some of Angie's parents gave money towards a new car seat for his birthday...he's outgrown his old one!
Friday morning I went with Angie...dropping the kids off at daycare and then dropping her off at work (University of Victoria), so that Steve and I could have the car for the day.

We had a bunch of errands to run...Steve had to renew his driver's licence (it wasn't expiring until his birthday in August but since we will likely be somewhere in Alberta by then, he decided to just do it now). After that was taken care of, we stopped and picked up his contact lenses and then headed into Victoria to renew the insurance on our quads, as well as the trailer.

With those errands completed, Steve dropped me off at the Fifth Street Bar and Grill where I met a couple of friends that I used to work with...Lynn and Delcie were the only two available today. Sorry for cancelling last week, Gwen...I missed you! But it was great catching up with Lynn and Delcie. These are awesome ladies that I worked with at BC Assessment. We all retired within a year of each other...after most of us working together (in the HR Dept) for over 30 years! Steve also went for lunch then went to visit the staff at his former workplace waiting for my call to be picked up.

After dropping Steve off back at the house, I spent a couple of hours in Sidney wandering around a few shops and then picked up a few groceries for dinner. On the way home, I picked up Conner and Bryce at daycare. I didn't know whether they would be glad to see me or not but all was good. I got a look from Bryce that said "you're not my daddy"...but then he smiled and was happy to see me. He's had a rough week adjusting to daycare. I guess when daddy picks him up, he's been filled with emotion...poor little guy. It will take time for him to adjust to the new routine. Conner was a big help, carrying out things to the car for me...time to go home and see Grampa! Mom and Dad will be home a little later.

Saturday morning Chris and Angela caught the 9:00 a.m. sailing from Tsawwassen arriving at Swartz Bay at 10:40. Steve and Conner went to the ferry and picked them up.
Conner and Bryce with Uncle Chris...

Of course, a big empty box makes for a great toy...especially when Auntie Angela (aka "Auntie Zia"...Zia is Aunt in Italian, so that would be "Auntie Aunt" LOL), a kindergarten teacher, makes it into a house with a door and window. Conner referred to it as his spaceship!
Of course, Conner insisted daddy go inside...with him. A little cozy?!

Shortly before 5:00, we all headed over to my brother and sister-in-law's place. Dwight and Helen were having a 30th birthday party for their daughter, Vanessa. Unfortunately, the pictures are not the best. We forgot our camera, so I relied on my phone camera. Most pictures did not turn I don't have many. The one of the birthday girl (Vanessa) was totally fuzzy!
The get-together started in their backyard where we enjoyed drinks and appetizers.

And Steve joined a game of Bocce Ball...
Bryce wanted to chase the balls...
They also had a Ladder Ball game (what we call) redneck golf set up...
Conner enjoying a drink and some appetizers...
Then we all gathered up on the sundeck for a sit-down!
That is my brother, Dwight, at the very end of the table...
We had a great evening! The dinner was fabulous...and it was so good seeing Dwight and Helen, and their family, and meeting their friends! Happy Birthday, Vanessa! Thanks for including us...and it was wonderful meeting your baby daughter, Ella!

Sunday morning Angie and Rob had a birthday party for Bryce planned at a local park/playground in Sidney. So shortly after 9:00, Rob, Angie and the kids headed off into Sidney to pick up a few things before going to the park. Steve, Chris, Angela and I were in charge of stopping at Tim Horton's for two boxes of coffee. Luckily no other parties were planned at the park and we had use of the two picnic tables that were under cover. Getting all set up...while others chatted...
Grampa pushing Conner and Bryce on the swings...
 Then it was time for birthday cake...
It was really a great place for a kids birthday party...all of the kids attending could play in the completely enclosed playground. Here are Auntie Angela and Uncle Chris playing "kick the ball" with Bryce...
...and slide time...
We even managed to get a group picture of family that were there. Left to right...Mike, Nadine, Matthew, me holding Bryce, Steve, Angela, Chris, Angie and Rob (we couldn't get Conner away from the playground)...
At about noon, the party was over and after cleaning up, we all headed home. We spotted this mother with her wobbily fawn just down the road from the house...pretty darned new, I'd say! So cute!
As soon as we got home, we put our suitcases in the truck...and when Rob, Angie and the kids pulled up in the car, suggested that they follow us to the ferry terminal so Rob could drive the truck home. The kids were already in the car (Bryce was fast asleep) and we thought that it would be a lot easier rather than unload everyone and have to load them back in again in an hour or so.

After big hugs, we said good bye...and Chris, Angela, Steve and I boarded the 1:00 ferry back to the mainland. We enjoyed our ferry ride chatting over a late lunch...and then went our separate ways as we left the ferry terminal. We caught the waiting shuttle back to the Park and Go lot while Chris and Angela walked back to their car parked in the BC Ferries lot.

And there you have it...we are back home after a great few days over on the island...having fun at birthday parties!