Wednesday, July 1 to Saturday, July 11, 2020 (Peace Arch RV Park, Surrey, BC)

Well...10+ days have gone by in a snap! Time for another update!
It rained pretty well all day Wednesday (July 1), but luckily we managed to get out for our morning walk before it started. Needless to say, it was pretty much an inside day. Steve edited pictures and then I worked on a blog update. Added to that was a lot of car searching on-line.

Thursday (July 2) we had a couple of cars to look at. The first one was a 2013 Mazda 3 GT sedan, not far away at Midway Mazda. Although we are looking for a hatchback, this car looked like a good deal, with low miles (88,000 km/54,68 miles). We took it for a test drive and it was really nice but we wanted to continue our search for a hatchback.

The second car was a 2013 Mazda GS-SKY Hatchback with extremely low mileage (46,000 km/28,583 miles). We took it for a test drive...again, nice but there was a whistling sound coming from the air vent. The company selling it is a new (opened last month)...specializing only in used cars. Check out DealerShift to see how they are different. They constantly monitor the market and price the cars as such, so there is no negotiation. They would have had the whistle in the vent checked out if we were willing to put a deposit on it. Not happening and Steve didn't get that warm fuzzy feeling with the car. It was over our budget anyway, and since they weren't willing to move on the price, we decided to continue on with our search.

In addition to the Mazda, we are also interested in the Honda Civic Coupe. There happened to be a 2014 at Richmond Honda...a fair distance to drive, but hey, let's go! What a wasted trip that was! We were absolutely disgusted by the condition it was in! It had not been cleaned...the interior was filthy. Dried muddy paws marks and fur on the seats and empty Gatorade bottles strewn inside, not to mention the dirt on the floors. We were flabbergasted that they would advertise and show it without having made any attempt to clean it up! We immediately walked away telling the salesman we were not interested.

At this point, it was mid-afternoon, we were hungry, so we headed home.

We woke up to rain Friday (July 3) morning...and it rained all day! We had an appointment to go look at a car out in Abbotsford, about 50 minutes east of us. Not a great day to be looking at a car, but we headed out anyway. Steve said he didn't like looking at cars in the rain as you can't see all the imperfections. The car, a 2014 Mazda 3 GT-SKY Hatchback with 118,000 km/73,322 miles, average for our area, was a beautiful metallic red. We took it for a test drive and loved it! Afterwards we did the "negotiation thing" but they weren't willing to come down enough, so we said we'd think about it and headed home. We hate playing the negotiating game but maybe we'll get a phone call in a few hours :)

Later that afternoon, on our way to Chris and Angela's, we decided to call and tell them we'd take the car, even though it was over our budget. We were hoping to hear from them first...but we "caved" instead, LOL! According to Auto Trader and Kelly Blue Book Canada we were getting the car for a fair/good price. Our original plan was to pick it up tomorrow but with the Covid-19 virus, our bank is closed Saturdays now, so we'll have to wait until Monday.

Today is Chris's birthday and it is so nice to be here to celebrate it with him!  Although Isaac kept taking his shoes to Grampa...which means he wants to go outside to was just to wet out, so they had to play inside...
Chris poured Steve a taste of his specialty Belgian beer...tiny cup...pinky out!
Angela flattening out the pizza dough she just made. Pizza made from scratch...a true Italian!
Isaac and Grampa having some quiet time together...
After an absolutely delicious dinner...the pizza was excellent! It was time for birthday ice cream cake we picked up from Dairy Queen! Obviously Chris is not 5 years old, he's 35...close enough...LOL! Will we ever go back to blowing out candles?
Isaac was so cute when we sang "Happy Birthday"...he was laughing and clapping his hands!
We had a wonderful time...and then it was time to head home. Thanks for a great dinner and evening, guys! Steve even had a "designated driver" tonight!

After getting home, changing and settling into our recliner chairs, Steve heard a sound...drip, drip, drip. Where is that coming from? The rain-water had managed to get through the slide topper onto the slide room and was leaking from the trim where the slide room ceiling has a join and all over our couch! The carpet was also wet at the end of the slide room. GEEZ! We put a pan on the couch to catch the water...we'll have to deal with that in the morning. Not a great thing to come home to!

to our American friends.

The rain was over with Saturday...basically a mix of sun and clouds all day. We got out for our morning walk and then Steve decided to tackle the leaky slide.

Last night he discovered that water that was pooling on the slide topper (longest one) was leaking onto the top of the slide room then running towards the inner wall. This topper is not even 2 years old. He inspected it but couldn't see any holes. The crows like to wash their food in the pooled water so maybe they poked a small hole in it, or perhaps his anti topper flapping PVC pipe setup that has a couple of couplers joining the lengths of pipe have worn the topper thin from the little bit of movement that still happens in the wind.

After running the slide room in he saw a metal strip with lots of screws running the full length of the inner side of the slide. Since the water was running towards the metal strip he figured the sealant was defective. After cleaning the area he went to apply some Proflex sealant but the cardboard tube was damp from being in the truck and began to bend and collapse in the caulking gun making it unusable. Geez...that was a new tube! So he had to make a trip to Traveland RV for a new tube. A little over an hour later he was back. He ran a bead along the edge of the metal strip and onto each screw head. It was a very tight work space at the far end and the ceiling fan didn't help either.
Steve really likes the Proflex sealant as it comes off like a strip of rubber if you ever have to remove it. The only negative is you have to be quick as it sets up fast...especially in a wind. Silicone is extremely difficult to remove. 
While he was busy with that, I put on a couple of loads of laundry. After the work was done, we sat outside for a bit and went for a bike ride.

Sunday (July 5) was sunny for the most part. Rather than do our daily walk around the campground, we decided to go to Blackie's Spit for a walk on the trails. It was very busy! Mind you it was Sunday.

There were lots of these beautiful yellow flowers...
On our way home, we drove to the community of White Rock. The beaches are busy but with the tide out, there is lots of room to physically distance...
There was quite a line up at a very popular fish and chip spot...Moby Dick that was open for take-out. It doesn't look like they are distancing from each other from our angle but they were...
Back home, we had lunch and kept ourselves busy the rest of the afternoon. Steve sat outside reading while I did a couple of loads of laundry.

By late afternoon, it was time for our bike ride...afterwards we sat outside and Jack and Fay stopped by for a visit.

Monday (July 6)...the day we pick up our new (to us) car! We left just before 10:00 to be at the bank when it opened. I went in to get the bank draft while Steve found a parking spot and waited for me.

And then we were on our way out to Abbotsford and The Honda Way. We did a bit of "dickering" on the price...last Friday they said they would throw in a tire and rim protection plan to sweeten the deal. Turns out upon going over the invoice, they gave us a reduced price on the plan charging us an extra $200 plus tax. So Steve told them we didn't want it, so they took it off the invoice.

After getting insurance and all the paperwork taken car of, we were taken out to look at our new baby. Steve noticed a few more nicks in the paint and a small section of paint that was duller than the rest of the car that wasn't obvious in the rain. They called a person in from the body shop who said that clear coat wasn't applied over that area after being painted. The Carfax report said there were no accidents but there were 2 claims for glass. They weren't willing to do anything about it but all in all, it looks and runs great. Stay tuned for pictures!

I headed out in the rental car with Steve following...of course he had to pass me on the highway, LOL! We dropped the rental car off in Langley and then decided to go out to Fort Langley for a celebratory lunch at the Fort Pub. Our first time going out for a meal in a restaurant since Quartzsite last March. BC is now in phase 3 and they had all of the Covid protocols in play with basically every other table empty, a table set up at the entrance where they ask you to pick up a disposable menu and use hand sanitizer. We sat out on the balcony, felt that it would be better than going inside...however, the windows were closed. When I asked about that, the server said that she could open one but the mosquitoes are terrible right now...oh, okay, lets leave them shut!
We had parked the car in the day use area just outside of Fort Camping, planning to go for a walk down to Tavistock Point on the McMillan/Brae Island...a trail that we have walked many times while staying here. 

Looking back towards the Fort Pub as we walk across the bridge...
View west from the bridge. Look how high this arm of the Fraser River is. The island is on the right...
View east. We have seen the river a little higher before and the campground was evacuated a couple of years ago as a precaution...
However we decided against the walk because the mosquitoes were TERRIBLE!! Just opening the doors to get inside and the car was full of the nasty little things! So we decided to just go home. All the years we have stayed at Fort Camping on the island we had never been here this time of year and had forgotten about the warnings we had been given on how bad the Mozzies were.

Steve stopped at the entrance to our campground to take pictures of our new wheels....a 2014 Mazda 3 GT-SKY Hatchback auto with leather bucket seats. front and back, 184 hp...
We're well over 40 and feeling sporty...LOL!
Tuesday (July 7) morning I took the car out to do a little shopping...yippee! I love being able to get out by myself and Steve likes it because he doesn't have to drive me and wait in the truck!

After lunch we decided to go out to a park for our walk. Crescent Park is on the way to Crescent Beach (and Blackie's Spit) and we have passed the signs to it many times. 

Crescent Park is a large 52 hectare (128 acre) destination park in South Surrey. The Park offers walking trails through mature second growth forests, with ponds, streams and lots of secret meadows to discover. It is home to numerous species of birds that prefer the dense undergrowth, as well as ducks and kingfishers that use the small ponds.
Lots of trails to choose from!

In addition to its spectacular natural areas, the eastern portions of Crescent Park offer a range of park amenities including two baseball diamonds, a large multi-purpose field and a playground.

Steve wants to come back and fly his planes here...
This picture is taken on the other side of the pond, looking back to where I took the picture of Steve in the picture above.
We had a great nice to check out new places!

And speaking of new places...Wednesday  (July 8) morning, we headed out to another park for our walk. Tynehead Regional Park is a little further away, north of us about 17 kms/11 miles.

Tynehead Regional Park is owned and maintained by Metro Vancouver. The park is 260 hectares of meadow and forest on the banks of the Serpentine River headwaters in Guildford. This park has a lot of wildlife, and is a habitat for owls, hawks and coyotes. The headwaters of the Serpentine River are spawning and rearing habitats for trout and salmon.

We parked near the Fish Hatchery...Tynehead Hatchery raises coho, chum and chinook salmon that return to the Serpentine River to spawn. The hatchery is run by the Serpentine Enhancement Society, a non-profit volunteer group.
And started our walk...such a pretty spot!

Trails meander through mixed forest and meadow and along the gentle Serpentine River.
Not much left of this nurse stump...

This nurse stump is mostly gone too...
This nurse stump is huge! Note the notches in it from the planks the loggers would stand on...

An Owl sitting on a branch above the river...more of a creek.
A blurry cell phone telephoto shot. The Owl turned his head 180 degrees to have a look at us...

Another fabulous walk! Time to head home for lunch...and enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday (July 9) Steve had an appointment at a dentist in Ladner to have the stitches from his tooth extraction removed. For some reason, when he had it extracted in Victoria, they didn't use dissoluble ones. Thanks to our neighbour, Carol for contacting her daughter, a dental hygienist, and arranging for Steve to have this done!

So we headed out just before 11:00 for his 11:30 appointment. I sat in the car while he went inside. It didn't take long. Afterwards, we decided to drive further west from Ladner to Westham Island. Carol and Roland mentioned it saying that there is a bird sanctuary there. 

It’s a tiny island with its own world-class bird sanctuary, farm stands and acres of pumpkin patches, and waterfront bike trails you’ll likely have all to yourself.
A narrow tributary of the Fraser River separates Westham Island from the mainland. To get across, you have to navigate a creaky, one-lane wooden bridge that’s been patched here and there with plywood. Sometimes the bridge rotates to allow passing boats to get by and you might find a half-dozen cars lined up and waiting to get across. (Picture from Google)

The George C. Reifel Refuge for migratory birds is located at the northern end of the island. Unfortunately, it is temporarily closed. But we enjoyed our drive on the island...a major agricultural area.

We continued driving along River Road for a bit...stopping to check out the river. There is a large float home community between the bridge and here...

And since we were "in the neighbourhood" we decided to check out Centennial Beach Boundary Bay Regional Park, in Tsawwassen. As you can see, the weather wasn't the best today...cloudy and cool. It had been raining earlier. Weeks ago when we rode our bikes on the Mud Bay Dyke Trail this was our destination...way too far for our dainty butts. So one day we may return and tackle it from this end...
Even though we were starving and the concession here had a pretty good menu it was just a little to chilly to sit outside in the breeze...

The blue mats made it a much easier walk to the beach...
This must be an extremely popular park in nice weather as the parking lot was huge. Another great day out exploring in our car!

Friday (July 10) ended up being a fairly nice day...but rain is in the forecast again tomorrow. When is summer arriving!

After our walk around the campground, I showered and then headed out to run a few errands. Steve did his monthly running of the quads and generator and then charged his RC glider batteries in preparation for going flying.

When I got home, he headed out to Crescent Park and the big sports field that he figured would be perfect for flying his glider. He was back home way before I was expecting him. I guess he managed one flight but decided it was too windy. Too bad! But at least he has a spot he can try again. He misses flying his RC planes.

Saturday (July 11) was pretty uneventful. After our usual morning coffee, we did our resistance exercises (yes, we still do them every second day...for the most part) and then got out for our power walk around the campground.

We made a quick trip to a couple of stores...Steve is looking for a new lock for our bikes. The old one is getting very finicky and one day it may not open!  We stopped at Safeway for a couple of things I forgot yesterday and then we were back home.

The afternoon was spent hunkered down inside as the predicted rain started. We were going to have Chris, Angela and Isaac over this afternoon but suggested tomorrow when the forecast is better.

And there you have it...up-to-date for now!


  1. You’re sure having fun up there! The car is so cute! Will you keep it and drive it down here once Covid is over or will you sell it? Or are you staying in Canada now? I love that forest with the big trees!

    1. We’re keeping the car and will put it in storage once we can travel south again. Until COVID is over with we’ll stay in Canada. It’s pretty cool to see a forest park like that in the middle of a large city.

  2. congratulations on the new car! It will make exploring so much easier.

    1. It’s been 10 years since we’ve had a car. It’s been a blast getting out and exploring a little more.

  3. Nice looking car! I bet it will be nice to drive that around in town rather than trying to fit Buster in some of those parking spaces. The size of some of those tree stumps is incredible. It gives you an idea of what the country looked like when settlers first came to the area.

    1. I’m so happy that I don’t have to go shopping and Dianne can get out on her own. She’s like a teenager that just got her drivers license. 🤣 I’m in awe of the loggers that used to harvest trees that size and larger with hand saws and axes.

  4. Nice looking car. Glad you have alternate wheels to go exploring.

  5. Sweet ride you two but now you lose all the fun of finding those far away parking spots ;) Looks like a great buy and will make getting around so much easier. Some beauty parks you are exploring down there, everything is so green and lush. Keep having fun, play safe and stay healthy!

  6. We’re really enjoying having a car again for the first time in 10 years. It’s getting us out exploring a little more. It’s amazing how many parks are in the lower mainland.