September 08, 2018

A Very Different Winter

For the previous seven years, we have made the annual migration from Ontario to Southern California. We have come to love this journey, with the trip down to the Deep South via Natchez Trace Parkway, and then across the Gulf Coast and through Texas into the vast expanses of the Desert Southwest. This year though, we are going to do something entirely different. I have retired from teaching, so we have the opportunity to leave much earlier than in the past.

We are traveling to Britain at the beginning of November, and staying for a month in a rented house in the historic town of Looe, on the beautiful south coast of Cornwall. This part of the coast is known as the "English Riviera".
Looe, Cornwall

We will then fly to the south coast of Spain, to the Andalusia region, and stay for three months in a rented apartment in the beautiful village of Frigiliana, on the Mediterranean coast.

Frigiliana, Spain

We will return to Britain at the beginning of March, then stay for two more months on the north coast of Cornwall, near Port Isaac (of Doc Martin fame). Anyone who has seen the TV series can attest to the scenic nature of Port Isaac. We are staying in a 150 year old renovated stone house in the small village of St. Teath, two doors down from the village inn and across from the 12th century church. St. Teath is only 6 miles from Port Isaac.

We will return to Canada, and our beloved rig, at the beginning of May.

It will of course be necessary to winterize our Pinnacle, for the first time since it was built in 2011. We are storing it, along with our truck, on the concrete pad at Cedarwood, our summer home. We are hoping that with the proper preparation, everything will be intact next spring when we return.

Our trip to England will be a pilgrimage of sorts for myself. I was born in England, and I spent my childhood near Birmingham. While I was growing up, every summer Mom and Dad would pack my sisters and I into the back seat of the family car, and we would set off to vacation by the sea, usually in the Southwest (Cornwall or Devon). The road trip, which was 220 miles, took about 12 hours in those pre-motorway days. The family car in my early years was a 1934 Austin (this was in the late 1950s / early 1960s). My father was very proud of that car, which was his first.

Austin 10/4
The Austin was replaced around 1962 with a 1956 Morris Minor, which became Dad's new pride and joy. The Morris seemed ultra-modern and state-of-the-art compared with the old Austin. It even had a heater and proper turn signals. It reduced our travel time to Devon to 10 hours, the epitome of high-speed motoring!

My mother passed away in April of this year, and my father passed away in 2012. Both of them loved the Devon and Cornwall area of Southwest Britain, and they spent their honeymoon in 1948 in Combe Martin, a small coastal village. I will be sure to visit there while I am in Cornwall. I am sure that there will be many memories of Mom and Dad as I visit the places of my childhood vacations.

The Navigator has a fondness for the UK. Her maternal grandparents were from Kent and Wales, and she cherishes that British part of her heritage, along with the French Canadian heritage on her father's side.

We will try this different mode of travel for one winter. I believe that it will be a winter we will never forget. Next year we will resume our wonderful RV adventure and return to California, where we already have our site reserved for the 2020 winter.

May 01, 2018


We have been living in our rig since May 2011. That was the year we sold our home and adopted the RV lifestyle fulltime.

We currently spend the summer and fall in Cedarwood, which is a luxury RV park attached to Barrie North KOA, in Craighurst, Ontario. Many people in Cedarwood are fulltimers like us.

In December, we leave Ontario and travel to Southern California. We take three or four weeks for the trip, and arrive at the beginning of January.

We stay in Southern California for two or three months, enjoying the warm climate.

At the beginning of April, we start our return trip across the country, usually stopping in Northwest Florida for a week, and arrive at Cedarwood four weeks later at the beginning of May. In a typical year, we travel over 9000 miles (14,400 KM) in our RV.

Typical return trip, stopping in Florida. On this trip in 2016, we went to Naples.

One of our sites in Californaa

We have made this trip 7 times so far. We fell in love with Southern California as a winter destination. The area where we stay is "high desert", and for us, the climate is perfect. Daytime high temperatures in the winter average 75 deg F (23C), and it is almost always dry, with a bright, cloudless sky most days. We are 1 hour from the Pacific Ocean, and 1 hour from the Coachella Valley (Palm Springs) in the other direction. We are 20 minutes from the city of Temecula, which is a modern, clean city with a population of about 140,000.

We find the overwhelming majority of people we meet in our travels across the USA, to be warm, welcoming and friendly, and they usually love to engage in conversation about Canada, and our lifestyle.

During the two months when we are actually traveling, our "backyard" view constantly changes. We intersperse the days on the road with two or three day stays at interesting locations. The journey feels like a series of short day trips, rather than a long, grueling odyssey.

For us, this lifestyle has been extremely rewarding, after seven years. We wouldn't trade it for anything!

Please scroll down to see the posts in order, starting with the newest.

March 21, 2018

March 2018 - Eastbound again

We were at our winter location near Aguanga (pronounced "Awonga") for the last two months, from January 14 to March 14.

January 06, 2018

The Rio Grande Valley

We have been, for the past 9 days, in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, at Mercedes. More on the RGV later; first I will tell you about our trip since the last post, which was in Vicksburg, Mississippi.