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.