September 4th to September 10th 2022
Sunday and as of today it has now been 300 days since the Canadian/American border reopened, we are also down to 24 days till our departure from Country Maples Resort (CMR) and only 34 days till our passage back to Washington State. We are still in middle of the labour day long weekend, but we have survived the Saturday night which I had figured would be the worst night of the weekend. Miss Laurie has her regular shift in the camp store today, and I’m on another afternoon lock up and security shift so I’m going to try the pancake breakfast this morning. All the staff was invited to breakfast this morning, this is the pancake breakfast that they have been serving most of the summer, a couple of pancakes, two sausage, coffee, orange juice or a bottle of water. The pancakes were very good, light and fluffy, the sausage was a typical plain breakfast sausage, weak coffee, not a bad meal, but I still think $8 is a little rich, especially if your feeding a large family, but they have been selling a hundred plus breakfasts on most weekends. And as much as I thought Sunday was the wrong day, maybe it is a quick way to get a hot breakfast before pulling out for that 11 am check out time.
The rain has finally found us but so far it is just a very light rain, it will be enough to keep the dust down for the rest of the weekend but as far as helping the lawns or the trees, I’m thinking it just isn’t going to be any where close to enough to help. With rain in the forecast for most of the day it could be a good day for a couple of indoor projects, we have had an issue with the power supply to the front television area since, well since forever. There is only one receptacle there and as much as I added a six plug unit, because most of the items plugged in are transformers which are heavy, the have the tendency to vibrate loose on the road, meaning that after we stop I have to try and get everything plugged back in again to have internet or television. So I have purchased from my good friends at Amazon a small power bar with big spaces, designed for the transformers to plug in and can sit flat so as not to allow them to vibrate loose and fall out.
Well I got the new power bar installed and I suspect it should solve the issue of the transformers falling out over a day of travel on regular roads. It went well and seems to be reasonably well it has a total of eight well spaced plugs and has four USB ports as well because when ever possible I eliminate the transformer and plug into the USB directly. After lunch because it is a cooler day with some showers I attempted the afternoon nap again, with the windows closed, blinds drawn, and Alexa playing some smooth jazz, I think I did doze off for a while, then the rain quit and the noise started again from the mini putt course and I decided to work on this weeks blog. Mister Sam is not happy about not getting into the Clam today but it’s just plain chilly with the high temperature today only being 20°C (68°F) and mainly cloudy with a few sunny intervals, a breeze of 8 kmph (5 mph) and the humidity of 73% and we have only received 2 mm (1/10 inch) of rain. So I’m up now and dressed for work, blue jeans, and a sweatshirt should be appropriate attire for this afternoon, and we will have to wait and see what surprises todays shift brings.
Well it should have been a peaceful uneventful evening but there always has to be somebody to screw that up, and tonight was no different. Last evening I had a group of teenage girls that kept returning to the playground equipment after the closing time (dusk), well tonight guess what the same four girls were back, so this time I went to speak with their parent / guardian and that’s when I was verbally abused for just doing my job, another perfect example of “my little Johnny would not do any thing wrong!” so they threatened to report me to the manager, and I’m thinking great, we may be able to leave sooner. Anyway the rest of the shift had been ok, I assembled a couple of new picnic tables, and had also done my normal lock-up and security rounds to a reasonably quiet park. I was back to the coach by eleven and wrote up an incident report regarding the children and emailed it to the manager before turning in.
Monday morning at 6:30 and Mister Sam thought I should be up, and I conceded more because of a call of nature than Mister Sam’s urging, but I was rewarded with some kitty lap time which is always a great start to my day. So today is officially labour day, and there will be over ninety departures today, which should mean the park will be pretty empty, which should make the security issue much easier.
It was after 8:00 before Miss Laurie got up, apparently Mister Sam had rousted Laurie from bed at 5:30 for some snacks. Who do you think is in control around here? Do you think it could be a black kitty?
Miss Laurie is working in the gardens today, and my afternoon shift has be modified for this evening, as apparently today is a special day here at Country Maples, all the staff is having a dinner at the clubhouse today, hence why my shift has been modified. Today is what is considered to be the end of the summer season, so before the summer staff start to leave, there is a catered dinner for all the staff. I had originally thought I would just miss the dinner because of my regular shift but the September Schedule, has me starting my shift at 7:30 to 10:00 so basically it will be closing the pool, and the regular afternoon lock-up, and a little security. So now we start into a month of shifts that are all over the map, kind of like in the spring, as security becomes less of an issue, I will be working more day shifts as the start to prepare the park for the winter season.
Well at noon and I’m thinking my odds of being let go early are dwindling quickly, oh well it was good to dream. Mister Sam and I have moved to the Clam, it is a cooler day here on the island, the hot days of last week are now just a memory that is fading fast, but it is a beautiful sunny day, there is a cool breeze so I’m wearing shorts with a sweatshirt.
This evening is our end of season staff party, or I might refer to it as the “you survived party”. So all the staff and spouses were invited, the clubhouse was closed for this function, and it was catered by Sandy’s Ukrainian Kitchen, they are from Nanaimo, but also camp in the park, I didn’t hear if they were members but I would suspect they are, as that is the normal business trend here at this park. So after a happy hour from 5:00 till 6:30 followed by a dinner of perogies, cabbage rolls, and kielbasa was served, the meal was tasty and the servings were large, there was a strawberry desert, but I passed on desert as I had to leave early because my shift started at 7:30. The manager thanked everyone for working together, and said it was a good year for positive reviews, and I could see that there is a core group that have worked together for a number of years that also live here year round, and there was the others that were here for the first year and then a couple of outsiders from Ontario.
My shift this evening is only 2½ hrs. so I had the pool to close, along with all the regular lock-up items, the park is almost empty, I’m thinking there are only around thirty campers in the park, other than staff members. So as the staff had moved from the clubhouse to the mini putt course, I went to work in the shop assembling another picnic table stopping at nine while I locked up the clubhouse, before finishing the table, After which I made a final security round for the evening at around a quarter to ten, and only seen a couple of people huddled around a propane fireplace, so I headed to the coach to call it an evening.
Oh just as a foot note on the issue of the children from the weekend. And this may explain what is wrong with today’s society, the mother of one of the teenage girls (this is the same parent that verbally abused me the night before) told the manager that her daughter was just going to the washroom (all four times?), and was now having nightmares because of being harassed by the mean security man. So just like the child, this mother lied and twisted the truth to protect her little “Johnny“. Then people wonder why so many of the children today are such disrespectful little brats, and well while some might wonder, I think know why! The children may be disrespectful but they are just a creation of poor or in some cases no parental guidance, just shameful, to see and you know the world will be blamed for their failures as parents. But sadly there will be no early departure for me, so I can look forward for a couple more weekends of abuse.
Tuesday morning and it’s 7:00 and at just 11°C (51°F) the morning feels cool, no let’s upgrade that to cold, luckily for me I have this warm black kitty curled up on my lap keeping me warm because now I’m thinking I need to find the space heater if this keeps up. And as I check the forecast the next ten days are showing similar temperatures, apparently fall comes early to the island. Miss Laurie made a cheese omelet for breakfast and there is some Bailey’s in this mornings coffee, I’m thinking that Laurie is already thinking vacation mode, because that is our vacation tradition to start every day. I guess the advantage to being isolated on the island is that it has certainly cut down on our alcohol consumption, and this has been the loneliest seasons that we have experienced since moving into the coach, even worse than the winter of Covid that we spent in Goderich.
Miss Laurie has a shift in the office today, and Mister Sam and I are just going to kick back in the Clam today, it is a well known fact that it’s much better napping in the Clam on a nice sunny day then it is in the coach. After Laurie’s shift I barbequed some pork chops before we settled in to catch up on some YouTube videos before calling it a night.
Wednesday and it is early, we had planned to be on the road at 6:30 this morning, but it is 6:30 now and I just rolled out of bed, so it’s looking more like a 7:00 start time to me. Now you may be wondering why such an early start on a day off? Well it’s a funny story (NOT) Miss Laurie who is always so much in control of almost everything, has managed to misplace (lose) her passport so sometime after crossing from Washington state in May and now she has managed to lose it. And with our winter travel just around the corner (like 30 days) she needs to get a replacement, and if you have seen any Canadian news recently you will now that “Service Canada” has been backed up forever, with people wanting to travel again, the line ups are hours long. So we picked today to drive to Victoria which is the closest passport office to get a replacement, she had called Service Canada last week and was told that was the only way. So we headed to Victoria and got there shortly after 8:00, Miss Laurie grabbed a chair in the line that was most likely 50 people long, and the office doesn’t open till 8:30, and while the chair looked more inviting than standing, I decided to find a padded chair in the food court.
So the line moved quickly, and Laurie discovered that the required paperwork was the same that is required was for a new passport, so passport photos, a guarantor signature, birth certificate, references and the whole sh-bang. I was able to sign as the guarantor but for that I needed my passport number and the dates of issue and expiration, well my passport was back at the coach! I never thought about picking it up before we left, why would it possibly be the need? Well where you used to need a notary public stamp for verification it has been replaced with the guarantor, but the guarantor need to hold valid passport, so back to Chemainus to get my passport then return to Victoria to wait inline again, now the real kick is if you have everything in order then you get to get a number to actually see someone about getting your passport, thank you Service Canada.
Well Laurie has succeeded with the whole process, she has gone through the complete process, jumped through the proper hoops, and now just has to wait two weeks for the passport to be processed. We can pick it up from the Victoria office after 2:00 pm on the 21st of September, but you still have to wait in the line to pick it up. We stopped at the Costco in Langford to pick up some supplies, this Costco had both fuel and propane, which is an improvement over the one in Nanaimo, the size seemed very similar. We made it back to the coach by 5:30 and because somehow we had missed lunch I threw a couple of burgers on the barbeque for dinner. We discussed heading back to Botanical Beach tomorrow, i checked the weather it was looking perfect, but the tides were wrong with high tide cresting at noon which meant low tide was 6:00 in either morning or afternoon, exactly opposite to what would be ideal for exploration or viewing. So tomorrow will be a day of rest before our trip to Nanaimo tomorrow, a little television, before an early night.
Thursday and this morning of course I’m awake at 6:00, I guess going to bed early last night I must have got my required allotment of rest. This morning there was a little blessing in my cup of fresh perked coffee, and the smell of bacon for a bacon and tomato sandwich is in the air. During all the hub bub yesterday we got checking when things expired, and I found out that my health card and drivers license need to be renewed, this is suppose to be a simple on line process, so I started it this morning only to find out that I couldn’t get it to accept my renewal, so I called Service Ontario to get some assistance, I spoke to two people in my hour long wait and the end result was that I couldn’t renew because I have an “Air Brake” endorsement on my license. Just one more bump in the road, because apparently I need to rewrite an exam to prove I’m able to drive my coach.
As I’m on hold with for the license renewal thing it flashed across the television which was on mute that Queen Elizabeth had passed away, they had reported that she was not well yesterday but at 96 years old what would you expect. So to say it was a bit of a shock would be a bit of an understatement as she just greeted the new Prime Minister of England earlier this week. While she had no direct influence over Canada, the Monarchy has always been part of our Canadian history, so there will be a period of mourning I’m sure, and the worst part is that her oldest son Charles will take over the reign as the new King, and to say he has acted like a bumbling idiot in comparison would also be an understatement. And after 70 years of rock solid stability, this could be a major blow to the commonwealth as we have known it, as we had seen some cracks even before this.
So we have ventured into the new Prime Video series from the “Power of the Rings”, Amazon has spent some big bucks to bring this series to life and I hope my lack of knowledge about the original Lord of the Rings won’t be too much of a drawback to keeping up, so far I’m struggling a little with all the different players. So after the first couple of episodes I’m hanging in there so far.
Friday and with the new fall work schedule I’m on the afternoon shift today instead of the day shift, so it’s a bit more laidback this morning, a cup of perked coffee with some Baileys is a good start, in fact good enough to have a refill. Mister Sam has an appointment today to have his surgery checked in Nanaimo at 10:30 and he is now able to have his kibble back, he also got his rabies shot today, which may change our travel plans a bit as we had planned to be in the Nanaimo area on October the 7th for that to happen. But he has another appointment for an x-ray next week to check his jaw, to see if he needs anymore medication. A quick stop for groceries and we are back at the coach shortly after noon, and of course early afternoon and I get the email to tell me that the new driveshaft is in, I had checked this morning, hoping to pick it up while there for Mister Sam’s appointment.
We have received our quotes for Mexican insurance today, our regular Canadian insurance is not good enough for our journey to Mexico. So everyone that crosses into Mexico by vehicle needs to purchase this Mexican insurance and it can be purchased for a day or a year, and because we have two vehicles each vehicle needs it’s own insurance. Our cost for the trip will be $570 for both vehicles and that is for six months of coverage, we only need two months but after the one month mark it is the best deal that we could get. I remember paying $40 U.S. for a day a couple of years ago.
My shift today started at 4:00 and there are a number of changes since my shift last weekend, the swimming pool now closes at 7:00 and there are not nearly as many campers in the park, so most of my shift will be spent in the work shop, so tonight I assembled a couple of picnic tables, along with my regular security checks and locking up the clubhouse, and checking all other buildings. I stopped for dinner at 7:00 and Miss Laurie prepared some more fish in the air fryer, and the balance of my evening was quiet, other than another wasp nest that I needed to address later in the evening.
Saturday morning and I woke at 7:45 to find Mister Sam napping on Laurie’s side of the bed, it was a cool night, with clear skies, so at 9°C (49°F) this morning it has to been a damn cold night in a tent, we have a forecast high of 28°C (83°F) but these are the kind of wild temperature swings we associate with the desert.
This mornings breakfast was toasted bacon and tomato sandwich, then just kick back till Mister Sam and I make our way out to the Clam, and as we sat enjoying a warm day when the colour of the sky changed, and a golden glow seemed to take over. So I ventured outside to see a small pink dot in the sky, where the sun should be. We have been lucky all summer with costal breezes but this week the wind has changed to a offshore wind bringing it with the wildfire smoke from the mainland.
It is a few minutes to four and time for my shift, I already know what is on my to-do list, I will be servicing a golf cart, air filter, fuel filter, oil change, and a new spark plug, then a picnic table or two. Along with closing the swimming pool, and locking up the clubhouse, there is a full moon but other than one campsite full of girls that has spent most of the weekend drinking, the rest of the park is quiet, and the girls seem to run out of steam fairly early, one of the hazards of trying to drink all day, a task that can be hard on armatures.
Thank heavens that school is back in!