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July ’21 in Canada

July 1, 2021

Happy Canada Day!

It was a mixed bag of weather today and as it was Josh’s long weekend with the kids we made our way to his place.  We help Josh set up his new TV.  The kids (mostly Arya) were feeling a bit anxious about the Stage 2 of the COVID reopening so we stayed mostly out on the front porch (unless it suited them for us to come inside.  😉

No local festivities were taking place so it was pretty low key. Friday was more of the same but they opened a couple more birthday gifts which included baseball gloves from us, balls from Serena and a metal bat from Daddy so we spent some time at the park on the end of the cul-de-sac playing catch and baseball until it began raining.

We went “home” for dinner and returned to watch Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals – naturally to annoy the grownups the kids were cheering for Tampa Bay!  Before the end of the second period, Cyrus was asleep in his chair and as the score was 3-1 for TB, we left and everyone went to bed.

Saturday was a better day weather-wise and we started by all meeting up at the nearby baseball diamond where we played for about an hour before going home.

Arya finally agreed that we could all go to our place and we packed up to have a lunch of hot dogs over the fire.

We gave the kids another present, a giant badminton set and they played with that for a bit while the fire got going.

After lunch Josh pulled our Frisbees and we went to play Frisbee golf on the course here at the conservation area.  As one Frisbee was better than the other, Arya quit as she was struggling and she and Josh stayed at the campsite while we took Cyrus around the entire course.  He had a blast laughing and running around.  It was a good 90 minutes and we were super impressed he didn’t whine, complain or claim to be “too tired” until the very last 100 metres or so on our way back to the site.

They were pretty tired, so Josh packed everything up and they went home.  Their mom is picking them up in the morning.

Sunday, even a better weather day (warm and sunny) Doug went for his long marathon walk and met Fran at Josh’s where she was doing laundry and helped him rearrange some things in his living room to better accommodate the new, bigger TV.  Then we left him to have some time to himself and had a relaxing afternoon at the campsite.

Monday and Tuesday were hot and muggy.  Spent most of the day time at Josh’s although Monday there was an internet outage; we’d hope to stay to watch Game 4 but with no internet, it meant no game as Josh does not have cable.

Wednesday thru Friday were mostly cloudy and that trailed on into the weekend.  We went shopping in Bolton on Wednesday and ran a few other errands including picking up some more free firewood.

It was Fran’s 62nd birthday so Josh joined us on an outdoor patio (only one in town we felt we would be fully protected from the rain on) and we enjoyed a nice lunch complete with balloons and presents.  Even had a local treat us to our first round of drinks!

Saturday, Fran drove Doug to the airport for his flight to BC to visit with his mom for a week.  He got a cheap deal on SWOOP airlines flying into Abbotsford instead of Vancouver and he’s rented a car from there.  He got himself a private room in a house about 3 km / 2 mi from the home his mother is living in and plans to visit her daily and run a few of her errands with her.   BC is doing very well managing COVID and there are very few restrictions these days.

That afternoon Fran went over to see Josh and the kids meeting them first at the baseball diamond.  It was super sunny and warm today and that lasted less than an hour.  She was told Arya still did not want indoor visits but that lasted about ten minutes when she wanted Fran to come in and do something.  : )

Later they wanted to go over to our campground where we played badminton and Frisbee golf before they wanted to go home again.  Fran went in their car, we spent a couple of hours hanging out and then she walked back to the trailer completing her steps for that day.

Sunday, Fran joined them for lunch and she did our laundry.  After lunch the kids wanted to go biking so she walked along with them.  At 3 Josh set up his old TV on the front porch and we watched the EuroCup.  He has a lot of neighbours cheering for Italy and we could hear the cheering – naturally kids were cheering for England.  When Fran left at six to go home, there were cars just randomly driving around honking and cheering.

The kids have been complaining to Josh about their mattresses so after work on Monday, Fran picked him up in our truck and they went to IKEA to buy new ones; sadly none in stock.  Tuesday morning she drove him to work since he’d left his car there and she continued eastward to Kingston stopping in North York at another IKEA and found two mattresses before going to spend a few days seeing her mom.

She’s filled in the paperwork for becoming an “essential care giver” and that gives her access to inside visits anytime.  She will need at least one rapid COVID test upon arrival and  follow up on Thursday – she will confirm that upon arrival.

Doug was busy all week in BC visiting and taking his mom out daily as well as catching up with a few friends.  The weather was hot and sunny with smoky skies.

Fran spent her time in Kingston with daily visits with her mom, taking her out for a walk in her wheelchair to get some fresh air and sun during 3 of her 4 visits.  The grandkids has lent her some easy board games to play with her and that passed the time as well.  First day she needed her rapid test and had to wait fifteen minutes for results.  Next one requires no waiting, they’ll just track her down if she’s positive.  They also have a copy of her vaccination card on file.

The weather was mixed, very humid with some nightly thunder storms but good weather most days.  She also had a couple of dinners at your sister’s house and one night out with our overlanding friends, Christine and Mark who drove in from Quebec to see his brother who lives nearby.  On the Wednesday morning, her and Christine spent 2 hours catching up walking in Macdonald Park on Lake Ontario.

Ontario announced it will move to Stage 3 on the 16th – about a week earlier than planned and that means indoor dining returns among other things.  The local ice cream in Tottenham celebrates reopening:

Kids say we’ll be “allowed in the house but we ALL must wear a mask” – again we’ll see how long that lasts.  (Josh and us are not sure where this is all coming from but expect they are picking up “anxiety” from their mom – but of course we have no proof.)

So Fran went to visit the kids on Saturday afternoon, yep, had to wear a mask indoors.  We did however spend most of our time outside anyway…  There was some sort of Pokémon marathon this weekend so we walked around at two different times to catch some that day actually getting in a lot of walking and more than Fran’s 10,000 steps!  That night she picked up Doug from the airport and then Sunday morning Josh and the kids came to us.  Kids played some Pokémon of course and we played a fair bit of badminton with them.

We had a campfire hotdog lunch and then went to their place around 3 so Fran could get a load of laundry done before dinner.

Grampa instructed Arya on how to build a campfire and she lit it herself.

We later burned this giant box:

Doug played basketball with them in their driveway while laundry was being done.

We spent the week back in routine with time spent at Josh’s on Wi-Fi, walking, reading, Spanish, etc.  We did get a warning text from T-Mobile that we’d been roaming too long and could be cut off at the three month mark; that is about 5 days before we plan to get back into the US so we’ll see what happens!

The weekend was spent again with the grandkids and Josh; we did a celebration of “Christmas in July” mostly on the front porch as it was too hot inside:

Kids didn’t seem all that impressed when they arrived on Friday but warmed up to it on Saturday after playing some baseball at the diamond.  We made a big “Christmas” dinner (during the making of which Arya didn’t mind if we were maskless – Cyrus could care less ) for lunch, opened mini stockings with a favorite chocolate each and the kids got lottery tickets from Grampa which they had fun fantasizing about what they’d do with all that money if they won.

They opened two Christmas presents from us; one a big hit the other  not so much.

We finished the day with a drive to DQ to get treats and Grampa sent the grandkids into fits of giggles with sudden stops and wide turns.  It’s nice that we all fit in one vehicle.  Josh says it’s quite roomy in the back seat of the Tundra even with the kids’ booster seats.

Sunday, we spent the day at our campsite; Josh and Cyrus tried to go fishing but it was too late in the morning. Doug went for his long run and joined us later.

Arya and Fran did arts and crafts (colouring of Pokeman) while Doug was out for his run.  We played badminton, soccer, card games, had a campfire made by Arya and both kids used matches to start it.


Mid afternoon we did another drive in our truck, this time with kids giving random directions and Grampa still doing his stops and turns for hilarious laughs!

Doug noticed over the weekend that the black and grey tanks might be sagging!  He took measurements and made a plan; we will go shopping on Sunday for groceries and he’ll pick up the supplies he needs to perform such plan.

So Monday, after shopping we tackled the sagging tanks issue; turns out the black tank seems okay but the grey  has some give in it; after putting in a piece of plywood all the way across hoping that would support it without a great deal of success, Doug opened up the coroplast and felt around.  It is still attached and hanging on but seems to have a lot more give than the black tank so for now we’ll just watch it.  It was a very hot day like Sunday and not a fun day to work outside.  Luckily temps drop considerably at night (from 30C down to 17C – 86F to 63F).

Next week we are taking a road trip (without the trailer) to visit friends so we have been finalizing the plans for that.

Tuesday it cooled off nicely but was wet for the morning.  We spent most of that day and the rest of the work at Josh’s online and doing our daily stuff as well as spending Thursday evening with Josh at his place watching a movie.  Doug did his biweekly marathon walk on the Friday and it had cooled off considerably but it was sunny.

On the weekend we naturally hung with the family and the weather was mixed.  Grampa made more balloon animals on Friday.

We played a lot of baseball when it was raining, as well as a little soccer and watched some Olympics.  Fran picked up a free bike off the street and rode with the kids for ice cream while Grampa and Josh walked over and met us.

Arya climbed a tree after getting sick of baseball