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January 05, 2008

The rest of 2007


We came home to our trailer at the KOA just to the west of Milton, ON. late on Thursday, June 7th.

Mark & Julie, the managers of the park, had kept an eye on it and everything was in good shape.  Mind you we had to go shopping the next day as we had left the refrigerator virtually empty.

We quickly got to work at the KOA, as we were to be “work campers” there for the summer.   For those of you who don’t know this concept, we worked 20 hours a week between us, in exchange for our camp site.  Ross did the grass cutting and I planted and maintained the flower beds and other landscaping.  At the annual KOA inspection, we were pleased that the inspector acknowledged how good the park looked.   We enjoyed the work, and Mark & Julie were very flexible and we were able to determine our own hours so that we could plan on doing other things as well.



The family happily attended the wedding of Kim, Ross’s niece, to Doug Wigle on July 7th.  It was a lovely day and we were glad to welcome Doug into our family.  Our daughter Mandi and grandson Ricky were home from the Bahamas for the wedding, so it was a also a great week with them. 
The end of August, Bernie went back to work.   Her previous employer ask if she would come back again as interim General Manager.  She says “It was surprisingly easy to get back into the swing of things.  Of course what made it much easier was my senior staff had not changed.  We all picked up as if the three years I had been away had never happened.  I retired again in mid November after the new GM was in place.”

But we learned something – Bernie decided that she really liked being retired.  Ross decided that he really liked Bernie being retired.  Both of us decided that we particularly like being on the road with each other in our RV.

IMG_5789_editedOn October 13th, our daughter Michelle and her husband Barnaby, became the very proud parents of Timothy David, our second grandson.

He is wonderful!

We were so happy to have a month and a half of seeing him, before we were on the road again.

We headed south on December 2nd after visiting friends in Brockville, ON.  We were fortunate as we travelled south, staying about 24 hours ahead of a big storm.

After visiting with a cousin of Ross’s in Greenville, NC we left the trailer in Charlotte, NC for a week while we took a “vacation” and flew to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.   We’ll write a separate journal for that trip.

P1010987_editedIn 2005 we had visited the Gulf Coast about 4 months after Katrina had devastated it.  We decided to return there for the Christmas season (we feel it’s important for tourists to come back) and stayed at a campground in Long Beach, Mississippi (right next to Gulfport).  Long Beach was in the eye of the hurricane.   Most of the rubble has been cleared away and there is some reconstruction happening but it was still an emotional visit.  As we drove along the beach highway there appeared to be a wonderful park about a block deep, for miles.  Then you realize that you are seeing driveways to nowhere, and foundations of houses hidden by shrubs.  These blocks and blocks of emptiness had been blocks and blocks of wonderful old homes.  Gone.

P1010959EOne day we drove to New Orleans and took the city tour.  As well as the standard visit to the French Quarter, a Cemetery, the Garden and Warehouse Districts we also had a short tour of the Lower 9th Ward.  As the rescuers searched each house they recorded the date searched, if any dead were found and the search team.  After having seen the devastation, it is difficult to understand how slow and unconcerned officialdom seems to be.  What possible “excuse” can there be for the lack of action.

P1010965EBrad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have purchased a home in the French Quarter and spend a good amount of time in New Orleans.  He is heading a huge drive to build homes in the Lower 9th and we were able to see the “pink tarp” outlines where these home will be built.  Our tour driver spoke very highly of him, indicating that the residents were impressed as he not only talked about helping, but he really “put his money where his mouth was”.

What has come back to the Gulfport area are the Casinos and with them jobs and a reason for the tourists to return.  We had a lovely Roast Beef  Christmas dinner at one of the big casinos.

P1020003From the Gulf, we headed north and stopped one night at Pelahatchie (just outside Jackson, MS) to visit with RV friends, Michelle and Louie.  The next night was in Hallsville, Texas and we came across the most wonderful Christmas light display.  No one at the attraction knew how many lights there were, but the drive was over a mile in length.  The one way trail was carved out of the forest with lights strung on trees, on wire frames – actually anywhere there was a place to hang a string.  $15.00 a car and well worth it.

We ended the year in Grapevine, TX which is a lovely town north of and between Dallas and Fort Worth.  The campground was run by the City and was excellent.  We have never found staff so friendly and willing to go out of their way to assist.

The Dallas/Fort Worth airport was close by and that was important as we were flying home for a couple of weeks on Jan 2nd and were leaving the RV at the park.

We flew from DFW to Kitchener/Waterloo via Detroit.  The KW airport is a very efficient, friendly smaller operation and we will happily try to arrange to fly in to there from now on if at all possible.

The day following our arrival home, Jan 3rd, we had a wonderful start to 2008.  We’ll tell you about that in another journal.

Ross & Bernie

Posted by Bernice at January 5, 2008 12:18 PM


You two are amazing. I'm so happy that you have had this wonderful experience together. Ross, in case you don't remember me, I'm the Welcome Wagon lady. I love hearing about your adventures. My husband passed away in Dec. 2006, at the young age of 55, from cancer. We had plans to do some things when he retired, but nothing compared to the adventurous travels you are having. I guess you know how fortunate you are to be enjoying your lives and each other. I wish you many more wonderful years together. God Bless, Kathleen

Posted by: Kathleen Farrell at February 1, 2008 08:44 PM

I can never figure out where you guys are and when. Are you in Arizona? If so, YOU DIDN'T GO TO THE SUPER BOWL AND SEE MY GIANTS BEAT THE UNBEATABLE PATRIOTS???

Timothy David is a real cutie, and congrats to Ross on his niec's wedding.

Best regards,
J & A

Posted by: Jill & Alan at February 4, 2008 12:22 AM

Well, now you are off on another adventure. I think it is fantastic that the two of you so enjoy doing these things together! Visiting New Orleans has to be a lesson in frustration. I, also, cannot imagine why so little has been done. Saw the interview with Brad Pitt and what he was doing there. Too bad our gov't isn't as dedicated. Bernie, what was your job? Sincerely, Bette

Posted by: Bette Andrew at February 7, 2008 04:08 PM

I always look forward to hearing of your adventures. Congrats on your niece's wedding and daughter's baby arrival. All the more reason to create this travel log. You are setting a great precedence for your ancestors, it takes great courage to go out travelling the world leaving standard lifestyles behind. I'm getting itcy feet.Just returned from Mayan Riviera, you should try to get there if you like animal wildlife and unspoiled beaches.

Posted by: Louise Fell at February 18, 2008 10:08 AM