We have been waiting for this weekend with anticipation since October...the official start to camping season! Our 2018 season ended early because we decided to sell Phoebe our 19' Airstream. We loved her but she was too small for how we were using her. The Airstream goddesses were working in our favour and everything turned out perfectly. We purchased a 2007 25' Airstream Safari Special Edition from friends of our family in Saskatoon. Finally after waiting seven months, we got to try her out!
We went in to the long weekend with two goals:
1. set up the site and clean the trailer inside and out
2. name the trailer
Stick with me, turns out the two goals are related.
Once we had the trailer positioned on the site we started the hook ups - batteries, propane, electricity and water. The next task was to de-winterize it and get the fridge powered up. We love the bigger fridge in this trailer.
James got zapped hooking up the batteries but he was only momentarily stunned. However, his Fitbit stopped working for a spell. We thought we had completely de-winterized the lines so we turned on the hot water heater. Slight problem here - there were still chemicals in the hot water tank and that led to a bit of a fire. We turned it off, drained the tank, and started the process again. Fortunately we didn't have to call the Seba Beach Fire Dept.
While James worked on the site and the outside of the trailer, I cleaned every corner of the inside. The Airstream is in great shape but it sat in a field for a few years so there was a lot of dust, dead bugs and cob webs.
Seba Beach was bustling on Saturday. The Farmer's Market was packed and Derby's (the General Store) was crammed with people stocking up. It was really windy so there wasn't much activity on the lake. The Village tore down the old community hall and we believe the plan is to build a new one. We'll have to wait and see.
We enjoyed fires over the weekend and visiting with our friend Val. One night we tried a strawberry basil margarita and a blackberry Moscow mule with elderflower. Click on the names for the reviews and recipes. The next night Val brought a bottle of wine with accoutrements for wine pairings. We are so fancy at the camp site.
Of course we also had s'mores!
And some Girl Guide cookies because a smart Brownie was going from site to site selling out of her wagon.
The Tails really enjoyed the new trailer and spent much less time in the car than they usually do.
It was a bit chilly in the trailer in the mornings and Phin found (and enjoyed) the heat vent. Note the hair on his side being blown back. The furnace works great!
We all loved the front sofa which we made in to the bed for watching TV. The TV is a novelty for us - Phoebe didn't have one. We brought out Game of Thrones season 1 DVDs and loved watching it again. Except, I woke up one night convinced someone could easily come in to the trailer and murder me. I locked the door the next night and slept better.
When we left home on Friday we decided we needed to finalize the name for the trailer this weekend. We have been tossing around three different names but could never decide. They are all great names we just weren't sure which was "the one".
After cleaning the trailer for a few hours we took a break and I said to James...I've cleaned so many cob webs, Charlotte must have been living in here. James mulled it around in his noodle and said - I think that's it. Charlotte. The name has royal connotations and it is the feminine form of Charles which means free man...thus in our opinion Charlotte means free.
It was not one of our three finalist names but after staying in the trailer for three nights, we think it's...TERRIFIC
A couple weeks before we headed out on our trip to Victoria, I started searching Airstreams for sale in the Vancouver area. I thought if there was something that we wanted to look at, we would stop in to see it. We did stop in at Traveland RV in Langley and found the style of Airstream that we think would be perfect for us but that's for another time.
My internet search brought me to the Woods on Pender site and I was intrigued. Airstreams set up on Pender Island for the purpose of glamping? What?!? A dream come true. We can glamp without having to haul our Airstream through the mountains and on a ferry? And dogs are welcome? Let's do it!
Since April is still off-season, we were able to book Airstream 6 for two nights. In high season the minimum stay is three nights and I imagine they book quickly for the summer months.
Pender Island is one of the Southern Gulf Islands located in the Gulf of Georgia, BC. If you take the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria, it is one of the islands you sail by. We arrived via a direct afternoon ferry from Victoria (Swartz Bay). The ride was about 40 minutes to Otter Bay.
We were greeted at the front office and then headed to Airstream 6 for the tour and instructions. Airstream 6 is a renovated 1978, 31' Airstream Sovereign Land Yacht. We were told there is no crime on the island so the keys stayed in the door of the Airstream the entire time. It is a very friendly island!
The inside has been renovated with modern comforts.
Westley immediately sniffed out the treats that were left for them (him?) and was thrilled. Much better than the vegan treats they wouldn't even touch at Jasper Park Lodge.
The site also has a softub, propane fire pit, hammock and our favourite - a Bunkie.
Let's talk about this Bunkie - we totally want one! It is brand new with a super comfortable bed and a TV with bluetooth and Bose speakers. We actually slept in the Bunkie and it was like sleeping in a tree house - with wifi and Netflix.
There is also a massage Airstream on site for total relaxation. We'll have to try that out next time.
The island is very dark at night which makes for a spectacular celestial display. Thank you Mother Nature.
We had a great time exploring the beautiful island. Before we arrived we were told by family and friends that it is "hilly" - that's an understatement. We didn't ride our bikes on the island - we are not in Pender Island bike riding shape!
The island is full of amazing forests and hiking trails. There are no predators on the island so the dogs were safe however, we were warned that eagles and owls have been known to swoop down at little dogs. Pender Island is actually two islands - North and South Pender which are connected by a narrow bridge. We had a great time exploring both islands and we might have tired out The Tails.
There is a Car Stop program on the island. Basically if you need a ride you wait at one of the many car stops and someone will pick you up and give you a ride. How cool is that?!
The food at Woods on Pender is also incredibly good. Since we were only staying two nights, we had no intention of cooking. We had dinner one night at Coffee + Kitchen. The drinks and food were fresh, beautifully presented and delicious. James said he had the best burger ever. I had the gnocchi - amazing!
One thing to note is that many things are closed on the island on Monday and we were there on a Monday. The second day we had a late lunch at The Camp Truck and it was outstanding. I also ordered a home made gourmet s'more which I took to go and toasted myself later to enjoy by the fire.
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. We had a reservation for the 7 am ferry to Vancouver (Tsawwassen). The ferry takes about two hours because it also stops at Mayne and Galiano Islands. We had breakfast on the ferry and were begrudgingly ready to hit the road once we hit the main land.
We had an absolutely amazing time exploring the west coast and we didn't want to come home. In hindsight, I should have stayed but that's a story for another time over a cocktail.
We returned from a wonderful two week trip with the Tails from the west coast. We spent a night in Jasper on the way out, enjoyed all the spring flowers in bloom in Victoria, celebrated Easter, visited with family, relaxed in the sunshine, celebrated James' birthday, took a day trip up island and spent two nights on Pender Island (I'll write a separate post about our awesome stay at Woods on Pender). It was an excellent time away. We spent a lot of time in nature and it was so good for the soul.
We even saw a couple black bears on the drive home.
Unfortunately while we were away, the weather didn't improve in Edmonton. In fact it keeps snowing.
There is still frost in the ground so that means no water at Shadybrook and it is only open for dry camping. We are not into dry camping but we wanted to start getting ready for the season.
We decided to pack up the vehicle and take our supplies out to start figuring out where to put things. It seems like the Bounce sheets and Irish Spring kept the critters away again this year.
We made a mess in the trailer and tried to determine some sort of system for organizing it. Although there is more space in this trailer, Phoebe had really great storage for her size - especially the cutlery drawer!
We managed to get everything put away but I suspect I will re-organize a few times. And do some additional decorating. It was a great start!
The water will likely be off for another week or so but we have our fingers crossed for the May long weekend.
Oh, and our deer made it through the winter but he is not looking well.
It has been a long, cold winter but finally the weather is starting to take a turn toward spring. We decided it was the perfect day to head west toward Seba Beach to check on the unnamed Airstream.
Westley is working on getting his driver's license so we let him take the wheel.
It was so peaceful out at Shady brook - fresh air, blue sky and deep snow. We were hoping to capture a fun St. Patrick's Day photo but the Tails weren't really interested.
See what I mean...
Ned & Fred obviously weren't expecting us. One of them has totally reneged on his wood pile guard duties. Maybe a little too much green beer?!?
The unnamed Airstream still looks good. Every time we go inside we can't believe how big it is. Of course that's compared to Phoebe. Compared to the monster fifth wheels that we went in at the RV show a few weeks ago, it's tiny. But, much nicer (in our opinion). We are excited for the camping season to start.
We walked around Seba Beach and James noticed an Airstream for sale on the bulletin board outside the General Store. He was excited for a moment until he realized it was Phoebe...and the notice we put up in the fall. No wonder people are still contacting us to buy her!
There were a few ice fishers out on on Wabamun. Phin and Westley weren't thrilled to walk out on the lake.
It was a great afternoon. Back at home we BBQ'ed burgers for dinner and made Boozy Shamrock Shakes.Yum! The recipe is here
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
This morning we packed up some props and headed west to visit the unnamed Airstream. As we headed west the fog got thicker and it started to snow.
Our two goals today were:
1. Be inspired to name the trailer
2. Take some Christmas photos
We achieved one of our goals.
Shadybrook is on lock down over the winter season - good for security, a challenge to walk in to the site with a lot of stuff! It was so quiet and peaceful at Shadybrook. The only footsteps were those of small animals on the road and in the campsites. Thankfully the bears are tucked away in their dens now. The dogs loved running freely!
We did a little photoshoot inside and outside our Airstream and really enjoyed being outside on such a beautiful day.
All is well with the unnamed trailer. Ned and Fred are looking a little rough (and white). And Ned (or Fred) has a rogue leg. We might have to call in the replacement wood pile security team in the spring.
We noticed there were more trees cut down around Shadybrook.
We stopped in at the Nine Iron Grill for lunch. They have delicious home made soup - today was potato bacon. Back at home we decided to try a new cocktail - sex on a snowbank. The review is here
We still haven't settled on a name for the trailer. We have a short list of names below. If anyone reads this post and wants to weigh in, we'd love to hear your thoughts on these names or others.
The shortlist: Flo, Mindy, Sophie, Flora, Portia, Dot (or Dottie).
We wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and a year of adventure!
It's funny how when you put something out to the universe the stars align.
We returned from our wonderful European adventure last Monday and on Saturday we headed to Saskatoon to pick up our new (to us) Airstream.
We learned about the Airstream from my aunt and uncle. At the time they didn't know we were looking for a different trailer. They told us about a friend of theirs who was thinking of selling his Airstream. This happened the day after we had finally decided we were going to sell Phoebe. What?!?
It was a hard decision to sell our super cute Phoebe but we simply needed more space. Now we are excited for adventures with our new Airstream. The first challenge - after backing it in to our spot at Shadybrook - is to name her. Stay tuned!
Take a peek inside...
It's true. Phoebe missed being towed by a shiny red truck so she left us for a new family. With a red truck. Our new tow vehicle is slightly offended.
It's been a whirlwind of a month. First we decided to sell Red and next it was Phoebe's turn to find new owners who will enjoy her and take her out on adventures. Thankfully, we are done with Kijiji.
Three camping seasons ago we purchased Phoebe from friends.
Non-Airstream people don't understand why we would want to sit in a small aluminum bubble when we could have a 35' trailer with three slides and a fireplace for the same price. It's an Airstream thing. We drank the Kool-Aid.
We are grateful to our friends for the opportunity to own Phoebe and we were sad to say goodbye. We celebrated our adventures together by enjoying one last dinner and Moscow Mules on our driveway.
We know Phoebe's new owners are thrilled to have her and it has been their dream to own an Airstream. So we passed the Kool Aid.
What's next? Well, first we are going on a European river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. More about that here.
When we get home we have our sights set on something shiny (and bigger) in the east. Stay tuned as we get set up for next season.
Happy trails Phoebe!
The smoke in the air from the BC forest fires kept us away from Shadybrook for most of August. We made some day trips out but didn't do much camping in the month.
Today - Labour Day Monday - we went out to Shadybrook to clean our site and put everything away for the season. Shadybrook is open until mid-Oct. but we are headed on a trip to Europe next week so this is our end of the season. We met Val for breakfast and contemplated how quickly the camping season goes. I swear we were just hanging our lights in the trees around the site and today we took them down.
It was cool today and Shadybrook was quiet. Apparently the bear sightings are also keeping people away. No kids riding around on their bikes, no sounds of tales being shared by the fire. Only the wind and the sway of the trees.
We have had many discussions over the past couple weeks about next year...will we return to Shadybrook? Should we sell the truck? Will we sell the trailer? We decided yes, yes and yes.
Red (the truck) sold last week. His new owner is thrilled to own him. James bought a diesel SUV that can tow Phoebe.
This was Phoebe's final tow out of Shadybrook
We don't have a plan for another trailer yet but we have been looking and we know it will be an Airstream. Phoebe has been superb and she made us realize we really love Airstreams. We made a road trip east this weekend to look at a 2007, 25'. We think a 25' will suit our needs the best for how we use the trailer. Of course a 27' would be nice too...
Our site is packed up. We are ready and very excited for whatever comes our way next.
Back at home, on this chilly evening, we toasted the end of our 2018 camping season with a Dark & Stormy
Our cute little truck RED is for sale. He's been great but we just don't use him enough to warrant two people owning three vehicles. We've made a vehicle change and we will properly introduce the new vehicle once we say farewell to RED.
Here is a link to the posting if you know anyone looking for a truck with matching topper.
We have done a poor job of blogging lately - oops! We'll blame the poor internet at Shadybrook for the lack of blogging. So far the wifi has not been improved.
We have been out camping most weekends and trying new drinks. Our favorite is the Moscow Mule - we bought the copper mugs. Totally worth it!
So, here's what we've been up too...
Every week there seems to be a storm with major wind and more trees come down at Shadybrook. This past weekend five trailers were hit. Phoebe remains unscathed. And our deer is still standing - sort of. It's propped up between two trees.
A black bear has been spotted in Shadybrook. We've seen the scat on our bike rides. Good thing I (Mellissa) grew up camping and attending Parks Canada (scary before bedtime) talks about bears so I know bear scat when I see it. Thanks mom and dad. The bears should really chew the Saskatoon berries if they are going to steal them all.
We've been hiking, visiting small town General Stores and riding our bikes. We love having our bikes at the site. James has been using his drone. That footage will come in another post.
We are enjoying traditional camping fare. Nutritional value can be questionable.
We love our site in the evening and enjoy campfires with the odd game of Yahtzee.
The glamping highlight of the season has been afternoon tea at Pineridge Golf Resort. For real - tea while camping. Does it get any better?!? The tea sandwiches, scones and desserts were all delicious. There was even a cello player.
Phoebe was pretty dirty from all the summer storms so this past weekend she had a bath inside and out.
Phoebe has her shine on!
We have been enjoying cock-tails. One chilly evening we indulged in hot toddies made with Domain de Canton with our friend, Val.
Of course we take time to rest, relax and enjoy every moment of the summer. We hope you are making memories this summer too!
Mellissa & James live in Edmonton, Alberta and enjoy exploring. Currently our Airstream is parked at a seasonal site about an hour from our home.