Sunday, February 26, 2017


Time marches on.
The months march by us.
People are marching.
We're on the move.

All of those things and more.
We have bought a new-build house in Duncan BC.
That's on Vancouver Island. 45 minutes from Victoria. About 30 minutes from Nanaimo and across from Salt Spring Island on Vancouver Island.
That's all in the past two weeks and the big news- our home (I talked about that in the previous RobBlog) has sold.
First viewers.
4 hours later after the first showing we were presented with an offer.
Real Estate is nuts here in Orillia Ontario. The house sold so fast our heads are spinning. We just have a buyer inspection of the house and property and then it's a done deal. So, baring the inspector finding termites, asbestos, dry rot or some other fun stuff, the official sold stamp goes on the property.

I don't think it has sunk in yet.
We're moving.
To Vancouver Island.
The closest one can get to paradise in Canada.
Mediterranean climate. Palms. Yuccas. Huge Rhodos. Arbutus Trees. Monkey Trees and no snow.
Well, hardly any. This year has not been the norm. Islanders have not seen the amount of snow they had two weeks ago- the day before we landed from Toronto, in 60-70 years! Usually, if there are a few flakes on the ground it disappears in a few hours.

The Island is wonderful. Besides the green grass and the copious plant life, the views of mountains and ocean are nothing short of spectacular. The Malahat that goes through the mountains just south of Duncan is amazing. You can feel your ears pop as you drive up!

Duncan BC is about the size of Orillia. A nice city with lots of downtown shops and culture.
Our house has a view of Mount Prevost and we are 10 minutes from the Ocean and Salt Spring Island. If we want something busier, Nanaimo is about a half hour away and the beautiful ocean-side city- and provincial capital, of Victoria is less than an hour. We strolled through the Empress Hotel and the grounds of the Provincial Parliament Buildings next door. There are palm trees in the harbour and a cherry tree was just coming out of bud- in Mid-February!

This move will be the biggest either my Husband or I have made- not counting Tom's trip from Germany to Canada in the first place.
It will be the biggest move we have ever made together.

Yes, it feels daunting and scary but we have no regrets.
Goodbyes will be difficult as we'll be closing the door to Pine Tree House for the last time.
We'll suck it up and look to the future.
It's all good.

Now we'll be 5 hours from one of our favourite places on earth- Honolulu. Australia looms closer but London and Paris will be a longer flight.
That was all considered as part of our decision to go but ultimately if we don't do it now- at this age, we'd probably just stay put.

So- Go West young men...and we are!

Saturday, February 4, 2017


It will be a year of change and renewal for my Husband Tom and I.

We have decided to do the pioneer thing and head west from our cozy century home here in Orillia, Ontario CANADA.!
Yessir...all the way to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, CANADA. As far west as one can get in this great land of ours.
Why move? Well, we are both retired and starting our "Seniorhood" and we would like to get away from the winters.

Living in a Mediterranean climate- such as one finds in the Cowichan Valley, will be a dream come true- and yes, there are Palm Trees and Mountains and an Ocean and tidal flats and spring bulbs and trees budding in late January.
A friend last week exclaimed: Palm trees in CANADA???
Yes, I assured her and showed photos.

I have been watching and learning about Vancouver Island for a couple of years. E-mailing, talking to folks and "Google Earthing". In fact I could drive from Victoria International Airport to our new home in the Cowichan Valley- without a map.

Before you say to me- but Rob, all that rain and cloud, check for yourself. The area where we hope to live has some rain. As an example- Victoria- BC's Capitol, has less rain than Toronto and Miami and the Cowichan Valley has 1/3 less rain than Victoria. I have been watching webcams for over two years now and I see a lot of sun.

There has been some snowfall this year and cold, leaving many residents of the Island gobsmacked- but that is unusual to be sure.

We have a huge list of what to do next but first and foremost is selling Pine Tree House. This has been a terrific home for Tom and I for almost 25 years.

Pine Tree House was built c.1882
We have papers and pictures from all those years ago and a history of the house from then until present day.
We have a triple car paved drive.
A double car garage with insulated workshop and storage loft.
A seven level deck from garage to back door to side yard. A pond.
A 10x10 garden shed that emulates Pine Tree House.
There are gardens on three sides of the house with a lot of approximately 100 x 95.
A verandah wraps itself around two sides of our historic home.

Inside two and one half baths including a master ensuite.
Three bedrooms and a laundry room/utility bath right at the back door. The washer and dryer are LG and front load. There's a utility sink with a French flavour.
We have 2 gas fireplaces. One in the parlour and one in the family room.
A Dining Room off the kitchen with built in oven. Stovetop and dishwasher. Double sink.
An upright refrigerator/freezer that has an ice cube maker- the best invention ever- and a reverse osmosis water dispenser
Hardwood floors downstairs. Carpeted stairs and landing.
One bedroom is laminate. One carpeted. The master has original pine flooring.
Upgraded Windows are shuttered or covered with two year old blinds- one with a remote.
The cellar- although not very tall- this is 1882 don't forget, is home to the high efficiency gas furnace, breaker panel, sump pump- again this is a c.1882 vintage home and central vac container.

The home lends itself to antiques and a quieter lifestyle. I love spending summers on the verandah overlooking Matchedash Street, North to the east and our gardens to the south.
This is what I will miss most about the "old girl". The back of the house sees western sun.

Have I left anything out?
Swisssh Radio and Starlite Radio will make the journey as will this blog and of course our family of pets- two mini-schnauzers and two orange cats- both brothers.

Our Price tag?
Quite Reasonable....for a desirable Orillia, north ward location and heritage home.

Any takers?