Training for the Pools in Phoenix and California

We plan to do lots of swimming in pools during our month-long trip coming up. Pools in Phoenix when we stay with friends. A pool at a hotel in San Diego. Pam & Phil’s pool in Roseville in Northern California. We’re leaving snow to go to these places that are at or nearly at 100 degrees! We’ll need lots of pool time.

A couple of Sundays ago friends here in Rice Lake, Wisconsin had a pool party. Though there was snow on the ground and it was raining that day, Fiona enjoyed three hours at an indoor, heated pool. She had a blast! Guess she was ‘training’ for the pools in Phoenix and California. :) We’re all looking forward to more swimming.

fiona swims at the indoor pool in rice lake

It’s About Time for Something New Here!

Since moving to Rice Lake, Wisconsin in April 2012, we haven’t done a whole lot of traveling that we’ve written about. I’m going to try to make sure and write about our travels this month though in May 2013.

This month’s trip will take us out of the snow we just had on May 2 to a nice hot 100 in Arizona.

Goodbye snow!

Snow Rice Lake May 2, 2013
Snow Rice Lake May 2, 2013

We’re taking the month to eventually get the rest of our stuff out of storage in California. That will be near the end of the month. Here’s our basic itinerary:

  • May 6 – Leave Rice Lake, WI and drive to Kansas City, MO; stay overnight at a hotel we’ve already booked.
  • May 7 – Drive from Kansas City to probably Delhart, TX where we’ll stay at a hotel we stayed in last time we were through that part of Texas.
  • May 8 – From Delhart drive to Phoenix, Arizona and be warmly welcomed by our very good friend Terry Wilson and his lovely wife Virgie. Go swimming in their pool in 100 degree weather! :)
  • May 9 – Visit with Terry & Virgie and that night Joel will get to play music with Terry and his band.
  • May 10-12 – Stay with our friend Dan and his family in another section of Phoenix.
  • May 13-18 – Back to Terry & Virgie’s to visit more, play music, swim, swim, swim.
  • May 19 – Visit with Sue’s Uncle Phil & family in Glendale, Arizona. Sue hasn’t seen her Uncle in about 30 years.
  • May 20 – Drive from Phoenix to San Diego, California. Stay at a hotel in Chula Vista that has a pool.
  • May 21 – Visit with Joel’s brother and family
  • May 22 – Visit with Sue’s mom; possibly go to Balboa Park.
  • May 23 – Visit with Joel’s sister and family (read about their recent road trip); stay overnight with friends Ken & Kelly in San Diego
  • May 24 – Drive up to Northern California and visit with Tom Bentley.
  • May 25 – Drive to San Francisco and visit with David Reffkin.
  • May 26-28 Stay with good friends Pam & Phil in Roseville, California. Pick up stuff still in storage. Fiona spends two days with her sister Rachelle.
  • May 29 – Leave California for Idaho
  • May 30 – Drive through Montana
  • May 31 – Drive through Wyoming, North Dakota
  • June 1 – Arrive back in Rice Lake, Wisconsin

Of course it’s all subject to change. I plan to take pictures and keep a written journal and hopefully post often here. Fiona may post at her website as well.

We plan on having a blast!

“Ramblings in Ireland” Brings Back Memories

When I found out my husband, Joel D Canfield, was going to be working with Kerry Dwyer to get her book, Ramblings in Ireland, published, I was very excited to read it. We were able to spend a month living on Valentia Island in Ireland in the winter of 2005 when our youngest was just 11 months old.

ramblings in ireland by kerry dwyer

If I hadn’t already visited Ireland, reading Ramblings in Ireland would have made me want to go. Since I have been, it brought back many memories of the time we spent there. Since the book mentions many of the spots we visited, I was able to relive it all again.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking my time reading the book. It’s the perfect book to read while sipping a cup of tea. It takes you on a fun and interesting journey. Whether you’ve always wanted to go to Ireland or want to relive a trip you’ve taken there, this is the book for you to read! You can buy it on Amazon.

Turning Over a New Leaf

I know – it’s cliche! Six months ago today we drove away from New Jersey to head to our new home in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. It was the beginning of a new phase in our life – turning over a new leaf.

bridge near Fiona's school

In two days we will have been in our new home for six months. I must say I’ve enjoyed living here and plan to do so for a while yet. Sometimes the itch to travel comes on and we have to take a long drive. It’s time for one now as a matter of fact. Maybe this weekend.

We have had beautiful weather the whole time and fall is now here. All the trees changed colors and then a couple of very windy days brought down most of the leaves on our trees. However, there are still some beautiful colors to be seen.

fall colors on the trees

I wonder what winter will be like….? Will keep you posted. :)

 

Are We There Yet?

Are we there yet? Have we reached our final destination? What is up with us you all wonder?

When we left California in 2010 to live a nomadic life, we had no idea how long it would last. Have we landed to put roots down, never to move again? I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter.

Life changes. Sometimes we can control the changes; most often we can’t. It’s a journey – one we are continuing to take.

Even though we have a ‘home’ now here in Rice Lake, Wisconsin – we will continue to explore new places. In fact, this coming week we’ll be spending three days in a city we’ve never visited before – Rochester, Minnesota.

I think our life is kind of like this fallen tree.

fallen tree

This evergreen in our front yard fell over in a storm a week or so ago. A tall tree that once fallen extended from the front yard to almost the back of the house. But the roots are still there – the core.

We sort of knocked our tree of life over on purpose back in 2010. But the roots – the core – are still there. They will grow again – though the tree may look different now.

So, what’s life like now here in Rice Lake?

Every day from my kitchen window I’m reminded of Ireland. What?! That’s right. The house next door has this moss growing on the roof and it reminds me of Ireland.

view from  my kitchen window

I get up every morning to here my little girl respond to my “How are you?” with “Happy!” just like she always has. Joel and I get to work together in our little office in the dining room with a view of trees, squirrels, birds and sometimes bunnies. My son, James, is with us. We have good friends and are able to do things for Joel’s mom who lives nearby.

Are we there yet? Where we’re supposed to be? For now, yes! Of course, that may change. So stay tuned…

Homeward Bound (On, Wisconsin!)

I love it when I can make a title out of nothing but song titles.

Yes, the rumour is true: we’re moving to Wisconsin. (The reason you haven’t heard the rumour is because I’m starting it now.)

New Jersey is beautifully sunny. The friends we’ve made here are connected at our core.

But we just can’t afford it.

Moving into our own home would cost, between first month’s rent and security deposit (typically a month and a half’s rent) we’d be looking at $3,500 or so to move into a place, not counting utilities, internet, etc.

And then $1,000 minimum a month for a place that was a little too small, or an apartment (hard hard hard for me.)

In Rice Lake, where my Mom lives, we can get a 2 bedroom house, single family dwelling, not condo, duplex, whatever, with a garage and basement, for $525. One month deposit. Some places want a utilities deposit, so it’s about $1,400 total to move in. Yeah, utilities, etc. But internet can wait, ’cause the Rice Lake Library was our hangout for a month at a time when we’ve visited my Mom.

It’s been a wonderful (non)winter in Jersey. Just as when we left Montreal, Albuquerque, Denver, St. Paul, and Vancouver, there are people we’ll love and miss for the rest of our lives.

But it’s time to go.


If you’re between Philly and Madison and could bear 4 overnight guests during the 2nd week of April, please give us a shout.

If you’ve been considering some web work, writing a book, or getting some admin help, and just haven’t gotten around to it, we’ll need to earn about $1,000 in the next 3 weeks to make this trip and land on our feet without excess stress. Again, give us a shout.

And if you’re in Rice Lake and have a spare bed, book case, or chair you’d be willing to let us have or use, um, yeah, that; give us a shout.

Dinner with Front Row Foundation Co-Founder Jon Vroman

Last week our family had dinner with the Vroman family. Jon Vroman is the Co-Founder of the Front Row Foundation. Their mission is to help individuals and families who are braving critical health challenges “experience life in the front row.” They do this by providing front row seats to concerts, sporting events and live performances of our recipients’ choice.

Fiona in her Front Row Shirt
Fiona in her Front Row Shirt

I first became acquainted with Jon through our mutual friend, Hal Elrod. Hal had been a client of mine and referred me to Jon since he also needed some things done that I could assist him with. That was a few years ago and we just got to meet in person for the first time this past week.

Jon and his family reside in South Jersey not far from where we’re currently staying. So they invited us over for dinner. Our family, including my son James, had a wonderful evening visiting with Jon and his wife Tatyana. Fiona enjoyed meeting their young son Tiger. We also briefly met Tatyana’s mother visiting from Russia. It was a delicious meal and we all had a great time conversing on a variety of topics.

Before we left, Jon took us to the Front Row HQ. Here Fiona was able to put on a cooking show with Tatyana’s assistance while Jon filmed. And we all went home with Front Row bracelets, bumper stickers and shirts.

Fiona and Tatyana's cooking show
Fiona and Tatyana's cooking show

This is one of the greatest things about our travels – getting to meet in person many that we’ve known only online. I think we’ve met about 30 people in the last two years that we previously had known only by phone or email.

Jon filming the cooking show
Jon filming the cooking show

Meeting a Fellow Traveler Who Can Help You Save on Your Travels

A fellow traveler, Nathan Agin, made it to Philadelphia last week and we made arrangements to meet him in person finally. We’ve known Nathan for over a year and have chatted by phone and Skype and worked together on some projects. Since we’re still in South Jersey, we were able to meet in person in Haddonfield.

Joel D Canfield and Nathan Agin at Jersey Java and Tea
Joel D Canfield and Nathan Agin at Jersey Java and Tea

Nathan has been traveling for over a year nearly free or for very little. He can help you with phenomenal savings on travel. Check out his website for more details.

Snow in Jersey

Fiona plays in the first snow

We had our first stick-to-the-ground snow here in Blackwood New Jersey the other day. Of course it all melted by lunchtime. Fiona was excited anyhow.

We’ve all suffered from terrible colds: sneezing, coughing, aches, fevers, yuck, yuck, yuck! I think we’re almost all well. I hope we can get out this weekend and enjoy the sunshine and feel better.

It’s different now that we’re settled into a place for a bit. There’s the everyday work of making a living, cleaning up around the house, making new friends.

I’m glad we have a chance to be in one place for a bit. I’m not sure this is home permanently. Once spring comes we’ll have a better idea of where we want to settle longer-term. Or maybe we’ll do a bit more traveling. Hard to tell right now.

So I’ll just enjoy today – a beautiful, sunny day!

Living in Blackwood New Jersey for the Winter

Yep, we’re living in Blackwood New Jersey for the winter. Technically the physical address we’re living at is in Turnersville. But our mailing address is Blackwood. Our son James is coming out in a week or so to stay with us as well. We’ll stay through February at least. Unless something drastic happens to change it all. Which in our lives, you just never know. But for now we’re here, making it home and want to share ‘home’ with you.

We’ve been enjoying some very nice weather. Though the temperatures are cold at times, it’s been very sunny. And I like sunshine! There was a bit of fog this morning; it burned off fairly quickly.

Blackwood Rail Trail Caboose
Blackwood Rail Trail Caboose

We’re in Gloucester Township, near Blackwood Lake. The Blackwood Rail Trail Caboose is here and you walk down a path and over a bridge. It’s beautiful!

bridge in Blackwood

We still hope while living on the East coast this winter to get to travel to some various spots – New York, see the Atlantic ocean, maybe pop over to Delaware. Stay tuned!