Packing

Sticks and bricks (house)? Gone for the time being.

Part-time or full-time in the motorcoach? Full-time for the next while. Possibly for the next two years. And we’ll see how much fun we are having. The nice thing about being retired is that we can always change our mind.

Moving day into our coach? Tomorrow.

Packing? Yes. For the past few days. Almost done.

We have been putting items into our storage unit in preparation for moving into our coach tomorrow. The picture above looks like there are not that many items in the unit.

That’s the cool thing about horizontal crops.

The vertical crop below shows a few more odds and ends. I am still staggered by how much stuff we had accumulated over the past forty years. We went from roughly 7,000 square feet of stuff in a house to a 50 square foot storage unit and to a roughly 400 square foot motorcoach.

Much smaller footprint on life. Less stuff overall but after packing for the past few days, a surprisingly large amount of stuff is coming with us.

Hope it all fits in the coach.

Moving Day

Moving day is coming up fast.

We move out of our condo into our coach in just a few weeks.

We have been busy getting all of our current stuff either bound for the storage unit or bound for the coach.

With our last big move, we managed to fill this trailer full of stuff and I do mean full:

Oh, and a second one too. Not as big as this one. It was a large cube truck to move all of my recording studio equipment.

We went from one huge house to another. And we filled nearly every nook and cranny with stuff.

As part of our retirement planning, we did a pretty dramatic downsizing. Sold a lot of stuff. Gave away a lot of stuff. Threw out a lot of stuff.

And, even though we are decidedly much more minimalist now, we still have a lot of stuff. Enough to fill two large storage units when we sold our house — although we are now down to one storage unit — and enough to fill a large two-bedroom condo.

We are fortunate to have a Class A motorcoach for our travels however we have to be really careful about how much stuff we carry. It has been interesting going through our condo and doing much of what we did when we first downsized our house a year or so back. What should we sell? What should we give away? What should we throw out?

Travelling light is a joy. We’ve experienced that when we have travelled abroad.

Travelling light in our motor coach is a given. There is limited space for stuff.

Moving day awaits. I’ll show you how much stuff we are taking with us when we get the truck loaded up.

On September 18th, we will be taking the stuff for the coach from our condo in Kingston to our coach at the dealership near Toronto. We will move everything in, get it stored away as quickly as we can, return the truck to Kingston and then head out the following morning back to our coach at the dealership for the start of our travels.

Between now and then, lots to keep us busy!

Florida to California

The result of almost 8 hours of planning. Getting things organized for our travel does take time and effort.

Our travels in our coach will take us south to Florida for three months and then over to California for two months. I’ve received feedback that in retirement, we should slow down and take our time. And that would be fine if we lived in the United States. We don’t and that limits how much time we have and where we choose to spend that time. Canadian snowbirds migrate south pretty quickly to escape the cold northern temperatures that hit in November and to maximize their time in the warmer climate areas.

We are going to take 11 days to cross from the Everglades Isle Motorcoach Resort in Florida to Desert Shores Resort in California. We will take in some beautiful resorts along the way including:

Bay Lake RV Resort

Carrabelle Beach RV Resort

Heritage Motorcoach Resort

Rayford Crossing RV Resort

Alsatian RV Resort

Maverick Ranch RV Park

Hacienda RV Resort

The Motorcoach Resort

Two of them are not confirmed yet: Bay Lake and Maverick. Depending on what we hear back from them, we may have to find alternate spots. We had some other choices on our list but they were already sold out for our dates. We are doing most of our planning 6-9 months out.

This will be our longest drive to date in the coach. The drive to Florida, by comparison, is a relatively quick 6-day trip. And we have two layovers where we are staying two nights. Basically, 4 hours of driving a day to get down to Florida.

Going across to California proved challenging in terms of logistics. Admittedly, we were a bit selective in terms of the layover spots. We aren’t planning to use Walmarts.

For ideas, we used a new thread on the IRV2 Newmar forum on Class A parks, Big Rigs Best Bets, and RV Park Reviews.

Booking is quite the process. Some parks have good online booking arrangements but they don’t provide discounts for FMCA or Good Sam unless you call them. Others will only take bookings through the phone. We found that we were often leaving messages for callbacks. Some of the resorts were only interested in longer term stays and not overnight bookings. Some of the resort websites were really well done, others, awful.

All in all, it took way longer than expected to plan out this leg of our trip.

Kingston to Florida. Check.

Florida to California. Check.

California to Kingston. Well, not yet. Another full day to plan that trip.

Retirement Speech

It was a battle but I finally finished up the retirement speech. 891 words. Roughly 7 minutes.

The corporate retirement reception is tomorrow afternoon at 2pm. It will run for an hour and I get to bring it home at the very end.

I will post the speech tomorrow after the reception. You can let me know if it made any sense at all.

Technically I will have two more days at work after the retirement reception tomorrow. I’ll clean out what little is left of my belongings on the Thursday. I have a luncheon with the CEO on Friday and then time to celebrate this transition with my family. They have a set of events planned for me this week-end. Regardless of those plans, I am just thrilled to be with my wife, my children and my grandchildren for the week-end.

Lorraine and I will then head out on a Norwegian cruise. I expect the posts will be very limited over those two weeks as we will be either on a ship with limited Internet access or spending our days touring Norway.

The big transition to retirement is almost here. When I provided my notice last October it seemed like it was so far away.

Three more sleeps.

I will wake up the same person though.

Just without a job!

Retirement Cards

The retirement cards were delivered today. The folks at Moo did an amazing job with our order and such a wonderful unboxing experience.

We ordered the cards on 32 pt Mohawk Superfine stock. Beautifully textured. We added a blue seam colour that matches the blue sky of the picture of our coach.

I have redacted our telephone numbers on the pictures below. We love email through the Internet. Direct calls? Well, let’s say we love them only if we hand out a card directly.

Friends that we had made at Hearthside Grove last year gave us this idea to carry retirement cards — thanks Gary and Suzan. We now have our very own cards to hand out.

Another way we hope to keep in touch with the people we will meet on our travels.