Norway

This is my office for the nine days we are onboard the Norwegian Jade.

I could get used to this cruising lifestyle.

We lucked out and the good folks at Norwegian provided us an upgrade to a suite.

This is our main living area:

And our bedroom:

I think they knew we were celebrating something:

We just returned from our first day in Bergen, Norway. Stunning city and a great start to our time here.

Weather so far has been sunny and warm. Long days. Sunset is at 10:30pm.

Internet access is decidedly mixed. I seem to have a bit of bandwidth right now so pushing out a quick post to let you know that we are doing well and having a wonderful break.

We’ll have lots of pictures and experiences to share on our return to Canada.

Our Little Town

Less than four weeks to go before I retire from corporate life. And, a few weeks after that, we will be leaving our little town of Kingston, Ontario.

I don’t think we will be coming back. Our plans will likely see us settle elsewhere in Ontario, a bit closer to our grandkids.

I love this town particularly the old part of Kingston where we live. We are right by the water amidst homes that were built in the 1800s and early 1900s.

Being Canada, there is no rationale with the prices of houses. True even in Kingston where the population is only about 130,000 people.

This townhouse on the left-hand side, semi-detached, is listing for almost two million dollars. Not sure if it will come with the flowers.

Still, there is an undeniable charm to living in an area which has so much history, at least from a North American perspective.

We live in the top story of a massive, oversized mansion. Across the street are homes that belonged to people from a long time ago. Like Dr. Kilborn’s house.

Gold letters spell out his name above the doors at 244 King Street. Kilborn lived here from 1896 until he passed away in 1916. The Kilborn’s have long since vacated the property although the sign remains.

The street on which we live is like stepping back in time.

The architecture ranges from Victorian to, well, old world castles.

A few blocks from where we live is McIntosh Castle. The front entrance:

And a more complete shot of the castle:

Many people that live in Kingston are unaware of the McIntosh Castle. And there it is, right in the heart of the downtown.

The McIntosh Castle was designed and built for the McIntosh family, during 1849 and into the 1850’s.

The story behind this building is that McIntosh promised his family that moving to Canada from Great Britain would be an incredible experience and that the family would live in a castle overlooking Lake Ontario if they would agree to move to the new world.

Perhaps back then, the castle did have a view of the Lake. It doesn’t now.

There are so many beautiful heritage homes in our neighbourhood. When we take our golden retriever for walks, I will often take my camera along to capture these wonderful homes. I’m sure that each one has its own bit of history.

Tourist season is now upon us and most visitors fail to walk a few blocks from the main tourist area to see these heritage properties.

I’ll have fond memories of our years in Kingston. Wonderful place to live and work.

Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort

Having been knocked down really hard with severe bout of the flu and a heavy workload at the office as my time for retirement draws near, my online activities literally grounded to a halt. Sorry about that!

For my 61st birthday, we flew down to Vegas for a week. We stayed at the Aria resort (pictured above). As Canadians, we have to be very careful about how much time we spend in the United States. We are planning to be south for 6 months starting in November of this year. The maximum time we can spend in the United States is six months on a rolling basis. Which means no more time in the U.S. until we head down to Florida in November.

We have been planning our agenda for our first winter south. A few months in Florida followed by a few months in California. We were also thinking about spending a month in Las Vegas. Specifically at the Las Vegas Motorcoach Resort.

While we were in Las Vegas, we took a drive out to the LVM Resort and we were given a tour of the facility.

I was on the back of a golf cart so I did not have any opportunity to really frame the images but here are a few that should give you a bit of an idea about the resort itself.

This is the entry gate to the resort property.

LVM is on the small side at 41-acres. It is a Class A restricted park with sites that are 35′ by 80′ or larger. The gatehouse is staffed 24×7 and the clubhouse is well equipped with a concert hall, lounge and outdoor kitchen. There is also an onsite diner.

There were a variety of coaches in the park. I caught a few Prevost coaches like this one.

Each site offers some unique touches like this one with the Tiki huts.

The photo below would be a fairly typical site at the resort. Most of the pads are concrete. Most are back-ins. Purchase prices range from a low of $80,000 and most sites for sale seem to be around the $160 – 260k mark.

Rental rates off season could be up to $2,400 a month and closer to $2,700 in peak season. Discounts are available to Good Sam, FMCA, AAA and military.

LVM was not quite as nice as we expected. Sites were a bit narrow and the overall feel of the resort was closed-in and some of the sites did look a bit tired. The staff were accommodating and not as friendly as we have experienced in other Class A restricted parks.

The area of Las Vegas that LVM is situated is not particularly attractive although the resort itself was well appointed with numerous palm trees and flowers.

Despite those few concerns, if we did decide to come into Vegas, this would be our first choice of park for our coach.