After returning to Canada and our home town of Booklin, Ontario on March 28th, we planned on sticking around this area for the next 6 months.
Originally, our plan was to come up through the States somewhere around Minnesota. We would cross Canada west that summer, and re-enter the States for winter around Vancouver, but, like often, plans change.
We were hoping to visit all the States on this journey, and that included Alaska and Hawaii. Alaska we could do when we visit the west coast but Hawaii would be more difficult, we needed to dedicate time off the road to make it happen.
We had been to Hawaii on 4 vacations over the past 6 years. We were intimately familiar with it and, more importantly, we longed to visit for an extended period one of these days. Our kids had been with us on two of the trips but both times they were very young and remember little, if anything.
Our thinking was that we would slip Hawaii into the schedule as the summer ended in Canada, and that would constitute our 6 months in the States for that leg of the journey. This would mean we would get to experience Hawaii like never before; 4 islands in 6 months. Now that is intimate!
What this would mean for the Canadian leg was that crossing Canada west may not be the best idea. If we crossed and parked somewhere on the west coast, then flew to Hawaii, returning 6 months later, we would still have to remain in Canada for 6 months before we were allowed to re-enter the States, and since we already crossed the country that meant lagging on the west for the whole summer. It was better to come back to Ontario, visit family and friends here, travel around a bit in this province (it sure is big enough), and then return here after Hawaii, giving us 6 months to cross the country west next year.
Another major reason to come back to our home town was the needs of our home church, Renaissance Baptist in Brooklin. There were plans to renovate the small aging church and we wanted to help out since we were the only family without jobs and with a lot of free time.
This was going to be a major break from travelling for sure, and our friends Bob and Kathy opened their driveway up to us once again, only this time it ended up being for 4 months!
We didn’t plan on staying in Brooklin so long but the church renovations we wanted to do took much longer. Much of those 4 months were spent planning and executing the renovations to some of the aging spots in the church building. It was tough but rewarding for us and we would spend long days together helping out, while our children played in the various kids rooms.
We wish we could have stayed longer to make more changes but our time came to move on.
It wasn’t all work though. For Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1st, we went to Ottawa and spent almost a week with our friend Aaron. Again, void of the trailer. We just brought our mattresses and camped out in his cool basement.
In the first week of August we moved the trailed for the first time in 4 months. It was a nice change being on the road again, kind of, even if only for a few hours. We stopped by a Walmart to get groceries and were instantly reminded of the nights we would spend in parking lots. We thought about spending the night, for old times sake, but we had to make our way to our next destination, which was the home our friends Nick and Melissa’s and their 5 children in Bellville, Ontario.
We were supposed to be there months prior but the church renovation plans changed all that. They set us up on their property next to the driveway, where we would remain parked here till we left for Hawaii in November. Where we would leave trailer and truck for the winter was still up in the air.
We got re-acquainted with our friends but would soon be leaving in a week to visit Luke’s mom on Manitoulin Island, some 7 hours north. The trailer would remain with Nick and Melissa. We would be gone for a month to spend some time with Luke’s mom, as we were not able to do that so far this year. Our time on Manitoulin Island was to be peaceful, reflective and calm, or at least we hoped it would be. After the months of hard work at the church it was a welcome change.