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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

“Like old ‘Pro’s”

There is something ‘oddly satisfying’ as we like to joke about being back in familiar territory; having Newman and Jerry back together again!

Getting ready to leave our campground in Marmora this morning

Before we brought the slides in this morning In Marmora.

This morning Richard went for a walk in the RV park we were staying to see how his clearance was looking for getting us out of the park, without unhooking Jerry. It really is a pain to have to unhook a ’toad’ if we’re only staying one night. Richard came back from his walk and reported that it looked like we were ok to drive down a ‘ring road’ to get out of the RV park, except one guy at the end of the road where we needed to turn had his big pick up truck parked very close to the road. Richard didn’t want to go and ask the guy to move his pick up at 9:30am, so we very slowly went down the road and when the guy heard us coming, he got in his pick up and was ready to move it for us. We actually didn’t need the pick up moved though, and despite a few scrapes from some overhanging branches, we were on the road again this morning bright and early.

When we came home from Vancouver Island in April, we didn’t unpack any of our dishes, kettle, utensils, or our pantry items. This morning as we had breakfast it was so familiar and easy to reach for the kettle, pull out the Bodum and grab some ground Vancouver Island coffee, and make Richard a pot of coffee and make myself a cup of tea. We really feel so comfortable being back in Newman! I think living in Newman for as long as we did, it feels like a second home. I’m even getting the hang of the operational workings of Newman. As an example, last night when we pulled into the RV park and Richard hooked us up to the water, sewer and electricity, I turned on the water and could hear the water pump was on. I instinctively knew that the water pump should only be on when we are NOT connected to a water source. I said to Richard “The water pump is on”, and he went and turned it off. Yesterday when we left Fort Erie I couldn’t get my phone to charge using the electrical outlet by my chair. I was so used to driving down the road, with my phone charging on my lap, so I knew something was wrong. I just couldn’t remember what was wrong. I decided to google it and sure enough our Inverter wasn’t on. I had told Richard that he needed to do something up on the control panel to make the plugs work, but after I mentioned to him the Inverter was off, he had me go to the control panel as we were driving, and turn on the Inverter. Then the plugs all worked and I could charge my phone. It’s funny how much we have both learned about RV living, despite being ‘newbies’ just a year ago!

After we set off this morning for Ottawa I realized that we were going through Perth, Ontario, and just north of Perth was Balderson, Ontario. One of Richard’s favourite cheeses is ‘Balderson Cheese’. Since we were actually going to be a bit too early for our check in at the RV park in Ottawa, I said to Richard we should stop at the Balderson Cheese Factory. I googled the location and looked at some pictures of the factory parking lot to make sure that we could get Newman and Jerry comfortably parked, while we went in to shop.

Nothing like pulling up to the front door of the factory to get a good parking spot at the Balderson Cheese factory. We definitely turned a few heads when we showed up!

Now that’s a ‘cheesy smile’!

While Richard looked at the cheeses, I browsed around the store.

There was quite a nice selection of Canadiana stuff on sale at the Balderson Cheese Factory. I think Heather Kurtin would like some of these Canadiana things or may even own one of them already!

More Canadiana stuff to look at in the cheese factory.

Some of the cute signs at the factory store

I was tempted to buy the Lake Rules sign, but didn’t.

I did buy this sign though. It will look nice beside the ’Winnie the Pooh’ sign we bought for our bedroom in my ‘reading nook’. I think I will paint the frame black for a bit better effect. We did buy quite a few cheeses/crackers and some summer sausage too. It was definitely worth the slight detour off Hwy 7 north of Perth to visit the Balderson Cheese Factory.

While we were visiting the Balderson Cheese factory we learned that the Balderson Cheese and Butter Company was formed in 1881. Balderson was one of twelve factories that contributed curds used to produce the 22,000 pound Mammoth Cheese which was sent to the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. The actual town of Balderson was originally called “Balderson Corners” and was named after Sergeant John Balderson, who served with the 76th regiment under the Duke of Wellington. Born in England in 1783, Sergeant Balderson set sail for the New World when the regiment was disbanded and was the first settler on the 100 acre property in 1816. Balderson Cheese is now owned by Lactalis Canada who also own Black Diamond, Beatrice, Lactancia, Cracker Barrel, Astro, Siggi’s, and some other recognizable brands. The factory we visited today is independently owned and is no longer actually associated with the Balderson Cheese company, but since they are still located in Balderson, were able to keep the Balderson name.

We had a very uneventful drive from Balderson to Cumberland, Ontario (East end of Ottawa) and arrived at Recreationland RV Park at 1:30pm. The nice thing about coming back to somewhere we have stayed before, is that people remember us! The owners remembered that I had broken my leg last year and was hobbling in last time we were here to do our registration. The guy in the trailer next to us remembered us as he was the same guy who loaned us the trickle charger to charge up Jerry’s dead battery after we arrived here last Labour Day weekend! Our trip to Ottawa last September was our very first trip with Newman and Jerry and it gave us our first inkling of what our journey might be like going across Canada. Boy did we have a few things to learn though on that crazy drive across Canada in winter conditions!

This is our set up for our time in Ottawa. We even brought some Canadian flags to be patriotic for Canada Day in Ottawa! If it is not windy tomorrow we may even put our awnings out, as well as put our big comfy fold out chairs out under the awnings.

After having a quick lunch in Newman we decided to take the ferry over to Quebec so we could visit family. The nice thing about staying in Cumberland is the ferry is only 5 minutes up the road from us.

Today was a busy day for the ferries. There were 4 ferries running constantly to take people across the river from Cumberland (Ottawa) to Masson (Gatineau), for the holiday tomorrow. A lot of people from Ottawa have cottages on the lakes in Quebec, and taking the ferry saves a lot of driving time.

The ferry only takes about 5 minutes to cross and costs $10 for a car and passengers. Check out the flag at the front of the ferry!

Here is a close up of the flag on the ferry. Unfortunately now the Habs are down 2 games to 0 after their loss tonight in Tampa.

Our first stop was to visit Richard’s cousin Janet to drop off an old, very large wooden antique radio that has been in our basement, but that originally belonged to Janet’s parents. Since we had the cargo capacity this trip to Ottawa, we loaded the radio in the back of Jerry and made a visit to Janet’s lovely country property.

Waiting for Janet to arrive.

An antique Massey Ferguson tractor at Janet’s place which she and her husband Richard just picked up. It definitely looks like it is in very good condition!

This rocking chair belonged to Richard’s grandmother and Janet just picked it up from somewhere and is going to repair it.

If you look closely I just caught the hummingbird as he came to feed on Janet’s feeder. She says she has 3 hummingbirds which visit the feeder, all of them different colours. Unfortunately every time the hummingbird came, I wasn’t able to capture him more closely, before he flew away.

After a nice visit with Janet we were off to visit Richard’s mom Shirley in suburban Buckingham.

Shirley was out on her balcony waiting for our arrival!

We had a nice visit with Shirley and her friend Wilbert. The seniors apartments she lives in had no cases of Covid since the outbreak started in 2020. The management of the building did a great job making sure the seniors were protected and also arranged for them to all be fully vaccinated on site too. Wilbert mentioned that the local strawberries have been very good this year and we wanted to find a roadside stand that sold them. Since it was getting on past 5pm though, we thought it might be best to try the local Metro grocery store to see if we could find some strawberries that we could enjoy for dessert tonight.

Lucky for us we were able to get the very last basket of local strawberries which the Metro had on display. Of course we couldn’t just buy strawberries while we were in a grocery store, so we wandered around to see what else we could buy. We came upon the beer aisle and found that a case of 30 Bud Light was only $32! In Ontario a 24 pack case of Bud Light beer costs $56.95! Not that Richard drinks much beer, but we always like to have some in the fridge in the garage in case we get some company during the summer. Of course we had to pick up a case at that price! We also bought a case of Sleeman Cream ale and a few bottles of French rose and Chardonnay wine too!

Metro giving the SAQ some competition with their beer prices!

We headed back to Masson after visiting Buckingham, Quebec, to catch the ferry back to Ontario.

The ferry is a privately run ferry which was started by the Bourbonnais family in Quebec. I am sure they are making money ‘hand over fist’ at $10 a car with the amount of ferry traffic we saw today!

Cars waiting on the Ontario side, to get onto the ferry for the holiday tomorrow.

We quickly made it home from Buckingham and it was time to get the BBQ going for our grilled chicken dinner.

The Napolean ‘scissor Q’ BBQ. We are happy to have the 30 pound tank of propane which we picked up in Courtenay, Vancouver Island, B.C. at Costco when we thought we might run out of propane in Newman Now that big tank is our BBQ tank!

Grilled potatoes are looking good.

It’s looking very festive at the Canada Day themed campsite.

Finishing up the hot pepper butter for our dinner. We were never able to eat outside when we camped in Fanny Bay. We feel like we are discovering a whole new world of living in an RV when we can eat our meals outside!

Life is good. A nice Henry of Pelham rose and our very delicious dinner ’al fresco’!

As soon as we had cleaned up from dinner didn’t we get a visit from Richard’s brother Norm and his wife Jo, and they brought their friends Serge and Sheila with them to see our set up. What a nice surprise! We talk to Norm and Jo a lot on FaceTime, but we realized that despite them spending the winter in Victoria, B.C., and us just 3 hours away in Fanny Bay, we hadn’t seen them since December when we golfed with them at Olympic View in Victoria! Now we are all fully vaccinated, and have waited our 14 days, we are a lot more comfortable visiting with family and even having a hug too!

We’re happy to be settled in for 5 nights now in Ottawa. We’ve got some golf plans for the next few days and look forward to spending more quality time with family. We are feeling a bit like ‘old pros’ in Newman as we remember where we put things, how things work and what it feels like to be living in him again. It’s such a comfortable experience and we look forward to enjoying this little mini vacation getaway as well as taking a few more trips with Newman this summer. The evening has cooled down and we don’t even have to run the air conditioner tonight to sleep.


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