Day 1 – July 9 // Kelowna // Hiawatha Campground


Both my parents got their Canadian visas sometime in June, and bought airplane tickets to come visit me and my brothers Philip (21) and Savva (17). It has always been my dad’s dream to rent an RV and ride around North America with the family. Originally, we have planned to go from Vancouver to Montreal, but didn’t book an RV from a company that allows one-way trips in time, and decided to go around BC and Southwestern Alberta instead. The last time we have gathered together as a group was 5 years ago, in 2009, so we were all pretty stoked to finally go on a vacation together.

We have rented a Winnebago Villa, a 32′ RV with a 30 amp hookup, 200 l. tank (about 25 l/100 km on a highway), 6 sleeping spots (although, it’d be a nightmare sleeping on the reclining sofa for more than 1 night), a full washroom with a shower, TVs in the master bedroom, the top front by the driver’s seat, and a tiny personal one (with wireless headphones) in each bunk bed, and a kitchenette with a microwave, a gas stove and a fridge.

They have arrived on the 2nd of July, spent a few days in Vancouver and left to Kelowna on Monday, July 7th. I wasn’t very keen on spending 3 days there because, face it – Kelowna isn’t the most exciting place, so I have taken my 2 weeks off from July 9 to 22 and met them on the 9th.

I have noticed, that the campgrounds (and the businesses we have dealt with) generally have three approaches to the customers:

1) “Give me your money and f*ck off”;

2) By the book – e.g. being honest and reliable, but only following pre-cited rules;

3) By the case – e.g. treating each customer individually, according to the situation;

I will note, whenever I had enough interaction, which of the three approaches was utilized.

Day 1 – July 9
Hiawatha Campground (Rating: 4/5)

IMG_20140710_095657604I woke up at 7, thinking the bus was at 8.30 – turned out to be an hour later time at 9.30. Great, I thought – more time to spend with the girlfriend and the dog!
At 9 am I got into a cab and got to the station just on time, and realized I forgot to pack the sunscreen, my flip-flops and an AUX cord.

The day before I bought a Greyhound bus ticket to Kelowna. $50 (after taxes) online versus $73 buying at the station – not a bad discount for only a few minutes of your time.

IMG_20140710_095512155I got on the express bus, 9.30 am to 3.10 pm. By the time I got to Kelowna it hit me: I could’ve ridden my bike the entire trip – that would’ve been a journey and a half. I have weighed a possibility to return back and meet them in Osooyoos the next day, but decided against it because the bike wasn’t ready for a far journey: it had no windshield, chain was loose (I couldn’t tighten it myself because of a stuck bolt) and it needed an oil change fairly soon. And, most importantly, I would miss out on spending the quality time together with my family.

I met with the relatives, who were staying at Hiawatha RV park. We spend a little time on the beach, went out for a dinner at a local restaurant, then we took a stroll to check out my youngest brother’s place, and took a cab back. Sleepytime!

Hiawatha Park review (4/5):

We had a spot with full hookups and a very slow wifi. The campground was clean and taken care of. The park has the leafy trees all over, and the spots are just next to one another. I haven’t used the washrooms, but my mom is telling me they weren’t the cleanest. Unfortunately, I cannot rate the RV park any further, because I arrived late, and haven’t spoken to anyone but my family there.

Keep in mind, there are only 2 campgrounds in the area, and the other one had much worse reviews.

We have paid $61 per day + GST. The spot was large enough to host a 32″ motorhome without a problem.

Guess who’s back?

2,810 km’s in 15 days (according to the odometer), and I’m finally back home again. The trip was awesome! I’ll start editing the notes I took for the duration of the trip, and the first post should be up by this evening. The tag is BC RV road trip, so use this link to see the entire trip, chronologically.

Family BC RV trip

click to expand

The route did vary from the original plan quite drastically, the details and reasoning will be explained. Stay tuned!

P.S.: The difference of 265 km is driving here and there, as the route is based mostly on just the campgrounds we have stayed at.

2 weeks off!

As per this post, you may know from this post, the Employment Law in BC entitles you to a 2-week vacation after 12 months of consecutive employment; and, as such, I am going to take my two weeks off starting tomorrow and until the 22nd of July. I am going to make a nice big post with lots of pictures, and I will try to post updates in between, but for now, consider the next two weeks your 2 weeks off from me.

My parents, brothers and I are renting an RV, and going cruising around BC for the next 1 weeks.

Here is the planned route – it’s starting from Kelowna, because my parents are already there:

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Getting rid of the old furniture

How to get rid of old furniture?

Where to give my furniture?

What to do with old furniture?

First and foremost: if your item is in a good condition and if the situation permits, consider donating it to a charity or a non-profit organization. SOS Children’s Village BC Thrift Store accepted some furniture donations like sofas and mirror sets. I’m told that Salvation Army or a Value Village will take them for free.

However, if you prefer doing things online, here are the three main sources to get rid of your old or unwanted furniture:

  1. Craigslist
  2. Kijiji
  3. Freecycle

When you are making an ad:

  • Make sure the ad has good pictures;
  • Make sure the ad explains exactly where it is (“Located on the second floor of a house near Knight and 41st”);
  • If you can deliver (even for a fee), it is a BIG plus for those of us not fortunate enough to have an access to a large capacity vehicle.

Also, write several versions of the ad with different wording, and every two days take down the old ad and post up the new one. Try to sell it at a reasonably low price first to see if anyone bites.

Posting on student buy sell groups on Facebook (search SFU/UBC/etc) is not a bad idea. Who else but students have limited funds, and want to get the good stuff for cheap.

Boston Bar trip June 28 – June 29, 2014 (+Alexandra Bridge visit)

top panoramaIMG_20140628_172336497This weekend my friends and I went camping from Vancouver to Boston Bar. To the most of us who have absolutely no idea where it is, Boston Bar is a small settlement along Fraser River on Highway 1, about an hour passed Hope, and not too far from Yale. These towns were first settled during the Gold Rush era, and you still can feel the atmosphere.

It was me, Stan, Andrew and his buddy Kevin, who’s parents own the land we camped on. We travelled in Andrew’s 1990 Subaru Legacy wagon, which he just got a week ago.

This time again I have changed my mind the last minute and decided to ride in the car instead of on the motorcycle for good, as it was raining hard on the way there. We took Trans-Canada Highway to Hope, and then Highway 1 to Boston Bar.

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We have packed and left from my house at 1 pm, picked Kevin up at around 1.30, stopped at Coquitlam Superstore for steaks, dogs and veggies, and in the nearby A&W for burgers. We got gas, and some Ricards and Guinness in the BC Liquor Store in Chilliwack.


At the destination

We got to the property by around 7 pm (another 30 minutes past Boston Bar on a private road). There property was right next to the mountains, which shielded us from the most of the wind, and there was barely any rain.

IMG_20140628_232923402The luggage got unpacked, the tents got set up, and the beers started floating. We cooked steaks on the grill I brought, and the wieners on the open fire pit. We chilled by the fire until about 1 am, and then passed out.

We had about 10 hours of solid mountain sleep, and woke up at around 11 am. Grilled the rest of the wieners and veggies and started packing again. Kevin’s mom told us about an abandoned bridge past Alexandria tunnel, which we couldn’t pass on visiting. We left at around 1 pm on Sunday.

Alexandria bridgeAlexandra Bridge is about 2 minutes away from the Alexandra Tunnels (or before, if you are coming from Vancouver). This 90-meter bridge was built in 1926, and was out of use since 1964, and has been nothing more than a heritage site. It is about 7-10 minutes down the trail, or about 3-5 if you take the smaller walking trails (the trailhead is right next to the map on the top, by the cherry tree).

The flooring on the bridge is a see-through, which is unnoticeable unless you look down below. Despite the age, it seems to be in a good condition, safe enough to cross.

I would not classify it as an abandoned site though, just doubtlessly cool heritage site.

The bridge seemed to be a perfect spot to get a haircut. 

The bridge seemed to be a perfect spot to get a haircut.