Coming home meant a continuum of emotions, along with lots of to-do lists, as we became Canadian residents again while starting our life here with everything we gained in Qatar.
Settling into 5th Wheel Living
This was a rigamarole of making our way through campsites until we finally found what we were looking for: free. Why bother having a 5th Wheel to live in when we were paying hook up/service fees of $40-$45 CAD a night! We might as well have not bought the RV and rented an AirBnb! However, our repatriation goals were this:
- buy an RV to live in,
- buy property,
- hook up our RV on our own serviced property and live in the 5th wheel while we build our dream home!
Having to pay for hook up services was not something we thought about, because we imagined staying overnight at Walmart parking lots! We joked about it! But the reality of RVing was much different! We were so new, such inexperienced RVer’s, that overnights without hookups seemed a daunting task!
KOA in Upper Sackville was my favorite location! It’s close to Lower Sackville and its many amenities, it is on a small lake where I was able to kayak with ease, and the staff were super friendly and helpful!! This campsite is a franchise machine that offers fun for all ages without losing a personal touch!
Wayside Camping Park in Glen Margaret, on the St. Margaret’s Bay Road was a close second to my favorite. This was the most economical RV park, but the furthest location from Halifax. Aesthetics was not a priority; laid back was the atmosphere here! Wayside is 3rd generation family owned and operated. The family was helpful and kept to themselves yet very friendly when approached! There is ocean access across the road from the campsite too! I was able to kayak from there, but it was a bit of a walk carrying my bulky boat!
Woodhaven R.V. Park on the Hammonds Plains Road was my least favorite. The owners of this campsite were about as personable as a fridge. They were all business. They were very friendly when we checked in, then it was all business. If you broke a rule, you knew it…reminding me of angry parents without parenting skills! Not so pleasant….
Walmart Parking Lot! We managed a “one nighter” because we needed to be near Fraserway RV to return our RV there for another day of small repairs. Our 5th wheel was washed after all repairs were complete!
Here is a portable RV washer! Cool ‘eh!
Thank you to Bruce (Cottage Country) and his Long Lake development properties in East Uniacke, where we settled on our free, final temporary home on one of his empty serviced lots! We bought 3.5 acres of lakefront property from Bruce, and he really helped us out by letting us stay on one of his lots as we eventually transition to moving our 5th wheel onto our own land as we build our dream property!
This is our final temporary front yard!! 🙂 Thank you Neil for getting it ready for us!! 🙂
Our Pets Settling into 5th Wheel Living
Our two cats, Bob & Georgie Jazeera and little dog Pooh Bear have settled nicely into 5th wheel life. Bob and Georgie are rescue cats from Qatar. Nova Scotia’s temperate climate with four distinct seasons will be very different from the desert climate of Qatar! I can’t wait when the cats see snow! Pooh Bear lived in Nova Scotia before she joined her dad in Qatar, so nothing new for her! Except porcupines! They are everywhere in this Long Lake area we are staying at! We saw three last night on our evening walk! Not scared of us. Just there, hanging out in trees or on the ground eating leaves….
Our cat Bob is better adjusted than our other cat Georgie. We took Bob in when he was a kitten, living on the streets of our compound. Bob is now learning to wear a harness and be on a leash so he can safely be outside. Georgie still has too much feral in her to attempt that! We rescued and adopted Georgie from our compound just before we left Qatar! She’s still wary and hides during the day but is slowly starting to mingle more with her new family!
ps….Michael and I lived at Al Jazeera Compound 1 in Qatar – that is why Bob and Georgie’s last name is Jazeera! 🙂
Reconnecting With Family and Friends
One of the best parts of returning to Nova Scotia is reconnecting with family and friends!
It’s always fun being grandparents – summer camp concerts, sleepovers, trips to the local farm/zoo, and birthdays!
Grown up, Family Fun!
Birthday, gatherings, food and fun!
Liz! Kind, funny, generous, SUPER talented Liz!
Horses – √
Kayaking – Next on the list!! 😉
Liz, Country Country, Michael and I! Liz works for Cottage Country – is their graphic designer – and was part of our experience when we bought 3.5 acres of waterfront property from this developer!
My talented, sexy, spirited, go-getter Maritimer who now lives in Toronto friend Christine, spent a week vacationing in Lunenburg at a friend’s family cottage! Michael and I visited Christine, along with her just arrived from Toronto partner Paul, a few days before she returned to the big city and her successful pharmaceutical career!!! This was a night of oysters, mussels, wine, laughter and fun – Maritime style! See you next summer, my friend!!! <3 I can’t wait to hear about Milan!!
Sara!!! Crazy, kind, heartfelt, compassionate Sara! My once ASD (American School of Doha) coworker and forever friend!! We had lunch at Salty’s then walked the waterfront together to laugh and catch up on everything! A few days later Sara flew back to Doha, Qatar for another school year! See you next summer, my friend! <3
I’m a Jeep Girl Now!!!
I’ve already blogged about our purchase of my dream vehicle, a Jeep Wrangler! Click here to read about that!! Woo hoo!!! This was a Middle East treat for working overseas! And…well we needed a more functional vehicle to drive around in rather than our 3/4 ton, manual transmission, heavy duty, 5th wheel hauling, gas eating Chevy Silverado!
Kayaking – But Not Full Tilt Yet…..
My sea kayak is still stored with family until we get a Garvin Wilderness Rack installed on the Jeep to transport it! For now, I’m kayaking with an Itiwit I purchased in Qatar, that is like paddling in a bath tub – but for now, it does the job! 😉
Living in Qatar meant zero roadside wildlife, except cats who were the most frequent victims of roadkill. That was pretty awful, and I still can’t unsee cats getting hit by cars…
Nova Scotia…different story! Roadkill everywhere! Takes some getting used to again. Well, I was never able to see a dead animal on the side of the road and be okay with it. I wish the Nova Scotian government would put up fencing along major highways to keep deer, moose, porcupines, raccoons, muskrats, etc… off the roads and safe! And keep drivers safe too!
About 10 years ago when I lived in Hubbards, during my Friday afternoon drive home from work, along an extremely busy Highway 103, just before Exit 4, I hit a large female deer! Thankfully, the deer died on impact! I know this because RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) have to locate deer that have been hit by a car to confirm he or she is dead and shoot them if they are still alive so they don’t suffer. The female officer who arrived on scene told me this and was very relieved she didn’t have to shoot the deer I hit because mercy/compassionate killing of injured deer/animals from car accidents was a horrible part of the job for her.
My Volkswagen Passat Wagon was totaled! What happened was the large deer jumped from the side of the road, over one truck and suddenly landed in front of me while I was driving 120 kilometers per hour! I had no time to brake or react – it was a straight on hit, where I sent her flying into the ditch. It was HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I brake for wildlife! <3 <3 <3
Well, that about wraps up our repatriation adventure! Michael and I still have lots to do…but, we’re home!