Saturday, April 18, 2015

Home Sweet Home

It's been a busy six weeks since Roger returned from Australia.

We spent the first three weeks looking for a place to have as a base and checked out everything from condos, to fixer uppers to even a float home in Cowichan Bay.  The latter had the "wow" factor but also tipped the scales on being the most impractical place to live.

A cottage in the Oceanside Resort in Parksville (which is mid-island and about 2 hours north of Victoria) became available after a long term renter left, and we fell in love with it.  The cottage is just under 1000 square feet and has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a well designed open concept great room.  We took the leap back into real estate and fought off a competing  bid to get it.  We were surprised to find out the house was being sold with all furniture and contents -- a perfect situation since we had sold or given away all but our most valued treasures.

While waiting for the possession date, we drove to Redmond to see Brad, Anette and Magnus who were going to Maui for a week along with everyone in Brad's company.  Valve charters two planes and rents out all of the Ritz Carlton in Maui each year so employees and their families can enjoy a holiday.  The company provided many special events and meals and everyone had a fantastic time.

I remember working for Canmar Drilling in the late 70s and being impressed they provided cookies in the coffee room......

We bought Magnus a BC ferry (complete with lights and noise) so he will get the idea of how to get to our place, and he barely let it go.

RaRa and Magnus like to make faces at each other
We picked up Obi and took her to her equivalent of Maui -- Rusty Tractor Springs.  She was in her crate for travelling, and as soon as she heard the gate creak and rumble as it opened, she started jumping up and down.  All I could see was the crate bouncing in the back seat and we couldn't get her out fast enough.

Obi spent a week chasing frisbees and balls and even with the one day it snowed, she was a very happy dog.

When Brad, Anette and Magnus returned, we took Obi home and headed to the island to take possession of the cottage.  As a condition of the sale, the previous owner who had the cottage in the rental pool had committed to renting it from April 19 - June 30 and so we honoured that booking.  We've decided to try renting it out when we're not around, and have posted it on AirBnB.  We are really lucky that our good friend, Jodi, will manage the cottage and we will do the administrative and marketing tasks.

We spent the week making the cottage a place we are happy to call home as well as what we would want in a vacation rental.  After years of renting places we've become experts on what we appreciate when we walk in the door.  

The cottage is seven years old and has been rented out the whole time.  We were amazed to see that it was still in excellent shape (in fact far better than another cottage we saw in the resort that was only used by a family!)  and the owners really did leave everything behind for us.

Three TVs....appliances...linens....dishes...pots and pans....what a windfall.  We swapped out the queen beds for new king size beds in both bedrooms, and also bought a new queen size sofa bed for the great room.  The kitchen is now well equipped so we can have lots of people over and not worry about running out of glasses or dishes.

It felt like Christmas opening up the storage totes and finding special things that we hadn't seen in years.  We still have a few more things we want to do, including hanging all the masks we've collected over the years...but we will be back in July and get a few more things done then.

Thank goodness we don't have to do the landscaping!

Great room opens up to the big private deck

Vaulted ceiling lets in lots of light

View into the great room from the loft

Great room and kitchen

Master bedroom

The bedroom and full bath in the loft for all our guests!
For those who've asked, there is a very large storage that runs the length of the loft that can be locked up.

The back deck is totally private

Natural gas BBQ

Heated indoor swimming pool and hot tub
I keep saying to Roger, "Can you believe we live within walking distance to the beach?"  Here is the path that takes us there in about 15 minutes.

Rathtrevor Beach at low tide
Summertime is supposed to be incredible here at the beach
We are now heading off to Anacortes to do some boating for a few weeks.  Brad and Anette are also moving into a new home in Bothell, Washington so we will try to be of some help; Roger has brought his cordless drill so he is all set.  We're also leaving the Expedition so Brad can move some of the totes with it.  He and Anette are true experts in moving and we are sure they will love their new place and be able to put down some roots.

We kind of wish we didn't have to go tomorrow, because we love the cottage, but we have a few weeks ahead of us that will be pretty wonderful too.  We plan on spending a week in the San Juan Islands before heading north to the Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound.  Hopefully our friends in Cowichan Bay and Parksville will be able to spend some time with us.

I've had a cup of tea, and I've hung lots of pictures.  It feels so damned good.

"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one."
                                                                                           Dr. Seuss

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