4/08/2015

Long Weekend Rambles

Two years ago we steered our dusty, road-weary truck back through the familiar streets of Orillia, thus marking the end of our journey that took us to Texas and back. It was Easter weekend of 2013 and there was still snow on the ground. We've done alot in these two years, and I like to think we're just scratching the surface of adventures to come.

On the evening of Good Friday, I changed out of my trackpants, put on some fancy earrings and we had ourselves a date night. We ventured to Barnstormer Brewery for some pizza and beer (a very Eastery thing to do). Unfortunately the service was sub-par and the dim-witted employee messed up our order twice... it's pizza... and beer... not rocket science. After leaving there, we scooted down to Flying Monkey's Brewery and got a few bottles to take home (Oatmeal Stout and a tasty Nut Brown ale). Sorry for the lack of visual stimulation, I forgot my phone at home...

Saturday brought us to Collingwood for a gig at Northwinds Brewery (what can I say, we like Breweries). We played to a mellow happy hour crowd from 4-7pm, whilst sampling a few of their many over-the-top brews (I'm looking at you Route 26, an American Brown Ale to die for). After our last set, we were treated to a bite to eat (spicy chorizo tacos for me, a big ol' poutine for Brad) and then hit the road back home. It was nice to be home on a Saturday night before 9pm.


Sunday morning we laced up our sneakers and put in a lovely 6K run with Winnie up the Oro rail trail. The sun was shining, the trails were empty and it felt so good to get out and move.
After we got home, we gussied ourselves up and headed into town for brunch with the Campbell family followed by dinner at my moms. By the time Sunday evening rolled around, I never wanted to eat again.

Monday was our chill day. Reaping the benefits of my government job meant I had an extra day off. After the all-day eating festival that was Sunday, we hit the trails again and clocked another 6K. After sitting around bored for an hour or so, we hopped in the car and headed north to Gravenhurst for some more brewery action ('cause three breweries in a weekend is not enough). We took a quick pit-stop at Webers for cheeseburger before continuing on to Sawdust City Brewery, where we each ordered a 5-sample flight. We pop into Sawdust every Tuesday night after our Oar & Paddle gig to fill up our growlers for the week, but we never try their ever-changing feature beers, and so that's exactly what we did.

Here's what I had:
#7-Deforestation {bourbon barrel-aged imperial brown ale, super smooth and lovely}
#8-Cherry Pi {saison - a little too fruity for my liking}
#12-Hwy69 (collab with Stack Brewing - definately my fave of the bunch)
#6-Long Dark Voyage to Uranus {imperial stout - heavy stuff, brought back memories of beer fest...}
#9-There's No Way of Knowing {seasonal saison - light and fresh, but a little boring}

Brad's line-up differed only by one beer. Instead of the Cherry Pi he opted for one of their flagship beers - Skinny Dippin' Stout (which is quite tasty and in our regular weekly rotation).

And that, in a nutshell was our Easter weekend of brewery visits and eating. Not too shabby.


3/30/2015

Sunday Morning Syrupfest

On Sunday morning after the pot of coffee had run dry and neither Brad nor I were making any advances to start cooking breakfast, we decided to trek down to Shaw's Maple Syrup for a big ol' pancake breakfast. Shaw's is just down the road from our place, and since it was such a bright and sunny day, we laced up our sneakers and headed out on foot.

When we arrived the place was packed. So we stood in line and waited our turn, luckily it didn't take too long and before we got ravenous we were seated.


The portions were huge and the cups of syrup were generous. We inhaled our way through stacks of fluffy golden pancakes and a side of maple baked beans - so good! After licking our plates, we were stuffed and happy to have the walk home to digest our massive feast.


We were greeted by these guys once we got back to the farm. Not a bad welcoming crew.

3/28/2015

Into the wilds



Alot has changed since the last post (from last September... gah), so here's the skinny on what we've been up to.

We closed up our guitar shop at the end of January so that our plans of hitting the road in the fall of 2015 could be put into motion. While the shop was holding it's own (business-wise), we knew that all the money brought in from my day job had to be sacked away into savings, and didn't want to take a risk of not having a nest egg in place for go-time. And so, on a blustery cold afternoon when all the glitz of Christmas had faded, we loaded the last few guitars and a few boxes of strings into the back of the truck and drove away. It was bittersweet, but I think Brad and I both realized that staying in one place for a long period of time, was not a good fit for us. We loved everything about Ironside and it was truly a dream-come-true to design, open and run our perfect guitar shop - but it was also very refreshing to realize that this wasn't our forever spot. We met alot of great folks from all over, and for that, we're forever grateful - thanks friends!

With the closing of the shop came a re-location to quieter grounds. For those that didn't know, we lived in a tiny apartment above the shop. While the commute was great and being in the heart of downtown had its many advantages (I'm looking at you, liquor store...) we felt we needed to get away from the scene, and give the dogs some space to roam (secondfloor living has its disadvantages if you're a dog...). We were incredibly lucky to have this little gem offered up to us by some amazingly-awesome folks that we've been blessed to get to know. Sitting at the back of a 60-acre horse farm in the beautiful wilds of Oro, lies our own tiny house (on the banks of our own tiny lake). We're incredibly happy here and if it were not for our roaming hearts, we'd likely stay forever.

Hopefully things will start to pick back up around here. Miss Winnie still has plenty of work to be done before she's in tip-top shape for her big trip next fall. She'll be joining us up here at our new place in the next few weeks - so stay tuned.


9/17/2014

and then it was fall...

I can’t believe we’re half-way through September. I’m still trying to figure out where June went, not to mention July and August.

We had a crazy-busy summer including a 5-day road drip to Cape Breton Island (basically straight there and back), our first music festival (as hired musicians) up in Thunder Bay plus a small-but-mighty Ontario tour.

Being that we were gigging so much, it didn’t leave alot of time for working on Miss Winnie (sad face here). We finally finished gutting the interior (fully, completely) and removed the many layers of the old rotting roof. She remained a convertible for most of the summer, but we’ve been back down to the farm a few times in the last couple of weeks and she’s sporting a brand new plywood roof. The rubber membrane has yet to be applied, but this was a pretty major step.



The plywood has only been cut and laid into place, not secured yet - but progress none the less!


Hank has already claimed his spot. 
Those chairs will be re-covered, not down with the dusty rose or the ruffles.


Helping out with the roof, before getting called out for taking a selfie (in overalls no less).

We're hoping to have the drive lines inspected and wheels back on by Thanksgiving - when she'll hopefully be making her migration up to Oro to spend her winter in a lovely horse arena - and will receive the major interior work.

5/21/2014

Getting ahead of myself

I realize we're a long (looooong) way off from getting the interior of Miss Winnie ready for livin' the high-life, but that won't stop me from dreaming up what she'll look like.

A few weeks ago I won some super-luxe wallpaper from this blog - I nearly shit my pants when I found out I had won. It was a pure and utter coincidence that the giveaway was for the exact wallpaper that I was dreaming about for Miss Winnie, but with a lofty price tag of $125/roll, I was really on the fence about pulling the trigger. Clearly it was meant to be.

Voila!





























So here's what I'm thinking:
For the kitchen cabinets, we're going to use Ikea wall units for the bases. Why wall cabinets, you ask? Since they come in a shallower depth (13" vs 26"), it'll help open up the floor space - making the kitchen/living room feel slightly bigger.

I'm trying to decide whether to go with laminate wood flooring or commercial-grade vinyl tiles. Still on the fence, but I think I'm leaning towards the vinyl tiles. For one, I love the look of a black floor and two, I think the installation will be waaay easier.

I'm going to order this chair from Amazon, hoping it will help create an airy feel - again, trying to make the tiny space feel bigger than it is. Optical illusions, y'all.

The fold-down table is also from Ikea and will be great to tuck-away to open up the space even more. On the other side of the table, we'll be building a bench seat/mini-couch with hopefully lots of comfy pillows (that I'm sure Hank will claim right away).

but alas, there's still so much to do...

5/20/2014

The Grand Gut (part one of many)

"We can just put up some wallpaper, re-cover the cushions and we'll be ready to go!"
Not. Even. Close.

What started out as a rose-coloured dream has turned into a full-on Holmes on Homes reno.


































Here she is folks - Miss Winnie. Our 1976 Winnebago Chieftain. 23-feet of almond-coloured aluminum soon to be chugging up the back roads and northern highways.

Our initial thought when we forked over the three grand to make her ours was to "lightly" freshen her up. But sometimes things don't go according to plan. We knew she needed some new rubber and a roof-redo, and for the most part those are still the big issues with the old girl. But after living in a camper for 3-months, Brad and I knew what was going to work with our potential new home, and what wasn't. So upon a closer inspection we decided to give Miss Winnie an extreme make-over.

I forgot to take photos of the original layout. At some point in the 1980's, the original owners gave Winnie a make-over and re-did all the upholstery, wall paper and kitchen counter tops in a lovely shade of dusty rose.
It really did compliment the abundance of dark wood that was everywhere, and even further off-set the navy blue airplane-grade carpet. Nice. Real. Nice.

Yesterday marked the 3rd day of demo and she's pretty much empty now (except for the shower stall which will be removed when the roof comes off - it sure as hell won't fit through the tiny door).

Here's a peek of the dusty rose upholstery, and the cockpit. The passenger chair is basically a small love seat sofa (the perfect size to accommodate one person and two dogs).
Here's the back section. To the left is where the kitchen was and the bedroom area is in the back.

Across from the kitchen is the 3-piece bath (behind the lovely wood-panel wall).


Here is the bathroom after we removed the walls, and Brad getting ready to rip out the sink cabinet.
More updates to come, stay tuned!

2/18/2014

And so it begins...

Yesterday was Family Day here in Ontario - a much-needed 3-day weekend. But despite having the day off work, my alarm rang at 6:50am and both Brad and I were on the move. We pulled out of the driveway at 7:30am, made a quick stop for coffee then continued on what would turn out to be a two-hour drive. After trading the highway for rural roads, we passed through tiny towns and hamlets, across vast open spaces and through fields of wind turbines. Eventually we made the right turn onto County Road 14 in the village of Conn. Brad's scrawled notes indicated that we were looking for the 2nd place on the right, and then we were there. The driveway was long but as we crested the slight hill we saw it. Swagged with a green tarp and covered in snow, but not to be missed.



It is with great pride and extreme happiness that I can finally say that we are the owners of this 1976 Winnebago Chieftain.

Winnie's in pretty good shape for being 37 years old, but she does need some loving care. Next month she'll be making the northern migration to a lovely barn in Oro, where she will rest comfortably while we gussy her up. I'll keep you posted on the progress.