All points south.

We had a great time on Port Aransas beach (Port A) but it was time for us to move on. We’ve talked before about towing our 2019 Toyota Corolla which we have affectionately named Lily but I don’t think we’ve ever shared any pictures or videos how we do this feat.So here goes we’re hooking up Lily to Harvey and turning it around on the Port A beach. This will give you an idea of how wide the roadway is at the North end of this island. Kathy drives the rig 99% of the time because she is capable and loves doing it.Port Aransas is a city on Mustang Island, on the Texas coast. It’s known for its Gulf of Mexico beaches and fish-filled waterways. As Port Aransas is on an island we drive South until we get to the Corpus Christi Harbor Bridge that will take us into the city of Corpus Christi.Our trip has been primarily about smaller towns and villages, that’s what we really like, not the bigger cities and centers. On our trip South we actually bypass Corpus Christi and head south on State highway 77.The land is extremely flat and from time to time we’ll see the border patrol doing checks on vehicles heading in the north direction. We love change in vegetation as it’s really beginning to look desert.It isn’t until January that we will actually be stopped out of order station and that will be on the west side of Texas.We’re heading to Harlingen, Texas and to the FedEx Depot to pick up a previously arranged shipment of a new Sailrite sewing machine. We’ve had our eye on this for some time and aren’t disappointed when we pick it up as planned.Our plan is to use it for several of the projects that we have in mind including curtains and bike covers. Maybe some future boat projects as well.We headed off to Winterhaven RV park, which is towards South Padre Island in Brownsville. The area that we were going to be going to is the southernmost area of the United States along the Mexican border, the intercoastal waterway and South Padre island. We stayed two nights in Winter Haven RV resort.We got to enjoy a very simple RV Park. We also enjoyed seeing prickly pear cactus up close in person for the first time.All along the road we are continue to be blessed by the changing dynamics of the scenery. Texas has been very flat along the gulf coast and we can see how hurricanes can do so much damage.We are also quite surprised that we were not met with any of the uprisings that were being reported by national news agencies of the illegal aliens trying to infiltrate the border.We decided even though we arrived mid-afternoon that we would take a drive and go down to South Padre Island.… about 45 minutes away from our RV park.We definitely weren’t disappointed as we went there’s a little town of Port Isabella.It just happened to be that Port Isabella was celebrating their Christmas parade and the arrival of Santa Claus.We took a quick trip over the bridge to South Padre island…and came back to enjoy the parade.The Point (Port) Isabel Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located in Port Isabel, Texas, United States that was built in 1852 to guide ships through the Brazos Santiago Pass to Port Isabel. Of the 16 lighthouses originally constructed along the Texas coast, Port Isabel is the only one open to the public. With a perch 50 feet above the ground, it is popular with photographers and other visitors, because they can enjoy great views of South Padre Island and the beaches. In fact, a number of couples have climbed the 75 winding stairs, including three short ladders, to exchange wedding vows at the top of the tower.this is a beautiful lighthouse that you see when you come back from South Padre island and just before you go across the bridge that joins the mainland to South Padre island.The two-mile-long Queen Isabella Causeway, located in southern Cameron County, Texas, is the only road connecting South Padre Island, Texas to the mainland. The Causeway was opened in 1974 and replaced the previous bridge, which had also been named Queen Isabella Causeway. This bridge also spans the end of the Gulf ICW.Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway collapsed on the night of Sept. 15, 2001, killing eight people when they plunged from the roadway 80-feet below into the bay after a tugboat and tug slammed into the base.Let’s say we looked differently at the bridge causeway after learning of its history. The bridge which is totally safe now with new navigation lanes had pelicans flying along the side of the road as we travel across.The sunset was amazing over the water and up to the town of Port Isabella as we settled in for the towns Christmas parade.It was amazing the number of kids and families gathered who almost all spoke Spanish which of course is no surprise as we’re only a few miles from the Mexican border and of no surprise as this part of Texas was once part of Mexico.Next trip we take a look at San Padre Island.

It was USA Thanksgiving

We decided to take a week to rest, tour and rejuvenate at Goliad State Park, Texas. This state pass is certainly paying off with great benefits. We don’t pay daily park fees and we get discounted campsites. We’ve seen a few people who commented on blogs and on Facebook that they spend lot of time picking up and moving and we are going to take a break.

We’ve used the strategy of no more than 300 miles a day, staying a place for at least 3 days, and don’t arrive after 3 o’clock. We’re calling it the three three 3-3-3. Well we have broken our rule almost every time we stopped. We really haven’t gone over 300 miles in the single day however we have arrived after 3 p.m. and that has not been a great experience.

Onto our story, we’re in Goliad, Texas. Goliad was a mission station that was founded in 1759.

The Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the the Mission Espirito Santo from plans, remaining walls and artifacts found on site.

We got to visit and stay at Goliad State park, you get the opportunity to tour around the Nuestra Señora del Rosario Mission and imagine what it would have been like so many years ago.

Nearby is the Presidio La Bahía, which was created to protect the mission but also famous for the location where Colonel James W Fannin and his men were massacred by Mexican troops.

We enjoyed our time in this state park, however we were put in the back parking lot, as I call it and not in the pull through sites where a lot of other campers were located. In the end it was really nice and quiet and there was only two of us back there for the second half of the week.

The first half the week we got to meet a family of folks originally from the Philippines.

We moved our vehicle so they could all camp together and we were invited to join them as they celebrated there annual gathering. Some of the folks that we met there were teachers from Houston and their kids. It was interesting to see them cook their food in a traditional Philippine way.

One of the reasons why we stayed in Goliad for a week was that it was the American Thanksgiving weekend.this is our first time to cook Thanksgiving dinner two times in one year and we took advantage of it because we both love turkey and had an awesome turkey dinner.

We also got to meet up for the couple of campers, Tim and Patty who stayed on Magnolia Beach at the same time. We have become Facebook friends with them and their two dogs.

With time on our hands and hours on haRVey’s generator we determine that we should take on the generator’s oil change.

We successfully changed the oil and put in new synthetic oil, the generator runs like a gem, giving us reliable electricity when we throw the switch.

With a week we decided to tour the small town of Goliad. This gem had a handsome town square.

With the down turn in economy over the years many the buildings although restored and looking in apparent great shape we’re not occupied.

One very large shop,

Square Gallery was full of antiques and collectibles from days gone by and even newer collectibles.

This included books and treasures collected by the two owners Kathy and Gaye. We got to visit with them and it was a great time. Lots of laughs and lots of history.

The county courthouse was a gem in the crown in the middle of this town square.

What also made this town special were the living oak trees that we’re not destroyed as the town was developed.

These trees were living right in the middle of many of the streets and we loved driving round the streets taking pictures of them and seeing how the street have been routed to go around them even the middle of some blocks of houses and stores.

Our location, afforded us the opportunity to go to the nearby town of Beeville.

Although there wasn’t a lot to see in do in this town there was some nice architecture and another great county building.

It was only about 30 miles to the west of Goliad so it was a quick trip.

We decided that we would drive back to haRVey, but then like every other trip we took another side trip and we thought we should investigate Cuero.

We decided to head north to small town called Cureo.

We had been told by other campers with their grandchildren that there was a really nice Christmas light display located in this town.

We drove the 30 miles north and definitely not disappointed. I think this is the biggest display of Christmas lights at we’ve ever seen.

The community had closed the summer playground swiming pools and county grounds and turned it into a magical drive thru with millions of lights or that’s what it seemed liked.

I don’t know if I mention there was an any snow!

Another day we got to visit the clinic here in Goliad. Kathy stepped on the side of her foot and we thought that she might have fracture to bone.

After an xray and a nurse practitioner visit, we received confirmation that all was okay….we could move along.

Before we left Goliad we went 30 miles to the east to a town called Victoria. We decided that we would buy some snaps and install our curtains directly to the wall around the windows instead of hanging them from a rod.

The curtains fit tight and provided some nice protection.

Victoria is the town with every store that you’d ever want to shop in. We got the snaps and headed to haRVey.

The next day we packed up and drove south though to Port Aransas. Here we took the free ferry across the harbour and ICW to the Padre Island National Seashore.

After we tested out the Sand to ensure that we would be comfortable parking on the beach here, we purchased a $12 annual pass for the Port Aransas Beach.

We took our car Lilly for a nice 7 miles drive up the beach.

The only sharks that we saw what were those that were selling souvenirs. Any RV has very little space to store trinkets.
haRVey and Lilly cathing some beach time in Port Aransas.

We took the opportunity to pick up provisions and set up on the lovely beach area.

Next time we head down highway 77 to Brownsville area.

Craggy Wash Boondocking

Just a 8 miles north of Lake Havasu City centre, Arizona, on the east side of the highway 95 is the Craggy wash area of BLM land.

Lots of great rock climbing.

You can’t see RV’s from the highway as you need to drive the one mile to the rocky valley camping. This is away from the airport

An ideal boondock location because the road is accessible for all size RVs, it’s convenient to town, and you have the option to park beside other RVs if you want to socialize or pull in farther for more privacy.

Hope you enjoy these 360 photos.


We arrived in Texas and stopped at the welcome centre.

The staff gave us Winter Texans a very warm welcome. “You’re ours until you leave” they said. We received lots of tips maps and hints for our travel.

After a free but noisy stop at the Texas Rest Stop…

… we returned to Winnie Texas and headed to the Gulf Coast.

This was our first sight and drive along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Isn’t she beautiful? And the coast is wonderful too!

Our campsite was next at the Galveston Island State Park on the beach. We met new friends from Louisiana. Little did we know that 3 campsites over folks from Germany who had ship there RV to Baltimore would be in the next campsite on Magnolia Beach. We loved the water and sand and our time at this park. Unfortunately there was no space to stay however we did find out later that there were lots of empty campsites that evening.

A stop over at the Walmart and laundry the next day to take care of business. We find the grocery section very big in the stores.

We took a couple days rest on our way back to the coast at Farm Road FM 521 River Park.

An awesome boondocking camping site. Got to meet local river fishermen Glen and Dusty from Wadsworth. They were trying to top their friends catch from the day before of a 30 pound catfish.

After a short drive through Port Lavaca we camped only a few feet from the water’s edge on Mangolia Beach. Our first time bringing Harvey and Lilly on to the beach. The roadway is about 60’/20 meters wide and hard packed with shells. Beautiful sunsets and large boats passing along the coast.

We had only one night on the beach and really want to go back here because it was so beautiful.

It was great for us to travel here as little did we know we would meet one of the people that were camping here at our next stop. A couple, Tim and Patty from Wisconsin with their motorhome Betty ended up being right beside us in Goliad State Park and historical site.

Next time we pick up in Goliad…..

On the road

We took the trip south via Fort Wayne Indiana and had an awesome stop at new friends and Three Red Barns hosts of BoonDockers welcome. We had a great visit with lessons in some favourite card games.

A trip to Elkhart and the RV museum was in order.

Because of a golf ball size rock our windshield needed replacement.

A trip and stay in Elkhart had us set up with a brand new windshield. The trip afforded us to Notre Dame University. The home of the fighting Irish.

We got on the road south again and had a great overnight visit at more new Boondocker Welcome hosts. An awesome stay, albeit short.

And then we were off for for the 444 mile Natchez Trace. We had stays in the free parks. Meriwether Lewis, Jeff Busby and Rocky Springs. Even with a downed tree and rain it was a great trail.

A trip to the deserted town of Rocky Springs. All that remains a church, a couple of wells and old trusting sages in the woods.

Our only departure from the trace was a trip to Tupelo Mississippi to the Tombigbee State Park for two nights. We also had the opportunity to visit the birthplace of Elvis Presley.

Then back on the trace to Natchez where we departed the and made tracks south towards Texas. A great but really rough drive over I10. We got to boondock in a Cracker Barrel. We had a beautiful sunset and a frosty morning.

…. And then we’re off to Texas…..

Manitoulin Island trip and an Ontario mini-loop

We decided it was a great opportunity to see the fall leaf colours and explore Manitoulin Island.

We felt that this trip would be a good opportunity for a shake down trip for the RV and our new car – “Lilly”.

We had the opportunity to boondock in the Tobermory ferry terminal.

We disconnected Lilly and explored the area around Tobermory before settling in for a sub-zero night.

Its amazing when you look at the world from differing g perspectives. Here a photo of the Chi Cheemaun ferry with the bow open looks very inviting.

The same black and white photo appears uninviting and a bit scary.

We got to board the ferry for the two hour crossing about a 45 minute wait. The crossing was restful and we felt like having a sleep but enjoyed the rocking and rolling.

We enjoyed a lovely trip along highway 542 to Gore Bay. It was our intended stop for the night.

Gore Bay permitted us to Boondock right on the waterfront and we had a great spot looking at the harbor. The leaves are beautiful the water was we had a great time

The leaves were beautiful and made for a great background.

The next day we headed for a two day visit to Sudbury. Home to Science North we had a great day visit to the museum.

We could have had lots more time but got our nickel’s worth.

After a short drive we arrived in beautiful Port Carling. We visited with our friends Joy and Dave.

We had dinner out and visited the local movie set in Bracebridge complete with snow.

We then toired the the local cranberry farms nearby. Downtown Port Carling with the beautiful wall of photos was a highlight. The larger photos on this wall are made of small individual photographs of years gone by.

Timing could not have been better as one of the last boats to transit the canal came through as we visited.

A great visit but dipping temperatures and the threat of snow flurries meant it was time to head to Barrie.

We were treated to dinner by Suzette, Dave and Melissa and had a great visit with Nicole and Paul as well. Barrie was our last stop on our fall tour north .

The next morning before we left our Walmart boondock we had a visit from our Friends Clarence, Sizzette and Nicole’s Mon. It was great way to wrap up our trip.

Next time we wrap up out loose ends and head south!

Sold, Thanksgiving and our new dinghy.

Well we finally have the house sold, closed and legal things wrapped up.

A super great thanksgiving with our family.

And now on to getting are dingy set up to be towed by Harvey.

After a 6 hour day a very profitable day I must say haRVey was ready for its inaugural Towing of its new dinghy. The following photos are not for the faint-hearted automobile buffs….

A great trip to 50 Points Conservation area and our first camp with our dinghy. When you are camping its great to meet tour neighbours. Mary Catherine is a fulltimer and we got to visit her in her Cuckoo’s Nest. Her TT is a beautiful canary yellow with tons of space and great windows. We got to visit in her rig and van.

After returning to Kitchener for a few days if visiting with family we renewed our prescriptions for our winter trip. We then took a day to visit the Toronto RV Show.

Confirmation that we made the correct purchase of our Winnebago Vista 27N class A RV was made after several more hundred steps through the demo vehicles. There are a ton of amazing designs and options. It was a bit disappointing, if like us you were looking for RV optional add-ons in the parts store.

After we had a good overnight in Kitchener we head off for an Autumn Ontario Loop! Next time….

From Scotiabank

Canadian Snowbirds in the U.S.

Wealth Management Taxation, The Bank of Nova Scotia

To escape from the freezing winters, Canadian “snowbirds” are accustomed to freely spending time in the United States.

However, in September 2012, the U.S. government and the Canadian government implemented the Entry/Exit Information System to track and share entry data, which put snowbirds or frequent visitors at risk of being subjected to the U.S. income tax system by simply staying in the U.S. for too many days.

As a result, it is important to monitor your days in the U.S. and to have a good understanding of the U.S. Substantial Presence Test.

U.S. Substantial Presence Test (“SPT”)

The requirement to file a U.S. Individual Income Tax Return is generally based on citizenship, but can be based on the number of days that an individual is present in the U.S. It is mandatory for U.S. tax residents to file U.S. income tax returns and report their worldwide income. An individual may be considered a U.S. tax resident if they meet the “substantial presence test” for a given calendar year.

To meet this test, an individual must be physically present in the U.S. on at least:

  1. 31 days during the current year, and

  2. 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before, counting:

    • All the days present in the current year, and

    • 1/3 of the days present in the first year before the current year, and

    • 1/6 of the days present in the second year before the current year


Days that an individual was physically present in the U.S.

2016 2015 2014
100 days 150 days 120 days

Total days = 100 + (150 * 1/3) + (120 * 1/6)
= 170 < 183 days.

In this example, the substantial presence test is not met, and the individual should not be considered a U.S. tax resident.

Implications of meeting the SPT

If you have met the SPT, you may be considered a U.S. tax resident and may have a tax filing requirement with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). However, there are two potential methods to exempt you from being considered a U.S. tax resident.

The closer connection exception

This option is only available if time spent in the U.S. less than 183 days in the current year. In these circumstances, an individual will need to file U.S. Form 8840 – “Closer Connection Exception Statement for Aliens” with the IRS, which discloses information indicating a closer connection with Canada. This information includes, but is not limited to, the location of family, home and business activities, as well as the jurisdiction in which a driver’s license is held and in which an individual votes. Form 8840 is due on June 15th in the year after the substantial presence test is met.

The treaty “tie-breaker” rule

This option is applicable if time spent in the U.S. is over 183 days in the current year. An individual will need to refer to the “tie-breaker” rule in the Canada-U.S. Tax Convention (the “Treaty”), which outlines the various tests that must be satisfied in sequence until the individual’s residency can be determined. If the individual meets the tests as a Canadian tax resident, they will need to file U.S. Form 1040NR – “Nonresident Alien Income Tax Return”, along with U.S. Form 8833 – “Treaty-Based Return Position Disclosure”. Additional information is required to be disclosed, and generally, the process is more complicated than under the closer connection exception. Both of the forms are due on June 15th in the year after meeting the substantial presence test.


We recommend tracking your days in the U.S. closely to avoid any unnecessary tax complications. Even with two exceptions to use to mitigate your U.S. tax obligations, there are possible penalties and implications if the required forms are not filed or the forms are not filed on time.

Speak with your cross-border tax advisor about your own tax situation, and to confirm your U.S. tax obligation.

This document is prepared by The Bank of Nova Scotia for the use of members of Scotia Wealth Management and their clients and may not be redistributed. It is for general information purposes only. Information herein was obtained from various sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed for its accuracy.

© Copyright 2016 The Bank of Nova Scotia. All rights reserved. This publication has been prepared by The Bank of Nova Scotia and is intended as a general source of information only and should not be considered as personal and/or specific financial, tax, pension, legal or investment advice. We are not tax or legal advisors and we recommend that individuals consult with their qualified advisors before taking any action based upon the information contained in this publication. Opinions and projections contained in this publication are our own as of the date hereof and are subject to change without notice. While care and attention has been taken to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the material in this publication, neither The Bank of Nova Scotia nor any of its affiliates make any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of such material and disclaim any liability resulting from any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this publication or the information contained herein. This publication and all the information, opinions and conclusions contained herein are protected by copyright. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the prior express consent of The Bank of Nova Scotia.


Packup and Birthday time

It’s been a busy time. We returned to our house and spent the next ten days back and forth to our storage bin. Now the house is looking quite empty.

The beds and sofa is gone and furniture and our big dining room table and chairs sold off! Truly a time for reflecting on all the “stuff” we accumulate. Sometimes you get great keepsakes that you don’t part with.

We had a visit from our friend Marina who surprised us with handmade quilt for our RV bed. So warm and a welcomed addition to haRVey.

David Owen Roberts, known by some as Elusive

Off the main road with one intrepid septuagenarian.

Small Business Dad

Overheads & Wetting the Bed

BakJH's Coding Diary

Love what you do.