A couple of weeks ago we finally found a Westfalia that we love and have agreed to buy. It has all the stuff we want, stove, sink, two double beds, character, style, and all around fun. Even better is its in good shape with a newer Subaru engine transplanted into it. Not too bad considering its 24 years old,
The new engine is perfect as it will have some power to get OVER a hill and I don’t have to worry about some of the original engine’s “idiosyncrasies”. Its not a speed demon by any means, a 5 ton square vehicle is still a heavy brick on wheels, but its one less thing to worry about.
Here are a couple of the pictures the previous owner had put on Kijiji that drew us to it originally.
We will be only the third owners of the Van. It was bought in Calgary originally so it has been “Canadianized” by the dealer, with a block heater, internal gas heater to stay warm in winter! The original owners had it and used it sparingly before giving it to their son who managed to blow the engine inside of a month. It was then sold to the shop mechanic who had sold it in less than a month as his wife said “no more vehicles!”.
The second owner showed it a lot of love put into the Westy already, bigger tires, rear lift kit, new engine, new hoses, dynomat, the list goes on. HE was sad to sell it, but his family outgrew it.
We are hoping that we can give it the love that it deserves!
It does need a new propane tank, so I ordered a new one up from the states. Showed up the next day. Wasn’t expecting that. The tank is here before we even have the camper!!
We get ownership on it Thursday night and to say we are excited is an understatement. The current owner has asked for a two hour walk through so we know whats going on with the van and its history (it is a 24 year old van after all). Very exciting!
After we get the bill of sale, we need to come up with a name for it. It seems that this type of vehical just asks to be personified. The previous owners called it “Root Beer” for the brown body and the white top, but mostly just “the westy”. We are hoping to find a name that calls out better to us. Feel free to fire any suggestions our way!
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Last week, Brian was sent to Toronto for some work-related training. I decided to come along, because I’d never been to Toronto before.
Brian flew out Tuesday night, and I came out Wednesday night. Brian worked during the days Wednesday to Friday, and I shopped. Our hotel was right on Bloor Street, so there were plenty of stores and interesting things to look at.
On Thursday night, we had sushi (at Sushi Inn) with our friends Josh and Mel, and then went to Moro Co for lattes and chocolate for dessert.
On Friday night we met up with Sabrina, and had Thai food for supper, then went back to her apartment to hang out with her boyfriend (Jamie) and her roommate (Carly). We also got to meet their pets — Ed, Juliet, Quinn (cats) and Spin (corn snake).
Saturday we went to Niagara Falls, ate lunch, took TONS of pictures, and took a ride on the Maid of the Mist.
We got absolutely soaked to the bone (due only partly to the falls — it also poured rain on us), and I almost destroyed my camera (!!!). As we were getting back to the car, I noticed my camera was blinking a light I didn’t recognize. Opened the battery compartment, and poured the water out. My camera didn’t work until the next day, but it does seem to be back to its old self now.
One of our lenses took a hit on this trip as well — one of our 18-200s is having some serious problems with it’s zoom-ability, but at least it was the old one. We’ll see if we can get it fixed.
Saturday night we met up with Josh and Mel again, this time for Italian food in Little Italy. I can’t remember the name of the place… Perhaps something like Tivoli? Or Vivoli? Great place, anyhow. And then some gelato and lattes for desert. Yum!
We flew home on Sunday.
We enjoyed our Toronto trip, and look forward to going back again!
Again, I apologize for no photos yet… We got home Sunday night (without my suitcase), and I left on Monday for Edmonton. Work, work, work!
In other exciting news, We are officially buying our ‘new’ Westfalia tonight! I’m sure we’ll add some details about that before long… AND some pictures!
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This past weekend, Brian and I had tickets to the No Doubt concert in Vancouver.
We originally planned to spend a good long weekend there, visiting Brian’s mom in White Rock, and hanging out in and around the GVA. However, when it came down to buying flights (admittedly recently — last week), we decided that we needed a day at home for house/yard work reeeeally badly, and decided to devote our Fridays off to that.
So on Friday we mowed the lawn and weeded the garden, and did some other general yard clean-up. That evening we went to our friends’ (Rob & Kiely) house for a barbecue and a couple rounds of dominoes.
Bright and early Saturday morning (5:30am), we got up, tossed a suitcase together, and caught our flight to Abbotsford.
Brian’s mother and aunt picked us up from the Abbotsford Airport, and brought us to Brian’s mom’s place in White Rock. She has a beautiful little backyard porch where I spent most of the day chit-chatting, and soaking up the sun and the wonderful damp sea air. Brian brought his mom an old computer of his to give to her — which is a huge improvement over her old one. But then he spent all day setting it up for her and fixing her internet problems (partially caused by a 10-year-old modem). I didn’t mind — I was in a fantastic mood. The further west I go, the better I feel in so many ways. I can’t explain it.
The concert was Saturday night, and it was AWESOME. We arrived just as Bedouin Sound Clash started, and they were pretty good. They reminded me a bit of Sublime — and Brian and I recognized a song or two of theirs. Paramore came on next, and surprised me a little. I was sorta expecting something like Avril Lavigne, but it wasn’t too bad. The front woman reminded me of a little animated matchstick. She had a TON of great energy, and her bright orange hair looked just like a wild little flame.
No Doubt was amazing too. I’ve been a fan of theirs for about 12 years. They were my favorite band for a long time. When Gwen Stefani went solo, I wasn’t all that into her music… It was a little more dance/pop/something than I tend to listen to. So when they announced this tour as No Doubt, I was thrilled. Visually they were great, totally interesting and new, but I still absolutely recognized ‘old’ No Doubt in there. Even the way they moved. Tony’s two-footed hop across the stage, Adrien’s nothing-but-boots-and-a-tutu. Gwen’s abs. Ha. The woman is incredible. She has one of the most incredible bodies I’ve seen, and she’s had 2 kids and turns 40 this year! I know she has the time and money for a personal trainer (and probably chef, etc) but still. Kudos to her! The moment the band came on stage, 95% of the GM Place audience was on their feet dancing and singing along, and most of us remained on our feet the whole time! I can’t remember the last time a concert did that to me!
It was Brian’s first big concert like that — and he thought it was great too. I hope that means I can get him to more of them!
We had driven to and parked in North Vancouver, and taken the sea bus over to downtown, then hopped on the sky train to the show. So it took us a good hour and a half to get home afterwards, and since we were up for 21 hours straight on Saturday, we slept in on Sunday. Myself more than Brian. But he was still working on his mom’s computer. When I got up (around 10), Brian’s mom made us french toast. Before long, it was time to head back out to the Abbotsford Airport for our flight home.
The flight was fine, but REALLY bumpy coming into Calgary. We basically tried to land in the middle of an intense storm. It was probably my bumpiest/scariest landing, but for some reason I felt REALLY trusting of the pilots, knowing they would land us safely. We had to abort one landing, which was strange. We were coming in, getting closer and closer to the ground in the pouring rain, and then suddenly the plane engines got REALLY loud and we started flying sharply AWAY from the ground. I’ve never seen that happen before! We circled around, and tried again — This time, successfully. After landing though, we had to wait out on the runway for a while, because the ground crew had been called inside, due to lightning in the area. Pretty crazy! But we all clapped once we were on the ground, and I think the pilots did a great job.
We are home now, once again. But again, not for long. Brian leaves for Toronto tomorrow, and I’ll follow him on Wednesday. We’ll be back on Sunday, but I’m leaving town again for work the next day.
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Sorry you didn’t get another Saskatchewan update, we didn’t have internet or cell service at all, except when I posted the last one.
Neither Brian or I have posted any photos of this trip yet (I know, we suck) — but luckily we were travelling with Ian and Susan, who are both extremely talented photographers. And they actually post their stuff right away! So, if interested, please check out their stuff below:
Ian’s Road Trip Photos
Susan’s Road Trip Photos — I also highly recommend Susan’s Chipmunk video in here — it’s impossible not to laugh along!
Next up, Vancouver this weekend for a No Doubt concert — but I have to admit I may not even take my laptop… Haven’t decided yet.
As well, an extra little bit of interesting info, Brian and I have found the Westy we’re going to buy! Everything won’t be final for a couple of weeks due to conflicting schedules, but we’ve shaken on it, and we’re really excited. It’s dark brown, 1985, has a Subaru engine, so it’s got a few more ‘guts’ than some of them. Also a bit of a lift and bigger tires. All the better to tackle those BC roads, I say! Anyway, we’re super-stoked. And though exhausted and craving hybernation, we also can’t WAIT to get it and take it out on the road! We have yet to come up with a name, but we’ll have to name it. The only name it really had with the previous owners was “Rootbeer”, but Brian’s not a fan of the name. He says the name needs to be German… So, any ideas?
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We have been in Saskatchewan for 3 days, we’ll be wandering back home tomorrow. We have had absolutely no internet (or even cell) for most of our trip.
We’ve been driving around exploring and taking photos of ghost towns in South West Saskatchewan. Stayed in Moose Jaw on Thursday night, Assiniboia on Friday night, and then Moose Jaw on Saturday night again.
We’re taking a gazillion photos and we’ll post some at some point. But not tonight. We’ve been driving and walking around in the sun all day (and toured a brick factory), and now we’re all tired in bed. Actually, Brian has been asleep for an hour. And I’m jealous! So I’m going to sleep now.
Oh, and please excuse the mess that is our “most recent adventure” map currently… I’ll fix it soon. But for now you’ll have to scroll over to see the details of where we’ve been. It’s also very unfinished. I haven’t traced in our route yet, and I haven’t marked all our stops yet.
That’s all for now, until I get inernet again (probably from home, tomorrow evening).