Texas!

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

Example

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.

Summary

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.

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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.

Oh Canada!

It’s been awhile since we’ve been an Ottawa but it was a great trip along the Rideau River seeing some of the locks and the Beautiful views along country roads.

We had the opportunity to visit the Ottawa sanitary dump to look after our grey and black water. It was interesting to see the construction going on but what a large city Ottawa is and yet so very accessible.

We’re happy to stay with friends of ours Christina and Mike in their driveway of their house. Mike and Christina have spent the past year on their Catamaran sailboat High5.

We had fun having a barbecue and hanging out with the kids.

On our drive through the city of Ottawa all we got to see some great sites. One of those was an unusual hot dog stand. Not that I want to be in the hot dog business but if I was this is a pretty neat stand.

I get to see all these things and take pictures as Kathy loves driving and does it about 99% of the time. I capture as many of the neat things to share it with her and she does an awesome job of driving.

We drove by some really great buildings as we left Ottawa on our way to Deep River Ontario.

We have never stopped into the store Cabela’s, however we’ve heard that they sometimes have dump stations and boondocking so we took a quick side trip to their store off the highway.

We were greeted by a very friendly Fox flock of geese. These geese are decoys and I believe you can buy them for hunting. Kathy just mentioned to me that they’re not mannequins cuz I was going to call them I’m the mannequin in the family! She said mannequins are what you hang clothes on!

We enjoyed a really great breakfast after we arrived at Linda and Ian’s home the next morning. We went to Ralphton Ontario. and have a relaxing meal. Following that we drove along the Ottawa River and so many conferences of the beautiful landscape. The water seemed extraordinarily blue in the trees appeared to be greener than green. The backdrop of the dark blue sky was also very beautiful

Then we took a quick trip to the Quebec side of the river.

Well it wasn’t really the Quebec side of the river it was a little island that’s in the middle of the Ottawa River called Swisha. This island has some history. Ean told us tales of his younger days, the young people used to go to Swisha because the consumption laws for younger people to enjoy the beer and wine were slacker in Quebec. It would take the Quebec police lots of time to reach the island as they had to drive through Ontario to get to the island.

Prior of the construction of the hydroelectric dam in 1950, the village side was not an island the rising water flooded the old riverbed from the north through lake McConnell.

Just down river, the nuclear power demonstration – NPD site is going through a closure and clean. The NPD site is around 1000 acres, however, the decommission facility will only take up a small footprint which will be less than 1% of the original site. When the decommissioning work is complete the entire footprint area will be fenced and monitored by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories – CNL. The ventilation stack which is currently part of the plant will remain in place as it is I have attached to a protected species, the chimney swift, And leaving it in place ensures the best chances for the population survival. I wonder if the chimney swift will glow in the dark?

The Ottawa River provide some beautiful views and great opportunity for sailing and houseboating.

Linda wanted to ensure that we are really sold on the area and it was easy to do the boat and yacht club was very picturesque and well equipped with a government war and facilities for everyone.

Many people had houseboats out on the lake and it was just a pleasure going to visit. But the Ottawa River water level being very high there is lots of area to sail and the wind was just right. We’re looking forward to spending some time here in Deep River when Linda and Ean eventually get that house boat of their dreamsWe continued west on the road to North Bay and had a really pleasant trip passing by some beautiful views including a small town of Bissett which reminded us of being back in Nova Scotia. Roads were great condition and the water and use for a lovely we arrived in Northbay and went down and had a look out over Lake Nipissing We then drove down to the Huntsville area and stayed with our friends Karen and Char at their lovely Airbnb in Port Sydney. Honestly it’s hard to beat the view that these folks have with the lovely deck and floating dock. If it would have been a bit warmer I would have headed to the water and kayaked. It was one of those days that sitting playing games around a fire just made it extra special. A visit to this area isn’t complete without going to see Port Sydney falls. It is a great place to sit and relax and listen to the waterfalls tumble down over the rocks, it’s just a beautiful beautiful place. This is a an excellent example of a slide class waterfall. A slide class waterfall is a where the Muskoka river slides over the incline layer of bedrock and the result is more of a natural waterslide then a cascade of plunge. The waterfall is surrounded one side by a row of cottages. A publicly accessible side is where all the interesting ground is found with a wide open rocky area between the parking area and the waterfall. If you take a look at the rock surface it should be fairly obvious that the waterfall used to spill over at a wider area. Sometimes the places that you come upon are golden finds. This is one was just that. The Sugarbush Hill Maple Farm – the sugar shack in the middle of Muskoka. The four of us had a tour of the Sugar shack that was supposed be closed that day. We were given a private tour complete with samples. We got to tour the entire process and in doing so had a great time. There was a lot of history here and you could tell that there is a lot of heart from the antiques up collection buckets to the modern steamer. We were encouraged to climb up to the top and over look from the balcony._ththere were lots of treats to buy. I have to say I’ve been enjoying the maple syrup of pancakes that Kathy has been making. OK this is one of the nicest pictures I think I’ve taken over the past few days I love the locks at Huntsville just a really great place to visit although was raining the day they were here it was beautiful and the reflection on the water just made it look even better. The locks operate on the weekends now but during the summer they operate every day. We had the opportunity to stop in Huntsville and have lunch by the water which had other great views as well.Lets just say that the town of Huntsville is a really sweet place you can buy just about anything and we had a great time visiting here. I needed some help to carry out my order.But time flew by quickly and after being introduced to a game called king dominoes and losing quite badly it was time to say goodbye to Karen and Sharpe and take off to get home to pack up. Thanks so much see you guys for having us at your home that was really a great part of a restoration.( Well we take off and head back to Kitchener now but on the way we stop in Milton and decided it’s time to get a dinghy to tow behind this land yacht of ours. So we stopped in to Milton Toyota and talk to the folks there and we put a deposit down on our new “toad”, 2019 Toyota Corolla SE. a cool six speed standard that we will level tow using a Blue Ox towing system.Next Time we return home and finish off the packing of the house and end up with a couple of surprises.

Great Algonquin loop

Well we started off with a great trip to Harrowsmith Ontario. It was great to meet up and visit with Anne and Paul at their home.

We had a great and relaxing time as we visited.

The next morning we had a delicious brunch at CoCoFrutti. Joe sits in after serving a great meal.

The girls caught up just like old times…

We had a great time visiting downtown Kingston. Paul watched the sailboats in the harbour while Anne, Kathy and I took a tour of Kingston City Hall. What a great place to go to visit and see Naval architecture inside a stationary land building. In the period that this building was constructed the only people available to build where shipbuilders and their marks are all throughout the building.

We we had a great visit with Anne and Paul and look forward to the next time that we can drop in on them.

And then we are off to Kemptville Ontario where we spent overnight at Marcel and Jenn’s home. It was great to Boondock in these kind people’s home.

We had an awesome time just chatting and learning more and more about traveling to the southern USA.

After a restful sleep we launch out to the nation’s capital. More to come.

Airport trip!

We always love going to the airport it’s one of those things that get you excited. Whether you’re taking a trip or in our case picking up a great friend. We got to travel to Pearson International to pick up our friend Tammy who flew in from Amsterdam. It’s always awesome to see Tammy and we loved having lunch with her before we dropped her off with her family.

We took grandkids, former foster kids and friends for a great day at the Paris Agricultural Fair.

Silas decided to travel with us in haRVey to the fair. He had a lot of fun in the navigators seat.

With a wrist band the kids had a ton of fun.

There were lots of rides but I think the zipper was the favourite.

Why so serious… They have to look cool. After a great home cooked dinner at the fair the kids were back at it until the demolish derby.

We had such a great time we returned the next day, just the two of us for another filling of demolish!

The weather was great and the sunset beautiful.

With the kids all back to school we pack up some stuff at home and head to Kingston next time.

Dave Roberts, AKA Elusive

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