At the Purcari Winery in the village of Purcari, Moldova. Photo taken December 7, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The 6 best things about Canada

I have been accused in the past of being a little bit "anti" Canadian. And while it's true that I am outspokenly critical of things that I think Canada could do better, being back in our home country for a couple of weeks has reminded me that there are some distinctly Canadian things that make me think "hey...that's pretty good"!

So, in no particular order, here's my own personal list of what I believe to be the 6 best things about Canada...

1.  British Columbia

The vast majority of my father's family lives in British Columbia, and I have visited that province numerous times in my life. I believe that on an overall basis, B.C. (as it is regularly called) has the most spectacular scenery in the country.

Joffrey Lake, BC. Photo taken in 2005.

We could easily spend six months exploring just British Columbia.

2. Rick Mercer

If you're not Canadian, you've probably never even heard of Rick Mercer. But this Canadian comedian and television personality is hilarious, and he's not afraid to speak his mind.

Watch Rick's latest rant here...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLQlU5nwZMA

3. Maple Syrup

Yes, we brought this up just the other day. We love maple syrup, and Canada makes more maple syrup than any other country in the world. Like, 80% more! There is no syrup unless it's maple syrup. It's a Canadian thing.

4. Health Care

I wasn't even going to open this can of worms because there is so much wrong with our system. But it is indisputably better than almost every other option we've seen in the world. And no, it's not "free".

5. Our relationship with Cuba

Yes, one of the best things about Canada is Cuba.

This Latino island nation is one of the most popular spots for Canadians to go to escape our six months of horrible weather. We get extremely cheap prices on these one or two week all inclusive vacations.

One of the very few things we can thank our late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau for is his friendly relationship with Fidel Castro, which opened the doors for a touristy, inexpensive escape from the Canadian winter cold.

Taken during our 2002 vacation to Cuba. Our daughter and her husband are headed here next week!

6. We recycle

Every community in Canada has a fantastic recycling program. If you follow the program, you hardly need to put out any trash. Paper, metal, plastic, and glass are all collected aside from your regular trash, and beer wine and liquor containers are all part of a deposit recycling system. 

So there you have it. Remember, this is my own personal opinion. I'm sure that there are probably hundreds of things that are important to different people, but in my mind these are what I think are the best things about Canada. I was actually striving for a list of 10 items, but I knew I was struggling when I thought about putting Shania Twain as number 7!

A great deal today from Amazon.com on the exact same Toshiba 1TB external hard drive that we use. If you're not backing up your computer onto an external drive, you're asking for the same kind of trouble that we experienced last year! We learned our lesson. Now is a good time to get what you need...


That hard drive will also ship to Canada, and even with the exchange rate difference it's still a good deal. 

And for our Canadian readers, we are finally signed up on Amazon.ca so we put a separate link up for you to finally participate as well! Here's an ultralight travel medical kit that nobody should travel without!




29 comments:

  1. I like your list, we can go right along with it, I do think Shania Twain should have made your list, but then its your list.

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    1. Kevin would have put her on the list but he wasn't sure if she even lives or spends any time in Canada anymore!

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  2. And Rick Mercer has been doing his thing for something like 20 years. Never gets old.
    There are times when I'm slightly annoyed that our ancestors decided it would be a good idea to colonize "Quelques arpents de Neige", (a quote from Voltaire summing up his view of Canada as being more or less a cold wasteland), which certainly wasn't on the agenda of the Spaniards. They liked the warmth, and their descendants have benefited from that choice ever since. Lucky buggers.

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    1. Ha! I've said that many times. My father's lineage came to Canada from Yorkshire, England in the late 1700's. Did they not check the weather history first??? Not suitable for human habitation.

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  3. #1 for me is the Canadian Rockies, Ice-fields Parkway. BC is also beautiful, and I enjoyed driving the John Cabot trail in Nova Scotia.

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    1. They are all beautiful spots! We have done the Cabot Trail a few times and loved it but it's Kevin's list and he loves BC more.

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  4. If I'm not mistaken, some time ago the Turks and Caicos islands applied to become part of Canada. Who screwed that up?! We could have had our own slice of paradise.

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    1. I remember that! Yes, somebody sure dropped the ball on that opportunity!

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  5. You are correct about everything on that list. Might I add that where I live, Vancouver Island, represents all the good things that BC offers :) We even have a glacier in Comox Valley where I live. I feel fortunate every single day to live here. I grew up in the interior of BC which is also beautiful but the Island has it all. Mountains, hiking, pretty cities, the Ocean, all of it simply awesome. I know there are also a few Tim Hortons in the USA but Canada has one on almost every block - somewhere to get a good cheap coffee and free wifi.

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    1. Yes, Vancouver Island is a gorgeous place to visit but we have also found some amazing places in mainland BC too.

      I'm afraid that Tim Horton's didn't make his list because for us it isn't a necessary stop. I know, hard to believe that we are Canadians who don't regularly go to Tim Horton's! ;-) But, yes it is a very Canadian icon.

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  6. If you're going to add singers to your list, I'd add Anne Murray and KD Lang.

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    1. Canada has lots of excellent singers,and those two are among them. Personally one of my favourites would be Brian Adams but we have to remember that this is Kevin's list. :-)

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  7. This is a pleasant change. I get very weary of your negative attitude towards Canada. I notice you don't mind going on the payroll every summer to support your life style. I suppose that could be added to your list.
    Medical is not free but thankfully is subsidized. It's not perfect, but I am thankful that it helped save my bacon on several occasions.

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    1. No, actually Elaine we come back to Canada to go on the payroll because it's too difficult to get a work permit to do so legally in any other country.

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    2. Yes, but you did come back and Canada provides the job.

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  8. want to order that xternal hard drive, How do I do it so you guys get credit for the order. Sam..

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    1. Hi Sam...simply click on the link and then shop as you normally would. Amazon's computers automatically track that you have done so. Thanks!

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  9. Wow, as a Yank I never really noticed this so-called negative attitude of yours toward Canada. But I guess if you choose not to endure a brutal six months of winter every year, you're not a true Canadian---eh?

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    1. Thank you Dugg! I didn't think Kevin had been so negative about Canada in the last few years. I know he does complain about the high prices, the politics and the weather but most people in Canada and any other country complain about these things. No Country is perfect!

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  10. Kevin; Not to worry about Elaine May, there are probably a million Cdns who go to the Sunny US and/ or MX including yours truly, and we love it. I say, if you can afford it.... Travel, we do

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    1. Thank you Tommy, I think this year that most Canadians from Ontario to the East Coast wish that they could have gone South!

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  11. Like this post! Coming from Alberta, BC is definitely much prettier (other than the Rockie's of course), haven't seen much else of Canada, but I hear in the summertime that Manitoba is quite pretty and Nova Scotia has some great scenery as well.
    Health care (for now) is free in Alberta, but Albertan's pay for it in other ways (via taxes etc). This may change due to the dive in the Oil Revenues, but for now it's still free.
    As much as we complain about Canada, living in another Country (or even visiting) can sure make you grateful for what Canada offers. No wonder so many people are immigrating here!

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    1. I think that every province in Canada has something to offer in their scenery, Kevin just happens to think the BC has the most to offer.

      Alberta's healthcare is still not "free"! They may not have a specific healthcare tax taken off their pay cheques but the money still comes from taxes that they pay to the Federal Government in their income tax and the GST, plus all of the other hidden taxes that we don't see.

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  12. So much of Canada to see. So little summer... :c(

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  13. All true statements based on our time in Canada last year. OTOH, it is a very expensive country. Recycling was the biggest thing that struck me as something we could do in the U.S. and Mexico and copy it from Canada. As for social healthcare, I will be finding out about Mexico's. I have dental and medical check ups when we return from our week here in Mexico City.

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    1. Thanks Chris, and yes it is expensive but there are still other countries out there that are even more expensive.

      We love the fact that Canada does such a great job of recycling. I think it is one of the best countries that we have visited so far for that, but I believe that the Scandinavian countries are even better at it.

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  14. I would ad Michael buble´to the list,but again i´ts your list.cheers

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    1. It would be a long list if we were to add all the great Canadian entertainers!

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