The Dniester River with Moldova on the left and Transnistria on the right. Photo taken December 10, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Soroca, Moldova.

Where are they going next? Back to Chisinau, Moldova on Tuesday. Then the Wednesday overnight train back to Bucharest.

Friday, July 24, 2015

It was better than Christmas!

We've been doing a lot of online shopping recently and I had waited until all of the packages had been received at the local post office so that I only had to make one trip into town to pick them all up.

Man, there were a lot of packages!

Got all of them home, and started opening up boxes. It felt just like Christmas, only better because I knew that we were getting just what we wanted!

Eight packages to open!

Yes, our expenses are going to be a little on the high side this month. But, it was all stuff that we were going to need before we head out of here at the end of September, so now the shopping is mostly done.

What did we buy?

First, a new pair of hiking boots for Ruth. We're sold on the Merrell brand, and they don't often come on sale at a decent price. We bought them from Canadian online retailer shoeme.ca at 30% off and no provincial sales tax. One of the benefits of buying online means that you often only pay the 5% GST here in Canada. So her $160 boots only cost us a total of $117.60 tax included.

(Of course I'm talking Canadian dollars here. For our American readers you can currently take a further 25% off these prices for U.S. dollar terms!)

Ruth can't wait to use her new boots!

Several of the boxes were parts and tools to do the timing belt replacement on the little blue car. That job can wait until September when things quiet down a little bit around here. I bought the timing belt kit which includes the belt, two tensioners, and the water pump ($103), the serpentine belt ($26), and two specialty tools that I was going to need in order to do the job ($40). 

Next box contained a new Acer 7" tablet ($79) which I wanted to try out with the thought of possibly returning it. But now that we've got it, we're thinking we might keep it. I'll explain below.

7" Acer tablet.

Ruth needed a new laptop. Her little 10" Acer netbook is going on six years old and is starting to fall apart. We've had a lot of problems over the years with the power supply and the connection at the laptop is starting to fall apart. And it's missing two keys. It was time to look for something else, so last week there was a special deal on Amazon.ca and here's what we bought...




Except that we only paid $299 Canadian. A great deal on a new traveling "transformer book" as they call it.

Now, our thinking is that all of this electronics is fine and dandy for when we're in the motorhome, but for our upcoming Colombia trip we'll bring the new 11.5" laptop and the new 7" tablet. And we'll leave my bigger 15" laptop behind. Of course we'll also have the iPhone, but that's mostly for hiking and mapping. Yikes...too much electronics!

The only problem is that we also need to buy some kind of protective covering for the laptop and a case for the tablet. Not that expensive, but it all adds up.

The next envelope actually contained money!

I had seen a deal from the Canadian Mint where they would send you 10 uncirculated quarters that celebrate the anniversary of the Canadian flag. How much did they charge for that? $2.50, shipping included! So, I paid $2.50 for $2.50 worth of quarters. Too funny. Then the mint paid the $1.65 shipping cost. Can you tell the mint is a government run operation?


I thought these would make nice little tokens of appreciation to give to any couchsurfing hosts this winter. It's always a nice gesture to give something related to your home country. Many people give out Canadian flag pins, but I thought these were a little different.

So, that's enough shopping for now.

But you guys can still do some shopping! On Amazon.com this morning, the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter is on sale...an amazing invention!


And here in Canada, I know some people who might want to buy a propane firepit!




21 comments:

  1. Great idea on the quarters. Bloody Government is nutso though - no wonder our Canadian taxes are so high.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, love the idea of the quarters but they should have at least charged for the shipping.

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    2. Hey Ruth they make the money so they get it at a discount... ;)

      Besides they aren't paying the shipping the taxpayers are.. I am studying for a government job how am I doing?

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    3. Yes, I never thought about them making the money and it not costing as much to make as they are worth, except for when we had the penny!

      I actually did mention the fact that we are paying for the shipping with our taxes in a reply further down but thanks for that reminder. ;-)

      Delete
  2. Those coins will certainly be appreciated by couch surfing hosts. Very thoughtful idea. :c)

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    Replies
    1. We hope so! At least it will be something unique from Canada.

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  3. Man oh man, I get a little excited when there's ONE package that comes to the door, but that was quite the haul! Fun stuff.

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    Replies
    1. It is fun to receive all these neat things. There are still a few more things we need (more like want) but they will have to wait for next month and then we can have another Christmas! :-)

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  4. Nice that you got all the things you wanted and for excellent prices too.

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    Replies
    1. That's the only way Kevin will get things unless of course it is some kind of emergency and we don't have a choice! :-)

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  5. The quarter thing is hysterical. You're right - only a government entity could come up with a crazy scheme like that.

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    Replies
    1. Mind you in a way I guess we are paying for the shipping, it is included in our taxes!

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  6. Now wait a minute...nothing is better than Christmas morning, no matter how many package you just received...hehe

    What a nice gesture on your part with the coins. I think that is a great idea. Tell Ruth, I have those same hiking boots and love them!

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    Replies
    1. Not for us, we haven't exchanged gifts on Christmas morning/day for many years now!

      Glad to hear you are happy with your boots. I am eager to try them out!

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  7. So Christmas doesn't only come once year! I bet you had fun opening everything up! Looks like tablets are the way to go but I still don't like typing on a screen. Doesn't work for me. I like a keyboard. I have an HP tablet at home, forgot to bring it because I never use it. It's for my work in Texas. Bigger screen than a cellphone that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure was Chris!

      We both like typing on a keyboard as well so I think the tablet would be something that would be handy for traveling only, just because it is light. We will give it a try in Colombia this fall and then see how it goes, worse comes to worse we can always turn around and sell it.

      Delete
  8. Al needs a new tablet. I might have to check out that Acer 7inch tab. Great presents!!

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    Replies
    1. I haven't really tried the tablet out yet but when we do we will give you an update on what we think of it. I am still trying out the laptop which so far I am quite happy with.

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  9. We just bought a fire bowl for our kids' anniversary. Paid $89 for it at Costco about one month ago. Maybe friends should check there first?

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, should have added that it was exactly the same one as well!

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    2. No Costco around here, and it shows "no longer available" at costco.ca. But you're right..great price if you can get it!

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