The Ottawa River west of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Photo taken April 24, 2017.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Arrive April 27th.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sometimes you have to make do with what you've got...

Well, we've been taking a bit of a blogging break the last few days. Just spending time with family, and so we haven't really been doing anything special. Well, it's been special to us...but not really worth writing a daily blog post about.

Of course there's going to be lots of daily blogging going on starting tomorrow when we fly to Spain!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Moldova Tour Guide

Moldova is a very small country, but we recently spent two full weeks there and wanted to condense our experiences into a single blog post so that people who want to visit can have a single reference source.

Despite the fact that we were there for two weeks, we still felt there were areas we didn't see that we would have liked to. So we'll have to return someday.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Only one problem...

Lots of planning going on for the next few months of travel. But, while all of that has been taking up a fair amount of time, we've also been enjoying being with family and friends in Ottawa. After all, this is why we came here!

Christmas Day was really fun. We enjoyed watching our grandchildren open their gifts. At the ages of 3 and 5, they are right into Santa Claus and all the Christmas excitement.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Booked three flights yesterday!

Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions both here and at facebook on where to go after our two month motorhome tour of Spain and Portugal.

Many of you suggested Croatia, and Turkey and of course we really want to go to those places eventually. But logistically, it was going to be too expensive and the flight back to Morocco didn't line up well at a decent price.

So...here's where we're going...

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Help us choose a destination!

We had been wanting to visit Algeria in March or April. They don't get many visitors, but every report we have read from people who have been there has been positive. It's a Muslim country, and they have an old bureaucratic Soviet style visa system, so most Westerners simply avoid the place.

But we're not most Westerners.

So I did the research into getting the visa. The first obstacle was that we had to apply from our home country.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Interview on the radio this morning

So, we were up before 6:00am this morning, and walked about 15 minutes from our son's apartment to the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) headquarters in downtown Ottawa, Canada. We had slept at our son's apartment to avoid having to drive into the city with possible rush hour traffic problems. We sure do not miss that headache!

We had been told to arrive at 6:30am, and we would be ushered right in for our 6:40am interview.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Woke up to a very Christmas like snowfall this morning. They had been calling for 2-3 cms (an inch) overnight, but we've got more than that now and it's still coming down.

It's all very pretty though. And there's no wind, and the temperature is right around freezing, so it's not really that cold. We can put up with this, especially knowing that it's only for a short time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

One of our goals for our upcoming Spain trip...

My father spent about six months touring around Europe way back in 1954. He was an avid photographer, and he took a lot of slide photographs on that trip. Ruth had scanned and digitized all of his old slides and we now have them all saved on our laptops.

He spent quite a lot of time in Spain, Portugal, and Morocco. Coincidentally, we will also be spending quite a lot of time in those countries over the next three months.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

How we avoid jet lag!

Flying across time zones can be hard on your system. We've done it a lot of times over the past four years, and I think we've learned how best to minimize the effects of jet lag.

They say that going east is harder on your system because your internal body clock has to be advanced, which is more difficult for the majority of people than delaying it. However on this most recent trip, we thought that the reverse was true!

Monday, December 19, 2016

5 Reasons To Bring A Motorcycle Along For Your Next RV Trip

When it comes to taking a vacation, there is nothing that is quite as exhilarating as a road trip. If you want to make your journey much more comfortable (and cheaper), you might decide to get an RV and see the countryside without having to worry about expensive hotel rooms or rates.

While going on an RV trip is rewarding in its own right, one of the best ways that you can maximize your adventure is to bring a motorcycle (or two) along for the ride. Here are five reasons why bringing your motorcycles on your RV trip can transform a great time into an unforgettable one.

The entertainment budget is blown for the month!

Prior to us taking on this lifestyle of travel almost 10 years ago, we had a Christmas tradition with my (Kevin's) side of the family. Many years ago, we used to exchange gifts like most other people. But it got to  the point where everybody already had what they needed, and gift certificates were becoming the go to gift. I didn't see the point.

So we all decided that there would be no more Christmas gift giving. Instead, we would all get together at a good restaurant, and just have a really nice meal and spend some time together.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Trip costs...6 weeks in Romania and Moldova

Well, the numbers are in.

This trip was definitely more expensive than our previous trips. And most of it comes down to the time of year that we were visiting. We kind of compared this trip to when we did Czech Republic and Slovakia back in 2012. It was approximately the same length of time. But we had done that trip in the summer...and this one was in November and December.

We were gone for 45 days, and we spent a total of $4,953 CAD ($3,800 USD) including airfare.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Poor Sherman!

Made it on to our Montreal to Ottawa flight at 7:00am, scheduled for take off at 7:10am. It's just a little twin engine propeller plane seating 24 people. They fired up the first engine, but the outside temperature was -24C (-11F) and they had to warm up a battery in order to start the second engine. This took time, and then when that was done we had to go to the de-icing stall.

So, it was about 7:50am by the time we took off. I can't quite figure why they didn't start doing this earlier...they would have known about the deicing. In the meantime, the interior of the plane was also quite cold. Everyone kept their coats and hats on!

Friday, December 16, 2016

An unexpected hotel stay...

When we left you last, we were in Bucharest airport waiting for our flight to Munich. We're flying with Lufthansa for the first time ever, and it won't be the last. Excellent service from start to finish.

Landed in Munich right on time and found our connecting gate to Montreal. We only had an hour until the flight was expected to board, so we didn't have time to go into the city and explore, like we did in Zurich on the way over.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

We don't like cutting things that close!

We had a few hours to kill yesterday,  and our AirBnb host Gloria asked if we wanted to go see the Military Moldova History Museum. Sure. We figured it would be a one hour deal and we would head back home. We probably shouldn't have though. We were still a little tired and wouldn't likely get much sleep on the train.

Anyhow, we left our bags at her place and the three of us hopped on the Chisinau city bus downtown.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A great end to our Moldova visit

It's hard to believe that we will be on the train late this afternoon heading back to Bucharest. And that tomorrow evening we will arrive back in Ottawa, Canada! Our six week trip is coming to an end.

Yesterday we did the drive back from Soroca to Chisinua. There were a few things we wanted to see along the way, so we left the hotel around 9:30am.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Exploring Soroca, Moldova

For breakfast, we went back to the same restaurant here in the Central Hotel. Marcel was off duty, and a woman who didn't speak any English looked after us. No problem, we can order breakfast in Romanian! Sort of!

Anyhow, we each had a cup of tea, and a plain omelette with cheese and salami on the side. Total with the tip was 90 lei ($6.30 CAD, $4.75 USD) for the two of us.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Back in Moldova!

Although technically, we never left. The country of Transistria doesn't really exist, and is still "officially" part of Moldova. But, when you have to go through border checkpoints, getting inspected, and showing your passport, and getting permission to enter...it sure feels like we were in a different country.

So yesterday morning we had to get out of Transnistria. I had read reports where exiting Transnistira can be more difficult that entering!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

A country drive in Transnistria

Transistria is actually a fairly long country, at about 200 kms (120 miles) from north to south. But it's only a few kms wide.

Most people who visit only see the city of Tiraspol. But we are not most people, so yesterday morning we hopped in the rental car and went for a drive.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

And then we heard a crash...

Wow, we walked about 15 kms (9 miles) yesterday. The temperature was pleasant, with a high of about 9C (48F) but there was no sunshine. Overcast all day,

The apartment where we're staying is on the eastern outskirts of this city of 100,000 people or so. We decided to leave the car parked where it was and walk into the city. We were due for some exercise anyhow. And, we've learned that you see a lot more when you're walking.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Pulled over by the police in Transnistria

After our Purcari wine tour, we had stayed the night at a small hotel in the town of Stefan Voda, only about 20 kms (12 miles) from the winery. It's a convenient location if the rooms at the winery are fully booked.

Not the greatest sleep, because the bed was hard as a rock...but other than that, for 500 lei ($35 CAD, $26.50 USD) a night it was fine.

Then yesterday morning, it was off to Transnistria!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It's not often we talk about politics...

But I felt it was important to give some background on the area that we are now visiting.

We're now in the country of Transnistria. Officially called the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. The problem is that this country doesn't really exist.

Oh, it's a country. It has its own border, its own border guards, its own passports, its own government, its own parliament, its own currency, and its own military.  Yes, it's a country.

The best wine in Moldova!

Yesterday, we drove about two hours south of the capital of Chisinau to the little town of Purcari, located on the Moldova - Ukraine border. There, we found the Purcari Winery.

Of course Moldova is famous for it's fine wines. When I began doing research about our trip to Moldova, the name Purcari kept coming up, and so it was one of the places that we really wanted to visit. Purcari is just a small vineyard...but they have a big history!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The largest wine cellar in the world

The other day we visited the underground wine cellars at Cricova Winery. They are listed as the second largest wine cellar in the world. Yesterday, we visited the largest wine cellar in the world!

Yes, the tiny, unknown country of Moldova has the two largest wine cellars in the world.

The one we visited yesterday at Milestii Mici Winery contains over 2 million bottles of wine.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

November Expenses

I was going to wait and publish our expenses for the entire trip. And when we're finished maybe I'll do that anyhow, because it would be a good exercise to show how much we spend per day on a six week journey. But for now, here's where we stood for the month of November...

We started off the month of November in the city of Ottawa, and so I've included our travel expenses for the one way journey to get to Europe. Despite the fact that we actually paid for the tickets last June, they're being expensed in the month we use them to make it a more accurate representation of how much we spend.

Walking tour of downtown Chisinau, Moldova

We walked over to pick up our car rental yesterday morning. It's been pure luck that every time we've booked a car rental on this trip, the office has been really close to where we're staying. This time, it was only a fifteen minute walk.

They gave us a little Ford Fiesta for 18 euros per day. We're keeping the car for nine days. This place accepts credit cards, but when I went to pay they said it would cost 3% extra to use the card. Okay, whatever. Not a big deal. I wanted to use the card because I have total rental vehicle coverage through our Visa card. So, it cost an extra $7 or so for that. Oh, and an extra 20 euros for the paperwork to be able to take the car to Transnistria.

Monday, December 5, 2016

We're all on the same page...

We relaxed for the morning and did some laundry. Just before the noon hour, we hopped on the local bus and headed downtown to meet our AirBnb host Gloria. She wanted to see the refurbished Moldova National Museum of Art, and asked if we wanted to go with her. Sure!

The museum had been closed for twenty years because the building itself was in such sad shape. It officially reopened November 4th of this year.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The underground wine city of Cricova

Moldova is not a well known country, especially in North America. But if anybody knows it, they know it for it's wines. The tiny country (1/10th the size of California) produces about 66 million liters of wine per year.

There are about 45 commercial wineries in Moldova, and 10 of them are open to public tours. In no particular order, we plan to visit three of them during our time here. Yesterday, we visited the second largest wine cellar in the world, at the Cricova underground wine city!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Orheiul Vechi Cave Monastery in Moldova

For our first full day in Moldova, we had been trying to get in to see one of the two largest wine cellars in the world. Both, are located right here in tiny Moldova! But, you need a reservation, and they were all booked up so there was nothing available for the last minute. We made reservation for 11:00am this morning, so you'll hear about that in tomorrow's blog post.

Instead, we went with our friend Andrei to the Orheiul Vechi Historical Sitenear the village of Trebujeni.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Travel Day - Iasi to Chisinau, Moldova

Well, we are now in the Republic of Moldova...the least visited country in Europe!

We are staying in Moldova for 10 to 14 days, first basing ourselves in the capitol city of Chișinău (pronounced Kish-i-now) (pop 650,000). We have a car rental booked for a week starting Saturday so that we can do some day trips. And after our week in the capital, we will stay somewhere else in Moldova.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Road trip to the painted monasteries of northern Romania

One of the things Ruth had on her Romania bucket list was to see the UNESCO listed painted monasteries of the Moldavian region of Romania.

We were running out of time, and it didn't look like it was going to be easy to do. But that's one of the reasons we made a quick two day stop here in Iasi. And, it's the reason we rented a car here.

We set off on a road trip at around 8:00am yesterday morning.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Another shady car rental deal

We arrived in Iasi (pronouced Ee-ash) early yesterday morning and didn't waste any time. We only had the one day to see the city itself, so even though we were a bit tired from our overnight train journey we headed out as soon as we got things settled.

And, we had organized a car rental for our time here. We didn't really need it for yesterday, but we wanted to do a long day trip today so by picking it up yesterday we could get an early start today.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A moment of panic...

Well, it was an interesting 24 hours, just as I figured it might be! But, we are now here in the city of Iași (pop 316,000) at the far eastern edge of Romania. We are only about 25 kms (15 miles) from the border of The Republic of Moldova. And we are at our AirBnb guesthouse...just as planned.

But it almost didn't happen that way. And there was the odd moment of panic.

Monday, November 28, 2016

It's going to be an interesting 24 hours...

Yesterday was a relaxing day, just like we planned.

It's tough when you're visiting a new country and you don't want to waste any time. There's too much to see and do and we don't want to miss any of it. But, we've learned that you need to take some down time. Yesterday's weather wasn't the nicest, so we took our time in the morning, got caught up on some computer things, and after lunch I had nap.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Another birthday, another country...

Happy 55th to my beautiful wife Ruth today as we once again celebrate her birthday in a new country. Last year we were in Colombia. We don't expect this trend to end anytime soon, so I wonder where we'll be for next year's birthday?!

We learned a couple of years ago that birthdays are not going to be travel days. Birthdays are relax days. Plus, it's raining today and we've pretty much exhausted the immediate area of things to see and do.

We are, however, going out for dinner!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Arsenal Park and a 2,000 year old ruins site

Interesting day yesterday as we first went to a Soviet military theme park, and then up into the mountains to the remains of a Dacian settlement from 2,000 years ago.

Had to put fuel in the car for the first time. This car is a diesel, and the onboard trip computer said that we were averaging 4.2 l/100 kms. That's 56 mpg! Wow! We had already driven over 800 kms (500 miles) and still had a quarter tank. It cost 150 lei ($49.50 CAD, $36 USD) to fill it up.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Searching for the tunnel of love...

A bit of a late start as we fight with internet connection problems here at the guest house. Frustrating, because the reviews had all mentioned how good the internet was at this particular place, but other than the very first day, we've had nothing but problems. Good thing I have the iPhone with a Romanian SIM card as a back up.

Anyhow, with the blog finally posted we headed out with two destinations in mind. One was to see the oldest church in Romania, and the other was to find the tunnel of love!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Now, *this* is a castle!

But before we get to that, I have to tell you our decision on yesterday's travel choice from Alba Iulia to Iasi. We decided to buy the first class sleeper tickets at $71 each.

After the fact, reader "iwasthere" suggested that we could fly from Cluj to Iasi for about $40 each. I looked it up, and that is partly correct. But the best I could find was actually $54 each, plus the cost of one bag at $32. So, approximately the same amount of money as the sleeper berth on the train.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Travel day...and some choices to make!

Yesterday was a travel day. We were driving 164 kms (102 miles) from Apuseni National Park to the village of Teliucu Inferior, which is located about 5 kms (3 miles) south of the famous Corvin Castle which we will be visiting at some point over the next few days.

Having a rental car has made our time here in Romania quite a lot more expensive than we originally planned, but it sure is convenient and we now think it's worth the extra expense for this particular country. We think if we had to do it all over again, we would have booked a rental for the entire month. Rentals for more than 2 weeks at a time get considerably cheaper on a "per day" basis.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It's always an adventure...

Our host here at the Cota 1000 Chalet had given us some ideas of things to do in the area, and yesterday morning we drove what was supposed to be a circular route with several stops at caves.

But the very narrow mountain road was partly covered in ice at some sections, and despite our snow tires and my Canadian winter driving skills, we had to turn around and go at it from a different direction.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The things we do to get to a waterfall...

On the road at 9:15am yesterday. Not bad.

We're on the edge of Apuseni National Park, and it's not easy driving. We didn't have a long distance to drive, only about 85 kms (53 miles), but I figured that's at least a two hour drive on these roads. Plus, we needed to stop and take photos along the way!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

A perfect day in Romania!

We woke up early yesterday, had breakfast at the guest house, and hit the road by 9:30am. We headed for a nearby gorge, hoping to do a hike through the gorge.

It was looking to be a beautiful day and because it was Saturday we figured the area might be busy and we wanted to beat the crowds.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Finally...a rental car!

Wow, what a circus trying to get a rental car here. Actually, I should qualify that...if we were willing to pay 25 euros ($36 CAD, $27 USD) per day, then it would have been quick and easy. But during low season, there's no way we're paying that kind of money for a ten day rental.

So we had arranged to get a car yesterday morning at 10:00am, but shortly before that they had called to cancel, saying that the people who have the car they were expecting back were keeping it for three more days. They offered the phone number of another place that might be able to help.

And once again, our couchsurfing host Gaby came through for us!

Friday, November 18, 2016

So, maybe things were meant to happen this way...

Spent much of yesterday morning on the phone and the internet trying to organize a car rental. Lots of thanks to our couchsurfing host Valentina for all of her translation efforts! Some of the car rental websites have English, but not all.

We ended up with a pretty good deal...162 euros ($233 CAD, $173 USD) for 10 days, but we were going to have to go 100 kms north of here to the city of Cluj by bus to pick up the car. So we made plans to do that this morning.

And then, it turned out all of that effort was for nothing.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Gastronomic Adventures in Southeastern Spain: A Taste of Murcia

Traditionally when someone mentions Spain, the first things that spring to mind are the glorious, soft-sandy beaches, refreshing sangrias, colorful local festivals and of course, the wonderful Spanish cuisines native to its regions. From the popular Spanish Costas, the emerald islands of the Balearics and the Canaries and even to the leading Spanish cities of Barcelona and Madrid.

Spain has attractions galore which are sure to appeal to the preferences of visitors in Murcia.

We were due for some exercise!

I said yesterday that we were due for a more relaxing day, but I didn't expect it to be yesterday. Still, we did manage to get out for some exercise. We're trying to plan our onward travels but we're having a hard time coming up with something concrete, and part of the problem is that we're enjoying our time here in the village of Oarda de Sus.

We need to rent a car because there are several day trips we want to do from here. But the car rental places here base their daily pricing on how many days you have the car.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Now, this is a civilized way to buy wine!

It was 11:00am by the time we got out the door yesterday morning. It takes a long time to sort the photos of our activities and post the blog. I guess we have to stop doing so much stuff. We are kind of due for a relax day, but I don't see that happening any time soon...there is too much to see and do!

Our couchsurfing host Valentina was going into town, so we went along with her and she dropped us off at one of the entrances to the citadel here in central Alba Iulia.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Travel Day - Sibiu to Alba Iulia, Romania

Our Airbnb host Andrei was off to work yesterday morning at 7:30am, but he left us a key so that we could come and go. Our planned bus to Alba Iulia wasn't leaving until 2:15pm, so we had some time to go wander around the city of Sibiu some more.

So we stayed in until 10:00am or so as it started to warm up a little outside. The entire country of Romania has been experiencing an unusual cold spell, but that is supposed to break tomorrow.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Blizzard...but what an adventure!

Yesterday morning, I got a phone call from the blablacars driver we had booked, saying that he was ahead of schedule and could we meet him a half an hour early. We had to rush a bit, but it was no problem.

There had been some snow flurries early this morning, and it was gradually getting worse. By the time we left at about 11:15am, it was actually snowing quite heavily!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Around the medieval city wall, and a good dinner out!

We relaxed yesterday morning, and planned our travel for the next couple of days. We had been heading to Sibiu for a few days, about 2 1/2 hours west of Brasov. But we received an email from the Mayors office of the nearby city of Alba Iulia asking if we would visit their city, so that's what we're going to do! We're still going to Sibiu first though, but only for one night.

We were going to take the bus to Sibiu but Daniel (our host here at the guesthouse) asked if we had tried blablacars yet. I had heard of it, but no...we hadn't tried it.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Another great day in Romania!

First thing we had to do yesterday morning was to return our rental car. We had picked it up at 10:00am, and so we had to return it at the same time. But, the car rental company had also specified that it was our obligation to return it clean and washed, and of course full of gas...just the way we had picked it up.

So the first thing we did was to go to a Romanian gas station for the first time.

Friday, November 11, 2016

It was slippery and muddy, but we made it!

Okay, so here's the second part of our day yesterday. We did too much exploring (is there such a thing??), so we had to break it into two separate posts. You can go back and check part one here if you missed it...

http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2016/11/im-king-of-castle.html

When we left you last, we were in the medieval Sighișoara citadel, and about to wander the narrow streets to see some of the houses of the people who still live there.

I'm the king of the castle!

We had a busy day yesterday. And when we sorted through the 100 photos we took, we decided there was no way to show you them all in one blog post. And so even though we have whittled them down to 54 photos after tossing the not so good ones, you're still going to get two blog posts today.

So, here is part 1...

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Peles Castle

We woke up to another drizzly day, but this time we hopped in the car and went exploring. We have to try and get out a little earlier, because time seems to go by so quickly when it gets dark around 5:00pm!

We were headed only about an hour south of Brasov to the town of Sinaia, and the magnificent Peles Castle.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Grocery shopping in Romania

We woke up to rain yesterday morning, so we just relaxed at the guest house. There are only four rooms here, and the basement is the common area with a nice living room and kitchen space. We've been the only ones here for two nights, although two more rooms were occupied last night.

This is a popular guesthouse, but it's low season for tourism here in Romania, so it's only been full on weekends.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A couple of funny things happened yesterday...

Yesterday morning we picked up our rental car. Our appointment was at 10:00am, and we were there five minutes ahead of time. They had booked us a 2012 Renault Clio, a small hatchback. But when the girl sat us down to do the paperwork, she apologized that the car was in service, and they were giving us a slightly bigger one, a 2013 Dacia Logan. No problem for us, we just wanted transportation.

Rental cars are priced in euros here in Romania, but when they charge your card, it is in the lei equivalent. It's tough to find anything under 25 euros ($37 CAD, $28 USD) per day, unless you are taking the car for longer than a week.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Busy day with lots of pictures in Brasov, Romania!

Our guesthouse host Daniel picked us up exactly at 10:00am from the studio apartment where we were staying at his parent's place. We drove through the old part of town to the opposite side, with Daniel pointing things out along the way.

Just before we arrived at La Despani Guesthouse, I noticed the car rental place where we have our booking for this morning. I knew it was quite close to the guesthouse, but it's almost right across the street!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Travel day!...Bucharest to Brasov

Travel days in a new country are always interesting!

You just never know exactly how things are going to go, despite planning in advance as much as you can. And of course you don't know what you're going to see along the way. Yesterday, we planned to take the train from Bucharest to Brasov, Romania a distance of about 166 kms (103 miles) by rail.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lesson learned...

We slept in a little bit on Friday morning. Not much really, but then we kind of relaxed for a couple of hours before getting ambitious enough to get outside. It was about 10:30am by the time we left the apartment.

Oh, speaking of which, some of you had asked for pictures of where we're staying. We had booked an AirBnb rental to stay in a private room in a shared apartment in Bucharest. We got lucky in that our hosts Cosmin and Carmen are really nice and helpful people, and we will probably stay with them again when we return to Bucharest in mid December.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Exploring Bucharest, Romania

We haven't had any problem with "jet lag". But then, we rarely do. We try right away to put ourselves into the current time without thinking about what the time was when we left Canada. And so even though we had been tired the night before, we slept well and woke up just after 7:00am.

But then it took us a while to get going. We had some internet time and a cup of tea, and before we knew it it was 9:30am. Can't be wasting the day away, because there's too much to see!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Arrived in Romania!

When we left you yesterday, we were sitting in Zurich airport, waiting for our flight from Zurich to Bucharest.

The mid afternoon flight went fine, and in fact we even slept for part of it, which is not normal for us. But the previous overnight transatlantic flight and six hour time change does funny stuff to your system, so we were glad that we managed to get another hour's nap!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hello Switzerland!

Well, we made it across the pond. A little tired, but excited to be here, so it's all good. Sitting in Zurich airport as I write this, waiting for our 11:55am flight to Bucharest.

The flight from Ottawa to Montreal was fine. I think we were only in the air for 20 minutes. You just get up there, and you start to come back down!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

It's going to be a long day and a half!

But we love this stuff. The next time you hear from us, we'll be in Zurich, Switzerland. How cool is that??

We fly Air Canada from Ottawa to Montreal at 3:20 this afternoon. Then, a short wait before our 6:00pm overnight Swiss Air flight from Montreal to Zurich, Switzerland. The flight time is 7h:20m, and there's a 5 hour time change so it will be 6:20am when we arrive in Zurich.

Monday, October 31, 2016

October Expenses

Well, we obviously can't afford to keep coming back to Ottawa. Just kidding, but it does seem we spend more money sitting in one place than we do when we're traveling! It was all worth it of course...we had a fun month and it was great to see all of our Ottawa family and friends again.

We spent a total of $2,350 for the month. Definitely above average. But not one particular category was way out of whack, it's just that they were all slightly higher than normal and when you add them all up...well, they add up!


Would you take the bus, or the train?

One of the things we're going to have to decide on during our upcoming trip is whether to take the bus, or the train. If everything else is equal, we like to travel by train. We just think it's more relaxing, and you've got more space to get up and stretch your legs if you want to.

But, the train isn't always faster, and it can also be more expensive.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Busy last few days

It's been a busy couple of days for us. Trying to squeeze in some visits with family and friends while we get the chance because we're usually only in Ottawa once a year at the most. The next year will be a little different because of course we're back here at Christmas for two weeks, and then again next April.

On Friday, we went for lunch with my mother and my sister. Thanks Mom!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A little info about our next trip

Since we're going to be spending most of the month of November in the country of Romania, we figured we should give you a bit of a primer about the country itself.

Probably the first (and maybe the only) thing you might think of when asked about Romania is Dracula...and/or Transylvania. Most everybody will have heard of those two things that are closely related to Romania, and especially at this time of year, given that we're only a couple of days away from Halloween.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Shouldn't we be half way to Mexico by now?

That's what I was thinking to myself as I watched the snowflakes coming down yesterday.

They had been calling for a big rainstorm starting yesterday afternoon, but at the last minute they changed it to snow. And they called for between 3-7 cms (1-3 inches)!

Sure enough, the big wet flakes started to accumulate on the ground.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Change of plans...

Had an email yesterday from our couchsurfing host in Bucharest (we arrive next Wednesday) saying that they've had a problem with the heating in their house and that it won't be fixed until November 4th.

She said we were still welcome to stay with them if we were prepared to put up with some cold in the house. The temperature in Bucharest right now has highs around 10C (50F).

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

An Afternoon at a Nordic Spa

Today's blog post is written by Ruth for a change....

Yesterday, Lindsey and I had a mother daughter day and spent the afternoon relaxing at a nordic spa in Quebec.

A while back Lindsey found a special on Groupon for 4 hours at a nordic spa and a 4 course dinner at a restaurant nearby for a total of $80 CAD ($62 USD) for the two of us and asked if I would like to join her for the day away, of course I said YES!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Just grandpa and the grandkids

We dropped off our rental car yesterday, a day earlier than scheduled. When we booked it, we had forgotten that Ruth and our daughter Lindsey were going to be away for the day today. So it was more convenient to bring it back yesterday. We didn't really have any pressing use for another car until Friday anyhow.

So this morning, Ruth and Lindsey took off for the drive up to a day spa in Quebec about two and a half hours from here. They'll enjoy a massage and hot pools and then dinner later this afternoon. Just a mom and daughter day away!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Things are coming together

Spent a fair amount of time this past weekend organizing some accommodation for our six week trip to Romania and Moldova. We leave a week from tomorrow!

We arrive in Bucharest, Romania the afternoon of November 2nd. We've got a couchsurfing host arranged for three nights there...a younger couple (32) with their two cats. And then on the 5th, we take the train to Brasov.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Looking forward to visiting the Republic of Moldova

A few days ago, my mother had given us a newspaper article from a couple of months ago that she had saved for us. She knew that we were planning to visit the country of Moldova.

Because Ottawa is the capital of Canada, most other countries have their embassies located here. And this article was about Her Excellency Ala Beleavschi, the Ambassador from the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova to Canada.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

We escaped!

It's been raining pretty steady for the past couple of days. But, the only thing you can change about the weather is your attitude towards it, so we had to come up with some indoor things to do.

That's pretty easy with our grandkids. They don't mind playing indoors. Cameron (5) is in school for most of the day, and Sadie (3) is pretty easy to keep occupied.

Friday, October 21, 2016

RV'ing in Iceland!

Of course RV'ing is a popular thing to do in both Canada and the United States. But we've learned that the RV culture is alive and well in many other countries too. We have camped ourselves in Africa and Mexico, and we're about to embark on a two month RV excursion in Spain.

But one country that we keep dreaming about exploring with an RV is Iceland!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sherman's twin brother!

It was a nice day with a clear blue sky and we wanted to see more of the fall colors. So we had planned on having an early lunch and then going for a drive up to the ski resort area at Calabogie, Ontario.

But I had to wait for an important phone call at 1:00pm, so we rescheduled our time and had lunch at the normal hour and then took off after lunch. We'll tell you more about that important phone call on Saturday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The little black car

A couple of months ago I saw a car rental deal, and I booked it. Originally, the plan had been to rent a car and drive down through Toronto to Pelee Island and visit our friends Heinz and Uli. There are some other people we could have visited along the way, as well as Ruth's sister and her husband.

But as the date drew closer, we simply didn't feel like doing the drive.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pinterest?

It's a lot of work to run a daily blog like we do. We still enjoy doing it so we'll keep at it for a while yet! But between writing the blog, answering comments, posting to facebook and answering emails related to the blog...it's quite time consuming. Then, there's a raft of other social media possibilities that are expected of you and so far we've tried to avoid them because they simply take up more time.

Can't bring ourselves to "tweet" on a regular basis, so other than an automated tweet once a day when we post the blog, we don't use twitter. Facebook has worked well for us though. We get a lot of readers through Facebook. But one that we've always wanted to try is Pinterest because we've read that other travel bloggers have had a lot of success with it.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Starting our 10th year

It was nine years ago on Saturday that we drove our new (to us) motorhome Sherman to North Bay, Ontario on his first major trip. So yesterday marked the start of our tenth year since we embarked on an alternative lifestyle that doesn't involve so much commitment to work.

We were only 45 years old when we decided to "semi-retire" and devote ourselves to a life of frugal living and frugal travel that doesn't involve owning very much stuff.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Roast beef dinner and a campfire

So, I'm with a group of my male friends up at a beautiful cottage for the weekend located in between Smiths Falls and Kingston, Ontario. It was looking to be a nice day, and so 8 out of the 10 of us decided to go for a hike.

We went to the nearby Rock Dunder hiking trail. It's a very popular trail, and of course on a nice fall Saturday it was pretty busy.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Good start to the weekend.

Met up with my friends yesterday afternoon at a beautiful cottage at Whitefish Lake, Ontario. I parked the car, walked in the front door about 3:30pm, and the place was quiet.

Nobody around.

Friday, October 14, 2016

This old motorhome burned to the ground...

We went out for another nice walk yesterday. It had rained a bit in the morning, but we waited until it was less than a drizzle, and we were fine. There are a lot of snowmobile trails in a nearby bush area, and at this time of year it's great for going for a hike.

We try and keep up a fast pace, despite the fact that there were quite a few picture taking opportunities. It's a really pretty area!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Where are we now?

A year ago, our daughter and her husband bought a house in the village of Osgoode, Ontario.

The village is located 37 kms (23 miles) south of downtown Ottawa, the capitol city of Canada. The greater Osgoode area has a population of about 2,500 people, although legally it is now part of the the city of Ottawa.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The trees are in their prime fall colors...

Ruth went for a short walk with her dad yesterday morning, and then later on in the morning she and I went for a fast paced walk around "the rabbit path". No idea why it's called that, because it's simply a walk around the block on the country roads out here.

But, we did 5.2 kms (3.1 miles) in 52 minutes. Not bad to get the blood pumping!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Three weeks to go

Only three weeks until we arrive in Bucharest, Romania. So I figured we had better start looking for somewhere to stay. Our first choice is always to stay with a local when arriving in a new country, so I started searching the profiles on the couchsurfing website.

There are quite a few choices in Bucharest, Romania. In fact, there are over 16,000 profiles registered for the city. But, we narrow things down quickly because we prefer a private room in a non smoking household within walking distance to the city center. Still, that left us with 23 possibilities.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Thanksgiving Monday

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian readers. We hope you're enjoying your long weekend! Today, we're going back up to Ruth's dad's house and we're going to stay there with him for a couple of days.

Yesterday, we had my family visit for Sunday brunch at our daughter Lindsey's house. Grandson Cameron came with me to pick up our son Alex who had taken the bus out to this end of the city.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

We can afford to buy one, but we can't afford to keep it.

We were on grandparent duty yesterday, and it started off with a drizzly morning. So rather than hang around Lindsey's house, Ruth called her Dad and we decided to pack the kids into Lindsey's car and drive on up there for the day. We haven't seen Ruth's dad since this time last year.

It's only about 80 kms (50 miles) depending on what route you take. So we arrived there about 11:00am.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

September Expenses

We were so busy driving the last couple of weeks that we never published our September expense report.

Overall, it was a pretty good month. We spent a total of $995 CAD ($755 USD) for the month. The following figures are all in Canadian dollars. For USD equivalent, you can subtract about 25%.

Stocked up on wine!

Gorgeous sunny day yesterday...possibly the last really nice day of 2016 as the temperature here in Ottawa soared to 25C (77F) with sunshine. Normal highs are around 15C (60F).

So, we tried to spend as much time as possible outside. But, we did have to go out for a drive to the nearby village of Manotick, which is now actually a suburb of Ottawa.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Feels like coming home

We got up and drove right away after a great sleep. We put in a solid two hour drive before stopping for a break. By 10:00am we had put in a normal day's drive for us!

But, we were on a bit of a mission yesterday, and still had to make it to our old hometown of Ottawa.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Ahead of schedule, and another fantastic overnight spot

We didn't leave Matheson, Ontario until about 10:00am yesterday morning, and we were planning on making it to the small city of Val d'Or, Quebec...about  250 kms (155 miles) away.

But as the day went on, we just kept driving. And, we had a message from our daughter not to forget that we had an appointment to pick up our batch of wine on Friday at noon...we had thought it was Saturday at noon!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Happy that Sherman is back to his old self!

Yesterday morning, I was going to change Sherman's spark plugs before leaving, and while the engine was still cool. I was all set to do the job, and I went to grab my spark plug socket...and it had vanished. It wasn't in it's normal spot with the other sockets. It was just gone.

No idea where. I think the last time I used it was changing the spark plugs in the little blue car in Mexico in 2013!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Canada wasn't always the "nice" country it is today!

Woke up to a foggy misty morning. Not raining really, but the kind of day where you have to turn on your windshield wipers every few minutes to get the mist off the glass.

Again, we got on the road right away and drove for an hour and a half before stopping for breakfast near the town of Hearst, Ontario.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Now *this* was a perfect boondocking spot!

First thing I did yesterday morning was to change Sherman's distributor cap and rotor. Should have been a simple half hour job from start to finish, but it didn't go that smoothly. The distributor cap is held on with two long skinny screws, about 3/4" long. One of them snapped in two taking the old cap off. That's not supposed to happen!

After pondering my choices (one of which was to wait until the world's smallest Canadian Tire opened it's doors at noon) I tried putting the new cap on with just the one screw. There's a guide on both sides of it, and it seemed to hold just fine with only the one screw. So rather than sitting and waiting for three  hours, we got on the road. I'll fix it properly in Ottawa.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Northern Ontario scenery

Slept fine at the Ignace airport, and got on the road right away. Put a few miles on early, and stopped at the village of Upsala for breakfast. Funny place names up here, huh?

Never any problem getting on the internet, despite feeling like we're in the middle of nowhere up here. Always either a cell signal or an unsecured wifi signal coming from somewhere nearby.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sherman has been acting up

We left the Vermilion Bay airport yesterday morning first thing and headed for the big city of Dryden, Ontario (pop 7,800).

Sherman has been acting up. A little bit of hesitation when accelerating at highway speeds, and misfiring a little bit. I had a good idea what the problem was. When I had fixed the exhaust leak last month, I had the four spark plug wires off that side, and one of them didn't feel quite solid when I put it back on. I thought about changing them then, but, things seemed to run fine at the time so I didn't.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Busy day with some wildlife sightings!

Wow. Long blog post today. Nothing to do but to start at the beginning! We left the Regent Casino on the eastern side of Winnipeg as soon as we got up Thursday morning. That way, the engine heat warms things up for us and we don't need to use any propane. We did the short drive out of the city and to the small town of Ste Anne, only 43 kms (27 miles) away.

I had checked online to find a place that would top up Sherman'a propane tank, and there was a Co-op store in Ste. Anne that had a propane fill station for both tanks and automobiles.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Not our best overnight choice...but it turned out great!

A little late getting on the road yesterday morning. It was probably about 10:30am by the time we finally left Rivers Provincial Park. No worries, but we did want to try to make it to the other side of the big city of Winnipeg (pop 675,000) before rush hour traffic affected us at all.

So we said goodbye to Lorne and Sue and their dog Charlie. The RV dump station was still open, so we took advantage of that, and hit the road.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Out on the lake in the kayak

Had a good day off yesterday. Beautiful fall weather, not a cloud in the sky all day. We decided to get the kayak out and go for a boat ride on the lake.

Our friend Lorne was interested in seeing the kayak, so I brought the whole bag and showed him how easy it was to setup from start to finish.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

3 Fabulous Cruise Itineraries You Should Definitely Try

If you’ve not been on a cruise before, you’re in for a treat. Cramming so many destinations into one trip has got to be up there as one of the must-dos of your travel wish list. The beauty of cruise travel, as well, is that there is so much choice. Here are three itineraries you should definitely try, if you’re having trouble making that all important decision of where to go.

Today is a day off!

We got on the road as soon as we woke up yesterday morning. It was a bit chilly, and better to use the engine heat to warm things up rather than putting the propane on. After all, we were going to be driving anyhow.

So we drove for a half an hour to the town of Whitewood, Saskatchewan where we stopped and had breakfast and a hot drink and used the internet.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Is it okay if we park here for the night?

The sunshine finally returned to Saskatchewan. Clear blue skies for our driving day yesterday, along with a really strong wind! And it was mostly a tailwind. Sherman loves being pushed along by the wind.

We had breakfast with Phil and Wendy (thanks again guys!) and then pulled into the Walmart to pick up a few things. We had bought one life jacket on clearance for $14.99 at the Walmart in Swift Current, but it was the last one they had. So we were hoping the Moose Jaw Walmart had more.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Great first day back on the road!

Spent yesterday morning doing the final lockup of the park. Shut the water off to the main house and concession building and got the last of our belongings moved in to Sherman.

Did a final check around, and at 12:30pm we pulled out. Only a half an hour behind schedule...not bad!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

And we're off!

On the one hand, it feels like the last five months went by fairly quickly. But on the other hand, and as expected, the last few weeks dragged a little bit.

But the day is finally here! We're officially off work today, and we'll be traveling pretty much non stop for the next seven months!


Friday, September 23, 2016

Who wants to come work with us?

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about workamping. Since that time, we've decided to try and find our own workamping couple (or single!) here at Cabri Regional Park for next season.

Workamping is typically when you receive a free full hook up RV camping site in exchange for helping out around the park for a minimal number of hours per week. But in this particular situation, we have a specific job in mind for whoever applies.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Too much stuff!

Besides getting the park ready to close down, we've also been getting the motorhome ready to use for the next five weeks or so. And because we had done the motorhome exchange, we had pretty much cleaned out all of our belongings and put them in the house.

So now, we're sorting through everything and Ruth is putting everything in it's proper place.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

First class flying

Air Canada is the largest airline in Canada. It has a wholly owned subsidiary that is a "no frills" airline called Air Canada Rouge.

When I booked our January 1st flight to Spain, I knew that the carrier was Air Canada Rouge. And I knew that Air Canada Rouge does not have a good reputation regarding some things.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Out for a boat ride

Given that we've only got four days left here at the park to get things closed down, and it's supposed to pour with rain on Friday...we probably shouldn't have taken some time off to go for a boat ride.

But we did...so now we'll make up for it today!

Monday, September 19, 2016

More travel planning...

Wow, what a windy day we had yesterday. Fortunately, the wind was coming from the west so it was blowing most of the leaves from the trees by the shoreline right into the lake. A few less to clean up when we return in May!

Lots of small branches and twigs down too though. But this morning? Calm as can be.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Less than a week to go!

Well, today is the official day that all of the trailers must be out of the park. I think there are only  about 10 of them left, so the rest will be coming today to vacate the park.

Then tomorrow, I can turn the water off, store the pump, and winterize the remaining three of the five bathroom buildings. We've already got two of them done.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Windshield Crack Repair

I received the repair kit that I had ordered from CrackEraser.com.

To give you some background, our 1996 motorhome windshield comes in two pieces...a driver's side, and a passenger side. The passenger side had about a two foot long crack in it that's been there for about a year and a half. And the driver's side had about a one inch size chip in it...bigger than a quarter.

But the windshields cost over $600 per side, and we had no insurance coverage for that type of damage.

Friday, September 16, 2016

There's something you don't get to do every day!

We've been spending our summers here on the Canadian prairies for four years now. The first year up at Sturgeon Lake, and the last three summers here at Cabri Regional Park.

Saskatchewan contains 44% of all the farmland in Canada! And so, a big part of the economy here is farming. Many of our clientele here at the park are local farmers, and our economy here at the campground is directly related to the growing season. Farmers are busy with seeding and fertilizing in May and June, so not many of them come to the park. And then in mid August through September they are busy harvesting the product, so the park is quiet once again.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

It finally arrived!

We've been planning our six week trip to Romania, and back at the beginning of August I had spoken to the Romania Tourism Board in New York City. They are the main contact in North America.

I had printed off a map of Romania and Ruth was doing the planning based on that. Pretty tough to do on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper! Anyhow the guy at Romania Tourism said they would send us a map, as well as some other information.

That was on August 5th!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Going to check out another park

There are around 75 parks in the Saskatchewan Regional Parks system. We like to see some of the other parks, and last year around this time we drove over to Clearwater Lake Regional Park.

This year, we're going down to Lac Pelletier Regional Park. We have to go to Swift Current today for groceries, and Lac Pelletier is only about 42 kms (26 miles) south of Swift Current. So we'll pop down there just to check it out and see how they do things.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

It would have been cheaper to fly...

We're taking the motorhome to Ottawa later this month. It's about a 3,100 km (1,900 mile) journey, one way. We will use about 718 litres (190 gallons) of fuel to do so.

It would have been cheaper to fly.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Part 2 - A Different Colony

In yesterday's blog post we showed you our visit to our first Hutterite colony. We were lucky enough to tour two different colonies that day in order to show you the differences that can exist between colonies.

In general, they have the same basic structure. That is, physical goods that are for the benefit of the colony are owned by the colony. And everybody works for the colony.

But there are some glaring differences in attitude.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A visit with the Hutterites

One of the reasons that we love to travel to different countries is that we like to see how other people live. But you don't have to travel to a far off land to experience a different culture...sometimes you can find them in your own backyard as we learned yesterday when we visited two different Hutterite colonies.

But before we get to that, we should give you some background. The Hutterites arrived in North America to escape military and religious persecution in western Russia. They arrived in three separate groups from 1874 to 1879, and all groups originally settled in the North Dakota area of the United States.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The house is a little quiet this morning

Well, I got Sherman all put back together. It took me all day yesterday. That was a big job. My knees are reminding me once again that I'm not 25 years old any more! And I have sore muscles in places where I didn't know I had any muscles.

But it's done. I still think there's a very minor exhaust leak coming from that side, and it's because the manifold itself might be a little bit warped. I probably should have replaced it.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Well, I knew that was going to be a big job...

And it was.

But, the patient is being good. It's the doctor who needs to recover! The operation isn't quite finished yet, and my sore knees and back aren't looking forward to getting back under there.

But although it was time consuming, it was fairly successful.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

No flying yet this year!

When we traveled in the motorhome with our dog Whiskey, we went several years without flying anywhere. It was just easier when you have the responsibilities of being a pet owner. But when Whiskey passed away in the fall of 2011 we began flying to different countries. As much as we love traveling in the motorhome, we also love visiting different countries and experiencing different cultures.

And we've done a lot of flying over the past 5 years!


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I can't believe I let that happen!

Cool day yesterday, but with the sun shining we decided to go for a short morning hike. I took the iPhone with us, and using the Motion-X GPS app, we know that we did 5.9 kms (3.7 miles) in an hour and forty minutes. Not bad. Gotta get those hiking legs in shape for Romania, so we'll be out a lot more over the next few weeks. It feels great to get back into it!

But by the time we returned, the battery in the iPhone was almost dead. I knew it was getting bad, and had already ordered the necessary parts to fix the problem.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Another camping season comes to an end...

And just like that, the summer is over.

Kids (and teachers) are back in school, farmers are working the harvest, and our campground is pretty much empty of people. There are still a lot of trailers here though. The seasonal campers have two weeks from yesterday to remove their trailers from the park, so they'll be disappearing between now and September 19th.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Free budget tracking software

Ever since we changed our lifestyle almost ten years ago, we have kept track daily of how much money we spend. Because we weren't independently wealthy, we had to know where every penny goes. And we still do it.

And we still publish our monthly expense reports here on the blog. We like to show people that you don't need a lot of money to travel...or to live, for that matter.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

No Mexico this winter...

This winter will be the first time in seven years that we don't spend at least part of the season in Mexico. Originally, when we were with our traveling companion Whiskey, we were confined to North America.

But there is a whole big world out there, and we want to see it all.

So since Whisky passed away in the fall of 2011, we have tried to go to at least one different country every year. But even though we have done that, we have always returned to Mexico at least at some point in the season.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Scenery around the park

I haven't taken many photos from around the park this year. And we haven't been out for a hike at all this year. There have been too many mosquitoes out in the hills! Even slathering the bug spray on, they have been terrible.

We think that's about to change after this weekend though. Looks like the weather gods are flicking the switch, and summer is over...just like that! So, it should be too cold for the little buggers.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Booked another flight deal!

Two years ago, I wrote an article titled How to Get the Best Airfare Deal.

The very first thing that I talk about is patience.

Well, for over three months, I've been watching for one particular airfare deal. But it had to be a fairly specific deal, because we need to end up near Alicante, Spain around January 6th in order to pick up the motorhome for two months. And ideally, we would be flying from and returning to, Ottawa.

Yesterday, my patience paid off!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

August Expenses

Well, another month has passed, so it must be time for another monthly expense report. We were doing okay on our expenses during August...until we saw that kayak for sale. But overall, it was still a good month.

Except that there were five Wednesdays in the month, and we do grocery shopping on Wednesdays!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The best RV holding tank treatment

Yesterday, one of our readers told me about some treatment for your black water holding tank. I had never heard of this particular product before, and it has really high reviews, so I did some research.

Appropriately, It's called "Happy Campers"!

We're going to miss National Wine Day!

So I'm doing some research on the tiny country of Moldova, the least visited country in Europe. And I see that they have a National Wine Day.

Moldova is the 22nd largest wine producer in the world, and they have over 20 million bottles in storage underground. The largest wine cellar in the world is located in Moldova where there are almost 2 million bottles. And do you know where the world's second largest wine cellar is? Yep, it's in Moldova too!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

These guys just don't get it...

I was looking at the map the other day while planning our trip to Ottawa next month, and I was remembering the last time we drove across northern Ontario in the fall of 2007.

At that time, we had stopped in the towns of Kenora and Dryden, and noticed that there were "No RV Parking" signs at the Walmarts. No problem for us. Even back then, we were good at finding great free overnight spots!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A motorhome built for two

There is a common saying among RV'ers here in North America....

How many people fit in your RV?

6 for drinks, 4 for dinner, and 2 for sleeping!

But when we get to Spain in January and have the use of this nice little motorhome for two months, it's unlikely that we will be squeezing in six people for drinks. Even four for dinner is going to be tight!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Just about jumped out of my boots!

Every morning, I wander down to the water pump and the shoreline here at the park. Just to confirm that the pressure is right and there are no problems.

Beside the pump, there are a couple of old docks and the bleed off hose to relieve the system pressure. The constant supply of water from the bleed off hose has eroded the sand underneath one of the docks and there is a little bit of trench there.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Happy National Toilet Paper Day

The funny things you come across reading the news. Yep, it's National Toilet Paper Day.

So, as you are sitting on the throne today, you can think of all the poor toilet paper that has sacrificed itself for your benefit. Too funny.

Pretty sure there aren't any parades or time off work associated with this particular celebration!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

It's that time of year

When we arrive here at the park at the beginning of May, we're enthusiastic about getting the campground ready for the season. And, it's actually nice to be settled in one place for a while with all of the amenities that we don't normally have when we're traveling. You know, like a steady supply of running water, hot showers, and an actual washer and dryer!

And then our busy season runs from mid June until mid August and there's not time to think about anything else.

But after mid August, time starts to drag and we get itchy to get on the road again. And it's that time of year right now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Workamping or Work Camping?

I saw a comment on a forum the other day about work camping...that is, staying at a campground in your RV, and putting in a few hours of work at the campground in order to get your site and services for free. And a big discussion ensued about the various forms of work camping and the remuneration involved, if any.

The term "Workamping" was actually coined by Workamper News, which (before the internet came along) was the go to monthly publication  for those wanting to find a job work camping.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The benefit goes directly to the park

Every weekend when the park is busy during the summer, campers drink a lot of liquids. Soft drinks, juice, water, and of course lots of beer, wine, and liquor.

In Saskatchewan, all of the containers that these liquids come in require you to pay a deposit when you purchase them. That means that every single empty container has some value. Some people don't care about that value, and even though we have recycling containers throughout the park, they toss their empties into the garbage. Others simply take their empties home with them. But, a lot of people donate the empties to the proper bins, and the benefit goes directly to the park.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Out for a ride in our new kayak!

Our new kayak arrived on Friday.

Ever since we got the motorhome, we've wanted some kind of a boat to go relax and explore on the water. We thought about a canoe, but it wouldn't be convenient trying to attach it to Sherman's roof. And we knew that we could get an inflatable kayak but the ones that other RV'ers talk about on the forums cost upwards of $500, and we didn't want to spend that much without knowing how much we'd use it.

So when I spotted this one on sale for $100, we both looked at each other and said "buy it"!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Another thought on our motorhome windshield dilemma

Just to give you some background, the passenger side windshield of our motorhome has a crack about 18" long. The driver's side windshield  has a huge stone chip right in the center, and two smaller ones a little lower down.

We don't have glass insurance, and the cost to replace the windshields is minimum $650 USD per side.

But for $90 USD on Amazon.com, or $114 here in Canada on Amazon.ca, I'm thinking this crack and chip repair kit might be worth a try.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Where were you thirty years ago today?

Well we were at the hospital. But it was for a good thing!

Because today is our daughter Lindsey's 30th birthday. And she says she's having a bit of a tough time getting used to that fact that she's now starting her 30's. And I have to admit, it does sound a bit strange that our daughter is 30. But then again, none of us are getting any younger, are we??

Friday, August 19, 2016

The first day we met Sherman...

It was nine years ago today on August 19, 2007, that we did the five hour drive down from Ottawa, Ontario to the outskirts of Albany, New York.

We went there to look at a motorhome!

It was also the very first motorhome we had looked at. But, I knew what we were looking for and had scanned a lot of advertisements over the three weeks prior to that.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Good news, and bad news...

We own two vehicles...Sherman the motorhome, and the little blue car. And they both have windshield problems! Not bad, but enough to be annoying. The motorhome windshield is two pieces...there is a left side and a right side. The left side has two small stone chips, and one large one. The right side has a crack about a foot and a half long

So yesterday I made some phone calls.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Better to repair than to replace

In some situations. In other situations, it's better to replace than to repair!

But I had to come to some kind of decision about these lower door latches on the motorhome, because if I was going to order new ones I had to give them enough lead time so that they would arrive here before we leave towards the end of next month.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It's just the two of us now...

Our seasonal employee Valine had her last day of work on Sunday. Things start to quiet down here around this time of year and so she was scheduled to be finished now.

We also had two different gate staff helping through the busier period, but neither one of them lasted very long. Let's just say they didn't need the money very badly. At $12.60 an hour, you'd think it would be easy to find a teenager committed to the job, but apparently that's not the case.

And so it's just the two of us now to run the park for the rest of the season. That's what we've done the last two years, so we know that it's not a problem.

Monday, August 15, 2016

We want our money back!

Very often when you buy fruit in the grocery store, you don't know what you're getting. Oranges, cantaloupe, watermelon, and pineapple are all fruits that we have bought where you don't know until you get it home to eat it if it's any good on the inside.

And we're not putting up with it any more.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

We bought a kayak!

Ever since we started RV'ing, we've always wanted a kayak. But we didn't want one of the hard sided ones because it would be too difficult to carry around. And the good quality blow up ones are like $400 or $500 and because we weren't sure how much we would use it, it was hard to justify spending that kind of money.

But yesterday, I spotted a deal. And when I showed it to Ruth, we both looked at each other and said "buy it"!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Finally got the mosquitoes under control

Because of all the rain we've been having here at the park, the mosquitoes have been really bad. There was one week in July where you pretty much couldn't go outside without slathering on the bug spray. But I think we've finally got them under control with our new heavy duty mosquito fogging machine.

It took me a while to figure out the proper formulation to use for the chemicals, and the right settings on the machine. But now, it seems to work perfectly and is very effective at doing the job.

Friday, August 12, 2016

A few minor things going bad

Got into the motorhome yesterday to check out some of the problems our motorhome exchange guests had. They had very few problems actually. Sherman behaved himself while he was in their care! The major things were the inverters. The big one had gone bad a couple of weeks ago, and then the small one stopped working the day before they brought him back to us.

But yesterday, the small one turned on right away. As soon as I pressed the "On" button!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

That is a lot of firewood!

We go through a lot of firewood here at the park. Of course it's not really camping if you don't have a campfire going, is it? At least that's what the majority of our campers seem to think.

And so we order a tractor trailer load of firewood once per year. It works out to 22 full cords. And no, you don't get much of a discount for ordering in bulk. $225 per cord, delivered all the way from Prince Albert, about 400 kms (245 miles) north of here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Things are starting to wind down

It's hard to believe that things are starting to wind down already here at the park. I've got a simple little app on my phone called Dreamdays that counts down the number of days to important events. I don't look at it every day, but it's kind of fun to know that there are only 46 days (give or take a day or two either way) until we leave here.

Oh, and only 83 days until we fly to Romania...and 137 days until Christmas!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Solar Panel Basics

When we were talking about 12 volt battery basics the other day, I had mentioned that it would be pretty easy to write an entire blog post about solar panel basics...so here it is!

We think that there is no better feeling than to be self sufficient for the electricity in your RV. No more having to worry about finding a place to plug in, no worries about whether it's stable source of electricity, and no need to buy surge protectors or voltage regulators.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Guess who is home?

Yep, two months have flown by, and Sherman is now back home with us. Tana and Graham arrived here yesterday afternoon at about 4:30pm. What an adventure they have all had!

They left here June 8th and headed to Drumheller, Alberta and the dinosaur park there. Then, it was off to Banff and Jasper and the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

We didn't understand 12 volt batteries!...Part 3

In part 1, we talked about the basics of the 12 volt electrical system in your RV. In part 2, we talked about the different types of RV batteries. Today in part 3, we are going to talk about how to keep those batteries charged and maintained.

There are four common ways of charging your RV batteries.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

We didn't understand 12 volt batteries!...Part 2

In yesterday's blog post we talked about your RV's battery and 12 volt electrical system. We're trying to stick to the basics, and we're trying to explain everything in terms that the average person will understand.

Today, we'll get into the most popular different types of batteries.

Friday, August 5, 2016

We didn't understand 12 volt batteries!

When we first bought our motorhome Sherman nine years ago this month, we didn't realize the importance of the 12 volt battery system. And I bet it wasn't until almost two years later that we fully understood how the 12 volt batteries work, and their limitations in an RV.

For those of you who don't RV, this article will be of little interest. But for those of you who still don't fully understand 12 volt batteries, I'm going to try to explain in basic terms how the battery system works and how you can make yours better.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ginger tea, rain, and visitors!

Ever since I stopped drinking coffee a couple of years ago, I have struggled to find a hot drink substitute that I like. When we're in Mexico, we buy a nice Mexican hot chocolate called Abuelita made by Nestle. It's also available in the U.S., but we can't seem to get it here in Canada.

So now, I make hot chocolate the old fashioned way with cocoa powder, brown sugar, and milk. But when our daughter Lindsey was here in June, she showed me another hot drink that she liked, and it turns out that  I really like it too. Homemade ginger tea!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

New 10 year passports!

We received our new 10 year passports in the mail yesterday. Back in 2013, Canadians were finally given the option of buying either a 5 year passport or a 10 year passport. I can't really figure why anybody would buy the 5 year one now.

Unless you're maybe 90 years old. Then perhaps you want to choose the 5 year!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Scorpion!

I'll bet you didn't now that there are scorpions in Canada. I mean after all, this is the great white north...scorpions couldn't survive up here, could they?

Well, they can and they do.

Monday, August 1, 2016

August is here!

And that means we can say "next month, we're outta here!".

Our last really busy weekend is over and done with. July seems like it went by fairly quickly, and hopefully August will too. September will drag a little as our departure date gets closer. But, there will still be a lot to do getting the park ready to shut down for the season.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Expenses

Well, if it weren't for paying for our new passports ($320 CAD) this month, it would have been a really cheap month!

The following figures are all in Canadian dollars. You can subtract about 25% for U.S. dollar equivalent...

Saturday, July 30, 2016

One more week!

Isn't it hard to believe that our motorhome Sherman has been gone for almost two months?! Yes, he returns to us next weekend, in only one more week. It's funny that we're excited to see him again!

We received a couple more photos of him. He's actually been down south across the border! Tana and Graham had mentioned that they were interested in going to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and of course that's only 400 miles (640 kms) south of the Canada/U.S. border.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Cultural Travel

A couple of weeks ago, I had written that we enjoy getting to know the people who live in other countries. We've found that it's the best way to understand different cultures, and to realize that the way we do things as a society here in Canada or the Unites States isn't the only way, or necessarily the best way.

And so reader Sara Horton had asked for an expansion of those thoughts. How exactly do we set ourselves up to have those cultural experiences while we travel?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Planning for Romania

In less than 100 days (96, to be exact) we will be on a plane to Romania where we will spend six weeks touring the country. While that still sounds like it's quite a long ways off, we've been spending some of our free time on the internet getting familiar with the country.

It always amazes me how many cities are out there that you've never heard of. I mean, everybody (I would assume) has heard of Bucharest, Romania. But you've probably never heard of the city of Cluj-Napoca, and yet is has a population of 300,000. Or Sibiu with 175,000 people.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Just stuff

Getting ready for the big long weekend here at the park. We're officially sold out, and the weather forecast looks perfect. Even all of the tenting spots are reserved!

August long weekend is always sold out here. The weather is usually good, and the water level is usually at it's highest. And, it's kind of the last hurrah for a lot of the locals who use the park because harvest usually starts shortly after August long weekend.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The nearest town to the park

Cabri Regional Park is named after the town of Cabri, but the town of Cabri is actually located 20 kms (13 miles) away via a fairly good (usually!) dirt road. It' the nearest town to the park and I usually go there once a week or so during the summer.

The town of Cabri has a population of around 400 people, and quite a few services for a town that size.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ruth's flower gardens

Ruth's mother was an avid gardener, and she loved her flowers. Some of that enthusiasm was passed down to Ruth, and when we owned a house Ruth spent a lot of time working on her flowers.

When we arrived here at the park, there weren't many flowers around and Ruth set about to change that!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fireworks at the park!

One of our seasonal camper families likes to put on a fireworks show for the park, and last night was the night.

They go around earlier in the season and collect donations from anybody who wants to give to the fireworks fund, and with the total money collected they put on quite a show!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Number one goal in life

Yes, I know...it's the middle of summer and most people in our reading audience are baking in the summer heat. So today, to make you enjoy the sweltering temperatures that you are currently enduring, we're going to talk a little bit about winter in Canada.

Ruth and I both grew up around the city of Ottawa. A very nice place to live in the summer. But the winters? They are really brutal.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Need a new sign

When we first arrived here at the park in 2014, I ordered a paging system for the office. There is a button to push, and Ruth and I each wear a little pocket pager that goes off no matter where we are in the park. This means that on quiet days when we've got work to do around the park or up at the workshop, we don't need to worry about missing someone at the office.

They simply push the button at the office window, and we know that someone needs assistance.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sherman has a small problem...

Sherman has been out on his two month motorhome exchange adventure and so far he's been behaving himself. Up until last night that is, when we got an email saying that the main 1,000 watt inverter that I installed last September has gone on the fritz, and what did we want to do about it.

Okay. That doesn't sound like too much of a problem to me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Goings on here at the park

Weekends have been fairly busy, but we haven't been sold out yet this year. This coming weekend could change that though because we're getting a lot of last minute bookings and I think there are only two full service sites left.

Monday through Thursday is always quiet though, and even this week despite the fact that the weather the last few days has been hot and sunny.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bucket list items

The term "Bucket List" means a list of things that you want to do before you kick the bucket. I'm not even sure this term existed prior to the 2007 Jack Nicholson movie of the same name.

First of all, we don't have an official "bucket list". Because there would be no point. I mean really, we want to do anything different and go anywhere we haven't been before. So to us, there's no point in having an actual list.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Authentic Mexican food?

I was looking at an advertisement for a Mexican restaurant in our hometown of Ottawa, and it stated that the food was "authentic".

And I wondered....do they even use corn tortillas? Because most people in Canada wouldn't eat corn tortillas...only flour tortillas. So if they don't make their enchiladas with corn tortillas, they are most certainly not an authentic Mexican restaurant.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Half way through!

It occurred to me yesterday that we are now past the half way point of our time here at the park this season. Actually we're quite a few days past the half way point, because we hope to get out of here a little earlier this year.

As much as this is a nice place to spend the summer, we'd rather be traveling. And we have a lot to look forward to when September rolls around because we've got a full plate of exploring to do for you all over the following seven months!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Boondocking in Nova Scotia

I'm writing this post because of a forum discussion I saw where there was a lot of misinformation being given out.

You see, back around 2007 there was a move by the Nova Scotia Campground Owners Association to force an old law to ban RV parking at Walmarts. The campground owners mistakenly figured they were losing money. The Nova Scotia government stood behind the campground owners association.

Friday, July 15, 2016

We're a little behind the times!

Game of Thrones and Pokemon Go.

"Huh? What are you talking about?"

Well that's exactly what I was thinking as I randomly came across several references over the past week or so with regards to the phrase Pokemon Go.

Ever since we changed our lifestyle back in October of 2007, it seems we have a bit of a hard time keeping up with pop culture. It started of course with no longer owning a television.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mexico RV Caravan news...

We had an email the other day from our Canadian contact person at Mexico RV Caravan Tours.

They're organizing a three month long RV tour to the Mexican states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo (Cancun) area for the winter of 2017-2018, and apparently interest is starting to pick up.

They've asked us to lead the tour, and we are interested in doing so, although we're not yet prepared to make a firm commitment.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Pics from the last few days

It drizzled on and off until about noon yesterday. So we didn't get much more than the three inches of rain that I had reported. But, it was sure a lot of water and it did some damage to our roads in the park.

Yesterday morning, Ruth and I went for a walk in rain.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Three inches of rain!

It's still raining.

I woke up a couple of times during the night and could hear the rain coming down. The rain gauge out on the porch says we've now had 3" of rain since yesterday morning. That's a lot of water. The park is pretty waterlogged!

With that much rain, the road in and out of the park is pretty much accessable by 4 wheel drive only. I'm supposed to go to a meeting tonight, but I doubt that the little blue car would make it up the hill!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Coho's first mousing experience!

For the past week, they've been forecasting rain for today. Of course at first, you don't believe them because the 7 day forecast means nothing. But as today got closer, they didn't waiver. It's going to rain, they say. The only question has been "how much rain?", as their estimates have changed daily from a half an inch to two full inches.

And sure enough, we got up this morning, and an hour later it started to rain.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Postcards from Sherman

Busy weekend here at the park, so I've been doing my middle of the night walks to make sure that nobody is out being stupid. That means I usually don't sleep well, and when we finally got up at 7:30am yesterday morning we were till pretty tired.

But I had to get up because at 8:00am, I had a job to do!

Friday, July 8, 2016

The little blue car has a boo-boo

Ruth went into Swift Current on Wednesday to do groceries and a bunch of running around for the park. We always pack the little blue car full of recycling and returnable bottles and cans to collect the deposits back for the park. This generates revenue for the park to the tune of over $2,000 per season!

Anyhow, when she came back, the first thing she said was "the little blue car has a boo-boo", and of course I instantly thought uh, oh...there's a scratch or dent somewhere...

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Should you buy a new...or used RV?

With the recent RV news headlines stating that sales of new RVs are hitting record highs around North America, it's hard to figure out why.

All of my research and figures say that it simply doesn't make good financial sense to buy a brand new RV. But, maybe it's because a lot of people simply don't have good financial sense! It's possible they just don't know any better. Or, maybe they've got too much money in the first place and they simply don't care.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What does it cost to buy an older RV?

Ruth was having a discussion on a facebook forum the other day, and someone was arguing with her about what it costs to buy and maintain an older RV. This guy pretty much called Ruth a liar when she told him that we've never had anything major go wrong with Sherman in the nearly ten years that we've owned him.

He also said that in those ten years we probably could have bought a new motorhome with the amount we've spent on repairs and maintenance. Which obviously is ridiculous.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A bit of a sad day here at the park...

One of the things we've enjoyed at the park is watching the great horned owls every spring. When we arrive in May, one of the first things we do is walk over to the nest to see how many babies there are.

The first year there was only one. But both last year and this year we've been able to watch two babies grow up and leave the nest.

We found out yesterday that one of them didn't survive.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day to our American readers!

We've spent a fair bit of time exploring the United States of America, and today we're going to help our American friends and readers celebrate their national holiday by showing you a variety of pics we've taken over the years that symbolize the patriotism that most Americans share.

Happy Birthday America!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

June Expenses

The summer months are supposed to be when we don't spend much money. But so far, it's not really working out that way! I swear, we spend less money when we're out touring in the motorhome than we do when we're sitting still.

But, it was a good month. We had fun with Lindsey and the grandkids at the beginning of the month, and we also did some shopping and paid out some expenses towards our motorhome exchange in Spain next January and February. Total was $1,428!

(Figures are all in Canadian dollars...for U.S. dollar equivalent you can subtract about 25%).

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Fundraising here at the park

There is a big volunteer contingent here at the park, and some of the biggest are the people who sit on the board of directors. Many of them make a two or three (or more) year commitment to sit in on meetings, come up with ideas, voice their opinion, and have a turn at running the park along with six or eight other people.

As park managers, we are in the special position of being able to see most of what goes on behind the scenes, and these people who sit on the board don't get enough recognition for the hard work they do in benefit of the park.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!

July 1st is Canada's birthday, and this year the country celebrates 149 years as a nation.

On this day, there is no better place to be in Canada than the capital city of Ottawa. If you've never been to Ottawa, it's a beautiful city. Ruth and I both grew up in Ottawa, so we know the city well and we have spent many Canada Days downtown enjoying the festivities.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The big weekend is here!

It's a holiday weekend in both Canada and the United States. In Canada, the holiday is on the Friday and in the U.S. the holiday is on the Monday. So here, the campers will be pulling in later this afternoon.

This is the start of our six week busy season. We've still got some open sites though, so it won't be sold out for this weekend. We actually had a few cancellations called in yesterday which is too bad, but we kind of expected that with the water level being so low.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A lot of airfare deals!

Wow, there sure are a lot of great airfare deals out there. I check several times per day for our January 1st (or so) flight to Spain to come on sale, but nothing yet because our return flight is in April of next year. Still tons of time left for the right deal to come along though.

But as I watch for the right price point for that deal, I see all these other deals! Like Toronto to Warsaw, Poland for only $360 CAD return! Wow. Anytime you can fly across the pond for under $400 return, it's a fantastic deal.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Before and after

There are a lot of hedges here in the park, and most of them have never been looked after. At least not for many, many years. So over the past three years, we've been slowly cleaning them out and cutting off the dead stuff and trimming them back.

Ruth did a bunch of work on one messy looking section last week. It was a big job.

Monday, June 27, 2016

When you see a deal, you have to jump on it!

We've been wearing Merrell hiking boots for quite a few years now. And I wear mine every day, so we've learned that I can get a solid two years out of them before it's time for another pair.

And the last pair I bought was in August of 2014, so I figured I had better keep my eyes peeled for a sale online at some point over the next 3 months.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Thinking about new luggage

We've had our Heys rolling backpacks for four years now, and they've been on some fantastic trips with us. And they've served us well. But even though we think they're still ready for another trip or two, we find ourselves looking for something new and different.

The new bags are pretty high tech and of course some of the materials used to make them are much lighter than before. Our current bags weigh 7 lbs empty, and have 45 litres of carrying capacity.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A little busier here at the park

Things are getting a little busier here at the park. It's been a quiet start to the year given that our water level is abnormally low and isn't expected to get much better than it is. But, we still have lots of reservations for the next six weekends as summer gets into full swing.

And it's been a much wetter start to the year as well. It seems that every four or five days we get a decent rainstorm. I'm pretty sure the local farmers are really happy about the farming weather so far this year!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pretty sure there was a pot of gold...

We went in to town on Wednesday and did all of our running around for new passports. I had done a little bit of research as to the price of passport photos, but I could only find one listing where they actually said the price online, and that was $18.25.

We ended up going to the photo studio that was attached to Walmart, simply assuming that they would be the cheapest.

Wrong!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The little blue car is 10 years old today!

Ten years ago today I signed the deal to buy the little blue car. I had been working at a contract position for GMAC financing at the time, and they offered us a deal for a brand new car at $500 over dealer invoice and 0% financing over four years.

We decided to go for it, and I put in our order for a brand new 2006 Pontiac Wave.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A visit to Bali, Indonesia

Bali is the most popular island for tourists who visit Indonesia. The country of Indonesia itself is actually made up of over 13,000 islands and is the fourth most populated country in the world, with over 260 million people! Only China, India, and the United States have a higher population of people.

And why do people visit Bali?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Time for a new passport!

Our current passports expire August 5th of this year. The last time we got new ones you could only get them renewed for a 5 year period, but this time we're able to go for the relatively new 10 year option.

Of course they're also slightly more money, at $160 for the 10 year versus $120 for a 5 year one.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Six weeks of Xplornet

Well, we've used our new Xplornet satellite internet service for just over six weeks now and so we thought we should give an early review.

So far...it's not perfect, and it's not the same as having high speed internet in the city. But it's far, far better than the cellular internet that we had the last two years.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

RV'ing in Spain

We aren't going to be making much in the way of plans for our two month motorhome trip to Spain next January and February. It's all going to be new to us, so we'll simply drive when we want to and stop when we want to.

Fortunately, we've had a really good website forwarded on to us that's going to help us quite a lot with finding our overnight spots.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I think we'll just avoid the U.S.

I thought about booking our flight back to Europe yesterday. A deal came up at a decent price ($584 CAD, or $460 USD) from Ottawa to Paris leaving after Christmas and returning in April.

But, it connected in Philadelphia. That causes a minor problem.

Because my current U.S. "Waiver of Inadmissability" expires in November.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Okay, now we're starting to get a little jealous...

Yes, we received another postcard from Sherman. He's in Canmore, Alberta just at the base of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and about to enter Banff National Park. We love that part of the country, and it's been quite a few years since we last visited that area. I think it was the end of August 2006, so almost ten years.

So, we're starting to get just a little jealous!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

What's the earliest thing in your life that you vividly remember?

I had to drive into town last night, and my mind wanders all over the place while I'm out for a drive.

I was thinking about our grandchildren visiting last week and what a good time we all had. Then I wondered if they would even remember the trip when they're older, and I started thinking about the earliest thing in my life that  I can remember.

It's funny what you can remember so clearly.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Postcards from Sherman!

Sherman sent us a couple of postcards from his adventure. He says he's having a great time, and enjoying nice weather. He hasn't driven very far. The people who are driving him are in no rush and are just taking their time.

He says that today, they will be going to beautiful Banff, Alberta!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Lagostina comes through again!

A couple of weeks ago, I told you  about a frying pan that we had bought that where the coating went bad within six months. I think it had a ten year guarantee, but the company wanted us to send it back to them on our dime for their "inspection". I got through to someone who would listen to my story, and they sent us a prepaid courier bill so we could send it in free. We've owned Lagostina cookwear since my parents gave us a complete set as a wedding present 32 years ago...and we still use that same set today!

Monday, June 13, 2016

What's the best way to get rid of mice?

With a cat!

And that's what we got yesterday. Obviously we can't keep a cat full time, so the agreement was made that we've got the cat until September when we'll try and give it away. And if we can't give it away, the lady who gave it to us will take it back.

So now mice...look out!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Evergreen RV...out of business?

I spent two summer seasons running the parts department at an RV dealership. One of the brands that dealership sold was Evergreen RV's. Based on my time there, I always thought that they seemed like a well made trailer with some innovative ideas. I even think that they were one of the first ones to get away from that standard "white with stripes" color scheme that had been so common on a lot of trailers prior to their arrival on the scene in 2008.

 I read in the news this weekend that Evergreen RV has closed it's doors.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Goodbye Sherman!

See you in two months! Behave yourself, and be a good boy!

That's what I was thinking to myself as Sherman drove away with our motorhome exchange friends Graham and Tana. We had just finished doing an in depth tour of Sherman and detailed all of his different operations wth them, and they were ready to take off on their two month exploration of western Canada.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Miss them already

Boy, it sure was fun having Lindsey and the grandkids here for two weeks. They can be a handful, but we miss them already. The house seems just a little too quiet.

Had an email back from Asus, the company who made Ruth's laptop. No idea what they've done to finx the problem, but they're shipping it back to her repaired. At least we hope it's repaired. I guess we'll see whan it shows up next Wednesday.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Stupid. Forgot to put money in the meter!

Took off yesterday morning at 10:30am for the three hour drive to Regina airport with Lindsey and the kids. Uneventful drive, and not the most scenic. The Trans Canada highway is probably the most boring part of Saskatchewan.

We stopped once for lunch at a picnic rest area, and made it to the airport at about 2:15pm with lots of time to spare for their 3:15pm flight.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Off to Regina airport!

The stars were obviously aligned when our daughter was booking her flights here. She picked the exact return date that the motorhome exchange people are coming to pick up Sherman.

So I'm driving to Regina airport this morning to drop off Lindsey and the kids, and then I've got about two hours to waste before Tana and Graham's flight arrives and then I'll bring them back to the park for Sherman.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sad that we're not going with him!

We worked into the evening yesterday getting Sherman ready to go on his adventure. Our motorhome exchange people arrive Wednesday evening. They'll spent a couple of days here familiarizing themselves with Sherman, and then they'll be off for two months of touring the Rocky Mountains west of here.

We are definitely sad that it's not us going with him!  However, we get to look forward to two months exploring Spain next January and February.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Still using a paper map

I have to admit, I love our GPS system for driving anywhere. I like knowing all the details, like how far it is to our destination, and our average speed, and how far it is to the next turn. And, I really like having the free mapping program on our iPhone that we can use even when we're offline. I also like checking things out on google maps online, and using the streetview version for details.

But really...we also love traveling with a good old fashioned paper map!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

5 Jobs For People Who Love To Travel

Most of us, probably once in our lives, dreamed of how it would be nice if you could have a job that also let you travel to different parts of the world. While some dream about it, others actually make such dreams come true and leave everything behind to pursue their dreams.

If you want to belong to the last group, and you have always dreamed of traveling the world and earning money for it, below we and travel enthusiasts from Travel Ticker are going to share a list of five best jobs you can try out as well. Who knows, maybe thanks to these jobs you will never in your life hate Mondays ever again!

Do you know your family history?

My father's family lineage came to Canada from Yorkshire, England as part of the Yorkshire migration to Nova Scotia that took place between 1772 and 1775. I was lucky, in that most of that family history has been passed from generation to generation including dates and occupations.

That history has been traced all the way back to Stephen Read who was born in 1734 in Yorkshire, England. He went on to become a Colonel in the British Army prior to moving to Nova Scotia in the 1770's.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

They're back...and they're hungry!

Up until Thursday I hadn't seen any mosquitos. Ruth says that she had seen one or two. But I'll tell you, by Thursday morning it seemed as if all the eggs had hatched all at once!

Remind me again...why didn't Noah squash at least one those two mosquitoes??

Friday, June 3, 2016

The spooky house...

Every time grandson Cameron drives by an old abandoned house, he calls it a "spooky" house. Well, there's an old abandoned farm house on the road towards the park and we've driven by it several times while Cameron has been here.

He said that he wanted to see the inside, so yesterday, we stopped by for a visit!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Warranty claim update...

Ruth and Lindsey took the kids in to Swift Current yesterday to do the weekly shopping. While there, Lindsey and the kids went to the local swimming pool and had some fun in the water for an hour while Ruth went and did a few errands on her own.

She stopped in at the Salvation Army thrift store to see if they had a decent used pot for the house here at the park, but couldn't find anything worthwhile. However, while she was there, she did find something worthwhile!