The beach and boardwalk where we will be staying next week at Hastings, Barbados. (Found on the internet!)
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode (Ottawa), Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Barbados! Arrive on October 25th!

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.