Scenery from the one hour train ride between Bangkok and Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Khao Yai National Park, Thailand on December 13th.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Galetta, Ontario

Well, we are in the village of Galetta, about 40 minutes west of Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. This is where Ruth's father lives, and this is where we are set up for the next month until we head south again in September.

We left Plattsburgh yesterday morning and headed for the border crossing between Massena, N.Y. and Cornwall, Ontario.

Filled up with gas at $3.799 a gallon because the gas price in Ottawa is currently $5.10 per gallon. Hopefully I have enough fuel to get us into Detroit next month and I won't have to buy any of this high priced Canadian gas!

Because the Canadian dollar is now stronger than the U.S. dollar, and the fact that it is a Canadian long weekend, there were lineups of cars going into the states. But nobody going into Canada. Makes sense to me. Why would anybody want to go into Canada?

The Canadian border guard asked what we spent and what we had on board and I explained we were over the limit on booze. And we were quite a bit over and we were prepared to pay the taxes on it because it still would have been cheaper than having to buy it in Canada. But he just waved us through as if he didn't care. And that's the way it should be.

Driving into Ottawa

Got into Ottawa and went and visited my mother. She's recently moved to a seniors residence and wants to sell her high rise condo. One of my projects over the next month is to sell it privately for her so we went over there to take some pictures for the advertising.

Nice views from the 19th floor of my mother's condo

Then picked up our son who has the long weekend off work, and drove another 40 minutes up to Ruth's Dad's. Nice to see everybody again. Our daughter is coming to visit at the end of August and we'll have just about everybody together for a little family reunion. It will be great to see how much grandson Cameron will have grown over the last two months!

Sherman and the little car parked up at Ruth's Dad's.

We have lots to accomplish over the next month. Quite a bit of repair and maintenance items on both the motorhome and the little car. Have to get new passports for us and licencing for the vehicles. Have to get a new drivers licence because it was in my lost wallet. So we'll be here just over a month but I'm sure it will go by quickly. 

Now, off to change to oil in the motorhome and then decide which project is next!

Yesterday's drive, 180 miles (288 kms)


  1. Seeing family again - priceless. All your projects - necessary but not as much fun. Good luck getting everything accomplished. A month can be forever and yet it can go so quickly.

  2. Loved the pictures of Ottawa. Have talked to folks from Ontario here at the RV park in Arlington, TX this year on their way back north from the Rio Grande Valley. I tell them we visited the Canadian cities of Halifax, Montreal, and Toronto last year. They all ask the same question, "yeh but did you visit Ottawa"? Looks like a place I will have to visit the next time around.

  3. So good you have a month with family, Bet will fly bu, though, that's how I feel about summer with Adam going back to school in two weeks. Have a great visit up there. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  4. I know you guys will enjoy your visits with family... time flies when you're having fun! As far as crossing with booze we understand if the bottles are opened and have a drink out of them they never say anything about that. And they didn't when we went through...all for personal use!!! LOL
    Have fun & Travel safe

  5. Squawmama...not true re opened bottles. We've had friends who had to pay for all the 'heels' in their bottles. The Canadian border guy actually used a measuring cup to add up the total of left over booze in all the bottles. I guess he had nothing better to do!

    I just love the month before hitting the road south to Mexico, all the prep, the planning and special purchases. I envy you.

  6. I know so many people who have moved to Canada from other places all over the globe and they are so happy to now call Canada home, many even from the USA. Some times I think Canadians just don't realize how lucky we are. Many of my forefathers started out in the USA and had to leave after 200 years and came to Canada because of such things as the Boston tea party. Although I love visiting the USA, I'm so grateful that these ancestors made the move.

    I'm well aware that things are cheaper in the USA than in Canada, however, there are many from south of the border who would love to have our medical coverage. Personally we'd have been in the poor house long ago with the health problems we've had over the years.

    One thing you need not worry about is ever becoming an Ambassador or any other position in the diplomatic core.

    I can't help but ask whether there is anything you do like about our lovely Country.

    Enjoy your brief stay in our over-taxed country.

    Elaine May,a proud Canadian from BC Canada

  7. Hi Elaine.

    (Note that this is Kevin's opinion, not necessarily Ruth's!)

    People who want to mention anything good about Canada always bring up our medical coverage, but I never hear about anything else. Sure, you could talk about our geography and the many natural attractions. But every other country I've ever visited also has areas of attractive geography so you can't bring that up as anything that makes Canada any better than anywhere else.

    We have mostly terrible weather, although some people admit to liking the four seasons. I don't, I like summer. So there is at least 9 months of the year where I'm not attracted to Canada in that way.

    The medical system doesn't do me any good, in fact I haven't been to a Canadian doctor in many years. I also don't like paying through my taxes for the waste and abuse of a system that allows people who don't exercise or eat properly to get "free" medical care. I'm also big on people being responsible for their own lot on life, and so Canada is a little too socialist for me in that regard.

    You're right, I have no ambition to ever be an ammbassador or diplomat for Canada!

    Is there anything I like about Canada that I can't also find somewhere else? I don't think so.

    Ultimately, we will end up living in a different country and only visiting Canada as a vacation.

    So, what is it that makes Canada so special to you besides the medical system?

  8. How nice to have a whole month to spend with family. Good luck selling the condo. I hope the housing market is better than it is in the US!

  9. Love to hang out and visit family and friends in the summer months when the weather is great. It sure is nice that we live in such free countries that we can actually choose where we live and this rv lifestyle makes it happen pretty easy. Enjoy the visits!

  10. Enjoy your month of visiting with family. Hopefully you can get all your projects done and be on the road again very soon.

    It looks beautiful there!

  11. You seem to be very lucky thus far with your health, some of us it seems have inherited genes that have problems. Cancer reigns supreme in my family,I've been very lucky as I have been a cancer survivor twice, starting with breast cancer at the age of 36. My mother died at the age of 60 with cancer, my father had cancer, and survived, my brother died of it at the age of 63 and in January we lost our daughter at the age of 49 with it. I won't bother to tell you about all the other family members who we've lost to cancer. We are an active group of people who are well aware of healthy eating, exercise etc. Please don't be so quick to condemn others before you know the facts. There simply are people who have very real health problems through no fault of their own and it's nice to live in a country that helps to take care of its citizens. Let's just say you've been blessed with good genes and may you continue to enjoy the benifits of them.

    You ask what is so wonderful about Canada, I could list many things, one being how nice it is to travel in Europe and Mexico as well carrying a Canadian passport, it has often made things just a little easier for us in our travels. When you give yours up you may appreciate it when it's too late.
    I could list all my reasons for why I love this country, but I fear they would fall on deaf ears and space and time is limited.
    I really am not interested in changing your mind, I just felt that your negativity to Canada should be addressed, as it doesn't help make the world a better place to live nor does it help tourism.
    I wish you well, may your health continue to be good and if something serious does happen and your luck gives out may it happen before you've given up your Canadian citizenship.
    Elaine in BC

  12. Elaine,

    Many people don't realize how difficult it is to give up your Canadian citizenship, even when you want to. The problem is that another country has to accept you first. The world doesn't allow you to be from "nowhere". Unfortunately, it is easier to get into Canada than to get out, and that is one of it's problems.

    Oh, and we appreciate you commenting with your name, rather than just being anonymous. Thanks for that!


  13. looks like some good quality family time ahead for the two of you...

  14. I realize the problems, I am personally aquainted with people trying to get their Canadian citizenship and the red tape they waded through to get it. I think I've already stated I've known many people who are now happy to call themseleves Canadian.

    I have never admired people who operate under the name "Anonymous" so your thanks are not necessary, but thanks any way it's just one of my many excentricities. I would have used my Google account but it doesn't seem to work here so I had to go the anonymous route to post.

    Good luck in your pursut of a new country. I hope you are able to relocate soon.

    Elaine in Canada

  15. Jim and Sandie...Yes, visiting family is priceless and yes a month seems to fly by way too fast.

    catman...Ottawa is a beautiful city. I was just mentioning to Kevin when we were looking out over part of it from his Mom's condo, just how many trees there are. Biking, driving or walking along the Ottawa River Parkway or the Rideau Canal are definitely places not to miss as well as Parliment Hill.

    Sam and Donna...It's hard to believe that they have the Back-to-School stuff in the stores already. Seems like the kids just started summer holidays.

    Donna...Looking forward to spending time with family and friends and yes and it will go by fast. As for the booze, when I worked with the tour bus company we were told that if a bottle was opened it was considered one full bottle, even if there was only a mouthful left in it. The government wants the duty on it, I don't think they are thinking of it being used for resale. Even when we crossed into New Brunswick in March the border guard told us that you can't add open bottles together, even though he let us through.

    Contessa...I guess it just depends on the border guard you come across. I think as long as it isn't accessive they let you continue on, but there are always one or two guards that will give you a problem.

    I guess you will be getting ready soon as well to head out.

    Kevin and Evelyn...We are looking forward to it, thanks. Not sure how the market will be for a condo, the housing is still doing quite well here.

    George and Suzie...Yes, it is nice to live in a free country, but then we would never pick a country that didn't have freedom of choice. Definitey love the the RV lifestyle.

    Karen and Al...We have already started on our projects and will keep people updated on our progress.

    heyduke50...There sure will be.

    Chuck and Anneke...Thank you.

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey

  16. hi guys, i'm with you on the canadian thing. same for me and the u.s. i said on my blog yesterday that the u.s. is like a neighbor who appears to have everything but in reality lives their life on credit.

    for the last 25 years i have learned to be my own keeper and i like it that way. we may not have the nicest roads in the americas, but we sure know how to enjoy life here in mexico.

    can't wait for your return. lots to share.


  17. hi Kevin and Ruth..I have read all the comments and am writing this with regards to the 'liquour'...we go into the states quite often and stay our token 48 hours or longer..purchasing our allotted 'duty free'...and on the way back we purchase BC it works that...the bottles you purchase on the way long as you open them you add them to the total value of goods that you bring back..doesn't matter that you have only had a few drinks out of long as it is open..
    there is an advertisement for the Duty Free store that states this...I guess some border guards just have too much time on their hands..
    When we had our travel trailer we had quite the 'stock' of liquor..all partially used and have told the guards what we had with no 'measuring issues' or duty paid...

  18. Chris...Yep, you're totally right. I don't think any country out there is perfect. There will always be good and bad points about each and every one of them. BTW Chris, some of Nova Scotia's roads are worse than Mexico's and yep, the Mexicans sure know how to have fun and enjoy life. Looking forward to getting back there.

    Sue and Doug...I think they would have a hard time trying to keep straight what was bought coming in and what was bought going out. I think as you say it all comes down to the border guard you have.

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey


There are more comments on our facebook page at

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.