View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Monday, December 31, 2012

December expenses

As expected, December expenses were back to normal. We know from past experience that we can live pretty well here in Mexico for very little money, and December fell right in line with that.

A drive and a birthday party

Yesterday after our morning power walk, Ruth and I decided to take a drive in the little blue car. We wanted to see if a particular route was motorhome friendly, and the results of that are in our previous post. We drove 170 kms (105 miles)! We made it back in time to get ready for 4:00pm when all the campers were invited to a birthday party for two year old Francisco.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Villa Corona to Hacienda Contreras

Or vice versa. Hacienda Contreras to Villa Corona.

At the town of Villa Corona, there is a popular RV Park and Waterpark. Many RV'ers often make there way from there to here and the other way around. Using the main roads, there's really only one route, and part of it is on a stretch of busy, narrow road that isn't really "RV friendly".

Where are the carrots??!!

What a great start to the day yesterday! At 9:00am, a bunch of us gathered in the camper room because Chris and Juan had offered to make everyone a popular Mexican breakfast...huevos rancheros.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pajaretes and puppies!

You'll remember from a couple of weeks ago when we came across some people milking cows and they offered us a cup of pajarete. Well yesterday, Barb and Sal arranged for the rest of the campers to be able to taste this special local drink.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A great day out exploring!

When we visit different places around the world, one of the questions we ask ourselves is "could we live here"? Well we came across a little town yesterday and one of the things we said was "we could live here"!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Minor maintenance and a hike to the castle.

Yesterday morning, Ruth hiked over to the "castle" with Teresa and Cassia. We've been there a couple of times before, so I didn't go. Instead, I did some minor repairs to Sherman, including fixing one of the blinds that had come loose. Or at least I thought I fixed it!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Looking forward to Valle de Bravo

Yesterday, Christmas Day, was a pretty coasting kind of a day. I had a little too much Christmas cheer the night before, so was a little fuzzy in the morning. Things cleared up in the afternoon, and I managed to have a snooze for a few minutes in between doing not much of anything at all!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Lots of Christmas Cheer!

Most of the day yesterday was spent preparing for last night's big Christmas Eve feast. Here at Hacienda Contreras, we had all planned a potluck dinner for Christmas Eve, with everybody bringing a special dish or two. And what a feast we had!

Monday, December 24, 2012

There's always something going on!

Never time for any rest around here. I started a book a couple of weeks ago and I think I've read two chapters. We were a little late getting going yesterday morning and by the time we finished the blog post and got our morning power walk in, there was just enough time to show Chris how to clean their fridge burner before we were leaving to go see a Friesian horse.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A beautiful part of the world.

I was looking forward to our visit to a little mescal distillery up in the mountains near here. Ruth and I had been there last year with a couple of the campers and while the distillery itself is interesting, I absolutely love the scenery up there.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Things you might see from a Mexican highway

Made it back to Hacienda Contreras yesterday, to a pleasant surprise! Seems we're having a Mexican blogger convention of some kind...

Friday, December 21, 2012

A visit with a famous Canadian!

Yesterday was moving day. Our couchsurfing hosts Wanda and Irwin were changing rental accommodation here in order to house their family members who are visiting after Christmas. So yesterday morning we packed up and moved to a beautiful huge place closer to the central area.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

San Miguel de Allende (day 3)

Busy day yesterday! First, we made a bit of a last minute decision to go to the nearby town of Atontonilco. Then, we made a totally last minute decision to go to the city of Dolores Hidalgo and visit a huge pottery factory. Then after lunch, we did a nice hike in the botanical gardens.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

San Miguel de Allende (day 2)

First on the agenda was a visit to the Tianguis Mercado. This is a major market in San Miguel that takes place only on Tuesdays. It's definitely one of the larger markets we've been to in Mexico, and you can buy just about anything there.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

San Miguel de Allende (day 1)

We were planning on leaving Hacienda Contreras around 10:00am yesterday morning, and ended up hitting the road at 10:30am. No worries, we were in no rush and had told our hosts Wanda and Irwin that we wouldn't arrive until late afternoon anyhow.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Headed for San Miguel de Allende

Road trip! This morning we're heading out for San Miguel. Although we love it here at Hacienda Contreras, we are due for a change of scenery. It's only a short visit though, and we're planning on being back here on Friday.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Campground electricity useage

Okay, not an exciting subject for some of you.

But many of our readers are also RV'ers, so it will be of interest to them. Or at least I hope it will be!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day trip to Chapala

Yesterday morning, we hopped in the little blue car along with friends Chris and Juan. Our main objective was to try and replace our Mexican Immigration tourist cards that were in the bag that was stolen back in Zacatecas in November.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Going 4 wheeling in the hills!

One of the campers, Don, has a four wheel drive jeep and he wanted to try it out up in the hills around here. So we went with him for the drive to see what kind of tracks we could find that may not be suitable for a regular vehicle. We were gone for three hours!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Guadalupe Day in Mazamitla

Yesterday was Our Lady of Guadalupe Day here in Mexico, so we could hear noisy fireworks coming from the surrounding towns all day long. Mexican people are 83% Catholic, and they sure love their religious celebrations! There have been celebrations in the town of Mazamitla in the days leading up to yesterday, and so we went into town yesterday evening for the final fiesta.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Miserable start to the day!

Very strange weather yesterday morning! We actually woke up to raindrops on the roof, and it was chilly and windy all morning. It's not normal to get any rain at all down here at this time of year, and it actually came down fairly hard at times.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How to cut a fresh pineapple

We love having fresh pineapple when we're in Mexico. First of all, it's cheap. You can usually buy a fresh pineapple for about 10 pesos (80 cents). We typically buy one per week, so I'm getting pretty good at cutting them up. It wasn't always that way, but practice makes perfect!

Monday, December 10, 2012

I bet you've never had "pajarete"!

Well the votes are in for the naming of the little blue car. As is usually the case with any election, it was a total waste of time. Either people didn't like the candidates, or they simply didn't exercise their right to vote! And then if you name a winner, the majority of the population isn't happy. And so it is with the little blue car.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Finally, out for a hike!

Barb and Sal arrived back from Chicago late Friday afternoon and so we are absolved of our campground responsibilities. This means that we can now feel free to go out and do little day trips and hikes like we've been wanting to do. So yesterday afternoon we climbed a nearby hill.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

It's time to vote!

Okay, the suggestions are in and it's time to vote! We sorted through all the choices and came up with three of them that we kinda like.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Things are lookin' good!

Getting excited about the next few weeks! We've been looking after things here at Hacienda Contreras for the last two weeks and while that's been an enjoyable thing to do, it's also put a little cramp on our exploring.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The "little blue car" needs a name!

Are you ever bored? One of us saw on facebook the other day that someone mentioned they were bored. And we both had to think about when the last time was that we were bored. Can't remember. I guess we simply don't get bored!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Why Mexico?

When we bought a motorhome, we were originally planning on spending the winter in the southern United States as many "snowbirds" from Canada and the northern United States do. But our friends Glen and Steve were planning on exploring the Mexico's Baja Peninsula, and we decided to join them.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Clear and chilly

The last couple of nights the sky has been crystal clear! That also brings some cooler temperatures. We haven't seen any frost here yet (we're at 6,400 ft altitude), but it was only 9C (48F) inside the motorhome when we woke up this morning!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Where are we going next?

Thinking a little about our winter travel plans. We've been enjoying our time here relaxing at Hacienda Contreras, but we're into December now and it's hard to believe that we've been here three and a half weeks already!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What is it about Mexican carrots?

Yesterday was market day again. We love going and doing our weekly Saturday shopping! First stop is the little store on the way in to town where I picked up a box of 24 beer for 205 pesos ($16.40). That alone is enough to make my day!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November expenses

November was actually a pretty good month, with one exception. Our regular readers will remember back in September when 20 year old cat Molly was sick and had an emergency visit to the vet. Well we finally got around to reimbursing my sister for some of the expenses and so that got lumped into November's bills.

Friday, November 30, 2012

October expenses

Here we are at the end of November and we haven't even posted October's expenses yet. I was thinking about not doing it anymore, but obviously some people are interested because we've had a couple of reminders. So we'll keep posting them every month.

They had the parts!

Yesterday morning, we went into Mazamitla to go to the bank, and on the way back we stopped in at a little auto parts store to see about getting new brake pads for Sherman. There's another store in nearby Valle de Juarez, but we figured we would stop at this place because we were driving right by it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Playing mechanic

Well day two of playing mechanic didn't go quite so smoothly. I found out what was causing the brake squealing noise, and I'm going to need some parts.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I must be a pretty good mechanic!

Woke up to a bit of a misty morning yesterday, but by the time we finished our power walk and exercises the sun had burned through and it became a nice day.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Ruth!

A week or so ago, I took apart the front brakes on the little blue car because the slide on one of the calipers was seized. Cleaned and lubricated where it was needed and put everything back together. No problem.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend happenings

Saturday was market day, and we went back to the same vendor that we always go to for our weeks supply of fruits and veggies. This week's order came to 110 pesos ($8.80).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Back to Iceland

It's hard to believe that it was only seven weeks ago that we were in Iceland. We were thinking about that yesterday and Ruth reminded me that we never presented part two of our day trip to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. So for today, we're going to take you back to Iceland!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Drive to Guadalajara

Yesterday we took Sal to the Guadalajara airport. Fortunately, the airport is on the south side of the city, so we didn't really have to drive in the city itself. And we've been to the airport twice before so we were familiar with the area.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Queen goes RV'ing

Rainy season is pretty much over, and it wouldn't have surprised us not to see any more rain until spring. But we've had some clouds hanging around the last two days, and yesterday it finally opened up on us!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

I Can't Stand Graffiti!

We've been in a lot of different cities this year and one of the things we notice is graffiti. In fact, we even notice it when there's a lack of it! We really noticed it in the city of Pittsburgh. Why? Because there isn't any!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Well that was a fun parade!

Yesterday morning, we had planned on going for a walk along one of the back roads near here. But when we spoke to Sal, he said that there was going to be a parade in town starting at 9:00am, so we decided to take the little blue car into town and see what was going on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hacienda Contreras RV Park

Most of our long time readers know that we're not really "RV park" kind of people. Two things turn us off the idea. One, most RV parks are overpriced for what you get. And two, most RV parks have you stuffed together like sardines. We like our space! We think that there is nothing worse than opening your blinds in the morning only to see another RV parked 10 feet away!

Monday, November 19, 2012

What a drive!

We took the little blue car for a drive in the mountains yesterday. We had done this drive in March of 2009, but we were with another couple who had a Jeep 4x4. We remembered the road was pretty rough then, but we figured the little blue car could do it!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Market day

Saturdays are market day in the nearby town of Valle de Juarez. So we went in and got our weekly supply of fruits and veggies, and we stopped at the carneceria (butcher) in the central plaza.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Drive to Sahuayo

We took the little blue car for a drive yesterday. The nearest large grocery stores are located in the city of Sahuayo (pop 60,000), about a 43 km (27 mile) drive from here. There is a large Bodega Aurrera (owned by Walmart) store there as well as a Soriana grocery store.

Friday, November 16, 2012

A post from Ruth...

Ok, you asked for it, now you are going to get it!  My gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe that is!

Many of you that have been reading our blog for a long time know that I (Ruth) am "Gluten Free" but I don't let that stop me from enjoying some good homemade food.  I have now been gluten free for two years so I have a little practice at it and we don't really eat any different than before. And the food, in our opinion doesn't taste any different.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ten things you may not know about Kevin and Ruth

We've been writing this blog for over five years now, and we've shared a lot of our personal day to day stories. But there are some things that you probably don't know. Some of them are important to who we are and how we came to be at this stage in our lives. Some of them are pretty random, and not important at all!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

We have the best, most loyal readers ever!

Many of you have been with us since we started doing this in the fall of 2007, and we are grateful to have met quite a few of our readers. We have been treated so well by so many of you that when we get the opportunity to give back, we want to do whatever we can!

Busy relaxing.

Keeping busy while relaxing? Relaxing in between keeping busy? Either way, the day seems to fly by even though we aren't doing very much. We are happy not worrying about anything right now!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cookies and pizza and homemade RV's!.

Now that we have a full tank of propane, Ruth can use the oven. Many RV's don't even come with a decent size oven, but Ruth really enjoys using ours. Yesterday afternoon, she made some gluten free chocolate chip cookies!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sherman fired right up!

We've been running our fridge off electricity since we got here, because our propane tank was nearly empty. But propane is much cheaper and RV refrigerators are more efficient when switched over to "gas " mode. We could have had a propane truck come into the campground to fill us up, but Sherman has been sitting for more than six months and it would do him good to go for a drive.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

We love market day!

We love going into the local Saturday market to pick up our fruits and veggies for the week. There's one popular stand where the guy adds everything up so quickly that you can't understand what he says. He pretty much sounds like an auctioneer!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Well, our first day of relaxing went very well!

We are getting right back into routine, and did our morning power walk around the perimeter of the property here. Ruth did eight laps which is 4 miles (6.5 kms) , and I did six laps, or 3 miles (4.8 kms). I also began doing some push ups and other arm/chest/back exercises.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Happy to be Home!

We left Zacatecas around 9:30am yesterday morning. We've done this exact drive before with the motorhome so we knew what to expect and where to turn. However we had to go through the city of Aguascalientes and there are several ways to do that. The route we had done with Sherman last year was terrible and full of potholes, so we chose a different route. Got lucky, because it was all fresh, brand new pavement!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The City of Zacatecas

Thanks for all of your comments and concern everybody, we're totally fine. We had an email last night from the Comandante at the municipal police saying that the photo I emailed her was going to be very helpful. So maybe they will catch the bad guys yet!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Okay, sorry for the dramatic title but it's true, we did get mugged today.

We're both fine, and the bad guys got away with very little. In hindsight, we think we did almost everything right so we're going to tell you the story in the hope that someone else can learn from what we did. We also learned from the experience, so we are trying to take away some good from something that is not so good!

Monterrey to Zacatecas

We were trying to figure our route from Chris and Jaun's place in Santiago. They live south of Monterrey, and we didn't want to deal with the traffic in both Monterrey and Saltillo. But there's this narrow road that goes through the mountains, and we figured the little blue car was up to the task. Are we ever glad we did!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Some nice views of Monterrey

Juan was working yesterday, but Chris took us up to the mountains surrounding Monterrey. There's a national park called Chipinque Parque Ecologico and Chris had been there many years ago and wanted to see what it was like now.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The strange things you see on a hike!

We haven't gone for a good hike for quite a while, so Chris and Juan took us to the nearby La Estanzuela State Park yesterday. But first, we had to have a good breakfast. Ruth made some of her good maiz flour pancakes, and we had a tin of real Canadian maple syrup to use with them. That, and a couple of slices of bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice made for a great start to the day!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hello, Mexico!

We wanted to cross the border early, and Mexico had a time change a week before the United States so the border station didn't open until 9:00am Texas time, although it was 8:00am in Mexico. We did one last stop at the Walmart to pick up some gluten free Chex cereal for Ruth, and then we did the 18 mile (28 km) drive northwest to the Columbia bridge crossing.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

We're at the Mexico border

We did the drive from San Antonio to Laredo yesterday, and we're ready to cross the border. In fact, we'll be doing that a couple of hours from now!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Made it to San Antonio!

Well, we're only 160 miles (260 kms) from the Mexico border! We'll do some last minute preparations today, and then head for Laredo for tonight and cross the border tomorrow morning.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Oklahoma City (day 2)

Our time in Oklahoma City went by way too quickly. We had couchsurfer hosts lined up further south in both Fort Worth and San Antonio, Texas but we wanted to squeeze in some more touring before heading down the road again. First stop was the Oklahoma State Capital Building.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oklahoma City

Well that was an expensive day! And busy! It's all good though. We have a list of things we wanted to get done before crossing into Mexico, and Oklahoma City has proved to have pretty much everything we need.

Monday, October 29, 2012

St. Louis to Oklahoma City

Well, not quite Oklahoma City, but pretty close. We did get an early start because we wanted to do a long drive. We've been away from "home" since May and now that we're getting close we are kind of feeling like we just want to get there.

1,300 bottles per minute!

We've been on brewery tours before, but the huge Anheuser Busch beer factory here in St. Louis is really something else. It's actually amazing how they can produce that much volume of product. One assembly line they have there produces 1,300 bottles per minute!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Free prescription eyeglasses?


You might have noticed some new advertising here at Travel with Kevin and Ruth. We were contacted by the online optical store, and they asked if we wanted to review and advertise their company. The only way to do that is to try out their product, so they agreed to send us each a new pair of prescription glasses. The neat thing is, every one of our readers gets a free pair of glasses too!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Cincinnati to St. Louis

We slept in this morning! I had thought we would have woken up by 7:00am like we normally do, but it was almost 8:00am by the time we made our way up for coffee and tea.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Well, what a difference a day makes. Woke up to a cold and overcast day. Went for a walk and it started raining. Soaking wet feet. Then our couchsurfing host Christina offered to take us for a drive to show us some sights. Then someone crashed into us. Hard. Let me tell you all about our day...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pittsburgh to Cincinnati

We had a 290 mile (460 km) drive to do today, but we still wanted to see more of Pittsburgh! So we decided to do some more touring before hitting the highway.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A great day in Pittsburgh!

First of all, we couldn't have asked for better weather. It was a little cloudy and windy in the morning, but by early afternoon the sun came out and it was sunny and warm! We won't say no to 80F (27C) and sunshine in late October! Perfect!

Pittsburgh Architecture Tour

We were offered the opportunity to do a private walking tour of downtown Pittsburgh with an architectural expert. We had done a similar architecture tour of Chicago back in May and had really enjoyed it, so we jumped at the chance.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hello, Pittsburgh!

We slept in a little bit this morning. All that driving and then all that socializing made for a long day yesterday. But we sure did have fun with Connie and Barry in the short time that we were there.

Hyatt Place Pittsburgh - North Shore

The Hyatt Place Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh is fairly new. It opened it's doors in December of 2010, so it's less than two years old. If you're visiting downtown Pittsburgh for any reason, it's all about location!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Beavertown, Pennsylvania

Well it was a long driving day, but we arrived at our destination. And have been having a blast ever since! You'll notice that we're a little late posting the days events, but at least it's being done. Better late than never!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Road trip!

This will be the last time you hear from us until Monday evening. I think that for the next couple of weeks we're going to try and post the blog in the evening rather than in the morning so that we can get an early start each day.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Two more sleeps!

Almost ready to go. Got a few more things done yesterday. Had a great day with our son Alex, played some pool and watched some playoff baseball. Not sure when we're going to see each other again because we may not make it back to the Ottawa area next spring. Good thing for video over the internet!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fantastic Cruise Deal

Just happened across this fantastic deal and thought I would mention it just in case anybody can take advantage. There are thousands of Canadians who go to Florida for the winter and I'm sure many of them fly. Here's a great way to get down there a little differently...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Getting ready to go...

We arrived here in Galetta, Ontario on Monday evening. So that gave us only about six full days to see all of our friends and relatives in the area as well as prepare the little blue car for the long journey into Mexico. We head out of here this coming Monday morning, October 22.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Montreal Walking Tour

We purposely planned our VIA Rail trip from Halifax to Ottawa so that we would have a stopover for the day in Montreal. We had such a short time, but we made the most of it and we were lucky that it didn't rain so we were able to be outside pretty much the whole time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

VIA Rail Part 2

When we left you in yesterday's post, it was Sunday night and we were on the VIA Rail train somewhere between Halifax, Nova Scotia and Montreal, Quebec and we were just going to sleep. The beds were comfortable enough and we both agreed that the pillows were really good.

Monday, October 15, 2012

VIA Rail Part 1

Lindsey and Justin and Cameron drove us to Halifax yesterday morning so that we could catch our 12:15pm train “The Ocean” which runs from Halifax to Montreal. It was a Sunday, so there was very little traffic on the roads and we made it with lots of time to spare. There’s a big grocery store right beside the Halifax VIA Rail station so Ruth went over there to get some snacks for the train ride while I went in the station to collect our tickets that had been reserved in advance.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Pumpkin People of Kentville

A nice fall day yesterday, but with a bit of a nip in the air. In fact, it felt colder here than when we were in Iceland! Mid October is definitely the time of year you want to be getting out of Canada if you don't like the cold. Winter is on it's way, and I heard from both my mother and my son yesterday that they had snow flurries in Ottawa yesterday morning!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Which hotel in Reykjavik?

We did something a little different for accommodation during our five days in Iceland. We stayed in five different hotels! A different one each night.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sometimes you have to relax!

And that's just what we're doing right now. This is our week off from traveling so we're simply enjoying spending time with our daughter Lindsey and her family. The weather has been just "okay" here in the beautiful Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, so we haven't really been going out that much.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Heys ePac17 Roller Backpack Review

We just spent four months traveling Europe using these relatively small backpacks as our only luggage, so this is as good a time as any to tell you what we think of them so far. First, we'll bring you back to June 7, 2012 when we received these laptop backpacks so that you can have a look at our first impressions.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Iceland - Things You May Not Know

We learned a few things during our five days to Iceland. Some facts we were already aware of,  and some were a surprise. But it's an interesting country to visit and we thought we would share some of the things that we thought you may not know of.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

CenterHotel Thingholt

Our last night in Reykjavik was spent at CenterHotel Thingholt. The hotel is located on a side street in the central core and the building that houses it is a fairly drab looking concrete building. On the outside.

Goodbye Iceland, Hello Canada.

We took time to relax yesterday morning, something we haven't done for the last five days. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Iceland, but because we were only there for five days we kept going all the time to see as much as we could in that short period of time. So we had no firm plans yesterday, other than our flight to Canada which was scheduled to leave at 6:40pm last night.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Iceland Golden Circle Tour

We were up early again yesterday because Reykjavik Excursions was picking us up at our hotel at 8:30am for the Golden Circle day tour. This is one of their most popular tours, and if you only have a short time in Iceland then it's a good way to see some interesting sights that are fairly close by.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

CenterHotel Plaza

We made our way over to the CenterHotel Plaza on Friday evening. Due to the timing of our tours, we weren't able to spend much time in the hotel...just sleeping and a quick breakfast in the morning.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Wonders of Snaefellsnes

This morning we were up bright and early and Reykjavik Excursions picked us up at our hotel just after 7:30am. We had to get an early start because we were headed out for a twelve hour tour!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Reykjavik Grand Excursion

We were going to spend most of the afternoon on a tour bus, so we figured we had better get some exercise this morning. You can't go to Iceland without experiencing their local thermal pools, and there are five such pools in Reykjavik alone.

CenterHotel Arnarhvoll

Our second night in Reykjavik was spent at the CenterHotel Arnarvholl, a slightly more upscale hotel in the Reykjavik downtown area.

Wandering around Reykjavik

I know you've already seen pics from our Elding whale watching tour but we had to tell you how the rest of our day went as well! We woke up to a mostly sunny sky, and it stayed that way pretty much all day. Temperature was a bit warmer, maybe 10C (50F), but still very windy.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Whale Watching in Iceland

We signed up with Elding Whale Watching this afternoon for an adventure at sea! They picked us up at our hotel at about 12:45pm and it was only a short drive over to the marina here in Reykjavik. But when we got there, we were told we were going for a longer bus drive.

CenterHotel Klopp

Here in downtown Reykjavik, CenterHotels operates 5 different buildings and we're going to give you a profile of each one! Our first night was at the Centerhotel Klopp.

Iceland update

We're going to be pretty active over the next four days so you'll probably see more than one post per day from us. That being the case, our regular readers might want to back up a post or two and make sure you haven't missed something!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hello, Iceland!

We were up at 6:00am this morning, and our hosts in England drove us to Hereford train station. Our train arrived and departed right on time, and by 8:00am we were watching the green English countryside wizz by.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Last day in England.

Well, today is our last day in merry old England. You're not going to see another post here until we actually arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland and get settled in at the CenterHotel Klopp.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Five years worth of financial expenses.

We started keeping detailed track of our financial expenses in October 2007. That was the month we sold our house and started living full time in our motorhome.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Well that was a productive day!

You have to love it when a plan comes together. We had a lot of things we wanted to accomplish on our day trip to the city of Hereford and we got all of them done without a hitch!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

More Trip Planning

We're getting spoiled with a continuous source of quality internet access! So I've been making the most of it and doing a lot of planning for the next five weeks. Of course you all know that we're headed for Iceland next week, but the rest of October is going to be busy as well!

Friday, September 28, 2012

House Sitting

Well, only a couple of days left in our current house sitting assignment. This is the first time we've looked after a pet as part of the job, and we really enjoyed it. Have you considered house sitting? We thought we'd tell you how we got into it, and what our experiences have been like.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Want to save on car insurance?

It's actually pretty easy and most people could pocket at least a couple of hundred dollars a year by making a few simple phone calls.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bond...James Bond

Well it's been raining on and off here for the last three days. I don't think it ever stopped on Monday, and then right through the night. We have managed to get out with Harvey though, even twice yesterday. But it's wet and muddy up on the common.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Slovakia on $43 a day.

When we think of Slovakia now, we think of hiking. Slovakia is a hiker's paradise! We were in Slovakia between August 14 and September 3 for a total of 21 days and we went hiking on 13 of those days. A beautiful country, and we will return someday!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Czech Republic on $28 a day.

Reflecting on our six and a half weeks in Central Europe. We arrived in Prague July 23, and departed from Budapest September 7. We spent three weeks in Czech Republic, three weeks in Slovakia and four days in Budapest, Hungary.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Top of Sugar Loaf Mountain

It was only a short 5 mile (8 km) hike yesterday, but it took us to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain which gave us some beautiful panoramic views. With the wind it was still a bit chilly, but we were lucky that it was a nice sunny day for the most part.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Another Border Hike

Last Tuesday we went for a hike along the Wales/England border in the Black Mountains. Yesterday, we headed about an hour south of here to do another border walk along the River Wye near the village of Tintern, Wales.

Friday, September 21, 2012

An Interesting and Productive Day

Started off with a haircut yesterday. For those of you who don't know, Ruth used to be a licensed hairstylist. In fact, that is how we met...she cut my hair! But of course all of her haircutting supplies were left inside Sherman (our motorhome) when we left Mexico in May.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bought a new coat!

When we came on this trip across the pond, we only brought the necessities, and we figured it was summer anyhow. So I only had a light sweater and a light jacket. But it's starting to get cool here. Highs now are only around 16C (61F), and if there's a wind or we're out hiking at higher altitudes it gets chilly!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

100 Meters Underground

We had a busy day yesterday. After taking the dogs for a walk, we headed into the city of Abergavenny, Wales. It's a small city, with a population of around 15,000 and Tuesday's are market days.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The leaning church of Cwmyoy!

Our hike yesterday started off in the village of Llanthony, Wales. There's a public car park at the Llanthony Priory, a ruined monastery dating to the 1100's. It was about a half hour drive to get there, and it was about 11:00am when we set off.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Castles in Wales

The official Wales website says that there are over 600 castles in Wales. That is more per square mile than any other country in the world. When you figure that Wales is about the size of the state of Massachusetts, that's a lot of castles!

Where we are staying is less than two miles from the border of Wales, and we visited there yesterday.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


You may have noticed that we are going to Iceland! I don't know why, but I've always wanted to go to Iceland. It's not really a place that you make a point of going to though. But we were trying to figure a way back to Canada, and this interesting deal came up.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Harvey has a friend!

We did our normal morning and afternoon walks with Harvey. Still exploring different trails from the house, so we don't have any need to go any further afield yet. I got the hoover (vacuum) out and did some housework. Ruth did the bathrooms and got the other bedroom ready for Tony and Helen. And she baked some chocolate chip cookies!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A visit to Dore Abbey

Dore Abbey is near the village of Abbey Dore. It's only about 1.5 miles from the village of Ewyas Harold where we are staying, so yesterday morning's walk with Harvey the dog took us over the common area and down to the Abbey.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Three months ago today, we arrived in England. Since then, we've also been in Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. And, we've eaten in more restaurants in the last three months than we have in the last three years!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Three ponies and a pig!

First of all, thanks for all of your thoughtful and helpful comments regarding yesterday's blog post. There sure is a lot of tugging back and forth sometimes between your heart and your head!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

$500 and counting...

How much would you pay to fix a 20 year old cat? Many of our regular readers will remember that when we set off motorhoming five years ago, we gave our cat Molly to my sister Elaine. Molly was already 15 years old at the time, and we didn't think she would readily accept the transition to living in a motorhome.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Our flight with

We had the opportunity to fly with for our recent trip from Budapest, Hungary to Manchester, UK. There are a lot of discount airlines buzzing around the UK and Europe, so it's interesting to try one out first hand to see what some are doing differently from others. Here's our review.

Getting to know the area

Sunday morning, we went for a walk around the village and then into the surrounding hills. There are so many trails in the immediate area that it's going to be easy to find somewhere new every day!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Harvey the dog!

So when we left you in yesterday's post, we were attempting to sleep in the Manchester airport. We've tried this before on some oddball connecting flights or like yesterday when we had an early morning train connection. It never seems to go well, and this time was no exception!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Last day in Budapest

On Friday morning, we hopped on the bus and went to the other side of the Danube River for our walking tour of the castle district. It was a gorgeous day, with clear blue sky and perfect temperature of around 24C (75F).

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Best Hotel in Budapest!

Well, we don't know if it's the best, but we can't figure why anyone would want anything better. The Casati Budapest Hotel has everything you would need, as well as a helpful staff that are proud to show off the newly renovated boutique hotel.

Interesting Budapest facts

Yesterday morning, we did a walking tour of the area on the Pest side of the Danube River. As we mentioned before, Pest is the area on the east and Buda is on the west.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ruth has a new friend!

Budapest Tourism supplied us with two of their 72 hour Budapest Cards to try out so that we could review the services offered with the card, and to enable us to see as much as possible in the short time we have in Budapest.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Budapest at night

This is the second post of the day, so you might want to check out part one first.

Exploring Budapest

Budapest is a fairly large city, in fact the seventh largest in Europe with a population of 1.7 million people. The city is separated by the Danube River which runs from North to South through the city. On the west side of the river is the area known as Buda, and on the east side of the river is the area known as Pest.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Arrived in Budapest!

Well, we had a long travel day yesterday, but we did make it to Budapest. We were up at 6:45am and on the bus at 7:40am. Three trains later, we arrived in Budapest at about 3:30pm!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Slovak National Uprising

Got our bags all packed up yesterday morning at 10:00am and asked the desk girl if we could leave our bags in their office until late afternoon. Turns out that she didn't speak any English. So it was Google Translate to the rescue!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Half way to Budapest!

When we were figuring our route to Budapest from Poprad, we had considered doing the journey all in one day. But that would have been a long travel day since there was no easy direct route between the two cities.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dobsinska Ice Caves

Yesterday morning, we walked to the bus station and waited for the bus to take us to the Unesco listed Dobsinska Ice Caves. Any of our regular readers will know that we like to visit caves, and the ice cave was one of the reasons we wanted to visit this part of Slovakia.

August expenses

Our August costs came in at a total of $1,087.28 and while that sounds very good (and really, it is!) it's also about $200 over our budget for the month. Almost everything else was pretty much within the range that we expected it to be, but accommodation was the category that put us over the $1,000 mark.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Another day in the mountains

We had breakfast at our guest house yesterday morning. Nice enough, but we felt it wasn't really worth the €5.00 ($6.25) per person. So we will make other arrangements for breakfast today and tomorrow.

We planned a hike in the mountains for yesterday, but first we had to get to the mountains!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Made it to Poprad!

So this time, our bus arrived on time at 8:45am yesterday morning, and it was a forty minute ride to Liptovsky Mikulas. There, we caught the train to Poprad.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What happened to our bus?

Yesterday, we sat at the bus stop for a half an hour after our bus was supposed to come by. But the bus never showed up!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Living out of a backpack.

The type of travel that we're doing right now sure is interesting, but I have to admit that I miss traveling in a motorhome.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hiking into the clouds

Despite the fact that we couldn't see anything, there were still some highlights to this hike!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

When no means yes...

There are certainly some funny issues that we've encountered traveling in a country where we don't understand the language. For example, "no" really does mean yes!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Our first hike in Tatra National Park

It's a little difficult to plan a route because there are so many marked hiking trails in this park. We decided on a 16.8 km (10.5 mile) hike with an elevation gain of about 700 metres (2,300 feet).

Friday, August 24, 2012

Travel days are never boring!

So we set off yesterday morning, headed for the village of Zuberec, without any idea of where we were staying. We walked down to the train station in Istebne, with lots of time to wait for our 9:52am train. And we waited. And we waited.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It was a hot one!

It was a hot and humid day yesterday. I think it went to 34C (93F). But that's no excuse not to go for a hike. Jana and her sister Monika came and picked us up at around 1:30pm and then we picked up Jana's boyfriend Lucas and we all went for a walk to a waterfall!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Hanging out with the young people!

Yesterday morning we walked into the nearby village of Istebne. They have one of the oldest churches in Slovakia in this village, one of only four remaining wooden churches.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What do you get for €11.00 ($13.75) per night?

It was time to move on yesterday, so we took the bus from Terchova to Dolny Kubin, a distance of only about 30 kms (18 miles). We didn't know for sure where we were going to end up staying last night, but we had some ideas.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Just another perfect day...

Woke up to blue sky and sunshine on Sunday, and didn't see a cloud in the sky the entire day! For that matter, it's exactly the same as I type this at 8:30am Monday morning.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Okay, I have a bone to pick with you ladies...

But we'll get to that in a few minutes.

We were going to use Saturday as a day of rest, but because it was turning into such a nice day we figured we shouldn't waste it just in case Sunday wasn't as nice. (So far, Sunday is great too!)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Never pet a dog who's taking himself for a walk!

We set off on what was supposed to be a 13.5 km (8.5 mile) hike yesterday at about 10:30am. The sky was overcast, but it really didn't look like it was going to rain. This hike went through several little villages in the middle of nowhere, and it was an informational trail with ten different boards to read along the way.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Terchova, Slovakia

Yesterday morning, Michal, our couchsurfing host in Zilina made some phone calls for us to try and find us somewhere to stay  in Terchova. Because Terchova is a popular outdoor destination area, there are a lot of pensions (guest houses) and private accommodation available.

But because it's a weekend coming up, some of them were fully booked!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Best Hike Ever!

Well, we think it's one of the best hikes we've ever done anyhow! It was only 8.5 kms (5.3 miles) but it took us six hours from start to finish. Quite a few people on the trail considering it was the middle of the week, but it's because it's such an interesting trail.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Another new country for us, and so far, we're impressed! Once again, some of that comes down to the people you meet, and our new couchsurfing hosts here in Zilina are once again, fantastic!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

We cheated.

And we're not proud of it.

We did a hike yesterday to the top of Radhost Mountain. Problem is, we took a bus 90% of the way up! Every time we've done something like this, we've been kind of disappointed in ourselves, but we had been told to do it this way. And there was some justification to it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A hike in the mist

It rained much of the day on Saturday, so we used it as a relax day! And then on Sunday, we woke up to drizzle, but our couchsurfing host Blanka and her boyfriend had a hike planned for us in the morning with the local Jack Russell group that she gets together with.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Why we're doing what we're doing.

Many readers have commented over the past five years that we are “lucky” to be doing what we are doing at our age. But it has nothing to do with luck. It has to do with a conscious decision to do something different in life.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A record long hike!

We've done several hikes over the years that were 16 kms (10 miles). Yesterday, we planned out a hike that we figured was about 14 kms (9 miles) but turned out to be a bit longer!

Friday, August 10, 2012

What is a Wallachian?

Well, we'll get to that in a minute. Yesterday morning, we headed out fairly early because we had to meet our train schedule. The train doesn't go by that often so we planned on making the 9:35am run from Zasova to Roznov pod Radhostem. It's only 7 kms (3 miles) and we got on with no problems.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Due for a relaxing day

And so that's what we arranged for ourselves yesterday. In the morning, we walked down the hill to get some groceries, and in the afternoon we went for a two hour hike.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Olomouc, day 4

After the rain went through Monday afternoon, the temperature began to cool off a bit, and yesterday was just about perfect! Sunny, and a high of around 26C (79F). Perfect for our last day exploring the city of Olomouc.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Holy Hill and Fort Radikov

It was a baking hot Monday morning. Temperature expected to be 34C. The museums are closed on Monday's, so we decided to take a local bus up to the basilica at Holy Hill, and go for a walk in the forest to Fort Radikov.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Exploring the City of Olomouc

We slept in a little yesterday, and didn't get going until after 11:00am. Our plan was to explore the central area, and take in some of the museums and churches. Most museums are closed on Mondays, so we were going to try and take in as much as possible yesterday.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Once upon a time in the 13th century!

We have a lot to see in the city of Olomouc, but yesterday we decided to head into the surrounding countryside for a day at Bouzov Castle, only about 35 kms (22 miles) away. They were having a special day at the castle, where everyone is dressed up in period costume with displays of jousting, dancing, and entertainment that you might have seen in the 13th century.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The City of Olomouc

People who visit Czech Republic most often go to Prague. It's fine to visit the big cities in Europe such as Prague, or Paris or Rome...but there is so much more to see, and if you limit yourself only to the big cities, you will miss so much. Or at least that's what we think. So we only spent one day in the city of Prague, preferring instead to see places that the typical tourist doesn't.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Ruins of Boskovice Castle

In yesterday's post, we showed a picture of a what looked like a castle way in the distance. So we figured out how to hike to the castle and we set off around 10:00am.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Svitavy to Boskovice

Yet another interesting day! Our travel days seem to stand out, and usually it's because of the new people we get to meet. Yesterday was one of those days.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Exploring Castles and Countryside

Our couchsurfing host Andrew was able to take some time off work yesterday and so he picked us up mid morning and we went back to his place to collect his family. Good thing they have a 7 passeneger mini van because we needed all of those seats! Andrew suggested we first go to a nearby town where there is another UNESCO listed castle to visit.

July expenses

As you know, we try and keep our expenses to around an average of $1,000 a month, but there can be a wide variance depending on a lot of factors. So we weren’t sure what to expect with a full month of being across the ocean. We stayed the first three weeks of July with Ruth’s cousin Helen and her husband Tony, so we had no accomodation expense for that period, but we did of course contribute towards expenses for the four of us while we were there. And sometimes we paid for things, and sometimes they did, so although some categories are higher than normal, some may be lower but it’s hard to know exactly which is which. Plus, we had some travel related expenses such as our flight from Bristol to Prague. Either way, we think we did very well, with expenses coming in at a total of $1,189.73 for the month.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eating Japanese pizza in Svitavy, Czech Republic

The main reason for our visit to Svitavy was because my paternal grandmother was born here in 1905. At the time, the area was mainly German speaking, and that was my grandmother’s native language. Her father was a Protestant minister and he had accepted a vicar position at a local church. The family lived here until my grandmother was eight years old when they moved to a town 80 kms north of Prague, closer to the German border.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kutna Hora to Svitavy

It had been raining off and on all morning yesterday and so we just sat in out room and took advantage of the internet. Our train didn’t leave until 12:20pm so we really didn’t have to rush out.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hiking around Kutna Hora

We had enough of the touristy things and although we've probably been walking 10kms (6 miles) a day anyhow, we decided to go for a hike. The tourist office had given us a map, and there are a lot of well marked hiking and biking trails in Czech Republic.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Cool Mine on a Hot Day

Cool, as in cooler than it was outside! We are having all the summer that we didn't get in England. It was another 32C (89F) day here in Kutna Hora, Czech Republic and so we chose the early afternoon to go on a mine tour where the temperature was a lot cooler.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Kutna Hora and the Sedlec Bone Church

Do you know what an "ossuary" is? We wouldn't have known, but after visiting one, we know now! An ossuary is a place where skeletal human remains are stored, usually to conserve space. The village of Sedlec near the town of Kutna Hora has one such ossuary. And it is strange indeed!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Prague to Kutna Hora

Yesterday was a travel day, and that can be more interesting than exploring! The day started off with us having no idea where we were going to be sleeping last night because we didn't hear back from a couchsurfing host that we had made plans with.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Exploring Prague

Our couchsurfing host Maria took us in her car to the subway (underground) station nearest her home. She was going into the city anyhow, so it was nice to have someone with us to show us how the transportation and ticketing system works.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

We made it to Prague!

I am typing this at 7:30am on a beautiful morning watching the sun rise over the landscape on the outskirts of Prague, Czech Republic. We are in a new country! This is the first new country we have visited since Portugal in 2007.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A fantastic last day in England!

We've actually got most of today as well, because our flight to Prague, Czech Republic doesn't leave until 6:20pm. But today will be a day of rest because yesterday was most certainly NOT a day of rest!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Has summer finally arrived in England?

We've had two days in a row of decent weather...and it looks like a third one is off to a good start this morning! So we're heading for the seaside today!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Steaks for dinner!

Went for two short walks yesterday, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Only a short shower in the morning, and then a nice afternoon.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Oh, my aching muscles...

I am apparently not used to a hard days work. Or, this type of work is better suited to someone younger than me. Probably a combination of things. Either way, we did get a lot done yesterday. Just paying for it today, that's all!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Clarks Shoe Museum

A shoe museum? Yep. When it pours with rain all day long you have to look for indoor things to do. And actually, this free shoe museum in Street, Somerset is worth a stop.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

4 Mile Hike

It cleared up enough yesterday for us to go for a nice hike. We decided on one that starts at Ham Hill and hopped in the car after lunch for the short drive to the parking area.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Six days to go...

It is almost a good thing that we have had so much rain because although it has hampered our outdoor activities a bit, it has also allowed me to do lots of planning for our upcoming trip to Eastern Europe.

Monday, July 16, 2012

King Alfred's Tower

Back in 1762, a banker by the name of Henry Hoare II decided to build a tower in the middle of nowhere, and with no purpose. Bankers can do things like this, because they have so much excess money. Even back in 1762!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wells Cathedral is Amazing!

Yesterday afternoon we went to wander around the city of Wells. The city itself has a population of about 12,000. Wells is officially the smallest city in England, where you obtain official city status because you have a cathedral. And Wells most certainly has a cathedral!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

An 800 Year Old Church

That's still in use today. When you visit a town who's referenced history goes back to the year 733, it's a pretty safe bet there will be some old buildings to see. Yesterday, we visited Somerton (pop 4,700).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Korunas, Zlotys, and Forints

Oh, and of course Euros. We plan on being in four different countries during our six and a half week tour of Eastern Europe. And each country uses a different currency.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sore muscles

A little late getting to the blog post this morning. We've been busy making more travel plans, and we'll be able to tell you about them soon! In the meantime, we're keeping busy in Somerset, England. Only a week and a half to go until we leave for our six week tour of Eastern Europe!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

We can see the sea!

We've been in England for about a month now and yesterday we had our first view of the sea. Well, it was the Bristol Channel actually, but it does look out into the sea!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Castle Cary

Yet another cloudy day yesterday, but it didn't start raining until the afternoon. Tony was going into the village of Castle Cary to get some new tires on his work van, so we followed along in the car just for something to do.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A surprisingly nice day!

There's been so much rain here that it's become kind of expected. It's pretty much a given that it's going to rain tomorrow. Even the forecast didn't show any sun. So when the clouds disappear, it's a nice surprise.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

How do we research a trip?

Not much to write about this morning because it rained pretty much all day yesterday. Reader Joe in Indiana had asked the other day if we would talk a little about how we research a trip and he's right that our upcoming Czech Republic and area excursion makes for a good example.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nine mile hike in the rain

While much of Canada and the U.S. experiences summer, we here in England have been left behind. July the 6th felt like mid April! But that didn't stop us from going out for a nice hike at Burrington Combe.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Tower on Top of a Tor

Well I tried to go to work yesterday, but when we got there our third helper cancelled on us. So it's now been put off, possibly until next week. I guess I just wasn't meant to get in a full days work! Oh well, that's my lot in life.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A rare post from Ruth

Well today you will get a post by me, Ruth.  Kevin went out the door this morning at 7:30am with Tony to help him put up the ceiling at Kelly and Paul's place.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Next stop, Czech Republic!

My older sister Elaine, was the correct one to guess Czech Republic yesterday. And no, she didn't have any hints. Other than the fact that she knows I like to do family history research, and that our paternal grandmother was born in that area.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Went to Bath and had a shower

My uncle and some of his family are having a vacation in England just now, and it turned out that we were getting fairly close to each other. So we drove up to Bath to have lunch with them!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Scrumpy Cider

Spent the morning on the internet researching our next destination, and in the afternoon went for a walk and then had a look at some British motorhomes.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Finally, a nice relaxing day!

As much as we've enjoyed touring London, Leeds, and Bristol over the last two and a half weeks, we were due for a break. Pretty much all we did yesterday was to go for a two hour walk in the country.

June expenses

June came in at $1,570.10. About $250 over budget, and a big chunk of that came from eating out. We include eating out under the "Entertainment" column because it is somewhat discretionary, and we did that far more than normal in the month of June.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The S.S. Great Britain in Bristol

We said goodbye yesterday morning to our couchsurfing hosts (thanks Cynthia and Nigel!) and took the bus from there into town. We dropped our bags at a hostel near the bus station where they looked after them for a cost of £2.00 ($3.28) each.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Chairs are more dangerous than sharks.

Hmm. That title's a little different. I'll explain in a moment. We had such a busy day that we didn't get everything done that we wanted to. But it was a beautiful day. In fact the locals were saying that yesterday was the best day they've had so far this summer.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I've never been to Bristol, and Ruth was there many years ago as a child so it's pretty much all new for us. There's quite a lot to see here, so it's going to be a busy two days!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Haworth and Saltaire

Yesterday we visited the villages of Haworth and Saltaire. Two distinctly different villages, each famous for entirely different reasons. Yet they are only about 8 miles (13 kms) apart.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Moving day and a visit with special friends

Yesterday morning we said goodbye and thanks to our couchsurfing host Isabel. Our friends Glen and Steve are currently living in the town of Keighley and we definitely wanted to visit them so we decided to move to their place for two nights before we head to Bristol.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Visiting with my great great grandfather!

Well our timing started a little “off” yesterday morning. First, we slept in…something we hardly ever do. It was 8:20am when we woke up! And even though we didn’t really have anything that we HAD to get up early for, we were just trying to get an early start to the day.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Soaking wet!

But we enjoyed our day anyhow! The sun was trying to peak through yesterday morning, so we changed our schedule a bit and decided to walk to the ruins at Kirkstall Abbey. I love castles and ruins and there are quite a few of them surrounding the Leeds area here in West Yorkshire.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A surprise trip to the theatre!

Yesterday morning, we sat down with Wendy from the Leeds Tourism office. The city of Leeds itself is not really a tourist destination, however three things attract people to the area. First, Leeds is a big University town, with a huge student population during the school term. This brings lots of parents and relatives to visit. Next, Leeds is around the halfway point between London and Edinburgh, Scotland so people driving will often use Leeds as a stopover. And third, while Leeds itself is not a tourist destination, there is a lot to see and do in the surrounding area of West Yorkshire, and this makes Leeds an excellent place to use as home base.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Arrived in Leeds!

Our bus left London at 1:30pm yesterday afternoon, so when we set off for Victoria Station at 11:30am, we thought we had lots of time. We had to walk to the overground railway and take one train with a connection to the underground train. No problem, and we got there about 12:30pm. Except we wanted to get the £5.00 each refund for our Oyster transportation cards.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The chair police

The chair police? Yes, we almost had a run in with the chair police yesterday. We'll explain in a moment.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A visit to Greenwich

We decided to walk to Greenwich, a distance of 6.5 miles (10.5 kms). We would see some sights along the way, and it was another beautiful day. We have managed to bring the Mexican sunshine with us everywhere we have been since leaving Mexico!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tower of London and the Crown Jewels

The second most popular fee based attraction in London is the historic Tower of London and the display of the Crown Jewels. This expensive museum attracts over 7,000 visitors per day and even though it's expensive, we think this huge fortress should be on your list of things to do.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tower Bridge and the Fire Monument

Yesterday morning we walked down to Tower Bridge. This bridge is one of the most famous in the world, however it is often mistakenly referred to as London Bridge, which is actually the next bridge up river. Tower Bridge was built in six years and was opened in 1894. From the top of this bridge you can get some of the best views of London!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A fun time at The Million Pound Drop. Except...

it could have been much better.

We had "priority"tickets, which meant that we were guaranteed admittance provided we were there by 6:00pm. Even though the live broadcast doesn't begin until 9:00pm, they always try and overbook these shows, so we wanted to be sure we got in. So we got an early start and left home just before 3:00pm.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

London. Did I mention lots of walking...?

It is 4 kms (2.5 miles) from where we are staying to the downtown area and the River Thames. Yesterday, we decided to start off walking, and if we were tired we would take the bus or the underground to get back home.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Lots of walking in London

But that's okay because we love walking. And there is so much to see that it doesn't seem like we're going that far. Yesterday morning, we walked to a grocery store, but took a roundabout route.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Off to the pub!

We had only been in London for a few hours when Ruth's aunt and uncle suggested we go for a walk and stop in at the pub. So that's what we did!

Our flight with Sunwing

I do a lot of research into travel prices and deals. One name that comes up consistently when I'm searching for a great travel deal out of Canada is Sunwing. So when I saw a fantastic price to get us from Toronto to London, England, we jumped on it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Arrived safely in London!

We are in London, England! Almost feels a little surreal, because the whole travel experience seems to have gone by extremely quickly, even though we didn't get much sleep on our overnight flight. We landed at Gatwick Airport 15 minutes ahead of schedule, and then had to collect our bags.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Heading across the pond...

Well, here we are at Toronto's Pearson airport, waiting for our Sunwing flight to London's Gatwick airport. And, yes, they have FREE wi-fi throughout Terminal 1...assuming it is the same in the other terminals as well.

Dundas, Ontario

A bit of a late start yesterday as we left Galetta heading for Dundas, Ontario. We were with Ruth's sister Lesley, and her son Marshal, with their dog Tia. So the car was full, and so was the trunk! We didn't get going until around 11:00am, and it's at least a six hour drive.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What do we pack for a 3 to 4 month trip?

Some of you will be horrified to learn that we sometimes wear the same item of clothing two days in a row! But sorry, that's how we travel light. Even though we're only bringing a small backpack each, we're bringing along enough clothing that we'll be comfortable, and if we need something else, we'll buy it along the way.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Olympics

Virtually every time we tell someone that we are going to England, the very first question is "Oh, you're going to the Olympics"? Actually, no, we have no intention of going to the Olympics. In fact, if I lived in London I would make sure I was away for the Olympics!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The last few days

With all the "excitement" of this Australia contest, we've been neglecting telling you about what we've been up to the last few days. Here's the rundown...

Friday, June 8, 2012

An interesting finish to the contest...

Or is it finished? The rules say that the entry with the most votes at 5:00pm PST (8:00pm EST) moves on to the finals and has a one in nine chance of winning the $12,000 prize to Australia. However, when that time went by, the voting continued...and strangely, you can still vote this morning.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

One last time...

A special request to vote if you haven't already today. Turns out the voting ends at 5:00pm Pacific time which is 8:00pm Eastern. As of right now, there is only 107 votes separating my cousin who is in top spot in her category, from second place who has been slowly gaining all day.

Please take 5 seconds and click the green "Vote" button...

And then I won't bug you again, until it's time to tell you if we won! Should know for sure by June 13.

Check out our cool new luggage!

Or are they backpacks? Well, they are both luggage and backpacks, but I think we'll call them backpacks. Anyhow, our new backpacks from Heys International showed up yesterday, just in time for our trip to England.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Giving back to the system

Yesterday I took a drive into Ottawa to run some errands, but also to go for lunch with an old friend and then to meet a new friend!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

$5 return flight to England

I sign up for various travel newsletters, and yesterday I received one from a company that regularly has some pretty good deals. The one that stood out of course was the one that said you could get a return flight from Toronto to Birmingham, England for $5. But that sounds too good to be true, no??

Monday, June 4, 2012

A fun free thing to do on the weekend

Yesterday, we went for an 8 km (5 mile) roundtrip walk over to a remote control airplane flying park. The Arnprior Remote Control Club does their stuff there every weekend. What a fun way to spend a couple of hours!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Two places we would love to visit.

The other day I came across a photo of a little island, and I published it on our facebook page. It's one of those places that as soon as you see the photo, your first reaction is "wow"! I can see us making it there some day.

The second place is also a "wow", but unfortunately we will never make it there!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Moving day

Not for us. But our son found himself a bachelor pad. After years of roommates and sharing, he's finally out on his own.

Friday, June 1, 2012

May expenses

Not a bad month, considering we had some "capital expenditures"! We spent a total of $1,653.50 in May, and that includes our flight expenses of getting from Mexico to Canada. Also includes five days in Chicago. Also includes a new camera. Hmmm, that's actually pretty good!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Adventure Cycle Experience

Back at the end of January 2009 we were camped out in Chiapas, Mexico at a neat little spot called Agua Azul. As we were getting set up, a couple of Canadian cyclists arrived. These young guys were riding their bicycles all the way from Edmonton, Alberta to Buenos Aries, Argentina!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Diefenbunker

"People do not want to believe there is going to be atomic bombing of Canada. The thought disturbs our equanimity. We like to look at the situation as though we were protected and insulated by many thousands of miles of sea and a northern ice cap. It's going to take an educational campaign to make people realize the danger in which we find ourselves." - Canada's Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, May 25, 1957, House of Commons.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Anybody wanna go to Cuba?

I know this doesn't work for most of our American readers, but one of the few benefits we get from being Canadians is that we can travel to Cuba, and there are sometimes some VERY cheap deals to do so.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ottawa and race weekend

Ottawa is the capital of Canada, but it often gets overlooked because it is located so close to, and in between, the much larger cities of both Montreal and Toronto. But Ottawa is a really nice city in the summer, and worth a visit. There's lots to see if you've never been there.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Road trip!

Just because we wanted to go for a drive. So we set out with Ruth's dad Tony, and his dog KC. It's about two hours from here down to the shore of Lake Ontario at Kingston. This is where we worked for a couple of summers and we  wanted to visit.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Some pictures

It's been a really dry spring here in Ontario, but we had a big thunderstorm go through this area yesterday afternoon.

Friday, May 25, 2012

We're number one!

Well, you all knew that anyhow didn't you?! But more specifically, we're now in number one spot in the Australia contest. We can't believe how many of our readers have become involved with our entry.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What the heck is that?!

Actually, it's just a little bug. But our new camera has a "super macro" setting where you can take extreme closeups...check this out!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

London Transit

Doing some research on the London, England transit system. We will be in London for eight days, and of course we want to travel the city as economically as possible.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Three weeks from today

Only three weeks and we will be heading down to Toronto and hopping aboard our flight to England. I guess we better start doing some planning!