Peyto Lake, Alberta.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ruth is in Calgary, and Kevin is in Jasper, Alberta, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Nova Scotia on August 17th.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Into the big city of Ottawa to pick up the little red car!

Our car rental was booked for pickup at 12 noon yesterday, but the rental location was on the other side of the city so it was a 50 minute drive to get there from Ruth's dad's house. Ruth's nephew lives next door, and he drove us into the city using his car.

Of course there are lots of other car rentals closer, but they were also quite a bit more expensive. And when you're renting by the month and you're not getting a fantastic deal to begin with, it made sense to go with the cheapest one despite the bit of an extra drive to get there.

We're paying $732 CAD ($547 USD) per month at Hertz for the smallest car available. But, I am using $324 worth of credit card points (from an old TD Visa that I don't use anymore) towards the entire bill, so that makes it a little more reasonable when spread over the two months.

We ended up with a 2019 Chevrolet Spark... bright red! This model is actually very similar to the little blue car that we owned for many years. Except this one has all the toys. It's getting towards the end of it's rental car life though. It only has 24,000 kms (15,000 miles) on it, but it's getting "old" in rental car terms, especially since it's not the most recent model year. I have to go back to renew the contract after the first month, and they said they might give us something newer then.

The little red car.

I noticed when we did the walk around inspection that it was missing a valve stem cap on the left rear wheel. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but the girl did mark it on the inspection sheet.

We hopped in and took the scenic route through downtown heading west.

Tough to take decent photos through the car window, but we weren't in tourist mode.

The giant spider outside the National Gallery.

We drove right by Parliament Hill.
(Ottawa is Canada's capital city.)

As always, there is a ton of construction going on. And as always, most of Ottawa's roads sure are in bad condition! Just two things we happened to notice on the drive.

Another thing we noticed is how many people are still using restaurants. We drove down busy Richmond Rd. in the Westboro area and couldn't believe the number of people out and about and the number of restaurants and busy patios with lineups. We have zero ambition to go to a restaurant, but we're obviously not normal. 

We did a little bit of grocery shopping before heading over to our 2:00pm appointment to see Ruth's dad Tony.

The seniors homes in Ottawa are where most of the area's Covid deaths have occurred. So naturally, they have had some pretty strict visitation rules, and in fact there were months that went by where there was no visits allowed at all. And I had recently spoken to my mother who is also in a seniors building about their rules, and they are really strict as well.

So you have to do the hand sanitizer thing as soon as you enter the lobby. And then at the reception desk they read your temperature with one of those new gun style things. Then they provide you with a medical mask to replace the perhaps non medical one you are already wearing. 

But then, we were surprised to be sent right up the elevator to his room. We were expecting to go to an outdoor area and he would be brought to us. Instead, we brought him down with us and found a quiet spot outdoors away from anybody else.

He also is supposed to wear a mask whenever outside his room. However (1) he is stubborn, and (2) I don't think he really understands what is going on with this whole mask thing to begin with.

Tony and Ruth.

Looking at photos.

Ruth had brought a photo album of memories from his time in the British military. Back in the 1950's he was stationed in Malaysia (then called Malaya) and he really enjoyed looking at the photos. Funny how he can remember some parts of that, but can't remember what he had for lunch. It was the same story when my grandmother got to that stage.. she could remember when the Titanic sank... but not anything about last week.

It was a good visit, but he has definitely deteriorated more, both physically and mentally. And of course it's not going to get better in either department.

We spent an hour and a half with him, but we will go back on a regular basis while we are here.

Then we went and finished off some more grocery shopping and headed back to Galetta.

So we're on the highway, and all of a sudden the dash comes up with a warning light... Low Tire Pressure on the left rear.... coincidentally, the same wheel that I had noticed the missing valve cap.

Eventually, we pulled over and I had a look at the tire. It looked a little lower than the others, but certainly not enough to worry about. But when we got home I got the tire pressure gauge and it really was quite low compared to the other three. I topped it up and found a cap to put on the valve stem. I checked it this morning and it was fine, so we'll keep an eye on it, but I will put the pump and gauge in the car and check it regularly for the next while.

Today is my mother's birthday and we are going to visit her and meet with my two sisters at the same time. It will be interesting to see how a different residence does things differently.

51 Pack of Disposable Face Masks. Take 50% off at checkout using coupon code 9Y5NUZJR

And in Canada...

The popular Duko Unbreakable Sunglasses are on sale!


  1. Ahhhh, love the pics of Ruth with her dad! Sending blessings to you all as you enjoy time with your families!! Happy travels in your bright Chevy Spark😍👍

    1. Thank you Connie and Barry. I really enjoyed seeing my Dad and spending some time with him. I really miss not being able to hug him but at least I was able to see him.

      We definitely will be enjoying our family time over the next two months. :-)

  2. Replies
    1. Kevin had meant to write able that in this post but he forget so he will mention it in today's post.

  3. Enjoy your little red car, especially when parking!
    Good luck to sell your RV.

    1. Thank Angi, and yes, it is a dream to park compared to Sherman. :-)

  4. I would have thought that with the economy and businesses under the gun that a rental would have been cheaper. Guess not.

    Have fun visiting and seeing the kids, grandkids and family.

    1. It seems like the rental business is doing just fine. I heard one of the guys on the phone in the store saying the cars were totally booked to a customer.

      We are seeing Lindsey and the grandkids today! :-)

  5. I'd love to go back to Ottawa and spend at least a week there....the two days that we did in 2016 was a whirlwind visit. There is a lot to see and do there and it's a beautiful city!

    1. Yes, Ottawa is a beautiful city and there is certainly a lot to see here. Two days is definitely not enough time to really take it all in. We hope that you and Paul can make it back here again some day.

  6. So glad you're out of quarantine and were able to visit with Ruth's dad. Did he understand why Ruth couldn't give him a hug?

    1. We were happy to be out of quarantine too and it was so nice to visit with both my dad and Kevin's mom.

      He knew that we couldn't hug or touch but he doesn't really understand why.


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