Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August Expenses

Not a bad month.

Considering we had pricey summertime flights from Germany back to Canada, and paid for an expensive 10 day car rental, our expenses were only slightly higher than we expected them to be.

We spent a total of $2,836 CAD ($2,255 USD) for the month. Here's how it all broke down...

Monday, August 30, 2021

Moving to another country

As most of you know, we haven't spent much time in Canada the last three years. Since we left in the fall of 2018, we have spent a total of about three months here. And the main reason we have come back at all is to visit family and friends. 

We actually have no intention of ever "living" here again. While we are currently nomads, and don't see ourselves settling down in the foreseeable future, it's impossible not to have a residence address somewhere because you need to for banking and tax purposes.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

September plans

We've now been in Canada for just over two weeks already and August is coming to a close. We will still be here for the full month of September though.

Since we have arrived, we have seen all of the family except for my younger sister. We also haven't seen any of our friends, and we know how quickly the next four and a half weeks will fly by. So we need to make some plans.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Finally made it out for a bike ride

We hadn't been on our bicycles since September of last year! Almost a full year ago. 

The hot weather finally broke yesterday, and with some cooler temperatures (high of 24C, 75F) we went out fairly early to get some exercise before heading back up to do some more work at the house. There is a long mixed use rail trail near here, so we headed over there to see what there was to see.

Friday, August 27, 2021

How the other half lives

Our morning power walk takes us through a very wealthy neighborhood. On our 5 km (3 mile) route, we pass by many multi million dollar homes. Even the house that we're living in is a beautiful home, but it doesn't compare to these mansions.

I bet we could live a good life just on the amount these people spend on utilities and maintenance!

Thursday, August 26, 2021

News from Germany

We had left Max at the dealer in Germany with a list of items that needed to be done. Most were minor warranty things, but they weren't even really that important. The important one was the upgraded refillable propane system that I want to have installed. 

Their service unit got back to me yesterday with a price of €1900 ($2,800 CAD, $2,250 USD) which is ridiculous. I had been expecting a price around €1,000.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

I don't like real estate agents

I guess I should clarify that. I don't like the real estate agent profession. Mostly because I think they're unnecessary, and overpaid for what they do. But also because some of them come across like smarmy used car salesmen. 

Unnecessary because selling (or buying) a house is not that difficult. You choose a price that you're happy with, you advertise it, and you show it to people who are interested in buying it. If nobody buys it in three months, then your price was too high to begin with. Look at the market and decide what's reasonable. Don't be greedy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Back from the dead!

We were originally supposed to be looking after two cats at our house sit. But when we arrived here, we were told that one of them, named Enke, had disappeared over a week ago. The homeowners were devastated, but by the time we got here, they had pretty much come to terms with the fact that Enke was gone and was probably no longer alive. He was an older cat and there are coyotes and foxes in this area.

They had put up "lost cat" posters on the community mailbox, but nobody had seen Enke.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Family reunion and the price of bacon

So Ruth and I are now pretty much moved into our house sitting home for the next five weeks. We're located near the village of Manotick which is a kind of a trendy upscale village with a lot of very high end homes that line the Rideau River.

But we're a little unfamiliar with what are the best (least expensive?) grocery stores in the area. We ended up at a Your Independent and Ruth went inside while I stayed in the car.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Well, that was a successful day!

We were up at 5:30am Saturday morning, moving stuff around before it got too hot out. Man, that was a lot of work. We can't believe how one guy can own that much stuff. It really makes us appreciate our simple lifestyle!

People began arriving at about 8:00am for the 10:00am start of the auction. The auctioneer himself arrived at 9:00am, along with his five helpers! 

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Ready for the auction!

Well, the big day is here. It took five of us pretty much all day to move almost everything outside. Only the larger furniture items remain inside. 

But it was pretty warm trying to move all that stuff around when the temperature was 32C (88F). We took a lot of breaks and drank a lot of water.

Friday, August 20, 2021

New sandals, and Sydney the cat...

Starting Saturday evening, we will be house and cat sitting for the next five weeks. So yesterday, we drove over to the community of Manotick just south of Ottawa to say hello to the couple who own the house, and to meet Sydney the cat.

We were supposed to be looking after two cats. But when we arrived, we were told that they had lost one. At first, we took that to mean it had passed away. But it was only ten years old. 

How to Keep Yourself Entertained as you Travel

By its nature, traveling will often have downtime where you have to spend hours doing little to nothing, which is why you should always be prepared to entertain yourself.

Travel with a Buddy

The first rule of traveling is to always travel with a buddy when you can. There are plenty of reasons why it’s a good idea to have a travel buddy, from safety to boredom, so it’s probably a good idea that you just make sure to take someone with you when you can. Travel to work with your coworkers, take your friends or family on holiday, go to the movies with others. Wherever you are traveling, don’t do it alone.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Cameron's watermelon pics

Another day of organizing auction stuff. We're actually just about done as much as we can do for now. There is nothing left in the basement except for our stuff which we will go through today. And upstairs is pretty much empty except for the heavier furniture.

When we had sold our house in 2007, we ended up with about a dozen Rubbermaid storage bins and had whittled that down to three over the years. As time went on, we just couldn't justify keeping the "stuff" and wondered why we kept most of it to begin with. 

The Essential Road Trip Tech

Whether you’re in an RV, camper van or in the SUV driving to your next holiday destination, there are a few essential tech items that you must have with you. Travel is always an exciting time and often there are things that are neglected in the planning phase that will adversely affect your trip. One of the main aspects that can be neglected is the tech that you take.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

We'll get out and do our walk early before things warm up!

There's a really good circular walking route that we follow here in Galetta. It's exactly 5 kms (3 miles) and it's got a few small hills so it's really good exercise when it's done at a fast pace. As a bonus, it's really quite scenic too.

When we've done it in past years, our time for doing such a walk is usually about 45 minutes. That's a decent pace for walking, and we're definitely sweating when we're done. It's a good workout.

How to pass the time on long motorhome journeys

Motorhome journeys can be long and tedious if you aren’t driving and can feel like enormous wastes of time. Reaching the destination is exciting, but the route there is rarely so interesting. 

However, when you tweak your perspective and have a few great activities to keep you busy, the time will fly by.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Just a place to keep your stuff

The last few years it hasn't been that enjoyable for us to return to Canada. Sure, it's great to see family and friends again, but the majority of our free time had (and has) been taken up with dealing with Ruth's father and his possessions. 

I know, it's all part of life. But we'll just be glad when we can put this part of life behind us. And fortunately, we can see that happening on this trip.

Monday, August 16, 2021

It's going to be a busy week!

It's taking us a little longer to get used to the seven hour time change than it has previous trips. Despite going to bed at 10:30pm, we were still wide awake before 5:30am this morning. Maybe another couple of days and we'll be back on a normal schedule.

Yesterday we drove into the city to have lunch with my mom. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Lots of work to do this week

We had stopped and picked up a few things on our way to the house on Friday night, but we needed to do a decent grocery shop. We were both awake really early because it'll take us a few days to get used to the seven hour time change. So we were able to head out right at 8:00am when the stores open to do some grocery shopping.

When we stay here, we usually drive into the town of Arnprior (pop 26,000) to do grocery shopping. It was pretty quiet at that hour on a Saturday morning.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

We are back in Canada

Well that was a long day! But overall, everything happened according to plan and we are back at Ruth's father's old house in the village of Galetta near Canada's capital city of Ottawa.

Last we left you, we were at Frankfurt airport waiting to board our flight to Toronto. What a circus that was!

Friday, August 13, 2021

Not entirely stress free, but it all worked out okay

We dropped off Max at the dealer at about 10:00am Thursday morning and walked the two kms to the Dulmen train station. We travel light and we each had a small backpack and a rolling carry on suitcase. And even the carry on bags were half empty! They will be full when we return though.

Dulmen has only a small station and tickets are purchased only at a machine. There is nobody to talk to. We were concerned because I had read that morning that we were in the middle of a two day railroad engineers strike and only 25% of the normal trains were running.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

We almost screwed up

We had our PCR test appointment in Winterswijk, Netherlands at 11:00am, so we got on the road early and headed for the huge Obelink camping gear store just outside Winterswijk. The store doesn't open until 9:15am, and we got there before it opened, so at the time Max was the first rig there.

At 10:00am, we set off for the 3 km walk to the downtown test center. By that time, there were quite a few other vans that had joined Max.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Getting ready to go

Apparently some people are having problems getting their email notifications from this blog. A couple of months ago, Google dropped that service from this platform, so I had to sign up to another provider. I chose follow.it and if you were previously signed up to receive email notifications, then that should have continued because I imported all the email addresses from the old program. 

If you're not receiving them, all I can suggest is to go to the follow.it website and login using the email address you signed up for and double check your settings.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Highest we've been for a while!

And no, we didn't smoke anything!

Yesterday, we made our way to the town of Schapdetten to a really great overnight spot in a green space separating farmers fields. And located only a short walk to the Baumberge Forest.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Wandering around Sendenhorst

Just a quiet day yesterday. We said goodbye to friends Dave and Bonnie, and hope to see them at some point when we return this winter.

We only drove about 18 kms (11 miles) to our next location at the town of Sendenhorst (pop 13,000). We weren't there for any particular reason, but they had a free motorhome overnight parking area with dump station so it was convenient.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Propane, water, electricity!

Propane is a common headache for motorhome travelers in Europe. The reason is that there are no agreed upon standards between the countries for propane tanks or fittings. Here, they are not called propane tanks, they are called "gas bottles".

I'll use our situation here in Germany as an example. 

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Always fun to meet up with our traveling friends!

On Friday, we did what we think was our longest daily drive since we've had Max. It was about 80 kms (50 miles) to get back down to the town of Telgte to meet up with friends Dave and Bonnie!

We arranged a meeting spot at a municipal parking lot in Telgte that has specific sites for motorhomes, with coin operated electricity and water available. 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Seven more sleeps

One week from today, we arrive back in Canada. We aren't necessarily looking forward to actually being in Canada, but we're always excited about the travel itself and it's been ten months since we have seen family and friends located there.

Yesterday, I did more planning for the trip. Yes, the hotel in Dusseldorf is booked. The flights are booked. Our car rental when we arrive is booked. But one more thing needed to be looked after.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

We ended up at a great spot

A few days ago we had mentioned to each other that it's been really different for us the last month or so not being on a schedule of any kind. I guess to a certain extent it's been like that all winter, but at that time we were booking week long Airbnb stays at most locations and it's a different feeling when you're in a motorhome and it's easy to just pack up and move on when you want to without any limitations.

And most of the time, it's been really quite easy to find free overnight spots. We were a little worried that with RV sales and use at record highs due to Covid, it would be difficult in the middle of summer. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

From plan A to plan B to plan C...

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Yesterday was another interesting day, but it's the first time that our overnight choices didn't really pan out. From plan A to plan B to plan C!

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

How to build a cruise ship. Visit to the Meyer-Werft shipyard!

Well that was an interesting day!

A few days ago, I had been searching for possible future overnight spots and came across one listing that said you could overnight in your motorhome and visit the cruise ship factory. That piqued my interest, so I did some more research.

The next thing you know, I'm online booking us two tickets at €12 ($17.75 CAD, $14.25 USD) per person to do the Monday 1:00pm self guided tour!

Monday, August 2, 2021

We are back in Germany

Netherlands was interesting and we're glad we went, but it's not a country that "wowed" us. We plan to return one spring in a future year in order to see the city of Amsterdam and the tulips. Otherwise, we would not purposely return there to spend any length of time.

It rained again yesterday morning and we didn't leave the little campground until almost 2:00pm. We then headed for the border, and the German town of Rhede.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

All we could do was shrug our shoulders and laugh!

Last night I posted our first full month of expenses traveling Europe in Max the motorhome. You can view it here if you haven't seen it yet.

Things are a little damp here in Northern Netherlands! It has been raining every day for the past several with a few sunny breaks in between the downpours. We spent the morning inside the motorhome waiting for a period when the rain looked like it was going to stop long enough for us to get a walk in.