One of the 23 different waterfalls in Slunj, Croatia.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Slunj, Croatia.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Bosnia & Herzegovina.

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!

The airports all go on about social distancing and wearing masks. And everybody was wearing a mask which is probably a good thing since it was impossible to practice social distancing. But the funny thing is that they have signs everywhere telling you to stay 1.5 meters away from anyone else, but it's literally impossible to do that. 

We have flown a lot, but we have never seen anything so unorganized as the check in area for this Air Canada flight at Frankfurt airport. Whoever was in charge should be fired. Just mass confusion. Partly because of the requirement to check and double check everybody's preboarding negative Covid test as per Canada's entry requirements. Despite the fact that everybody would have already had to upload their results (in English or French only) to the mandatory ArriveCan app.

We got our tests checked and then went and stood as far away as possible from the zoo while still being able to hear boarding announcements. Air Canada boards by zones, and your boarding pass has your zone number on it. Ruth and I had seats side by side, but her zone number was 3 and mine was 6. Don't try and figure this stuff out, it'll drive you crazy. We both boarded when they called zone 3 and no questions were asked. It turns out you can board whenever you want, which is what many people do as they crowd around the boarding area. It's almost like people think their seats will be given away.

When we arrived at our seats, we had a pleasant surprise. We were seated in the front row of the section with a space of about 1 meter (3 feet) to a wall in front of us. With my long legs, being able to stretch them out on an 8 hour flight made me feel almost like I was in first class!

The flight itself was uneventful. The meals were below average, which is what we have come to expect from Air Canada. But at least wine or beer was included with both our lunch meal ad our snack meal. Also, they do have a really good entertainment system, so we give them extra points for that. 

Arriving in Toronto at 12:30pm, we had an hour and a half to make it through border control and connect to our scheduled 2:00pm flight to Ottawa. I had read about the long lines and delays so we were expecting to miss our scheduled flight and have to take a later one. We had a bit of a bonus though because our scheduled flight was showing on the screen as being delayed by 15 minutes.

But, things went better than we expected. They had a separate line for people with connecting flights so we got through faster than the general crowd. I had everything arranged for our border officer... officially translated vaccination certificates, PCR tests, and ArriveCan app receipt. Fortunately, the border officer didn't notice that Ruth's vaccination certificate is in her maiden name (as things are done in Netherlands and a few other European countries), but we were ready with our marriage certificate just in case there were questions.

It was about a 15 minute walk to our next gate and we had to exit the secured area and go back through security again (which is totally ridiculous) but fortunately it wasn't that busy. 

Made it with a few minutes to spare! Despite all the headaches of flying in this day and age, we still love it. We don't get upset with delays and the stupidity... we find it all kind of entertaining. Weird, huh?

The flight from Toronto to Ottawa is only 40 minutes. You just make it up to 27,000' and you start coming down again.

We had to wait 45 minutes or so for our Turo car to show up. This is the first time we've used Turo. The original booking was for an older car at a cheap price which I would have been fine with. But a few weeks ago the booking was cancelled when the owner said the car had broken down and couldn't be repaired. The best I could find as a replacement was a fully loaded 2018 Honda Civic with only 13,000 kms (8,000 miles) on it. It's a beautiful little car... a big change from the 1994 Honda Civic we had many years ago.

But, it comes with a $50 CAD ($40 USD) a day price tag for the ten days we have it. Yikes.

It was Friday afternoon at 4:30pm  and we were going to have to drive west through rush hour traffic. Instead, we drove south out of the city to our daughter's place to surprise the grandkids. We knew that daughter Lindsey would be working at the nearby pub where she has been for several years. When we got there, grandson Cameron was at a friend's place, but granddaughter Sadie greeted us with a big smile! We said hello to son in law Justin and his workmate for a few minutes

Then we went to the pub to surprise Lindsey. She wears many hats at this pub and she might be waitressing or cooking or bartending on any given night. This time, she was cooking but she did come out to say hello to us. We figured we might as well stay for dinner. What the heck... we're on vacation!

We each had the steak salad.

And I had a small beer and Ruth had a glass of wine. The bill, including tax and tip was $68 CAD ($54 USD, €46) which is why we don't eat out in Canada very often. It was good though... exactly what our tired bodies (and minds) needed.

Then, we had to do some grocery shopping and the forty five minute drive out to Galetta.

By 9:00pm local time we had been up for almost 24 hours except for the little bit of snoozing on the various planes. We were exhausted and hit the sack. 

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Good deal on a 50' Heated RV Drinking Water Hose. Winter is coming.

And in Canada...

16 comments:

  1. Glad it all worked out. Turo has worked well for us too!

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    1. We were happy that it all worked out well too.

      We are very happy with the car and it is definitely cheaper that using the normal rental car agencies, the guy even picked us up at the airport which was great. Glad that you have had good experiences as well.

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  2. Glad it you made it Home safely and can now recover for a few days.
    We got tired of the confusion at the Airports years ago. That's why we prefer traveling with our trailer.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. Thank you, it is nice to be home again and seeing our family.

      No time to recover, we have lots of work ahead of us this week in preparation for the auction so we had to jump right into it yesterday. We will be able to relax a little after next weekend, at least a little because there is still work to be done to get the house prepared and on the market.

      We love to travel so we just get ourselves into travel mode when we have to take planes. The majority of the time, everything goes along as planned. We admit though that traveling in the motorhome is the best mode of travel but it is a little hard to drive it from Germany to Canada, lol!

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  3. Yea, you made it!!!!!!! Can’t wait to see the grands and I bet they can’t wait to see you both!! Rest and enjoy!!!!

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    1. We sure did! :-)

      We were so happy to see them and our daughter and they were happy to see us too. We had a wonderful time with them yesterday. We most likely won't see lots of them this week as we get everything ready in the house for the big auction sale next Saturday, after that we will most likely see a lot more of them and we are so looking forward to that. :-)

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  4. Back in the days when I flew, my strategy was to be the last person to board the aircraft, so as to spend as little time as possible on the plane. Now my strategy is to drive.

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    1. That is normally our strategy as well unless we are flying with carry on luggage, then we like to get on when our section is called so that we have room to stow our luggage in the bin above us and not in some random bin well away from where we will be seated and who knows maybe that is what everyone else is thinking.

      We love driving in the motorhome as well to each of our destinations but it is too hard to do then when the motorhome is in Europe and you want to get to North America! ;-)

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  5. Nope, I don't like flying anymore...the long hours kill me and lack of space to move around. Unfortunately, for long distance travels, you have to fly to save time. Working for the inspector general of USA, I traveled 90% of the time usually by plane and I loved it then when there were actually spaces between seats. Now you're cramped into a small space. Glad you made it home safe and sound.

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    1. Despite everything going on these days when it comes to traveling by plane, we still enjoy it. :-)

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  6. Welcome home to Canada. And yes that is why we dont eat out either. A real restaurant maybe twice a year

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    1. Thank you! It is nice to be back to see family and friends again.

      Yep, any country where it is expensive to eat out we do it as little as possible. Meals out is one of those items in the budget that is discretionary. And when in Canada we do it as little as possible in order to keep our budget inline, however sometimes it is difficult to avoid when you are seeing family or friends.

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  7. Sunday morning and wondering why no blog post to read with my early morning coffee. Just realized that now that you are not on Europe time post will be later. Welcome home to Canada.

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    1. Yep, you are going to have to adjust your schedule for the next six weeks or so.

      Thanks for the welcome back to Canada greeting. :-)

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  8. Wow, that was an expensive meal! I am still used to Mexico restaurant prices, though, since we have only eaten out one real dinner in the past 16 months in the US due to COVID. And it was super expensive, but for our anniversary, so we didn't mind. Glad you two are able to roll with the punches of airline travel, even during the pandemic. Not sure I could; I found it pretty stressful even before masks, social distancing, COVID testing, etc. etc. One of these days I'll get my passport renewed, for which there is something like an 18-week wait now in the US!

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    1. We sure thought it was but that seems to be the going rate these days unless you want fast food. And this is why we rarely eat out in expensive countries but we do make up for it in countries like Mexico. Even in Albania we got nice affordable meals.

      It must have felt a bit weird going into a restaurant after all that time!

      We love traveling so we just take airports and planes as part of the adventure. We have to admit though that things take longer now to process, right from the check-in gate through to the customs and immigration at the other end but us it is all worth it.

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