Downtown Bangkok, Thailand at dusk.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Bangkok, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Back in Ottawa

Sunday morning, we said goodbye to Alex, CJ, and Lucy the dog at around 11:00am and did the long drive back to Manotick (Ottawa). It was pouring rain for the first two hours or so of the drive.

We took the route that goes through Algonquin Provincial Park. Would have liked to have stopped for a hike, but with the mandatory $21 daily pass to stop at a trailhead, it's just not worth it.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

A beautiful day in cottage country

We woke up to an absolutely beautiful fall day here in "cottage country".

They call this part of Ontario "cottage country" because it's located about an hour and a half north of Toronto and since about the 1950's, the more affluent would build a weekend getaway in this area. It used to be a pretty quiet area, but of course it's getting more and more built up over the years, and lakefront property is now ridiculously expensive.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Our new smartphone arrived!

Well, our new smartphone showed up at just after 10:00am, right on schedule. Ordered on Monday morning, and arrived at the house on Friday morning. All the way from Hong Kong. Quite amazing, really.

But, that really didn't give me any time to get it set up and play with it. We were on our way to visit our son, and had to leave just after 11:00am. I unpacked the box and put it on the charger for a half an hour, but I figured I might as well leave it behind because it's probably going to take a few hours to get it properly set up!

Friday, September 15, 2023

Road trip!

When I ordered our new phone on Monday morning, it was scheduled to arrive at our door on Friday the 15th. Today. And, it looks like it will.

But while it takes two days to go from Hong Kong to Cincinnati to Montreal to Ottawa, it turns out that it also takes two days to go from the Ottawa distribution center to the house!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

It's all about the adventure!

I've been spending a lot of time planning how we are going to get to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

We arrive in Paris October 15th. And we need to get to Ashgabat by the morning of the 19th at the latest. Turkmenistan is one of the least visited countries on the planet, so there aren't many flight choices to get there. The most common is a Turkish Airlines flight that departs from Istanbul.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Final details on the sale of Max, our most recent motorhome

As regular readers know, we've always been very open about our monthly expenses. But when we buy a campervan or motorhome, it's difficult to include the true cost per night of that as part of the monthly expenses.

We've actually had people question our generally low overnight expenses as not being accurate because we do a lot of boondocking so our overnight expenses appear as artificially low. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Into the province of Quebec

Our friend Kim is house sitting across the river near Wakefield, Quebec and she invited us over there for a hike and a meal. 

So we hopped in the car around noon, and it  took exactly an hour to do the 57 km (35 mile) drive. The route is fairly direct, but we have to drive right through the center of the city of Ottawa, so it's a bit slow going.

Monday, September 11, 2023

How odd is it?

In the off the beaten path travel world, there are five Central Asian countries that are collectively known as The Five Stans.

They are Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. 

Now that our visas have been approved for Turkmenistan, we've been doing some serious research on this part of the world.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Well that was a worthwhile end to the story!

If you haven't been following along, I'll give you the short version of the whole story, starting at the beginning. If you have, you can skip the next couple of paragraphs to the most recent part!

We had booked flights with Air France from Paris to Ottawa direct. When we went to check in, they told us the flight was overbooked, but they offered us €600 ($875 CA, $642 USD) each in cash to switch our flights to arrive in Montreal, with an Air Canada connection to Ottawa. 

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Camera sold!

The other day, I mentioned I wanted to sell our big Nikon P900 camera and instead get a smartphone with a good quality camera so that we could reduce the amount of stuff we have when we travel.

So the other morning, I listed the Nikon for sale on the kijiji website. And it sold within six minutes!

Friday, September 8, 2023

Another adventure coming up!

About two months ago, we signed up for a trip to Turkmenistan. But I haven't talked about it very much because we had to apply for visa approval in advance, and Turkmenistan has a totalitarian regime that doesn't care about tourism, so many visa applications are rejected without any apparent reason.

We woke up this morning to an email... visas approved!

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Decision made!

Well, I made a decision on the new smartphone, and I'm actually going to order it here in Canada rather than waiting until we get to Asia. It's the Honor Magic5 Pro 12GB/512GB.

Spent a ton of time yesterday perusing reviews and learning about all of the different characteristics of these high end smartphones. Two things are important to mention. First, when comparing the high end phones, they are all really good. And second, none of them (sorry iPhone fans) are perfect.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

What a deal!

We were out and about for a few hours yesterday afternoon. It was pretty warm. The thermometer in the car said it was 35C (95F) which is definitely warm for this area at time of year. But, we had the windows down and didn't put the air conditioning on. I didn't think it felt that bad. Felt like a nice warm summer day to me. 

But then this is the first real warm day we've had in a long time! I wouldn't want to live in a place where it's like that every day, but I sure don't mind it for a couple of days.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

I want to buy a very expensive smartphone!

Our current cell phone is over three years old. Almost an antique! 

Considering it was just an inexpensive Motorola phone, it's been great and it has totally served our purposes. We paid under $200 for it, and at the time I wrote "If I get three years out of it the way we did with my much more expensive Samsung, I'll be totally happy."

Monday, September 4, 2023

Future travel plans

We are headed to SE Asia this coming winter. 

Although we have made absolutely zero firm plans, and done very little research on what we want to see or do, we want to visit Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam over a period of about six months. And knowing us, that won't be nearly enough time.