The beach and boardwalk where we will be staying next week at Hastings, Barbados. (Found on the internet!)
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Osgoode (Ottawa), Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Barbados! Arrive on October 25th!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

We are ready for South Africa!

Here we are, the last day of the year 2013 and we are right now in Namibia's capital City of Windhoek.

We have spent the last two months touring Namibia. And we drove a lot of miles.

Kalahari Anib Lodge

This is our last review of the Gondwana Collection of Namibia lodges. We'll do one more post at some point over the next little while detailing our "best of" those lodges! But for now, let's have a look at the Kalahari Anib Lodge.

This lodge is the closest one to the capital City of Windhoek, and so it's a common location for people either beginning or ending their Namibia adventure.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hiking with the Oryx!

We went for a 7 km (4.5 mile) hike yesterday morning. We were a little late leaving and it gets hot fairly early in the day. We could have turned around early, but we decided we could do the whole route.

Besides, when you're hiking with the oryx, the wildebeest, the ostriches, and the springbok it's pretty interesting!

The Desert Horse Inn

We recently spent two nights at Gondwana Collection's Klein-Aus Vista Desert Horse Inn. This lodge is the closest Gondwana property to Luderitz and the Kolmanskop ghost town. And of course to the wild horses of the Namib Desert.

But you don't even need to leave the property for something to do. Especially if you're into hiking or mountain biking!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

We can see the sea!

On Friday, we took a drive to the seaside town of Luderitz, Namibia. It was about 115 kms (71 miles) along a stretch of very boring road. But we had a fun day when we got there.

It really makes you wonder what attracted the Germans to the area in the first place. Of course it was the diamonds that were found at nearby Kolmanskop, and the fact that there was an actual bay to dock a boat in. But, the town lies on one of the least hospitable coasts in Africa.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The fantastic Canyon Lodge!

We showed you some preview pictures of Gondwana Collection's amazing Canyon Lodge and the response was that you want to see more. We don't blame you. What a great place, and anyone coming to Namibia's Fish River Canyon owes themselves a stay at Canyon Lodge.

Here you go...and you even get a video of our very cool room!

The diamond mining ghost town of Kolmanskop, Namibia

In 1908, a large diamond field was found near the southeast coast of Namibia. The area was so rich in diamonds that they say that the first miners to the area were able to scoop them out of the sand!

A town grew around the mining area. Soon, the German government at the time built a hospital and the town thrived with a power station, a school, a ballroom and activity center and other amenities.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Canyon Roadhouse

We stayed two nights at the Gondwana Canyon Roadhouse . It's a fun place, decorated like an old "Route 66" style garage. Where they come up with this number of artifacts, I have no idea. It's almost like an old museum.

And it's located only 14 kms from the Fish River Canyon.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Well that was a different Christmas.

We haven't really updated you about our activities since we arrived at The Canyon Roadhouse on the 23rd. And then, we took a blog holiday yesterday! We figured that none of you were going to be on the internet anyhow (yeah, right!) being that it was Christmas Day and all...so we took a break too.

So we'll kind of squeeze two days worth of activities in this one post!

Kalahari Farmhouse

We recently spent two nights at the Gondwana Collection's Kalahari Farmhouse near Stampriet, Namibia. This place is a little different because the lodge and chalet rooms are situated on an actual working farm.

And you can even have a tour of the farm.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rain turns the dirt roads to mud!

We had to do about 440 kms (275 miles) yesterday from the Kalahari Farmhouse to the Canyon Roadhouse. There's an easy paved road that goes that distance, but it wouldn't be like us to do it the easy way!

Actually it was more wanting to do it the exciting way instead of the boring way. And exciting it was...

Monday, December 23, 2013

Namib Desert Lodge

We recently spent three nights at the Gondwana Collection's Namib Desert Lodge. This is a larger resort, with 65 rooms. It's within a day trip of the popular desert dunes at Sossusvlei, and that's the main attraction for most people.

But, it's also a very scenic destination itself, and we enjoyed the three days we spent just exploring the area around the lodge.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

From one desert to the next.

Yesterday we drove from the Namib Desert to the western edge of the Kalahari Desert. And we had to drive through the Naukluft Mountains to do it. A really pretty area, and we totally enjoyed that part of the drive.

And, we picked up another hitchhiker along the way!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thunderstorm in the desert!

Here in the Namib Desert, it gets pretty hot at this time of year. And it's supposed to be the rainy season now, but after all, this is the desert. So we weren't counting on seeing too much of that! Either way, we wanted to do some hiking and they've got two trails here at the Namib Desert Lodge. And because it gets so hot, we hit the trail at 7:30am yesterday morning.

Before breakfast!

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Dune Star

We're currently staying at The Namib Desert Lodge. The lodge is located on the edge of a series of petrified sand dunes. Yes, sand that has sat and compressed for so long that it has turned to rock. The scenery here is so spectacular that Gondwana Collection has built a camp on top of one of these petrified dunes!

Yesterday, we went on a little sundowner safari to have a look at this new camp. The Dune Star Camp.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Yee-haw, what a drive!

We've done a lot of road trips. And so we've been on a lot of roads, and some of them have been a little hairy!

Well, we finally got ourselves onto a road in Namibia that was pretty interesting. As in very steep!

Damara Mopane Lodge

We stayed the  nights of December 15th and 16th at Gondwana Collection's Damara Mopane Lodge. This lodge is located about 425 kms (264 miles) north of the capital city of Windhoek so many people make it their first stop if they're heading towards either Etosha National Park or the Opuwo region.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Back in Windhoek

But only for one night.

We did the 425 km (264 mile) drive back to Windhoek from the Damara Mopane Lodge. We've now done most of this route before, so didn't bother with any new pictures.

Problem was, we weren't sure where we were staying for the night!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Watch out for vipers and puff adders!

We tried to get an early start yesterday morning because we wanted to hike the hill behind the Damara Mopane Lodge. They have a marked trail, and the sign in the reception area said it was 4 kms and would take 2-3 hours.

The sign also said to watch out for vipers and puff adders on the trail!

Monday, December 16, 2013

More on our visit with the Himba

Yesterday, we drove 350 kms from Opuwo to the Damara Mopane Lodge. But before we get to how the day went, I wanted to mention a few more things about the town of Opuwo and our visit with the Himba.

A few of you asked about the food and I had forgotten to include that end of the story!

Hakusembe River Lodge

We recently spent four nights at Gondwana Collection's Hakusembe River Lodge. We had been there for two nights and then left for three, and then returned for two more.

When it came time to leave, we didn't want to!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A cultural experience to remember!

A few months ago when we were researching this trip to Namibia, we came across a lot of references to "the Himba"...a nomadic group of people who settle and roam the hills northwest of Opuwo, Namibia. These people have tried to keep living a traditional life without accepting outside influence.

At the time, we posed a question via a blog post...should we visit the Himba?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Not a great end to a long day.

We had a long day yesterday. We planned on doing a long drive from Rundu to Okahao, but we didn't know what accommodation we would find in Okahao. I had done some research and found that there were supposedly three options there but it's not a touristy place and there wasn't a lot of info available online.

We made it no problem, but our accommodation wasn't looking great!

Friday, December 13, 2013

We took a day off.

We actually took a day to do nothing yesterday.

The original plan had us driving again yesterday, but in all honesty we simply didn't feel like it! So we used up our "spare". Besides, it is so relaxing at Hakusembe River Lodge that it didn't take much convincing for either one of us!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The day did not start off good.

But it was due to my own stupidity.

So we're in a remote area of Africa and we have no fuel and no cash. And we have to do a 450 km (279 mile) drive. And gas stations only accept cash in Namibia!

Namushasha River Lodge

We spent three nights at Gondwana Collection's Namushasha River Lodge in the eastern section of Namibia's Caprivi Region.

It's located 4 kms (2.5 miles) off the main road, but you'll find that the dirt track that leads to the lodge is well worth the effort. This lodge is a little more rustic than some of the other Gondwana properties, but definitely in an attractive way.

In fact, we found that this lodge gave us our most "African" experience to date!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It never stops...

One of the things that has amazed us about our time so far in Namibia is the huge diversity of life. It's not only about the lions and elephants and rhinos. It's the huge abundance of plants and birds as well.

We come across new and wondrous things every single day!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Namushasha River Lodge Boat Trip...Wow!

We were going to tell you about this tour when we do our post about the lodge itself, but it was so good that it deserves a post of it's own. This is one of the best tours we have ever done!

So, we're staying at the Namushasha River Lodge on the Kwando River in the far east Caprivi region of Namibia. They offer boat tours on the Kwando River, and yesterday we went out with two other couples and our guide, Alfred.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our drive down the Caprivi Strip

I know, it's not officially the Caprivi Strip any more. It's now the "Zambezi Region" although everybody we talk to still calls it the Caprivi Strip.

It's an oddball piece of land that is part of Namibia, yet surrounded by four other countries!

Namibia Car Rental 4x4 Camping

Okay, many of you have asked for more info and photos about the camping gear we were using for our self drive camping tour of Namibia. So here it is!

First of all, we had a 2013 Nissan 4x4 Double Cab pickup truck.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Two sides of the river...

Yesterday, we spent most of the day just relaxing. We were at the Hakusembe River Lodge which sits on the Namibian side of the Kavango River. The other side of the river is the country of Angola.

It would make sense to visit the country of Angola while we're here, wouldn't it?

Unfortunately, it's not that easy.

Etosha Safari Camp

Yesterday, we told you about where we stayed at the Etosha Safari Lodge. Well adjacent to that property is the Gondwana Collection's Etosha Safari Camp.

While we didn't actually overnight here, we did go down for dinner because it's a totally different experience than it was staying at the Lodge.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

On the border of Angola!

I was really looking forward to yesterday's drive.

This would take us to an area of Namibia that we had not seen before. Out of the desert, and more like the Africa we had envisioned. To the northern part of Namibia, right on the border of Angola!

Etosha Safari Lodge

This is the first stop on our tour of Gondwana Collection's series of lodges across Namibia. We spent three nights at Etosha Safari Lodge.

In our experience, you are welcomed as guests...but you depart as friends.

Friday, December 6, 2013

It's not every day a rhino crosses the road in front of you!

We decided yesterday morning to take advantage of our close proximity to Etosha National Park. We had enjoyed our six days in the park in November, and we were staying at Etosha Safari Lodge, only 9 kms from the park entrance.

So we went back.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Highlights of Namibia!

Time to express some thanks!

To our facebook fans for getting us to Namibia in the first place.

And to the Namibia Tourism Board for sending us to visit your amazing, diverse country. And for being so flexible with the arrangements. We had a GREAT three and a half week camping trip and we learned so much about your corner of Africa.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

From camping...to this!

Our couchsurfing host Antoinette was off early to work yesterday morning, but we were up at the same time and we said our goodbyes. Hopefully we'll see her again before we leave Namibia. Thanks for having us Antoinette, we had a blast with you and your friends!

And then, Namibia Car Rental was right on time to pick us up at 9:00am.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Taste of Africa...literally!

We had a nice typical "English" breakfast cooked up for us yesterday morning as the last part of our tour package organized by ATI Tours. Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, potato, coffee, orange juice.

It would be the last normal meal we had that day!

Monday, December 2, 2013

November Expenses

First, I have to question the value to our readers of continuing to post our monthly expenses.

We started doing this during our full time motorhome days as a way to show people that you could live and travel throughout Canada, the U.S., and Mexico in an RV. And that it can be done for under $1,000 a month on average. And we did a pretty good job of proving that!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

African camping adventure over...time for a change of pace!

Well, our three and a half week camping adventure in Namibia has come to an end. This morning, we arrived back at Rivendell Guesthouse in the capital city of Windhoek and will be handing back the keys to our 4x4 camping truck this afternoon.

So, what do we have planned for December?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Best campsite yet!

We are almost finished our three and a half week camping safari tour of Namibia and arrived at our last scheduled campsite yesterday.

And they saved the best till the last!

Friday, November 29, 2013

4 Wheel Drive Required at Fish River Canyon!

We have this nice Nissan 4x4 from Namibia Car Rental. And we've had to put it in 4 wheel drive mode twice since we've been here. Once was on a sand road at Sossusvlei, and the only other time was when we almost got stuck in our campsite at Waterburg Plateau.

So when we saw a 10 km (6.2 mile) road at Fish River Canyon that said "4x4 only"...we went for it!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Our thoughts on Africa so far

First of all, we have to remember that Africa is a VERY large continent containing many countries. We have only visited one country so far. Namibia!

So we can only give our views of Namibia. Other parts of the continent of Africa will be very different!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Watching the Social Weavers. And other Namibian wildlife!

The social weavers?

Here in southern Africa, there is a type of bird called the social weaver. Or sociable weaver. We happened to be camped under a tree that contained a social weaver nest, so we spent a fair bit of time watching these interesting little birds go about their daily affairs!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Gorgeous hiking at Klein Aus Vista, Namibia

One of the things the Klein Aus Vista property is known for is it's hiking and mountain biking! There are over 100 kms (62 miles) of well maintained and well marked trails for all levels.

So yesterday, we decided to do one of their intermediate to advanced level hiking trails. A 12.7 km (7.9 mile) route that promised a couple of fantastic views!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sesriem to Klein-Aus Vista, Namibia

Another long driving day yesterday, but what a location we ended up at!

We did 344 kms (213 miles) from Sesriem to the Gondwana Klein-Aus Vista Resort where we had camping reservations for three nights.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A baking hot day at Sesriem Canyon, Namibia

We tried to get an early start to Sesriem Canyon. And we did pretty well because we got there about 8:45am. The canyon is located only 4 kms (2.5 miles) from our site at Sesriem Campground.

But it was already getting hot.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Amazing sights at Deadvlei and Sossusvlei

We were up at 4:30am Friday morning.

We had been told that in order to get the best photos, you needed to have the early dawn light on the huge sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Also, we had grand ambitions of climbing the highest sand dune in the world, something that needed to be done before the hot sun got too high in the sky.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Swakopmund to Sesriem, Namibia

It was going on 9:00am by the time we left our site at Swakopmund. Again, we had a long drive ahead of us with most of it on dirt roads.

One thing we've learned about driving around Namibia is that there can be long stretches of nothingness in between worthwhile attractions!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Flamingos and Baby Seals

Yesterday, we did a day trip to Walvis Bay. Only 30 kms (18 miles) south of Swakopmund. We have to drive back to that area this morning, but we have a long drive today so would not have had time to stop and see the town.

Glad we went, because we saw some interesting things.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The seaside resort town of Swakopmund, Namibia

This is a strange town. A seaside resort with expensive beach houses lining the shore, only a few hundred miles from people who live in huts without enough to eat. But we've noticed that those extremes are common in this part of Africa.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Now we're camping in style!

We were up early Sunday morning. We knew we had a 320 km (200 mile) drive to do, and it was all on dirt roads! Plus, we were headed for the seaside town of Swakomund and we wanted to get there early enough to enjoy the afternoon there as we only have two more days in the area.

We hit the road by 7:20am.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Flush toilets with bush showers

Okay, so we're always up for a new experience. We had read in our itinerary that our campground at Aabadi Mountain Camp had "flush toilets with bush showers". So we were kinda curious about that.

I showed in today's earlier post that our campground here is pretty basic, and we have no problem with that. But we hadn't seen all of the facilities yet.

Etosha to Damaraland

We had a long drive ahead of us on Saturday. Besides the 360 kms (223 miles) to our next destination, we also wanted to check out along the way two of the Gondwana resort lodges that we hope to be staying at for a few nights in December.

Not only that, but as we were departing Etosha National park, we still had a short route where we could do an hour long safari in case we were lucky enough to come across anything interesting.

And it turns out that we were lucky enough!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Another animal stroked off the list!

We did a bit of a longer safari drive through Etosha National Park on Friday morning. It started off really good, with a group of wildebeast crossing the road. And shortly after that, we saw a head stick up beside a culvert over the road.

It was our second hyena sighting!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Safari day 4 and evening waterhole excitement!

Another restless night because of wind and rain. But we were still up before 6:00am in the morning. We crawled down from the rooftop tent, and what do we see? Something else crawling!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Namutoni to Okaukuejo campgrounds

We didn't have a great sleep Tuesday night. A big windstorm came up, and there were even a couple of raindrops. But it was so dusty, and it blew the tarp off our tent just as we were going to bed.

I figured we would be okay because it hasn't rained here in ages, but sure enough we woke up in the middle of the night to raindrops.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Can you spot the cheetah?

Day two out on safari here at Etosha National Park. And, our second cheetah sighting! This one, we found all on our own.

We planned a shorter day out yesterday. We found that six hours sitting in the vehicle was too long, and unless you go to one of the fenced washrooms, you do not get out of your vehicle. We ended up doing the loop around Fisher's Pan, 57 kms (35 miles) in four and a half hours.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Our first Namibia self drive Safari...what a day we had!

We were up at sunrise yesterday morning, along with most other people in the campground. Sunrise around here is at about 5:50am.

There is a wildlife viewing area at the Namutoni Campground in Etosha National Park and we had heard that if you head over there first thing, you might see some animals. So we went over right away before coffee. There was nothing to be seen for us at that time, but fortunately that wasn't the way the rest of our day was going to be!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Waterberg Plateau to Namutoni Campground, Etosha National Park, Namibia

We knew we had a 384 km (240 mile) drive and so we tried to get an early start. But it was still 9:30am or so by the time we hit the road. We had to stop for more groceries because we are going to be six days in Etosha National Park.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Camping, Hiking, and Wildlife at Waterberg Plateau National Park, Namibia

When we left you yesterday, we were on our way to do a hike to the top of the Plateau. The campground is located near the entrance and administration building, and we had to walk up past the restaurant and chalets to get to the trailhead. It's not really far, but it was uphill and even at 9:30am it was starting to get warm already!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

First day camping in Africa!

What a great first day in Namibia.

We were up in time for our English breakfast at 7:30am that was included in our night at Rivendell Guest House. A couple of girls from Denmark, and a couple from England joined us at the table. Breakfast was fine, and at 8:00am we met with Leigh and Monica from ATI Holidays, the tour company that arranged the camping portion of our trip.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Arrived in Namibia, Africa!!!

We are so excited (and so tired!) that we don't know where to start. Of course it makes sense to start where we last left you...we were leaving our couchsurfing host Ike's apartment (thanks again Ike!) yesterday morning and heading for New York's JFK airport to catch our 10:40am flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

So we had left the apartment at around 6:30am...figuring that was enough time to get across New York City during morning rush hour traffic...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fun last day in New York City

We took our time heading downtown this morning. Before we left, we made our way to the main street near the apartment and bought some toiletry items that are easier and cheaper to get here than in Namibia. Razor blades, sunscreen...that kind of thing.

Then, we hopped on the subway again.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

There is too much to see!

Every corner you turn in New York City leads you to a new street that you've never been on before. We could easily spend more than one full day just in Lower Manhattan. Good thing we're coming back here for three more days in March.

We did at least another 10 mile (16 km) walking day yesterday.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Walking New York City

We didn't leave the apartment until almost 10am yesterday morning. We planned it that way though, partly because the New York City marathon was taking place and we were going to walk from the apartment in Washington Heights to the northern corner of Central Park in order to see some of the runners nearing the finish line. And partly because it was a little chilly out and things might have warmed up a bit by then!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Let the Adventure Begin!

Son in law Justin drove us to Halifax airport yesterday morning. It was just easier for daughter Lindsey to stay behind with the young ones. Made it to Halifax airport with lots of time to spare for our 12:39pm departure to Newark, New Jersey.

We checked in and got our boarding passes. Figured we may as well go through security and wait in the boarding area. Oddly, U.S. customs has a pre screening area in Halifax airport. This means that you actually go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Halifax, once you cleared security. That way you don't have to do it in Newark.

But this was a strange experience...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

October Expenses

Well, I figured that October was going to be difficult to budget for. We came within $200 of our budgeted $1,400 worth of expenses. Too bad it was $200 on the high side of things!

Fuel and entertainment were quite a bit higher than expected, but groceries were lower. Miscellaneous came in on the high side too. Here's how it all broke down...

Friday, November 1, 2013

We scored Letterman tickets!

And so we better tell you how we did it in case you want to get tickets on your next visit to New York City!

We'll be going to the show on Tuesday November 5th. They don't make it easy to get tickets, and there's a bit of luck involved but we're proof that things can come together if the stars line up the right way. And hopefully we'll be seeing a star or two...we don't know what the guest lineup is for that night's show yet!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nova Scotia's Lighthouse Route

The little motel we stayed at had breakfast included, so we didn't actually vacate the room until almost 9:30am. We still had to explore the town of Shelburne, and it turns out that it's a pretty little town to wander around.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

If you've never been to Nova Scotia...

You really need to go.

There are so many little harbors and coves and beaches to explore. We're doing the Yarmouth and the South Shore route in only 3 days with a rental car, but if we had the motorhome with us we could easily spend two weeks exploring this area.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wolfville to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Ruth drove me down in Lindsey's car to pick up our car rental yesterday morning at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. We were handed the keys to a nice little 2013 Nissan Versa with only 11,000 kms (6,800 miles) on the ticker.

Shhh. The little blue car doesn't know we're cheating on him!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Road Trip!

As our regular readers know, we love a road trip.

So we've decided to rent a car for a couple of days and go on one! We've visited beautiful Nova Scotia several times, but there is one part of the province that we've never been to.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Gaspereau Valley wine

It is only recently that Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley area has become a popular winery region. The smaller Gaspereau Valley next door has also taken off as a prime location for growing grapes.

There are now eleven producing wineries in the Annapolis Valley and three more in Gaspereau. One of them, Luckett Vineyards, is on the opposite side of the valley from our daughter Lindsey's house. Yesterday, Ruth and I took a walk across the valley and up the hill on the other side.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Our Health and Health Care

We don't talk very much about our health or health care. That's because this blog is about our travels, it's not about politics or religion or current events. And health care (especially in the U.S.) is a very political topic. We definitely have our opinions about all of these things, but we've learned that people in general are very polarized when it comes to these topics and some people aren't able to grasp that if we disagree on something we can still be friends!

But our health and health care is related to our travels in some ways.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Kevin, ready for the War of 1812!

The acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us experience for the attack of Halifax the next, and the final expulsion of England from the American continent. Thomas Jefferson, Aug 4, 1812.

Apparently not.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Traveler IQ Challenge

Came across a fun game yesterday that will test your geography and travel knowledge.

A screen showing a map appears. Different place names and famous attractions come up near the top of the screen and you have to place your cursor and click where on the map you think that place is. You are scored based on how close to the actual location that you clicked. But there is a time factor as well and you get bonus points if you click fast!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Planning for New York City

A week and a half from now, we arrive in New York City. The Big Apple! And so we're doing some planning. We're going to be there for four nights. We arrive November 2nd at Newark Airport in New Jersey and we depart November 6th from JFK Airport in Queens.

We were in New York City in October of 2000. Eleven months before the twin towers came down.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Great views at Blomidon Provincial Park

We dropped Cameron off at daycare yesterday morning, and then went for a hike at Blomidon Provincial Park. (GPS 45.25702, -64.351691). The park is closed for the season, but you can still leave your car at the lower day use area and go for a walk on the beach or the trails. We chose the trails, as we were due for some exercise and the trails are steep in places.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Noggins Farm Corn Maze. Amazing!

We had never been to a corn maze before this, and we're glad we chose one of the best around as our first attempt. We didn't realize that it's actually an educational game...you have to find various information stands in the maze and fill out a form to find hidden words.

Lots of fun for young and old. Besides the corn maze, there's also a special haunted house feature done by the local Red Cross as well as a rope maze, duck races, washer toss game, puzzle mazes, and the barnyard adventure area.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fossil Hunting at Blue Beach, Nova Scotia

Yesterday, we went for a walk at Blue Beach, Nova Scotia. The rocks on this beach have produced some of the oldest fossils found in the world, dating back 350 million years ago!

Blue Beach is located on the northern shore of Nova Scotia, in between the towns of Windsor and Wolfville. It's also situated on part of the Bay of Fundy where the highest tides in the world take place.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fun being grandparents!

A few raindrops yesterday, but not enough to stop us from going out and getting some fresh air. We looked up a hike to a waterfall, but when we got to the trail we found that parts of it were not suited to having small children with us, so we never made it to the falls!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Walk around Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia

Beautiful fall day yesterday, with the temperature reaching 22C (73F). That's pretty warm for a mid October day in this part of the world! Ruth and daughter Lindsey took grandson Cameron to daycare in the morning, and I went for a fast paced 5 km (3 mile) walk.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

This is a nice area.

Nova Scotia does have some pretty scenery, that's for sure. We've been here quite a few times now, twice exploring with the motorhome, and a couple of times visiting by car and airplane.

Our daughter and her family live near the town of Wolfville at the far east end of Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley, a diverse agricultural area along the Bay of Fundy with a wide range of products from fruit trees to corn to milk and chicken production.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Arrived in Nova Scotia!

We are now at our daughter Lindsey's place near Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada. But we better get you all caught up on our activities of the last few of days and how we arrived here!

Let's go back to Saturday after we were finished our two night stay exploring downtown Ottawa.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ottawa Marriott Hotel

The Ottawa Marriott Hotel has a distinctive design that stands out in the skyline of Ottawa, Canada's capital city. Built in 1972, the rooftop has a huge revolving room that spins at a rate of one revolution every two hours. It is the 8th tallest building in the National Capital Region.

It's a large hotel with 486 guestrooms and all the amenities a downtown hotel should offer.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Lady Dive Amphibus Tour - Ottawa

Okay, so this was different!

We've seen these amphibious bus/boat tours in several cities and always thought it would be a neat thing to do. And doing it in Ottawa would be especially neat because some of the views from the Ottawa River are really worthwhile.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Playing tourist in Ottawa, Canada's Capital City

Ottawa is sometimes overlooked because of it's location in between Toronto and Montreal. But it's a really pretty city and well worth a visit so we thought we would wander around the downtown area yesterday and take some photos to show you.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bungee Jumping Ottawa

This is one of those things that messes with your senses. I don't quite know how to explain it. A part of your brain is filling your system with adrenaline and making you excited about the thrill of bouncing through the air on a ride that is far better than anything you'll find at the county fair.

However another part of your brain is screaming "don't do it!".

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bungee Jumping Today!

By the way, this was Ruth's idea. So when she is standing on the edge hesitating to jump, I shall remind her of that.

You only live once, right? Or more correctly, you only die once! You actually live every single day. Which is what you're supposed to do anyhow. So we're making the most of it, and when the opportunity arose to plunge off a 200 ft high platform attached to a giant rubber band, we signed up.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Yet another new camera!

Well I hope we finally have our camera problems solved. We're going to have a LOT of photos to show you over the next few months with our upcoming travel to Nova Scotia, and New York City, and then of course Southern Africa!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Who won a trip to Australia? (Part 2)

If you missed yesterday's post you're going to want to read it first...

http://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2013/10/who-won-trip-to-australia.html

And so today, we continue Denise's trip to Australia. Love your photos Denise!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Who won a trip to Australia?

Many of our regular readers will remember last year when we entered a contest to win a trip to Australia. Due to a lot of effort from our readers, we came in first in our category. But that was not enough to lock in the win.

Coincidentally, the person who won that contest has become a reader of this blog and we asked her to tell us about her trip. Hey, if we couldn't go, at least we can tell you about the person who did.

And so, we introduce you to Denise Perrier who wrote about her 10 week Australia adventure for us. She also supplied some of her beautiful photographs from that trip!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The cheque is in the mail!

I guess these Amex adjusters work on weekends. Had an email from the girl yesterday saying that my claim has been processed and closed and the cheque (check) is in the mail!

Oddly, they don't even want the camera back. This becomes a bit of a bonus for us because we now have a spare battery to bring with us to Africa.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

More proof that we are not 25 anymore!

We sure did party like it though.

Late blog post today due to the longer age related recovery period after a night like that...

Friday, October 4, 2013

Good News!

So, it looks like Amex is coming through with the coverage on the camera. So, we learned something new about the benefits of some credit cards. And because this was our first claim and it was for under $500, they were able to process it with less documentation than is normally required. Still waiting to hear back from my last email, but it looks like they simply send us a cheque for the amount of the claim. I don't even think they want the old camera back, which could be a bonus because we will now have a spare battery!

Next week, we'll go back to Future Shop (owned by Best Buy here in Canada) and see if they will match the same price they gave me on the original camera.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

We don't seem to have any luck with cameras!

I mentioned last Saturday that when we were out on a hike with friends John and Diane, I dropped our new Nikon P520 camera.

Of course, it landed on a rock.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Balanced Rocks of Remic Rapids

This is kind of cool, and exactly the type of thing we love to see when we're exploring an area.

Our hometown is Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. Because we grew up here, and we know the city very well, we wanted to find some things to do that we've never seen or done before.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September Expenses

Well, we had a planned budget of $1,300 for the month of September, and we blew it!

Just kidding, but we did exceed our plan a little bit. Total expenses came in at $1,446.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Trip down to Ottawa

We're going to be doing this drive quite a few times between now and October 15th when we leave for Nova Scotia. We're staying at Ruth's father's house in the village of Galetta, which is about a 45 minute drive from the center of the city of Ottawa, Canada's capital.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

We made it!

Despite the fact that we haven't lived here for six years and we'll probably never live here again, we still consider Ottawa our hometown. So arriving back here for the first time in almost a year is pretty exciting for us and we've been looking forward to seeing the family and friends that we have in the area.

We left here October 22nd of last year.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Elliot Lake, Ontario

Elliot Lake is an interesting town. Or at least it has an interesting history.

In the early fifties, a huge ore body of uranium was discovered in this area. So the city was designed as a planned community for the mining industry, and by the late 1950's there were 25,000 people living here.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fastest Border Crossing Ever!

Yesterday morning, our friends Bill and Bonnie were getting up early to go get their solar installation done on their motorhome. They had a three hour drive to the appointment, so they woke us up as they were ready to go. It was only 5:40am, but we decided to stay up and get an early start.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A drive around Amish country

Bill and Bonnie took us for a drive to see the sights around the area. There is a large Amish population in this area and of course it's interesting to see this culture a little more up close. Sorry we don't have many pictures, but we didn't want to seem intrusive.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What a great day...

First, we had to get the drive over with. We tried to get an early start, and it was about 8:30am by the time we left Marquette.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Beautiful day in Marquette, Michigan!

When I had been doing some research about the places we were planning on stopping along this road trip, one of the things I found was that Marquette, Michigan was voted #1 on CNNMoney's list of the top 25 places to retire in the United States.

We went exploring yesterday, on a beautiful blue sky day, and we found out that Marquette (pop 22,000) is a nice little town!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Duluth, Minnesota to Marquette, Michigan

Hit the road yesterday morning around 8:30am. We were trying to make it to Marquette by 2:00pm, having planned a hike with our couchsurfing host Joy when we got there.

Had no problems making it out of Duluth on a Sunday morning. Hardly any traffic at all.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Toxic Tuesday

Toxic Tuesday? Well let me tell you a story about our first attempt to visit Duluth, Minnesota.

Back at the end of June 1992, Ruth and I took our young children (6 and 4 at the time) on a road trip from Ottawa to Fort Frances, Ontario. We took the American route through Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

And we never did make it to Duluth.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox

We tried to leave Grand Forks fairly early, but it was still around 9:30am by the time we got on the road. Said goodbye to our couchsurfing host Jasmine, and got on our way.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Back in the U.S.A.!

We were up early yesterday morning, and on the road before 9:00am. We were only 20 kms (12 miles) from the border crossing, so it wasn't long before we pulled over at the inspection and customs building.

This border crossing is one of a series of old and underutilized road crossings between the U.S. and Canada in the Saskatchewan and Manitoba area.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Excuse me...are you Kevin and Ruth?

This has to be one of the strangest questions that we have heard in our travels. It's when someone actually recognizes us because of this blog. It's only happened to us three or four times over the years, but it's so totally strange when it does.

And yesterday we had it happen again!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

That was a long drive!

But we totally enjoyed it. I know, an 800 km (500 mile) drive is not the way we usually like to travel. We love road trips, but usually a long day for us is 200 kms (120 miles)!

We were up at 6:00am Tuesday morning, and driving out of the parking lot at the campground at 7:20am.

Monday, September 16, 2013

We're the only ones here.

Everybody is gone now. The campground is empty. The store, restaurant, and registration are all closed up.

It's just us and the squirrels.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Heigh ho, heigh ho,

it's off to our last day of work we go!

We've been waiting for this day since May the 1st!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Strange places to visit

We like to find strange, different, and quirky things to see and do in our travels. Even if it means going out of our way or being slightly uncomfortable, we think that to experience these things is to live. Here are some of the strangest things we've seen and done...

Friday, September 13, 2013

T minus 4 days...

Counting down the days until we're outta here.

Our inmate work crew got a lot done yesterday. Even though they're really only here working for about 4 hours, then don't stop. When I told one guy it was quitting time, he said "What? We only just got started!".

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Getting ready to shut things down.

There's not really a lot to do to shut things down around here. Besides, it turns out that they're actually keeping the campground open until the end of the month but there won't be any services. The water will be turned off and the washrooms and shower building will be closed.  Nobody will be in the office and store although someone will come around a couple of times per day to make sure anyone camping pays their fees. There will still be electricity at the campsites though.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New York City

Obviously thoughts of New York City will be crossing your mind today, the anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers.

But we're also thinking of New York City because we'll be back there together on November 2nd for four nights!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Would we do it again?

Now that our campground manager job is coming to an end for the season, we've had quite a few readers asking if we would do it again.

But first, we have to clarify once again that we are NOT camp hosts.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Doing the happy dance!

We got the word yesterday. Our last day of work for the season will be next Sunday the 15th.

Monday the 16th we'll get the little blue car packed up, and early morning of Tuesday the 17th we're outta here!!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall is in the air

You can sure tell that Labour Day long weekend signals the end of summer.

We had four campsites occupied this past week. And this weekend, we've had seven.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Would you visit the Himba people?

The country of Namibia has 11 major distinct ethnic groups of people.

One of them is the Himba, a nomadic tribe of people who appear to have been forgotten by the rest of the world. Even though they say there are between 20,000 and 50,000 of these people living in the extreme isolation of the northwest corner of Namibia, they don't receive many visitors, and because of their nomadic existence they are somewhat difficult to find in the first place.

Friday, September 6, 2013

We booked a strange flight deal...

Yesterday was a day for deals, that's for sure. And we LOVE getting a deal.

We've been looking for the cheapest way to get to New York City, and something came up yesterday that we jumped on. Kinda strange though...because the destination was to Philadelphia!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Great day visiting with friends

Spent most of the day yesterday with our friends Doug and Nancy and his brother Dwayne and wife Agnes. Another one of our seasonal campers left yesterday, and then another couple of campers showed up towards the end of the day. You can sure tell that everybody is back at work and school!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Peace and quiet

Well, until our visitors showed up anyhow. Bunch of hooligans, keeping us up with their partying! Ha...just kidding.

Yesterday morning we took a canoe out. Nice to get a break for a change and we didn't see another boat out on the lake.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's over!

Well, it's not quite over, but certainly the worst is over.

Our busy time here at the campground is the weekend, and long weekends are the busiest. Plus of course, they last three nights instead of two! But we survived this weekend just fine...and it was the last LONG weekend of the season.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Our Namibia trip just got better!

With many thanks to our facebook fans, we're thrilled to announce that we are one of three winners of another contest!

The prize?

25 nights of accommodation and breakfast at any of the lodges that belong to the Gondwana Collection Namibia.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August Expenses

Yeehaw! It's September, and that means we can say "We're outta here this month!" Not sure when, exactly. We were told at the beginning of the season that it would be between the 15th and the 30th. We're hoping it will be around the 20th.

August expenses came in exactly where we thought they would. A month ago, I had posted our July expenses at $1,052 and I predicted our August expenses would be about the same. August came in at $1,078.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Capture the Colour

I came across a photo contest the other day and thought it was a kind of an interesting one. Sponsored by Travel Supermarket, a British online travel seller, the contest is open to anyone around the world who has a blog.

And this blog post is actually our entry!

Friday, August 30, 2013

B-17 Bomber flies into town!

I think we were beaming all day yesterday with the news of our granddaughter's birth. Oh by the way, they've named her Sadie! We like that name! A little sister for our grandson Cameron. Can't wait to visit them in October. We sure have a lot to look forward to this fall!

Yesterday's planned post got put aside due to the much more important news so we can now get back on schedule.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

We have a granddaughter!!

Big news today folks!

Lindsey and Justin had a healthy 7 lb 2 oz baby girl this morning in Ottawa! A little sister for Cameron!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

...and buy a motorhome!

Yesterday's post, titled "Sell your house!" garnered a lot of attention and some questions from people who might not have thought of the possibilites of retiring to full time motorhome life.

Full time motorhome life in order to travel!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sell your house!

One of the reasons we are able to get by on so little money is that we don't own a house. Owning a house is a very expensive proposition, especially if it's not going up in value.

But of course you need somewhere to live. If your life circumstances aren't set up for full time travel,  then renting is a much more logical option.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Nice weekend

Uneventful weekend for us, just the way we like them around here at the campground. Beautiful summer weather, and that brought out the boaters and the day use area people. One more busy weekend to go, and that's Labor Day long weekend coming up next. But even that depends on the weather forecast. So far we still have quite a few sites available, but that should quickly change if the forecast looks nice.

While we were having a coasting kind of a weekend, our daughter Lindsey was busy.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Would you go to Cuba?

Or how about North Korea? Or Iran?

There has been a lot of discussion lately on some travel blogs regarding this topic since popular blogger Wandering Earl recently returned from a visit to North Korea and has been posting about his experiences there.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

We're going to have visitors!

And we're super excited about it! Just the thing we need to break up our last month or so here at the campground.

So...who's coming to visit?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Are we "Adventure Travelers"?

Never really thought about it, but I guess maybe we are. What brought up the question was an article we saw on the Namibia Tourism Board website regarding a 10 day trip they are sponsoring for some other travel bloggers.

They're highlighting this trip as being "adventure tourism" and they explain what they mean by that...

Thursday, August 22, 2013

We're ready to order our Tilley hats!

We tried on some Tilley hats yesterday.

As much as it is surprising to find some Tilley hats for sale in the tiny city of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (pop 35,000), we were not surprised that the selection wasn't great and that some of the hats were older discontinued models.

But we still had fun trying them on!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Another job done!

When we took a walk around the park with some of the board of directors in the spring, we had been looking at various jobs that needed to be done. One of them was a big old tree stump by the beach that was pretty unsightly.

There had been a storm through here last year and a few trees had toppled over. They had cut them at the base, and most of them were okay to be left that way, but this one stump needed to go. Problem was, it was pretty big!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Finally, some peace and quiet.

We had another busy weekend here at the campground, but it went fairly smoothly. It wasn't sold out, but there weren't many empty sites.

Come yesterday evening though, the place feels like a ghost town.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Top 100 Canadian Travel Blogs

There are literally thousands of travel blogs to be found on the internet. And there are lists of what are considered to be the top 100 travel blogs in the world, but there has never been a list that specifies the top 100 Canadian travel blogs.

Until this morning. And the most exciting part? We're on the list!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A facebook milestone for us!

We passed the 1,000 "likes" mark on our facebook page yesterday!

We know that many of you don't "do" facebook, which is why it's taken us a while to reach this particular milestone. This seems to be a generational thing and the number of facebook users declines dramatically over the age of 45. And most of our readers are between the ages of 45-65, so it's definitely a factor for our page.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

What's wrong with this map?

Came across something interesting this morning, and it's going to be your geography lesson of the day! And, when we tell people we're going to Africa this winter, we really need to be more specific. Africa is a huge place...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Could be a busy weekend

Because we're actually having a stretch of summer weather! After nearing record cold overnight temperatures last week at 4C (39F), we've gradually warmed up every day and we hit 32C (90F) for yesterday's high.

And it's supposed to be warm again today. Quite a few campers showed up yesterday, and we're being told the lower campground is sold out for the weekend. We'll see. There always seems to be a cancellation or screw up that leaves us with a couple of empty sites and we haven't seen it totally full yet.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Help us choose the best hat!

We've always been "baseball cap" kind of people. In fact, I don't think we've ever owned a hat other than a baseball hat. Or a winter hat. We're from Canada, so of course we've owned a winter hat! But this coming winter, we're headed for a part of the world that is going to be sunny and very hot.

So when Tilley Endurables agreed to sponsor our African trip by supplying us with two of what are arguably the best hats in the world, we were pretty excited and looking forward to making our selection.

But there are too many to choose from. We've narrowed it down a bit, but we need your help!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ruth's best gluten free bread recipe

A little off topic for a travel blog, but because many of you know that Ruth eats gluten free we're often asked about eating that special diet. When we're not traveling, Ruth makes a lot of food from scratch and bread is one of the more popular items.

Gluten free bread is often heavy, and falls apart easily. This is by far the best bread recipe she's found, and I like it too!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What to do with the little blue car?

With our travels from September 2013 to April 2014 basically planned out, one thing that we're not sure about is the future of the little blue car.

It's okay for this winter...we have a prepaid season of storage already arranged.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Another weekend gone

Seems we're back at the point where we're only going to be busy on the weekends here at the campground. Quite a few empty spots this morning as the weekend campers went home yesterday. We had a family reunion group up in the overflow area, but they were pretty easy to look after as they policed themselves and all we had to do was to drop firewood in two piles and empty their trash cans.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Trying different food

We've become pretty open minded when it comes to food and traveling. There are definitely some different "delicacies" around the world, and even though some of them sound a bit strange to us North Americans, the locals in these other countries don't think twice before popping it in their mouths.

So we're anticipating trying some different foods while we're in Africa. What's popular over there?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

We're going to Cancun, Mexico!

Not until March of next year, but the flight is booked.

We knew that our return flight from Africa arrives in New York City on March 8. And somehow, we wanted to make our way back to our motorhome which is parked near Guadalajara, Mexico.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The strange things you see...

Yesterday was my day to head in to the thriving metropolis of Prince Albert (pop 35,000). Ruth goes in to do the grocery shopping on Wednesdays, and I go in on Thursdays. I usually go if there's anything that needs to be picked up for the campground and to fill the camp truck up with fuel. Plus, it simply gets me out of here for a few hours!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Quiet hours 11:00pm to 7:00am

What's so difficult to understand? Seems pretty self explanatory, yet this simple campground rule is the one biggest thorn in my side as a campground manager.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More Namibia trip planning

Exactly three months from today we will be in New York City boarding a plane for an epic four month journey to Namibia and Southern Africa. Lots of internet research going on during our (very little!) spare time here at the cabin!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Here's our Harvest Hosts contest winners!

Our contest last week was a resounding success. Well, at least for three of you it was! A membership to Harvest Hosts is a kind of a specialized prize so we thought that maybe not too many people would enter.

But we have lots of RV'ing readers, and 85 of you entered the contest. So, three of you have won a 1 year membership and we hope that the other 82 of you will take the time to actually buy one. For $40 a year it's money well spent and you'll enjoy the peace and solitude that comes with an overnight stay at a winery, farm, or orchard.

So, without further ado, here's our lucky winners...!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Campground fireworks show

Despite our water problems which continue this morning, it was a pretty successful weekend. The campground was pretty much full although we still had a few empty single night spaces, and even some for two nights.

But the weather was perfect. Sunny and slightly warmer than forecast...highs of around 25C (77F) so we couldn't have asked for better in that department.

And we topped it all off with a fireworks show last night!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

No water!

Yesterday was our annual camp beach volleyball tournament. This is a well attended event and the players are pretty serious about it! We had 16 teams entered and the two volleyball courts on the beach were going all day. Also had a silent auction with the proceeds going to the campground, and a beach BBQ set up with steak burgers.

So with all of that going on, and a pretty much full campground...there were a LOT of people!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wow...busy Friday!

But before we get to that, thanks to all of you medically inclined readers out there who expressed concern for my apparent wasp sting allergy. It turns out that here in Canada I can buy an EpiPen or similar device without a prescription...so no doctor visit is necessary.

But apparently I'm going to have to shop around! Initial research tells me that these devices sell for around $120.00! And there's no generic version because the patent doesn't expire until 2025. Going to have to explore this further, but yes...I will make a point of getting something like this.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Stung by a wasp, and dog sitting!

Kind of a messed up day yesterday.

Started off down at the lower wood shed getting some campers a load of firewood. All of a sudden I heard a loud buzzing near my right ear and then that severe burning pain when you know you've been bitten by a wasp. I never did see whatever it was that bit me.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Expenses

But before we get to that...it's now August. That means we can say "next month we're outta here!"

Not that we're counting the days or anything. Well, actually we are!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Perfect weather!

For working or sleeping.

But not so perfect for the campground itself. It's been unseasonably chilly the last week or two, and even though it's still been busy enough on the weekends for campers, the day use area fees are way down. Nobody wants to go to the beach when the daytime high is only 17C (63F)!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Is Minneapolis worth a visit?

Has anybody been to Minneapolis, Minnesota?

I was looking at our upcoming drive (less than two months away!) from here to Ottawa in September and it wouldn't be that much of a detour to get to the city of Minneapolis. Has anybody been there who would like to offer their opinion?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Another giveaway!

That's right, we're hosting yet another giveaway, and it starts today!

This one will certainly appeal to all of our North American readers who own an RV...fifth wheel, motorhome, travel trailer or truck camper.

We've partnered with the good folks over at Harvest Hosts to give away three of their annual memberships valued at $40 each.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Busy day!

It's not quite over yet, but it seems this was a pretty smooth weekend. It was busy enough, but again not really warm enough to bring out the day use people, and it was windy yesterday which kept some people off the lake.

But there were still a few odd calls!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

No cruise this year.

We had been looking at the options of how to get from Halifax to New York in early November in time for our November 6 departure to Windhoek, Namibia.

Thought it might be interesting to hop on one of those fall New England cruises that is heading south, and there was one that stopped in Halifax and did a 3 day trip before stopping again in New York.

But it is not meant to be.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Finally!

I've been waiting over a month for a load of gravel to arrive.

Because of our park status, we can get some fill materials delivered by the "rural municipality" and it's a lot cheaper than calling a private hauler to bring us some road repair material.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Food with Kevin and Ruth?

I think we might have to turn this into a blog about food.

We post something here every day, and at least once a day to our Travel with Kevin and Ruth facebook account. And of course both accounts have all kinds of statistics as to who reads what and how many times. And of course there are publicly visible statistics such as comments and facebook "likes".

We are often surprised by what becomes a popular post and what doesn't.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It's not only about the scenery.

Friends and family are our biggest problem with world wide travel. And it's something we're noticing more, the more we do it. Because as time goes on you meet more friends...and you have more family!

And you can't be everywhere at once.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Iceland on a Budget

I've been meaning to do this post for a while. We often talk about other countries being "cheap" or "expensive" when compared to our home country of Canada. But just because a country is comparatively expensive, doesn't mean that we don't want to visit it! So we wanted to explain how to visit a country and see everything it has to offer, and do it at the best possible price. We only have one real world experience at this.

Iceland.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Well that weekend was a bust...

We had been all prepared for a hectic weekend. The registration staff here at the campground had told us "we're all sold out" and "we're totally full".

But once again, it wasn't exactly a hot and sunny middle of July weekend.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

5 ways to improve your photography

I'm not a professional photographer by any means, but I do understand how photography works and how lighting and composition affects the final outcome. Some photos that I see on other blogs and on facebook could be so much better by following a few simple steps.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A pretty good week.

After our not so great last weekend, we ended up having a pretty good week. Surprisingly not that busy here at the campground, and because the weather wasn't ideal, the day use area didn't get that much use either.

All of that makes both of our jobs a little easier. Ruth has not so many wet and sandy people wandering into her nice clean washrooms!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Border Crossing Stories

International travel is great, but crossing the actual physical border can be a nightmare. There's almost always some kind of ridiculous story to tell after the fact. Well we've crossed a lot of borders, and here are some of the better stories...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

How to use Google Flight Search

Those of us who keep track of the latest travel news have known about Google Flight Search for quite a while. But many of you have not, and I'm sure you'll find this a fascinating tool, if only for dreaming about where you can fly, and how much it will cost!

Okay, first...some background...and then we'll get to the fun. Because we really do find it fun!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

More to look forward to!

I (Kevin) have a group of friends that I've known since I was 16 years old. The bunch of us worked at a summer camp together in 1978 and 1979. There's actually eight of us who keep in touch on a regular basis. And over the past 35 years or so we've been through girlfriends and marriages (some more than one!) and children and everything in between.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Namibia change of plans!

We know our trip is still a few months off, but we want to keep you all updated as to our plans. It turns out that the little 4 wheel drive motorhome we had wanted is already sold out for the dates we wanted it!

So, good thing we are flexible.

Monday, July 15, 2013

That was a tough weekend.

Mondays through Fridays are not bad around here, but on a nice sunny weekend things get pretty hectic.

Especially when you have to deal with drunks, belligerent sober people, and people who don't seem to know how to use either a toilet or a trash can. Ah, the end of the weekend was a very welcome thing indeed!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

There are moose in Saskatchewan!

We never used to think that there would be any moose in Saskatchewan, and we remembered being surprised when we found out that there is! We haven't seen any here in the area near the campground, although we are told there is the occasional sighting.

This post is for Judy at http://travels-with-emma.blogspot.ca/2013/07/i-wanted-to-see-moose.html because she drove a long way in the hopes of seeing a moose yesterday, but they remained hidden!

So, here are our travel experiences that include moose sightings!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Campground complaints

Fortunately, we haven't received too many complaints. Thinking about it from a camper or customer point of view, I'm trying to think if there is anything that would be a common complaint about a campground.

Most complaints I can think of would be something general about the campground itself. Like maybe the sites are too close together. Or a common one we hear and read about regarding "RV Park" type campgrounds is the lack of decent internet.

So I went to our monthly Board meeting last night to bring up any issues and discuss any problems. And, I heard about three complaints.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A little more thrilled...

When I mentioned yesterday that I wasn't "thrilled" with our new camera, it's mostly because I hadn't really tried it out yet!

So yesterday when I went in to town, I brought the camera with me for any possible photo opportunities.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New camera!

Ruth went in to town to go grocery shopping and picked us up a new camera at the same time.

I had seen it on sale at Future Shop (owned by Best Buy) and it was reservable in store so I had made a reservation online.

I posted a couple of weeks ago that I was looking at either the Canon SX50 or the Nikon P510.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Namibia trip update!

Okay, so we think we've got things worked out with our tour operator in Namibia.

As you know, our prize had included a one week ground tour taking in the major sites. They were putting us up in some pretty fancy places and with some nice meals included. But we really wanted to do some camping and RV'ing in Africa! So we asked if they would switch things up for us and they agreed!

So here's what we've got worked out...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Holiday Resort in the U.K.

Here's a fun opportunity for summer holiday time in the U.K.

Butlin's Resorts operates three family holiday camps located on some of England's most beautiful beaches.

What's it like being a campground manager?

Boy, we're half way through already. Approximately.

Here we are at July 9th. Our contract here runs from May 1 to September 30, so while that's a full five months, they said that it's entirely possible that we'll be out of here sometime between September 15th and the 30th depending on what the weather is doing at the time.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Results

Okay, two things to share with you today. First up, the winners from our magazine contest last week!

We are so happy that many of our regular readers were able to win! And you picked some great magazine subscriptions!

Here's the list of winners ...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Have you been on a cruise?

It's a little strange that we have never been on a cruise ship together.

When we were younger and had a normal working lifestyle, we used to do one week "all inclusive" getaways south to places like Cuba and Dominican Republic. One of the reasons was that we could get a good deal. Airfare, meals, booze...all included in the one price you pay, and it was so easy.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

What do you think about ads?

We've received at least four offers for advertising here in the last couple of weeks. Five maybe.

Our popularity is growing and the internet shares this popularity with whoever wants to know via websites such as Alexa.com. So as we become more popular, advertisers start to notice.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday, already!

Wow, the weeks are just flying by. That's what happens when you're busy I guess!

We never did really tell you about our Canada day long weekend. Surprisingly, the campground was not sold out. But it was certainly busy!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

This Namibia trip keeps getting better!

But before we get to that, there's something I've been meaning to post about for a while.

Our regular readers know that we've spent a lot of time at Hacienda Contreras RV Park near the town of Valle de Juarez in Jalisco, Mexico.

Well things are changing down there. And although it's not really better for the people who love to go there, it's better for the people who owned the park, our friends Barb and Sal. And that's what counts.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

June Expenses

First of all, before we get to the expenses, a comment about this Namibia trip.

What an absolutely unbelievable week they have planned for us! They've organized a 7 day "self drive" tour where they give us a 4x4 vehicle and we do our own driving to see the highlights, staying at fantastic lodges along the way and in some of the National Parks including game safaris and a scenic 1 1/2 hour flight over the "Skeleton Coast". When it's all confirmed, I'll share the details with you all! All we can say is....wow!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

First ten people will win.

Okay folks, here it is.

The first ten people to leave a comment below will win. The big question is, what will you win???

Monday, July 1, 2013

Contest...Tuesday morning!!

Just a reminder about our contest happening right here tomorrow (Tuesday) morning!

Ten of our readers will win! Here's how to try and be a winner...


A Happy Ending.

Well, we had another "situation" yesterday that threw our schedule off a little bit.

Day two of the Canada Day long weekend here. So, still really busy, another nice day, beach is packed with day use users, campground full, pancake breakfast at the restaurant, people renting canoes and paddle boats. You know, just enough to keep us busy. (So busy that we never took any photos!)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Well, it HAD been a great day...

Up until just after 5:00pm.

Oh, it was busy. Probably the busiest we've seen here. It was a gorgeous Saturday and so the day use area and the beach were packed. The boat launch was being used non-stop, and the lake was full of boats and people having fun.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The campers have arrived...

And the campground will be busy now until the end of Labor Day weekend in September!

We actually like it when it's busier. There's always something to do, even if it's just wandering around and talking to the campers and making sure everybody's having a good time.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Short blog post today...

We never set the alarm clock in the morning. One of us is always awake between 6:00am and 6:30am, and of course gets the other one awake. Sleeping in for us is maybe 6:45am!

This morning, it was 7:40am!! Unbelievable!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Arguing with Walmart

Some people don't like Walmart. We do. On an overall basis, we have found they have the lowest prices, and to us that's all that matters. And they have a policy that they will price match advertised sale products from other stores. This means we do virtually all our grocery shopping at Walmart.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

RV'ing in Africa!

Our heads are still spinning because of this upcoming Namibia trip!

We're now thinking four months in Africa. There is simply too much to see. It looks like we're only allowed 3 months in Namibia itself, but if that's the case we would also spend time in South Africa and/or Botswana.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blogger Interview...Episode #6

Today, we're introducing you to a couple who are similar to us in many ways. They left the rat race earlier than most people do. They sold their house and bought an RV. They work at times to subsidize their lifestyle.

"I believe many people allow fear to rule their lives. It is a calculated risk; we know that but are willing to take that risk."

And with that quote from their blog, here we are speaking with Kevin and Evelyn from The RV Khronicles of Kevelyn.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Booked!

Well, just like the white pelicans, we will be flying too!

Not only to Namibia...first, we had to get to Halifax.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Do you read the labels?

Marketing food is an interesting thing. Ever since we told you about honey we've noticed things a little more. We always read the labels, but now we notice the marketing on the front a little more. Do you read the labels when grocery shopping? And I'm not talking just the label on the front...the label on the back is the most important one!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Flooding

I'm sure most of you have seen pictures of the record flooding in Calgary, Alberta all over the news. At least it's all over the news here in Canada. In the U.S., it seems that Paula Deen is the bigger story. Paula who? Never heard of her before now.

Well, we have some flooding of our own going on here in the middle of nowhere, Saskatchewan.

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's not every day that you get a phone call from Africa!

So we're puttering around yesterday morning, getting ready for work. When I get an email from a girl in Namibia, Africa, asking for our phone number.

So I give it to her, and she calls.

Can you guess what happens next...?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Some things we notice about running a campground

First of all, we took a blogger break yesterday. First time in a long, long time. We'll explain why later. But don't worry...we won't be making a habit out of it.

So, while the official winner of the Namibia contest was supposed to be announced yesterday, we continue to wait. Hopefully we'll hear something today!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blogger Interview...Episode #5

Today, we're talking with a young Canadian couple who travel with their kids!

There are several reasons we enjoy their blog, but I think the main thing that attracted us was the helpful tips that they regularly post. Plus, it's fun to read about the interesting things they do with their kids. Like eating stretchy ice cream in Turkey! Stretchy ice cream?? More on that later.

So, here we are with Charles and Micki from their travel blog, "The Barefoot Nomad".

Monday, June 17, 2013

Park Manager - $125,000 per year.

Parks Canada had an interesting advertisement on their facebook page, and it caught our attention...just for a second.

"Adventure is calling! You could be the next park/site manager at Tuktut Nogait National Park in the Northwest Territories."

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Dad was a Traveler

I don't have to look far to see where I got my desire to travel. My father was a traveler. And an avid photographer.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

It would seem that we're in the final five!

And that we now have a 1 in 5 chance at winning a $10,000 trip to Namibia!

Thanks to all of our facebook fans who voted for us every day! It's now in the hands of the judges.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Buckets of Rain!

We got a little bit of work done yesterday morning, but just before lunch the rain started. And it rained, and rained, and rained. It poured buckets of rain!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just to clarify...

Reader Sherry asked some questions in her comment yesterday on the blog. Oh, and Sherry, the park we visited yesterday was a National Park, not a Provincial Park.

The campsites in this particular National Park are all unserviced, but each park is different and you'd have to look up the park you're interested in visiting to get some accurate details. You can buy an annual pass valid for Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia for half price if you do it before June 30th, so that's your best bet if your going to be in the park for more than two nights.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A surprise day off!

Yesterday morning around this time, I had an email from the "boss". He's the guy on the board of directors that we deal with on a regular basis. He said that he knows we've been working hard and that we deserve a real day off. So while it was short notice, he said that if we wanted, he would come down and look after the place for the day so that we could get out of here.

Thanks Boss! Needless to say, we were outta here just after 9:00am!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A new addition to the family!

We had a list of different things we wanted to mention to you today.

Most important is the new addition to our family at Hacienda Contreras RV Park in Mexico!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Blogger Interview...Episode #4

We're happy to introduce to you today a relatively new RV and travel blogging couple. We were attracted to their blog ourselves because they are in the middle of a long trip to Alaska with their fifth wheel trailer!

And, they have an interesting background that led up to their life and travels together, so it's surprising how much traveling they've actually been able to do!

So, let's find out what's so interesting... here we are with Ray and Cindy of Ray and Cindy's RV Travels!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wash your troubles away...

Laundry is an interesting thing, isn't it? Well, not really!

But it is something we all have to deal with and not everybody around the world has a washer and dryer in their house. We don't!

And of course when we're traveling in the motorhome, we've never had a washer and dryer. But you have to get some clean clothes, so somehow you find a way...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A day off?

What's that?

It's not a very good weather forecast for this weekend, so we were surprised to have a few campers show up yesterday. I think we've got 9 sites occupied.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Here's our winner...!

Congratulations go to Joe Girsch of Pennsylvania, winner of the $100 VISA gift card that we gave away here at Travel with Kevin and Ruth...here's the happy winner...

Our hands are sore!

And arms. I don't know about Ruth, but it's been 15 years since I've worked this hard doing steady physical labor! Enjoying it for the most part, but it would be nice to get a break long enough to let the muscles recover.

Okay, so what have we been up to the last couple of days? Let's see...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Why Namibia?

There are literally thousands of contests we could enter. After the Australia contest fiasco last year, we've been a little gun shy to enter ANY of them. But when I saw this giveaway with the prize being a trip to a very different destination, I felt we couldn't pass it up. I bet you don't know very much about the country of Namibia. We didn't either.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

We have a winner!

Well that was fun. Our contest to give away a $100 VISA gift card was a resounding success. Or at least we had fun, we hope you did too! We're going to do other giveaways as time goes on, so we're looking forward to the next one!

Now, who won? Well, if you're a female...sorry. And if you're a regular reader...sorry.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Blogger Interview...Episode #3

A day late, but better late than never as they say.

Today, we're with another solo female traveler but this one lives and travels full time in her motorhome. She keeps a very active life volunteering at National Wildlife Refuges around the U.S., and she has a lifelong love of camping and RV'ing. She's got a popular blog, and even though she publishes almost every day, she doesn't often talk about her personal life. So we're happy to welcome Judith Bell from "Travels with Emma" so we get an inside look into how she arrived at where she is now in life...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bear sighting!

The weekly edition of our Blogger Interview series is going to be a day late! We do have another interesting story to tell, and it's almost ready, but you'll have to bear with us until tomorrow! "Bear". Get it? Ha, ha.

Speaking of bears, we finally spotted one yesterday!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What do you think?

Do you like our new facebook header photo? It was designed and produced by someone from the fiverr.com website we told you about. I think it's pretty good for five bucks, no?

Those of you who don't "do" facebook might not have seen that we hit a milestone yesterday and that Travel with Kevin and Ruth now has over 500 facebook fans! We're pretty excited about that!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May Expenses

Well, after having a higher than expected April, we were glad to get back to a more reasonable level of expenses. Not quite as low as we hoped it would be, but not bad. We spent a total of $1,075 during the month of May. Here's how it all broke down...

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sunsets, part two!

 I know you've all been waiting patiently for part two of our sunset photos. I can't believe how many sunset photos we have, and how many are truly spectacular. We did part one a couple of weeks ago and if you missed it then, it's worth looking at. You can view it here.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yesterday - Hour by Hour...

What's a day like here at the campground? Well currently, we don't have many campers! It's pretty quiet Monday through Thursday. We'll get a few more campers through the weekend, but it really won't get busy again until later on in June.

But the day is still very busy...here's how our time was spent yesterday, just to give you an idea.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Are you ever bored?

I think that if you are ever bored then you need to make some serious changes in your life. Not trying to be a preacher or a psychologist, but life is far too short to be spending your time being bored!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What's worse than having to put mosquito repellent on?

Well, that would be if you didn't have any mosquito repellent to put on!

Fortunately, we have lots. And we sure do need it now.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Blogger Interview...Episode #2

Welcome to the second edition of our weekly Blogger Interview series!

Today, we would like to introduce you to a single lady who has recently completed her first ever RV'ing adventure. She has also only recently began her own blog, and I think that many of our readers will be interested in following her adventures! Currently back in California, she spent the winter in Mexico and is in the process of trying to decide on a different RV...and a new destination!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

What some people will do for five bucks...

Want some help making your family tree? Someone will help you, and it will only cost you $5. How about personalized business advice? Some one will help you with that too for $5. How about a picture of a pretty girl holding a sign with your message on it. Yep, only $5.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My connection to The Man Who Skied Down Everest

I'm sure some of you noticed the news item a couple of days ago that spoke of an 80 year old man who reached the summit of Mount Everest. We think it's an interesting story, not only because of the man's age, but because of the history of the story...and my connection to it!

Friday, May 24, 2013

An interesting analogy

I don't read the vast majority of  "forwarded" emails. You know, the ones you receive daily that are 99% a waste of your time. Everybody's got that one friend or relative who clutters your email inbox with everything they come across whether it's worthwhile or not. So I simply delete most of them after reading the first line or two.

But I found one was interesting, and without posting it word for word, I'll explain why...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Convicts in Camp!!

Yes, we had six prison inmates in the campground yesterday. No, they hadn't escaped! They were here under a prisoner work program to help with some cleanup around the campground. What a great idea!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our first visitors!

The campground we're managing is kind of off the beaten path. So when people who know us make a special effort to come and visit, we're really appreciative!

Late Monday afternoon, Wendy and her friend Phil showed up for a four night stay! You might remember them from when we passed through Moose Jaw on our way up here a month ago.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Blogger Interview...Episode #1

Okay, here's something new for us. Travel with Kevin and Ruth is introducing a weekly Blogger Interview series, and the first edition is today!

We're going to try and bring you some interesting and entertaining people who are out there writing travel and RV'ing blogs and perhaps introduce you to someone new. Our first attempt celebrates a couple who are moving on to a new stage in life, and we're so happy for them!