A nice start to the day at Lower Mazinaw Lake, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

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

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Back home!

Well, that’s the first time in quite a while that we’ve missed doing a daily blog post. I was up early yesterday and on the road, so I actually thought Ruth was going to write something, but she thought I was going to do it when I arrived last night. But I was tired from the days driving and just wanted to visit with everyone.

On Wednesday, I drove 237 kms (146 miles) from Ottawa to Plattsburgh, NY.  Thursday was 505 kms (313 miles) from Plattsburgh NY, to Bangor Maine. Friday was 714 kms (443 miles) from Bangor to Kentville NS. So a total of 1,456 kms (902 miles) over the last three days.

But the New England area is beautiful, even with no leaves on the trees and on a cloudy day. We are going to come back through here with the motorhome in September, and explore a little more and do some hiking. A lot of the rivers are overflowing their banks at this time of year, and you can see by the pictures that they had quite a bit of snow and that it is still melting.

Heading east past Burlington, Vermont

Still lots of snow on the ground!

Stopped for a break in New Hampshire

Swollen river

Beautiful blue sky entering Nova Scotia

Yesterday, I was up early and went to Walmart in Bangor to pick up a few things that are far cheaper in the U.S. than in Canada. I bought two 2 pound bricks of some cheese that we like, and some gluten free Chex cereal that we can’t even buy in Canada. And I had bought some new running shoes while in Plattsburgh. And of course I picked up a case of cheap beer to bring through the border as well.

The beer and the goods I bought were duty free. But that one case of beer was my limit for bringing alcohol across the border, because Canada really likes to soak it to you with taxes on alcohol. However, I also picked up a 5 litre box of wine for Ruth for $13.95 which I declared at the border, so I was sent inside to pay Canadian taxes on it. We have never purposely bought more than the allowed limit, but this time I wanted to see just how much we would be charged. It turned out that I was charged a “Provincial Liquor Markup Fee” of $8.10, and HST tax of $1.50. So the 5 litres of wine cost a total of about $23.55 which is still far cheaper than the $40 or so that we would pay for the same product here in Nova Scotia.

I also filled up with gas before I crossed the border. In Maine, gas was about $3.87 a gallon (about $1.00 per litre) compared to the $1.34 per litre (about $5.00 per gallon) it is here in Nova Scotia. Welcome back to Canada!

So, I caught up with Ruth, Lindsey, Justin, and Cameron last night. I didn’t arrive until just after 7:00pm, and they had a nice roast beef dinner waiting for me! Everybody is doing fine, including Whiskey. She’s not 100% yet, and we think she may not totally recover from this latest incident, but she seems happy and is eating well. She still has a bit of a funny cough occasionally, and her bark still sounds hoarse, but she’s way better than she was. She’s only taking the one medication, for her heart. So she has to wear doggy diapers while indoors, but we can deal with that. Lindsey and Justin and Cameron are all doing well, in fact he went to his first doctors check up and everything is perfect. Lindsey seems like a natural mother, and Justin is sure going to be a good dad!

So, after we get settled this weekend, we are going to take off in the motorhome and start our exploring of Nova Scotia. I think we may head down to Yarmouth area, as we’ve never been there before. Who said you can’t go RV’ing in Canada in April!


  1. Happy you made it back to Nova Scotia without any major issues. I am looking forward to your explorations of the area, it’s a place I have never been. So glad that Whiskey is doing so well! Please say hi to Ruth for us. Its cold here in NY today, feels very winterish (yuck).


  2. So good to see your safely ho,e with family. I'll think of you Kevin when I am checking out at shop & Save and pay my $13.47US for a 30 pack of Miller High life Light,$11.47 every couple of weeks when it is on sale.Your wine is out of sight, Donna likes an occasional Zinfadel but we never pay more than about $6-8 dollars a bottle for a local brand, lots of wineries on the way to Augusta MO where Nicole goes to school, if you visit someday we will go to a couple. I think though if we could have health care like you folks I wouldn't mind a little more taxes. We always prided our selves here in the States on having the best politicians money could buy, You would think if they weren't smart enough to come up with a health care system for us they would copy Canada's. Who would complain? Keep an eye on Whiskey, she is just getting old but I know you guys want to get as long as you can out of her, We were like that with duke before he passed. Give that little guy a hug for all of us if Rigg's was there he would be getting a lick for sure. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

  3. You know, missing a blog entry isn't exactly a crime. It's not a job.
    So it's OK, really.
    Still would be a wee bit cool for heading anywhere in an RV for my liking. Well, maybe I would, but I'd probably be alone. My wife was never much of a "camper" in any sense of the word, which is probably why our first ever RV was a class A motorhome.

    Happy Travels.


  4. Well we are living in our 5th wheel at the moment and except for some extra propane we love it. Keep up the bogs when possible say Hi to Ruth and Whiskey. Be safe - Dale & Mary-Lou

  5. ditto Bob. It's not a job. I still would absolutely read your blog whether you blogged daily or not. There are daily bloggers not worth reading and sporadic bloggers that make every word a delight. Interesting information about the cost of wine and beer and gasoline. We will be traveling through four western provinces this summer so may have to skip the evening glass of wine!

  6. Glad to hear your family is reunited and all is well. There are many 'cheaper' varieties of good wine available in Canada so Malone don't give up your evening wine, especially here in B.C.

  7. Yes we love exploring Nova Scotia so much to see and do, need to go back and do more at a slower pace now that we are retired. We hanging out in Ohio for few days right now, stock up on stuff, gas the back to Canada.
    Enjoy your travels

  8. A long trip done, enjoy being home. If missing a blog was a crime, I would be writing this from jail :)

  9. John and Ellen...Thanks. We are looking forward to exploring as well. Hope the weather gets better though, much the same as what you have there, miserable!

    Sam and Donna...I think we would be lucky to find a bottle of wine between $6-8 even at a winery. We went and made a batch of wine which will give us about 23L for about $110, that is about the cheapest way to get wine here.

    Bob...You're right it isn't a job, but it is like a diary for us and if you miss a day we feel we missed a little bit of our lives. We do enjoy going back over some of the posts now and then to see what we were doing a year or two (or more) before.

    Dale and Mary-Lou...Thanks, we will. Hope you stay warm.

    Malone...Our suggestion to you is buy extra wine in the USA and pay the extra taxes, it is still cheaper than buying it in Canada, even at the wineries. Hope you enjoy your travels in the western provinces, they are so beautiful.

    Contessa...Thanks Contessa. I don't know where the cheaper varieties were, because we didn't find any out West when we went through. Even at the wineries/vineyards the cheapest we could find were still well over $10 for a 750ml bottle. Hard to compare when you can buy a box of 5L for $14 dollars or so in the USA.

    George and Suzie...Safe travels back to Canada. Don't forget to fill up with propane too!

    Chuck and Anneke...Yup, it will be awhile before we have to drive that far that quickly again. Your funnies make up for not writing...but you are right, it's not a crime, we just enjoy doing it.

    Kevin, Ruth and Whiskey


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