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Past, Current and Future Trips

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Before we went up to eastern Canada in the summer of 2018 we had camped at quite a few campgrounds, but never more than a month at a time. Some stays were for one or two days, some were for a week or more. Canada changed all that!

Past trips

The Canadian Maritimes - 2018

In the summer of 2018 we took our RV on a fascinating trip up to the Canadian Maritimes of New Brunswick (NB), Nova Scotia (NS), the Cabot Trail (CT), Newfoundland (NL) and Prince Edward Island (PEI). We had originally intended to be away for about three months, but once we got up there we wound up extending our trip to four months. In total, we were gone from 9 June to 17 October, stayed at over 40 different campgrounds and covered around 15,000 miles. Herein I present my observations, thoughts and other notes accumulated along the way. There are also about 3000 accompanying photos for your enjoyment.

I have personally travelled to 13 different countries, each holding its own fascinating wonders and little secrets to explore. The Maritimes, however, occupy a very special space. For one, they are not crowded like many of the places I have been. For another, they speak English. Third, it's relatively easy to find your way around, and the culture and lifestyle is not that much different from what folks are used to in the US. And perhaps most important to people like us, they are quite amiable to RV-ers.

Click here to go read the blog and see the photos we took during the trip.

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Future trips

Coastal Islands of GA, SC and NC - [Planned for 2019]

We are actively making plans to go to many of the beautiful islands off the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. We'll try to stay on as many islands as possible but may have to settle for nearby campgrounds for some.

  ★ Jekyll Island, GA
  ★ St. Simons Island, GA
  ★ Ocracote, GA
  ★ Hilton Head, SC
  ★ Kiawah, SC
  ★ Myrtle Beach, NC
  ★ Nags Head, NC
  ★ and more...

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The nice thing about this particular trip is that it will be relatively quick to get from one place to another. This reduces travel time and thus extends the time we can spend enjoying the area. We plan to spend our first night at St. Augustine, one of our favorite cities, so it will be just a short hop up to our first target, Jekyl Island.

Of course, I plan to keep a detailed log and take lots of photos like I did for the Canadian Maritimes trip.

The National Parks - [Planned for 2020]

So in our spare time we are also making plans to go out west and visit as many National Parks as possible. Here are some that we currently have on our list:

  ★ Big Bend National Park, Texas
  ★ Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
  ★ Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  ★ Arches National Park, Utah
  ★ Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
  ★ Zion National Park, Utah
  ★ Canyon Lands National Park, Utah
  ★ Joshua Tree National Park, Colorado
  ★ Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
  ★ Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  ★ Badlands National Park, South Dakota
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Of course there are lots of other places sure to go onto the list. There is already enough to fill up at least three months. We plan to go for four so we might be able to take in a few more of the parks.

We had originally planned to go out west this year (2019) but had to postpone when I discovered that reservations at most of the parks are already full. Seems like you have to reserve about six months in advance, and even then most of the Parks can't handle our 37' rig. So we'll likely have to stay in outside campgrounds, which will involve even more research.

Since I'm still in the planning stage, the itinerary is definitely open. If you've been to some of the Parks and would like to advise us, we would love to hear from you.

Central Canada - [Planned for 2021]

Still captivated by the beauty of the Canadian Maritimes, we want to get away from the hot south Florida sun again and head back up to Canada, but this time to the middle of the country. Victoria and take in the magnificence of The Buchart Gardens again, as well as all the other neat stuff in the area.

There are lots of provincial parks in southern Canada, and we also may want to try to work in the Hudson Bay. We'll have to see how cold it will be since we don't have a four season rig.

This time we'll likely try to find places to stay for more than a day or two. Our trip to the Maritimes was a whirlwind tour because there was so much to take in - four provinces and around 40 campgrounds. So it might be nice to just hang around some place for awhile and immerse ourselves in the central Canada culture.

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Alaska - [Planned for 2022]

We have a few friends that have taken their rig up to Alaska. We've been captivated by their stories and have decided that we too would like to make the adventure. We haven't decided yet how we want to get there; there are a number of options.

  (a) Go it alone up the Trans-Can highway. We've heard that the Canadian roads up to Alaska can be quite bad, but hey, we survived Newfoundland!

  (b) Go with maybe one or two other adventurers. Having someone along would be a good idea in case of emergencies, and visiting new places and seeing new things can be a lot more fun with others of like mind.

  (c) Go with an organized, guided caravan. We know people who have done this before. Although expensive, they say that having knowledgeable guides was a great comfort.

  (d) Take the rig up on a ferry. This is an expensive option and we would have to worry about the dogs.

  (e) Take the ferry up and rent an RV when we get there. We'll have to look into the price, and there's still the issue with dogs.

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I'm currently leaning toward (a) but I will be doing more detailed research as time goes on. If you've RV-ed to Alaska and would like to share your experiences shoot us an email. We value highly the experiences of others.

See here for a good encapsulation of stuff one needs to know beforing heading off on a long drive to Alaska.

And here..

Some interesting non-RV trips

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Yeah, yeah I know, this is an RV site. So why did I put photos from places like Holland and Ireland here? I guess it's because I spent so much time setting up the Canadian Maritimes blog that I really got in the mood to show more pictures. Although I've been to something like 13 different countries, the trips to Holland and Ireland are the ones where I took lots of nice photos. So enjoy!

Note also that just be cause you go to another country doesn't mean you have to give up RV-ing. It is very popular in Europe and there are lots of places to camp. The RVs there tend to be smaller than we might be used to in the US, but it doesn't really matter since driving distance between places in Europe are shorter, and you're guaranteed you won't be spending much time in your rig. So if you do go, do some research. My wife Phyllis's brother and his wife have a big 40' pusher but they got along just find trekking around Germany and other places in a much smaller rig. Also checkout the 640-page Traveler's Guide to European Camping.

Ireland - 2016

A few years ago we were having coffee with friends who lived across the street when he received a message from Great Vacations about a cheap 7-day trip to Ireland. The trip included airfare from NYC, a rental car and hotel rooms for each night. I forget how much it was but I think it was less than $1000 per person. We all looked at each other, hastily finished breakfast and jumped on the computer to book. Of course we had to fly up to NYC on our own, but after that everything was taken care of for us.

Ireland turned out to be quite an adventure. The people was some of the nicest I have ever seen, which is saying something after visiting around 13 different countries and most of the US. The countryside was as green as you can imagine. The only thing we had to get used to was driving on the left side of the road but my friend Mike handled that admirably.

Mike wanted to see as many castles as we possibly could in an intensive 7-day period. And see castles we did. It involved a lot of driving between castles but we did get to see most of the ones on our itinerary. There are lots and lots of castles in Ireland and they are really old. The castles of France and Germany are much larger and more grandiose, while those of Ireland are relatively ancient. Few are still preserved inside, so they are essentially stone walls and grounds. But the feeling of history lingers and we got quite an education while there.

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We particularly enjoyed the drive around the Ring of Kerry and seeing the Cliffs of Moher. Our trip up to Newfoundland in Canada reminded us very much of that part of Ireland.

Click here to see photos of Bunratty Castle.
Click here to see photos of the Cliffs of Moher.
Click here to see photos of Dunguaire Castle.
Click here to see photos of Kilkenney Castle.
Click here to see photos of King John's Castle.
Click here to see photos of Malahide Castle.
Click here to see photos of Newgrange at Bru na Boinne.
Click here to see photos of the Ring of Kerry.
Click here to see photos of the Rock of Cashel Castle.
Click here to see photos of Trim Castle.

Holland and Belgium - 2010

In 2010 we took a river cruise through the Netherlands, mostly to see the windmills and tulips. We have always been a big fan of tulips and really wanted to go over and see the millions of colorful plants laid out like carpets. We weren't disappointed.

We almost didn't get to go. On 14 April of 2010 we got to the Miami Airport and were informed that the flight was delayed due to an eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. Although relatively small as far as volcanic eruptions go, the event caused widespread disruption to air travel across western Europe for around six days and consequently grounded US flights headed for Europe. We waited around for kept a watchful eye on the TV. We regularly calledg the airline for a few days but no luck. Finally, they gave the all clear.

Our cruise was booked on one of the Grand Circle river boat tours. This was one of the few organized travels we have ever done so we thought we would lose all our money by not making the connection. As luck would have it, the company kept the boat at dock for several days mostly because, like us, the vast majority of other passengers couldn't make it either. When we finally got there, they shoved off the next day with only about 1/4 capacity. That was nice for us since we didn't have to wait for anything and pretty much had our own personal staff to see to our needs.

Anyway, the purpose of the story is that the folks there on the boat had already taken a tour of the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens. We were very disappointed, as this was the big reason we made the trip. But the company was nice enough to arrange a vehicle to pick up us and another couple that came in the same time we did. We spent the day at the Gardens touring the grounds and soaking up the divine colors. In fact, we got tulip vertigo by the time we were done. I want to extend kudos to the boat personnel who arranged this; the trip wouldn't have been the same.

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Turns out we hit it at the absolute peak of the tulip season and got some impressive photos. If you ever get the chance I strongly encourage you to make the trip. You won't believe the arrays of colors as far as the eye can see.

After taking a couple cruises on the big ships, we found that the river cruise was more to our liking. Instead of spending a lot of time on open ocean getting from one port to another, on a river cruise you are always looking at something or another. Sitting on the balcony and watching the scenery go by was vastly preferable to us. Also, you can spend more time while docked seeing the sights.

Our side trip to Brugge, Belgium was also impressive. It was the second time we had been there and enjoyed it just as much as the first time. Brugge is a historic, medieval town that was fortunately left unscathed during the war. Originally a port town, the waters had receded over the years to the point that the town was not considered a threat or worth taking the time to bomb. How sad would it have been otherwise. You might also be interested to know that Brugge is where many Europeans go on holiday.

Click here to see photos of the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens.
Click here to see photos of the windmills of Kinderdijk.
Click here to see photos of the coastal town of Veere.

Something special

Although this has nothing to do with RV-ing, we feel that anyone who appreciates the outdoors -- much less fine art -- will appreciate this painting gallery by Russion painter Victor N. Yushkevich. It always makes our day when we look at it. We hope you will be similarly moved.

   Click the icon to view the gallery video. It is best appreciated in full screen mode.
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