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Month: June 2011

Fredericksburg, Germans, and the 2008 Beijing Olympics

June 30, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Fredericksburg, Germans, and the 2008 Beijing Olympics

(Photo Caption: Fredericksburg RV Park) As we continue exploring the Texas Hill Country, we decided to spend some time in Fredericksburg, Texas.  We’ve come to spend the day in Fredericksburg a number of times over the years, but this time we decided to stay a while.  While here, we decided to use the Fredericksburg RV Park as our home base.  While there are other parks available in the area (Fredericksburg), we chose this one because it is the newest park in Fredericksburg and less than a mile (walking distance when the weather is a bit cooler) from Main Street with all the shops, restaurants, and museums. (Photo Caption: Pioneer Memorial Library) The first thing you notice about Fredericksburg (besides the limestone buildings) is that there are many German restaurants in town.  Fredericksburg, named after Prince Frederick of Prussia, was one of a number of German settlements, with many of the original settlers from German villages along the Rhine.  The desire of the early settlers... [Read more...]

On the road with a preschooler…

June 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I LOVE the preschool stage!!!  Kids this age tend to be gung-ho for just about anything!  And a road trip is right up their alley (at least it was until they had been in the car for 15 minutes!).    There are so many things that preschoolers can do (I’m thinking mainly of ages 2 to 5ish):     Clothing:  Choose outfits based on comfort.  Dressing up the princess in frilly, scratchy finery for the usual ‘tourist’ photos along the way may just backfire if you can’t get anything but a pout out of her because she’s had a long, uncomfortable ride.  One thing that my younger kids LOVE to do while we are traveling, is to wear clothing that signifies where we are going (or have been); but, I’m way too cheap to buy them in the overpriced gift stores once we get there (unless they have a great clearance rack!).  We let others pay the high prices, their kids wear them once, and then we get a practically new memento for a fraction of the cost with a... [Read more...]

Happy Birthday Parks Canada!

June 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Happy Birthday Parks Canada!

The world may scratch its collective head when it comes to listing facts about Canada, but—at the very least—most know it’s a lot bigger than the spot they call home. The Netherlands can easily fit into Lake Huron—with ample room to splash around. Jasper National Park, Alberta. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved There’s plenty to explore—Canada’s cities are new, dynamic, and evolving—but it’s the beauty of the massive forests, towering mountains, pristine lakes, and the land’s sheer breadth that enthralls many visitors. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada and Alan Latourelle, chief executive officer of the Parks Canada Agency, is inviting visitors from around the world—to enjoy the nation’s 42 national parks, 167 national historic sites, including nine canals, and four national marine conservation areas that stretch from British Columbia on the West Coast to Newfoundland on the East. “Canada! We have more square feet of awesomeness per person than... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Freewheeling Part 2: How to Pick Your Toad

June 27, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: Freewheeling Part 2: How to Pick Your Toad

toad/tōd/ noun (From Patti’s American Dictionary of What’s Happening Now, Ya’ll) A vehicle that is “towed” (hence, the nickname “toad”) behind an RV for the purpose of driving around and running errands without having to break camp in said RV. Choosing the right toad for your RV requires research. Do you want your toad on a dolly or do you want to tow flat with four wheels down? Only you can decide, and it’s for certain, everyone has an opinion.  As in zillions of them. Having said that, we chose to tow four wheels down because a.) we don’t want another vehicle (like a dolly) to deal with at RV parks that sometimes don’t have room for dollies in addition to toads and RVs and b.) we don’t want to haul extra dolly weight since our RV is quite small. Many folks tow with dollies and easily find RV parks that accommodate them, but I imagine it takes some advance planning for site size. Probably not a big deal; just reality. The flat tow folks and the dolly tow folks... [Read more...]

Goldenrod Kisses

June 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Goldenrod Kisses

Ah!  The memories…   Three years ago, in 2008, I was able to share something from my youth with my own kids.  I can’t believe it has been three years already and we are way overdue to go back there for the delicious Salt Water Taffy that the Goldenrod makes in York Beach – Maine. When I was younger, my parents would travel to Maine to camp.   We would also go shopping in the outlets around the area.  But my favorite place was the Goldenrod.   I would watch through the windows them making the taffy with a watering mouth. And when we were driving from Pennsylvania to Prince-Edward Island in 2008, we were able to stop and visit the Goldenrod, and share that experience with our kids. The Goldenrod is a restaurant, homemade ice cream shop and (you guessed) a candy store.    It has been located next to Short Sands Beach since 1896.  When you go there, you can stand for a long time, observing the candy maker doing the salt water taffy from beginning to the end.   Seeing the... [Read more...]

Three Things at Every RV Park

June 26, 2011 by · 8 Comments 

Three Things at Every RV Park

In the years we’ve been full-timing we’ve stayed at almost every kind of park imaginable.  The parks range from the no-frills, along the highway, overnight stops, to the middle-of-nowhere camping and fishing locations with national park hiking trails staring right in the park, to the top-end luxury resorts for Class-A MHs only.  Amazingly, there are 3 things that we’ve found at every place we have stayed. Now, before I go on, I want to clarify that these 3 things are not isolated to RV parks; I’ve run across them in every community area that I’ve been in.  It seems that it is human nature to engage in these 3 activities; and that no matter where you go, you will find these 3 things.  So, if it seems to happen everywhere, why am I surprised that it happens in RV parks?  Well, I guess I was just overly optimistic about the nature of the camping community, and thought that campgrounds, that are filled with friendly people sharing a common love of RVing/camping, might be the... [Read more...]

Balancing Teens and Nature Thanks To KOA

June 26, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Last summer, we had the opportunity to rediscover the Kampgrounds of America, also known as KOAs. We were visiting Yellowstone National Park and during the first part of our stay, we camped at Madison Campground right in the park. Madison was lovely, but it lacked amenities such as water and electrical hookups. And, there weren’t even showers at the campground itself.  This, of course, didn’t go over too well with our teenage daughter. After a few days, the steam was starting to emerge. It was definitely time to shift gears. So,  when we decided to change our itinerary and stay a little longer, we opted to stay at the lovely Yellowstone Park KOA. We hadn’t stayed at a KOA in years, but this one is organized, immaculate, and beautifully maintained. The bathrooms were clean and the little shop offered lots of conveniences such as milk, bread, ice, and even homemade fudge. There was a playground and  a coffee stand. A little café served pancakes in the morning.  There was WiFi... [Read more...]

Alaska Is The Must-See Destination

June 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

I was poking around the Woodall’s site this morning and was very happy to see that Alaska is listed as the June Must-See Destination for Woodall’s. You can read the full story for yourself, but I am happy to be able to offer my own tidbits  because I lived in Alaska about five years ago. Fortunately, we were able to camp extensively throughout the state while living there. We can assure you that it takes a lot of organization and planning when traveling and camping throughout America’s Last Frontier. When we did so, our children were about 11, 8, and 3 years of age. With our travel trailer in tow, we traveled all the way to Denali National Park for Father’s Day weekend that year. We camped on the Kenai Peninsula along the Russian River on July 4th. And, we spent numerous weekends overlooking  Resurrection Bay at a municipal campground in Seward. Thankfully, I had lots of wonderful neighbors who camped with us or  gave us tips and advice for navigating the... [Read more...]

All About Food–Favorite Summer Meals!

June 26, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

All About Food–Favorite Summer Meals!

Now that our weather has finally warmed a bit, my thoughts begin to turn to my favorite summer meals. I recall sweet evenings around a campfire enjoying foods that we may not make for most of the rest of the year. These meals help define summer for me, and for my family. The pace is slower, the mood more casual. The overall feeling is the same as when you were 8 years old with a long summer day stretched in front of you and nothing to do but ride your bike or lay back on the grass and imagine that the clouds above you were dragons or sailboats or ice cream sundaes. That is the mood I hope to create by sharing a few of my favorite summer dishes with you. Chicken breasts are easy to marinate in their original bag While hamburgers and hot dogs are a perennial favorite for these summer dinners, in an effort to switch things up a bit, we have incorporated grilled chicken as a regular contender as well. While my son prefers his chicken “un-marinated”, the rest of us find that a bit dry and... [Read more...]

Arachnophobia in New Orleans; Now Who’s Afraid of a Little Spider?

June 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Arachnophobia in New Orleans; Now Who’s Afraid of a Little Spider?

Our Australian Terrier, Rocky (RIP) took me on some memorable walks: “George and Rocky’s Late Night Adventure,” “When Things Go Bump in the Night,” and “So Long Rocky, It Was Good To Have Known You.” And then there are the as-yet-unpublished walks involving coyotes, alligators, snakes, and this one. It takes place, as many of our more memorable walks did, late at night and, this time, a few short blocks from author Ann Rice’s ancient and infamous New Orleans French Quarter and its blood thirsty vampire residents (run tape of rusty hinges, thunder, moans and blood-curdling screams). [Read more...]

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