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Month: August 2011

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: My Favorite “Crockpot Italian Sausage Soup”

August 31, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Is anyone throwing fresh tomatoes, zucchini, or carrots at you? Or are produce prices great at the local grocery right now? Make this soup from late summer’s bounty; people will think it took forever and that you are gooood. There’s several versions of this recipe, but this one is idiot-proof, quick to prepare and tastes superb, hence, my kind of cooking. Crockpot Italian Sausage Soup: Prep time: About 20 minutes Cooking time: 6-8 hours in crockpot on High Servings: About 8 Ingredients Use a Crockpot Liner! You’ll love the outcome! • 1 pound Italian sausage (I love HOT SPICY kind), casings removed • 2 cups chopped onion any kind • 4 cloves garlic, minced • 5-6 cups beef broth • 1/2 cup water • 1/2 cup red wine (optional, but I think it adds nice flavor) • 4 large tomatoes – normal people skin, seed, and do all that stuff. No way. Tomato skins don’t bug me. I just hack them up as God made them. • 1... [Read more...]

Put Woodall’s Info in Your Pocket *Free* Just in Time for Labor Day Travel!

August 30, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Put Woodall’s Info in Your Pocket *Free* Just in Time for Labor Day Travel!

Download our FREE Mobile App for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad in the iTunes Store Today! Before you hit the road this labor day, download Woodall’s RV & Camping Copilot, free! You’ll have access to all of Woodall’s RV parks and campgrounds, on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch!  It can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and provides complete campground information, including amenities, services, types of campsites, on-site recreation and identifies many camping discounts offered at parks. Private campgrounds also include Woodall’s 5W/5W Rating System, which is the most trusted consumer campground rating. Here’s a peek at what’s included, absolutely free! Search nearly 12,000 campgrounds and RV parks from Woodall’s extensive database. Toggle between list search results and map search results. Campground details pages reflect extensive campground information such as amenities, services and recreation. Plus, Woodall’s 5W/5W rating system helps you pick... [Read more...]

Our cottage on the road

August 30, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

Our cottage on the road

There are many advantages to have an RV.   The main one would be to have your home on the road with you when you travel.  It helps you save money because you don’t have to stay in hotel (which can be expensive for a family of six) and you don’t have to go to restaurants all the time. But today I want to highlight another advantage of owning an RV.    Recently, we attended a wedding with our four kids.  Our youngest, Jasmine, was the flower girl.   The wedding was being held on the Quebec side about 1 hour 45 minutes from our home.   We needed to be there on the Friday for the rehearsal and on Saturday for the wedding itself. We had permission to bring the RV with us and park it next to the house where the wedding was happening.   They had rented a farm and had access to it for a few days before the wedding.    So on Thursday my husband drove to our campsite and went to get the RV.   Let me specify to you that parking a 30 foot RV on our driveway is not an easy task... [Read more...]

Practical Glassware For Camping

August 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Do you have a favorite type of wine or pilsner glass for camping? If not, then check out the non breakable portable wine and spirit glasses from GSI.  The collection features stemless wine glasses, nesting wine glasses, pilsner glasses, and others. All of the products are BPA-free and are made to survive rough and tumble service for campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Of course, they don’t have the same luxurious feels of other wine glasses, but they get the job done and are easily stashed in a camper cupboard or a loaded backpack. We have had a set of the nesting wine glasses in our camper for many years. They’ve endured bumpy trips throughout Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, up to Denali National Park, and down the Alaska Canada Highway through Yukon Territory and British Columbia. They store beautifully and are easy to clean. Basically, they are a simple  item that can add a little bit of luxury to an outdoor excursion. –Melissa A. Trainer

A Visit to the Big City

August 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Visit to the Big City

As full-timers we tend to spend a lot of time in smaller cities around the country.  In the smaller cities we can stay near the center of town and do a lot of walking to places where we want to go.  We get to know some people, find the great little places to shop and eat, and we always find something unique for that area. Sometimes, though, we decide to spend some time in a place that is a bit bigger; like Austin, Texas.  We spent a month there (near Lake Travis).  The first week we were in Austin, we spent most of our time visiting places we don’t get to visit often as we travel around the country.  The first place we went was Whole Foods Market.  It seems that in our travels we rarely find ourselves near a Whole Foods.  You can spend a whole day in a Whole Foods and not see it all—and, the flagship store in Austin is even more incredible!  There are some things that we can only find at Whole Foods (or we have to order online), so we always make the trip. The next thing we... [Read more...]

A Palace Fit For A…Governor?

August 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Palace Fit For A…Governor?

While traveling in New Mexico during this past summer, after driving for the better part of two days, then resting and relaxing for two more days, we were in the mood for a bit of activity. As we are a hiking family, we quickly decided a hike was in order and our son, Ryan, who has been itching to do more climbing for the past several years, chose a hike near the Santa Fe area which involved several caves and other interesting geological components. Santa Fe Governor's Palace Tent Rocks Canyon Trail wanders along a narrow slice of land at the edge of the massive Jemez Volcano. In some places the canyon walls are 200 feet high, yet a child’s arms can span the width wall to wall. It did sound like an interesting place to visit. It was noted to be an easy three mile hike which would not be too taxing as we had not fully acclimated to the altitude yet as well and needed to remain mindful of that. So it was that on the morning of July 23rd we headed southwest from our home base in Taos,... [Read more...]

Hurricane Irene: “Get the Hell off the Beach”

August 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Hurricane Irene: “Get the Hell off the Beach”

Hurricane Irene made landfall near Cape Lookout, North Carolina, just before 8 a.m. EDT with Category 1-force winds of 85 mph. This graphic shows an approximate representation of coastal areas under a hurricane warning (red), hurricane watch (pink), tropical storm warning (blue) and tropical storm watch (yellow). The orange circle indicates the current position of the center of the tropical cyclone. (Credit: noaa.gov) The center of Irene is located about 5 miles north-northeast of Cape Lookout, North Carolina, or about 60 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and is moving to the north-northeast near 14 miles per hour. The center of Irene is forecast to cross through the North Carolina Sounds, through the Outer Banks, and back into the Atlantic today, then riding up the coast with an eventual landfall anticipated on Sunday along Long Island then on the other side of Long Island Sound in Southern New England as a minimal hurricane. Tropical-storm-force winds will continue to... [Read more...]

Consider The Lodge Cast Iron Biscuit Pan!

August 27, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

We have a vast collection of cast iron cookware. We find it priceless for campground cookery. We have multiple Dutch ovens, an array of skillets, basic griddles, and a  biscuit pan. I have purchased many of these items at thrift stores and garage sales over the years. Last year, right before we left for our family camping trip to Yellowstone National Park, I found a Lodge cast iron biscuit pan at the thrift store. I think I paid about $3 for it. While we were camping at the Madison Campground in Yellowstone, I spontaneously decided to use the pan for some mini pizzas. I had some Pillsbury biscuit dough that I separated into layers and placed in the greased pan. I then added some tomato sauce and cheese and placed the pan on the grill rack over a moderate campfire. I don’t recall how long they cooked, but I do remember that they were fabulous–smokey with a nicely browned bottom. My children loved them and they were a wonderfully simple snack  food to serve around the campfire... [Read more...]

What do Earthquakes and Hurricanes have in common?

August 25, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

What do Earthquakes and Hurricanes have in common?

Some folks on the west coast have been laughing about our recent earthquake on Twitter – but for a community that is not used to the ground shaking it is no laughing matter. The “Big ‘Un” for us east coasters hit Tuesday a little after 1 p.m.  Buildings shook, chimneys toppled, foundations cracked, and groceries flew off the shelves of area stores.  The reading was 5.9 – the most significant quake in our area in the past 114 years.  Since the main quake Tuesday, we have recorded seven after-shocks, the most recent this morning around 1:30 a.m. with a 4.6 reading.  I slept right through it.  I guess those zero gravity sleep number beds don’t shake during earthquakes. Groceries flew off the shelves in Louisa during the earthquake While the epicenter of the quake was only about 50 miles west of our home, we escaped any damage on our property.  Some of our neighbors within hollering distance have huge cracks in their home’s foundation. What I consider scary is the North... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: How to Be One of Those Couples in Restaurants Who Have Something To Say to Each Other

August 24, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

You’ve seen them; couples in restaurants, glazed smiles applied carefully, trying to disguise the fact they have little in common and little to say to each other anymore. While I can’t make any claims to degrees in marital counseling, I have learned something about RV relationships in these few months my hubby and I have been full-time RVing. This is what I’ve learned, based on observations of couples of all ages at RV parks and campgrounds: they tend to have pretty close relationships. I know…it’s not true of all RVing couples. No doubt there are generators blocking out the sounds of folks pecking each other to death inside RVs. However (and admittedly lacking statistical proof), I still think couples who RV or camp tend to stay together, have more in common with each other, and actually like each other more than most. Here’s why: • If you are RVing or tent camping, as in moving around different parts of the country, planning new activities regularly, and constantly... [Read more...]

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