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Month: December 2012

Texas State Aquarium, Corpus Christi, TX…

December 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Texas State Aquarium, Corpus Christi, TX…

One of the other things that we did during our visit to Padre Island National Park, was to drive in to Corpus Christi and spend an afternoon at the Texas State Aquarium. The aquarium is part of the AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), so if you have a membership to your local zoo or aquarium, you would get in to the Texas State Aquarium for half price (like we did). One of the things that I loved the most about this aquarium, was that all the talks and shows were included in the entrance fee.      The aquariums has educational talks, and animal shows every half hour, throughout the day. Our favorite stop of the day was at StingRay Alley (which is a large touch tank). During the talks that are given here (one in the morn, one in the afternoon), you can purchase a small tray of fish for $3 and feed the rays. This exhibit brought us back 3 times! LOL! The rays were docile, and friendly. They would swim right in front of the kids, and practically beg for attention! There were a couple... [Read more...]

January’s Top Parks

December 31, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: John Sullaway Content Editor Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory 805-667-4194 jsullaway@goodsamfamily.com Top Snowbird Parks Chosen by the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory An astonishing 1.1 million RVers migrate to North America’s Sunbelt every year to escape the chilly temperatures of the northern United States and Canada, according to a study by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. To help these snowbirds find just the right warm-weather roosts, the editors and consultants of the Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory have compiled a list of the Top Snowbird Parks of 2013. Featuring RV parks and resorts from California to Florida, the list is tailored for RV travelers seeking extended stays at campgrounds with lots of amenities and features for fun in the sun. Good Sam RV Travel Guide’s Top Snowbird Parks: Bella Terra Of Gulf Shores, Gulf Shores, Alabama Apache Wells RV Resort, Mesa, Arizona Arizona... [Read more...]

The importance of check lists

December 31, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The importance of check lists

Lists are important for various things in life.  You make some when you packed for vacation or for a going to the hospital to have a baby.  You make one when grocery shopping or to make sure you don’t forget someone for Christmas.    Like it or not, our memory is sometimes forgetful and lists help us keep our sanity sometimes. If you are RVing, you also need lists to make sure you do not forget anything for a trip or ensure you bring back all you need for home.  A list is also something we rely on when we are closing down the RV at winter.   You see we learned the hard way through the years.   Once I forgot to bring underwear for my husband and my first born for a week-end a camping.  Yeah!   Not fun….    Fortunately it was just for a couple of days, still I have learned to double check every time I packed now – especially with six people in a family and the first thing that goes in are definitively the underwear! We also forgot one important step one wear while closing... [Read more...]

Camping Goals for 2013!

December 30, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

Camping Goals for 2013!

It’s that time of year again; time to lay out our goals for the New Year. As many of you know, every year my family and I look back at our accomplishments of the year past, then focus forward and set some goals for the New Year. As I sit here at my computer, I am looking out and watching the snow fall, covering the ground with its glistening white magic. Even our little camper is covered, which brings me to some of the goals we have not met for the year. As I do every year, in this post, I would like to set some camping and RVing goals for the new year to give use something to “shoot for”, as it were. Our “Big Move” Last year, as some of you may know, our goals included selling our home in Wisconsin, closing the mental health clinic we have run for more than ten years and moving ourselves and all of our worldly good to the home we purchased in New Mexico. Another goal was to continue teaching college classes online at Kaplan University. I am happy to say, we accomplished... [Read more...]

Cruisin’ the beach in style…

December 29, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Cruisin’ the beach in style…

Right before Christmas, we spent 10 days out on Padre Island (Texas Gulf Coast). We dry camped out in the National Park campground on the island, and had a great time! We try to spend 2 weeks there every year – it is one of our very favorite places. Every year we try to make sure to do our ‘traditions’ – our favorite things that we have to do every visit, like driving down the beach, hunting ghost crabs, and riding the ferry at Aransas Pass. Every year we try to find some new experiences to do also. One of the things that we did this year was to drive to nearby Port Aransas and rent Beach Carts! I will admit that I was a little nervous about renting a beach cart – well, you know us, we had to rent 2, both 6 seaters! LOL! First, would the cart owner freak when we pulled in and 10 kids piled out of our van? And, beach carts, even if you are just using them on the beach, are subject to the same laws that govern vehicles (meaning seat belts…), so what... [Read more...]

Devil’s Tower National Monument, Wyoming…

December 27, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

Devil’s Tower National Monument, Wyoming…

We are so incredibly blessed to be able to travel with our family during the winter. This fall, after leaving our home state of Montana, we took our time getting down to Texas, where we spent much of December. On our way south, we stopped at a few National Parks; NPs are kind of our ‘thing’. We are trying to stop at as many National Parks as we can; at each park the kids complete the educational Jr. Ranger program, and collect the badges they earn as we go (they are small and don’t weigh much at all!). So far, we have been to over 6 dozen of our NPs! This past fall, we came south out of Billings via I-90, and spent the night in Gillette, WY (we like short driving days!). We decided that we couldn’t be so close to Devil’s Tower, located in the upmost NE corner of WY, and not take the opportunity to check it off our long list of parks still to visit! It was about an hour drive (each way) from Gillette. On the way out there, one of the littles asked what it was;... [Read more...]

Start the New Year Off on the Right Foot with a First Day Hike

December 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Start the New Year Off on the Right Foot with a First Day Hike

With New Year’s Day just around the corner, people everywhere are zeroing in on their new year’s resolutions for 2013. Some will vow to add more exercise into their routines, and others will promise not to stay indoors as much. You can start the New Year off on the right foot, the left foot, or any foot by tackling both those resolutions at once and at the same time create a new family tradition by participating in a “First Day Hike” at a park near you, and together start off your year in a new direction. America’s State Parks announces that all 50 state park systems will sponsor guided First Day Hike Programs on New Year’s Day 2013. First Day Hikes originated over 20 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation, a state park in Milton, Massachusetts. The program was launched to promote both healthy lifestyles throughout the year and year round recreation at state parks. State involvement has grown to the point where, for the first time in 2012, all 50 state park systems joined... [Read more...]

Overnight Stay at Wal-Mart

December 24, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

Overnight Stay at Wal-Mart

Imagine yourself travelling with your family. You know you want to drive as much as possible and eventually stop for only a night. However you don’t want to stop at a campground for only a night so you wonder where you can go. Have you considered the Wal-Mart or Sam’s Clubs parking lots? Did you know that you can stay overnight in these places? If not, I have a book for you that will open new possibilities in your traveling. The Wal-mart Atlas is a comprehensive guide to more than 4,000 Walmart stores, Supercenters, and Sam’s Club stores in the United States. The paperback book includes maps that show you at a glance where stores are located and whether gas or diesel fuel is available. My husband purchased this book a while back simply because he wanted to have it for future travels. He is seriously thinking more and more about it since we purchased a small generator. For each state you will get a detailed map indicating where you can find a Wal-Mart. You can get more information... [Read more...]

May you all have a Blessed Christmas, no matter where the season finds you…

December 24, 2012 by · 8 Comments 

May you all have a Blessed Christmas, no matter where the season finds you…

This year will be our fourth year celebrating Christmas in an RV; the 3rd in this particular 5er. And we couldn’t be happier about it. While we no longer have the 8′ tree, or the strings of lights outlining the rooftop, or the fancy Christmas dinner with a dozen sides like in the sticks n’ bricks, Christmas still holds the same wonder. Sure, we have had to make some changes in how we celebrate, due to our compact abode, but we are finding that we prefer many of our altered traditions. In the RV, we don’t go all out decorating, mostly because we don’t have room to haul decorations around with us (we still love to look at other RVer’s lights!), but we do have a small tree that the kids decorate, and we trim the slides with garland and small colorful balls. We don’t buy gifts based so much on money and number anymore as we do size, and we now prefer ‘experiences’ over physical stuff. We no longer cook on the same scale as we did in our... [Read more...]

The Lighting of Ledoux

December 23, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

The Lighting of Ledoux

In July of this year I wrote and published a post about Taos, New Mexico’s historic Ledoux Street. Named after one of the area’s first French trappers, Paul Ledoux, the street houses the oldest galleries, shops and studios in Taos. A treat to visit in the summer months, when camping in the Taos area, Ledoux Street is even more of a treat to visit during the holidays if you can get yourself to this small southwestern community. Farolitos lining Ledoux Street The Lighting of Ledoux occurs the first Saturday in December every year. The street is illuminated with thousands of farolitos, small paper bags containing sand and a lighted votive candle.  Father Winter, aka Santa, in an antique fire truck, leads the townspeople in a parade down Ledoux Street, preceded by a trumpeter playing Christmas carols. He proceeds to the Harwood Museum at the very end of Ledoux Street, where he gives each child who confides their holiday wish a small gift. In addition, the shops and galleries build bonfires,... [Read more...]

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