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Category: RVing with Grand Kids

Luling: Texas Black Gold

March 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Luling: Texas Black Gold

Barbecue sauce isn’t the only valuable liquid flowing in Luling. The town is dotted with oil pumps that still move the Texas black gold from the ground. The Central Texas Oil Patch Museum pays tribute to the area’s oil industry. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Once known as “the toughest town in Texas”, Luling was established in 1874 as the far western stop of the Sunset Branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The developing importance of the town as a cattle-raising center, combined with the importance of the railroad as a shipping point, allowed the town to grow and prosper. Being the northern terminus of a freight road to Chihuahua, Mexico added to its stature. As the cattle drives to the railroad head decreased, Luling survived by turning to its rich soil and hardy folk. Luling came to be known throughout the region as an agriculture center with cotton, corn, and turkeys as its principal products. Cotton ruled the local economy until the momentous year of 1922. On... [Read more...]

Tic-Tac-Toe is a great game for kids at camp

March 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Tic-Tac-Toe is a great game for kids at camp

I learned to play Tic-Tac-Toe when I was attending camp as a child. I played numerous times—at school, with friends, while camping with my parents. I always tried to get better at it so I could beat my adversary—usually my own parents. Back in those days, the game was simply played with paper and pencil. And it’s quite easy to learn, since it’s simply a 3×3 grid that you fill with Xs or Os. The goal of the game is to place three same marks in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row to win a game. But as we grow up, Tic-Tac-Toe loses its appeal for us adults—unless you have kids. I find the best way to learn the game of Tic-Tac-Toe is at camp. Nowadays, the game has developed into a lucrative product that many companies are trying to sell to everyone. There are some games that are magnetized—we have one with planes and boats at the trailer—some are made out of wood while others are simply played on a beach towels with plastic pieces. It is even possible to quickly make... [Read more...]

Click and Explore North America

March 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Click and Explore North America

Use Good Sam Camping’s Explore tool for travel itineraries, tourism info and great destinations in every state and province in North America. Select your destination on our handy interactive map and start planning your adventure today! From the Explore Tab home page, find your desired state or province on the interactive map and click (you can also choose a state from the list on the right-hand side). Each state/province page gives you three ways to learn about your destination: • The Welcome section provides an overview of the state you’re visiting. Learn about each state’s regions and get a sense of your destination’s climate and character. The Arizona Welcome section, for example, covers the state’s northern region, popular snowbird roosts and Native American heritage. • The RV Trip of a Lifetime section suggests itineraries to some of the most compelling attractions in each state and province. Check out great steaks along the Oklahoma leg of the Chisholm... [Read more...]

Why You Should Visit Dauphin Island, Alabama

March 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Why You Should Visit Dauphin Island, Alabama

We recently took a day trip down to Dauphin Island, Alabama.  Located less than an hour from Mobile, and on the southwest edge of Mobile Bay, it is a 15 mile long barrier island that often goes undiscovered by I-10 travelers.  We were on a tight schedule with only a few days to spare until we needed to be in Orlando, and we have a big rig (40-foot toy hauler) and weren’t sure what the campgrounds down there would be like, so we left our fiver in Mobile while we drove down for the day. Once we got there, we were wishing like crazy that we had more time and would have brought our RV down.  (There are several campgrounds on Dauphin Island, so be sure to go to the Good Sam Campground Directory to check them out and see which one would best suit your needs/wants). Dauphin Island was charming. It has a distinct small-town feel, where kids are still free to ride their bikes around the neighborhood after school, where you can walk to the local snack shop for an afternoon treat, where the... [Read more...]

Carschooling: Over 350 Entertaining Games and Activities to Turn Travel into Learning Time

March 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Carschooling: Over 350 Entertaining Games and Activities to Turn Travel into Learning Time

As a homeschool mom, I believe that my kids can learn at any moment during a day. And fortunately—or unfortunately depending on your point of view—we also emphasize learning when we are traveling. To be honest, I think that our vacations are the best times to learn something outside of our regular environment. When we go to the U.S. or a different city in Canada, we always try to include visits to museums or historical sites. So you shouldn’t be surprised if today I present you a book that will help you stimulate the brain of your kids while you are driving to your destination. It’s called Carschooling: Over 350 Entertaining Games and Activities to Turn Travel into Learning Time. I can’t help but find this book fascinating. It’s a well-known book among homeschoolers but all traveling families can also use it. This book might save you from the never-ending question, “Are we there yet?” by allowing you to incorporate learning activities while on the road. Whether you... [Read more...]

New Orleans—Visit the Audubon Zoo & Aquarium!

March 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

New Orleans—Visit the Audubon Zoo & Aquarium!

As we continued our much-too-short tour of Louisiana, our final stop was New Orleans (also known as NOLA).  We spent a couple of days in town visiting destinations that were new to us. Our first stop was the Audubon Zoo, where we spent a lovely day touring the well-laid-out grounds.  The Audubon Zoo is part of the Audubon Nature Institute, which has three separate locations in New Orleans; those include the Zoo (which also includes an IMAX theater) an Aquarium, and a newly opened Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.  While we were at the zoo, we enjoyed seeing the wide variety of animals that the zoo had on display.  We were able to see everything from engaging sea lions to an orangutan that was working the crowd in an attempt to acquire forbidden handouts. We especially enjoyed the Louisiana Swamp area of the park with it’s fun Cajun restaurant and baby gator tank with a viewing tube; of course there were big alligators here also. This zoo is great for adults and children alike.... [Read more...]

Alabama Gulf Coast Named Top Tourism Attraction

March 4, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Alabama Gulf Coast Named Top Tourism Attraction

Alabama’s Gulf beaches and Gulf State Park are the largest tourism attractions in the state, overwhelmingly so, according to the new attendance figures released last week by the Alabama Tourism Department. Sparkling turquoise Gulf waters and stunningly white sand await the RVer on the Alabama Gulf Coast. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The state’s largest stand-alone festival events, located about 20 miles apart, are also located in the Gulf Coast region. The Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival (March 14-16, in 2014) and National Shrimp Festival (October 9-12, in 2014) in Gulf Shores come in at the top two spots among event promotions staged over a single weekend. The relatively new Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival (June 13-14, in 2014), which takes place in between the other two in Foley, is also rising up the state’s annual top 10 festival list. According to the 2013 annual report, Mobile’s three-week long Mardi Gras celebration draws the largest attendance... [Read more...]

An Independence Day Must-See!

March 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

An Independence Day Must-See!

In a recent post, I have been talking about planning; planning your trips for next year, selecting campgrounds you want to visit and planning attractions you want to see.  This past fall, I also included a number of events and attractions for your consideration. But this post concerns an event in a place that everyone should experience, at least once in his or her life: the Arroyo Seco Fourth of July Parade. One kind soul brought hotdogs for everyone in the crowd! For those unfamiliar with it, Arroyo Seco is a small village on the way to the Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico. Known simply as “Seco” to locals, and boasting a mere 1,149 full time residents, the population swells to thousands each year on July 4th. I wrote a post detailing this picturesque village that published on September 8, 2013. But the time to visit Arroyo Seco is on the Fourth of July as it boasts a parade like no other event in this country. The NSA made their presence known as well! Locals and tourists alike begin... [Read more...]

Dance For a Chicken at a Cajun Country Mardi Gras

February 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Dance For a Chicken at a Cajun Country Mardi Gras

Mark Twain once wrote that a traveler “has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” On horseback and in flatbed trailers, participants and musicians sing, dance, and beg for chickens. (Credit: Terri Fensel) Of the thousands of festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada, none tops Mardi Gras. Spectacular parades, unbelievable costumes, music, dancing, food, drink­—take your pick of places to indulge and enjoy. The largest celebration occurs in New Orleans, but nearly every community from Pensacola, Florida, to Galveston, Texas, has its own version of the annual party. Wherever you go, you can find the style that best suits you, including tons of family-style celebrations. From rollicking Wrecks at Pensacola Beach to catching MoonPies in Mobile, communities all along the Gulf Coast have their own way of marking Mardi Gras season. The revelry in New Orleans tends to grab the spotlight, but how about dancing for a chicken at a Cajun Country Courir... [Read more...]

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home of the USS Kidd…

February 24, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, home of the USS Kidd…

While we were checking out Louisiana, we wanted to stop in Baton Rouge to see what they had to offer for fun and interesting stops. While we didn’t have much time to  explore, we did find a couple of fun stops that fit into our schedule and interests. Our first stop was at the Bluebonnet Swamp, which is a county park located in the eastern part of the city of Baton Rouge. This 103-acre park is an ideal location to get out and explore the swamp, and it’s an exceptional stop if you are a “bird nerd.” Located just a short walk from the parking lot is a 9,500-square-foot exhibit building that houses a small gift shop and numerous animal habitats including many snakes and other reptiles.  Outside are several walking trails that lead along the swamp edge and through woods; the walks vary in length from 1/3 of a mile to 1 and 1/2 miles long.  Bluebonnet is a great place to spend an hour or so learning about and exploring, Louisiana swamp habitats.  It’s also... [Read more...]

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