Blog updated to WordPress 3.1

March 15th, 2011

We move the default from PowWeb on the east coast to Marketrends near Sacramento. Great service and speed. Updated to WordPress 3.1. We have sold our RV, but still visit Coachella Valley (Palm Springs, Palm Desert, etc) area and stay in a rented RV for a few months each winter.

Please enjoy our blog, mostly of our 2007 trip.

Article Index for 2007 Trip

December 31st, 2007

The BLOG is recorded in REVERSE chronological order.  Below is a chronological index of the entires for 2007, with links to the individual articles:

Recipies:

Enjoy!!! 

Dashing across Southern USA to California

December 4th, 2007

We are in the process of dashing back to Desert Shadows RV Resort in Cathedral City (next to Palm Springs) CA.  From Florida, we stopped in Livingston, LA; Houston, TX; Kerrville, TX; Balmorhea, TX; Las Cruces, NM; Tucson, AZ; and finally Quartzsite, AZ before reaching California.  Each stay was one night except at Kerrville where we stayed four nights at the beautiful Buckhorn Lake Resort — which we used as a base for exploring the Riverwalk in San Antonio and the German shops in fredericksburg.  While making these hops, we are traveling 200 – 320 miles in a day — about two to four times our normal travel, which is only done every three to five days.

We will be posting some pictures in this BLOG entry.

Florida

November 25th, 2007

We spent 21 days in Florida during which we visited Canadian Maritime Caravan friends, Disney-world EPCOT center, Melitta’s relatives and Herb’s grandson, and daughter & husband.  Please check out our photos (with some allegator shots) in our Photo Gallery.

Flamingo Lake RV ParkJacksonville, FL: We stayed three nights at the very nice Flamingo Lake RV Resort with its nice sites around the lake.  We kicked back and also visited Bill & Gail who where on the second part of the Canadian Maritime Caravan.  We had a nice reunion and Kabob dinner with them.

American Exhibit at EPCOTKissimmee, FL: While we normally don’t do RV parks that begin with K, but Kissimmee KOA was a nice RV park equipped for motorcoaches, so we stayed for four nights.  From here we went to the EPCOT center at Disney World where we enjoy the talent and exhibits.  We also enjoyed our first airboat ride in one of the nearby swamps.  We chose the smaller, faster boat, so it was just the two of use and a driver.

Sunset Bridge over Tampa BaySt Petersburg, FL: Upon recommendation of the Kissimmee KOA, we stayed at the St Petersburg KOA — a big mistake.  A lakeside site with bushes so thick that you can’t see the lake, besides you had to back in – looking away from the invisible lake.  All that (and less) for an expensive $79 per night for three nights.  Will in St Petersburg, Herb did some bicycling along the city’s very long bike/walking trail that was converted from a railroad track bed — very nice.  We visited Nelly, a long time family friend of Melitta, and Melitta’s brother and families.

Pelican Lake Motorcoach ResortNaples, FL: We arrived at Naples, the hometown of Christine and her husband, and Herb’s grandson – Austin.  We looked at two back to back resorts:  Silver Lake RV Resort and Pelican Lake Motorcoach Resort.  Both were nice, be we found a beautiful site in Pelican Lake which also had a patio table and chairs – perfect for our family Thanksgiving Dinner.  The cul de sac that the privately owned RV site was on was on a peninsula which extended into the lake.  It was a beautifully detailed site covered with brick pavers, except for the flower beds.  We love it, and this $400,000 site cost less to rent than the KOA in St Petersburg!  We had a wonderful eight days with Christine and her family.  Six year old Austin stayed in the RV four nights, and spent even more day with us.  He learned to swim to the bottom of the pool and retrieve four rings with one breath.

Orange Lake, FL: Maybe this should be in the next BLOG entry, as we are starting our dash back to Desert Shadows RV Resort in the Palm Springs / Palm Desert area of California.  Just an overnight stay at a nice basic RV park (Orange Lake RV & Golf Resort), that serves as a winter destination park for some folks.  They have an adjacent golf course, boat dock on Orange Lake and activities. Better than the St Petersburg KOA and was only $27.80 per night.

Milton, FL: Oops, just realized that we have one more night in Florida on the 26th.  Again a one night stop over on our dash to California.  (More later)

Charleston, Hilton Head, SC and Savannah, GA

November 5th, 2007

Outside of Charleston, on James Island, we stayed at a very large county park – James Island County Park – where the RV park just occupied a small corner of it.  One of the nicest city/county parks we have seen, with an abundant supplies of activities for the park visitor – fishing lake, climbing walls, asphalt walking and biking trails, etc.  Only problem we had there was that as we arrived there was a 12 inch water line break just outside of the park entrance – 2 miles from the RV park.  They said it would be fixed in about three hours, so we proceeded to do our laundry with water we had in our tanks on board the coach, using up most of our reserves.  Three days later, after deciding that the failing fixes to the elbow at the end of the 12 inch line were not working, they tapped into the line a hundred feet back — and we got water.  The park brought in porta-potties and potable water tanks.  We carried three five-gallon buckets to our coach and syphoned it into our fresh water tanks. 

Festival of LightsThe county park was setting up for their Holiday Festival of Lights — all volunteers — but the three mile display range among the top ten in the USA.  Officially turned on after we left, but we could see many of the light displays in the evening while they were testing.  Check our photo gallery for more pictures.

USS YorktownWhile in Charleston, we did a trolley tour of the city, a boat trip to Fort Sumter -where the Civil War started, and fascinating tour of Patriots Point Navel & Maritime Museum — where we toured four ships: Clamagore submarine, Laffey destroyer, Ingham coast guard cutter, and the amazing U.S.S. Yorktown aircraft carrier.  No OSHA or fear of law suits – I was wondering around the engine room and over the propeller drive shaft, up and down steps to narrow walkways – with no one around — mmmm, which way did I come from.

Hilton Head Island Marina and RV ResortAfter our four night stay in Charleston, we drove 106 miles to Hilton Head Harbor RV Resort & Marina where we stayed five nights at a nice waterside sight.  We explored Hilton Head Island and the Hilton Head Sun City homes just off of the island – nice homes, liked most of the models, low prices, but we not interested in this area.  We did a 2.5 hour Grayline Trolley tour of the island, but since the island is so divided with Plantations (of homes) we could not see it was informative but not a good as other tours we have done.

DaquiriesWe drove 35 miles over to Savannah, Georgia, where we did another interesting bus tour, and then drove back to Bay Street where we wandered through the stores, art booths, and watch small boat races (small outboard hydroplanes).  Liquor laws are different in some cities.  One business sold multiple flavors of daiquiris, which could be carried out to the street — mmmmm good.

Fayetteville NC & Myrtle Beach SC

October 27th, 2007

We drove a long 250 miles and stayed two enjoyable nights at the Fayetteville, North Carolina, Elks Lodge. Boy were they friendly — had a nice welcome kit with maps, things to do, pencil, ruler, etc and tour of the lodge.  We attended they Friday night seafood dinner.  Sunday Airborne & Special Ops Museum Lobbymorning, when we were planning to leave, they came over to the RV, invited us to a table that was waiting for us for breakfast.  30A service, water, cable TV, no sewer.  Swimming pool was closed for the season.  The lodge celebrated their 100th anniversary.  They were voted the All American Lodge (less than 300 members category) for four years in a row.  Best wishes to this Elks Lodge.

We enjoyed the Airborne & Special Operations Museum located near Fort Bragg. (lobby photo above)

View to the south on Myrtle Beach124 miles later we stayed adjacent to the beach at Myrtle Beach Travel Park for a full week, the first part of which was very nice — Herb enjoyed body surfing in the ocean — but much needed rain (for South Carolina, not us) arrived for the last few days.  Myrtle Beach is a mini Branson MO with a half dozen different major production shows also with patriotic endings to each — we got ticket for five of them, listed below in the order of enjoyment (but all were good):

  • Alabama Theater – One The Show.    Fantastic Show, Ricky Mokel as comedian, Songs from the Broadway musical Mary Poppins and other music from Broadway, with a wonderful Patriotic ending. Song by Lee Greenwood, a tribute to the Veterans.
  • Legends in Concert:  Artists Jerry Lee Lewis, Cheer, The Temptations, Garth Brooks and Elvis. Fabulous singing and dancing, with patriotic ending.
  • Live at the Carolina Opry Theater:  Good vibrations The Magic of the 60, 70 and 80’s. Excellent Piano Concertos with theme songs from famous movies from that era. Phenomenal performance by 4 Tap dancers who used to compete recently on “America’s got Talent”. They truly earned their place in this show. And GREAT Patriotic ending. Song: Tie a Yellow ribbon round the Old Oak Tree, then tribute to Veterans with confetti at the end. Show had no intermission.
  • Dixie Stampede dinner and show (a Dolly Parton theater). Along with pre-show. Juggler from Japan. Excellent .  Main show was great and dinner too.
  • The Carolina Opry “Calvin Gilmore Presents".  This one was a Variety Show. Phenomenal performance by 4 Tap dancers who used to compete recently on “America’s got Talent”. They truly earned their place in this show.

Saturday, we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary at Greg Norman’s Australian Grille, voted the best restaurant in the area.

Williamsburg, Jamestown & Yorktown, VA

October 18th, 2007

Jamestown Visitor CenterAfter travelling 156 miles from Washington DC, we stayed at the American Heritage RV Park for five nights — a perfect base for exploring the America’s Historic Triangle – the birthplace of American Democracy that is hosting its 400th anniversary this year.  In 1607, settlers and seamen came ashore on Jamestown Island to establish the first permanent English settlement in the new world.  A beautiful exhibit building was built for the 400th anniversary (shown right).

Conversation with George WashingtonWilliamsburg was established in 1633 as a fortified area between the York and James Rivers.  The rebuilt historic town is fascinating, especially because of its historic re-enactment characters roaming and performing on the streets.  In the picture on the left, "A conversation with George Washington" was excellently done, including the in-character question and answer session at the end of the show.  "A public audience with Patrick Henry" held in the courtyard behind the coffee shop was also exceptional — what a way to learn about the birth of our country.  Later a two hour show, "Revolutionary City: Collapse of Royal Government", involving a cast of two dozen players, moved up and down Duke of Gloucester Street, with the tourists following the performance.  One could spend a week just in Williamsburg learning about history and beliefs of our founding fathers.

Crystal Concert on ArmonicaIn Williamsburg, we enjoyed Dean Shostak’s Crystal Concert — verious musical instruments all made from glass.  Shown here, with a video close-up projected behind him, is a wonderful performance on a Armonica, developed by Ben Franklin. 44 revolving glass dishes tuned for each note of over three octives.  He plays using wet fingers on the revolving bowls.  Beside this, he had five other instruments, including a crystal violin.  He was born in Williamsburg.

Yorktown victory CenterIn Yorktown, we visited the museum of the American Revolution featuring exhibits and living history in re-created Continental Army encampment and 1780s farm. The pathway to the exhibits had a great timeline which helped gel what we have learned in Williamsburg, Jamestown and even Boston and Plymouth.  We forgot to visit the Riverwalk Landing as rain was threatening.

If you ever get a change, visit this wonderful Historic Triangle of towns.  Shuttle buses run between these three nearby towns and also within Williamsburg.

Check out our Williamsburg Photo Gallery.

Washington, DC

October 13th, 2007

Union StationBy skipping the Art Museums, it still took us 16 days in Washington DC to see “most” of it!  A drive of 149 miles took us from the Elks Lodge in Mariton NJ (outside of Philadelphia PA) to Cherry Hill Park in College Park, MD.  This is a great park as a home base for touring Washington DC.  A metro bus line to the subway starts in the RV park, and Grayline offers their own bus for taking us to Union Station (photo on right) for various bus tours.

National CathedralThe National Cathedral as spectacular.  It is an Episcopal church that will host services for all religions.  We took the standard 45 tour, but then paid for a 1.5 hour, behind the scene tour where we climbed higher and higher, walked narrow walkways, went out on the roof, went between the ceiling and the roof and went up stairs to go down (Scissor stairs)!  See the photo gallery.

Washington DC SubwayThe subway system is great for getting to whatever part of Washington DC you wanted.  We spend parts of three days touring the National Air & Space Museum.  Other places toured included:  National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian, Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Memorial, FDR Memorial, Jefferson Memorial. Lincoln Memorial, World War II Monument, Arlington Cemetery, Mt. Vernon (George Washington’s home), Spy Museum, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, National Archives, US Capitol, US Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Supreme Court, and National Archives.  Whew!!!  The Library of Congress is an amazing building — put this on the top of your list of “must see”.

Herb helping Tiger Woods with puttingMadame Tussauds Wax Museum opened in Washington DC while we were visiting.  Unlike other wax museums we have seen, this is a “hands on” museum.  No ropes keeping your away.  Shake hands with the wax figures, sit down and talk with them, or as in the case of this photo, offer your un-professional advice to Tiger Woods on his putt shot!

Be sure to check out our photos of Washington DC in two photo albums:  Week 1 and Week 2.

New York, New York

September 27th, 2007

Liberty Harbor RV ParkWatch which lane you get into when on the New Jersey Turnpike with an RV towing a car — we could not pick up a toll ticket, so when we got to the exit in Jersey City, we were charge over $24.00, instead of $5.80 for the short trip!  Liberty Harbor RV Park (across from the Statue of Liberty seen in this photo) was waiting for our arrival after driving 123 miles from Connecticut.  This was a convienient RV Park with a water taxi 100 yards away, or a subway five blocks away, from New York City.

View of Manhatten to the southMonday, we did an open top Grayline tour after first taking the subway from Jersey City to 9-11 Ground Zero.  We both have been to NYC in the 1990’s on business trips.  Ground zero is under heavy construction and unfortunately the view was disappointing.  St. Paul’s Chapel, used by the rescue workers, has some very reflective displays.

Tuesday, we met up with our friends (Tom & Millie – we also connected with in boston) who were back in NYC from their coastal cruise.  We attended the play GREASE! — where the stars were selected by their TV Show auditions.  We enjoyed it a lot.  We had dinner after the play and Melitta and I returned to our RV via subway after midnight!

NYC Central ParkAdventure Caravan wagonmasters for our Canadian Maritime trip arrived at the RV Park with an east coast caravan of RVs.  We were invited on their bus tour and to a play with them Wednesday evening, so we extended our stay in the park.  This was very convenient, as the bus came to the park, picked the group up, and took us on the tour and to/from the theater.  The play, "Wicked", was different.  The timeframe lead up to the Wizard of Oz, where you learned how the scarecrow and the tin man were originated.

Thursday, we departed for a 84 mile trip to Marlton Elks Lodge in New Jersey for a stop, and Herb’s birthday celebration, on our way to Washington DC.

Please check out our photo gallery of New York City.

After the Canadian Caravan: Maine to New York

September 22nd, 2007

We got behind in making BLOG entries, so we have consolidated our seven stops before New York City into one BLOG entry.  More photographs are in our trip gallery at www.Where-RV-Now.us/gallery/v/2007/200709memarict/ .

 

Bangor, ME (08/31-09/04/2007)

Final farewell party

The 49 day Canadian Maritime caravan came to an end with some of the RVs converging on the Pumpkin Patch RV Resort for a five day stay after a 176 drive from St John, New Brunswick.  We stayed at this RV Resort a for a few days before the folks converged in Houlton, ME for the start of the caravan.  Revisited Bar Harbor and Cadillac Mountain plus Arcadia national Park with some new friends from our Caravan.  Came together for a final post-farewell pot luck and celebrated Melitta’s birthday on this Labor Day weekend. 

 

Kennebunkport, ME (09/05-08/2007)

Drove 148 miles to Red Apple Campground in Kennebunkport ME.  Explored the area of Kennebunk, and Kennebunkport, where President George Bush Sr lives in the above home.  We enjoyed frequent walks on the beaches, and searched out a couple of light houses.  Still winding down from the great Canadian Maritime caravan.  At the campground we enjoyed the local music and singing which the park held in the club house.  Herb had to get up and sing part of "If I We A Rich Man" from Fiddler On The Roof.

 

Salisbury, MA (09/09-11/2007)

Newburyport

Traveling 53 miles to Beach Rose RV Park.  It was rainy upon our arrival, but was the first time they had rain for more than a month! Exploring the coast and an afternoon visiting to Newburyport, with the charming store fronts and brick sidewalks shown above. The park was not a good site for DirecTV, but our Datastorm satellite 91 seem to clear the trees.  The park had cable, but we love the DVR feature of our DirecTV which can automatically capture our favorite shows while we are gone.

 

Foxboro & Boston, MA (09/12-14/2007)

Boston Tour

Moving on to Foxboro, MA, a suburb of Boston, after travelling 101 miles.  The first full day there we drove over to Plymouth, MA to see the Mayflower II (50 year old replica), and Plymouth Rock and Plantation.  Herb was there exactly 50 years prior with his parents on a "around the USA vacation", just after this Mayflower arrived from England.  We did the mandatory visit to Plymouth Rock (1620), toured the town of Plymouth and went a few miles south to the Plymouth Plantation where the docents are in period costumes.  (A post note:  When we later got down to Williamsburg, we learned they arrived in 1607 in Jamestown.  These folks brought their Church of England religion with then, whereas the Plymouth pilgrims were fleeing the Church with their own religious beliefs — check out our Williamsburg blog dated 10/18/2007).

The above picture was taken the second full day in Boston.  We picked up our friends (Tom & Millie) when their cruise ship docked for the day.  Our previous arrangement was to hire a private docent guide (pictured above) for the full three hour walking tour of the Boston Freedom Trail.  It was worth sharing the $225 expense for the personal attention (instead of a group of up to 40 people).  We ended the day with a water taxi across the bay, a ground taxi to their ship, and for Melitta and I, a bus and subway trip to the suburbs where we drove back to the RV Park.

 

Cape Cod & Hyannis, MA (09/15-17/2007)

Edgartown on Martha Vineyard

The next day we drove 71 miles to Hyannis, MA, on Cape Cod, and stayed at the Hyannis Elks Lodge for three nights.  We used this as a base for exploring Cape Cod all the way to its tip, President J. F. Kennedy’s Museum, and having fun helping the Elks Lodge tie up a whole pig for roasting on a spit — which we ate for dinner the next evening. 

The ferry ride over to Martha’s Vineyard along with a bus tour around that island was very enjoyable.  The above photo is a picture of the Edgartown Harbor on Martha’s Vineyard.

 

Narragansett, RI (09/18-20/2007)

Mansion

We drove 107 miles over to the Fisherman Memorial State Park in Narragansett, RI, for three days, from where we visited one of the nations largest casino, and Newport, where we boarded on a bus tour and walked the Cliff Trail by the mansions.  Above is a shot of the music room in "The Breakers (Cornelius Vanderbilt II and Alice) 70 room villa".

 

Branford, CT (09/21-22/2007)

A couple of kick-back days at the Branford Elks Lodge before we head to New York City.  There was a little surprise as we followed the published instructions in the Elks Lodges RV Parking book.  It wanted to take our 12’10" coach under a 9’6" overpass.  Fortunately, there were enough automated warning lights to detour us off that local road onto a side neighborhood road from where we pulled over and called the lodge for alternative instructions (since we could not easily turn around).  I provided the publication with new direct instructions (without the three mile detour we had to do).