Tag Archives: campground

Fun in Florida in the winter!

I’m currently juggling three websites, and this one seems to suffer a bit.  My goal (hopefully soon) is to post twice a week on here.  Currently, I’m really not doing well at that!

blogging on iphone

When we first hit the road, I thought I’d have tons of time to write.  I mean, I quit a full time job that included a hour and a half commute each way.  I should have tons of time, right?  But we are work camping right now to help supplement our income.  That requires at least 30 hours a week working for the campground for an hourly wage plus campsite.

My other websites, Suzy’s Sitcom and Daily Holiday Blog have taken off this year and I’m trying to keep up with them.  Hopefully very soon we will not need the supplemental income provided by work camping.  Not that I dislike working at the campgrounds, but I cannot somehow make more hours in my day!

rain at the koa

Dave and our friend Judy on a rainy KOA day…

In the meantime, life goes on at the campground!  We are currently in St. Petersburg, Florida for the winter, parked amongst the snowbirds from Canada and northern US.  We will be here two more months and then will be moving onto the Grand Canyon in Arizona for the summer.

My sister came to town this past week to spend a few days with us.  Here is a short video that I put together from her visit!

The winds were pretty strong and it felt like winter finally arrived in Florida.  But we had tons of fun in spite of the the windy weather.  We look forward to visiting with her again when she comes to Arizona!

Dave needs a haircut pretty badly.  After taking a photo of him with his locks blowing in the wind, I couldn’t help myself.  I had to make a romance novel cover out of it.

romance novel cover humor

And then post it on Facebook.

Because that is what I do.

By the way, Buffy Dickenson is my make-believe stripper name.  (Just put together the name of your first pet and the street you grew up on).

What is yours?  LOL!

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Christmas in Florida

We have been settled in St. Petersburg, Florida for about a month now.  I am still behind on posting, but wanted to take some time to catch you up on our travels.  In the past month we have visited our favorite place, Tybee Island, GA, attended my daughter’s wedding in Atlanta, and even endured some RV problems.

st petersburg florida koa

But we finally made it to our winter destination, St. Petersburg/Madeira Beach KOA.  We will be here until March or April, when we begin to head west.

st petersburg florida koa

I have to tell you that I miss the snow.  As pretty as Florida is, I would prefer to be trekking through several feet of pure white snow.  But the RV and Dave both would like to have a warmer winter.

We arrived to 95 degree weather with nearly 100% humidity.  Looks like the RV and Dave both got their wish.

Our new spot is quite beautiful and the campground is like a little resort, so I really do not have a lot to complain about.  They tucked us in with the snowbirds who all seem very nice.   And we even have grass!

st petersburg florida koa

Ralph and Faith like it too.  They both have lots of things to keep their interest.  In fact, there are so many lizards running around here that it is hard to get Ralph to take a poop without getting distracted.

And Faith has an issue with herons (those tall legged white birds with the long necks), so there is always plenty of excitement when I take them outside.

st petersburg florida koa

We are working at the campground here.  I am in the office and Dave is working on the grounds.  And…we are getting the place spiffied up for Christmas!

Dave put up all the blow up decorations this week, and then spent quite a bit of time freaking Ralph out over this outhouse Santa.

Ralph is not a fan of Santas exiting an outhouse.  Just saying.

st petersburg florida christmas

The streets are decorated too!  What do you do when there are no fir trees around?

You improvise.

st petersburg florida christmas

We felt the need to decorate the coach too.  Since we had no nearby fir trees to decorate, Dave and I picked out a tiny tree at a local Christmas tree stand.

Charlie Brown would be proud.

st petersburg florida christmas

Our tree turned out great!  We ended up with just enough room in the living room for it.  The little table is actually my printer box covered in blankets.  (I’m the master of multi- purpose!)

st petersburg florida

Oh.  Did I mention there is a beach nearby?  It is 2.5 miles from the campground to Madeira Beach.  There will be plenty of beach photos in the next few months.

We have yet to located any great eating places to share with you, but I’m sure we will have a top 10 list before we leave the area.

st petersburg florida

Since ice cream is my second hobby, I do feel the need to mention this fun soft serve stand, Twistee Treat.  There are actually a few of them in the area, all shaped like giant ice cream cones.

st petersburg florida

And apparently, I have my new challenge for this leg of the trip.  Trying each and everyone of those awesome flavors!

Oh, and by the way.  That is a medium size cone there.  Can’t even imagine what the large one might look like.   I think I’m going to like Florida.

st petersburg florida

On the beach there are snowmen.  This will probably be as close as I get to snow this winter.  I’ll take what I can get.

st petersburg florida

And the sunsets here are beautiful too.  Christmas in Florida can be quite beautiful!

If you squint a bit, that white sand could be snow.  Right?

Stay tuned!
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Fall in New Jersey

Did I mention that I’m terminally behind in posts?  We have been in Florida for nearly a month and I’m still writing about the trip down!

We took a month to get from Bar Harbor to St. Petersburg, FL and during that time we did a lot of relaxing, visited tourist attractions, and even attended my daughter’s wedding.

After leaving the New England Coast in mid October, we headed to New Jersey.

new jersey rv travel

New Jersey?  You bet!  Most folks think New Jersey is just an extension of New York City with nothing but pavement, traffic and congestion.  And I’m here to tell you that most of New Jersey is nothing like that.

new jersey rv travel

We were headed to Lake Hopatcong, NJ, where Dave grew up.  The plan was to visit friends and check out the area.  He hadn’t been back in years!

We parked the RV at Panther Lake Camping Resort.  It is a 160 acre camping retreat located next to a scenic 45 acre lake in Andover, New Jersey. Loved the beautiful trees and the nice grassy lots!  The RV park was just a short driving distance to our destination, Lake Hopatcong.

Hopatcong NJ

Lake Hopatcong is the largest freshwater body in New Jersey.  Located 30 miles from the Delaware River and 40 miles from New York City, it is a mostly residential lake whose few public access points include Hopatcong State Park and Lee’s County Park Marina.  

Most of the shoreline is privately owned by individual lakefront residents, homeowner or community associations, or restaurants and marinas.

new jersey rv travel

Wildlife along the shore was plentiful.  In fact the deer were a tad too friendly for my taste.  They did not have any fear of humans and would pretty much come right up to you.

They sure were beautiful, though.

new jersey rv travel

Here we were able to meet up with Dave’s childhood friend, Daniel.  He and his family still live right here where they grew up.  They hadn’t see each other in over 30 years.  It was a fun reunion!

new jersey rv travel

We went out to dinner with Daniel and his family where we all insisted on sitting outside along the water, bundled up in our sweaters.

Because when you are in such a pretty area, you really need to enjoy it.  Right?

It was a lot of fun meeting this amazing family, and we do hope to visit with them again in the future!

new jersey rv travel

As for the town of Hopatcong and the area around it really seemed to stand still in time.  According to Dave, this ice cream stand was a regular destination of his as a child.  He says it looks just the same.  Home of the Skyscraper, Cliff’s Ice Cream is a regular tourist attraction.

Of course, we had to stop and get a bit of ice cream.  Sometimes I have to sacrifice for the benefit of the website.  Right?

new jersey rv travel

And I’m here to tell you that New Jersey is a beautiful place in the fall!  Check out this fabulous pumpkin and gourd display!

new jersey rv travel

The Lake Hopatcong area is home to many U-pick farms.  And many of them are open year round!  Depending upon the season, you can find all types of fruits, vegetables and flowers available.

new jersey rv travel

We spent quite a bit of time at several of the farms in the Andover area, picking large black berries, cucumbers, green peppers, and fresh corn.

new jersey rv travel

Just look at this bounty!  You can’t find fresher corn that that!  And if you are looking for a great way to make it and some yummy berry cobbler on the grill, be sure to check out my 3 Berry Cobbler and Grilled Corn on the Cob recipes!

new jersey rv travel

Faith says we need to get back on the road now.  Note the gapped teeth in the front.  We call her our little hillbilly.

Anyway, we headed south from New Jersey after a fun visit.  Our next long-term destination would be Tybee Island, Georgia, for a brief reprieve before we attended my daughter’s wedding in Atlanta.

Stay tuned!
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A visit to the New England Coast

I’m a little behind on posts.  We are currently in St. Petersburg, FL at our current campground job.  Over the past month, we’ve traveled south,  attended a beautiful wedding, and even had some major RV issues.  Lot’s of ground to cover!  So I’m going pick where we left off…

After leaving New Hampshire, we headed toward the coast to check out Boston Cape Cod KOA.  Upon arrival, we were greeted by the manager who told us that Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA had won the Founders Award!

This is one of the top awards given out by KOA based on customer satisfaction.  We were thrilled to be part of it!  And how awesome to be recognized as part of a successful team!

boston cape cod koa

And speaking of great campgrounds, Boston Cape Cod had lots of green space and large shady RV spots.  We made ourselves at home and pulled out some maps to check out the area.

new england massachusettes

We wanted to see the beach and decided to start with Nobska Point Lighthouse.  The Nobska Point Light is located at the southwestern tip of Cape Cod, in Massachusetts. It overlooks Martha’s Vineyard and Nonamessett Island.

The light station was established in 1826, and the current tower dates to 1876.

If you don’t know by now, I simply cannot pass up a lighthouse photo.

new england massachusettes

Or a fun bird photo for that matter.  It was rainy that day and the ocean was full of white caps and foam which made for a cool background in this seagull photo.

new england massachusettes

And look at the rocks!  Have I mentioned before how much I love fun rocks?  In fact, last time we were in Massachusetts, I found rocks to love.

After a day of perusing the beaches, we stopped at the local diner.

massachusettes diner

One of the many things I love about the New England area is all the vintage diners.  Yummy food served quickly and in a nostalgic atmosphere.  This diner, interesting enough is called “Dave’s Diner“.  Easy to remember, right?

While it looks like a vintage diner, it was actually built in 1998.  The diner colors, layout and decor were carefully chosen to create the fun and colorful look of the 50’s era.

And the food was delicious!

plymouth rock portico

Of course, no trip to Cape Cod would be complete without a visit to Plymouth Rock, right?

Upon entering the town of Plymouth, we saw this impressive structure along the shore.  The rock was waiting for us inside! We prepared ourselves to be duly impressed.  This rock had seen so much history!

Here is where the pilgrims first stepped onto shore from their ship, the Mayflower!

plymouth rock

Well…it must have been a small ship.  Or the rock shrunk.  Or something.  I wasn’t prepared for how small it actually was.

And it turns out after some research that no historical evidence exists to confirm this rock as the Pilgrim’s actual stepping stone to the New World.  Plymouth rock is more of a symbol of the courage and faith of the men and women who founded the first colony in New England.

And that is okay with me.  Even if it was slightly underwhelming.

plymouth rock

According to my research, the rock as it exists today is estimated to be only about 1/3 to 1/2 of it’s original size due to being broken and chipped away at by 18th and 19th century souvenir hunters.

Oh, and notice the scar across it?  Apparently sometime in the 1800’s, it was decided to move part of the rock to the center of town where folks could better enjoy it.  That part was eventually moved back to join the rest of the rock a few years later, and “frankensteined” back onto the other half.

plymouth rock

We might have been a tiny bit disappointed by the rock, but the replica of the Mayflower definitely made up for it.  And the beautiful sunset behind it.

Red skies at night means “sailors delight”.

New England was beautiful.  Someday, we hope to return and spend a bit more time there.  But time was going fast.  We had to be in Atlanta by November 1 for my daughter’s wedding and then onto our new job in St. Pete.

So we hit the road again.

traveling sitcom dogs

The dog’s snagged their favorite spots in the front of the coach, and we set out for our next stop, Lake Hopatcong, NJ.

New Jersey, you say? What the heck is in New Jersey?  Well, you just might be surprised…

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The White Mountains of New Hampshire

We officially left the state of Maine on October 2.  What a fabulous six months we had!  We met so many wonderful people and enjoyed an amazingly beautiful area of the country.  And now the adventure continues!

dave driving with dog

Dave wanted to check out the White Mountains in New Hampshire.  Faith was much more interested in seeing if there were any roadside hotdog stands.

Since Dave was driving, those hotdog stands would have to wait until another day…

moose crossing sign maine

It wasn’t too long and we left the state of Maine and all it’s Moose Crossing signs behind.  Did we ever see a moose?  Well, no.  Lived there six months and the closest I got to a moose was this sign.

traveling in new hampshire

And I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t see a Fall leaf change too.  Fortunately, we got to see plenty of colorful trees on the way to New Hampshire.   Fall is definitely here!

mount washington new hampshire

Dave wanted to ride the Cog Railway to the top of Mount Washington.  So, we chose the closest KOA, which happened to be Twin Mountain KOA.  This was a beautifully maintained privately owned campground at the base of the White Mountains.

We enjoyed talking to the owners who told us that they purchased this particular campground sight unseen several years ago.  Since then, they had done many upgrades including beautiful private tent areas and even a caboose as a “cabin” rental!

mount washington new hampshire

So what the heck is the Cog Railway?

It is the world’s first mountain climbing rack and pinion railway.  It is the second steepest railway in the world with an average grade of over 25%, and a maximum grade of 37.41%!

The three mile trek up Mount Washington takes about 40 minutes as you ascend to the summit peak at 6,288 feet above sea level.

mount washington new hampshire

The Cog Railway originated in 1852 when after becoming lost near the summit of Mount Washington, Sylvester Marsh decided to create a better way for people to reach the highest mountain peak in the Northeast.

One Hundred and Forty Years later, The Mount Washington Cog Railway is a National Historic Engineering Landmark!   The vintage steam engines, replica coaches and biodiesel locomotives are well worth the visit.

We loved the running commentary from the brakeman on board who filled us in on the history of the railway, the mountain, and other fun facts.  And then there was the cool optical illusion of the trees and structures along the side of the tracks being extremely tilted.  (When in fact it was us that was tilted!)

mount washington new hampshire

And then there was Mount Washington!  The summit was cold and clear and we could see for miles!

mount washington new hampshire

In fact, in the photo above if you look where the sky meets the land on the horizon, there is a strip of blue there.  That is the Atlantic ocean!

mount washington new hampshire

Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288 ft (1,917 m).

The mountain is famous for dangerously erratic weather. On the afternoon of April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory actually recorded a windspeed of 231 miles per hour (372 km/h) at the summit.  This was the world record for most of the 20th century.

Like most big mountains, it makes it’s own weather and conditions at the top are often poor.  We were fortunate to arrive on a clear day as more often than not, clouds cover the peak.

At peak of the mountain, there was a museum to enjoy which included an exhibit titled “Extreme Mount Washington“.  This video is a bit about the exhibit and the crazy weather that Mount Washington loves to share.

mount washington new hampshire

And here above the clouds is the Appalachian Trail!  One of things I’ve always wanted to do is take that trail from Georgia all the way to it’s end point in Maine on Mount Katahdin.  I didn’t realize that not only did you have to tackle that huge mountain in Maine, but you had one quiet a bit larger just a state away!

mt washington new hampshire5

The state of New Hampshire dressed up and greeted us with beautiful leaves, amazing weather and a wonderful start to our trek heading south.

Dave has a good idea every now and then.  But don’t tell him I said so.

Onward to Massachusetts!

Mini Apple Pies from fresh Maine apples!

We have been living at the KOA Oceanside in Bar Harbor Maine since mid April.  We will be leaving here in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, I wanted to take advantage of some of the perks that we can get from this particular campground.

bar harbor oceanside koa

“What perks?”, you say.  Well, yes we have beautiful ocean views, amazing sunsets, and fabulous weather.  But there is something else here that we want to experience…

homemade mini apple pies

The wild Maine apple trees!  One whole side of the campground is covered in beautiful apple trees.  We noticed them first in the spring as they filled up with delicate white flowers…

homemade mini apple pies

Throughout the summer, we watched the apples form.  Those that have been coming here for years told us that the apples are tart and make great pies.  Nobody knows what type they are, but looking around on Mount Desert Island, it appears that they are everywhere!

homemade mini apple pies

And with the coming of September, they finally ripened!  While walking the dogs near the trees, I could here the occasional “thump” of a ripe apple hitting the ground.  So, I sent Dave out on a mission.  Come back with a good bunch of apples and I’ll make pie!

I didn’t have to ask him twice.

homemade mini apple pies

Just look at those yummy apples!  I wanted to make pie to share with all my coworkers, so I tried my hand at mini apple pies.  And they turned out great!  Want the recipe?

homemade mini apple pies

Mini Apple Pies

6-8 tart apples
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp, lemon juice
ready made pastry for double crust pie
1 egg white

Begin by peeling, coring and dicing the apples.  Drop them into a bowl of cold water mixed with 1 tsp. lemon juice.  (This keeps the apples from browning).

homemade mini apple pies

In large bowl, mix together sugar, brown sugar, spices and flour

homemade mini apple pies

Drain the apples and add them to the sugar and spice mix.  Toss to coat.

homemade mini apple pies

Spread out one of the pie crust and use a cup or round cookie cutter to cut out individual circles.  Push them into the individual cups in a non-stick cupcake pan.

homemade mini apple pies

Fill each dough lined cup with apple mixture.  Use the other pie crust to cut lattice strips.  Lay the strips across each cup one way.  Brush with egg white, then lay strips across the other way as shown above.

homemade mini apple pies

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

Distribute to your coworkers and watch them smile.

That’s the best part, I think.

Mini Apple Pies!
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Suzy Myers
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 18
Delicious little pies that make great little desserts!
  • 6-8 tart apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp, lemon juice
  • ready made pastry for double crust pie
  • 1 egg white
  1. Begin by peeling, coring and dicing the apples.
  2. Drop them into a bowl of cold water mixed with 1 tsp. lemon juice. (This keeps the apples from browning).
  3. In large bowl, mix together sugar, brown sugar, spices and flour
  4. Drain the apples and add them to the sugar and spice mix. Toss to coat.
  5. Spread out one of the pie crusts and use a cup or round cookie cutter to cut out individual circles. Push them into the individual cups in a non-stick cupcake pan.
  6. Fill each dough lined cup with apple mixture. Use the other pie crust to cut lattice strips. Lay the strips across each cup one way.
  7. Brush with egg white, then lay strips across the other way as shown above.
  8. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.


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8 Things we do not love about RV living…

We get asked a lot about what it is like living full time in a RV.  I talk about how much fun our adventure has been so far, and really it has.  It is so exciting to enjoy the sights and sounds of this beautiful country.  Our new lifestyle has resulted in better health for both of us, much less stress, and excitement around every corner.

bar harbor rv

But in an effort to keep things real for those of you that might be considering this particular lifestyle, Dave and I wanted to point out a few things that are not so great about full time RV living.

Granted, we have only been full timers since April of this year, and I imagine in another year, our priorities may be different and our list of things we love and do not love might change.  But for right now, here is our top 8 things that we do not love about RV living:

interior rv traveling sitcom

The Poop Issue

When living in a RV, one has to deal with poop on a much more personal level.  Both our poop and the dogs poop.  While the bathroom in our RV is definitely several steps above a port-a-potty, I have to admit that it is still a toilet situated over a poop holding tank.

A poop holding tank that is full of…well… poop.

rv black and gray tanks

We have two holding tanks.  The gray water tank holds leftover dishwater, shower water, etc .  The black water tank has the job of holding the poop.  Every few days, Dave flushes out the black water tank with water from the gray water tank.  He then adds a bit of water and a tank treatment which helps keep odors at bay and breaks down things.

In general, the bathroom smells fine.  But dealing with poop is much more labor intensive than simply flushing a toilet.

This is coming from someone who goes on eight hour plane flights and never uses the bathroom once due to the fear of accidentally getting locked in there with all that blue water and the potential of turbulence.  Heck, I can’t even use the public restrooms without having to run some water in the background!

The hubby says, “Then just use the woods!”  But I pee on my socks every time…

Too much information?  Ha! Sorry…

life at the campground

Walking the dogs

While we are talking about poop, we cannot leave out the dogs.  I have to say that I do miss the days when we could just put the dogs out the back door and let them do their business.

Granted, walking the dogs is good for all of us.  But they do need walked several times a day, rain or shine.  Waking up in the morning with rain pelting the roof and knowing that I have to go out in the pouring rain and stand while Ralph takes ten minutes deciding what area he would like to pee in definitely puts a damper on my morning.

walking dogs bar harbor

Unlike Faith, Ralph took a while to get comfortable going to the bathroom on the leash.  And to this day, he has to circle an area for a while before he finds the perfect spot.

And whatever you do, do not watch him.  He will quit in mid-poop.  And then we will have to start all over again!

Oh, and then there is the fun bit about carrying fresh warm poop bags to the dumpster.

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Washing dishes

Yeah, I knew about this going in.  Working full time at the campground, running several websites and crafting in between, leaves me not so much time to do those things I really do not like doing in the first place.  As a perpetual procrastinator, I tend to leave dishes until the last possible moment.  Resulting in emergency dish washing in order to get dinner on the table.

Problems with the RV

Currently, the steps to the front door go up on their own accord.  Which could be a potential issue when we are ready to go to the next campsite, and they choose not to go up that day.

Two televisions turn them selves on occasionally without our help- usually coinciding with the slamming of the front door.

We called out the local repair guy and both  the steps and the televisions worked seamlessly.  Of course!

traveling sitcom rv living

The awning goes in on its own.  Granted, it has a sensor that will pull it in when it gets windy.  Apparently, it’s definition of wind is different than ours and if we do not shut the motor off, it rolls itself in quite dramatically while we are trying to sit in the shade with our iced tea.

Last week, I went to take a shower and we had no hot water.  The electric hot water heater decided not to work.  We are fortunate to have a gas alternative and switched to that.  When we called the RV repair guy out, the electric heater started right up.

He thinks we are crazy.

bar harbor oceanside koa maine camping

Mosquitos and other pests

Uggghhh!  In this part of the country, mosquitos are pretty darn plentiful.  And much to my dismay, they absolutely love me.  The scent of mosquito repellant is now my new perfume.

While working at the front counter the other day, an errant mosquito flew in and bit me right on the nose.  Much to Dave’s enjoyment,  I ended up looking like Broom Hilda the rest of the evening.


Unfriendly and inconsiderate campers

There I said it.  There are those that have absolutely no camping etiquette.  They are the ones that park their car in the small area that you call your front yard.  They take short cuts through your campsite, dropping trash and making tons of noise along the way, setting off both dogs into a noisy bark-fest.  And then complain that your dogs are barking.

Tyler Kealey plays “Mama’s got a Squeeze Box” by The Who as part of his video a day challenge in 2014.

They play loud music past midnight.  Sit outside playing an accordion, electric guitar, or drum set (yes, all the above has happened in the past few weeks alone!).   Who the heck brings an accordion while camping?  Well, somebody did last week.

Not sure what they were playing, but Dave and I both had The Who’s Moma’s Got a Squeeze Box stuck in our heads for a week.

Now you do too.

You’re welcome!

Lack of Space

Again, I knew this going in.  There is not much space for crafting and I spend more time looking for my supplies than actually doing the craft.  Really!  I tried to be organized.  I labeled many containers and stored them all over the camper.  But when I am looking for one particular tool or paintbrush or fabric swatch, I spend the next hour searching all compartments until I finally run across it.

rv life camping traveling sitcom

Bumpy Roads

Coming up to Maine from Atlanta, we encountered lots and lots of terribly maintained roads.  In a car, you do not notice them as much, but when driving a huge motorhome, each bump and ridge is magnified ten-fold.  Dave said that I need to mention in particular, parts of I-85 North and the entirety of I-84.

Our coach shook so much over I-84 that when we finally reached our destination, not only was our bedroom door entirely off it’s hinges, but only one of the televisions would come on.

Unless of course, we slam the front door.

cadillac mountain bar harbor maine

So that is our top 8 gripes for right now.  I have to say that for every gripe, there are ten things we love.  I mean, just check out this view.  How could you not love that?

Living in a RV full time is not for everyone, that is for sure.  But for us, I think it just might work!

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Pemaquid Point Lighthouse and life on the campground…

Our youngest daughter is getting married in November.  Since Dave has to walk her down the aisle, it was necessary this week to take a trip back into civilization and get measured for a tuxedo.

fitted for a tux

So we made the two hour drive south to Augusta, Maine, where the closest Men’s Wearhouse was.  We were not looking forward to the drive and the fact that it would take up a whole day off to accomplish.  A two hour drive for a fitting that took all of ten minutes…

Now what to do?

We decided that since we were in the general area, maybe we should check out Pemaquid Point Lighthouse.  After all, on the map it was just east of Augusta, and a trip up the coast would be beautiful!

pemaquid lighthouse maine

And the lighthouse was beautiful, of course.  We arrived after hours, so were not able to tour the inside, but were able to spend plenty of time enjoying the scenery.

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse was originally commissioned in 1827 by John Quincy Adams and built that year. Due to poor workmanship (salt water was used in the mortar mix), the lighthouse began to crumble and was replaced in 1835.

Most lighthouses in the US were converted to the Fresnel Lens in the 1850’s, and Pemaquid Point received it’s lens in1856. The lens is one of only six Fresnel lenses still in service in Maine!

pemaquid lighthouse maine

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park is managed by the Bristol Parks Commission.  And…it is the lighthouse on the Maine State Quarter, making it the first lighthouse to be featured on a piece of US currency!

pemaquid lighthouse maine

Coincidentally, this particular lighthouse is a top destination for weddings with its beautiful rocky cliffs and crashing waves.  The lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the Maine coast.

pemaquid lighthouse maine

While taking photos, the whole scene seemed very familiar to me.

pemaquid lighthouse maine

And then it occurred to me that I had painted the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse back in 1998 in a series of lighthouse paintings for a calendar!  It had hardly changed at all!

pemaquid lighthouse maine

Beautiful rocky shores, deep blue waters and a setting sun make this trip totally worth it.  We were very glad that we decided to make the stop.

Our boring trip to Augusta turned out to be pretty fabulous.

life at the campground

…and then we had to go back to work.  The park at Oceanside is full to capacity and has been so since the beginning of July.  The boss says excitedly that this is a record year.

We are just tired.  LOL!

life at the campground

Of course, the campground still has it’s beautiful scenery to enjoy.  On our days off, we can wander about the rocks at low tide with the dogs and look for shells.

…and rescue tiny crabs from Ralph’s mouth.

life at the campground

The summer here is nearing it’s end and the wild apple trees on the campground are just full of apples.  I was told that they make great pie, so I am waiting for them to ripen.

life at the campground

One of our guests had a dog that could have been Ralph’s twin.

life at the campground

Ralph thinks he looks much younger and cooler, though.

eating a huge sandwich

Oh…and in our down time, we apparently enjoy taking uncomplimentary photos of each other.  This is Dave’s take on my humongous BLT courtesy of one of the local restaurants…

eating a huge sandwich

….and a little morning scariness to keep it real.

Because life is a sitcom, right?

Branson KOA- Campground Review

four starsOverall Rating: Nearly Perfect


We stayed for several days at the Branson, MO, KOA – Mar 2015, while we attended the KOA Boot Camp.  This was the first time we had ever been to Missouri, and were very excited to not only learn more about KOA, but experience the city of Branson.

Branson KOA review

We were welcomed at the front entranceway by a miniature Elvis himself!  Cute!

Branson was going to be lots of fun!

three starsSetting:  I have to say right off that I might have had a different impression at a different time of the year.  We were put in a Premium Full Hook up Site near the campground’s Convention Center.

Branson KOA review

A large part of this particular campground is placed along the side of a steep hill, with each campsite terraced above the one below.  The premium sites were separated by white picket fences and included picnic tables.

Those that do not get around well might have issues exploring this campground due to the terrain.

It worked well for us as we were only there for a few days, and didn’t spend a ton of time outside, however, for those that are there to enjoy the camping experience, the lots were pretty small.

This photo of Branson KOA & Convention Center is courtesy of TripAdvisor

I do have to say that there was a large variety of spots, many of which were plenty big enough for larger rigs, and plenty of room for maneuvering.

This photo of Branson KOA & Convention Center is courtesy of TripAdvisor

And along with the variety of spots, there were several Deluxe spots that included grills and patios.  These were particularly nice.


four starsBathrooms were in great shape and very clean.

five starsWIFI- The park offers it for free and while it might be different during peak times, I never had an issue getting on line.

four starsLaundry- They have a nice laundry room available 24 hours a day.

five starsActivities- this park includes a swimming pool, a huge convention facility, fitness center, golf cart rental, horseshoes, a hot tub, playground and pontoon boat rentals.   Lots to do on site!

This photo of Branson KOA & Convention Center is courtesy of TripAdvisor

In season, they also offer free breakfast, and food service including pizza, hot wings, fudge and ice cream brought to your campsite.

This is one of the fun perks of KOA!

five starsStaff was friendly and available to help out if needed.  They made a great first impression by meeting us at the front gate and directing us inside.  They were quite knowledgable about the area.  The office can even get you discount tickets at some of the shows and attractions in Branson!

Branson KOA review

four starsDog Friendly– This campground had a very nice fenced in area for the dogs.  Walking the dogs was enjoyable and there were plenty of areas in the campground to take them to.

The positives?  Great park!  Very near downtown Branson and all it has to offer.  In my opinion, it is a great place to stay if you are in town to enjoy Branson.  In season, there is plenty to offer in the park to keep the kids entertained.

Any negatives?  Well, I really hesitate to say this because it truly isn’t the fault of the campground, but this area of the country can be quite volatile in the spring and summer.  While we were there, we were holed up in the RV each evening while thunderstorms, hail and potential tornados made their way through.

We ate dinner the first night looking out the window as hail the size of marbles came down on our VW bug and motorhome. (No damage- unless you want to count the indigestion…)

For the record, Branson KOA does not offer a tornado shelter.

branson missouri travel camping

In the area and looking for something to do?  We recommend the fun and campy town of Branson.  Lots to see and do!

For more information on Branson KOA, be sure to check out their website!

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Cadillac Mountain, Work Camping, and more!

We have been in Bar Harbor for two months now, working on the campgrounds.  The weather has been very different from what we are used to, with many blustery, windy days.  At one point, I wondered when it would actually green up!

work camping in maine

And then suddenly the trees grew leaves and summer happened. Well, at least Maine’s version of summer.  It is still chilly at night, but we now are having beautiful days in the 70’s .  Apparently the trees need to work fast because they only have a few months to be green!

work camping in maine

With a few nice days of warm sun, we emerged from our work schedule and RV to create a nice front yard to enjoy.  It is truly beautiful here and we wanted a nice place to sit and enjoy it!

work camping in maine

This is work camper row.  We all have designated spots behind the cabins.  They aren’t as green and scenic as the rest of the park, but we made do with what we had to work with and really do like our neighbors.

The work camping thing?  Well, it has definitely gotten more intense.  We are now working close to 40 hours a week and have gotten to the point where we definitely look forward to our days off.

We’ve had a few coworkers quit and move on already.  Seems that work camping is not for everyone.  Dealing with customer service and often physical labor can be difficult at times.  We have our bad days too, but fortunately for us, the good days outweigh the bad.  We have met lots of fun campers in the past few weeks- many from Georgia!

work camping in maine

And now that the weather seems to be cooperating, we are spending more time outside in the evening, enjoying our newly decorated front yard and the beautiful park.

cadillac mountain bar harbor maine

I put together a fun project last week.  This one involves a wooden plaque, sharpie pens and chalkboard paint!  Inspired by the area, I drew up of the local sea life and created a fun chalkboard.  You can find the free pattern here!

work camping in maine

Cadillac Mountain

On the tourist level, we’ve been to Cadillac Mountain several times now.  Cadillac Mountain is located in the nearby Acadia National Park and at 1,530 feet, it is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard.

cadillac mountain bar harbor maine

You can travel to the top of Cadillac Mountain several different ways.  You can drive to the top in your vehicle, take several different hiking trails, or enjoy a trolley tour of the mountain.

Oli’s Trolley

We checked out Oli’s Trolley simply because they not only take you around the area, but offer a fully narrated tour about the area’s history, historic sites, mansions, and the summit of Cadillac Mountain.

This area has an interesting history behind it, and we definitely recommend a ride on the trolley to learn more about it.  Amongst many other things, we learned about the great fire of 1947 that nearly destroyed all of Bar Harbor.  You can still see stone foundations of mansions that used to be amongst the trees on the hillsides of the town.

The area is also the home of the Rockefellers and Martha Stewart!  We are told that you can take boat tours into the harbor where you can see their homes.

cadillac mountain bar harbor maine

As for Cadillac Mountain, there are various hiking trails to the summit, some more challenging than others. There is also a paved road to the top.

From the summit, you can see most of Mount Desert Island.  On a clear day, it is a beautiful site to see!  The photo above shows the town of Bar Harbor in the distance below.

cadillac mountain bar harbor maine

Bar Island

In this photo you can see Bar Island.  When this photo was taken, the tide was out and you can see a sand bar that goes from the island to the town of Bar Harbor.  Folks like to hike or even drive their cars across that bar of sand during low tide to explore the island.

Timing is crucial as it is not unusual for folks to find themselves stranded on the island during high tide.  For a tidy sum, boaters will rescue those that do not want to wait another 8 hours for low tide.

Oh, and the little guy in the photo?  That is a very ingenious seagull.  He figured out that if he stands there looking all sweet, folks will feed him snack food.  He waited patiently for us to find something in the car for him, and then went to the car behind us to see what they had.

cadillac mountain bar harbor maine

An interesting fact about Cadillac Mountain is that it is the first place to view the sunrise in the United States from October 7 through March 6.

Want to view a sunrise from Cadillac Mountain?

  • You have to get up mighty early.  The sun is up by 4:00 AM right now!  Check the time for sunrise and give yourself plenty of time to get up the mountain.  It takes about 20 minutes from the village of Bar Harbor or 30 minutes from the KOA campground.
  • Dress warm!  It is always windy on top of Cadillac and particularly chilly even in the middle of summer.
  • For more comfort, consider bringing blankets and chairs.
  • Bring some coffee or tea in a thermos to keep warm.  Or plan for a nice breakfast in downtown Bar Harbor afterwards.

cadillac mountain bar harbor maine

Us?  Well we do not do mornings well.  We may decide before the summer is out to check out a sunrise.  I mean, we need to try everything, right?  But in the meantime, we did drive up to the top last week to see a sunset.   The sun sets about 8:00 PM right now and that worked out well for us.

My camera doesn’t do it justice, but here is a brief look at that beautiful sunset.

Sunsets are beautiful here both on Cadillac Mountain and at the campgrounds.  I think that they will be one of the many things I will look back on fondly when we do eventually move on.

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