Tag Archives: dinner

Local Secrets of Tucson

Yesterday, we left Tucson and are currently heading east towards Atlanta.  We plan on making a slow trek back.  Our daughter is due to have our first grandchild soon and we would love to be there for that.

It was an unplanned exit, as we had intended on staying in Tucson until April 1.  Unfortunately, our job there did not work out.  I will go into it more at a later date.  Things are too fresh right now and Dave and I are planning on decompressing a bit as we head back across the country.

In the meantime, I would love to share with you a few of the local secrets of Tucson.  We truly loved the area, and will go back one day.   Arizona was home to us.

Unique Local Food of Tucson

As with most southwestern towns, Tucson has a large abundance of Mexican restaurants.  We tried as many as we could while we were in the area.  All were good and each had their own unique flair.

Guadalajara Restaurant offered the unique aspect of making your salsa for you at your table.  Not only was it fun to watch, but your salsa was made to our own specifications.

Want it extra hot?  No problem!

We loved the mariachi band, the festive atmosphere and of course the food!

Sonoran Hotdogs

Our coworkers, Rob and Connie from Circle Pines, spend their winters in Tucson.  They told us not to miss the Sonoran Hotdogs.  In fact, they made a point to take us out to their favorite place to get them.

The best thing about work camping is making lifelong friends.

So, what is a Sonoran hotdog?

It starts with a hotdog wrapped in bacon and grilled until it’s crispy. It is then stuffed into a hand made split-top roll called a bolillo (pronouced boh-lee-yoh). It is topped with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, grilled and raw onions, mayonnaise, mustard and jalapeño salsa.

It is literally heaven in a bun.

El Güero Canelo, is perhaps the most famous maker of Sonoran hot dogs in Tucson.  Seriously, if you are in the Tucson area, don’t miss out on Sonoran Hotdogs!

Want pizza?  Grimaldi’s is a great place for just that.  Huge is the word.  And tasty too.

Raspados

And finally, we need to get dessert, right?

Raspados is the Mexican version of “scraped ice” or snow cones.  They are made with layers of shaved ice, homemade syrups, fruits, candies , ice cream, and sweetened condensed milk.  While standard flavors like strawberry, banana, plum and pineapple are popular, there are also exotic combinations such as the chamoyada with lime, tamarind candy and spicy chamoy sauce.

Don’t leave Tucson without trying one.  They are amazing!

Sentinel Peak (Also known as “A Mountain”)

From downtown Tucson, you can see the big white “A” on Sentinel Peak located just southwest of the city.  The A is a 160 ft. tall structure made from basalt rock, constructed in the early 1900’s by students from the University of Arizona.

traveling-sitcom-subscribe2

The secret is that you can actually drive up this mountain, see the A up close and personal and look down at amazing views of downtown Tucson!

The perfect time to check this view out is either a sunrise or a sunset.  Since we don’t love getting up early, we hit it one evening during an amazing sunset.

Touching the A is considered good luck.  So naturally, we did.

And then we enjoyed the sunset over Tucson.  Sentinel Peak was surprisingly busy for the sunset viewing.  Apparently, this is not such a secret after all…

Click here for more!

Local Secrets of Northern Arizona!

Work camping jobs are normally around six months long.  One of the things we love about being able to stay in an area for a while is the fact that eventually, we get to check out some of the things that the locals know about, but the average tourist never gets to experience.

3-local-secrets-of-northern-arizona

Here are three of our favorite “local secrets” that we have enjoyed over the past few months…

Bill Williams Mountain

The tiny town of Williams is surrounded by beautiful mountain peaks.  These are part of the San Francisco volcanic field.  Now dormant, these beautiful peaks used to be active volcanos!

Bill Williams Mountain is the tallest of those peaks surrounding Williams and is named after Old Bill Williams, a scout, guide and mountain man who lived in the 1800s.

We heard that there was a dirt road available to get to the top.  At 9,256 feet above sea level at the peak, it was sure to be an amazing view.  So we set out to find it!

local secrets of williams arizona

Instructions to get to this local secret are as follows:

Take 4th street out of town toward Dogtown lake.  Go 4.7 miles from downtown and turn at the first dirt road on the right, just after the speed limit drops to 35 miles per hour.

Yep, it isn’t marked very well.  Hence the local secret, right?

local secrets of williams arizona

Warning- do not try to take this road in inclement weather, right after a rain, or in a vehicle that sits very low to the ground.

It is a total of 6.9 miles from the main road to the top of the mountain.  The road is in relatively good shape, but is steep and full of many switch backs and hairpin turns.

Oh, and there is no guard rail.

local secrets of williams arizona

The view is well worth it.  Our little KIA “I-think-I-canned” the whole way up.  We were glad we traded the VW bug in.  It sat so low to the ground that it never would have made it.

local secrets of williams arizona

At the very top of the mountain you will find a large antenna farm.  We were careful to respect any no trespassing signs as we took in the view from the top.

traveling-sitcom-subscribe2

Here we were at 9,256 feet above sea level and we could literally see for miles!

local secrets of williams arizona

Want to go a little higher?  Well, there is a fire tower on the top of the mountain too!

Dave refused to climb it, but I decided to brave it and climbed about half way up.

local secrets of williams arizona

From there I had an amazing, unblocked view of all directions.  Down below I was able to make out the campground.

local secrets of williams arizona

Fall is in the air this time of year and the journey to the top of Bill Williams Mountain was full of beautiful photo opportunities.

local secrets of williams arizona

The ride to the top and back down is full of beautiful scenery and definitely worth the effort.  For those that enjoy a good strenuous hike, there are some great trails that also go to the top of this mountain.  Just be aware of changing weather, and local wildlife.

And true to most local secrets, we didn’t run into a single person the entire trip.  I love these kind of secrets!

Click here for secret #2!

traveling-sitcom-page 2

Amarillo by Morning…

On our way west towards Williams, AZ, for our new summer job, we made a couple pit stops along the way.  One of the more impressive ones was Amarillo, Texas.

traveling in amarillo texas

Traveling along Interstate 40, once you get on the west side of Oklahoma City, the land flattens out where you can see for miles and miles.

The winds were strong.  Dave said it felt like he was driving a sail boat.  We were getting gusts of 15 to 25 mile an hour winds which seemed to be from the south, rocking the RV as we tried to make our way west.

Car sickness may or may not have ensued…

amarillo texas

We had a scheduled stop in Amarillo and were very glad to get off the highway after about a 5 hour drive from Oklahoma City.

So why Amarillo?

So much to see and do here!  Unfortunately, we only had one day to take it all in, so we chose a couple places that intrigued us.  But keep in mind if you are ever in Amarillo, there are canyons, museums, botanical gardens, and even a huge livestock auction where you can hang out with real cowboys and get a glimpse of the cattle industry that is so huge in this area of the country.

traveling in amarillo texas

We stayed at the Amarillo KOA and pretty much had the park to ourselves.  I loved the wide open spaces!

traveling in amarillo texas

These little guys greeted us at the campground store entrance.  Amarillo must be home of the mariachi bands!

Or maybe the home of colorful metal musicians…

Cadillac Ranch

traveling in amarillo texas

Once settled, our first order of business was to go out and visit Cadillac Ranch.  Unfortunately, we had an issue with the tow cables on the car and had to replace them first, which entailed a trip to Home Depot.

Cadillac Ranch is located about 5 miles west of city of Amarillo.  With our late start, we got there just as the sun was setting.

traveling in amarillo texas

Cadillac Ranch is actually a public art installation.  It was created in 1974 by an art group called Ant Farm.  The installation consists of Cadillacs, representing the car line from 1949 to 1963.  Each of the cars is half-buried nose first into the ground at an angle that is supposed to correspond with the angle of the Great Pyramid.

Note the graffiti.

You see when the art work was originally opened up to the public back in the 70’s, there was an issue of folks breaking off souvenirs and painting graffiti onto the cars.

After fighting it for a bit, the artists decided to allow others to add their own personal touch to this piece of art.

traveling in amarillo texas

Visiting Cadillac Ranch  and adding graffiti to the cars is now encouraged.  In fact, while we where there, at least 20 other people were there with spray paint adding a bit of themselves to this piece of art.

Bring a spray paint can and paint what you want!  Just be aware that it probably will be painted over in no time.  Cadillac Ranch is an incredibly popular destination for those that are passing through.

So how about a famous Amarillo eatery?

traveling-sitcom-page 2

Tarpon Springs, Florida- The Sponge Capital!

One of my favorite places to visit in the area is the little town of Tarpon Springs.  Drawn there originally by an arts and crafts show, we have now driven the 45 minutes north of St. Petersburg several times.

tarpon springs florida

After living in Maine for six months, this little coastal town almost seems like home!

tarpon springs florida

Tarpon Springs is the self proclaimed Sponge Capital of the World.  You see, in the early 1900’s, it was discovered that the Gulf of Mexico was rich in varieties of sponges.  This attracted Greek sponge divers who wanted to make a living in the United States.

Over the next 30 years, the Tarpon Springs sponge industry became the largest industry in the state of Florida.  Even larger than the citrus crops or tourism!

In the 1940s, blight reduced the growth of sponges, and this profitable industry was nearly wiped out. However in the 1980s, new sponge beds were found. Now, Tarpon Springs is back to being a leader in the world’s natural sponge market.

tarpon springs florida

Our first visit in Tarpon Springs included our friends and coworkers, Rick and Judy and their granddaughter.

I’m totally getting that selfie thing down!

tarpon springs florida

This bustling little town is the home of many small and interesting shops.  Of course, there are plenty of natural sponges available for purchase all over town.

tarpon springs florida

And lots of great homemade soap shops.  I’m a big fan of homemade soaps and having tried my hand at them before, appreciate the quality and amazing selection!

tarpon springs florida

Soap shops, tourist items, t-shirts, you name it.  This town has something for everyone.

tarpon springs florida

Couldn’t find enough seashells?  They have your back.

I won’t tell.

tarpon springs florida

Dave’s favorite place in this town is the Hella’s Restaurant and Bakery.  Their huge selection of Baklava, Spanakopita, cookies, pastries, and cakes is enough to get you in the door.  Dave has gone their twice now and stocked up on Cannolis.

Awesomeness.

tarpon springs florida

Yes, this town even has a Husband Day Care Center!

tarpon springs florida

Hungry?  Head over to Yianni’s Greek Cuisine Restaurant, right on the Sponge Docks!  They offer traditional Greek cuisine and live music.  My favorite is the Pork Gyro Platter with tzatziki sauce!

And amazing Sangria!

tarpon springs florida

And I even found a boat named after me!

tarpon springs florida

Tarpon Springs is a great little town for family fun.   It is one of the many highlights of our stay here in the St. Petersburg area!

Top 9 Things to See and Do in Bar Harbor!

We are now on our way south, heading to St. Petersburg, FL for our winter destination.  I wanted to put together a final post on the beautiful area of the country that we had the pleasure of living in- Bar Harbor, Maine.

One of the questions that I was asked the most while working at the front desk of the campground was, “What are the best things to do in Bar Harbor?”

Well, I have the answers for you, at least from our point of view.  These are the things that you should really not miss if you ever get the chance to enjoy the coast of Maine.

top 10 things to see and do in bar harbor

Cadillac Mountain

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.  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!

At certain times of the year, Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the United States to see the sunrise.  Getting up to see a sunrise from the top of the mountain is a common attraction.

Sunsets there are beautiful too.

Schoodic Point

Schoodic Point is the only part of Acadia National Park that is located on the main land of Maine rather than on Mount Desert Island.  For that reason, Schoodic is a much more secluded, less crowded opportunity to actually see some wildlife.  Because of the fact that it is located away from barrier islands, you can enjoy the crashing of the waves from an unobstructed Atlantic Ocean.

It is about a 45 minute drive from the tip of Mount Desert Island, but well worth the time.  From Schoodic, you can see the peak of Cadillac Mountain and enjoy another beautiful Maine sunset.

top 10 things to do in bar harbor

Schoodic is where we ran across several huge porcupines.  I’d say they were as big as my VW Bug, but I’d be exaggerating just a tad. Suffice it to say, they were huge!

top 10 things to see and do in bar harbor

Restaurants

Nearly everyone that checked in at the campground asked me, “Where do the locals go?” As visiting “locals”, we soon discovered our favorites:

Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound– in Maine, any place that sells lobster by the pound is called a Lobster Pound.  Imagine that.  There are many of them all over Mount Desert Island and the mainland.  They all compete with each other, sell similar items and their prices are very similar depending upon the varying prices of lobster.  Trenton Bridge has the advantage of a great view and awesome Maine atmosphere.

Chart Room Restaurant–  This restaurant is located right along the water on Route 3 headed toward downtown Bar Harbor.  Because they are not downtown, they are not usually as crowded as those in Bar Harbor.  You can eat right on the water and the food is just amazing.  Loved their Stuffed Haddock.  They also serve steak for those of us that are a bit tired of seafood, and of course, lobster!

Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium located on Main Street in Bar Harbor has lots of fun flavors in their homemade ice cream selection including Dulce de Leche, Bubblegum, (KGB) Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream base ice cream with a Grand Marnier fudge swirl, Rum Raisin, Root Beer Float, and many more!

how to eat a lobster in bar harbor maine

Oh, and Lobster icecream!  Yes, I tried it.  Imagine butter pecan with little chunks of meat in it… yeah, that.  I have to say that it wasn’t my favorite, but at least I can say I tried it!  Ha!

Blueberry Hill Dairy Bar- If you love soft serve, good prices and lots of ice cream for money, you can’t beat Blueberry Hill Dairy Bar.  It is located off of Mount Desert Island in the little town of Ellesworth right on Route 3.

It was one of our most frequent stops when going back and forth to Ellesworth for groceries.  While the ice cream is fabulous, the folks that worked there never seemed to like their jobs much.  I have to say it was a very surly group of individuals.  Cash only.  No samples.  Make sure you know what you want when you get to the window.

In spite of the help, the ice cream was awesome! And well worth the stop.

top 10 things to see and do in bar harbor

Mussel Fishing

Hadley Point is a great place to go if you love mussels.  In the state of Maine, you do not need a license to go mussel fishing.  Simply wait until low tide.  In Maine, the tide drops 10 to 20 feet depending upon where you are.  This leaves quite a bit of the seaweed covered rocks exposed.  Put on some boots march out there, and start lifting up some of that seaweed.  Underneath you will find mussels!

Place them in a bucket of salt water, add about a cup of cornmeal and let them sit overnight, stirring them and adding fresh water every now and then.  This will get them to spit out any sand.  Rinse them and then either steam or boil them with garlic.

A true Maine experience!

top 10 things to see and do in bar harbor
Whale Watching, Lighthouse Cruises

The town of Bar Harbor is the base for many different boat tours including Whale Watching, Lighthouse Cruises, Wildlife cruises, Schooners, Lobster Fishing and more.

Which one is the best?

Well, we think they all have their good points.  Pricing can be as much as $50 per person, so be prepared.  Decide what you would best enjoy and take advantage of the opportunity to get out on the water.  You will love it!

Oh, and take a warm jacket and some anti-motion sickness meds with you just in case.  It is at least 20 degrees colder out on the water and windy too!

top 10 things to see and do in bar harbor

Acadia Park Loop

Acadia National Park offers much to do including hiking, biking, kayaking, rock climbing, and more.  For those of us that love to watch nature in action, it is a fabulous place to go.  The Acadia Park Loop is a 27 mile road beginning at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center (near Route 3 on the northern side of the island) and connects the Park’s lakes, mountains, forests, and rocky coast.

top 10 things to see and do in bar harbor

Baxter State Park

Want a chance at seeing a moose?  Head about 2 hours northwest of Acadia to Baxter State Park in central Maine.  It is worth the trip.  Miles and miles of wilderness where the opportunity to witness wildlife is at its best.

If you love to hike, you can climb to the top of Mount Katahdin which is Maine’s highest peak at 5,267 feet (1,605 m). This mountain is also the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

Some things to note: Baxter State Park has restrictions- no pets, no RV’s, no motorcycles, no large trucks.  It is remote, so little to no cell phone coverage.

top 10 things to see and do in bar harbor

West Quoddy Lighthouse

The little town of Lubec is the home of the beautiful West Quoddy Head Lighthouse.  But even more interesting, Lubec is the easternmost town in the contiguous United States.  Since we have already been to Key West (the southern most point); it seemed fitting!

A visit to this beautiful lighthouse and the area around it is a must-see!

pemaquid lighthouse maine

Pemaquid Lighthouse

Located about 2 hours south of Acadia is Pemaquid Point Lighthouse Park. And…it is the lighthouse on the Maine State Quarter, making it the first lighthouse to be featured on a piece of US currency!

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.

So there you have it!  Unfortunately, the list leaves out so many things.  I could talk on and on about how much there is to see and do in the area.  We are currently on our way south, and are already missing it.  Who knows?  One day we just may return!

That is the thrill of the journey, right?

traveling sitcom subscribe

suzy signature

Mexican Chicken and Avocados on the Grill!

Believe it or not, my RV does actually come with a stove and oven, but I love any excuse to cook on the grill.  It is that added smokey flavor makes things taste wonderful.

mexican grilled chicken and avocados

Oh and there is the fact that the husband insists on being the one to cook on the grill.  Who is going to argue with that?

Anyway, let’s talk about the food!

mexican grilled chicken and avocados

Mexican Grilled Chicken and Avocados

2 Chicken breasts
2 Avocados
Olive Oil
Shredded lettuce
Tomatoes (chopped)
Mild Thick and Chunky Salsa
Refried Beans

Marinade

8 scallions (chopped)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
1 tsp. paprika
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

mexican grilled chicken and avocados

Mix together all marinade ingredients with a whisk.

mexican grilled chicken and avocados

Place the marinade and the chicken breasts in a large zip lock bag and refrigerate overnight.

mexican grilled chicken and avocados

Once the chicken has marinated, it is ready to grill!

mexican grilled chicken and avocados

While the chicken is cooking, cut up the lettuce and tomatoes.  Half the avocados and remove the seed.  Brush the cut edge of each avocado with olive oil.

mexican grilled chicken and avocados

When the chicken is ready to pull off the grill, add the avocados face down on the grill.  Cook for 5 minutes.

mexican grilled chicken and avocados

Grilled avocados have an added smokey flavor and taste great on a bed of chopped lettuce and tomatoes, topped with  taco sauce, shredded cheese and sour cream.  Add a side of  refried beans to your grilled avocado and Mexican Chicken, and you have a great festive meal!

Mexican Grilled Chicken and Avocados
Recipe Type: Mexican style dinner
Author: Suzy Myers
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 servings
A spicy Mexican combo made special with the grill!
Ingredients
  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 2 Avocados from Mexico
  • Olive Oil
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Tomatoes (chopped)
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Old El Paso Mild Thick and Chunky Salsa (need a coupon?)
  • Old El Paso Traditional Refried Beans (need another coupon?)
  • [b]Marinade[/b]
  • 8 scallions (chopped)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Mix together all marinade ingredients with a whisk.
  2. Place the marinade and the chicken breasts in a large zip lock bag and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Once marinated, place chicken on heated grill to cook.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, cut up the lettuce and tomatoes. Half the avocados and remove the seed. Brush the cut edge of each avocado with olive oil.
  5. When the chicken is ready to pull off the grill, add the avocados face down on the grill. Cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Grilled avocados have an added smokey flavor and taste great on a bed of chopped lettuce and tomatoes, topped with Old El Paso taco sauce, shredded cheese and sour cream. Add a side of Old El Paso refried beans to your Grilled Avocado and Mexican Chicken, and you have a great festive Cinco de Mayo meal!

What is your favorite meal to cook on the grill?

traveling sitcom subscribe

suzy signature

When in Maine, we eat Lobster!

I’m a firm believer that I should make an attempt to try out life as a local where ever I end up.  So with that said, apparently those that live in Maine have a thing for lobsters.  Which means I will have to make the sacrifice and eat a lobster meal.

It will be tough, but we will just have to do it…

how to eat a lobster in bar harbor maine

So where to go?  Well, I could name fifty restaurants in the Bar Harbor area and hundreds more along the Maine coast that sell lobster.  You see signs of that red pinchered thing everywhere.

bar harbor oceanside koa

See all those white floats in the water just off the shore?  Everyone of those is a lobster trap.  They go as far as you can see in all directions.  A passing lobster just doesn’t have a chance in Bar Harbor.

how to eat a lobster in bar harbor maine

Lobsters, lobsters everywhere.  Lobster shirts, lobster signs, lobster salt and pepper shakers, lobster Christmas lights, lobster cookie cutters, lobster calendars…

how to eat a lobster in bar harbor maine

Even Lobster Ice cream!  And yes, it had real chunks of lobster in it. Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium located on Main Street in Bar Harbor has lots of fun flavors in their homemade ice cream selection including Dulce de Leche, Bubblegum, (KGB) Kahlua and Bailey’s Irish Cream base ice cream with a Grand Marnier fudge swirl, Rum Raisin, Root Beer Float, and many more!

My personal goal is to try each flavor before the summer is out.  Will let you know how that goes!  For the record- I  have already tried the Lobster Ice cream.  It was ummm…. interesting.

Dave just asked me about that diet I was planning to go on… Ice cream has lots of calcium, right?

how to eat a lobster in bar harbor maine

And speaking of diet, let’s take in a bit of seafood, why don’t we?  For our first stab at eating a real lobster, we checked out Stewman’s Lobster Pound.

how to eat a lobster in bar harbor maine

Ever eaten a whole lobster?  Well, it is an adventure.  Our waitress recognized the slightly alarmed looks on our faces as these red crustaceans were set in front of us and took us under her wing.  She showed us how to break the the claws off, and then how to twist the tail off the body to get to the tail meat.

After warning us that we needed to remove the “chute” in the tail, she left us to our adventure.

Okay.  I’m not thrilled about looking for a “chute”, but here goes…

So, here is what we learned.  DO NOT twist the tail off the body while holding it over your plate!  Bleh!  There  is green stuff that will fall onto your plate.  This is the lobster tomalley, which is apparently the lobster’s liver and pancreas.  Many people, especially in New England, consider it a delicacy, and eat it along with the rest of the lobster.

We did not.  I will only take this “eating as the locals do” just so far!

But we both did agree that the lobsters were delicious.  Especially the tail and claws.  Now that we have officially been broken in, we plan on trying a few more before we leave the area.  After all, we are experts now!

how to eat a lobster in bar harbor maine

On the home front, the dogs are getting used to their new surroundings.  Ralph has discovered red squirrels (which are the pretty red cousins to his nemesis the gray squirrel in Georgia).  Turns out that they are not afraid of him either.

Ralph now spends an enormous amount of time staring out the window looking for a squirrel sighting so that he can bark like a girl.

It’s a thing.

how to eat a lobster in bar harbor maine

And Dave is busy breaking in the grill.  This week we made Spicy Chipotle Burgers and Grilled Corn on the Cob.

It wasn’t as exciting as the lobster, but it certainly was delicious.

traveling sitcom subscribe

suzy signature

The New England Coast

We decided to add another stop on our route to Maine in order to make the drive times less strenuous for Dave.  Seems that keeping the distance no longer than 320 miles was a perfect scenario for him.  So with that in mind, our next stop was a small campground in Salisbury, MA.

new hampshire massachusettes

The weather?  Well, it was not cooperating.  Seems that skies are sunny unless we are hitching up the car and getting ready to hit the road.  It poured down rain on us as we prepared to leave Connecticut behind.

Fortunately there was sun waiting for us in Massachusetts.

new hampshire massachusettes salisbury hampton

It was too late, though.  I officially had Rosanne Rosannadanna hair, much to Dave’s amusement.

Salisbury?  Well, because of the rainy weather, and the fact that we were only in town a day, we did not get to see a whole lot of it.  The community is a popular summer resort beach town situated on the Atlantic Ocean, north of Boston, right on the New Hampshire border.

new hampshire massachusettes beach

We can, however, recommend the Seaglass Restaurant, located right on the ocean in downtown Salisbury.  After a chilly, rainy day, a hot bowl of New England Clam Chowder certainly hit the spot.

And the great thing about the Seaglass Restaurant is the fact that you can sit and watch the ocean while enjoying your meal!

new hampshire massachusettes beach

And this is what is called a Lobster Roll.  It is a mix of lobster, veggies and special sauce in a hotdog bun.  We will find out later that this particular item is hugely popular in New England.

new hampshire massachusettes beach

The sun came out the next day and as we headed north, we made a pitstop in the town of Hampton, NH.   What beautiful scenery!

Hampton Beach boasts a mile long boardwalk and Hampton Center which is lined with fast food and full service restaurants  offering seafood, onion rings, fried dough and much more.  You’ll also find lounges offering nightly entertainment, candy stores, gift shops and mini golf and amusement arcades.

new hampshire massachusettes beach

And just look at the rocks!  Yep, that is where my mind goes.  You can take a crafter anywhere, and they just see potential.

new hampshire massachusettes beach

This is what I see!  Painted Paisley Stones – of course!

new hampshire massachusettes beach

Hampton Beach was full of activity including this lone scuba diver.

new hampshire massachusettes beach

We noted that there is a RV park located right down the road from this beautiful spot.  Hampton Beach State Park has RV campsites right on the ocean.  The campground, with 28 sites, is open for reservations from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend.

It is definitely a spot we will keep in mind if we are in the area when it is open.

So… our next stop is Bar Harbor, Maine!  We are excited and just a tad nervous to find out what is on the horizon.  See you there!

traveling sitcom subscribe

suzy signature

The rolling green hills of Staunton, VA!

After leaving Statesville, NC, we headed up to the KOA in Staunton, VA.  Staunton is located in Northern Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley in between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains.  I grew up in Northern VA, near Washington DC, so I really wasn’t expecting much more than city and crowds.  I was pleasantly surprised.

staunton virginia koa camping

We were met by beautiful rolling hills of fresh green grass.  Honestly, the hills went on for miles!  Dotted with barns and silos, and covered with beautiful grass.  My first thought was, “who the heck keeps all that grass mowed?”

Turns out that cows do!  Who knew?

Well, apparently Dave did, but you see I am a city mouse trying to blend in with all those cool country mice.

staunton virginia koa camping

And the RV park even had it’s share of wildlife.  Geese, ducks and I even happened upon a bunch of deer on an early morning walk with the dogs.  They stood so still that the dogs didn’t even notice them.

staunton virginia koa camping

And while I may be a city mouse, my dogs are apparently southern born and bred.  The minute the temperature dropped into the 50’s, both dogs disappeared into quilt cocoons on my couch.

Quick quiz- can you find the dogs in the photo above?

staunton virginia koa camping

We took a drive out to downtown Staunton.  If you are in the area and want to blend, we discovered that the correct pronunciation of the town name is STAN-ton.

I love the old architecture!  The city is known for beautiful buildings.  Staunton is also the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, the 28th US President and the home of Mary Baldwin College, and the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind.

staunton virginia koa camping

We bank with SunTrust, so we were particularly intrigued that this beautiful building actually houses our bank!  We suddenly felt the need to visit our accounts.

The inside is just as spectacular as the outside.

staunton virginia koa camping

Also in Staunton is The Cheese Shop! It is a local family owned Amish-style bulk foods store.  They offer a huge selection of cheeses from the Amish Country in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin along with baking items, and bulk package food.

We highly recommend the Amish Farmers Cheese.  It is amazing.  Also if you haven’t ever had it, you need to try Lebanon Bologna.  It is similar to Salami, but with a tangier, smokey flavor.

staunton virginia koa camping

Ralph highly recommends it too!

staunton virginia koa camping

Dave took advantage of the nice weather and built several campfires while we were there.  Like most KOA’s, you can purchase wood at the office and they will deliver it for you.

staunton virginia koa camping

Do you love authentic German food?  When in Staunton, be sure to check out the Edelweiss German Restaurant.  The food is amazing!  They also have a huge selection of German beer and wine.

staunton virginia koa camping

I ordered  Knackwurst with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.   Dave was feeling daring and ordered the Schweineroulade.  It is a tender pork cutlet stuffed with pickles, herbs and spices, covered with a tasty sour cream sauce and Bavarian dumplings.  We both agreed that both meals were delicious, but his was the best!

The meal came with lots of sides including green beans, cooked cabbage, pickled red cabbage (yumm!), and dumplings.  Oh, and be sure to check the German Wine Menu.

We definitely will be coming back next time we are in the area!

staunton virginia koa camping

After a wonderful three day stay, we left Staunton and headed out toward Hershey, PA.  We both decided that if we ever have the opportunity, we would be back for a longer stay.  Staunton was a beautiful place and is definitely one of our favorite stops on this trip.

traveling sitcom subscribe

suzy signature

 

A look at Statesville, NC

Our first stop out of Atlanta was Statesville, NC.  Dave had previously mapped out our route to Maine and randomly chose four KOA’s to stop at on the way up.  Strategically, he wanted them to be no more than 300 miles apart, as driving a huge RV in traffic can be extremely tiring.   And I am currently not approved by either one of us to take on that task…

statesville north carolina koa camping

Our plan is to stay a few days if we love it, or leave the next day if we don’t.  Arriving in early April to Statesville KOA was a treat with beautiful spring flowers to greet us.  We were quite happy with this location!

statesville north carolina koa camping

Statesville is located in Iredell County, in north western NC, east of Asheville.  It was named an All-American City in 2009. The city itself was founded by Scots-Irish Presbyterians and German Lutherans, who originally settled in Pennsylvania, and then moved down to Statesville to plant crops in the fertile soil where game and water were plentiful.  

statesville north carolina koa camping

One of the big draws of the area is Lake Norman.  It is a man made lake created between 1959 and 1964.  The dam was constructed by Duke Power and is reputed to be the largest manmade body of fresh water in NC.

Seems we always end up at dams, doesn’t it?  We love the big beautiful lakes.  Oh and there is the fact that you can say dam in just about every sentence.

A stress reliever, right?

statesville north carolina koa camping

If you love to fish, then Lake Norman is for you.  There are yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, and striped, largemouth and white bass.  Lake Norman State Park features 33 campsites with tent pads, picnic tables and grills. The park is open year round for campers.

statesville north carolina koa camping

While perusing the lake and saying dam a lot, we ran across Eddie’s Seafood and Raw Bar.  Since it seems to be named after my brother, naturally I was interested in stopping.  But I have to admit that the main draw was the fact that it sits right on Lake Norman.

statesville north carolina koa camping

There was plenty of seating inside and the atmosphere was awesome.  However, we chose like everyone else that day to eat out on the back porch.

statesville north carolina koa camping

Dave doing his manly-man pose.

statesville north carolina koa camping

We sat back and enjoyed the view.  There were folks already out on the lake water skiing, and a few children playing on the shore.  A very pretty spot.

statesville north carolina koa camping

And if you are wondering about the food, we can say that it was delicious.  We both ordered the Blackened Fish Sandwich.  Dave suggests that you add the slaw to the sandwich before eating it.

Excellent.

If you are in the Statesville area and looking for a nice place with great atmosphere for lunch or dinner, be sure to check out Eddie’s Seafood and Raw Bar.

statesville north carolina koa camping

That evening, I needed to do a post for Suzy’s Sitcom on Easy Tangy Barbequed Pork Chops.  Believe me, this is a simple recipe.  It is easy to make and delicious.

See, even Ralph thinks it looks good.  Something tells me that I shouldn’t turn my back on him…

statesville north carolina koa camping

I put my handy-dandy grill cook to work, and sat back to enjoy the atmosphere.

We are really enjoying this journey so far. Our next stop is Staunton, VA.   We will be staying in another KOA there.  With a beautiful weather forecast of sunny and in the 70’s, we should have a great time.

traveling sitcom subscribe

suzy signature