Tag Archives: scenic views

Living life as a Work Kamper

We are smack in the middle of the busy summer season here at the Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA.  With 50 to 70 check-ins a day, Dave and I have found ourselves working long hours.  Granted, it will slow down in about a month, but in the meantime, our schedules are pretty busy.

living full time in a rv

We eat when we find a moment… and some meals are just plain peanut butter and jelly.

Work Kamping this time of year means dealing with crowds, tired campers, children on sugar highs, problems with guests not getting along, occasional backed up toilets, and all around craziness.  I work the office and it seems that everyone shows up all at once and dealing with 10 checkins at a time, with RVs lined up as far as you can see, can be quite intimidating.

bar harbor oceanside koa maine

Dave and I both work hard to keep the guests happy.  Sometimes it is as simple as helping their children learn how to use the rental bikes, or directing a guest to our favorite restaurant.  Sometimes it is much more difficult than that.  There are some folks that just won’t ever be happy.  We just do our best.

living full time in a rv

Working long shifts means that I often end up working in the evenings and early morning on my websites.  Of course, there are worse things than sitting by a campfire and writing on my website.

14 tips for traveling with dogs

The dogs have been doing well.  Of course one main thing we had to all adjust to was the fact that we have to regularly take them for walks rather than just put them in the backyard.  Yep, living full time in a RV means that you are quite familiar with everyone’s daily routine.

Sometimes a little too familiar.

living full time in a rv

So I learned something new this week.  Never wrap the leash around your finger.  You see, when a 20 lb. Chihuahua/Pug happens to notice a squirrel in the distance and accelerates from zero to fifty in less than two seconds flat, the finger has a bit of problem keeping up with it.

I ended up with a badly dislocated finger, and torn tendons.  Oh, and my wedding rings didn’t fair very well either.  Someday when I can get a ring back on my finger, I’ll have a jeweler reassemble them.

Let’s just say I finally got a day off.  LOL!

living full time in a rv

Work Kamping isn’t for everyone, and there is definitely a lot of work involved.  But, there are good things too!  Like getting off after a long tiring day and being stopped by the Lobster Guy on site who just so happens to have a couple lobster dinners ready for you!

(Ignore the dirty dishes in the photo- dirty dishes are a common occurrence during the busy season! )  LOL!

living full time in a rv

There are the times we get to enjoy a good dinner at one of the fabulous restaurants in the area with our friends and coworkers!

living full time in a rv

…trying out new and delicious meals.  (Crab Cakes courtesy of The Burning Tree Restaurant in Bar Harbor).

living full time in a rv

…and the fun of exploring this beautiful area of the world!

living full time in a rv

This season at Bar Harbor KOA has been very exciting for us.  It is our first taste of working at a campground.  While not everything runs as smoothy as we would like, we wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.

living full time in a rv

The beautiful sights of Mount Desert Island are something we will remember always.  Last week, we took a break on one of our days off and hiked one of the trails along the shoreline of Acadia National Park.

living full time in a rv

Rock Climbing?  Well, maybe that is something we just pretend to do.

living full time in a rv

The vistas are amazing here.  And the journey to get here is worth the effort.

living full time in a rv

We are half way through our Work Kamping experience here and will be moving on in October to our next destination.  Where that is, we currently do not know.

That is the thrill of the journey, right?

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Sunrise on Cadillac Mountain and a visit with family!

One of the hardest part of our life transition was leaving our family behind.  Talking to them regularly on the phone is great, but we do miss seeing them in person.  They were curious about our adventure and wanted to come visit.  So this past week, we were delighted to host my daughter, mother, sister, sister-in-law and sister’s mother-in-law.

top of cadillac mountain bar harbor maine

It was so much fun to see them again!  Of course, we had to show them around!  Our first stop was the top of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Cadillac Mountain at 1,530 feet, it is the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard.  A perfect place to show them some of the beautiful sights of the coast of Maine!

sunrise on cadillac mountain

My daughter will be getting married in November, and we had lots of catching up to do.  I will be creating some of her wedding decor, so be sure to stay tuned to my other website, Suzy’s Sitcom for the latest wedding craft project!

top of cadillac mountain bar harbor maine

Of course, she shares my sense of humor.  There are many reasons why we call this the Sitcom!

hadley point maine mussel fishing

We then took them to Hadley Point where we went mussel fishing at low tide.  The Georgia brigade purchased boots just for this!  Mussels can be found attached to the rocks under the seaweed when the tide goes out.  This particular area has thousands of them.

hadley point maine mussel fishing

We let them sit in cold water and corn meal overnight to get most of the sand out of them, and then boiled them in wine, chicken stock and garlic.  Yumm!

lobster bar harbor oceanside koa maine

Of course, you cannot go to Maine without a taste of lobster!  The campground that we work at, Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA, has their very own lobster man!  He serves fresh lobster dinners every evening from his tent in the middle of the campground.

lobster bar harbor oceanside koa maine

I was able to teach them my method for eating a whole lobster.  (A bit of trial and error on my part).  You can read the story about my ridiculous first attempt at lobster eating here.

lobster bar harbor oceanside koa maine

My sister caught on pretty darn quickly!

bar harbor oceanside koa maine camping

We then sat around a campfire and enjoyed another beautiful sunset. (Note the bottle of bug spray near my feet).  My boss likes to say that there isn’t a single mosquito in Maine.  They are all married with large families…

bar harbor oceanside koa maine camping

Proper s’more techniques were taught.

…and her last night there, we decided to go with my daughter to see the sunrise from the top of Cadillac Mountain.

sunrise on cadillac mountain

As I mentioned in an earlier post about checking out the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, you definitely need to dress warm.  We brought winter coats, hats and a blanket.

As you can see, the hubby isn’t very good about sharing blankets.  And I have a very scary looking face at 4:00 AM.

It was freezing!  In July!

sunrise on cadillac mountain

But very much worth it!  What a beautiful sight!  The sun begins to rise in Bar Harbor about 4:00 AM.  And as you can see, we weren’t the only crazy people there checking out the view.

sunrise on cadillac mountain

We had so much fun with the family here and were able to show them just a bit of the sights and experiences of this beautiful part of the country.

Our new lifestyle is exciting and we very much love our decision to take a chance and start traveling, but seeing the family again will be one of the highlights of our summer.

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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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A look at Southwest Harbor and Bass Harbor Lighthouse

Spring has finally come to our part of Maine!  The grass suddenly greened up, the weather has warmed up a bit, and the dandelions are in full bloom!
dandelions dog spring in maine

Back in Georgia, the schools have let out for summer and I’m sure it is very hot and humid there.  While we are totally not missing that, it is a bit strange to be celebrating spring weather when it is nearly June.

bar harbor oceanside koa maine

The park is starting to fill up.  We had a big crowd over the Memorial Day weekend and our first taste of how busy it will get as the weather warms up here.

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When Dave and I lived and worked in Atlanta, we carpooled every day- an hour and a half each way in heavy traffic.

bar harbor oceanside koa maine

We still carpool, but this is our new ride!  Cute, right?  Takes us about 5 whole minutes to get to work and the traffic?  Other than an occasional seagull or goose, it is nonexistent!

trip to bass harbor lighthouse

We get two days off a week and plan to use them to explore the area.  The Bar Harbor Oceanside KOA is located on Mount Desert Island.  It is a huge island with lots of areas to explore including a Acadia National Park, tons of hiking trails, lots of coastal towns, lobster fishing, beautiful mountains, and even a lighthouse or two!

This past weekend, we took a trip down to Southwest Harbor, Bass Harbor, and the Bass Harbor Lighthouse. Southwest Harbor is the largest town on the southwestern “quiet side” of the island. The town has some great shops, galleries and restaurants worth checking out more thoroughly in the near future.

bar harbor southwest harbor

As we entered Southwest Harbor, we stopped to admire the amazing views.  You can see the open ocean here, dotted with various small islands.  And just check out the rocks!  I had immediate plans of gathering a bunch and creating a whole new batch of Painted Paisley Stones!

bar harbor southwest harbor

…and apparently they knew I was coming.   It appears that I may not be the only one who loves a pretty rock.

bar harbor southwest harbor

Our next stop was the lighthouse.  My ultimate goal on this trip is to visit every lighthouse in the area, and with nearly 60 lighthouses on the Maine coast, I have my work cut out for me!

Built in 1858, Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse is the only lighthouse located on Mount Desert Island.  There are not currently tours available for this lighthouse as it is maintained by a private family, but you can take the walkway right up next to the tower and lighthouse viewing area where you can see a panoramic view of the harbor and the islands in the distance.

bar harbor southwest harbor

To the left side of the lighthouse is a path that leads to the rocks below where you can capture some amazing photos of the cliff and lighthouse.  Here I am in my KOA yellow parka checking out the view before I carefully picked my way down.

bar harbor southwest harbor

We sat here for quite some time enjoying the view and keeping an eye out for seals along the shore.  I hope to come back here soon around sunset and get some more beautiful photos.

bar harbor southwest harbor

The little town of Bass Harbor is not only picturesque, but is known as one of  the most lucrative lobster-producing ports in the state.  The town also has terminals for two different ferries which can take you to more of the surrounding islands.

We plan on taking some of the ferries in the near future and will let you know more about them then.

bar harbor oceanside koa

But for now, we have work to do back at the Oceanside KOA.  And a few beautiful sunsets to enjoy there!

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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!

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The beautiful coast of Connecticut!

Driving north from Hershey, we rolled into Aces High Campground in East Lyme, CT.  We took a slight departure from KOA and chose this campground based on the fact that it was close to the ocean and boasted lakeside lots.

connecticut camping rv life

The weather was beautiful and we managed to get a spot right along side the lake.  Well, I have to admit that we were pretty much the only ones there.  We shared a campground with geese, ducks, and about 10 RV’s that were being stored there for the winter.

connecticut camping rv life

The dogs and I discovered a great walking trail that took us all the way around the lake.  Cool shot, right?  Of course after taking the photo, I had to spend 20 minutes untangling Faith from tree trunks.

Oh, and it was about a minute after that when my brand new (six day old) iPhone 6 suddenly bit the dust.  As a professional blogger with a major dependency on my mobile hot spot, this was a big deal.

connecticut camping rv life

So we ended up spending our entire first day in Connecticut looking for someone to replace my iPhone6.  You see, AT&T (while they were happy to take my money), do not support the iPhone.  They told us we would need to go to Apple.

We ended up having to drive an hour to the Apple Genius Bar in New Haven in order to get my phone replaced.  The day actually turned out much better once we got there.  The Genius Bar was located right in the center of Yale University.  They cheerfully replaced my phone and we were able to see Yale University up close and personal at the same time!

connecticut camping rv life

On the way back home, we did a detour to the coast and enjoyed some beautiful sandy beaches.  Dave challenged me to a 2 mile hike along this sandy trail.

Ever tried to walk for two miles in loose sand?  My daily exercise quota was totally met.  In fact, I’m going for another aspirin right now…

connecticut camping rv life

The next day, we visited Mystic Seaport.  Not doing any research up front, I assumed that Mystic Seaport was just a huge harbor full of ships.

connecticut camping rv life

It turns out that Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. It is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world.  The museum features a working preservation shipyard, a re-created 19th-century seafaring village, exhibits and even a planetarium.

connecticut camping rv life

The town of Mystic was quaint and colorful, and full of art! Totally my kind of town.

connecticut camping rv life

You know, my sister has perfected the selfie with her face in the foreground and something awesome behind her.

Us?  Not so much.

You can’t tell by the photo, but he is holding the camera (because he has longer arms) and I am pushing the button (because he can’t seem to hold the camera and push the button at the same time). In all the commotion, trying to push the button and get my short squatty head and his super tall head in the same frame, we always seem to lose the cool thing in the background.

For the record, it was a boat.

connecticut camping rv life

And I certainly cannot talk about Mystic without mentioning the lighthouses!  The New London Harbor Lighthouse was originally built in 1801.  The keeper’s dwelling is now a private residence, but the lighthouse is still active. Tours need to be arranged for this lighthouse by appointment only, so we didn’t get to see it up close and personal.

new london ledge lighthouse

And there is the New London Ledge Lighthouse!  This one fascinates me because it has been featured on several ghost hunting shows.  I love ghost stories.

This floating lighthouse, originally built in 1901, is famous for the ghost of an early keeper, nicknamed “Ernie,” who allegedly haunts the lighthouse.  Lighthouses keepers in the past have reported unexplained knockings, doors opening and closing repeatedly, the television turning on and off by itself and even the unexplained removal of sheets from beds!

connecticut camping rv life

Unfortunately, the only way to get to this little lighthouse is by boat, so this is the closest I was able to get to it.

I’m sure Ernie was very disappointed…

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Beautiful and historic Hershey, PA!

Seems like the further we head north, the more we go back in time.  We left spring behind somewhere on the Pennsylvania line, and were met with chilly weather and trees that have just now started recovering from a harsh winter.

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

The Hershey Johnstown KOA was our campground of choice.  Tucked in beside the beautiful Swatara creek, we loved the ambiance of this little campground!  Our rig was a bit to big to fit in the spaces along the creek, so we were set back on the wooded side, but walking the dogs was a treat here.

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

Of course when in Hershey, one must go see what all the fuss is about!  And if it required eating chocolate, well Dave and I would just have to make the sacrifice.  We are just that dedicated…

Dave and I are history buffs, so we were excited to learn everything we could about this interesting town and the man that originated it.

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

The Hershey Company originated with candy-manufacturer Milton Hershey’s decision in 1894 to produce sweet chocolate as a coating for his caramels. In 1900, the company began producing milk chocolate in bars, wafers and other shapes.

Hershey used mass production in his factories and was able to lower the per-unit cost and make milk chocolate, once a luxury item for the wealthy, affordable to all.

hershey koa pennsylvania camping

Our first stop was at Hershey’s Chocolate World.  Entrance is free, which is totally up our alley.  Chocolate as far as you could see.   I made Dave put that humongous Hershey kiss back.  And then we both backed slowly away…

Fun Fact: Did you know that Hershey’s kisses have been around since 1907?

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

We then took the free Hershey’s Chocolate Tour.  It was about a 10 minute ride through a Hershey “factory” where some animated cows show you how chocolate bars are made.  It was campy and fun!  And that cow song “Hershey’s Milk Chocolate!” will stick in your head.

Literally for days.

Oh, and you get chocolate at the end of the ride!

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

HERSHEY’S markets its products in approximately 70 countries worldwide. They currently have around 14,000 employees and net sales in excess of $6.6 billion.

And the cool thing is that The Hershey Company remains committed to the vision and values of the man who started it all so many years ago.

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

For a small fee, we took the Hershey Trolley Works tour of the city, where we were told the history of the city, the Hershey Company and Milton Hershey, the founder.

One of the stops was the Milton Hershey School.  We were able to go inside, but I have to tell you that my camera just didn’t do it justice.  So here is a short video that talks a bit about the school and it’s history.

In 1918, Milton Hershey and his wife, Catherine Hershey, donated all of their considerable wealth, of around 60 million dollars, to the boarding school upon Catherine Hershey’s death. Before his own death in 1945, Milton Hershey ensured the school would live on by donating 30% of all future Hershey profits to the school.

Due to this generous donation, Milton Hershey School now has over 7 billion dollars in assets, making it one of the richest schools in the world.

hershey pennsylvania koa camping

Part of the trolley ride included driving by the Hershey mansion, which is the home that Milton built for his beloved wife in the early 1900’s.  It now serves as an office building for those that handle the Milton Hershey School trust.

We learned a whole lot on our tour of Hershey and highly recommend the Trolley rides and the free Hershey’s Chocolate tour.

Special Note: Due to the time of year, we did not have to deal with crowds.  If you happen to be in the area during the summer season, be prepared.  They told us that the population of Hershey triples during the height of the summer season.

Our next stop is the coast of Connecticut.  See you there!.

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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.

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Branson, Missouri – fun and campy even without Barry Williams!

Branson, Missouri is many things.  Colorful, exciting, touristy and campy all at the same time.  It reminded me somewhat of Gatlinburg, TN.  Without Dolly Parton, of course.  Lots of things to see and do, all on a single strip of road.

branson missouri travel camping

Unusual buildings were everywhere.  I’m sure the idea is to get you to stop.  And this little technique worked well with me.  The hubby got plenty of eye rolling in every time I asked him to pull over so that I could take a photo.

I don’t like fried chicken much and I’d already eaten breakfast, but I have to tell you, this chicken at The Great American Steak and Chicken House was beckoning me in!  Dave firmly put me back in the car and moved me along.

branson missouri travel camping

Oh my!  Mount Rushmore!  Only not!

branson missouri travel camping

I did convince him to stop at the cool looking Jackie B. Goode’s Uptown Cafe for a hotdog.  Seems that most every restaurant offers live entertainment!

branson missouri travel camping

Downtown offered all the shopping that you could possibly ever want.  All with the tourist in mind.  Lots of Branson t-shirts, Branson jewelry, Branson cup holders, Branson magnets, and any other Branson item you might have to have.

I’m not a shopper, much to Dave’s relief.  But I do love to look around, do a bit of window shopping and a whole bunch of people watching.

Oh, and they had an ice cream shop that we may or may not have checked out.   Let’s just say that the Black Walnut ice cream could very possibly have been delicious.

So what did I miss?  Well how about the Barry Williams 70’s Music Celebration show?

Turns out he only performs at 2:00 PM every other day.  How could a top of the line performer end up with a 2:00 PM time slot, I’ll never know.  I’ll just have to be satisfied with this little clip of a video that someone took with their cell phone.

They take videos like my mom does and cut off his head most of the time.  But you get the gist.

A stellar performance, I’m sure.

You know, come to think of it, Dave didn’t seem too upset that we missed the show.  LOL!

branson missouri travel camping

So in an effort to make up for the fact that we missed Barry Williams, we went to the Hollywood Wax Museum and I introduced Dave to Taylor Swift.

I think he might have been invading her space a bit, though.

branson missouri travel camping

On the other hand, Hugh Hefner was quite cool with me hanging out with him.  He said that anytime I’m in the vicinity of the Playboy mansion, that I’m welcome to stop by!

Dave said he may or may not add that to his itinerary…

branson missouri travel camping

Donald Trump was a git grouchy and wanted to fire Dave right away.  I convinced him that Dave might be a decent employee.  We were still discussing his options…

branson missouri travel camping

…when Dave found a job with the Men in Black.

branson missouri travel campingSomewhere in the front lobby near the red carpet, I tripped over Angie’s dress and ended up sprawled dramatically all over the floor.  Brad stepped over me quite gallantly and posed for two more photos with barely a pause.

That is the difference between professionals and amateurs, folks!

Not into wax museums?

How about some beautiful scenery?

branson missouri travel camping

Table Rock Lake spans more than 43 thousand acres and 800 miles of shoreline.  This beautiful lake was created in August of 1958, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Table Rock Dam across the White River. This area is perfect for campers, pleasure boaters, fishermen and those that love water sports.

We ran across several beautiful campgrounds along the lake.  They offered full hook ups in many of them and wonderful lake views!

Fishing in this area of the country is very popular.  The lakes are full of bass, crappie, white bass, catfish and bluegill.  Beneath the dam, the Missouri Department of Conservation operates a fish hatchery, which is used to stock trout in Lake Taneycomo.

scenic drive branson, missouri

Since we were out looking for views, we took the 22 mile scenic loop.

branson missouri travel camping

The loop takes you by the Table Rock Dam and offers lots of beautiful scenic overlooks.

We were very impressed with the city of Branson.  Lots of friendly folks, lots of things to see and do, and if you are a shopper, well you are in heaven!

Now if we can just get Barry Williams to do an encore, all will be well with the world…

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