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Single Riders

Single Riders

By on Dec 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

When we lived in San Diego, I avoided like the plague any situation that might require standing in line for any length of time. So, while we did go to Legoland and Sea World and the Zoo, it was always at off times and never for a whole day. (That’s the glory of season passes!) I’d see other families all cranky and yelling at their whiny kids and think to myself, “Ha! That’s not going to be me because we can just leave long before it gets to that point. WE didn’t spend a fortune on this one day that must be fun, or else.” Well, now we are facing a January trip to Disney World that is costing a relative fortune and requires a high level of fun to be had by all in order to make it worthwhile. The solution? Go to Universal Studios to practice while we are still high on celebrating our $16.89 campground just a few miles away. K wasn’t feeling great and I wanted to see all the Harry Potter stuff so it was just me and the boys. Also our first time navigating a busy day away with managing diabetes. First day – ugh! We dashed to the first Harry Potter ride we could get on before the lines started but didn’t check ahead that it was a stomach churner. Kind of turned D off on the rides for a little while but he bounced back, even letting us talk him into going on the Mummy roller coaster – after which, we could say about every other ride, “Well, it won’t be as bad as the Mummy…”   All in all, our two days at Universal turned out to be fun! AND, the Harry Potter stuff was good inspiration to get A started on reading the books. I wanted him to at least read the first one ahead of time so he’d know what all the stuff was about but he got hooked and is zooming his way through the series (and redeeming our homeschooling efforts).   But the best part about our Universal Studios experience was realizing that we are a Single Rider Family. Seeing a 30 minute wait and the...

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Best Campground Yet?

By on Dec 6, 2014 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

When we were on Sauvie Island, outside of Portland, OR, I worried, “What if we have already experienced the best campground of the whole trip and it is only the first month?” Admittedly, my opinion was colored by having the Columbia River literally steps from the campsite and having a long term resident tell me to disregard the No Dogs On the Beach sign, “What? They don’t own the river!” (NY guy, natch.) Since then, we have stayed so many places, we’ve lost track of our ordering of favorites and horribles. For the price and location, though, I think we landed in a new Top 5 contender – Bill Frederick Park in Otlando, FL. $16.89 per night and less than 4 miles from Universal. This was A’s pick after I lamented that no one was helping me research RV parks. I think the kid is hired! Bill Frederick is a city owned campground inside a huge public park with lake, pool, playground, biking paths and a Children’s Farm that we have not yet explored other than to aww at the baby horse through the fence. We have good showers and a laundry right here. The only odd thing with these park campgrounds is that the gates get locked and then you are on your own, hoping that you are not camping with a bunch of psychos. But, hey, we’re talking $16.89 here! Here I am embracing being in the South and practicing parking on the grass: Dinner was a BBQ place we passed with dancing pigs on their sign. Effective! Rocket launch went off right on time this morning! Nice view from the campground and we could hear the delayed boom but too far and cloudy for any good pics. Tomorrow is a day of homeschool catch up and seeking out a bagel shop that claims to have “Brooklynized” their...

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Say Yes

By on Dec 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Many of my friends already know this but for other readers it may sound like true confessions time to admit that I love William Shatner. In one of his autobiographies (the Man cannot contain himself in just one!), he summed up his life philosophy and advice as, “Say ‘yes.'” I remember trying to impart this wisdom to D a couple of years ago in the context of being  trying new things but then he trumped me by asking, “But not drugs, right? I shouldn’t say yes to drugs, should I?” Well played. Outside the context of drugs and other illicit activities, we are trying to be people who are open to new experiences. Not just because William Shatner says so but because what’s the use of this whole trip if we don’t do things? So, D and I got up at 3:30 AM to go to the Kennedy Space Center for the official viewing of the Orion rocket launch.   Turns out the launch got scrubbed after we were there for almost five hours so, on the one hand, it was a waste of time and money, but on the other hand, we are still riding high on our triumph of positioning ourselves to be some of the first people back on the bus – practically before the word “scrub” was fully pronounced. “Scr” and we were on the move, high-fiving each other as we pulled away and left the giant line behind (supposedly over 20,000 people!). Being onsite for the official countdowns and explanations was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be – enough that I even contemplated going back tomorrow to try again, but I can’t push my luck and end up stuck in a crowd for hours. Instead, we are going to watch from the waterfront here at the campground.   All of us were super-tired today – D and I from getting up so early and K and A from Teddy crying pitifully practically all night because he couldn’t sleep near me. So much for the idea of D and I trying to be out of the way so as  not to disturb everyone else with our early rising. But, here we...

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Florida Dreamin’

Florida Dreamin’

By on Dec 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

After several VERY cold nights in North Carolina and even South Carolina, I feel like winter can be over now that we have arrived in Florida. I have had a longtime fascination with Florida so this is a highlight of our trip for me. We will be in FL until at least January 11th, trying to avoid cold weather as long as we can before the snowbirds come back to their “already reserved 100 years in advance” campgrounds that we can’t get into. I am DYING to see an alligator just meandering around. (But, hopefully not a hungry one.)   Check out this awesome dog park at the campground! I either forgot or didn’t know there was even a dog area here so this was a terrific surprise: Campground dog parks are usually terrific because: Most campers have tiny dogs Dogs who get to travel with their families are “usually” not going to be horribly dog aggressive It’s sort of new territory for all the dogs Almost always, we are the only ones using the space (although, to Teddy, that is decidedly NOT a good point)     Thanks to a tip from a teacher at one of the school open houses in North Carolina and the Disney lady practically laughing out loud when I tried to make Disney campground reservations for December: “What year? Ha, ha, ha, you loser!” (That second part was implied), we arranged to be in the Cape Canaveral area in time for a big rocket launch tomorrow (12/4). It was even written up in the San Diego paper here, with the (gulp!) mention that they are expecting 26,000 people. D and I are getting up at 3:30ish (AM!) to go to the official launch area but the view from the campground is supposed to be wonderful. I want to feel the blast and be with all the space fanboys and fangirls. We’ll see if that turns out to be a good idea or a big mess. I really want to be doing things on this trip so here we are showing up for a rocket launch. From here, we have four nights in Orlando at a city park campground that A found. Good reviews...

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Now What?

By on Nov 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Our time on Assateague turned stormy with lots of wind and rain. We learned the hard way that we are supposed to cover the refrigerator vent when the rain is blowing horizontally. Luckily, we noticed the water coming in and were able to catch it all before it did any damage. The ponies stayed out of sight during the stormy weather and Teddy pined to no avail for another romp on the beach. I did catch this pic of some ponies on our way out: A and I eventually finished reading Misty of Chincoteague together and it was fun to read the story and know that we were there with descendants of those ponies. What was NOT fun about Assateague was discovering that D has Type 1 diabetes. We had recently been visiting friends in New Hampshire whose son was diagnosed with the same thing a few months ago so we were steeped enough in the warning signs to consider the possibility and, thus, catch it early. The small town ER did not have any pediatrics at all, let alone an endocrinologist, but it stuck in my head that there was a respected children’s hospital in Winston Salem, NC. Some quick googling ensued and we discovered that the Winston Salem hospital is actually a center for pediatric diabetes research and treatment. We quickly got the ER Dr. on board to send us there and drove practically through the night (with a stop at a Walmart for a few hours sleep). Good news is that D was easily stabilized and only had one night in the hospital. He had to grow up really fast with all this and is making it seem easy but it’s a big change and a lot to process. We are still pondering how this will affect our trip plans. Right now, we are thinking of cutting out our plans for ski time and substituting a much longer stay in Florida for December and January. Right now, we just moved from Greensboro to a campground outside of Winston Salem that is thankfully MUCH NICER! We’ll be here for about a week and then, depending on the weather, we’ll go explore a few other places like Mount...

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