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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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Yes, We Are Still Alive!

By on Oct 22, 2014 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

I tried to pin my lack of blogging on bad wifi and bad data plans but three weeks at my mom’s house and two weeks at our friends’ farm all came with “free wifi” and still no blog posts came of it. So, instead of trying to find just the right pictures and get them all uploaded and edited and write a long post, I’m just going to post short updates – kind of what I was doing on Facebook instead of writing here. I pulled Facebook off my phone so I no longer have that temptation. If you get too many, you can unsubscribe and just check the main home page once in awhile where you’ll find the map listings showing where we’ve been. (I’m still not sure if you can see that page on a cell phone¬† but the listing have all been updated with write-ups on each stop and even some pictures.) We are now at Assateague State Park in Maryland. This is where the wild ponies roam free! We are at the very end of the camping season so it is not at all crowded. Downside is that most of the crab places are closed but we had beautiful weather upon our arrival and plenty of time to let Teddy run and swim on the beach. Our campsite is at the edge of the “dogs allowed” section and that part of the beach runs farther than you can see in the other direction so it’s easy to find our own space. I love that loophole in the leash rules: “unless the dog is swimming and then he can be off leash.” And, of course, the best promise of Assateague camping came true this evening: the wild ponies came walking through the campground to check out everyone’s stuff around 7ish. Throughout the night, we could hear them snuffling around and whinnying to each other. The kids got a couple of pictures when they came really close and we’ll see if we get more pics to add as we continue our stay. We are looking at a lot of rain tonight and tomorrow so we might have to make it a big homeschool day until it clears....

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Shh, We Are Uploading a Photo…

Shh, We Are Uploading a Photo…

By on Sep 2, 2014 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Too many wifi restrictions here and threats to cut off service if you upload pictures or look at Facebook or do anything that uses too much bandwidth. There was even a veiled threat of RVers coming after us with pitchforks b/c supposedly the internet service for the whole park will get cut off if there are too many violators. But, we all know that blog posts are incredibly boring without even just one picture. Here we are at Custer State Park on the Wildlife Loop where you are supposed to see hundreds of buffalo and lots of other animals. We weren’t getting a lot of action so we stopped to play with the timer on the camera. We are all looking happy because this is a cheery overview blog. If it were a different kind of blog, I’d be writing about spending my time at Mount Rushmore crying because I’ve wanted to go there my entire life and I forgot the camera battery and I was stuck having to walk back and forth in the dog ghetto with Teddy because that’s what you do at National Park sites when you are traveling with a dog.   We have been making tracks across the middle of the country trying to get to NY for our time at my mom’s and for a few weeks in New England with the leaf peepers and to to see our good friends in NH. We lingered a little too long in Montana, trying to avoid any hot summer weather so now we are paying the price with longish driving days and one night stops, often in parking lots to save some money for when we can enjoy campground amenities. The listings section and map pins have been updated with our stops along the way. It’s nice to see that we are making progress! Our time in NY is going to be when we work on getting more organized and making a plan for the rest of the year. For those that don’t know already, our house sale is final so we are not moving back to San Diego. Let’s hope we still like Greensboro when we go spend some time in...

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