Serenity in Syracuse

Love this guy!

An important lesson we’ve learned along the way – no projects on short stays. Anytime we try, we end up overwhelmed and stressed.

Gorgeous stay at Tree Farm Campground in Vermont

This helped make our stay in Syracuse wonderful. After a fun week in Vermont, we got a lot accomplished, so we were able to just relax and enjoy Treasure Isle RV Resort, in upper state New York. 

Welcome to Syracuse

The site is family run and they are very friendly. The father-in-law escorted us to our site and helped Damon back into the site. 

Water front view

The site itself was in the water and very serene. We enjoyed relaxing outside and looking at the water. One HUGE downside was all the bugs! I’m means, lots of bugs. Spiders, flies, and some red bugs I don’t know of, we’re all over our trailer. If anyone has any tips on how to keep bugs out of the trailer, I’m all ears! 

We spent our only day at the site enjoying the newly built playground with the kids. By far this is the nicest playground we’ve encountered. Mini-man loved climbing and playing on it. Little-dude is a little young for the playground, so he hung out with me. 

Perfect evening for a fire

We finished our stay grilling hamburgers and enjoying the sunset. It was a great place to relax. 

Now onto Niagara Falls! I’m really excited to visit the famous falls ๐Ÿคฃ

Very Happy in Vermont – I

Made it to our ultimate destination – Vermont!

Well, we did it! After 8 weeks of traveling, we made it to our ultimate destination – Springfield, Vermont. I’ve loved the idea of Vermont since I was young and watched “White Christmas”. Everything I’ve ever been told is that Vermont is beautiful in the fall. 

Tree Farm Campground is gorgeous

To ensure we could enjoy Vermont and all their beauty we chose to stay at Tree Farm Campground, just outside of Springfield. This adorable campground is peaceful and beautiful – even the air smells amazing. The staff is very friendly and really made us feel right at home. 

The campground was filled with these interesting wood creatures

Our first few days were pretty cold and wet, so used the time to explore the campground and get some projects done and go shopping (I really want a new mattress, but having problems finding a good one that supports but doesn’t smell). 

Chili!

Along the way, we stumbled across a cute Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off. Since like chili, I decided to buy a pass and try them out. Along the way, I let Damon try a few (some I’d thought he’d like and other because I couldn’t eat them due to allergies). This is when I discover that hes never really been a fan of my chili! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Turns out, he ate it because I liked making it. So thanks to this chili cook-off, I am now determined to make a chili Damon will love. I have already gotten a Crock-Pot and tried a recipe I thought he’d like (Similar to one he liked at th cook-off). He liked it but wants more flavor and less liquid (at least I’m on a good path).

Better to get her fixed now than break down on the road later

During all of this running around, we discovered our car brakes were slipping. Not wanting these to fail as we’re driving down the road with the RV, we decided to get the car check. Turns out, we broke something new!

When we break something, we do it good

You may recall that a few weeks ago we blew a tire (in spectacular fashion) while we were in Hazard, Kentucky. Turns out, the back brake disc on the became so over-heated that it broke in half! One half was still in the car and we ran over the half in Kentucky, which blew up the tire. The repair guy says he’s never seen anything like it! Thank goodness we were the only customers and they were able to repair the car fairly quickly.

Choo-choo!

Stay tuned for part II, where we go on a train ride through Green Mountain and go apple picking!

Hittin’ the Road – Part Duex

So now that we’ve made it to Vermont, it’s time to head back south. While we are lovin’ this cooler, more fall-like weather, this Florida family isn’t quite ready to campout in the snow.

We learned a lot from this first trip. W think we were too ambitious – trying to drive large distances and having short stays, wore us out and limited the boys. With that in mind, here is where we are headed next:

  • Syracuse, NY: to see more fall colors
  • Niagara Falls, NY: to visit the famous falls
  • Pittsburgh, PA: Damon went to college here and wants to show us around
  • Columbus, OH: Stop over in our way to Louisville
  • Louisville, KY: Staying in an old site with live actors recreating the 1800’s!
  • Aurora, KY: Stop over
  • Little Rock, AR: we’ve read that this place is gorgeous
  • Hernando, MS: wanted to have a stop in Mississippi
  • Jefferson, TX: first of several stops in Texas – it’s a big state
  • Wacco, TX: stop 2 and may, or may not, want to see the Fixer Upper town for ourselves
  • San Antonio, TX: Home of the Alamo, this is our last stop for a while so we can get the RV looked at.

Let us know if you have any recommendations for these places. We’d love to know of some fun places to visit.

Calm Week in Cape Cod

Farewell Connecticut

After weeks of short stays, it was great to stop for a full week in Cape Cod at Sweetwater Campground – especially since I sick.

Home to a beautiful lake

Located in the heart of Cape Cod, Sweetwater Forest Campground is a beautiful place to set up camp – campsites we’re spaceous and far apart. It can be a bit confusing to navigate, so I highly recommend calling them to arrange a campsite (their online directions are confusing if you’ve never been there). It’s great for families with a beautiful lake and fun playgrounds for the kids. The only downside for me isn’t their fault but there isn’t a fast food place or large grocery store that’s really close (being from Orlando, I’m used to having four grocery stores within 10 minutes of my house). Other than that, I highly recommend this park.

Diggin up some fun while mommy got some rest

On our first day, Damon took the boys and explored the campground, which gave me some much needed time to rest. I felt a lot better by the end of the day.

Finally got little-dudes bouncer installed and he loves it!

The next day was a bit gloomy out, so we used the time to restock and finish some projects, including our water leak! Turns out that one of the valves was loose. Once we tightened it, the leak disappeared (thank goodness for an easy fix – we have too many other big ones to solve at the moment).

This lake was amazing. Mini-man loves throwing rocks and playing with the water

The next few days were all about relaxing and enjoying the campground. We were so tired from the constant travel that it was great to just enjoy time together as a family. One of the highlights was their gorgeous lake. Mini-man loved walking there and discovered throwing rocks into the water.

Welcome to Provincetown

A friend of Damon’s recommended that we visit Provincetown, about an hour from our campground. 

Me and mini-man

We arrived at lunch time and after driving around we found that there were many cute restaurants. The downside to this adorable town was the small streets that are shared with houses, parked cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. So you can imagine how nerve wracking it was to drive our monster SUV around ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Lunch time!

Once we parked, we walked around and stopped at ‘The Post Office Cafe and Cabaret’, food by day and the best entertainment in Provincetown by night. We stopped here so we could enjoy some local seafood outside and get mini-man some toddler aimed food (i.e. french fries ๐Ÿ˜). 

Trying some local cuisine

Overall, not a bad place. It took a while to get any service and it wasn’t always clear who was serving. I ordered the lobster-crab cakes, which I’m pretty sure we’re shrimp, not lobster and okay for that (never really been a fan of shrimp). Damon got a cup of clam chowder and the pulled-pork sandwich – both of which were fine. It took a while to get refills and our bill (the servers kept disappearing and generally weren’t  that friendly). We enjoyed the experience but probably wouldn’t go back.

Perfect afternoon for visiting the beach and throwing rocks

Afterwards, we decided to walk the boys over to the beach (can’t visit cape cod without visiting the beach). The weather was beautiful and perfect for a walk on the beach. Of course, mini-man had to throw some rocks into the water. However within a few minutes, both boys showed signs of wanting naps.

These small, walkable streets were cute but hard to drive down

So Damon carried little-dude and I pushed mini-man in the stroller, and went for a walk through the town. Both were asleep within minutes. 

Provincetown is  made up of art galleries, restaurants, more art galleries, B&B’s, and even more art galleries (did I mention there were art galleries? ๐Ÿ˜)

Mmmmm…. Tastes like chicken

After enjoying a short walk, we headed back to the car. While we enjoyed our time, we had an hour drive ahead and still needed to make dinner.

More playground fun

We spent our last day at Sweetwater playing with the boys and finishing some last minute projects. This was definitely what we needed to rest up from lots of traveling. 

Bye-bye Sweetwater

Now we are ready to get to our ultimate destination – Springfield, Vermont. With projects out of the way and feeling rested, we’re hoping to get to see a lot of this area.

Wishful Thinking in Washington DC

So Long Williamsburg

As we left Williamsburg, I was really looking forward to our next stop – Washington DC. I’d reseached some great places to take the kids and was really excited to show them around. But you know the old saying, ‘GOD laughs while you make plans’.

Hello Washington DC

We arrived early in the afternoon at Cherry Hill Park, which is becoming a great habit, and spent afternoon cleaning and organizing. We wanted to get as many projects done as possible so we could explore the next day.

Not happy riding the subway

We started out early the next day into DC. One reason I chose this campsite was it’s proximity to the subway – a 5 minute drive! 

Watching the train go by

However, our troubles started here. Mini-man did not want to ride. I had to hold him ’til the doors closed, and even then, he tried to leave. Eventually, I convinced him to sit in my lap, but he tried to leave at every stop (10 stops!).

Mini-man and a very friendly squirrel

Once we got into the city, both kids stayed in their strollers and we headed to the Air and Space Museum ( I’d read it was a great place for toddlers). Here’s where we run into our next problem – it was hot and very crowded.

The Washington Monument (my only pic of any DC buildings)

Once we got to the museum we were grateful for the AC, but I think everyone was visiting the museum. And now another problem  – the so-called “kids area” was made for olders kids, not toddlers, despite what we were told. Mini-man couldn’t reach anything, and he’s tall for his age, which meant he wasn’t interested in anything. Instead, he sat on the floor and colored. Yup, traveled all the way into the city so he could color on the floor.

Pit stop in the National Mall

So we decided to get some lunch and regroup. Unfortunately this was our next problem – the museum closed the food court for maintenance ( brilliant idea for a busy weekend) and all food areas around were closed (apparently this is common for anything close to the city – only open on weekdays ๐Ÿ™„).

This squirrel had no fear and came right up to us

Luckily, we found a McDonald’s close by. At this point, I’m hot and tired, the kids were close to naps, and none of us were having fun. Instead of pushing around two tired kids on a hot day, we changed our plans and went back to the RV park.

The ride back was better, as long as mini-man stayed in my lap

Best. decision. ever. Mini-man willingly got on the subway this time and even liked it a little (as long as he was in my lap). Just before we got to our stop, both kids were asleep ๐Ÿ˜ด

Awesome pool ๐Ÿ˜Ž

After we all had naps, we headed to the pool. Thus far, this place had the best kids pool – it had areas ranging from 0ft to 3ft, perfect for the kids. Once mini-man got in, he played for hours. An amazing way to end the day.

Trying to fix the kitchen slide

Monday, we actually got someone to come to the RV! So we quickly ran some errands (I finally have my glasses back!), and made it back to find the repair guy already at work.  We have an ever growing list of things to fix, but he recommended that we just fix the kitchen slide and try to get into a shop soon to fix everything else.

Turns out that our slide wasn’t working because of the melted wires from a while ago. The computer that runs the slide works but the wire that supplied it’s power was completely melted. So it looks like we need to get the RV rewired soon. 

The good news, is with some creative tinkering, we were able to get the kitchen slide working! I was thrilled to be able to clean out the fridge, finally. It’s been on-and-off for so long, that everything inside went bad and started growing mold (I swear I washed my hands 10 times afterwards).

As we were finishing, mini-man found the swimming stuff and wanted to head to the pool ๐Ÿ˜†

Once we got to the pool, mini-man tried to go straight into the pool, before we put his swim stuff on him ๐Ÿคฃ. As soon as he was dressed, he was in the pool.

We stayed for a few hours, until mini-man was ready to leave. This is the last stop for a while that will have an open pool and we wanted him to enjoy it.

Time to go

Sadly, it was our last night and we had to start packing up. We’ve discovered the more we put away the night before, the faster we can leave in the morning. 

I loved this RV park and I plan to bring the kids back when they are older and can appreciate Washington DC.

Next Stop – the Big Apple!

The Dash to Nashville – Escaping Hurricane Irma

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, instead of having a nice, relaxing beach trip for the next few weeks, we’ve had to change our plans and get as far north as fast as we can.

We left Orlando on Thursday, September 7, early in the morning. Since we have kids, we broke the trip up into three legs – 1) Fl/Ga Border 2) Atlanta 3) Nashville. Each leg should have been 3-4 hours each. Unfortunately, we were trying to leave along with hundreds, of thousands of other people. Our first leg took us over eight hours! We found out later that this was short compared to other people who tried to leave on Friday, who experienced 14-20 hour long drives.

At the Fl/Ga border, we stopped at an RV park, called Eagles Roost. I called a few days in advance for a reservation and super glad I did – we managed to get one of the last sites. Lots of RV families were leaving and this place was the closest, and nicest, places on the border.

And I could see why – this place was absolutely beautiful. The sites might be a little close for some, but we didn’t mind. Everyone we met was super friendly and the noise settled down pretty early in the night. The staff we very friendly and accommodating – the were really trying to help people find places to go. I wish we could have stayed longer, but this location was still in the danger zone, so we proceeded to Atlanta the next day.

We traveled the route to Atlanta with the same people from before who were all trying to escape the storm. So another leg, which should have been four hours, became nine hours! I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to get to our campsite – Shoal Creek Resort.

This place was amazing – beautiful campsites surrounded by trees and water. It was calming just to stand there outside of the trailer. It was so great that none of us, including the cats, wanted to stay inside.

Luckily, we stayed here two nights and were able to take advantage of the property. During our stay, we played near the lake, walked around, and had a wonderful cook-out – complete with s’mores!

Of course, while we were enjoying ourselves, Hurricane Irma strengthened and changed course. As we were preparing to leave, Atlanta issued their first ever tropical storm warning – with high winds and flooding expected. Luckily, we hadn’t planned to stay there to long and headed to Nashville.

We’ve been told that Rock island State Park is one of the best places to stay and they were right. This small campsite has lots of trails to hike and sites to see. The kids had fun exploring and playing. And we had another cook-out. These are quickly becoming my favorite part of RV life.

Next up, Kentucky!

Slight Change of Plans

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So, you may have seen that there is a little storm named Irma headed to Florida in the next few days. I have lived in Florida for 20 years and have experienced a variety of hurricanes. Most of the time, these storms don’t phase me. This one scares me. Add into the mix that we live in an RV with kids plus cats and I am not taking any chances.

Originally, we were going to stay in Central Florida til Saturday, then head to Daytona, then onto Savannah – a.k.a all destinations in the path of this storm. Instead, we are high-tailing it out of Florida. Here is our new plan:

  • Wednesday: Central Florida (to get some things done)
  • Thursday: Heading to the Florida/Georgia Border
  • Friday-Sunday: Staying near Atlanta
  • Sunday-Friday (9/15) – Staying at Rock State National Park, TN

Trust me, this is a scary storm and it should not be messed with. If you are in the path, please get out if you can. If not, stock-up and hunker down. Hopefully everyone in Florida stays safe and the storm just fizzles (Fingers Crossed!) in the ocean.

RV Stop #1 – Fort De Soto

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We’ve said goodbye to Winter Garden RV Resort – our holding place while we finished prepping the house to sell – and headed to our first stop on our road trip, Fort De Soto, Florida.

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This beautiful RV park is inside of the Fort De Soto state park – home to quiet beaches and a historic old fort. If you want a quiet beach weekend, this is the place to go.

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We learned a lot even before we arrived.

  • The two-hour drive occurred during a big thunder storm, complete with thunder and lightning, which made for a very shaky drive. The kids slept most of the way and didn’t seem to notice that anything was wrong. The cats are a different story – the meowed the whole time (I hope they get used to driving soon).
  • Once we arrived, we had to do our first back-in setup (this is when you have to back the trailer into the site). Since I’m navigationally challenged, Damon took the task upon himself and managed to get us set up without hitting anything!

Since it was still rainy when we arrived, we decided to stay inside and have a quiet evening with the kids.

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After sleeping in, we decided that the kids needed to get out, so we took them to the Children’s Exploration Museum. This place is so much fun – the room is divided into different sections, giving kids a lot of options for play. Mini-man loved a lot of the sections and had an amazing time.

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The next day we spent at the campground exploring. This place is very old Florida, with lots of trees, water, and wildlife. It was very relaxing to walk around. A few minutes from our site was a cute children’s playground that mini-man adored.

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On our last day, we decided to be brave and take the kids to the beach. I’d heard that North Beach was a great place to take kids, so we headed there.

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At first, we thought the beach near the playground would be ideal, but the waves were really high. Instead, we let mini-man play on the playground for a bit, then headed further up the beach.
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This new location was perfect- hardly any waves and nice, warm water. Mini-man went in instantly with Damon. I sat at the edge with little-dude and let him get his feet wet (he liked the water but the waves scared him). All-in-all, a pretty successful trip (minus all the sand we brought back).
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Today we head to our next stop, Terra Ciea, just 30 minutes from Fort De Soto. Fingers crossed we can get everything ready before check-out. Last time, it took us several hours to get going. This time, we have just four. Wish us luck!

On the Road at Last

We did it! The house is listed, the trailer is setup, the car is prepped – time to get this show on the road. Of course. For our first time picking up and leaving, it took a little effort to actually leave:

  1. You have to stow everything! And with a very curious toddler around, you can imagine how hard it was to get everything put away. Damon had to go back at one point after we got into the car to pick up some last minute things
  2. Once things are stowed you can’t get to anything until you reach your destination (unless you want to squeeze your way through). So I had to prepare several snack bags for everyone in the car.
  3. Triple check everything! For an RV to work it needs to be plugged and hooked up to lots of things. Damon got in the car and almost drove off before he saw that the power was still hooked up. Then he forgot that the propane was still on. Lesson learned – do several walk arounds before leaving.
  4. Driving in rain is hard. Of course we leave just as one of our lovely Florida thunderstorms shows up, making it a little harder to steer the car (it’s very bumpy back here)

Not too bad for beginner, especially with two young children to care for as well. Hopefully we’ll get faster as we progress. For now, we are thrilled to be on the road, heading to Fort de Soto, Florida.

Home, Sweet Home … For Now

We bought our RV and SUV a few days before little-dude joined our family. We decided to take a small break from moving to adjust to being a family of four and allow me time to heal from child birth. 

Two weeks ago, we talked with our Realtor and are getting the house ready to sell. Which means we need a place to put the RV. After some research we found a cute place close to the house so we could be nearby while we sell the house and move into the RV. 

The actual trip to the RV resort was nerve racking for me – this made it real. Everything’s been abstract for months but actually seeing the resort made it real. And I have to admit, I’m still nervous. This is such a drastic change from what I’m used to. 

However, I’m also kinda excited – the resort is walking distance to parks, restaurants, and much more. Now we will have the opportunity to get out more as a family. 

It took some time to get the RV here as the place we bought it from kept “losing” our moving information. Thankfully, we managed to get the RV to it’s new home a few days ago.

We now have about half our stuff in the RV and spent our first official night. So far, so good. We still have some work to do, but it’s getting there.