Friday, September 30, 2011

Campground Review - Huron River Valley Resort


The Huron River Valley Resort was a layover stop for us. I am never sure what rates a place a "resort"?

Nearby attractions - 7 - Close to Toledo, Sandusky, Akron and Cleveland.

Staff - 8 - Young couple who run the campground are very nice.

Natural surroundings - 8 - Lots of mature trees, ponds and on the banks of the  Huron River.

Value - 8 - We paid $16.50 a night for a back-in gravel site with electric and water hook-ups.

Bathrooms - 6 - Older and in need of some updating.

Roominess - 7 - Our lots was long enough, but pretty tight to back into because of the size of the main driveway.

Facility fun - 7 - Playground, marina, swimming pond, some activities.

Cleanliness - 6 -  Lots of seasonal sites, some of those were great and others were pretty cluttered. Drive is full of potholes.

Facility usefulness - 8 - Dump station, fire rings, laundry, camp store, small exchange library, propane, picnic tables.

Overall - 7 - The new owners are trying to upgrade this park and are hard workers!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

East Harbor State Park


We have now played in four out of five of the Great Lakes on our trip so far after our recent visit to East Harbor State Park near the Marblehead Peninsula in Ohio. We also camped here for a couple of days since the park is part of Passport America and has pretty modern facilities.

The park is very nice with several trails and over 1500 feet of beachfront. We were basically the only ones on the beach besides a few older bird watchers. It was only in the sixties while we were there and it rained quite a bit, but it was decent the afternoon we went to the beach and all of our boys played in the water and the sand and got their squirt guns out too!

Speaking of bird watching we had two first time spots here - a group of sanderlings and another bunch of common terns, as well as a groundhog! We saw other birds as well including sea gulls, great egrets, pelicans and a red tailed hawk. Patsy saw a bald eagle driving to the park and I saw a muskrat on our way there as well.

Since we camped there we will do our campground review:


Nearby attractions - 8 - Close to Toledo and Sandusky and within a couple of hours of Cleveland.

Staff - 8 - Spoke with three friendly camp hosts.

Natural surroundings - 7 - Plenty of trees and close to Lake Erie and harbors.

Value - 9 - We paid $17.50 a night for a pull-through black-top site with full hook-ups.



Bathrooms - 8 - Large, plenty of hot showers. Clean for a state park.

Roominess - 8 - Normal sized lots.

Facility fun - 8 - Playground, beach, fishing, marina, activities, bike rentals, nature center open in summer.

Cleanliness - 8 -  Better than state park clean!

Facility usefulness - 7 - Dump station, fire rings, camp store, picnic tables.




Overall - 9 - One of the most modern campgrounds we have encountered at a state park so far!







Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Campground Review - Toledo KOA

We stayed at the Toledo KOA during our visit

Nearby attractions - 7 - Close to Toledo and within a couple of hours to Detroit and Cleveland.

Staff - 8 - One lady we spoke to was exceptional, another young man was cordial.

Natural surroundings - 7 - Plenty of trees and in the country. Gravel roads were in rough shape because of the rain.

Value - 6 - We paid $36 a night for a back-in gravel site with full hook-ups.





Bathrooms - 7 - Large, but showers were dirty and toilets did not flush very well.

Roominess - 7 - Normal sized lots.

Facility fun - 8 - Playground, pool, mini-putt, game-room.

Cleanliness - 6 -  A little run down from what I normally expect for a KOA.

Facility usefulness - 8 - Dump station, fire rings, laundry, camp store, exchange library, propane.

Overall - 7 - Not quite what we have come to expect from KOA.




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tony Packo's

Tony Packo's Meal

We are sorry, but we have removed this post becuase it is a part of our new book entitled Napkin Dreams.



 
Toledo Bridge

 

RV/MH Hall of Fame


We are sorry, but we have removed this post becuase it is a part of our new book entitled Napkin Dreams.















Monday, September 26, 2011

Campground Review - Eby's Pines Campground

We stayed at Eby's Pines Campground in Bristol, near Elkhart, before we went to the RV-MH Hall of Fame. Campgrounds up north are getting pretty quiet this time of year!!


Nearby attractions - 8 - Right in the middle of Amish and RV manufacturing country.

Staff - 7 - Spoke with one cordial staff member.

Natural surroundings - 9 - Lots of big pines, ponds, streams and on the banks of a small river.

Value - 6 - We paid $35.99 a night for a pull-through gravel site with full hook-ups.



Bathrooms - 7 - Large and clean, but the showers had a hard time getting warm enough.

Roominess - 8 - Bigger than normal sized lots.

Facility fun - 8 - Playground, two pools, one with a slide, games, fishing, horseshoes.

Cleanliness - 8 -  Not bad!

Facility usefulness - 9 - Dump station, fire rings, laundry, camp store, exchange library, propane.

Overall - 7 - Good for an overnight stay for sure.



Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kevin Shutterbug and the Interview

Kevin shares a little of his frustration at being ignored during our recent television interview on WIFR in Rockford, Illinois. We thought he was going to talk about this great campground we were at in Indiana, but he could not get over himself!

Amish Acres


On our way to Elkhart we had to stop off at Amish Acres in Nappanee, Indiana. There are a ton of things to do at the the Amish Acres including a Thresher's Family-style Dinner, little shops, a fudge store, a playhouse with dramas showing nightly and a meat and cheese store. We chose to look around and have some ice-cream at the soda shop.

During this time of year there were several scarecrows on display put together by local businesses, charities and school groups. We liked the scarecrow that looked like a crow with little scarecrows on his shoulder. We did not like the Elvis scarecrow whose head had fallen off! Too weird to think of a beheaded Elvis!!








We took the time to educate our sons on the Amish way of life. A couple of years ago we visited Amish country near Lancaster, Pennsylvania and took a buggy ride through the area with a nice Amish gentleman as our guide. Our older boys remember this, so this was a refresher course. But our littles guys were quite thrilled to see so many horses and buggies and little boys in straw hats! This was a short stay at Amish Acres, but a place we want to spend more time in the future. Patsy and I are thinking a nice weekend away just the two of us and a Thresher dinner with an Amish play.



Friday, September 23, 2011

Campground Review - Camp Timber Lake

A great little campground is located near Huntington, Indiana called Camp Timber Lake. The couple that own the campground are a very nice Christian couple.


Nearby attractions - 7 - Not far from Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.

Staff - 10 - Super nice lady checked us in and also spoke with her husband who was very helpful.

Natural surroundings - 9 - In the country setting, with trees, a pond and a stream running through the campground.

Value - 9 - We paid an average of $14.40 a night for a back-in gravel site with full hook-ups using our Passport America card.




Bathrooms - 9 - They even have a touch of home and very clean.

Roominess - 8 - Bigger than normal sized lots.

Facility fun - 8 - Lake with fishing and boats to rent. Playground, lawn games for a deposit.

Cleanliness - 9 - Lots of seasonal sites but everything looks crisp and clean

Facility usefulness - 9 - Dump station, fire rings, picnic tables, small laundry, camp store, wifi, propane.


Overall - 9 - Loved this park, very quiet and pretty!

Fort Wayne Art Museum







Tanner's digital masterpiece!





This post has been removed since it is a part of our new book Napkin Dreams available on Amazon.com


!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

50 McDonalds - Indiana

We visited our 21st State McDonalds in the town of Warren, Indiana. This was a convenient stop because it was just off of Interstate 69 between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. We had actually stopped at one earlier but could not find a parking space for Howard so we drove on in our relentless pursuit of fast food goodness with spacious truck parking. Our quest was not in vain!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Campground Review - S & H Campground


We had an enjoyable three night stay at S & H Campground in Greenfield, Indiana.

Nearby attractions - 8 - Close to all Indianapolis sites and suburbs.

Staff - 7 - Everyone we talked to was pleasant and helpful, but a little forgetful.

Natural surroundings - 9 - In the country setting, with trees, a pond and a stream running through the campground.


Value - 7 - We paid an average of $34 a night for a pull-through gravel site with full hook-ups using our Passport America card for Monday night (not applicable on weekends).


Bathrooms - 5 - They were a little run down, toilets would not flush.

Roominess - 9 - Be and extra long lots.

Facility fun - 10 - Swimming pool (closed after Labor Day), BB court, three playgrounds, picnic pavilion, fishing in pond, petting zoo, hayrides, mini-putt, inflatables (extra cost) and lots of porch swings.

Cleanliness - 7 - Lots of seasonal sites and some are nicely kept up and some are run down.

Facility usefulness - 9 - Dump station, fire rings, church service, small laundry, camp store, wifi, propane.



Overall - 7 - Decent park, quieter on the weekdays.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Indianapolis Motor Speedway


This post has been removed because it is now in our new book Napkin Dreams.

A pink race car!


Finish line at the Motor Speedway!









Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wild and crazy times in Rockford




Our time in Rockford was a great stay, made greater by our "campground"-  the backyard of our friends Rick and Anita Fritz. While it is not really a campground, they have full-hookups, a playground, picnic tables and a pond with fish and frogs for the boys to catch and feed!

We saw both of grandmas, who are doing pretty well. I was actually surprised by how well my Grandma Martin was doing, after her recent health battles and hospital stays. We also spent time with Patsy's family, her parents and her sister Chris. It was so nice to spend time with them after such a long time in between visits.



Rockford - home of the sock monkey!
Of course we had some of our favorite local food samplings like Old Salty and Mrs. Fisher Potato Chips, a couple of gyros from Uncle Nicks and a lunch at the Illinois Machine Shed. We topped all this fun and frolic off with a pasta dinner with the Taddeuci family and an interview with the local CBS affiliate, WIFR!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Campground review - Wolf Creek State Park


Wolf Creek State Park was our temporary home while we prepared for our conference in Mattoon, Illinois.

Nearby attractions - 7 - Within 90 minutes of Decatur, Terre Haute, Springfield, Bloomington, Peoria, and Champaign.

Staff - 8 - Camp hosts were very friendly couple.

Natural surroundings - 9 - State Park with lots of tree and on lake. Saw lots of ruby-throated hummingbirds.


Howard feels lonely with no other RVs around.

Value - 8 - We paid $20 a night for a back-in gravel site with electric only.


Bathrooms - 6 - State Park bathrooms with decent showers, no soap at sinks and a few moths and spiders.

Roominess - 8 - Pretty big lots, park was basically empty, with campers far and few between.

Facility fun - 8 - Playground, beach (closed after Labor Day), hiking trails, boat dock.

Cleanliness - 8 - Very clean and tidy.

Facility usefulness - 4 - Dump station.

Overall - 8 - Pretty state parks very quiet after the summer days are gone.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Campground Review - LaSalle/Peru KOA


The LaSalle/Peru KOA is a very nice and quiet little campground.

Nearby attractions - 8 - Starved Rock State Park is very close. Greater Chicagoland is not far away.

Staff - 8 - Everyone we talked to was pleasant and helpful.

Natural surroundings - 8 - In the country setting, with trees and a stream running through the campground.


Value - 7 - We paid $34 a night for a back-in grass site with full hook-ups using our KOA card.

Bathrooms - 7 - Average bathrooms, clean, slightly older, but nice.

Roominess - 7 - Normal sized lots.

Facility fun - 8 - Swimming pool (closed after Labor Day), BB court, playground, picnic pavilion,  porch swings.

Cleanliness - 8 - Very clean and tidy.

Facility usefulness - 8 - Dump station, fire rings, small exchange library, laundry, camp store.


Overall - 8 - Very nice little park, and much friendlier and more honest than the campground a few blocks away!
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