Monday, April 30, 2012

Campground Review - Webster Sturbridge Family Campground

We stayed a couple of nights at the Webster Sturbridge Family Campground in Webster, Massachusetts while we got a new tire for our tow dolly. While traveling through Rhode Island we had another flat tire on the tow dolly, making the total number of changed tires on the tow dolly six! The fenders were ripping them up, so we have totally removed said fenders, and were hoping were good to go now!




Staff - 9 - Owners were very nice and helped us locate a tire store.

Natural surroundings - 8 - Lots of trees and close to the lake with the longest name in the world - Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg!!

Roominess - 9 - Lots were very long where we stayed, and plenty wide enough.

Facility Fun - 6 - Older playground equipment, pool open in season, BB court and horseshoes.

Facility usefulness - 7 - Free wifi, cable, dog run, laundromat, propane, small store.

Bathrooms - 7 - Bathrooms are recently remodeled.

Cleanliness - 5 - Lots of long term rigs here, some in pretty rough shape. Also our kids found plenty of bits of junk sitting around. It needs a good litter pick-up.

Nearby attractions - 7 - Close to Worcester and Springfield and within reach of Boston.

Value - 6 - Paid $40 a night for a pull-through gravel site with full-hook-ups. 

Overall - 6 - Friendly people, but the campground needs a better cleaning crew.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Higgins Armory Museum










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








 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

50 McDonalds - Rhode Island

Our McDonalds stop in the Ocean State of Rhode Island was a quick stop for some soft drinks in the tiny town of North Scituate! Wow, this going to the Golden Arches every other day thing is becoming a family joke! We are now seeing if we can stop and spend less than $3! This makes the stops a little more conversational at least.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Cindy's Diner

Eating clam cakes at a New England greasy spoon is something everyone should do before they die! Check this one off of our bucket list - well maybe not because now we have to go back someday. Back to Cindy's Diner in North Scituate, Rhode Island that is.




From the outside to the inside this diner is a classic piece of Americana and the menu has lots of good comfort food mixed in with some wonderful local favorites, including clam chowder, fried clam strip sandwiches and clam cakes! Beyond that is has a kids menu and is modestly priced. Definitely not your typical casual dining experience, but we highly recommend it!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Campground Review - Holiday Acres

We stayed at one campground in Rhode Island - Holiday Acres in North Scituate. Not many campgrounds were open in New England in April, so we were glad for the ones we found open.


Staff - 9 - Lady who checked us in stayed a little late and waited for us to arrive. Nice lady!

Natural surroundings - 8 - Encircles a lake with lots of trees in campground. 

Roominess - 8 - during the busy time I could see how this park could get a little crowded, but there was plenty of room during our stay.

Facility Fun - 7 - Beach and lake fun in season. Small playground, game room, planned activities in season.

Facility usefulness - 4 - Propane, small store.

Bathrooms - 6 - Bathrooms are newly built, but still sort of like roughing it with plenty of bugs.

Cleanliness - 7 - Road into campground is very rough. They are in process of upgrading this facility. It is clean and well-kept and in the process of updating.

Nearby attractions - 7 - Close to Providence and within reach of Boston.

Value - 7 - Paid $36 a night for a back-in grass site with full-hook-ups. We used Good Sams discount.

Overall - 7 - Clean park with pretty lake.


Rhode Island - State Number 41



We have now visited eighty two percent of the states with number 41 - Rhode Island. We are over a week behind on the blog - so we currently no where near Rhode Island though! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

50 McDonalds - Connecticut

We are hitting the Golden Arches faster than a greased pig on a water slide! This stop in the Constitution State of Connecticut was an ice-cream sundae stop. We're mixing up our stops in New England so we don't get too many of the famous fries! We made this stop in Plainfield, Connecticut.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Noah Webster House




This post has been removed because it is part of our new book - Napkin Dreams!







Connecticut - 40th State

We entered our 40th state during our trip when we came into Connecticut! Hard to believe we have traveled so far and seen so much! Thank you God for this opportunity.


We have visited 40 states (80%)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Campground Review - Gentiles Campground

We stayed at Gentiles Campground near Waterbury, Connecticut. Apparently if you are Jewish you can still camp here! I was confuse by the name until I found out Gentile was the owner's last name! Haha!



Staff - 8 - A staff member waited for us to get there to check us in a little past office hours. She was nice and talkative.

Natural surroundings - 8 - Campground sits on a top of a mountain with lots of trees in campground. We saw lots of different birds at our neighbor's feeder.

Roominess - 3 - Not all the lots were as bad as ours - but we had a big tree that made our lot very tight to get into. Probably the most difficult back-in I have ever done.

Facility Fun - 6 - Pool open during the warm months. Lots of playgrounds and equipment, some of it in decent shape, some pretty old. Mixed feelings here because four of our boys had a blast here playing in the small church.

Facility usefulness - 4 - Propane, small store.

Bathrooms - N/A - Bathrooms are were not open.

Cleanliness - 2 - Lots of old equipment and old rigs. The platform next to our door was broken, had lots of holes and cracks and really a safety hazard.

Nearby attractions - 7 - Close to Waterbury, Hartford and within reach of New York.

Value - 6 - Paid $35 a night for a back-in graveled site with full-hook-ups.

Overall - 3 - Nice owners, but this park needs some help.

50 McDonalds - New York

Poughkeepsie was once the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was also the home of our New York McDonalds stop. We stopped for a whole lunch this time, it had been a couple of states since we have actually eaten there! Brendan was really excited about getting a Green Lantern action figure!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crayola Experience

The Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania was one stop I had been secretly excited about showing our kids. Not only did the boys learn about how crayons and markers are made, they got to explore the world of crayon art in a myriad of ways.






A life-sized dry erase car, doodling in the dark, and a host of other activities. There were plenty of take-home gifts including a four pack of exclusive crayons. We also got to see the world's biggest crayon, which is blue, which is fitting.





The Crayola Experience was cool, but a bit too crowded and expensive. No parking close to the museum for a big rig motorhome, so if you go, find another parking place nearby and drive your auto over.


50 McDonalds - New Jersey

A quick stop on the road for some coffee and we checked off our New Jersey McDonalds. This stop was in Flemington, New Jersey. We love facilities with parking lots big enough to handle Howard and our toadie!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chocolate Lover's Club

We had another delicious experience at the Chocolate Lover's Club in Princeton, New Jersey. This little shop of wonders uses pure chocolate in just about everything they make! We bought some chocolate covered pretzels and Oreos that were beyond describable! We got to talking to the owner about our family's trip across the country and she was so impressed with out story she gave us some carmel-filled chocolate truffles to sample! More delicousity!!

Be sure to stop into their shop if you anywhere near Princeton - like within a day's drive!! Yummy.


Campground Review - Butterfly Camping Resort

After a a couple of stops at closed campgrounds, we found a decent little place called Butterfly Cammping Resort in Jackson, New Jersey.


Staff - 7 - A staff member waited for us to get there to check us in a little past office hours. There are quite a few signs up reminding everyone of the rules of the park. It seemed like a bit of overkill.

Natural surroundings - 8 - Campground sits on a river with lots of trees around.

Roominess - 8 - Normal sized lots.

Facility Fun - 8 - Pool open during the warm months. Playground, game room, mini-putt, horseshoes, volleyball and basketball court, planned activities in season. Some things are an extra charge

Facility usefulness - 8 - Laundry, propane, camp store, dump, fire ring, free Wifi and picnic tables at each site.

Bathrooms - 8 - Bathrooms are decent, push-button showers. The little boys are getting used to how these work, which makes my life easier.

Cleanliness - 7 - Gravel roads are rough, but otherwise it is a pretty clean park.

Nearby attractions - 7 - Close to Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

Value - 6 - Paid $50 a night for a back-in graveled site with full-hook-ups.

Overall - 7 - Nice park - a local getaway to a more natural environment for locals.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Insectropolis

We discovered a little gem hidden away in the New Jersey town of Toms River called Insectropolis! OK, so Patsy may not think it was the most wonderful stop on our nationwide tour, but the rest of us had a ball with all the bugs!



The first activity we took part in was a little talk and touch time with a guide at Insectropolis. We heard about and touched a hissing cockroach, a giant millipede, a Chilean tarantula and an emperor scorpion. Patsy of course is on less then friendly terms with spiders, so she was not super happy about meeting up with the tarantula.




Insectropolis is part bug zoo and part bug museum. The highlight of the day for me was seeing a huge bird-eating tarantula gobble up a hissing cockroach. You can see the big, bad spider in the video below. We also confirmed that a spider we saw in Virginia was a black widow. This was also less than stellar news for Patsy. While there are several types of live bugs to see, our youngest boys enjoyed playing like bugs in the termite tunnels! Acting like a bug is always the funnest way to learn about bugs.



If you ever find yourself near Toms River, New Jersey and have some bug loving kids in your family, consider stopping by this most unique zoo we have ever seen.



Valley Forge

Our family truly enjoyed our visit to Valley Forge in eastern Pennsylvania. I gave my boys a special assignment to find our everything they could about a man named Frederick Von Steuben. If you do not know who he is, then try the magic Google or Wikipedia! Our kids all did a pretty good job of ferreting out information on Von Steuben.

The encampment at Valley Forge is an amazing story of our nation's birth and serves as a lesson to each of us that freedom always comes with a price and that price always involves suffering on someone's part. One of the best moments we shared during our visit was when we saw the famous painting of General Washington on his knees in the snow next to his horse, praying for God's guidance and for the troops. All of the boys were looking in awe at our first President as we admired the painting. Good moment.







Sunday, April 15, 2012

Crossing the Delaware


This post has been removed because it is part of our new book - Napkin Dreams!

 

Campground Review - Timberlane Campground

Our first foray into New Jersey camping was at Timberlane Campground in Clarksboro, New Jersey.


Staff - 7 - Staff was helpful.

Natural surroundings - 8 - trees surround the park, and a nice little pond with ducks sits in the center. The ducks visited us a couple of times during our stay. This campground does not have an urban feel to it at all. Quiet.

Roominess - 8 - Normal sized lots.

Facility Fun - 7 - Pool open during the warm months. Playground, batting cages, pond.

Facility usefulness - 9 - Laundry, propane, small camp store, dump, fire ring, exchange library, free Wifi and picnic tables at each site.

Bathrooms - 8 - Bathroom is clean and up to date.

Cleanliness - 8 - Clean and well maintained.

Nearby attractions - 7 - Close to Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

Value - 7 - Paid $45 a night for a pull-through graveled site with full-hook-ups including cable.

Overall - 8 - Quiet park, we are finding parks on the northeast coast to be expensive though.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Delaware McDonalds

Our Delaware stop at McDonalds was a quick run-in for iced carmel coffees for the adults in the family! We made this pit-stop in Smyrna, Delaware, driving on a small state highway avoiding one of the many toll roads that plague the northeast! We spent less on the coffee than we would have the tolls for a big rig like ours!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Campground Review - Delaware Jellystone



We stayed for two nights at the Jellystone Park in Lincoln, Delaware.

Staff - 9 - super nice ladies gave us the royal treatment.

Natural surroundings - 8 - trees surround the park, not many big trees in RV area, but this is nice for the satellite!

Roominess - 8 - Normal sized lots.

Facility Fun - 10 - Pool open during the warm months. Big playground, mini-putt, BB court, planned activities on weekends, game room, big use styrofoam blocks for kids to build with.

Facility usefulness - 10 - Laundry, dog run, propane, large camp store, dump, fire ring, exchange library, key card security, free Wifi and picnic tables at each site.

Bathrooms - 8 - Bathroom is clean and up to date, showers were push-button type and a bit luke-warmish.

Cleanliness - 9 - Clean and well maintained.

Nearby attractions - 7 - Close to Dover, DE and Delaware beaches.

Value - 7 - Paid $50 a night for a back-in graveled site with full-hook-ups including cable.

Overall - 9 - We love Jellystone Parks, just wish they were a little more affordable.


Rock Monsters and Betsy Ross





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






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