Visited brother Nate and wife Barb up at their cabin. It was a cool and windy day, so it wasn't very fun to have a fire outside, but the boat ride was nice and refreshing. Pica does enjoy her new cot and staying off the ground. :-). The guys had a great time together, and it's always nice to get 'caught up'. :-)
We always love arriving at the Grand Haven resort. It's a campground that's part of our membership, so we can stay up to 3 weeks for free. This year will be the first year that we're utilizing our park-hopper upgrade, so we'll see how that goes.
For my note, we stayed on site 226 this year, but we'd prefer 225 next time. We love NOT being under the trees. :-)
A quick trip to Grand Haven is always fun, and even though it was still a little cold, we enjoyed the pier walk with new concrete! :-)
A few photos of one of our favorite parks.. The resort is one of the oldest owned by Outdoor Adventures, and they purchased it from Yogi Bear parks. It has gorgeous trees, nicer spacious sites, and nice people. The amenities include a pool, putt putt, go carts, and a beautiful playground and activities.
Mark and dad went to Washington D.C. via the Amtrak train which took 13 hours each way. They definitely found out it was NOT ADA accessible enough to navigate where they wanted, but with Mark's help, they made it all work. It was a very treasured trip together. One of their main goals was the see the International Bible Museum. They were able to see hundreds of scrolls and bibles, along with the historical record of its preservation.
Back on Mother's, I planted a Lily for mom. It finally bloomed this week! :-)
During our stay at mom & dads, Mark's sister Beth made us a beautiful doily for our table. What an awesome job and a LOT of work!
As we were hooking up the RV in preparation for travel day, mom & dad came out to visit and watch. To them, it's amazing how far (and big) campers have gotten, but it was awesome for us to share all the information they wanted to know. We're starting to feel like pros at this! I was also very lucky to get this pretty awesome picture of them.
This was one of the best travel days yet. Neither of us got very much sleep though, so we were looking forward to taking a quick break at a rest area. Pica was tired too, as you can see her snoozing in her bicycle basket. At the rest area, the bedroom slide is in, so the foot of the bed is right against the dresser. Pica LOVES that spot because she can look out and stay on patrol. We had a beautiful cool breeze with very little traffic at the rest area, so it was quiet! Needless to say, it was a VERY good nap. :-)
I tell ya.. Getting from "the west" into the heart of Texas is a REALLY boring drive! Flat lands, oil fields, cotton fields, and a LOT of trucks! However, it was an uneventful drive which is always a good thing.
In the meantime, we've been having some sink draining issue since Sedona. We've been trying things here and there, but nothing has worked.
Today, upon arriving at the park, we had a nice size puddle all over the floor. Apparently, the P-trap under the kitchen sink had loosened, and spilled all our standing water on the floor. Well, since I wanted to wash the floor anyway, it all got cleaned up pretty quick. After that we worked with the sink and tried a few more things that were suggested by some people on the blog. It's working better, but still not perfect. So, we continue trying to figure out what the issue is.
Today could have been a lot worse, but we are thankful that the rest of the day was uneventful, and no matter what, we will get this figured out. Every little problem helps us gain experience and learn our RV.. We are thankful for those experiences too. :-)
1st pic below is showing the massive amount of cotton bales in one of the fields. Cotton, Cattle & Oil are the BIG THREE in Texas.. Amazing how much land they have dedicated to each. Even the cotton fields were scattered with oil wells!
2nd pic is Pica at the end of our trip. She was tired, and decided to rest her head on the water bottle. lol! When we begin to park the RV, she is VERY quiet and refuses to get out of the truck.. Stubborn little kid.. lol!
This holiday was FULL of surprises for us!
1st.. After being at Palatki for 8 weeks, we finally had a beautiful rain and snow storm, which intensifies the beauty in the area. However, this also means the roads getting to our location are extremely muddy and mostly impassable, so Palatki has to close. This raised some tense moments, as we had planned on spending our days off with Maria and her family, and did not expect a storm.
However, Maria drove the 28-hrs strait to arrive, and because the roads were not as bad as the day before, she braved the mud and 4 miles of back road to meet us at Palatki. We had a quick dinner, gave them a tour of our site, then opened gifts. It was a spectacular evening, but we had to send them to their hotel before dark.
The next 2 days were magical. We spent time in a neighboring hotel with them, and toured Sedona, Jerome, Montezuma Castle & Tuzigoot. We treated her for a birthday dinner out at the Haunted Hamburger in Jerome. I can't believe Maria is 40 already!! WoW! We celebrated with a cake in the hotel, then spent the evening swimming. We saw them off Tuesday, as we took a quick drive to Phoenix and browsed some shops.
Below are some photos of this Christmas and Birthday week.
Once the rain moved out, we took off on another excursion to the south area of main. Our highlights are as follows:
Kennebunkport - The Trolly Museum
Many of the trollies have been restored to new condition, including the one they now use as the tour trolly for visitors. They even had a double-decker trolly from Scotland!
Kennebunkport - St. Ann's Episcopal Chapel
This is where President Bush and his family attends church when they are at their estate.
Kennebunkport - President Bush Estate
President Bush and his family still live at this estate, and are well protected by secret service.
Kennebunkport - Beautiful Homes
We did not stop to walk the town for shopping, but instead drove around looking at some really awesome homes! I have the prettiest one shown below.
Ogunquit - Marginal Way
There is a paved path between the beautiful homes and the sea. A must-do for anyone traveling to the area.
Scarborough - Len Libby Candies
Home of the life-size chocolate moose made from 1700 lbs of milk chocolate!! The pond was made from milk chocolate that was dyed blue. It took 4 weeks to carve, and it was revealed on July 1st, 1997. They have excellent chocolate too!
After a day of hiking and checking things out, Pica had enough! The problem was, being in a strange place really stressed her, so she took comfort in being in our bed for this night.
A trip long dreamed about was finally here. We set up the tent, organized our gear, then settled down for a night in the Acadia 'wilderness'. We were pumped! We read all the brochures, planned our days events, and were ready to take on the world!
Pica was restless.. She ended up finding comfort with us on our bed. First time ever! She was very good through the night though, as she only growled at one person walking to the restroom. Then our bed was losing air. By morning, we were sleeping on the rocky ground. Oh well, we'll try bed #2!
For now, we had to go.. A 4am appointment on Cadillac Mountain for the sunrise came quickly! We packed up some warm clothes and set out for the mountain. Once there we knew there wouldn't be a visible sunrise. We were in a cloud. We could see nothing, and the wind and moisture made us very glad we brought warmer clothing. Well, since we weren't going to see the sunrise, we may as well walk the trail! It was beautiful! Rocky, unique structure, and we imagined the view we would normally have! The next day, we drove to the mountain again and saw the beautiful views just after sunrise.
During the rest of the trip, we hiked a few small trails, road our bike on the carriage roads, saw Thunder Hole and Bar Harbor, went on a Boat Tour, ate lunch at Jordan Pond House, and Mark even capped it off with a hike on the famous Beehive Trail. We also took a trip to the west side of the island and visited Bass Harbor Lighthouse.
The weather was near perfect! Highs in the 70's, and lows near 60 and no rain! The campground itself was beautiful, but honestly I don't know how tenters do this on a regular basis. We enjoyed our 3 nights, but with people yelling nearby, kids screaming, and a radio?? What are people thinking! We prefer the solitude, peacefulness and safety of dispersed camping in our rig, so we'll leave tenting to the younger folk. :-)
By the way.. Night #2, our airbed #2 deflated too. For night #3 we set up our last bed option. A nice airbed we borrowed from Ruth & Darrell. It was definitely a quality airbed, because it worked flawlessly!
All in all, the park is absolutely beautiful! If you love to hike and bike, you will LOVE Acadia!
Stay Details: Blackwoods Campground; Acadia National Park ME - Site B-16
Notes: The campground is mostly for tenters and small RVs. It has modern toilets in all loops, but the shower house is outside the park nearby and is pay per use. The sites have a good amount of space, but none are totally private because of the taller trees. Sound travels very well. If you are going to Acadia, we recommend this campground. There are also a few other campgrounds in the area that seem nice.
Long ago, we planned a visit with friends here at Wooded Acres. We purchased the same brand campers, and we really hit it off talking about upgrades and comparisons. We both love our campers! The guys spent most of the weekend getting things done to our rigs (washing, maintenance, upgrades, etc), then we played games and fellowshipped the rest of the weekend. We will definitely make this an annual event! :-)
We did have a pretty significant storm on our first night, which the news states there was a tornado nearby. There were several trees in the park that snapped, including one tree on our next-door lot. If Greg & Lori had stayed there as planned, their camper would have been hit. Praise the Lord for HIS protection!
Greg & Lori brought Mabel, and after a day of getting to know each other, Pica seemed to enjoy her company as well. However, Pica loved her vantage point better, and liked being on the couch next to daddy. :-)
Stay details: Wooded Acres Family Campground; Houghton Lake, MI - Site 86
* Note: This campground has new owners that are working very hard to clean things up and make everything nice. They are doing a wonderful job! There are about 50 campsites, and most are without sewer. There are a lot of longer term sites, and the grounds are highly wooded. There is a pool, playground, clean shower houses, and shuffle board.
Took a day trip to Mackinaw City, and around the upper west part of Michigan, including the Tunnel of Trees. It was a beautiful day, but the haze from the Canadian Fires reduced the view across the water. Because of construction on the island, we decided not to visit this island this year, so we rode around Mackinaw City, walked the shops and had dinner. Pica was thoroughly loving her ride. :-)
Interlochen State Park is one of our favorite locations to return to. It's next to a music school which we can hear from the campgrounds, and the entire Traverse City area is full of things to do and places to see.
This visit, we rode the Boardman Lake Trail in Traverse City while our truck was getting worked on. Gorgeous and short, this trail provided us a bonus viewing spot of the youngsters' sailing school. It was really neat to watch those 7-yr olds navigate the mini sailboats.
The next day was a longer, more challenging ride on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail. Smooth, and 22 miles long, the northern side is mostly gradual slopes, where the southern side will give you 11% grade challenges, and the reward of speed on the other end. Having a picnic lunch at the dunes was definitely a bonus.
Stay details: Interlochen State Park; Interlochen MI
* This park is large and beautiful, and offers many opportunities for family fun near the lake. The sites come in all different sizes, but only has electric, so water fill-up is a must before parking. The park has a day use area for swimming, boating and BBQs, as well as nearby trails. The nearby music school is a nice ambience when enjoying your evening fire.
We were on site 95, but the next one over was facing us with his party and campfire, so it was rather intrusive. There are a LOT of large sites here, and a lot of family fun things to do. Recommended sites: 369, 371, 64, 414 & 193.