Saturday, June 19, 2010

Newburyport, Mass.

On June 13, we took a trip with Bob, Aggie's brother to Newburyport, Mass. This is a quaint waterfront village located on the northernmost part of the state. We had lunch at Stella's on Middle Street which Bob & Aggie went last year on an overnight trip. Aggie & Bob shopped this antique swap meet while I tended to Buddy.

Wampatuck State Park

Arrived here on June 9 and plan on staying here to visit our Boston family until June 20 when we start our journey east. We traveled through six states on one day and spent $77 on toll roads on interstate 95. The George Washington Bridge in New York was the pitts. We waited over an hour to pay our $32 toll to cross this broken down bridge. All trucks were mandated to cross the bridge as they also have a tunnel which will not accomodate large vehicles. The lanes were so narrow, that one trucker decided, smartly, not to pass me on the left lane. I have seen smoother county dirt roads. I would not recommend taking the interstate 95 again.
This is a very nice park nestled into thick forest. They cut just enough trees to navigate into each site. This is the first campground we have stayed which only had 20 amp electric. I would not try using air conditioning here without using the generator. We tripped the breaker just making breakfast with the toaster and coffee pot on. Fortunately the previous owners had an unused 30 to 20 adapter so I could get access to electric. We are here for 11 days so we will have to move the rig to dump and restock our water supply once while we are here. We are in a nice level space and except for week ends we almost have this campground to ourselves. (very quiet) Camping here is $17 per night and I rate this park F***. We are located in Hingham, Mass., an upscale city just south of Boston with very large old stately homes on huge 1 plus acre lots.

We have been very busy visiting family and cruising old stomping grounds like the Boston Common, Nantasket Beach, and Castle Island. We did take a day trip to an arboretum with over 3000 species of plants and trees from all around the globe. This 265 acre park is maintained by Harvard University and the city of Boston. Buddy has been enjoying his long walks wherever we go. We also brought him to a vet to get updated with shots and physical. He is also scheduled to go to a dog groomer and get his bath and trim.

Bar Harbor RV Park

May 7 we slept in a Walmart parking lot since the campgrounds in Mertle Beach, N.C. wanted $67 per night. We had a late supper at a Cracker Barrell Restaurant at 9:30 PM and restocked the fridge at Walmart the next morning. On May 8 we stayed at this pleasant park on the water in Abingdon, Maryland. Didn't make much time on the road as we spent a good deal of time tied up in traffic in Washington DC. Not a lot of fun with the motorhome. We had a nice level pull through site with full hookups and sewer. Had a great view of the water and did not have to detach the Tahoe. Our site was $47 less 5% for cash. I would rate this park P****. There was a boat ramp

Skidaway Island State Park

Pulled into this state park at 5 pm on June 6. Nice pull through sites with 50 amp electric, water, & cable. We just spent the night but very nice campground. Paid $33 which included a $5 day use charge. I rate this park F***. We went through a lot of wind & rain on our trip from Florida. Our windshield wipers got a good work out. This park is in Georgia.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Deerbrook Creek RV Resort

Arrived here on June 3 for three nights. We had a very challenging trip with torrential rain for about 45 minutes which dropped 3 inches of rain, one inch per 15 minutes. Visability was down to about 20 feet at times and many cars pulled off the road to wait it out. The wind hit us hard while we cruised through an intersection and push our 32000 pound motorhome over about 4 inches. A little scarry but I am getting my fill of weather daily. I sure am glad we decided to reseal the roof in Ft. Myers as we have been getting thundershowers almost every day. This is Florida's rainy season. The campground is more like a trailer park for mini mobile homes and motorhomes. Not much of a camping experience but had full hookups with 50 amp service and a level concrete pad to park the motorhome. There are 2 functioning pools. This is a membership park so it was well worth the $10 nightly fee. I rate the park M***. Spent one day shopping for waterfront lots or houses with no luck. There are hundreds of properties for sale, but still way too expensive. We did find a quality semi custom builder who builds nice quality homes with all the luxuries we have been accustomed to for $90 - $125 per square foot. We are not impressed with Florida, so we will continue our search.

Today, we visited Epcot Center. Really tired from all the walking around and fortunately most attractions were in air conditioned comfort as the temp was around 90 degrees with muggy conditions. Our favorite attraction was a boat ride through an area where they grow their own fruits and vegetables for the park on sand or hanging from trellaces. They obtained 32000 pounds of tomatoes from one tomato tree in a 14 month period. We were contestants in a game show where Aggie had to hand velcro bags over my body. We lost the competition but Aggie got this picture. The highlight of our visit at Disney World was the Meditteranian restaurant we ate at. There was live music and a belly dancer while we enjoyed our meal. I ordered Lamb shank and Aggie ordered chicken. Really great food but a little pricey! Thank goodness for American Express. We also enjoyed the aquarium. Tomarrow we are headed for South Carolina along the coast somewhere.

Curry Hammock State Park

We arrived May 31 for 3 nights on Marathon, Florida. This park is located on the Atlantic side of the Key Islands. Key West is the southernmost Island in the island chain and Marathon is at mile marker 56 which means it is 56 miles from Key West. I believe the total distance of the chain is about 112 miles. I was surprised to see that most islands were connected by land with a few bridges; the longest was about 6 miles long. My expectations were that we would be traveling along a super long bridge between islands. As we drove south, the gulf coast was on our right side and the atlantic coast was on our left side. The water is absolutely beautiful with it's aqua blue green color. It reminded me of the waters of the Carribean. Cuba is only 60 miles away from Key West. We went swimming the first day and the water was 88 degrees - like bath water. We hiked out about 400 yards off shore to get to swimable deep water. The first 300 yards were no deeper than 18 inches. We had the ocean to ourselves since there are only 28 campsites in this campground. Our campsite directly accross from the beach entrance and we had a great view of the water from our motorhome directly out the windshield. We had a level site with full hookups and 50 amp service; very clean, well maintained campground. It was a little pricey though at $38.50 per night, but at least 50% less than all the private campgrounds in the Keys. I rate this park F****.

The following day we drove through some of the housing developments and were unimpressed with the area. We did take the dog to the beach a few miles away and let him go for a romp in the ocean. He went a couple hundred yards off shore, but finally returned to us. I did not want to go swimming after him.

The following day, Buddy was on his own in the motorhome while we took a trip to Key West. We took a glass bottom boat tour to a barrier reef about 6 miles out to sea from Key West. This reef is about 260 miles long and the third largest barrier reef in the world. We observed some beautiful colorful tropical fish and plantlife. We had no luck finding a restaurant with air conditioning and it was 95 degrees. We finally settled for a Cheeseburger restaurant, I ordered a cheeseburger & Aggie ordered a mai mai fish sandwich. Her's was great and I was not impressed with my cheeseburger. Parking was at a premium at $4 per hour so we limited our stay to 4 hours.