August 22, 2019

Mesa Verde National Park - A Step Back in Time (National Parks Trip #2)


This post represents another installment in the series detailing the second of our three cross country National Parks camping trips with travel trailer in tow.  At the time of this trip in 2010, our son, Ryan, was 16 and our daughter, Kyra, was 11.

When one or both parents are working, it can be difficult to build the vacation you really want to take around a limited number of days off.  It’s very true that Alan, I and our two kids could have flown to our various destinations, rented a car and booked a hotel - and there are certainly countless families that do that and have absolutely wonderful vacations.  For us, however, camping is the adventure and having all the comforts and conveniences of home tagging along behind us is just how we prefer to roll.

Luckily, by the time our second National Parks trip was in the planning stage, Alan had six weeks of vacation to work with.  (That grammatical error was just for you, Mike!)  I was working part time in the local school district, so my summers (and the kids’, of course) were free.  Once Alan’s approval came through for a four week block of time, we had a major decision to make – the same one we faced every time we started to plan a vacation.  Do we limit the stops and immerse ourselves in each one?  Or do we try to fit more in, but make the visits to each National Park shorter?  It was never an easy choice and, honestly, we would have had a great time no matter which option we chose.

August 14, 2019

Blog, Blog, Blog


The miscellaneous photos in this post are from some of the many places we’ve been to but I haven’t had the chance to document yet – and there will be plenty more to come, “Good Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.”

I did it again.  When I looked back to the prior installment in the series on our second cross country National Parks camping trip, I found that it has been more than five months since my last post.  Yikes!  My intent was to document that trip on a much more regular basis but, alas, it seems like there’s always something more pressing at the top of my mind and the tip of my tongue.

August 04, 2019

"My List"


Within the past week or so, two things occurred that have given me so much food for thought that this post practically wrote itself.  First, Alan and I got into a Bucket List discussion which happens occasionally around our house.  Then, I heard an old Toby Keith song called “My List” written by Tim James and Antonina Armato that hasn’t been on the airwaves in a while.  In 2007, our kids, Ryan and Kyra, traveled on their first cross country National Parks camping trip with us.  Ryan was 13 and Kyra was 8.  When we returned, I created a DVD of photos and videos from that trip set to the music of “My List.”  (You’ll find some of them below.)  To this day, I can’t listen to that song without that DVD playing in my mind.  Memories of the trip and talk about our Bucket Lists started tumbling around in my head.  Here’s what I shook out . . .

July 21, 2019

Today is National Ice Cream Day!


I was not aware that today was National Ice Cream Day when I drafted my last post on Pennsylvania’s “Pursue Your Scoops” Ice Cream Trail.  Now I am, and so are you.

Back in 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day.  As if I needed an excuse.   But wait, there’s more . . .

July 14, 2019

The Pennsylvania "Pursue Your Scoops" Ice Cream Trail


Let’s talk about ice cream.  Specifically, about my love affair with it.  I just adore ice cream – or, I should say, I adore what I consider to be really good ice cream.  The most memorable ice cream from my childhood was a Rabbit Ears cone from Mr. Softee – that was the name of our neighborhood ice cream truck and, by default, the man who drove it.  Regular cones cost a dime (yes, I know, I’m dating myself) and they were yummy.  But a Rabbit Ears cone cost a quarter and, boy oh boy, was that a special treat!  Soft chocolate ice cream filled up the wafer cone, and that was topped with a soft vanilla ice cream head and two squiggly rabbit ears.  A quick dip of chocolate sprinkles (or jimmies, as they’re known elsewhere) on the ears and the addition of a maraschino cherry nose were the finishing touches to this delightful treat.  Happily, Mr. Softee’s tasty treats were not my only ice cream adventures when I was young.

July 06, 2019

TST Tire Pressure Monitoring System - I Promised I'd Get Back to You


Please note that this post is not sponsored in any way.  I’m not affiliated with, recommending or receiving payment from Truck System Technologies or any other companies that manufacture Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems.  I simply wanted to share our experience, just in case any of you are interested. 

Alan and I log a LOT of road trip miles.  Our first travel trailer had over 40,000 miles on it when it “retired.”  Our current travel trailer is closing in on 15,000 already.  Earlier this year, Alan and I decided to invest in a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) so that we could monitor the temperature and pressure of our travel trailer tires while we were on the road.  Our reasoning and my very non-technical research can be found in my post from February called “The Least Technical Post You’ll Ever Read About Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems” (link HERE).  We decided against a flow through system and chose a cap sensor system instead.  Our purchase was the 507 Series 4 Cap Sensor system from a company called Truck System Technologies (TST).  At the time we bought it, we still had snow on the ground and limited access to the tires of our travel trailer.  Alan ended up installing the system shortly before our trip to the Florida Keys in May – a trip that provided a test of more than 4,000 miles for the new system.  If you’re interested in our experience setting it up and a report based on our road trip experience, read on.  If the thought of slogging through a post on a TPMS bores you to tears then, by all means, please go read a post on another one of your favorite blogs – but please be sure to come back another day!  (We’ll all miss you if you don’t!)

June 25, 2019

Northampton Beach Campground - "The Lake is My Happy Place"


We’re back.  Again.  Due to a complete revision of our spring travel plans, Alan and I ended up at Northampton Beach Campground in Mayfield, New York, almost immediately after we arrived home from our recent round trip to the Florida Keys.  We did cancel the first week of our stay at Northampton Beach, because we simply didn’t arrive home in time from the Keys.  As disappointed as we were to miss that first week, we were thrilled to have been able to continue what has become an annual tradition for our family.