December 08, 2018

Branson, Missouri, Here We Come! (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 I looked back, I found that the last installment had been posted nearly three months ago!  I’m not sure where those three months went, but it looks like I’d better get back on the ball!

As we left Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, the rising sun was at our back and our wheels were pointed west toward Missouri.  While the focus of this trip was definitely our National Parks, our itinerary included stops at places other than the Parks because our family enjoys a wide variety of travel experiences.  Indoor, outdoor, educational, just for fun – you name it and we’ll consider it.  My husband, Alan, and I decided a long time ago that it was important for our children to learn there was more to life than the small town in which they were growing up.  Our travels throughout the years have provided opportunities for all of us to explore different regions, foods and customs in this magnificent country of ours and I can only hope that our kids’ varied experiences have served to broaden their knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of life.  In my heart, I sincerely hope that the two of them will remain explorers forever.  The next National Park on our trip list was Gateway Arch in St. Louis, but our next destination was Branson, Missouri.  Because, after all, who could pass up Branson, home to the Silver Dollar City amusement park and many notable musical and variety show venues?!

November 28, 2018

So, is it Boating or is it Camping?

Before I begin this post, I’d like to mention two facts:  One, although my husband, Alan, loves traveling and camping, boating is his passion.  When Alan and his siblings were young, their Dad had a small Sunfish that the family sailed on a local lake.  As a young adult, Alan’s brother had a smaller powerboat and now has both a 35’ Mainship and a jet ski at his home in Florida.  We have a 21’ Chaparral with a cuddy cabin and our son, Ryan, purchased a jet ski of his own this summer.  Boating is definitely in this family’s blood.  The second fact is that today, November 28th, is Alan’s birthday and this post reflects a tip of the hat to my darling husband on his special day and to his favorite pursuit, boating.  Happy birthday, Captain!

November 18, 2018

WaterFire - Providence, Rhode Island!

Theodore Roosevelt has been quoted as saying, “Life is an adventure; accept it in such a spirit.”  As early retirees, Alan and I have been enjoying the freedom to heed the call of adventure more often these days when it presents us with an opportunity.  With both Ryan and Kyra now young adults, we’re comfortable planning our own activities, knowing that the two “kids” are confident and competent and have plenty of friends and family members who would step up to help should any assistance be required in our absence.  Truth be told, Kyra’s first call is almost always to Ryan, who complains and teases as only a big brother will, then shows up to make whatever is wrong, right.  But, I digress.  Back to the adventures . . .

November 09, 2018

Thank You for Your Service!

Life in our neck of the woods has been a bit hectic lately, and I am SO looking forward to catching up on my blog posts beginning this coming week.

But I did not want the weekend to go by without extending a heartfelt “Thank you!” to the Veterans who have served our country at any time, in any way and in any branch of the service.

The sacrifices you and your families have made allow me and my family, as well as millions of other Americans, to live peacefully in our homes and communities, enjoying the freedom that you have provided and protected.

Thank you for your service.

October 27, 2018

Here's an Update for All of You Social Hermits Out There

Back in August, I published a post called “Social Hermit: A Personal Definition” (link HERE) in which I pointed out that I was an introvert.  I went on to describe my personality a bit and I reflected on how introversion played a major role in the way Alan and I travel and the activities we enjoy.  Much to my surprise, that post garnered a lot of attention and I received a number of comments, texts and emails about it.  (No phone calls, though, because, as it turns out, most introverts don’t like using the phone.)  The post continues to draw readers even though it was published over two months ago.

Earlier this month, Alan and I had a wonderful opportunity to spend time with our friend Mary Gill.  Mary is a Certified Professional Coach and the Executive Director of Pursuing the Positive (link HERE).  She specializes in lifelong learning and achievement coaching and is one of the most intelligent and caring individuals I’ve ever met.  During that fun-filled visit with Mary (which included boating, pizza, lots of laughs and the sharing of countless memories from our decades old friendship), Mary and I ended up on a long drive together and the topic of introversion came up.  Mary suggested a book called “Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain.  Well, thanks to Mary, I have since read that book plus two others, and now I have even more to share with you about the world of what I call “social hermits.”

October 16, 2018

Winding Down our Camping Season at North-South Lake

Alan and I just recently returned from a week-long camping adventure at North-South Lake.  I love fall in the Northeast – both the crisp, sunny days that are just right for outdoor adventures and the longer, cooler nights that are perfect for pulling up a favorite quilt.  What I don’t like is the fact that, once fall arrives, I know the end of our camping and boating season is near.  Over the past few days, we’ve been emptying our travel trailer and packing our camping gear away for the winter.  Alan is in full “winterization” mode, having to deal with the boat, the new travel trailer and the older travel trailer which is still onsite at our rental property.  Yup, the poor guy is busy as a beaver.

Although our Outdoors RV Creek Side travel trailer is a true “four seasons” RV (with thermal pane windows, extra insulation, an enclosed and heated underbelly and a cold weather package on the refrigerator which allows it to operate at temps down to zero degrees), we don’t usually camp beyond mid-October.  Maneuvering the travel trailer into its “parking place” at home requires backing it up the driveway, across the front yard, around a sharp bend, between two gates and way up the hill to a leveled, out of the way spot.  Although Alan has been hauling trailers of one sort or another for more than 40 years and can generally maneuver anything, anywhere, that sharp bend is tricky to tackle because it gets slick in the rain or snow.  The adjacent drop-off dictates that we err on the side of caution so, once the boat is in its garage and the travel trailers are on their pads in the fall, they generally aren’t moved until we get through the spring thaw and ensuing mud season.  But, I digress.  Let’s get back to North-South Lake – a gem in the Catskill Mountains of New York.

October 02, 2018

I Just Love These Guys to Pieces!

Last Friday, Alan and I returned from a two week camping trip to Vermont, the Adirondack Coast of New York and our beloved Northampton Beach Campground on Great Lake Sacandaga which is at the foot of the Adirondacks in central New York.  (More about those travels in future posts.)  With the exception of a couple of rainy days and a few showers that didn’t impact our plans, the weather proved to be that wonderful fall combination of comfortable days and cool, but not cold, nights.  This trip was distinctive for two noteworthy reasons:  (1) It was the first trip since both Alan and I left the workforce during which the specter of the construction project at our rental property wasn’t looming in the background waiting for our return and its completion.  That weight on our shoulders was pleasantly absent since we had finished the project toward the end of the summer and we truly felt free to relax and enjoy our travels.  (2)  It was the first vacation in 24 years that Alan and I had taken without one or both kids in tow.  That's nearly a quarter of a century!  Sweet . . . and bittersweet.