Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Front Royal, Virginia...

From Littleton, Massachusetts we drove to East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania and visited with my sisters and some of their families then moved on to Front Royal, Virginia.  The countryside was beautiful and the colors were as good as they were going to get.  We camped in a very old, used to be KOA RV park.  Much of the park has been abandoned by the owners who are just letting it rot away.  However it could not have been in a more charming location.  We could see the Skyline Drive from our site and it was quiet and peaceful. (There were lots of critters around, however:  Someone had just run over a skunk in the road about a half mile before the campground and there were numerous other road kills in the area.  I also had the unfortunate experience of evicting a field mouse and three of her just delivered babies whom I found in the chassis battery bay.)

From Front Royal, we drove down from the mountains to the flat, flat coastal plain in Chesapeake, Virginia.  My knees love me for that!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Massachusetts runs on...

If you are paying attention during your drive through New England, you cannot help but be impressed with the number of donut shops in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Some people have commented that in America there is a Starbucks on just about every corner.  However, citizens of Massachusetts can indeed boast that there really is a donut shop on every block!

Interstate 495 is the huge beltway around the Boston metroplex.  It's western most point is almost half way across the state.  It seems that each and every exit advertises a Dunkin' Donuts.  Almost every gas station in the state is also a donut shop.  At 5:30 in the morning lines begin to form at the drive-up windows and spill out into the street by the peak of rush hour. Drive carefully, some folks have not yet been properly caffeinated.

Besides Dunkin' Donuts there is:

Kane's Donuts (very popular)
Verna's Donut Shop
Ma's Donut Shop
Allie's Donuts, Inc
Mrs. Murphy's Donuts (you didn't know that donuts are traditional Irish cuisine?)
Towne Donut Shoppe (old fashion donuts and spelling)
Donut Dip, Inc
Jimmy's Donut and Pastry Shop
Dockside Donuts (you know where this shop is)
Honey Dew Donuts
Jumbo Donuts (super size me)
Whole Donut
Colonial Donut Shop
Betty's Donut and Coffee Shop
Gerry's Donuts
Martha's Vineyard Gourmet Café and Donuts (only really high end donuts sold here)
Supreme Coffee and Donuts
Vista Donuts (just look through the hole)
Hole in One Bakery and Coffee Shop (there usually is)
Glaze Doughnut Shop
Donuts with a Difference (set your self apart with these donuts)
Twin Donuts
Donut Shack
Union Square Donuts
Demet's Donuts
Linda's Donuts
Adam's Donuts
Donna's Donuts (insert name Donut Shop)
Home Sweet Home Doughnut Shoppe
Doughboy Donuts and Deli
Anna's Hand Cut Donuts (I will have to investigate this one)
Coffee Time Bake Shop
Donut King (someone had to be)
Ziggy and Son's Donuts (multi-generational donuts)

Of course every bakery in the state also sells - you got it - donuts.  If you are opening up a new business and want to draw a crowd, hang out your shingle and sell donuts:  "Auto Repair and Donut Shop", "East Side Real Estate and Donut Shop", "Dr. Smith Podiatrist and Donut Shop - No Waiting."

Krispy Creme doesn't stand a chance in Massachusetts.

Caffeine and donuts! 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

See the U.S.A. in a ...

A couple of weeks ago at our campground in Massachusetts a large all red 45 foot tour bus pulled in beside us.  This behemoth is about as large as an RV can get legally. We are the same height and width as this big red bus but we are only 37 feet long.  Two of us live comfortably in Phaeth.  24 live in the big red one!   
Rotel Tours is a German based tourism company that puts together adventures mostly for Europeans. These busses are modified existing vehicles to sleep and feed large groups.  It has one lavatory and no shower so all 23 of the passengers were lined up at the campground facilities.
"Guten Taq", my granddaughter Kaylee and I called out to the driver who was busy unfolding the kitchen from the side of the bus. "Huh?", he answered. "I hope the rest of your conversation is in English because I'm from Alabama", he said. "All of my passengers are from Germany and know very little English which limits my having conversations with them."  He looked tired but was happy to give us information about the bus and his job.
Kaylee climbed a big rock to get a good view.

We were told by the driver, who was American,  that each window up in the back represented one traveler's bunk. Kaylee counted 23. The "basement" of this side of the vehicle opens up to reveal a big fold out kitchen where the meals of all the travelers are prepared.  Each tourist has a job to do which makes the set up and clean up go rather smoothly.  The bus had many folding tables from which the meal was served using plastic cups and paper plates.
This is a marketing photo from Rotel's website showing the "spacious" bunk area.
Here's another marketing photo showing the kind of adventure awaits you if you choose this travel style.
So, if you like travelling and living real close to people, this could be a way to tour parts of the world.  I guess Americans prefer a little more "elbow room".


Monday, October 12, 2015

A Chipmunk Afternoon...

It's Columbus Day.  The campground has emptied out of families with children who wanted one last fling before winter comes.  Only us retired folks and the chipmunks here to enjoy absolutely glorious, peaceful, Indian Summer day! I took a panorama of photos to show you.


Thank You, God for creating this and giving it to us!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Shortest trip ever...

 This morning we were in the site on the right.
This weekend will be Columbus Day holiday weekend.  On Monday all the kids in the state of Massachusetts will be free from the confines of school.  We hope to have our granddaughters spend a couple days with us.  We could have a campfire, roast hotdogs on sticks and make s'mores. 
For a lot of RV folks, it is also the last camping weekend of the season.  They will soon be winterizing and storing their rigs until after the snow melts in the spring. For us, we will just head South to warmer climes.
The campground here and in many places throughout the north country will be at capacity. Indeed, we had to vacate our camp site to someone who made a reservation long ago for our old spot. Luckily for us we just had to move one spot over.  We stay in this new site for four nights and we can then move back to our old spot. Seems silly but the owners of the camp ground want to keep their promise and we find no fault in that. 
So we drove all the way around the park so we would not have to make any tight "k" turns and stopped to set up camp in almost the same location.  We stopped at the LP station here in the RV park and topped off the LP tank while we were out and about. We may get stuck in some cold weather before we leave and we can now burn the furnaces without worrying that we will run out of gas.  We have been quite comfortable with the help of a space heater and the heat pumps.  Heat pumps are pretty much useless when the outdoor thermometer drops below 40 degrees and we will then have to rely on the furnaces. Besides the furnaces we use the LP (liquid propane) for all of our stove top cooking and we can make hot water with the gas if the electricity should go out.
On the stove last night Joanie "threw together" a creative dish that was also quite healthy.  It was a kale soup that also included a little squash, onions, some left over already cooked bacon, ham and kielbasa all in a beef broth base.  Yummy!
Wishing everyone a happy holiday that commemorates one of the so-called discoverers of the western hemisphere.