A Day in New York City

While staying in New Jersey for a few days, we took a day to go into New York City. Like I’ve said on previous posts, this country girl needs to go back south as these northern states are just not for me. The traffic on the way there was easy on our side, but people coming into NJ were backed up for miles.

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Luckily we went into the city before lunch because on our way back home around 6:00 PM the traffic going into NYC was now crazier than ever. Traffic was backed up again for miles and miles. The photos below show what I’m referring to.

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We drove into Staten Island, which was about an hours drive from the great park we were staying at, which was a campground in Colts Neck. There’s only about 20 sites and you have to be military to stay there. Once we arrived in Staten Island, we took the ferry over to the city. The ferry from Staten Island is free and so is the parking on Sunday. The rest of the week it’s only $8.00, which isn’t bad especially compared to how much they charge to cross the bridge into the city itself. We were under the impression it would cost $15.00 from what I had read on another blog, however, because our truck has double tires in the rear they charged us $42.00. 

You can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from the ferry and although I would have liked to tour both of them, it just wasn’t in the cards for us to go to either place on this trip. Truth is we probably never will tour them because I don’t anticipate us ever coming back this far north, but like the old saying goes, “never say never!”

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Being that we only had a few hours to spend in the city, we had to make the most of our time. There were two things we definitely wanted to see; the 9/11 Memorial and B&H Photo. Everything else would be a bonus and we would just take in the sites along the way.

Once we arrived via ferry, we walked to the 9/11 Memorial. It was a somber moment standing there thinking about what took place. The pools that sit where the twin towers use to be include the names of those lost. Flowers are placed on a person’s name when it’s their birthday. From there we braved the subway and headed to Central Station. Standing there in the middle looking up at the ceiling and all four corners remembering back to all the movies I’ve watched that featured that exact same spot. Of course it wasn’t smooth going the whole time, but we survived and live to tell about it. The other main place we went to was B&H Photo, which is a huge photography store that I’ve never been to. I discovered them online many years ago and never thought I would have the opportunity to actually visit the store with their one and only location being in New York City. 

If I had to do it over, I probably wouldn’t do it anytime soon; however, ask me in a couple years if I want to go back and I might say yes. Until then we’ll just keep heading south back to Florida and then out west. Many more pics from our time there is below. Please enjoy and feel free to share your own memories of New York City in the comments below. (Click on any pic for a larger view and to scroll through all of them).

 

Our Visit to Wahlburgers and Fenway Park

New England States

After our time in New Hampshire and Maine, we headed to Massachusetts. While there, we would visit Rhode Island and Connecticut to round out the final three New England states. I know several people who love the New England states, but we are not two of those people. We met more rude and obnoxious people than we’ve ever seen in the south. The traffic was horrendous and don’t even get me started on how much stuff cost.  Let’s just say this will be my first and only trip to the upper states.

The main reason for going to Massachusetts was to go to Boston. We were supposed to have stayed at a Thousand Trails (TT) campground, Gateway to Cape Cod, in Rochester about an hours drive from Boston. However, when we arrived, even though we had made our reservation back in June, there were no spots available. This made us have to search for something else and pay out of pocket, which we would not have had to do at the TT place as it’s part of our membership fee. We found a nice little place about 30 minutes away in Plymouth, Pinewood Lodge Campground. Even though they had several perms and seasonal campers, it was still a nice little place to put down and we had a pull-through site, which is always a plus as well.  Unfortunately, our satellite didn’t work under the trees, but they have cable, which we opted for as opposed to sewer. 

Wahlburgers

Wahlburgers

On Friday the 19th of August we headed for Boston for two things: a burger from Whalburgers and to tour Fenway Park. I mean really who goes to Boston for a once in a lifetime trip and not go to Fenway Park.

Good news: we got to enjoy a great burger and hope that many more Whalburger restaurants will go up throughout the US so others will get to taste them as well.

Bad news: a concert had played at Fenway Park the day before and another one was scheduled for the next day. Not only did we have to pay more to do the tour, but we didn’t even get to see the damn field because it was covered in chairs and concert set up.

What pissed me off the most about this is the ticket taker didn’t bother to tell us that we would get jipped on the tour so we got screwed twice, once on the price and again on the tour. 

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Fenway Park Entrance

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The seat I sat in that happens to be one of the original seats in the park.

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The red seat marks the longest homerun ever hit in Fenway Park. Batter was Ted Williams.

Trolley Rides 

In order to get around Boston, we took a trolley, so we could hop on, hop off at any of the 16 locations they stopped at. This made it possible for us to see more of the city and not have to fight crazy traffic in the process. One of the places I wanted to see was Cheers, “where everybody knows your name”, which is the bar that inspired the beloved television show created in 1982. There was lots of memorabilia and episodes from days gone by playing on the screens throughout the gift shop area. We didn’t eat there as we were saving up for burgers elsewhere. I just wanted to see where it all originated from.

Cheers, Est 1895

Cheers, Est 1895

The original Cheer Restaurant

The original Cheer Restaurant located in Boston

Cape Cod

We spent a day driving to the cape to see a few lighthouses, but other than that I wasn’t impressed with Cape Cod. I’m beginning to think this country girl just needs to go back south, find a beautiful lake and stay put. However, I did enjoy some great lobster and crab claws at the Lobster Hut in Plymouth, but I also discovered that live lobster is not for me as I prefer just the tails. Seeing that head laying there and breaking into an unclean lobster is just not my cup of tea.

Massachusetts Lighthouses (click on a pic for a bigger view and to scroll through all)

After four nights, we headed over to our second Thousand Trails campground hoping we would have a better experience than the first. Well let’s just say I’m beginning to realize that a TT membership was not worth the price and I will not be renewing and will be trying to sell the one I have as it is just not for us.  The second campground, Sturbridge RV Resort, located in Sturbridge, MA has the closest sites I think I have ever seen. We could not open our awning as it would have touched our next door neighbors camper who arrived the same day as we did.  They only lasted one night and had told us they were to be there for 10. I have no idea where they went as they left while we were on our trip through Rhode Island.

Our trips to Rhode Island and Connecticut were pretty much both a bust. We didn’t see any lighthouses in either state as they were either too far off shore or on private land that was inaccessible. The scenery we did see was no different than what we had seen in Maine and Massachusetts. Like I said before this is our one and only time driving up here as there is nothing that has inspired us enough to ever come back.

Below are pics of Massachusetts and Fenway Park. To get a bigger view, click on a pic and scroll through the slideshow.

Exploring the New England States in an RV

After we left Niagara Falls, we traveled east across New York and stayed at Lake Lauderdale Campgrounds in New York close to the Vermont border. It made it convenient to go explore the Vermont roads and explore we did. We went looking for covered bridges and found several on some back roads. We ended up at the Vermont Country Store located in Weston. It was an interesting store and had lots of stuff most of us liked back in the 70’s. Plus, it had nostalgia items that dated back further than the 70’s. We enjoyed big fat burgers and delicious ice cream before heading back home.

The sunsets out our front yard were beautiful. I think you’ll agree based on these pics. (Click on any pic for a bigger view and scroll through)

The next stop was in New Hampshire at the Circle 9 Ranch & Campground for 7 days. The campground has a lot of permanent residents and is somewhat run down. The location was convenient for us to explore New Hampshire and drive into Maine to explore as well. However, there are other campgrounds in the area that I would look at staying at if we were to ever come back to the area.

New Hampshire is home to the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which for those that don’t know, that means NASCAR. My husband is a big fan and this is one speedway he hasn’t been to, so a visit was definitely going to happen. I didn’t realize you could pop in and view the speedway on non race days, so I was excited to see what the raceway looked like as well.  On the day we visited, the speedway was actually being used by some motorcyclist that were zooming by at speeds unheard of for my liking.  Our visit was pleasant and I’m actually looking forward to visiting some more speedways and even sitting in on a real NASCAR race one day. Below are a few of the pics I took. (Click on any pic for a bigger view and scroll through)

The first day we attempted to drive through the White Mountains to see waterfalls and covered bridges ended up being a bust and after an hour or so we turned around and went back home as the rain would not let up. On day two, we had much better weather. We only stopped at one of the falls as we had the dogs with us and I don’t like hiking through the woods by myself and our wiener dogs are lazy and wouldn’t have made it too far and carrying them is not an option. We saw several covered bridges and lots of mountains. The drive was nice and seeing what other states look like is always interesting. We have pretty much given up on seeing a moose. We’ll wait until we visit Alaska for that. The pics below show just how beautiful the landscape is as well as the waterfalls and covered bridges we saw. (Click on any pic for a bigger view and scroll through)

Sightseeing in New Hampshire

Waterfall in New Hampshire

Covered Bridges in New Hampshire

 

We took a day to head into Maine for two things, lighthouses and some good lobster. I had really been looking forward to tasting some Maine Lobster for months now. I chose a restaurant that was listed on the Maine map and had good reviews. However, the food was not good at all. Luckily, the trip wasn’t a total waste as we saw a couple lighthouses and got to see the Atlantic Ocean. Not sure what I was expecting in the way of the beach, but I was definitely shocked to see how black the sand was compared to the white sandy beaches of Florida. The lighthouses were definitely more impressive than the beaches.  Guess it depends on a person’s taste as to what you like more. Here are the pics so you can see for yourself. (Click on any pic for a bigger view and scroll through)

Sightseeing in Maine

Lighthouses in Maine

From here we head to Massachusetts. While there we’ll cross over to both Rhode Island and Connecticut. Our main reason for visiting MA is to go to a Whalburger’s for a burger and fries and tour Fenway Park. Hopefully the next stop will be better than this one.

My Obsession with Covered Bridges in Vermont

Covered bridges have so much history. When I see one, I think about who might have crossed through and did they have to walk, ride a horse and buggy, a car or just what type of transportation carried them over to the other side. In the last couple weeks, we have driven through several of these magnificent bridges. Most of them dating back to the 1800’s. The ones in Ohio and Kentucky had been vandalized by people spray painting and writing all over them; however, the ones we saw in Vermont and New York had not been.

Our covered bridge ride through Vermont took us on many roads, some paved and some not so paved. There were some that made us think twice about doing this, but when you come around the corner and see views like this it makes the drive better. Had we not been on some back country road we never would have seen this beautiful pond. 

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We kept hoping we would see some wildlife especially when we were driving through the national forest, but we didn’t even see a squirrel. We did see lots of old cars, barns, farmhouses and other things that reminded us of the old days. After seeing a half-dozen bridges, we headed back home to prepare for our next journey. I wanted to provide more than just pics of the covered bridges, so here’s a little history on each one we saw.  

The West Arlington Covered Bridge a/k/a Bridge of the Green is located in West Arlington, Vermont off Route 313 in Bennington County. It was built in 1852, is 80 feet long and 17.5 feet wide. Although the bridge was damaged by flooding due to Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011, it was fixed and reopened to traffic in the months following.

West Arlington Covered Bridge

West Arlington Covered Bridge

West Arlington Covered Bridge

The Burt Henry Covered Bridge, also known as the Henry Covered Bridge or just the Henry Bridge was originally built in the 1830’s, however it was completely rebuilt in 1989. It is located near Bennington, VT and spans the Walloomsac River. The bridge spans 121 feet and is 18.5 feet wide.

Burt Henry Covered Bridge

Burt Henry Covered Bridge

Burt Henry Covered Bridge

The Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge, a/k/a the Paper Mill Bridge or Bennington Falls Covered Bridge was built in 1889 by Charles F. Sears. It spans 125 feet and is 18.5 feet wide and is located on the south side of State Route 67A, northwest of downtown Bennington, VT.

Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge

Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge

Paper Mill Village Covered Bridge

The Silk Road Covered Bridge was built in 1840 and is in close proximity to both the Burt Henry and Paper Mill bridges. It spans 88 feet long 15 feet wide. It is located between downtown Bennington and North Bennington on Silk Road, which connects Vermont Route 67A and Vermont Route 279.

Silk Road Covered Bridge

Silk Road Covered Bridge

The Creamery Covered Bridge was built in 1879, is located in Brattleboro, VT and was closed to vehicles in 2010. The bridge spans 80 feet long and 19 feet wide. A sidewalk was added about 1920. The Creamery is the last covered bridge in Brattleboro, is visible from Route 9 and a great tourist attraction.

Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

Creamery Covered Bridge

The West Dummerston Covered Bridge was built in 1872 and is located in Dummerston, VT. This is the longest covered bridge I have ever seen coming in at 267 feet. It was built in two spans, with the westerly span being 143 feet and the easterly at 124 feet. The bridge is 22 feet wide and opened to traffic. Locals enjoy going for a swim under the bridge as there were many families enjoying the beautiful day when I stopped for pics. 

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

The Rexleigh Covered Bridge was built in 1874 and is located in Salem, NY. The bridge spans 107 feet over Battenkill River in Washington County. It is just under 18 feet wide and is still operational to vehicles today.

Rexleigh Covered Bridge

Rexleigh Covered Bridge

Rexleigh Covered Bridge

The Beauty of Niagara Falls

Since leaving Florida we have spent 45 days on the road and driven through eleven (11) states to get to Niagara Falls, which was the biggest place we wanted to visit on this four month trip. At first I wasn’t sure the trip was worth it, but once we got on the Maid of the Mist and got to see the falls up close, it was definitely worth it. I could not believe how big and tall and massive looking they were and the sound of the rushing water was exhilarating.  It was so worth getting wet on the Maid of the Mist, so we could have an up close and personal view of the falls. Although we had hoped to cross the Rainbow Bridge into Canada, we never made it back on our last day to do that. There is so much to see and do around the falls, it’s hard to do it all in just a couple of days.  If we ever make the drive that far north again, we will definitely plan to stay longer.

I refuse to admit how many pics I took, but I was able to narrow them down to a reasonable amount to post. But of course no matter how many pics I have here, seeing the falls in person is the best way to get the true effect.

The following is while we were on the Maid of the Mist boat giving us an up close look at just how beautiful the falls are. The boats get so close all you see is mist and hear the roar of the water. To have a conversation, you have to just about scream for the person next to you to hear you.

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Taken during the Maid of the Mist boat ride on approach to the falls

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View of American Falls while on the Maid of the Mist

The following pic is from the Observation Tower, which is 282 feet over the Niagara Gorge and the only place to see the Horseshoe and American Falls at the same time.  

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View from the Observation Tower

You can find all our pics from this beautiful trip by clicking here.

During our visit we stayed at the Four Mile Creek State Park. The sites were nicely spaced and they had a great playground for those that have kiddos, but the best part is they are right on Lake Ontario, which means you can see the most beautiful sunsets. This was another one of those times that I took way too many pics and had to narrow them do to a manageable size. While watching the sunset one evening I was also able to look out and see the Toronto cityscape in the distance. It was amazingly beautiful. Click here to see all my sunset pics.

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View of Canada from Four Mile Creek State Park

Feel free to leave comments below about your own visit to Niagara Falls. Our next big stop will be in New Hampshire and Maine where I’ll be trading covered bridges for lighthouses, waterfalls and lobster. From there, we’ll be headed down the eastern coastline back towards Florida.

 

Our Trip North, Part Two

From North Carolina to Ohio

Our second big stop after Maggie Valley was Delaware, Ohio. It wasn’t until I started planning this trip that I discovered Ohio even had a town named Delaware.  It’s north of Columbus, OH and convenient to just about any place you need. Before I talk about our Ohio visit and all the wonderful things we got to see let’s look at the places we stopped at on the way.

The first mini stop was to visit the in-laws. We stayed at Riverside RV Resort in Sevierville, TN only about a 15 minute drive to their place in Kodak. Other than spending a little time with them, including a night out to the local Texas Roadhouse, we mostly hung out at home.

The second mini stop was in Frankfurt, KY. This was a last minute change from a trip to West Virginia after the floods. We just didn’t want to chance driving up there, so we changed our route. I picked Frankfurt so we could visit Louisville and Lexington. We stayed at the Elkhorn Campground.

Thoroughbred Center

The Lexington trip was to the Thoroughbred Center. It was an interesting place. We got to see the thoroughbreds during their morning training sessions. During our visit we were told that jockeys can weigh no more than 105 lbs, but trainers can weigh as much as 130 lbs. We watched several horses on the track and then learned about the education program they have on site as well as other interesting information. If you’re into horses I would recommend a visit if you’re ever in the area. Click here for additional pics.

The Thoroughbred Center

The Thoroughbred Center

Exercise track

Exercise track

Gorgeous horse in the barn

Gorgeous horse in the barn that kept making faces and showing his teeth at us.

Louisville Slugger Museum

The most entertaining trip was to the Louisville Slugger Museum. We got to tour the plant to see how bats are made. They produce bats seven days a week; although professional bats are only made Monday – Friday. It only takes 30 seconds to cut a bat from what is called a billet, which is made from either Ash or Maple wood, which is harvested out of Pennsylvania. We walked down main street to see members of the Walk of Fame.  There is so much about this place that was amazing. They had a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not that had some great items. Click here to see some of my favorites from the museum and Ripley’s.

Louisville Slugger Museum

Louisville Slugger Museum

We also spent some time getting the truck serviced as well as searching for covered bridges. There was one only a short distance from Elkhorn Campground, so we took off to see it. It was beautiful from the road, but once you got up close and walked through you could see how people had desecrated what use to be a beautiful bridge. I will never understand why people want to paint and destroy a part of history. Click here for more pics of the Switzer Bridge.Edit-7353

Delaware, OH

Our next stop would be the big city of Delaware, OH. We stayed at Alum Creek State Park where I discovered I really messed up when I made our reservation for an entire week. The site only included electric. Luckily it was 50amp, but we had no water. The people at check-in were of little help. Instead of telling us at check-in where we could fill our water tanks up at, they didn’t tell us anything. Hell I had to ask for a map to find our site. It wasn’t until my husband was hooking up on the outside that he discovered we had no water hookup. Once you back in a 38’ fifth wheel and level the last thing you want to do is unhook and search for water. Had we known prior to going to our site we could have filled our tanks up. We found a solution by running several water hoses to a water tap nearby. It was a big inconvenience that could have been avoided. We are looking at it as a lesson learned.

Columbus Zoo

Our first day out we went to the Columbus Zoo. It was bigger than most I’ve been to and although the temps were in the eighties, it was still an enjoyable day. Please click here to view pics from our visit.

Columbus Zoo, Ohio

Columbus Zoo, Ohio

One of the main reasons I wanted to go to Ohio was to visit Amish Country. We took a day trip up around Millersburg and saw lots of farms and even went through Nashville, OH; which looks nothing like Nashville, TN, where we use to live. It was one of those towns that if you blinked you might not even realize you had driven through it. Once we arrived in Millersburg, we did see a couple of horse and buggies as well as some Amish people. However, I think we saw more Amish at the Zoo in Columbus than in Amish Country. We ate at a place called, Olde Country Bakery. We both had a farm burger, which is just a hamburger with an egg. It was good, but the fries were even more delicious as they were fresh cut. The best part was the fresh bread. I wished I had bought two loaves.

Our final tour of Ohio was to see covered bridges. I picked several that were built in the 1800’s within an hours drive from our campground. We saw five different ones and a gorgeous church with beautiful stained glass windows. My favorite covered bridge pic below included a lovely couple that were locals taking a bike ride on a trail leading to an ice cream shop on the other end. You can find several pics from the tour by clicking here.

B&W of my favorite

B&W of my favorite

Stained glass window

Stained glass window

Beautiful church with stained glass windows

Beautiful church with stained glass windows

On Saturday we were headed to the outlet malls when my dear husband decided to stop at a couple RV dealerships. The first one didn’t seem too interested in showing us anything…..boy was that a mistake. At the second one they had the 2017 Montana’s. The 3791 model has way more storage than we’ve ever seen in a fifth wheel. We looked and looked, asked a lot of questions and told the salesman we needed to keep looking before we made a decision on whether to trade or not. By the time we left the outlet mall we both knew we wanted the new model, so we stopped back by and looked again, but I still wouldn’t agree to do anything. However, by Monday morning we were back signing papers and ordering our new house with all the options we want, so in less than 8 weeks we should be picking up our new house.

From Ohio we are headed to Niagara Falls.  A place neither of us have ever visited. From there we will travel east through Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before we start our journey down the east coast. Hope you’ll continue to follow our journey.