During spring break this year we had the opportunity to go to the east coast for a family event. Since we were flying we decided to make a trip of it. Rebecca wanted to show the kids Boston where she attended college. We also took a trip to Plymouth Rock. As Sean says "it is still just a rock". We did go to a great place for beef sandwiches. We also went to Cambridge and had pizza near Harvard. We then headed to Vermont where Shara would like to attend the New England Culinary Institute. While there we tasted every culinary delight Vermont could offer. Ben & Jerry's, Cabot Cheese, a couple of maple syrup places, apple cider and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Yes, it might have been the end of March but there was snow. We then headed to New York. We stayed outside the city in CT. It was way cheaper and great location. We found some great Chinese food take out and got lots of yummy treats at the hotel coffee shop. We did go into Manhattan and saw the 8 story Macy's and go to one of those cheezy gift shops.Lesson of the day beware of New York parking garages.Sean still has smoke coming out of his ears for the $52.00 parking for an hour. It just happened to be that Simon's 8th grade class was in Boston the same time we were and one of his best buddies was on the trip with his dad. They met up with their family in New York. We all went to the Statue of Liberty together and dinner. Sean had had enough of NYC tolls and parking. So the next day we went and took a day trip to Newport RI per Simon's request. We took a tour of the Breaker's and the Elm's. It was a 2 1/2 hour trip each way. On our return we had a family dinner to attend it t a great restaurant we had been to before in Rye New York. It was great seeing the NY cousins and Sean's parents who had arrived from Chicago earlier that day. Saturday was the family event. We had great time laughing eating and being with everyone. That evening we went to an amazing pizza place that we had read about months earlier.It was called Pizza Barn in Yonkers. Shara decided she wasn't joining us so we had room for Sean's parents to join us. We were told that there could be up to a 4 hour wait in the summer. Alexis was making friends with the staff while we waited our turn. The next day before heading to the airport. We went to the Bronx Zoo. We did get rained on which was frustrating because it was hard to find the animals. Alexis was happy we did find the lions. It was an adveture getting to JFK but once there was easy returning the car and getting checked in. Jetblue was a great airlines to fly. All the La Quinta's were great. We saved time and money having breakfast included. We drove a total of 1700 miles in nine day and 6 states (MA, NH, VT, CT NY, RI).
This past New Years, we took a vacation to San Diego California to visit the kids new 2 month old cousin and the rest of Rebecca's family. But before we could go, first came some vehicle repairs to make sure the Escalade was up to the challenge. We have a new mechanic that opened near us and they had promised us we would be ready on Saturday. They ended up needing some more time so they stayed a little late but got the job done as we were scheduled to leave on Sunday morning. Thank you to Gruelich's Automotive Repair in Cave Creek Arizona, these guys are top notch. We somehow ended up missing the signage for the Pilot Flying J in Yuma and decided on a Loves Travel Plaza to fuel up. When we first pulled in, we figured the outer most lane behind a rental truck was our best option. After waiting for a considerable amount of time, another truck pulled in front of the first truck but at a very bad angle. So we decided to get our rig turned around and use another pump. We almost clipped the concrete island with the trailer. As we were finishing, the two rental trucks decided to park in front of us and by this time a couple of cars decided that parking next to us was a good idea. We almost clipped another concrete island trying to get out of there but this was again almost a very costly mistake but thanks to a couple of super nice travelers they helped navigate us through the overly crowed pumps and we were back on the road with out incident. We had reserved an economy back in space at the campground and it took some maneuvering to get parked but we finally did. Because we had Zeus with us, we were limited on activities. We did take him to the dog beach in Coronado and he loved it. We Stayed at the KOA in Chula Vista and took advantage of their Camp K9 dog park. Because of the proximity to the Navel Base in Coronado, we got to enjoy watching the planes and helicopters landing and taking off. Shara, being her normal teenage self stayed at the campsite and played on her phone for most of the trip. Simon, prepared a chicken and dumpling dinner using his dutch oven. It was delicious. We stayed 5 nights. The trip home seemed to take forever.Probably because we left later in the day and lost an hour going back to mountain time. We went through a Customs and Border Protection check point and there was a drug sniffing dog and we thought for sure that Zeus would not be too fond of this but all was well and they just waived us through. Zeus slept most of the ride but threw a fit whenever we stopped for gas. Happy New Year from Campfire Shenanigans.
It's been awhile since Campfire Shenanigans had been on the road. For spring break 2018, we drove to Lake Havasu Arizona. We stayed at Campbell Cove RV Resort. Great location and very clean facility but very basic campground. We spent most of our time entertaining Zeus at Lion's Dog Park. The kids got the chance to the London Bridge Beach. We had a couple of windy days so we took a drive around town and enjoyed a snack from We Be Pop'n a local gourmet popcorn store. Rebecca and the kids walked around English Village and it brought back memories from their trip to Europe a few years ago. This would not be a Campfire Shenanigans trip without some shenanigans. One of our lovely neighbors was not very fond of Zeus and complained to the campground office about his barking and being woken up at 8:30am on Sunday. We took advantage of having our propane tanks refilled at our campsite. After taking Alexis and Simon swimming, we once again had an issue with our door lock jamming and Rebecca, Shara, and Zeus were stuck inside and we had to break-in to rescue them. A little minor maintenance will be in our future. Simon wasn't watching what he was doing when retracting our slide out and accidentally tore some of our flooring with the dog's crate. Our last night there, we enjoyed pizza from a local restaurant. It was lots of fun hanging out, playing board games, and having lots of laughs. It was definitely challenging to vacation with a dog that barks at any human within 50 feet. Until next time...
We have a new addition to our Campfire Shenanigans family. Meet Zeus, our 18 month old Saint Benard rescue. We are looking forward to having Zeus joining us on our rv adventures.
When Rebecca's brother called and told us that he was going to marry the girl of his dreams, we decided that we needed some much needed beach time too especially since there has been an excessive heat wave in Arizona so why can't we just combine the two? Everything was going too perfect for our trip to California. We hitched up the trailer and had backed into our space at the campground on the first try, which never happens for us. We were 70 miles away from the wedding venue at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort. This was one of the more expensive campgrounds that we have stayed at but the breathtaking views made up for it. We decided to take Pacific Coast Highway to the wedding and were lucky to avoid some of the traffic. Alexis did an outstanding job with her role as flower girl. Although we had wedding obligations on Friday and Saturday, this left Sunday which was
Father's Day for the beach. We tried out the new fondue kit and nacho platter that Rebecca and the kids bought for the grill. Monday arrived too quickly and we thought we were headed home. As we were departing the campsite, we failed to properly raise our electric tongue jack and quickly realized our mishap. We decided that we could make the drive and replace the jack with our old manual one at home. We stopped for date shakes and lunch at Hadley's Fruit Orchard just outside of Palm Springs a tradition for us and may other travels on the I10. After our return to the truck, our check engine light, reduce engine speed, traction control, and stability lights were on. We quickly realized that our best option was to get towed in verses trying to make it the additional 300 miles home. Good Sam roadside to the rescue. Unfortunately, since we did not technically break down on the interstate, we had to use all of our available money and pay $350 to have the trailer towed with the truck. We were about 50 miles away from Rebecca's dad's house so we towed it in to the dealer near him. We notified the dealer that we were planning on towing the vehicle and trailer to their location. We made it there approximately ten minutes before they were closing for the evening. The person checking us in was anything but friendly and made it very apparent that he wanted to go home. He found a service manager who was kind enough to let us borrow a jack stand and floor jack. While we waited for Rebecca's dad to pick us up, we found our way to a Marie Callender's and enjoyed some pie. The service department diagnosed the problem shortly after they had opened the next day and advised us of our $1000 repair bill needing a new throttle body. We were fortunate that Rebecca's dad was able to put the charge on his credit card and Sean's parents reimbursed us for our expenses. It took Rebecca's dad and Sean a considerable amount of time trying to remove the broken tongue jack. We were finally back on the road at about 1pm, Sean had to take another vacation day from work. We made it back safely to the Phoenix area and decided that since our storage facility closes at 9:00pm and we still needed to go home and get the old jack, that we should just park the trailer outside the house for a couple of days until we had some available time to go to storage. We took the trailer to storage on Saturday morning and were lucky because the space behind us was vacant so we were able to just pull through.
Alexis showing off our travel trailer's new identity. The all new Arizona Route 66 license plate. A great way to preserve the historical federal highway.
Due to Sean developing a bad back, we decided earlier this summer to replace our manual tongue jack with an electric model. Installation was fairly easy with just some basic tools. Our recommendation is to pay a little more and get a set of good quality American made tools as the off brands just didn't cut it. We also modified the wiring for the cable jack to allow a satellite dish to be connected without running the cable through the window. We knew that coming from a cold weather climate that things will freeze and to not leave them in the rv, completely forgetting about the extreme heat an Arizona summer brings. We had a canister of heavy duty strength pepper spray explode in one of the cabinets. We also decided to purchase 4 7gal water storage containers as we forgot about a 1 gallon bottle of water and the bottle cracked and soaked our stuff. To make towing a little bit easier, we purchased a pair of
clip on towing mirrors. To entertain the kids, we bought them another Wii. To save space, we bought a small Kuerig brewer and pour over ice pitcher. Happy Holidays from our family to yours, looking forward to sharing more adventures in 2016.
We decided to go to Lake Powell (Arizona / Utah state line) We stayed at the Wahweap Marina, RV Park, and Campground in Page, AZ. We took a day trip to Monument Valley, went to the beach, took a tour of Glen Canyon Dam, and the Powell Museum. Upon our return from the museum, both of our keys broke in the lock. Good thing for Good Sam. The dispatched the only locksmith in a 150 mile radius who was able to drill our lock out and gained access. Glad I kept the old lock as it worked great in a pinch. We were able to use the pool at the resort and checked out their pizza parlor. Poor Simon forgot to go to the bathroom before leaving to go home. We made it to the Pilot Travel Center in Belmont, AZ him not so lucky. After fueling, a couple of soldiers flagged us down. We had dropped one of our equalizer bars and it was being dragged. So while Sean fixed it, Rebecca decided that it has time to take care of the hungrys at McDonalds. We did ask Simon if wanted to barrow one of Alexis's diapers and he said a firm "NO" so off we went.