Posts Tagged With: Jellystone Park

Wintering in Florida

Like many fulltime RV’ers we spent most of the winter in Florida. After spending the holidays with family in North Carolina we headed back to our hometown of Fernandina Beach, FL to stay at Ft. Clinch State Park in January. Most of the time we were there it was very cold, well by Florida standards that is. I know most northerners would question my definition of “cold”. We woke up one morning to find that the water coming into the RV from the outdoor spigot had frozen. We’ve traveled for 3 years and that has never happened. How ironic that it would happen in Florida of all places!

In spite of the cold we had a blast hanging out with friends, playing lots of games, enjoying lots of campfires and watching gorgeous sunsets.

We were so happy to be in town to attend one of our best friend’s surprise 50th birthday party!

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Good friends Danny & Kim

So much fun with friends…

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Game nights with Mimi

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Catching up with Kym

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Camping with Kelli and the rest of the Norstrem family

One night while watching the sunset we were so excited to see a couple of dolphins playing so close to the shore. Photo credit to Kelli for these beautiful sunset pictures.

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After almost 4 weeks in Fernandina we headed down to another one of our favorite places: Disney’s Ft. Wilderness campground. This time my parents, sister and brother-in-law joined us for some Disney fun.

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Later in February we moved on to Three Flags Thousand Trails where some good friends were staying. In the past I have shared pictures of some of the incredible campsites we have been blessed with that included lots of space and gorgeous views. Well, sometimes we end up with a site with a lovely view of the neighbor’s camper with barely any room in between.

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Jake and Jesse with their good friend Gavin

The sites at that park were pretty close together, but thankfully the neighbor was really nice. She brought treats over for the kids often and even told us we could use her golf cart anytime we needed it. We didn’t take her up on that, but I have to say she was one of the nicest neighbors we have ever had. In addition we got to hang out with some other Fulltime Families which made our stay there really fun.

Even though we didn’t have a lot of space between our campers, our back yard was pretty amazing with cows coming to visit us every day.

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From there we moved on to “moochdock” at a friend’s house. We met these friends on the road 3 years ago. They recently bought property in Florida with a very nice, large RV spot.

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Keith and Michele’s house

We went kayaking in Silver Springs while we were staying with them. That was lots of fun until we realized we missed a turn and ended up 2 miles downstream which meant we had the strenuous job of paddling back upstream that far. I was so thankful Keith tied a rope to my kayak and helped tow Jesse and me back!

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Peaceful and beautiful while we were still heading downstream.

Next we spent a quiet weekend at a beautiful state park on the Suwannee River.

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Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

Lastly we attended our 6th Fulltime Families rally in Madison, FL at one of our favorite Jellystone Parks. We used to go on weekend camping trips to this Jellystone years ago before we started traveling fulltime. They have a really awesome water slide and lazy river. The entire week the boys were so excited for them to open the water park. It was a chilly week, but the campground promised they would open the water park for the rally no matter how the weather turned out.

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Well, the campground kept their promise and many of the kids braved the cold to enjoy it one afternoon. The outside temperature was in the 60s, and I have no idea how cold the water was but based on the blue, shivering lips of most of the kids it was quite cold!

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Photo Credit: Brooke Foster

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Photo Credit: Brooke Foster

Rally weeks are always so busy and super fun. One day we had a field trip canoeing down the Suwannee River.

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Another day they had field games like relay races and crab soccer.

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We also had campfires, pot luck dinners and lots of other fun with old and new friends.

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FtF Rally Group Picture – Photo Credit: Brooke Foster

So that wraps up our winter in Florida and now we are making our way up the east coast. We are so excited to begin another year of adventures and making memories.

 

Categories: Florida | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Texas State Parks Part 1

We recently stayed at 3 Texas State Parks and visited one other. This post will cover 2 of those parks.

Mustang Island State Park

Mustang Island near Corpus Christi was a great place to stay to visit both Port Aransas and Padre Island National Seashore on the Gulf Coast of Texas because the park was located halfway between each location. The park itself is just okay as it is basically a parking lot and the sites are very close together. We were blessed with the best site in the park though on the end so we did not have anyone camped on our outdoor living side.

We spent one day at Padre Island National Seashore which was beautiful. This park was about 15 miles south of our campground.

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At the visitor center we learned about sea turtles and why there is so much trash on the beach. Because of where this beach is located within the Gulf of Mexico, trash washes up on the beach constantly. The boys earned their Junior Ranger badges here and one of the activities was to pick up trash on the beach. This ranger was really nice and helpful as the kids filled out their booklets.

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Vehicles are allowed on a long stretch of this beach so we drove out onto a section and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon relaxing on the beach. Unfortunately some vehicles drive way too fast down this beach though, so you have to be really careful not to get run over!

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We spent some time on the beach behind the campsites where we stayed on Mustang Island also.

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Port Aransas is a cute beach town about 15 miles north of the campground. We spent the afternoon at Roberts Point Park which has a couple of playgrounds, picnic areas and lots of areas for fishing.

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I loved watching this huge ship sail by as dolphins jumped and played in the waves made by the ship.

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Two other Fulltime Families joined us at this campground which made it even more fun. We enjoyed a pot luck dinner, an afternoon at the movies to see Moana, a birthday celebration and more. The other 2 families each have 5 kids so with our 2 we had a total of 12 kids playing in the cul-de-sac at the end of the campground road. They had foot races and bicycle races and played games at the picnic table.

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After leaving Mustang Island we headed up to Kerrville near San Antonio and stayed at Jellystone Park of the Guadalupe River. This was one of the nicest Jellystone Parks we have been to. We had a beautiful site backed up to the river with a jump pad right behind us. Of course the boys loved that!

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Jesse and Chris playing catch

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Jake walking Fat Cat

This park also had a brand new mini golf course that was beautifully landscaped and an indoor pool with a hot tub. They are in the process of building a new water park with water slides and splash pads. It was not open yet when we were there, but it looks like it will be really fun once it opens in time for this summer.

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and National Historic Site

While we were in Kerrville we spent a day in historic Fredericksburg and visited the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park which was fantastic.

At this park  you can tour the ranch where President Lyndon B. Johnson was born and raised. He and his family are also buried there.

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One room school house where President Johnson attended school.

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There was a hangar and landing strip right on the ranch property.

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Connected to the ranch is the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm. Here you can tour the farm house and property where costumed interpreters carry out daily chores as if they were living here in the early 1900s. We learned about what life was like there on the farm over a century ago. One of the Sauer children served as midwife at President Johnson’s birth.

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These ladies taught us about the farm and kitchen, as well as duties that kids would have had in those days like collecting eggs. They sent us out on assignment to collect some eggs, but we didn’t find any.

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Jake busy working on his Junior Ranger book

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Earning some more Junior Ranger badges:

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Posing with a picture of the former president and first lady

On our way back to the campground we passed by the town of Luckenbach and since we’re country music fans and love Waylon Jennings’ song “Let’s Go To Luckenbach Texas” we had to stop in for a couple of pictures.

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This post has gotten quite long so I’ll stop now and write about the next 2 Texas state parks we visited in the next post. Stay tuned…

 

 

Categories: Texas | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fulltime Families Rally in Colorado

We attended our 4th Fulltime Families (FtF) rally in Montrose, CO.  It was a total blast!  We met up with some families that we met at previous rallies and also some new families.  Some of our favorite memories on the road have been spent with other traveling families.

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The rally was held at the Jellystone Park in Montrose, CO.  We went a few days earlier than the rally started which gave us some time to catch up with some other friends that got there a little early.  We went back to Ouray to visit Box Canyon Falls with the Lundy family.  The falls were really cool!  The water coming through the canyon is so powerful and loud!

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Soon enough more families started pulling into the campground and the rally officially began.

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I can’t even explain just how much fun it is to be parked next to several other traveling families.  We hung out every evening for campfires and happy hours and talked until late into the night.  Meanwhile the kids were off and running from sunup until sundown (and beyond) having a blast playing with all the other kids.

One afternoon when it was raining outside, several kids ended up at our RV to play with play-doh. Or I should say “to make a mess” because you know that’s how it goes with play-doh! 😉

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One of the planned activities was an obstacle course for the kids where they went to each “booth” for an activity to complete.  At this table the activity was to paint a mask because the theme of this rally was “Super Heroes”.

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Jesse’s friend Dylan was showing him how to use the bow & arrow to shoot the colored soda bottles.

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I love Olivia’s face in this one.  She is determined to hit that soda bottle!

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After everyone completed the obstacle course, they all gathered around the Yogi Bear statue for a picture.

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One of our favorite activities was the Super Hero Pet Parade.  We made a cape for Super Fat Cat to wear.  She was not happy about being paraded around the campground, but she really tolerated it well.  And she became famous!  After that everyone knew who Fat Cat was, and whenever people passed by our site they would say “hey, there’s Fat Cat!”

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There were all kinds of pets in this parade including frogs and rats.

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And dogs of course!

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And even stuffed animals!

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Once the parade started, Fat Cat tried to fly away.  Too bad her cape didn’t have real super powers!

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Strangely, the pool at this campground was closed for most of the time we were there (even though it was well past Memorial Day and the weather was in the 90s).  I say “strangely” because this is supposed to be a Jellystone Park, but it wasn’t like any other Jellystone we have been to.  They did not have nearly as many fun activities and amenities as most Jellystone Parks have, but we made up for that with our own FtF activities.  The pool finally opened a couple of days before we left so the kids wanted to make the most of it while they had the chance.

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On Saturday night we had the Super Hero pizza dinner and dance party.  Clementine had a really cool costume!

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Jennifer made us feel tall by making herself look short next to us. 🙂

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Our last night around the campfire was really fun.  I think we stayed out so late because we knew we were leaving the next day and wanted to make the fun last as long as possible.

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I miss these girls!

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If you are a traveling family, I would highly recommend you find a Fulltime Families rally near you and go.  We have made the most amazing friendships and memories at these rallies!

One last silly picture of the super heroes. 🙂

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Categories: Colorado, Fulltime RV'ing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Texas Hill Country Part 1

I have to write about the Texas Hill Country in 2 blog posts because there is just too much to write about.  This section of Texas is so beautiful!  Since we started traveling this has been the first part of the country that I could actually see myself living in.  The only problem is there is no ocean and I really can’t see myself living in an area that is not near the ocean.  And at this point I can’t see myself living anywhere except in my house on wheels because there is just so much more to see of this country, not to mention I think I have a serious case of wanderlust.  It helps that my husband and kids feel the same way.  Jesse (who did not want to do this) said just yesterday, “I want to live in an RV and travel for 400 years!”  Okay Jesse, let’s hope you live long enough to do that. 🙂

Anyway, when we first drove into this part of Texas, the kids were asking “are those mountains??”  Being from Florida, we’re not used to anything higher than a bridge.  I told them that I think they are considered hills not mountains since they call this the “Hill Country”, but they sure look like mountains to us and they sure are beautiful!

So our adventure in Hill Country began in Canyon Lake at Jellystone Park.  We love to visit Jellystone Parks whenever we can, and this one was just as much fun as the others we’ve been to.

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Splash pad:

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Jumping pillow:

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Indoor pool that we went to every night.  We had the pool all to ourselves for the whole week until the weekend crowd came on Friday.

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Judy and Kylie came for a visit on the weekend.  We have really enjoyed spending just about every weekend this month with them, but unfortunately we are getting a little too far for them to continue coming to see us on the weekends.  It was such a blessing to have this time with them and we can’t wait to see them again.

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Fun laser tag activity:

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Speaking of catching up with old friends while we’re traveling, Chris got to spend some time with his old high school friend Pat that he hasn’t seen in about 20-something years.

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Staying at this Jellystone Park for the week was interesting in that we were just about the only ones there for the whole week until Friday.  Suddenly the whole park filled up with so many people for the weekend!  On Friday we watched a steady stream of campers pulling in and setting up.  A camper pulls into the spot right next to us and the strange thing about how these sites are arranged is that they had them pull in the opposite direction as we did which means we share a common area.  You can see what I mean in the picture below — we’re in the tan camper on the left and our neighbors are on the right.  Well, initially this seemed like it could be a very awkward situation having to share our outdoor area that we had all to ourselves for the whole week.  But it ended up being such a blessing in disguise.  We could not have asked for a better family to pull in next to us!  We had so much fun with them and their kids and now we have to make sure we get back to this part of the country again so we can see them again someday.  It really amazes me how quickly we connect with people over a campfire.  We never used to connect with people so easily and quickly before.  By the time Sunday rolled around we were so sad to be saying goodbye to people that we didn’t even know on Friday!

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Jesse seemed to really enjoy playing with their little girl.  She was such a cutie!

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Just five minutes away from the campground was Canyon Lake and I don’t think I have ever seen a more beautiful lake.  The water was such a pretty blue-green color just like the Gulf Coast water we saw in Destin.  But the mountains hills surrounding it with all the greenery and flowers were just so incredibly beautiful.

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We were not far from San Antonio so we took a day trip to visit there.  The River Walk has always been on my “bucket list” of things to see.  We walked over 5 miles on it!

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A little section of the river walk has this really cool cave you walk through that looks like there is a monster inside:

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The kids were trying to get out quickly before getting eaten alive by the monster:

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We went to visit The Alamo while in San Antonio which was really cool to see since I have heard about it before but never really knew what it was.  After we left I couldn’t get that song about Davy Crockett out of my head.  This is a picture of the outside, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures of the inside.  I’m not sure why, I guess they want you to come and see it for yourselves.

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And we ended our tour around the River Walk at Rita’s Tex Mex restaurant on the river.  Yummy!

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Stay tuned for Hill Country Part 2!

Categories: Texas | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Geese, Roosters and Patriotic Yogi Bear

We just spent a week at Jellystone Park of the Alabama Gulf Coast. It was fantastic! It was the first place we have been to where we were in a more woodsy type place. It was very peaceful, well, except for the noise of the geese and the peacocks and the roosters and — oh well, never mind, I guess it wasn’t all that peaceful, but it sure was fun! I didn’t even realize that peacocks made so much noise. It took some getting used to the first day hearing all these animal sounds like we were living on a farm, which I guess we were. Right in our campsite backyard was a geese pen with these 2 geese that I really grew attached to. I fed them bread every day and they honked and made all kinds of noise whenever they saw me.  I am going to miss these two!

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Even Fat Cat liked our campsite.  So many strange animal sounds for her to be curious about.

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I of course loved the beautiful sunsets that I could see right from our site each night.  Did I mention that I love sunsets?

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And of course the boys enjoyed a little fishing in the pond in our backyard.

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Jake got to visit with the activity director’s pig.

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Speaking of Barbara the activity director, she was amazing! She is so good with kids and had all kinds of activities planned for the kids each day. Made it a little difficult to get a lot of school work done this week, but that’s okay. Here are some things they did each day.

Crafts:

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Wagon ride:

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Cup stacking challenge which ultimately ended up just being a “build whatever you want with the cups”:

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And I’m happy to say that Yogi Bear is very patriotic. He gets the kids out to raise the flag and say the pledge every morning:

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One evening when Barbara went home, as if the kids didn’t have enough activities all day, Chris decided to organize a water balloon fight for the kids.

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We are really going to miss Barbara and the owners of this Jellystone. They were all so nice and made us feel right at home.

One of the best parts of being there was meeting some really good friends.  It has been nice to meet new friends everywhere we go.  An older couple we met at Suwannee River actually came to visit us in Destin!  I am amazed at how nice & friendly the RV’ing crowd is.  People have been so good to us and we have met some wonderful people. At Jellystone we made great friends with families with kids. The hard part of course is having to say good-bye. The kids had a blast playing with Sawyer and Sunny and their little brother Scott every day.  Chris and I enjoyed hanging out with their parents at the campfire each night. We already have plans to get together with them again next year.  And last night we sat around the campfire with some other new friends camping next to us. Campfires really are a great way to get to know people.  Thank God for Facebook so we can keep in touch with our new friends and hopefully meet each other again someday down the road.

While we were at Jellystone, it was hard to get away and do other things because there was always so much to do right there at the park.  The kids never wanted to leave and miss any activities. We did manage to get away to go visit Gulf Shores on my birthday. The view from the pier was beautiful and the pelicans resting on the pier were neat to see.

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Watch out Jesse! That pelican doesn’t look too friendly.

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We found this suds making machine in Gulf Shores that the kids loved!

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And one more picture from our last night at Jellystone and the campfire with Yogi.  The two little guys in front of Jake & Jesse were the boys they got to play with last night.

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We had a wonderful time in Alabama and we’re very thankful to the staff and owners at this Jellystone Park for their hospitality.  We hope to be back to see you again someday.

Categories: Alabama | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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