We chose Rhode Island to be our thirteenth state as it was one of two Northeast States we hadn’t camped in yet. I was fortunate to get a block of weekdays at Fisherman’s Memorial State Campground which is notoriously difficult to secure reservations. We were not fortunate, however, with the weather.
For a state run campground, Fisherman’s Memorial has full hookups available, a generous playground, paved roads and water access. We discovered a cool feature during our stay: the campground was a fort that was decommissioned after World War Two and traces of its underground barracks and munition storage can be seen throughout the park. It’s proximity to Narragansett was another reason we chose to stay there.
The week before Spring Break, the weather was unseasonably warm with abundant sunshine. The day we left a low pressure system moved in and stalled for the whole week. You have to make the most of these situations, we enjoyed the sun on the drive home.
Narragansett is a quaint, walkable town. It’s easy to see it’s charm, probably a lot better in season without the sting of wind driven drizzle on your face. We had a great lunch at The Coast Guard House and spent way too much money at the candy store.
We hiked The Black Point Trail which leads you through a dune and sand forest leading you out to these giant boulders with hundreds of small tide pools. The kids had a great time jumping from rock to rock and searching for small sea creatures.
We took an off season ferry ride to Block Island during our stay. We were limited to walk on fares only since The Block Island Ferry was already booked for autos that day. This was probably due to the amount of construction and renovations occurring on the island in order to get it’s buildings ready for the busy summer season.
We were able to find the one restaurant open and had a couple of beers and a nice lunch, thanks to Poor Peoples Pub. We found a hidden gem at Abram’s Animal Farm. They had an interesting assortment of animals and we had the place to ourselves.
While waiting for our ferry ride back to the mainland, the kids played on the jetty and adjacent beach. Some women rode up on horseback and let the kids pet their horses. I’ve been to Block Island in season and it is great to have your choice of open shops and restaurants but we still had fun and now looking back at the pictures, the weather didn’t seem so bad after all.
To see more of our Rhode Island Adventure, please check the link below to our video. Thanks for stopping by.
Traveling has been rough for us since the outbreak of the Covid-19 Epidemic. We were looking into canceling our Virginia plans for Easter Break when in fact the KOA called us stating all campgrounds in the state were ordered to close. We shifted our summer plans to Maine but found out a 14 day quarantine was in effect for all out of state travelers. The quarantine could not be served at a campground or hotel. We quickly started to look into a state we could visit and Delaware came up. Bonus: we have now logged our twelfth state.
We booked Massey’s Landing as it had it’s own beach in addition to their swimming pool. At the time of booking, the pool and playground were closed so at least we could swim if nothing else. Luckily the pool and playground opened up by the time we arrived but we had to sign up for the pool the night before for 90 minute increments.
The kids still had fun as we swam a lot at the pool and the beach and bought tubes and a little boat for floating around. The ice cream shop was open as you can see above and they also had fun at the small playground as there were lots of kids to play with.
We visited Massey’s Landing during the week before The Fourth of July and and got to celebrate the holiday there. On the fourth they had a kid’s carnival with small games and a golf cart parade. Every other campsite seemed to have a golf cart and it was some procession. The kids and I participated on our bicycles along with a bunch of other children.
What’s a trip to Delaware without crabs! We only had them once as they’re about $60 a dozen. Linda had the peel and eat shrimp and everything was real good. We all enjoyed with the exception of Ryan, lol! Don’t forget your masks! We did, several times, and had to drive back and get them.
While in Delaware we visited The Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk and visited Cape Henlopen State Park of an ocean swim. The boardwalk was crowded and we happened to be visiting during the peak of the BLM riots so we chose to just take a quick look, eat ice cream and move on. Cape Henlopen has a great beach and we went there to swim in some waves. The kids loved it and we were fortunate to be able to get in as they were limiting access to the park to 60% capacity. We attempted to visit a second day for a hike but the entrance had closed due to capacity. There’s not much hiking in the area as is usual for most beach areas (flat) but we gave it a shot any way.
Delaware served to be a great change of pace for us but sadly may very well be the only outing for us this year. I’m currently working on trying to arrange another trip but it’s tricky dealing with all the Covid restrictions. So much has been taken away that you ask yourself if it’s worth trying to go see something now or going back when things return to normal so that you may get the full experience. It’s worth calling ahead in order to avoid disappointment. Delaware in fact started shutting back down while we were there due to an uptick of cases. This too shall pass.
To see more of Massy’s Landing and Delaware check out the video below. Thanks for stopping by and hopefully we’ll have more to share real soon.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year’s from the Traveling Terrells! Please feel free to check out the video below recapping our 2019 camping adventures. We camped in Chincoteague, Virginia in quest of the wild ponies and Kennebunkport, Maine in quest for lobster. We also traveled to Mystic, Connecticut to educate ourselves in whaling heritage and Williamsport, Maryland in search of a Halloween scare.
In addition to these adventures we also took a few trips upstate New York and I traveled to Dallas, Texas to accompany my dad on a First Calvary Reunion.
Highlights of these can be seen below and you can browse back in time on this site to see more in depth information on any one. Stay tuned as we’re just beginning to figure out the whens and wheres for our 2020 adventures. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.
We’ve been in the tradition of planning our last camping trip of the season over Columbus Day Weekend for years now and this year was no exception. The pool areas and splash pads are closed for the season at most campgrounds but Halloween weekends are big at family campgrounds during the month of October. We always bring some of our scary decorations away with us to decorate our site.
This year we went to Jellystone Maryland in Williamsport. I have to say this camping resort takes first place when it comes to Halloween! Site decorating contests, spooky activities and crafts, a Halloween Parade and costume contest and trick-or-treating are some of the things going on over the weekend but what sets Jellystone Maryland apart from the others is it’s Halloween Carnival and Spooky Trail.
They reach out to campground workers and volunteers to participate in the experience of scaring the heck out of you. There is a trail set up with different structures and creepy animatronics as well as real actors and many times you can’t tell which is which. The campground suggests no one under ten years old enter but our kids aren’t typical so we thought we were all up for it. We signed up early as the event is wildly popular and were one of the first groups to go in after sundown. The kids were all confident at the start but that quickly changed once we were inside. Ryan had to bail out halfway which was not terrible because the staff thought of this ahead of time and had a bailout point. Unfortunately Linda had to go with him so now our numbers were down to three. I had to carry Sarah the rest of the way because her legs became too frightened and would not walk any more. My Ava was a brave trooper remaining by my side and holding on to me during the pitch black moments. She was unshaken even when the ghouls called her by name. The rest of us made it out but so far they’re not talking of going back yet. We’ve also had children back in our bed at night again.
Even on normal weekends Jellystone Maryland is a great campground. They have a water park, bounce pillows, multiple playgrounds and activities and even laser tag and an indoor ninja warrior obstacle course. Some of these can be seen in our video below.
The staff was very helpful and when we arrived there Wednesday night and it seemed like an apocalyptic ghost town but as Friday and Saturday came the campground filled up to capacity. I’ve never seen a transformation like that but after staying here I know why they’re booked solid every weekend in October.
A visit to Maryland would not be complete without blue claw crab even though we took a short trip to Mother Shucker’s Crab Shack which is indeed in Martinsburg, WV. The food at the restaurant was great and our waitress even gave us a lesson on cracking crabs. The kids had a great time helping me with my meal, pounding crab legs and scooping the meat out. They all agreed they liked crab but Ava said she prefers lobster.
Please check out our video below to see some of the things we’ve mentioned but did not include in the photos above. The sad process of RV winterization is about to begin but we’re already starting to talk about where we’re heading in 2020. Bye for now and thanks for stopping by.
My only educational goal for Labor Day Weekend was to take the kids to Mystic Seaport. It’s a hefty price for a family of five but it turned out to be well worth it as I had hoped. We had great weather and arrived early ahead of the crowds which even in the early afternoon was not terribly crowded.
Our day began on The Charles W. Morgan Whaling Ship pictured above. As far as I know it’s the last of it’s kind. That’s probably why they charge the lofty admission. The maintenance on these old ships must be astronomical. We toured inside and the kids were able to see the living conditions of a nineteenth century whaler as well as learning about whaling and the processing of whale blubber and it’s uses. I learned that people were much shorter back then having bumped my head on the numerous stringers belowdecks on The Morgan. I was feeling tall but achy at the same time.
Mystic Seaport is more than just old ships. There’s a whole village assembled along the waterfront with ship chandleries, barrel makers, pharmacies, schools and churches. The buildings have been restored and transported here from other places. We got to see how people lived and how day to day chores were much harder.
We were able to talk to many employees and role players in the shops who were able to show us some of the tools and equipment needed in those times. Particularly interesting was the fact that ships brought disassembled barrels on board to save space. A cooper was on every ship to reassemble the barrels to store blubber (probably taking the space of depleted food stores).
The kids were even able to build their own wooden boats. It may just seem like just arts and crafts but they learned about the many parts of a ship by building one for themselves. We spent about an hour building masts, bowsprits and anchors before we went for ice cream. I’m happy to report that we escaped without a single hot glue gun burn.
We also visited a discovery zone in which we learned about sail and wind forces, hull shapes and simple machines (blocks and tackle mainly). We spent probably about four to five hours at Mystic Seaport and it was the highlight of our weekend. I highly recommend it for early grade schoolers- one of the better museums we’ve been to.
Please check out the video below for more on Mystic Seaport and stay tuned as we head out in search of crabs and horrors next trip. Thanks for stopping by.
Labor Day Weekend is at best good for a three night camping trip. We didn’t want to spend too much of our precious time traveling so close was best. I had fond memories of Mystic Seaport twelve years ago when I visited and thought the kids were at the right age to absorb some of it. Not wanting to overbook the weekend, the seaport was to be our only venture so we needed a solid family campground to keep the kids busy.
Mystic KOA did not disappoint. You will find two playgrounds, a bounce pillow, giant tube slides, a waterslide, a basketball court, banana bikes, hayrides and all sorts of activities. They even had a dog park for Cooper! The night we checked in they had movie night which helped out a bit since we were setting up by flashlight.
Over Labor Day Weekend, Mystic KOA had a beer truck (pictured above) and a food truck selling munchies by the pool and breakfast in the morning. Very helpful for extending your stay at the pool.
We opted for late check out on Labor Day for an extra $25 and rented banana bikes for the kids. They took to them quickly and were zooming around making quick turns after the campground emptied out after the all too short weekend. Linda got in on the action as well but I had to shoehorn myself into one and was unable to efficiently operate the bike and ended up on the side of the road stuck on a boulder (see the outtakes in the video below).
The kids really had a good time at The Mystic KOA. Our site backed up to the smaller playground they discovered tether ball. We must have easily spent nearly two hours over the weekend playing mostly “family” tether ball. That’s when all five play a melee of just trying to make contact with the ball striving to quickly whip it in the direction of your sister’s or brother’s face.
The weather for the trip was perfect. Hot enough during the day for lot’s of swimming and cooler at night being ideal for campfires. Sarah and Ryan took a picture on a 100 plus year old haunted looking tree that sadly may have to come down soon. The tree has branches out in every direction, one almost going back to touch the ground. You can see that in the video also, during the hayride.
We really enjoyed Mystic KOA. Linda has it up on her list of top campgrounds. It was our first time camping in Connecticut and we were able to add the tenth state to our map. It’s only six miles from Rhode Island so we may stay again for a similar holiday weekend (although we need to add RI as well- our typical dilemma). The campground is only about ten minutes from Mystic Seaport which you can find in our next post. To see more of Mystic KOA, check out our video below. Thanks for stopping by.
We had heard such great things about Sandy Pines Campground and they all turned out to be true. We booked a couple months in advance and got the last RV site for the time period we were looking to visit Maine. Sandy Pines is located in Kennebunkport and is not far from downtown Kennebunkport and Goose Rocks Beach. We had never visited this part of Maine before and after a bit of research this seemed like THE place to stay.
Sandy Pines had a terrific salt water pool flanked by boulders and lawn games. The kids loved playing on the boulders when they needed to heat up from the cold water (seems like all water is cold in Maine). When we weren’t swimming with the kids, we enjoyed getting goodies from the snack bar and listening to 80’s music from the outdoor speakers in the pool area.
We don’t have a lot of pictures of the playground although we did visit there. It was a bit small compared to the various campgrounds we’ve been to but it may be best suited for smaller children. The real playgrounds in these parts are the beaches. Many campers choose to go out in the morning toting kayaks, SUP’s and surfboards electing to come back in the afternoon and relax by the pool. Not a bad formula for fun and one we’ve followed when we can get the kids out early enough.
Sandy Pines also had many other accommodations for campers without RV’s. From cabins to glamping tents to Conestoga Wagons. The facilities were well kept and their were many activities. They had it all and if we visit this part of Maine again we will definitely be back.
Hiking Kennebunkport was quite a different experience. We left Sandy Pines in search of The Edwin L. Smith Preserve but ended up at The Emmons Preserve quite unbeknownst to us. I just in fact figured out what had happened as I’m writing this post and researching. We followed directions for the Edwin L. Smith Preserve and ended up at The Kennebunkport Conservation Trust Headquarters (located adjacent to the Emmons Preserve). We then took a map for The Smith Preserve and proceeded to hike The Emmons Preserve with the wrong map in hand. We did not notice until a half mile in that none of the trail names and colors matched up. The very helpful man (lol) at the trust neglected to mention we needed to proceed further down a gravelly road to get The Smith preserve. We followed the learning trail and promptly left as it turned out we were walking through stagnant marshland just in time to provide thousands of mosquitos with a tasty lunch.
That’s why above I stated above: “if we visit this part of Maine again.” We missed Acadia National Park and all of it’s gems. Southern Maine is to beaches as Northern Maine is to mountains. We missed our hiking during this trip but we did have great beach experiences. You can see more of that in our previous post, “Beaches of Southern Maine”. Check out the video below to see Ryan’s first solo/unassisted swim across The Sandy Pines Campground Pool and keep watching to see our seasoned hiking family get lost on a learning trail in some pretty buggy conditions.
Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned as we head out in search of days long ago and seafaring past on our next adventure.
This was our third summer in a row camping in Maine. We’ve previously stayed in Bar Harbor and The Schoodic Peninsula. This year we were looking forward to a shorter drive to Kennebunkport. While Kennebunkport didn’t have as much hiking as we’re used to (more about that in the next post), it did have some absolutely beautiful beaches. That’s why this post is “Mainely” about beaches!
Goose Rocks Beach
Goose Rocks Beach was the first beach we visited as it’s only one mile from Sandy Pines Campground. You have to buy a $25 daily parking pass like we found out for many of the beaches in the area. You’re not promised a parking spot so plan to arrive early. As we arrived the whole area was masked by thick sea fog. We could not even see the land in the distance that’s shown in the picture below with Ava on the towel. We also arrived at low tide. There were boats adjacent to us laying on the hard and we were able to walk almost a half mile out on the fine sand. We finally got to the water and it was crystal clear, but really cold. Our kids don’t seem to be affected nearly as badly as we are of the cold water but I did hear them exclaim that their feet were numb and frozen! This beach has nice gentle waves at low tide and bigger ones at rising and high tides as the jetty across from the beach submerges and allows the full force of the Atlantic Ocean surge in. The tide came in we backed our towels up nearly a dozen times as we finally ended up right at the foot of the properties on Kings Highway. We were able to explain to the kids about the tides and force of the moon and they got to witness the effect first hand.
We met some friends at the campground by chance and they told us they were splitting their week in Maine by staying a half week in Ogunquit. We decided to take the scenic 45 minute drive to see what the hype was about. Bunches of quaint shops and restaurants line the streets of this busy town. Ogunquit is also known for it’s beach which we didn’t have the time to visit but we did walk The Marginal Way which takes you on an oceanside path up to the cliffs for panoramic views. We made numerous stops along to search in tide pools and climb on rocks until we were hurried back to the car by some incoming afternoon thunderstorms that turned out to be quite severe.
Another Southern Maine gem can be found at Mother’s Beach in Kennebunk. We found parking immediately entering but had to once again pay the daily $25 fee. I can’t complain as we spent enough time at these beaches to make it worth the cost. It also must serve to keep things in their beautiful state. Mother’s Beach is known for it’s playground and our kids did love it! The waves are a bit rougher then Goose Rocks Beach but the kids enjoyed the new challenge, getting knocked down and dragged in by the surf. I had no idea Ava could submarine so well under the waves. She’d duck under the larger ones coming up on the other side! She got caught a few times but it didn’t seem to phase her. These kids are fascinating! They always seem to impress this proud papa in different ways.
We also had a great time exploring the tide pools at Mother’s Beach. Looking for crabs and snails and building sand forts that eventually would flood as we had to move our spot further and further back almost to the street as the tide with it’s impressive range made it’s way in.
Not really a beach but the memorial park at the tip of Cape Porpoise kept the kids entertained for a couple hours. When we weren’t helping the kids catch crabs under the rocks we were able to enjoy view of The Goat Island Light as well as a stunning sunset.
The Cape Porpoise Memorial Park is directly across from The Cape Pier Chowder House on Pier Road. We actually went here twice after eating at the chowder house. The kids caught a few tiny crabs which we released after befriending them.
Cape Pier Chowder House
As mentioned above, we dined here twice during our weeklong stay. The food was great! Great chowder and scallops an of course, lobster. We discovered that Ava can eat a whole 1 1/2 pound lobster by herself as you’re eating your soup. Then she asks you if you’re going to eat your whole lobster! We came the first day we arrived a bit on the late side and had a bit of trouble finding a table. We arrived around five for our second dining experience and were able to sit right down. Earlier is better during the summer in Maine. One of the parking attendants asked us why all us out-of-towners seem to wait until 7 o’clock to decide go to dinner. Honorable mention to Noonan’s Lobster Hut as well for great lobster at good prices. Check out the slideshow below to well behaved kids enjoying the lobster shack experience.
There’s a real good reason we’ve been to Maine the past three summers. It’s so beautiful and there’s something for everyone to do. That’s the hard decision when Rv’ing. How do go out in search of new states and experiences when there are so many places you want to go back to?
Feel free to check out our video below capturing our Southern Maine Adventures and please stay tuned as we’ll cover Sandy Pines Campground in our next post. Thanks for stopping by.
Last weekend I had the privilege of being a guest among true heroes. Every year D Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Regiment of the 1st. Cavalry Army Division gets together to welcome home these forgotten veterans of The Vietnam War. They reconvene in a different area each year to see new sights and tell older stories as well as catch up with each other.
I was my father’s guest this year. My father, Robert Terrell, served from 1966-1967 in the Vietnam War and was one of the more fortunate ones to return home. He has so many accounts of loss and bravery to speak of that sometimes it seems right out of a storybook.
This year we visited the Fort Worth/ Dallas area and besides eating a lot of barbecue we visited the largest army base in existence today, Fort Hood. While there we went to The Airmobile Base to look at some of the current Army Helicopters as well as the past ones. We had lunch in the mess hall amongst some of the enlisted men and saw some of the heavier ground assault vehicles (tanks) in the afternoon. The men that we met there were so refined and polite that you can’t help but think that the army is full of some of the finest young men and women of today.
The second day out we visited Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Texas. Aircraft were present from World War I all the way to The Vietnam War. Ground Vehicles were present as well but the highlight of the day was the Huey ride. The First Cavalry traded in the horse for the helicopter in the Vietnam War. It was a new way to drop in troops behind enemy lines as well as serve as a gunship and lift them out as well. The sound of the rotors was equivalent to the sound of angels coming. For many of these men this was to be the last ride in a Huey.
The third day it rained like crazy. It flooded in parts of Texas but I tend to think it was child’s play to these men who had to endure months of rain in the tropical climate of Vietnam. We had a banquet this third night and recognized several families of First CAV Men that had passed away recently. What a wonderful event!
The event led me to an even deeper respect for what these men went through and are still going through. God Bless them and their families and I thank all of you of your service to this fine country. Please check out the video below to see The Huey in action, there’s some slides at the end of these True Americans. Thanks for stopping by.