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Category: Family Weekend Trips

Discover the Outer Banks– North Carolina

March 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Discover the Outer Banks– North Carolina

Rest and Relaxation await you at the gorgeous Outer Banks in exquisite North Carolina…pack up the RV, its time for a vacay like no other! Just off the Coast of North Carolina, lies a 200-mile stretch of picturesque barrier islands.  With its rich history and extraordinary lay out, the Outer Banks offer unique experiences for the adventurous and the relaxed, alike.   Set up camp at one of the award-winning RV resorts or stay over at a cozy bed and breakfast.  You will no doubt go from frolicking in the warm surf at pristine beaches to experiencing interesting museums and historic lighthouses.  The Outer Banks will take your breath away with its pristine beauty.  Like a small child in a candy store, you just won’t be able to get enough of each place you stop and see along the majestically scenic Outer Banks of North Carolina. From the First Flight and the Lost Colony, to the exquisite Elizabethan Gardens, there is much to discover, experience, and appreciate, including the “Graveyard... [Read more...]

Pan for Gold in Dawson City!

March 19, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Pan for Gold in Dawson City!

Looking for a fun destination for a road trip this summer?  Want to experience a pristine environment plum full of fascinating history and natural beauty? The exquisite beauty of the Yukon wilderness is strikingly prominent in Dawson City, the heart of the famed 1898 Klondike Gold Rush.  With the Gold Rush, came a huge influx of newcomers, also known as “Cheechakos,” into Dawson City.  Gorgeous stately homes that were built in town at the turn of the twentieth century boasted the latest modern amenities, including electricity, running water, and telephones.  Henceforth, Dawson City became quite the refined city seemingly overnight, which is where the name “Queen City of the North” comes from. Newcomers will want to experience the thrilling, yet tedious task of panning for gold in this gorgeously rugged wilderness where so many have dug before you.  Venture out to the famous goldfields of Dawson City, where you can learn how to pan for your own gold.  Claim # 33 is located... [Read more...]

Luling: Texas Black Gold

March 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Luling: Texas Black Gold

Barbecue sauce isn’t the only valuable liquid flowing in Luling. The town is dotted with oil pumps that still move the Texas black gold from the ground. The Central Texas Oil Patch Museum pays tribute to the area’s oil industry. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Once known as “the toughest town in Texas”, Luling was established in 1874 as the far western stop of the Sunset Branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad. The developing importance of the town as a cattle-raising center, combined with the importance of the railroad as a shipping point, allowed the town to grow and prosper. Being the northern terminus of a freight road to Chihuahua, Mexico added to its stature. As the cattle drives to the railroad head decreased, Luling survived by turning to its rich soil and hardy folk. Luling came to be known throughout the region as an agriculture center with cotton, corn, and turkeys as its principal products. Cotton ruled the local economy until the momentous year of 1922. On... [Read more...]

A Return to Chama

March 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A Return to Chama

You may recall a post I published last winter about a wonderful winter weekend in Chama, NM. For the past 40 years, the small town of Chama has been hosting a delightful weekend-long series of events catering to the outdoors lover. The events include both diagonal and freestyle cross country ski races of several lengths for participants of all abilities. There are also snowshoe races and a variety of family events. In addition, clinics are provided to improve skiing technique, educate participants about proper wax selection and applications. And workshops are offered, such as Yoga for Skiers, throughout the weekend. Terry, before the race An entire community event, restaurants and hotels run specials to attract visitors. There is a chili competition at a local community center and the High Country Saloon offers free Green Chile Stew and chips and salsa to all visitors. Further, live entertainment is provided Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday, after all races are... [Read more...]

Why You Should Visit Dauphin Island, Alabama

March 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Why You Should Visit Dauphin Island, Alabama

We recently took a day trip down to Dauphin Island, Alabama.  Located less than an hour from Mobile, and on the southwest edge of Mobile Bay, it is a 15 mile long barrier island that often goes undiscovered by I-10 travelers.  We were on a tight schedule with only a few days to spare until we needed to be in Orlando, and we have a big rig (40-foot toy hauler) and weren’t sure what the campgrounds down there would be like, so we left our fiver in Mobile while we drove down for the day. Once we got there, we were wishing like crazy that we had more time and would have brought our RV down.  (There are several campgrounds on Dauphin Island, so be sure to go to the Good Sam Campground Directory to check them out and see which one would best suit your needs/wants). Dauphin Island was charming. It has a distinct small-town feel, where kids are still free to ride their bikes around the neighborhood after school, where you can walk to the local snack shop for an afternoon treat, where the... [Read more...]

New Orleans—Visit the Audubon Zoo & Aquarium!

March 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

New Orleans—Visit the Audubon Zoo & Aquarium!

As we continued our much-too-short tour of Louisiana, our final stop was New Orleans (also known as NOLA).  We spent a couple of days in town visiting destinations that were new to us. Our first stop was the Audubon Zoo, where we spent a lovely day touring the well-laid-out grounds.  The Audubon Zoo is part of the Audubon Nature Institute, which has three separate locations in New Orleans; those include the Zoo (which also includes an IMAX theater) an Aquarium, and a newly opened Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.  While we were at the zoo, we enjoyed seeing the wide variety of animals that the zoo had on display.  We were able to see everything from engaging sea lions to an orangutan that was working the crowd in an attempt to acquire forbidden handouts. We especially enjoyed the Louisiana Swamp area of the park with it’s fun Cajun restaurant and baby gator tank with a viewing tube; of course there were big alligators here also. This zoo is great for adults and children alike.... [Read more...]

Alabama Gulf Coast Named Top Tourism Attraction

March 4, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Alabama Gulf Coast Named Top Tourism Attraction

Alabama’s Gulf beaches and Gulf State Park are the largest tourism attractions in the state, overwhelmingly so, according to the new attendance figures released last week by the Alabama Tourism Department. Sparkling turquoise Gulf waters and stunningly white sand await the RVer on the Alabama Gulf Coast. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved The state’s largest stand-alone festival events, located about 20 miles apart, are also located in the Gulf Coast region. The Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival (March 14-16, in 2014) and National Shrimp Festival (October 9-12, in 2014) in Gulf Shores come in at the top two spots among event promotions staged over a single weekend. The relatively new Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival (June 13-14, in 2014), which takes place in between the other two in Foley, is also rising up the state’s annual top 10 festival list. According to the 2013 annual report, Mobile’s three-week long Mardi Gras celebration draws the largest attendance... [Read more...]

Dance For a Chicken at a Cajun Country Mardi Gras

February 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Dance For a Chicken at a Cajun Country Mardi Gras

Mark Twain once wrote that a traveler “has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” On horseback and in flatbed trailers, participants and musicians sing, dance, and beg for chickens. (Credit: Terri Fensel) Of the thousands of festivals throughout the U.S. and Canada, none tops Mardi Gras. Spectacular parades, unbelievable costumes, music, dancing, food, drink­—take your pick of places to indulge and enjoy. The largest celebration occurs in New Orleans, but nearly every community from Pensacola, Florida, to Galveston, Texas, has its own version of the annual party. Wherever you go, you can find the style that best suits you, including tons of family-style celebrations. From rollicking Wrecks at Pensacola Beach to catching MoonPies in Mobile, communities all along the Gulf Coast have their own way of marking Mardi Gras season. The revelry in New Orleans tends to grab the spotlight, but how about dancing for a chicken at a Cajun Country Courir... [Read more...]

Mardi Gras Defined: Speak Like a Local

February 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Mardi Gras Defined: Speak Like a Local

It’s Mardi Gras time!   Mardi Gras. Two little words with an infinitely large explanation. For different people it’s different things—an event, an idea, a day, a way of life, piece of history, state holiday, or a million parades and countless memories. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Are you ready? There are a few terms you will hear throughout Mardi Gras. Familiarize these terms before you embark upon the revelry and you will understand everything going on around you and know how to converse like a true resident during Mardi Gras. Say What? Laissez les bon temps rouler — Let The Good Times Roll Carnivale — The carnivale season officially begins each year on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, ‘King’s Day’, with traditional balls occurring in the weeks that lead up to the big event. Mardi Gras — Fat Tuesday Lundi Gras — Fat Monday which is the day before the Mardi Gras holiday. Mardi Gras Colors — The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold.... [Read more...]

Valley of Fire State Park: Simply WOW!

February 12, 2014 by · 2 Comments 

Valley of Fire State Park: Simply WOW!

The lights! The glitz! The shine! Sculpted, chiseled, and twisted red rock formations more dramatic than most others we have seen dominate the park’s 42,000 acres. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved From the bizarre to the beautiful, Las Vegas has it all: New York, NY, The Venetian, Caesars Palace, and Paris—and the Bellagio water fountain show. When the neon of Vegas becomes too much, head out to Valley of Fire, Nevada’s first state park, so designated in 1935. With its blood-red sandstone cliffs and weird rock formations, there’s an other-worldly feeling here. Valley of Fire State Park is 55 miles—and a few light-years—northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75. Sculpted, chiseled, and twisted red rock formations more dramatic than most others we have seen dominate the park’s 42,000 acres. We felt as though we had been transported to the alien surface another planet. The Valley of Fire derives its name from red sandstone formations, formed from great... [Read more...]

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