Tuesday, March 29, 2016


When we realized that my husband's kids had never been to New Hampshire, we HAD to bring them to the White Mountain National Forest and North Conway, New Hampshire. (After seeing my photos of all the sweet treats at Zeb's General Store, I don't think the kids would have let us skip North Conway anyway!)

Our first stop? Albany Covered Bridge! We headed from Maine along Route 302 to Route 113 and finally to the Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountain National Forest. If you're going to visit New Hampshire, don't skip the Kanc! (For more information and a bit of history, click here.)

We then explored Lower Falls a little further along the Kanc. This happens to be one of my favorite spots, a place I've enjoyed with my kids many times and was excited to bring my step-kids. The forest service has done a lot of landscaping in recent years and I miss the more natural look of the area, but it's still a wonderful place to see the Swift River close up as it's flows over and around smooth boulders. (It's also perfect for active boys to climb rocks and get a little wet even in March.)

We ventured further on, stopping at Sabbaday Falls for a picnic in the camper and a slippery walk to the falls. (Although an easy walk, I'm not sure I would recommend it in early spring, in sneakers, with little traction. I should have put on my hiking boots...) The stairs around the falls were closed so the best vantage point to see them wasn't available, but further along the trail we were able to get a somewhat unobstructed view of the falls and enjoy some warm sun and rushing water.

Our last stop on the Kanc was Sugar Hill with vast views of the mountains. (If you want more extensive views of the mountains I would recommend driving most of the Kancamagus, especially at peak foliage season, but it was well into the afternoon and the kids were anxious to get to THE CANDY.)

North Conway was bustling with people out enjoying the low 50s and bright sunshine. We walked down to the Weather Discovery Center, but found it was closed. Instead, we went to The Cupcakery, a specialty cupcake shop that was on "Cupcake Wars" and picked up a couple of treats, and then to Zeb's for a few more treats before going to the park to throw a baseball around. (It's almost baseball season, so my step-son is super excited to play again.) 

With over an hour left to drive home, we decided it was time to head back. We must have tuckered out the kids because it wasn't long before they were snoozing in their seats. What wonderful memories for the kids' first trip to New Hampshire!

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


With the weather in the high 30s, the sun shining bright, and a wandering spirit, Tom and I welcomed spring in with a road trip north to S. Paris, Maine, west to Bethel, ME and south to North Conway, New Hampshire. (The directions may or may not be correct. Tom is traveling with a "directionally challenged" co-navigator, which should make for some interesting adventures...)

Our first stop was in S. Paris, Maine at Snow Falls. (You can read about the history of Snow Falls HERE.) After Tom removed part of a rattling appendage on the dash with no apparent usefulness, he lit the propane stove for the first time and made sausage, egg and cheese sandwiches for breakfast. I provided the bananas to go with them. Always there to help! Then we walked over a footbridge and along the wooded paths around the gorge.

Snow Falls is a roadside rest stop with 4 distinct cascades, the longest waterfall dropping 25 feet, and all fed by the Little Angroscoggin River. There is no admission fee and picnic table and grills are provided, but overnight parking is prohibited. Watch children carefully. 

We then continued north to Bethel, Maine, driving through mountain valleys and along rivers and streams, until we reached New Hampshire and headed south to North Conway. We found a spot to park the camper and spent a few hours meandering by foot downtown,

We first visited the Handcrafter's Barn, a 3 level barn filled with uniquely made wares. Have you ever been to a craft fair? Being a crocheter, I enjoyed looking at others' creative endeavors. There were beautiful wood cabinetry, knitted hats and scarves, hand-painted signs, stalls and stalls of Christmas ornaments, walls filled with photographs and paintings, jewelry, and even some metalworking.

With our bellies grumbling, we had a late-late lunch at Beef & Ski. The cheeseburgers and fries hit the spot! (Beef & Ski is known for their roast beef sandwiches though.) The service was quick and friendly, then we were back to exploring.

No visit to North Conway would be complete without stopping at Zeb's General Store for sweet treats! Chocolates, old penny candy, fudge, caramel popcorn, lollipops...We walked out with 2 chocolate-covered Oreos, 2 caramels, a handful of Mint Juleps, and a Rice Krispy treat with chocolate jimmies. (They have other stuff too - wonderfully fragrant homemade soaps, knick knacks, glassware, books, and clothing - but we didn't make it much past the candy counters...)

We walked along the bustling streets, looking into shops and snickering over the names of others. Eventually we ended up back at our campervan, hopped in and headed back home. Our first road trip in our new-to-us Roadtrek a wonderful success and thoughts of the next trip already popping up. Where to next?

Until next time...

Monday, March 21, 2016


It's especially important in small places that everything be useful AND have a space to be stored. Although the campervan has a lot of storage for a 19' RV, we've still had to carefully consider what we're bringing along with us. I'm sure as we "hit the road" our ESSENTIALS LIST will be tweaked, but here's what we've got so far.

When it comes to cooking, our plan is to grill it. What better way to prepare a meal then over a campfire or a tabletop grill outside. The RT comes with a 2 burner stove, microwave and 2-way fridge/freezer so I purchased what I consider the basics for our camper kitchen.
  • Hot Pads (3)
  • Hand towels (5)
  • Dish Drying Mat 
  • Rubber Spatula (2)
  • Rubber Stirring Spoon
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Tongs
  • Silverware (3 Forks, 3 Spoons, 3 Knives & 2 Steak Knives)
  • Plates (2)
  • Bowls (2)
  • Paper Plates, Bowls and Cups
  • Plastic Picnicware
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Strainer
  • Saucepan with Lid
  • Fry pan
  • Spices
  • Tin Foil
  • Square Plastic Containers with Lids (4)
  • Lighter
  • Plastic Trash Bags (Reusing Grocery Store and Wal-Mart Bags)

We're fortunate that our campervan comes with a closet that contains the toilet and shower on one side and a bank of drawers on the other with shelving above both areas. We'll be using the drawers to store our clothing. I've used inexpensive white plastic boxes from Wal-Mart (.97 cents each) and teal totes from Family Dollar (1.00 each) to organize our things into CLEANING, TOILETRIES, JUNK DRAWER, and TOWELS.
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Body Wipes
  • Nail Clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • First Aid Kit
  • Soap
  • RV TP
  • Medicines - Tylenol, Antihistamine, Pepto-Bismal, Bacitracin
  • Hand and Body Lotion
  • Bath Towels (2)
  • Lysol Wipes
  • Hand Broom and Dustpan
  • Paper Towels
  • Batteries
  • Mini Bungie Cords
  • Duct Tape
  • Lighters
  • Battery-powered Lantern
  • Flashlights (2)
  • A Few Card Games

Our bedding will change as the seasons change. We've gone back and forth about setting up the back dinette into the full-sized bed and leaving it that way, but for now it's a cozy dining area and our bedding is stored in the cabinets above.
  • Bedspread (that I'm Crocheting Up ASAP)
  • Thick Fluffy Blanket
  • Thin Blanket
  • Padded Mattress Pad
  • Sheets
  • Pillows (2)

What's important is that we have all those things that make camping enjoyable, comfortable and restful. Anything that isn't will be left behind.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Our campervan is finally home from the RV Center, everything in working order. After gathering up my arsenal of cleaning supplies, I spent a few hours cleaning surfaces, cabinets, shelves, and the bathroom, readying the inside for our essential camping items. But before filling those empty spaces and making the Roadtrek homey, I took a BEFORE video (on my Android) of the camper.

(I feel a little silly doing videos, but they do make showing the details so much easier and quicker than a series of photos.)