For some RVers Memorial Day is a day of attending RV park celebrations or planning a special trip for the holiday weekends. But, as Debbie Goode from the GoodeLife reminds us, no matter what your plans, the weather always has a say.
I have been pretty smitten with myself of late..... cause rvparking.com sent me an email asking if I would be interested in doing a guest blog for them. Well, sure Iʼm interested! You want me to write about what? Our plans for the Holiday Weekend. Gee...that may be a problem as we currently have no plans. Who can make plans! Here in Indiana, it has rained for the last 40 days and 40 nights, okay maybe not quite that bad, but still it is pretty wet around these parts.
Just the other day, I awoke to ﬁnd that our site had been upgraded to a “waterfront” view. As you can see by the photo, the pond appeared just across the road from us. It even has itʼs own little “houseboat”. I have no idea if it is available for use. I guess now that we have a pond right out the front door we might be able to do a little ﬁshing.
If we are lucky, maybe Memorial Day will ﬁnd us frying up a big ole mess of ﬁsh. Or might we get out the inﬂatables and just take a relaxing “ﬂoat” around the pond and enjoy the sunshine. Did I say, “sunshine”!
Okay, all kidding aside, as fulltime RVʼers we often avoid doing much of anything during holidays or weekends. We prefer a bit more of a slower pace...without the holiday or weekend crowds. That to us is one of the “perks” of fulltime rving......we can always
wait till tomorrow....for the sun to shine or the crowds to wane!
What did you do this weekend for Memorial Day? Please let us know on in the comments section.
The first post in our series about solo women RVers comes from Judy Patton of Ladynomad on the Road to Nowhere. Since she has been full-timing for 9 years, she is an ideal person for kicking off this series. If you are a solo woman RVer who would be interested in contributing to this series, please let us know.
Bio: My name is Judy Patton. I am in my mid-50s and prior to my RVing, most of my career was as a logistics analyst within the aerospace industry, although I also worked as a Federal Investigator, a tax accountant and before/after school care provider. I have been a full-time RVer for 9 years. My journeys are recorded on my blog: www.ladynomad2005.blogspot.com.
I started my RVing lifestyle with my husband, Jim, in 2002. We traveled throughout the U.S., including Alaska, doing volunteer work about 5 months a year with MMAP (Mobile Missionary Assistance Program), Everglades National Park and Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Florida. This went on for 3 years until Jim became ill and died of cancer in 2005.
For the next 2 years I was a volunteer at French Camp Academy (a Christian Boarding School in Mississippi) during the school year, traveling to visit family and friends during the summer months. But in the summer of 2007 things changed and I ended up back on the road again full-time. I had left to meet up with friends at the Winnebago Grand National Rally in Forest City, Iowa, planning to return and go to work full time back at French Camp Academy when the summer was over. I was going to sell my RV and everything. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the lifestyle, but I did not enjoy doing things alone. I’m a very active person, enjoying hiking, biking, and sightseeing, and although I could do these things by myself, I didn’t want to. But at the rally in Iowa I met Sharon Del Rosario who was at the time president of the Solos, the singles chapter of the Escapees RV Club. She invited me to attend one of their rallies in Kendallville, IN, in September 2007. It was there I found out about several other singles RV clubs such as the SI’s, the singles chapter of FMCA; the LOWs, Loners on Wheels, a national club with chapters in every state; and the WINs, Wandering Individual Network. Although I remain a member of the SOLOs and the SIs, I spend most of my time traveling with the WINs.
I was surprised at how many single women were out there traveling in their RVs, some full-time and others just part-time. The ratio is about 50/50 men to women within the clubs. Each club has its own benefits and style. The SIs and SOLOs usually meet throughout the year for rallies, staying a week or so, doing some sightseeing and lots of visiting and socializing, but then they scatter until the next rally. The WINs, on the other hand, give you the opportunity to travel with other singles virtually 52 weeks a year if you desire. Their style is gatherings within a circuit or caravan, moving each week or so to a new location. Many times there are multiple gatherings going on at the same time.
Let me explain. Last summer the group started in St. Louis about mid-May and ended up in Astoria, OR, Labor Day weekend, following the Lewis and Clark Trail. They kayaked various locations along the way, including an overnight trip on the Missouri in Montana.They biked several rail-to-trails, including the Hiawatha Trail in Idaho. This upcoming summer will see one group heading to the east coast, taking in Niagara Falls, NYC and Washington, D.C., while another group checks out the Pacific NW. The newsletter announces the dates and locations of gatherings and you show up at the ones you want to participate. Some people attend only a few gatherings a year, while others travel along the caravan route most of the time. To join the WINs you must own an RV, be single and under the age of 70. During the winter the club hangs out in Arizona and southern California, starting with Thanksgiving at Borrego Springs, Christmas and New Years in Yuma, AZ; moving on to Quartzsite for the RV show in January and ending with a dance rally in Casa Grande in February. In between these gatherings the group may be on the beach in Mexico, hiking in the Superstition Mountains, visiting ghost towns and dancing wherever they can. We rarely stay in organized RV parks, choosing instead boondocking locations. We find places to stay on BLM land, forest service campgrounds, National Park campgrounds and other locations. Most of us are equipped with solar panels (I have 3) and inverters. I have gone months without hooking up to electric, just finding a place to dump my holding tanks and filling up with water every 2 weeks. Many of the group belongs to various fraternal organizations. I belong to the VFW, Eagles, Elks and Moose. I can usually find one of these lodges somewhere close to where I am heading and if there parking lot is large enough and there is no prohibiting city ordinances, the lodges welcomes travelers. I truly feel like a modern day nomad, traveling with a group of friends which have become family. People come and go from gathering to gathering, but like any other community, you have friends with which to enjoy the activities of this lifestyle.
For more information on the WINs, check out their website: www.rvsingles.org.
Being on the road means that you get to take advantage of experience great holiday attractions and celebrations around the United States. The following is a just a sampling of upcoming RV Park Christmas events:
Since this is a post about holiday RV Park Events, it's fitting that we begin with what's happening in the town of Santa Claus, Indiana over at Lake Rudolph Outdoor Resort.
During the Christmas season, the inside Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort is home to Santa Claus Land of Lights Family Christmas Light Adventure. This light show is truly unique for several different reasons … it is the only light show in North America that tells a story in lights and storyboards. At 1.2 miles long, it is also the largest campground holiday light show in North America.
Families may experience the untold story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer … all in brilliant LED lights! The Santa Claus Land of Lights is located inside Lake Rudolph Campground & R.V. Resort in Santa Claus, Indiana and tells the “Shining Story of Rudolph.” This light adventure is a 1.2 mile driving route that contains over 300 light displays and 11 Rudolph story scenes. Discount coupons ($4) off are available at participating McDonald’s locations. A portion of proceeds from the Santa Claus Land of Lights will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. www.SantaClausLandofLights.com.
Open from 5:00 – 9:00pm CST on Thanksgiving night and then Fridays, Saturday and Sundays through December 12. The Santa Claus Land of Lights will be open nightly from December 17 through New Year’s Day; closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Here is a link to video footage on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38GKJJKLuwQ.
Here is a link to their Flickr account which includes photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/43359699@N04.
Escape the cold and snow while enjoying Christmas event on offer at several RV Parks in sunny Florida.
Rainbow Village RV Resort of Largo, Florida is hosting a Christmas Dance on December, 10. Admission is $5. On Christmas day, dinner will be served in the Rec Hall. Bring a covered dish and the park will provide the ham and potatoes. The cost of the Christmas dinner is $2.
Over in Bradenton, Pleasant Lake RV Resort is hosting a Christmas show on December 11 at 7 pm, featuring the talent of Melissa and Larry Brahm. Thirty of their residents are celebrating the holidays together on a Christmas Holiday Cruise to the Caribbean from December 4-11. The park is filled with beautiful lights, culminating in a judging of community Christmas decorations at 6:15 on December 18. Their sister Carefree Park, Horseshoe Cove, will be dropping by with the festive gift of a 30 piece gulf-cart light electric parade and there’s a buzz that cookies and punch will be severed afterwards at the Rec Hall.
Kissimmee South RV Resort in Davenport (formerly Three Worlds RV Resort) is also hosting several Christmas events starting with decorating the park with music and snacks to enjoy the time today at 2 pm. On December 13th, park residents will go caroling at Savana Court Assisted Living in Haines City starting at 4:30 pm. There will also be a Christmas Eve Service followed by fellowship and a Christmas day dinner at 1 pm.
December is also a busy time at Big Tree RV Resort in Arcadia, starting today with their annual Christmas Craft Boutique. Our talented residents set up tables of jewelry, quilted items, wood crafts, baskets, sweaters, tea towels, etc. they make themselves and have for sale at the Boutique. It’s a perfect time to start Christmas shopping. Their residents provide lunch and have a bake sale. Since this is advertised in the local paper, there's a big crowd.
Next up is their Christmas Golf Cart Parade on the second Saturday evening of December. Residents decorate their golf carts with holiday decorations and lights. They parade through the streets of Big Tree and also the mobile home community next door. Prizes are given for Funniest, Most Christmasy and Best Religious Theme.
The Arcadia Concert Band will perform their Christmas Concert for our residents followed by the annual Tree Trimming Party in the Clubhouse with caroling, food and fellowship.
Another annual tradition is lighting of the luminaries on Christmas Eve. Residents line the front of their lots with white milk jugs with a lighted candle inside and we surround our pond with luminaries. It is a spectacular light show that residents of Arcadia even come to enjoy. There will also be Christmas dinner at the clubhouse.
Pine Mountain, an RVC Outdoor Destination will offer a “Mid-week Fantasy” package to coincide with the Callaway Gardens “Fantasy in Lights” show. The package can be purchased from Nov. 19 to Dec. 30 for mid-week stay only.
Guests of Pine Mountain will have the benefit of obtaining access to the many amenities and features the resort has to offer, while also enjoying Callaway Gardens’ famous holiday light and sound show. RVC Outdoor Destinations has chosen to give back to the community by giving ten percent of the package proceeds to the Salvation Army. Pine Moountain
This special holiday package is for Monday-Thursday reservations, but weekend lodging is also available for purchase. The package will include two tickets to the Fantasy in Lights show, one concrete site (Azalea) with cable and free Wi-Fi, a bundle of firewood, and two complimentary gourmet coffees in the morning. The cost of the package is $69, with a value of $85. Additional nights for the concrete sites are $40. Cabin and yurt stay is not included in the package.
Pine Mountain, an RVC Outdoor Destination is only three miles from Callaway Gardens, and just one hour from Atlanta. RV and non RV guests are welcome and there are cabins available for rent starting at $80 a night. There are also furnished yurts available for stay starting at $38 a night. Along with cozy accommodations, guests can enjoy concierge service, a community lodge with a coffee, beer, and wine bar, free Wi-Fi, activities pavilion, Bark Park Off-leash area, plus more.
The “Mid-week Fantasy” package cannot be combined with other offers and reservations are required. Pine Mountain, an RVC Outdoor Destination is located at 8804 Hamilton Rd, Pine Mountain, GA 38122. For more information, please visit http://www.pinemountain.rvcoutdoors.com/. To make your “Mid-week Fantasy” reservations, call 706-663-4329.
At Jellystone Park in Nashville, they are currently running a Christmas light show put on by Shadrack Productions. It's a 2 drive-thru mile stretch of Christmas lights synchronized to music. You can also reserve a horse drawn carriage to go through the lights show. We also have inflatable jump house and slides and a Christmas Village with Santa, hot chocolate, coffee and gifts (all have their own charges). It is $25 a carload to get into the lights show.
Everyone is invited, Winter Texans, overnighters and long-time guests, to the Christmas dinner at Travelers World RV Resort in San Antonio. The park provides the turkey, ham, dressing and potatoes and each guest is asked to bring a dish to pass. There's seating for 102 people, but if weather is nice they can add a few more people who may have to sit outside.
This weekend at Jellystone Hill Country, prices are rolled back 40 years (Rv sites $3.40 and lodge rooms $20.99) for an old time Christmas as a Thank you to their guests! In return, they ask for a donation to the local food bank.