I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream

I was undecided about going to Vermont but Steph made an executive decision to go so I booked us a couple of nights at a campground in Shelburne near Lake Champlain.  Our route there from New Hampshire would conveniently take us right by the Ben and Jerry’s factory so we made sure we left early enough to stop in for a tour and maybe a cold treat.  The name Vermont literally translates to green mountain, and man, let me tell you the mountains are green….freakishly green!  But they were beautiful.  We arrived at Ben and Jerry’s which has RV parking and we ate lunch in the parking lot before taking the tour.  While we grazed on our lunch, the holsteins in the pasture just outside the rig grazed on their lunch too.

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Grandma spoiled us!  So did Aunt Sara and Uncle Mike.  Grandma met us at a Cracker Barrel on our way to Chester New Hampshire and treated us to lunch.  Then we followed her along the twisty, windy roads to Aunt Sara and Uncle Mike’s house where we were going to try to driveway surf.  The driveway was long but mostly straight so I was able to get Ava in a good spot to spend the weekend.  First order of business though was to fix Ava’s leg which wasn’t too hard but took longer than I’d hoped.
I backed Ava and the Beast up that! Read more


Ava has been limping along with her one good leg and a temporary stump leg after her right leg broke.  It has actually worked out fine but takes more time.  Her replacement leg arrived at the UPS store near our campground at Wompatuk State Park and we barely arrived in time to pick it up before they closed.

The part came with zero instructions so all I had to study was the video from loveyourrv.com.  The confusing part was how the motor attaches to the leg.
New leg

I decided I’d just have to dig in to figure it out as I go.  To do the work I needed the weight off the landing gear and so the Beast would be tasked with holding up Ava during the surgery.  We were heading to Steph’s aunt and uncle’s house to hopefully driveway surf so I figured that would be a good time to do the work; right after arrival at their house.  This way we could use their house while Ava was in the OR.

We arrived and I actually impressed myself backing into their 100 yard long driveway and placing the rig in its resting spot with only a minor adjustment at the end.

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Freedom Trail

Yesterday we were able to get about half of the Freedom Trail completed, so today we were targeting the 2nd half.  We knew what we were doing this time so before we left home I dismounted the truck’s antenna and we cruised on out to the Braintree station.  We go in to pay for parking but this time I’ll do it myself.  I insert the ticket and it says I owe $7.  I insert my credit card, it sucks it in then spits it out saying it can’t read it.  I try it again…sucks in, spits out, no read.  I carefully look at the diagram and realize that I had the stripe pointing the wrong direction.  I insert the card the correct way and after a bit it says “Rejected”.  It is then that I notice a separate card reader that is probably where I should have slid my card to make the payment.    Oh  crud, I think I just jammed my credit card into the ticket slot instead of the credit card slot and now its eaten my card!!

I go to find an employee to help and there she is.  The same kind woman who helped us yesterday recognizes us and says “oh hi!  You’re back…can I help you?”  I explain to her that I put my credit card in the wrong slot but then she assures me I did it correct.  She presses the “Need assistance?” button on the machine and a crackly voice comes on “yeeees”.  She explains that the machine ate a card.   It takes several calls to get someone to arrive and during our wait Carol asks about our day yesterday, and our trip and she talks to the kids.  Eventually someone comes and opens the machine to find….no card.  She says “are you sure you don’t have your card?”  Come on, do you think I’m that dumb?  I humor her by pulling out my wallet (a rubberband around my cards) to prove that my Discover card is….hey…wait a minute….how did my Discover card get in my wallet?  Am I really that dumb?  My brother is a magician….I have never had the skills to do any slight of hand until this moment.  I’m so good in fact that my hand was even quicker than my own eye!!  Seriously, I have no idea how that all went down.  But here is the cool part.  Carol was awesome!!  She was so much help both days.  She was so kind and genuine and interested in us that we just had to get a photo with her.  Thank you Carol for all your help!!

Carol Read more


When we left New York everyones allergies started acting up. Everyone started talking about Mass-a-a-chusetts! Bess me! So sorry, but thats what happened. All through Massachusetts we were sneezing. Boston was a bit of a letdown. I thought the freedom trail would be a bit better, but it was just a lot of old buildings. I liked Paul Revere’s house the most. We went to bunker hill and climbed the monument that was there. It was so high you could see the ocean blue. Here’s a fun fact for ya: the bunker hill monument came before the Washington monument. The designer of the Washington monument lost the bunker hill contest so he entered a design that he knew was a winner. Smart guy. I liked the first cemetery we went in even though the clock right next to it struck twelve noon when we walked in. That was creepy. John Hancock, Mother Goose, and Mr. Revere are buried there. We got a tub of Ben and Jerry’s icecream to share, and it was delicious. We took the train to and from Ava every single day except for a rainy day and the night we went to Mom’s cousin Courtney and her husband Ty’s house we had tons of tacos, we played with the two dachshunds, and we watched TV. That was a fun night. That pretty much wraps our visit to Massa-a-a-chusetts! Bless me.

See you in New Hampshire,



We had a full 3 days scheduled in Boston and the first day we woke up to cold and rain.  Since we hadn’t really had any down days for awhile we decided we were due so I worked, Steph ran errands and the kids played Legos.  All three of them played all day with all the Legos.  It was really fun to hear them playing together and to have them come out and show their latest designs to me.  They were preparing for some epic battle which they finally had at the end of the day.  It left their room a total disaster…a minefield for adult bare feet….but they had fun.
Pre battle

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I was looking forward to Boston!! One of my cousins lives there and I was overdue for some Courtney time! And I remember enjoying the Freedom Trail. We did that on a family trip when I was in middle school I think.

We have been running like crazy and are starting to wear out, so I was actually happy it was going to rain our first full day in Boston. The trip from NYC was long – I’m not even driving and I was worn out. I needed to tackle the laundry and get groceries. Turns out they are not the same direction from Wompatuck State Park. So that was my afternoon. But we all enjoyed a “day off.” It’s amazing how much work site seeing is! 😉

I was so excited to spend the evening with cousin Courtney and her husband Ty at their cute house!It was definitely the best part of Boston! I wish we could have hung out more, but I’m soooo thankful we got there before they had to leave for their trips! Ty made us an amazing Taco Tuesday spread! Court made us the yummiest strawberry rhubarb crisp – yumm!! A big taste of KS right there! And I got 2 more loads of laundry done! That was the most fun I’ve had doing laundry in the last 4+ months! 🙂 The kids were in heaven – they got to see Court and Ty, play with 2 dogs and watch TV! The only part we did wrong? – we didn’t get a pic with Ty!! Grrrr – next time!

The kids loved the train rides in and out of the city. Huck covers all of that very well in his posts.

The Freedom Trail was mostly fun. Since we are sloooowing down and we were staying quite a ways out of Boston (but still the closest possible in an RV) we decided to do the Freedom Trail over the course of 2 days instead of cramming it into one long day. It worked for us!

We were disappointed by a couple of things. 1. Because of graduations, etc. we couldn’t see the big main hall in Fanueil Hall. That was very disappointing. And because we weren’t there on a weekend there weren’t the colonial characters out and about that we had expected. Oh well. The Paul Revere House was of course the highlight for that day.

The second day we started up at the Old North Church. We had good timing and a good time there! We just happened to be there when a volunteer was giving a presentation. He did a great job and added facts that we would have missed otherwise. At the Battle of Bunker Hill we climbed up to the top of the Monument. We also got a private presentation as a school group didn’t show up on time, so the ranger talked to us instead. This was super helpful as we needed to get going over to the USS Constitution and get home early to pick up Ava’s new leg from the UPS Store. We enjoyed the USS Constitution. Dacen really wanted to tour the WWII Destroyer as well, but we had already toured one in Texas and we needed to get going.

The only other thing I really wish we had done was go to the Charlesbank Park and Esplanade. Well, I guess there is always next time! I think I need to go visit my cousin sooner rather than later! 🙂

Leg sling, dump disaster and new records

It was a perfect day for driving.  We were laying down the miles singing some songs together, reading together and laughing at each other’s jokes when I look in the mirror and see an epic display of sparks spraying from the trailer.  Parts start ripping off the side and leaving a trail of debris behind.  I’m putting everything I can into the brake and it won’t stop.  Then I woke up!!  That was the dream I had the night we moved from Phillie to NYC.  You see, Ava’s leg was broke.  Basically there is a threaded part that stripped out.  It still had a little bite but not much.  So there was nothing really to hold the leg in position….down or up.  So when hitched up the leg could just drop out to the ground and start dragging and that is exactly where my subconscience went in that dream.  How we made it from Philadelphia to NYC on those bumpy roads without that actually happening…well, had to be an angel holding the leg up the whole way.

Our time in NYC was up and with a long day ahead of us we wanted to get on the road by 10:00 which meant we should be hooked up by 9:30 and heading to the dump station.  And we were on track to do that but retracting Ava’s leg revealed an issue!  The exact issue I had dreamed about.   Fortunately, when we retracted the good leg Ava’s bad leg just continued to hang down like a sad broken leg should.  I got some cord and fashioned a sling for her and all this set us back about 30 minutes.

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The Big Pear

I already titled a post The Big Apple so I used a relative of the apple for this post.  Today the target was the Empire State Building.   The rain was gone and the forecast was clear skies and sunny!  We walked down to the subway station, got our tickets (again, one at a time) and hopped on for a ride to 33rd street station.  For a Sunday morning I guess I was expecting the subway to not be very busy…I guessed wrong.
Pretty full for a Sunday morning Read more

Neck Cramps

I don’t know about you, but I really thought that New York would have more traffic and people but maybe not. I can only count a few worms in the big apple. One was the subway system pay machines. We couldn’t pay for more than one ticket at a time which for a family of five was annoying and the credit card slots weren’t working. Also the campground we stayed at was over $100.00 a night and was pretty much a parking lot for RVs. At least we had a view of the statue of Liberty. Oh yeah, Lady Liberty. (She needs a name. Someone give her a name.) Let’s call her… Ima. Ima Green Statue. She was even more awesome from a long way away than I thought. Then when we got closer Ima looked enormous. Ellis island was also bigger than I thought. I thought that the immigrants just stood in a line, but no, they go through the whole process of- well, go check out Dacen’s post. He probably has a ten page essay on it. Those islands were fun. We took the ferry back and guess what we saw? A prezel stand. And Mom had a hankerin’ for one so we split a few so we could say we ate a New York prezel. Then we meandered around, saw some monuments, (I’ve had enough o’  those to last me a lifetime) we saw a church that played a part in the post 9/11 cleanup. That was it for the day so we headed home and crashed- not the subway, into our beds. The next day we headed out and went to the top of the empire state building. The veiw was amazing. After that we went to Times Square. I liked times square the most because I could watch the endless flows of people and the ads and commercials which is really the only way I see commercials.

Caden’s friend Bob: Caden have you seen the commercial-

Caden: No.

Bob: How about the one-

Caden: No

Bob: Maybe the one with-

Caden: YES!

Bob: Really!?

Caden: No.

Mom, Dacen, and I walked to Rockefeller Center. We saw so many TV places like SNL, TTS, TTS, (that’s the tonight show, and then today show.) We saw where they put the Christmas tree and where the ice rink goes. Then we wrapped it up (not the tree) and went home. That night we went to a place to see the skyline all lit up. It was amazing! Next morning it’s off to Boston Massa-a-a-chusetts! Bless me!

Over and out,