Red Bay, Huntsville

Alabama

Red Bay Acres Office and Store
Tiffin Repair Bays

After two weeks in Red Bay, we finished our maintenance at Bay Diesel and Precision RV and repairs at Tiffin. It took about a week for Tiffin to find a leak that has been plaguing us for more than a year. We are hoping to leave that issue behind.

Marcy on the bicycle trail

While in Red Bay we visited Natural Bridge Park in addition to Florence, one of our favorite towns in “The Shoals”. Florence is known for its homes overlooking the Tennessee River, as well as for its artistic charm, musical influence and Native American history. We rode and enjoyed Mussel Shoals Reservation Bicycle Trail again.

 

 

Natural Bridge Park

 

Monte Sano State Park

Last year we took a day trip from Red Bay to visit Huntsville’s Botanical Gardens and wanted to spend more time in the area. We journeyed east stopping at Monte Sano State Park where we spent 7-days enjoying the area. 

 

In Spanish, Monte Sano means “Mountain of Health.” In the late 1800s, visitors from across the United States came for “the season” to experience and enjoy Monte Sano’s fresh air, spectacular views and mineral springs. The park’s 2,140 acres were purchased in the early 1930s, and between 1935 and 1940 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built 11 rustic cabins, an amphitheater, and a lodge using the natural stone on the mountain. The lodge burned in 1948 and was not rebuilt until 2002.

 

Founded in 1805, Huntsville recently named “The Best Place to Live” by US News & World
Report, 
initially grew because of its cotton and railroad industries, but today it is best known for its Space Command and aerospace industries. It was here that scientists designed and tested the Saturn V rocket that would send men to the moon for the first time.

 

We walked the North Alabama Japanese Garden started in 1988 by Mr. Robert Black, as just a hobby garden and something to enjoy doing with his children. This was an area in Monte Sano State Park not traveled by many because it wasn’t developed before the Japanese Garden was established. The Tea House was build in 1991 to add Japanese character. The first annual Japanese Spring Festival was held in 1992. The garden is full of Japanese Maples and native azaleas. And there is frisbee golf surrounding the garden.

 

North Alabama Japanese Garden

 

We enjoyed the Huntsville’s Botanical Gardens again. The garden is a beautiful place to relax and get away from the hustle & bussel of daily activities.

 

Huntsville Botanical Gardens

 

We toured the largest space museum in the world: the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Not only is America’s space program on exhibit in Huntsville, it was forged here. It is known as the “Rocket City” because Huntsville is where rockets were developed that put men on the moon and about NASA’s current plans (and Huntsville’s role in it) to travel to Mars with the world’s most powerful rocket – the Space Launch System (SLS). We walked through a life-sized replica of the International Space Station and rode a virtual liftoff of a space shuttle into orbit. The Center’s grounds have many rockets and military equipment displayed.

 

U.S. Space & rocket Center

 

Lowe Mill Art & Entertainment

We stoped by Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment, the largest, privately-owned arts facility in the South. With a focus on visual arts, this historic factory building has been redeveloped into more than 150 working studios for over 200 artists, makers and independent businesses, 7 art galleries, a multi-use theatre, 4 performance venues, restaurants, a foundry, a chocolate shop, and a community garden. The open door policy allows the public to visit artists and makers during the different stages of their creative process.

 

Wernher von Braun Planetarium

One evening we visited the Wernher von Braun Planetarium within the state park. VBAS, von Braun Astronomical Society, was originally founded in 1954 as the Rocket City Astronomical Association, thanks to the efforts of a group of high school students interested in Astronomy lead by Sam Pruitt, along with the help and influence of Wernher von Braun. By 1956, the organization had grown to include several members of the Von Braun Missile Team and they completed the observatory. The facilities today include a second observatory, astronomical library, solar telescope, and planetarium.  

 

 

 

Our first Lucky Duck Find
The oldest toy store. Can you find the duck?

We participated in the Huntsville Lucky Duck Scavenger Hunt. Their website states, “Want a super fun and totally unique way to explore downtown Huntsville? Take part in the Lucky Duck Scavenger Hunt and see a side of the Rocket City you can’t see any other way! The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau has cleverly hidden 14 ducks around downtown Huntsville, and it’s up to you to find them all. And while you’re

looking, you can experience the sights and history that the heart of our city has to offer. Perceptive players who find all 

Downtown Huntsville

14 ducks can stop by the Visitor Center and get a special prize.” We one the prize! Actually the lady at the visitor center gave us the prize when we stopped by to inquire about the hunt.

Luck Duck Award

 

We did our usual shopping at Trader Joe’s. We do this whenever we have the luxury of finding one in the areas we travel.

 

Next we travel further east to Bald Ridge Creek in Cumming, GA.

 

 

 

 

Today’s Thought 

Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me. I may not lead. Walk beside me… just be my friend.”

Albert Camus

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Wed, May 30, 2022

Augusta, GA

Heritage RV Park

Enjoy your visit to Augusta, GA from the comfort of your own RV. Heritage RV Park has been proudly catering to Masters patrons for over 10 years.  We are located just 8 miles away from the tournament.

Miles from last stop: 179

 

Thu, May 26, 2022

Charleston, sc

James Island County Park

Enjoy the natural beauty of James Island County Park, with year-round fun for the entire family. Just a short drive from downtown Charleston, the 643-acre park offers an abundance of exceptional recreation offerings and natural beauty.

Miles from last stop: 192

 

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

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Are you experiencing more stress than sleep because of work? Yes, you need to earn a living to maintain stability in your life. But when your job is in the driver’s seat, it can be difficult to keep any sense of balance and wellness in your routine. And that’s not how you live a fulfilled life!

Don’t allow your job to rule your life. You can actually save your career by planning a sabbatical while fostering your health and well-being. Below, We’re the Wilsons shows you how to prepare for an exciting adventure away from the daily grind!

 

Know the Benefits    

Keeping the benefits of taking a sabbatical in mind will inspire you to actually do it, even when life throws you a curveball and you feel like you can’t get away from work. First of all, a sabbatical can give you space from your job, which can do a number of things:

  • Help you appreciate your professional experiences over the years.
  • Help you identify the expertise you can contribute to experiences in the future.
  • Allow breathing room to clarify how you want to work and live in the future.

Even if you love your job, a sabbatical can provide the much-needed distance from your daily grind and remind you that there’s more to life than work. A fresh perspective is always a good thing!

 

Brainstorm Ideas

So, what could you do on your sabbatical? There isn’t a single, correct way to go on sabbatical, and the best approach for you will depend on your specific needs and interests. Perhaps one of the most relaxing things you could do is take a road trip across the country.

The U.S. offers incredible diversity when it comes to breathtaking scenery, geographic wonders, and historic sites. If you want to go all the way, rent an RV and stay in a different place every night. You can get a lot of inspiration by keeping up with We’re the Wilsons!

Another option is to volunteer for an organization that shares your values. You could even choose somewhere out of the country and gain valuable cultural experiences.

Some people start a company out of their passion. Even if it begins as a side gig, you might find that you enjoy the work much more, and if there is potential for a profit, it may make sense to build your business instead of going back to your job. Whatever you do, try to rest and recharge along the way. A sabbatical is supposed to be fun!

 

Plan Your Finances   

When planning your sabbatical, you’ll need to organize your finances to ensure you don’t put yourself in a compromised position by taking time off. One way to supplement your income if you’re traveling is to rent out your home. Not only can you earn money while you’re away, but a reliable tenant can make sure your home stays in good shape.

 

Think About Work   

If possible, leave work on good terms. This can make your experience more stressful, especially if you plan to return after your sabbatical. With that said, a sabbatical can actually work in your favor if you ever pursue a career change. Whether you volunteer, care for a sick person, start a side gig, or do anything else generous and productive, include specific activities on your resume to present your time off as a positive.

 

Get Ready to Head Out

Lastly, be sure to tie up any loose ends before you begin your sabbatical. Along with shoring up your finances and speaking with your employer, make sure your pet will be taken care of. If you take a road trip with an RV, you can bring your four-legged companion with you! Otherwise, find a trusted kennel, or ask a close family member or friend to pet sit until you return.

Work and the stress that comes with it will rule your life if you let it. If you’re overwhelmed or need a dose of inspiration, start planning a sabbatical today. Consider the tips above as you strategize your time off, and keep looking for other ways to find rest and joy.

If you enjoyed reading this article, check out We’re The Wilsons for more engaging content today.

 

We are happy to provide another guest article by Leslie Campos. A busy mom herself, Leslie has dedicated her site Wellparents.com to all the moms and dads out there searching for ideas on being physically and emotionally well. She loves to practice yoga, CrossFit and watch The Great British Baking show when not working or running her children to various after school activities

Thu. April 21, 2022

St. Augustine, Florida

Heading for St. Augustine

The day has come! After months of planning and replanning destinations, activities, schedules and prepping our house, we leave on our summer vaca away from the heat of Florida.

We managed to transfer what we think we’ll need from our home to the coach, filling every nook and cranny. We prepared our house for extended leave and are as ready as we’ll ever be.

Our trip takes us to new and old destinations across our country. We’ll visit friends and family, and like many RVers we’ll meet new friends along the way.

Our first stop is St. Augustine, Florida (not sure I needed to add the state), founded in 1565. It lays claim as the oldest city in the U.S. We’ve visited many times and it is still one of our favorite destinations.

We’ll be glamping 4-days at the Sun Outdoors St. Augustine, formerly known as Compass RV Resort. We are joining our neighbors in the MOSN FMCA Chapter rally from Polk City, FL. Rallies are great ways to reacquaint.

We arrived on Thursday, setup and then visited and planned activities for our stay with some of our group until time to settle in for the night.

Kookaburra Coffee
Enjoying Kookaburra Coffee on the Patio

The next morning we bummed an early ride with friends into to St. Augustine. Parking is at a premium around the historic district and our friends had free parking at the Trolley Tour Welcome Center. We did a bit of walking-shopping stopping for great coffee at Kookaburra’s We met up with our gang at the marina and hopped aboard the Scenic Boat Tour. We cruised the Matanzas River (“Matanzas” means “killings” or “slaughters” in Spanish.) traveling under the Bridge of Lions to the St. Augustine Light House viewing the city skyline and historic sites along the way. We saw many Bottlenose Dolphins playing in the surf and Egrets along the beaches. The weather was fantastic!

 

John, Kelly Ann, Marcy & Joe at O.C. Whites

After the tour we had a great lunch across from the marina at O.C. Whites Restaurant.

Catered dinner with our rally friends

Back at the campground we sat down to a catered dinner with our rally friends.

Saturday we rode the streets on the Old Town Trolley. We’ve taken this hop on/hop off ride many times and is a great way to catch up on the history of St. Augustine. We like to stay on for the entire route noting the places we will hop off on the next loop.

 

 

 

 

Cottondale, FL

Monday we crossed the Florida panhandle stopping at one of our favorite stopovers, Hitchin Post Corral and Campground RV Park in Cottondale. Marcy and the dogs fed the horses a few apples before sunset.

 

Red Bay, AL

On Tuesday, traveling a familiar route, north on HY 231, we roam through the center of Alabama, passing through Dothan, Montgomery and Birmingham where we turn northwest to Red Bay. Red Bay sits on the Alabama/Mississippi border approximately 50-miles south of Tennessee.

Red Bay Acres

We decided to make Red Bay, AL, one of our first destinations. We have made this pilgrimage yearly since obtaining old blue. Red Bay, home of all things Tiffin, is the ideal place for RV maintenance and fixes. Our opinion is that Tiffin expertise like this cannot be found anywhere else. We are not the only ones. We will stay at Red Bay Acres.

Marcy and the Dogs at Red Bay Acres

We are never sure how long we’ll spend here since Tiffin does not take service appointments. It’s first come, first serve. We are in the queue hoping for quick turnaround, but in the meantime we’ll we’ll enjoy the area. Stay tuned for more on our Red Bay stay.

 

 

Today’s Thought 

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

Amelia Earhart

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Wed, May 18, 2022

Cumming, GA

Bald Ridge Creek

Bald Ridge Creek Campground is on Lake Sidney Lanier, popular for its aqua-blue waters and spectacular scenery. Each year, over 11 million visitors travel to Lake Sidney Lanier for fantastic fishing and boating on the beautiful reservoir in northern Georgia.

Miles from last stop: 310

 

Thu, May 26, 2022

Cumming, GA

Sawnee

Sawnee Campground lies just north of the Buford Dam on Lake Sidney Lanier. The campground features beautiful views of the lake as well as excellent access to boating and swimming. The lake, named for the poet, Sidney Lanier, is well known for its aqua-blue colored water, spectacular scenery and variety of recreational activities. Each year, over 11 million people come to visit.

Miles from last stop: 11

 

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

We’d love to keep you updated with our latest news, tips and tricks! 😎

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

We are happy to provide another guest article by Leslie Campos. A busy mom herself, Leslie has dedicated her site Wellparents.com to all the moms and dads out there searching for ideas on being physically and emotionally well. She loves to practice yoga, CrossFit and watch The Great British Baking show when not working or running her children to various after school activities.

 

Self-Care Rest Trip for the Soul: Cities to Explore

Never taken a self-care trip before? It’s time to put your traveling hat on because a reset vacation can work wonders for your mind, body, and soul. You’ll say goodbye to your stresses, explore with spontaneity, and come back ready to tackle your life with energy and enthusiasm. And if you’ve been looking for inspiration, We’re The Wilsons breaks down excellent cities to travel to when hunting for self-care. Let’s get into it.

 

Why You Need a Self-Care Vacation

According to the American Psychological Association, one in three Americans is stressed. And the reality is most people don’t do anything about their stress, which can eventually lead to burnout and significant mental health concerns. Taking a reset vacation is an effective tool you can use every now and again to combat the stresses and pressures of everyday life. You’ll be able to live your life the way you like it, without worrying about deadlines and responsibilities. Add in a few self-care activities and fantastic attractions, and you’ll find yourself a better employee, parent, and friend. Traveling also adds spontaneity, which is critical for the soul to feel revived and energized. All in all, taking a self-care vacation can benefit pretty much anybody. Want some traveling inspiration? Below are four cities that offer excellent reset opportunities.

 

Houston, Texas

Pampering yourself is easy in Houston. From state-of-the-art float pods to boozy haircut and massage opportunities, you’ll be able to self-care in unique new ways. The city also has its fair share of spas, retreats, and nature activities. If you’re a sports fan, you need to take in a game at the Angel Stadium (let’s go Astros!). Finding discounted tickets online is easy – all you need to do is filter by date, price range, and seat rating. Be sure to use the interacting seating chart feature some online ticket sellers offer. This will let you get a 360-degree view of your seat before finalizing your purchase.

 

Grand Canyon, Arizona

According to Taking Charge, there’s nothing like the beauty of nature to relax our mind and spirit. A trip to the Grand Canyon is an absolute must for nature lovers. With endless views and stunning rocks, you will be mesmerized taking it all in. Be sure to stop at some of the luxury spas surrounding the area or partake in supervised rock climbing or adventure activities.

 

Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs has been the getaway of choice for many a celebrity, and it’s easy to see why. The always-sunny paradise has a variety of dining options and wellness retreats and spas, meaning there’s something for everyone. A visit to the mineral hot springs will be an absolute must as will exploring the unique mid-century modern architecture.

 

Knoxville, Tennessee

This small town in Tennessee is a great escape from everyday life. Its tree-lined streets and historic architecture will have you falling in love, while the Southern charm is extra icing on the top. The bluegrass festival season is a particularly special time to visit, as the area comes alive with music and cheer. If you’re looking to reset your body, the town also has plenty of nature trails and amazing views of the Smoky Mountains, which will revive your spirit in no time! If you’re looking to move somewhere new, Knoxville has a growing job market, which is definitely an added benefit.

Amidst today’s hectic hustle culture, social life cycle, and the past two years living in a pandemic, the need for a vacation has become universal. But instead of spending your time cramming in crowded and hectic activities, try to use your trip as a week to truly rejuvenate. That means no intense schedules, stress-inducing itineraries, or doing anything you don’t want to do. Happy traveling!

If you enjoyed reading this article, check out We’re The Wilsons for more engaging content today.

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We are happy to provide another guest article by Leslie Campos. A busy mom herself, Leslie has dedicated her site Wellparents.com to all the moms and dads out there searching for ideas on being physically and emotionally well. She loves to practice yoga, CrossFit and watch The Great British Baking show when not working or running her children to various after school activities.

 

Socially-Distant RV Vacations:
Traveling While Staying Safe and Healthy

Feeling cooped up at home due to the pandemic? Then it may be time for a nice, freeing, feel-good vacation. Don’t worry – vacationing somewhere doesn’t necessarily make you more susceptible to the coronavirus. This is especially true since you’ll be using an RV, which is an island unto itself. Just focus on playing it smart and planning ahead and you’ll have no trouble staying safe and healthy.

In this mini-guide, We’re The Wilsons – experienced campers and RV enthusiasts – offer advice and suggestions on how to vacation in an RV without endangering yourself (or your family): 

Plan ahead

1. What would you like to do?

First, ask yourself what kind of vacation you want to have. Do you want to go on a road trip across the country, seeing a couple of interesting places along the way? Or would you like to go camping in nature for a couple of weeks, with zero sightseeing, and have a campground destination in mind already? If you know what you want, you can figure out the safety precautions you need to take, not to mention the route to follow for maximum safety.  

2. Choose safe destinations

You should, of course, choose safe destinations. Safe destinations, when it comes to the coronavirus, are the ones with few-to-no coronavirus cases reported in the neighborhood. Furthermore, isolated places, away from people and near nature, are considered safer than towns, cities, and urban areas. Campgrounds, by nature, tend to be remote. Some, though, are more remote (isolated or less well-known) than others. Do your homework before you leave.    

3. Make reservations in advance

While making reservations in advance is always a good idea, it’s especially so during corona times. The organizers may need to ensure campgrounds don’t get crowded, for safety reasons, and will likely not allow you entry otherwise. Also, by reserving in advance, you can rest easy knowing your trip won’t be in vain, not to mention you’re going to a well-managed and monitored destination.  

4. Pack for maximum safety (and self-sufficiency)

You want to make sure you have the necessary sanitation and safety supplies on hand. Also, you likely want to minimize contact with shops and supply stores along the way. As such, proper planning is essential:

  • Sanitation and safety stuff: Travel and Leisure offers a good list of safety and sanitation items. Some examples are masks, hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, mask chains, a thermometer, a smartphone sanitizer, and a travel pillow.
  • Comfort: RVs can get cold, even the best-insulated ones. Get a space heater if you can. You can decorate it to make it feel like home. Good lighting can help preserve a congenial, healthy environment, as can scents.
  • Travel essentials: You should always pack travel essentials like pillows, bedding, trash bags, coffee mugs, drinking glasses, and camping chairs.
  • Self-sufficiency kit: You can go the extra mile, for maximum safety, by creating your own “self-sufficiency” kit. This would allow you to travel in a self-contained way, without having to stop anywhere you didn’t want to. Some items to pack would be a cooler, stove, water jug, filtration, bucket, power, and first aid kid.

5. Choose the right kind of RV

If you’ve never been on an RV trip before, then you should know your choice of RV is important. There are three main types of RVs: full-fledged Class A vehicles, middle-of-the-road Class B vehicles, and bare-bones Class C vehicles. Driving a Class A RV is a lot like having your very own palace on wheels. A Class C is more suitable if you aren’t with many people, and want to spend more time outdoors. Think about factors like who is going to drive, your camping habits, amenities wanted, and, of course, your budget.

6. Prepare for breakdowns

Your RV likely won’t break down, but things can and do go wrong. As such, make sure you know what to do in the event of a breakdown. If you have a rental, you can usually contact the company that rented you the vehicle for assistance and they’ll send someone over to help you out. If you’ve bought your own vehicle, you may want to join a roadside-assistance program. Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to learn how to do basic RV issues troubleshooting.

7. Consider your kids’ needs

Assuming you’re traveling with your children, it’s always a good idea to keep everyone’s needs and preferences in mind when you plan your RV vacation. Social distancing can be especially tough on them, for example. They may miss the human contact, and not understand why they need to stay away from other kids their age. Talk to them, reassure them, offer fun activities and games, and just be prepared to spend more time with them.

Socially-distant activities you can enjoy safely

You can make your trip more fun and wholesome through activities, whether at the campgrounds or along the way. You can partake in quite a few activities while still practicing social distancing and other basic safety guidelines. Some suggestions:  

  • Camping: If you aren’t “glamping” or staying full-time in your RV, you may enjoy camping outside. You can pitch a tent or just sleep out under the stars if the weather permits. A warm, comfy blanket is a must, regardless. Before purchasing one, consider its size and weight and if it’s waterproof. Blankets make for an essential adventuring accessory and can come in handy inside your RV too.
  • Outdoor activities: You can go biking, hiking, swimming, boating, and more, whether individually or in a small group. It’s a great way to stay fit and do something exciting. You can also always play games like football or soccer.
  • Nature attractions: Visiting nature attractions like parks, lakes, and nature preserves is a healthy, enjoyable activity for the whole family. Some example destinations are the Yosemite Natural Park and the Grand Canyon.
  • Hobbies: Picking up a new hobby, whether alone or with your family, can help you fill up your spare time productively. Some examples are reading, learning something new, or developing a skill you always wanted.
  • Virtual tours: You can still enjoy tourist attractions without visiting them in person by signing up for virtual tours. Many of them are free and almost as good as the real thing.  

How to Stay Safe on your RV journey

Staying safe may require some extra precautions on your part.

1. Check CDC recommendations

The CDC regularly publishes domestic travel guidelines for COVID-19. It’s a good idea to refer to them before you go. Some of their current suggestions include getting vaccinated, testing before you go, wearing masks, and following local health regulations.

2. Follow basic Covid safety regulations

All basic Covid safety rules and best practices apply. Some examples are staying 6 feet away from others at all times, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly-ventilated spaces, washing your hands often, coughing in your hands or napkin, cleaning, disinfecting, and regularly monitoring your health.  

3. Follow general safety recommendations

As you may be aware, the coronavirus isn’t the only danger on an RV trip. There are countless other dangers you need to account and prepare for, just in case. Some examples are theft, accidents, vandalism, and natural disasters. Follow RV camping best practices and drive defensively to keep you and your family safe.

Conclusion

RV traveling is a wonderful way to travel and have a full-fledged vacation while staying away from the coronavirus madness. Focus on being self-sufficient, avoid crowds, and follow basic safety precautions and you’ll have no trouble being safe and healthy.

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It’s that happy time of year for vagabonds. With about 6-months until our go date, we are in the planning stages of our 2022 Journey. Due to the influx and growth of the US RV Industry, planning is taking a little more planning. … if you will. We thought we would give this adventure a theme. What shall we name this trip? We’ve heard of the Summer of Love, the Summer of 69, Summer of Soul and just about the Summer of Anything. Let’s go with the Summer of Reunion

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta – WTW PHOTO

For the first time we will be utilizing professionally guided Caravans and Rallies Tour Company, Fantasy RV Tours, to nail down two highly popular events that are on our places we must go list. They are the Calgary Stampede, July 13-18, 2022 and the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, October 6-10, 2022. This will be our second visit to the Balloon Fiesta! This is a “must do” on your bucket list whether you RV or not. Several RV friends from our home base, MOSNwill also be on the same tours and will make the events that much more fun!

Now we begin the planning to fill in the gaps. We will select new stops and visit some of our favorites. As usual, we use RV Trip Wizard, as well as internet resources and reviews for travel planning.

One new stop will be Deer Creek Motorcoach Resort a deeded class A only motorcoach resort located in Galax, Virginia just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. We learned of Deer Creek through new friends “found” while camping in Red Bay, AL. Mark and Valerie own property in the resort and told us how beautiful it is.

Art in Fish Creek, WI - WTW PHOTO
Art in Fish Creek, WI – WTW PHOTO

We’ll be returning to Door County WI this year. We enjoyed the “county” last year and vowed to return.

Custer State Park - WTW PHOTO
Custer State Park – WTW PHOTO

We’ll also return to the Black Hills of South Dakota, another 2021 stop that has become one of our top destinations. We’ll be staying at the Rafter J Bar Ranch Mountain Resort in Hill City, SD.

Every year we add Glacier National Park to our list but inevitably we have had to cancel for various reasons. It is on our 2022 list and we’ll spend time at the West Glacier RV Park before crossing the border into Canada for our 4-week journey in Alberta and British Columbia. As well as Calgary, we’ll be visiting Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Edmonton, Valemount and McLure. Reservations for Parks Canada opens in a few weeks and we’re ready to join the rush to reserve!

We have a tentative schedule for the remainder or our summer sojourn but we’re planning something very special. We are wanting to have a family reunion on our return to Colorado. We are hoping to organize a get-together with our families from Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida and Washington possibly over the Labor Day week.

Stay tuned as we finalize our plans for our 2022 journey.

As we like to do with each of our posts, we’ll end this with a quote.

“In every conceivable manner, the family is link to our past, bridge to our future.”

Separator icon

Alex Haley

We are happy to provide another guest article by Leslie Campos. A busy mom herself, Leslie has dedicated her site Wellparents.com to all the moms and dads out there searching for ideas on being physically and emotionally well. She loves to practice yoga, CrossFit and watch The Great British Baking show when not working or running her children to various after school activities.


Image via Pexels

Simple Tips for Planning a Refreshing Trip for the Whole Family

If your family is like most, you’re eager to take a fun and relaxing vacation this year. But when you have kids, planning such a vacation takes a little more time and thought than it would if it was just you and your significant other.

Nonetheless, there’s no reason why you can’t plan the trip of a lifetime that includes something for everyone in your family. Whether you have babies, toddlers, and/or older kids, coming up with a strategy early on will help you lay the foundations for an awesome vacation. And We’re the Wilsons has some tips to help you get started:

Commit to saving.

It may seem impossible to travel with the entire family if you are not uber-wealthy. But if you prioritize travel and make room in your budget, it might be more obtainable than you think. The key is to save money.

Spend frugally and intentionally. Buy only what you need at the grocery store, and limit how many times per week you dine out. And create an inspiration board to hang in your home that will motivate you to save money for your next trip.

Take time to plan.

A lot goes into planning a trip. The first step is to give yourself time to devise a plan. When traveling with your partner and children, you must consider everyone’s needs. Look for deals on accommodations, food, and entertainment that will help ensure the comfort and enjoyment of each person. And start thinking about what you need to pack well in advance.

Get the supplies you need.

ZenBusiness has some suggestions when it comes to items you don’t want to leave behind – like your camera and passports. Speaking of packing, the earlier you start purchasing any items and supplies you need for your trip, the less stressed you will be when it comes time to depart. Do any of you need clothes, sunscreen, or sunglasses for the beach? Start looking online for good deals now. And if you need a top-notch travel bag, be sure to browse our selection!

If you’re bringing your pet along on your trip, you may need to invest in supplies for them as well. Some essentials to include are collapsible bowls, food, toys, and a travel crate. Make sure your pet has any necessary vaccines and that they get cleared from their vet for travel. Moreover, since there’s a good chance your pet will get dirty on your trip, consider bringing a dog hairdryer, shampoo, brush, and other grooming supplies.

Research destinations.  

The destination you choose is critical for your family vacation. While there are countless destinations that can provide your family with a good time, focus on those with beaches. Simply put, it’s hard to beat the beach when it comes to keeping toddlers and older children entertained. Sand, waves, and sunshine will make any child happy!

Strategize your itinerary.

Finally, create an itinerary that will offer something each day to everyone in your family. This does not mean to pack your schedule with nonstop movements. When you have kids, everyone will be much happier if you embrace the philosophy of slow travel. That said, you will be best served by researching activities and attractions well in advance and creating a loose schedule that will help your family get the most out of your trip.

Taking a family trip is one of the best ways to create lifelong memories with your loved ones. But when you have children, there are many considerations to make, and you want to start planning your trip as soon as possible. Along with following the tips above, keep researching how you can prepare for an amazing family vacation while saving money along the way.

 We’re the Wilsons is intended to let our friends, family and you see where we are, look at what we are up to, observe our travels and adventures! We’d love to hear from you.

We are happy to provide a guest article by Leslie Campos. A busy mom herself, Leslie Campos has dedicated her site Wellparents.com to all the moms and dads out there searching for ideas on being physically and emotionally well. She loves to practice yoga, CrossFit and watch The Great British Baking show when not working or running her children to various after school activities.

 

 

Simple Money-Saving Tips for Your Next Vacation

 

Many of us could use a getaway at some point during the year, but it’s not always feasible to fund a vacation even on the smallest terms. It is possible to start saving money a little at a time, however, and by doing it this way you can avoid creating money issues because you’ll never miss it.

 

The first step is to figure out where you’d like to go and how you’ll get there, since those are the two biggest costs you’ll face. It’s a good idea to look online for deals and to get an idea of the best time of year to visit certain spots, as there are always slower months that provide discounted rates for accommodations and transportation. You can also check out We’re The Wilsons, a travel blog that provides resources and ideas for anyone who’s ready to hit the road. Here are a few tips on how to save money on your dream trip (or just for a little weekend jaunt).

 

Grab some deals

 

It’s possible to have a great vacation on a budget, but you have to do a little research to find the best deals. Once you know where you’d like to go, take a look at Rent.com and set your budget, pet needs, and the number of bedrooms to filter out locations you don’t want. There are lots of options, as the site offers over 1,680 rentals around the Orlando area, and you can go with a small studio or a 4-bedroom depending on your family’s needs starting at $300.

 

Once you find the right place, think about the type of transportation you’ll need to get there. Road trips can be lots of fun with a little preparation, and they’re often the most budget-friendly option as well. If driving isn’t in the cards, search for flight deals and keep in mind that flying mid-week is often cheaper than leaving on the weekend, so you’ll need that information before booking your check-in date at the rental.

 

Start a change jar

 

Once you know where you’re staying and how you’re traveling, it’s time to start saving. An easy way to put some money aside is to set up a jar where you can throw loose change throughout the week. Place it near the laundry area or on the kitchen counter so that everyone in the family can participate, then a few days before your trip, take the jar to the bank or the nearest location with a money changer and cash it in for bills. The best part of this method is that you won’t even miss the change, but it really adds up.

 

Pick up a side gig

 

A change jar is a great way to save money for road snacks and gas, but when it comes to the more costly vacation bills, you might need to think bigger. An easy way to add to your vacation fund is to pick up a side gig, such as driving for a rideshare service or get rid of items you no longer want on an app like Poshmark or eBay. You might find so many benefits that you decide to hang on to the gig permanently!

 

Make small changes at home

 

There are also some ways you can save money just by changing up your lifestyle a bit. Making coffee at home instead of hitting the drive-thru, getting rid of streaming or subscription services you no longer use, making energy-efficient changes to your house, and working out with equipment at home rather than paying for a pricey gym membership are just a few ways you can make budget-friendly changes. You can also approach your grocery trips a little differently, utilizing meal prep ideas and coupons in order to keep the bill low.

 

Saving money for a vacation doesn’t have to be intrusive or stressful. By making a few small changes to the way you do things and actively looking for deals online, you can plan a trip you and your loved ones will never forget.

 

Have a question for experienced travelers? Get in touch today.

 

Photo via Pexels

Fri. October 8

We left Polk City on June 3, 2021 and returned on October 20, 2021, travelled over 7,500 miles, stayed in 34 different campgrounds in 21 different states. And saw the most amazing places in America. We visited with friends and family along the way and that is why we do this!

Now that things have settled down a bit it is time to finish up the last few stops of our 2021 summer journey.

On October 8 we left the Asheville area and headed southwest 54 miles to the Mountain Falls Luxury RV Resort in Lake Toxaway, the largest private lake in North Carolina situated in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. Located near Cashiers it is a short “mountain drive” to Brevard, Highlands, Hendersonville and the many mountain towns in between.

Mountain Falls Luxury RV Resort is an ownership resort for class A motorcoaches. Being “newbie’s” here, it appears the resort has a valley area and a ridge area. On the “ridge”, where you’ll have unobstructed views of the mountains, you’ll find RV lots priced in the millions. The “valley” lots currently are a little less. Owners rent their sites and we took advantage of a valley rental site, close to the clubhouse and their cascading waterfalls. The resort is beautiful and amenities and events abound. We were invited to several dinners at the clubhouse and Marcy participated in the Fall Classic Pickleball Tournament! She and her teammate picked up the 3rd place award! Not bad at all!!

We celebrated Marcy’s birthday by having a nice dinner at the Greystone Inn on Lake Toxaway. We love their motto, “There are endless things to do, although it’s perfectly alright to do nothing at all…” 

We’ll add Mountain Falls to our “places to return” list and who knows, may find a summer spot there some day. Of course we have a list of about 10 places we might want to make our summer base.

 

After 8-days in Lake Toxaway we set our compass southeast for Savannah, GA, our last stop. 

Sunset from The LakeHouse

We stayed at the CreekFire RV Resort. The resort has many amenities, several of which are the Lazy River, swimming pool and lake. They have large RV sites and an on-site restaurant, The LakeHouse which is very good. We’ll be back.

Established in 1733, Savannah is separated from South Carolina by the Savannah River. It’s known for manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages and antebellum architecture. Savannah is noted for its 22 squares, small parks arranged along five historic streets running north to south. Each street has from three to five squares.

Forrest Gump On The Bench

One of the most popular, Chippewa Square, features a large statue of James Oglethorpe, the city’s founder. The square is the location of the park bench seen in the 1994 film Forrest Gump from which the title character dispenses wisdom to others waiting for a bus. The bench was so popular that it has since been moved to the Savannah History Museum. Additionally, there were four other benches created for the film, one of which sits in the Smithsonian, two with Paramount Pictures, and one was gifted to a security guard who was on patrol during filming.

To get up-close and personal, we enjoyed a bicycle tour of Savannah which allowed us to soak in the town and history.

Savannah was the perfect “last stop” for our summer adventures.

 

We are already in the planning stages for next years sojourn. We have booked the October 2022 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and soon will have the July 2022 Calgary Stampede wrapped up. Then we’ll need to fill in the gaps! Hop in an RV and join us!

 

 

Today’s Thought 

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

Martin Buber

Upcoming Trip Schedule

May, 2022

TBD

On the Road

Stay tuned for our plans for next summer!

Miles from last stop: 0

 

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

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Wed. September 29

Our Two Rivers Site

On Wednesday, 9/29, we arrived at the Ridge Outdoor Resort in Sevierville, TN. We had planned to spend our 7-days here but the resort is under construction and many of the amenities they advertised were not in place. This will be a great resort when completed.

Our Campsite on the French Broad River at Two Rivers Landing RV Resort

We moved to Two Rivers Landing RV Resort   located on the French Broad River. Our site was a “pull-in” with a fantastic view of the river. This RV Resort is top notch and we will be back. 

We had to shorten our stay here due to the extra time we spent in Red Bay and the move between parks and an unexpected trip to a veterinarian in Knoxville for Lucy. The vet there diagnosed her with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). They didn’t do any

Sunset From Our Site

X-ray or CT scans so when back in Florida we’ll have to have a cat scan performed to confirm their diagnosis. We’re hoping they were wrong. Along with that and several days of rain hampered our exploration of the area.

We went into Knoxville and walked some of the shops and art stores. We had dinner after in an area where the street was blocked off from vehicle traffic. During dinner we were entertained by street musicians and animal acts. Knoxville, like some of the other areas we visited this summer. 

Marcy & Joe at Smoky Mountain National Park

We spent much of our time touring the area via vehicle. The Smoky Mountain National Park scenery is beautiful but the area has become a Mecca for tourists seeking the entertainment offered in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. We did visit Gatlinburg SkyLift Park and rode the SkyLift to the SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian cable bridge in North America. The views were fantastic at 1800 feet above sea level.

Tunnel on I40 on the Way to Asheville

On Tuesday, 10/5, we pointed the “Bus” east towards Asheville, Swannanoa, NC, to be exact, for our 4-day stay at the Asheville East KOA. 

Unfortunately it rained the entire time we were there. The drive was wet but the leaves are becoming more colorful, with the reds popping through the yellows, oranges and greens.

Whenever the rain stopped we ventured out and visited the town of Black Mountain. Black Mountain was voted Best Small Town in Western North Carolina. Located a mile from the Eastern Continental Divide, Black Mountain is situated amidst the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, the oldest mountain range on earth. 

Near Black Mountain is Montreat. Montreat is a secluded, beautiful village deep in a mountain cove. It’s best known for Montreat College.

We also ventured into Asheville, one of our favorite destinations, for lunch at the Twisted Laurel Restaurant and a little shopping. Stopped by and viewed fantastic photography at Benjamin Walls Fine Art Gallery.

Blue Ridge Parkway

When in this area we always take a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a beautiful and serene trip.

As the National Park Service states, “A Blue Ridge Parkway experience is unlike any other: a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands. The Parkway meanders for 469 miles, protecting a diversity of plants and animals, and providing opportunities for enjoying all that makes this region of the country so special.”

Fall Colors in North Carolina

Friday, October 8, we drifted south, the beginning of the end to our summer trip. We will stop at the beautiful Lake Toxaway area where we will live in luxury at the Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort

 

 

Today’s Thought 

“The time to make up your mind about people, is never.”

Philip Barry

Upcoming Trip Schedule

Fri, October 8, 2021

Lake Toxaway, NC

Mountain Falls Luxury Motorcoach Resort

We will spend 7-days in the Lake Toxaway area exploring Brevard, Cashiers, Highlands and much more.

Miles from last stop: 60

 

Fri, October 15, 2021

Savannah, GA

CreekFire RV Resort

We will spend 4-days in the Savannah area exploring the area. Our next stop is home!

Miles from last stop: 334

 

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

We’d love to keep you updated with our latest news, tips and tricks! 😎

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.