Posted on March 4th, 2015 by Brenda
We just spent a couple weeks at the Tiffin Service Center Campground, or to those of us in the know, “Camp Red Bay”.
No, we didn’t have any major issues. Our one year warranty was coming due and we just wanted to get in to have a few things taken care of.
As you can see, the cats have their own opinions on being back in Red Bay, Alabama. As long as Whisper has a comfy place to nap, he could care less. BK on the other hand would rather be looking at nature than the inside of a service bay.
Yes, even though we were in the south, Red Bay, Alabama does get cold. One morning we woke up to 11 degrees outside and our front windshield looked like this. Good thing the defrosters work well. We were cleared up in no time and off to a service bay.
We first went into a mechanics bay. We had to get a couple things looked at. Nothing major. We were in and out in the same day.
Then it was off to a regular service bay. We had an air conditioner that was acting up and needed replacing and a couple other small things. We were only in there for a couple days.
Next was the paint booth. When in the paint booth you can not put your slides out. So for the next week we lived like this during the day.
We had a lovely rock hit the side of our slide from a passing lawn mower during the summer. So this was a good opportunity to get that taken care of.
Sure, we could have gotten it taken care of elsewhere, but we know and trust the guys here at Tiffin. Plus, we have such a special paint job that we were apprehensive to take our coach anywhere else.
It took a few days in the paint booth. You would never know there was repair work done from the rock hit. They did a great job.
We do have our priorities after all.
While we were there at Camp Red Bay for a couple weeks and it being so cold that no one was outside and socializing much, we started to get a little stir crazy.
OK… a lot stir crazy.
So when we were inside the service bay we grabbed the camera and shot a little walkabout of the service center…
…Just for you!
Here’s the product of our boredom.
Hope you enjoy!
(So sorry about the noise.This surely was not scripted and yes we know we missed other areas. It truly was spur of the moment.)
Posted on February 25th, 2015 by Brenda
When we left Texas heading east we took a different route to change things up a little bit. We ended up in Little Rock, Arkansas and decided to spend a couple nights there. We found this great rv park, Passport America park no less, right on the water, over looking downtown Little Rock. The Downtown Riverside RV Park offers full hook-ups, wifi, a great location as well as a great view. We would definitely stay here again.
While it is located right next to a major traffic bridge, the noise is not bad. Inside our coach we didn’t even hear it. On the other side of the park is an old 1600-foot railroad bridge that the city of Little Rock has repurposed into the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge. Their is an access point right from the rv park to the bridge so that you can walk across the Arkansas River to the Clinton Presidential Library, among other things.
While the weather was chilly and very windy when we were there, this bridge would have been a great way to explore the city without having to deal with traffic. Alas, it was way to windy and cold for us to attempt this.
And yes, while it was too windy to fly the quadcopter and get some great views of the city, river and bridges, that didn’t stop us from throwing the copter up for a couple of nighttime pictures.
The nights are spectacular here. The city has a bunch of bridges crossing the river and at night they light them up for all to see. It truly is beautiful. I love when a city really shines and thinks about how it showcases itself.
Little Rock is not what we expected. I guess I really didn’t know what to expect but this city was surprising. Not only is it the Capital of Arkansas, so you can explore all the historical buildings and such, but it also boasts a bunch of award winning restaurants, a large outdoorsy environment and the award winning Arkansas Trail, which includes the Big Dam Bridge. The Arkansas River Trail System is a tribute to outdoor recreation, conservation, wellness that creates an expansive 88-mile loop through the Natural State. According to the Arkansas River Trail Website, The Big Dam Bridge is a famous 4,200 foot structure is the longest pedestrian/cyclist bridge in the world built solely for recreation. It reaches up to 90 feet above the river, and its state-of-the-art linear “wall-wash” LED fixtures illuminate its exterior and can create more than 16 million color schemes.
All I know is there were a lot of bridges here in Little Rock and they truly showcase them well.
We didn’t have time to explore everything there was to see and do in Little Rock. One of the top things to explore is the Clinton Presidential Library. The building itself is striking and earning a Platinum LEED Certification which was important to all who built it. You can read more about the building and it’s design from concept to reality here.
While it does not matter whether you were a fan or not, Democrat or Republican, the library has much to offer and I highly recommend you visit one if not more around this great country of ours.
Like most museums, there is an introductory video that is pretty informative. You then can choose to explore the museum yourself, take a tour with a guide or have an audio tour spoken to you through a headset with Clinton himself narrating. We chose to just explore ourselves.
One could easily spend all day here reading everything and looking over everything. We did not. A couple hours and we were on information overload, so to speak. It’s a lot of information in a two-story structure. And this is only a small portion of all the documents and such that went through the White House.
The library was broken up into manageable sections. Between the different years he was in office and what happened to the various gifts he had received from around the globe. This section was very interesting. Some were very ornate while others were very simple. All look like they were cherished.
There was a life-sized replica of the Cabinet Room and a life-sized replica of the Oval Office, the only one in the country, according to there website.
While you cannot enter the Oval Office, you can look in all the windows and doorways. David had a little fun with this one.
Don’t worry, no one was harmed nor arrested in the making of this picture.
The Library was very informative but after spending a couple hours there, we were ready to move on.
Right around the corner, literally from the Clinton Presidential Library was the Heifer International Headquarters. While being so close, we had to go check it out.
Heifer International has been a staple in my family’s gift giving for decades. Dan West, a simple farmer in the American Midwest, started it over 70 years ago. He started by giving cups of milk to the refugees of the Spanish Civil War. As the refugees kept coming back for more cups of milk, he Realized that he really was not making a difference and he started thinking about why. Why give a cup of milk when you could give a cow? It’s the old say, “Teach A Man How To Fish”. That is how Heifer International got it’s name. The idea was so simple. With such a great story behind this organization I encourage you to read all about it here.
Heifer International may have started small, with that one cow; however, they have grown into an international relief foundation. All over the world they not only give away cows but chickens, goats and many more animals.
The thing I like about them is they are not all about a handout but a hand up. They teach the recipients how to care for the animals and when it comes time to breed them, the recipients give back to the community to someone else that may need the off spring. It teaches a cycle of helping each other out of poverty. To give back to your community. To help yourself earn an income to send your child to school and put food on the table. To get the nutrients that one needs just to survive.
So Heifer International does not just throw money at the problem. They have people on the ground within the communities, helping them out and teaching them and yes, screening them as well to make sure all is a good fit. Their goal, to end poverty and hunger around the world.
You can go and visit the headquarters in Little Rock, take a tour of another LEED Certified building and learn all about sustainable living. If you have kids there was a great hands on learning center there.
It did not take long for us to explore the learning center. We did find interesting the display of the grain usage of the United States vs the developing world. We use a lot of corn. I’m thinking that’s not such a good thing.
The tours of the headquarters, another LEED Certified building, however we given every hour on the hour and we were not there at the right time and we didn’t feel like hanging around just for that.
If you have more time, a short drive away is the Heifer Farm. There are more in Maryland, Maine and Michigan. You can see some of the animals up close and learn all about farm life and sustainability first hand.
We did have some time to explore the gift shop of course. The gift shop was full of Fair Trade items from all over the world. A great place to pick up some gifts. The real gifts I like to give though are the animals from the gift catalog. A popular gift item for the holidays no matter what your budget, you can give your loved one a chick, honeybees, trees, water buffalo or even a cow. Heifer will distribute said animals to whoever is in need. I find it a great way to give back a little.
After all, do we really need more stuff? I think not.
When we left there we drove over, but you could easily walk, to the River Market area.
While this was listed as a great place to visit, we found it disappointing. The actual River Market was nothing more than expensive little deli’s and restaurants with the seating all indoors. It was nothing more than one big giant food court. I was hoping for more specialty shops and cute boutiques. Alas, there really was very little. We didn’t even eat there, as it was pricey. More for the tourists I’m sure. There is a Farmer’s Market and music during the warmer months. So maybe it was just not a good time of year to explore the River Market area.
We walked up the street and found a great pizza shop. Iriana’s was the place to be. Excellent pizza and the left overs were great the next day cold. Sorry to say I didn’t get a picture. We both were really hungry at that time as it was late afternoon by the time we got there.
All in all, we had a nice time in Little Rock. We can see ourselves coming back and spending more time here. It’s a great city to explore. Great walking/biking trails all over the city and the surrounding area. We didn’t have the time to truly explore all that Little Rock had to offer. For only having one full day though, I feel we did all right.
We have to leave something for next time after all.
Posted on February 17th, 2015 by Brenda
Last winter, as you may, remember that we spent a couple months at the RV Ranch in Keene, Texas. This is a great stop if you are passing through the area. Big enough pull throughs for our 45-foot motor home and tow vehicle. You can, in a few spots, easily stay hooked up if you’re just passing through, however, I recommend staying a few days and checking out the area. This rv park makes for a great launching off pad for exploring the Fort Worth area, just a quick 20 minute drive away.
We became good friends with the rv park owners, Ronnie and Ginger and their mother Annette whom runs the front office. The RV Park of Keene is actually off Interstate 35 about 7 miles west and 20 miles south of Fort Worth. However if you are driving through some of the northern part of Texas Hill Country and you find yourself needing a place to stay, this park is easily within reach.
Stopping here not only gives us time with our friends but we can also visit the great food that is in the area. I know we are not the only ones that enjoy finding mom and pop restaurants that make the town what it is. We have a few favorites in this area.
Del Norte Taco is a great Mexican restaurant located in Godley, TX. Just a quick 20-minute drive and I’m in heaven. Their secret? The chef. Yes, I know this is a small town Mexican restaurant and you wouldn’t expect much, but you would be wrong. He uses only the finest seasonal local vegetables and slow cooked mesquite meats the way his grandmother showed him. Oh my. I have not found anything else in our many years of travels that can come close to Del Norte Tacos.
We just happened to be driving right past there on our way to the RV Ranch of Keene, we of course had to stop for lunch. I wrote more about it here the last time we were in town. There truly is nothing that we have tried that was not excellent.
Another favorite of ours and just 5 minutes away from the RV Ranch is Sweet Peppa’s. They are only open for breakfast and lunch and it’s all good here. Oh, you HAVE TO checkout their Facebook page. It is SO funny with sayings almost every day on a chalkboard. Sweet Peppa’s Facebook.
Being so close to the rv park it is easy to just roll out of bed and get a great breakfast. Everything is home made and they have pies that you can pre-order and take home with you if you so desire. I’m not confessing that we actually did that, but one could.
Make sure you treat yourself to lunch there as well. Just not on the same day as you will be stuffed from breakfast. The menu is not huge but let’s face it, some restaurants you could spend all day perusing the menu just from the sheer size of it. They have a good variety of healthy and not so healthy, eat it once in a while kinda meals. Like the above picture of David holding that half a burger. Yes, that’s only half. We ended up sharing this burger, as it was huge. Picture a fresh meat hamburger sandwiched between two grilled cheese sandwiches for the buns. No, my arteries did not close up upon eating said meal. However, this is one of those afore mentioned meals that is good once in a while, not once a week.
Let’s just say it’s a good thing we don’t live here. We did have to stop one last time on our way out of town for breakfast. On Friday’s only, they make French Toast, one of David’s favorites. So we parked across the street and had one last meal at Sweet Peppa’s.
So, other than eat our way through our two week stay in Keene, what else did we do? Well, our friends Ronnie and Ginger also own The North Texas Jellystone RV Park just a 10-minute drive up the road. It’s a great park if you are traveling with kids. It’s easily accessible from Interstate 35 and they have some large pull throughs that would easily fit our 45-foot motor home. They also have a good-sized water park attached to the rv park along with many other activities. Ronnie and Ginger were anxious for us to see the large water park expansion that they were constructing.
When they said it was a large expansion, boy, were they not kidding.
What better way to draw some excitement for the new water park expansion than to make a video! So David promptly got out his quadcopter and made a great video of it. We certainly have done our fair share of rv park videos along with various parks and activities. However a construction video is definitely a new one for us.
All the guys came out and watched the quadcopter fly around. They all got a kick out of passing around the goggles and watching the flight from the air. It was great for them to get to see the construction from a different point of view.
Then David and Ronnie each donned a pair of goggles and off they flew. It was a blast shooting this project.
It was a wonderful day to fly and we were lucky we flew when we did because the weather turned down right cold and rainy after that.
We can’t wait to see the water park when the construction is finished and everyone is able to enjoy it. A lazy river, multiple slides, various water dump areas and a stage for entertainment are only a few of the new features that are going in.
You can see they really poured their heart and soul into this project along with A LOT of concrete. We feel it will really pay off for them and we’re glad we were able to help out in the little way that we can.
We think the video turned out great and David found the perfect music to accompany it. Hope you like it as much as we do!
We really enjoyed our visit with our friends. We were sad that we could not spend more time with them. We really didn’t get to see them as much as we had hoped as there was a nasty flu bug traveling around their family. So we all stayed away.
Our last evening Annette had invited us out to dinner.
She took us out to Charleston’s Steakhouse in Fort Worth. It was a great evening with great company. Good food was had by all. Now we have another restaurant to add to our ever-growing list of places to go.
Thanks Annette for a great evening and we promise, next time we’re in town we’ll let you pay for dinner (crossing my fingers behind my back).
It was great seeing everyone again and hopefully it won’t be so long next time our paths cross. Oh, maybe the water park would be another good place for a Outside Our Bubble meet-up. :) We could have the park to ourselves after 6PM. :) Ok, Ok, one thing at a time, Quartzsite meet-up first.
Posted on February 2nd, 2015 by Brenda
When packing your RV for a trip, or living in it full-time as we do, you tend to lean towards thinking about the essential items you will need for your trip. What kitchenware and food will you want, clothing, toiletries, etc. However one item that can easily be over looked is a great fire extinguisher.
RVs are required to come with a smoke detector and a fire extinguisher.
PSA: Please remember to check your batteries in your detectors.
The fire extinguisher however is, in most cases that we’ve seen, mounted by the front door and is usually filled with powder. Well, let’s think about that for a minute. While traveling down the road, bouncing around, the powder from that extinguisher can get so compacted down into the canister; it will render the fire extinguisher useless. How many times have you taken that fire extinguisher and shaken it to loosen up the powder? I bet most reading this never have. We try to do it monthly but yes, we have forgotten as well to do this.
A great fire extinguisher to have in a motor home is one that is foam based. The foam will handle wood, grease and a bunch of other types of fires. It cannot compact down to into a hard, unusable mass like the powdered ones. And they don’t have to be expensive. We did some research and now we personally use this foam extinguisher on Amazon for around $17.00 for a two pack or a single one for around $11.00, even with Prime shipping no less! It is recommended that you have several of these throughout your coach for easy access. What would happen if you were in your back bedroom and a fire started in the kitchen? It would be dangerous and cost precious time to run all the way up front to grab that one fire extinguisher by the door that might not even work. So please make sure you have one in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen or anywhere else you feel one may become of use. These are so cheap (and small) that it’s easy to buy multiples and place them all over. Don’t forget the outside compartments and your car as well.
Another great thing about the foam is that it is biodegradable. So if you need to use this inside your RV, it easily cleans up with a wipe and will not harm the surfaces it may have contacted that was not on fire. Have you ever seen the mess that is left behind with the powdered extinguishers? Not something I’d like to clean up as it gets EVERYWHERE.
They are super easy to use. Just break the seal, aim and fire. It’s best to aim towards the base of the fire to get right to the source. It’s best to familiarize yourself with the instructions before use.
Side Note: Unlike the powder extinguishers that can only and should only be used once, these foam extinguishers can be used a couple times. For instance, if the fire that you are putting out is small, you can use this same can again. But why would you want to cut yourself short? These are so inexpensive that it’s safer and easier just to replace it and be safe.
So we thought we would spend $11 to show others this extinguisher in action in the short demo video below. (We spare no expense when it comes to our readers.) In the video David demonstrates this fire extinguisher on our campfire that was VERY HOT as it had been burning for about four hours. Sorry for the darkness but we wanted you to get the full effect and be able to see the flames. (Ok, we did it because it was there and had thought of this helpful blog post.) So now on to the demo so you can really see how quickly this foam fire extinguisher works on a well established fire….
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please keep in mind that we are not fire experts. We do not assume any responsibility for any fire that you can or cannot put out. Anything that we state in this post is of our own opinion and resources. We just feel it is vitally important for all RVers to be aware of the fire dangers while traveling in an RV. After all, we’ve all seen and shared the videos online showing how quickly these things go up in flames.
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