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RV Days, Issue #014– Balloons to Branson & Questions from Readers
November 12, 2006
|Here is this month’s issue of RV Days, where we focus on everyday living and having fun on your journey.
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In this Issue:
Up, Up and Away:
At the time our last issue was published in early October, we were headed for the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque New Mexico. While we didn’t have the greatest weather, we did have a fine time! We had never been to this event before, so we didn’t know what to expect of the standard RV parking we had chosen. We are glad to report that the location worked out just great.
We were close enough to walk to Fiesta Park, where the event was held. And there was also a free shuttle bus that transported RVers to and from the standard RV parking area to Fiesta Park. This was dry camping for about $24/night…no bargain, but better than paying the $45 – $125/night fees just to have a hook up or closer location. And staying in your own RV within walking distance and a free shuttle is much better than staying in an RV park further away and then having to drive and pay for parking or the Park & Ride system.
In addition to the fantastic Balloon Ascensions, there was a lot of great entertainment. We recommend the Balloon Fiesta as a fun destination for RVers, whether traveling individually, with friends, or as a group.
From Balloons to Branson:
Once we left Albuquerque, we were on a road trip over to Amarillo and across Oklahoma to Missouri. We did not make many stops on this leg of our journey, as we were headed to the outskirts of St. Louis to visit friends. We did overnight in Amarillo and visited the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, just south of Amarillo on the campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. This is a worthwhile museum and you can easily spend a day. It has exhibits about the history and people of the Plains, transportation, dinosaurs, petroleum, art galleries and more.
Our friends were familiar with St. Louis, so we got a bit of a driving our through the city. We saw the famous Arch, the new stadium and the beautiful mosaic tile at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.
And then we were off to Branson, where we spent two weeks with plenty to do. We highly recommend a visit to Silver Dollar City, and be sure to get the two-day pass, as you’ll need the time to see everything. If you are headed there this time of year, they will have all the holiday lights up as part of their Old Time Christmas celebration, and it is supposed to be a fantastic display.
We visited Silver Dollar City during the Festival of American Music & Crafts, celebrating the Glory Days of the American Cowboy. We danced to a couple bands at the Barn Dance, heard Roy Rogers Jr. and saw a bunch of shows ranging from country to bluegrass to Cajun to ragtime piano. In addition to the many shows, there are exhibits, shops, food stands and an amusement park.
Elsewhere in Branson are over 100 shows and other attractions. We saw six shows and enjoyed a great RV park. As you know if you have been following our travels, we are frugal in our recreational spending – so we have a few tips for how to save money while visiting Branson.
Quiet Times in the Ozarks:
After our busy social life in Branson, we headed into Arkansas for a week’s stay near Shirley/Fairfield Bay. We enjoyed our stay in one of our Happy Camper parks. We got a warm welcome from Vicki at the Golden Pond RV Park . We happened to be here when the Arkansas Camper Dancers were having a monthly camping meet — so we had a chance to watch them square dance and joined one of their line dance sessions.
We found a few trails nearby to take a few long walks in the woods, crunching through autumn leaves amidst the fall foliage of the Ozarks. And when we got a couple days of off-and-on rain, it was a welcome excuse to just hang around the house doing this and that. I got a chance to make a new batch of spaghetti sauce and some soup. Jose fixed a bicycle tire and did the equivalent of puttering around in the garage (if we had a garage). We polished all the woodwork. Watched some old movies and daytime TV. We took advantage of the free WiFi connection to use the Internet and catch up on email. Exciting, huh?
We mention these mundane activities as a reminder that fulltime RVers are not on a vacation all the time. Certainly we get to see a lot more than many people in stationary homes, but we also spend days at a time doing everyday things that need to be done and just chilling out in our fulltime RV home.
When you purchase an RV, where to go and what to do when you get there can be confusing until you have a few RV trips under your belt. There is a lot to learn about public & private campgrounds and RV Parks, and the more you know, the better your camping experiences will be. How do you find RV campgrounds, parks and resorts? Should you make reservations before leaving on a trip? How do you register when you arrive at the campground? What kind of site should you request? Do you need a partial hook up or a full hook up? How do you set the RV up at the campground? What does campground etiquette mean? How do you determine the right camping club or camping network for you? This DVD, by Mark Polk of RV Education 101, answers all of these questions and much more. Check out this newest addition, and all the other helpful RVing DVDs and Videos.
Questions from our Readers:
We often receive questions from site visitors, readers of RV Days, or people we meet in our travels. So we thought we would share a few.
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