America’s Largest Camping Show

October 12, 2016

Goin’ for year #2.

This was our second time at this show and our third RV show. This show is important.  Huge, HUGE selection and great pricing.  MANUFACTURES present their new models through the dealers. Both years we have come away feeling these are the best prices.  The annual show in Hershey, Pennsylvania was September 14-18, 2016.  There are specific days for only the trade called Industry Days and the public days start Wednesday through Sunday.  George and I left New York Friday and got home Sunday night.

img_1265We pulled in Friday night to the Hershey Park Campground. Very clean and well maintained.  The store is adorable.  The pool was closed for the season but the area looks nice for a family to hang out after a day at the park.

As we maneuver through the newness of RVing we have AH HA moments or run into FINNissues, so to speak.  Well let me explain what happened here.  We drove to our site and began our radio controlled park procedure…(Silver Fox to Grey Squirrel, come in Grey Squirrel) No, I don’t know where George got it from but yes, it stuck.  I’m Grey Squirrel. So, there are families camping on either side of us.  As George is backing in I hear this sound….it gets louder…. it’s not coming from our vehicles. Seriously, I’m looking around and WTH?!!  The neighbors to the right are looking at me almost with anticipation?  They’re definitely smiling…. The middle child is laughing??…. The husband and wife at the same time say, ” It’s the train. ”  Train??? Trains…plural. Really?  “Yes,” they say.  “The trains go by all the time.”  Well I want a definition of “all the time”.  They say, “Every hour”. Let me just say…they were not joking….AH HA Moment…PICK YOUR SITE WISELY…research and ask questions…the park staff told us that this was the last site when we booked…talking to the neighbor on the other side…he was told he had the last site…hmmmm.

Other than the train(s) there is an up side. There is FREE shuttle service to the parks and Giant Stadium.  It’s the easiest way to travel back and forth. However, consider the attendance specific to your choice of weekend because of traffic. The shuttle as all traffic runs slowly. Normally, I’m sure this is probably wonderful. There was however, so much traffic on this weekend that the shuttle took forever. F O R E V E R.  I can’t say if it took longer than driving yourself.  Honestly, this show gets a tremendous turnout any way you traveled over was going to take significant time.  Add the attendance at the show and the attendance to the parks and well you get the idea.

When we went in 2015 it was our pre-RV ownership.  We stayed at the Hilton Harrisburg-Lovely hotel.  The address from hell (GPS Friendly address 200 Market Street Harrisburg) Be careful that you have the correct address if you’re driving to it.  We took a short unexpected tour of the area before calling the hotel to figure out why we were having FINNisssues.

We had specific models to look at in 2016.  The Airstream was first on the list. In an effort to state facts I need to mention that George was having a bit of “buyers remorse” Howie is a beast.  The Cameo is beautiful and I am in love BUT I don’t drive it nor will I. Based on the trips we have taken so far I can see the difficulties of the size. Most specifically the height.  The Airstreams are in a class all by themselves. We both felt it was a future possibility.

img_1269We spent a significant amount of time looking over the CLASS B models. We recognize that as we look at extremely different models that
we have to know the kind of travel we want to do. Size matters in these big trips. We spent time with Phil Rizzio who purchased the intellectual rights to Chinook.
We fell in love. Everything we want in a small package.  There is obvious attention to detail.  Beautiful fit and finish and a security camera that would be ideal for the worrier in me. I would just have to be willing to convert to the small package. I admit I’m not there right now but I’m keeping an open mind.img_1257

Retirement may allow me some variation in my thinking.  I know that at this time we get to have some great adventures that are vacations.  I know at the end of the day I don’t want to have to make up the bed. I like it ready for me to fall into. Many of the small class C’s and Class B’s needed this each night.

We did look at the Class A motorhomes. I guess one question is what can we purchase that I would drive in order to give George a break while on the road. For now we left the show happy with Howie, our house on wheels.  Back to work tomorrow.


Time for the New York Renaissance

September 25, 2016

Faire…Yes the New York Renaissance Faire has started.  August 6th is the first Saturday, opening day, of New York’s annual representation of 16th century Elizabethan England.  The town of Tuxedo, NY (Sterling Forest) has played host to the New York Renaissance Faire for 39 seasons.  George and I have gone for most of the last ten.

Every year we see something we haven’t seen before and plenty of the things that keep us coming back.  Honestly, there are nooks and crannies throughout the Shire that hold some of the most interesting artistry and characters of the faire.  If you rush and don’t look closely you can miss something. The artisan shops are decorated in theme around the items they sell.  The vendors speak as though they are back in the 16th century.  The entertainers captivate and we’re especially fond of the performers that make us laugh like Ded Bob and Hey Nunnie Nunnie.

Every year there’s breasts…many, more and lots of breasts.  The costumes on both the actors and the attendees are better each year but one thing (or two) is clear, the ladies pretty much build the girls up to be on a shelf.  The hats above the breasts are pretty spectacular if you can draw your eyes away.  Attendees are dressed so well that sometimes I can’t tell the difference between the visitors and the cast.  Don’t misunderstand, you DON’T have to wear a costume and sadly… we’ve never done it.  Honestly, it’s been too damn hot for me…therefore not worth nagging George.

The prettiest faerie of the Shire.
The prettiest faerie of the Shire.
His Costume is "On Fleek"
His Costume is “On Fleek”

There are men in tights and men in kilts and traveling minstrels.  There is dancing around the maypole, belly dancers dancing around the Sherwood Shire and there is a singing gravedigger. There are jugglers, fortune tellers and I’ve met Robin Hood when he was not around  his merry band of outlaws. George and I have laughed at the Washing Well Wenches and shopped for some of the most unique pirate accessories.  We’re sure that we’ve stood next to Jack Sparrow at The Blue Boar Inn.  We’ve eaten the turkey drumsticks and blushed at the vendors selling the large pickles.  George and I shared some mead, kissed on the kissing bridge (walked through the front gates and straight back to the flushing privies which is a REALLY good idea))

2016 has more changes than prior years. The new Roselawn Tournament Field which now has VIP seating.  I saw on the NY Ren Faire Facebook page that the first day the first 300 guests who went to the information booth would be free.  To get out of the sun (or rain since the Faire is open rain or shine) the seats are so worth it!(This seating will be available for $10 after the first weekend and it is well worth it) We had a great view of the inaugural joust or the “First Lance Ceremony”. Heroes were cheered and villains were cursed. Fun was had by all.

The Queen’s court is in the Sherwood Shire every Saturday and Sunday (and Labor Day, Monday) each summer for about 8-9 weekends, check the website.  Most weekends have a theme such as pirate weekend, kids weekend, Celtic weekend and romance weekend. It’s a fun way to spend a day in the Hudson Valley.



Otherwise Known As The Grand Canyon Of The East

July 31, 2016
Site #2 Letchworth
Site #2 Letchworth


Ok, totally not enough time to really get the whole experience…we got like a taste and we’re pretty confident we will need to spend more time here sometime… in the future. Letchworth State Park and the surrounding towns have so much to see and so much to do and we didn’t touch on nearly enough!

We left on Friday for the Fourth of July weekend.  (yes, I got out of work on time and we left the driveway about 15 minutes later than planned…..not to shabby) Continue reading Otherwise Known As The Grand Canyon Of The East

The Maiden Voyage

June 18, 2016

Forgot the dog dishes and the dry dog food.  Really?  If I disect our many reasons for buying this and camping……we bought this camper primarily for the dogs and we forgot their dishes and the dry food.  Hmmmm, must be something to do with FINNissues, right?  We realized this at the 40-minute mark.  What else did we forget? No biggie, we’ll get it in Lake Placid.

Our goal was to pull out at 4:00 pm,  Friday. We beat this by just under 45 minutes. Kudos totally go to me! I actually got out of work on the early side of my planned exit. Which was outstanding!! We still had some packing and shuffling around to do, but it sure seemed that we had more than we had planned before getting onthe road.  Note to self, be more ready next time, because before George leaves for ANYWHERE, his father comes over….no, not to help, but to chat…to drink coffee and chat…to drink coffee, chat and talk about world problems??…distraction ensues.  I call George and give a “WOO HOO I’m out” and by the time I take the corner of our street Dad is going one way and George is going the other to fill up.  Promises begin in my head…I will be completely ready to go next time. I had forgotten this particular FINNissue because it belongs more to Dad……but it’s in the gene pool…next time I will remember.

Titan and Sacchi were all ready to go and just waiting on us.  Off went the pack.  We should have a 3-3.5 hour drive.  What the ride had was 3 count them 3…close my eyes moments. Big truck→Big fifth wheel→road construction…and one low bridge.   Continue reading The Maiden Voyage

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail

June 11, 2016

“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”, said George Finn (aka Finnster).  It is a repetitive quote from him over the years…. what I would call his mantra.  This is his variation of the quote from Winston Churchill who said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail” and Benjamin Franklin who was credited with the quote, “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail”.  This is George’s take on these principled quotes and he lives this-totally owns it…and yes sometimes to a fault. He is a great planner…FINNominal, if you pardon the FINNism…. THE research king.  BUT…even the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry (To A Mouse, Robert Burns) I would suggest this is where some of the best FINNissues come into play.  Continue reading Those who fail to plan, plan to fail

So What’s next?

June 5, 2016

When I was in my 20’s and 30’s I used to joke about never retiring. Not because the thought was unattractive,  but retirement sounded like a luxury. House, kids, cars….. I was thinking at that point in my life that the financial ability would probably be out of my reach and honestly I was so young so, well….you know, I’ll beat the odds of getting “old”.   But the only way to not get old is to well…..Anyway, I figured I would drop dead in my office chair at work, after which I could just be buried out back in the mulch pile…..What makes this funnier now is that I work for the only processing facility in Dutchess County, NY and one of our recycled products is mulch (do you see where I’m going with this) Continue reading So What’s next?