Good Times in Asheville

By , November 23, 2010 10:51 am

We had a good time in Asheville. We had a relaxing time. We saw water falls. We played football. We had a camp fire. We had good food with good friends.

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We went on a short hike to Douglas Falls in Pisgah National Forest. The hike was short and pretty.

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Douglas Falls has a 60 foot drop.

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We enjoyed a campfire and football in the backyard. We enjoyed some down time too. On our last night, we had  slow cooked pork tenderloins in front of the campfire.

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Campfire Football

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Guys, thanks for the good times! 🙂

Good bye Asheville, hello Jacksonville. We need to get a couple things in the The Star taken care of. David and Brenda recommended Dick Gore’s RV World. We have an appointment with them on Friday.

Mountain Top Camping

By , November 22, 2010 8:21 am

Campfire Lodgings in Asheville, NC is a great campground with beautiful mountain views. We have seen a bobcat and turkeys here. There are black bears here too but we haven’t seen those.

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This campground is about ten minutes away from our friends, another bonus! We went to downtown Asheville for a nice dinner out with our friends. Asheville is eclectic and artsy. A very cute town with great views of the mountains. What’s not to like?

DowntownAsheville

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On the Road Again

By , November 17, 2010 12:23 pm

We have been parked for over a month and half in Northern Virginia.  It’s been fun seeing familiar places and faces again.

We left Northern Virginia this morning. Thanks to our family for letting us stay with them!

We are making our way down to Florida for the winter. We will be making a few stops before we settle for the winter in Central Florida. We are currently at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp Resort At Natural Bridge for the night. There is no other camper in sight that we can see, it is kind of nice to have the place to ourselves. We have Full Hook Up with 50 AMPs, Cable and Internet.  We also have beautiful weather and fall scenery. With our Passport America membership card, the campground was half price. It’s great!

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This our view from inside The Star. The first picture is port side view. The second picture is starboard side view.

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Our next stop is Asheville, NC for about a week. We haven’t seen our friends there in over a year. We are looking forward to seeing them.

A Month Full of Activities

By , October 21, 2010 9:29 am

We saw Cirque Du Soleil show “OVO” at the National Harbor last night with my sister and her husband. It was entertaining and delightful. We have seen a number of shows in the DC Metro area, Baltimore, Orlando and Las Vegas. Our favorite show is KA in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel!

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We arrived in Northern Virginia at the beginning of the month. We parked in the driveway of my sister’s house. The driveway isn’t level so it required some ingenuity (and trips to Home Depot & RV store) to get the RV  leveled satisfactorily. It was such a hassle getting it leveled that we bought a portable macerator instead of moving the RV to dump its contents. With a macerator you can pump the holding tank contents into the commode in the house!

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We helped rip out the old kitchen floor and put in new resilient vinyl tiles that look like ceramic using real grout. We finished the floor just in time for a family gathering the next day!

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We have enjoyed eating some great food! One thing I love about this area is the great variety of delicious foods available both at home and at restaurants.

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As always, it is great to see and be with our family and friends again whether taking in a show, eating out or doing fall clean up. It is great to be with the ones you love!

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The weather is getting cool – high in the 60s/70s and low in the 40s/50s. The Star (I want to call the RV the “Death Star”!) will be heading south at the end of the month. We’ll be back with our other family and friends in Florida this winter.

Aboard the Starfish Enterprise with Diver Ed

By , September 29, 2010 6:05 pm

One afternoon at Bar Harbor we took a boat cruise with Diver Ed Dive-In Theater Cruise aboard the Starfish Enterprise.  The mission of the Starfish Enterprise is to “boldly dive where no one has dived before”. We took the 3-hour Park Ranger Tour.

We checked in at the College of the Atlantic’s Dorr Museum, Diver Ed’s alma mater. The college is a small liberal arts college with less than 400 students with a heavy focus on human ecology. Across the museum was a skull of a finback whale. (We saw them in Campobello Island!) Finback Skull COA

Once we arrived at a spot in Frenchman Bay, Diver Ed suited up and went down. We saw what he saw via the flat screen TV aboard the Starfish Enterprise. What he found he’d put in his grab bag for show and tell. After the show and tell, the critters get released back into the sea. Yeah! 🙂

DriverED_Tony  DriverEdSuitingUp

 DriverEdScreenThe Park Ranger and Diver Ed and his  entire crew made our trip a real pleasure. It was fun and informative. 

In addition to lobsters, crabs, sun stars, sea urchins, whelks and other critters from the ocean floor that Diver Ed brought up, we also got to see harbor seal, bald eagle, porpoise and great big tunas chasing a school of heron. It was great!

 

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Seal Tuna

Where the Mountains Meet the Sea

By , September 24, 2010 9:50 am

Acadia National Park is where the mountains meet the sea. The beach at Sandy Beach is a brisk 55 degrees in the summer time. Cadillac Mountain is the tallest mountain on the continental east coast at 1,532 feet. It’s a great place to catch both sunset and sunrise.

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We hiked from Sandy Beach to Thunder Hole with David and Brenda.

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It is amazing that Acadia National Park came about because of the generosity of a few private citizens. Thank you Mister Rockefeller. Thank you Mister Dorr.

The Berkshires and Zip Lining

By , September 14, 2010 8:46 am

We left Rochester, NY area and are making our way to Maine. David and Brenda from OutsideOurBubble.com has been such good hosts and traveling buddies. They took us to see our second Great Lakes, Lake Ontario at the Port of Rochester. And I got to taste three different flavors of milkshakes (from Jonathan, David and Brenda) even though I didn’t order any milkshake. :) 

 

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Our first stop was in Verona, NY at the Turning Point Campground. That night we went out to a churrascaria restaurant. After dinner, Brenda and I wanted to take some pictures of the guys but they kept making faces. We all had a laughing fit; our stomachs hurt from too much food and too much laughing. We ended the night by enjoying a movie at David and Brenda’s RV Home Theater called Runaway Vacation or RV starring Robin Williams which we had never seen before, go figure! It was a hoot!

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Our second stop was in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. We traveled on the Mohawk Trail. There was one hair pin turn, some twisty roads and good scenery. It was too early for fall foliage. We look forward to seeing fall foliage at Bar Harbor.

    IMG_4205  Mohawk Trail

We camped at Country Aire Campground in Charlemont for two nights so that we can go zip lining. Zoar Outdoor Canopy Tours did a great job! We all had a blast! Later on that afternoon, we went into the town of Shelburne Falls for a nice stroll on the Flower Bridge. We also dined at Goulds Sugar-House Restuarant the morning before we checked out. The pancakes were good!

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Bar Harbor here we come!

Geneva and Geneva-On-The-Lake

By , September 7, 2010 1:17 pm

We miscalculated when we would arrive at our friend’s home (Brenda & David from Outside Our  Bubble) in upstate NY. We had told them IMG_3293we’d be there on Wednesday but on Monday afternoon we realized at our rate of driving we would be there on Tuesday! (We are going to be caravanning with them to Bar Harbor later this week. This will be our first caravanning trip, we are excited about it!) Because we didn’t want to disrupt any plans they may possibly have, we decided to stay at Geneva State Park in Geneva, Ohio for two nights. Our final destination that night was supposed to be in Conneaut, Ohio.

What a nice park! I had used the words “what a great little park” to one of our neighbor in the campground and he said “little?!?”, that is when I realized it wasn’t so little. The park is located on 698 acres on the shores of  Lake Erie,  the southernmost, shallowest, and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes. The average depth of Lake Erie is 62’. Even though it’s the smallest lake, you still can’t see the opposite side!

campsiteThe park has 89 electric sites and only 4 full hookups. It is surrounded by  mature trees and the sites are widely spaced out (some sites are more shaded than others). We are a 38’ RV and our neighbor has a 40’ RV and he managed to park his tow vehicle on the same pad. The state park offers a lot of activities including fishing, hiking/biking, boating and hunting.

The state park is located just minutes away from a great little village called Geneva-On-The-Lake. The village calls itself  “Ohio’s first summer resort”. The village seems seasonal and comes alive at night during the high season. The village offers restaurants/bars, wine tasting, arcade style video games and fishing.

Another attraction in the region is the Lake Erie wineries and icewine. The region has “15 award-winning wineries”. One of the wineries right in Geneva-on-the-Lake is the Old Firehouse Winery. We ordered a sample tray of their sweet wines. The sample tray includes 10 – one ounce samples of sweet or dry wine and it includes a souvenir glass. We ordered a sample of the sweet wines. We both liked “Frosty Peach”. Frosty Peach is described as “full-bodied, semi-sweet 100% fruity wine with the aroma and taste of fresh peaches”.

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Not bad for a miscalculation!

RV Capital, Amish Country and Corn Belt

By , September 7, 2010 12:59 pm

Northern Indiana covers all of the above distinction. Elkhart County (Elkhart, Middlebury, Goshen and Nappanee) alone produces more than 50% of the nation’s RV. As the RV capital, it rightly has the RV/MH Museum Hall of Fame, all kinds of RV manufacturers/service centers/accessories/campgrounds and rallies.

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The area also has a good sized Amish community, where delicious baked goods and horse drawn vehicles are the norm. We enjoyed the family style Thresher’s Dinner  at Amish Acres Restaurant Barn. Our Dasy’s stomach ached with too much food. 😉 We admit we succumbed to their baked goodies. We bought too many cookies and pies to keep track of, I personally feel like a little piggy! They were good, some more excellent than others.

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Everywhere you go, you see corn and more corn and soy bean. Indiana is part of the corn belt. Corn belt refers to Midwestern States that predominantly grows corn and more recently soy bean. Most of the corn grown are grown for feed.

While in this area we also met some wonderful friends in Plymouth. A couple invited us to dinner one night and showed us his expansive collection of model train communities of towns and villages. The collection covered his entire basement, of course it didn’t start like that. One day his wife went away, when she came back, he had built another section ! 🙂 It is his passion and his stress reliever. We had a great time with them.

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We spent a week at Pla-Mor Campground. At the beginning of the week, there were plenty of sites available but towards the Labor Day weekend the huge campground was almost filled! Right next to us was an old Class A styled Airstream. We have friends from Kenosha that have an Airstream trailer, so we had to take some pictures for them. It could have easily found its place in the RV Museum. 

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Stops On The Way

By , September 5, 2010 5:26 pm

We stopped at three different locations from Golden, CO to Bremen, IN. We drove over 1,000 miles. Yeah, we go far! Even though Jonathan did all the driving it was rough on me!?! But I’m learning and coping as a passenger. I haven’t driven the Star yet. I’m afraid. Jonathan said he’s afraid of me driving too. So that didn’t engender a lot of confidence in me either! I think after I take an RV driving class I would feel more confident.

I wonder how many “co-pilots” drive their rig…Kudos to those ladies! (Now back on track…)

Our first stop was in North Platte, NE at the Buffalo Bill State Recreation Area (SRA).  We drove about one mile on a gravel road to get to the campground. Campground offers electric only (some sites have 30 AMP and some have 50 AMP). It was hot and there was no shade but we were glad to have the AC running. It wasn’t bad as a stop over.

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Our second stop was in Waterloo, NE at the Two Rivers State Recreation Area (SRA). It is a huge park with a lot to do (fishing, swimming, biking, etc…). We took our mountain bikes out and rode around the park. Some sites have water and electric (all electric are 30 AMP only), some are electric only and some are dry camping and tenting. It was a pleasant park with lots of shade trees (I learned something about cottonwood tree!!! ) and “lakes”.

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Our last stop was a boondocking site at the Mississippi Valley Welcome Center in LeClaire, IA. It was a nice place that overlooked the great Mississippi River. It had free WiFi until 8PM. For dinner, we order out from the Bier Stube. We demolished the great German food before we could take any pictures! It was yummy! Jonathan said the beer was good too.

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Clear Creek RV Park Rocks!

By , August 26, 2010 7:25 pm

While in Golden we stayed in Clear Creek RV Park.  The creek, Clear Creek, flows along the campground for about 15 miles. The creek is cool, rocky and clear. There is also a great paved path along the creek. People walk their dog, run, bike and  walk the path (we did the latter two). With the windows open we hear the bubbling water in the creek.

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Jonathan couldn’t resist not getting an inner tube to go down the creek, so he bought two for us! 

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While here, Jonathan got to use our new grill too! He’s getting the hang of it. 🙂 This is his second time using it.

Clear Creek is just a cool park. We have enjoyed our time here.

Crater Lake Is Unique

By , August 15, 2010 7:17 pm

We left the Crater Lake region this morning and are currently in Winnemucca, NV. We are making our way to Colorado.

Crater Lake is a caldera lake when Mount Mazama erupted in 5400 BC. It is still an active volcanic. It is part of the same mountain range as Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, the Cascade Range. It is the deepest lake in the US at 1,943 feet. It is about 6 miles across and has no inlets and tributaries. It’s water is one of the deepest blue and one of the clearest, it is estimated that you can see 400 feet below.

We will post about our trip soon.

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Of Mountains and Meadows…

By , August 2, 2010 2:00 pm

We have enjoyed spending time in Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens. We are both awed and humbled by it. We will be catching up on those posts in the next couple of days while we are in the Vancouver/Portland area.

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Majestic mountains shrouded in clouds

And flowery meadows that make the heart delight

You do your Creator proud

Displaying His wisdom and might

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Food, Family and Friends = Fun

By , July 4, 2010 2:51 pm

What more can you ask for?

My summer visit is coming to an end. I can’t believe I’ve been here for a month!?! It’s been great! I’m ready to return home to my hubby. 🙂

I saw so many friends, got to eat lots of  delicious food (Thai, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Seafood,  home cooked and grilled,  and much much more…) and saw lots of family. It’s been so good to see so many familiar, friendly faces.

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And I helped my little sister and her hubby with getting their house in order. I have mowed, sanded, painted, screwed in nails and cleaned and cleaned. It’s finally coming together! Hurray!

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I’m coming home soon!

My First Cut

By , June 2, 2010 12:20 am

Today was the first time I have actually mowed a lawn with a push lawn mower. And it’s not even my lawn! Don’t get me wrong,  I do “yard work”. I just have never mowed grass before. I garden, weed, dig, plant, trim and “landscape”. I don’t cut grass, that’s what brothers, husband or lawn service is for. 🙂

My sister and her husband moved into a house some weeks ago and they have been busy improving the inside and have had no time for the outside. Since this is their first house, they don’t have all the tools to properly maintain a yard. So, Dad had stopped by  to mow the grass a few times.

I wanted to be helpful. So, while everyone was at work I took the newly purchased clippers and trimmed the holly hedge by the front entrance (my old electric edger works so much better!). It seemed to take forever!

After I was done with the hedge (it’s in the third picture), Dad dropped by with the lawn mower and accessories. He showed me how to start and operate it. He cut the first half of the smaller side yard and I finished the other half. I was so proud of myself! 🙂 CatherSideYard

Then we proceeded to do the other side of the front yard. Dad started and then he had to leave. I was left all alone with that scary lawn mower. But I “completed” the remainder of that section. It was hard work! There is a tiny “hill” on that side of the yard and I stalled the mower twice! :S

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CatherMainYardMe  CatherMainYardMe3 

So, I “completed” only the front section catherGrassHandof the yard. I left the remainder for my brother-in-law (Sorry Seth!). I was hot, tired, dirty and thirsty.  I came in and drank three glasses of water and ate two mangos. I wanted a green smoothie but was too tired to make it.

The guys make this job look so easy. Guys, thank you! We, women, appreciate you mowing the lawn! Even if we don’t say so, we appreciate it. I have a greater appreciation for lawn service. I’ve seen them work our suburban yard. There are usually three to four men; in about five to ten minutes our yard was cut, edged and blown clean.

I must admit,  there was one casualty. I nicked the coconut fiber mat with the lawn mower by the side door. Sorry guys! :SCatherMowingCasualty The lesson for me: Stick to “yard work” and leave cutting of grass to others.

Our two nights along the way to West Yellowstone

By , May 25, 2010 9:56 am

We left Moab, UT on Thursday May 20th and arrived in West Yellowstone, MT on the afternoon of Saturday May 22nd.

We spent one night at Devil Creek RV Park outside of Malad City, ID off of I-15 . It has a great view of the Devil Creek Reservoir and not too much else.

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How can you do wrong with this view? I enjoyed my coffee and daily reading to this view. There were birds out eating insects. There was also a ground squirrel rooting in the grass right in front of The Star (I had to wake the husband up for the ground squirrel, he likes critters). Then we both got The Star ready and went out for a little walk along the reservoir. It was a good start to our day.

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After that we continued our way on I-15 to Hwy 33  and then spent Friday night at Beaver Dick Park in Rexburg, ID. This park offers free camping with no hookups. Yes, free camping sites do exist! We have found them at freecampsites.net and freecampgrounds.com. It is a nice park and the Snake River runs along it. After we arrived a large group of tent campers, another RV and two other pull behind trailers showed up. The tent campers were in the front half of the park while we were in the back. There was still plenty of room for more people.

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After a pleasant night in Beaver Dick Park, we made our way on US-20 to West Yellowstone. We encountered snow! Since we left Florida we had Spring, Summer and now Winter. It’s going to be cold in West Yellowstone! Here’s the forecast for our week in Yellowstone: the nights are expected to be in the 20s and 30s while the days are expected to be in the 40s through the 60s. This is a great time to see baby animals in Yellowstone.

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Wash Me!

By , May 19, 2010 7:14 pm

That’s what we did, we washed The Star. It needed it.

Texas was very unkind to our vehicles. There were lots of flying bugs (as well as crawling ones) in Texas. We washed the Jeep a couple of times in Texas but after several minutes on the road again, you couldn’t tell it had been washed. On a few occasions, there were identifiable remnants on the windshield. The Star hadn’t been washed since we left Central Florida in early April. So, The Star was screaming “Wash Me!”.

Moab has at least one car wash that fitted an RV. So, we took The Star down and gave her a good washing. Actually, Jonathan did most of the work and I tried to be helpful. 🙂

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It’s good to be clean. 🙂

Magnificent Moab

By , May 15, 2010 6:17 pm

Moab is home to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. It is also a mecca for all types of off road riding (Jeeps, ATVs/UTVs, mountain bikes, dirt bikes, etc…) and hiking.

We have enjoy making new friends, off road riding on the vast arrays of trails and taking in the magnificent vistas of arches, canyons, mesas, rivers and blooming desert flowers. Places like this fill us with awe and appreciation.

How many your works are, O Jehovah! All of them in wisdom you have made. The earth is full of your productions.
Psalm 104:24

Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
John Muir

Enjoy some sights of magnificent Moab:

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Green Smoothie Rocks!

By , April 29, 2010 3:51 pm

We have benefited quite a bit the from the NuRVer’s gathering here in Gonzales,TX. This is the second gathering of a “younger generation” of full-time RVers; a place where you can learn, meet and benefit from the experiences of other seasoned RVers.

Jonathan’s top take away would be  getting the RV to work on a 30 AMP circuit. The Star runs on a 50 AMP circuit. We have purchased and tested several adapters to take it from a 30 AMP to 50 AMP, none of which have worked. Jonathan posted about this issue in IRV2, with no resolution. One day, the NuRVers got together, looked and poked and presto! It works! Let’s hope it stays that way.

My top take away would be learning about green smoothies. 🙂

Sara from theGreen_Smoothie_Demo HappyJanssens  hosted a  green smoothie demo in her lovely home on NuRVer Day 3. She made the smoothie in her awesome VitaMix blender. It is an awesome blender because Sara put two whole frozen bananas, one whole orange and huge chunks of fresh pineapple and  chunks of frozen fruit along with some chia seeds and spinach and it came out super silky smooth. It was also surprising yummy! (Sara’s husband, Matt took this picture of us. Thank you! I was paying attention but I may have been a bit distracted by the baby. She’s so cute!) 

I have been making smoothies for some time now but have never made green smoothies. I am loving it. Now, I just need to introduce it to the husband, slowly… I have lots of ideas already! 🙂

PersonalBlenderI don’t have an awesome Vitamix blender (can you tell I want one?) but I do have a Personal Blender that has served me very well. The first time I made the green smoothie, their were spinach bits in my smoothie. I like bits in my fruit smoothie but not so much in the green smoothie. 🙁 The key to getting it smooth in the personal blender is to blend the greens first with water and then add fruit to it later and blend until you get the right consistency.

For green smoothie newbie, check out Guidelines to Drinking Green Smoothie  from Green Smoothies Blog. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Prepare/drink it in the morning
  • Sip it slowly
  • Don’t add anything to your smoothie except greens, fruit and water
  • Always rotate the greens you add to the smoothieGreenSmoothie
  • Learn to prepare delicious smoothies

Here’s what my green smoothie looks like. I can’t resist adding freshly ground flaxseed to my smoothie (yeah, it goes against the guideline but I like my flaxseed)! And I like my green smoothie!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Wild!

By , March 18, 2010 4:07 pm

Can you believe it?

We have been married ten years this month. 🙂

We went to West Palm Beach for a little get away. While there, we spent a whole day at Lion Country Safari. The safari park is ‘Florida’s only drive-through safari/preserve and walk-through amusement…with over 900 animals’. The the drive-through offers some animals from seven sections:

Las Pampas Gir Forest Ruaha National Park 

Kalahari Hwange National Park Gorongosa

Serengeti Plains

We wanted to stay at KOA Lion Country Safari Campground and RV Resort where you can hear the roar of the lions and elephants at night but they didn’t have any availability. So we booked a reservation with a nearby  Marriott instead.

Check out some of the wild things!

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It’s a great place for kids or those young at heart! 🙂

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