Babymoon: week one

Hey y’all!! (when in Rome, right?)

It’s been a busy first week on the road for our babymoon!

Monday: drove from Akron to Asheville. This was not enjoyable. The previous times we’ve been out in our RV we’ve kept the generator on while driving allowing us to use the heat/air conditioning of the RV while driving. We’ve both read multiple articles about how it isn’t necessarily safe to drive with the generator on, so we didn’t this time and it got soooo hot in the RV. If you RV, do you drive with your generator on? We’d love to hear your opinions on this!

Tuesday: We started out in Asheville, NC to with 2 main objectives: 1. to see the Biltmore and 2. to catch up with my dear friend Sarah who lives an hour away in Greenville. She so graciously agreed to meet us in Asheville even though I gave her like 3 days heads up we were coming her way! We stayed at Wilson’s Riverfront RV Park. It was not the most scenic place as it was right next to the highway, but it was 10 mins away from everywhere we needed to be so it worked out perfect for us!

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Sarah and I at brunch in Asheville!

Next up, we went to the Biltmore! I had never been before but Mark had! It was like 6 billion degrees out and I had (foolishly) dressed to impress (?) versus for comfort. BIG MISTAKE. My maxi skirt was like a sauna, my hair was sticking to all parts of my neck/back, my little jacket thing was so itchy and uncomfortable and I wore some bullshit sandals that provided zero support. It was like I forgot I was 7 months pregnant and that there was going to be a lot of walking around.

After I had my moment of crankiness, the day turned out wonderfully! The Biltmore is gorgeous and they really built the place up so that you could easily spend a long weekend there! On a side note, Asheville is way more of hippie town that I had imagined.

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baby bump for dayz

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I couldn’t even keep it together to take a selfie after being there for less than 5 minutes. SO OVER IT.

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Walking (sitting) through the gardens at the Biltmore

Wednesday: We drove to Charleston. This drive was much more enjoyable since it was wayyy shorter but then it was a downpour as we drove into the city. Not impressed with the drainage (or lack thereof).

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casual flooding in Charleston

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more flooding

By the time we got our campground and got settled, it was dinner time! Mark had previously visited Charleston a few years back and had shrimp at a place that he couldn’t remember the name of. He talked about this shrimp more than anything and he needed to have it again. After a little Googling, he figured out the shrimp was from Hyman’s Seafood. We are well on our way to getting Mark his beloved shrimp. After looking at the menu, he realizes he doesn’t remember what exactly he ordered the last time he was here. *sigh* So he orders some special where you pick any 5 items from the menu because seriously, one of his picks has to be this shrimp.. right? Wrong, kind of. After eating all this picks he isn’t overly impressed with any of it. So unfortunately for Mark, he probably should have just let the first go around be the last.

Thursday: Today I dressed like a soccer mom and was 8,000% more comfortable and therefore there are 8,000% more pictures.

We started at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens and it was like a dream come true. It was so dreamy and whimsical that it made me want to get married all over again (to Mark of course) but this time at a southern plantation! We didn’t do any of their tours or even go into the plantation house, we just spent a few hours walking around outside and it was perfect!

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Then we moved onto Middleton Place. Same deal, we didn’t do any of the tours, just walked around. This was much more manicured and not necessarily my cup of tea which is why there are significantly less pictures.

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Next up, we drove to Kiawah Island to look at some big houses and see the beach! Here’s how the conversation with Mark went:

Mark: Do you want to drive around the island first, walk the beach or eat first?
Me: Eat first, I’m starving.
Mark: Okay, we will eat but let’s just drive around real quick and then park and walk on the beach first
Me: Death Glare.

So again, no pictures because I was too hungry to care.

Friday: Today was all about The Notebook! We were going to visit two places where the movie was filmed! First up, Boone Hall Plantation! This time we actually did some of the tours including the plantation house and a trolley ride around the property! It was all super cool! Boone Hall is still a “working” plantation. They grow a bunch of produce and have local activities yea-round: corn maze/pumpkin patch/haunted stuff in the fall, Christmas stuff, Food/Wine festivals, Civil War Reenactments, etc. They actually have a pretty cool set up!

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The driveway leading up to the plantation. My version looked liked poo so this is from someone else :)

 

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Do you recognize the house? It was Allie’s parents’ summer house!

Scene from The Notebook to jog your memory!

Scene from The Notebook to jog your memory!

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never knew this is how cotton was grown!IMG_5584

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taken from the boat dock

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strawberries picked from Boone Hall!

Up next was Cypress Gardens which was where all the boat scenes from The Notebook were shot! Again, soooo dreamy and whimsical!!

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Scene from The Notebook to jog your memory!

cypress gardens, the notebook

Scene from The Notebook to jog your memory!

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Saturday: We drove down to Savannah, GA. Technically we were still camping in SC at Hardeeville RV-Thomas Park but we were 10 mins from Savannah. We ventured out to downtown Savannah and walked around and ate at the cutest restaurant called the Olde Pink House! We had seen a lot of signs for Hilton Head and figured we could make a quick stop there for dinner and another beach walk! After we made it through some horrific holiday traffic we again walked around a little, hit the beach and grabbed dinner!

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Of course we needed some road-side peaches!

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Wiser words have never been spoken!

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Hilton Head!

Sunday: We drove to St. Augustine, FL which is somewhere neither of us have visited before! What an awesome little town. It’s the oldest town in America and was established in 1565!

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The Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the USA 

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The oldest (paved?) street in the USA

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The oldest house in the USA

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The El Galeon: We thought this was a super old ship, but apparently it’s just a replica. LAME.

Monday: BEACH DAY! Literally didn’t do a single thing expect read on the St. Augustine Beach and it was glorious!

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I think that pretty much sums up week one of the babymoon! Having a blast so far but can’t wait to come home and create our baby girl’s nursery!!

P.S. I know that the general theme of my posts are about how bad at RVing mark and I are (all the towing issues, etc) but so far so good! We did have one little issue approx 2 hours into our drive on Monday. The CHECK ENGINE light came on in the RV. We stopped at Auto Zone so that they could use their little machine and see what the error code was. This has happened to us before and the connection port where the machine needs to be plugged into is like shoved up under the steering wheel column and pretty hard to get to. I had to crawl under the steering while, curled up into a ball to find it last time. I told both Mark and the Auto Zone guy where to look for the connection port but neither one of them could find it. I repeat my instructions again about where the thing is. Nada. So I have to crawl under there again, 7 months pregnant and wearing a dress to find the thing. It took me less than 5 seconds to find it. I told mark that he missed a good photo opportunity while I was down there on the floor. Anyway, it turned out to be something stupid with the quality of gas or something so we ignored it and went on our way!

Fall 2014 RV Road Trip: Escaping Ebola

As you may remember, Ebola was a scary thing a few months back. Some people freaked out, my husband decided to go off the grid.

As I remember it: There were confirmed Ebola cases in states other than Ohio and then one morning while driving to my Pure Barre class, I got a CNN notification that another nurse had a confirmed case of Ebola. The catch? She had visited Akron, OH and had felt sick while here. I immediately sent this to Mark and then went on to enjoy my 55 minutes of Pure Barre. I get out of class and look at my phone and see the following…

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Apparently we were going to try to outrun Ebola. Yes I was aware that this logic was backwards. It would have been a lot “safer” for us to literally just stay in our house with no human contact for the next few days than to get into our RV and travel and be in the presence of thousands of strangers at every gas station, RV park, etc. BUT Mark wanted nothing to do with my logic and I gave up pretty quickly because I wanted to see some New England fall foliage anyway. Mark thinks he is out running a deadly disease and I get a little vacation, it was a win-win really.

I can’t remember specifics on where we went during this trip so I will have to rely on the geotagged pictures in my phone and hope that works. This is the main reason I need this blog, to keep track of what we did and where we did it! Mark can’t remember what he ate for dinner 2 hours ago so he’s no help in this department.

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Newport, RI

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Newport, RI

Newport, RI

Newport, RI

The Elms Mansion Newport, RI

The Elms Mansion Newport, RI

Salem, MA

Salem, MA

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Boston Tea Party Ship Boston, MA

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Fenway Park Boston, MA

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Vanderbilt Mansion Hyde Park, NY

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FDR House Hyde Park, NY

xoxo,
Rachel

The Reason RVhoneymoon Disappeared A Year Ago

This post is about 1 year overdue. Sorry folks.

RVhoneymoon dropped off the face of the earth last year after about 2 weeks into our RVhoneymoon for no apparent reason and I’m sorry I just left y’all hanging. I started to write a post a few times but could never find the right words.

That was melodramatic, sorry.

Anyway to make a long story short. Mark and I found out I was pregnant literally 3 mins before we jumped into the RV to start our road trip. The RV was packed, the car was hitched up, the RV was running and sitting in the middle of the street just waiting for us to jump into it. I had gone to the store that morning for toilet paper (or something equally as stupid) and something in my mind told me to grab some pregnancy tests. For a little refresher, Mark and I had been married for 48 days by the time we finally left for our RVhoneymoon. I was maybe like 2 days late but something told me to just do it. So I peed on one of those bad boys and it turns out, my spidey senses are spot on!

Fast forward to 2 weeks later and Mark and I find ourselves in the emergency room at some hospital in Connecticut being told by a doctor at 1 am that I’m probably in the middle of having a miscarriage. I was bleeding and cramping but there was still a faint heartbeat. The exact words were “threatened miscarriage.”  We drove the 10 hours home early the next morning and went to my doctor in Ohio after an excruciating wait over the weekend to check for any baby growth. Unfortunately there was no growth, no more heartbeat and no baby.

Mark and I were devastated. I felt like a failure. Having babies is supposed to be the thing that women do and my body had just decided “nah, don’t want to.” I just kept asking myself how could things have gone so wrong so fast? A week ago I had finally started to believe that my dream of being a mom was coming true and that a little mini-me was going to be ours in February 2015, and now here I was at Akron City Hospital facing my worst nightmare.

Why am I writing this now (other than it’s a year overdue and in order to start blogging on here again, I needed to at least acknowledge the sudden disappearance last summer)? Because 1 in 3 pregnancies ends in miscarriage and yet, no one talks about. No one knows what to say to someone going through one, but everyone knows someone who has had one. A friend’s mom, an aunt, an in-law, another friend’s mom, an old coworker, a friend of a friend. They say miscarriages that occur that early are usually due to a chromosomal mismatch or something else that ultimately doesn’t allow the cells to form into a viable baby. They say there was nothing I could have done differently. They say it shouldn’t effect my chances to have a successful pregnancy in the future. But who really knows? Of course I blamed myself. I could have eaten healthier, I could have stayed more hydrated, I could have taken longer walks, I could have slept on my left side, I could have known earlier I was pregnant and hadn’t drank that glass of wine weeks ago with dinner. It just sucked.

P.S. I thought I could finish writing this post without crying. Turns out, I was wrong. It still stings and I still wonder if that baby was a he or she. I wonder what his/her personality would have been. I wonder a lot of things and I still mourn that baby all of the time. I think I probably always will. 

Obviously the last thing I wanted to do was get back into the RV and travel around. The second to last thing I wanted to do was write some half-ass blog post about why the RVhoneymoon had stopped so abruptly. I wasn’t ready to talk about it. So I just let this blog shrivel into nothing. It took us awhile to get back into a “normal life.” We took the RV out again for a mini road trip in the fall when the Ebola scare was in full force. [You Can Read About That Here]. But I still wasn’t ready to jump back on here and write about what had happened.

Fast forward again to present day and in some “we’ve come full circle” universe, Mark and I are back in the RV on our BABYMOON! That’s right, we’re expecting our baby girl August 2015! Mark has been encouraging me to get back into blogging on here but I just wasn’t feeling it. The fact that I still hadn’t acknowledge our disappearance last summer loomed in front of me and I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to resurrect this blog.

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We were packing up the RV this morning and our neighbor, Mark from CampgroundViews.com, came up to Mark (yes they are both Mark, yes that made that sentence a little confusing) and told him that he had been following RVhoneymoon and always wondered what had happened to us. I guess that was the kick I needed to finally spend 20 minutes trying to remember my WordPress username and password. Turns out that was a wasted 20 mins as I had to reset the password once I logged in anyway. Even WordPress was concerned with my disappearance!

So here we are, almost one year since our original RVhoneymoon started. We’re a little older, a little wiser, a little heavier (pregnancy will do that to you) but just as eager to spend some time on the road! We plan to do a little Southeast loop of the USA and visit Asheville, NC; Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; St. Augustine, FL; Destin, FL; New Orleans, LA and Nashville, TN. So you can follow along again if you want!

xoxo,
Rachel

Day 12 // Connecticut pt. 2

We got up and were ready for a fun-filled day!

Stop 1 was Gillette Castle State Park. I, for some reason, thought this was going to be a really old castle. Apparently I was forgetting that the USA is not that old actually and that old castles only exist outside of the USA. This castle was built in like the 1930s which is still cool, but not cool.

After walking in, we asked the tour guide person who actually owned the castle. She looked at us like we were crazy for not knowing and told us “Mr. Gillette.” Well yes, we kinda figured that out. So we had to ask her who exactly he was. She was not impressed with our knowledge, or lack thereof. Turns out he was an actor who played played Sherlock in a play.. I think. I guess we should embrace some wikipedia before the next tour! As Mark and I were walking up to the castle, we both asked each other if we thought this Gillette guy was the guy behind the razor. SO glad we didn’t open with that question to the tour guide!! At $6 to get inside the Castle – it was a good way to spend the afternoon! It is also a State Park so I’ll assume there are some trails and other stuff you could do here as well. We didn’t stick around to check it out tho.

Outside the Gillette Castle

Outside the Gillette Castle

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The interior of the Castle

The interior of the Castle

view out of a patio from the castle

view out of a patio from the castle

the doors were so fun at the castle!

the doors were so fun at the castle!

just us being cute and stuff!

just us being cute and stuff!

After we were castled out, we headed for some lunch! It was time for some more lobster rolls according to Mark. We headed to Abbot’s Lobster in the Rough. This little restaurant has the perfect set up. Right on the water with boats and views! When you walk up, there is a big sign that says something  like: please be patient as your food is still alive when you order it and we need time to cook it. I guess that’s cool, but kinda creepy too. Anyway, we found ourselves a nice table right by the water and waited for our # to be called. Mark ordere a whole lobster which after it was served, I realized I was not okay with. I ordered crab legs even though I am well aware that crab comes from Alaska and not the Atlantic Ocean. The lunch was good, but really all they did was boil some crab legs & a lobster. We also has lobster bisque and some deviled eggs which were average – but the view outranks it all!

Mark outside of Abbott's

Mark outside of Abbott’s

our table right by the water!

our table right by the water! 

such a peaceful lunch spot - lovin the east coast thus far

such a peaceful lunch spot – lovin the east coast thus far

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after

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We then went to Mystic Seaport and walked around the little city center for the rest of the day. Oh and we stopped at winery too! Fun Fun Fun. Now for bed! We going to hunker down and work for the next few days. Stay tuned for more adventure soon!

Mystic Seaport Area

Mystic Seaport Area

Mystic Seaport Area

Mystic Seaport Area

Saltwater Farm Vineyard

Saltwater Farm Vineyard

 

Day 11 // Connecticut

A little late on this post, but better late than never right.

While we were at dinner the night before, the restaurant owner got to talking to us and told us we should definitely look into taking a ferry across from Long Island to Connecticut. We looked into it and found a ferry that left about 30 mins from where we were staying and would drop us off in a good location in Connecticut for what we wanted to do there. The cost (approx $160) for us to take our RV on the ferry was about equal to what we would have to pay in tolls and the the emotional abuse we were going to have to take while driving through Manhattan again. SIGN US UP.  In true Mark and Rachel form, we arrived to Port Jefferson (departing city) at 11:57 when the ferry was supposed to depart at 12:00 and we literally could not figure out how to get in the parking lot of the ferry! We drove up and down the (narrow) road at least 4 times trying to figure out what were doing wrong. To add stress to it, as we were driving up and down the main road we were watching the ferry pull away. I guess there is always the next one, right?! We finally figure out what were doing wrong: it was one of those entrances where you could only enter from one direction which was obviously not the direction we came in from. I’d like to think we are smarter than a road & ferry entrance, but I guess not.

our little guy on the ferry

our little guy on the ferry

view from the ferry!

view from the ferry!

We made it over to Connecticut easily and headed out to our new spot: Riverdale Farm Campsite

Stan parked at Riverdale Farm Campsite

Stan parked at Riverdale Farm Campsite

We headed out as soon as we got there and went to drive around Yale and grab some dinner. Mark found some place that has been around for like 90 years and is supposed to have the best pizza ever. Apparently the gluten free thing is going to be a lot harder on the road than I thought. We didn’t really know where we were supposed to go to “see” Yale and were disappointed at first because what were seeing was not what we were picturing. We drove around a little more and found the super cool old buildings we were looking for!

so pretty

So pretty!

We headed over Pepe’s next and were amused when we turned the corner and there wer no less that 25 people standing outside the restaurant waiting to get in. It was like 7 pm on a Tuesday.. reallllly?! This better be some great pizza. It didn’t take as long to get seated as one would have imagined as part of the line was like a group of 13. Once we got in and looked at the menu I realized what type of place we were at. We have one similar to us in Akron that I.. loathe. I know that is a strong word but I’ll use it anyway. I’m talking about Luigis. Same story, old restaurant that people love and flock to. There is always a line outside of Luigis before it opens and various other times but I personally would rather eat dirt than Luigis. Luigis is only good at around 3 am after a night of heavy drinking. #hater. Anyway, back to Pepe’s. The only serve pizza and 2 salads. That’s it. I ordered a salad and a create your own chicken + veggie pizza. Mark ordered a 1/2 original tomato pizza and 1/2 clam pizza which is confusing because he doesn’t like clams. What a person (Mark) will do because of a good yelp review is amazing. The pizza was decent, but I certainly don’t think it warrants being listed in 1000 Places to See Before You Die: USA & Canada. As we were leaving, the line outside was even longer! Crazyy!!

waiting in line for some pizza!

waiting in line for some pizza!

Mark's 1/2 clam pizza 1/2 original tomato pizza

Mark’s 1/2 clam pizza 1/2 original tomato pizza

I think that is it for our first day in Connecticut! More to come tomorrow!!

xoxo,
Rachel

Day 8, 9 & 10 // Long Island, The Hamptons

Combining a few days for this post!

Day 8 // Driving Day. We left New Jersey for our drive out to Long Island and ultimately The Hamptons. We had a longerish drive, around 5 hrs in total. When we took off, we didn’t exactly know where our next campground was going to be as all the places we had called were sold out or only took walk up reservations. But, that is half the fun of it all – right?!

View of NYC coming up to it!

View of NYC coming up to it!

Anyway, we had to drive through Manhattan to get here which was ZERO fun. ZERO. First of all, we had upwards of $115 in tolls for the world’s shittiest roads. I legitimately felt like I was going to fly out of the RV as we hit pot hole, after pot hole, after pot hole. I had to go lay down in the bed because I was getting a headache from it all.

Manhattan.. in an RV.

Manhattan.. in an RV.

We called ahead to Wildwood State Park which told us they had a few spots left but they were all walk up/no reservations. As we were about an hour or so out, we figured we risk it and show up and see what happened. After the hellish drive to get there, we had our fingers crossed that the spots would still be available when we arrived because driving around and trying to find another spots seemed like a daunting task. As we pulled in, there was a big sign that said “no availability.” How can that be? We just called an hour ago?! We pulled in anyway hoping that they just didn’t take the sign down from the holiday before or something. Luckily, they still had a spot (and it seemed like a few more as we were driving through) for us and we found our new home from the next few nights! @ $27ish/night, this has certainly been our “prettiest” spot we’ve been too! It was late and we were both hungry so we grabbed some dinner at a spot close by and checked out the beach. After dinner we did some grocery shopping because there was a Whole Foods close by and we cannot pass up a Whole Foods! How 2 adults can spend $200 on food for an RV to store in a mini fridge and a cabinet the size of a tic tac is absurd, but such is our life.

Our new spot at Wildwood State Park!

Our new spot at Wildwood State Park!

Day 9 // The Hamptons. I had my eyes peeled for some celebs all day but didn’t see anyone! On the drive back to our RV, I did see via Kim Kardashian’s Instagram (yes I follow her, judge me) that she had just left the Hamptons and was back in NYC. Darnit, I missed my chance!!!! We grabbed some brunch at 75 Main in Southampton where Mark finally got his first taste of some good ol’ New England Lobster Roll (and then subsequently more lobster rolls throughout the day). I think maybe lobster rolls are growing on me as well and I nibbled on some of Mark’s and liked it! We walked around the little downtown area and then jumped back in the car for more!

the first of many, many lobster rolls for Mr. Mark Jenney!

the first of many, many lobster rolls for Mr. Mark Jenney!

We then headed to Montauk Point for a little lighthouse action! @ $9/person to walk up the lighthouse, it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon!

Montauk State Park

Montauk State Park

Montauk State Park

Montauk State Park

It was just a smidge windy...

It was just a smidge windy…

that's better!

that’s better!

Time for another lobster roll! This time at a cute little spot on the side of the road called “Lunch, the lobster roll.” Really, no beating around the bush here. Super casual spot that gave you a free beer with a Yelp check-in. Beats just about any other Yelp check-in, ever.

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Now that our bellies were sufficiently full we headed to Easthampton and walked around this area for a little bit and then we tried (rather unsuccessfully as cell phone coverage seems to be awful there) to try to find where all the BIG houses were that we could go creep on. As it is a small area, we figured we would just guess and started driving around. We drove around and saw some big houses and found some beaches we could walk on and see the houses from that angle!

exhibit a

exhibit a

That about wrapped up our day. Drove home and cooked a nice dinner at the campground and went to bed.

Day 10 // Relax & Work day

Mark worked all day today and I walked my happy-self to the beach at the campground and read all day. It was marvelous. We found a great, and I mean great place for dinner tonight at Michael Anthony’s Food Bar. If you’re ever in the Wading River area make sure you check it out!!

xoxo,
Rachel

 

Day 7 // Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July everyone! What a soggy day we are having here in New Jersey! Our RV park in a little bit flooded but nothing too bad. The rain is supposed to let up here soon (around 4) and then the wind is supposed to hit. Mark got a lot of work done today and I did some laundry. How we had so much laundry after only a week is a little bit confusing to me, but oh well. It seemed everyone else had the same idea about laundry day. I felt like I was back in college playing the “do I wait a few more minutes to see if the person comes back for their clothes or do I take them out of the washer myself.” Luckily, the person came back mid thought and took care of their clothes and washers were available! I realize this is not earth-shattering reading material, but hey.

mild flood...

mild flood…

Hopefully the weather clears up and we can head out to the Jersey Shore, MTV style later (Seaside Heights) today!! And then hopefully we can see some fireworks later too!

update:

It did clear up, kinda. It stopped raining but it got very windy. Thanks Arthur. We did make it to Seaside Heights and we got to see the Jersey Shore House! It looked just like the TV show but somehow still wasn’t what I was expecting. Either way, it was fun! However, fireworks are cancelled all around this area so we are back in the RV binge watching Breaking Bad for the night.

Jersey Shore House!

Jersey Shore House!

 

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we stopped in an arcade and played a competitive game of skibal.

we stopped in an arcade and played a competitive game of skiball

Happy Fourth everyone (I won ski ball)

Happy Fourth everyone (I won ski ball)

xoxo,
Rachel