Day 3 // Hershey, PA & surrounding area

Since we knocked out the Hershey stuff yesterday, we drove around the surrounding area today and did some exploring. Up first was a house that is shaped like a shoe! Now if you know me, you know I love shoes & if you don’t know me, just believe with all your heart that I love shoes. I’m probably the only person who packed at least 10+ pairs of heels for an RV road trip. And that is just the heels, you probably don’t want to know how many shoes in total I brought.

The Shoe House!

The Shoe House!

We then stopped by an antique mall and walked around looking at all the treasures throughout. We were starrrving by this point and did a quick yelp search for a lunch spot and found a great cafe close by: Gaia, fresh food cafe. Highly recommend! Mark loves eating as healthy as possible (me too at times, but I’m certainly not ever going to pass up junk food) and this place was perfect. Raw/Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten Free options and delicious fresh juices and smoothies. Plus they have a cute outside patio which no matter how hot & humid summers can be around here, I LOVE sitting outside to eat!

Gaia Fresh Food Cafe! Yum!

Gaia Fresh Food Cafe! Yum!

Up next was a tour of Turkey Hill Ice Cream plant. Also known as the “Turkey Hill Experience.” We opted out of waiting over 1.5 hours for the create your own ice cream part and settled for the self guided (hallelujah) tour. But don’t worry, the tour came with all you can eat free samples. HEAVEN.

Turkey Hill Experience

Turkey Hill Experience

goofballs

goofballs

As per a suggestion from a friend, we stopped by the Hershey Hotel & Gardens and walked around. What a sight and certainly worth the $11 dollars/person admission sign I rolled my eyes when we walked up. It is a huge garden with several different areas which is located up on a hill overlooking the Hershey theme parks. We ventured into the butterfly house. we have passed on several butterfly houses before on other travels, but it didn’t take long before we decided we regret all those times. It was so cool! It was fun seeing all the butterflies and having them land on you as well. We will definitely be visiting more butterfly houses in the future.

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butterflies!

butterflies!

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Mark with a butterfly on him!

pretty!

pretty (the scenery, not us) 

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Part of the garden with the Hershey smoke stacks in the background

We stopped by a roadside farmer’s market on the way back to our RV and picked up some fresh fruit and veggies for dinner. We broke in our new grill and cooked dinner at home for the first time. Delish!

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Tomorrow we move on to the greater Philadelphia area for a few days. Wish us luck because we didn’t plan ahead (I know you’re shocked) and we don’t have a campground picked for the holiday weekend coming up. EEEEEEKKKK. Walmart it just might be!

xoxo,
Rachel

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Day 2 // Driving Day, Giant Quarter & Hershey Park

Hi 🙂

Today we drove from our first spot to Hershey, PA. We stopped (or tried to stop) a few places along the way.  We first tried to find gravity hill. You’re supposed to be able to put your car in neutral and it will roll up hill because the gravity is weird here. I think it is all just an optical illusion but still cool. Only we didn’t do our research before and weren’t looking for the “GH start” that was supposedly spray painted on the road and missed it. We only say “GH end” and by that time, we were so over winding roads and just gave up.

one lane, winding roads = not fun

one lane, winding roads = not fun

We were in the middle of nowhere and had no cell service at this point and thought we were on our way to our next “drive by” destination on our way to Hershey, PA. Only once we got back into cell service, we realized we had passed our destination. 0/2.  So, great start to day 2. It turned around and we found the giant quarter along the road and took some pics!

Giant Quarter!

Giant Quarter!

another shot from the giant quarter

another shot from the giant quarter

We made it to our new campground Hershey Camping Resort a little before dinner! We stopped at Harvest Restaurant in the Hershey hotel. It claims to serve a lot of fresh, organic and local ingredients, which is right up our alley! The restaurant and concept I would give a 5 star but the actual food left a little to be desired. We thought we would just head back to the campground for the night but realized the Hershey’s Chocolate World was still open!! Score, what a lovely dessert that would be!

The Hershey Park!

The Hershey Park!

Get it? Kisses in front the Kisses sign?!

Get it? Kisses in front the Kisses sign?!

We took the tour and learned a little bit about how chocolate is made but then we did the real stuff: we made our own candy bars and they were delicious! We got to wear these awesome outfits. And by awesome I mean, we look truly awful. Enjoy.

stylin'

stylin’

We were equal parts stuffed, tired and wire on candy. So we called it a night. That’s all for now!

xoxo,
Rachel

Day 1 // Falling Water & Laurel Caverns

I can’t figure out how I want to title my posts yet, so just roll with it while I probably change it 100 times.

Yesterday marked our first full day of #RVhoneymoon!!!! Fortunately for us we had no hiccups today!!! Unfortunate for you because you’ll have to find your amusement elsewhere today.

We slept like little babies in our new home and woke up refreshed and ready to explore Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water and then tour Laurel Caverns. We took our little shower caddies and walked to the campground showers to freshen up. I felt like I was back in college (can I get an OU, oh yeah) with my shower flip flops on. Mark was less impressed and looked at me crazy when I told him that he should probably wear his flip flops too. Oh well.

update: I’m blogging from the passenger seat and Mark just completely ignored a detour sign and we had to do a 360 turn to get back where we needed to be. In the process of doing this turn, my car that is being towed most certainly ran into the back of the RV. I think I need to formally apologize to my car for the abuse it has experienced over the last 2 days. Sorry girl. See, you knew if you just stuck around you would eventually get your amusement for the day. 

Blogging away! My posture is truly horrific. I'll work on that!

Blogging away! My posture is truly horrific. I’ll work on that!

Back to our first day, after we freshened up we hit the road to go to Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Falling Water” house. Our tour was scheduled for noon and we promptly arrived at 11:58 because we are the worst. Now group tours are not my cup of tea. I’ve never been on a tour where there wasn’t someone asking too many annoying questions or an awkward tour guide. This tour was no different. Still, it was a super pretty house and scenery and good info! We grabbed a quick lunch at the café and we were on our way to Laurel Caverns!

Mark walking the grounds at Falling Water

Mark walking the grounds at Falling Water

Falling Water!

Falling Water!

Selfie at Falling Water

Selfie at Falling Water

We had both been smart enough to grab some tennis shoes, however neither of us were smart enough to bring a backpack to carry our belongings or warm enough clothes. I had a light hoodie, but I’m always cold, so it was more or less worthless. I think I might have been in some big caves back when we took a family reunion trip to West Virginia but I was like 12 so I can’t be sure. These were pretty awesome caves!! They had wired lights in them so it was easy to see around everything. When we arrived we were just handed a ticket for the “family tour.” There was a sign for “upper cave tour” and “lower cave tour” which of course we asked about. The lady said they were 3 hour tours in the complete darkness that left in the early morning. You had to wear specific clothing and carry x number of flashlights and wear a hard hat. Mark was bummed we were not on one of those tours and I was thanking my lucky stars we weren’t. Then we saw a bunch of EMTs and overheard that someone on one of the long tours, fell & broke his leg and was stuck and needed rescuing. We both looked at each other and said “family walking tour it is!” Hopefully the guy was okay. He was still not rescued by the time our hour tour was over. But again, this was a group tour so by the time it was over, I had reached my quota for group tours.

The view from the visitor center at Laurel Caverns!

The view from the visitor center at Laurel Caverns!

On our way down into the cavern!

On our way down into the cavern!

Laurel Caverns!

Laurel Caverns!

We headed back to our home on wheels and called it a night! We are currently en route to Hershey, PA and have a few spots to stop along the way! Stay tuned for more!!

xoxo,
Rachel

The Start to A Wonderful #RVhoneymoon

Well, the guys over at Avalon RV Center pulled through and got our RV all fixed up! I told them I would write something nice about them since they helped us out, so here it is guys. Hope you’re reading this!

We got the RV back on Thursday around 4 and drove him home! We unhitched my car and ran a few last-minute errands. How we still had errands to run as we were supposed to leave dayyys ago is beyond me. We got home from our errands and went to load some stuff into the RV and the electronic step didn’t work. Weird. As I’ve mentioned, we are not very RV savvy yet (and I doubt ever) so we just assumed (there’s that word again) we were doing something wrong and went and got ice cream at Strickland’s instead of messing with it. We thought maybe it would fix itself by the time we returned. No such luck. I had the bright idea maybe we should just turn the RV on and that would fix it. Well, it didn’t fix it but THE RV WOULD NOT TURN ON. It wouldn’t even try to turn over. REALY!?! Are there hidden cameras somewhere, because this cannot be normal.

Well, it is now 8 pm and our only choice is to call GoodSam as we are members. The guy walks us through a few things and still nothing. He says the only guy he could find to come help us would be around 9 am tomorrow. “Better than sometime next week,” is all we can say. We get the rest of the RV loaded up because “we are leaving tomorrow even if we have to push the RV in neutral down the street to the Walmart.”

The mechanic arrives at 9 am ish, to our pleasant surprise, and informs us our battery is 110% dead and we need a new one. Fine. He goes and gets a new battery and puts it in and Stan (thanks mom for the great RV name) starts right up!!! YAY!!! I wanted to kiss the mechanic I was so happy! We loaded up the last few things and hit the road around noon! #RVhoneymoon has officially started!!!

Mark, officially in the captain's chair!

Mark, officially in the captain’s chair!

We head towards PA as our plan is to head east to the coast and then up it into New England and possibly Canada! Everything is great, we are riding smoothly and enjoying the drive and views and company. Our first stop along #RVhoneymoon is a place Mark found called “Joe’s Bar.” It doubles as a taxidermy museum. In fact, there were more animals than bar. Also, you can smoke in bars in PA apparently so we got out of there STAT after viewing the museum.

Joe's Bar everyone!

Joe’s Bar everyone!

Now for the fun stuff. The keys have to be in the ignition for my car to be towable. As we were planning on walking around the little downtown and go to “Joe’s Bar,” we didn’t think it wise to leave the doors unlocked and car keys in the ignition whether it was hooked up or not. When we got back, we went through the series again to hook up the car to be towable and put the robo-brake in. We start on our merry way and get about .1 miles and people start honking at us. WHY!?! I know we are a big RV driving through your little town, we’re sorry we are blocking intersections. But then we see it, smoke billowing out from my car’s tires. (slightly dramatic, not billowing so much as barely smoking- poetic license over here). Anyway, we stop and realize the robo-brake is just in the down position, so we’ve been basically dragging my car with the brakes initiated. Oh vey.

It has been about 4 hours since we left home for anyone keeping track.

Considering we were blocking about 85% of the town’s downtown intersection, we decided our best plan is to just unhook the whole thing, test the car to make sure we didn’t cause permanent damage and I would just follow Mark to the campground about 30 mins away and we would readdress robo-brake tomorrow. So for about 1/5 of our #RVhoneymoon, Mark and I weren’t even in the same vehicle. *golf clap*

I'm driving my car and following Mark. The drive to Brenner's Meadow Run was reallyyy beautiful and my iphone pic taken while driving doesn't really do it justice.

I’m driving my car and following Mark. The drive to Brenner’s Meadow Run was reallyyy beautiful and my iphone pic taken while driving doesn’t really do it justice.

The rest of the evening went smoothly. We put some food in our bellies and went to Walmart because, you guessed it, we realized we forgot stuff and needed stuff we hadn’t even thought of. It is the start of our first full day of #RVhoneymoon and we’re headed to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water and Laurel Canyons! We will address robo-brake tomorrow when we leave. Stay tuned for pics and I’m sure more stories of trial and error (which I know is the real reason most of you read this 🙂 )

Our first night at a campground!!!

Our first night at a campground!!!

xoxo,
Rachel

p.s. I just spellchecked this, and I had spelled “brake” – “break” the entire post.

Update on “Delays, Delays, Delays”

We unfortunately did not leave this morning as scheduled. We don’t even have the RV back from the dealership yet and as of about 10 am they still hadn’t even started the work!!! UGH! Trying to keep a positive mind but all we want to do is get on the road!! We are more or less all packed up… well actually we just have files of stuff around the house ready to be loaded into the RV when we get it back!

Channeling my inner positive spirit: When we get our RV back before the shop closes at 5, we will get everything loaded up tonight and hit the road first thing Friday morning!!!

xoxo,
Rachel

Delays, Delays, Delays

Hi all! Sorry it has been awhile! Back when we planned this trip, we said we were going to leave for our RVhoneymoon the day after our wedding. We reconsidered that soon thereafter and decided that we didn’t need the added stress of planning & packing for an RV trip in addition to us (me) planning our wedding. This was probably the best decision we’ve ever made as I.WOULD.HAVE.SNAPPED. In fact, my inner bridezilla did appear a few times, which I’m not proud of per say. But hey, you only get married once right?!

We took our PreHoneymoon trip to Turks & Caicos (read about it here & here & here) the day after our wedding and decompressed for 8 days. It was so incredibly perfect. We came home refreshed and ready to plan for the RV honeymoon! We had tentatively planned to leave May 30th after getting back from the PreHoneymoon. The RV was not finished upon our arrival back from Turks & Caicos. Delay #1. This delay wasn’t too disappointing because Mark was in the process of buying our 3rd rental property in Scottsdale, AZ so we flew out to AZ to do some planning, negotiating and buying! More on this new rental later!

Recap of some of our adventures! Watson Lake | Turks & Caicos | Miami

Recap of some of our adventures! Watson Lake | Turks & Caicos | Miami

When we returned from AZ, the RV remodel was done! It looks soooo good! If you haven’t seen the remodel, check it out here! Delay #2 comes in the form of busy schedules and too many moving parts. I’m kind of stretching here with this being a delay as our lives are always a hot mess (in the best possible way, I would never change it) but it does feel like a lot of things have happend in the last few weeks. We’re in the process of selling our house in Ohio to prep for a probable move to Arizona in the future, Mark is going through some major business changes, I’m about an entire year behind in the book-keeping (accounting) for a few of our side projects including the vacation rentals and really need to get caught up, I needed to hit my 100th class in Pure Barre so that I could wear my tutu in class and sign the barre, etc etc etc. All of these things compiled together and there was little time to take the RV back into Camping World for them to fix a few things and for us to learn how to use the thing! We pushed our tentative departure date to June 13ish. We spent an entire day getting lessons on how to work the RV & took videos of all the stuff! I think we are good to go with that!! We also turned our learning day into a shopping day at Camping World! Everything there seems so necessary for an RVhoneymoon road trip. It is a dangerous place I’ve decided. We then did the next most logical thing, went to Target. Because Target is the least “dangerous” store on the planet.

Some of our new kitchen things!

We did get some shopping done for the RV in the meantime! Some of our new kitchen things!

Delay #3 is all about towing a car. We had gone back and forth between towing a car or not. We ultimately decided that because we want to see as much of the country as possible, including cities, we needed to tow a car so we could be more mobile when we needed. By the time we figured out that we couldn’t tow Mark’s car (as was our original plan) and made appointments to get my car tuned up and get it some tires – we were another week behind. But this was much needed as a mechanic probably hasn’t looked at my car since 2006 when it was built and it was approx 15,000 miles overdue for an oil change. I take such good care of my belongings. June 20th estimated departure date.

Some goodies we bought from Camping World

Some goodies we bought from Camping World

Delay #4 Still about towing the car. We assumed that towing a car was a simple process. Well, we knew we would have to get a hitch but we thought that was simple. Wrong. We went to Camping World where we bought our RV first to ask about how to tow a car. The guy told us there were 3 choices. (Have I mentioned that I’m still recovering from all the wedding decisions and lightweight freeze when anyone asks me to make a decision almost 2 months later). We were not prepared for 3 choices. Basically we could, flat tow (all 4 car wheels down), 2 wheels down tow, or get a trailer and put the entire car on the trailer. Well shit, with option 3 we could have towed Mark’s car after all. research people, research. Flat tow is the easiest and doesn’t involve strapping wheels down to a trailer (dirty) every time we need to drive the car. Flat tow is also the most expensive and involves adding parts and pieces (official terms) to my car. Guess what, Camping World told is it would be August before they could get us in. Estimated departure date August?! Well that ain’t gonna work. We spent a day or two going to a few RV/trailer places learning more about all the types of towing and the soonest we could get any of it done. We decided to flat tow my car after all the running around. We found a place that could have all the parts and pieces ordered and delivered and do the work on Wednesday the 25th. Departure date June 26th.

Trying out my new chair while sitting in the driveway.

Trying out my new chair while sitting in the driveway. I’m sure the neighbors appreciated this masterpiece.

Possible Delay #5.  As we were taking the RV to FastSigns to get some RVhoneymoon.com decals put on today, we found out that the AC doesn’t work. There is a fuse that is permanently tripped or something. Neither Mark or I are handy (we didn’t even own a tool box until May 3rd – Thanks for the wedding gift Bankovich, Bankovich and Frank families) and clearly fuses are beyond a screwdriver and hammer fix. So we will keep our fingers crossed and hope the RV people can fix “it” on Wednesday. Otherwise, Delay #5 it is!

How cute are our new decals!! Love!

How cute are our new decals!! Love!

But the good news is, we are so close to leaving for the RVhoneymoon! We are more or less all packed up and all our goodies are purchased and in their new home! Hopefully it is just a matter of a few days before we are on the road! I’ll keep you posted!

xoxo,
Rachel

Our Packing List

Forget what we need to have in our RV, I’m talking what we want to have in our RV. RVescape covered the boring, albeit 100% necessary list of things we need to pack here, but now that we are safe and fully operational – I want to start buying & packing the FUN stuff!

I should mention, however; that neither one of us can still figure out how to properly close and lock our new “front door” so “safe and fully operational” might be a slight exaggeration. I’ve still mentally checked that box off and am ready for the fun stuff! Mark will figure the door out, I’m confident.

I should also probably mention that aside from driving the RV from point A to B (a total of 10 miles), we’ve spent zero minutes learning how to use our RV. I don’t know how any of it works. Electricity? nope. How to take a shower? nah. How to empty the toilet? Certainly not. What runs off the generator? Um, what. How to use the kitchen appliances? Isn’t that what restaurants are for? How to connect _____ (I don’t even know “what” connects) when we are at an RV park? Seriously, I can’t even complete the entire sentence because that is how little I know. So “safe and fully operational” is a giant exaggeration. Still, fun stuff people!

Here is what is on our  packing list!

The 9 things we simply need to have for our RV trip!

The 9 things we simply need to have for our RV trip!

1. solar charger. I’m under the impression (and common sense leads me to believe) that electricity isn’t necessarily easy to come by while driving down the road. I believe it comes from our generator which I believe runs off gas or propane. (We really need a crash course in RVing). Either way, I like to be on my phone 24/7 and it dies in about .8 minutes so charging it is a big deal for me. Why not save some energy and use the sun to charge for me! Lets just assume that we are places where there is sun…
2. propane grill. I’ve been known to grill in the middle of winter in my UGG boots and winter coat because I simply love grilled food. A grill is a no brainer for this trip.
3. bonfire tools. You can’t have a bonfire without hotdogs, s’mores and other goodies right?! My mother had the genius idea a few years back to make little pizza pockets and sandwiches using crescent rolls and sandwich irons over the bonfire! If you haven’t done this, highly recommend as it is a fun twist on traditional bonfire food!
4. RV GPS. They make a specific GPS for RVs. I’m going to assume it will help us SUPER NEWBIES out quite a bit. Don’t worry Google Maps, I won’t forget about you!
5. travel steam buddy. I will start this off by saying I Hate (capital H) ironing. I have never ironed successfully without burning myself, I always iron more wrinkles in than out, and it takes forever. The travel steam buddy seems like the perfect solution because I know Mark will pack 700 button ups that will need some attention after being packed away in a tiny RV closet!
6. lounge chairs w/ detachable tray. As Mark and I will be working from the road during our trip and we’ve never “shared” an office, let alone one as tiny as an RV, I’m picturing my workspace to be OUTSIDE and IN THE SUN! The tray is perfect for my computer. Let’s be honest tho, I really want the chair so that I can lay out in the sun and the tray for my fruity cocktail.
7. fold-up bikes. I just think these will be super fun to have in the RV and the perfect toy to have to explore fun places we find along the way!
8. Pure Barre DVDs and equipment. This is just for me! I’ve recently found a deep & true love for Pure Barre. Read more about it here. I am going to try to take classes at as many studios throughout the USA as possible, but I know there will be states that don’t have a single PB studio – I’m talking to you Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont (PS, we’ve decided to head to New England first on our RV Honeymoon) and I will need to have my Pure Barre fix in the RV. The at home equipment is perfect for this! Just pop a DVD in I’m all set!
9. bluetooth speaker. The perfect way to have some good tunes while on the road!

 

Things We Are Leaving Behind:

1. TV. We think our RV Honeymoon is the perfect time to leave the TV out and just enjoy the experience. (and enjoy our iphones, tablets, kindles..) baby steps.
2. kayaks. A lot of blogs talked about bringing kayaks. We’re going to pass.
3. random kitchen gadgets. They make a ton of RV specific gadgets like a microwave pressure cooker. In theory it sounds great, but I made it through 2 years of college dorm life with just a microwave while adamantly avoiding the dining halls and I lived. I might have gained some weight, but I lived. I’m confident that we’ll be able to make do with our oven/stove and microwave without needing 1,000 RV kitchen gadgets.

That is all for now. What have you packed for your RV trips? Have I forgotten anything major? Let me know!

xoxo,
Rachel