I cannot believe that it is already December. We are doing our Florida thing for a few weeks and then headed West in 2017. It has been a quick journey down to South Florida. Some of the drives were the longest that we’ve ever made. We also stayed in a few repeat areas; Savannah, Ga and St. Augustine, Fl. Both of those towns were covered in the blog before. Though, we are crushing harder on St. Augustine than we were the first time.
Hershey is the name and chocolate is their game! Our visit was just around Halloween time so everyone was getting in the ghoulish spirit. Hershey sponsors the local Halloween Parade every year. Kids and some parents line up on the streets dressed in their best costumes. Candy is thrown and smiles are everywhere. We chose a spot towards the end of the route which meant we didn’t get a lot of candy but it also meant that we had just enough.
Chocolate World Tour
This was the only big item we did during our visit to Hershey. There’s a theme park and everything is really easy to access but we kept it simple. It seems Hershey always provides free samples but the kids were also given trick or treat bags to visit various candy stations.
We upgraded our tour package to include creating our own candy bar. You can choose a base- white, dark, or milk chocolate and three different mix ins. And, you get to watch your candy being made. We all loved the experience.
This isn’t your seedy little dive bar. It really is a nice place and I almost felt that we were a little under dressed. That shouldn’t stop you from visiting this place.
Irv’s has one of the best Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever had. It’s amply sized without being a gimmick and the flavor and heat intensity is spot on. Instead of the usual celery stick and maybe an olive or two, this Mary had a deviled egg, bacon and a shrimp. Basically a drink and an appetizer, it’s like saving money!
Our food was equally impressive. I had the short ribs benedict. The ribs were seasoned well and fall apart consistency underneath a perfectly poached egg with well-made hollandaise sauce. The boys found themselves to be lucky and had smores French toast. I don’t believe it’s a regular on the menu. The marshmallow fluff was toasted and chocolate was every where.
Twin Grove Park and Campground
This is a very nice campground. The spaces are pretty level and well maintained. There are seasonal as well as short term visitors. During the warmer months, there are rides but our stay was just at the end of the fun. Our weekend coincided with Halloween trick or treating. There were tons of families that came just for this fun and the boys came away with way more candy than expected.
Aquia Pines Campground
The biggest draw to this campground is their onsite brewery- Wild Run Brewery. The owner brews what he enjoys and sells supplies in the camp store. We were able to purchase our beers and take them to our RV. It was a nice perk to have, especially since the weather was changing and we could enjoy a home cooked meal with our beverages.
The campground has a lot of tree coverage, which does keep the temperatures cooler and insulates the sites from the busy road sounds. The playground is pretty large and well maintained. The laundry and bathrooms are very clean. Our only drawback was the roads inside the park. They were pitted and we arrived at night which was scary to say the very least. At one point, I was sure we were going to topple over. There was a portion where the car bottomed out on top of the hill. Learned quickly that wasn’t the best way to go out daily. Going out was just as nerve racking.
It was Harvest Time here at Belvedere Plantation. The kids and I decided to go pick pumpkins early one day and found out quickly that there was a festival going on all week. Admission covers any of the pig shows, petting zoo, slides, and play areas. It was great fun and a wonderful way to welcome the season. The only drawback was we chose the last ‘hay’ ride to pick a pumpkin. The boys were very disappointed that we went to the little patch. It had limited very small sized pumpkins to choose from. It was also the main reason for our visit, so be aware that this could happen to you. Instead, we had to find a pumpkin in the main area instead of in the patch.
The choice to drive to the nearest train station and leave the car was definitely a good one. Dragging kids out earlier than their usual wake up time, convincing them to eat a pop tart instead of ‘breakfast’ (milk and cereal), and having to deal with big city traffic is WAY too much. The train was an easy choice and added adventure to the destination.
Our time was spent seeing as many of the historical sites as possible. Abe Lincoln Memorial, the various War Memorials, the National Mall, a visit to the National Postal Service Museum, plus a quick trek to “Chinatown” was all that we could fit in a day. It was not nearly enough time and it definitely felt rush. All of the museums are FREE and the reason we chose the Postal Service one was due to my having to mail in my absentee ballot.
This was not our first choice. This was a suggestion by the host at the sister restaurant; Daikaya, which was given because there was a 45 minute wait and we had two seriously hungry kids with us. The host checked their table availability before sending us off. Initially, I was disappointed with the assumption that this ramen place around the corner was better suited to our kids and it was all chicken. How dare he assume that my kids had some plain taste?!
When you walk into Bantam King, the color explodes from the walls. Brightly colored lunch trays are plastered on the walls and festive paper lanterns hang down. The kitchen is visible from the seating and you can watch the bustle while waiting for your order to arrive.
The menu is not lengthy. We opened our tummies with an order gyoza in the best sauce I’ve ever tasted. Seriously, I was sneaking sips with my spoon of it and was trying to figure a way to tilt it all in my mouth before getting caught. Mains are really easy. Four ramen choices with a chicken base with a few extra customizations like wakame or an onsen egg. We had three out of the four ramen choices. It’s been a few weeks, so I can’t totally remember which ones but each was delicious. And, best thing, it took us less time to get our food than it would have taken us to wait for a table. The host was so right in sending us around the corner.
We mainly spent a week decompressing and trying to get ready for the next move. The trips were a little longer than in the past. Which makes for tiring travel days and crazy, cooped up kids who need to expend energy but can’t while strapped down.
Palmetto Shores RV Resort
Timing is everything and we did not having this time. Sadly because we missed out on an awesome looking pool and lazy river, everything had closed down for the season. At least the boys were able to enjoy the beach front and the playground.
If you haven’t noticed, the writing has slowly changed. At first, I was trying to write in the third person to encompass both the DH and myself, but I’ve found that to be way more tedious to maintain. The blog has been a way for us to document our travels and a way for me to keep being creative and in touch with the world outside of kids.