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Things to Decide Before Buying and RV

lifervIn the last few years RVs have started regaining their positions as one of the most popular and preferred vehicles when going on vacation. Travelling with your own motorhome really has a lot of advantages, which makes it one of the most-preferred vehicles used when going on a vacation. There are four main advantages why you must choose an RV instead of any other vehicle:

 

It makes you independent

You don’t need to make any reservations to a hotel, which means you are not bound to any schedules and rules. You may park wherever you find a place to park, you may stay as long as you want to stay and you can go to another place whenever you like.

It saves you money

 The expenses when buying an RV are not small, but this is an investment that will pay its price back over the years.

It makes you feel at home

You can enjoy cosiness any time you like, which can make you feel at home. It can also make you easier if you need to take your pet with you on the family vacation.

It gives you a great view

Or, if we have to put this in other words, you may choose the view that you first lay eyes on in the morning. The choice is all yours.

So, what are the main things you need to take into account when buying an RV?

 First, you need to know that RV is based on something in the middle between a van and a truck. There are different RVs and their price usually depends on the size and the equipment. In addition, choosing an RV gives you the opportunity to take more luggage with your on your trip, as well as making you feel at home. Here are the main aspects that you need to watch for when it comes to buying an RV for you and your family:

1. The cost

Normally, the cost of the RV is the first thing most people take into account when choosing one. Usually, the rule is that the more extras the RV has, the higher its cost is. Try to decide what exactly are you looking for, but don’t forget that your RV must be good enough to endure even earthquake-type forces not only because it will be literally on the road all day long but also because it is supposed to be a reliable shelter after all. In addition, make sure there is an electrical system, plumbing and also some heating and cooking systems. Everything else, such as kitchen utensils, baths, and luxury sleeping areas make the price of the RV higher.

2. Speed

You must have in mind that RV’s speed is different and you should choose one depending on where are you planning to go to.

3. Size

The size of the RV you are planning to buy always depends on the number of people who you are planning to share it with. If you are going to travel alone, it seems more reasonable if you choose a smaller RV that has enough utilities in order to make you feel comfortable. However, if you are planning to go with your entire family, and even with the family pet on a vacation, that you will surely need a bigger RV. Do not forget that you must also consider the size and the number of sleeping areas in order to make your family really feel at home during the trip. The bathroom is supposed to be big enough in order to meet your family’s needs and requirements

4. Kitchen and bathroom

If you are planning to go on a vacation with the whole family, then you will surely need a bathroom and a kitchen. Try to choose an RV that give you maximum convenience at the most affordable price. After all, the RV kitchen is not supposed to be very big, but it must be enough functional in order to give you the opportunity of preparing a meal for you and your family. The same applies for the bathroom. Nobody expects a bathroom where you can have a long and relaxing bath, but at least you will be able to take a shower during the trip.

 

Author Bio: Jack Sheamus is traveller and blogger. He runs a small company http://www.cleantoperfection.co.uk/end-of-tenancy-cleaning-chiswick-w4/ but most of his time he spares around the globe travelling.

 

5 National Parks You Must Visit During Your RV Travels

Every once in a while it’s normal to get tired of the city. What I like to do in such occasions is take a list of national parks, close my eyes, pick one and then hop in the RV. There is nothing more refreshing than the natural beauty of a national park. In my travels I have discovered some of the best places you can go to when you want to unwind and forget all about your stressful job, first world problems and the big city life.

 

#5. Grand Canyon National Park

 

Let’s kick off the list with something everybody knows – the Grand Canyon. The Canyon’s magical and breathtaking view is overwhelming at first if you haven’t visited it. The first time I laid my eyes upon it, I was stunned by its geological magnificence. Even though I had viewed countless photos, nothing beats actually going there and seeing the real thing. You will definitely not be disappointed!

 

#4. Yosemite National Park

 

Yosemite National Park is famous for its diversity. Virtually everyone can find something to do there. You can sit in your RV and relax in the amazing setting; you can go hiking, gaze upon the marvelous cliffs and just admire the incredible view; you go biking and pump up the adrenaline a bit; you can go climbing and test your physical abilities. The park offers something for everybody.

 

#3. Grand Tetons National Park

 

Spectacular, beautiful landscapes and fresh mountain air – those are but two of the things this astonishing national park has to offer. I especially love going there when I’ve had a bad week at work and really need to take a break from everything and everyone.  There is no way you wouldn’t appreciate the unbelievable visual treats that are the flat, all-encompassing grasslands bordering with the vast, mirror-like lakes. It is astounding!

 

#2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

 

Another national park famous for its beautiful lakes, impressive landscapes and its 60-foot waterfall  is the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The dazzling vista that opens to you the moment you park your RV shows you the potential of the park from all perspectives. Whether you want to go there to just relax and do nothing, or go to the lake and make use of the boats, you will certainly feel that it wasn’t an empty trip.

 

#1. Acadia National Park

 

Maine is famous for two things – Stephen King and the Acadia National Park, although it’s possible that you’ve only heard of the first one. In case you haven’t heard of Acadia, then you’ve missed a lot. The Acadia National Park has about 30 000 acres embracing a huge forest and an unbelievable rocky shoreline. The park is sensational during the winter months. The beauteous forest is covered with a white blanket and the crystal clear lake freezes over, creating the impression of a smooth, glazed stillness that is second to none.

 

Taking off in your RV and traveling to any of the described destinations can never be a bad choice. All of us need to escape our everyday problems, the quotidian dissatisfaction of our terrestrial existence and embrace the finer, more delicate and more beautiful side of life that nature presents.

 

Author Bio: Jack Sheamus is passionate traveler and blogger. He loves to travel around the world and visit new places. He is owner of Mortlake tenancy cleaning company but he spends most of his time abroad.

 

Is Your RV Food and Water Storage Harming Your Health?

Is Your RV Food and Water Storage Harming Your Health1When going on a trip one of the greatest challenges that lay ahead of us is to stay healthy during the trip. Most of us are used to thinking that providing enough fruits and vegetables is quite enough to assure a safe and healthy trip for the whole group. But the truth is that if we want to be sure that we are doing the best possible for our health we should take into consideration not only the healthy foods and vitamins but also food that might contain harmful chemicals and unhealthy substances. As you can easily guess the second ones should be avoided as much as possible.

 

Undoubtedly when we are in our homes using only healthy food with clean products is quite easy. But what about when we are on the road? As more and more families prefer to go on an RV trip for their holiday the matter of the healthy food becomes more and more important. The sad truth is that even if you have the best products with you on your RV trip the way that you store them can be also harming for our health. And that is not all. You should also be very careful in what types of bottles you store the water when on an RV trip. Some bottle materials contain substances that might be harmful to us. And the more water you drink thinking you are doing the best for your body hydration the more exposed you are to these substances.

 

One of the most dangerous chemicals is the BPA. It is widely used in manufacturing plastic bottles and food containers. So if you have made sandwiches and placed them into a plastic food box it is very likely that they will absorb a part of the harmful BPA. Other foods that contain BPA are food in cans, plastic bottles for water and beer and soft drinks cans.

 

Manufacturers claims that the amount of BPA in plastics is negligible low but scientists have proven that even in very small amounts BPA is extremely harmful to people’s health as it is the main reason for cancer and other serious illnesses. Just think about why plastic materials and BPA in particular are no longer allowed to be used for babies and children’s bottles, cups and plates.

 

The good news is that you can limit the influence of the harmful BPA. One of the easiest ways to do that is by replacing your plastic bottles and boxes with ones made of glass when you are going on an RV trip. We understand that they are a bit heavier but after all they are good for your health. Or at least try to use plastics marked as BPA free. And forget about food in cans. This is extremely important in order to limit the BPA while you are on your RV trip holiday.

 

 

 

 

Bio: Amber Collins is a professional content writer, blogger and specializes in everything related to living on the go and enjoying it to the fullest. Home improvement and management are her specialties due to her occupation with West Brompton moving houses. The perfect way to unwind for her is jumping in the family RV and driving away but health is always important, that is why in her present article she is giving very important heads up for safety food and water storaging, while on the road.

 

Fulltimer Talks About RV Lighting – L.E.D. vs. Incandescent – what’s the big deal?

Do you find your coach or trailer batteries running out of juice quickly and all you had on was your 12 volt lights? Have you changed over to L.E.D. lights yet? Well, maybe it’s time you did! (and here’s why).

Did you know that the small incandescent light bulbs in your RV suck up a whole bunch of juice (current or electricity) from your batteries? OK, maybe I’m putting the cart before the horse.

What on earth are incandescent bulbs you ask? They’re the little glass light bulbs that looks similar to a car or truck tail light. Incandescent lights all have a filament in them. You know the light bulbs in your house that you always shake to see if the little wires in them have broken…those are also incandescent lights. You’ll probably remember the filament if you can think back of your dad or grandpa thumping light bulbs with their finger to see if the “filament” jiggled when checking the bulb to see if it was any good. Broken filaments mean there’s an open circuit which won’t allow current (electricity) to flow thru, thus, if broken, that bulb is no good.

LED lights have no filament. Instead, they have a bunch of little “diodes” (which are electrical components) that are illuminated simply by electricity traveling thru them and they produce NO heat. These little electrical components are called L.E.D.’s or Light Emitting “Diodes”.

Why are L.E.D. lights so much more energy efficient? Because they don’t create heat!

Incandescent lights as we discussed earlier, have filaments. These filaments, when electricity passes thru them, get very hot! You can witness this heat transfer when incandescent lights are illuminated by holding your hand close to the bulb (don’t touch the bulb with bare fingers when they’re illuminated! If you do, you will burn your fingers!). As the filaments get hot you can see it glowing. That glow is where the light from the bulb comes from…along with a lot of heat too.

Why is heat considered in energy consumption?

Think of some household items in your RV that create heat and that you can only run when you’re hooked up in a park or campground because they draw way too much current (electricity) to run off of your batteries. Light bulbs are no different in that lights that create heat draw more electricity than those that don’t.

Some statistics about lights (bear with me): A typical 12 volt DC light bulb draws close to 2 amps (or ampere’s) per hour where L.E.D. lights for that fit the same fixture typically draw 100 – 200 milliamps (or 100 – 200 mA) which is .1 – .2 amps per hour. OK, sorry! In layman’s terms, that means incandescent bulbs draw lots of electricity and L.E.D.’s don’t.

Now, when you decide you’re going to take the plunge because it’s time to make the change to L.E.D.’s, you’ll find that L.E.D. lights are a bit more expensive than the old incandescent bulbs you’re used to buying. If you’re on a limited budged you may want to start small and replace only a few bulbs at a time. Figure out which lights you use the most and replace only those for now. You’ll also have to make the decision whether you want bright or dim lighting.

Once you make these decisions, check out http://wiredco.com . We’ve purchased lights from many sources over the past few years and found that Wiredco.com has by far the best prices (that I’ve found domestically).

Once you make the change to L.E.D. lighting you’ll immediately notice that your batteries are lasting much, much longer.

Games To Play When On An RV Trip

Games To Play When On An RV Trip1RV trips are a lot of fun but you need to know how to best spend your time when on such trip. There are a couple of games extremely suitable for RV travels. The following list will give you a few ideas on what you can play and what you will need to play it.

  • ·Alphabet game – one of the well known games all over the world. You do not need anything more for it except for your imagination. All you have to do is go outside and start playing. Someone says an object they see and the next person should say a word starting with the last letter of the previous word and so on. The first that cannot think of a word loses.
  • ·Animal game – another quite simple yet funny game. One of the players should think of an animal and the others start asking questions that he or she can answer only with “Yes” or “No”. With the help of these questions they should manage to guess the animal. There are no scores and no winners in this game, its aim is to develop children’s logical thinking.
  • ·Guess the car colour – This game is appropriate for playing while travelling. Each person in the vehicle thinks of what the colour of the next car they will see on the road will be. Two players cannot select one and the same colour. The person who has the most right guesses wins.
  • ·Commercial game – it is also appropriate for playing while travelling. One of the persons in the vehicle thinks of a slogan of a commercial product and says it to the others. They have to find out what the product is.
  • ·Good memory – another extremely easy to play game. A person says an alphabet letter. The next one says a word starting with that letter and so on. The one who cannot think of a word loses.
  • ·Grandmother’s cat – a traditional game that both children and adults love. One of the people says the well known “My grandmother’s cat is…” and should finish the saying with a description of one word only starting with A. The second one to play should use a word starting with B and so on. A wonderful way to exercise your vocabulary knowledge.
  • Memory game – this game is extremely helpful for developing your memory. First, one of the players names a category, for example movies. Then all of the players one by one start telling different types of movies. The first one says “comedy” and the second one should repeat “comedy” and then say its own type. The third player repeats the sayings from the first two and says its idea and so on. The player who fails to repeat the whole sequence loses.

 

 

 

Bio: Amber Collins is a professional content writer, blogger and specializes in everything related to  home improvement and management. She has recently moved from Spain and is often undertaking family trips whenever possible. She is constantly searching for new adventures and the perfect vacation for her is jumping in the family RV and driving away. As a dedicated housewife and mother, she is giving some suggestions for funny games that can be played while on the road.

 

Full Time Rver’s Find Riverside Campground In Valentine, NE A Great Place To Stay

map1Riverside Campground is one of those wonderful treasures that you accidently run across. We first discovered it on our way to Yellowstone. We’ve stayed there on two different occasions and would do so again.

While there is nothing fancy about this little park, it is peaceful and quiet.  Located on the bank Niobrara River, outside of Valentine, NE., it’s an easy walk to get to the river. Tent camping is allowed here for any that are interested in roughing it.  30 amp electric and water hookups are available with room to get a moderately large rig in. A sewer dump is situated on the way in/out of the park. There are also several small cabins on the premise for those who want to go the RV-less route. A drop box is provided in front of the office for after hour arrivals.

The owner, Mike, is extremely helpful and friendly. The second time we stayed, we realized that the electric was not working so we called the number posted on the door. Mike informed us he was 200 miles away but would call his daughter to come over and check things out. She was there within 15 minutes and had us electric in another 10. Guess this is what happens when you’re the first people to stop in for the season.

Riverside is a small campground with 20 sites, restrooms and shower house.  It provides a small playground and volleyball net. If you chose you can spend the day relaxing in the shallow water of the river or throwing some horseshoes.  I believe they offer WiFi but we have not used this perk.

Rates for a hookup site are $20 for 2 adults and children under 15. One drawback of this park for us was that they charge $5 for any person over 15. I can’t verify this just reporting what the sign says.  Firewood and ice are available to purchase at the office if required to make your stay more exciting and The town of Valentine is a short drive away for groceries and other services.

The cabin prices range for $35 to $55 a night and linens are available upon request.   Electricity and air conditioning to all three provide comfortable sleeping.

Local attractions include a historical bridge and railroad trestle, a still-active cowboy trail used for herding cattle along the river as it’s been done for a hundred years, and several wildlife preserves in the immediate area for great photo ops and birding.

 

Life on the Open Road, Advice From A Full Time RVer

Ahh, the dream of the adventures of the open road!  For some it remains a lifelong dream which for one reason or another never sees fulfillment, but for those lucky enough to live that dream, their lives are forever enriched with countless experiences.  We are approaching our one year anniversary on the road.  For us, it was a life changing decision brought on by unexpected medical circumstances, and many long talks, before finally deciding that we were ready to actually do this.  So, we sold our house, got our motor home and headed out for our new adventures.

 

The first year has certainly produced many experiences we will never forget and has definitely given us hindsight knowledge that we can now pass on to others. Some of these things may seem like no-brainers to the many experienced RVers (and possibly produce a chuckle or two); but for those other greenhorns out there, some of this information might actually be quite useful.  One of the biggest issues is finding the proper RV for your travels.  Although the individual style preferences and monetary budgets are great deciding factors, there are some other things to take into consideration.  We were hard-pressed to come to a decision about simply getting a larger fifth wheel and truck or going with a motor home and a tow vehicle.

Here are some of the areas we feel are important things to consider:

What are your travel plans? 

What kind of RVing are you actually going to be doing?  Are you simply using your RV for vacations or will it be your actual home?  Are you going to travel and hop from one campsite to another?  Are you going to stay in one place for a lengthy time?  What kind of vehicle do you feel comfortable driving (size, driving experience and ability)?  What does your budget allow (do you already own a truck – then a fifth wheel might be a good choice)?  What length/age RV should I go with (your choices of parks/campgrounds can be limited by the length and age of your RV)?  Slide out vs. non-slide out (more slide outs mean more room, but it also means more weight, and some campgrounds cannot/will not accommodate slide outs. Do you have enough room to move if slide outs are in)? These and other questions will help you in making your decision. Then of course, there is the age old question of gasoline vs. diesel, but that is a subject for another debate.

 

Typically, if you plan to stay put for any length of time, a fifth wheel seems to be the RV of choice, as it has more living space and tends to feel more like a home.  If you are more of a roaming traveler and tend to move on to new locations regularly, a motor home is more widely recommended, because of the conveniences of being able to freely move around, (but do so with safety in mind to avoid accidents) and when making stops along the way, everything is self-contained.  Most are equipped with generators and do not require getting out of the unit to set up, or cook.  If it is raining, you don’t have to get wet, and if you are in a questionable area, you can stay locked in for safety.  Another consideration is what happens when a breakdown occurs.  With a fifth-wheel you still have a home if the truck needs to go to the shop; whereas with a motor home, you may have to stay at a hotel until repairs are completed.

What kind of storage do you need?

Bus-type vehicles and motor homes that have “basement storage” are fantastic if your life is on the road or you simply need a lot of storage room.  Fifth-wheels tend to have less storage underneath, yet there are several models with quite a good amount of storage inside, and you learn to be very efficient with storage after a while.

What amenities do you truly need?

For us, a prerequisite if we ever traded vehicles is a washer and dryer.  We are work campers, and stay put for months at a time.  Unlike campgrounds and resorts, most state/federal parks do not have laundry rooms; therefore, we typically have to drive a minimum of 30 minutes to a nearby town to use the Laundromat.

We also wish we had a larger refrigerator.  For vacations a small one is fine, but for actual living, a larger version would be preferred.

 

Certainly there are a plethora of anesthetic options and choices, but if you are starting out for the first time on the road, the functionality and livability should be the top issues to consider, and they are very often overlooked when standing here, and gaping in awe at a sparkling new RV.

 

Safe travels everyone!

“Flying free and loving it. Our home is where our wheels take us!”

Full Time Rver Supplies Easter Celebration Ideas

I’m lucky this year that I’ll be spending Easter with my family in Louisiana.
Being a mother of 7 children and 9 grandchildren I’ve always loved holidays and had to be creative when coming up with ideas that adults and children both enjoy.
We always incorporated games that all could play. We had the basic Easter egg hunt but hid eggs for the older young adults in much harder places. The easy eggs had change in them as the kids usually always had plenty of candy already. The hard hidden eggs had dollars in them and of course the Gold egg had a five dollar bill in them.
Since the older kids knew that the way hid eggs had just change they left those alone for the younger kids.

The kids loved piñata that we made the week before and stuffed goodies and candy inside.  Here’s a link to directions to an Egg piñata.

http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/2011/04/how-to-make-an-easter-egg-pinata.html

Another game that everyone played, as family groups was the Easter Scavenger hunt. .
That was always a hit. ****
Each family brought a Easter themed item. We would make up some clues and send the family’s to find the trail to the Bunny Basket!   Yes, there is only one basket, but fill it with plenty of goodies for all to share. Items needed for this include: Bunny ears, bunny hairclips, a rabbits foot, bunny jewelry, plastic eggs, a stuffed bunny and of course the big basket! As they got older, I updated the contents of the basket to include Itunes gift cards, lottery tickets, restaurant, fast food, video store, Barnes and Noble, Target and Starbucks gift cards. It is always a blast!!  I was not sure how it would be received, but it was a huge success!

Now this next game was usually the favorite game.
The game of Egg Toss is normally played at large outside gatherings. Players are recommended to wear old clothes while playing the game and may even want to bring an extra set of clothes to the party.

The group divides up into two or more teams. All teams need to be of equal size to be fair. Each team then lines up half of their players on each of two sides a corridor many feet across. Players of the same team face each other in sets of 2.

The first player of the team tosses the egg to their team member on the opposite side of the corridor. That person then hands the egg to their team member beside them who has not handled the egg yet. That player then tosses the egg to their team member opposite them on the corridor. To win the game, a team must be the fastest to get the egg from one end of their team to the other without breaking their egg.

In the event that both teams tie, each team member takes a giant step backwards, and the challenge begins again.

Another version of this game involves players passing eggs with spoons from one player to another. In this version, players each place a spoon with the handle held in the players mouth. Once the game begins, players are not allowed to use their hands or their team loses. Players pass the egg from spoon to spoon down their line of team members. It is ordered the exact same way as the version above except instead of tossing eggs to their opposite team members, they must walk or run their eggs across the corridor. Again, eggs may only be carried by the spoons in their mouths and not their hands.

The spoon version may also be played with teams lined up in straight lines. In this variation of the game, teams simply pass the egg to the next person in the line. Again, players are never allowed to touch the eggs with their hands once the game begins.

This game can be a hillarious and fun game. It does tend to be rather messy if you happen to be one of the players that accidentally drops their egg.

Some years we had an Egg Relay Race. I found a link to explain the rules of this game.
How to Have an Egg Relay Race
http://www.ehow.com/how_12812_have-egg-relay.html#ixzz2Oc6cVr7n

And usually we’d have a craft table set up with the adults taking turns helping the kids make a craft.
The following are links to a few easy crafts that you can incorporate into your celebration.

http://m.parenting.com/gallery/easy-easter-crafts-for-kids

http://www.marthastewart.com/274333/easter-kids-crafts-and-activities/@center/276968/easter

Last but not least… Food!

There’s so many good recipes out there that many enjoy but our family, being in Louisiana has a large crawfish boil. I know that’s not usual in most areas but this time of the year is our crawfish season and we love it because this is a meal that the “guys” usually cook so it’s the one holiday we don’t have to cook as much.

The following are links to crawfish boil recipes and pictures.

http://insiderbatonrouge.com/food/how-to-throw-a-louisiana-crawfish-boil/

http://www.nola.com/food/index.ssf/2011/03/post_64.html

http://youtu.be/jaYfeRDtkIs

We always serve deviled eggs and this year I found a recipe that is so cute.
They look like chicks cracking out of eggs.
Here’s the link.

http://athriftymom.com/easter-chicks-deviled-eggs-diy-simple-money-saving-recipe/

Also colored deviled eggs.

http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/breakfast/egg-breakfast/colored-deviled-eggs.html

I’m looking forward to Easter this year but the difference now is that the older children are in charge of the celebration so Grammy gets to sit back, watch and enjoy!

I hope you have a wonderful Easter.

The Tabasco Factory On Avery Island Leaves Traveling Teen With Fond Memories

IMG_1821The Tabasco Factory in Louisiana is one of the first tours my family ever went on when full timing. Not so much because we love spicy hot sauce, it just happened to be close by when we started officially traveling full timing. Our first visit here was almost three years ago, but we also were able to visit here again a few months ago. So don’t worry, this review is fairly up to date.

 

The Tabasco factory is located on Avery Island a few hours away from New Orleans. Avery Island contains not only the fields that grow all the peppers for Tabasco Sauce; it also holds the only factory in the world that makes Tabasco Sauce! Every bottle of the spicy sauce came from Avery Island! The condiment was first made by Edmund Mcllhenny, born in Maryland Edmund moved to Louisiana around the year 1840. He created Tabasco sauce using the same ingredients used today, tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. He mixed the ingredients and then aged them for three years in barrels! Edmund gave the sauce to family and friends who urged him to sell it. So in 1868 he began producing it for the public. Though the sauce is now sold world wide, the recipe is still essentially the same.

 

P4280201When you visit the Tabasco Factory you are able to learn more about the history of Edmund and of Tabasco sauce on a fairly short tour. I would not say this is the best tour I have been on, but it is definitely worth a stop if you have never been before. Admission price is one dollar a person, and as soon as you step into the building you are overwhelmed with the rich spicy scent of tabasco peppers. We did not have to wait to long for the tour to begin as it runs every 20 or so minutes, if you arrive early you can just browse the gift shop nearby. When we were done waiting we were led into a viewing room with rows of seats in front of a large screen. An employee talked for a few minutes about the history of Tabasco Sauce, and then a movie began playing on the screen. The film was mainly a commercial for the hot sauce, but it did tell quite a bit about the history of the tabasco pepper, the founder of Tabasco, and the process of the sauce being made. Lasting around 30 minutes I am not sure how well it would hold the attention of young children, but I am sure everyone else will enjoy it. Once the film is finished we walked out the door past a wall with a large glass window. Through the window we were able to see Tabasco bottles being filled and having labels stuck on them. I enjoyed the tour, but I do wish we could have seen more of the actual factory. However, we only had to pay a dollar for admission so I guess I can’t really complain too much. All in all the tour is a good deal.

 

IMG_1826Even more fun then the tour, is the gift shop and taste bar in a building outside. When we visited Avery Island a few months ago, we opted to skip the tour and go straight to the gift shop. The store is crammed full of fun things, and you can easily spend a good half hour in it. Mainly because in the back store is a whole tasting booth with every flavor of Tabasco Sauce! They also have a variety of pretzels and tortilla chips, because it would be weird if you just wanted to eat straight up hot sauce. If that doesn’t sound fun, wait until you hear what else they offer! Tabasco flavored ice cream AND Tabasco flavored coke! Plus both of these delicious treats are free! Of course the portions of these are not huge, but they are surprisingly well portioned! They were not really my thing, but my spice-aholic brother loved all of the samples both times that we visited here. In addition to free samples this gift store has some pretty fun things for sale! Tabasco themed baseball, huge pepper earrings, tabasco flavored chocolate, pepper pens, little tabasco bottle earrings and wickedly spicy (surprise) tabasco flavored lollipops. No, I am serious. We bought a few of these the first time we visited, and they were so spicy the literally burnt my tongue! Once the burning stopped my tongue was numb for pretty much the rest of the day!  The store is small, but is chock full of fun and interesting things.

 

The Tabasco factory is a very fun tour, I think it is great but I would not recommend coming here more then once. The grounds around the factory are very nice and have a lot of picnic tables so you can bring a lunch here if you want. I think this tour is fun for the whole family. I think that kids will also enjoy this tour, it is fun, not to long, and when it is over they get to eat samples! This place is great for everyone, the price of the tour is inexpensive and overall it is just a very fun place.

Traveling Through California? Don’t Miss The Santa Cruz Boardwalk

IMG_7661A classic piece of vintage Americana, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk has been around for over a hundred years and hosts a wide variety of fun activities. At this one place you can ride a plethora of rides, eat classically yummy boardwalk food, listen to live music at special events, play at one of several arcades, go bowling, mini golfing or take a dip in the ocean and relax on the beach. This boardwalk is crammed full of fun and doubtless you will be able to find something here that you will want to do! You do have to pay a fairly small price to park here, but you are given all day parking and a sheet with some great coupons that you can use at the boardwalk!

 

Though the boardwalk is admission free, you do need to pay for tickets, arcade tokens and the other attractions. You can buy a day pass, but at thirty dollars apiece I am not sure I would call this the best deal, especially for large families or groups. I would only use this daily pass if you were a group of three or four people; I think that the best option is to simply choose two or three rides that each of you want to do and then buy enough tickets. Tickets are one dollar each and every ride ranges from a price of three to four tickets. I took note of the fact that the intensity of the rides seemed to be aligned with the amount of tickets needed, the three ticket rides were almost all the kiddy rides, the four ticket rides were all mild thrills and the large roller coasters and solo water ride each cost five tickets. You are able to purchase a roll of fifty tickets for forty dollars as a special deal. For your best deal you should simply look at the Santa Cruz website look at the various deals and decide what ticket package is the best for your group J Attractions like laser tag and mini golf cost five dollars a person.

 

The Boardwalk proudly boasts of dozens of rides, ranging from wild thrill rides, to cutesy rides that the kids will enjoy! I highly recommend the bumper cars, the merry ground (that has been a part of the boardwalk since it was first started!) the Cyclone roller coaster (another classic ride), Loggers Revenge and so many more rides! Every single ride that I have ridden has been a lot of fun. If you come here you will find at least one ride you will utterly love!

 

The boardwalk also has some fun and yummy food! Deep fried candy bars, corn on the cob topped with numerous toppings, hot dogs, blossom fried onions, funnel cakes, snow cones, slurpees and meals you can buy like clam chowder in bread bowls and BBQ. But out of all of the delicious food available here I have found one treat that is undeniable unique! At a candy stand called Marini’s you can find chocolate covered bacon!IMG_7665 I bet that half of you think this sounds delicious and half of you think it sounds disgusting so let me tell you- It is delicious. I have brought a few people to the boardwalk to try this treat and even people who doubted they would like it enjoyed the chocolate covered bacon! It hardly even tastes like bacon; it could be compared to a smoky toffee covered in milky chocolate. This is one of the best chocolate dipped things I have eaten and no matter what I have to get this treat when I come to the boardwalk! I also recommend you try the taffy that is freshly made every day here.

 

I have to tell you though that like anything else the boardwalk is not all sugar and happiness. If you do arrive on a crowded day I know for a fact that you will not have as much fun as you would on an emptier day. The crowds at the boardwalk tend to be made up of families and, well, I guess you would call them punks J The boardwalk seems to be a very popular place for teenagers and young adults to hang out and though they are not all exactly rude I would not say they are all that friendly or nice. One thing I want to say is that this place is fun to visit as a family or group, but you don’t want to let your kids wander around here alone on the boardwalk or the arcades.IMG_7700

The boardwalk has half a dozen fun activities to do such as bowling, a climbing wall, laser tag and mini golf. I wish I could review these activities but I have not currently been to any of them yet. From what I have seen they are fun, clean, enjoyable events! If you go to any of these let me know how they are, ha ha ha ha J Activities like these are on average around five dollars. You can also visit one of the several arcades the boardwalk offers; just remember to bring some money for tokens! Before you pick an arcade to play at you should scope out the other arcades and decide which one will be the most fun for your group! For even more fun visit the activity center Neptune’s Kingdom where you will find ping pong, air hockey, pool and more arcade games.

 

Finally before you visit make sure you go the Santa Cruz Boardwalk website to see if any special events or deals are going on around the time of your visit! I know that no matter how old you are you will love the boardwalk and have fun here!