Posted in: Animal Sightings, Campground Review, Food, Frequently Asked Questions, Hiking, Internet, Maintenance, Newbie Tips, School, Sightseeing

How We Pick Out A Campground (Frequently Asked Questions)

There are a ton of campgrounds out there and it can be overwhelming trying to find the “best” one to call home! They range from independent places, chains (like KOA and Thousand Trails), city owned, state owned, and federally owned. Some only accept military/retired military, some only accept Class A’s, and some have age limits on the RVs or the people they let in. A lot of places also have dog restrictions based on breed.

We have a few things that we always look for in a campground: location to sightseeing, internet, full hook-ups, and a laundry room. Our biggest one is a good internet connection for school and work. There are a few different websites that I visit to check reviews: campgroundreviews.com, GoodSam, and Campendium are my first ones. After those, I will go to Yelp/Google Map reviews (make sure to type RV Campground or RV Resort, not just campground as you will get results that will not work with RVs or may not have hook-ups), and then to Facebook for the RV groups to see if anyone has stayed there before.

Our favorite RV Campground Review Sites

I always check multiple review sites, especially for internet issues, but sometimes you still don’t get it right. For example, the Garden of the Gods RV review stated that our 3 providers worked. However, when we checked in, there was a note with our paperwork saying AT&T did not work in the park. This wasn’t mentioned on the campground’s website at the time. (This is just one of the reasons why we have three internet providers!)

I also try to read about the general campground conditions (sites, roads, etc.). If a lot of reviews with bigger RVs say that sites or internal roads were tight or not well maintained, I will pass on that campground. We’ve even double checked the reviews on the way to a campground and changed our plans last minute based on the current conditions. Conditions of campgrounds can change frequently. For example, when we booked one Texas site, it had decent reviews. On the drive there, we were reading the reviews from the last week and it was filled with reports of sewage problems throughout the campground (eww!), so we frantically searched and found a new campground to stay in. The most recent one was a change due to a review saying the T-Mobile signals were weak. T-Mobile is where most of our working internet comes through. We have some hotspot data through our cell phones, but the T-Mobile hotspot is the workhorse.

Campground amenities can also be a big indicator for the nicety of a park, although not always. There doesn’t seem to be a regulation on who can call themselves a RV Resort vs a campground, so reading reviews are important! We had one Thousand Trails claim to be a resort and they only had a laundry room and a walking trail. Nothing else was available or was broken and the sites and roads needed some upkeep. On the other hand, we had a Thousand Trails in Orlando that lived up to the resort title with many amenities and things to do.

An on-site laundry is also a requirement for us, as we do not have a washer/dryer on our travel trailer.

We have learned to always check (recent) reviews across the different review sites. It can be worth spending the extra money to get a nicer campground, especially for longer stays.

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Hiking, Museums & Tours, School, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Colonial Williamsburg (Virginia)

Hey guys, this is another blog post by Will! Today I am here to talk about the amazing world of Historic Williamsburg! We visited Williamsburg with our friends the Piatts and had a great time. To start out with you will want to park your car, and then walk to the left of the building towards the side. You might see a shuttle there and if so you can get on that to get over to Historic Williamsburg. If not, you can take the path up ahead which is the cooler option in my opinion. You can see the plantation they recreated which includes a windmill that not only has rotating blades but the body also rotates as well to get more wind flow. The body part had to be manual though.

Once you get to Williamsburg you can explore whatever you want. A lot of the stores and shops are open and it is free to walk around if you haven’t decided on buying a ticket yet. We had prepaid for tickets however so we were good to go. We skipped the governor’s house right off because of the huge line and instead went to a historic house which had been left standing for all those years. It had a parlor, a guest bedroom, an office, and a socializing room on the first floor. In the back they had sheep and the kitchen. This was also where we saw our first tradesman a cooper. Williamsburg has many occupations in the town which make all of the different things that they sell and even construct some of the buildings. The coopers for those who didn’t know, were people who made buckets and barrels by putting iron rings around individual pieces of wood.

After we left the house we started wandering towards the armory, looking at all of the different things around the town. Once we got there we first saw the shoemakers. They, as you can probably tell, make shoes and told us all about it. The lady in the front was very helpful and told us that a skilled shoemaker could make 1 shoe in a 12-hour day. She also told us master shoemakers were expected to make 7 shoes in 6 days. She said that most men wore black shoes because they were the fashion of the day and that they were also easier to keep clean and fix. There was more variety in women’s shoes with some being made of different material and colors, but for men it was mostly black leather shoes.

Next, we went to the blacksmith which was right next to the shoemakers. There was another woman standing there with two men in the shop, one pumping the bellows and the other using a file on some tool. She told us that the most common item they made was farm equipment, but during the Revolutionary War they also made many weapons for the war cause. She said that to make the metal soft enough to mold you needed it at 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit and to get it really hot enough you needed it at 2,000 to 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit. During her talk the two guys in the back pulled out a red-hot piece of iron and started pounding at it with their hammers which was pretty cool. She said that the metal they usually used was iron and steel which was pretty common in the United States so they didn’t require it to be imported during the war. I also found out later in the tour that the blacksmith also makes nails which are used in the construction of some of the buildings at Williamsburg.

Top Row: Capitol Building. Middle: 1771 building, shoemakers, Nick getting pressed penny. Bottom: blacksmith’s

After that we went to explore and came across some bathrooms and a shop. We all took turns going to the bathroom and also went inside to look around the shop. Nick got a pressed penny with the Capitol building on it. We also went to a nearby restaurant where we bought root beer, diet coke, and bread and ate it at the nearby benches. Then we went to the Capitol Building which was the seat of government in Virginia. It was hit by lighting, burned by people, and destroyed 3 times. On the last time they moved the capitol away where it promptly burned down again. The court ruled on large cases like murder, counterfeit, and robbery. You could choose to have a case by either peers or the magistrate which was a group of judges.

After the Capitol building we visited the jails where prisoners could be kept for 3 months (or more) before they were tried before the court, as the court only met during certain times. They also kept sheep and horses in the back which we later learned were used by weavers at Williamsburg to make clothing and yarn which you can buy at the gift shops.

We then visited the carpenters where we learned they made their own tools and build many of the buildings made of wood that are around Williamsburg. They told us that it took thousands of shingles to make the building they were currently under. They used nails from the blacksmith shop, which I thought was very cool. They even had a storage area in the attic of the building above them. They said they were going to soon construct a group of buildings and he pointed to a pile of wood which at the time I thought was a trash pile and said those were 8,000 shingles and that they needed 20,000 shingles for the whole project. At that I was impressed.

We then visited the shop that sells all of the homemade goods for Williamsburg where I learned what all the trades were at Williamsburg. They have weavers, coopers, silversmiths, blacksmiths, and carpenters for both buildings and furniture. We took a look around and saw an old toaster (which was pretty cool) that had been made by the blacksmiths.

We then visited the grandest building in all of Williamsburg, the Governors Palace. And it was a palace indeed! In the entrance were hundreds of swords and guns for both infantry and cavalry. It had a huge courtyard and two other buildings for the kitchen and one for the slaughtering of animals. It had a ballroom and a reception area, and enough guns to supply a regiment of soldiers. It even had different musical instruments in the back and a huge emblem on the back door. It had a grand back area for a garden. We did the maze with various finishing times for the group.We walked around a little longer and then went home.

Sarah Note: Bottom Right: Steps. We saw these stairs everywhere with metal bars in them. I asked the tour guide what they were. Back in the day, there were not always slabs under the steps, which could make for some wonky stairs. After the stone was placed, a spot was carved out, molten metal poured in, and a metal pin placed in to help hold the stairs together.
The maze at the Governor’s Palace Gardens

And that’s the end of the blog with Will. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to the blog, and to follow our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. See you soon, Will!

SARAH NOTES: Williamsburg was open to Visitors, although it was recommended that you buy your passes online. You have to choose your date of attendance when you book your tickets. Parts of Williamsburg is free; you can walk through the town and shops without paying the admission fee. However, if you want to go into certain areas or houses, then you do have to have an admission ticket. (For example, Governor’s Palace, carpenter’s yard, Wythe House.) Due to COVID, they are limiting the amount of people inside the buildings, so you may be waiting in line for awhile. I think our longest time was about 45 minutes. They call themselves a living history museum, so Will was a little disappointed in the amount of historical plaques to read. He made up for it by asking the blacksmith and shoe shop several questions though. We saw the Wythe house, the blacksmith and shoe shop, the carpentry yard, and the Governor’s Palace.

If you missed the Instagram video, here is a link to our video at the Blacksmith’s and seeing some adorable baby sheep.

DETAILS:*

  • TICKETS: Several options available. Single Day $35.99/adults, $19.99/child (6-12) . COVID Restrictions: masks required, book online for a set date, Visitor Center Closed, social distancing at some locations so you may wait in line.
  • HOURS: Hours vary. Most of the shops are open 9:00am to 5:00pm, but there are some evening programs based on the day.
  • PARKING: Yes, Visitor Center (with shuttle or a 1/4 mile walk) or at art museums
  • BATHROOM: Yes
  • TIME RECOMMENDED: 2-4 hours
  • *Details correct at the time of posting, but please double check before you go.
Posted in: Animal Sightings, Frequently Asked Questions, Hiking, Museums & Tours, National Park, National Parks, Sightseeing

What Is Your Favorite National Park?

We’ve been to quite a few of the National Parks this year. The America The Beautiful annual pass is really quite the deal at $80.

There are so many to choose from, and I think we all have our own favorites.

The Parks, Monuments, Preserves, and Historical Sites we have been to so far are:

  • Mount Rushmore National Monument
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Tetons National Park
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Arches National Park
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Cabrillo National Monument
  • Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (BLM)
  • Saguaro National Park
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Jean Lafitte National Historical Park & Preserve (Barataria and Chalmette)
  • Everglades National Park
  • Biscayne National Park
  • Fort Pulaski National Monument
  • Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park
  • Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
  • Colonial National Historic Park (Jamestown, Yorktown)

Sarah: My favorite is Yellowstone. There is so much to see and the landscape changes. One minute it is a flat field, then rivers and bison herds, then thermals (hot springs, geysers). There is something for everyone.

Yellowstone National Park: hot springs and geysers, creeking, elk, bald eagle, bison by river

Ben: My favorite is Bryce. The landscape was very different; but beautiful with the hoodoos and different colors. I had a sense of accomplishment when we were done, as during part of it I didn’t know if we would finish the hike.

Bryce Canyon

Will: My favorite is Colonial National Historic Park because of all the history.

Colonial: Jamestown and Yorktown

Nick: My favorite is Zion. I liked hiking the Narrows.

Zion: The Narrows, a lizard, Canyon Overlook Trail

Honorable Mentions: Carlsbad Caverns (it is quite the experience, it’s a little other worldly) and Everglades (so much wildlife)

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Hiking, Museums & Tours, National Park, National Parks, School, Sightseeing

Historic Jamestowne, Virginia (National Park)

Hey guys! Here’s another blog post with your favorite friend…Will! Today I am here to talk about another significant site from history, the Jamestown Settlement. This is the first settlement that successfully settled in America. It was led by Captain John Smith, who as most of you know befriended Pocahontas. She convinced her father to help the settlers, which allowed the first successful colonization in the New World.

Jamestown started out as a place to get rich quick. Half of the first people to come Jamestown were gentlemen, men who fought in battles and were rich enough to be able to buy their own armor and weapons and lead men. These men were used to fighting and tactics, but not hard labor which led many of them to dislike their new life in the Americas. It probably would have been a downhill spiral as the two groups of people, gentlemen and commoners, fought over who would do what work in Jamestown if Smith hadn’t stepped in and said if ‘you don’t work you don’t eat’.

Jamestown also suffered many problems when it was starting up such as the fact that they had settled in native territory and slaughtered the natives there which were a part of a confederacy of natives at the time. That soured relations quite a bit and soon the settlers and the natives were at each other’s throats. The problem was that most of the men were not used to hard labor and most were unskilled and did not know how to make anything or work. They only had two trained fishermen so their food was in short supply. The drinking water was also unhealthy and some of it was even tainted with arsenic. They were, under the guidance of John Smith, able to finally build the fort which was 1 acre in all, and with the help of John Smith, soon began to trade with the natives and with Pocahontas.

The next big issue that Jamestown faced was the Starving Time. This event was caused because the settlers got on bad terms with the natives again and trade soon came to a halt. With only 2 fishermen and winter coming things were getting dire. They were soon eating their dogs, their horses, and even their own people. The first person to be cannibalized in America was Jane, a young woman. Eventually two ships who had originally come with a large fleet of ships arrived right when the settlers were abandoning Jamestown to try and find food. Horrified by the skeletal people, the new people shared their food with them and they all sailed back to recolonize Jamestown. The first big issue was that, because most of the buildings were made of wood, they were quickly deteriorating. They soon rebuilt the wooden post-in-ground houses and rebuilt with stone bases so that termites and ants could not enter the wood and so the wood was not at ground level.

Soon things were looking brighter for Jamestown. They were soon turned into the capitol of Virginia because of a huge crop that was making its way to Europe as quickly as it could be produced. A cash crop that changed Jamestown from a desolate fort that was struggling for survival into a huge port city and the capitol of Virginia. Tobacco! The people in England couldn’t get enough of the stuff. It was soon being shipped out of Jamestown and making the whole town very rich. Soon the state of Virginia made it legal to only bring tobacco out of Jamestown so that Jamestown became even more rich. This caused Jamestown to grow huge in size and led to more indentured servants and then, sadly, slaves.

The downfall of Jamestown was when the capitol of Virginia moved to Richmond and the laws that tobacco could only go through Jamestown were abolished. Soon many were leaving Jamestown as the city was losing money, and without money, no people would come. Jamestown soon fell into disrepair and the only thing left standing over the years was the old church tower that had been built out of bricks. In the 1900’s conservation efforts were made. A seawall was built to make sure that the coast would not erode more, and restoration of the stone towers was attempted. At the time it was assumed that the erosion of the shoreline had made it so that the original fort had been lost to the sea. Excavation began and soon that was proven false as they found the original ditch for the fort, several wells and post in ground holes were discovered. They also found tools that belonged to a smithy and old waste and trash that was covered up in wells or in basements. This included a helmet, a halberd, and a dagger.

After several excavations the National Parks bought the land and Jamestown fort and took over construction of the fort. They added a museum and most of the things you can now see here today. That is the long and complicated story of Jamestown. Thank you for reading and make sure to look at our other channels like YouTube, and Facebook. Goodbye for now.

Sincerely,

Will

Ben and Sarah Notes: Don’t picture seeing a historic town like you would in Williamsburg. While it does have several buildings, Historic Jamestowne only contains a few original structures: the original church tower (since restored and the church recreated). a house ruin, and some foundations. The rest of the buildings are recreations. There was a lot of reading, including the more in-depth Junior Ranger Program booklet. The houses and archeology pits were closed, although the Visitor Center and museum were open. The boardwalk was nice way to walk into the town area. It passes over a marshy area where we saw lots of turtles in the water. There were a few turtles upside down, which we thought was bad. Nick asked the Ranger, and he replied that some turtles can turn themselves over and they may be sunning and trying to get more warmth through the thinner belly shell. Or, they didn’t make it through the winter. Ben and I did learn one new thing I don’t remember learning in school: there was a Starving Time (where food was scarce and the town resorted to cannibalism).

VIDEO: Turtles and Muskrat we saw at Jamestown

DETAILS:*

  • TICKETS: WITH Annual NPS Pass $10/adults, children 0-15 free. WITHOUT Annual Pass: $15/adult. COVID Restrictions: masks required, houses were closed to tours. (The extra fee, even with the NPS America The Beautiful Annual Pass, goes to Preservation Virginia.)
  • HOURS: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • PARKING: Yes
  • BATHROOM: Yes
  • TIME RECOMMENDED: 1-3 hours
  • *Details correct at the time of posting, but please double check before you go.
Posted in: Animal Sightings, Campground Review, Hiking, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Myrtle Beach State Park Campground: Campground Review

For our final stop in South Carolina, we went to Myrtle Beach and stayed at the Myrtle Beach State Park.

The state park does have some nice amenities to it: walking trails, touristy type of shops (1 in the campground, 1 at beach), walking distance to beach. If you are staying in the park, you do not have to buy the daily park pass (as long as you have your window tag displayed).

It was very dark at night, as there were not any street lights throughout the campground. Bring a flashlight if you are taking a walk or going to the bathroom! There are signs about copperheads throughout the park. There was air noise from the airport and helicopter tours. There were a couple of airplanes that flew so low that the RV rattled.

The sites are nicely shaded, although they are long and narrow. The sites had a picnic table and fire pit (with flip down grill). The gates closed and locked at 10:00 pm, although they do give you the code. It was a very weird experience, as you have to get out of your car in the dark near the woods to unlock and open the gate, drive through, get out again to shut it. Having a keypad code for the gate would be a huge improvement. The park also states that there is no alcohol permitted in the campground or park.

The camp store had some souvenir type of items, firewood ($7.49/bundle), ice, and some drinks and ice cream.

There were several bathrooms/showers around the campground. The laundry facility wasn’t too far from our site (in loop 5). Washers and dryers were $2/load.

Bottom image: entrance to the campground (campground to the left, beach to the right)

The beach did not close at night, so we did get a couple of nice nighttime walks in.

There was a patch program for the kids through the state park (a little like the Junior Ranger Program at the National Parks). The Nature Center was at the edge of the campground and was a nice spot to sit and watch the birds at the feeders. It was also a great spot for the kids to find lots of information for the scavenger hunts.

We did not see many animals, other than birds and squirrels in the campground. We did see some crabs, starfish, and a jellyfish at the beach. Nick and I also found shark teeth, which was lots of fun and a new experience for both of us. There were also shells to find, which is always a plus for us at a beach.

CONCLUSION:

CONS: Air noise, the gate, tightness of the campground

PROS: Walkable to beach, campfire ability, shade trees, amenities of park and campground, patch program for kids

If we were in Myrtle Beach, we would stay here again.

VIDEO: Walking Tour Myrtle Beach State Park

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3.5 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Back-in (dirt/sand)

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: Yes

Amenities: picnic table, fire pit, playground, community grills in state park, second playground in the state park, close to beach, walking trails in state park, patch program for kids in park

Cabins: Yes (6)

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps: 20/30/50

Pool: No, but ocean is close

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes

Fishing: Yes (no license, but daily fee: $8/day ages 16+, $3 ages 3-15)

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Sightseeing

Myrtle Beach: Visiting the beach

We were lucky enough to be able to walk to the beach from the campground. It was only about a half mile to the beach. The state park did a nice job with walkways to the beach, outdoor showers, and informational signs along the paths. There was even a QR code to scan to check local beach information (tides, etc.).

I took the boys to the beach on Sunday for some fun in the sun. The water was still a little chilly and there was a red flag out, so we kept to wading in the water near the shore. If there wasn’t the flag, I think they would have gone swimming though! The boys made another fort and Nick made a sand penguin to go inside it. They didn’t do too bad of a job considering they didn’t have a bucket or any tools.

When it was low tide we went for a walk along the beach looking for shells. We found a few neat ones. I found a shark tooth as well! I didn’t know beforehand, but Myrtle Beach is known for having shark teeth wash up on shore. The teeth are fossilized and have a dark grey or black color due to the minerals absorbed during fossilization. Nick and I had fun searching the beach. The teeth can be small, so we would crouch down to search through shell piles.

Later in the week, we saw a jellyfish close to the shore, but didn’t get too close to it. We found a couple of starfish and small crabs too. By the end of the week we found 3 crabs, 1 live starfish, 1 dried out starfish, several clams, 1 jellyfish, and 6 shark teeth.

Ben and I even took a night time walk on the beach. It was amazing to be within a quick walk to the ocean.

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Campground Review, Hiking, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

KOA Mount Pleasant/Charleston: Campground Review

For our stay in Charleston, South Carolina, we stayed at the Mount Pleasant/Charleston KOA. The campground is located in Mount Pleasant, about a 15-20 minute drive from Charleston.

The campground had some nice features, including a camp store. The campground is located near a plantation, and offers wagon rides when the plantation is open. Unfortunately, the plantation house was under construction when we were there and the wagon rides were not going on.

The campground had corn hole, a nice walking trail, a community fire pit, hanging swings by the lake, fishing (catch and release, no license needed), pool (not heated), rec room with camp kitchen (2 stations) and little library, dog park, and bike/canoe/paddle boat rental. The office sold firewood bundles. There was a propane station and an ice machine near the office as well.

The laundry room was on the side of the office building and had 4 washers and dryers. Although there was not a coin machine in the laundry room, you could get quarters at the office. Washers were $2/load and dryers $1.50/load.

The bathrooms and showers were located on the backside of the officel. They are separate though: women’s bathroom on one side, individual shower rooms in the middle, and men’s bathrooms on the other side.

We enjoyed the walking trails. The trails go by a little creek and we saw some small crabs and turtles.

There was WiFi available. The signal was pretty spotty where we were. However, they do offer routers to borrow. These are on a first come basis. We were finally able to get one with only 2 days left in the trip, but it made a big difference! The speeds were a lot faster plugged in.

The campground was close to grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and several parks. Charleston was about 15-20 minutes away. The Costco and Walmart were within 2 miles. It was in a pretty convenient location.

VIDEO LINK: Campground Tour

The night before we left, we found a postcard on the door reminding us of check-out time.

COVID Review: Masks were required in the office. The office staff was friendly and always had them on. However, employees working outside (including those that show you to your site) and other campers really didn’t wear masks.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 3 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile (slow)

Laundry: Yes

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through, Back-in (mostly gravel, saw a few concrete pads)

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: No stakes allowed in the ground due to underground wires

Amenities: picnic table and fire pit at sites, some upgraded sites had a grill, cable, two playgrounds, pool, rec room/camp kitchen, little library, corn hole, dog park, bikes for rent, paddle boats and kayaks for rent, ice machine $2/bag, firewood $7/bundle (although after taxes/fees it came to $8).

Cabins: Yes

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps:

Pool: Yes, not heated

Food On-Site: No, but camp store has a few items

Camp Store: Yes

WiFi: Yes. Routers provided at office, first come first serve, to help boost signal

Accepts Mail: Yes

Fishing: Yes, no license needed, catch and release

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Museums & Tours, National Park, National Parks, Sightseeing

Charles Pinckney Historical Site

The Charles Pinckney Historical Site was located pretty close to our campground. Although the house was closed (COVID), the grounds were open. We still wanted to go see it and get a nice walk. There was a Ranger vehicle parked there, but we didn’t see a anyone, so Nick didn’t get to do the Junior Ranger Program at this site.

There were a few walking paths around the property. One was really well laid out with a mulch base. I’m not sure how they did it, but the mulch all stuck together and felt a little bouncy. It was nice and even and made for a nice walk. The others were more nature trails and were dirt (or mud) through trees and brush. There were several signs warning of poison ivy and snakes (copperheads are apparently common down here). We took both trails and read the informational signs along the way. Pinckney was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

I did almost step on a snake, a tiny brown snake that was very quick and blended in with the dirt very well. I think it was maybe a rough earth snake, but I was so startled that I didn’t get a picture. It certainly got my heart pumping, as I had thought that I had been paying attention pretty well to the ground in front of me. We do make sure to always wear boots or closed toed shoes when we are going on any type of walk.

The site was ok. I’m sure if the house was open it would be interesting, but otherwise it was a little boring. If you are in the area, I would check it out, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to see it. We were there there for about a half hour.

DETAILS:*

  • TICKETS: Free. COVID Restrictions: masks required
  • HOURS: Closed Monday and Tuesday. Open Wednesday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • PARKING: Yes
  • BATHROOM: Yes
  • TIME RECOMMENDED: 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • *Details correct at the time of posting, but please double check before you go.
Posted in: Animal Sightings, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Isle of Palms Beach, South Carolina

The boys were on spring break, so we tried to do some fun things during the day. One afternoon we went to Isle of Palms beach. We got there around 10:00 am and we found a great parking spot near a beach entrance and restrooms and outdoor showers. The beach was pretty empty.

As we were setting up our spot, we saw some military helicopters flying overhead. Video link: Helicopters Over Isle of Palms

The boys swam for a little bit, but the water was chilly so they didn’t stay in too long. We looked for shells and they built sand forts. Because we had just been to all of the forts, they named them Fort Sumter, Castle Pinckney, and Fort Moultrie. Once we were done with swimming, we browsed some shops and the boys got ice cream. As we left, all the parking spots on the street were taken and the beach had started getting a little more crowded.

Parking was available at the county park ($5-$15 depending on time of year) and in lots and at meters ($2.50/hour) on the main street with shops and restaurants.

We drove around the area later in the day with Ben and did see some free parking on the side of the road near the residential areas. If you are just going for the beach and not souvenir stores or food, those spots seemed like a good option. Nick found a couple of Little Libraries along the way as well. It was a cute area and we had a nice time exploring.

Posted in: Animal Sightings, Campground Review, Hiking, Sightseeing

The Oaks At Point South (Thousand Trails), Yemassee, South Carolina

When we booked this campground (The Oaks At Point South) several months ago, it had good/okay reviews. When we looked at it again on our way in, it now had horrible reviews due to mud and ruts. We tried to find another campground, but they were all booked. We were told it was the busy season, as Georgia’s summer brings bugs and flies.

When we checked in, there was a packet with our parking tag and the site map in the red box at the driveway. They were doing a no-contact check in. The reviews were right, it was very muddy and our site had deep ruts from where someone must have gotten stuck. We had gravel in the middle of the site, but the hook-ups and where our truck would have to park were very muddy and did not have gravel. TIP: If you do stay here, go slowly once you are off of the highway. You turn right by the Waffle House!

The site was a little small for us. The truck fit, but we had to park very close to the RV. We couldn’t really put out the master bedroom stairs and use that door. We put our rain boots on before we set anything up, which helped a lot.

After a couple of days, the mud began drying up. Ben and the boys once again put on their rain boots and stomped down the ruts to fill them in. We bought several bags of gravel from Walmart to cover the spot with. It wasn’t perfect, but at least we left it better than when we got there.

Some of the roads were tight. The roads were definitely single lanes, but were not dedicated as a certain direction. Garbage was to be placed in the dumpsters. The campground did have a laundry room with 4 dryers and 3 washers. Washers and dryers were $1.75/load. There was not a change machine in laundry room. It seemed like they really wanted you to use the app. A third party was in charge of the washers and dryers, so when one of them ate my quarters, I had to call the company, as the office said they couldn’t help.

The campground was close to a McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Waffle House, and a couple of gas stations. It was about an hour to Savannah, GA, Hilton Head, SC, or Charleston, SC.

The map (both online and the one we were given at check-in) stated there was a vehicle washing station; however ,when I check with the office, they said there is not one but you could wash at your site. It was not recommended, as it gets muddy easily. The campground has a lot of trees, which would make for nice shade in the summer, but also has your car covered in bird droppings and pollen. We found a few car washes nearby, but they were pretty expensive. We finally found a do-it-yourself one near Tybee, which cost us about $5.

The horseshoe pits and putt-putt looked run down and like they hadn’t been used in a long time. I was told they were closed by the office. The walking trail to the ponds was really nice and we got to see several small alligators and turtles, as well as lots of frogs at night. The footbridge located on the map is still there, but not in great shape, so I would be careful using it. It was a dead-end path, so we preferred walking the loop around the ponds. The walking trail was the highlight of our stay here!

Walking trail images. Bottom right corner: foot bridge

The walking trail also leads to the next-door KOA, which has a coffee and wine bar called The Swimming Mermaid, which is open to the public.

We would not stay here again. It was very quiet and the walking trail was neat, but there was nothing else to do! The pool was closed while we were there. Mask wearing was not prevalent. We were 45-60 minutes away from the larger cities. There are several campgrounds closer to Savannah, including some state parks, that had great reviews. We were trying to make the most of our Thousand Trails membership and I think we missed out on finding a great campground.

Sorry, the boys forgot to do their video at this campground.

SUMMARY OF CAMPGROUND:

Our rating: 2 out of 5 hitches

Cell Phone Reception: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile

Laundry: Yes, $1.75/load

Bathrooms/Showers: Yes

RV Sites: Pull Through (grass/gravel/mud), a few looked like back-ins

Pop Up Tents/Gazebos/Outdoor Rugs On-Site: Nothing stated in rules at check-in, but we saw a few around.

Amenities: picnic table, cable (our hook up was wrong), dog park, pool (closed while we were there), walking trail to ponds, firewood for sale $7/bundle, community fire pit. There were only a few sites that had a fire pit of their own.

Cabins: No

Tent Camping: Yes

Full Hook-ups: Yes

            Amps: 30/50/20

Pool: Yes

Food On-Site: No

Camp Store: No

WiFi: Yes, in Clubhouse/Office

Accepts Mail: Yes, packages. No 1st class mail. Will not accept or sign, it just gets put outside the office door.

Fishing: Yes