Posted in: Christmas, Food

Cooking In The RV: Hanky Pankies

We normally make these delicious (although not exactly visually appealing) appetizers at Christmas. However, this year we didn’t make them. We were kind of missing them, as I usually only make them for parties and Christmas. We made them in the RV oven! It took a little bit longer, as my baking sheet is much smaller than the one I had at home. If you’ve never made them, they are really easy! You can find the recipe here (link to my other blog).

Posted in: Christmas, Food

Cooking In The RV: Cranberry Pie

Months ago, I saw a recipe online for Cranberry Pie. I saved it because I really wanted to try it for Christmas. I was a little worried about baking it in the RV, but after successfully baking some Christmas sugar cookies, we gave it a shot. It was easy, delicious, and turned out well.

It took a little longer to cook than the directions stated. I have a pizza stone under the rack to help disperse the heat, so I think it causes the temperature to run a little low.

The pie was both sweet and a little tart, and even the cranberry skeptic loved it. I would definitely eat this warm, soon after it comes out of the oven. We had some cold the next day and it was nice, but the flavor wasn’t the same intensity.

Posted in: Christmas, Elf On The Shelf, Holidays

Elfing Around: Adventures of Mini E, Days 21-23

Day 20-21: Hid in my hat. Kids couldn’t find Mini-E the first night and asked the he stay put so they could find him.

Day 22: Writing a postcard to Santa.

Day 23: Hanging out in the kitchen.

Posted in: Christmas, Food, Holidays

Wineing In The RV: Advent Calendar Days 21-24

Day 21: Red wine. I liked this one, it had a nice taste. A little sweet. Barcelos, Red Blend Touriga Nacional, Portugal

Day 22: White wine. This one definitely had a puckering lip reaction. Ben called it “sour grapes” taste. I would not drink this again. Flutter, Chardonnay, Spain.

Day 23: Red wine. This one was ok, not my favorite. Ben liked it though. Chateau Cap De Biolet, Bordeaux, France.

Day 24: Brillant Sparkling, Vino Spumante Brut, Italy.

Posted in: Christmas, Holidays

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas Campground Edition (Poem)


Happy Christmas Eve! In the light of the giving season, Ben wanted to share the poem version of his book. No matter where you are, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Campground Edition) by Ben Tepe, 2020

‘Twas the Night before Christmas, when all through the park, quiet hours dictated even dogs shouldn’t bark.

The stockings were hung on the slide out with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were restless and wiggly in their bunk, until I yelled “Be still or Christmas is sunk”

Mom in her Christmas jammies and I in my suit, had just fell asleep tired out and kaput

When out on the gravel there arose such a clatter, I tumbled over mom to see what was the matter.

Was it a new neighbor or just a giant racoon? This late arriver flew in without plane nor balloon.

No diesel pusher, nor skoolie, nor gas; this guy was unorthodox and travelled en masse.

He drove his ultralight barely room for his stuff, with his load quite unstable, he wasn’t looking too buff.

All the campers around him peered out through their blinds, this sleigh and reindeer nearly made them lose their minds.

No need for a pull through nor hook-ups at all, this guy was in a hurry to bring joy with a doll.

More rapid than campground billing, his team he could enflame, they listened to him ‘cause he called each one by name.

“Now, Keystone! Now, Grand D! Now, Thor and Jayco!  On Airstream! On Tiff! On Winnie and Pal-o!”

“To the peak of that A-frame, to the dome of this rig. Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away jig!”

So, up to the roof top of course they flew, with a satchel full of treats and Santa Claus too!

Fearing the load this furry group had created, Magic alone kept the roof unperforated.

Down through the bath fan Santa came with a bound; dressed for the hunt, he was Christmas Camo gowned.

No time for chit chat he had things to do. To torture the neighbors, he started by leaving a kazoo.

Not sure how he did it with his magic of lore, the whole living space was filled, gifts ceiling to floor.

It doesn’t take much to fill up 200 square feet, but he managed to jam in four TVs, and a pound of dried meat;

A propane fire pit, bike lights and a hammock chair too; St. Nick left nothing out, even single ply for our poo.

Just as fast as he’d come he was gone with some speed, His job now complete he was done with this deed.

But I heard him exclaim in his thick Texas drawl, “Merry Christmas to you, and safe travels to y’all!”

To buy the eBook, complete with the story/poem and illustrations, click here.

Posted in: Christmas, Holidays, School, Word Find

Christmas Word Find: Travel Trailer Shaped

I know I did one of these at Thanksgiving. However, the kids requested a Christmas one, so I thought I would share.

We hope you and your families have a very Happy Holiday season!

For a printable version click here.

Answers, click here.

Posted in: Christmas, Holidays, Sightseeing, YouTube Video Link

Drive Through Christmas Lights

Although it is really nice for the weather to be between 60-70 degrees (F), it is a little weird that it is so warm the week of Christmas. Saturday we bought a ticket to go see illumiNight, a drive through Christmas light show. It was held at the AT&T Center. The tickets were for timed entry, although there was still quite a wait to get in. A ticket (per car) was $35 (plus online “processing” fees) and $63 for entry/Santa picture (physically distancing). It was cashless, so online ticket sales were recommended.

After entering the grounds, you kind of wrapped around the parking lot, weaving back and forth to make it seem like you were moving (but were still really just in line to get in to the main event). There was a light tunnel and a few other glowing decorations. There was a stop for bathrooms (portable kind) and drive through food. The food was similar to the Fair Foodie Fest we went to in California, although it wasn’t as well run. It was confusing as to whether you should get out of your car to order or not, as they didn’t come up to your window very quickly.

Passing the food and the bathrooms, you finally wrapped around again and came to the main entrance of the light show.

There were some awesome light displays. I loved the train, polar bear, and huge ornaments. There were some quirky things too, like statues of a coyote and antelopes. I’m not really sure on how those fit in.

There was a section for the 12 days of Christmas. It was a neat take on a Christmas light show, although we had a hard time remembering what all the items were. Number 3, we titled Paris Christmas Chickens.

  • A partridge in a pear tree
  • Two turtle doves
  • Three French hens
  • Four calling birds
  • Five gold rings
  • Six geese a-laying
  • Seven swans a-swimming
  • Eight maids a-milking
  • Nine ladies dancing
  • Ten lords a-leaping
  • Eleven pipers piping
  • Twelve drummers drumming

One of the last tunnels had fake snow!

Video: Drive Through Christmas Lights, San Antonio Texas

Posted in: Christmas, Food, Holidays, Sightseeing

Exploring Austin, Texas

Austin was a little over an hour away from the campground and we were excited to see it. We had heard a lot of good things about the city, plus there were a few holiday events there that we wanted to check out.

We started off at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar. It was a really neat store with booths from different artists. Nick made out with a new baby Yoda face mask and a keychain guitar pick holder. I found a chocolate bar with locally sourced ingredients. It looks like it will be tasty. They did a great job with Covid precautions: everyone had to wear masks and they were limiting the amount of people allowed in the space.

We drove further into Austin and had a little bit of a hard time finding parking. There were several artist booths with items for sale ranging from food to jewelry and clothes. We found a couple of items for Christmas gifts. We wandered around and tried pizza from Home Slice and ice cream from Amy’s. We explored this amazing candy store called Big Top Candy Shop. The inside decor was awesome and they had all different types of candy (chocolates, gummies…).

We also saw the Austin Motel’s Winter Wanderland. This must be a fun place to stay. It was close enough to walk to shops and restaurants and had a really cool vibe. They decorated the courtyard (even the pool area!) for Christmas with a lot of trees and garland. Even the prickly pear cacti had ornaments on them! It was really neat to see, super festive.

I did notice as a whole, the part of Austin we were in did a much better job with wearing masks, even outside.

Posted in: Christmas, Holidays

Elfing Around: Adventures of Mini-E Days 16-19

Day 16: Mini-E was found lying on top of the LevelPro.

Day 17: Oops! Didn’t move.

Day 18: Hiding behind the TV. Both kids told me it was creepy. Will said something along the lines of “this isn’t a horror show”, so I guess no more peeking out from thin openings. 😂

Day 19: Left a game. Maybe as an apology for yesterday?