Vintage Travel Trailer: Friendship Village Campground

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On our second trip out in our little camper we didn’t have my father’s big truck to pull it; we only had my Jeep.

Y’all, everything says I should be able to pull that camper with my Jeep without any trouble, but let me tell you she was struggling.

For this trip, we went with friends to Friendship Village Campground in Bedford, Pennsylvania.

The  facilities at this campground were a bit more dated than Pirateland, but it was still neat and clean which is really my biggest concern (especially considering we have to rely on the bathrooms/showers as Rosie Lee has neither).

It’s funny, but from my camping experiences back in high school I don’t remember the campsites being as close together as they were at the beach or in Bedford, but apparently it’s par for the course. Some of our friends commented that they loved how much space they had between them and their neighbors at Bedford. Either way with our tiny our camper ANY location seems spacious.

Having the air conditioner was a neccessity at the beach, but up in the mountains in Bedford we didn’t even hook it up. Instead, we opened the windows and put two small fans in the camper, and we were cozy.

I know that I fought The Fellow on the mini fridge idea, but now that we have it I’m grateful we do. It’s nice to keep drinks and food cold. We took steaks and sandwich fixings for the weekend and had just enough room. However, if we were going camping for an extended period of time a good cooler would be a must.

The weekend that we stayed at Bedford was their Chocolate Lovers weekend, so they had a bunch of activities planned. These included chocolate BINGO, chocolate popcorn, and a chocolate hunt (think like an Easter egg hunt).  Friendship Village is a Christian campground so on Saturday night they had a hymn sing which was sweet.

In addition to the specialty activities going on that weekend, there were the usual amenities: WiFi, the lake (which apparently you can walk around but since I’m starting to waddle more than walk at this point in the pregnancy I skipped that adventure), a few pools, and two camp stores.

The camp stores weren’t terribly extensive, BUT they did have s’mores fixin’s and hand-dipped Hershey’s ice-cream which we enjoyed while playing mini golf.

Y’all, that mini golf course was BRUTAL. Seriously. It took us forever to get through it!

Overall, it was a nice campground, and we were pleased with our stay!


Myrtle Beach: Restaurants

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In addition to Myrtle Beach’s traffic, we also weren’t prepared for their Low Country seafood. I’m used to being able to get all-you-can-eat crabs just about anywhere in OC, but it was limited to only buffets there. We tried 2 buffets, and hands-down the best one was the Seafood House.

They had crab legs and every other type of seafood you can imagine. That’s where I first experienced the South Carolina crab cake. Y’all, my mother has ordered a crab cake at every restaurant that has them my entire life, and I’ve never once liked them. They’ve always seemed dry and bland. These though were amazing. Instead of being a bland, bready mess, these were moist and had a serious roasted red pepper flavor to them. The buffet is shaped like a giant ship, and they also have live mermaids that come out and swim every half an hour which is great for the kiddos.

The other meal that we really enjoyed was at Marshview Seafood Kitchen and Bar. This was a bit further of a drive out to Murrells Inlet. It’s an open air restaurant on the marsh and right next to the MarshWalk. (Yupp, you read that right – like the boardwalk but well, along the marsh), and I’m going to be honest I did not have high hopes when we walked in. The dining area was kind of small, and it had a smallish menu, nothing compared to the monstrosity of a buffet we’d had earlier, but y’all, I. Was. Wrong.

Those are the types of places that surprise you. They start you off with a basket of hush puppies. By the way, all of the hush puppies we tasted the entire trip were sweet and served with honey butter. So sweet and delicious – not the garlicky ones I’m used to. Now, this was my one mistake on the trip. The Fellow really wanted all-you-can-eat shrimp. While they didn’t have all- you-can-eat shrimp, they did have shrimp by the pound. We figured that we’d get a meal and the shrimp, split both, and call it a day.

The Fellow had never tried a soft-shell crab (neither had I for that matter; however, I was really okay with that) and had been saying he wanted to experience it at some point while we were at the beach, and he figured this was as good a place as any to try one. However, I really wanted the shrimp po’boy, but I knew that he wouldn’t spring for two meals and the shrimp and would tell me to just get whatever I wanted and he’d skip the crab. So I told him I was on board with the soft-shell crab and that’s what we got.

I’m pretty sure missing out on that po’boy will haunt me for the rest of my life, or at least until we go back. Then again, eating the legs of that soft-shell crab will probably also haunt me for the rest of my life, but if you can get past that part, the flavor was good.

Instead of French fries, they serve Freedom fries which were a lightly seasoned fry, and I loved them. We were talking to the waiter, and the owner also owns a fish market in the inlet and all of their fish, shrimp and crab were locally sourced which was neat!

The other cool thing they offered was a bring-your-own fish special! You could buy them at the fish market or bring in your fresh catch, and they would grill, fry, or blacken it for you; then serve it with hush puppies, freedom fries, and a drink for eight bucks.

What are your favorite places to eat in Myrtle Beach? Let me know!

Myrtle Beach: Pirateland

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In my last post, I told you about our maiden trip out in Rosie Lee, so today I wanted to tell you about where we stayed!

We booked our getaway at Pirateland Campground in Myrtle Beach. I’ve only been south to the beach once, and that was when I was 8, so this was a new experience for me. Considering we’ve got Little Bit on the way, there didn’t seem much point in heading to a party beach like Ocean City, Maryland, and it’s always so crowded there.

The campsite was wonderful. We were right in front of the bathhouse which was so much better than I was expecting. It was either new or recently remodeled, and so nice that I didn’t mind not having a bathroom in the camper (although The Fellow is already talking about upgrading and checking out bathroom layouts). Our site was maybe 300 feet from the beach with private access, and the beach was exactly the change I was hoping it would be from Ocean City. It wasn’t crowded, and you could play on the beach which you can’t in Ocean City. (The Fellow got scolded one year there for tossing a ball with his buddy.) People had set up kites and corn hole. There were beach chairs and umbrella rentals available, but the best part was the water. It was so warm and the waves were mild. I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to get in for fear of risking Little Bit, but I only missed out on swimming one day when it was a red flag day. (More on the flag system later.)

We did have one little scare. While we were out swimming one day, the people next to us in the water saw a shark! Granted, it was only about 2 feet, but we decided it was better safe than sorry and we headed in. Thankfully, that was our only real encounter. That’s the day we also learned about the flags on the lifeguard chairs. There are 4 colors that the lifeguards fly: green, yellow, red, and blue. As you might have guessed, green, yellow, and red relate to how rough the waves are, and they change them as the weather changes throughout the day. Then there is that blue flag. A blue flag means marine life typically jellyfish – or sharks!

Pirateland has a ton of on-site amenities. There is a pretty nice camp store, mini golf, a food truck that has different themes on different days, a pool, kids splash zone, a lazy river, and golf cart rentals!

People take their golf carts very seriously! If you’re a long-term resident, you can have your own cart, but otherwise rentals are available. Every night about 9 or 10 o’clock there is a golf cart parade! People buy or bring decorations and trick out their carts. The most common decoration is a novelty inflatable strapped to the top of the cart, and then they play music and ride their carts as if they were on a parade float, smiling and waving, up and down the back road. We all sat on the guard rails along the sides and waved and cheered them on. It was hilarious, and a great way to end the evening. 

This was my first time in Myrtle Beach, and while I had a great time, I don’t think I’d ever go back if I were responsible for the driving. Maybe if we packed in all of our food and never left the campground, it would be okay, but I really, really hated the roads. I’m used to Ocean City. It’s crowded, but easy to navigate. The best way I can describe Myrtle Beach is as sprawling. The main road is a divided highway and everything is just sort of sprinkled along it on either side. The difficult thing is that there are also roads that run parallel to the main highway, so after you cut across traffic you’re not just in a parking lot, you’re in another tiny median (essentially in a another road) that you also have to try to cross.

But that was the only bad thing. The rest was great!

What other beaches do you suggest we check out? Let me know!

Vintage Travel Trailer: Beach Trip!

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Whew, y’all. We made it!

Rosie Lee made it safely there and back again on her maiden voyage! We spent a wonderful few days in Myrtle Beach.  

While we did not get the water or propane hooked up or the outside painted, we were able to get the inside done – new flooring laid, seat boxes replaced, kitchen painted, AC and fridge installed, and the closet removed, so we were quite cozy.

It was down to the wire the entire week leading up to our departure to see if we were going to make it. My father was working on the large things that needed taking care of like the electrical and welding. He took her into my brother’s tire shop, and he and the employees did a late-night work session to get her road ready. While he was handling all of that, I was gathering the essentials to pack and working on the awning. I was frantically finishing the awning down to the very hour we were supposed to leave!

Fortunately, we got it all done and loaded up just a bit behind schedule. We all rode down together in my parents’ pickup. Our little camper isn’t a very heavy load for his truck, but my father was worried about pulling her too fast so we drove about 65 mph . . . well . . . at first. Toward the end of the journey we were keeping up with traffic at some higher speeds and she handled just fine.

It was funny seeing our tiny camper in the middle of the huge campers/RVs around us at the campground. Even the smallest campers nowadays are nearly double the size of little Rosie Lee. When we dropped her in our spot, the boys just twirled her around by hand so she was horizontal in the spot facing the road. Our neighbor pulled in and was parking and called over that they’d straighten their rig out so as not to crowd us, and I laughed. There was so much extra space in our spot that they couldn’t have crowded us if they tried!

Since our propane wasn’t hooked up (and The Fellow sleeps later than I do), I used a plug-in electric burner outside on a picnic table to make my coffee in the morning, and it worked wonderfully.

The mini-fridge we put in the camper is actually my fridge from college; it’s still kicking. I’d forgotten how well it cools because we had it set too low at first and things froze!

Don’t mind the messy closet!

The awning worked as planned, but we will need to get a second set of anchor hooks that screw into the ground to make it really secure. The wind blew it down twice while we were there and it wasn’t too windy of a week.

I did a fairly good job of making my lists of things I thought we’d need, and everything went very smoothly.

A gal at work camps often and recommended that I buy chip clips for in the camper, and they proved very useful. I clipped the trash bag into a pop-up laundry hamper and to secure it to our table so it didn’t blow away. The Fellow likes to recycle, so I think I’m going to look for a pop-up 3-compartment trash bin for us to take on our trips. My string of lights for across the awning was too short, so I bought a second set. We needed a second rug to keep the sand from being tracked in which I grabbed while we were down there, and my father reallllly wants me to get a larger indoor/outdoor mat.

Other than that, the only thing I really forgot was the toothpaste! I had left it out for The Fellow to brush his teeth before we left, and while I grabbed the toothbrush I missed the toothpaste. But that was an easy fix.

Overall, the trip went smoothly and it was exactly what I hoped it would be!

Stitch Fix

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So, I tried a thing. And I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.

Some ladies at work are OBSESSED with Stitch Fix, and considering how much I hate shopping I figured I’d give it a try – especially now that I need maternity clothes. The tricky part is that while I want things to wear now, I also want things that I can still use after Little Bit arrives.

When you sign up for Stitch Fix, you fill out a style profile and you can also link them to a fashion Pinterest board, so your stylist can get a better idea of what you’re thinking and pull things they think match it.

So far, one thing I will say I’m pleased about is the quality of the clothes. Stitch Fix items are pricey (most pieces being around $50), but I’m willing to pay a bit more for the quality.

I’ve received two boxes so far, but I’m really conflicted with how I feel. I’m fairly picky when it comes to clothes. The things I have bought I probably would never have tried on if they hadn’t been mailed to me. I think if I can get my stylist more dialed in to my fashion taste, it would be worth sticking with it.

Out of each box, I’ve only kept one of the five items (if you buy all 5 you get a discount on the total box cost). The good thing is that you can give them feedback on their picks or let them know if you want them to include something different or special in your next box. You can also request a new stylist, which I’m considering for my third box. But I feel so bad about it, like I’m firing the poor girl! We’ll see if I actually go through with it.

If I’m going to stick with the subscription, the stylist picks will need to improve. I’ll keep you guys posted on if it improves.

Have you tried Stitch Fix? What are your thoughts? Love it or leave it – let me know!

Cleansing Face Oil

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Okay, y’all. I know that cleansing face oil sounds like an oxymoron. We all know that oil does nothing to help the whole acne situation, but I found one that changed my mind!

First of all, I was skeptical. Typically these things are too good to be true, but I figured I’d give it a shot since I stopped wearing makeup when I found out we were expecting.

I get some serious stress acne around my scalp line, and my chin has been a problem area forever. Seriously, I thought acne was supposed to stop when you got past the teenage years, but apparently that’s a lie. Also, no one tells you pregnancy acne is a thing.

On top of my acne issues, I also get dry skin on my cheeks, nose, and under my eyes. Basically, every makeup free time in my adult life has been as a result of the under eye dryness. It flakes and I call it zombie eye, so I’m all about anything to get rid of that issue.

This oil has been a miracle for both problems.

Image result for primally pure cleansing oil

It’s the cleansing oil from Primally Pure, and I got the normal skin formula. They also have a dry and oily formula.

The best part for me (outside of the fact that my face is now clearer than it has been since before I hit 16) is that it’s organic, natural, and comes in a glass bottle so it can be recycled. Well, it could if my town hadn’t stopped doing glass recycling . . . which is seriously upsetting.

I’ve also used their lip balms and natural deodorant and love those as well. Seriously, the lip balm is the best stuff ever.

I will say though that while the label is easy to read (which is amazing), you’ve got to be kind of prepared to actually KNOW what you’re putting on your body. We’re so used to ingredient lists a mile long with unpronounceable items that it can be a shock to just read “tallow from organic grass-fed cows” and register what that actually means. There’s that or worse in regular drugstore products, but you can turn a blind eye when it’s not laid out so frankly.

I’ve been using these products for months now, and I’m really pleased with them. The cleansing oil routine can seem like a bit much You rub it in and then cover your face with a warm wash cloth and then wipe it off, but it feels amaaaazing.

If you’re looking for a new face routine or are struggling with acne, I completely recommend checking out Primally Pure!

Disappointing Movies

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The other night The Fellow and I wanted to watch a movie, but we couldn’t find what we were looking for so we wound up watching Disney”s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. (I don’t know why I always end up watching Christmas movies in summer.) Afterward, The Fellow and I chatted about how we’re both so disappointed with most movies today.

Now, I don’t watch a ton of movies, but I love a good animated film. I used to like to watch kids’ movies because they would be full of magic, fantasy, and characters you love who are endearing as they learn, grow, overcome obstacles, and share values of good overcoming evil. Lately, however, I’ve been avoiding kids’ movies because they’re just disappointing. I’d add a caveat to this by saying that I don’t know that it’s ALL movies or ALL children’s movies, but, man, does it feel like it.

The best way I can describe it is that the few movies I’ve seen lately have left me feeling hollow instead of warm and fuzzy or at least entertained. There’s no depth to the story or the characters. I’m not even really concerned with the plot. (And the Nutcracker ended SO anticlimactically, I wish I had just watched the actual ballet.)

I don’t understand why movies are like this. I LOVE the original Disney movies. It makes no sense to me that the new live-action ones somehow don’t change much as far as story or characters, yet they somehow fall flat.

The Fellow thinks a lot of it is the heavy-handed use of CGI that Disney  has been relying on lately. I agree. I’ve never been a fan. The first movie I remember watching being completely CGI was The Polar Express, and it just looked so odd. Now, it’s every kids’ movie! I don’t understand why they can’t just make a movie with some special effects and real people? The overwhelming CGI is unnerving. They can’t make it look completely realistic, and instead they make the people look strange.

There’s something wonderful about the older stuff. I can block out a few wires to believe the magic, and hand-drawn animation is pure magic. I’m just not down with this weird in-between world we’re in today. Add that to the lack of story development, and it’s not something I want to waste my time watching.

Am I missing something ? Maybe there’s a movie out there that has a phenomenal story that will change my mind? Let me know if you think of one! I’ll give it a try!

Gender Announcement!

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I can hardly believe we’re already to week 23 of this pregnancy! We revealed the gender to the immediate family last weekend, and now I’m excited to share it with you!

Little Bit is a girl!! She’s due in October, and we’re so excited.

We asked our families to guess what they thought the gender would be, and I saw a lot of pink guesses. My father has this bizarre knack for guessing genders. Chalk it up to mountain voodoo, but he’s never wrong and, of course, he was right about Little Bit.

I had a blast planning and organizing the reveal BBQ. Since it’s summer and The Fellow has an undying love for Hawaiian shirts and I’m still riding out this pink flamingo obsession, I decided to go for a luau theme.

My mother made the macaroni salad, and my mother-in-law made deviled eggs, so I only had a few dishes to prepare which made the prep portion nice and easy.

Something that was not as easy as anticipated was the balloon cluster. I had originally pulled inspiration for a balloon arch from a Pinterest image, but a few factors led us to shortening the arch to a cluster. First, I was NOT anticipating how round a balloon arch is! Our little porch space was not going to accommodate the whole arch and have room for the food. The second was that the air compressor we had wasn’t working, so we wound up blowing all of the balloons up ourselves. When I say “we,” I mean The Fellow and Little J. I was in charge of attaching them to the arch string.

Can you see the gold-speckled balloons in the picture? I had thought they’d be printed with the gold, but they were actually filled with confetti! The Fellow was blowing one up, and it popped and confetti went EVERYWHERE. I laughed SO hard.

Overall, the decorations were easy to find and assemble. The leaves in the arch and the sand shovels and pails came from Hobby Lobby. The table cloth was from Michael’s. The flamingo cut-outs were from the Dollar Tree, and I scored the adorable flamingo party pack on Amazon.

The actual reveal was a cake I baked with Little J’s help. Sticking with the theme and some Pinterest inspiration, I made a pineapple cake, but not the type you normally think of. This was a white cake (dyed pink) in the shape of a pineapple!  This was my first experience with shaving a cake, and it went pretty smoothly. I used the top off of a real pineapple and fastened it with a skewer to keep it secure. I was a little worried about dyeing the batter pink. (BTW, 4 drops of red food dye to 1 box of white cake batter is the perfect ration), but it all came out well. I didn’t even bother with a piping tip to do the icing. I just cut the end off of the pastry bag and did little dollops around the base of the cake staggering them.

It may not have looked like real pineapple, but it was cute and served its purpose.

Overall, I think the theme was a success, and it was nice to get the two families together to celebrate the new addition.

Lord of The Rings

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The Fellow and I have started reading together in the evenings. (Well, I read aloud to him.)

For years, ever so often he would ask me questions about the history of the Dwarves in Lord of the Rings. It’s been so long since I’ve read them myself, and I knew he’d never make it through them, so we decided just to read them together.

It’s quickly become the highlight of our evening. We’re both much more engaged than if we just #netflixandchill’d. It’s great together time, and the perfect transition to bedtime for me since we snuggle up in bed to read.

I’m enjoying sharing it with him because I’ve been a long-time fan, and it’s fun to watch him discover things cut from the movies and talk about how we envision parts and characters. (Although we are decidedly in disagreement on our feelings about Tom Bombadil. I love him, and The Fellow doesn’t think he quite fits in Middle Earth.)

We probably should’ve started with the Simirillian, so I think we’ll do that after we finish the trilogy.

The only downside to reading aloud is the pacing. I’m used to clipping through a book in a day or two when reading to myself. I’ve been joking that this will be the first book Little Bit ever hears because there is absolutely no way we’ll be done by the time he/she makes his/her appearance!

That’s ok though. You’re never too young to be exposed to good literature!

Anyone else out there read with their spouses? What should we put on our book list?