As mentioned in our previous post, we moved the motor home over to Normandy Farms in Foxboro, MA on Wednesday, September 25th prior to our closing day on the 27th to avoid any last minute glitches and to make the timing more comfortable. We made reservations there for the 25th through October 1st.
Since we were running back and forth to the house to do last minute packing up until the closing at 2:00 on the afternoon of Friday the 27th, we didn’t really get a chance to enjoy the campground. But boy did we after the closing. We hit the campground about 4:30 p.m. and out came the chairs, table, the firewood and the adult beverages. It sure didn’t take long for us to get into the camping lifestyle!
Located close to Gillette Stadium (where the NE Patriots play), Boston, Cape Cod and Providence and with over 400 sites, 4 cabins and 3 yurts, Normandy Farms is one of the largest and premiere campgrounds in the New England area (and also rated as one of the “Top 53 Family Campgrounds” by Good Sam). One look around and it is clear this place is very well managed and maintained. To be sure, the rates are a little pricey ranging from $58 to $79 but are typical for the area and in addition to the usual Good Sam, AARP and Military discounts, they also have a first time visitor $10 discount and currently have a 25% off coupon for 2013. Their specials can be found by clicking here. With all of the amenities, the friendly and very helpful staff and activities, it really can’t be beat!
One of the services that we really liked is if you pay ahead of time, you will receive an email with an attached vehicle pass (if you have a toad, be sure to let them know so you will receive two passes) which you can print out ahead of time. The pass will have an access code for the gate so you don’t have to stop and check in at the office. It can be really busy particularly on weekends so this speeds up the flow of traffic at the entrance of the campground.
Our reserved site was #903 which was a very long pull through with a few smaller trees (our new Trav’ler satellite for DISH Network worked fine), plenty of privacy, a picnic table, fire ring and decent room between us and our neighbors. The sites are at an angle and that enhances the feeling of privacy even more. Our site was very level but like most of the sites here did not have a cement pad (note some of the newly remodeled sites do have pads – on the resort map they are the ones in the D, E, F, G and H areas) but that really didn’t matter since the site had a nice firm crushed stone base.
This pull thru (and most of the others in the 900 and 1000 rows) is so long that when we pulled into about the middle of the site, our 50′ long 50A shore power cord wouldn’t reach the power pole (which is close to the back end of the site). There are two sewer drains spaced conveniently for different types of rig layouts and one of them lined up perfectly with our wet bay. The water supply is also near the back end of the site. To give you an idea of the length of the site, there was enough room in front of us for at least two cars and at least one other behind us.
Where to begin listing the amenities! The rec hall where most of the activities take place, is a 20,000 square foot lodge and has an arcade, fitness center, indoor pool, sauna, double Jacuzzi and Adult & Activities Lofts. Other amenities include (see pictures at end of this post):
- A Business & Information center located in the Reception Center with a concierge who will assist you in making dining reservations and help arrange day trips outside the park.
- A small store and gift shop
- A Creative Arts Center with a large theater screen and surround sound.
- An 18-hole disc (frisbee) golf course
- A 1-1/2 acre “Freedom Tail” dog park (where dogs can chase their own tails or another dogs tail) complete with agility equipment, a dog walk and a drinking fountain
- Dog kennels which allows dogs to hang outside in the comfort of their own custom Canine Coop complete with a doghouse. The campground also provides supervised pet walking.
- A bike park that features a jump line, track, banked wall and skills area
- Four pools! Three outdoor and one heated indoor.
- Two playgrounds
- Fishing pond
- Picnic area
- For the athletically inclined: horseshoe pits, volleyball court, basketball court, soccer field, bocce court, two softball fields and nature trails
- Kamper’s Kitchen, an open air snack bar which offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with ice cream and other snacks
- Multiple bathroom/shower/laundry buildings
How can you not find something to do here? In fact there is so much to do, you might never leave to explore the area!
Our site also happened to be adjacent to one of the bath/shower/laundry buildings and when we peeked inside were very impressed with the cleanliness and newness of the facility.
- WiFi – Free and well dispersed coverage thru-out the campground via a Tengo service partnership, although you do need to create a free account for access. We didn’t bother and just used our 4G Verizon service. The management claims fast performance and we could see repeaters everywhere.
- Broadband Data – good (2-4 bars) Verizon 4G most places within the campground. No performance issues.
- OTA TV – excellent with easy reception of all the Boston and Providence primary networks on multiple channels
- Satellite (DISH Network) – no problem receiving the Eastern Arc 61.5 and 72 birds even on our LNB designed for the Western Arc. We tried the DISH Western Arc birds and locked in on 110 and 119 but could not see the low on the horizon 129 due to typical New England tree cover.
- Power – solid 50A with good voltages, no errors on the Progressive EMS even during the busy weekend. The power pole is way at the end of the site so don’t pull in too far or a standard cord won’t reach.
- Water Pressure – high, use of a regulator is recommended.
- Sewer – two hookups spaced out for different rig types, one is sure to be appropriately located. The fittings are press fit with no thread for the adapter.
- Campfires – Yes, fire rings provided. Management and state of MA require use of kiln dried wood, the office was selling bundles for $5.50 each.
- Services – grocery within 5 minutes (Stop & Shop in Mansfield) and plenty of other shopping and restaurants all around including Patriots Place less than 10 minutes away. Wal-Mart in Walpole MA about 15 minutes away.
Since it was too late to deposit the proceeds from our closing on Friday afternoon, going to a local bank was the first order of business on Saturday morning. Well, actually it was the second order of business – it was out to breakfast for us (ah yes, old habits never die). If you ever stay at Normandy Farms, there is a great cafe in the next town of Wrentham right on Route 140 – James Breakfast and More. I guess my brain was still in a total muddle that morning. I went in while Rob parked the car. While standing there waiting to give my name, I felt a tap on my shoulder – a woman told me I had my shirt on inside out. Oops! A quick dash to the ladies room fixed that. Rob and I had a good laugh over that commenting that both of us must have been half asleep and not very observant!
Anyway, back to our breakfast….I had Bennies with a Twist – 2 crabcakes with grilled tomatoes on English Muffins topped with dill hollandaise sauce (very decadent but very yummy) and Rob had their Cast Iron Killer – a homemade corned beef hash with seasoned home fries topped with two eggs and spicy home fries on a cast iron skillet.
Sorry for the not so great pictures we forgot to take any when are dishes first arrived (more muddle). Portions were so huge we ended up taking home leftovers. In fact, it was so good we took Rob’s aunt & uncle, Linda & Herb, there on Sunday morning. On weekends, the place is really crowded so get there early! We arrived there by 8:15 am and still had to wait about 20 minutes!
After we returned to our campsite, we took a walk and upon our return, we met our neighbors, a super nice and fun couple, Byron and Pam from Plymouth, MA which is probably about a 40 minute ride from Foxboro. Once again we realized we really missed the most enjoyable part of camping this past winter – meeting new people. I’ve said it before in previous posts that sometimes things just click with certain couples and we clicked with them. Unfortunately they were heading home on Sunday so we didn’t get to spend much time with them but they will be in Rhode Island the end of October so all of us are hoping that we’ll get a chance to get together then.
Saturday afternoon Rob’s aunt & uncle, Herb & Linda, arrived in their motor home, pulling into site #805, diagonally across from us. It was a very chilly autumn night but between a bowl of steaming hot chicken soup and a roaring fire at their site, we were nice and toasty. We spent more time with them on Sunday afternoon when their son (Rob’s cousin) and his family arrived for a visit with Herb & Linda.
Monday wasn’t a very exciting day – that morning was spent taking Chooey (the old man) to see his favorite vet for his monthly checkup. Then I had another visit to the dentist for my second temporary crown followed by several hours of drooling and talking funny until the Novocain slowly wore off. On Tuesday morning, we reluctantly said goodbye to Normandy Farms and headed towards our next destination where we will stay for the rest of October. More about that in our next post.