Where, oh where did summer go? Seems like just a week ago we were returning from our trip to Entegra and Spartan and now here we are in the middle of October. To remind us of that fact, Mother Nature has been slowly turning down the thermostat while showing us how glorious she can be with her awesome displays of autumnal foliage. Over the past few weeks, trees have become colorful palettes in varying hues of fiery reds, brilliant oranges and dazzling yellows splashed against an often intense vivid blue sky. I think if we ever permanently settled down south, I would truly miss this beautiful season – there is nothing like New England this time of year.
Although we completely enjoyed our summer on the water and being in one geographic area for several months, the travel bug has bit and rekindled our excitement at the prospect of getting back on the road. Following a brief stay at Normandy Farms in Foxboro while we finished up on our few remaining annual routine medical appointments it was time to start our journey south. Good thing – there was a recent freeze watch. BRRRR! Definitely time for these two snowbirds to take flight. Although I wonder – we’re Florida residents now so are we still considered snowbirds???
Well, of course, I couldn’t just pose that question, I had to find out if there was a different term for those who have a residency in the south but head north in the summer. I found all sorts of answers on several of the forums – “sunbirds”, “reverse snowbirds” (huh?), “summer yankees” – the list goes on and on. The majority though agreed that it doesn’t matter what label you use – it is someone who enjoys the warmer climates in the winter and the cooler climates in the summer regardless of your legal residency.
So on Friday, October 24th, off we went, heading south on I-95. Luckily the torrential rains and high winds (gusts over 60 mph) of the previous few days had mostly ended but it was still a cloudy and overcast morning. But the good news was that the forecast called for sun and warmer temps later in the day. Perfect road trip weather!
Rob had been debating what route to take depending on where we we wanted to stay on our first night – Twin Grove RV Resort in Pine Grove, PA or Pine Hill RV Resort in Kutztown, PA? We’ve been to both before so we knew what to expect at each. Should we follow I-95 to Old Saybrook, CT where we would pick up Route 9 and a relatively easy -but longer – ride on I-84 to Twin Grove? Or should we drive the dreaded I-95 through CT and New York to I-287 and across the Tappanzee Bridge, then I-78 to Pine Hill? Whichever route we chose, we knew it would be a long day of driving. The debate quickly ended when I called Pine Hill and found out they did not have any sites for that evening. Oh, oh that made us nervous – now we know why we don’t like to travel on weekends! I quickly called Twin Grove and luckily they had one pull through site left! Whew, we’ll take it!
We took I-95 south and decided to exit at Old Saybrook on to CT-9 to make the transition over to I-84 and avoid the mess further south on I-95. CT-9 was a surprisingly good road (4 lane divided) and is now on our favorites list. The rest of the run on I-84 and I-81 was easy despite the truck traffic – we still think its a lot less congested than the I-95 route. It is not the shortest route, but the driving is easier and the complete lack of tolls probably more than offsets any additional fuel costs.
So it was a long but uneventful drive. Nothing like a comfortable chair, the warm sun (the clouds finally disappeared around noon) streaming in through the huge windshield and the monotony of the interstate to lull yours truly into a state of oblivion for most of the drive. Just call me bobblehead! Good thing that doesn’t happen to the driver!
When I wasn’t nodding off, I did enjoy the scenery. Such pretty landscape – the rolling hills, the farms and mountains. Although a lot of the trees had lost some of their leaves from the nor’easter that hit the East Coast earlier in the week, there were still some vestiges of fall foliage colors left.
After several quick stops along the way and a few slowdowns on I-84 due to construction, we finally arrived at Twin Grove around 4:30 p.m. As we pulled in, there were a few coaches queued up, but apparently because of the high volume of people checking in, one of the staff members was at the gate with all the paperwork ready. A quick conversation, a few directions and we were checked in. Easy peasy!
We were assigned to site A-52 which was a great spot up on the hill with a beautiful view! For some reason, the campground seemed much nicer than what we remembered.
It was pretty busy with lots of Halloween activities scheduled for the weekend. In fact that evening, they were having a pumpkin hunt and a contest to determine who had the “best decorated site”. It certainly wasn’t going to be us! The couple across from us were very busy decorating, building a little cemetery, covering everything with fake spider webs and hanging pumpkin lights.
After our long drive, we were too tired and lazy to do much of anything except to take a short walk. The restaurant was open and the menu looked good but we didn’t even feel like doing that. A quick supper, a little TV and an early bedtime were the only things on our agenda for the evening.
Twin Grove RV Resort is BIG, with over 289 sites, 200 of which are RV sites, the remainder are comprised of cottages, cabins, tent sites, yurts and family lodges. There is also a new section under construction on the ridge adjacent to the relatively new “super sites” (A51-A61) where we stayed this time (A52). Nearly all the “A” sites are pull thru’s and virtually all of them are long and level despite being built into the hillside. Sites A1 – A43 are on the lower tiers and the super sites A51-A61 are up high with even more spectacular views. A51-A58 seem to be exceptionally long and on A52 we had plenty of room to leave the toad attached and still had room in the front to park another car. The full hook up 50A utilities were also very well placed. Sites A51 and A61 deserve special mention because they afford unobstructed views and have a large “yard” on the living side of the coach. To learn more about the campground, you can read our previous post.
So, what DID we do all summer? Why no posts? Well stay tuned, in the next few weeks we’ll be writing about some of our summertime experiences.