Elizabethtown KOA, Elizabethtown, PA

We headed up to Elizabethtown for a camping holiday weekend. As we drove up, the weather deteriorated quickly. By the time we got to the campground, it was raining steady and it’s been continuing through the night. We discovered that there is a leak in the shower, the dome must be cracked and it is something additional for HitchRV to take a look at. I need to try to schedule something next week for them to look at the tires and how they are wearing as well. I just hope that they will honor the servicing since it was sold under the Hitch-a-Rama moniker.

Like most KOAs, this campground was nice and small.  Everyone seemed friendly.  Lots of room to roam and the kids liked the pool and Emily really liked the playground.



Early in the morning on Saturday, Kathy opened up the vent in the bathroom and the vent cover snapped and cracked. We looked around and found out about a camping supply store in Highspire, just 20 minutes up the road. We loaded up and went there only to find them closed for the holiday weekend. I realized that I had to rig up a way to try and seal it for the weekend until I can get to the camper store next week. I have off on Wednesday, so I should be able to do it then.

We also stopped at the Saturday market… it was Kathy heaven. We had to cut it short due to the dogs barking at the campground, but we were able to pick up some whoopie pies and Hippies ring bologna.  Not sure what the dog issue was all about, they were fine when we got back.



When we got back, I headed up to the roof of the camper to try and seal up the leak. When I applied a little pressure to the tape, it cracked even more. The thing has gotten completely brittle at this point, I’m wondering if the same thing is happening to the shower — leading to the leak there.

The kids tried out the pool, but left after just 5 minutes or so due to the pool being too cold. After we were done with everything, we headed over to visit my dad and Nan. Nan, who turned 91 in June is doing pretty well, especially now that she is living with my dad. Nan gave Emily a bracelet that her mother gave her. That means it belonged to Emily’s Great Great Grandmother, what a special piece.

We just hung out close to the campground on Sunday. It was nice that the weather cooperated. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky all day and it got into the upper 80s. We made our way over to the horse shoe trail by the Conewago Creek for a walk in the morning. We walked a mile down the trail before turning around. The dogs loved it and the kids really didn’t whine too much.



Later in the day, after walking around the campground and on the trails in the woods, Kathy and the kids went on a hayride… well, actually, they went on two hayrides. The first one was a dry (normal) hayride. The second was something that they call the "wet" hayride. All participants are given squirt guns and they encounter "bandits" throughout the campground who are also sporting squirt devices. Kathy and the kids had a blast… but boy, were they soaked.

August 8 – 10, 2008

We went to Spring Gulch for a long weekend.  It was just Matt, Emily, the dogs and I this weekend as Kathy has to get ready for a trip to Alaska on Sunday.  It would just be too difficult to try to get Kathy back and to the airport in time for flying out on Sunday, so she decided to stay behind.  There are no pictures this weekend since Kathy needs to take the camera with her to Alaska.

We left the house around 1:30 or so, expecting it to take about an hour and a half to get there.  However, we ran into quite a bit of traffic and we didn’t get up there until almost 4:00.  Check-in was quick and we got up to the site OK.  There was a little issue with directions, they gave me the wrong road to get to the site, so I ended up having to back up about 30 to 45 yards around a turn.  Not the most difficult thing, but it can be tricky when I don’t have a spotter.

Overall, I was very impressed with Matt and Emily’s behavior this weekend.  They showed quite a bit of patience.

We walked around the campground a little to figure out where everything was and take the dogs for a walk. Our site was really secluded and backed right up to the woods. We were about as far from the bath house as we could be, but it was fine.

On Saturday, the kids decided they wanted to go to the pool.  It was a bit cool out, but the kids were OK going to the pool anyway. They had quite a bit of fun, we were there until about 11:30 before we headed back to the site for lunch.

After lunch we went down to the main level to do the tie-dye t-shirts. Matt and Emily each made one (I actually made it, but they helped a little). Emily’s is a little big… I got her the smallest size they had, but it was still quite big on her. It will be a nice sleep shirt though.

After the t-shirts, we went to the store to get some groceries. I picked up some snacks for the kids and we got some ring bologna. After that, the kids decided that they wanted to go back to the pool. We were there until dinner time.

On Sunday we decided to head up to Elizabethtown to visit with my Dad and Nan. It had been a while since the kids visited Nan and it was my Dad’s birthday. We took the mutts along and that made for quite a bit of activity. I tried letting Daisy off her leash once and of course, she ran away. Luckily, I was able to get Geddy to stop and eventually Daisy stopped as well… but she was pretty far into the field by that point. That is a really annoying trait that she has.

Overall, it was a good visit, we got to see Terri, Mark, Don and Kathy and all the kids. We headed back when the weather started turning. We got back to the camp site just in time for a storm to move through. We weren’t planning anything special at night anyway.  After the storm, it got quite cold… it dropped into the low 50s Sunday night – not what you would expect for the middle of August.

7/24 through 7/28/2008

We spent this weekend camping in Hershey, PA at the Hershey Highmeadow Campground, one of our favorites.


We had a really nice time…with the exception of a few minor meltdowns due to the heat and the crowds.

We spent our first day (Saturday) hanging around at the campground – just enjoying the nice weather, swimming in the pool, playing some games – Kathy’s parents even came up for a visit.

We purchased tickets for HersheyPark for Sunday, which meant that we could go on Saturday night for a few hours for a ‘free preview’ of the park.  Unfortunately, we were not the only ones on the park Saturday night – in fact, there was a record number of people at HersheyPark that night!  Between the Jonas Brothers and Brad Paisley concerts at the arena this weekend, the place was CRAZY!!!!







Emily was very excited to see that she was a “Reese’s Cup” this year and was tall enough to go on most of the rides.  Andrew, of course, is now tall enough to go on anything he wants!

We fought our way through the crowds and managed to go on a few rides that first night, but that was about all we could take and left exhausted.  Matt was struggling with his asthma, so he and Mike sat this evening out.

Sunday morning, we headed out bright and early – as guests of the campground, we got to enter the park an hour before it opened and enjoyed a few quick line-free rides.


As soon as it opened, Emily, Matt and Kathy headed over to the new “Boardwalk” – a huge waterpark filled with all kinds of fun things for the kids to do.  They changed into our swimsuits and played for about an hour…until it started to thunder.  At which point everything in the park shut down.

This was not such a bad thing – it was time for lunch and we needed to let the dogs out anyway, so we headed back to the camper on the shuttle bus and returned later in the afternoon after the skies had cleared.

Emily was proud to go on her first real roller coaster and Mike and Andrew went on a BUNCH of roller coasters including the new “Fahrenheit”– which to me looks just insane.  But no more insane than this one – the “Stormrunner” – which goes from a complete standstill to really-really fast at the very beginning of the ride.  Every time I saw the start of the ride and heard this creepy voice, I had my own personal little panic attack – and I wasn’t even on the ride!  Kathy managed to take a video of Andrew’s car at the start of the ride – take a look at this (this voice still gives me nightmares):

Andrew on the StormRunner

And here he is by one of the loops:


Matt doesn’t enjoy rides very much, but he waited very patiently at the ride exits for everyone to finish:


We made reservations to stay at the campground again next year – between the campground, the amusement park, the water park and all the other activities, this is one of our favorite ‘one-gas-tank’ trips!

Allentown KOA, July 4–7

It was an uneventful trip up on the holiday.  It was last minute reservations and I’m out of vacation time, so we had to travel on the holiday.

We were concerned about the dogs… Geddy had another diarrhea attack yesterday, so we weren’t sure what to expect.  The last thing we wanted was him losing it in the truck on the way up.  Everything was fine, though… we got here and the weather was deteriorating the whole way.  By the time we got up here, there was a steady drizzle… just enough to make it difficult to do anything.

We took a quick walk through the campground, it’s kind of small, but nice.  The dogs were a mess by the time we were done. 


We had dinner, relaxed and played bingo.  The weather should be a bit better tomorrow, so we should be able to get out and do something.  Our tickets to the Iron Pigs are for Sunday’s game.

Friday night (July 4th) was not a pleasant one… Geddy ended up getting sick throughout the night (from 2:00 on) and I ended up having to sleep outside with him because he kept vomiting.  We did a lot of cleanup work… not a good night.

Saturday was on and off rain all day.  We decided to head to Crystal Cave in the morning since it was weather independent.  Kathy stayed back with the dogs to make sure Geddy didn’t vomit all over everything.  The kids (even Andrew) really enjoyed the trip to the cave.



The upside-down ice cream cone stalagmite.


Some “flow”


The face…

After we got back, the kids wanted to try the pool… Matt didn’t last long saying it was too cold.  On and off showers all day, so we tried to just stay dry and enjoy ourselves.  At dinner time, the kids and I went to play miniature golf.  We had a good time, the team of Emily and I won, Matt came in second and Andrew was bringing up the rear.  Andrew had an impressive shot, it bounced off one of the rocks and flew about 4 feet in the air careening into a lake.  I had to use a net to fish his ball out of the water.

Saturday night was uneventful… Geddy made it through with no sickness.  Even so, we weren’t going to risk it, so Kathy didn’t attend the game on Sunday.  It was great, the kids had a blast and we watched the Iron Pigs’ pitcher throw a complete game 4-hitter while striking out 17 batters!





Coca-Cola park is really nice and clean and well laid out.  Not a bad seat in the place and there is even a picnic lawn area just beyond center field where you could lay out a blanket to watch the game.

June 22–28, 2008

We left on Sunday for our long vacation in Ocean City, MD.  The dogs woke us up early on Sunday morning (about 2:00) with vomiting and diarrhea. The odd thing is that it was both dogs. We weren’t sure what to do at first, we ended up spending about 2 hours cleaning up and keeping them outside so that they couldn’t continue to ruin everything in the house… the smell was horrible. We got everything cleaned up and packed for the trip, we figured that we might as well head down not knowing what the situation was with the dogs.

The ride down was uneventful (but long). When we got here and got all hooked up, we took the dogs for a walk and both of them still had some diarrhea, although, Daisy seemed to be getting a little better. There were no other symptoms shown except for the fact that they weren’t eating as much as they normally would.


We slept in a little on Monday morning, we had to let the dogs out early, but we all ended up getting a little extra rest after that. We headed over to the water park at about 10:00… the kids were excited to go on the lazy river. When we got to the water park, they informed us that the main kids play area was closed due to a pump problem. We still went in (figured it was already paid for) and went on the lazy river for a while. The weather wasn’t too nice, so we decided to head out after some reasonably ominous clouds were overhead. Came back to the camper, had lunch and then went to the pool.

All this time the dogs were fine, Geddy was still having some diarrhea issues, but we didn’t notice anything else odd. We proceeded to get reasonably well sunburned at the pool in the afternoon, but the kids were fine and happy.

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In the late afternoon, we took the kids and dogs to the pier for some crabbing. Emily and Kathy caught a few, but they were too small to keep.


We had dinner at the Assateague Crab House (Kathy’s favorite in the area) with the Raups. After dinner we enjoyed a nice relaxing fire and a few beers with the Raups.


The dogs woke me up early (about 5:30) to go out. Nothing major, although Geddy was still having a little bit of diarrhea. Everything seemed fine when we were leaving for the Frontier Town park area.

We all had a great time at Frontier Town park, the shows were funny and entertaining. We all went on a stagecoach ride where we were robbed by some bandits looking for the local payroll. Emily was a little freaked out with the whole incident, but we were unharmed.

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From there, we went to watch some authentic Indian dance demonstration. It was entertaining, Matt enjoyed the hoop dance and Emily got up at the end to show her fabulous dance moves… I was quite impressed.

We then walked through a slanted mine shaft, it gave us all vertigo. From there we panned for some gold — Emily did quite a good job prospecting.


We went on some paddle boats and then enjoyed an authentic can-can show.


Matt and Emily were laughing quite a bit. After the can-can show, there was a robbery at the bank. Luckily, the local marshal was expecting it, so they caught the culprit. After a quick public trial, they went off and dunked the bank robber numerous times in the pond area.

By this time, we were out of gas, so we decided not to stick around for the afternoon rodeo… we also figured that the dogs had been in the camper for quite some time. When we got back to the camper, boy were we in for a surprise. Apparently, Geddy (and maybe Daisy) had a diarrhea and projectile vomiting party in the camper… we initially thought everything was ruined. It took a trip to Walmart, the purchase of an upholstery shampooer, and 2 or 3 hours of hard and dirty labor to clean everything. We feel bad for the dogs that they are so sick, but wow, what a mess! We now know that we cannot leave the dogs alone this week (at least until they are regular).


Since we were unable to leave the dogs alone, we decided it was a good day to go to Assateague Island. You can take the dogs out onto the South Beach there. We got there right after lunch and there was no parking available. I had to drop the kids off and then park about a mile or so away in another parking area — and boy was it hot!

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After hanging out there for about 4 hours or so, we decided it was time to head back. On my way back to the car (over a mile away) I was swarmed with mosquitoes — not a pleasant walk when it was already over 90 degrees out.



The dogs seemed to be rebounding quite well from their illness though, so Thursday should be a better day.


We decided it would be another day on Assateague for us and the dogs… just to be sure they are over their collective illness. We got there a bit earlier and got good parking, no additional journeys through the mosquito ridden island. There was a very hot breeze blowing for the most part of the day; however, from time to time, the wind would shift and come from the water and it was about 10 or 15 degrees cooler, it was really weird.



Our last full day at Frontier Town, and man was it a scorcher. By 10:00 in the morning, it was already 91 degrees. We thought that it would be best to go to the boardwalk in Ocean City in the morning — hopefully, there would be a bit of a breeze. Well, there was no breeze. We did a little shopping and walking around and decided to go to the Ripley’s Believe it Or Not that is right on the boardwalk. It was air conditioned and we thought that Matt would really enjoy it.



That’s Matt and I standing next to the tallest man ever… We were right, Matt really enjoyed it — even the pretty disgusting parts. From there we had breakfast on the boardwalk (brunch actually).

We decided upon one more trip to the water park before leaving. I took the dogs for a quick walk, in the heat, they got tired pretty quick. After the water park, we had some ice cream before heading to bed for our last night. I went and made reservations for next year… the best I could do was July 1 through 10 of 2009. It’s a Wednesday through a Friday, but it’s over the holiday, so it should be a good time. We are just a few sites down from where we were this year.



By the way, that is indeed Geddy the cowboy in the picture!