Thursday, October 14, 2010

Williamsburg, to Memaws!

We're staying at the Outdoor World in Williamsburg, VA. Which is a beautiful woodsy campground. It's always kind of scary pulling into this campground because the trees are more present through out the actual camping area compare to most Thousand Trails; which basically translates into everyone except my Dad being scared of hitting one as we're pulling in. Once we do get pulled in it is nice being in a campground that actually feels like camping.

The first day after we pulled in me and my brother headed over to Busch Gardens. During this time of year they model the park after a Halloween theme. For those that have never been to the Busch Gardens here, it is made to resemble various areas through Europe, and is divided into such areas as Italy, Germany, France, England and Ireland. During this time of year they split the areas into different legends and monsters. For example, Germany has Vampires and Werewolves and France has Ghouls and Ghosts. In each section they had a haunted house based on that theme.

They did very well in my opinion on playing on these themes. I have never been in a haunted house before then, and it was a unique experience doing it with my brother. Him and I don't really respond to fear like most people around us did, In fact we look at it kind of humorously. I remember everyone glaring at me after watching Paranormal Activity because I couldn't stop laughing. And I'm sure the employees trying their hardest to scare us here didn't much appreciate us just laughing at them and making comments. For example, A guy jumped out of the bushes to scare Austin, and all he said was "Come on Dad, get out of the bushes." Though most scares were responded with something along the lines of "Why Hello there, how are you doing?"

Tomorrow we are heading over to my grandmothers house. We always love to visit her, and it will be nice to see her now both because its close to the family centered holidays, and because her birthday was very recent (also, it's not snowing yet, which makes things easier for us with the RV.) All in all I think its just about the perfect time for us to visit. As always I'm looking very much forwards to visiting her.

Williamsburg a a great city to visit, the historical activities are countless. Its raining a bit these last few days, but thats fine, I like rain. It was warm when we arrived, but luckily the rain has brought with it cooler weather. We haven't gotten around to visiting any of the historical sites so far this visit, but I'm sure we will. I'm trying to enjoy everything as much as possible seeing how these are probably the last few months I will be with my family, and the last few weeks we will be somewhere other then Florida. I hope everyone is enjoying the Halloween session, and I hope to see all my loved ones soon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Quiet, quiet, He speaks...

Alright, updates since last post.

After we were in Michigan we headed over to Niagara, New York. The falls were simply amazing, but visiting Canada for the first time is where most of my memories lie. We only actually visited the falls themselves for one of the days we were there, which honestly was enough. I would have enjoyed staying in the area longer, but either way I'm glad we had the opportunity to stay.

After spending ~4 days at Niagara, we headed over to Holley, New York. The area was very beautiful, and while we were they're the leaves were changing colors. The Red Rock campground we visited there was very nice, and is at the top of my list for non-Thousand Trails campgrounds. (The one in Niagara was nice too, but we didn't stay there long enough for me to get attached to it.) It was nice to walk along the Erie Canal in the brisk Autumn chill that you don't really get to experience in Florida until mid to late winter.

After spending 2 weeks in Holley, we headed down to the Thousand Trails park in Hershey, PA. I've heard a ton of hype about this park, so I was expecting a lot; and it has lived up to all of it. The park is big, clean, and just generally nice. The facilities have all you can ask for from a park. My only two gripes are:
  1. The showers don't stay on for longer then ~12 seconds. There is a button you have to keep pushing 1000 times to keep the water running.
  2. The tennis courts arn't lit. (A small qualm that is easily settled by playing during the day.)
All in all though, the pros out weight those two small cons. We're going to be here a week which just doesn't feel long enough. Rene and Mira are here, which makes leaving difficult. Afterwards we should be headed to Williamsburg, VA [again] which I am looking forward to because of the chance to visit Busch Gardens again. So until my next blog post, see you later. You may now resume what you were previously doing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Here you go grandma!

I know you've been dying for me to update [here, instead of small lazy posts on facebook]. I'm to lazy to start up X11 sometimes, and the internet is always slow enough to discourage me from using it. But where I am at has a decent connection, so here it is.

After my last post, we visited my grandmothers house. Me and my brother spent the week there and had a great time. We then headed south to North Carolina for my dad to do some job training. The park we stayed at had free coffee and a nice air conditioned and beautiful lounge, but I didn't end up spending much time in it, I was caught up in a book and Austin was still at my grandmas, and my parents were doing their job training, so I spend most of my time with Coco. While there we went over to the mountains that boarder NC and TN. Saw some awesome waterfalls and the highest mountain in the Appalachian Trail and Little Switzerland. We ate at some Mexican restaurant that looked shabby but the food was to die for, which seems to be a common theme amongst Mexican restaurants.

Afterwards we headed over to the Pidgin Forge area of Tennessee. The Smokey Mountains were cool, but it seems that they are not what they use to be because of smog and such; which is a shame. There are more attractions in Pidgin Forge then in Orlando which shocked me more then anything because its in the middle of Tennessee, similarly though everything is expensive. My Aunt and Uncle and their kids hung out with us here, and this was around me and my moms birthday because we celebrated that then.

Then we headed up to Mercersburg, Pennsylvania to do my dads first job. I went with him often and had a fun time helping him out. He did fairly well for his first job and I was very proud of him. Then we headed up to Springfield, Vermont and everything was dead as nails. We were unable to sell enough Ads there.

Next we headed to Jefferson, Ohio where we met up with Rene and Mira which was really cool. It was nice to be back in Thousand Trails playing pickleball with friends. We headed to Cortland, Ohio to play with a bunch of people that play over there. The people there were incredibly nice, and very fun to play with. We went out to eat one nice with Rene and Mira at a some lodge like restaurant there, and they had the best burgers I have ever had. Mira made some spaghetti one night for us all to eat, and the sauce was delightful, and my mom and dad made a turkey dinner another night to return the favor. Me and my brother played billiards often and everyone but my dad went around and viewed the covered bridges in the area. It was all very fun.

Next we went to Celina, Ohio for another job. It was a very nice area surrounding the Great Lake in the middle of Ohio. Unfortunately the whole area was suffering because the lake has some algae in it that disables the lake of use. I don't really know the full story, but my understanding is that it could paralyze you, so you can't even touch the water. The good news is that they think they have an effective algaecide that they were testing while we were they that they hope might work and be able to fix the problem. I have my fingers crossed for the area because it was a very nice place. The tap water tasted like rust, if you're in the area, buy bottled.

After that we headed north to Gaylord, Michigan were we are at now. The campground here is very nice and the weather is nicer. Great staff, nice facilities, and good Internet. I hope to post pictures soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pass the catch up, please.

Alright, I suppose I have some 'splainin to do. We went to NC as I explained what feels like forever to do. The park there was really nice as far as scenery goes, the lake and surrounding woods was amazing. On the other hand, they had just gone through spring break so the staff was less then pleasant.

We cut our stay there short to about 3 days, and came up to Gloucester, VA. It is nice to be back in Virginia again, I have to admit. I always tell people that I'm going to live in the city when I grow up, but there is still a big part of me that wants to live in the middle of nowhere as well; on the weekends at least, and as long as I can get Fiber Optic in the middle of this nowhere.

We stayed the first weekend hanging out with out good friends Dean and Marge, and I had the pleasant opportunity to meet two new friends; Rene and Mira. Dean and his wife left after the first weekend, and thats when my Uncles family came for a weekend. They have a boat here and so we got to ride around on that (pictures of the Chesapeake Bay soon to come). They left and since then we have not done so much except sit around.

I will say that the library here is very nice, much nicer then even the new library in [west] Boca Raton. Lots of books, audio books, and fast free Internet. I would have, as promised, uploaded more pictures but due to a simple irreversible mistake I deleted my pictures folder in linux; no recycling bin. I did manually recover some files by having to do a full disk scan and blah blah blah tech stuff, but the program I used to do so wasn't that great and so mainly failed. If I had Steve Gibson's SpinRite I might have had more success. [ for more info on that - its not shameless for me to plug in Steve here in this case.]

Welp, as I write this my Uncles family just came back, so I guess I have to leave. I intend to have pictures up soon, the net here is constantly going in and out so I might not be able to upload until we go back to the library...

Anyways thats all from me,
Speak to you soon.
-Love from Kenny.

My thumb hurts. [Eddie Izzard fans delight.]

Monday, April 12, 2010

On the Road Again...

Finally, much to my mothers relief, we are on the road and heading out today. We're leaving Florida behind with only me shedding tears on that fact, and we're heading to Summerton, South Carolina. A name that is hard to live up to since we are coming from the sunshine state, but I'm sure its a nice enough place.

Auburn stole back Ace during the past weekend much to my displeasure. My mom is happy about that though [shakes fist], only because he was shedding his winter coat during the week he was here. I'm sure all the mothers are nodding in agreement with her though.

I have to sit next to this guy the whole way there. He wants you all to know he got his post up minutes before I did, therefore he wins, what do you think? ^^

Friday, April 9, 2010

Soon, my pretty.

We're back in Clermont and will be heading north some time next week. We're all getting excited... I guess. For the past week I've been taking care of my sister's dog, Ace, who I adore a lot.

Other then that there hasn't been much happening. Auburn should be coming over tomorrow which will be cool.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Huh? Oh, Not Much.

We're back in Wauchula, Florida, this week. And we will be in Clermont again in the next week or so. So, to the question of what I've done; I suppose the best answer is to say we're dancing on the face of Florida. Now I've been told that once we head out I'll see a blue moon before I'm bored again (supposing of course I'm wearing blue tainted lenses). Here, the closest thing to fun is watching the orange trucks pass full one way and empty the other in a nearly non-stop fashion. I hope the rest of America likes oranges.

If things weren't so wet I'd be much happier to trek the wetlands of Florida. We've had a drought the past 8 years or so, so I'm not use to them living up to their name; and I wouldn't care if it were not for the fact I recently received new shoes which now look to be a few years old. On the bright side I'm getting to see more wildlife on this side of the state. There is an Osprey that is a supposed regular in the forest hear that I only had the chance to see once while here. I did however get the opportunity to get very close to a Red Shouldered Hawk and grab some pictures.

This isn't the closest picture, but its the clearest. I walked away and noticed the lens of my camera was just awful. The way this thing acted it had to be protecting a nest; and before you say its to cold to lay eggs remember its Florida and spring for us started last year, quite warm here. I will try and go back tomorrow quite possible with a better camera to grab some more pictures. I'll keep ya'll updated (ya'll being my mom, who happens to be in the same room as me.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What I've Done (by Linkin Park) Lately.

Alright, so it's been some time since my last post. I have for the most part stayed indoors and currently trying to read every book in my collection; a feasibly impossible task giving I only have a year or so, but none the less fun... to me. Of the few things I have done other then sit in a chair and stare at words, I didn't take pictures. (Because my batteries were dead, and I'm lazy. I took my camera to the museum and didn't take a single picture from some odd reason.)

First, I went to SeaWorld with my dad. They didn't want to let me in because supposedly my fingerprint didn't match (for some odd, unknown reason... as far as I know my thumb is the same.) Once I did get in it was cool. The dolphin cove is something I haven't seen before. Their exhibits were very nice, and although I always had the feeling like I've seen it all somewhere before, it was always with the side thought that it was done better here. Unfortunately the trainers were not allowed into the tanks with the whales because of the recent incident, so I kind of got cheated for a first time experience, but like I said, it was still cool none the less.

Like I said, I didn't bring my camera, so this is going to have to do:

No, I didn't really get to ride Shamu (except in my head), but you get the general idea.

Second, I went to the Presidents Museum in Claremont, Florida. This place was really neat, but was so packed with stuff it was overwhelming and almost to much to take in. The man who created the place was a wood carver and a very talented one at that. The displays were creative to say the least, and what they lacked in flash they made up for in creativity.

Third, I just been hanging around the campground. The trails here are very nice, at least in the sense that I wasn't expecting much from Orlando as far as trails go. They have a lake where you can 'rent' rowboats, which I did, and that was fun.

Here is a picture of the dock, you can kind of see the rowboats to the right in the image thought they are in shadow.
It rained for two days straight: Thursday and Friday. But as you can see, now its clear and beautiful, though windy.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Air Museum

Today my mother, brother, and I met up with the Evens family at the Fun 'n Sun Florida Air Museum.

We only got to be there for a half hour due to planning issues and my brothers lack of negotiation skills. None the less it was cool to see historical planes up close and personal. Heres a view of the hanger.

It was cool to meet the Evans family, they seem like a warm and happy crowd. I was tired and less then talkative but I still had fun. We went out to a Mexican restaurant afterwards, one which claimed to be the best in Florida though I tend to disagree; not that it was bad, but I've had better here. It is getting chilly here again and I hope that doesn't last long. I suppose it could be a lot worse as anyone from anywhere else in the states would testify, none the less I'm shivering as I write this. Did someone forget to make the sacrifice to the sun god Ra this year around, or is it just me who is wondering when global warming kicks in?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Solomon's Castle

Me and my Father ventured out to go see a place known as Solomon's Castle located near Ona, Florida.

I didn't bring my camera much to my regret, but the website has plenty of pictures and is worth checking out. I went to see the castle bit, but was pleasantly surprised that the man who build it, Howard Solomon, is a very talented artist and sculptor as well. Honestly, it was a great thing to visit. I got to stop and talk to Howard for about 10 minutes and he is a clever and well humored man. I have to admit so far this somewhat dinky attraction is by far my favorite. Much like at the Ringling Museum of Art, something about seeing art in person inspires me. We ran in to our neighbors from the campground while there by coincident. I honestly think Tom believes me to be stalking him, but let it publicly be known I am making no attempt to do so.

[And so I am thus far caught up in what I have done since I moved in a few weeks ago. More to come, as it comes.]

Lipizzan Horses / Grillin' n' Chillin'

Lipizzan Horses:
My and my mother went to a place (Site located Here) that trained a rare and beautiful breed of horses known as the Lipizzan Stallions of Austria.

During the winter off season they do practice sessions where they demonstrate the athleticism and agility of these graceful animals. Attendance is free, but donations are welcome. It was neat that the stables were open which allowed you to go in and see the horses up close and pet them.

Grillin' n' Chillin':
We attended the local cook off type of thing held here in Wauchula known as "Grillin' n' Chillin'". They blocked off part of Main Street and held a sort of competition which had the category of Pork, Chicken, Chili, and Deserts. They also had a small local car show. Here's some images:

If our Internet wasn't so slow I would have more up. If I find a feasible solution to that problem, such as a hot spot, I may upload more. They will be in my photo album if I do which you can find a link to in the left column. They had live music and a radio station playing music live in another part. They had a bit more cars then what I'm showing here including an old Monte Carlo, a Contender, another 70's era Mustang (I had to have the image of the Boss though), and a few other timeless classics like a Cuda, a Cutless, and a couple Caddys. [list subject to error]

Ringling Brother's Art Musium

We visited the Ringling Brothers art museum in Sarasota Florida. I absolutely loved the art and was sad that we went so late and was essentially kicked out at closing. None the less I got to see a ton of authentic art from mainly the Renaissance period with some Greek art dating as far back as 850 B.C. thrown in as well. I suppose it was interesting to me in a sense because although I like art in books and on TV and so on, something about seeing it in person speaks volumes where paintings can tell tales unspoken but through the tip of a brush on canvas. Again I didn't have a camera at the time, but plenty can be found at the Ringling Bro's website located Here.


Helped my dad move stuff from the storage in Orlando to the storage here in Wauchula. During the trip we listened to a book titled Pastwatch by my favorite science fiction author Orson Scott Card. We stopped an ate at some gyro restaurant there, I'm not quite certain on the name, but I got a Philly Steak sub which was prepared in an odd to me fashion by having mayonnaise and lettuce on it, and not a ton of meat, but was kind of good none the less.

Animal Rescue

Across the street from the campground is a rather small animal rescue located on a couple of acres hidden behind a few things such as another campground. I don't have any images because I didn't have my camera yet. My mothers blog at ShowUsTheWorld has images.

In order (following the tail in a clockwise fashion):
A common American short hair cat which followed us around,
Grey Vultures Everywhere (not part of the rescue, but there in a multitude),
Grey Foxes,
Brown Bear,
Otter (Supposedly, I didn't see any),
Horned Owl,
Turtles (though I'm not sure they we're actually part of the rescue),

Not a rather long list, but still a very interesting place.

If your at the Thousand Trails campground in Wauchula this is a good place to go mainly because of how close it is. I think it is $4 to get in, my mom has a family pass for the year because she considers this the closest thing to home, and likes the rescue a lot.

More to come, stay tuned.

Week Two: Wauchula

The second week we headed over to the Thousand Trails campground in Wauchula Florida (though I think technically it is in Zolfo Springs, the campground claims it is in Wauchula.) This is more of a campground in the fact that it is technically classified as a preserve. It had rained the days preceding our arrival so the spots available were muddy, and the trails swamp like in nature. None the less its nice to be outdoors.

My family is into a sport called PickleBall that is, as I describe it, a mutant cross between tennis and ping pong. It is played on a court the size of a badminton court and is played using what is essentially a perforated ball similar to a wiffle ball, and what resembles a boat oar cut short.

Two players on each side with scoring close to that of ping pong and played more in the style of tennis as I have mentioned. It is a fun, fast paced game which because it is played on a smaller court is easier for older and younger players to play then tennis (or at least that is my assumption.) From what I can tell a lot of 1K Trails have these courts making it my families game of choice. It is very fun and I'm glad that everyone here is so welcoming to newcomers. I'm not huge on sports and consider myself more of a outdoor - running, jumping, kayaking - sort of person. But I have had tons of fun playing this sport.

The town in cozy in that small town since. Main street seems to be the only street and the local shops and restaurants seem to have been around since the town was founded in the early 1900s. It is as the crossroads of a bunch of the somewhat minor state roads, so it makes sense that the campground is located here in that since. And although one might think that there isn't allot to do in the middle of no where, they would be happily mistaken, for although the attractions of sorts about the place lack the luster of what you would find in more heavily populated areas, they make up for in charm and a feel of receiving a more one on one experience where ever you do go.

Week One:

During my first week we stayed at the Lazydays campground in Tampa, Florida. It's a nice campground with a sort of sub-urban feel to it because it is all paved and is lacking in the camping aspect. None the less it is nice, and the staff at Lazydays is, as always, extremely friendly and welcoming (although I did get stopped by the security guards at night for being outside, throws them off when their guests are under 80.) It was cool to stay there because I got the chance to see some of the different RVs out there on display, if I ever decide to continue doing this after my welcome at my parents house expires. We went to the Busch Gardens theme park while there because we have year passes to get us in to that and Seaworld year round. I also got to see my Aunt Diana and cousin for the first time in a while, which was cool. We didn't stay there long, about 5 days. Then we packed up our house and hit the road.

On The Road Again

Welcome to my blog. My name is Aric Showalter and I am living full time in an RV with my parents and brother, traveling through North America a week at a time discovering and exploring whatever we can find.

My parents brother and sister have been traveling for the past two years in this fashion and I recently switched places with my sister to experience something not many get to experience, and something I may not get the opportunity to experience again.

I am 18 years old and when my parents first decided to do this when I was 16 I decided to move out and get a job because my view back then was that living the life style they envisioned seemed to me to be unstable. My fear was that I would be unable to move out when I wanted and get a job and so on. I moved in with my best friend who I have known since 6th grade. I got a job at a restaurant and was promoted to manager within a few months. I got to experience all that I had hoped to get out of having an independent life style, and through that also found a new respect for living rent free in my parents home.

My younger sister then decided to move in with my older sister and a spot opened up in the RV and I politely got on my knees and asked my parents to allow me to move back in and travel with them. Sometimes its nice to see things in a new light, and luckily they said yes.

So I plan to document what I can about my travels. I am a sole man, with a camera and a computer and a chance of a lifetime in my hands. Once which I intend to share with the world.

You can find my mothers blog at
There you can backtrack through the past few years to see what they have been doing, and what I intend to be a part of.

Ciao, and stay tuned.

[these next few posts will be me backtracking through what I've been through so far.]