Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011 The Virginia Samboree

Thursday, the 26th, we drove to Urbanna, Virginia to BethPage Campground for the Virginia Samboree, our first time of being in this area.  It was about a 200 mile trip taking about 4.5 hours.  Driving into BethPage Campground almost took my breath away with the beauty of the campground.  Pretty ponds or lakes were at the entrance way, a huge water park and an overall neat and clean environment.  Other members of the Traveling Americans, the Woodruff’s and McGinnis’,

From 2011-05-21 Virginia Samboree
arrived a little later in the day.  We were fortunate to be able to be parked together.  Thursday evening the McGinnis’ and us , the Woodruff’s did not arrive until late, went into Urbana for dinner at Cafe Mojo.  Dinners were very good although a little pricey.  Tom and I each had a shrimp and scallop pesto penne pasta- very flavorful, had 3 scallops and 3 shrimps- for $24.00. 

Friday we walked about the common area of the Samboree checking out the vendors and talking with other attendees.  The 3 couples of us went into Urbana for lunch at a cafe.  In the afternoon, Tom and I and the McGinnis’ and about 40 others took a boat ride offered by the campground. 

From 2011-05-21 Virginia Samboree
The boat ride took us from the campground to the town of Urbana’s marina
From 2011-05-21 Virginia Samboree
and along areas of some big beautiful houses. 
From 2011-05-21 Virginia Samboree
For supper we had hot dogs, beans, and chips and drink at the Samboree.  The official opening ceremonies was held after supper.   Our entertainment was to have been a talk about “Dogs for the Deaf”, an organization that Good Sam supports, but the spokesperson was unable to attend.  A teenage girl entertained with her guitar and voice unfortunately the sound system was only a PA system.

Saturday morning started with a biscuit and gravy breakfast which Tom and I choose to skip eat our own food.   There were some seminars offered but it seemed that all were product oriented (can you say informercials?) so we did not attend.  The vendors were open for business – we had our names embroidered on denim shirts and jackets that have our club logo on.  We also purchased a picnic table and bench covers. And I got a new purse.  A flea market was held around lunchtime with folks trying sell off unwanted goods.  For $2.00 we bought 2 large plastic containers – something that I had been looking for to store my Wii.  Several Virginia Chapters were selling food for lunch.  We had a pulled pork sandwich with chips and cole slaw.  A Chinese auction was held and we did not get anything – just another donation made.  Mid afternoon there was to be a parade – we went and found that we had missed it- but we were shown 2 pictures of the only 2 groups in the parade.  Parade contestants are expected to dress in costume for the rally theme, the theme for this rally was the Samboree’s 35th Anniversary, not an easy theme to costume.  After missing the parade we went to the cakewalk which is really not a walk at all.  Participants sit in a circle and for a quarter given a paper plate with a number on it, the plates are passed around in time to music, the music stops, a number is drawn and the person with that number on their plate wins the cake or cookies. 

From 2011-05-21 Virginia Samboree
Tom was not a winner but I won a pineapple upside down cake.  Bruce McGinnis won a gingerbread.   We had a dinner of barbeque chicken, beans, corn, salad and corn bread and dessert  in the evening.  The entertainment on this evening was the Larkin Family- Dad, Mom and 2 daughters- from Nashville, Tenn.  Good entertainment. 

Sunday morning after eating breakfast in the motorhome we packed up and got ready to get on the road.  We did not stay for the closing ceremony as it would have been after 11am before we would have started our 4 to 5 hour drive home.  The weather was nice all weekend, just a few sprinkles of rain at times.  The campground was very nice but we learned is quite expensive- we were charged $49.00 for Thursday night.  Some folks wanted to stay over on Sunday and were told it would be $75.00 for that night but the campground did back down to give the $49.00 rally rate for Sunday also.  I know there are wonderful amenities at this campground but $75.00 for a campsite seems out of sight.

Next weekend the Maryland Samboree in Frederick, Maryland- much closer to home.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

West Virginia Samboree

Last Thursday, May 12th, we traveled to Mineral Wells, West Virginia for the West Virginia Samboree. Mineral Wells is about 300 miles to the west near Parkersburg, W.V. and Marietta, Ohio. Our route of travel was through mountainous regions of western Maryland and West Virginia. It was interesting that one area in Maryland along Keyser's Ridge near Frostburg had trees that had not produced leaves yet. All other areas had trees in full foliage. The rally was held at a fairground near Mineral Wells. Because of the recent rainy weather in that area the grounds were a little soggy. Luckily, we were parked parallel to a roadway on solid ground. For dinner on Thursday a potluck meal was planned so I hurriedly found some chili beans in my food supplies, added some smoked sausage, green peppers and onions and had a dish to take for potluck. There are always so many interesting foods to sample at these meals.
Since the Samboree does not officially start until Friday evening we went exploring the area during the day. Coldwater Creek, a line of women's clothing, has a distribution center in the area so we stop at the Clearence Center so I could do a little shopping.
From West Virginia Weekend
Parkersburg had a farmer's market in the downtown area but since it is early in the season there was little to choose from. From the market we walked to a Jimmy John's sandwich shop for lunch. After lunch we drove a little north of Parkersburg to the Fenton Glass Factory. This factory continues to make beautiful glassware as it has for many years, piece by piece, some molded and some blown.
From West Virginia Weekend
It is a dying art as glassware is being mass produced and sold for less money. We took a tour of the factory which is free, and then we browsed through the gift shop.
From West Virginia Weekend
After returning back to the motorhome and eating dinner in (a soup bean, yes that is how it was named, and cornbread supper was available), we went to the opening cermonies and evening entertainment, The Steve Hussey Band, a local Parkersburg group, performed with a variety of music.
Saturday morning we had a pancake and sausage breakfast, went to a meeting for first timers to the West Virginia Samboree and then went out again to explore the area. We drove across the Ohio River to Marietta, Ohio. Along the river a tow boat was being restored.
From West Virginia Weekend
At one time the Ohio river had quite a bit of commerce boat traffic. The tow boats were used to tow barges on the river. The underground railroad was active in this area as slaves crossed into Ohio, a non slave state. After a lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Marietta we went to another area along the Muskingum river, a tributary of the Ohio, where an old railroad bridge has a pedestrian bridge that we were able to walk on.
From West Virginia Weekend
Crossing the bridge took us into the old section of Marietta originally called Harmar. There were a few shops in this old section. We went into the soda shop that had Coca-Cola memorabilia and a old fashion looking soda shop where lunches could be purchased. We opted for an ice cream cone.
From West Virginia Weekend
Back at the Samboree in the evening we ate a baked steak dinner and then had entertainment by another local musical group that also had a variety of music.
Donuts and coffee were offered for Friday and Sunday breakfast but we choose to eat our cereal instead. After eating breakfast on Sunday morning we packed up and left before the closing ceremonies. Possible heavy rain was predicted and our motorhome has problems with water ingestion in heavy rain and we had almost 300 miles to travel so we didn't want to hang around until after 11am to start home. As it was we did hit some showers of rain but nothing real heavy that caused us any problems. The weekend was a nice time. The West Virginians are a friendly, fun group of folks. The area is a very pretty, green, hilly area. The weather was cloudy for the most part, warmer than we expected,with a few brief showers of rain.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11, 2011 Derby is Over, On to West Virginia

Last weekend we were in Lancaster, Pa. at the Old Mill Stream campground with the Traveling Americans group. Thirteen rigs were in attendance, a nice turnout.
From 2011-05-07 Kentucky Derby Weekend
Friday evening we were on our own for dinner. Tom and I along with my brother, Larry and Joanne, went to the Revere Tavern for dinner. Saturday morning the hosts for the weekend provided doughnuts and coffee for a continental breakfast. After breakfast we all scatter in different directions doing whatever. But we started gathering together in the late afternoon and then for dinner we had the derby specialty, Burgoo, a stew type dish in which we all contributed to the ingredients.
From 2011-05-07 Kentucky Derby Weekend
It was tasty and quite filling. Most of the ladies donned their fashionable hats and the men also had some interesting toppers.
From 2011-05-07 Kentucky Derby Weekend
From 2011-05-07 Kentucky Derby Weekend
Prior to the derby some bets were placed but no one placed a bet on the winner.
From 2011-05-07 Kentucky Derby Weekend
Sunday morning we gathered together for a pot luck breakfast that was supposed to be prepared by the men because afterall it was Mother's Day.
Tomorrow we are leaving again for the weekend. Because of the distance we are allowing an extra day to get out to the far reaches of Mineral Wells, West Virginia near the Ohio state line. The West Virginia Samboree is being held at this location and we have never been to their Samboree. The number of Maryland folks going out has dwindled because of the distance. I'm looking forward to this trip as it is in an area that we just passed through but have not spent any time at. The weather has just been about perfect the past several days and I'm hoping good weather will continue through the weekend.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Preparing for the Derby

Our feet are itching to get out in the motorhome. We've spent a couple of weeks home and now it feels like its time to move again. We had a nice Easter Day with family. Todd, Beth and Parker and Larry and Joanne came to our house for the day. Parker had an Easter egg hunt and then kept Grandpa occupied outside much of the day.
From Easter 2011-04-24
Last weekend Tom and I went down to Todd and Beth's to be with Parker Saturday evening as they went to Richmond for the races. So we have gotten a pretty good grandparenting fix. We were sorry that Maddy and Anthony were not there but they had other family to be with.
This weekend we are going to the "derby", no not the Kentucky Derby. We are camping with our Traveling American group near Lancaster, Pa. and the theme is the Kentucky Derby. Saturday evening we are having a derby meal(a stew called Burgoo and I'm supplying the potatoes) and are to dress for the derby. This evening I made a hat to wear. I'm anxious to see the hats the other ladies will be wearing. Tom has located an appropriate hat for the occasion, also, but his lacks the charm of mine. The weekend should be especially nice for the ladies as Sunday is Mother's Day and the men are preparing the potluck breakfast. That seems only fair when the ladies do most of the fixing at the other times.