September 28, 2012

Hello New England!

We've made it to New England! It seems like we were just on the West Coast, and here we are in Massachusetts. Crazy.

The state line sign in Massachusetts on Interstate 90
Hello, home!

When we were in Rochester we sat down to find us an RV park to book for the next month. Yup…like I said before, sometimes we plan ahead and sometimes we leave it to the last moment. Booking an RV park the day before we arrived there, for a month, in New England, during high fall season…yeah, not sure what we were thinking waiting so long to get started. We compiled a list of parks based on their location (we were looking for something centrally located), then started whittling them down one by one. Some we knocked off because they were too expensive, some we had to take off because they ended their camping season Oct 15 (we were hoping to stay through Oct 25). We then took the remaining few and started calling them to check on their availability. All of the parks on that list did not have month long openings for the dates we were looking for. Uh-oh…now what?

I decided to do a one last ditch effort and ran a Google Maps search on RV Parks for all of New England. There I found a listing for a KOA campground (or Kampground, rather). We are not crazy about KOAs, since they are generally 50% more expensive than what we’re willing to pay for a place to stay. The one and only time we’d stayed at a KOA on this trip was in Las Vegas, and that experience was plenty frustrating. We got stuck booking that RV Park at the last moment after fruitlessly searching Las Vegas streets for a free place to park. We ended up paying over $70 a night there, and the park was really just a large parking lot. So we weren't very hopeful when we called them up. BUT, luck was in our corner. We got quoted a great rate and they had plenty of openings for our dates!

We drove 5 hours on Monday from Rochester to Albany, the capitol of New York. We overnighted there in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Tuesday we drove another 4.5 hours and arrived at our home for the next month in Massachusetts, our 23rd state on this trip. The RV Park is just south of Boston, 14 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, and right at the entrance to Cape Cod. Also, the grounds of the park are quite amazing. We couldn't have asked for a better location.

Views while driving on Interstate 90 in Massachusetts in the fall
Driving through Massachusetts
 Now…now we have a month to plan! Here is what we've planned so far:
  • Check out our new location. We arrived just in time for cranberry harvest, and we happen to be right smack in the middle of a bunch of cranberry farms (this used to be the Cranberry Capitol of the World). There will be a Cranberry Fest on Oct. 6 that we hope to attend so we can see the wet harvest (imagine farmers standing in a huge field of floating cranberries, like the Ocean Spray commercial!)
  • Visit Providence, RI
  • Drive a loop through the heart of New England to see the fall colors. We have a route planned: Manchester, NH; Hanover, NH; Montpelier, VT; Burlington, VT; White Mountains, NH; Bangor, ME; Acadia National Park; Camden, ME; Freeport, ME; and Portsmouth, NH to back home.
  • Skyler’s mom is coming to visit in early October for a week. We have a fun week of Cape Cod exploring, Martha’s Vineyard visiting, lobster eating, and National Seashore walking planned! We also plan to go into Boston for several days, Boston is one of our favorite cities in the US.
  • Finally, we have a fun packed weekend planned with Lindsay in New York City. Remember Lindsay? The cool gal that flew out to visit us in Seattle? Yup, her. Lindsay lives within a short train ride to the city, so we have lots of city walking and dancing in the plans.
We added up all the miles we plan to drive and then figured out how much it would cost us if we used the truck (gas expense based on our crappy mileage, plus maintenance items, plus general wear and tear) and then compared that to what we thought we’d have to pay for a rental car with much better gas mileage. We figured out our break-even point and gave the local Enterprise a call. The first quote they gave us was way out of the ball park. Sky asked for a discount, and they gave us 10% off, which was still too much. We got off the phone, talked about it, and decided to stay firm. So Sky called them back and asked if they would do it for the price we wanted it for (which was almost 30% less than the last quote we’d gotten), and what do you know? They agreed!

Now we are the proud owners (for a month) of a Fiat 500. It was the only economy car they had on the lot at the time we picked it up, but we’d never driven one before and we decided to give the little European car a go. Its TINY compared to the truck, and I LOVE IT! I feel like a Ninja when I’m driving it, I want to yell “Hiya!” when I switch lanes. Folks on the road don’t even see me coming I’m so quick now. We can accelerate like a normal car can, we can zoom around all the other huge cars on the road, we have a turning radius of a large dinner plate, and I’m pretty sure we can park in a parking spot sideways and still fit within the lines. Jealous? :o)

We rented Fiat 500 for the next month to save money on gas mileage and have a more enjoyable driving experience!
Our hot rod!
So here we are, in New England! I’m super excited and ready to get started exploring!

Happy New England dreaming,


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