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Camping

5 Ways to “Get Away” when you can’t Actually Get Away

September 20, 2016 in Travel Tips / Uncategorized

Sure, buying a plane ticket and escaping to somewhere AMAZING sounds fantastic, but let’s be real – we can’t all do that!  Sometimes we just need to put our day to day routines on pause and find a change of scenery in order to recharge our batteries a little.  If you can’t make a grand escape somewhere exotic, here are a few ways to shake things up a little and get away without actually getting away.


Camping
1.  Go Camping

Camping is a GREAT way to recharge!  One, because chances are, you have campground close by.  Two, it’s an inexpensive way to escape reality and Three, it’s an easy weekend trip.  ReserveAmerica.com is a handy resource to find places to camp.  Just decide what part of the world you would like to camp, and find campgrounds in and around that area.
We did this last minute on labor day weekend.  We found a site in a campground nearby and went for a night.  While it would have been nice to stay longer, it was still a lot of fun and a nice change of pace!

Hiking through Glacier NP - Montana

2.  Take a Hike

Hiking is a fun way to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors.  A quick google search or alltrails.com will help you find a hike nearby (or wherever you prefer to go) that suits your needs.

3.  Explore Towns that Surround You

The internet makes finding cool new places a really simple task.  All you need to do is search!  Find areas that are around you within a reasonable distance that you haven’t been.  Sometimes the best places really are closer than you think.  Make it a day trip!

4.  Discover Unique Shops Nearby

This might sound weird, but I get really excited when I find a really cool coffee shop.  Why?  I just love a good latte.  Maybe you do too.  Or maybe you prefer a neat antique shop.  Take a walk and see what local shops you may have missed.

5.  Utilize TripAdvisor

I’m not getting any sort of compensation for talking about TripAdvisor.  I just plain love utilizing them to find great new places!  Look up the top places in your area.  Or, look up the top places in a town close by.

 

Have any other ideas?  Feel free to comment below!

Camping in Lost River, West Virginia

September 29, 2015 in Trips in Eastern United States

Have you ever heard of Lost River, West Virginia?  I’m not going to lie….prior to Labor Day weekend, I hadn’t!  I’m pretty sure most people haven’t.

Labor Day weekend, we camped with my mom in a tiny little campground in a desolate little area of West Virginia called Lost River.  Lost River sits in Hardy County, located in North East, WV just over the Virginia border.  There isn’t much around it.  As a matter of fact, I had zero cell service the entire time.  It is very rare that my cell phone actually says “no service”, especially with Verizon, but that weekend it did.

LOST RIVER, WVThe campground we stayed at, Lost River Campground, was a bit of an oddity.  The scenery was beautiful, but the campground was tiny and sat right next to a road.  The road acted as a dividing line between the tent and RV spots.  This made camping there a little bit sketchy because speed demons would fly down the road, making it a scary experience at times!

Right up the road there was a man-made lake that people were fishing and boating in.  There really was very little to do in the area, but this provided some sort of entertainment for anyone equipped for it.  The campground did have a pool, volleyball net, fire rings, and a surprisingly squeaky clean bath house.  Despite the isolation, Lost River was extremely picturesque and we all had a great time! Take a peek at our photos below….

 

Berlin, MD Bike

DAY TRIP TO ASSATEAGUE + BERLIN + OCMD

June 2, 2015 in Everything Else / Trips in Eastern United States

ASSATEAGUE SELFIE

I have sworn this year that I am going to do more traveling, despite my limited finances.  There is so much to see, even within driving distance on the weekends – and I am going to take advantage!

Brandon, holder of the flip flops

Brandon, holder of the flip flops

Assateague National Seashore

Assateague National Seashore

We took a 3 hour drive over the weekend to Assateague Island, or at least that’s where it began. We entered the Assateague Island National Seashore, which was $15 per private vehicle.  The pass is great for those in the area on vacation because it’s good for 7 days.
The beach was beautiful and much less crowded than those in Ocean City.  However, it’s also not quite summer so it’s sure to get busier over the next month or so.  One thing you have to look out for is horse poop!  There are wild horses roaming the area (we saw a few of them as we drove in the park) and you find their evidence everywhere – including the beach!  So be warned!  Also, be aware that the horses are very used to being around people so they are generally calm and not scared.  That being said, they aren’t tame.  We saw MANY careless tourists who got extremely close to the horses just to get in a photo with them.  It was really aggravating.

We roamed around the beach for a bit and hit some random trails we found nearby.  We saw an abundance of wildlife, including deer that are seriously brave!  You can see the one pictured below that saw us and didn’t budge.  Luckily I had my 75-300mm lens on so I could get a nice shot.  One of the best parts of Assateague is the camping.  I was really hoping to camp there that weekend, but I was ignorant to how popular it is and how far in advance you need to book to get a spot.

Assateague Deer

Assateague Campers

Assateague Campers

The awesome thing about camping in Assateague is that you are right on the beach.  From what I have been told, you have to watch out for the horses because they will try to snatch your food in the middle of the night!  Despite the hungry horses, from what it seems, you really can’t beat the view!  Depending on the type of site you choose, you’re looking at a fee of approximately $20+ a night.  Not too shabby.  If you want more information on camping in Assateague, check it out here.

Berlin, MD

Berlin, MD

After Assateague, we made our way to the little historic town of Berlin.  I had never been to Berlin before but I was told that it was recently dubbed “coolest small town in America” so being close by, we had to check it out.
I’d say that the rumors are true, Berlin is a beautiful little town with awesome little shops.  We went on a Sunday so we didn’t get to hit many of them, but the first place we hit was of course, a coffee shop.  The coffee shop we went to was called “On What Grounds?” and I have to say, it was some of the best I’ve ever had on the East Coast.  I tend to lean towards girly sweet drinks so I tried their Caramelatte and it was AMAZING.  Some of the best coffee drinks I’ve had were on the West Coast and this particular beverage tasted a lot like ones I’ve had over there.

Berlin, MD

Berlin, MD

Uncle Jon's Soap - Berlin, MD

Uncle Jon’s Soap – Berlin, MD

Our next stop was a little soap shop called “Uncle Jon’s Soap.”  We stumbled upon it while perusing the town and everything else was closing.  It was such a cute shop with a variety of things on the walls and shelves.  I asked the man behind the counter if this was his shop and he said yes, and eventually we got to talking.

Uncle Jon's Soap - Berlin, MD

Uncle Jon’s Soap – Berlin, MD

Jon, much like myself, is a gypsy at heart as well as an artist.  He also has a big family to support and had just opened this shop about 3 weeks before our visit!  He also mentioned that while he makes soaps and skate decks, the art around the shop was created by various local artists.
I left that day with a new bar of soap, some lip balm, and a new friend.  If you decide to visit Berlin, be sure to check out Jon’s shop at www.unclejonssoap.com!

Uncle Jon's Soap - Berlin, MD

Uncle Jon’s Soap – Berlin, MD

After our short trip to Berlin, we went where we’ve been a million times before but still love – Ocean City, MD.  If you haven’t seen my previous OCMD post, it’s a very common place for us Marylanders and those nearby to flock in the summer.  It’s our little getaway within driving distance.

Ocean City, MD inlet

Ocean City, MD inlet

The Ocean City part of our day-venture began at the inlet.  The inlet, for those who don’t know, is the beginning of the popular boardwalk, which also has a pay-to-park lot.  From there we walked – a lot.  In fact, we walked the entire 3 miles of boardwalk and back.  And of course, no trip to the ocean is complete without grabbing Thrashers french fries and a Dumsers milkshake.  Be aware, as you see below…….spelling isn’t their strength.  😉

OCMD BAD SPELLING SIGN

By the time we finished our walk it was getting dark and pretty chilly, so we were ready to make the 3 hour trek home.
We had so much fun on our little budget journey.  We brought food in the bug to cut down on costs and made sure to do everything we could in this one day…without breaking the bank!  It was definitely worth it – good memories always are.

Lets Get Lost quote

trip2

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