Friday July 13, 2007

We had planned to leave early Friday morning and arrive at Harrisburg East Campground later in the day, but at 7:00 Friday evening we had the RV all packed, had finished dinner and thought, "Now what?"  There was nothing but re-runs on TV so we decided to get on the road early and get a few hours closer to Harrisburg before bed time.  We had a smooth border crossing and made it as far as Cicero, NY (suburb of Syracuse) where we settled in at a Wal-Mart parking lot.  This was our first time stopping in a Wal-Mart lot and we made a few strategic errors.  We parked beside the road the delivery trucks use to access the loading docks, so there were trucks passing all night.  We also just happened to pick the one night a year when they have the street sweeping trucks come and spend the entire night sweeping the whole parking lot.  Oh yeah - there was also a huge thunderstorm.  In the morning Gary said, "I think I heard rain last night."  I can't believe he slept through all those trucks and the street sweepers.

It worked out well though.  It was a Super Wal-Mart and was open all night so when we got settled there about 11:30 p.m. I was able to go and pick up some groceries.  This saved us a stop on Friday.  

We were up early Friday morning and made excellent time.  We were in the  Harrisburg East Campground and all set up by noon on Friday.  This gave us time to drive over to Camp Hill, across the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg, and scout the area where the MagicMeet was to be held then next day, including Kathie's Christmas and Collectibles Store.  

Friday had been a long day and Saturday promised to be very busy, so we were off to bed early.

Saturday July 14, 2007



What a wonderful day, we met a lot of people we knew and made some new friends.  The MagicMeet was very busy and just packed full of events. There were so many things we wanted to do, speakers we wanted to hear, but we couldn't possibly do them all.  We were both touched by Mike Scopa's keynote address, and then we attended a breakout session where Deb Wills talked about cruising with the Disney Cruise Line.  


Mike Scopa and Deb Wills doing a live Podcast

Table #21 - Team Tagrel - Jimbolini, Cruiser, Johnnie Black, Rogue Pony, Zakerdog, Cinderella & Ron

Table #23 - Team Tagrel - Tagrel, Photographer, Tacey, Tiggertails, Randy, AUTeacher9905 and AUBandPilot

Disney Vanity Plates in the parking lot at MagicMeets 2007

We went to another breakout room and listened to Kevin Fonner talk about Imagineering Projects at home.  He described how he built a "100 Acre Woods" nursery, complete with trees and stars in the sky, for his son.  While Gary went back to the motorhome to let the dogs out, I took in another breakout session given by "Mr. Hidden Mickey" Steve Barrett.  When Gary got back from walking the dogs he snapped a few pictures of the Disney vanity plates in the parking lot. 

There were just so many great speakers that we had a hard time choosing between them.  

In the evening we went to a reception at Kathie's Christmas and Collectibles Store and then to a Pin Trading Meet.  

Sunday July 15, 2007

Sunday we were up early and off to Hershey, we had a lot of fun but it was unbearably hot, 35 degrees when we left. The dogs were in the air conditioned kennel, I don't think they minded it too much except all the other dogs barking upset Zak. They were sure glad to get back to the camp when the day was done. 

Hershey Park was fun.  Our MagicMeets group were admitted to the park an hour before the official opening and they opened up a few rides early just for us.  Gary and a number of others rode the newest and biggest roller-coaster "Storm Runner" several time in a row.  A large group started on the first ride but quite a few had had enough after one trip.  The ride starts with a hydraulic ram which accelerates you from a standing start to seventy-two miles per hour in two seconds. Wow!  From this standing start you go straight up 180 feet, twisting all the way and immediately turn straight down 180 feet and then pass through several upside-down loops followed by several upside-down spirals.  A bit too much motion for me, and most people agreed with me after one trip.  Gary and a few other wanted more, so as the crowd thinned they moved forward.  Gary had two more rides in the front car.  He was done after three turns and a few really foolhardy hardy souls went back for a fourth.

Hershey Park just before opening

Storm Runner - Gary in the front, Tagrel directly behind him You have to be crazy to ride this . . .

This is more like my kind of ride!

We stopped for a group photo with our MagicMeets pals and then went on alone to explore the park.  We hooked up with Deb Wills and Linda and joined their group for a ride on a traditional wooden roller-coaster and walked with them for a while.  After dropping by the kennel to walk the dogs (it was just too hot to keep them out long) we stopped at a restaurant on the way back into the park for a bite of lunch and then took a ride around the park on the monorail.  We met Dave Card (Tagrel) and his family and decided to take the flume ride with Krysten and Maddy while Dave and Brinn ride on a roller-coaster.  We agreed that we would stay dryer if we got the back row - WRONG - there were no dry seats - not even close.  We could not have been wetter if we had bailed out of the boat and swam to shore.  Wow!  It felt good to be cool!  We stopped and had an ice cream and sat in the sun to dry a bit.  
After a ride up the "Kissing Tower", a revolving elevator ride which rises 250 feet over the park, we decide to head over to Chocolate World next door for a tour there before heading back to the campground.  Talk about kids in a candy store!

We picked up the dogs and headed back to the campground were we had a swim to cool down, but even with the air conditioning was is hot.

Riding the monorail

View of Hershey Park from The Kissing Tower

The kid in the candy store . . . a little bit of heaven

Monday July 16, 2007



Another busy day, we drove to Lancaster and checked enjoyed the Amish experience.  We rode in a little horse drawn cart and wandered through the shops. It was quite like St. Jacobs, the Mennonite town in Ontario except that it's the whole county, not just a town. We left the dogs in the RV today, it was extremely hot out; they would not have enjoyed the day. 


The corn is as high as an elephant's eye

Our horse-drawn carriage

This sign brought out Gary's inner teenage boy

Tuesday July 17, 2007



Today we rode an old steam train on the historic Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad, it was probably the same type of train my grandfather worked on. We then went underground into the Indian Echo Caverns, the caves were quite impressive. 


The Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad

Gary got to play "Conductor" The Indian Echo Caverns

Wednesday July 18, 2007



Well, Gettysburg is quite the place!  We arrived early; it is only an hour away from Harrisburg. It was nice to get settled into the campground early, we were hooked up before noon. The KOA campground was very nice. After we got settled we headed out to the Boydís Bear Country Store. It is a really big barn full of bears. I bought 3 bears and spent over 2 hours looking through the place. I could have stayed longer but Gary was starting to pace.

Our campsite at the Gettysburg KOA - we loved the campground!

Boyd's Bear Country Store

Dinner at Farnsworth House

We went into Gettysburg and had a very nice dinner at the Farnsworth House Inn and Restaurant.  The building dates back to the civil war and one wall is well scarred with bullet holes from the war.  After dinner we took a horse-drawn carriage ride around the town before heading back to the camp.


Another carriage ride The battlefeild is full of memorial statues and monuments

Thursday July 19, 2007

We spent the entire day driving around the battlegrounds, this place is amazing. Neither Gary nor I were really into civil war history, it is just not a big subject in Canadian schools; but you canít help but be impressed with what they have done here to preserve the history. We took a bus tour in the morning then had some lunch. In the afternoon we picked up the dogs and got a CD that you play in your car. The CD gives you driving instructions and narrates a tour through the whole area, it was a great way to see every thing.

A memorial to Abraham Lincold near the site of the Gettysburg Address The National Cemetery - site of the Gettysburg Address

Friday July 20, 2007

Today was a lazy day, we just loafed, napped, swam and lazed around the pool.

Saturday July 21, 2007



Once again it was time to move on a short distance.  We arrived at the KOA campground in Millersville, Maryland just outside Washington DC and were again set up by lunch time. We drove into Annapolis in the afternoon and wandered around, it is a very quaint spot. The campground isnít all that great, very open, no trees so it gets really hot. We went for a swim when we got back to cool off.

Annapolis is a quaint old seaport

Annapolis harbour The Maryland State House - National Capitol from 1783 - 1784

Sunday July 22, 2007


Sunday we went into Washington.It was an easy ride from here on the Metro, a commuter train and subway service.  We bought a ticket for a tram that takes you all around the Mall and the Capitol District. The area is vast and full of history. We stayed on the tram the full circle so that we saw all of the buildings and got an idea of where everything was. We had lunch at Union Station and then took a quick look in the Smithsonian Postal Museum. Then we went out to Arlington cemetery and saw Kennedyís grave and the eternal flame. We watched the changing of the guard at the tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. 

The Capitol Building

The Jefferson Memorial Entrance to Arlington National Cemetery with Robert E. Lee home in the background
The Eternal Flame at the grave of JFK Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns

It was getting late so we headed back to the camp, arriving at 5 p.m.  I knew as soon as I opened the door that ZoŽ had a bad day.  Gary had to shampoo her while I cleaned up and did laundry. We decided that Monday I would stay back with her and Gary would go and see the things we didnít get to see on Sunday.  I would have liked to go into the Lincoln Memorial and White House visitors centre but I will do them when we come back next April.  

Monday July 23, 2007




I had a quiet day with the dogs while Gary had a great tour, he saw the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Memorials for WWI, WWII, Korean and Viet Nam wars as well as the White House and the White House Visitor's Centre.

The Washington Monument

Marine 1 flew by . . . was George W. Bush aboard? The Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial The Reflecting Pond
The Viet Nam War Memorial The White House

Tuesday July 24, 2007

We packed up early and pulled out of the campground by 8:00 a.m.   It was an uneventful drive through Maryland and Pennsylvania into New York State.  We had a reservation at Pine Valley RV Park, in the Adirondacks just outside Endicott, NY  We left the town of Endicott and followed a twisting and turning road for what seemed like forever. At one point Gary turned to me and said, "If we hear any banjo music - it's time to turn around!"  Just then, the campground came into view.  As the lady at reception was checking us in, her cell phone began to ring.  Her ringtone was the theme from Deliverance.  I am sure she wonders to this day why Gary and I were rolling around on the floor with laughter. 

Wednesday July 25, 2007

Once again an early start and and an uneventful day on the road.  We were home and unpacking by 2:30 p.m.  Now all we have to do is wait for our next RV trip to Vermont & New Hampshire in October.  A short trip to the EPCOT Pin Event at Walt Disney World in September should break up the wait time for us.