May 21, 2011 by Barry & Monique Zander · 347 Comments 

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information! RV.Net Blog Admin Hors d'oeuvre -- A Taste of Zion © All photos by Barry Zander. All rights reserved By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers We’re on the first stop of our Grand Circle Tour, after three days in Las Vegas.  Four of us living comfortably in a 28-foot travel trailer! We – Monique, her brother Philippe and his wife Solveig and I — are in Zion National Park, Utah, one of America’s most popular national treasures.  We hiked to the highest of the three Emerald Pools Thursday morning, returning to the Visitors Center and our truck just as the rains came. Lots to tell you, but let’s start in the Watchman Campground, where we are fortunate to have electric hook-ups, but no water or sewer at the site.  A teardrop trailer was next to us, but moved over two spots this morning to make way for a pop-up.  There’s a Casita from Louisiana across from us, two mini-tents next to them and a canvas tent on a utility trailer behind us. So if you’re thinking we’re crowded in our RV, I want to let you know we feel fortunate... Read more


February 9, 2011 by Barry & Monique Zander · 13 Comments 

 By Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVer  It’s Monique’s turn to comment on yesterday’s blog.  “Since there have been so many responses stating that the blog is not boring, I must clarify the statement in the previous blog. “Barry’s blogs are not boring.  On the contrary, I find them well written, entertaining and educational.  I appreciate his talent as so many readers do.  I am a creative person, but I’m not at all into computers.  Technology is not my thing.  I don’t even know how to type! “So proofreading Barry’s writing (I proofread every posting) about the process of formatting the e-Postcard, I found the technical how-to boring –  for me.  “Barry knew I would. “Barry writes in his wonderful intimate way, and I am his Number 1 fan.  We are a team when it comes to ideas.  “When I came up with the concept of the e-Postcard and how the finished product should look, Barry embraced it wholeheartedly.  I had no doubt that he could figure out how to do it, and, of course, he did. “Barry always welcomes my suggestions, additions or subtractions.  He asks me to proofread every article (he jokingly calls me ‘his cruel editor’).  By my own choosing, I don’t want to be involved with computers, and it’s okay with Barry.  He’d rather I spend my time cooking gourmet meals anyway. “Just as Barry and I are never bored, I do not find Barry’s blogs boring.” Monique In our next posting, we will address a few questions... Read more

Wish You Were Here

February 7, 2011 by Barry & Monique Zander · 31 Comments 

 By Monique & Barry Zander, the Never-Bored RVers  You’re probably wondering how we can afford the costs involved in staying on the road year-in and year-out.  The answer:  “e-Postcards.”  Sounds like cyberspace talk, right?   Don’t feel too threatened by the term “e-Postcard.”  Monique not only came up with the idea, she coined the name. The Zander e-Postcards are our way of keeping in touch with friends and family, without expecting them to spend their valuable time reading about our adventures.  I “attach” them to e-mails, with no text or little text in the e-mail itself.  More on that below. Before explaining more about them, let’s take a look at a few recent e-Postcards (you may recognize some of the photos from our recent blogs).     There are three tough parts involved in this:   1)  Most important, we don’t necessarily send the best picture from a photographic sense or the one we like the best.  It’s all about sending a picture our readers will find interesting.   2)  The next tough part is keeping the postcard’s text to about five sentences.  It’s what is known as “a quick read.”  Our recipients aren’t afraid to open the mailing, because they know it’s going to be brief. And 3), it requires some photo editing and preparation.  If you’re not adept at that, this may be your impetus to learn. BY WAY OF EXPLANATION: 1)  When we were in Quartzsite two weeks ago, I took hundreds of pictures, recording crowd... Read more

New Travel Diary Software

OK – you are almost ready to hit the road. You have been planning your trip of a lifetime for months (or even years) now. For some you have a planned route with day by day stops pinpointed and booked, for others you just have a general direction of travel planned. You have purchased or built the motorhome, caravan or trailer of your dreams. You have retired, taken long service leave or just given up the job to fulfill your dreams. When you get home again you will have some great memories and lot of photos. But what about the rest of the memories – where was that great campsite I found, how much did I really pay for fuel, what is the phone number or email address of those great friends we met along the way, or how much did the trip cost me. There is a great new tool for recording all the details of your trip. Nomads Notes allows the traveler to record all aspects of a trip. Features include a day-by-day journal for chronicling daily activities; track multiple vehicle mileage, fuel consumption and fuel cost, nightly campsite details, locations and costs etc, as well as a photo album to record pictures taken, and a contacts list to record details of the friends you meet along the way. Other features include all expenses that you can categorize yourself, vehicle maintenance and radio and TV stations. Here is a sample screen shot of Campsites (center). A trip log is on the left and a current trip mileage, fuel and expenses dashboard on the right. There’s no need to worry... Read more

Keeping a Visual Record of Your Travels

May 27, 2010 by Barry & Monique Zander · 8 Comments 

You’ve probably chosen RVing because you love the travel, or you don’t want to miss out on all the natural or manmade wonders of North America, or you just don’t like being tied down to one place.  Whatever the reason, are you keeping a visual record of your travels, or, in other words, taking pictures?  Like any other art form, picture-taking means different things to different people.  And like buying a recreational vehicle, costs vary widely, depending on the buyer’s/user’s objectives.            Why take pictures?  Are you looking to keep memories alive?   Are you planning to give a talk to the Kiwanis Club when you get home?  Or is there a big bodacious dream of having your pictures published in a table-top book or in magazines?  They are all good reasons to keep a camera with you and snap pictures.  I take hundred of pictures every month because we always seem to be on the move.  Then I download my shots onto my laptop and delete about 80 percent of them.  My immediate goal is to just keep a record of the places we’ve been, mostly to help us recollect what we’ve seen.   This may sound like I’m excessive compulsive, but I try not to let taking the picture interfere with taking in the scenery.  We’re there to enjoy our surroundings; the photo is like a bookmark in the novel.  The least important element in picture-taking is the camera.  Whether you’re using a $2,500 single-lens reflex or a point-and-shoot budget model, or even your... Read more

A Proposal ….

January 27, 2010 by Gary Smith, Jr. · 14 Comments 

It has been a long time since I have had enough time to write on this blog.  I hope I am remembered for my articles on Health and First Aid.  But today I want to write on a totally different subject.  In a couple of weeks I am going on my first camping trip of the year to the Okefenokee Swamp down in Georgia.  What makes this trip a little different is that it is anniversary trip for my trip “Co-Planner” Pam and me.  About 4 years ago when I had a small pop up camper and a canoe and a desire to go camping down in the south for the spring. I also decided to ask my girl friend of  a year if she wanted to go along.  I figured this would be a excellent way of finding out if we would be compatible after a week of camping in a pop up. Read more  Read More →

RV Cooking Show – Crockpot Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving

November 21, 2009 by Evanne Schmarder · 4 Comments 

Holiday greetings, friends,   Poof! All of a sudden we’re coming into the busy, busy winter holiday season so I’ll make this brief. Do the words “RVing” and “turkey” in the same sentence have you shaking your head, thinking “can’t happen”? Well think again! In this episode of the RV Cooking Show host Evanne Schmarder shares her little turkey secret…the crockpot. Moist, tender, and easy. Take a look at Crockpot Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving, we think you’ll agree…it’s delicious!! We’ve also got some goodies in the Thanksgiving archives: Try Mom’s Famous Cranberry Sauce…folks in 18 countries over five continents did and gave it a thumbs up. I’d always been on the lookout for an easy and elegant sweet potato recipe…well, here it is. No video – just a text recipe – but worthy just the same. Go a bit “rouge” yourself this year with one of our wacky but delish recipes…Trash Can Turkey for the adventurous or double the sauce recipe, use turkey breast instead of chicken, and crockpot a Trailblazer Turkey. Question: do you track your RV travels? I’ll share my method in this RV Cooking Show episode and have blogged about it around the RV Cooking Show virtual campfire – our blog. Check it out here. May I take a moment to say that I’ll be counting YOU, our loyal viewers, among my many blessings this year. Happy thanksgiving to you and yours. Most sincerely, Evanne and the RV Cooking... Read more

Mackinac Island

August 31, 2009 by Dan Parlow · 396 Comments 

As they traveled along the northernmost region of Michigan, travelers Mike and Roxanne visited one of the highlights of the area, Mackinac Island; detailing their tour of the area in their journal, Mike and Roxanne Travel East. The island north of the tip of the mitten which is Michigan is accessible only by ferry.  Because of this limited access, very few vehicles are seen on this island.  Instead, people get around the quaint town by bicycle or horse and carriage rides.  Bicycles are rented by the thousands, charged at an hourly, daily or weekly rate depending on the visitor’s needs.  All varieties of bikes are available; standard, 3 or 7 speed, tandems and more.  The horse and carriage rides are extremely popular and very fitting for the charming village; some of the carriages are quite large, holding groups up to 50 people. One of the highlights of visiting the island is touring Fort Mackinac.  Standing here on the island since the late 1700’s, tourists can either take a guided or self-guided tour of the buildings.  A reenactment is performed of an actual court martial that proves to be quite interesting and entertaining. Many shops dot the hilly island; candy merchants are very well attended where visitors can view fudge being made, and sample the many varieties that are available for purchase. Arch Rock is an interesting sight on the island, as well; towering over the water line at 146 feet, and as wide as 50 feet across.  The rock arches due to the effects of... Read more

Corn Palace, South Dakota

August 29, 2009 by Dan Parlow · 481 Comments 

When travelers Bill and Debbie visited the one and only Corn Palace in South Dakota, they documented their amazement and wonder of this unique showplace in their travel diary, Bill & Debbie’s USA Trip. The story of the Corn Palace preceded Bill and Debbie’s visit by a little over 100 years.  Famous explorers Lewis and Clark traveled through the area in 1805, and expressed their belief that the wind swept desert area was good for nothing except buffalo roaming.  Some 80 years later, residents of Mitchell, South Dakota who knew this assessment to be untrue wanted to demonstrate how wonderful the area was in which to live.  The rich soil found here proved to be the ideal condition for growing corn and other grains, and to prove their point as well as to encourage outsiders to move to the area, an organization called the Corn Belt Real Estate Association decided to do something unheard of; construct a building that would illustrate the crops that would thrive in South Dakota.  Thus was the humble beginning of the Corn Palace. The original Palace was a wooden structure that measured 100 x 66; built in 1892.  An astronomical cost for the day, this building had a price tag of $2,976.48.  The building was elaborately decorated with the available grains and grasses that were locally grown, and visitors were intrigued.  Such popularity was gleaned in this unusual tribute to natural resources that it soon became necessary to construct a larger structure.  In 1905,... Read more

A Visit to Alcatraz Island

August 28, 2009 by Dan Parlow · 6 Comments 

As discovered by the Rogers family while on vacation, the infamous Alcatraz Island has a lengthy and interesting history. After their visit there, they described their experiences in their trip journal, Rogers Adventure. Here is their wonderful Alcatraz posting. The island was originally named Alcatraz because of its sole inhabitants, the pelicans; the name is actually the Spanish word for the bird. While many people are familiar with the island as the famed maximum security prison, few realize that this island has been a fortress for California since the 1850’s. A protective measure for the harbor of San Francisco, Alcatraz served first as a military fortress early in history. Later, during the Spanish American War, the island was used to house prisoners captured during the war. It was the very prisoners held on the island first that fashioned the cold, stone walls that became the well known prison. The year 1934 saw the opening of the famed prison Alcatraz, which was recognized as being the final leg of a criminal’s journey. The island was used exclusively at the time for the prison, its guards and their families. Although separated from the prison element, family life went on in a traditional sense for the families of the guards; gardens were tended, children played, and school was attended by all children after traveling by a ten minute boat ride to the city of San Francisco. Records show that up to 80 children lived and played on Alcatraz at one point. Many... Read more

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