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Vintage Airstream Music Box (Christmas Decoration)

December 15, 2013 by Loloho.com · Comments Off 

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If you like to collect Christmas decorations, you may be interested in this vintage camper music box (http://goo.gl/rKLvOR) that features lights, Christmas music, and a moving train inside. It’s a fun way to celebrate the Christmas spirit and RV travel all together.

It slices! It dices! Actually, it doesn't slice and dice, but it does the next best thing: it lights and plays music, and the train runs around inside. (Click the pic for more info.)

It slices! It dices! Actually, it doesn't slice and dice, but it does the next best thing: it lights and plays music, and the train runs around inside. (Click the pic for more info.)

In college I dated a girl whose mother collected ceramic “Christmas village” decorations. Perhaps you know the decorations I am talking about? Individual items cost somewhere between $10 and $100,000. They are usually hand painted ceramics.

On a white fabric blanket of pseudo snow, my girlfriend’s mother created an old fashioned village winter scene. It consisted of ceramic buildings (with lights), vehicles, and an assortment of villagers engaging in various winter activities like caroling and shoveling snow. To top it all off, there was a plucky model train running through the village.

In the beginning, my girlfriend’s mother’s Christmas village was charming. She set up a few buildings, plugged in some lights, and called it a day. It occupied a side table in the corner of the living room. But over time, what began as a modest little hobby turned into an obsession

In the early days, the Christmas village was a charming community. It even had a Walmart that allowed overnight RV parking.

In the early days, the Christmas village was a charming, friendly community. It even had a Walmart that allowed overnight RV parking.

Every year, at the mother’s direction, the Christmas village grew more complex and elaborate. She added more buildings, and more people. Soon there were farm animals and work vehicles and roadways and trees. More, more, more!

This was not a planned community. It was a shrine to urban sprawl.

Eventually the once humble Christmas village resembled Los Angeles during rush hour. The Christmas village became a vast metropolis, expanding from one corner of the living room to engulf an entire wing of the family’s house.

As the mother’s attention turned to new development, the original downtown area was neglected – marred by graffiti, stray dogs, and drifting vagrants. Every afternoon, a dense blanket of smog drifted across the household. It no longer felt safe.

This is what happened to the Christmas village after a few years of heavy collecting. Clouds of thick smog often drifted from the living room to the kitchen.

This is what happened to the Christmas village after a few years of heavy collecting. Clouds of thick smog often drifted from the living room to the kitchen.

The last time I saw that family’s Christmas village, the mother was promising to revitalize downtown.  She was trying to raise money for a light rail system to connect the suburbs (located in the foyer and kitchen) to the old town area. She pledged to build a domed stadium and a park to bring people back.

Sadly, I don’t know if the lady ever finished her domed stadium. After a dispute over zoning, I broke up with the girl.

And while I personally don’t collect Christmas village items, I can appreciate the utility of owning this little Airstream music box. Not only do you get an impressive vintage RV camper, but inside the camper you get a complete village scene, including train.

BOOM! One item and you’re done. That’s my kind of Christmas decorating.

It's a camper, a Christmas village, a model train, and a music box all in one.

ONE-STOP DECORATING: It's a camper, a Christmas village, a model train, and a music box all in one. If only you could sleep inside it. (Click the pic for more info.)

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VIDEO: Snowy Camping in Grand Teton National Park

October 26, 2013 by Loloho.com · Comments Off 

As visitors to our website (LongLongHoneymoon.com) know, recently my wife and I camped in snowy weather while visiting Grand Teton National Park.

We made a VIDEO about the experience.

Click here to see the video on our site.

Nikon-Grand-Tetons-204LLH

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Gr8LakesCamper: Holiday Roads and Traveling with Fido

November 22, 2010 by Gr8LakesCamper · 6 Comments 

Tiny, a 7-pound poodle, peers out the RV door between the legs of one of six Great Danes she lives with in the RV with their owners, John and Sharon Butts of Burlington, Pa. (Associated Press)

Tiny, a 7-pound poodle, peers out the RV door between the legs of one of six Great Danes she lives with in the RV with their owners, John and Sharon Butts of Burlington, Pa. (Associated Press)

Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go. No doubt, millions will trek to the abodes of family and friends as the holiday season approaches.

Just how many are traveling with Fido this holiday season? In a recent survey of more than 7,000 pet owners worldwide, www.PetRelocation.com discovered that 63 percent of pet owners say they travel at least 50 miles with their pets during the holidays.

From a safety perspective, unrestrained pets in autos are responsible for more than 30,000 accidents every year according to the ASPCA.

FIDO Friendly magazine shares a ‘Holiday Road Warrior Survival Guide’ as we take to the highways and byways for holiday gatherings with family and “fur-ends.”

This Thanksgiving were visiting my brother and his family in New Jersey, but we’re leaving our dog, Chewie, behind.

That said, we nearly always bring Chewie with us on our camping trips. And, as more and more of us RVers also travel with our pets, some of the following advice is of good use for us as well. Many of these are simple common sense, but as we all know — and one of my earlier posts about world’s worst campers Elvis and Ozzie illustrated all too well — we have all camped next to people who either lack common sense or the initiative to use it.

Vaccination Records
Keep a copy of all vaccination records. Should an emergency arise once you are on the road, you will have the important information you need. You will also need these records should you ever need to board Fido for the day or overnight if you take in an excursion where your furry companion is not allowed.

Collar and Leash
Remember that taking Fido out of the car for potty breaks must include his collar being secured and him being leashed (don’t forget the poop bags). A foreign territory brings unique smells that are oh so hard to resist, and your little darling can escape before you can say, “Sit, stay.”

Harness
With the lives of you and Fido on the line, FIDO Friendly magazine urges us to consider a safety harness for our dogs when traveling. The back seat is the safest place for Fido to avoid air bag deployment in the event of an accident. Acclimate Fido to the harness by allowing him to wear the harness around the house for a few minutes at a time. Graduate to short car trips in the area. Work into longer trips and never scold Fido in the process. He’s getting used to it just as you are. If he could thank you for saving his life, right now he is.

Things to look for in a good safety harness? Strong webbing such as nylon, strong stitching, allow the pet to sit and stand comfortably, and comfort combined with reliability if an accident occurs.

Tags
Fido won’t want to get lost, so be sure that he has a current tag with an emergency phone number firmly attached to his collar or harness. Most people travel with a cell phone, making this the perfect number for your dog’s tag.

First Aid Kit
There are a number of dog-specific first aid kits on the market, and if you have the time, you can even put together your own. Some essentials to include are:
• Tweezers to remove ticks
• Styptic powder to stop toenail bleeding
• Eye wash to flush wounds
• Gauze bandage
• Adhesive tape
• Scissors
• Antiseptic moist wipes

Food and Water
Be sure to bring along Fido’s favorite food so as not to upset his stomach. There are great roadworthy foods and treats on the market. If you will be cooking for Fido, make the food ahead of time, and pack it along with your own goodies. Your dog is used to drinking water from your hometown, and when traveling it’s a good idea to bring along as much of Fido’s drinking water as you can, and rely on bottled water as back-up. Nothing puts the damper on holiday spirits or caming trip like an emergency visit to the vet.

Seat Covers and Blankets
We’ve all been there; a camping trip when it rained and our dog’s paws got muddy. Or Fido ran into the lake with the kids, or chased a fish in the stream… you get the picture. Protect your seats with covers and blankets made especially for your type of automobile. Be proactive: Always carry additional towels and wipes to clean off your rambunctious Rover when visiting with family and friends.

Beds and Crate
Don’t leave home without Fido’s favorite blankie or bed. You don’t want him sleeping on the guest bed — or do you? Bring sheets, too, so if your furry companion is accustomed to sleeping on the furniture, he won’t leave any tell-tale signs. If Fido calls his crate his den, then bring it along for a good night sleep during your Thanksgiving trip.

Fun Stuff
Don’t forget the toys! If Fido is a nervous Nelly when away from home, help ease his discomfort by bringing as many toys from home as you can. Familiar smells and chew toys will help calm even the most anxious pet. If Rocky is a Rachmaninoff aficionado, by all means pack his favorite CD for his and your listening pleasure. For the record, Chewie prefers Jimmy Buffett.

Double-Check Hotel Reservations
You are ready to go—but before you back the mini-van out of the driveway, call your hotel to confirm your reservation and that they are expecting Fido. Nothing says bummer like a newly implemented “no pets allowed” policy since you made your reservation.

From the personal blog: I continue to post many items that would make for great getaways during the holidays and winter months, including all that Southern Indiana has to offer, and a great opportunity for women to learn outdoors skills in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during a February DNR clinic.

Gr8LakesCamper celebrates the world of RV Camping in the Midwest. Gather around the campfire and share tips, ideas and stories on RVing, camping and travel destinations. Follow Gr8LakesCamper on Twitter, Facebook and the personal blog.

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Gr8LakesCamper: 10 Tips for Watching Wildlife at Night

November 6, 2010 by Gr8LakesCamper · 5 Comments 

possumGotta share this quick, amusing story. I was picking my daughter up from her friend’s house the other night, and as we were walking out their front door my daughter shrieked loud enough to wake the neighbors, jumped 40 feet into the air (slight exaggeration) and sprinted to our car.

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Gr8LakesCamper: Halloween Safety for your Pets

October 27, 2010 by Gr8LakesCamper · 2 Comments 

Disclaimer: This doesn’t have much to do with RVing, but consider the following a public service announcement. Plus, it gave me a chance to find this photo of this poor dog dressed up like a hula girl.51D-9jqgM3L._SL500_AA280_

While Halloween can be a good time for kids and grown-ups alike, the Humane Society of the United States is reminding all of us pet owners that this haunting holiday may be too scary for our pets. Dogs and cats and other companion animals simply aren’t used to all the ringing doorbells, costumed creatures and general hustle-and-bustle that come into our homes at this time of year.

“For your pet’s comfort and safety, the best thing that you can do is to make sure that they have a stress-free holiday,” said Adam Goldfarb of the Humane Society. “The noises, smells and people can be overwhelming for many pets on Halloween, so create a safe haven in one room of your home where he or she can quietly relax.”

To help keep pets safe and happy this Halloween, the Humane Society recommends the following tips:

• Keep your pets safely indoors, away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities.

• Make sure that all of your pets are wearing tags with current ID. Opening the door repeatedly for trick-or-treaters creates plenty of escape opportunities.

• Keep candy out of your pets’ reach. Chocolate and other ingredients can be toxic to them. (Same goes for chocolate Easter bunnies in the spring; we found out the hard way.)

• Most pets are happiest wearing nothing but their birthday suit, but if you’re one of those people who has their pets wear a costume, skip the masks and make sure costumes are comfortable and do not pose a risk for injury. (For the record, our dog never dresses up for Halloween.)

• Decorations can be dangerous, so be sure to keep them safely away from pets. Candle flames can set fire to a pet’s fur (and trick-or-treaters’ costumes, for that matter). Hanging or dangling decorations also can be an entanglement or choking hazard.

• Use fake cobwebs sparingly, if at all. Pets can choke on fake cobwebs set up indoors. Outdoors, fake webs are a hazard to birds and other wildlife.

• When going out trick-or-treating, leave your dog at home. Dogs can be easily excited by the Halloween commotion and a dog bite or lost dog will quickly end the evening’s fun. (That said, I always take my dog with me when I take the kids trick-or-treating. But I use common sense: a solid grip on his leash and we avoid other people as much as possible.)

Also, don’t forget about wildlife on Halloween, either. Nocturnal animals such as raccoons, possums (or is it opossums?) and foxes will be out looking for food. If you come across a wild animal while out trick-or-treating, keep your distance (and keep your pets away from wild animals, too). And though bats are classically associated with Halloween, those in colder climates will most likely be hibernating at this time of year.

Happy Halloween everyone!

From the personal blog: Tex called me out on my recent post recapping the Fall Detroit RV Show, saying I should have done a better job of finding innovations. He’s right, but I also offer this theory in my defense…

Gr8LakesCamper celebrates the world of RV Camping in the Midwest. Gather around the campfire and share tips, ideas and stories on RVing, camping and travel destinations. Follow Gr8LakesCamper on Twitter, Facebook and the personal blog.

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Gr8LakesCamper: Casting Call for RV Show on HGTV

July 15, 2010 by Gr8LakesCamper · 3 Comments 

HGTV_LOGO_1I’m posting the following release as a “public service announcement” for all RVers who entertain dreams of being a Hollywood celebrity…

Nancy Glass Productions, a television production company in Philadelphia, is seeking couples and families to appear in an HGTV Special being shot at the Pennsylvania RV Show in Hershey, September 16th-18th 2010.

Those chosen will be followed around the show as they “shop” for RVs. Each family will be filmed over the course of a single day as they look at vehicles, try out new features, and talk to the camera about their experiences. The idea is to give viewers a consumer perspective on the RVs rather than just one of a salesperson

We are looking for three families of all shapes and sizes to feature. They need not have children. A fun and outgoing personality is the most important trait, however, having an interest in and a little knowledge of the RV world doesn’t hurt either. Also, we are looking for one more “expert” family or couple who does really have experience in the RV world. An important side note, the folks we feature don’t actually have to be in the market to buy, just act like they are.

Interested parties should email photos and a brief description of themselves and their family to bmakatche@nancyglassproductions.com

You can check out HGTV’s 2010 RV show from earlier this year by clicking here. Click here to go to the Facebook page that announced the casting call for the 2011 show. Click here to go to the Nancy Glass Productions website page for more information on the 2010 RV show. Sidenote: Unless I’m mistaken, one of the families on HGTV’s 2010 RV show is none other than Mark and Dawn Polk of “RV Education 101″ fame.

From the Personal Blog: Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, the Milford, Ohio-based campground chain, is the first in the country to join Leave No Trace, a non-profit organization that develops educational programs to help children become better stewards of the environment. Click here to read more.

Gr8LakesCamper celebrates the world of RV Camping in the Midwest. Gather around the campfire and share tips, ideas and stories on RVing, camping and travel destinations. Follow Gr8LakesCamper on Twitter, Facebook and the personal blog.

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Gr8LakesCamper: Q&A with “Winnebago Man” Director

June 28, 2010 by Gr8LakesCamper · 7 Comments 

¥Winnebago_poster40x27-2Is there anyone in the RV circles who hasn’t heard of Jack Rebney?

Rebney is an RV salesman whose hilarious, foul-mouthed outbursts circulated underground on VHS tapes in the 90s before turning into a full-blown Internet phenomenon in 2005.

Today, “Winnebago Man” has been seen by more than 20 million people worldwide, and is regarded as one of the first and funniest viral videos. Read more

Gr8LakesCamper: Hueston Woods State Park

June 4, 2010 by Gr8LakesCamper · 5 Comments 

Hueston Woods SNP 043
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the May/June issue of Midwest Living magazine featured its picks for the top state parks in the Midwest. Periodically I will highlight their selections, and this post puts the spotlight on Hueston Woods State Park in College Corner, Ohio.

Midwest Living had this to say about Hueston Woods State Park: “This action-packed resort park on Acton Lake offers canoe, pontoon and mountain bike rentals; horseback riding; an 18-hole golf course; archery — even paintball! The amenities turn what might be a quite ordinary lake-and-woods vacation into an adventure.”

Hueston Woods State Park, located in Butler and Preble counties about an hour northwest of Cincinnati, is nearly 3,000 acres of natural resources for outdoor recreation such as hiking, fishing, canoeing — even fossil hunting. The park surrounds Acton Lake with campsites, cabins and a resort lodge.

Other park amenities include an 18-hole golf course, sailboat and pontoon rental, 10 miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of bike trails and 18 miles of bridle trails (you can even rent horses). Nature programs and special events offered spring through fall, and a pioneer museum and animal sanctuary also draw visitors.

The 625-acre Acton Lake has a sand beach, fishing pier, marina with fuel and supplies and boat/dock rental. The Resort Lodge has fine dining, lounge, and indoor/outdoor pools (extra fee for swimming). Vacation cottages have a kitchen, living/dining areas, TV, full bath, heat & A/C. Pets permitted on some sites. Cabins and yurts also are available for rental.

There are 255 family campsites with electrical outlets on the west side of the lake. Showers, flush toilets, laundry facilities and dump station are available. Picnic tables and fire rings are also provided. There are 236 non-electric sites also available. These sites have picnic tables, fire rings and vault-type bathrooms. A group area is also available to organized youth and adult groups.

I have not yet had the pleasure of staying at Hueston Woods State Park. Perhaps those who have wouldn’t mind telling the rest of us about the park in the comments section?

The three most recent reviews posted at RV Park Reviews all seemed to have one common complaint about the park: excessive noise from rowdy campers. Also, several said their particular sites were not level.

“The first night we were kept up until after 3 a.m. because someone down on the end was playing loud music,” said one reviewer who stayed at Hueston Woods in June 2009. “This seems to be a more party oriented campground and very little (aka nothing) was done to enforce quiet hours.”

“This is an ‘older’ Ohio state park, it was well kept and clean,” said another reviewer. “However, the pull through sites were waaaaay to close to each other and there were tons of rowdiness going on.”

Another reviewer at www.stateparks.com had a much better impression of Hueston Woods. She said her “family loves to go camping every summer at Hueston Woods.”

“We love it there. The staff is very friendly and helpful. We enjoy being outdoors with nature . We go fishing, hiking, collecting fossils. The campgrounds are peaceful, and clean. Thank you for making our summers so enjoyable.”

For more information about Hueston Woods State Park, call 513-523-6347 or visit its website.

From the personal blog: The Michigan Challenge Balloonfest is June 25-27 in Howell, and Taylor’s Beach Campground is ready for RVers wanting to attend this 26-year family-friendly tradition. Click here for details.

Gr8LakesCamper celebrates the world of RV Camping in the Midwest. Gather around the campfire and share tips, ideas and stories on RVing, camping and travel destinations. Follow Gr8LakesCamper on Twitter, Facebook and the personal blog.

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A Waggin’ Good Time at The Rally

April 19, 2010 by RV Today Archive · 2 Comments 

Road trips are more fun with great companions, and no one makes a better travel partner than man’s best friend. At The Rally, guests can enter their canine pals in the “Kentucky K-9s” Dog Show or add to the family during Pet Adoption Days.

The Rally Dog ShowProud dog owners can show off their pet’s tricks at the 7th annual Dog Show. The “Kentucky K-9s” show is a great way to get the entire family involved. Dogs will compete in categories such as Best Biscuit Balance, Southern Culture Costume Contest, Silliest Pet Trick, Doggie Musical Chairs, and more. “Kentucky K-9s” is set for Friday, July 23, from 10 a.m. to Noon, followed by an awards ceremony. For more information, rules, and to register your pooch, visit therally.com/events/dog-show/.

Rally guests will also have an opportunity to add to the family. Following the success of last year’s event, The Rally is excited to work with Louisville Metro Animal Services (LMAS) to offer two pet adoption days, July 23 and 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Read more

The Mystery Camper. Can You Solve It?

March 18, 2010 by Lug_Nut · 19 Comments 

Mystry C2The Lug_Nut Mystery Camper is again enjoying an RV park somewhere in North America.  Your job is to name the park and location.  In addition, see if you can name the make, model and year of the Mystery Campers RV.   We have some photos of the park and of parts of his motor home.

Mystry CMystry C3

The photos above were taken at the location the Mystery Camper is at?  Below are photos that show parts of the Mystery Camper’s rig.  What is it?

Mystert Camper 004Mystert Camper 003

Mystert Camper 002

Just to clarify, the 3 photos of parts of the Mystery Camper’s RV are those that show only a small section of the coach, not the one shown on the lot in the park.

So, that’s it.  Now it’s up to you to solve where he is and what kind of RV he is driving this week.  Who will be the first to solve it and claim this month’s bragging rights?   Enter your guess in the comment section below.  Good luck!

With This Month’s Mystery Camper Challenge    -     Lug_Nut    -   Peter Mercer

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