Americas Mailbox – A 5 Star Review

5 Star Review Americas Mailbox

5 Star Review Americas Mailbox

I hope everyone had a relaxing and peaceful holiday. We’ve been a bit busy as of late with the purchase of the truck and we’re still in the market for our next rig. We’ve got it narrowed down to a couple we like, but for now I’m going to keep our list under wraps. 😉

However, I do want to share a recent experience that I’m sure may be useful for any new full-timers or anyone considering mail forwarding options.

Back in August, Joe and I finally made the move to official full-time status by making the great state of South Dakota our home. After researching our options, we decided on Americas Mailbox in Box Elder as our home away from home residency and we could not be happier with our choice!

From our very first encounter with these folks we have been consistently thrilled with the level of customer service and attention to detail we have received. Whether it was our last-minute call for a site in their RV park, providing us with details on what to expect when we changed our licenses, or the spot-on mail forwarding service since August, the level of service and follow through has been top-notch.

In addition to the services mentioned above, Americas Mailbox also handled our new registration for the truck and transfer registration for our current rig. From the first contact to inquire about the process to receiving our new plates each and every communication was returned almost immediately. The registration for both vehicles was amazingly fast, taking less than a week even during the busy holiday season! Honesty, I can’t say enough about this group of professionals … in short – THEY ROCK! 😀

In a day and age when personal customer service, honesty and truth in advertising seems to be growing extinct, it’s important to point out when we do find a prince among thieves. If you’re in the market for a mail forwarding company that will make you feel like a part of the family (in a good way lol  😉 ) I highly recommend giving Americas Mailbox a call today.

Americas Mailbox handles – Mail Forwarding, Mail Receiving, South Dakota Residency, South Dakota Vehicle Registrations, information about insurance questions. They are located at 514 Americas Way, Box Elder, SD 57719  Telephone (866)747-3700 or by clicking  >>>>HERE<<<<.

That’s all for now. Safe travels everyone!

~Cheers~

Last Minute Travel Plans and the New Orleans West KOA

West New Orleans KOA

New Orleans West KOA

Getting last-minute travel plans and notification of a change in job site isn’t exactly a rare occurrence, so you’d think I’d be used to it. But sometimes bouncing from RV Park to RV Park can be a little lot stressful, like on this last transfer.

Mr. G. got the transfer orders on a Tuesday afternoon saying he would have to be in New Orleans that Friday at 6:00 a.m. – we were in Artesia, NM. Roughly 1,000 miles away.

Making tracks to get to the next gig in time isn’t even the biggest stress inducer with these last-minute changes. Finding a decent RV park that has room for a potential “long-term” (longer than 3 weeks) guest can be difficult if not impossible.

That was the case when we started looking for a place to park our H.O.W. while in route to New Orleans. After exhausting the RV parks that came up as oil worker friendly in Jefferson Parish, which were naturally all full seeing as we were probably the last ones to the party, I called the New Orleans West KOA.

From the very first phone conversation I had with Roberta I knew I wanted to stay there if we could. What a breath of fresh air she was after the folks I had talked to earlier in the day! Although we weren’t able to get in at a monthly rate, it worked out fine. When you pay the regular rate (minus the membership discount) you’re able to accrue points toward future stays with KOA. 🙂

Roberta was able to finagle a spot for us in what she called The Garden District. We spent our four weeks in site #28, a little area just passed the pool, in a grove of mature oak trees. The shady spot was perfect to keep the rig cool in the incredible New Orleans humidity. 🙂

West New Orleans KOA - Site #28

New Orleans West KOA – Site #28

The New Orleans West KOA has a great selection of sites ranging from tent spaces

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To perfectly level extra-long concrete pads for the big rigs.

Laundry room in the background.

Laundry room in the background.

There’s plenty of beautifully maintained grass between rows.

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In addition to a lovely pool …

West New Orleans KOA - pool area

West New Orleans KOA – pool area

And laundry room …

West New Orleans KOA - laundry room

New Orleans West KOA – laundry room

The New Orleans West KOA has spotless restrooms & showers, a gift shop in the office for souvenirs, camping supplies and a few food items, a shuttle that runs from the park down to the French Quarter daily and a dog walking service so you don’t have to worry about your four-legged friends when you’re off enjoying the Big Easy!

The French Quarter is only about a 20 minute drive from the park so we always drove into the city. But if you prefer not to drive or take the shuttle there is public transportation available as well.

This was the perfect spot for us to call home for the month of October. The grounds, the proximity to the French Quarter, the amenities and the entire team of camp hosts made this our favorite KOA stay to date. If you’re going to be visiting New Orleans in an RV and want an awesome, quiet and safe location to stay, the New Orleans West KOA is the place to call.

New Orleans West KOA – 11129 Jefferson Highway, River Ridge, LA 70123 (504-467-1792 For more information, rates and reservations you can reach their website by clicking >>>HERE<<<

New Orleans West KOA

New Orleans West KOA

Thanks for stopping by!

~Cheers~

 

Sunrise Campground, Storm Lake, Iowa

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Sunrise Campground in Storm Lake Iowa – perfect for those looking for the laid back beach vibe … when you’re grounded in rural corn country!

Sunrise Campground, Storm Lake, Iowa

Sunrise Campground, Storm Lake, Iowa

Sunrise Campground is a city run park in the town of Storm Lake, Iowa. It was our first experience staying in a city park so we weren’t really sure what to think. We didn’t need to be apprehensive. It was great! The park itself is divided into two parts. The side to the right as you pull in seems to be fairly new with nicely spaced, level, gravel sites and some young trees. Each site has a concrete patio with picnic table and a fire ring.

We were in the second from the last row back (the 400s row) and we still had a nice view out to the lake. I’m sure this would change if the park was full.

Sunrise Campground, Storm Lake, IA  Site 404

Sunrise Campground, Storm Lake, IA Site 404

Sunrise Campground is located on the beautiful eastern shore of Storm Lake within easy walking distance of several great amenities including King’s Pointe Waterpark, Sunrise Pointe Golf Course, Mandeville Disc Golf Course, beach volleyball courts, family playground, and a public beach. Yes, a beach. 🙂

Storm Lake Beach

Storm Lake Beach

The Storm Lake Trail a bike path with access directly across the street from Sunrise Campground, is about 5 miles long and runs from the east end of Storm Lake to the town of Lakeside. There are several little parks along the way to stop and enjoy the view. Several of these parks have some amazing wood carving works of art.

Here are a few of may favorites –

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"Wood Wind Blues"

“Wood Wind Blues”

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Ooops, got a little carried away there. Now, back to the campground. 🙂

The camp hosts were super friendly and helpful. This ended up being one of those times when our plans changed as soon as we arrived so we really weren’t sure how long we were going to be there. We went from a reservation for a monthly site to perhaps only being there for a week. The hosts went above and beyond to accommodate our ever-changing plans even during the week before Labor Day.

Amenities at Sunrise Campground (other than stunning lakeside views, water park and beach nearby) include a laundry room, individual shower/bathroom stalls, vending machines, and fire wood.

Here are a few random shots from the campground.

The view from Site 404 –

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Campsites in the loop to the left of the office. This is the older section of the park with more mature trees –

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The laundry room and bathhouse building –

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Individual restroom/shower facilities –

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There are also “cabins” for rent through the city run campground. I hesitate to call them cabins as they look really BIG and pretty swanky to me! I wouldn’t know what to do with all that room anymore. LoL

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As you can see, there’s nothing between the campground and the lake other than Sunrise Road. So if you’re looking for an unobstructed view try to get into the “100s” row.

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I got to ride my bike every day while we were there which was nice. It was the first time I’d ridden since the SNAFU at the Salton Sea. My rekindled romance with my little green bike was made possible by the awesome technicians at Lakeshore Cyclery and Fitness. If you need any work done or you’re thinking about trading in your ride (and you just happen to be in the area) check them out!

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At the time of our stay (August ’14) at Sunrise Campground, the rate for one night at in a full-hookup site was $23, lake view sites were $25 and tent sites were $11. The campground is located at 101 Sunrise Park Road, Storm Lake, Iowa 50588 (712)732-8023  You can get to the Sunrise Campground online reservation site by clicking >>> HERE<<<

We will certainly stay here again if we’re ever in the area!

Sunset at Sunrise Campground, Storm Lake, Iowa

Sunset at Sunrise Campground, Storm Lake, Iowa

Thanks for stopping by!

~Cheers~

Wilder Park, Allison, Iowa – An RV Park Review

Wilder Park in Allison, Iowa – We were pleasantly surprised by this city park with awesome outdoor amenities!

Wilder Park - Allison, Iowa

Wilder Park – Allison, Iowa

If you’re in the northeast corner of Iowa looking for a place to park your rig, look no farther than Wilder Park. This 78 acre park is perfect for a weekend or a lengthier stay. We were slated to be there for two or more weeks in September for work at the Shell Rock Ethanol Plant. But unfortunately our stay got cut short when we had to head out early for the next job in Artesia, New Mexico.

Wilder Park is a city run campground full of down home comfort. From the city clerk who handles reservations to the camp hosts who are willing to help in any way they can to ensure your stay is comfy hospitality is the name of the game. At only $16 per night, you can’t go wrong!

As you can imagine, with 78 acres there is plenty of room to get outside and enjoy the beauty and quiet of rural Iowa.

The loop of the Rolling Prairie Trail that circles the park is a great paved and level track to get in a few miles of walking/jogging. Each lap is approximately 1.25 miles.

Rolling Prairie Trail, Wilder Park, Allison, Iowa

Rolling Prairie Trail, Wilder Park, Allison, Iowa

Rolling Prairie Trail, Wilder Park, Allison, Iowa

Rolling Prairie Trail, Wilder Park, Allison, Iowa

If disc golf is your thing (we picked up some inexpensive discs to try it out and loved it!) there is an 18 hole course in the park. Not all holes were this wide open so it was challenging.

18 hole disc golf course at Wilder Park, Allison, IA

18 hole disc golf course at Wilder Park, Allison, IA

Looking to get a few miles in on your bike but don’t want to deal with traffic? That’s possible too. The Rolling Prairie Trail will take you from Allison to the surrounding towns of Clarksville, Shell Rock and on to Waverly. The path is paved over railroad track and is as smooth as it is flat. It’s an easy, scenic ride with a mix of shaded areas as well as open areas.

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Rolling Prairie Trail Bike Path - Allison, Iowa

Rolling Prairie Trail Bike Path – Allison, Iowa

Bridge view from the Rolling Prairie Trail Bike Path - Allison, Iowa

Bridge view from the Rolling Prairie Trail Bike Path – Allison, Iowa

There are a few street crossings, but they’re over rural dirt roads. We never encountered any vehicles at any crossing.

Rolling Prairie Trail Bike Path - Allison, Iowa

Rolling Prairie Trail Bike Path – Allison, Iowa

If kicking back with a good book, cup of coffee or cocktail is more what you’re looking for … no worries. There are plenty of benches with scenic views as well.

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Wilder Park - Allison, Iowa

Wilder Park – Allison, Iowa

If you have little ones with you, there’s a playground for them. 🙂

Playground - Wilder Park - Allison, Iowa

Playground – Wilder Park – Allison, Iowa

At the time of our stay, of the 52 sites in the park 6 were pull-thru with full hook-ups. Each pull-thru accommodates two rigs. However, when we pulled out construction had started to add several more full hook-up sites. 🙂

This is the view of the full hook-up area from the bench beneath the flag pole. That’s our rig under the arrow. 🙂

Our  site in the full hook-up area at Wilder Park, Allison, IA

Our site in the full hook-up area at Wilder Park, Allison, IA

The bath houses were clean and roomy and there were storm shelters built into the hillside as well. After our first tornado watch in Waukee, IA the week before, they were a welcome sight.

If were ever in the area for work or otherwise, we will certainly make Wilder Park our first choice for our stay. You can use this link for more information on Wilder Park, Allison, IA or call the Allison City Hall at (319) 267-2245.

Fishing Pond, Wilder Park, Allison, IA

Fishing Pond, Wilder Park, Allison, IA

Enjoy your stay! 🙂

~Cheers~

Don’t Like Your Neighbors? Move!

I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard the old saying “If you don’t like your neighbors, move!” especially in the world of the full-time RVer’s out here. But I can honestly say that in the past two and a half years that had never happened to us … until recently.

Now, I know this sounds like it’s going to be a rant, but stick with me here. It’s really an RV park review in disguise. 😉

Let me set the scene if you will. The Boss and I pulled into a very cute little hide-away in South Carolina called Keowee-Toxaway State Park.  The park is nestled into the very northwestern part of the state and is a beautiful spot to take in the majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Jocassee Gorges.

Site #7 at Keowee-Toxaway State Park, SC

Site #7 at Keowee-Toxaway State Park, SC

After a little bit of masterful maneuvering, (we were right about at the max length for this particular site) we got the H.O.W. into a spot with water and electric. We marveled at the solitude… nobody to the left of us … nobody to the right. 🙂

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We were so happy to find this quiet little gem, we got our earthy, crunchy vibe on and decided to get our couch potato butts out of the rig and down onto one the great hiking trails (by great I mean fairly easy for us out of shape Zen seekers). The trail we took winded its way down to a nice boat launch with a private sandy beach.

Sweet! I think we should stay an extra day and get out float on tomorrow!

Sweet! I think we should stay an extra day and get our float on tomorrow!

. .Too bad we didn’t grab the kayak when we left Connecticut … darn!

Boat ramp Keowee-Toxaway State Park, S.C.

Small launch – Keowee-Toxaway State Park, S.C.

We also stopped to take a look at the cabin the park has available for rent. It was occupied at the time so we didn’t get to peek inside. But it was plain to see from the outside in was in an awesome spot and had some nice amenities, like a private dock and nice outdoor living space. 🙂

As is my usual habit I stopped to take some pics of the bathroom facilities and dump station set up. We didn’t use either one, but they seemed to be about average for state parks.

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They did have an unusual garbage policy. The park has a pack it in/pack it out policy for any trash that isn’t recyclable. I think this is the first time we’d been to a pay for use park without dumpsters. Thankfully, visitors seem to be taking this rule to heart and there wasn’t any left behind trash scattered about.

The park has 11 RV sites including a pull-thru or two and 14 tent sites. The tents sites are nicely arranged with a raised pad for your tent and communal water spigots.

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All in all it’s a really nice little state park. We liked it so much we decided to stay that extra night after all. We were fairly sure the day was going to clear up so we could check out the Blue Ridge Trail and mountains tomorrow. Yay!

Good news – site was available!

Bad news – as soon as I got back a tribe of 8 chain-smoking, foul-mouthed, noisy people with a fetish for lighter fluid moved into the empty site next door. 3 of them may not have been chain smokers just yet, as they are of the 2-legged little screecher variety.  If that wasn’t bad enough (and trust me it was) the entire time I gawked and spied on them through the window (Call me Gladys Kravitz if you must)  they never once picked up after their 2 dogs that seemed to poop non-stop. Uggg!

How the hell do they even get that many people and two dogs in there?!?

How the hell do they even get that many people and two dogs in there?!?

Thankfully our house has wheels. So after watching the show we decided to pack up and hit the road. It was probably the quickest pack up and go we’ve done! LoL I have to admit I felt a little snobbish or rude just up and leaving the way we did. But we would have been miserable listening to the neighbors from hell all night and our R&R time is way too precious for that nonsense!

So we hit the road shook it off and before we knew it we were happy campers once again! 🙂

Happy Campers!

Happy Campers!!

Even though we cut our stay short we still recommend Keowee-Toxaway State Park, (108 Residence Drive, Sunset, SC 29685 Phone: 864-868-2605) if you’re in the area. Really… we do. 😉

How about you? Do you have any nightmare stories about neighbors from hell?

~Cheers~

P.S. For those of you too young to get the Gladys Kravitz reference, no it’s not Lenny’s granny. Think Bewitched! 😀

 

Thanks Google Images!

Thanks Google Images!