Sunday, May 7, 2017

Is Driving in San Francisco a Different Experience?

By Donovan Baldwin

Okay, short answer is, "Yep!"

Unlike many other cities, which are primarily North, South, East and West, San Francisco has an extra two dimensions: up and down!

To the visitor, it seems that there is nothing flat in San Francisco. They have some very steep hills there, and have elected to simply build up and down them at will. Getting to a particular place is your problem.

Now, you might not think this is very problematical, and, to tell the truth, it doesn't affect most people, unless they are afraid of heights or have a phobia about rolling down hills. However, there are occasionally genuine problems which might afflict the visitor to the city by the bay.

For example, in the 80's after driving my family down Lombard St....

Let's stop there for a moment.

Are you familiar with Lombard St. in San Francisco.

It is not a short street. Running generally east and west, it passes through several sections of San Francisco. However, one block of Lombard street is famous the world over and probably captures some ot the driving experience that most associate with driving in San Francisco.

This one block, in the Russian Hill area, is one way (downhill, thank God) and consists of several tight turns. The hill has a 27% grade, and was designed with several tight turns. In the old days, wagons could not even make it up the hill, and that is one reason this small piece of Lombard Street is as it is today.

However, in keeping with the San Francisco experience, that one block of Lombard street is a beautiful little drive, at 5 miles per hour, and should be a part of any visit to the town.

Anyway, as I was saying, in the 80's after driving my family down Lombard St. we drove around town a little bit in my 1983 Reliant Station wagon. It had rear wheel drive and we had two adults in the front and three small children in the back. As we turned into a street that would take us to the next sight we wanted to see, we saw rising before us what had to be one of the steepest streets in San Francisco.

Being a normal male, I assured my wife that we could "make it with no problem!"

I was wrong.

After three tries and a moment when I actually thought the car might flip over backwards, we gave up and found another street.

Forget the hippies, and the 60's, and Chinatown, and the topless clubs in North Beach, and the cable cars, and "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"...driving in San Francisco IS a unique experience quite different from most other places.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Best Historic Bed and Breakfasts in the U.S.

By Terence Zweni

A typical bed and breakfast, or B & B, usually offers lodging accommodations and breakfast. The beauty of staying at bed and breakfasts is the personalized, homey touch that is like having a home away from home. For a more private and quieter stay, some travelers prefer bed and breakfast places where on the average, there are only around six to twelve rooms.

There are many excellent B & B places in America, and some of the best are restored manors and private homes that have historical ties in the area. These restored homes are products of two legislations: the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the Tax Reform Act of 1976. These legislations made it possible to get tax discounts for the restoration and repurposing of historic homes.

We have gathered a list of the best historic bed and breakfasts in America, where visitors can appreciate great architecture and experience interesting stories.

1. The Twelve Oaks

Located in Covington, Georgia, The Twelve Oaks evokes the legendary mansion of Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind. It has been chosen as one of the top ten B & B's in the U.S. The mansion was built in 1836, and it has eight luxurious guest rooms with modern amenities and en-suite bathrooms. It is located near the historic Covington Square and the town is filled with antebellum mansions. It is also conveniently located just 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta.

2. Aaron Burr House

This B & B stands on the very spot of the house where the third US Vice President hid after his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton, which ended Hamilton's life. Located in New Hope, Pennsylvania, the original stone foundation is the only thing of Aaron Burr's house that remains now. All the accommodations are decorated with unique stencils and have beautiful, shiny hardwood floors. With the interest in Hamilton and Burr because of the hit Broadway musical, this will surely generate a lot of interest.

3. Chateau Tivoli

One of the best historic bread and breakfasts in the west coast, Chateau Tivoli is located in San Francisco, California. The structure itself is very familiar because it is one of the famous "Painted Ladies" of Steiner Street, which features prominently in postcards of San Francisco. Built in 1892, the structure was used for different purposes all throughout the years. The bed and breakfast opened in 1989, and it has nine lavishly-appointed accommodations.

4. Battlefield Bed and Breakfast

This is located in Pennsylvania, right on the battleground of Gettysburg. This is one of the most unique bed and breakfasts in the country because it gives visitors the unique experience of living during the Civil War era. Originally built as a farmhouse in 1809, it has the original beamed ceiling, chestnut wood floors, and stone walls. Each room has a theme that honours the South Cavalry Battlefield troops. There's a history lesson available from costumed Civil War characters.

5. Sugar Hill Harlem Inn

Located right in the center of New York, the area where the inn is located is right smack in the middle of the early 20th century Harlem Renaissance. This is the area where black families moved into. Jazz legend Duke Ellington, poet Langston Hughes, and former Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall all lived in this area. The inn has 5 themed rooms all named after a prominent African-American.

Terence Zweni is an expert when it comes to Bed and Breakfasts. To find out everything about Best Historic Bed and Breakfasts, visit his website at

Article Source:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Review: Superstition Village RV & Mobile Home Park, Apache Junction, Arizona

Apologies to Paulette Parrot, the park manager, for this late review, but, I DID warn her.

We often stay in the Mesa and Apache Junction area when visiting relatives in the area. However, we had only stayed at an RV park in the area once before. We had been quite satisfied with Shady Rest RV and Mobile Home Park on a previous visit, but, when we planned our trip for the first month of 2017, they were booked.

However, and luckily for us, the manager there referred us to Superstition Village Mobile Home and RV Park in Apache Junction.

We stayed there for the entire month of January, 2017, and, for us, it was perfect.

We were visiting relatives, so, we did not use their facilities, although I did swap a couple of books in their extensive library.

However, before I go into what they DO offer, let me say that, for an RV park, we could not beat the price. The charge for the month was $220 plus an electric deposit, most of which was refunded to me by check, which was waiting when we got back home at the end of February, after touring around California.

The park IS small, but, there is a great view of the Superstition Mountains, and, you are outside the hustle and bustle, while still close enough to major shopping. Takes less than five minutes by car to get to Fry's Grocery, and other retailers, and a major Walmart is about 10 minutes away.

While the park is a little old, it is clean and the water and electric (50 Amp for us) was perfectly fine. Our particular site needed an extra long run for the septic, and I did have to buy additional lengths of sewer hose.

The park has a heated outdoor pool, a laundry, and a clubhouse with various activities and a kitchen. I walked in on a morning yoga class, and, on Wednesday morning, the shuffleboard competition was in full swing. There were other activities scheduled, but, as I say, we were there to visit people, and my wife is disabled, so we didn't really take part.

The manager Paulette Parrott was very sweet, even coming over to check to see if we were okay when she didn't see us around the park much.

This is definitely a keeper for us. You can reserve online at the website:


Daily $20
Weekly $80
Monthly $220 + Electric (which is common in the area)


269 North Winchester Road
Apache Junction, Arizona 85219


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Three Reasons Why Traveling With An RV Is The Best

By Antoinette Ayana

The United States of America is a physically large nation. In fact, at 3,800,000 square miles, it ranks as the fourth largest country in the world. Connecting these vast expanses is a network of roads and interstates that is more than 4,000,000 miles in total length. In short, not only is the U.S. an enormous nation, but it is also a nation built to be traveled by the automobile. The vehicle that perfectly embodies this is the recreational vehicle, or RV for short.

The first motor home was built in the 1910s, and by the 1920s such vehicles had become widespread. Today hundreds of thousands are sold every year. An RV can vary in size from a converted minivan all the way up to luxury land yachts that stretch longer than 40 feet. Some campers are bare bones, with a cot being the only amenity. Others have full kitchens, bathrooms, king sized beds, and expanding walls. So no matter what level of comfort you are used to, you can find a motor home that will fit your style. Here are three reasons that you should want one.

Affordable Travel

The two biggest expenses that most people incur when they travel are flight and hotel costs. When you are driving an RV, you don't have to worry about either of these. Instead, you pay for gas, and the occasional cost of a motor home parking spot. Furthermore, since most of these vehicles are equipped with a kitchen of some sort, you do not have to eat at restaurants for every meal. If you have a family, you can simply multiply the savings.

Explore Nature In Comfort

In the United States, there are over 6,600 state and national parks open to the public. While a few of these might have a hotel nearby, the vast majority of them do not. What they do have are fully equipped spaces for motor homes. This means that for $20-$40 a night, you can camp in comfort in some of the most beautiful natural areas in the entire country. It is entirely possible to drive across the entire country and only stay in national and state parks.

Bring Your Family Closer Together

Studies have shown that families that vacation using an RV report a higher level of happiness and satisfaction than those who travel by car or plane. People cited the relaxing nature of motor home travel, as opposed to the stress and discomfort that long flights and car rides produce. Furthermore, in recreational vehicles, families are able to interact using a wider range of mediums. Card games, storytelling, and even activities such as charades are facilitated by the size of a camper.

In conclusion, an RV is a wonderful choice for anyone who likes to travel in comfort.

To learn more about their options for RV travel, Souderton residents should visit

Article Source: Three Reasons Why Traveling With An RV Is The Best

Friday, September 2, 2016

RV Floor Plans - Who Said RVs Are Not Tiny Houses?

By Amalie Lopez

Passport America, Save 50% on CampsitesIt is recommended that renting an RV or tiny house would be a healthy exercise in order to get the feel for a reality check. Even window shopping or online research would be a great idea for this, however going to a dealer is actually better to determine the size and RV floor plan you would mostly see yourself living in.

Funny to say, after going in and out of many sizes and models to take a look at the interior layouts, our conclusion is that the smaller ones had the best layouts.

After looking at the brand new ones, we then started seeing the used RVs and found the older models to have friendlier layouts than the newer models. Strange right? RV designers come up with different styles of RV floor plans by taking into consideration sleeping arrangements, bathrooms and additional exterior kitchen facilities for outdoor enjoyment as well.

For instance, the larger models, 32-40 ft. long, bring a more comfortable layout. However, most of the bedrooms were cramped for space and very uncomfortable, while the eating booth was large. Why not make the booth a 18 inches smaller and give that space to the bedroom? In addition, maybe a used one could be remodeled to your specifications and still save on expenses. Remodeling one to your "needs and wants" is an attractive option without a doubt. There are fifth wheelers, trailers and motorized models to be explored also.

On the other hand, parking must be considered. On your way to mortgage freedom, less expenses and financial flexibility, wouldn't it be ideal to park it in a resort area with a view? RV resort parks are available throughout the country and bring along many amenities and included services which will also alleviate monthly expenses in comparison to living in a larger home. Basic services included are access to water, sewage, power and Wi-Fi for weekend or monthly charges. Other services that could be included, depending on the site, are picnic areas, pools, parking, dumpster, showers, restrooms, allowing pets, laundry and security. Each RV resort must be verified individually for rates.

What about exploring the United States while living full-time in your tiny house RV? Driving on the road could turn out to be very rewarding as you explore all the places you've always wanted to go. Family togetherness and sharing becomes the number one priority for unforgettable moments. Why not enjoy RV living or a tiny house?

Feel free already? Research will continue to be shared, so keep tuned for more information on our findings.

And lastly, I would like to invite you check out a new website that brings you small scale furniture with storage for your new lifestyle of downsizing from a larger home into a tiny house, small apartment, recreational vehicle, dorm or even studios. Like us on Face Book and don't forget to share our business adventure also. Thanks for visiting us at

Article Source: RV Floor Plans - Who Said RVs Are Not Tiny Houses?

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Alabama RV Park - Mill Creek Park, Elkmont, Alabama

This is not going to be incredibly in-depth as my wife and I only stayed overnight on our way from Kentucky to Florida.

However, the tone can be set by our enjoyment of the setting as we entered Mill Creek Park, and, as the lady who owns the park, and sadly I've lost her card and cannot remember her name, told me that since a storm was approaching just to get set up before it hit and come by the office after it had passed.

To actually enter the RV park area, you have to pass over a walking/riding trail (accessible from the park), and through a hay field. If you want lights, camera, action, this is not the RV park for you. But, if you want a tranquil rest in the country, then you really need to visit these folks.

The WI-FI was pretty good, but, we were only able to get a couple of stations on our (antenna) TV. We did have a 50-AMP full hook-up pull through, however.

I always take Nadia The Dog for a morning amble, and it was very peaceful walking her past the hay field, and back by way of the walking path, which passes along the edge of the park.

Mill Creek RV Park has a quiet country ambiance, and my wife and I are already planning to drop back by for a longer stay at some later date.

I was able to get an excellent rate with my Passport America membership.

Normal rate is $32 a night, but, with our PPA membership, we stayed for $16.

By the way, if you like hiking, biking, birding, or just plain being in the country, Mill Creek RV Park may be just the place you're looking for.

By the way, if you check their Passport America listing, you will find a different set of directions than what your GPS will probably give you. These are the directions provided by the owner, and, they are definitely easier to navigate than the GPS ones.

Mill Creek RV Park
28861 Veto Road
Elkmont, Alabama 35620

PHONE: (256) 732-3686
GPS: 34.96871 N, 86.99246 W


Friday, June 24, 2016

Oak Creek Campground, Walton, KY

Oak Creek Campground is possibly one of the best campgrounds you can find near Cincinnati, Ohio.

Located in Kentucky, just off of I-75, at Exit 175. Just take the road in front of the Flying J Truck Stop, and you will be led there. Be careful, however, the road is narrow and winding and the right turn to the camp entrance comes up fast around a curve, at the bottom of a hill, just before a bridge.


This is because coming from that direction puts you on narrow, winding roads with crazy drivers. Additionally, coming that way, from I-71, there is a very hard left turn to the road the campground is on, and, as it happened the day I arrived, local drivers can be very unforgiving and thoughtless.

I accidentally came that way, and had to wait for a car to pull out of the road before I could turn. A driver behind me, rather than waiting, shot around me, temporarily blocking the turning car and causing dangerous situation.

Take the I-75 exit.

Oak Creek Campground is relatively secluded, although part of it lies close enough to a fairly busy road to pick up some road noise. As I type this, however, there is no noise from the road.

Although Oak Creek handles everything from tents to big motor homes and fifth wheels, providing reliable electric, water, a fairly decent WIFI, and a small selection of cable channels, they do NOT offer sewer. They will come and PUMP YOUR TANKS once a week, on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday.

The people are nice, and there is a small general store available with beer, sodas, snacks, and basic RV supplies.

They do have some games and family-friendly activities, mainly live music at various times, and, there is a playground for kids. They are a pet friendly rv park with the standard excessive barking, pick up after, etc.

They also have a swimming pool (outdoors and seasonal), and a recreation area.

Prices are reasonable, and, they do offer discounts for AAA, Explorers, and Good Sam members. It is a good idea to call in advance for reservations. When I called, they were booked for my original dates, but, the manager was able to offer an alternative, and offered a lower rate for booking a week than a smaller block of days.

The Oak Creek Campground website is at

13329 Oak Creek Rd. ● P.O. Box 161 ● Walton, KY 41094 ● (859) 485-9131