Truck Stops and Campgrounds and Cousins

24 hour truck stops are a Van-dwellers best friend. We decided to put some hours in and get a little closer to home. We have our Cousins Summer Christmas in a weeks time so instead of driving it all in one day, we are going to do 3 or 4 hours a day. So we stayed at a TA truck stop. Nicely level, nicely lit. Very safe. Theres only 2 issues, 1, the country music piped into the parking lot speakers all night long and 2, they overcharge for showers. Greg finally got the nerve to take a shower at a truck stop. It cost him $14 buckaroos. That’s crazy. That’s more than a night at a campground. Lol. However, he did say, it was the nicest shower room and worth every penny.

Next stop was Cardens Bluff Campground in Hampton Tennessee.It was a beautiful place. We had a great spot. Did some bike riding and also some swimming. We had a nice spot right next to the campground host.

Woke up the next morning and decided to check out a town called Bristol. If you drive down the Main Street, everything on the left is in Virginia and everything on the right is Tennessee. We found this amazing outdoor BBQ place in the neighborhood outside of town. Really good stuff! They even had greenhouses to provide fresh fresh vegetables. The smokers were homemade and were pretty amazing.

They recommended a fun coffee shop in town where we learned that this town was the birthplace of country music. The first country songs ever made came from here. The RCA Victor record company went to this town to look for Hillbilly talent and apparently they found it. This was in 1927… when country music was born. If only I could go back in time, I would change that moment in history and Country Music would never have been born.

Next stop for us was Sherando Lake in The George Washington National Forest which I think is in Virginia. Everything is becoming a blur at this point. This was a great campground, other than the fact that they had a bit of a bear problem. All the campsites has bear proof food lockers to store your food. This was the first summer with the bear lockers so the bears were still coming around expecting to find food. It takes a while for them to realize that there’s no food for them anymore. We took a nice bike ride to the damn and climbed up for a great view

Next day, we were off to Monticello to see Thomas Jefferson’s House. Greg loves presidential history. He took the House Tour while I browsed around the gift shop and cafe. They had a great trail there that I hiked while he was on his tour. (I don’t like tours)

That night we drove to the MGM Grand in National Harbor by DC. It was a Tuesday night and lucky for us, Cher was performing and there were seats available!!! It was an AMAZING SHOW!! Just an awesome production! Dancers and aerialist and of course Cher with her costume and wig changes. It’s amazing to me that she is 72 years old and is performing the way she does, not to mention her body and those outfits! I’m so glad we got there when we did. We arrived at the casino at 7:43 and the show began at 8. Perfect timing!! Plus the parking lot at the MGM grand is a great place to park your home and get a good nights sleep. Woke up in the morning to some major Heat!! We are not in the mountains anymore and the Van can heat up pretty fast in a sunny parking lot! Went inside the casino hotel to cool off in the fancy lobby chairs with the fancy free WiFi! We thought we saw Cher at the Casino Coffee shop. Still not sure if it was her in disguise or not. We were too chicken to take a photo.

We drove another 3 or 4 hours to Wharton StAte Forest Campground and it’s HOT!! There’s a beach here that was super crowded so we didn’t swim but will probably swim tomorrow. Found an amazing Wings place and had a great dinner.

We were gonna spend a second night in this area but it was just way to hot being on flat land at a normal altitude so instead we spent the day at the beach and then decided to find a mall and go to the movies. We saw, “the spy who dumped me.” It was pretty funny. We drove across the GWB at night. That seems to be the time that is best for not as much traffic. I almost wrote “no traffic,” but laughed out loud cause there is ALWAYS traffic. It’s just a matter of how much. Anyway, we made it home, went Christmas shopping, wrapped our presents, did some cooking, pet the cats and we were off to celebrate summer Christmas with my cousins.

Currently we are at our cabin in the woods for a few days and then will probably hit another County Fair or maybe visit the Finger Lakes Area. We are people of leisure (lol.) Its best not to make plans and just sort of go with the flow. That works for us. So, in this case, your guess is as good as ours as to where we will be next.


  1. Hey you guys, when was the last time you missed the auction.  We set a record this year with auction proceeds of $29,024.00 WOW!! High priced item was a fancy ski boat that the Raquette Lake Camps donated.  It went for $7,000. Peggy’s purse went for $600 and two Tony Harpers’ pizzas went for $50.00 each.



    1. Great stories, you two. Safe travels!! $600 for Peggy’s purse? I wonder how much that has brought in over the years.


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