A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving the weather was so nice we planned a long weekend camping trip. How bad could it be? The daytime temps were in the upper 60s to mid 70s and the nights weren’t too cold either. So I logged onto Reserve America and searched for camp grounds that still had vacancies for Thanksgiving. Gunter Hill came up in the search and it was one of the few that had a site open. Plus it’s close enough to home we can head to the house if the weather gets too rough. Also, who knew that camping on holidays was so popular! I booked us a site for the day before Thanksgiving and all the way through Sunday.
We’re going to make this camping trip count even if I have to figure out the best way to cook a turkey on a campfire! Each day forward I watched the weather and realized we may have to do a little adjusting…our sunny warm weather was slowly turning into rain, freezing rain and coldest temps of the year. Due to the heavy rain we delayed going camping but did show up on a sunny Thanksgiving morning to set up camp. Yes, we were the only people at the campground in a tent! This was also Ironbowl weekend and all the campsites were decorated up as either Auburn or Alabama.
Most nights were a little cool (ok FREEZING) and in the 20s to 30s for most nights. Saturday night was much warmer in the low 40s. We prepared well and took a lot of clothing layers. Our old Coleman sleeping bags were left at home and we used our Mountainsmith sleeping bags which were rated down to 20 degrees. We stayed snug and toasty and the bags lived up to their reputation.
A little secret…our tent had a television. Yes, I had to bring my little 13″ television, but with a digital converter and antennal we were able to pick up about 20 channels. Most importantly we could watch the Ironbowl for the comfort of our tent. Needless to say if the television didn’t work out there were enough big screen tv’s in the campground to make Best Buy jealous. Side note… satellite broadcasts vs over the air broadcasts = a 15 second delay for the folks watching via satellite. It was like yelling out spoilers once the game started since we could ‘see the future’!
Overall the trip was great and it was good to get away for awhile. It was just the two of us since the kids have their own things to do for the holidays. Click here to see more of my Gunter Hill Campground photos.
Here are a few observations for Gunter Hill Campground:
- Showers were heated and there was plenty of hot water. Note: Use the old shower house since the new shower house shower’s on a push button system. Also the new shower house has automatic fans that come on when you enter and within a few seconds all the warm air is sucked out of the room and cold air is pulled in. Great for summer, but not for winter.
- Catoma Loop reopened this year and has been fully refurbished
- Sites are cleaned after each camper leaves. Leaves are blown from the site and ash from the fire pits are removed.
- Sites have concrete parking pads and a gravel area large enough for even our tent
- Sites have picnic tables, lamp hanging post with small table and a grill
- Road through the park is newly paved
- Sites have electric, water and sewer
- Plenty of room to ride bikes and playgrounds for the kids
- Pet Friendly
- Did I mention clean? Very clean campground.
In my previous post I gave you a little tease of our trip to Ireland. Now I will try to fill in all the details but overall my mind is still spinning from the wonderful trip we experienced. Ireland itself has always been on my list of places to see but this past year I was drawn in a little farther. I’d always heard stories of my mothers family being Irish, but it wasn’t until doing more genealogical research that I began to feel the pull. The cherry on top was finding out via DNA testing that I was in fact 51% Irish! I’ve not been able to narrow down the exact part of Ireland that my family came from but was able to come up with a general area.
Searching and planning for the trip started slow, but after a few weeks I was in information overload! I finally decided to try and plan a trip that would cover several areas of Ireland. This way we could see different places and get a better idea of what makes Ireland, Ireland. Read more
Homemade Travel Sheet – Instead of purchasing a travel sheet and spending anywhere from $15 to $60 I decided to make my own. I picked up two flat sheets for $2 at a local thrift store. The sheets are like new and I didn’t have to orphan any of my existing sheet sets. One flat sheet was solid white and queen size. Mine is a vintage gold and yellow stripped full size sheet. Both are percale and feel great! I folded one flat sheet in half on the long edge with the right side (the pretty edges) on the inside. Laying it on the floor I measured where my waist would be if lying on the sheet. Using my sewing machine I stitched across the bottom and up the side to where my mark was placed. I reinforced where the stitching ended just so it wouldn’t pull apart. Once complete I turned it right side out. It’s like a sheet sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner. Fifteen minutes later I was done and now we have our own personal travel sheets! I did not shorten the top so there is plenty of room to cover my pillow as well as covering the bed so that I don’t have to lay directly on the mattress. I repeated the process with the white sheet since hubby wasn’t too keen on something so brightly colored as my yellow sheet.
Counting down the days until we travel to Ireland with everything we need just in our backpacks! I’m not sure how it’s all going to play out but I’m excited either way! Backpacking Ireland and staying in hostels…who would have thought!
Do you pack light or take enough clothes to clothe a small family of five when there are only two of you? Last week I started planning a 10 day your of Ireland. Budget in mind we will be carrying everything we need in our back packs as carry on luggage. A first for us as a forever young couple…but it will give us freedom from lugging suit cases as we explore my great great grandparents homeland.
Since we are on a budget we are foregoing hotels as well and will save our Euro for the fun stuff like a wool shawl and several pints of Guinness. Where will we stay? In a hostel of course! I guess you can say it is one more thing to check on my bucket list.
No rental car this trip either. Public transportation and day tours will take us where we plan to visit. Are we crazy? I like to think thrifty. It’s our chance to be a local for awhile and not a tourist. Life is short and tomorrow is not promised.
Oh, I’ve had three eye exams since January. My Fuchs Dystrophy is still present. I’m in glasses full time now and have started using eye drops to relieve the pressure. It’s helped with the haze I would see sometimes. This is another reason for our special trip…I just don’t know what my future holds but I most definitely want to see Ireland with the man I love.
Here’s one of my favorite photos that I took in 2004 on a trip to Venice. I think it’s very appropriate for the month of February. What do you think?