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  • Writer's pictureMiranda

Camping...Not Really Camping in Massachusetts

Camping in Massachusetts started out similar to other places...cobwebs and spiders in the bathroom, a quarter buys you 5 minutes in a hot shower, and uneven ground of mud and dirt just outside the RV door. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but we made the most of the simple living at a campground in Gloucester, MA.

Gloucester may sound familiar as it was the setting for the George Clooney movie The Perfect Storm which paid tribute to the many fishermen who lost their lives at sea (pictured above is the statue honoring those who have died and sunset our first night). While filming the movie producers fell in love with the setting of this working harbor town and came back to film a trailer for a show about the tuna fishermen. A family favorite, Wicked Tuna just wrapped up filming it's 11th season. We saw a number of the boats from the show as we walked the harbor docks and even met one of the captains and his crew.

Gloucester also has beautiful and varied beaches. Ben and Kate caught waves on boogie boards next to a dozen other surfers. At another, we beach combed for a few hours finding shells for future crafts.

To cap off our time in Gloucester on a clear, warm evening we enjoyed a sunset cruise aboard a 65' wooden schooner. Chuck and the kids each got a turn helping hoist the four sails! Then, pizza from a local shop eaten along the ocean walk benches as we watched the lights of boats entering and exiting the harbor. It was a great night!

The next morning we started the day with a toast buffet which consisted of toasted bread with an assortment of topping choices: jellies, peanut butter, butter, avocado, pesto, sliced boiled eggs, and everything bagel seasoning. Each person customized their own toast. Simple, yet satisfying!

Then we were off to Foxoboro, MA, on the the south side of Boston to a place I have deemed "camping but not really camping". When we arrived at the RV resort we knew it was going to be different than the places we stayed the previous month. Pristine bathrooms with music playing, flat even crushed stone ground everywhere you went, manicured lawn and fields for play, a bike park, five pools, and separate recreation lounges for kids and adults. It was their off season, so during the week not much more expensive than the other campgrounds we had been staying, which is crazy!

Unfortunately our stay started with 42 hours of solid rain. So the kids got ahead in school and I got a lot of work done. This was great because we packed the next four days...

First, we went south to Rhode Island. Mallory had found a Nitro Coffee Bar on TikTok about six months earlier that we had to go to. So we did. The small coffee shop attached to a bike shop in Providence had super friendly people and Mallory even got a growler of cold brew. You can buy coffee in growler, who knew? Then on to Newport for the Cliff Walk, a multiple mile walking path that weaves between the ocean cliffs and historic mansions. Beautiful!

The next day, north into the heart of Boston touring the City aboard a trolley. My dear friend Millie had recently retired and moved to Boston to be near her son and his family. They helped us plan our day to make the most of it and even provided a place to park our vehicle. Millie joined us for pastries and the Freedom Trail, a 3.5 mile walk following a path of red bricks through the heart of the city to many historic points of interest. Kate was able to fill a few pages in her National Park Passport as we visited: the USS Constitution, Paul Revere's Home, The North Church were the two lanterns were hung signaling that the British were coming by sea, the State House where the Declaration of Independence was first read as well as the site of the Boston Massacre, and Boston Common.

So much history to see first hand, Ben even studied Paul Revere just a few days later. It meant so much more after visiting his home and the North Church. Another first-hand experience included Chuck getting in on a street performer unicorn unicycle show (don't ask)! We ended the day with an authentic Italian dinner in the North End, unofficially the Little Italy of Boston.

The third day held, a long-awaited visit to a cranberry farm. If you missed it, I dedicated a Cranberry Farm Experience blog already to all the details we packed in before noon. With a sunny 75 degree day, we headed further east to Cape Cod stopping at multiple beaches where the kids wave jumped, we saw seals, and I was on high alert for sharks. October is their peak season and I greatly resembled Grandma Debbie as I scanned the waters constantly while the kids didn't get wet much past their knees. The end of the Cape had rolling sand dunes and an ice cream shop. On the drive back to the RV we timed a sunset just perfect at a beach at low tide so Ben and Kate could explore (see the 2 small humans in the lower left corner of the photo).

The fourth day, we headed out on the glistening Atlantic Ocean with the hope of seeing a humpback whale. It is their feeding season near the Cape and we were fortunate to watch three different whales! One whale named Colt was not shy diving, slapping his flippers, and swimming on his back near the boat for nearly 25 minutes. "An absolutely beautiful day on the water," is what Chuck wrote in our journal. A stop at Plymouth, MA, to see the famed rock - although unimpressive in size, still has an interesting history. Then grocery shopping to restock our small fridge and cupboards.

Thankfully, the RV Resort had a cancellation for the weekend and we were able to stay a few extra days to relax and enjoy "camping, but not really camping." The kids played hours of basketball with some potty-mouth kids from Boston, Chuck and Ben entered a bags tournament with 60+ other campers and Chuck ended up with the Corn Hole King title! Ben hit jumps on the bike park. Kate swam in the heated outdoor pool. I enjoyed quiet time by the campfire. We all played boccie and ping pong. Chuck unsuccessfully cast in the fishing pond (no new fish added to our count on the home page). Kate even danced a little Cotton-Eyed Joe at the Sunday evening DJ dance.

We also celebrated our one month anniversary of being on the road on October 10! We said good bye to Massachusetts the next morning but took with us all the great memories we made.

We are back on the road and camping again. Last night we boon-docked at a Harvest Host farm in New York where we dined next to a pasture of Shetland ponies. Today, we arrived in Elizabethtown, PA, where we will spend a few days learning about chocolate, the Amish, and more American history.

If you are interested in specific people, places and adventures I mention above, details and links to their websites are on this page.


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