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What if I told you that no fewer than three celebrated restaurant franchises call Shawnee home? That’s because Sonic Drive-In, Boomerang Diner and Van’s Pig Stands all had their origins in the Redbud City!
You’ll recognize all of these names if you spend a lot of time in Oklahoma, but Sonic’s famous cherry limeades and classic American-style food have made it a nationwide staple. The prototype for the first Sonic drive-in opened in Shawnee in 1953. It’s no surprise, then, that there are five Sonic locations in the greater Shawnee area.
The first prototype for the Sonic Drive-In is in Shawnee / Photo: Visit Shawnee
Van’s Pig Stands
Meanwhile, Van’s Pig Stands is Oklahoma’s oldest barbeque restaurant, continuously owned and operated by the same family since 1930! Started by Tennessee native and veteran Leroy “Van” Vandegrift, the stands existed in Wewoka and Seminole, but the third stand opened in Shawnee and became the restaurant’s flagship location. Famous for their hickory-smoked ribs, brisket and pig sandwiches, customers across the state and even nationwide consider Van’s among the top barbeque restaurants in the U.S. There are currently four Van’s Pig Stands locations, two in Shawnee, one in Norman and one in Moore.
What about Boomerang Diner? While it might be the newest franchise in the lot, its obsession is with the Route 66-style restaurants of yesteryear, styling itself after the kitschy, yet timeless All-American diner. Not only do they serve diner-style burgers and fries and even fried pickles, but their all-day breakfast has made them a popular choice throughout Oklahoma. Their mascot is even an affectionate parody of Elvis!
Eat at the American Classic Boomerang / Photo: Visit Shawnee
Other Shawnee Classic Eats
Of course, that only covers the history of the franchises that call Shawnee home! So, what about the originals? The utterly unique places to stop and grab a bite? Well, Shawnee restaurants offer everything from authentic Mexican to killer slices of pizza and even pho.
You’ll notice Shawnee has many, many Tex-Mex restaurants, but what about something a little more authentic? Try Don Ciro’s Tacos on Harrison! The small restaurant is family owned and operated, and offers a refreshing take on traditional Mexican fare, like beef tongue (lengua) tacos and chilaquiles.
Giorgio’s on Harrison offers fantastic, handmade pizza by the slice, and the slices are gigantic! You can also order a whole pie, but don’t sleep on this joint for a quick and tasty lunch.
Shawnee Pho offers Asian fusion cuisine staples like spring rolls and sushi, but their signature pho is not to be taken lightly. A Vietnamese street food, this beef broth soup is both hearty and refreshing. Order a half bowl unless you’ve been saving room!
Of course, these are just a few of our favorites, and by no means the only ones in town. You can see more wonderful restaurants on our website!
Toutle River RV Resort is located in Castle Rock, Washington at the apex of the Toutle and Cowlitz Rivers and is one of the largest RV resorts in the Northwest. The resort has the only private access to the confluence of the two rivers offered to resort guests and is widely revered as one of the finest fishing holes in the state!
A world-renowned fishing spot / Photo: Toutle River RV Resort
The resort is a fantastic base camp for the explorer, family vacation, or long-term guest. They offer 306 full hookup RV sites; many offering 6,000 sq ft or more and up to 100 feet long. Masonry fire pits and BBQ’s are located throughout the park and all of the premium sites feature a fire pit, BBQ and park style picnic tables. These are truly beautiful sites.
Relax by a roaring fire / Photo: Toutle River RV Resort
Activities For the Whole Family
For a fun-filled action-packed family vacation be sure to make Toutle River RV Resort #1 on your list for RV travel destinations! You will not be disappointed! There are activities for all age groups, whether it is a game of disc golf, pickleball, ping pong, ladder ball, or just hanging out by the pool relaxing the day away. Campers will have the opportunity to participate in a boatload of family fun!
Mt. St. Helens
The park is located eight miles from the visitor center of Mt St Helens National Monument and hundreds of other activities on the resort grounds are very close. Both Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier are neighbors and the Oregon Coast, Astoria, Long Beach, Washington, (the world’s longest beach) Lewis & Clark National Park, and much more are all less than a two-hour drive.
RVing with dogs — simple adjustments for a smooth journey.
When asked about my favorite part of full-time RVing, I never hesitate to answer, “I get to bring my dogs with me wherever I go!”
It’s something that made traveling pre-RV life difficult. I would have to find a friend or family member to watch my chihuahuas while I was away. That wasn’t always an easy task, as these small canines can be quite the handful. Now that my boyfriend and I have been full timing for almost one year, we relish the fact that our dogs can go everywhere we go!
There are a few things to take into consideration if you choose to RV with your dogs. You want to make sure your furry friends are comfortable, well cared for and safe because as any dog-lover will tell you, dogs are a part of the family!
Photo: Rambler and the Road.
Give Your Dog His Space
It’s just as important that your dogs feel as comfortable in your RV as you do. When we began our transition to full-time RVing, one of the first thoughts we had was, “Where will our pups sleep?” In our traditional home, they had comfortable crates that they would retreat to at night, but these containers were too big and bulky to fit into our 280-square-foot motorhome. In an inspired moment, we decided to raise our mattress platform a few inches and build 2 custom dog crates into the base of our bed. This has worked perfectly for us — we still have storage behind the crates, and the dogs love having their own special space.
If raising your bed isn’t an option, other areas can be transformed into a haven for your pooch with a little bit of creativity. Most RV’s have a dinette that converts to a bed or even accommodates a small crate on the floor beneath the table. Even a dog bed beside or at the foot of your bed will create a comfortable nook for your pup.
Making sure your dog has his own space in the RV will make his transition to this mobile lifestyle more pleasant and less stressful for you both.
While the RV is parked, you can relax unencumbered with your pooch — but it’s a different story once it starts moving. Photo, Rambler on the Road.
Secure Fido While Driving
You bought an RV to hit the open road, but making sure your dog is safe while you’re driving is just as important as getting to that next destination. We recommend keeping your dog in a crate or bed while driving. Letting your dog wander while you’re on the road can be distracting and dangerous to both you and your pet. If your canine prefers your lap over a crate while driving, look into doggy seatbelt that can attach to their harness and your seatbelt to keep them safe and in place. One of our chihuahuas loves to sit on my lap while we drive, and being the doting mother I am, I always give in — but I always make sure she has her seatbelt on! Remember, this option is great for the passenger, but if you’re the driver, this is a big no-no!
Maintain Health and Well-Being on the Road
Before you hit the road, make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations, has his microchip implanted and tags secure, and has had a recent wellness exam from his vet. Prepare a box with a first aid kit for your dog, including any medications he needs and his health records. Before arriving at a new destination, always locate the nearest emergency vet. In the rare case that your pup needs medical attention, you won’t have to scramble to find care.
Take Care When Leaving Your Dog in Your RV
Sometimes, Fido can’t go everywhere with you. So, what do you do? The best option is to leave him in your air-conditioned or heated RV, but this isn’t always foolproof. If the power at your campground cuts off, your dog may be at risk of getting too hot or too cold in the RV. I recommended investing in a temperature alert device. I use one that also has a camera (bonus! I get to peek in on my pups while we’re away). This device sends an alert to my cell phone if the temperature drops below or goes above the parameters I’ve set. As long as we have Wi-Fi, this allows me to feel safe leaving them while we’re out and about. If you’re ever unsure about the temperature in your RV, always err on the side of caution and take your pup with you!
Enjoy the Great Outdoors With Your Dog
As you experience the US by RV, your pup will be right by your side. This means hikes through national parks; long trail runs and a splash in a spring or two! It’s important to be considerate of other explorers and always keep your dog on a leash. Your pup may be friendly, but not every dog will reciprocate the friendliness! Always have a stash of doggy bags on hand to pick up any business your dog leaves behind.
“Leave it just as you found it” rings true, not just for humans, but also for our doggie companions.
Spend Time Outside Your RV
When we’re not out exploring, we spend most of our time on our RV “porch.” We want our dogs to be able to enjoy this with us, so we have a couple of tricks that we use. If we are stationary for an extended period of time, we have a collapsible fence that we set up. This gives them the freedom to roam while we relax outside. If we’re on the go, we will forego the collapsible fence and instead use our dog leads. We will either tie one long rope from tree to tree and hook their leads to that or just hook their leads up to our chairs. Either way, we know if they see a bunny, we won’t be chasing our dogs halfway across the desert. They are secure and safe, but still able to enjoy the great outdoors with us.
Fastened by a leash, the four-legged passenger can’t roam the RV. Photo: Rambler and the Road.
One last tidbit: when making reservations to stay at an RV park or campground, always check pet restrictions in Good Sam’s RV Parks & Campgrounds listings. Some RV parks discriminate by breed, so you should make sure your furry companions are welcome. This can save a lot of hassle.
We love the memories we’ve made while RVing with our dogs and by employing the tips above, we know that they are enjoying it, too. Dogs are like family and ensuring their safety and happiness on the road will make your memories together that much sweeter!
Located just four miles West of I-235 (west bypass Exit 78) on US 54, All Seasons RV Park is minutes away from the many attractions of Wichita, Kansas. It’s a wonderful place for a wonderful stay and an easy site for travelers who are looking for a comfortable place to stop for the night. With All Seasons, expect the unexpected; city amenities with Midwestern prices! We offer Good Sam, AAA and Military Discounts.
All Seasons RV Park Has Everything You Need for That Relaxing Stay You Need
Photo: All Seasons RV Park
The facilities are very clean, and the park has 30 big rig pull-thru sites, 55 sites in all. Folding tent campers are welcome and have a dedicated tent area. The sites have full hookups, 30-50-80-100 amp and a table at each site. Additionally, the campground offers free WiFi with premium options available, which support streaming for up to four devices.
Check out the activity/meeting room, complete with a kitchen which can serve up to 32 people. They have a small store and sell propane for your convenience. Explore lots of shade and green space, eight acres in nature trails, a playground and outdoor games. They are very pet-friendly, with a few breed restrictions.
In 2016, (Wade and Gayla Hathaway) started a new adventure as owners of All Seasons RV Park. You will see us and our family at the Park. Our goal is for All Seasons to be a clean, safe and family friendly park. We are constantly making improvements as we go along. We hope your stay is memorable.
There Are Many Things to do WIthin Minutes of All Seasons RV Park
Tanganyika Wildlife Park, Botanika, the Wichita Gardens, Kansas Aviation Museum, the Keeper of the Plains (a historic sculpture located at the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers), Old Cowtown Museum (a living history museum that lets you immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and activities common to a Midwestern cattle town in 1865), Museum of World Treasures (discover treasures from around the world and through the ages, over 3000 artifacts on three floors) and much more. Within minutes are movie theatres, shopping and restaurants.
Beautiful landscaping and greens around the park / Photo: All Seasons RV Park
Arenas and Theatres Bring Big Names in Music, Comedy and Theater to Wichita
InTrust Bank Arena hosts the biggest concerts in Kansas. With multi-cultural festivals, symphonies, musicals, international opera performances and much more. Century II is a Midwest Arts Magnet. The Crown Upton Dinner Theatre, Cabaret Oldtown, Mosley Street Melodrama and Music Theatre of Wichita offer the finest musical and theatre performances in Kansas and bring Broadway to Wichita. The historic Orpheum Theatre is a mecca of performing arts and hosts the annual Tallgrass Film Festival.
Explore eclectic art, hands-on exhibits, Old West and Native American artifacts – even a T-Rex skeleton! When it comes to dining, shopping and playing… Wichita has something for everyone. And it is just minutes from All Seasons RV Park.
When food lovers think of Tillamook, they likely see visions of cheese. At least, that was what we dreamt about and drooled over each time we talked about our pending voyage to Oregon.
What we didn’t know, however, is that we’d experience much more than the inside of the cheese factory. In fact, our trip to this coastal town gave us a peek at a backyard full of hard-working equipment, and just down the railroad, the sites and smells of a dairy farm quickly transported our conversation back to the economy of our hometown in Central California.
That’s right, just down the railroad.
Riding through Oregon countryside outside of Tillamook. Photo: Railrider Cycling
In Tillamook, where miles upon miles of tracks once sat unused, there now exists a unique way to tour the town while pedaling off those Tillamook ice cream calories. The Oregon Coast Railriders is still one of the most talked-about adventures among our tribe and there are plenty of reasons why. These pedal-powered rail cars transport passengers to some of Oregon’s most beautiful and compelling scenery.
Reason 1: We got to play on the tracks!
Growing up in an agricultural community, it wasn’t uncommon to arrive late to an appointment after a long stop at a train crossing. Trains were a part of our upbringing. We knew which neighborhoods heard whistles every night and where the tracks overlapped. Our hometown even has a mural of a train and a restaurant in a train car that’s called The Whistle Stop.
Most importantly, we all knew the rule: Don’t play on the tracks. We grew up with that instruction and passed the warning to our children. Imagine our delight when we discovered that not only could we safely play on the tracks in Tillamook, but we could also ride on them!
Although It was a lot of fun to be a bit rebellious though, it did feel odd at first. We were assured that the ride was safe and that the tracks are still serviced, which makes them all the more accessible and fun to ride.
Reason 2: Everybody is welcome!
It isn’t uncommon that we discover an offbeat experience in a new town and just as we get pumped to go, we find out that there are age limits. That was not the case with the Oregon Coast Railriders!
As long as you are physically capable of pedaling a bike, you can ride! Just keep in mind, parents, that if you intend to take young children, you’ll likely be the only ones who can reach the pedals. Be sure to eat an extra helping of oats that morning and take lots of water to stay hydrated!
The only limitation is the weight limit. Be sure to check their FAQ page for those details.
Reason 3: There’s magic back there!
Okay, so maybe you’re not the see-behind-the-curtain type of traveler. Perhaps you enjoy to keep a bit of mystery and don’t want to ruin your experience by finding out what’s beyond your immediate view. We understand this, but in the same breath, we must beg you to reconsider at least this one time.
Riding the rails in Tillamook doesn’t spoil the magic of the town. In fact, it’s an encore of beauty.
We rode through coastal estuaries, pastures and dairy farms. We rode behind the Tillamook Creamory, which offered an interesting view into the world of cheese making, and we pedaled over historic trestles. We even got to stop at an intersection where a train crossing lowered and chimed on our behalf. The kids loved that part!
Two of us were fortunate to share a four-person Rail Rider with one of the tour guides. Talk about an educational experience!
Reason 4: It was a great workout!
We pedaled for 12 miles! That might sound daunting, but because there was so much to see, the two hours flew by. The seats are unlike normal bikes. They have full backs and bottoms and are adjustable. Comfort is not sacrificed, which makes the workout all the more accessible for all body types and heights.
It is worth mentioning that the ride does take some work, but the views far outweigh the effort. Each Railrider has four seats and four sets of pedals, and they are all equipped with places to hang your backpack and cupholders for water.
Reason 5: It’s a great lesson in engineering!
If you have children in your family who love to tinker and build, or who are interested in how things work, this adventure is full of discovery. The Railriders were fabricated to fit perfectly on the tracks and the material of the wheels is quite interesting to look at up-close.
The ride that we took was six miles one way, then six miles back. When it came time to turn around, the equipment was rolled onto a turntable that rotated each Railrider off the tracks, then back on and facing the opposite direction. It was a lot of fun to watch this happen! Our children’s eyes were locked on the platform and we had a lively discussion about the mechanics of the operation.
An extra fun bonus of turning the Railriders the opposite direction was that our family went from being the engine of the bike train to the caboose! Though we pedaled back the way we came, our views were totally different. We also no longer had the luxury of setting the pace, so there were a lot of giggles about mom and dad’s tired legs that were slowing down on the ride bike.
The Tillamook Air Museum exhibits historic planes spanning a century of aviation. Photo: Rallis Tribe
If you’re in need of a budget-friendly place to stay in Tillamook, check out the Port of Tillamook Bay RV Park. For $15 per night, we had access to potable water in a grassy area that was surrounded by fields and trees. Even better, the campground is a short drive to the bay. That price is a steal for such a unique and well-equipped location!
The price alone made our camping spot great, but sleeping next to an active runway of the Tillamook Airport elevated our experience to the next level. On our first night, we saw a Coast Guard helicopter take off. It was quite an exciting start to our stay!
Just around the country corner, and within sight of the campground, you’ll find the Tillamook Air Museum. This is yet one more way to see Tillamook in a different way. The museum is inside of a wooden hangar, and if you’ve got any aviation enthusiasts in your family like we do, it will leave you in awe. The sheer size of the hangar is impressive, but once you start your tour of planes, helicopters, blimps and vehicles, you’ll be transported back in time.
I was overcome with gratitude for our veterans during our tour, and found it to be an inspiring and educational visit for our entire family. We went for the planes but learned far more that day than we ever learned in school about the equipment used in World War II. It was the perfect way to see a sampling of Tillamook’s history up close!
Though we would never encourage you to skip the Tillamook Creamory, or to overlook the ice cream, we do hope that you’ll take time to see the area from a different perspective. Sometimes the most interesting parts of a town aren’t the places where tourists gather, but the spots where a little effort and an open mind can pay off with great rewards.
Canton is known far and wide as the home of the world famous First Monday Trade Days, the largest flea market in America.
What started more than a century ago as a flea market has become home to some of the most exciting, cutting-edge home furnishings, antiques and collectibles that can be found anywhere. This is a place where you can slow down, visit and ask questions, talk to collectors and antique dealers and meet the artists and craftsmen who create one-of-a-kind items. It’s open Thursday through Sunday before the first Monday of each month. First Monday Trade Days in Canton is a shopping haven for many people throughout the country. When it comes to unique items, there really is no better place to go. Shopping in Canton is a once in a lifetime experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Canton Flea Market front gate / Photo: Wikimedia Commons
One of the few outdoor water parks in East Texas, Splash Kingdom is a great place to take your family for a “stay-cation” or while visiting family in the area. The park features high-speed waterslides, a wave pool, a kids castle in a pool, plus snack-bar eats. Open Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.
Canton Plaza Museum
Located in the old Canton Plaza Theater, the Canton Plaza Museum houses one of the largest bell collections in the state, a First Monday Museum and the Kennedy collection of Indian artifacts and models. It also features a variety of local historic items. Admission is free.
Mill Creek Ranch Resort is an award-winning, cabin resort and RV park in East Texas located near the site of the famous First Monday Trade Days in historic Canton, Texas. The resort offers cabin rentals, yurts, RV sites, and tiny house rentals. The resort also features two gorgeous designer swimming pools, hot tub, a large clubhouse and conference center, camp store, fishing pond with paddle boats, multiple fire pits, a 9-hole disc golf course, and lots of entertainment for the entire family.
Enjoy the resort-style grounds / Photo: Mill Creek Ranch Resort
Learn what it means to live the Resort life our way with a back-to-basics embrace of nature, simplicity and good old-fashioned country hospitality. Whether you are looking for a family getaway or a new vacation home, we hope you enjoy all that our resort has to offer. Mill Creek Ranch Resort is an ideal venue for any number of corporate and social events. Premium pull-thru RV sites are lakeside or nestled in the trees and can handle 45 feet big rigs. Sites include stand up grills, patio table and chairs, and a lighted pedestal.
Mill Creek is a top-rated Good Sam park earning a perfect 10 rating. Check out our beautiful resort and book your RV site today!
Campground chefs, start your grills! Memorial Day weekend signals the official start of barbecue season, and we want you to wield the tongs and spatula like a pro during your travels. That’s why we’ve canvased our team of experienced camping bloggers for tried-and-true campground recipes. The results bring new flavors to those lazy summer campground gatherings. Bon appetit!
Blue Hawaiin Burger with all the trimming. Photo: Peter Mercer.
The Blue Hawaiian Burger
The Blue Hawaiian Burger combines distinctive flavors for the discerning campground palette. The sweet and tangy fruit of the fresh pineapple blends brilliantly with the smoky creaminess of the blue cheese to enhance the burger experience. The hint of mixed spices and a touch of brown sugar unite the combination of flavors for an easy-to-prepare gourmet delight.
Burgers on an open fire. Image: Pexels
4 Hamburger Buns
1 pound ground Angus Beef
¾ teaspoon Garlic Powder
¾ teaspoon Onion Powder
¼ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon ground Pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried Basil
1/8 teaspoon dried Oregano
8 ounces Blue Cheese, sliced thick
4 slices fresh Pineapple, 3/8 inch thick
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
Mix ground beef with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Divide into 4 portions and form into patties.
Blue Hawaiian Burger B.B.Q. Pineapple. Photo: Peter Mercer
Place the patties and pineapple on a hot BBQ grill. Cook burger to medium well, flipping as needed. Cook pineapple until hot through, flipping to brown both sides with hot grill marks.
To assemble, place burger on the bun, top with slices of blue cheese then pineapple. Sprinkle brown sugar on the pineapple. The heat from the burger and pineapple will melt the cheese to the perfect consistency. Enjoy your Blue Hawaiian Burger! — Peter Mercer
Brushed with barbecue sauce, a clutch of ribs cook on the grill. Photo by Peter Mercer.
Tennessee Bourbon Ribs
Ribs always taste best when cooked in your BBQ grill. But these are also great baked in the oven. If you take the oven choice, cut into individual ribs and finish by broiling 4 inches from heat the last 15 minutes. Any BBQ sauce of choice can be used. We prefer a less smoky tasty one, like Horne’s or Tony Roma’s original. We also use Jack Daniels or Jim Beam Bourbon.
Bourbon is the secret ingredient to over-the-top barbecue flavor. Photo: Kalhh
3 pounds Pork Baby Back Ribs
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Paprika
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Black Pepper
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1 cup BBQ Sauce of choice
2 Tablespoons Bourbon
Turn on the BBQ and bring the temperature to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper. Cut the pork slab in half. Rub each slab on all sides with the sugar mixture.
Place each slab on a long sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil. For both packets, bring up foil sides; double fold top and one end to seal. Add ¼-cup orange juice to each packet through the open end. Double-fold remaining ends, leaving room for heat to circulate inside. Place on the BBQ grill, close lid and cook for 50-60 minutes.
Mix the BBQ sauce and bourbon together. Remove ribs from foil, discard foil and juices. Place rib slabs on the grill, brush with sauce mixture. Grill for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally and brushing with remaining sauce. Good to the bone! — Peter Mercer
A grilled salmon steak sits atop a bed of greens, cashews and noodles. Photo: Rene Agredano.
Healthy and Light Tuna Delight
During a barbecue feast, all eyes focus on the sizzling grill. But in this case, the ingredients that await offstage deserve equal billing. Combining fresh-grilled tuna with leafy greens yields the barbecue taste combination you’ve been looking for.
A cut of uncooked tuna steak. Photo: Reinhard Thrainer
Shredded red cabbage
Nori strips (Sushi wrap)
Sliced sweet peppers
Dry roasted cashews
Crispy Chow Mein Noodles
1/2 tsp dry mustard mixed with 1 tsp water (or 1/4 tsp Wasabi)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
3-5 tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
2 tbsp honey or agave
Whisk dressing ingredients together
Toss salad and dressing
Tuna Steak Directions
Rub with sesame oil and soy sauce
Place on the hot grill, until medium rare (1-2 minutes per side, per inch)
Plate salad. Top with grilled tuna steak. Garnish with sesame seed and crunchy noodles. Enjoy! — Rene Agredano
Spicy barbecued shrimp cool off on a bed of greens. Photo: Peter Mercer.
If you like spicy, you will love these. And cooking the shrimp in a grill basket is so easy – cook one side, flip the basket over. We always buy very large shrimp to BBQ for this meal. I use a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, then we serve with a mango or pineapple salsa or a mayo-based dip to cool them down a bit.
An array of spices for extra flavor. Photo: Rita E.
1 ½ teaspoons Paprika
½ teaspoon ground Black Pepper
½ teaspoon dried Thyme Leaves
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
½ teaspoon Salt
1 ¼ pounds large Shrimp
Peel and devein the shrimp, taking off the tail. Mix all the spices together in a large Ziplock bag. Throw in shrimp, seal and shake around to thoroughly coat.
Spray a grill basket with Pam. Lay the shrimp in a single layer in the basket and close. Place on the hot grill and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes on each side. — Peter Mercer
Molten marshmallow cools between two pieces of graham cracker. Photo: gwgladstone
Hunk o’ Burnin’ Love (aka the King)
Elvis Presley’s love for peanut butter and banana sandwiches knew no bounds. In 1976, the superstar chartered a plane from Memphis to Denver for the Fool’s Gold sammy served at the Colorado Mine Company (sadly, no longer in business).
Most of us can’t afford to flag down a private jet for a sandwich, but we can do the next best thing around the campfire. Simply add a few new ingredients to the iconic smores recipe that has been a campfire staple for ages. Eat like Memphis royalty at your next camping trip (with some healthy fruit thrown in).
Use peanut butter to add flavors fit for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Photo by Stevepb
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
Place marshmallow and chunks of banana on a skewer. Roast until golden brown. Place on graham cracker smeared with peanut butter. Enjoy the flavor equivalent of the Tupelo Tornado. If you miss the classic smores flavor, add some chocolate and let the heat melt it into gooey goodness (who’s stopping you? You’re a king!).
Oh, and if you’re visiting Denver, you can still order the Fool’s Gold sandwich at Nick’s Cafe in the nearby town of Lakewood. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet owner Nick Andurlakis, who served the sandwich to Elvis himself back in the ’70s. Nick faithfully keeps the recipe alive. All hail rock ‘n’ roll! — Cory Grant
From outdoor activities to western heritage to a flourishing arts scene, who knew there was so much to do in Amarillo? Amarillo is a gateway to the vast, trail-lined Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Palo Duro Canyon has been described as a 100-mile smile across the Texas Panhandle. And over 30,000 acres are preserved in Palo Duro Canyon State Park, just 30-minutes from downtown Amarillo it is America’s largest drivable canyon. Hike, bike, camp, run, view wildlife and see the outdoor musical drama Texas (each summer).
The Amarillo Zoo is a place to share the wonders of the animal world with kids of all ages. The beautiful 15-acre site is located in Thompson Park. Over 150 animals representing 88 species from around the world call the Amarillo Zoo home. From native species like the bison, grey fox, and brown tarantula to creatures from the other side of the planet like the tigers, lions, and lemurs, you can travel the world in a day when you visit the Zoo.
The American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame & Museum is a great place to bring Panhandle visitors where they can experience a piece of the West. It’s a place for horse lovers of all ages to learn more about the breeds of horses. It’s a quiet sanctuary in which to appreciate some outstanding artwork featuring interactive exhibits, dramatic video presentations and live demonstrations.
Standing along Route 66 west of Amarillo, the Cadillac Ranch is an offbeat roadside attraction featuring 10 graffiti-covered Cadillacs standing upright in a row, buried nose-first in the ground. The sculpture is the brainchild of Amarillo millionaire Stanley Marsh III, who chose classics dating from 1948 to 1963, the “Golden Age” of the American automobile. Bring your camera and a can of spray paint.
Route 66 Historic District is a mile-long stretch of road originally belonging to Route 66 which now features art galleries, antique shops, collectible stores, craft and specialty shops, restaurants and bars. Favorites include the Nat Ballroom, currently an antique store, but a former stop for the Big Bands that passed through Amarillo, and the Golden Light Café, where the best hamburgers in town have been served for more than 50 years.
Photo: Fort Amarillo RV Resort
Enjoy your stay at the hub of Route 66 at Fort Amarillo RV Resort. You’ll enjoy the western setting, indoor heated pool, hot tub, fitness room, stream-fed fishing pond, illuminated walking paths & sunsets so breathtaking, even the most eloquent cowboy poets don’t do them justice. Be sure to shop at Lizzie Mae’s Mercantile.
Discover the 3 keys that put these RVers in the driver’s seat for working on the road with good Sam.
Before Jim and Julie Golden hit the road for a living in their RV, they held down high-pressure jobs that kept them off the highway and in the office for long hours. Jim, originally from Alabama, worked in outside sales for Fortune 500 companies, while Julie, a native of Wichita, Kansas, kept busy as a CPA with her own practice.
But the couple had no plans to stay in the white-collar treadmill for the rest of their lives. In fact, they never gave up on their dream of long jaunts in an RV. “Each of us grew up in families that loved to camp,” explains Jim. “We both love the outdoors and our long-term goal has always been to RV and travel the country.”
Jim Golden grills up some juicy steaks during a recent trip.
The Goldens discovered a great opportunity to live the dream — and reap income on the road — by becoming a Good Sam rep team.
“Some friends of ours have been Good Sam reps for 20 years,” explained Jim. “We have always thought that it sounded like the perfect dream job for us. Once our kids were raised and on their own, we talked with our friends some more and they referred us. We got hired that year and have loved it ever since!”
Living the Dream
With a home base in Tucson, Arizona, the Goldens spend much of the year on the road, carrying out inspections and developing marketing plans for parks listed in the Good Sam Guide Series and online.
The couple covers the Idaho and Montana territories, and that means long journeys between customers across the vast spaces of the American West. But for the Goldens, the untamed regions of the northwest means more encounters with wildlife.
A visit to Yellowstone National Park, home to iconic geysers.
“We love the nature of that area,” says Jim. “It’s not uncommon to be stopped by turkeys, geese, or bison crossing the road! Certainly not something that you see every day!”
So how does a pair of RVing travelers seamlessly blend work and play?
The Goldens’ success can be traced to 3 simple fundamentals.
1) Being a ‘People Person’
“We are both people persons,” explains Julie. “We love meeting new people. It’s really a great combination for people who want to work but don’t want to work a traditional full-time job.”
Making new friends also means sustaining important business relationships. “We have had the same territory for a while now, and we really enjoy the relationships we have built with our park owners too. The biggest perk we like with this job is being paid to travel and make friends!”
Bison block traffic as they amble along a road in Yellowstone National Park.
2) Believing in the Good Sam mission
With two million-plus members and a track record of more than 50 years, the Good Sam Club is a great brand to get behind. The Goldens show RV parks how they can make the most of their partnerships with Good Sam, from helping customers to enjoying a wider online reach.
“We believe in the power of Good Sam for our parks, and it is super gratifying to help park owners grow their business and to share in their success,” explains Jim.
3) Being Organized
The Goldens leverage their experience from their past professional lives and use it on the road.
“Being organized and being an outgoing person with attention to details,” says Julie. “A background in sales is helpful but not really necessary. Most of our business comes from simply talking and being able to communicate the great things that Good Sam can do for parks. Enthusiasm is a big plus too!”
Do you have what it takes? See below for more info.
As summer approaches, Pala Casino RV Resort is the perfect destination for your well-deserved getaway. Located in Northern San Diego County, Pala is the only resort which offers access to exciting casino action, as well the incredible backdrop of the Palomar Mountains, offering natural beauty and one-of-a-kind views no other casino RV resort can offer. Pala Casino RV Resort provides ample opportunity to enjoy great outdoor living at its relaxing pool, surrounded by the magnificent landscape.
Guests already love the pet-friendly Pala RV Resort for its comfort, cleanliness and luxury amenities. They also enjoy the complimentary shuttle-service to Pala Casino Resort, recently voted Best Casino in LA Magazine’s 2019 Readers’ Poll, and its wide selection of dining, entertainment and exciting casino action. Pala Casino RV Resort joined the small percentage of resorts to be awarded the coveted 10/10*/10 rating from the industry’s leading publication Good Sam. Pala Casino RV Resort’s top marks are in every category including facilities, restrooms and showers and visual appearance.
Pala Casino RV Resort - YouTube
The 10-acre resort features one hundred full-service sites in three different sizes. Choose from one hundred full-service sites that offer electric, water and sewer hookups. All sites feature free Wi-Fi, a private lawn area and picnic table. Select one of 77, 30×55 back-in sites, 17, 30×72 premium pull-through sites, or reserve one of six, 30×60 luxury sites that come with a private barbecue grill.
Enjoy a cookout in its two barbecue areas or challenge your friends to table tennis and horseshoes. Relax and enjoy the heated pool, or slip into one of two spas. You’ll also find a pool table, card tables, three flat screen TVs, 24-hour laundry and two bathroom/shower areas. There’s even a special resort for your four-legged friends in the fenced-in dog park.
The RV Resort Clubhouse features two full-sized kitchens that can be reserved for club outings and special occasions. The conveniently-located Mini-Mart offers a wide selection of wine, beer, beverages, tobacco products, snacks and fresh produce. And when it’s time to fill up, the Mini-Mart provides all grades of fuel, including diesel, and propane.
Pala Casino RV Resort joined the small percentage of resorts to be awarded the coveted 10/10*/10 rating from the industry’s leading publication Good Sam. Photo courtesy of Pala Casino.Pala Casino RV Resort joined the small percentage of resorts to be awarded the coveted 10/10*/10 rating from the industry’s leading publication Good Sam. Photo courtesy of Pala Casino.But to truly discover the magic of the Pala RV Resort, take the short ride on its complimentary 24-hour shuttle to Pala Casino Spa & Resort that offers Four-Diamond luxury, Vegas-style gaming and world-class dining, Pala is Northern San Diego County’s ultimate gaming and entertainment destination.
Step through the front doors, and you are instantly surrounded by 24/7 gaming excitement. Choose from over 80 table games, try your luck at over 2,000 slot and video machines, or go all-in at the eight-table poker room.
If you’re looking for dining options, Pala Casino offers 10 individual restaurants. Enjoy freshly made sushi and Asian specialties at Sushi Sake or the newly-expanded Noodles. Treat yourself to fine dining in The Oak Room. Or, create the perfect food and wine pairing at Bar Meets Grill. If you still can’t make up your mind, head to Southern California’s largest buffet, Choices.
For music lovers, Pala offers more live entertainment than any other Southern California casino. Rock out to A-list artists under a beautiful California sky at the Starlight Theater. Pala’s upcoming summer concert series will include such acts as Styx, Foreigner, Kenny Loggins and Bryan Wilson. Enjoy free evening and weekend entertainment at the newly-redesigned Center Bar, or dance to local bands every Friday and Saturday night at Luis Rey’s, a unique indoor/outdoor dining and entertainment experience with Happy Hours from 5pm – 8pm.
After all that excitement, rejuvenate yourself at the award-winning Pala Spa. Selected as one of the top spas in the U.S. by Spas of America, this 10,000-square-foot mecca refreshes both mind and body.
Pool day passes for non-hotel guests are available for purchase. Photo courtesy of Pala Casino.
Stunning views, great outdoor activities, fun with family, or just the two of you. There’s something for everyone at The Pala RV Resort. It’s a summer destination that combines the best of RV travel, with the luxury and excitement of a Four-Diamond casino resort.
What are you waiting for? Come to Northern San Diego County and visit the Pala RV Resort today. You’ll discover a wonderful RV vacation destination, where it’s all about you.
Just a 20 minute drive north are vineyards in Temecula. Photo Credit: Getty Images, BruinEd03