Inaugural Camping Trip! Success!!

We finally got a chance for a get away from tag sales, house painting, work stress and the like and hit the road in our Pewter Palace to a fabulous resort campground in MA- about 4.5 hours (traveling not more than 60 mph + heavy traffic).

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We have Kevin’s sister, Valerie staying with us for a few weeks and this was a great opportunity to do some camping, site seeing as well as do some Mayflower genealogy while we were at it (more on that later).

After researching several campgrounds in the eastern section of Massachusetts and reading traveler reviews, etc. we chose Normandy Farms Campground in Foxborough, MA.  This campground is huge, but the service, cleanliness, amenities and access to where we needed to go where perfect!

2017-06-27 12.38.56Honestly I can say that I have never stayed in such a well run campground.  The bathhouses (with laundry and showers–BTW free showers) were spotless and had A/C.

 

Here are some shots of the facilities around the park.

The activity areas, of which there are many were well kept, groomed, beautifully landscaped and included every outdoor sport one could imagine from fishing, basketball, bocce, horseshoes, pickleball, 4 swimming pools (one indoor heated, one outdoor heated–yes 82 degrees at 10 am was luscious!  3 hot tubs (2 were inside, one was combo with

heated outdoor pool #1), a sauna, a snack bar where you could even get a full New England Seafood Dinner or Boil down to a modest cup of chili or an ice cream cone–and everything in between for very fair and reasonable prices. (hint, to order the larger seafood dinners/lobsters they ask you to give them a two-hour heads up so they can have it ready for you- as i suspect someone is sent out on staff to get the fresh lobster for your order)

We arrived later on Sunday than anticipated due to just plain old heavy traffic on the Mass Pike from all the weekend Bostonian’s heading back to home from their weekend get away to the Berks or our LG area (LOL!)  Sadly we missed the live music and happy hour bar in the adult only loft of the Recreation Activity Lodge (but wow, what a place!).  They have the same again  on Thursday night but we were checking out on Weds.  Check in starts at 3 PM, check out is by noon.

Reservations were easy to make online, their website is fairly interactive and you can get a good feel right away for what is available and in relation to other sites in the campground.  When we go back, we will try to get Site # 311 or A-6-A.  They offer some nice privacy and easy to get in and out of.  Site 311 is on an end, right near where we were but offers a nice buffer of plantings from the road and also still easy to access the nearby bathhouse.  Site a-6-a is on a nice rise and is close to the really awesome playground so if we are there with the grand kids that would be a great spot.  It is also close to Pool #1 which we liked very much because it is heated and has the outdoor hot tub which we prefer.

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Above is site 311 which is a full hook up pull thru and where we will try to get anytime we visit Normandy Farms Campground.  The trees and bushes to the left serve as a really good screen from the road and so you will only have folks on your backside.

We all spent the whole day in Plymouth MA on Monday.  The drive from the campground is easy and about 35-40 minutes.  We visited the Mayflower Society Mansion Museum which was quite impressive.  Kevin and Val got in for free since they are direct line descendants of Wm Bradford and several other Mayflower passengers.  Val is a very dedicated and exacting genealogist who has done amazing work documenting the Sherman family history (and also has done my Craige & Gronemeyer history too).  We did some shopping, ate outdoors on a 2nd story deck (seafood of course) and I did some antique hunting while Val and Kevin visited Pilgrim Hall and saw Wm. Bradford’s original bible which is pretty neat to think that in three more years, it will be the 400th anniversary of that Bible landing in the new world!

Back at the campground (it is large with well over 400 sites) most of the sites are premium and full hook up, but they do also have a couple of Yurts, large tent rentals and several cabin rentals which all looked really nice (about $125-$148 per night in peak season).  But we LOVE our Pewter Palace and she towed like a dream, we set up with no issues and totally enjoyed our time spent here.  The campground is constantly patrolled by staff to ensure rule management, there are lots of young pre-teens and teens but honestly we can say that on many occasions over our three days here we kept having to remark how absolutely quiet the place was.  I don’t know if we just lucked out and had really quiet folks on all four sides of us or what, but whether it was 8 AM, 2 pm or 8 PM you could hear a pin drop outside.

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We loved that and even though we were not thrilled with the lack of foliage screening between sites (they do have very large boulders between sites and a strip of grass. The boulders also serve as your fire back.  A tire rim is provided for fire ring – not quite what one would expect for this high end of a campground (we thought we would have an actual grill) but no worries because we bring our Weber 1200 series portable gas grill.  We did have a very tall, large oak tree between our pull thru site and our neighbor which gave us some very nice afternoon shade.  We also learned from observation that when we are booking sites to be sure that we book a site that has our curbside facing south/south east so that the sun is behind our rig at high noon and late afternoon so that the awning really does its stuff and we are not fighting with sunlight stealing real estate under our awning.  Just food for thought and this campsite fit the bill and made us mindful of this for future.

We used our awning with no problems, i installed my solar powered fairy lights 2017-06-25 22.25.05for the first time–a tip from our full time RV online friend, Courtney on AStreaminLife.com .  I will do a post just on them soon too with where to purchase, etc.  These little babies glow for a minimum of 6-8 hours each night without fail!

The weather was terrific while we were in MA (we kept seeing reports of bad rain and hail back home LOL) but Tuesday late afternoon, a rain and thunderstorm did roll in with very heavy wind gusts which forced us, and our neighboring rigs to roll up all of the awnings.  Our neighbor to the rear learned the hard way, after his cross bar broke and the awning collapsed.  Since our awning hardware is original and over 40 years old we did not take any chances.  As always, the reminder and rule # 1 in camping is –roll up your awning if you are going to be daytripping or away from your campsite for any time….a broken awning is no fun and costly!  PS:  we knew we did purchase awning tie down swivel posts (like the screw in dog posts) but found them when we were packing up to head home…we will put them in a more accessible place next time! They probably would have done the trick but better safe than sorry.  The weather (and shade from the oak tree) was enough that we actually just kept the awning rolled up for rest of the night on Tuesday and all Weds morning before pack out.

Even Anna and Reddy loved their stay at Normandy Farms.  We loved the excuse we had to take them on multiple walks during the day so we could also take a gander at all the other rigs in the campground.  Great exercise for the whole family!  Only four Airstream’s in camp, no other Avions 😦

We will definitely be back to stay again and highly recommend this campground if you want to enjoy the cape without the crowds, visit Boston (train station in town, not far away) and Plymouth.

Thanks for sharing the road with us and our Pewter Palace!

 

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