travel tuesday: weekend in steamboat springs

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Sunrise at Stagecoach Reservoir State Park

Sunrise at Stagecoach State Park

Our first official outing with our new truck camper was at Stagecoach State Park, about half an hour outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We’ve camped there a couple of times over the years, but this campsite was the best yet. We completely lucked into it, too. It was the very last site available, and just so happened to be right on the lake. Score!

The reason for the trip was to watch our daughter and her fiancé (yes!) play in the doubles volleyball tournament in early July. Scott’s dad was staying with us at the time, so he joined us for the weekend. Anna and Dalton and their friends came over to swim and have a cookout the night before, which was really fun. I miss cooking for a group of kids; they are all young adults at this point, but they’ll always be my kids.

I woke up to watch the sunrise over the lake, then took a long hike to stretch my legs and enjoy the views. There’s a group day-use area nearby with a small amphitheater, picnic tables and horseshoe pits. Bathrooms are a short walk away. There is a beach area with sand volleyball and a marina close by, too.

Our campsite was in the Junction City Loop. The views were spectacular, and it was fun to watch the boats, jet skis, kayaks and ducks go by. We had enough cell service (AT&T) in one spot of the site to sometimes send and receive texts. We had electricity and potable water nearby, but not close enough to reach with the hose. Two hearty thumbs up Stagecoach State Park and this campsite.

Thanks for reading Tales From the Empty Nest!

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Missing Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day

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A little reminiscing in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. I thought you might like a visual tour. Pour yourself a pint and enjoy the views. If you get the chance to visit Ireland, take it. Thanks for following Tales From the Empty Nest. Sláinte! Continue reading

campground review: Blue Ox RV Park

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Springhill Winery

One of the many perks of camping in the Willamette Valley. This is at the Springhill Winery.

Why camp here? This was one of three stops during our trip through Oregon. We visited places that were new to us and chose Albany because it’s close to my cousin and his family. Boy, did we luck out. It’s smack dab in the Willamette River Valley!

The Blue Ox RV Park is located close enough to I-5 to be really convenient, but not close enough to hear the traffic. There are lots of stores, services and restaurants nearby, plus the Timber Linn Park with paved walking trails, bike lanes and the nicest dog park I’ve ever seen. Continue reading

this nest is going mobile!

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The empty nest is hitting the road!

The empty nest is hitting the road!

“Someday we’re going to sell everything and travel around the country in our RV.” That’s what we’ve been saying for years, and now it’s finally coming true. In about three weeks, we will head out for a year of travel and adventure. I’ll be chronicling the journey on this blog, so stay tuned here and follow me on Twitter (@EmptyNestTales) and Facebook.

In the meantime, here are answers to some questions that are probably starting to form. Continue reading

14 beds in 36 days

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The Newton Hotel in Nairn, Ireland.

The Newton Hotel in Nairn, Scotland.

I’m not sure why it works out this way, but it seems that our travel plans are always feast or famine. This fall was definitely a feast. Here’s how we slept in 14 beds in 36 days:

View from the Newton Hotel in Nairn.

View from the Newton Hotel in Nairn.

1. Glasgow, Scotland — We kicked off our two-week dream vacation at the Glasgow Thistle Hotel. The first day was a little hazy with jet lag, but we found our way to the West Coast Harley-Davidson Dealership, walked along Sauchiehall Street and enjoyed fish ‘n chips and a pint at Molly Malones. Okay, two pints. The Thistle is very nice and an easy walk from Buchanan Street, which is easily one of the best shopping venues I’ve ever seen.

2. Nairn, Scotland — Heading to the Scottish Highlands via Loch Lomond and Loch Ness along the same route James Bond drove in Skyfall, what was already an incredible day got even better when we arrived at the Newton Hotel. Once frequented by Charlie Chaplin and his family, this 56-suite hotel was originally built as a family home in the 17th century and is set in 21 acres of parkland and gardens. Our suite was very large, comfortable and beautifully appointed with views of the back gardens. It’s just a short drive to the historic Culloden Battlefield, which was our first stop the next morning. Continue reading