Frog and Road (More RV Tales!)

On the road again…in the motorhome our tsisebtyzk
family is borrowing from Go RVing, as we cross New England on a tour of colleges for our 17-year-old son.  Last night we stopped at the Sturbridge RV Resort, which had a lodge complete with rough-hewn rocking chairs on the rough-hewn porch. Inside the lodge were rough-hewn videogames – arcade classics (and non-classics) of late ’90s vintage, including one that was simply a car chase through Tokyo: You’re the police chasing a bad guy who gets a head start, but your car is faster. Our 15-year-old son and his friend took to this like ants to a Triple Double Oreo. (We’ve been eating a lot of junk food on this trip.)

Again it took us RV newbies an ungodly amount of time – and onlooker kibbitizing – to back into our berth, and since I was then convinced the steep-ish angle meant our 33-foot camper was going to tip over the second anyone of us sat anywhere but the exact center of gravity, we had to pull out and back into another spot. This took a mere 90 minutes or so, after which the husband and I took a walk to restore our spirits without resorting to pulverized Oxycontin.

As this was possibly the busiest night of the year, camping wise, we marveled to see so many RVs in one place: One after the next, each one a little different, but almost all of them huge and homey. It was like stumbling upon a hidden herd of sleeping bronotosauruses. (With TVs in their stomachs.)

Today was spent touring yet another college — especially its larger parking lots — and now we are at the Peppermint Park campground in Plainfield, Mass. As dusk falls, it is extremely peaceful, since most families are back at home to get ready for a school day tomorrow. New York City public schools don’t start till Sept. 9, so we are listening to the crickets, who also do not have school.

Already I can tell this trip has made a deep impression on at least one of our crew – the 15-year-old boy we have along – because after seeing a magnificent college, majestic mountains, towering pines and one outrageously adorable mini frog, I overheard him telling our son his dream for the future. “Some day, when I make a million gazillion dollars, I know what I’m going to spend it on.”

A nature preserve? An RV? A farm?

“That Tokyo car game.”

Our son had to agree: That sounded like a very good plan. – L.

Official Blog Frog. (Found at Peppermint Park Campground, and released there, too). Photo credit: Dovy Ehrenreich

Official Blog Frog. (Found at Peppermint Park Campground, and released there, too). Photo credit: Dovy Ehrenreich


20 Responses to Frog and Road (More RV Tales!)

  1. Lee Baldwin September 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    that little froggy is a grey tree frog. excellent mosquito control (although mine mostly eat crickets now)

  2. Tray M. September 2, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    This is a fun post!!! I am looking for a camper to do exactly things like this!

    It really is fun to travel around, and stay wherever. And it’s much more fun to do it in an RV than to drive in the CRAMPED family CAR and then try to find a soft spot in a motel room.


  3. Tray M. September 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

    BTW? Is Izzy 15 now?!?!?!?! OMG!!!!


  4. Elizabeth Ladd September 2, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    I am loving this RV thread. You are doing so much better at your RV experience than I imagine we would do with a New York City experience. AND on that note, we also toured a lot of colleges throughout New England earlier this summer with my 17 year old daughter too! (Except on our trip we stayed in a different hotel chain each night.) The part that makes me think of you though is that when we were at Vassar, the student giving our tour mentioned that there was so much to do on campus that students only took the train into NYC a “few times” a semester. I didn’t even LOOK at my husband–we are pretty free range; but free range in the middle of Indiana. Taking the train to New York City from Poughkeepsie would be a lot like getting on a rocket to visit a new planet inhabited by people who speak a dialect of our language but whose customs are a mystery to us. My husband plans a trip to Chicago like a tactical mission and his blood pressure gets higher the closer and closer we get to embarking towards the Windy City. However, our free range daughter is ready to see the world and I am excited for her. She said she would just go with someone who had been there before. Sounds smart to me. Her most recent senior English essay was to research and write about a career she was interested in; she chose to write about being a UN translator; i’m thrilled that she sees the world as a place that she can explore. Anyway, keep those RV stories coming. In the Midwest, kids are back to school, and I’m having a fun time living vicariously through your stories. If you can go RVing maybe my husband and I will eventually make it to NYC! 🙂

  5. Peter G September 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    I love rough-hewn anything.

  6. Peter G September 2, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    I never thought of RVing in NYC. Maybe you can rent a spot in the Citifield parking lot?

    On second thought, check out this link:

    This is the URL of the RV Park mentioned in the stream:

    It is just outside the city and offers bus trips into town. Then you can take public transportation anywhere you want to go.

  7. LauraL September 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

    Glad to hear you’re surviving! I hear you on the backing in and leveling. Good lordy, good on you for not needing the Oxycontin. 😀

    Adorable Wee Blog Frog!

  8. Sara September 3, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    We purchased a camper in the early spring and spent quite a few weekends at different campgrounds this summer. Besides the time away, one of the best benefits has been the opportunity to try being more “free range”. It’s true that a new community is built every weekend and we as a family strike up conversations with strangers/neighbors (shocking!). And there is almost always a playground that our kids (8 & 6) run to without our constant supervision. PS – the kiddos also participate in the family chores with a lot less complaining.

  9. Really Bad Mum September 3, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    Have you got his beer yet? Lol

  10. Papilio September 3, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Yes, please, keep the RV tales coming, they’re so fun to read!

    I don’t understand though how a steep-ish angle can cause an RV to tip over – what’s it standing on then? And did you actually test to see if you were right?

    Haha, the Urban Dictionary – that site proved very handy when I wanted to know what on earth a “delightful cake-taking flake” is…

  11. John September 3, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Is Izzy the 15- or 17-year-older?? Either way, he sure is growing up fast!!

  12. Havva September 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    @Elizabeth Ladd,
    Your daughter has figured out exactly how to do it. I’m sure she will be a confident navigator of many large cities by the time she graduates (assuming she is near one for school).

    I went to a college that wasn’t too far from NYC. I also came from a small town, and at the time found large cities overwhelming. I wasn’t very adventurous. But there were always people going into the city for fun, extra curricular activities, professional society meetings, even class field trips by public transit. So into NYC I went. What I learned there has served me well all over the country.

    The most important thing for you to know as her mom (speaking from the issues my parents have had): Some day she may take you along on public transit. That may be overwhelming to you even if she considers it “easy.” Just trust her, and go quickly when she tells you it is time to go. Subways move too fast to go second guessing. So, hold her hand if you have to, but trust her.

  13. Papilio September 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    @Tray and John: He turned 10 shortly after that famous subway ride in 2008, so it should really not be such a surprise that he is 15 today. Unless you’re surprised that Lenore hasn’t managed to kill him in the past 5 years 😛

  14. Taradlion September 3, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Having grown up in a small town outside of Boston (mom mom was afraid of the “city” so I started heading there with friends by train at 14), I went to college just outside of Boston then moved to NYC. My kids were born here and my now 12 year old takes the subway all over. When she was younger, while watching Wheel of Fortune, she always thought it strange that “NEW YORK CITY!” Was one of the big trip prizes.

    Free range takes on different meanings in diffrrent places. I laughed when Lenore was on Dr Drew and people (from other places) were freaking out about CENTRAL PARK (playgrpunds).

  15. fred schueler September 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    I think the frog is a Wood Frog, Lithobates (=Rana) sylvaticus – A Treefrog would have pads on the tips of the toess, and a different head shape and skin texture.

  16. fred schueler September 3, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    I have suggested in the past that all families with children under the age of 3 should be nomadic, so that the kids start out really free-range, and families both depend on the hospitality of others, and disperse the delight of young kids among multiple families. That’s what we did with the original free-range girl (1986-1989). I think one of society’s problems is too much living in houses with a routine

  17. NE Frog Lover September 3, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    The frog is a spring peeper. Tiny (maybe an inch in size) and with an X on its back. Definitely a spring peeper.

  18. Bob Davis September 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    Regarding thinking of New York City as a prize destination. We live about 12 miles northeast of downtown LA. If we won an “All expense trip to a movie premiere in Hollywood”, the contest sponsor would just have to send a limo for us. And regarding RV travel–we bought a 30 foot Lazy Daze Class C motor home in 2006, and have driven it across the country twice. My wife knew I wanted to see a lot of railway museums, and she didn’t want to set up lodging in dozens of motels. There’s an old saying among RVers–any dirt in your rig is your own. You don’t have to worry about being stuck in a room where the previous guest had a shaggy, flea infested dog.

  19. Michelle Y September 5, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    We have 13 year old triplets and campgrounds are a great place for free-ranging kids. Now that they are getting older it is getting more challenging trying to work with the kids schedules. We still try and get away for a week over the summer and a couple of weekends here and there.

  20. Papilio September 9, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    So, now that you’ve survived your internet deprivation, how was the rest of your trip?
    Or was it once but never again after the promising first days (except for the parking 🙂 )?