29 Sep 2011 @ 3:25 PM 

Many years ago I worked with a gentleman who was a beekeeper, doing all sorts of interesting things, when not converting buses to motorhomes. We often made van runs from near Boston, Massachusetts, to Amherst, New Hampshire. We roved through the discarded metals and fabrications that had been abandoned in a scrap yard there.

On the way, we always pulled in to the seafood purveyor at Dover Point, just over the bridge (the old one,then) from Newington going west, and from Pease Airport in Portsmouth.

At about this time, my daughter went to work there, while attending the University of New Hampshire in Durham. She was a terrific waitress, and you were lucky if your table was at her station. The name of this place is NEWICK’S. Try to find fresher fare from the briny deep….I dare you. My favorite is, and was the Fisherman’s Platter (called a COMBO, with several offerings). In a huge barn-of-a place, the restaurant sports checkered vinyl tablecloths. There is real silverware, but the glasses and cups are of plastic and paper. There is a kind of outdoor picnic atmosphere….the huge windows around the entire seating area give proof to that openness. The shore…in this case, the shore of the Piscataqua River, leading to the Great Bay, and to Portsmouth harbor is just outside these windows. The catch comes ashore at the dock within view. Fried whole clams, haddock, scallops, onion rings, smelts, on a bed of french fries. Take your pick. Lightly breaded, and deep-fried to a honey-colored perfection (Jack, you can send my check to the address in your file).

Jack Newick is the proprietor still. The customers vary from tourists from all over, bankers, tradesmen, fishermen, students and foodlovers who know no bounds. On a recent trip from Concord to Portsmouth with my daughter  to a “Fishtival” at Prescott Park, near Strawberry Banke,  Andrea and I had appetizers there, but couldn’t drive past Newick’s without satisfying our palates, while watching the hunting skills of a blue heron out on the rocks.

Try it…you’ll find your way back, too.


 07 Aug 2011 @ 12:22 PM 

There are virtually thousands of recreational vehicles that arrive in Orange County and Orlando each month to visit Disney World, Sea World, Universal , the Convention Center, and myriad other attractions in the environs. There are few private campgrounds, fewer county campgrounds, and still fewer city facilities where RVers might check in. The City of Orlando doesn’t want them….Orange County doesn’t want them. Osceola County doesn’t, either….or Kissimmee. They just want the MONEY generated by these visitors, not the issue of where they will park for the night!

Ask any WALMART manager about the parking of RVs in their lots overnight, and they will tell you that RVers spend lots of cash in their stores and gas stations. They cause no trouble, and have little impact on the shoppers’ activity.  Sam Walton, the venerable founder of this phenomenal chain,  always maintained that he would not turn away an RV needing a parking space overnight. And that stated policy has carried over the decades, so that all RVers look for a Walmart for their groceries, their automotive needs and for general shopping. The only problem is one created by local governments. WHY?

If RVers have families traveling with them, they might prefer to have the amenities found in campgrounds. But a retired couple, or a single person living full-time in his RV, have no use for slides and swings, wading pools and game rooms. And they didn’t buy the expensive vehicles to have to pay tribute to campground owners with high-priced overnight charges. One could rent a motel room for less, and not use the RV facilities. But that is not what this is about.

I have been a full-time RV traveler for over 35 YEARS. Only recently have the counties,cities and towns begun to flex their muscles (often at the behest of campgrounds) and threatening stores with violations of codes, real or imagined, and the imposition of fines. (Just another REVENUE PRODUCER in tough times??) In one town I am familiar with, there are state statutes cited that have to do with regulations for the operation of a campground. Stores that operate all 24 hours, 7 days a week, can certainly allow their customers access during all those open hours without being accused of running a virtual campground.

But these entities operate under the cloak of secrecy. Taking pictures of “violating over-nighters”, and cowing the stores into measures to come “into conformity.” These are akin to NAZI TACTICS to achieve political will. There have been ANONYMOUS CALLS to Walmart, at different echelons of management, complaining about RVs parking in their lots.          From WHENCE COMETH THESE CALLS??

Campground personnel?  Jealous non-RV folks?   Or could it be  S A T A N ?

Walmart needs to MAN UP…and refuse to accede to these nonsense harassment tactics, which amount to nothing but a tempest in a teapot. Anonymous call = UN American, in my view.

We of the RV community, a group in the millions, need to take a circumspect look at whether our motoring dollars are well-spent at places that no longer seem to want and welcome us. And the ACLU and other rights organizations, need to face off against blatantly UNCONSTITUTIONAL ordinances and restrictions.

Lastly, I must mention that Orlando is the infamous city that has ARRESTED AND JAILED people who have tried to feed the homeless and other needy individuals downtown, in a park adjacent to a chi-chi neighborhood. This action ordered by a wealthy mayor, Buddy Dyer, who lives in one of the city’s most affluent areas (previously Tiger Woods hang-out). Will they now start to arrest and jail those who are accused by anonymous callers of parking overnight at the local Walmart Supercenter?

If they hate the hungry and homeless…..it seems they also HATE RVers...even if they’re not penniless.


 21 Jul 2011 @ 2:38 PM 

The twin sonic booms woke me just before 6 AM today. I quickly turned on the local news to catch the last landing of a space shuttle….the Atlantis slid down through clear skies for a perfect touch-down in the lightening of dawn.  I’d observed the lift-off from the distance in Orlando, but I was relegated to watching the tube for the final curtain.

I first visited Cape Canaveral in 1976. That was in the Saturn 5 era, and the plans for the first shuttle were proudly displayed in the  visitors center. I have witnessed several lift-offs in the ensuing years. The most dramatic were always the evening and early morning flights. Probably because of the high contrast of all that energy expended against the dark of night, and the easily seen diminishing tracks into space. What a glorious sight. One could not feel anything but overwhelming pride in the accomplishment of our country’s space program and the countless heroes who made it all happen.

What the future holds is at best uncertain. It seems to really come down to money. If we lose our technological edge to other nations, and give up the lead in space exploration, I cannot help but believe it will be a chastened USA. We will not take second place easily. Hopefully, the private sector will continue to make gains in their efforts to perform in a commercial way, what our nation no longer is willing to pay for. But to “boldly go” for profit loses a lot of the meaning for me.

Posted By: Bob
Last Edit: 21 Jul 2011 @ 02:45 PM

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 02 Jun 2011 @ 9:33 AM 

So it is just after midnight, and I’m moving east on the Connecticut Turnpike, I95. I’ve been driving since before noon, having left Petersburg, Virginia at late morning. I wanted to get through Richmond after rush hour, past the DC beltway before the afternoon rush (timeless), and out over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge for a peaceful drive through the Maryland farm lands. That  put me in Newcastle, Delaware at about 6 PM, but as I again headed for I95 near Wilmington, the traffic was not bad. Rush hour was over, around Philadelphia, going north, and the highway was hassle-free.

To digress;  as I passed the Chester,PA Harrah’s Casino, I noticed a guy approaching the ramp for the highway on a HOT Kawasaki motorcycle. I was doing about sixty, but soon I spied him in the rearview, screaming up the road. He passed me like  Roadrunner passed the Coyote…..Bwaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh! A minute later he slowed slightly to veer off toward the airport when it happened.  Maybe he had won big at Harrah’s, and was tearing up the pavement in sheer exhilaration, but a WAD OF BILLS flew out of his pocket, hit the tarmack,  splashed up into his backdraft and fanned out into the landscape. As I went by, a couple of HUNDREDS leapt over the right side of my windshield. I COULDN’T STOP!  And the few cars in the lanes behind me hadn’t seen the paper bounty as it scattered toward the guard rails. This guy never realized his loss and I stared as he slowed for a cruiser, then re-accelerated out of my sight as I went up the bridge ramp past Philadelphia International.

Oh,woe..the mis-(missed) fortune!

Anyway, it is after midnight. I picked up the first real truck traffic on the NY Thruway, as it comes south and crosses the Tappan Zee Bridge (FIVE BUCKS TOLL for my little Saturn!), and it increased ex-potentially as I escaped the Bronx and entered New England. From the line, and to West Haven, I was literally surrounded by semi’s, threatening my rear bumper, pulling out and around with a whisker of room between surfaces, slowing and moving in unfathomable right lane convoys, flying past in the passing lane at 20 MPH over the limit. Then construction near New Haven closed all but one lane. The jockeying and intimidation really shook me as I hoped for some recognition in this bunch of BROTHER-TRUCKERS!


 30 May 2011 @ 8:57 AM 

Whenever I visit a WALMART SUPERCENTER, which is a frequent experience for all RVers, I carry my refillable drinking water jugs in to the Culligan or Glacier water machine, to fill them from the water source with filtered, reverse-osmosis-treated, and delicious H2O. The cost per gallon is usually about 27 cents (by comparison,the Walmart drinking water is at least 78 cents in a throw-away jug!).

NO MORE!!! Walmart, in its constant profit-driven impetus, has removed those consumer-friendly machines in favor of their own supply of 5 gallon pre-filled jugs, showcased in huge racks that take up more floor space than the water machines, and which disallow the green-minded of us, a convenient system of providing the drinking water we can store effectively.

Is it about floor space in their newly-designed stores? Is it about aesthetics in removing those dispensers? Is it that re-fillers bring in their own recycled bottles and jugs?    Is it about a pure profit motive?

I vote for the latter!  The machines are installed, inspected and serviced by the manufacturer/suppliers. That the machines are not emblazoned with the WALMART logo may be a source of irritation to the world’s largest retailer.

They should be ashamed at this grab of one of the most important green-related activities that we RVers, and home owners could exercise. I won’t be surprised that their response will be mute.


Posted By: Bob
Last Edit: 31 May 2011 @ 08:50 AM

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