Family Time @ Massey's Landing
No, we haven’t disappeared! We don’t like to call our last 18 days a vacation because some people roll their eyes at us. (Suggesting we don’t NEED a vacation while living this lifestyle!) So, we’ll call our time at The Resort at Massey’s Landing (See Betsy’s campground review) “Family Time”. We almost always spend some sort of vacation time with my family in the summer. In the past, these trips have ranged from large family houses on the Carolina Coast to camping somewhere near the ocean. Last year we spent two weeks at Castaway’s RV Resort in Berlin, MD. (Just outside of Ocean City, MD.) Shortly after our stay, we heard that the people who developed Castaway’s were building a new RV Resort somewhere near Rehoboth Beach, DE. Having always enjoyed our time at Castaway’s, we were intrigued to try a new campground with a similar concept. So with confidence we made our reservations for August 2016 late in 2015.
I’ll touch on several topics from our stay at The Resort at Massey’s Landing.
Yes, the much anticipated arrival day! Although admittedly, it was a different feeling for Betsy and I this year. Normally arrival day follows a last frantic day at work or the bakery for Betsy. It meant getting up early after frantically packing late the night before. This year it was the end of a three-day journey from Elkhart, IN, with the last leg being a fairly calm trip from just outside of Annapolis, MD.
We arrived at The Resort at Massey’s Landing around 1:30 PM and utilized the “Speedy Check-in” option offered by the resort. We proceeded to Site 157 and settled in. Shortly thereafter, our expected camping mates arrived at just about the same time. Annette and Mike moved into Site 158 right next to us, and Ceil, Kris and Lucas backed in directly behind us in Site 181. After the requisite hugs and greetings, everyone settled into work mode to get their sites set up.
Nobody really likes to cook on arrival day, so we headed out to get a bite to eat at a local diner/seafood place. The Ocean Grill ended up being a good choice as it had a good selection of options (even some gluten free stuff) and everyone seemed to enjoy their food.
The evening ended as many would over the next couple of weeks, with a campfire, a beverage for some and always-good conversation. Let Family Time begin!
Family vacation was extra special for my sister, Annette, this year. As her and Mike prepare to embark on their own full-time RV journey, Monday, August 1, would be Annette’s last day as a Court Reporter at the York County Courthouse. She dutifully and accurately recorded what was said in the York County Courthouse for 21 years and is looking forward to walking away and beginning their journey. For her court is officially adjourned.
Annette and Mike left Massey’s Landing Sunday afternoon so Annette could work her last day on August 1st. Working this one-day would allow her to have health benefits for the entire month of August. Understand the rules and make them work for ya Annette!
They got back to Massey’s Landing around 10:30 PM on Monday night after her final farewell from work. They brought back two of their grandchildren, Aaron and Kylie, to spend the week with them until Travis and Nicole got here on Saturday. It’s always fun to have Aaron and Kylie around!
Our new camper, Charlie, hosted his first overnight guests during our first week at Massey’s Landing. And fittingly it was our good friends Jay and Karen who we had the honor of hosting. They took advantage of a couple of days off from their workamping job at Bethpage Camp Resort in Urbanna, VA to come up for a visit. In one of those geographic mysteries, it is less than 50 miles “as the crow flies” from Bethpage to Massey’s Landing. Unfortunately neither Jay nor Karen are crows, so if you have to drive a car it is approximately 230 miles. Thanks for making the effort guys! And thanks also for not being crows, since Betsy has a bit of a phobia about big black birds! I don't have time to deal with her hot mess while trying to vacation in style. :)
Charlie has adequate accommodations with a sleeper sofa. Ok, so sleeper sofas aren’t the most comfortable, but on the plus side it is right next to the 65-inch television in the living room! It’s always great to spend time with Jay and Karen, and our camping group considers them part of the family.
Without a doubt one of the biggest assets of The Resort at Massey’s Landing is its proximity to the water. It sits nicely overlooking the Rehoboth Bay, and has several canals/inlets that slice into the campground. It sounded like the perfect place to introduce our Sea Eagle 385FT inflatable kayak and Sea Eagle NN126 inflatable stand up paddleboard (SUP). And that is was!
While preparing to become full-time RV’ers, we decided early on we would like to have some sort of kayak and/or SUP to enjoy any bodies of water we encountered. In our former life, we had a 20-foot Sea-Doo jet boat that Betsy and I always enjoyed getting out on. A kayak or SUP would be a good compromise to allow us to get out on the water when the occasion arose.
After some research and being introduced to Sea Eagle inflatables by Howard and Linda Payne from RV-Dreams.com, we decided the Sea Eagles would be a good fit. We settled on the 385FT kayak, which is about 12 ft. 6 in. long, has the option to be paddled solo or in tandem, and is a very versatile kayak. In addition, Betsy decided she would like to have a SUP. She has dabbled with SUP’s in the past, but never owned one. We decided on the NN126, which is a 12 ft. 6 in. needle nose SUP. We had been carrying the inflatables with us for about a month after ordering them from www.inflatableboats4less.com. The ordering process was quick and efficient. The owners, Tim & Crystal, answered all of our questions before ordering and we had them delivered to Betsy’s parents house, where we got them during our visit. If you are in the market for an inflatable kayak or SUP, I would highly recommend you take a look at www.inflatableboats4less.com. Tell em we sent you....
Thursday was the day. Get the pumps out, fill these things up with air and get them on the water. There’s always a little bit of a learning curve with new things, but after unpacking our new kayak, it was very easy to assemble, inflate and get on the water quickly. The pumps worked as they should. The inflatable seats were simple to inflate and install in the kayak. The paddles assembled easily and worked as they should. We were quickly on the water and joined by Mike and Lucas in their traditional hard shell kayaks. We explored the area and definitely see many more paddles in our future in our new Sea Eagle.
The Big Tow’er has been a great tow vehicle and has done everything we have asked it to do up to this point. But as is true with all 16-year old vehicles, they require occasional maintenance and you need to keep an eye on them. I decided it was time to address some symptoms that were pointing to the power steering. I have noticed an occasional rub/squeak during tight turns, and there is evidence of a leak near the power steering reservoir. There was a Volvo truck repair shop about an hour south of Massey’s Landing in Delmar, MD, so I gave them a call. They would take a look at the truck, but they didn’t have an opening until Monday, August 15th. Hmmmm, we’re supposed to leave Massey’s Landing on Saturday, August 13th. So, I either had to put off having someone look at the power steering or make arrangements to stick around for a few extra days and take the appointment on the 15th. Well, one of the advantages of this lifestyle is flexibility, so we added 4 nights to our stay at Massey’s Landing and took the appointment on Monday. Ok, it wasn’t a big sacrifice, 4 more days and nights of swimming, bike riding, kayaking, swimming in the pool and visiting the ice cream shop! It's a tough break, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and suffer (I mean enjoy every minute of our extended stay)!
It was a little unusual this year in that everyone in our group was not able to spend the entire 2 weeks at Massey’s Landing. Denny and Judy joined us yesterday for a four-night stay. They arrived with their Thor ACE motorhome towing their CRV loaded with kayaks, ready for fun!
Travis and Nicole were scheduled to arrive on Saturday for a weeks stay, joining their kids who have been here all week with Grandma and Grandpa. Well, they got the itch to start their vacation a day earlier, so they packed up and headed down Friday afternoon. The down side was they endured summer Friday traffic and it took them 6 hours to get here. (Normal drive time should be 3 ½.) The up side is they got set up before dark and they would be ready to really start their vacation first thing Saturday morning.
A fourteen-night vacation with family means 14 dinners. Now, most nights for dinner we rotate responsibility for the evening meal between families. It’s difficult to eat out at a restaurant with a group that ranged from this year from seven early in the stay to 15 at the end. Since everybody was here tonight, we decided it was time to take over a restaurant. Utilizing some personal referrals from friends of the group, we ventured about 10 minutes down the road to a happening place on the water. Paradise Grille is one of those island-themed places on the scenic Indian River. Lots of covered outdoor seating, boats tied up outside, several bars, live music, good food and drinks. Everybody enjoyed their meals and we were all pleasantly surprised when Denny and Judy secretly picked up the tab for everyone! Thank you both! A pleasant unexpected treat!
Betsy and I aren’t really big boardwalk fans no matter what beach town we’re visiting. But, over a two-week period, we decided we should go to the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk at least one night. After dinner, word was spreading of a trip into Rehoboth Beach. It was our opening to go when some others were going, make our token appearance, and say we had visited the boardwalk. Don’t get me wrong; there are definitely some positives to the boardwalk. We love the people watching and always enjoy some good boardwalk food. Thrasher’s Fries, Kohr Bros. Frozen Custard, Fischer’s Carmel Corn, and Funnel cake (Betsy only!!)
Yesterday we happily greeted some additional visitors for a couple of days. Josh, Nikki, Ella and Tyce stopped in for a couple of days on their way to a vacation with Nikki’s family near Virginia Beach. They bunked up with Annette and Mike in their camper as they’ve done several times in the past.
Nobody seemed inspired to cook tonight and several in the group had been hankering for some seafood, so another group outing was planned. The choice was a place called The Crab House. Obviously crabs were on the menu and Mike and Travis dove right in. Everybody else enjoyed their meals, even the non-seafood eaters in the group. Betsy is always a good sport when the group heads out for seafood, since she is not a seafood fan. She wants to like it, but just doesn’t enjoy the taste or texture of it. (No matter what Kris tries to tell her!) Another successful group outing under our belt.
It was sad to see everyone pack up and leave on Saturday. Saturday morning was a series of hugs and lending a hand to anyone who needed it on a steamy morning. As I’ve mentioned before, this year is a little different for Betsy and I. Family time may come to an end, but with our camper being our home, the camping part never ends.
We truly love vacationing with the “Herd”, but as devoted introverts, Betsy and I also savor the time we get to spend with each other. Relaxing, exploring, or just reading and writing. Tonight we decided to take advantage of an activity the campground offered that allowed us to satisfy our love of the boats and the water. A Sunset Cruise! For $25, Betsy and I would enjoy a romantic . . . oh, just kidding. It was a boat filled with adults, kids, a dog and Captain Mike. It wasn’t romantic, but it was a relaxing hour long boat ride from the campground through Massey’s Cut, into the Indian River, and then back through the Rehoboth Bay. No dolphins were seen and the sunset was nothing to write home about, but it was still worth the minimal fee.
So, how does one summarize 18 days at a really nice RV resort? Well, I’ve covered most of the highlights earlier in this post, but I’ll try to tie up all of the loose ends. Relaxing with family in a vacation environment is still one of my favorite pastimes. The Resort at Massey’s Landing is a really well thought out campground that will be an excellent destination in a couple of years when it matures and all of the amenities are completed. I love the idea of wearing a wristband that you can load money on so when it’s time for iced coffee or ice cream there’s no need to carry cash. Charlie really enjoyed his first beach vacation. (Although he could have done without all of the salt air dirtying his coat!) It also never seems quite long enough. Time for the official weigh-ins to see how much damage the ice cream did this year!