Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Texas Renaissance Festival is fun RV short stop

For Winter Texans -- those RV Snowbirds migrating to the Gulf Coast -- the Texas Renaissance Festival, northwest of Houston, is a great RV Short Stop for those looking for lots of dress-up fun and games.

The Texas Renaissance Festival, weekends through Nov. 25, offers more than 20 stages of live entertainment of all kinds including clowns, jugglers, musicians, magicians, dancers, acrobats, comedians and jousters.

Jousting at the Texas Renaissance Festival  (
Nov. 10-11, "Heroes and Villains" is the festival's theme. "The call has gone forth- assemble the mightiest heroes and heroines and gather the darkest villains and vixens. The King and Queen welcome the worthy and the worst to a weekend celebration of great deeds and dastardly doings. Enjoy marvelous entertainment and food and drink fit for champions"

For the weekend of Nov. 17-18, take in the "Highland Fling" -- "The pipes are calling you to don your kilt and tartan, grab your bonnie lass or laddie, and join the King and Queen for a celebration of the joys of Scotland. Enjoy a Scotch egg, dance a reel to the pipe music of Tartanic or Drones-n-Drums, find a wee something special in our over 400 shoppes, or try your luck in our themed contests- the Bonnie Knees Costume Contest, or the Haggis Eating Contest."

Father Christmas (
Nov. 23-25, "Celtic Christmas" --
"Father Christmas and his merry band of elves welcome children of all ages to our final, three day holiday celebration. Unwrap the magic of the Yuletide season as the village transforms into a winter wonderland of Christmas trees, holiday music, and shoppes decorated in the lights and symbols of the season.

"The young and young at heart share their wish list with Father Christmas and there is a gift to be found for everyone in the shoppes of New Market. The Holiday Costume and Pumpkin Pie Eating contests will be a treat and the food, drink, music, and entertainment of the Texas Renaissance Festival will fill everyone with Christmas cheer," according to Festival reps.

Tent and RV Camping

Spaces for tents and RVs at festival campground (
The Fields of New Market Campground is a 200-acre camping facility located adjacent to the Festival site.

The campground has room for both tent and RV camping. There are water stations with potable water and a pump station for sewage waste, but no water or electrical hookups.
There are attended restrooms, showers and dressing areas located near the campground entrance. Also, a shuttle service is available for transportation to and from the festival at an additional charge.

"There are two types of camping according to organizers: Family Camping is for those who prefer a more relaxed evening with family and friends, with a family bonfire event each Saturday evening. Revels Camping is for the more adventurous and bold, where the party continues into the night. Many social groups gather around the legendary Saturday night bonfire for a celebration of epic proportions."

For details and costs click on: The Fields of New Market Campground . Call (800) 458-3435 for details.

44th Texas Renaissance Festival

21778 Farm to Market 1774

Todd Mission, Texas 77363
Phone: 800-458-3435
Open: Saturdays, Sundays and Thanksgiving Friday Only
Now – Nov. 25
Open Rain or Shine

Adult admission (age 13 and older):$32
Children Free on Sundays

-- Julianne G. Crane
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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Autumn-Winter historic scenic train rides

There’s something magical about riding trains.  Why not plan a few hours from your RV journeys to experience the autumn color from a historic rail car. There are dozens of restored scenic railroads across the country, here are just a few:

 Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, North Carolina 

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, NC (Great Smoky Mountain Railroad)
Chug along "river gorges, across valleys and through tunnels carved out of the majestic Appalachian Mountains" on the Great Smokey Mountains Railroad.

In the beautiful and remote corner of western North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad travels along 53 miles of track through two tunnels and over 25 different bridges.

The railroad features a variety of scenic, round-trip excursions departing from Bryson City throughout the year, including:
the Moonshine Experience (Diesel and Steam), Nantahala Gorge (Diesel and Steam), PEANUTS Great Pumpkin Patch Express (Diesel) Tuckasegee River (Diesel and Steam).

This premier scenic railroad is a one-of-a-kind experience. Call (800) 872-468.

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, California

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad (Julianne G Crane)
If you are visiting Yosemite National Park,  check out the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, a four-mile scenic railroad excursion near Fish Camp, Calif., and Yosemite's South gate. The narrow-gauge train operates March through November (weather permitting).

This railroad also features rides on the quaint 'Model A' powered Jenny Rail cars. These trolley-like rail cars were once used to provide transportation for logging and track repair crews.  Call (559) 683-7273 for more details.

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad (Oregon Coast Railroad)
Ride special event trains throughout the year on the historic diesel powered Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad.

The two-hour Fall Splendor Excursion travels along the Nehalem River. The Candy Cane Express "is lit up with Christmas lights to make it glow in the low winter light."

The line extends from the Tillamook Air Museum blimp hangar on the South side of Tillamook through Garibaldi, Rockaway Beach and Wheeler, where the tracks turn to the East and head up into the coast range along the remote and breathtaking Nehalem and Salmonberry River canyons.

Tickets can be purchased onboard the train or on the website. Call 1 (888) 718-4253.

Chehalis-Centralia Railroad, Washington state

Chehalis-Centralia Railroad in Washington State
A ride on the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad, just off I-5 in western Washington, is a pleasant, scenic, and relaxing journey back in time.

"Gaze at the scenery as the nine-mile, former Milwaukee Road track winds through the scenic upper Chehalis River valley, crossing over several wooden trestles and passing many historic farms," says the website.

"Relax in the open car behind the mesmerizing sounds of a 1916-vintage steam locomotive. Sit down to a white-tablecloth, old-fashioned dining car experience. Step back to another age. "

The Chehalis-Centralia Railroad and Museum is just a 90-minute drive from either Portland, Ore., or Seattle, Wash., and is located conveniently near Interstate 5 at Exit #77.  Call (360) 748-9593

-- Julianne G. Crane
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