Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Maple Grove RV Resort – Everett – Seattle – Washington

Maple Grove RV Resort Campground Review Seattle Washington RV Park Full Time RV

It is no secret that we prefer smaller towns instead of large cities, but since we were out west, we knew we had to visit Seattle. While we saw some great things like Pike Place Market and the original Starbucks, we weren’t huge fans of the city of Seattle. It was way too crowded with excess traffic and noise. Sure, it had some great moments, but the city of Seattle in general just isn’t our thing.

The campground we stayed at wasn’t really our thing either.

Big City = Overpriced
+ Crowded
+ Noisy
+Traffic

Give me the beach or a lake or the woods over the city any day of the week.

Maple Grove RV Resort doesn’t have any amenities even though they call themselves a “resort.” They are very much a very basic RV park with nothing more than a laundry room and a bath house.

The campground was very small and not accommodating to larger rigs. We have a 43 foot 5th wheel and it was VERY tight. It was so tight in fact that when our neighbor went to leave, we had to move our truck because it would have been 100% impossible for them to pull their trailer out without hitting our vehicle. The spot next to us was empty so we moved it next door for a whopping 5 minutes so they could pull out and leave. The owners (who aren’t very friendly I might add) came over yelling at us telling us that we didn’t have to wait to get into our spot when we arrived and someone else shouldn’t have to wait to get into there spot either. Yes, we completely agree. No one should have to wait for someone to move their vehicle to get into their spot if their spot is open when they arrive. Quite frankly, the owner got rude about us moving our vehicle so it wouldn’t get HIT by another trailer leaving. When we said it was a little tight and he couldn’t get out, he got very defensive telling us it was the fault of RVers for having such large rigs now a days and that they would lose money if they had to make the spots larger. Sorry we brought it up – actually, we aren’t. To the couple running this place, try being a little nicer to those staying in your park. We immediately grabbed the keys to move the vehicle because they had just pulled out, but YOU chose to verbally attack us and condemn us for not letting our truck get hit by our neighbor. We don’t fit in every RV park and we ensure we tell each person how long our rig is when booking our reservation. They told us it was no problem to stay there and sure, we got in fine, but every single person in this place was crowded and many rigs were even sticking out into the roads. We would not stay here again mainly based on our poor experience with the managers of this park.

Beyond that experience, the bath house and laundry room were very nice. The bathrooms seem to be fairly new and the showers were nice. There was a large amount of washers and dryers in the laundry room so that was nice. We did have someone put a couple pieces of laundry in one of our loads (EW! Someone please give this person RV park etiquette 101 lessons), but that isn’t the fault of the RV park.

The location was not even super convenient to downtown Seattle like we thought it was going to be. It was the closest, decent looking park that could fit our RV length in the area. We’ve heard people with longer RVs have trouble finding location to park in Seattle with full hook ups and we agree with everything these people say. We felt like we had to stay here to get to Seattle in less than an hour, but that is mostly due to our length of 43 feet.

Full-Time RVers Visit Pike Place Market in Seattle

Seattle Washington Pike Place Market Full Time RV

We’ve recently learned we aren’t really fans of big cities. We much prefer the slower pace of life we’re finding in all the little towns across America, but occasionally, there are some “big city” places you just have to visit. Pike Place Market is one of them. We had the best time visiting the Market and we loved so much about it – the flowers, the seafood, the produce, the apple cider. We didn’t love the crowds, but it was worth it for the experience and the delicious crab we scored for dinner that night.

Our Experience Visiting the Original Starbucks

Original Starbucks Seattle Washington Pike Place Market Full Time RV

Every coffee lover should visit the original Starbucks if you find yourself in the Seattle area. While it may not technically be the original location of the first Starbucks, it is considered the original Starbucks since they quickly outgrew the first store within a few years of opening and moved to this location. When doing our research, we discovered they get extremely busy and the later in the day, the busier they get. We set out and arrived at the Starbucks at about 7:30am on this particular Saturday morning and we didn’t have to wait in a line any longer than a regular Starbucks line. Because it wasn’t so crowded, it gave us the chance to take pictures, look at all the original Starbucks merchandise, and even chill for a few minutes to take in the atmosphere.

Tips for your visit to the original Starbucks in Seattle:

  1. Arrive Early – The earlier you arrive, the less wait you’ll have. When we were leaving Pike Place Market later that afternoon, there was a queue line outside Starbucks with at least 40-50 people. No one wants to wait in that line even if it is for coffee at the OG Starbucks.
  2. Buy the Special Pike Place Roast – You can only purchase this at the original Starbucks (plus one other Seattle location, I hear). You can’t purchase it at any other Starbucks or online so get it while you’re here.
  3. Purchase a Mug – All the merchandise has the original Starbucks logo plus special “First Store” branding to go along with it. Again, you can ONLY purchase these items at this store or from people trying to make money on eBay.
  4. Expect a Quick Experience – Once you’re in the store, the experience is very quick. There is merchandise to take a look at on the left side wall, but you don’t have to grab it from there to purchase it. That is for display only and it is just to give you a chance to see and hold the products before purchasing it from a merchandise menu on the counter where you order your coffee. There is only space for a few people in the store so you’ll be behind a few people in line before you order your coffee and merchandise. Once you order, you’ll be handed your merchandise before going to wait at the counter for your name to be called for your coffee (they keep merchandise items boxed behind the counter and bag them for you once you order). There is no seating. There is no hanging out. This isn’t your normal Starbucks. You can’t just chill at this Starbucks like you would any other Starbucks or coffee shop.
  5. Get Pastries Next Door – Take your coffee and get pastries a few doors down at Le Panier French Bakery. You won’t regret it. Also, let’s be real – by pastries, I mean just get a bunch of macarons. They’re the best macarons I’ve ever eaten and I LOVE macarons.
  6. Take Your Coffee and Pastries To Pike Place Market – Once you’re loaded down with coffee, pastries, and OG Starbucks merchandise, head across the street to Pike Place Market and enjoy the experience. If you’ve never been, you must go!

And We’ll Have Fun, Fun, Fun at the Washington State Fair

Washington State Fair Beach Boys Concert John Stamos

The Washington State Fair is legendary – so legendary that their website is literally just thefair.com. They’ve been around forever (since 1900 to be exact) and some of their famous food and rides have been around for nearly 100 years. We found out The Beach Boys were going to be in concert at the fair so we decided to go. John Stamos was playing with them this particular show so of course, this 90s kid couldn’t not go. What 90s kid doesn’t wish they could say they saw Uncle Jesse in concert?

 

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Harmony Lakeside RV Park

Harmony Lakeside RV Park Campground Review

Harmony Lakeside RV Park was in a beautiful little area south of Seattle. It wasn’t close enough to drive to Seattle to eat or sightsee, but it was close enough to make Seattle our next stop. We booked a gorgeous lakeside spot and the views were spectacular. We were able to walk our paddleboards right down the dock and paddle out on the lake.

These west coast sunsets give me all the feels.

While the lake was beautiful, the bathhouse was a disappointment. You may be asking why because these pictures are gorgeous. Well, they left the quarter machine connected to the showers so to use hot water, you have to insert quarters. I don’t mind quarter showers if they take more than one quarter at a time and you don’t have to get completely out of the shower to add another quarter. It was awful. Insert one quarter for 4 minutes worth of hot water. You can’t insert a second quarter to add to the time and to add time you have to get completely out of the shower. It was the worst RV park shower I’ve used since we started full-timing.

We did love the laundry room though. It was different as in, it only had 2 washers and 2 dryers, but when you get the key, it is all yours. You have to put your name on a list and then you get a key. You’re the only person with a key and it is yours until you return the key. Sure only one person uses it at a time, but nobody can mess with my clothes (or add their clothes to my machine – yep, that’s actually happened to us). We enjoyed it, but likely only because it was the off-season so the RV wasn’t very busy.

We also had a Hurricane Party while we were here because we felt a little left out. Back home was dealing with Hurricane Irma and our favorite spots in the Florida Keys were getting battered with this storm. This weather junkie was pretty sad to not be out in the storm measuring wind speeds so drinks, puzzles, and streaming The Weather Channel happened all night. I ended up with an extra puzzle piece. How does that even happen? Not cool.

Ready for a crazy story? When we arrived at Harmony Lakeside RV Park, the incredibly sweet lady working the front desk said, “so we have this situation.” We immediately were like no big deal, thinking we probably couldn’t get into our RV site yet or something of that nature. She said, “I’m going to have to escort you to your site and ask the police officers to move their vehicles for a moment as we have a situation.” Ok, please explain more. She politely let us know, the police were trying to get 2 people to come out of an RV, they wouldn’t come out so they were likely going to just tow the RV away with them inside if they didn’t come out. We thought, no big deal – they probably ran out of money, didn’t pay rent, and now they’re embarrassed. WRONG. SO. WRONG. There were 2 robbery suspects inside the RV and they were refusing to come out. We witnessed an entire stand off between the police and the 2 men inside. Turns out, they had numerous warrants out for their arrest and wouldn’t come out. A couple hours after we checked in, the police finally received their search warrant and busted down the RV door – all while the entire RV park stood around watching. We aren’t quite sure why we weren’t all told to leave – they easily could have come out with weapons. We got quite the show while we were settling in for the week.

 

Take Me to the Springs

Symes Hotel Hot Springs Montana

Current obsession: Hot Springs

These places are glorious, miraculous, healing, pools of joy. Ok, well maybe that’s a little much. They are glorious and make you feel so good. They claim to be healing because of the minerals in them, but I’m a little skeptical of the “healing” side of things. I can say they make you feel amazing. Soreness seems to ease away and your skin feels so smooth after. Maybe they are healing.

While we were in Montana, we were trying to find something else to do since the fires and the smoke from them were really bad near our RV park and Glacier National Park. We found another little place called Symes Hot Springs Hotel and they let you purchase day passes to visit the Springs. While these aren’t your natural, in-the-ground type of hot springs, they pump the water from the ground into the pools – no chemicals, nothing. It is just the mineral water and nothing else. We loved it so much, we went back again the next night. We soaked for several hours. They have various levels of pool temperatures which range from hot to hotter (think hotter than a jacuzzi sometimes).

Full-Time RVers Do Glacier National Park and Going to the Sun Road

Glacier National Park Going to the Sun Road Photo Journal Wildfire Smoke Rocks

Have you ever been wanting to go somewhere for so long that you worry if it will meet your expectations? That’s how I felt about Glacier National Park. I’ve been wanting to visit Lake McDonald for years and years. As we got closer to arriving, I started getting concerned that maybe it wouldn’t live up to my expectations.

Wrong.

It met my expectations and more.

Have you ever seen something so beautiful and breathtaking as these mountains and the lake? You can see so far into the water and the rocks are just so colorful.

We got so lucky that we went the first day we arrived and it was clear. We knew the wildfires were approaching, but at the time, they were mostly under control. By the time we had been at Rollins RV Park for a few days, the fires were threatening Glacier and ended up causing massive devastation. One of their famous lodges ended up burning down in the blink of an eye. We were very lucky to see everything before it was covered in smoke and ash. We drove into the park as far as they would let us on our last day in the area and this is what the very same lake looked like.

The other great part about Glacier National Park is Going to the Sun Road. It takes several hours to drive, but the views are incredible. The glaciers aren’t as prominent anymore, but you can still see a few of them.

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Rollins Restaurant and RV Park – Rollins, Montana near Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park

Rollins Restaurant and RV Park Campground Review Near Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park Montana

We recently left Montana and Glacier National Park and man, was it beautiful. We got lucky and our first few days in the area were gorgeous, clear days. Then, the wildfires rolled in, the smoke settled, and it just got nasty. Unfortunately, this meant we didn’t get to spend much time outside in this beautiful state. We were thankful for the time we did get to spend outside though as our first day in town we immediately went to Glacier National Park to see Lake McDonald and drive Going to the Sun Road (click here to read about our journey through Glacier).

We stayed at Rollins Restaurant and RV Park and it was such a cute little place! Lots of great features!

This RV park had my favorite amenity so far – a really delicious restaurant that we ate at a few too many times. They claimed the spot for second favorite amenity too! They have a huge rec room that has a full kitchen – as in, I was able to bake brownies in their full-size kitchen stove. Why is this a big deal you ask? Well, I manage to burn EVERYTHING in our RV oven so I quit using it already. Maybe I’ll figure it out one day.

Cuteness factor: The “fence” in the front of the park made from old bicycles=adorable
Not so great: Cell phone service or lack there of=not great working conditions.

Let’s talk about the restaurant for a minute because it clearly steals the show here. They have delicious food both breakfast and lunch/dinner. The burgers are delicious. The salad is even better. The burger with a salad as the side is a total grand slam. If you’re close to me, you know I have a sauce obsession. I dip everything I eat in something. Well just know my heart now belongs to Rollins Restaurant who brought out 5 sauce bottles with my burger. Let’s just say, I put Ranch dressing with BBQ sauce, and fry sauce on my salad. The sauces were so good, I couldn’t eat just one… Let’s also take a minute to appreciate the best part though, at breakfast, they make their own syrup. It is caramel and it very well could be the best thing I’ve ever eaten. By the end of the trip, I was ordering items a la carte so I could get more bacon to dip in they syrup. An order of hashbrowns and a few orders of bacon with a side of caramel syrup are a healthy breakfast, right? Right. Did I mention there’s a meat market on property as well? There is, so all the meat is REALLY fresh.

Unfortunately, from a work-from-home perspective, Rollins RV Park doesn’t make the cut. Cell phone service is very weak and I had trouble on several occasions. I could perform basic functions but when it came time to upload/download files, I had issues. Luckily, we have our WeBoost 4GX-RV which is a total lifesaver in situations like this. I was able to get enough service to transfer files and upload them when needed, but we would have had to leave the park if we didn’t have the booster.

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Dakota Ridge RV Park & Resort – Golden, Colorado (Near Denver)

Dakota Ridge RV Park and Resort Campground Review Golden Denver Colorado

I am so excited to be giving out our very first 5 out of 5 on The Gypsy Scorecard!

I don’t take this score lightly, but I think it is well-deserved for Dakota Ridge RV Park in the charming town of Golden, Colorado only 11 miles outside of downtown Denver. We officially love this place and highly recommend it!

A few things to love about Dakota Ridge:
– Buddy sites with lots of space
– Hot tub
– Close to grocery stores, Target, and other shopping
– Workout room (It’s small, but it exists!)
– Proximity to Chick-Fil-A (Sweet tea and waffle fry heaven – thank goodness – it had been over 2 months since my last chick Fil A fix and just about as long since I’ve had a good southern, sweet tea.)

First off, how beautiful, large, and gorgeous is this site? Beautiful grass, no dirt, and large concrete pads to park your RV on are just the beginning. While not everyone likes buddy sites, I personally do. I think they give everyone more space and most of the time, you and your neighbors are not typically outside at the same time. Check out our gorgeous site below!

Some of the amenities include a swimming pool (great for swimming laps), a hot tub, a community room with games and movies to borrow, a small workout room, playground, and a dog walking area.

The bathhouse and the laundry room are both very nice as well. Unlike most RV parks, both are large and spacious here. The laundry facility is very large with more washers and dryers than most places. In the bathhouse, the shower stall are huge with a bench to sit your stuff on and numerous towel hooks. Once you’re out of the shower stalls, there are plenty of mirrors and places to get ready.

Overall, we really enjoyed our time at Dakota Ride RV Park. We were here for almost a month and we will definitely be back in the future. It is a short drive to Denver and only about an hour away from Summit County with our favorite places like Copper Mountain and the town of Frisco.

* I only have 2 complaints about this place. They’re minor in the scheme of things, but I would be remiss if I did not mention them.

1) They only have valet trash pickup. This means, any trash you don’t set out between the hours of 8am-10am, can’t even be put in a dumpster. They keep the dumpster locked. This is impractical in a campground. People cook food and don’t want cut up food leaving odors in their RV (think cutting up onions in a small space and leaving them out all night while you sleep). We typically take the trash to a dumpster after each meal. They keep the dumpster locked so you can’t even throw away your own garbage.

2) The hot tub is frequently closed. As one of the main perks of this RV park, I expect it to be open more than it was. Many days we were told there was a chemical imbalance and the hot tub was closed. It is not that difficult to keep the chemicals in a hot tub balanced if you know what you’re doing. It is obvious, they don’t know enough about hot tub chemicals to keep it properly balanced. One of our first nights in the hot tub, they checked the water 3 times while we were in it as they couldn’t quite get the reading they wanted. While we used the hot tub frequently, many times we went up there only to find it was closed.

*It is also worth noting how expensive this park is. Being one of the few decent campgrounds in/around the Denver area, they’re able to charge quite a bit for it. They take advantage of being one of the few good ones in the area, but I can’t fault them for that. That’s business. The park was full every night we were there so they can clearly charge that much and still get repeat customers. Some of the people we met at the park have been staying at Dakota Ridge for years and are still coming back even with the price increase. – Obviously, if you’re looking for a budget friendly RV park, this is not the one you’re looking for, but if you’re looking for close proximity to area attractions (like Red Rocks Amphitheater or Frozen on Broadway at Denver Center for the Performing Arts or a Colorado Rockies game– click any of those links to read about our experiences at those places – also we viewed the Solar Eclipse from here) then this is a great park. It is also worth noting, I have a friend that lives nearby which we took into account when choosing this park.

I also want to mention we read quite a bit of negative reviews on this park and we didn’t have many location options when we booked so we were quite nervous about staying for so long. I understand everyone has different opinions AND they have very strict policies, but as a person who actually likes rules, that made me like this place. I read a lot of people complaining online about some of their rules – including, extra costs for additional people, charging for dumping trash outside of the dumpsters, refund/deposit policy, not accepting mail on behalf of guests, etc. While I don’t love all of these rules, I would personally rather have rules I hate than not enough rules. I like order and don’t like when people break rules so I liked this park. Just a few days ago, I saw someone on the Full-Time RVers Facebook group complaining about this park and while I agreed with the RVer and not the RV park, the RV park clearly states all policies ahead of time AND requires guests sign a form stating they understand these policies. Like I said, I like rules so I was ok with this, but it seems many others are not as fond of the park as I am. You wouldn’t have so many people come back again year-after-year if the park wasn’t good tough. A lot of people complain that the spaces are tight, but that is really only the back-in sites around the perimeter. The pull-through sites (which do cost more) are much more spacious with concrete padding. I wouldn’t stay in a back-in site here, but we’ll definitely be back again to stay in a pull-through. Maybe we got lucky and didn’t have some of the issues other people have had at this park, but I also like to think we’re kind of chill and just liked this place. 🙂

Full-Time RVers Do MLB – Colorado Rockies Game

Major League Baseball MLB Colorado Rockies Full Time RV

Growing up in the softball world, I was never really into baseball – which for some reason surprises most people since they thing baseball and softball are the same thing. That’s wrong. They aren’t. Sure they’re similar, but baseball is SO. MUCH. SLOWER. The games take forever and I get bored. There’s not nearly as much action as softball.

We realized though, that other than a few Braves games a long time ago, we hadn’t really been to an MLB game before and I don’t remember going to those Braves games back in the day. So we ended up at a Colorado Rockies game (against the Braves no less). I must say it was pretty great. The game felt so long, but we had fun and ate a lot of really great food.

Would I frequently go to MLB games? No.
Will I continue to go occasionally? Yes. (Mainly for the food)

Here’s a few photos of our day at the ballpark!

Also, this has me jonesin’ for summer when we’ll be in Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series – after a 2 year hiatus, we’re going back! Luckily, we’re season ticket holders there so we’ll have our lucky seats back – I mean, the Gators did when 2 National Championships with us there and couldn’t win with us not there. I’m not saying we’re good luck, but what I’m saying is they were waiting to win the 3rd while we’re there. 😉