LOCAL FLAVOR: KIMOS Hawaiian Style Food – Food Truck in Beverly Beach, Florida – Restaurant Review by Full-Time RVers

Kimos Hawaiian Food Truck Flagler Beach Local Food Truck Review

You guys know how much we love finding the local food and one of our favorites this stop in Flagler Beach was actually a food truck with a permanent location INSIDE our campground (um, hello – why isn’t every campground renting out a front spot to local food trucks!?!). Such a delicious and unexpected treat when we arrived to Beverly Beach Camptown Resort in Beverly Beach, Florida (basically Flagler Beach). KIMOS Hawaiian Food opened in July 2017 after Jennie and Craig purchased the food truck and began their adventure in the food business.

We frequented this place so often that I didn’t want to just provide a normal review so this time, we did a mini-interview with the owners of KIMOS Hawaiian Style Food Truck to find out a little more about them and their cuisine. They’re an absolute gem of a family who moved down to Flagler Beach to open their food truck. Much like how we’ve picked up our life and completely changed it by living full-time in our RV, the Garris family took a chance and started a new life in Flagler Beach. They moved from Massachusetts 3 years ago for a simpler life out of the cold where they could enjoy being outside, at the beach, in a small town with family. Hard-working professionals working as an Optometrist and a Golf Pro, moved themselves along with their 4 children (ages 10-25) to Flagler Beach.

After high school, Craig moved back to Hawaii where he learned everything about his heritage and the food. When it was time to start a family, they moved to Cape Cod where they resided for 20 years prior to selling their home and belongings to make the trek down to Florida.

Jennie was always a good cook and between that and the recipes passed down from Craig’s family in Hawaii, they started this food truck serving up all the foods they’ve been cooking in the family for years – everything from shrimp tacos to my personal favorite, SPAM fried rice.

Listen, I know right now you’re thinking SPAM fried rice – really? Yes, really. It. Is. DELICIOUS. It is honestly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. This combination of fried rice, fried SPAM, and vegetables provides a unique flavor palette that makes the soul happy.

When you ask Jennie what the best part is about running a food truck in a beach town, she quickly responds with the people. KIMOS has regular customers who stop by just to say hello then come back later for a bite to eat after they hit the beach. Meeting the people and hearing their stories is such a special part of the food truck business and this town doesn’t disappoint. Craig and Jennie are well known in the area and many other restaurant owners show up to get their food at both KIMOS Hawaiian Food Truck and at Farley’s Irish Pub in the European Village (more on that below). The community loves them and they love their community and that’s what makes this place so special.

PS. As a bonus, they’ve now taken over the menu at Farley’s in the European Village. They’ve revamped the menu and are serving all their specialties plus more! It’s an Irish pub with a little Hawaiian flare! On weekends, they often have specials like Poke Bowls and Guinness Stew to go along with all the drinks the pub serves.

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review – Las Vegas RV Resort – RV Park Near the Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas RV Resort Campground Pool Hot Tub Review

Viva Las Vegas.

I love this city. My mom taught me to have a great appreciation of these sparkling lights while I was growing up. Then she planned a trip for the 3 of us to visit Vegas on my 21st birthday. Her and I have made a trip out there almost every year since and this year, we got the opportunity to stay for an entire month. News Flash: we didn’t want to leave.

The Las Vegas RV Resort is close enough to the Strip to take a $10 Uber ride and be dropped off wherever you want to go (use invite code kaylak138 to receive $5 off each of your first 2 rides [for a total of $10] – then I get $10 off my next ride, too!). We were able to visit the Strip multiple times each week, but still not live right on the Strip which was nice. There’s also a place called Sam’s Town right next door and we learned it’s where the locals go. We loved this place, too! There’s wonderful BBQ restaurant called Big Mess BBQ as well as a steakhouse called The Angry Butcher – both were AMAZING. The highlight for me may have been the Dunkin’ Donuts though because I love me some Dunkin’ iced coffee (and haven’t had it in forever since it apparently isn’t real big on the west coast yet).

As far as a rating goes, we’re giving this one a 5 out of 5 for being the best in the area. Sure, it isn’t perfect, but I think it is the best you can get within this proximity to the Strip. It is a pretty great park and we love the amenities. The one thing we really wish it had was some grass for the dogs, but I’ll talk about that next.

The RV park is quite large, but it is pretty spacious. The sites aren’t too crowded, but unfortunately there is no grass for the dogs. This isn’t entirely their fault though. Las Vegas isn’t too conducive for growing grass, but it did make it hard for the pup, especially one who is still potty training and learning that grass is good and inside or concrete is bad. Cash had difficulties understanding where was ok to go and where was off limits.


The facilities were great though. Lots of bathhouses were spread throughout the resort including some individual rooms – yes, entire individual bathrooms. The individual bathrooms were really nice with very large showers and lots of counter space. There was plenty of room to get ready and not feel cramped which is a nice change of pace from most bathhouses. This first set of images is from one of the private bath stalls while the second set of images is the bathhouses spread throughout the park.

They also boasted a great pool and hot tub area that even has cooling misters for the hot summer days. The pool is heated in the winter and closes after the first freeze, but the hot tub remains open year round. The pool was perfect for lounging in the desert sun and soaking in that Vitamin D. We frequented the hot tub nearly every night during our month long stay.

The small workout room isn’t much, but I’ll take anything I can get. This is one of the most under provided amenities by RV parks in my opinion. So many people are full-time RVing now-a-days that I think it would be highly beneficial for RV parks to start offering a small workout area. Even things as simple as small weights and a treadmill or a stationary bike would be enough to make a lot of people happy. This one had not only a treadmill, stationary bike, and cross country skier, but it also had a Bowflex and weights. I frequented the workout room quite a bit while we were there which was so great.

They had several dog parks, but the one complaint many people had was that they ask you to only let your pet do their business in the dog park to keep the smell in that area. They claim that because of the dry desert, the smell lingers. We saw several times where owners were attempting to get their dog to the park, but the pups can’t always make it. Luckily, we’ve been training Cash to use a portable grass mat/catch tray so we didn’t have to worry about this, but other people definitely have issues with it. It just isn’t feasible to expect an animal to only go in one area that can be quite a long ways away. While we weren’t there in the heat of the summer, we heard a lot of people say dogs sometimes have trouble walking to the area on the hot asphalt in the summer. Many people have strollers or wagons to transport their pets to the park in during the hot summer days.

A final note about this park – it isn’t in the best area of town, but it is the only RV park in the area with 24 hour security. This includes a security guard gate that is very strict about letting people in (they won’t even let Uber in without giving you a call). They also drive around at night with flashlights ensuring there are no suspicious activities occurring.

Overall, this was a great RV park and we’ll be back in future for sure

 

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Gila Bend KOA, Gila Bend, Arizona

Gila Bend KOA Campsite Campground Review Full Time RV

While we don’t usually review a campground when we’re only there 1 night (I don’t think it is fair and we can’t give a campground a just review based on a few hours), I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you about this campground. It was still heavily under construction while we were there, but it is going to be a fantastic campground when it is complete (and you’re reading this at least a few months after our stay so it is likely complete by now!). We’ve been a full-time RV family for almost a year now and this Gila Bend KOA is one of our favorite campgrounds we’ve stayed in to date.

Let me start out by telling you about the owner of this KOA. His name is Scott Swanson and his background is top notch. He came from the entertainment industry, but he also worked hard to turn his family’s RV park around (a different RV park). Let’s pause for a minute and let me tell you, when I say entertainment industry, I mean he was the post-production manager for GILMORE GIRLS. YES. GILMORE GIRLS. <Insert squeals of joy here>

 

Let’ start by talking about Kamp K9. Most (if not all) KOA campgrounds have a dog park for your pups, but this one is really one of the nicest ones we’ve seen. With 3 separate areas for social and non-social pups and their humans, there are areas both grassy and rocks for pups to choose their turf. They had toys to play with and a water dish and fountain to help wet their whistle after a rough play session.

And now for the humans – the pool. Scott went all out on this one. Between the travertine tile surrounding the pool and the nice lounge chairs, we could hang out at this pool all day. The pool is the absolute nicest we’ve seen at any campground and it has a ledge all the way down one side for sitting and relaxing. Just off the edge of the pool is a gorgeous turf area with a swing. And since pets aren’t allowed in the pool area, it is a nice place to kick off your shoes and feel the grass between your toes. Oh, did I mention he keeps the pool heated to a beautiful 90 degrees? Because, he does. It was a PERFECT place to wallow in those post-Vegas vibes. I even sipped some Bee Cosmopolitan juice by the pool (because you know I stocked up on that from The Juice Standard before I left – I SO wished they would ship their fresh pressed juices – hint, hint!).

The bathrooms just aren’t quite done being built (at the time of our stay in November 2017), but based on everything else we’ve seen Scott incorporate at this KOA, we’re certain they’ll be just as wonderful. There were a few other things like the mini golf/putting green area under construction, but some other nice features were the huge laundry room and the beautiful landscaping. I just love a good desert landscape and this campground really accentuated their nature environment with over the top, beautiful landscaping.

The Ranch House is a large common area where many of the activities happen and I must say, it appears that there is always something going on here. Lots of activities from water aerobics to chair yoga and everything in between.

He also has one very unique RV site that I must tell you about. I’m certain this one will be a tough spot to get as I imagine it will always book far in advance. One of his upgraded sites not only has a concrete patio for the humans, but it has a private fenced in dog run for your pup! Yes, your very own private dog run to play in with your pup. I. JUST. LOVE. IT. Why don’t more campgrounds offer this upgrade? We would absolutely pay more for a private fenced in area for our sweet Cash.

And also, because we mentioned Cash – here’s a few sweet photos of him protesting the next car ride.

Be sure to check out this KOA if you’re ever near the little town of Gila Bend, Arizona! Let us know how everything is now that it is finished. We’d love to make it back here one day! Send us pics if you see updates!

Nature Lovers Will Be Wild About These Gift Ideas

Jackson Hole Wyoming Snake River Whitewater Paddleboarding

I’d like to welcome a guest writer to the blog today! Welcome Neil Stawski!

Searching for the perfect gift for someone special can take eons. If they’re one of those people who are always on the go, enjoy traveling, lovecamping, hiking and spending time in nature, it might be easier to pick something out for them than you think. Here are several ways you can gift outdoor enthusiasts.

  1. Footwear: Wearing the proper shoes can make all the difference in terms of comfort and agility, and gone are the days where all you need is just one pair of sneakers. Depending on the activity and outdoor conditions they’re used to, consider a new pair of water shoes, snow boots, trail runners or hiking boots.
  2. Airline Gift Card: Give them the gift of travel so they can explore the wonders of the world whenever and wherever they’d like.
  3. Camping Essentials: If they’re the type who is camping almost every weekend, think about giving them the tent of all tents. You can find spacious tents that include doors, room dividers and even an awning. If they already have a shelter they love, pick up a comfy sleeping bag, air mattress, headlamp, or pocket knife so they can camp in style.
  4. Compass: You can purchase waterproof directional devices that glow in the dark and include a magnifying lens to assist them in their journey.
  5. Backpack: Look for something lightweight, water resistant, and with a water reservoir so outdoor enthusiasts can easily carry all the necessities with them no matter where they wander.
  6. Boat Gear: If they’re on the water a lot, pick out some fun-shaped and vibrantly colored floats for them to soak up the sun on. There are even floatable coolers complete with cup holders.
  7. Gardening Supplies: From a bird feeder and a book on plants, to seeds, beautifully painted potting containers, and low maintenance succulents, there’s plenty you can get the gardener in your life. If they’re looking to draw more attention to their yard, Buzzfeed recommends a butterfly paddler that is “designed to hold on to natural minerals after water evaporates that then attract all sorts of butterflies.” Smithsonian Magazine also purposes a mason bee house and describes mason bees as, “non-aggressive garden lovers” that “rarely sting and are hugely helpful pollinators.”
  8. Park Membership: Give them the opportunity to visit their nearest State Park on the regular, or go big with a membership that grants access to all of the National Parks.
  9. Water Purifier: Whether it is in the form of a bottle or straw, they’ll be able to drink straight from the stream without worrying about contamination.
  10. Hammock: There’s nothing better than hanging comfortably from a few trees on a sunny day. Get a portable one so they can kick back and relax anywhere.
  11. Sun Protection: A cute hat and chic pair of sunglasses can go along way from keeping the sun out of their face.
  12. Binoculars: Give them the ability to enjoy the view while bird watching and pursuing other wildlife up close.
  13. Artwork: A calendar of scenic nature shots or framed maps of state parks and hiking trails will keep them feeling inspired even when they’re indoors.
  14. Cooking Supplies: Sometimes food just tastes better outside. With that in mind, consider getting them a portable grill, skewers, a cast iron skillet, or a fire pit.
  15. Wildlife Camera: With a motion-detected camera, they’ll be able to see all the animals that grace their property. This device will start snapping photos or videos when triggered that are fun to share with the whole family.

Just make sure whatever you pick out is made with as much earth-friendly materials as possible. For the nature lover, the greener the gift, the better; however, if it will allow them to pursue their passions, chances are they’re going to love it no matter what.

Neil Stawski believes an informed, engaged public is the only way to save the planet. He created ClimateWise.co to educate the public and encourage people to take action. ClimateWise helps visitors stay up to date on the latest climate change developments–from news stories to information about the latest research to what climate change deniers are doing to mislead the public.

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Elk Country RV Resort & Campground – Trinidad, California

Elk Country RV Resort Campsite Campground Review Full Time RV

To be completely honest, I didn’t get many photos of Elk Country RV Resort. I didn’t mean to not take photos of this beautiful location, but we picked up our brand new puppy the weekend we spent here so we were a little distracted, to say the least!

Elk Country RV Resort and Campground is in a little town called Trinidad, California. The area is gorgeous as it is right in the middle of the Redwood National Forest. We were able to visit an area called The Trees of Mystery which takes you up to the top of some of the Redwood trees via a sky tram / gondola type vehicle. It was so beautiful and we’re so glad we got to see this area. While we weren’t here very long, we were also here plenty of time to see the gorgeous Redwoods. These trees are indescribable, but as large as people tell you they are, you can’t fully comprehend the breadth of their size without standing next to some of the largest ones and just staring at them.

Here’s a few photos of the elk in our campground. They weren’t kidding when they said elk roam the area and frequent the campground!

This first picture is taken from INSIDE the RV. The elk were right there!

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Shady Lane RV Camp

Shady Lane RV Camp

I’m not doing a full review on this campground as we drove in, slept, and drove out first thing in the morning. We never even saw the place in much daylight, but I just have to say how nice the people at Shady Lane RV Camp are! This little place is in Barstow, California and I just love that they call it a camp instead of a park!

While it is a tiny overnight stop kind of campground, it is just off the interstate and a great location if you’re ever headed from Oceanside, California to Las Vegas. We simply needed a place to sleep and we were happy to support a family owned campground like Shady Lane.

The only thing I managed to get photos of was the Shady Lane Time Machine – a phone booth converted into a “time machine.” It truly was a work of art!

 

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: San Francisco North / Petaluma KOA – Petaluma, California

San Francisco North Petaluma KOA Campground Review

The San Francisco North / Petaluma KOA is one of the nicest KOA’s we’ve been to. From the gorgeous landscaping to the amazing laundry room, this KOA is a great one.

The restrooms were nice, but I want to focus on the laundry facilities here because they are fantastic. There is no shortage of washers and dryers at this campground. They even have large commercial washer and dryers which are great for getting the chance to wash the bed comforters. It was great to be able to clean these items without trying to stuff them into a regular washing machine.

Security here is tight though and every person staying at the resort is required to wear a bracelet (think the bracelet you receive to get into a concert or fair or club or something like that). It was quite strange to have to wear one of these to stay an RV resort and with a 9 week old puppy, he just wanted to chew them off.

They have a nice playground for children as well. And, if you’re wanting to venture out to San Francisco for a tour, they actually have their own tour bus and tour. It sounds like a great option if you’re interested in seeing San Francisco without the fuss of driving into the city.

With close proximity to Napa Valley, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit a winery recommended by our friends. We took a trip over to Cuvaison Winery, a beautiful little dog-friendly winery. I’m not a huge wine fan, but I absolutely loved the wines we tried. Cash had his very first outing and here and they loved him! They brought him water and treats and just loved on him the whole time we were tasting the wines. He was in pure puppy heaven.

We also luckily left this area just before it was ransacked by wildfires. While the KOA and the Cuvaison winery survived, many of the places around them were not as lucky. Many wineries in the area did not survive the fires and the KOA ended up housing many people who lost everything. We were very lucky with our timing and leaving the area when we did, but we’re so thankful we got to spend the time there we did!

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Catalina Spa RV Resort – Desert Hot Springs, California near Joshua Tree National Park

Catalina Spa RV Resort Campground RV Park Review

Have we mentioned recently how much we love hot springs? Well, we L-O-V-E hot springs and we’ve started trying to find them when we’re near them. We needed a place to stay near Joshua Tree National Park and we came across this little town called Desert Hot Springs. We found a huge RV park called Catalina Spa RV Resort and it was love at first swim.

This place was recently purchased by new owners and they’re doing great things to this park. Some aspects were still under construction while we were there, but I imagine they’ve completed most of the projects by now.

They have multiple pool areas; however, only one was open while we were there. This very large pool and hot tub area was heavenly. The water comes from the hot springs so you get the mineral properties from the water. I will caveat that by saying, unlike other hot springs pools we visit, these do have added chemicals in them. The state of California requires all pools – even those from hot springs – be chemically balanced. This means that even though you’re still getting the benefits of the mineral water, you’re getting the negative effects of all the pool chemicals as well. We still loved this place though as the hot tub and pool were fantastic.

They also have this adorable mini golf course that was built by some of the regulars for everyone to enjoy. It was such a cute little putt-putt course and they did a great job building it. It was challenging too!

While we were there, they were finishing up construction on the second pool and workout area – all of which I believe is going to be adults only (and you know how much I love adult only areas). This pool looks absolutely stunning and the workout room is top notch. They weren’t quite finished, but I still wanted to show some pictures of this area so you can get an idea of what it will look like once complete.

The bathouse and laundry room were both average, nothing spectacular, but nothing bad either. I do really like the bathhouse being inside the pool area. It was nice to jump out of the pool and right into the showers.

Some of the other amenities of the resort include a gate that is secure after dark not allowing visitors in, a dog run area, pickle ball courts, horse shoes area, and Bocci ball courts.




And, last, but certainly not least, by now you probably realize I’m a huge fan of cacti and desert landscaping. The folks at Catalina Spa RV Resort have done an excellent job incorporating all sorts of different types of cacti throughout the RV park. I just adore these plants. They’re just eye-candy to me!

While at Catalina Spa RV Resort, we visited a Dig-Your-Own-Cactus store and it was pretty awesome.

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 – 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.