Never Gonna “Let It Go” – A Review of Frozen – The Broadway Bound Musical

Frozen on Broadway Review Let It Go Denver Premier

Let’s be honest – you either love or hate Disney’s Frozen, but either way, I think you’ll be impressed with Frozen the Musical. Before they officially hit Broadway in New York, they’re doing a 2 month test-run of sorts at Denver Center for the Performing Arts. We scored tickets for opening weekend and saw the 3rd ever performance of this show.

It. Was. Incredible. And, everyone watching was a happy reindeer like Sven.

So I can’t actually show you any pictures because, well you know, the no photos of Broadway shows rule, but I can tell you, this show made me so happy. What I also can’t tell you are all the details because while I may be semi-reviewing this show on my blog right now, I would never take away the opportunity for you to witness and feel all the incredible surprises that occur during this beautiful work of Broadway.

When you think about the expectations placed upon these performers (I mean, hello, the movie Elsa was voiced by THE Broadway Queen, Idina Menzel – talk about pressure!). Caissie Levy blew away the audience. She absolutely crushed the most important song of the show (and every other song, too). She was stunning and perfect and hit every possible high note.

And let’s talk about the spunk brought to the stage by Patti Murin. Holy geez, she’s a fantastic performer. Not only is she on stage almost the entire show, but she has more lines than anyone. Patti Murin didn’t just bring her A game, she brought everything she possible could and left it on that stage.

The combination of Caissie Levy and Patti Murin is a force to be reckoned with and dare I say, they may even be stronger performers than Anna and Elsa in the movie? On top of Caissie and Patti though, we’ve got the children who are the cutest little actresses who own the stage when they walk out. Audrey Bennett and Ayla Schwartz were Young Anna and Young Elsa at the performance we attended and sweet Audrey is my favorite of all the cast. She has so much confidence at such a young age and she really knows how to walk out on that stage and command the audience’s attention. I’m so glad Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez managed to incorporate these children throughout the show even when Anna and Elsa grow up. They did such a wonderful job changing this movie to a Broadway show and we were beyond impressed. They managed to hold the attention of children through the whole show, which was one of our main concerns before the show started. Most Broadway shows don’t have many children in attendance, but this one has many children in attendance. The adults love the show too though. There were plenty of adults without children in attendance and they incorporate many adult moments that go over the heads of the children that make the adults laugh – think the Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post scene taken to a whole new level (talk about laughing hysterically).

If you’re ever in New York – GO. TO. THIS. SHOW. You absolutely won’t regret it. It is fantastic and I’ll definitely be going again one day.

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Denver / East Strasburg KOA – Strasburg, Colorado

Denver East Strasburg KOA Colorado Campground Review

On our journey from Wyoming, we needed to stay near the Denver airport for a few days (to pick up Mom) before heading over to Golden, Colorado for our 3 week stay so we immediately looked up KOA as we figured they would have some options in the area. The Denver/East Strasburg KOA was perfect and only about 15 minutes from the Denver Airport. This is one of the nicer KOA’s we’ve stayed at and they have the NICEST showers I’ve seen in any RV park. The rest of the bathroom was interesting (think – neon lights around the mirrors – DISCO TIME!!!), but the showers were recently redone and were a gorgeous, marble finish. There isn’t much around in the town, but there is a little diner across the street that isn’t too shabby and it is better than it looks from the outside.

Also, has anyone else noticed how there are ALWAYS train tracks near campgrounds? What’s up with that? Thank goodness for white noise machines or sleep would not exist.

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Brush Memorial Municipal RV Park and Campground – Brush, Colorado

Brush Memorial Municipal RV Park and Campground Review

Don’t let this place fool you. It is SO WORTH the stay for a weekend. I’m bringing you another Weekend Edition of The Gypsy Scorecard for this great little place in Brush, Colorado called Brush Memorial Municipal RV Park and Campground. While we didn’t stay long (only one night), this cute little town is well-deserved of a quick layover. The best part is, your first night is FREE. Yes, F-R-E-E! And, even if you stay longer than your first free night, it is only $20 per night after that. All you have to do is pull in, pick your spot, and park. It’s just that easy. Once you park, fill out the envelopes left at the bulletin board (see below) and drop it in the box. While some of my ratings below aren’t the best, it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t stay again. I would come back to this little campground and town in a heartbeat!

The RV park is right next to the very large city park which includes a huge pool with a giant slide along with a large playground, huge grassy areas, and covered picnic areas with grills.

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Red Desert Rose – Rawlins, Wyoming

Red Desert Rose Campground Rawlins Wyoming Campground Review

Have you ever driven through Wyoming? We’ve been to some great places so far, but I don’t recommend trying to make the drive from the west of Wyoming to the east. There is NOTHING and I mean nothing. Limited gas stations. Limited food. We were supposed to stop halfway through, but we were so bored with the drive, we decided to power through and show up to Red Desert Rose a couple of days early. Luckily, they were able to take us in no problem and even moved our already paid for reservation of 2 days to when we arrived. We left from Jackson, Wyoming (actually Victor, Idaho at this RV Park) where we went whitewater rafting, paddleboarding on the lakes, and whitewater paddleboarding on the Snake River. Our destination in mind was Golden, Colorado (with a few days to spare in between before our next reservation).

Don’t you love this vintage style campground sign? So awesome!

One of the best parts about campgrounds is the after hours check-in option. For those who don’t know, a lot of campgrounds leave their available sites listed somewhere for those who are driving and need a place to stop and stay. Red Desert Rose does after hours check in better than any other campground I’ve ever seen. They have 4 separate compartments for the various types of sites (full hookups, full hookups no cable, water/electric only, and dry camping). Each compartment has an envelope for each of those with reservations who haven’t arrived yet and envelopes with site numbers that are available. It is so well done and we were very impressed with the packet they put together for each site.

Bonus points always awarded for laundry facilities with change machines – our jar of quarters always seems to be running low!

A very unique perk of this RV park is the “Courtesy Vehicle” as seen below. This vehicle is available for use to run quick errands like grocery shopping. I’ve never seen this at an RV park before so it was really awesome to see. Our neighbor went grocery shopping in it – so it is definitely being used!

They also have a putt-putt course (see above-right) and a book exchange (see below). I love when RV parks have book exchanges!

Doesn’t the lounge area in the store (above) remind you of Elvis Presley’s Jungle Room at Graceland? Ok, so maybe that’s a stretch, but the wood walls, dark furniture, and greenery give off that Jungle Room vibe to me.

Be a Flamingo

Be a Flamingo in a Flock of Pigeons

“A bag of beef jerky sitting on a road map
Dashboard hula girl shaking her grass
Shotgun DJ, navigate the airwaves
Don’t know where we’re going or when we’re coming back
Who wants to ride? Who wants to roll?
Westbound, southbound, where the wind blows
Who needs a plan? Bring the whole fam
Load ’em all up in my VW van
Stereo hot, pink flamingo
Who’s gonna spot the first jackalope
Who gives a damn? Bring the whole fam
Load ’em all up in my VW van.”
– Jake Owen, “VW Van”

There’s something about pink plastic flamingos.

Aren’t they awesome?

Some people may think they’re cheap or tacky, but I think they’re a sign of freedom. A sign that reminds you every single day that it’s ok to be different – that it’s ok to stand out from the rest of the world. This path of full-time RV living is not normal to the rest of the world, but now it is our normal – and, we love it. It is such a simple life and is so much less stressful than life in a big city.

In a world of pigeons, be a flamingo.

Fellow RVers, what are your favorite yard decorations?

Full-Time RVers – Campground / RV Park Review: Elks Campground – North Sterling State Park – Sterling, Colorado

Elks Campground North Sterling State Park Colorado Campground Review

Today, I’m debuting a new version of the Gypsy Scorecard – The Weekend Edition! This scorecard is solely reserved for places I believe are great weekend getaways, but they aren’t necessarily somewhere we would stay long term. The Weekend Edition of the Scorecard will only be used occasionally as we typically stay places long-term and always ensure they are work-from-home friendly. Occasionally, we’ll hit a weekend getaway to get off-the-grid a little bit (because who doesn’t love a weekend on the lake without cell phone service?).

Elks Campground at North Sterling State Park was also our first experience with the whole state park, first-come, first-serve to get a camping spot. We got super lucky as when we pulled up the sign said the campground was full, but we decided to drive up to the gate to make sure this was true. We lucked out and it wasn’t – in fact, most of the campground was empty and they hadn’t removed the full sign from the night before. We got our pick of spots and we found a great, large spot with a small walking trail to the reservoir. It was perfect for us to walk our paddleboards right down to the water.

On a side note – while I’m not judging cell phone service on The Weekend Edition of the Scorecard, this area has very little to no cell phone service at all. It was nice for us, but if you aren’t into that, you’ve been warned. If the kids must have Netflix, this isn’t your place, but if they’re cool playing down on the beach and in the reservoir, you’ll have a gem of a weekend.

Don’t you love this awning over the picnic table below? It was super unique, but really great! We loved how it covered not only the roof but one of the sides, too.

The below is an indoor space which is great for eating, hanging out, escaping the weather, or anything else. It is just a large open space for campers to use.

Ok. How many people have experienced this (see below)? Is this how State and National Parks are with their showers? This was our first State Park experience so we weren’t sure if it was normal or not. Let me tell you, paying for minutes of a shower with quarters is challenging. You realize how long of a shower you actually take and when you run out of time, there’s no warning. The water just shuts off.

And, the sunsets were just gorgeous.

On a completely separate note, when we left Elks Campground, we found a farm selling sweet corn right out of the field. We drove by saw the sign and did a u-turn (with a fifth wheel!). We pulled into the corn field and watched as they brought fresh corn they had just pulled off the stalks. Seriously, $5 for a dozen fresh sweet corn cobs is a killer deal. We were grilling fresh corn for the entire next week!

Life is But a Dream – Full-Time RVers in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park Photo Journal Full Time RV

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.”
– John Muir

Yellowstone National Park was dreamy. And when I say dreamy, I mean, nothing looks real. Everything looks like someone did a bad job with their saturation levels in Photoshop. That’s what makes it so spectacular though. As our nation’s oldest National Park, it was established in 1872. There is so much rich history in the park and the National Park Service does an excellent job preserving it for everyone to see and enjoy.

I’m not going to say much more, I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves.

And of course, a timelapse of Old Faithful as she erupts.

Bear Teeth are Intimidating

Beartooth Highway Yellowstone National Park Drive and Review Full Time RV

And by bear teeth, I don’t mean the teeth of a bear – I mean, the Beartooth Highway in Montana. This small, winding road right outside of Yellowstone National Park is one of the windiest roads I’ve ever been on – and we’ve visited the mountains a lot. While it had some of the prettiest views we’ve seen so far, it took a lot of time and stressful driving to get there. Check out some of these views!

And a different style image – just because I was having a little fun with a watercolor app.

You Know I’m Bad, I’m Bad: Badlands National Park Review

Badlands-National-Park-Photo-Journal-Review-Full-Time-RV-Family

Welcome to the Badlands, a land full of incredible mountainous terrain, hiking trails, and views with an infinite sky. This is some of the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen. The rocky lands have various colors running through them in line formations. The tall spires of rocks look like sand castles, the kind where you take wet sand and make dripping formations. Badlands National Park is a must do in South Dakota.

This was our first close encounter with bison and it was an adventurous one. Once we came across the large herd, we were able to watch them eat, waller in the dirt, and even fight each other right in front of our truck.

Watch the whole video! About halfway through it, 2 of the bison start fighting each other!

The highlight of Badlands though – the prairie dogs. These cute little creatures chirp and squeal to communicate with each other. They’re little scaredy cats though. They’re fast and they run from everything! Listen to the one little guy in the video below!

There were plenty of other animals to see as well.

On our way to Badlands, we made sure to stop at a crazy little place called Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota. This store originally opened in 1931 and business was bad so they started giving out free water to those passing through. They knew Mount Rushmore would be finished soon and had hopes of of that bringing in more traffic to their little store. Well between Mount Rushmore, the free water, and the 5 cent coffee, they succeeded and became an iconic South Dakota road trip destination. The entire place is divided into little miniature shops (almost like a small mall) and that includes their famous cafe and donut shop.

And a little bonus: The T-Rex Feeding that occurs every few minutes at Wall Drug. HA!

Full-Time RVers – Day 2 (and 3) in the Books

Day 2 was officially as exhausting as Day 1, but we’ll get through the long drives by the end of this week. We drove from Noccalula Falls, Alabama to St. Louis, Missouri/Illinois, but it didn’t start off without fanfare. We woke up early, got ready to drive out, and discovered a bubble in our tire. After a 4 hour delay and service coming out to change our faulty tire, we were finally on the road (you can read more about that here including a review of our awesome service).

We went through a few new states (yay RV stickers!) and finally made it to our campsite in St. Louis by about 9:00pm. We pulled into a gorgeous view of the Gateway Arch at sunset from our campsite. Along the way, we saw true America in the Farmlands. Just look at the gorgeous expansiveness of our beautiful country.

After unhooking and getting the RV set up, we ventured out to find some food and came across a great little place called Bailey’s Range. I wish I took more pictures, but we were so hungry, I didn’t even think to take pictures of the food before we ate. I did manage to snag a photo of the amazing old window wall they have separating the dining room from the kitchen. The food was SO fresh. They’re known for their boozy milkshakes, but we had to pass this time because we were so tired – we could barely stay awake.

We took the day off from driving today and stayed in St. Louis. We worked from the camper all day, but now that the work day is over, we’re heading out to explore the city a bit. We’ll be back on the road tomorrow, but we’ll enjoy being parked for the night!

We were still so exhausted on our day off from driving that mid-day, I found Dad down for the count, but when you’ve high-tailed it through 8 states in 2 days – this kind of activity is to be expected. 😉

After a full day of working, we ventured out for some dinner at a great little place called The Fountain on Locust. Let me tell you, the Gluten Free options are endless and they can make almost anything on the menu in a GF option. I’ve been seriously craving a good Cuban Sandwich, but haven’t been able to find a GF version anywhere (let me tell you, I’ve been searching for months…). Well, I found it – and it was so glorious. Absolute juicy perfection and the bread didn’t even resemble normal GF bread. It was soft and toasted to a nice crispy, golden color. Mom had the non-Gluten Free Cuban and I thought mine looked so much better since it was more pressed like a traditional Cuban (but she said hers was delicious too!). Dad had the Grown Up Grilled Cheese with several kinds of cheese, apples, and ham. He loved it and the homemade potato chips.

Regular Cuban on the left with Brussels Kale as the side
Gluten Free Cuban on the right with Spicy Carrots as the side.

The real stars of the show though: The Dill Pickle Soup and the Ice Cream Martinis. The soup sounds gross, right? WRONG. So very wrong. It was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted in my life. It is a potato based soup and seems to have chunks of pickles in it, but let me tell you, it is divine and it makes me sad that Pickle Soup isn’t a more common thing.

But let’s talk about something called an Ice Cream Martini. We started with these before the meal since it was still Happy Hour (PSA: If you get there during Happy Hour, these drinks are only $6 each!!!). We tried the Grand Chocolate, the Espresso, and of course, I had to get the Grasshopper (Little Lalita, Little Lalita, Little Lalita – any Big Bang Theory fans out there?).

Followed by a quick drive around the city for a few pictures of the Arch.

You know if there’s a casino, Mom and I will find it. There’s always time for a little Roulette!

And for the fellow campers out there: a quick review of the Casino Queen RV Park.

While this park wasn’t spectacular, it provided great views of the Arch, easy access to the city, and a shuttle to the casino next door. It was a little pricy for the lack of amenities (coming in at $53/night with our Good Sam discount), but for a quick layover with easy access to downtown, it was worth it. The office is only open from 8am-4pm and doesn’t have much for sale inside, but the highlight was definitely the fountain Coke machine. There was no cable at the park even though they have cable boxes. I personally think, they should clarify this on their website. It doesn’t mention they have cable, but it does mention full hook ups including Internet. Maybe we shouldn’t have assumed cable was included in that, but we did (lesson learned). They did have a small laundry facility that worked well and we did utilize that while we were there. The view of the arch was gorgeous, especially at night during sunset, but if the park was crowded, most people wouldn’t have that view. There is a playground area as well as a nice grassy area with gazebos, picnic tables, and grills. It was interesting because one side of the park had large trees between lots and one side was strictly gravel rocks between lots. While we like the shade the trees provided, the spots on that side of the park were smaller and didn’t have a view of the arch. We opted for the other side of the park with rocks between sites so we would have a view of the Arch. WORD OF WARNING: The trains are so loud all night. There are a lot of trains going through the area and they blow their horns all night – and I mean, ALL NIGHT. Every 30-60 minutes a train would come through and they all blow their horns right there. They make your RV shake because they are so close. I sleep with a white noise machine very loud so they didn’t bother me. My parents sleep with a white noise machine too, but they don’t have theirs as loud as mine. Dad slept right through the trains, but they kept waking mom up. Come prepared with white noise or earplugs!