NC, RV Park Reviews, Uncategorized

Park Review – Carrollwoods RV Park & Grapefull Sisters Vineyard

Well, we finally did it!  We hit the road full time!  Woohoo!  We’ve been waiting and planning for this day for nearly two years.  So where did we go for our first trip?  Well, since the holidays were upon us, we decided to visit our daughter who is attending university in Myrtle Beach, SC.  That is approximately a 4 hour trip from where we were originally.

When we had made the decision on where to go, the next thing was to plan where to stay.  We wanted to be close by our daughter, but all our research of the local RV parks showed they were *really* expensive – even for a month’s stay.  We are on a budget and decided to look further out.  Mark did a little research and found Carrollwood’s RV Park & Grapefull Sisters Vineyard!

Welcome to Grapefull Sisters Vineyard & Carrollwoods RV Park!
Welcome to Grapefull Sisters Vineyard & Carrollwoods RV Park!

Located about 30 minutes from North Myrtle Beach just across the state line in North Carolina, this little (22 space) RV park sounded perfect!

Map link to Location:  Carrollwood’s RV Park

We stayed here for the month of December and while we enjoyed ourselves, I think it would have been nicer to be here in warmer weather! 🙂  Here is some info to help you make an informed decision about this park.

  • Location
    • Pros: Located only 30 miles to Myrtle Beach, this little RV park is situated on a local Muscadine Vineyard which is owned by the family.  Surrounded by beautiful farm land with all sorts of local wild life.
    • Cons: The closest real grocery store and gas station is 20 minutes away over the border in South Carolina.  It’s an easy drive through some pretty farm land.  It is out in “the boonies” (which was a PLUS for us) but if you want close by amenities then this is not the park for you.
  • Sites/Spaces
    • Pros:  Monthly rates are reasonable at $350 plus tax & electric (.12kwh) at time of writing.  Daily rates are listed on their website and they accept many of the RV clubs for a discounted rate (Passport America, etc).  The spaces are very large, wide and (fairly) level with all being pull throughs for big rigs.  All sites have 30/50 amps and water/sewer hookups.  They have basic cable (you must get a box at the office) which they charge an additional $24.99/mo for (no thanks).  We got about 10 solid channels on our digital antenna just fine.  All spaces include a fire ring and picnic table and some have bbq’s.
    • Cons:  It rained (a LOT) while we were here and there are a lot of low areas that filled up with water.  Drainage could be better but for the most part the sites are very nice.
Our site #66 at Carrollwoods RV Park.  Very large with picnic table and fire ring!
Our site #66 at Carrollwoods RV Park. Very large with picnic table and fire ring!
Other spaces in the park
Other spaces in the park
Looking down the "main" road (there are only 3 little roads through the park).
Looking down the “main” road (there are only 3 little roads through the park).
  • Amenities
    • Pros:  Lots of shady tree lined areas and trails to walk, bike & hike. Very pet friendly! Laundry room has only two washers/two dryers but it is a small park ($1.50 to wash/$1.75 to dry) so that’s understandable.  There is a bath house and a POOL!  Also, there is a little general store with some basic RV needs and some food (expensive as you might imagine but handy).  **They do have wireless internet but honestly it doesn’t work well at all.  Goes out frequently and the signal strength is lacking and we were parked right across from an antenna.  So don’t rely on their internet for work, etc.** They have propane on site for fill.  There is a park host on duty.
    • Cons:  They sell firewood to the guests here at $4/bundle.  There are probably about 6 pieces of wood in each bundle.  They do not allow you to bring in wood from outside locations.  At the time of this writing they do not offer larger bundles at a discount.
General store!  Mail delivery here as well as a propane filling station.
General store! Mail delivery here as well as a propane filling station.
Bath/shower house and laundry room.  Also a covered deck to the right of the photo.  Pool is behind the bath house.
Bath/shower house and laundry room. Also a covered deck to the right of the photo. Pool is behind the bath house.
Swimming pool - would be great in the summer!
Swimming pool – would be great in the summer!
  • Pets
    • Pros:  Pets are very welcome at this park!  They have a doggy park with a picnic table to sit at while the dogs play.  Pets are to be leashed at all times (except in the dog park) and you must pick up after your pets.  Only common sense of course. 🙂
    • Cons:  Not too much on the downside here.  Just remember, even in North Carolina, this is still a southern climate and with that you could have alligators in the ponds here – do not let your dog swim in them!  Do not approach alligators for any reason.  Also, when walking in the woods be mindful of snakes.  There are many poisonous varieties here.
To the dog park!
To the dog park!
The rules!
The rules!
Tank wanting in!  His favorite part of the day was his walk to the park to "run free"!
Tank wanting in! His favorite part of the day was his walk to the park to “run free”!
  • Other thoughts:  This IS a “kid friendly” park – there is a playground and pool though this time of the year (December) there were only long term people here.  The beach isn’t far and there are tons of things to do within minutes of the park and the owner has three young children that I’m sure would enjoy playmates.  There is a lovely duck pond and one big fat mother goose who looks after them all!  Of course, the winery is a nice treat and they have wine tastings of their wine and have a cute little gift shop.  Also, at this time of year there were mainly long term retired couples here.  We were the youngest in the park by 20+ years! Everyone was very nice and welcoming though as RVer’s usually are. 🙂
Playground for the kids!
Playground for the kids!
Koi pond
Koi pond
Mother Goose with her ducks!
Mother Goose with her ducks!
  • AT&T & Verizon – the AT&T signal is very poor here and non-exisitant in certain areas.  Unsure of Verizon but according to my Coverage? app it shows a decent Verizon LTE signal.

Overall, this is a beautiful little park with a great location close to Myrtle Beach that won’t break the budget.  The owners are very friendly, it’s a well laid out park and the rates are reasonable if you plan to stay for an extended period.  We really enjoyed our stay and would be happy to return! Below you will find some more photos in and around the park and winery – enjoy!

Eats & Drinks, NC

Food galore!

We’ve had some beautiful weather here lately… sunny skies, highs in the 60’s.. so we decided we would smoke a butt!  HUH?  Smoke a BUTT?? Yep, a pork butt!  We love using our smoker and there is nothing better than an awesome pulled pork sandwich.  So, we’ve got the main dish, now what to have for sides?

I’ve recently stumbled across some great recipes for potato salad and coleslaw.  These are both homemade from scratch and are really pretty simple and easy (just like I like it!).  Mark and I are on a mission to eat real food (i.e., no processed food) only and although sometimes we fail, we really have been having fun with all the recipes we’ve come across.  Cooking in an RV can sometimes be hard due to space restrictions but for the most part it is totally doable.  We cook outside a lot but it’s not always necessary.

We’ve decided to share these recipes with you in the hopes that you will enjoy them too!  Here is our first item – a Boston Butt! Season liberally with homemade dry rub.  Dry rub is the only way to go (imo)!

Boston Butt - liberally rubbed with homemade dry rub!
Boston Butt – liberally rubbed with homemade dry rub!

Next, we got the smoker going.  We use Mesquite wood chips in the chip pan and a mix of Apple Cider Vinegar and water in the wet pan.  We use this: Masterbuilt M7P 7-in-1 Smoker and Grill with Pan and Basket Set
(Purchased from Amazon, affiliate link). We love this thing and it is worth dragging around as it breaks down fairly easy and stores in the Jeep when going down the road.  It is also a grill, a low country boil cooker (totally awesome!) and also a smoker! It does other things besides but these are the three main things we use it for.  Here it is getting up to temp!

Masterbuilt 7-1 smoker/grill!  Awesome!
Masterbuilt 7-1 smoker/grill! Awesome!

While the pork was on (we do low and slow… a 3lb butt at 225 degrees for 7 hours) I got the coleslaw ready.

This coleslaw is wonderful!  It is a drawn out process as things need to sit and marinate but it is so worth it! First assemble your ingredients (one head cabbage, half an onion, 2 large carrots, 1 bell pepper and kosher salt).

Cabbage, onion, carrot, bell pepper, kosher salt.
Cabbage, onion, carrot, bell pepper, kosher salt.

Then shred/dice all the veggies:

All diced up and ready to go!
All diced up and ready to go!

Then I start by layering in a bowl:  Cabbage, carrot, onion, bell pepper and a little kosher salt on each layer:

Just a little salt on each layer - I use one tablespoon for the WHOLE thing.
Just a little salt on each layer – I use one tablespoon for the WHOLE thing.

Then when it’s all layered with salt and veggies let it sit on the counter for an hour – that draws out the moisture and lets the salt penetrate the veggies.

Waiting is the hardest part! All layered and first marinade.
Waiting is the hardest part! All layered and first marinade.

While that is sitting I start gathering my ingredients for my potato salad.  Now this potato salad is NOT the usual.  There is no mayonnaise in this recipe and it contains pickles!  OMG it is SO GOOD!  All you need are enough potatoes to feed your respective crowd, Apple Cider Vinegar, purple onion, olive oil, dill pickles, salt & pepper!

Potatoes (small yukon gold), red onion, dill pickles, Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper
Potatoes (small yukon gold), purple onion, dill pickles, Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Dice up the potatoes and place them in a pan of cold water with a little salt.  Boil until tender (8-10 minutes).

Start with cold water then bring to a boil!
Start with cold water then bring to a boil!

While the potatoes are cooking I dice up a generous amount of purple onion and pickle!  You can do both to taste but the pickle really makes this dish!

Yumm!
Yumm!

Once the potatoes are finished cooking, drain them off then put them back in the pan and have the heat on low.  Pour in about a 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar and stir it around until it evaporates.  It steams right into the potatoes!

Apple Cider Vinegar - it's the bomb!
Apple Cider Vinegar – it’s the bomb!

Then add about 1/8 – 1/4 cup olive oil.  Just enough to coat the potatoes.

Olive oil... yummy goodness!
Olive oil… yummy goodness!

Once that is in you can add your purple onion and pickles, along with salt and pepper to taste!

Getting real now!
Getting real now!

Mix well…

Oh yeah!! That's the ticket!
Oh yeah!! That’s the ticket!

And now your potato salad is done!  I like it served a bit warm so you can either leave it on the stove (covered) until you’re ready to eat or if you prefer, you can make it the day before and refrigerate it to eat later.

Now that the potato salad is done it’s time to work on the coleslaw.  Your coleslaw has been sitting for an hour with the salt on it and you can either do one of two things.  You can either rinse off the salt and then add the marinade or you can leave it as is and add the marinade.  I do not rinse it personally.

For the marinade you will need: Apple Cider Vinegar, Sugar, Water, Celery Seed & Mustard Seed.

Coleslaw marinade - Apple Cider Vinegar, mustard seed, water & sugar.
Coleslaw marinade – Apple Cider Vinegar, mustard seed, celery seed, water & sugar.

To a small sauce pan add 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar (original recipe calls for 1-3/4 cup sugar but that is way too sweet for me!), 1 tsp celery seed and 1 tsp mustard seed.

coleslaw6
The syrup!

 

Bring the syrup to a boil and then let boil for one minute.  Shut off heat and let cool.  Mix syrup with the shredded veggies and let stand at least one hour.  Once that has soaked in all the yummy goodness, drain off and add mayonnaise to taste!  You can also add a little Sriracha to bring a little heat to the mix!

Ok, all my sides are done!  But what about the pork you ask? It has been smoking away at a low temp for almost 7 hours now.  It is done when the bone just slides on out!  Here is the finished product:

OMG so good!
OMG so good!

Shred it up!

Super delicious!
Super delicious!

And of course, the whole thing wouldn’t be complete without a campfire!  What a perfect day of cooking, enjoying cocktails and loving our wonderful RV lifestyle!  We wouldn’t trade it for the world!

The finished product!  Pulled pork sandwich with BBQ sauce and coleslaw with a side of potato salad! A campfire completes this wonderful meal!
The finished product! Pulled pork sandwich with BBQ sauce and coleslaw (yes, on top of the pork!) with a side of potato salad! A campfire completes this wonderful meal!

If you’ve read this far then we really hope you’ve enjoyed this super long post full of great food! 🙂  We will be posting more recipes in the future so be sure to check out our Eats & Treats page!

Uncategorized

Time for a walk

We took a walk around our little RV Park the other day and took some photos of things that captured our attention!  So many beautiful things to see – lots of flora & fauna in amazing colors.  North Carolina in the fall is crisp & cold but it is also very pretty.  Click on any image to see the photo in actual size!  Enjoy.

We hope you enjoyed this little tour of our current location!