Things to do in Luray, Virginia

If (As if!) your glampground resort doesn’t have enough to keep you busy during your vacation to Luray, Virginia, there are certainly other things you can do in the area, like…

  1. Cruise through Skyline Drive.
  2. Shop, stroll, and hang out in historic old town Luray.
  3. Enjoy a nature walk along the Greenway.
  4. Explore Shenandoah National Park.
  5. Tour Luray Caverns.
  6. Get lost in the Garden Maze.
  7. Learn about Luray Valley’s history, including seeing a Bible from the 1530s and watching a blacksmith demonstration.
  8. Cruise through the old car museum.
  9. Play — and wax nostalgic — at the toy museum.
  10. Visit the train museum at the Luray visitor center.
  11. Amble around the Luray Zoo.
  12. Visit the Shenandoah River State Park.
  13. Zipline!
  14. Hike.
  15. Golf.
  16. Gaze up at those beautiful mountains.

The photo above was taken at the Luray Valley Museum. Gorgeous! (But enough about me, ha!) This museum is located right across the street from the caverns, garden maze, toy museum, and car museum. You’ll find two cafes in this area, ample parking, misters in the garden maze (of the cool water variety, not the creepy old men kind), and plenty of bathrooms.

Plan to spend an hour touring the caverns — and expect to hear a lot of rock puns while you’re trapped in a cave with a goofy guide and lack a direct escape route to joke-free safety. You must wear shoes with grip because the floor can be wet with somewhat steep slopes, both upward and downward. Kids 5 and under are free! Tours depart on the hour.

The caverns essentially are the anchor site of a strip mall of tourist attractions, all within a very short walking distance. A cafe is right next door to the caverns, and it’s where we had your typical concession-style lunch. That cafe is attached to a small toy museum with a train display and plenty of trips down the memory lanes of childhood joy. For instance, you’ll discover that, yes, Barbie is old. And apparently now my Cabbage Patch Kid dolls are, too, because they were also in the toy museum.

Wait. If my childhood toys are now in a museum, then that means…

I, too, am…


You’ll find both shaded outdoor and indoor tables at the cavernside cafe, as well as bathrooms, including a handicap-accessible one. Now, cruising on…

Next to those sites is the car museum, which features some truly notable and a couple rare vehicles — including a real “surrey with the fringe on top” and one owned by none other than Rudolph Valentino! ūüėćūüėćūüėć

(I don’t care that Rudy died a century ago; I’m still swooning over The Sheik.)

Next to the car museum are more bathrooms and a cool down spot with shaded tables and drinks/ice cream. Of course, you’re also literally right next to the parking lot, so to save yourself $20 on overpriced drinks and treats, just tote an iced cooler in your trunk and enjoy cold drinks straight from your RV.
Next is a rope course, which has levels for most ages and skills, but we skipped…ropes. (Har har har!)

After that is the whimsical garden maze (pictured above). Entry was $9 for adults and kids were free! Our whole family enjoyed this site. Try to find all four “goals” before you exit to reveal a secret message. It’s challenging enough to be fun and engaging without being scary or frustrating. The Kampy Kids liked this so much they wanted to go back the next day. When the temps get hot, staff turn on the water misters. There’s also a water (drinking) fountain in the center of the maze.

And more bad jokes. When you visit the maze, you’ll know exactly what I mean, so I won’t spoil it for you here, but it became obvious to us at this point that the folks of Luray find it amusing to torture it’s guests with puns. Anyway, we had a pun trip. (Zing!)

Finally, we crossed the street to the Luray Valley museum. You can receive a ticket to get a free stone at their gift shop when you buy your museum ticket at the caverns. I really enjoy history, so this was my favorite part of the “strip mall.” They have many cool artifacts on display, and I’d encourage you to take the to appreciate them instead of just breezing through the museum as there are a few rare and very valuable objects to appreciate.

Outside, there is a working blacksmith shop with occasional live demonstrations, a preserved historic African American schoolhouse, a preserved meeting house, a cafe featuring some Virginia wines, and some other historic outbuildings, as well. Two buildings were closed for construction during our visit, but it was quite interesting to watch the contractors at work to rehab them — in preparation for my future visit!

I’ll leave you now with pictures of the museum and those beautiful mountain views…

Glampground Review: ¬†Jellystone Campground in Luray, Virginia

Hi, fellow travelers! Hope your summer is off to a great start and that you’re heading off to awesome glampground destinations.

Speaking of… We recently stayed at the Jellystone Campground in Luray, Virginia. It’s our first Jellystone franchise stay, and the Kampy Kids are loving all the variety of fun activities to do here:

  • A younger folks pool
  • A separate older folks pool
  • A ridonculously fun splash park
  • A certifiably insane twisty slide
  • Two mondo jumping pillows
  • Something called GaGa Ball (we still have no idea what it is)
  • Laser tag
  • Two decent large playgrounds
  • Clean bathhouses and bathrooms
  • A laundry facility with folding table and hanging rack
  • An overpriced gameroom
  • A neato outdoor theater
  • Paddle boats
  • Fishing at their little pond
  • Pretty fun mini golf
  • A variety of campsites, glampsites, and cabinsites
  • A lodge
  • A dog park I have yet to see a dog in
  • Some walking trails that look mighty suspicious
  • Golf carts (my new favorite — zoom!)
  • A large rec center for crafts and other programs
  • Two decent sand volleyball courts
  • Two tetherball poles
  • Cornhole
  • Horseshoe pits
  • And a camp store that sells this…

Alas, Camper Man got bored on Day 5, conceding that this is a fantastic glampground for the kiddos but leaves a little to be desired in terms of grown-up activities.

(Psst! It’s called parenthood!)

I didn’t feel that way; I enjoyed some of the many camp activities, like coloring my own crafty bookmark and driving the golf cart. I also liked driving the golf cart. And did I mention I liked driving the golf cart?

When we first pulled up to this glampground, the majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park immediately vanished upon the sudden sights of plastered bears and water parks in primary colors.

In fact, all I could think of was…


I kept waiting for my youngest Kampy Kid to squeeze Boo Boo Bear and growl, “IT’S SO FLUFFY!”

Instead, she said, to his cheerily beary face, “That’s not a real bear. That’s just a guy dressed up.”

There are loads of activities to do each day, from the pools and sports/games to the crafts and scavenger hunts and even an animal show.

In addition to a great community of super-friendly families and respectful kids, the staff is friendly and the landscaping is very nicely…


You’ll also love the amazing backdrop of the mountains and the nearby attractions, to be discussed in the next post.

So, next time you’re in Luray, take a fun family trip to the Jellystone Campground here!

PS — At the animal show, the littlest Kampy Kid who couldn’t “bear” to hug Boo Boo was totally fearless when it came to petting an alligator. Go figure!

Glampground Reviews: ¬†Lake Raystown Resort Campground, Entriken, PA

We recently stayed at Lake Raystown Resort Campground in Entriken, PA.

It gets points for having:

  • a guarded security gate;
  • frequent security rounds;
  • a variety of lodging and campsite options;
  • a very nicely stocked and staffed general store;
  • siteside trash pick-up;
  • ample dump station space, drains, and hoses;
  • fishing and boating accessibility;
  • a nice conference center;
  • a scenic “wedding pointe”;
  • a lot of bathhouses throughout;
  • a nice playground with plenty of seating and picnic areas for adults and families;
  • nice lake and mountain views throughout;
  • cute hiking trails (“Cute?” Yes.)
  • a very friendly, quiet, family-oriented, active, and polite camp community.

Our site was nice, and we loved our site neighbors — a pair of mallard ducks fending off two drake suitors. It was quite the love battle. We named the female “Mimmy Duck” and the male that wouldn’t leave her side “Diddy Duck.”

There was the nice boyfriend-wannabe duck who quack-quacked down the lake looking for Mimmy only to find her with Diddy, so he quietly went on the bank, acted like he had come just to nibble a little clover, then hopped right back into the lake water and quack-quacked sadly away.

The mean boyfriend-wannabe duck, pictured below, swam up to Mimmy and Diddy then charged after them, causing them to fly away for a while after having been eating quietly beside us at the picnic table for two solid hours. “Meanie duck!” the Kampy Kids called him.

Since we were at Raystown in April, the weather was lovely! But most things in and around the resort did not open until Memorial Day weekend. So, the kids did not get to enjoy the onsite water park, and most local attractions and even ice cream shops and such were not open yet for the season.

One place that was open was Raystown Market, which is very close to the resort at the intersection of 994 and 26. It has a very pleasant owner, plenty of room for RVs to gas up, propane fill-up, and sub shop inside the convenience store. And, yes, here the Kampy Kids got to enjoy their ice cream.

Fortunately, we were still entertained by the playground, walking, hiking, birdwatching, flower sightseeing, grilling, campfiring, smoring, and ducks.

Among the cons were:

  • Our “premium” site did not have full hook-up
  • A long walk to the playground  and sometimes to bathhouses from most campsites and other lodging
  • Expensive onsite cafe
  • Wonky wifi
  • Must book early; limited site availability of waterfront sites
  • Rusted out fire rings
  • Not much to do in and around the area
  • Would be nice to have notching posts at the waterfront sites to hook your boat up to

We had a very relaxing time! April is definitely a great time of year to go glamping!

This was the sunrise on the last day of our stay. So pretty!


Glampground Reviews: ¬†Ye Olde Mill Family Campground and Historic Grist Mill, Burnt Cabins, PA

Ahh, April camping!

The sun is still low on the horizon, the mornings are brisk, frost covers the windows of our tow vehicle, and the mostly empty campgrounds give us freedom to roam far and wide.

April is a perfect time of the glamping year to wake up with the sun, grab that steamy cup o’ joe, and head out for an invigorating campground stroll.

Of course, April camping also brings about allergies, bees and wasps, and fields of dandelions, but whatevs. You’ll have that, and the rewards outweigh the risks.

Our maiden voyage of the 2016 glamping season took us to the sinisterly named Burnt Cabins, Pennsylvania, and a small but very friendly, laid back, un-sinister, and accommodating campground called Ye Olde Mill.

 A friendly family of four runs the campground, old mill, and camp store, and they live right across the street, so they’re right nearby if you ever need anything.

They have a lovely little creek running along one side of the campground — and Ye Olde PA Turnpike runs by, too, but really? The busy road wasn’t as noisy as we thought it might be, and I rather enjoyed watching Ye Olde Cars and Big Rigs roll by.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, you can actually tour Ye Olde on-site Mill, which is still operational and family-run. In the winter months, the family mills grain and flour which they use to package various mixes available for sale in their camp store.

The camp store is cozy and bounteous! In addition to some local foods, they have Hershey’s ice cream, fishing licenses and bait, and a deli!

They have free wifi (though sometimes the signal was sporadic), an okay playground that the kids loved but just needed some paint and minor repairs, passable (dated but very clean) bathrooms, a decent laundry facility, and a rickety old bridge crossing Ye Olde Stream. There’s also a pavilion with kitchen, in case you’re looking for a place to hold a small RV rally.


When you’re not fishing, you can head to nearby Cowan’s Gap State Park for some lake and trail activities and family picnics, Buchanan’s Birthplace for some history and education, and the quaint hamlet of Mercersburg for boutique shopping and dining.

Or just relax and camp, like the man at the site behind us. He’s been sitting outside in his chair napping since yesterday. Seriously. Is he still alive? I think I saw him breathe, but I can’t be sure. Would somebody please check his pulse? 

Camper Man:  “You know, we could always just zip up to Mercersburg for the day–”

Glamper Lady:  “But we have an RV!”

In the good news department, three generations of men were in the camper beside us, and the one guy caught a great big fish! Congrats!

We had Ye Grand Olde Time at Ye Olde Mill!


Camper Man, later:  “You like this coffee?” [Dunkin Donuts original blend]

Glamper Lady:  “Yes.”

Camper Man:  “Is it your favorite?”

Glamper Lady:  “It’s better than the other stuff we had.” [Generic store-brand bulk]

Camper Man:  “Yeah, it is. We should just start buying the good stuff…. We made it, baby! We can buy the good coffee now!”

Glamper Lady:  “Yeah, baby! Whoo! High five!”

I love camp talk. ūüėä

Tips: ¬†RV Fire Safety Awareness

Each day, as you know if you follow my blog or Twitter feed, I scour the Internet to tweet or post news related to glamping, but there is one category of RV news that I avoid posting:  RV-related tragedy.

You see, I want to keep fun and clean and light-hearted, and I definitely will not exploit personal tragedy, so I never link to those types of stories. Unfortunately, I have see enough headlines lately about RV-related damage and even, sadly, death, and nearly all of them occur due to fires or vehicle accidents. This encouraged me to write a post for you on RV Fire Safety Awareness.

I found some older stats that said, “there were, on average, 3,100 RV fires each year from 2002 through 2005. These fires caused seven deaths, 62 injuries and approximately $41 million in damages in each of those years.”1¬†Now, to put things in a bit more pleasant perspective, in that same time period, 8.9 million households owned RVs. So, 3,100 RV fires out of 8,900,000 RVs in the U.S. means that just .00035% of RVs in 2005 suffered the fate of a fire. In comparison, an American’s chance of dying of a heart attack in 2005 was more than this at .0012% (356,112 U.S. heart attack deaths out of a 2005 U.S. population of 295,500,000). Also, U.S. home fires in the broader sense in 2005 numbered 381,000, a figure which includes mobile homes/manufactured homes but not other RVs. That said…

Your chances of an RV fire occurring are statistically very slim.


Still,¬†since even one RV tragedy story is one story¬†too many, I want to do¬†this¬†post on fire safety awareness for you and your RV. So, here are a few basic RV fire safety tips so your glamper doesn’t end up like this:


  1. Equip your camper with a smoke detector and keep its batteries fresh. The same goes for your carbon monoxide and propane detectors. The Red Cross estimates that “having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.”
  2. Rely on your own senses, not solely your detectors. If you smell smoke or propane, exit your RV immediately. Carbon monoxide is odorless, so watch for early warning signs such as headaches, nausea, and dizziness.
  3. Maintain your fire-risk equipment. Routinely check and service your RV’s engine, your generator, your propane tanks, your oven/range, your microwave, your water heater, etc. let’s put it this way: ¬†if it has electricity, batteries, or a fuel source, it carries a risk of fire.
  4. Keep fire extinguishers nearby — and current. The kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and an exterior storage cabinet are good places to start. Did you know there are different types of fire extinguishers? Do you know how to use one? Don’t worry: there’s training locally and online (like here).
  5. Know where your glamper’s emergency exits are. Do you know how to use them? Have you done a fire drill with your family? Do you establish an emergency netting place at each glampground? Do you have an escape plan for your pets? has advice on this and more.
  6. Do you have RV fire insurance?
  7. Are you aware of the fire risk associated with smoking, candles, space heaters, electrical appliances, and the gases in your sewer tank?
  8. Do you remember to turn off appliances, like your curling iron or coffeemaker?
  9. Do you keep flammable items away from potential fire risks, such as your bedding, curtains, and clothing and your range/oven?
  10. Do you stand by and monitor your cooking at the range/oven, microwave, toaster, grill, outdoor kitchen, or campfire? Do you keep baking soda nearby in a pinch to put out a grease fire?
  11. Do you know how to properly extinguish a campfire? Do you properly extinguish your cigarettes (or could you quit smoking)?
  12. Do you truly understand what your RV outlets can handle? Do you understand amperage and currents?
  13. Do you properly store potentially flammable items? Do you know how to ventilate your glamper? (It took us a couple tries to figure out how our windows worked!)

Here are some other GREAT online resources, in addition to the links in the text above:

The Glamper Lady does not wish to see an article about a fire tragedy for you or your RV. Please-please-please take precautions and use common sense to stay safe so your otherwise awesome glamping trips don’t go up in smoke.

Like this. Yikes again!

Dear Glamper Lady…

Dear Glamper Lady,

What type of RV should I buy?

– Peggie G., Dellwood, NC

Dear Peggie G.,

Thank you for your comical question. My staff and I got a great big laugh out of it. Do you also go to shoe stores and ask random strangers, “Does this shoe fit me right?”


PS — Do you know Jim at the Wheels Through Time Museum? Tell him we said hi!


The Glamper Lady

Dear Glamper Lady,

Did you make any kind of mistakes when you bought your first RV?

– Jim H., Wheels Through Time Museum, NC

Dear Jim,


PS – Do you know Crazy Peggie from Dellwood?


The Glamper Lady

Dear Glamper Lady,

Can you recommend any easy loading, quick-hitching toy haulers? I need something lightweight that I can tow with this stolen Sentra.

– Roderigo M., loitering right outside of Dellwood, NC

Dear Jim,

Me again. Watch out for some guy named Roderigo. We got a tip-off that he’s fixin’ to steal a bike from your museum.


The Glamper Lady

Dear Glamper Lady,

Just wanted to let you know I’ve decided to get a toy hauler! My first RV trip will be with my new husband Roderigo. Can you guess where we’re going?

– Peggie G.-M., Dellwood, NC

Dear Peggie,

The slammer. I bet you’re still not good at picking out shoes either.

Wishing you all the best (while I grimace at thoughts of your certain downhill future),

The Glamper Lady

News: Glamping at America’s National Parks

On August 25, 2016, America’s National Park Service turns 100. The early National Parks created destination points for motor travelers, and a century later the Parks have been sustained travel destinations for RVers. So, celebrating 100 years of national parks is obvious reason to celebrate 100 years of RVing, too.



A hundred years ago, several public lands already existed under the purview of the U.S. federal government, but they lacked a unfiying federal body of organization. The 1916 Organic Act named the NPS as the managing body of certain national lands. The Organic Act says:

The [National Park] service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

A hundred years later, generations continue to enjoy these lands unimpaired, and the number of national parks has swelled from those first 35 to now 410; in fact, the NPS seems to grow every day. This is great news for glampers who are looking for a variety of unimpaired destinations to visit in their RVs.

But there is not perfectly wedded bliss between the parks and RVs.


The Organic act and RVing emerged around the same timeframe, with the first RV appearing in 1910. Popular destinations of old remain popular destinations of today:  Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, the Grand Canyon, Acadia, and many more. Iconic images of the Parks go hand-in-hand with vintage images of RVing, too, as visitors motored through parks and camped overnight, increasingly in their vehicles as RV convenience and practicality improved over the years.


But the rise of vehicle use and visitation to the parks via vehicles increased pollution of all sorts (litter, waste, noise, etc.) and impaired the lands that were designated to stay unimpaired. Thus, while the NPS wants visitors, they do not offer many accommodations or conveniences for RVers, probably to avoid the costly and detrimental motoring issues the parks experienced early on with the rise of motoring through the parks. Plus, motoring does not jive for all visitors, some of whom want to completely unplug from daily life to the primitive simplicity of nature.

But there aren’t many alternatives to traveling to the parks, not to mention in the parks, especially the ones in the millions-of-acres category. So, there has to be a compromise.

Camping at the national parks tends to be more rustic, so the pampered camper needs to be prepared for the variety of camping facilities available — or not — at your NPS destination. For example, Yosemite may have 10 RV-accommodating campgrounds, but NONE have hookups for electric, water, or sewer. The Grand Canyon campgrounds, too, have no RV hook-ups until you get to the concessioner-operated Trailer Village RV Park. Acadia, too, bears a similar theme:  several campgrounds for tent camping and RVs, but no electric, water, or sewer hook-ups.

But no worries! The Glamper Lady’s got options for RVers in tomorrow’s post. Stay tuned!


Glampground Reviews: ¬†Wapocoma Campground, Rio, WV

“Located along the banks of the South Branch of the Potomac River lies a beautiful panorama that could only be painted by the hands of God,” says Camper Man to me this cozy October morning in an absurdly soft-spoken melodramatic tone when I asked him what we wanted to post about Wapocoma Campground.

Well, despite how strange his voice sounded at that moment, he sure is right. This place is beautiful beyond words.

View from some of the campsites

“I dunno,” Camper Man then adds in a normal voice. “Is that how you start your blogs? How do you start a blog post? ‘Once upon a time…?'”

After a thoughtful pause, he concludes, “It has good water pressure.”

He proceeds to expound on this thought through a series of sounds and gestures that apparently are supposed to indicate to me the difference between good RV water pressure and bad.

Thus, his inner poet exits, pursued by a bear.

As Camper Man whooshes and wheezes imitatively from our glamper’s couch, I am sitting at our dinette pretending to listen, the heat pump humming, my coffee cup steaming, and my thumb typing away on my smartphone as I record him (unsuspectingly, heh heh) for this blog post reviewing Wapocoma Campground.


The entrance to Wapocoma Campground


Wapocoma Campground is located about five miles from Romney, West Virginia, a little over 2-1/2 hours northwest of Washington, D.C. It is nestled in an indescribably scenic Appalchian river valley, known locally as “The Trough,” in unexpectedly, unbelievably gorgeous Hampshire County.



The campground is rustic but clean, friendly, and adequate. The office takes cash or check only; in fact, some local restaurants do this, too, so be prepared. The office has a friendly staff and decor, and the meager camp store reminds me of an old Western trading post off the Oregon Trail.

The Kampy Kids give the fenced-in playground a huge thumbs up. It has four slides, nine swings, two sandboxes, and more. Best of all for parents, the playground has an amazing view of the steep mountains and river below.

There is a small stone beach for swimming, picnicking, and fishing right along a serene curve of the river. And I was amused by what I saw there:

There are many natural attractions nearby:  hiking trails (including some on the campground), eagle-watching, water activities, and caverns. But there may be no need to leave this extremely quiet and expansive campground to feel that you are reconnecting with nature.

The neighbors are friendly and polite. We were invited to an apple butter fest at one site, whose owner — who had spent the day peeling 12 bushels of apples! — said they make their own apple butter every year and that it was especially important to the seasonal campers to do it this year as the apple butter churners were aging, including a gentleman in his 90s, and they might not be around next October to do this. They were hosting the event to honor their neighbors, and that’s the kind of proud community you tend to find at campgrounds.

Sites here are of an astonishingly large size, and seasonal sites run $700. There are over 300 sites in all, and some are full hook-up minus cable. Our cell phone signal and wifi signal were surprisingly fine for being “out in the sticks,” and did I mention Camper Man’s assessment of the excellent water pressure here? The bathhouse is clean and dated but adequate.

There is a little bit to do around here in the local attractions department, but not much really, and maybe that’s what makes this area so refreshing for those of us who are cityfolk constantly on the go-go-go. Wapocoma is not a glamping resort, but it is a real and relaxing retreat from the busy world.

Many years ago, Romney was a bit of a tourist town, but in the decades since there developed a proud local mantra to ward off “modern encroachment” and preserve the area’s natural beauty.

Among Romney’s claims to fame are its tie to the Civil War as a Southern-sympathetic strategic transportation route and perhaps the first Confederate memorial in the U.S. Two state governors are buried in town, and the surrounding countryside boasts many historic buildings and farmland.

The area boasts of a small local tourism industry that includes boating/kayaking and fishing/hunting as well as a passenger train called the Potomac Eagle that claims 90% of its trips include glimpses of native Bald Eagles.

This train, we noticed, passes politely right behind the Wapocoma Campground, giving friendly toot-toots as it lumbers by — much to the amusement of the campground’s waving children but probably not the “Stop it; yer scarin’ away the feesh!” fishermen.


Romney today has very few standing remnants indicating any period of economic boom, and I learned that “West Virginia’s Oldest Town” has experienced a gradual population decline since the 1970s. In fact, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, only 7.4% of the 1,940 city residents were age 18 to 24. Are they leaving for jobs, and are they returning afterward? About a quarter of Romney’s population lives in poverty.

Here are some of the more interesting buildings of Romney proper I discovered during my day trip into town.
If you’re looking for a more rustic but adequate camping experience with “breathtaking” views (using the word of poetic Camper Man), if you’re seeking a real chance to unplug, if you’re prepared to find it difficult to do nothing but relax during your next glamping trip, try Hampshire County, West Virginia, and the Wapocoma Campground. It’ll be a long weekend well-spent.

As I wrote this, Camper Man went outside then returned to say he had met a seasonal camper who was innocently passing by our site when Camper Man attacked him with the questions, “What do you think of the water pressure here? Great, isn’t it?”

I thought I’d heard someone roll their eyes and scamper away in fear…


Crafts: DIY Writing Desk Only $50 and 5 Minutes (Plus Drying Time)

It was a simple request. One of the Kampy Kids wanted a pink writing desk for her room.

Now, I know, the one above isn’t pink, but it’s a great inspiration piece I saw on Pinterest.

But “LANDS O’ DAY!” as my Grandma used to say (I still have no clue what that phrase means exactly, but it fits well when you don’t want to explete something blasphemous), have you seen the price of student writing desks these days?

My local discount retailers listed some small (i.e., cheap quality that won’t endure) ones for as low as $50-$80, none of them pink.

But a sturdier desk with a wood veneer over MDF already hikes you up to the $120-$200 range in my area.

Really? $200 for wood-plated MDF that I’m going to have to put together myself at home? As my childhood best friend’s mother always used to say, “No-ho-ho, I don’t think so.”

Even on Amazon I saw the nicer quality desks reach $400 and even $700. Oh, and it actually gets MUCH worse from there! I just stopped looking at $700. As Yogi Berra said, “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” (Of course, the Yog isn’t the most reliable mathematician; he also once said, “Pair up in threes.”)

$700?! For a writing desk?! And none of them pink?! (Here are Wal-Mart’s current student desk products and prices, if you’re interested in some hard numbers.)

That’s when I — a person with an ounce of DYI skill and a husband in possession of the entire Sears Tools Department — started thinking, “No problem. I’ll just do it myself, for much less money and much more fun.”

So, after measuring my space and sketching out a plan…

…off I went to my local Lowe’s, browsing the aisles until inspiration met a price I was willing to pay. And here’s what I ended up with.



COST ~$50


  1. Decide (mark) on the underside of the desktop (the wood panel) where the legs (balusters) will be affixed. I set my legs at 2″ from the desktop edge.
  2. Drill the screw holes for the corner braces into the underside of the desktop and the adjoining legs. I put two braces on each leg, adjacent to each other.
  3. Spraypaint first coat. Allow an hour to dry. Remember to paint all the sides as well as the topside. I did not paint the underside (uh, it’s where my measurements were marked for the legs), but if you do, just add another can of spraypaint and more drying time to this list.
  4. Meanwhile, cut legs (balusters) to desired height. I trimmed mine down from 34″ to 31″, planning to include a drawer later.
  5. Spray paint second coat. Let dry for an hour.
  6. When COMPLETELY DRY, flip panel over (or place it on its side, if you have a helper or a prop) and screw in all the braces to the desktop and legs.

And voilà!

WARNING! This desk is PINK, for as Kampy Kid said, “I want a PINK desk!”


   I swear, the actual labor on this was like five minutes plus two hours for drying time.

I plan to add a drawer (from some spare drawers we already have in the house) and add a pink cushion (also a quick DIY project with foam and fabric) to an old chair we already had to complete this fine ensemble.

This DIY project was quick, supereasy, fun, totally fit my budget, and in the end a very pretty addition to a little girl’s room.

Best of all? The Kampy Kid called her cousin right after I hauled it up to her room, and the first words out of her mouth were, “Look at the desk that Mommy made me!” ūüėä

So worth it.

(PS–I loved this project so much. Now, I’m looking for excuses to make more desks, LOL. Uh, so, raise your hand if you want one. Doesn’t have to be pink, ha ha.)

Glampground Review: ¬†Gettysburg Campground, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

We just had a pleasant stay at Gettysburg Campground in, you guessed it, Gettysburg, PA. This campground gets a lot of good reviews, such as a high Good Sam’s rating. I’m going to add to those reviews. We enjoyed our stay so much that we stayed an extra day, which was easily accommodated at our same site.


I found a Princess Leia tree! 

The staff was very friendly indoors and out. All were busy doing their jobs, such as keeping the place clean by dusting cobwebs off their gutters and dishing us up gigantic bowls of Hershey’s ice cream. The gentlemen staff were omnipresent in their STAFF tee-shirts, beelining from task to task on their golf carts, checking the dumpster areas and keeping things neat, and immediately radioing in safety checks when a car once came in without a vehicle pass. Hoo! They were on that car like a bee on a flower!

They have almost all you’d want in terms of Glamping amenities:  cable, full hookup sites, some pull-throughs, extra parking for trailers, cabin/cottage and tent sites, river sites (yes, you can fish), a great pool (with shade!), a nice store and ice cream/coffee area, a dump station, ample trash collection sites, and shady sites!

The sites were generously sized, and we did not feel packed in like sardines, like it can feel at other campgrounds. Mini golf, sports balls, weekend programs and hayrides, and shuffleboard were free to use; just check them out at the camp store. We thought it was a very lovely campground to walk around every morning and evening. It’s also very dog- and kid-friendly.

The bathrooms were small but clean and the showers each had a separate changing area. It is right off a busy road, so there is some traffic noise at the front of the campground, but not nearly as much farther back. Still, we loved our front site because of it’s amazing proximity to the pool (and, who are we kidding, the ice cream, too!) The wifi kept disconnecting; that was probably the biggest downside (when you blog on vacation!). Also, the entrance can sneak up on you, so be alert when approaching so you don’t have to turn around!

There I go taking random pictures of bathrooms again! ūüėČ

Hey! There were no mosquitos! Of course, my last frame of reference for rampant bug populations at campsites is our July trip to Chincoteague, ha ha.

Our neighboring guests and pool pals were all extremely nice! (Aren’t 99% of campers anyway?) Camper Man accidentally left our pool gear on one of the poolside tables, and the next day they were still there undisturbed! Plus, someone had left a little girl’s bracelet by the pool, and other campers were asking everyone around if they had lost it. It was a very nice crowd.

One couple said they have come down to Gettysburg Campground every year for the last 24 years. We can totally see why. It’s a very nice and laid back campground, within a very close and accessible drive to the Gettysburg sites, and we would love to return!

In the words of Camper Man, “Yeah, it was nice. I’d go back.”

That’s high praise, right there!