Cool Stuff is Everywhere!

So first off many apologies for not having some pictures of our great camp near Winston-Salem, NC. When we pulled into the camp it was raining for the first two days and the nice days saw us so busy that we simply forgot to snap any photos. The reason I bring this up is because we stayed at a lovely spot called Tanglewood RV. When we left the freeway and Sarah said it was only a few turns to get to the camp, I must admit that I was worried about road noise. Two turns later and a drive into the camp didn’t do much to ease my worries.  We checked in and headed to camp, which was down another long driveway to even enter the camp. After we set up camp I perked up my ear to see if I was going to be bothered by road noise and to my surprise I heard nothing. It turned out to be a wonderful quiet camp in the woods. The sites were not very level, but we have dealt with that so many times over the last year that it didn’t matter especially with our new slide supports (yes I really do love those things).  Best of all the park had good Wi-Fi which allowed us to post some articles and send family pictures, which is something we always love.

Every time we get to a new area we check the ASTC list to see if there are any educational opportunities in the area. Since there wasn’t a capitol to visit we were open to go to several museums. There were three museums within driving distance (we try only to drive an hour or less to see stuff) and of course they were all in different directions. The first one we visited was the Kaleideum North because it was the closest on the list. When we visit a museum we hope that it will be both educational and fun for the kids. The Kaleideum North was both.  It had a little of everything to learn about, including an outdoor area with micro-zoo as well as tons of exhibits on the inside. We were already happy with the quality of the museum after having seen the inside animals (snakes, birds, turtles, etc) and the nature history section with animals stuffed at the taxidermy. Then we wandered into the planetarium and joined a school group learning about our solar system. After that we played with hands on science exhibits and learned about physics.  At this point we decided to go see the outside animals before the section closed, when what did I find?  Another huge section that we had missed with a sound exhibit and a large health/anatomy section!  I mean wow, this place was large and we thought we had seen it all, but again we were mistaken.  There was another younger kid section that Trip wanted to check out and the other kids asked to go into the next room.  Trip and I had to go see what their cries of excitement were and it turns out the next room had a scooter car race track! Well after all this we had to look around some more and I am glad we did. There were more science exhibits and another section with Keva blocks to play with and large structures in cases to give inspiration. The museum was closing and we had run out of time, but since we have Citiblocs at home it was no problem because the kids just pulled them out at home and played with them for the next several days!

(I am not sure if there is a big difference between the Keva blocks or the Citiblocs which are both pictured below. I do know that the kids and adults love playing with them!)

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Now we thought we had found the best museum in the area, but everyone was happy to try another to see whether it could even come close to the Kaledium. About an hour away was the Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC which turned out to be just as good as the Kaledium. Spencer is home to a large roundhouse where steam trains once stopped on their run between Atlanta and Washington D.C for repairs. After diesel engines took over, the roundhouse was considered obsolete, but luckily the company (Southern Railroad) that owned it turned it over to the city and it was turned into a museum. The kids were excited because included in the museum visit was a free train ride! This museum housed so many neat trains, cars, and even planes that we spent hours wandering around looking at them. Some of the favorites were the mail car that you could walk through, the old car exhibit with model T’s, the train simulator that let you drive a train, and the full size reproduction of The Flyer the first plane to fly. Even the buildings were great historic sites and the Back Lot building that was the size of several foot ball fields really impressed everyone. This museum was so good that we spent the entire day learning without even realizing it.

Well it just goes to show you that no matter where you go there are great things to see and learn about. I had only thought that we would stop over at Winston-Salem on our way to Raleigh to see the capitol. We ended up having so much fun and liking the camp so much that we added a night to our stay. I would have added more, but someone else had already reserved out spot, so it was back on the road again. This time I didn’t have to sing the song because the kids bought Sarah the CD for her birthday and I just let Willie sing it himself! (I guess I should let you in on the meaning behind this. My dad used to sing “on the road again” every time we took a road trip and I have continued this tradition. I didn’t know anymore words in the song and wasn’t even aware of who sang the original. Almost every time we have a moving day though I would sing the line as we pulled out of the camp, so when we were shopping for a birthday present for Sarah they decided that we had to have the CD!) Yes we are happy to be on the road again headed to Raleigh and looking for more adventure as we travel state by state across America.


Here are the links to the places we visited:

Tanglewood Park RV Campground

Kaleideum North Museum

NC Transportation Museum

And here are more pictures and a video from the Kaleideum North Museum

This contraption let you hear like a bat!

And here are more pictures and a video from the NC Transportation Museum

Everyone got a kick out of the train simulator and after the kids had all taken a turn, even daddy had to take a turn driving the train. It goes to show you never know what great things you might find in the great country!





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