Virginia to New England, March 2006

We went north for Spring Break. This was our second RCI trip, as new RCI members this year. We wanted to see a little history, and some snow.


The Quarters

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

Best Things Nearby:
Assateague Island http://www.nps.gov/asis/

Best Things About the Resort:
It was really nice to be in walking distance to the beach and grocery store.

Resort Experience:
http://www.defenderresorts.com

When we got to the resort building, there was a message that the office was located at a shopping mall nearby. It would have been helpful to tell us that before we arrived.

There was a $48 housekeeping fee, which seems like a lot when we were required to leave the bed linens and towels at the washer, wash the dishes, and to take all of the trash out to the dumpster. When you add the $48 housekeeping fee to the RCI exchange fee, and the points you are spending, it would have been cheaper to just pay the $69/night rental fee directly to The Quarters (they rent their units).

We only saw two other couples staying while we were there. The unit was clean but old, the wallpaper was falling off, and cabinet pieces were broken. The furnace in the unit is the loudest I have ever experienced and is located inside the closet in the second bedroom where my daughter slept. It kept her up all night and she had to eventually sleep with us, which didn’t allow me to get any sleep either. The loud furnace and high housekeeping fee is what will keep us from visiting again. We visited in late February so we were not able to use the outdoor pool, and most of the nearby attractions were closed, which we anticipated. Though, it was really nice to be in walking distance to the beach and grocery store.

Quarters
12108 Coastal Hwy.
Ocean City, Maryland, 21843
(410) 250-3766

Eagle Village at Tamiment Resort

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

Best Things Nearby:
There is a lake nearby on the resort property.

Best Things About the Resort:
It is secluded in the country.

Resort Experience:
When RCI gave us directions from the interstate, and then to "follow resort signs at Bushkill", I should have asked for more clarification. There were signs to Tamiment Resort when reaching Bushkill, and to follow Bushkill Falls Road, but that was it. After 4 miles we passed by a large reader-board for the Tamiment Golf Course and continued on the road thinking that could not have been it. We turned around 10 minutes later when there was no sign of civilization. The Golf Course sign was the resort!

We tried to call ahead of time while we were on the interstate, but got tired of being on hold for several minutes without talking to anyone, so we gave up. When we arrived at 6pm, the office was closed. There is a direct-line phone and lockboxes there on the outside of the office, where we got our keys.

The place is beautiful. There did not seem to be too many people staying there; we only saw two other families. In the resort area when we arrived, there was a herd of deer. The two bedroom unit (cabin) was clean and has a loft with a bed that can be used as a third bedroom (with no doors).

Eagle Village
Bushkill Falls Road
Tamiment, Pennsylvania, 18371
(570) 588-6652

Nottingham Village at Friar Tuck

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

Best Things Nearby:
The best things nearby are the Catskill Mountains and skiing at Hunter Mountain.

Best Things About the Resort:
The best things about this resort are its tranquility at the foot of the Catskill Mountains and its amenities. We enjoyed the large indoor heated swimming pool, the biggest hot tub I've ever seen, sauna, steam room, spa and salon, fitness room, game room, store, restaurant, and bar.

Resort Experience:

http://www.friartuck.com/

The timeshare units (Village) are in separate two-story buildings from the main resort and require a vehicle to go back and forth. It was too cold to walk that distance in March. The units were older but very roomy and clean. There is broadband wireless access in each unit. Each of the two bedrooms in the unit had two queens, in addition to the foldout couch, so you can sleep a total of 10 people.

At the main resort, we never saw any other occupants. We took advantage of the pool (no one else around), sauna, spa, and restaurant (no one else around). We ordered a bottle of wine in the restaurant and they let us take it and the ice bucket back to our room, which was nice.

The resort is just 10 miles away from ski areas in the Catskills and Hunter Mountain, which we did not use because there was no snow there in early March.



Friar Tuck Resort, Spa and Convention Center
4858 Route 32
Catskill Mountains, New York, 12414
(800) 832-7600

Village of Loon Mountain Lodges

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

Best Things Nearby:
Loon Mountain is just across the street for skiing.

Best Things About the Resort:
We liked the many amenities that come with this resort: indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, fitness room, game room, and video rental. We couldn't use the playground and other outdoor amenities with all the snow in March.

Resort Experience:

http://www.villageofloon.com/

It was cold, in the teens, when we visited in March, with a little bit of snow on the ground. This was a very nice place to stay. We were on the second floor. There are no elevators. Our two-bedroom unit also had a loft with two additional beds (without doors).

There were many amenities, and Loon Mountain Ski Resort was right across the street for skiing (with discounted tickets available at the Village desk). The $41 housekeeping fee still made it worth the stay. The night we arrived, there was a clown making balloon animals in the conference center. I would definitely recommend this place again.



Village of Loon Mountain
Route 112/Kancamagus Scenic Byway
Lincoln, 03251
(800) 228-2968

Country Village at Jiminy Peak

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

Best Things Nearby:
Everything you need is at this resort.

Best Things About the Resort:
Skiing and relaxing around the resort.

Resort Experience:
http://www.jiminy.com/
It was cold, in the 20s°F, when we visited in March with a little bit of snow on the ground. The timeshare units are separated from the main resort units. They are 4-plex townhouses down the road, but within walking distance to the main resort and ski slopes. There is broadband wireless access in the lobby of the resort.

This was a very nice and clean place to stay. There was a $45 housekeeping fee. It would have been nice to have an indoor swimming pool and more activities or amenities, but I suppose everyone who comes there in the winter and spring are there for the skiing. We have a toddler, so we went to the nearby snow tubing park at Snowy Owl http://www.jiminy.com/win/w_tubing.html, about 5 miles away. I would definitely recommend another stay here.

Country Village at Jiminy Peak
Corey Road
Hancock, MA

Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

http://www.chincoteague.com

http://www.fws.gov/northeast/chinco/introduction.htm

There is a $10 admission to the National Wildlife Refuge, which was free when we visited, maybe because it was February.

On our way to Ocean City, MD, we stopped at Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge, which is on the Virginia side of the Assateague barrier island. There are a couple of hikes, but we took our toddler on the shortest up to the lighthouse there. It was interesting to learn about how the island’s shape has changed through the years with storms moving the sand. There are supposed to be wild ponies on the island, but we could not see any the day we visited. We did see egrets and herons.
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
8065 Beach Road
Chincoteague Island, Virginia, 23336
(757) 336-6122

Assateague Island

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

http://www.nps.gov/asis/

$10 admission

We stopped at Assateague Island, on the Maryland side of the barrier island, to see if we could find any wild ponies there. We did. There were several near the park road, which allowed us to view them in our car. We also saw some of the deer on the island. This stretch of road is part of the State Park, which is free. The National Park costs $10.
Assateague Island National Seashore
Route 175
Chincoteague, Virginia
(410) 641-1441

Independence National Historic Park

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

http://www.nps.gov/inde/

http://www.independencevisitorcenter.com/

http://www.gophila.com/

Interstate 95 took us directly into the historic area, 6th Street, of Philadelphia. We parked a block away from the Liberty Bell Center. Normally you would have to go to the Independence Visitor Center to get tickets (which are free) for the Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall tour, but that was not necessary the day we went.

The Liberty Bell Center has a new building next to it where you have to pass through airport-type security before entering the Liberty Bell Center or Independence Hall. After leaving the Liberty Bell Center, which houses the Liberty Bell and some historical facts you can read, security officers escort you across the street to the tours at Independence Hall.

Afterwards, we went on a self-guided tour of the Historic Park, which includes about 10 square blocks, http://www.nps.gov/applications/parks/inde/ppMaps/ACF7F53.pdf. We ended at Benjamin Franklin’s post office, the first in America, where you can still send mail through today. We bought postcards at the gift shop next door and mailed them through the post office. Before leaving, we ate at Apollo http://www.apollophiladelphia.com/, at 615 Chestnut St., which had some great tasting food. And we had 100% natural homemade gelato at Café Toscano, at 609 Chestnut St., the best-tasting gelato and selection of flavors since living in Europe.
Independence National Historical Park Visitors Center
145 South 3rd St.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19106
(215) 597 8974

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

http://www.nps.gov/dewa/

http://www.nps.gov/applications/parks/dewa/ppMaps/DEWAmap1.pdf

This is a long stretch of land surrounding the Delaware River. We passed through it on our way to New York. We stopped at the Pocono Environmental Education Center to go on some educational hikes around the area. Much of the other park attractions were closed when we visited in March.
Delaware Water Gap NRA

Bushkil, Pennsylvania, 18324
(570) 426-2452

Freedom Trail

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

http://www.massvacation.com/

http://www.nps.gov/bost/

You should not start this at the Boston National Historic Park Building on State Street, because that is somewhere in the middle of the tour. We entered Boston on Interstate 90, taking the Stuart/Charles St. exit to Boston Commons, where we used the underground parking. From there is the Boston Common Visitor Information Center, where we bought a pamphlet for a self-guided tour of the Freedom Trail. We made it through to site no. 12, Paul Revere’s House, of the 16 numbered sites. See the tour below...

#1 Boston Common – America’s oldest public park, also the site of hangings, duels, and celebrations.
#2 Massachusetts State House – Built in 1798 at five times the budget, the oldest building on Beacon Hill. The dome was originally wood. In 1802, it was covered in copper to prevent leakage, and gilded in 23-carat gold leaf in 1874. #3 Park Street Church – We were lucky to pass by when the church clock struck at noon and continued to play multiple tunes. Originally the site of a grain storage, it used to be the first thing visitors saw after 1809 as they entered the city.
#4 Granary Burying Ground – Many prominent Bostonians and men of history are buried here next to the Park Street Church
#5 King’s Chapel – King James II order the land seized in 1688 and the first Anglican Church was constructed.
#6 First Public School and Statue of Benjamin Franklin – 1635, the first public school in the U.S.
#7 Old Corner Bookstore – Now a jewelry store. The only way you’d notice is by the barn-like appearance from the street.
#8 Old South Meeting House – http://www.oldsouthmeetinghouse.org 1729, the second oldest church in Boston, used for many public meetings, and the location of many of the historical events leading to the revolution.
#9 Old State House Museum – http://www.bostonhistory.org/old_state_hs_hist.php 1713, Boston’s oldest surviving public building. If you were to enter any one building on this trail, this building should be it. The museum gives a very good history lesson. #10 Boston Massacre – Where five men were killed outside the Old State House in a conflict between Colonists and British troops.
#11 Faneuil Hall – Served as a meeting place and open-air market.
#12 Paul Revere House – http://www.paulreverehouse.org 1680, Boston’s oldest private building in downtown, home to famous Paul Revere.
#13 Old North Church
#14 Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
#15 USS Constitution – Old Ironsides
#16 Bunker Hill Monument
Freedom Trail
15 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts, 02109
(617) 242-5642

Washington Crossing Historic Park

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by jmhook on March 17, 2006

http://www.phmc.state.pa.us/bhsm/toh/washington/washingtoncrossing.asp

We visited here outside Philadelphia, where General Washington led his troops across the Delaware River at night. There’s not a whole lot to see besides some historical buildings.
Washington Crossing Historic Park
Hwy 32, River Road
Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, 18977
(215) 493-4076

http://www.igougo.com/journal-j52814-United_States-Virginia_to_New_England_March_2006.html

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