"Experience Life on a RV Roadtrip to a Presidential Library"

La Mesa Rv Experience Life Blog
Presidents Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, George Herbert Walker Bush, Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter at the dedication of the Reagan Presidential Library — Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
10 Beautiful Presidential Libraries to visit on a Family Vacation

Giving your kids a new perspective on history by adding our nation's best Presidential Libraries to your next family trip should be at the top of your list next to National Parks.   These amazing museums are not only fun for kids, they're empowering, as they put classroom lectures and textbooks, historic movies, world news, and even daily conversation into a whole new context. 
Prior to the establishment of the Presidential Library System, Presidential papers were kept as private property and later sold, destroyed, donated or preserved by heirs. President Franklin D. Roosevelt believed that Presidential papers--an important part of national heritage--should ultimately be made accessible to the public. By donating both his personal and Presidential papers to the Federal Government, he inspired the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955. Since then, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has maintained the official Presidential Libraries from Herbert Hoover onward.
There are 13 Presidential Libraries on the map with #14 comign soon.

However, libraries and museums for Presidents prior to Herbert Hoover have been established by state governments and private foundations. We have also included these in our list of 10 best Presidential Libraries, because they also help families see and experience events that shaped who we are as a nation.
Ronald Regan Presidential Library and Museum (Simi Valley, CA): Walk through the Boeing 707 that served as Air Force One during the administrations of Reagan and six other presidents at the largest and most popular Presidential Library in the NARA system. Kids can reenact important moments on sets replicating the Reagan White House. It's also the final resting place of Ronald Regan and Nancy Regan.
John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (Boston, MA): Re-live Camelot. See The Ernest Hemingway Collection, an exhibit centered on the life of Jacqueline Kennedy, and learn about the Space Race. The architecture by I.M. Pei is just as stunning as the views.
William McKinley Museum and Presidential Library (Canton, OH): Owned and operated by the Stark County Historical Society, this kid-friendly site chronicles the President's life up to his assassination and even has a planetarium with science exhibits, including a mastodon skeleton.
William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum (Little Rock, AR): Visit the first federal building to receive the platinum LEED certification for environmental design. Walk through exact replicas of how rooms in the White House looked during the Clinton administration. Enjoy interactive exhibits, test your knowledge of the Secret Service and marvel at interesting gifts to the President from ordinary people and heads of state.
Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (Springfield, IL): See the cane he used on the night of his assassination and brush up on Civil War trivia. Guests of all ages love the life-sized dioramas replicating his home and important events during his administration. This attraction is run by the state of Illinois.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum (Hyde Park, NY): The first official Presidential Library is built on property donated by the President to the United States in order to house his collection of papers and memorabilia. Learn about the Great Depression, WWII and even tour his home. The library is undergoing a major renovation through June 2013.

Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum (Independence, MO): The President and First Lady are buried in the museum courtyard. Read over 1,300 letters from the Truman courtship and marriage. Remember the Korean War, Manhattan Project, and other important events during the administration of this once very unpopular President. The library's website has a special kids section with games and fun trivia.
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum (West Branch, IA):  Nine museum galleries display artifacts from the Roaring 20s, the Great Depression, Australian outback and more. The library also houses manuscripts from Laura Ingalls Wilder. The President and First Lady rest in a large grassy area behind the building.
George Bush Presidential Library and Museum (College Station, TX): The former President (George H.W. Bush) and First Lady visit often and have put huge an emphasis on educational programs for all ages. Kids stay interested through a scavenger hunt where they note exhibit highlights such as a 12-foot section of the Berlin Wall. Located at Texas A&M University.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum (Abilene, KS): View the former President's boyhood home, burial site at the Place of Meditation and five exhibits centered around his personal and Presidential life. Boy Scouts may earn the special Eisenhower Leadership Patch during their visit.

Presidential Libraries can be found across the country, from Massachusetts to California. Visit one soon, and give yourself and your family the opportunity to explore the history of our nation and the leaders who helped shape our society. At Presidential Libraries you will find:

  • museums featuring interactive exhibits
  • interesting and fun public programs
  • important educational events
  • vast archives available for scholarly research
Make sure you Plan your trip in advance and perhaps you will be able to reach a few libraries on your next road trip. If you are ever in need of service, stop by one of our locations so we can assist you: La Mesa RV Locations

"Fall Foliage Harvest Season and Halloween Traditions"

la Mesa RV: Say Hello To Halloween: 10 ways to celebrate this fun holiday

Say Hello To Halloween: 7 ways to Celebrate This Fun Holiday

1. Celebrate Fall Foliage: 
Fall has come upon us and what better way to take advantage of fall than traveling in your RV? An RV offers an ideal way to see fall foliage. The general vantage point and ease of maneuvering on parkways allow for RVers to really become "traveling sightseers" when they are on road trips to new adventures. Unlike the summer, the best time it seems to make trips to see the foliage is weekdays, rather than weekends, when parkways and campgrounds are much less crowded. During this time of the year, there are a couple of places that really to come to mind to definitely experience. Here they are: 

Blue Ridge Parkway - Virgina - Tennessee
LaMesaRv Experience Life Blog
Blue Ridge Parkway has been called " America's Favorite Drive"

 South Carolina Cherokee Foothills
La mesa RV Experience Life blog
Home of the Table Rock Mountains and Jones Gap Falls

2. Experience Harvest Season

Harvest – or “Crush” as it’s often called in the 'New World' – usually falls between August and October.  Specific times of picking are determined primarily by ripeness of the grape as measured by sugar, acid, and tannin levels, which varies with each winemaker depending on the style of wine they wish to produce.  The weather can also shape the timetable of harvesting with the threat of heat, rain, hail, and frost which can damage the grapes.  Did you know that most harvesting takes place at night?
With charming farmlands and sprawling orchards throughout the Northeast and Midwest, harvest season means corn mazes and hayrides, apple picking and pumpkin patches. Stop by a farm stand to pick up a jug of freshly-pressed apple cider or a batch of pumpkin butter. You can go on a hike through a nature preserve or wetlands area, such as Cape May Bird Observatory, to watch birds in migration, or find a nearby wildlife management area for hunting waterfowl, wild turkey, bear, deer and more.

giving thanks and gathering is what Harvest is about
Harvest is about Gathering and Giving Thanks. courtesy of  Lucinda Secrest Mcdowell

Halloween Traditions
A Bit of Halloween History

Balancing the line between fall and winter, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. Halloween is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day, incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain.

The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating. In a number of countries around the world, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people continue to usher in the winter season with gatherings, costumes, and sweet treats. Here are some ways that you can celebrate Halloween:

3. Have a Halloween Pre-Party for Children
Gather the kids in your community, campground or neighborhood and go trick or treating together. Talk to Mom and Dad  about having a party then you can do things like:

  • Buy a new costume
  • Go trick or treating as group
  • Go Bobbing for apples
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Have a Candy Grab Bag Contest
  • Have a pumpkin pie eating contest
and more!!!

If you're giving out candy and need a guide to Halloween candy, this infographic from MedicalInsurance.org is a great guide to look at the best and worst available.

4. Celebrate Halloween at Work

Traditions are important in companies just as they are in families. And Halloween is one of the best holiday traditions to establish and to celebrate at work. Whether you are a full timer, workamper or a weekend warrior, the following ideas will apply in a traditional workplace or campground: 

Celebration Ideas for Halloween at Work

Costume Party or Parade: No Halloween celebration at work would be complete without the opportunity for staff to wear costumes. You can keep the event simple and encourage people to just wear their costume to work for the day

Halloween Breakfast: Cider and doughnuts make a popular breakfast treat for Halloween. So might pumpkin and apple bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin coffee cake, or pumpkin and apple muffins. For healthy eating, assorted fruits top off the meal, and do make the breakfast a team building celebration.

Halloween Luncheon:
You can make a Halloween at work luncheon as seasonal as breakfast. Or, you can order pizza, sandwich wraps, submarines, or any other luncheon menu.

Pumpkin Carving Contests: Start at around 4 p.m. so staff can bring their children in for the pumpkin carving contest. Parents can bring older children to help and younger kids to watch if you choose to make this a family adventure.

5. Have a scary movie marathon
You might say you're going to do this every year and it never happens. Put your kids to bed, turn off the lights and watch whatever it is that terrifies you. You can find some guaranteed suspenseful movies on this list.

6. Check out haunted attractions in your area

 Halloween has grown to levels no one ever expected. Today, we see millions of homeowners decorating their houses, and RVs, turning their garages into haunted houses, changing their backyards into cemeteries and inviting people from around the neighborhood into their own personal HAUNTED HOUSE! Today tens of thousands of homeowners buy zombies, monsters, tombstones, and crypts and even use specialized lighting to display and showcase their masterpiece. Many even create CGI FX in their windows. The days of Halloween being a kid’s holiday all about trick-or-treating are OVER! Even moms are getting into the act buying Halloween themed decorations to make the interior of the house Halloween themed as well. HauntedWorld.com rates the country's scariest haunted houses. To find where those Haunted Attractions, click here:HauntWorld

7. Dress up in costume and actually go out. 
Head out to a costume party or attend any fine establishment that's hosting a Halloween costume contest. you may discover through family or friends that a local diner, pub or restaurant is having a special event for Halloween and this is your opportunity to show off your costume. Here are some tips on pairing your candy with wine or beer, courtesy of the California Wine Club and  the Kitchn

Perfect Pairings for a ladies night Halloween Celebration

Pairings for parties or if you're going out with friends or family.

Halloween only comes around once a year, so be sure to enjoy yourself! If you like scaring people, do it! If you don't, use it as an excuse to party and celebrate! Celebrating Halloween is more fun when you decorate the outside of your home with lots of stuff to scare those who dare walk up to your door. All lit up at night, a decorated home welcomes all the little Ghosts in a Dirt Graveyard, as well as other costumed characters. With the addition of some scary music, the little ones will giggle with delighted terror as they knock on your door, yelling, "Trick or Treat!" 

                                                   Let this article spice up Halloween for you!

Festival Essentials: Celebrate the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual festival of hot air balloons taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA during early October. The Balloon Fiesta is a nine-day event, and with over 500 balloons each year. The event is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.

The Balloon Fiesta began in 1972 as the highlight of a 50th birthday celebration for 770 KOB Radio. Radio station manager Dick McKee asked Sid Cutter, owner of Cutter Flying Service and the first person to own a hot air balloon in New Mexico, if KOB could use his new hot-air balloon as part of the festivities. The two began discussing ballooning.The first fiesta ended up as a gathering of 13 balloons on April 8, 1972, sponsored by KOB.

The first fiesta was located in the parking lot of the Coronado Center Shopping Mall with over 20,000 spectators and with balloonists from Arizona, California, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada and Texas took part. McKee. The first fiesta incorporated a "Roadrunner-Coyote Balloon Race" (a "hare-and-hounds" race elsewhere in the world) with 1 balloon being the "Roadrunner" and the others being "Coyote" balloons (the "Roadrunner" balloon was actually emblazoned with likenesses of both Warner Bros. characters). The winner of the race - the "Coyote" that landed closest to the Roadrunner - was Don Piccard of the noted aerostation dynasty, flying a balloon of his company's design and construction (his wife also placed in the race). This race has continued as part of the Balloon Fiesta today.
Take a ride in the La Mesa Balloon. One of the best at the fiesta
In 1973, Albuquerque hosted the first World Hot-Air Balloon Championships in February and the fiesta became an international event. In 1975 Albuquerque was looking at hosting the World Championships again, but the event was scheduled for October. So the fiesta was moved to correspond with the championships. To maintain interest in Albuquerque’s bid to host the championships, a balloon rally was held in February of that year. Autumn being a far better flying time than February, the event has remained in early October to the present day.
The Balloon Fiesta has grown for decades, and today is the largest balloon convention in the world. The number of registered balloons reached a peak of 1,019 in 2000, prompting the Balloon Fiesta Board to limit the number to 750 starting in 2001, citing a desire for "quality over quantity". The limit was changed to 600 in 2009 — citing recent growth in the city and a loss of landing zones. On any given day during the festival, up to 100,000 spectators may be on the launch field where they are provided the rare opportunity to observe inflation and take off procedures. Countless more people gather at landing sites all over the city to watch incoming balloons.


Check out the Dawn Patrol. It's one of the featured events

The Dawn Patrol began at the Balloon Fiesta in 1978, when two California balloonists developed position lighting systems that allowed them to fly at night. Dawn Patrol pilots take off before sunrise and fly until it is light enough to see landing sites. Fellow balloonists appreciate the Dawn Patrol because they can watch the balloons and get an early idea of wind speeds and directions at different altitudes.

Mass Ascensions

One of the biggest events of the fiesta is a mass ascension where all participating balloons launch in two waves, filling the sky with hundreds of balloons at once. Launch directors, also known as “zebras” because of their black-and-white-striped outfits, serve as “traffic cops,” coordinating the launch so balloons leave the field in a safe and coordinated manner.

Artistic Vision

Many local artists take advantage of the balloons as favorite subject matter for their vacations. Balloons often land in Albuquerque neighborhoods. Many residents watch the balloons from the comfort of their backyards.

Special Shape Rodeo

Many non-traditional, uniquely shaped balloons are launched at the same time. Some of the most famous shapes include a milk cow, a wagon coach, twin bees, and many others like soda pop cans and animals. This is the most popular part of the event as families can see how balloons can be all different in shapes and sizes.

Balloon Glows

Balloon Glow is breathtaking to see.
Large numbers of balloons are illuminated at night by their propane burners. They stand static and do not take off during these events. The "Glowdeo" is a night glow for the special shapes balloons.

Special Events and Competitions

Various events like:
·         The Fiesta Challenge, a game where balloonists attempt to drop a marker closest to a target.
·         America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race, where special long-distance gas balloons are inflated and then launched. The winner of the race is the balloon that travels the farthest. Some balloons in the race have gone as far as Canada and the U.S. East Coast.
·         The Flight of the Nations Mass Ascension, where balloonists from each nation launch, one at a time, to their national anthem and waving their nation's flag.
·         Other piloting, skill, and speed competitions.

Albuquerque box

Part of the reason for the success of the Fiesta are the cool Albuquerque morning temperatures in October and the Albuquerque box. The "box" is a set of predictable wind patterns that can be exploited to navigate the balloons. At low elevations the winds tend to be northerly (from the north), but at higher elevations they tend to be southerly. Balloonists use these winds to navigate in a vertical box: they ascend slightly from the launch park, move south, ascend further, move north, descend, and repeat the box or land back in the launch park or quite nearby. During events involving on-field targets, such as the "Key Grab" (where pilots attempt to grab prizes, including a set of keys to a new vehicle, from atop tall, flexible poles), it's not uncommon to see the same balloon make 5 or 6 passes at the targets, simply by working the "Box" to keep returning to the field.

If you want to take a break during these events and discover another fabulous event that is going on during the festival, come visit our RV Super Show at the Convention center in downtown Albuquerque.
Enjoy massive savings on the RV of your dreams at the 10-day RV Show at the held in conjunction with the Balloon Fiesta, September29th to October 9th where you will find everything from motorhomes, travel trailers, diesel pushers and fifth wheels, all at an unbeatable price.

This is a fantastic opportunity to discover the fun and excitement that an RV can offer you and your family. But hurry, these special deals won’t last!