Sunday, December 29, 2013

Get your kicks...and visit Amarillo's RV Museum


RV Museum is a MUST stop for RV and Non-RV enthusiasts alike


Recently the Grasshaven team made a visit to the great city of Amarillo.  Notably featured in iconic songs like (Get your Kicks) Route 66 and Amarillo by Morning, this thriving Texas town has long and deep roots in Americana.  Amarillo is also known as a major stop along historic Route 66. 

Gornike 1948 Flexible Bus from Robin Williams movie RV
The convergence of Americana and open-road travel necessitates a visit.  And, any visit to Amarillo should absolutely include the RV Museum located at Jack Sisemore’sTraveland.  During our visit, the gregarious Jack Sisemore greeted us, himself.  A true west Texan through and through, Jack is an expert on all things RV (and much more).  He also has a long history racing motorcycles and his experience with vintage and antique bikes can best even the most knowledgeable two-wheeled aficionados. 

We were here to see the RV’s.  Jack’s dealership offers the most current and state of the art traveling homes for sale.  Featuring brands like Winnebago, Grand Designs and other quality manufactures, his team epitomizes good ole Texas hospitality.  But, if RV history is your thing, than Jack Sisemore’s RV Museum is a must see.  The second most popular tourist attraction in Amarillo features nearly 10,000 square feet of curated and restored vintage and antique RV travel trailers and motorhomes that have been collected, curated and displayed over the past 25 years. 

A bright red 1948 Flexible Bus featured in the Robin William’s movie RV prominently greets visitors upon entry.  However, iconic transportable homes don’t stop there (actually there are 15 RVs on display and even more waiting for the completion of their expanded home). Round the corner and an early 1921 Kamp Kar emerges. Jack notes, “We think slide-outs are a recent innovation, but this old girl invented the idea”.  This early RV was only one of five made by Anheuser-Busch. 
1921 Kamp Kar Antique RV
The museum also features the first Itasca Motorhome ever made, making the museum a MUST stop for all Winnebago-Itasca Travelers (WIT) members; although, even an RV’ing novice can still appreciate these blasts from the past.  Jack and his son Trent have painstakingly sought after and in many cases restored these classic beauties.  Pair that with other nostalgic camping equipment and paraphernalia peppered throughout the museum and this is one memorable experience. 

Jack’s museum is not just about RV’s and travel trailers.  If two wheel vehicles are more your speed, the RV museum is sure to please.  Ten beautiful examples of classic and antique motorcycles line the walls.  One notable beauty is the 1977 Harley Davidson serial number 30.  This awe-inspiring bike was owned by Dr. Martin Jack Rosenblum, the historian for Harley Davidson, and features an autograph by Willie G. Davidson, the designer of that series.   

Vintage RVs Displayed with Camping Nostalgia
With visits growing exponentially year over year from around the world and an ever-growing collection, Jack and Trent are currently expanding this traveling tribute.  “We have many more RV’s and motorcycles just waiting to make their debut once the expanded museum is ready”, Jack notes.  “We want to capture nostalgia; a simpler time; when families hit the open road in search of adventure and time together.”

One visit to both Jack Sisemore’s Traveland and RV Museum and you’ll experience first hand the progression of RV’s from their inception till today.  Better yet, the museum as absolutely free.  So on your next visit to Amarillo, pop in,
meet Jack, and go back in time to relive some outdoors memories of old.  And don’t forget to tell them Grasshaven sent ya (or y’all, as they say in West Texas).

With 15 Vintage RVs there's a favorite for anyone
For more information contact:

Jack Sisemore’s Traveland and RV Museum
4341 Canyon Dr.
Amarillo, TX  79110
806-358-4891

Admission: FREE!


Hours: Monday – Saturday 9 am - 5 pm


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Grasshaven and Winnebago Winning Pairing at 2013 RVIA Show

As a sign that 2014 is rapidly approaching, new RV units and models make their debut at the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) Trade Show in Louisville, Kentucky.  This annual show enables RV manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their newest, best and brightest RV entries for the upcoming year.  Like the debut of a debutante, the red carpet is rolled out and everything is polished bright.

At Grasshaven, we've also been preparing for the show.  No, no booth for us.  We've been working with some key manufacturers to bring Grasshaven housewares to this exceptional venue.  Hand selected RV houseware collections, specifically coordinated to fit the beautiful interiors of Winnebago's Trend, Travato, Vista and the Itasca Solei, are off to Louisville.  We sent everything needed to make the RV homes more like home.  This is not RV staging.  These are real products needed to create the RV lifestyle.

We look forward to our continued collaboration with Winnebago and other prestigious RV manufacturers to help all RV clientele have access to houseware options that fit in their units and offer a high level of style.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Balls of Twine, Worlds Largest Statues: Quirky Attractions Await Travelers

As 2013 comes to a close, the team at Grasshaven began to reminisce about the year.  As we started, we thought about our travels.  For fun, we began to compile a list of quirky attractions in each state.  From balls of twine and paint to purportedly large statues, the US is chalk full of crazy and obscure attractions.  Often, all it takes is a little detour to create unique and memorable experiences.  With so many attractions in each state, it actually was a challenge to narrow down the field but here are our favorite, family friendly stops across the US.

We want to know how many have you been too?  
What are the best quirky US attractions you've visited?




Mammoth Orange Drink Stand, Redfield, Arkansas
London Bridge, Lake Havasu, Arizona
Cabazon Dinosaurs, Cabazon, CA
Randy’s Donuts Inglewood, CA
Wells Dinosaur Heaven, Connecticut
Largest Aligator, Christmas, Florida
White House Replica, Atlanta, GA
Balanced Rock, Castleford, ID
World’s Biggest Ball of Paint, Alexandra, Indiana
World’s Largest Ball of Twine, Cawker City, Kansas
Worlds Largest Bourbon Bottle Bardstown, Kentucky
Giant Mailbox, Newellton, Louisiana
Lenny, the Chocolate Moose, Scarborough, Maine
Shark from Jaws, Berlin, Maryland
ATM Tree Stump, Greenfield, Massachusetts
Worlds Biggest Tire, Allen Park, Michigan
Jolly Green Giant Statue, Blue Earth, Minnesota
Graceland Too, Holly Springs, Mississippi
Celebrity Mount Rushmore, Branson, Missouri
Worlds Largest Purple Spoon, East Glacier, Montana
Ball of Stamps, Boys Town Nebraska
World’s Largest Fire Cracker, Amargosa Valley, Nevada
Mini Trains in a Train, Gorham, New Hampshire
Insectropolis, Toms River, New Jersey
Upside-Down Bridge, Lockport, New York
Big Acorn, Raleigh, North Carolina
World’s Largest Buffalo Sculpture, Jamestown, North Dakota
The Castle, Muskogee, Oklahoma
Paul Bunyan Statue, Portland, Oregon
Flying Saucer Statue, Mars, Pennsylvania
Mr. Potatohead, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Upside Down Building, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Giant Soda Cans, Salina, Utah
Big Lady Squirrel Statue, Salisbury, Vermont
Giant Rollerskate, Bealeton, Virginia
Underground Tour, Seattle, Washington
Mystery Hole, Ansted, West Virginia
Giant Bass Sculpture, Ashland Wisconsin
World’s Largest Hot Spring, Thermopolis Wyoming

Check out http://www.roadsideamerica.com for a more complete list

Friday, August 30, 2013

Best Glamorous Camping and Outdoor Style Featured

When Grasshaven founder, Dawn Bitz sat down with Colorado's Best co-host Joana Canales, you know stylish and glamorous ideas would fly.  Picnic and camping inspirations were presented to get everyone in the family outdoors and camping together.  From camping and picnic food and recipes to outdoor fun and games, ideas abounded in the segment.  And with stylish camping, Rv'ing and picnic ware, you know everyone will want to get outdoors this Labor Day.  Click here to see the full segment

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Grasshaven Best on Colorado's Best

Always delighted when Grasshaven can bring stylish camping and outdoor comfort to a broader audience.  This morning on Colorado's Best Show on Denver's CW network, Dawn Bitz, founder of Grasshaven Outdoor did just that.  With Labor Day around the corner, Joana Canales and Dawn Bitz discussed innovative picnic products to help everyone get outdoors this weekend.  Featuring both functional and gorgeous picnic baskets like the  Vintage GH Picnic Basket ; the Seine Deluxe Tote and the Seine wine and cheese tote for two, the show gave visibility to some highly selected products for the discerning taste.  

And as always on the menu, the show featured some of the Grasshaven teams' favorite picnic recipes and ideas.  We thought we'd share some of those ideas here as well.

FOODIE IDEAS

Mason Jar Salad

What's the easiest way to transport salad to the picnic or campground?  A mason jar of course. Just layer your salad fixings then shake a few times just prior to serving

Layer 1 (bottom): Vinaigrette 
Layer 2: Salad veggies (carrots, sundried tomatoes, celery, etc)
Layer 3: Lettuce
Layer 4: Cheese, nuts and fruit
Layer 5: Croutons



Mason Jar Apple Pie (serves 2)

Nothing is more Americana than momma's apple pie and nothing brings more vintage nostalgia to apple pie than cooking and serving it in a Mason jar.  Just line a half pint jar with pie crust, fill with your favorite apple pie filling (or flavor of your choosing) and bake.  Bring that jar full of deliciousness and your picnic will be a success.


Picnic Skinny Dips

Nothing risque here, just bring some fun and healthy dips to the campsite transported in what else, Mason jars.  Use these utilitarian jars to easily bring hummus, bruschetta topping and cucumber and dill yogurt for a little interactive epicurean outdoor experience



Banana Pirates

Argh!  We let these little guys bring a bit of whimsy and smiles to the little ones faces at the picnic.  Cut them up and dip into a little chocolate mixed with cream and your pirate friends turn into Chocolate Fondue for two



GOOD IDEAS

Frozen Water Balloons

Fill'em up.  Freeze'em.  Let'em thaw and get ready for a soaking.  Water balloons can be used in so many ways.  Freezing then makes transporting them to the campsite or picnic easier.  They won't rupture as easily.  And if transported in the cooler, they serve double duty as they'll keep everything cold.  Just make sure to thaw them (and let them warm up a little in the sun) before the battle begins.





Straw Ties

Tie your straw to the drinks before departing for your picnic and you won't go searching for your straw when you arrive.  Finding fun paper straws also add some whimsy to your picnic or outdoor adventure  and makes your table look stylish too




Shoo Fly Drink Covers

Don't let pesky bugs, bug you at the picnic.  Invert a large cupcake liner.  Poke a straw through the center and your drink will stay bug free with this nifty little bonnet




Place Setting Perfection: 
Wrap up everything needed in a compact place setting.  Add some real plastic semi-reusable silverware; a napkin, straw, salt and pepper and your picnic will be the stylish talk of the town.










Saturday, August 17, 2013

Eat, Pray and Love the Outdoors this August



Each month and occasionally in-between, we publish our Grasshaven BLISS Newsletter.  This August, our newsletter centers on eating great meals in the outdoors.  Whether camping, RV'ing or just spending time in the outdoors, camping menus and recipes can be as gourmet as at home. Click here to see all the great information in our newsletter.

  

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Celebrating National S'Mores Day

Do you know what today is????

Well yes it is Antonio Banderas, Justin Theroux and Kylie Jenner's birthday.  

But more importantly, it's


With simplicity of three decadent ingredients, National S'Mores Day celebrates chocolate, caramel and graham crackers and all it's melted gooeyness that makes everyone call for "some more."

The official S'More recipe was first featured in the Girl Scouts Handbook in 1927 but many believe it originated much earlier.  This scrumptious dessert has been passed between generations of campers and has become the quintessential campside treat.  We wanted to share three favorite recipes in celebration of this great day!

Traditional S'Mores

Let this traditional recipe become the foundation of your camping experience.  The carmalization of the sugars in the marshmallow pair sweetly with the creamy chocolate.  Sandwiched between two crunchy graham crackers and this treat beckons outdoor fun.  Add caramel, salt, candied ginger or fruit to elevate this campsite treat.
Click here for the full recipe.




Salted Caramel Monkey S'Mores


Mmmm, this is a self contained treat that will delight everyone.  Sometimes called banana boats, we call them Monkey S'Mores.  Combine one banana, some caramel, chocolate, graham crackers and sea salt and the result is a gooey melt in your mouth campsite (or backyard) outdoor dessert.  Click here for the full recipe.




S'More Martini

Even the adults can get into the S'Mores mood with this S'Mores Martini.  Mix marshmallow flavored vodka, chocolate liqueur, and Irish cream for the drink and pair with some graham cracker and toasted marshmallow garnishes.  Click here for the full recipe.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Carpe Diem: Shopping List for Gourmet Four Family Camping Menu (four days / three nights)


Shop till you drop

With lots of hungry mouths to feed over a four-day camping trip, the shopping list might seem extensive.  But, keep in mind, four families over four days that’s 144 mouths over nine meals.  And those are mouth fresh from hikes, kayaking and generally running around outside, so they are really hungry.  The shopping list is scaled for mostly adults and young children so if your group has older kids, the items and sizes should be increased.  Our bill was about $175.00 which equates to about $19.40 per meal for 16 people.  Not too bad for all the food (and no one went hungry).

The correlating menu also uses left over items from one meal to complete the next.  If your appetites are big, adjust the shopping list accordingly.  Loaded baked potatoes one evening form the basis for Maxwell potatoes the next; while, left over fire-roasted corn is added to campside prepared Pico de Gallo and left over pork making mouth-watering Corn and Pork Quesadillas for lunch.   Also to note, this shopping list accounts for making mixes for pancakes, biscuits, scones and Caesar salad dressing from scratch, which is far easier than people might think.  However, if your interest centers on pre-made mixes and dressings add those to the list instead.  All in all, just stock up on the freshest ingredients available and leave the pre-processed stuff at home.   The outdoors is calling for you to seize the day!

Staples

Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Sugar
Baking soda
Baking powder
Flour
Butter
Onion powder
Garlic Salt
Vanilla extract
Dry Spaghetti
Lemonade mix
Tea Bags
Worcestershire sauce

Shopping List:

2 cans diced tomatoes (28 oz.)
Breadcrumbs (panko or Italian)
1 tin anchovies

3 medium onions
3 zucchinis
3 yellow squash
1 carton fresh mushrooms
2 orange bell peppers
2 bulbs fresh garlic
Fresh herbs: oregano, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, mint, dill, and chives
1 lemon
1 bunch romaine lettuce
Large carton strawberries
Large carton blueberries
12-14 navel oranges
2 apples
1 shallot
2 English cucumbers
14-16 large baking potatoes
4 lbs. fresh green beans
12-14 ears fresh corn in husks
12-14 bananas
2 apples
1 shallot
2 English cucumbers
14-16 large baking potatoes
4 lbs. fresh green beans
12-14 ears fresh corn in husks
12-14 bananas

1 loaf unsliced bread

14-16 pork chops
2 whole chickens
2 lbs. ground beef

2 cans of beer

1 box chocolate cake mix
Small bag and large bag marshmallows
Chocolate bars
Graham crackers
Nuts: Pecans & Almonds
1 package caramel pieces

2 large packages bacon (approximately 2 lbs. per package)
3 packages sausage

Package shredded cheese
8 oz. carton sour cream
4 orange juice concentrate
2 Gallons milk
1-quart heavy cream
2-3 cartons 18 count large eggs
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)

Options for lunch and snacks
Flour Tortillas
Fresh cilantro
Tortilla chips
10 Ripe Avocados
Serrano peppers
Limes
Tomatoes
Lettuce
Sprouts
Mayonnaise
Mustard
Loaf sliced sandwich bread

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Carpe Diem: Eat, Drink, be Merry and Let the Planning Begin

Now that the day has been seized and the spontaneous trip is planned, we say let the meal planning begin.  For this article, we wanted to highlight a four day, three night camping trip menu (links will be loaded soon to all the recipes - we only had one day to plan and shop the market).  Not only is the trip spur of the moment, but four families, including all their brood will be joining on the adventure.  This means 14 hungry, outdoor mouths to feed.  There are no burgers and brats on this trip; we always feed the entire crew with a level of campsite Grasshaven gourmet.

First, we start with a detailed plan.  This means planning breakfast and dinner dishes.  You might think we forgot lunch.  Lunch time can be variable for a group trip.  With some people hiking, canoeing or just lounging, getting everyone wrangled for an organized affair can be a challenge.  So we just let everyone forage during lunch.  There are always plenty of left overs and sandwich fixings to make sure no on goes hungry. But just in case you're looking for suggestions we have shared some lunch ideas using some of the menu fixings outlined
below.  We will also post the entire shopping list as a part of this spontaneous camping series.  So for now, take a look at the menu items.  We hope your mouths are already watering.  We know that when you see the pictures your eyes will appreciate the candy.

Carpe Diem 4 day Gourmet Camping Menu


Dinner 
Spaghetti alla Marinara
Thursday PM: Very intaliano and easy for camp arrival
Grilled Meatballs
Garlic Fry Bread
Traditional Caesar Salad

Dessert: S'Mores of course



Breakfast
Friday AM: Kids campside favorites

Strawberry Pancakes
Homemade Strawberry Pancakes
Scrambled Eggs
Open-fire Bacon








Dinner
Apple Smoked Pork Chops
Friday PM: Old school barbecue, with flare
Apple Smoked Pork Chops
Campsite Baked Potatoes
Almond Green Beans with Bacon
Homemade Cooler Dill Pickles

Dessert: Orange Chocolate Cakes

Breakfast
Saturday AM: International adventure
Scones
Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
Pecan Scones
Grilled Sausage

Dinner
Salted Caramel Monkey S'Mores
Saturday PM: Herby delight
Tarragon Beer Can Chicken
Maxwell English Potatoes
Grilled Corn with Rosemary Butter

Dessert: Salted Carmel Monkey S'Mores




Breakfast
Chuck Wagon Breakfast Skillet
Sunday AM: Throwin' it together to finish the trip
Chuck Waggon Breakfast Skillet
Campfire Biscuits and Gravy
Open-fire Bacon








Drinks:
Lavender Mint Lemonade
Sweet Mint Iced Tea
BATLOCS
Arnold Palmer
Iced Tea

Lunch options:
Meatball Sandwiches
Pork and Corn Quesadillas
BATLOCS (Bacon, Avocado, Tomato, Lettuce, Onion, Cheese, Sprouts)
Chicken Salad with Blueberries