Off of the Grid

Posts tagged “fulltiming

Waiting, waiting, waiting…

This is always the hardest part of any remodel I think. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is traditional home based or a home on wheels. At some point in the process, there is a period of time where you are just waiting. You fill your hands with busy work that needs to be done but honestly you are pretty much just waiting.

We cannot move forward until the chassis repairs are made. We have had trouble finding a welder. Turns out, this area is a bit old fashioned about welding and no-one would respond to my calls all last week. Over the weekend, I told Daniel that he would need to call since I wasn’t getting anywhere. It was probably a combination of luck and timing that he made one call and was able to immediately speak to a mobile welder (I sent him the number) who will be coming out later this week. Arg. I am very glad we finally have someone coming out to take a look at the job but so very frustrated that it took Daniel to get someone out here. Regardless, the important fact is we will be able to move forward.

During this slow period Daniel has been treating the steel with rust reformer. We didn’t have any terrible rust but a significant enough amount that we wanted to treat it. With the entire undercarriage protected against water, salt, and grime, our home will last that much longer. Xander and I have been spending time scraping off the old butylated rubber from around the windows. Talk about a thankless task! We don’t want to use a chemical solvent since Xander is helping with this task, so we are doing it the old fashioned way. A flathead screw driver and patience. First you scrape with the screwdriver and get the sticky black stuff to release. Then you just grab it. Turns out, once you get a nice sized ball in your fingers, you use that to ‘grab’ the rest. Lifts right out and leaves the metal as clean as can be. Your fingers are stickier than all get out, but it does the trick and no chemicals needed. Thank heavens for goop hand cleaner!

Next week I should have more news for you but for now, we are just keeping busy. Thanks for stopping by!

Teardown Complete!

YAY! We finally got the last of the old flooring out. Now there is just the frame and the chassis of the trailer. We have some wood cobbled together in-case we need to make the RV street safe but that is off to the side.

WOW! Just had to get that off my chest. OK. Here is what we found.

  • We found both steel beams bent by the passenger side rear dullies. Not sure what would have caused this kind of damage in this spot. Massive over burden? Improperly placed jacks? Accident? These will need to be removed and replaced.
  • Rust – a bunch of rust but fortunately less than we were expecting. You can tell this rig was not an East Coast vehicle. I was terrified we would get everything off only to discover that road salt had eaten away the very base of our home. At that point, we would be game over and homeless. There is a reason I haven’t been sleeping very well at night. The rust that we did find is treatable. PHEW!
  • The back steel beam going across the rear of the RV is slightly bowed up. You can see from the pictures. Again, not sure what would have caused this damage. We know from the people we bought the RV from there was extensive back end damage from them backing into something. I can’t remember what. This damage could have been caused by that. It looks like something we can hammer back into place but I will defer that to the hubby and a body shop.
  • We still have that one steel beam that is broken off the ‘C’ bracket extension. I showed that image previously but will edit the photo to make it a bit more obvious.

Otherwise, things look good! Everything from this point forward is a step towards putting Winnie back together. Stronger, and Better than before. When we are done, we will have a custom brand new 2017 RV.  🙂

And so it begins…

Ok. We have made it to our construction destination – now it’s time to break everything down. These are our goals in breakdown:

  1. Take a good look at the metal frame that is supposed to exist and make sure it is in good condition. We plan to stabilize/repair/or replace what we need to.
  2. Start from scratch so we can build what we want. Ripping the walls and ceiling off will give us a better idea of the space we have to work with.
  3. Finalize our floorplan based on what we find and what we want.

Our needs for living in Winnie long-term are as follows:

  • Have space to live and not feel like we are living in 176sqft of space.
  • Have room for Daniel to work.
  • Have homeschool room.
  • Have a usable, workable kitchen that will support our love of baking and visiting.
  • Have room for Xan to play and mom to craft.

BIG goals considering our space! However, we think we can do it. It took us about two days to get the RV empty.  I have a large tent that I purchased last Fall. We set that up and discovered in the manual that the tent has an interior that is 200sqft. That is more space than our RV has! Needless to say, everything we had to move easily fit into the tent. I posted pictures of that earlier.

We started breakdown about four days ago and it’s going well. The frame is MUCH less substantial than we were expecting. Kinda scary when you REALLY see what is between you and the rest of the world. Not much. However, I am supremely impressed by Winnebago’s wallpaper. What is that stuff? While the luan wood broke easily, that wallpaper held on so tightly I am convinced it was part of the construction design to keep everything held together. Thus far we have one whole wall removed and the back is unattached. The filon on the back wall extends onto the roof so although the back is unattached, it’s still dangling there until we disconnect the roof. We have been doing this as a family affair and I am so proud of Xan. He knows how to use a power screwdriver like a pro, uses his own hammer (it’s real) to help break down the walls and is our pro screw picker-upper (we are using this cool long magnet thing on a pole). I tell him often, we couldn’t do this without his help and input.

We each stated what we really wanted in the rig.

  • Xan wants a gypsy pull down bed, and he wants Internet antennae on the roof. He says they will make us look like a robot transformer.
  • Daniel wants some private office space so he can close himself off if he needs to and he wants a real kitchen where he has the counterspace needed to really cook!
  • Paula (me) really wants to add tile to our design in the bathroom and a bathtub, no matter how small. (I think this has more to do with the fact that Xander has some cool Playmobile and Octonaut bath toys that I just can’t bear to give away.)

For Xan’s bed, we have found the space and can reinforce the wall to make sure his gypsy pull down bunk bed is as he wants. I mapped out the painted interior of the bed and gave him a few designs on how we can paint it (gypsy beds are always very decorated) so he is pretty stoked.

We decided to add an additional 3′ onto the back of our RV. Our Minnie is a rare, diesel 28′. We have heard so many people say that it can’t possibly be a diesel and that Winnebago didn’t make a 28′ rig. Well, they did and we have one. But – it gave us the idea. Since most of the longer Minnie Winnie’s are 31′ – why not just extend ours? Voila! Daniel will have a hidden room at the back of the RV 3’L x 7 3/4″ W where we have extended the rig. In the back, there will be a floor to ceiling cabinet to help stabilize the RV. There will be two other floor to ceiling items that will form a triangle in the RV to provide equal support to the frame as a whole. His desk will be behind the wall of the shower. We will add a small opening window to the space so he has some airflow and natural light. This fulfills his major need to be able to work separate from the family. We have designed our kitchen to have a nice work space by the stove and convection over, with the refrigerator near-by and a place for his spices. It will be an ‘L’ shape with an extendable counter on one side and he wants a double sink where before we had a single. We will use the traditional RV design where we have a cover for the sinks to turn the space into workable counter space.

The bathroom and my vision. In a small space, every opportunity to be alone is a treasure. The bathroom is one of those places where you can satisfy a bodily function AND get some alone time. In our old bathroom, it was so small, it was hard to use, impossible to relax in and dark. YUCK! In our remodel, we will have a real bathroom. How are we planning to do this? We are rotating the toilet so it sits at an angle on a raised platform (think squatty potty). We have to have the platform to get over the wheel well. Before, only the toilet was raised so high your legs would dangle cutting off circulation to your feet and was very uncomfortable. You were not encouraged to linger. The solution, a nice rounded platform to support the height of the angled toilet and our knees will no longer be hitting the door as we sit, and our legs won’t be dangling anymore. Our knees will be at the appropriate height for comfort. There will be a nice sized small vanity where I can put bathroom things. Our hand hammered copper sink will go there. This was something from the original time we remodeled. Then, the shower/tub. Originally I was thinking a walk in shower where we tile the floor and a wee bit up the wall. They frown on tile in a rig because they don’t think the tile will adhere to the wall with all the driving vibrations and bumps. However, I am seeing tile on counter-tops on newer models so we are going for it! We will tile the floor of the walk in shower and treat the heck out of the walls to ensure they remain waterproof in as many ways as we can find.

I have been brainstorming different ways to get a tub of any shape in there until I did the math. Originally I was thinking we could extend the height of the shower rim to something a bit bigger. Maybe 8″ to 12″ high? This wouldn’t be a soaking tub but would be enough for a kid to play, to wash a dog or rinse something out. Weight is always a concern. The volume of our walk in shower if we go to the full foot in height for a rim would be 12 cubic feet which works out to about 89 gallons of water. That’s 742 lbs. And that’s just the water. Not the weight of the tile, person, supports, etc., etc., etc..   Hummm… Nope!  No tub for us! I HAVE found another person who tiled their shower and kept the weight down by using alternative materials. I was very excited to find that! So I can have my tiled shower, just no tub.

Here is a rough – not perfectly to scale floorplan. We need to go out and measure everything again so I can start the different view plans and we can put in the electrical and plumping details. Under the master bed we are building a lazy susan dresser thing where our clothes will go. The cabinet you see in the back is a floor to ceiling as is the pantry you see by the door and there will be a cabinet thing on top of the bookcases.


Looks like we will be able to get almost all of our ‘WANTS’ in this remodel. We have started breaking her down. We have the back wall disconnected and dangling by the skin. One whole side is off and we are almost ready to pull off the other. We have discovered how little of a frame there is which is a bit disconcerting and have plans to beef it up a bit. Check out the pictures and let us know your thoughts.

Here is a quick video of Daniel driving Winnie to bed. She has a nice covered shelter that she goes into. Night Winnie! More pictures to come and everything is down. Woo-Hoo!

Goodnight Winnie!

Playing on the CA Coast :-)


We had a wonderful time visiting my mother in Monterey. Lots of time at the beach of course and lots of wonderful time visiting. My sister also lives in Monterey and Xan worships her! Just mention that we are going to see Auntie Janie and he will start to squeal, hop around with a big smile on his face and say, “When? Really?! When?” A day with Auntie Janie means kayaking in the bay, or fishing on the wharf just like the real fisherman. No wonder he gets so excited. LOL!



We had a great week in Monterey. For our journey to Spokane, WA we are taking the 101/1. Going over the Golden Gate bridge is always fun. It’s so pretty all lit up at night! We decided to boondock for most of the trip up to Washington. There are many places to stop by the side of the road, especially on Hwy 1/101. The trip itself went really well. We allotted four days to get to Spokane. Highlights of our trip include stopping for several hours at Seaglass Beach. We had a lot of fun playing in tide pools.

Going through the Redwoods are always a must when heading up the California Coast. We stopped and explored a bit. As always, the Redwoods are awesome, impressive, humbling, otherworldly and so much more than can ever be captured by word or film.

Going up the coast is like driving down memory lane. I spent 20+ years in Washington State raising my first two kids. I have done this trip between California and Washington so many times, it’s beyond count. My daughter and I used to make speed runs from Bothell, WA to mom’s house. We would do it in a day. Did you know you can get from WA to the Central Coast in about 21 hours as long as you only stop for gas? I wouldn’t advise it, but it can be done and I used to do it often. I love taking Highway 199 between Grant’s Pass & Crescent City. It takes forever, and the road is super windy but I love driving into the Redwoods this way. We found some fellow RVers at a rest stop stranded right on the Oregon border. They had a flat tire and there was zero signal for them to use to call for help. Fortunately they were Good Sam members and after taking down their information, I was able to call for help. They are new to fulltiming it and I reassured them to always ask for help from a fellow RVer if they need it. We have all been there so generally we will go out of our way for each other.

We drove down the gorge between Oregon and Washington on Hwy 84. It’s a beautiful drive. The landscape goes from gorgeous and green to desert dry.  The river runs with barges, boats, parasailing, and dams – I counted at least four. We stopped to hike by Multnomah Falls and to play in the river beneath. We went to visit the Washington State version of Stonehenge; a WWI and WWII memorial for the young men of the community who served and died in the wars. It’s a special place that I used to visit at least once a year.

We arrived at our friends house in-time for dinner. Now comes the hard part. The remodel must begin. We have had a great journey thus far and we look forward to many adventures in the future. This time in our brand new remade home! Look out for updates on how the remodel is doing. I can’t wait to post!

And so it begins (dun-dun-dun!)

Just a quick interruption of  the story of our travel’s to say we have started the remodel process on the rig. We are in Spokane right now. It took us two days to empty the rig. Turns out the tent I bought to use at Standing Rock actually has more square footage than the RV so we were easily able to move tons of stuff into the tent. The rest we had to bring inside the house we are staying at. WE HAVE INVADED! Ever tried to fit your stuff – like bookcases, your clothes – all of them that you have with you, books, toys, home-office and various misc into someone elses already furnished home? It’s a bit cluttered right now but my goal is to really try and get that organized today so it doesn’t look like an explosion went through down here!

Once the RV was empty, Daniel and Xander started initial break-down. This means removing all the exterior & interior lights, the flashing, screw pick-up (you will be hearing that a lot) and the most fun – RIPPING THE WALLS OFF! So – here we are folks. The beginning! We are going to rip all the walls and ceiling off the metal frame of the rig. We will have the floor of the rig and the metal cab of the truck when we are down with tear-down. When we are finished, we will have raised the roof by a foot giving us more head-space. We will have a fully enclosed full bathroom, possibly with a small tub if we can work out the logistics. We will have a nice ‘L’ shaped kitchen space with good counter space,a double sink, a convection over and an induction stove top. There will be seating space on the other side of the island with the option of a flip-up table to provide additional seating as needed. We are removing some big windows so we are no longer a gallery on display to the world (YAY). We are squaring off the angle in the front of the RV in the cab-over so that we are no longer squishing our feet or banging our heads. Plus it will mean we can sit-up in bed which is something we cannot do now.

WANT LIST (but haven’t quite figured out how we are going to do it):

  • Xander would like a gypsy bed that folds out from the wall. Not a murphy bed to the floor kind but one that is like the top half of a bunk bed.
  • The tub. Hummmmm….
  • A place for a grow tower so we can have our garden with us.
  • More space

For additional space, we have come up with some ideas. A loft, a pull-back vrs pull-out, or the over used pull-out idea. So, if some clever person has an idea, make a comment and let us know! Otherwise keep tuned during the demolition process to see possible floor plans. Enjoy!


I know, I know. I need to be better about writing. What is the best balance between posting and not posting? Do we allow for ‘Life’ at all?  LOL!

Ok, I am just going to quickly bring you all up to speed. Tulsa, OK was actually a really cool place. I was surprised thinking it was going to be much hotter, that it would be run down and ugly, and that it wouldn’t be very green. Boy was I surprised. Tulsa is lovely! They certainly have a ton of things for families to do. There are a dozen free splash pads all over the city. Xander and I checked out three of them before the Usborne convention started. There are tons of trails! Turkey Mountain looked amazing for the hiking trails and views. We drove by it a couple of times but never did manage to get a hike in. They have dog parks. One in particular was amazing! Biscuit Acres; which happens to be right next to a neat playground and decent splash pad. Don’t go on a Tuesday though. They appear to be closed one day a week during mid week which is weird AND they don’t allow kids in the park under 12. I just checked the site and it appears they are stationing a police officer there to issue $500 citations to parents of younger kids who are in the park. Not sure what happened in this park to produce this law but there ya go. For the dogs, this was a great park! Biscuit Acres Dog Park Webpage While in Tulsa, we parked at the Warrior RV Park. Small, only about 30 spaces and not tons of amenities. They do have restrooms that are decently clean (wear flipflops in the shower kind of clean), showers and laundry. No playground, pool, or hot tub. They do have a store. What they also have is a wonderful grassy area full of lightening bugs! It was so cool to go out at night and stand still in the grass and watch the lights dancing around us. This park is relatively close to the highway with amenities like a grocery store, gas station, hiking trails, big shopping area, etc. And it was affordable. We stayed a week and paid $175. This park came recommended and we would stay here again. It was close enough to everything that we were trying to get to which made it simple.

Now about the Fun Stuff! OMG! BOOKS! I am an Usborne Books & More representative. I am fairly new in the business but LOVE it! This is my first time attending convention but I already can’t wait to go next year. The books are amazing! As a homeschooler and just someone who appreciates a good book, these cannot be beat. They are colorful, interesting, interactive, pull-downable, durable and kids WANT to be using them. So – obviously I love these books and I love the effect they have on kids. If you want to check out for yourself, just check out my website Paula’s Usborne Books & More Store.  At convention, we got to see the new releases and got a bunch! AAHHH!! SO COOL! One of the presenters said that other people (people that are not Usborne Books & More representatives) might not love the books as much as we do. I disagree – they just haven’t been introduced to the books yet.  🙂  I have a couple favorites to share and then I will stop talking about the books and will get back to fulltiming in the rig (and yes, I have special bookshelves built into the RV to hold my collection…Xander’s collection…our collection.).

0020410_ludwig_the_space_dog_300 This book is going to be a favorite read for ANYONE. If they are old enough to perch the 3-D glasses on their nose, they are ready for this book. The entire book is 3-D. I highly recommend you make sure you have several pairs of 3-D glasses. You can usually find them at dollar stores, or from Amazon. Or you can just let me know and I can order you a couple pairs. This makes sure that all children AND parents reading the book can fully experience this cool adventure where Ludwig takes off on an inter-dimensional adventure with a Penguin. LOL! I love it!



Another fun new title is
Hip & Hop, You can do Anything!‘  This book is so different than all our other books, for a second I thought it had been placed on the new releases table by accident. Akala, the author, is a successful rap musician and has founded a musical theater production company called Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company, dedicated to helping children reach their full potential. Read this inspiring book with a beat and you can’t go wrong. Its inspiration message helps kids to realize they can achieve anything as long as they don’t give up. I can’t wait to have this book on my bookshelf!

I am a homeschooler so I am always on the lookout for more books that I can use to teach difficult subjects to my son. Usborne Books & More has outdone itself with these new releases. I am just going to list them since there are so many I recommend for educational purposes.

  • This is not another Math Book – anything that can make Math fun and interactive, I am in! We love Math and Science in our family but we have lots of friends who hate trying to teach Math concepts. This is child led and provides many activities to facilitate learning and enrich the learning experience. This is a follow-up to ‘This is not a Math Book.’ Also in the series is ‘This is not a Science Book.’
  • The Color Pop-Up Dinosaurs and Color Pop-Up Animals activity books are awesome! The children get to create their own 3-d book! Once you have colored in all the pages and made your animals, imagine the stories your child will create as they read through the book THEY MADE using their imagination! This is great learning tool for Pre-K, and K-2.
  • I think that children learn so much by gardening. They get tuned in to the whole natural cycle. Failing having space for a garden of your own, Usborne has produced some amazing reference fun books about food. ‘100 Things to Know about Food‘, ‘It All Starts with a Seed – How Food Grows‘, ‘See Inside Where Food Comes From‘, and ‘Why We Need Bee’s‘. Previous releases include gardening manuals with step-by-step instructions on how to create a container vegetable garden, or garden outside. Very cool!
  • The Academy series of books is AMAZING! And Usborne Books & More has come out with another one that is going to make my son squeal with excitement! ‘Scientist Academy‘ is the latest addition. It goes through the different types of scientists, and provides activities focused around the featured types of scientists. At the end of the book, the child graduates with a certificate and is an official scientist. LOVE! Xander already calls himself a scientist so this will be a major hit when it arrives at our door.

I could go on – there are some seriously cool books! While I was at convention, Daniel and Xander had fun checking out all the Route-66 memorabilia in Tulsa. We all had fun and got some new books for our trouble. YAY!

From Tulsa, we were westward bound. I was not sure our VW Eurovan would make it over the passes further North. We decided we would play it safe and head West from Tulsa on I-40. This would take us across some of the hottest places in the US right now, but it’s a fairly straight run – not tons of elevation gains like if we went on another Interstate.


Our journey started fairly simply. We planned stops every 5 1/2 hours or so. That meant we would go from Oklahoma, into Texas and stop for a night. As we headed out on the Interstate I was following Daniel. There were some strong winds buffeting us around a bit as we drove. Imagine my surprise as the patch of filon we used to fix the roof came flying off the top of the rig, over Princess our Eurovan and into the tall grass on the side of the road. I honked at Daniel but he couldn’t hear with the blowing of the wind. We had to have that filon so I pulled over and backed up in the breakdown lane till I was across from it in the grass. Daniel used a super tar type of glue to adhere it to the rig. Having been in the heat, that tar was goopy and wet. Ugh. Fortunately the Universe provides. In Tulsa, before leaving, I was driving to pick something up at the hotel I had been staying at for the convention and a big piece of plastic got wrapped around my tire. In the parking lot of the hotel, I had to crawl under the right front wheel and get it off. This plastic was huge! Must have been wrapped around an appliance or something. IMG_8559I certainly didn’t see it on the road so don’t know where it came from but I shoved it in the back of the van and didn’t think about it till I was on the side of the road trying to figure out what I could possibly put this goopy piece of filon on/in. It turned out to be just what I needed. I rolled up the filon, getting covered in the goo in the process and then wrapped this huge piece of thick plastic around it. I used an extension cord as a rope and wrapped it around the plastic to hold it in place. Once done, I manhandled it into the van and took off to go find Daniel in the rig. I caught up to him and we stopped in a place called Hydro, OK at a closed auto shop to try and reattach this to the roof. The filon was remarkably intact after it’s flight, only missing a corner. The goo was sticky but was obviously not enough to hold it in place, especially in the heat we were experiencing. Thanks to Xan, we had a new box of self tapping screws – he had asked for his own box of screws so he could make something, he just hadn’t had time to make something yet. Thank heavens we had those screws! It pays to have a kid who is still connected to the Universal wisdom. Daniel screwed the filon in place and reinforced it however he could and we took off, once again on the road.



Check out this inspired version of ‘Oklahoma’ Daniel came up with while he was working with the goo. LOL! Daniel Singing Oklahoma



We stopped outside of Amarillo in a place called Oasis RV Resort. Reasonable rates, nice clean bathrooms and nice staff. They also have a half buried RV that they say was someone who tried to leave without paying! LOL!

Our journey across Texas and into New Mexico was fairly straightforward. We stayed at a place called Grants, NM called the Bar ‘S’ RV Park. We got there really late so I can’t say a lot about this park as far as recommendations. I can say we met some awesome people at this park. Some more homeschoolers with two wonderful kids. They were immediately best buddies with Xander and the dogs and came right in the rig. LOL! The bathrooms were nice and clean. Not any ammenities other than the restrooms/showers and the store. However, Daniel and Xan got me some really neat turquoise earrings there! Great rates! We ended up needing a tire fixed and found a nice local guy at Milan Tire Shop (no website but here is his info: I-40 Horizon Blvd, Milan, NM 87021  (505) 903-0478) who filled up the air on the Eurovan and fixed the RV tire. We hit the road after the tires were inflated and headed for Kingman, AZ. We actually made fairly decent time to AZ but due to the late start we ended up once more getting there after dark.

We had reservations at ‘Blake Ranch RV Park & Horse Motel‘. This place seemed really cool. No playground or swimming pool but super clean and nice. They have a horseshoes area, a rec hall, a nice store, 2-fenced dog runs, big restrooms/showers, nicely equipt laundry room (I did all our laundry there) and the machines weren’t crazy expensive. Only $1.50 for wash and $1 for the dryers. There is a koi pond in front of the store and nice grassy area with tons of feeders so the area is full of singing birds. There were other kids there when were there so Xan had some playmates. They ran around and had a great time. We ended up staying here for another day. We were so tired because of the late starts and stresses of arriving way late, the idea of getting up and out again by 11:00am was too much. We paid for another day and it was worth it! We relaxed for a day, Xander played, I got laundry done and we just took it easy. We found an amazing Mexican Restaurant, Oysters Mexican and Seafood. If you can go, GO! We had had enough of roadside food and our cooler was not doing well keeping food cold in the 100+ heat we were experiencing. We wanted real, not fast or chain-based food. We found Oysters. The environment was lovely and classic old Mexican with wonderful black & white pictures of famous Mexican musicians, artists and actors. Of course there were some Frieda prints – which I loved! Dark stained wood, tables and cubbys and wonderfully put together. The food was amazing! They are spicing their red chili sauce differently than I have ever tasted and it was sooooo good! YUM! Xander was happy with his quesadilla and Daniel with his choice of food. The waitress was friendly and helpful, and we left with full tummies and happy hearts. Arizona is where we plan on living once we get all the rig work done – back to Tucson! We had to stop at a rest-stop before leaving AZ and have a bit of fun with the sunset. Farewell AZ! We will be there soon!

The next day we hit the road much better rested and relaxed. We planned on making this long drive from Kingman, AZ to Monterey, CA in one day. It meant we didn’t have a lot of time to play around. We needed to be on the road early! It’s us. We weren’t on the road early. But we were out by 11am which I guess is just what I need to settle myself to. We made fairly good time heading out.

OMG – California. Going across the Mohave is always fun…NOT! No A/C in either vehicle meant we were all hot.



We like to stop in Mohave to get gas. I am not sure why, maybe the novelty of it? As we were driving across the expanse, and the fact that I recognize many parts if it, I am reminded of how many times we have actually crossed on I-40. I know we have stopped in Mohave at least 3 times at the same gas station around the same time of day. It’s always windy which is probably why they put up such a huge windfarm. Daniel always giggles about seeing Scaled Composites when we go through. He is giddy about the fact they built the first privately funded manned spacecraft to fly outside the Earths atmosphere. One of these days we will have to see if they give tours at all and visit. Once we got closer to Bakersfield, we started hitting the traffic. And more sun.


The rest of the trip was uneventful. We got to the Monterey late at night. My mom had the porch light on for us and was waiting up. It was so nice to be in the cool pacific air. After our hot day of driving, needing to put on a light jacket was mind blowing. We quickly got things put away and gratefully went to sleep. I will end this post for now, and update you in a day or two with our trip North to WA. Enjoy!

Austin Bound!

Hi All, when last we visited, Daniel, Xan and I were frantically trying to get out of Kansas and away from the storms. We made it successfully into Texas and had stopped in exhaustion at a rest stop off the side of the road. We woke-up refreshed only to find out that we had stopped at what is most probably the most disgusting rest stop in the entire state of Texas. There was more garbage than earth visible and looked like we had parked next to a landfill. ACK! We also discovered that we had a low front tire in the rig. The Adventures-Never-Stop when you live in a moving house!

I have become very ‘Zen’ about life when such things happen. Turns out we are always OK; help is just around the corner. Sure enough, we discovered we were only 4 miles away from Canadian, Texas. It was Memorial Day Weekend and I was concerned that everything would be closed, but kept the faith that the Universe always provides. It might challenge you as it does so, but it always provides.

We rapidly discovered that the town of Canadian cut their air pressure lines for some reason a couple years ago. There is not an air hose in the entire town unless it is in a tire or an automotive shop. Weird! Every little town has its idiosyncrasies though and you just have to roll with them. Since it was Sunday of Memorial Weekend, everything was of course – closed. Having exhausted our ability to find a place where we could put air in our tire, we decided to get some breakfast and call roadside assistance when we were done. We were starving and quickly found a place to eat. Close to the entrance of town, Canadian Restaurant was selected. A nice place, right on 2nd, locally owned and operated. They were kind enough to serve us a nice home-cooked breakfast even though they were switching over to lunch. After a delicious breakfast, I was talking to the owner while we were cashing out. I explained what happened and what we were looking for. She said, “Well, let me call my brother-in-law. He has a shop here, he should be able to help you.” Sure enough, he met us at his shop which was only a block away (visible from Canadian Restaurant). Canadian Auto Repair is the name of his business. I could have sworn I got a business card but for the life of me, I can’t find it and can’t remember this wonderful gentleman’s name. Suffice it to say, he was our hero for interrupting his holiday, opening up his shop and filling our tire so we could get on the road. See?! The universe always provides.  🙂 And if you are ever in Canadian, Texas, swing by and have a meal at Canadian Restaurant. Need your vehicle worked on? Call Canadian Auto Repair and let them know we said “Hi!”.

The rest of our drive down to Austin was thankfully event free.


Beautiful weather and smooth driving.

We ended up getting to Austin pretty late. That just seems to be the way we roll. We discovered the RV park where we had reservations only had 2 toilets/showers for 164 slots and we were about as far away from the restrooms as you could possibly be. Obviously that was not going to work so we spent our first night in the Austin area camped out at the closest rest stop with all the semi’s. There was a nice breeze blowing, so even though we didn’t have power, we had a nice night of sleep.

The next day we explored our options for staying a week. We ended up staying at the KOA Leander campground. It was just the treat we needed. They put us close to the restrooms, there was a sea-water pool and hot-tub, nice laundry rooms, restrooms, playground, outdoor meeting area, fire pit and a great dog run! We drove up, parked and relaxed. We got to visit with our adult kids, visit our niece and her family, and best of all – got to steal our granddaughter for several days!

I didn’t get a picture of Meg (our daughter) but did of Sean.


96bdfdd4-2064-49e2-927c-96d7dd3be5e4  Love the wild curly hair. LOL!

Turns out that tire that was low back in Canadian, needed to be replaced after all. Two new tires later (thank you Meghan!) we were on the road, this time headed to Tulsa, OK so I could attend the Usborne Books & More convention. Did I mention I am a rep? I LOVE BOOKS!  More about that on our Tulsa, OK post.