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Showing posts from October, 2011

Adoption days and birthday

Due to all the excitement over Halloween weekend at our campground, the kids' adoption day was pretty much just blended into the fun. Due to the kids' adoption day being on Allen's birthday, he pretty much always gets shafted is wonderfully gracious to share his big day!
Josh was adopted 10 years ago! Lizzy & Matt 5 years ago. And Allen's, well, a year older. Even if we were distracted, we'd never skip cake. Allen chose lemon yuck! cake and I made chocolate cupcakes for the rest of us with better taste. No cullinary works of art here, but they were yummy! Even the lemon.
HAPPY ADOPTION DAY TO JOSH, LIZZY, & MATT!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALLEN!

Cabinet

After begging for Allen to build some storage under our stairs, and seeing the Travaglinos get stair storage, then the McCloskeys get stair storage, guess what Allen did for us today?! Not stair storage. :p But he did build a cabinet over the TV that looks great! I liked my baskets, but there was a lot of space we couldn't use. So now we have more usable space with shelves behind closed doors. The whole area looks more finished now too. (I actually do like it even better than stair storage, but don't tell Allen!)

Halloween at Wilderness Lakes campground

We heard they really liked to celebrate Halloween at Wilderness Lakes, but boy was it way BIGGER than we imagined! Many of the RVers decorated their rigs and some even built full blown haunted houses, right under their awnings or in (big) tents! The campground had a great haunted house too. So many people (and dogs!) of all ages dressed up and everyone had a great time. Many come here every year for this weekend, and we can see why. It was so fun!
Once we went to find the kids and found Lizzy, Matt, & Faith near a haunted tent entrance. They were all sneaking in then running back out screaming a second later. Only Matt was brave enough to go through to the other side - and then he came out screaming with candy flying everywhere!
Josh & Logan got to work in the campground haunted house and loved it. Although Josh was punched in the face once, but he did jump out at people!
Earlier in the day we had candy bar bingo, then the kids got pumpkins to carve, then a co…

Bunk beds built

The McCloskeys now have bunks! We finished (well, and started) them today. Cut, built, installed, stained, and painted. Now they *simply* have to move in! Oh, and get a truck to pull it first - details!
They will have curtains across both bunks, and mattresses and such. Again - details! They blend into the wall, the wood matches the cabinets, and they'll have lots of storage underneath.
In case you wonder about the construction quality, they're dad-tested! (Um, they're solid!)
And check out this handy feature on their step, convenient storage. Dusty footprint is mine (oops).
It's coming along! This RV remodel is fun. We think they should start moving in tomorrow. :)

RV remodel, not ours

When we pulled (back) into this campground, and learned that our friends were going to remodel their fifth wheel, we were almost giddy! Mainly because it'll get them on the road sooner, but also because it's fun to tear things out and build new things in. :) The McCloskeys got a great deal on this RV, but it wasn't ideal for their three kids, so they'd planned to sell it and then buy another. But it appears they're yet another family inspired by the Coast to Coast Trips, and they decided to remodel and build bunks. (I really think the Trips could charge admission to their RV for inspiration!)
It's been fun for us and the Travaglinos, possibly because we can help but don't have to live with the results. :) So far, they've pulled out cabinets and carpet, painted, and put in flooring. They don't blog yet, but it's a fun process, so I have to share! Yes, I have an obsessive compulsive need to share before and after pics.
We're thinking of st…

Door thingy

I have no idea what it's called, but I recovered ours! The over-the-door-fabric-upholstered-thingy now matches the curtains. It looks so much better than the standard RV blah pattern. I used a staple gun, a regular staple when I ran out of gun staples, may have put the fabric on backwards, and only broke one of the three screws (Allen broke the other). Yeah, it didn't technically go well, but it looks good. And yes, I did color the three buttons that cover the screws with marker. Whatever, it's up!
The beige on beige on beige is slowly disappearing.

RV curtains, living room

We finally got the living room curtains up! We still need one more hiking stick because our last didn't fit, but I couldn't wait, so I used yarn until we find one. The others are up though, complete with Allen's handy wrapping of duct tape for emergencies, blisters, etc. And nearby are many pics with these very hiking sticks in them. This curtain rod climbed Mount Rainier, this curtain rod hiked with alligators in the Everglades...
Didn't Kimberly Travaglino do great work?! (Thanks so much Kimberly!!!)

3 families

It was so fun to camp right beside the Travaglinos, who were right beside the McCloskeys. That's a LOT of kids! And a lot of fun. And a lot of feeling quite normal, which isn't, well, normal. We shared food, tips, skills, scooters, fires, even kids at times. We were sad to see Chris and Kimberly leave, but when you're a fulltime RVer, the road just calls! We'll see them again soon I'm sure.
It takes a village to raise a bucket from the canal...

RV curtains

Here's a peek at our new curtains. I'm saving my favorite living room ones (so cute!) because we have to hang our hiking stick rods first. It's so fun losing the standard-RV-boring beige!
Kimberly Travaglino did a great job! It's fun to have neighbors with kids, then such a bonus to find one who travels with a sewing machine and is willing to help me with do my curtains for me!
Josh has a camo curtain on the top and both boys have privacy curtains for their bunks. They love having a way to close off their little rooms!
This is the hall up to the master bedroom. I'll make tie backs for them soon. Rubber bands in the meantime. It's nice to finally have something over the doggie window in the middle blind that Jack chewed out. Lizzy's curtain has the three colors that her walls are painted, light blue, teal, and lime green.
Our room has a southwestern theme. I thought I'd go away from the insanely bright but happy colors in the rest of the RV. Now we just…

Coachella Valley Preserve oasis hike

In Palm Desert CA, our campground was just a few miles from Coachella Valley Preserve and a great oasis hike. We enjoyed chatting with other fulltime RVers who worked at the visitor center. Then we took a short hike from there through some oases. The California fan palms were amazing, the dead leaves forming a long skirt. And there were so many! It was cooler, and looked like a jungle, with so much water, right in the middle of the desert. We'd leave an oasis, hike through the wide open scorching sand and heat, then right into another oasis with shade and water.
More pics:

Thousand Trails, RPI, Passport America, Harvest Hosts

We wanted to share about campground memberships as we're asked often and they're very beneficial to fulltime RVing families.

Thousand Trails
While it can be confusing, our Thousand Trails membership is awesome for us! People keep asking, so here is our experience. We are thrilled with our TT membership and haven't paid for camping in ages.
It takes a lot of research to figure out what to buy for the way you travel. Every membership is different if you buy used (ebay, craigslist, etc). We know a family who got one for free, just paid the transfer fees! You just have to shop around and ask lots of questions to learn the exact contract details. We get to stay 3 weeks in and go park to park, with no week out of the system. Some can only stay 2 weeks and some have a week out in between. Ours doesn't include Outdoor World (20 parks) but newer memberships do. Purchasing from Thousand Trails directly is easy and you know exactly what you're getting.
Our camp…

Adoption days and birthday

Due to all the excitement over Halloween weekend at our campground, the kids' adoption day was pretty much just blended into the fun. Due to the kids' adoption day being on Allen's birthday, he pretty much always gets shafted is wonderfully gracious to share his big day!
Josh was adopted 10 years ago! Lizzy & Matt 5 years ago. And Allen's, well, a year older. Even if we were distracted, we'd never skip cake. Allen chose lemon yuck! cake and I made chocolate cupcakes for the rest of us with better taste. No cullinary works of art here, but they were yummy! Even the lemon.
HAPPY ADOPTION DAY TO JOSH, LIZZY, & MATT!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALLEN!

Cabinet

After begging for Allen to build some storage under our stairs, and seeing the Travaglinos get stair storage, then the McCloskeys get stair storage, guess what Allen did for us today?! Not stair storage. :p But he did build a cabinet over the TV that looks great! I liked my baskets, but there was a lot of space we couldn't use. So now we have more usable space with shelves behind closed doors. The whole area looks more finished now too. (I actually do like it even better than stair storage, but don't tell Allen!)

Halloween at Wilderness Lakes campground

We heard they really liked to celebrate Halloween at Wilderness Lakes, but boy was it way BIGGER than we imagined! Many of the RVers decorated their rigs and some even built full blown haunted houses, right under their awnings or in (big) tents! The campground had a great haunted house too. So many people (and dogs!) of all ages dressed up and everyone had a great time. Many come here every year for this weekend, and we can see why. It was so fun!
Once we went to find the kids and found Lizzy, Matt, & Faith near a haunted tent entrance. They were all sneaking in then running back out screaming a second later. Only Matt was brave enough to go through to the other side - and then he came out screaming with candy flying everywhere!
Josh & Logan got to work in the campground haunted house and loved it. Although Josh was punched in the face once, but he did jump out at people!
Earlier in the day we had candy bar bingo, then the kids got pumpkins to carve, then a co…

Bunk beds built

The McCloskeys now have bunks! We finished (well, and started) them today. Cut, built, installed, stained, and painted. Now they *simply* have to move in! Oh, and get a truck to pull it first - details!
They will have curtains across both bunks, and mattresses and such. Again - details! They blend into the wall, the wood matches the cabinets, and they'll have lots of storage underneath.
In case you wonder about the construction quality, they're dad-tested! (Um, they're solid!)
And check out this handy feature on their step, convenient storage. Dusty footprint is mine (oops).
It's coming along! This RV remodel is fun. We think they should start moving in tomorrow. :)

RV remodel, not ours

When we pulled (back) into this campground, and learned that our friends were going to remodel their fifth wheel, we were almost giddy! Mainly because it'll get them on the road sooner, but also because it's fun to tear things out and build new things in. :) The McCloskeys got a great deal on this RV, but it wasn't ideal for their three kids, so they'd planned to sell it and then buy another. But it appears they're yet another family inspired by the Coast to Coast Trips, and they decided to remodel and build bunks. (I really think the Trips could charge admission to their RV for inspiration!)
It's been fun for us and the Travaglinos, possibly because we can help but don't have to live with the results. :) So far, they've pulled out cabinets and carpet, painted, and put in flooring. They don't blog yet, but it's a fun process, so I have to share! Yes, I have an obsessive compulsive need to share before and after pics.
We're thinking of st…

Door thingy

I have no idea what it's called, but I recovered ours! The over-the-door-fabric-upholstered-thingy now matches the curtains. It looks so much better than the standard RV blah pattern. I used a staple gun, a regular staple when I ran out of gun staples, may have put the fabric on backwards, and only broke one of the three screws (Allen broke the other). Yeah, it didn't technically go well, but it looks good. And yes, I did color the three buttons that cover the screws with marker. Whatever, it's up!
The beige on beige on beige is slowly disappearing.

RV curtains, living room

We finally got the living room curtains up! We still need one more hiking stick because our last didn't fit, but I couldn't wait, so I used yarn until we find one. The others are up though, complete with Allen's handy wrapping of duct tape for emergencies, blisters, etc. And nearby are many pics with these very hiking sticks in them. This curtain rod climbed Mount Rainier, this curtain rod hiked with alligators in the Everglades...
Didn't Kimberly Travaglino do great work?! (Thanks so much Kimberly!!!)

3 families

It was so fun to camp right beside the Travaglinos, who were right beside the McCloskeys. That's a LOT of kids! And a lot of fun. And a lot of feeling quite normal, which isn't, well, normal. We shared food, tips, skills, scooters, fires, even kids at times. We were sad to see Chris and Kimberly leave, but when you're a fulltime RVer, the road just calls! We'll see them again soon I'm sure.
It takes a village to raise a bucket from the canal...

RV curtains

Here's a peek at our new curtains. I'm saving my favorite living room ones (so cute!) because we have to hang our hiking stick rods first. It's so fun losing the standard-RV-boring beige!
Kimberly Travaglino did a great job! It's fun to have neighbors with kids, then such a bonus to find one who travels with a sewing machine and is willing to help me with do my curtains for me!
Josh has a camo curtain on the top and both boys have privacy curtains for their bunks. They love having a way to close off their little rooms!
This is the hall up to the master bedroom. I'll make tie backs for them soon. Rubber bands in the meantime. It's nice to finally have something over the doggie window in the middle blind that Jack chewed out. Lizzy's curtain has the three colors that her walls are painted, light blue, teal, and lime green.
Our room has a southwestern theme. I thought I'd go away from the insanely bright but happy colors in the rest of the RV. Now we just…

Coachella Valley Preserve oasis hike

In Palm Desert CA, our campground was just a few miles from Coachella Valley Preserve and a great oasis hike. We enjoyed chatting with other fulltime RVers who worked at the visitor center. Then we took a short hike from there through some oases. The California fan palms were amazing, the dead leaves forming a long skirt. And there were so many! It was cooler, and looked like a jungle, with so much water, right in the middle of the desert. We'd leave an oasis, hike through the wide open scorching sand and heat, then right into another oasis with shade and water.
More pics:

Thousand Trails, RPI, Passport America, Harvest Hosts

We wanted to share about campground memberships as we're asked often and they're very beneficial to fulltime RVing families.

Thousand Trails
While it can be confusing, our Thousand Trails membership is awesome for us! People keep asking, so here is our experience. We are thrilled with our TT membership and haven't paid for camping in ages.
It takes a lot of research to figure out what to buy for the way you travel. Every membership is different if you buy used (ebay, craigslist, etc). We know a family who got one for free, just paid the transfer fees! You just have to shop around and ask lots of questions to learn the exact contract details. We get to stay 3 weeks in and go park to park, with no week out of the system. Some can only stay 2 weeks and some have a week out in between. Ours doesn't include Outdoor World (20 parks) but newer memberships do. Purchasing from Thousand Trails directly is easy and you know exactly what you're getting.
Our camp…