A family on the road living fulltime in an RV.

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Sold Our RV!!!!! And RV Makeover Pictures. (Better late than never!)

There has been a lot of change lately. First, I found out I was pregnant. Whoa!!! Next we visited our hometown, Ventura, CA, after two years of living on the…

There has been a lot of change lately. First, I found out I was pregnant. Whoa!!! Next we visited our hometown, Ventura, CA, after two years of living on the road and decided we wanted to stay on the road. (Our decision to keep our family on the road full time deserves its own post.)

Then Saturday we had stopped for propane on our way out of Austin when I checked my email. In my inbox was a message from a couple who really wanted to see our RV which I had listed on Craigslist a few days before not really thinking I’d get a response. Posting the ad was kinda of a “let’s just see what happens” sort of thing.

Undecided if we should just keep on driving, we sat in the parking lot of the propane place discussing whether I should call the number in the email. My first response was no let’s just keep going. Afterall, we just had 10 wonderful days at our friend’s house and had spent the morning packing, cleaning, and saying our goodbyes. We were ready to move on and get to our next destination, New Orleans. Then Brent said I could call the number and just explain our situation and they could meet us on our way out of town, assuming, of course, they wouldn’t want to do that.

I called the number and the person who answered told me it was the wrong number. I sent an email explaining I tried calling but the number was wrong and we were headed out of Austin. I mentioned if they got the email soon they could call me back. Then we headed on our way.

A few minutes later my phone rang and a woman explained she and her husband were really interested and they could meet us right away. Thirty minutes later, after a mad cleaning spree, we were showing the RV. Thirty minutes later they made an offer.

What?!?!?!

That was Saturday and they couldn’t get a check until Monday or Tuesday so we went back to my best friend’s house. Sunday morning the buyers sent over a deposit. Today, we spent the day trying to pack up all of our stuff into a much too small U-Haul trailer.

Now here we are still in Austin waiting and wondering….what have we done?!?!?!  Yes, we wanted to sell this RV. It’s been on our radar since we found out we were having another baby and deciding to stay on the road. The back bedroom is a little cramped for Thing One and Thing Two. We want a double slide out in their room so they can have their own space to study, create, and play. We’d also love a little more counter space and a second bathroom. If budget wasn’t a limiting factor, we’d also have a washer and dryer, bathtub, and kitchen island. A girl can dream! Right now our priorities are a bigger back bedroom and a space where Brent can work.

BUT…

What’s next? Unless we find a new rig here in Texas in the next few days we are going to head to Florida with our stuff in a U-Haul. We’ll stay at my parent’s place until we find a new home.

AND…

Even though we have wanted a new RV for a few months, I’m still sad. Really sad actually. This RV is our home where created incredible memories and tomorrow we will say goodbye.

I realized this weekend as I was cleaning the RV up getting her ready to go I never shared pictures of our RV redecorating makeover project.

Like most RVs, ours was lacking in decor. If we were going to use our RV for the occasional weekend trip we would have kept our RV interior design as it was but this was our home. Brent and I wanted to feel like we were in our home and not staying at a hotel. So we spent the next month and a half sanding, painting, sewing, and doing some minor remodeling. It was a lot of work but I don’t regret a minute of it.

This was our home and how we brought it to life.

Living/Dining/Kitchen

RV Before Living Room

RV Redecorated Living Room 2

RV Before Bedroom

RV Redecorated Living Room 3

RV Recovered Couch 2

You know you have good friends when they spend 12 hours at your house helping you reupholster your RV couch. I got the fabric for the couch, dinette, and most of the curtain fabric in the LA Garment district, one of the most fun places in LA!

RV Redecorate Kitchen

RV Fruit BasketMeow Cow the Black Cat

Since we have a small fridge I try to buy lots of fruits that will keep at room temperature.

livig-room2

LEFT: The chandelier was the the last thing to be hung. It was another Ikea purchase from years ago that I had been planning to hang in our house bedroom. I hung it at midnight the night before our “open house“. RIGHT: Small details

livig-room3

TOP LEFT: Glass bowl from Target that has since cracked. BOTTOM LEFT: School books and a basket to store dish towels. RIGHT: Small vintage globe on loan from my mom. 🙂

livig-room1

LEFT: Apron hooks from World Market. MIDDLE: Map garland was a gift from a friend who I met for the first time in person when we hit the road. RIGHT: Bird curtains and wall sconce. We painted the metal of the sconce and glued a little trim around the bottom of the shade to give it character.

living-room-4

LEFT: This is the moulding around the slide. It was covered in the same fabric as the couch. Instead of taking all the fabric off, I took of the wood trim and stapled burlap over the fabric and painted the wood. TOP RIGHT: Key holder from Urban Outfitters. BOTTOM RIGHT: Glass knobs on all the kitchen cabinets. I really liked these because I had the same knobs in a different color in my sticks and bricks kitchen so they felt “homey”.

Bedroom/Office

RV Before Bed

RV London Bridge Headboard

towerbridge

In place of the headboard we painted with help from another friend a silhouette of the London Bridge. We were engaged in London and that morning after I said “yes” we walked along the Thames River where we took this picture. The quilt was made by my grandmother using an Amy Butler pattern and fabric.

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Across from the bed is our dresser, office, and shower. When we bought the RV there was a sink where the desk is now. We bought an small Ikea sink and put it in the water closet (toilet room).

RV Shower Before

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RV Remodel Curtains

My friend, the same one who helped with the couch, helped me sew (Okay…she did most of the sewing.) new curtains for every window in the RV but these turned out to be my favorite.

bedroom2

LEFT: I didn’t keep many things from our old house but couldn’t part with this metal cat that I found at a thrift shop. It opens up and I store jewelry in it. RIGHT: The knobs and drawer pulls were on sale at Anthropologie and I love having impressions of nature inside since a big part of this trip is about exploring the outdoors.

bedroom1

LEFT: When Brent and I met he said, “we fit together like Legos”. For our first Valentine’s Day I made him the “I <3 U” out of Legos because we were too broke to buy each other real gifts. We eventually decided to quite celebrating Valentine’s Day altogether but he still kept my Lego message.  TOP RIGHT: I painted an old mirror white and bought some organizers from Ikea to make a little makeup vanity. RIGHT: It’s true. 🙂

Bathroom

RV Before Toilet

IMG_1230

IMG_1240

We didn’t do much to this room except paint and add the the Ikea sink. Changing the sink plumbing was much easier than you would think!

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The photo frames are a mixture of Ikea purchases and painted thrift shop finds.

Bunk Room

RV Before Bunk Room

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Thing One wanted to keep all the cabinetry its original color but we painted the room and made new curtains.

bunkroom

Two years and 48 states later, I never got tired of nor regretted our RV makeover. It made it home.

Now it’s time to say goodbye and move on to a new chapter and another blank canvas.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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The Wild Horses of Assateague Island

You didn’t think I’d give up on seeing the wild horses of Assateague Island that easy did you? After squinting to see the “fenced” wild horses on the Virginia side…

You didn’t think I’d give up on seeing the wild horses of Assateague Island that easy did you?

After squinting to see the “fenced” wild horses on the Virginia side of Assateague Island, we hoped in our truck and decided to make the hour and a half drive to the Maryland entrance.

Really, what’s an hour and a half after driving from California? We didn’t drive all the way across the country to have my childhood dream of seeing “Misty” (the horse in one of my favorite childhood books, Misty of Chincoteague) roam free on the beach be contained by a stupid fence.

This drive was filled with more anxiety than before. I know it was silly and certainly childish but I really really REALLY wanted to see the wild horses. It was as if I’d have a life of regret if I didn’t get to see these legendary creatures roaming free on the beach.

I’m not obsessive or dramatic or idealistic, not at all.

It was late afternoon when we arrived at the Maryland side of Assateague.

I held my breath as we drove through the entrance gate. I secretly prayed we would see some horses. (Yeah, sometimes I pray for trite things like that.)

Then I squealed and I’m pretty sure there were some tears.

A wild horse!

He was grazing freely on the side of the road completely indifferent to the crazy girl telling him how beautiful he was and taking pictures as if she had never seen a horse in her life.

Satisfied that there were indeed wild horses on Assateague Island, we went to the visitor center just minutes before it closed so the boys could turn in their Jr. Ranger stuff we had picked up on the Virginia side and we could learn a little more about the horses.

The horses have been living on Assateague Island since the 1600’s. No one knows exactly how the the wild horses of Assateague came to be. Legend is they swam to shore after a Spanish shipwreck. However, the more probable story is they were put on the island by their owners who wanted to avoid paying livestock taxes on the mainland.

Spanish galleon or tax evasion? Hmmmm…..

We drove further into the island and it wasn’t long before I was screetching again.

A mama and a baby or “Phantom and Misty” for us once (still?) horse obsessed little girls!!!

Someone has an itch.

I think I took 200 pictures of these guys and Thing Two loves animals as much as I do.

The horses were every bit as beautiful as I had imagined and so were the beaches.

As we drove around the island, we soon saw there were horses everywhere.

In the campsites.

Hanging around the bathrooms.

This guy just stood by the water spicket for the longest time.

People were petting the horses but I had seen pictures of the horse bites in the Visitor’s Center and having been bite by a horse before I know horse bites are no joke.

But more than that they were almost too wild and too beautiful to touch as if petting them like they were dogs would a sign of disrespect.

As the sun set we found a quiet spot near the beach.

Brent grilled.

And I read Misty of Chincoteague to my two favorite little boys.

Yes I actually brought the book all the way from California. Over the top, I know.

Then we watched the sunset from our little spot of horse heaven on Assateague Island.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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Marfa and the Lights

I woke up curious this morning. Curious to see where exactly we had “tumbled in” last night. After all, last night we only could see the strange little “office”. The…

I woke up curious this morning. Curious to see where exactly we had “tumbled in” last night.

After all, last night we only could see the strange little “office”.

The sky outside was as strange as the town. Large dark but not unfriendly clouds billowed as far as the eye could see. Barb wire fenced stretched as far as the sky. Cars and cinder blocks lay forgotten. Just as I had thought last night, the Airstream with an overturned grill across from us was vacant as was the humble cabover camper on the other side of the campground.

We were the only ones there.

Alone with only the company of an occasional passing train.

It was slightly unnerving but completely exhilarating to feel the desolation in the wind.

After a morning of school and work, we ventured into town. Marfa was founded in the 1880s. Nearly a hundred years later, minimalist artist, Donald Judd moved to Marfa making Marfa what it is today.  A word of advice if you visit Marfa- go on a weekend, almost everything is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. I was extremely disappointed to find out the modern art museum, The Chinati Foundation, was closed.  Regardless, we had a wonderful time exploring the mostly empty streets peering into the galleries and shops.  The folk at El Cosmico also made us feel and home welcomed us to explore their amazing grounds.

Marfa is a strange town.  The friend who told me about it described it as “a tiny town where blue-collar oil workers live next to Williamsburg art kids.” It’s a place where farm trucks are parked next retro beach cruisers. Where you can walk out from an art gallery to a view of a grain mill. Where skinny jeans and Wranglers are both equally appropriate.

It’s hard to tell what is really old and what has been restored to look really old.

Marfa is every bit as charming as it is odd. I didn’t quite know what to make of it.

I asked a girl with a short platinum blond hair, who I would guess to be about 23, if she was orginally from Marfa. As I expected she wasn’t. Then I asked her what is was like living here. “Twin Peak-sy“, she said.

For dinner, we enjoyed pizza at the Pizza Foundation which is an old converted gas station. Afterwards, we headed over to Frama, a laundry mat/ice cream/coffee shop for an after dinner sweet. Finally, we drove outside of town to view the famous Marfa Lights. It was cold and windy but still fun.  The Marfa Lights turned out to be the Marfa Light, one green flicker that faded in and out on the horizon.

I liked Marfa but I wanted to love Marfa.  What I loved was the desolation of West Texas and the architecture but something about Marfa seemed, I don’t know, contrived. Just a tiny bit. Not utterly and completely contrived but I didn’t fall in love with it the way I did Jerome or Madrid. Regardless, it was worth the effort to get there (it is out in the middle of nowhere) and perhaps if we would have come on a weekend I would have felt differently. Or perhaps not with all the tourists.

Funny though as I write this I feel myself longing to go back. Maybe it was the lights.

Love and Laughter,
Jenn

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So Much for Kicks on Route 66

I like this quiet little campground nestled out here in the middle of nowhere Fort Mohave. It’s not much more than a parking lot in a desert but you can…

I like this quiet little campground nestled out here in the middle of nowhere Fort Mohave. It’s not much more than a parking lot in a desert but you can see the mountains in the distance, it’s clean, and there is a little random cactus garden between the office and the parking lot.  This morning, I saw a roadrunner dart through the garden.

After a breakfast, we took the RV back to the tire shop.  As it turns out there is nothing wrong with the mechanics of the axel and suspension the tires are just delaminating. Unfortunately duck tape won’t fix this problem. The numbers are running through my head.  Once again as “luck” would have it, I had the exact amount in my paypal account from selling stuff on ebay before we left.  I guess I won’t be getting that new camera lens afterall.  Something about this trip is makes me feel like a college student scraping together money to buy a pizza.

We while we were getting the tires put on we drove over to Nevada and filmed a workout for Girl Heroes in the rain.  Shortly, after lunch we were back on the road shortly after lunch.  Not without a stop at the Goodwill in Laughlin where I found an adorable Marc Jacobs dress for $5 and a peacoat for Brent.

Back on the road.

Hours later we stopped at, Seligman, a town on Route 66.  We had heard there were cars painted like the cars in the movie Cars. (What a sentence.)  We exited the freeway and drove down the nearly deserted street to Delgadillo’s.  It was closed.  In fact, almost the entire town was closed despite it being 4:30 pm on a Saturday.  We got out and walked a bit and I had this eeery feeling come over me.  It was similiar to the feeling I got when I “met” Miss Havisham in Great Expectations.  The town seemed to be suspended in time, waiting for something that was never going to come.  Everything looked fun but frozen like a painted smile on a clown.  Bright colored signs advertising “Route 66” were on every delapitated building.  A group of mannequins posed happily on a roof overlooking the empty street was about as much as I could take so we headed back to the car.

So much for getting our kicks on Route 66.

Love and Laugher,
Jenn

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Overcoming Fear at Point Sal

I heard the sound of a harp digitally strumming from a distant land of the awake.  I felt Brent’s warm body shuffle next to me.  It was 6:15 am. Realizing…

I heard the sound of a harp digitally strumming from a distant land of the awake.  I felt Brent’s warm body shuffle next to me.  It was 6:15 am.

Realizing that it was the alarm, I asked  just to be certain,  if it was indeed the alarm.  One can hope. I told Brent I was going to stay in bed and he could go alone with Matt.   He insisted I come.

Fifteen minutes later, I was wedged in the crevice between the bed and the closet nervously searching for my clothes.  Getting to your things isn’t always easy in an rv but digging through plastic drawers of black pants for a particular pair of black pants when your nerves are on edge is a test of character.  I got dressed and shuffled across the cold sidewalk to the house where Brent had prepared scrambled eggs and black coffee.

At 6:50 I headed upstair to wash my face thinking I have 10, probably 20, minutes to get ready.  Not so.  Matt showed up 10 minutes early.  We piled into his van and  headed off to Point Sal.  I settled into the front seat excited and nervous for my first ever mountain bike ride.

Bikes scare me.

This explains why I haven’t owned once since I was 10 years old.  Once when I was riding along a country road in Indiana a car drove by and the side view mirror hit my forearm leaving a long red cut from my elbow to my wrist.  They didn’t even stop.

But the real fear comes from when I was in elementary and my little brother fell on his bike in the back yard.  The details are now  fuzzy in my mind but I remember it like this. My brother was riding around in the backyard when he fell going down a slope behind the garage.  The handle bar hit his stomach.  There was a red mark but the skin wasn’t broken. Thousands of little boys fall on their bikes every day so there didn’t seem to be reason for much concern.  However, my parents watched him for a few hours and noticed he was getting more lethargic. They took him to the emergency room.  He ended up being in the county hospital for a week getting sicker and sicker.  Why they didn’t do a ct scan right away or whatever it is they do to see what was wrong I don’t know.  Maybe because it was a small hospital and they didn’t have the right equipment.  Maybe the ct scans didn’t exist back then.  I dunno.   I remember visiting him and his little pale body lay motionless in the hospital bed with tubes coming out of his nose, mouth, and stomach.  All from a simple bike crash that didn’t even break the skin. After a week, he was transferred to a children’s hospital where they discovered he had a punctured pancreas. They removed a part of the damaged organ and he came home almost a month after the accident.  Just a little bike ride down a slope in our backyard.

Today, I was going to face my fear of bike riding and hit the trail.  I was nervous to be sure but I was also excited.  Brent used to love riding his mountain bike in the hills of Santa Barbara and for years I’ve dreamed of finding the courage to join him.

We parked the van and unloaded the bikes.

It was still cold from the night but the morning couldn’t have been more beautiful.  The sun was still barely above the mountains casting golden rays over the hills.  Matt and Brent gave me a few instructions and we headed up the old fire road.  Soon after we started, I realized that they were right and my seat was too low.  I wanted to be able to touch the ground with my feet.  However, my legs were getting thrashed and we hadn’t gone very far.  Raising my seat gave my legs an immediate relief and we continued upward.  Every turn surprised us with a new view seemingly more magical than the last.

We reached the top and started our descent toward the beach.  They adjusted my seat and told me to put my weight back and ride my breaks if I needed it.

The road narrowed and tall reeds lined the sides of the path creating “a tunnel”.  Broken reeds poked up through the old asphalt like spears. They boys rode up ahead of me and I “sat back in the saddle” lost in the exhilaration overcoming a fear and of the ride itself.

The road narrowed again to a “single track” and I took a deep breath determined to continue on my bike. I went as slowly and as carefully as possible trying to avoid  deep grooves where the earth had been washed away.  At one point, I got off my bike and walk down the loose rock.  No shame in using my head.

We parked and continued by foot down the hill to the remote beach.

The sun had warmed the day and we walked along the sand each in our separate thoughts.

I found a dancing starfish.  (Yes, I know they are technically called sea stars.)

And I decided to dance with it.

We saw dolphins.  There was an abandoned dirt bike under a cliff.   One can only imagine how it got down there.

The day was perfect yet there was work to be done so we headed back up the trail toward our bikes and began our ascent.  Back on the rough single track I fell.  I slipped off the back of my bike pulling it onto me and landing in the tall reeds.  Ouch.  But I lived and continued by foot to our meeting place.

I headed up the next part of the trail  ahead of the boys because I knew within minutes they would catch and pass me.  They did.

Halfway up I realized I was going to half to walk and half ride.  It was quite a blow to my ego but a relief to my legs. What goes down must go up when mountain biking.  I continued walking and riding until we reached the peak.

After a short rest we started down the last phase of the trail.   We adjusted my seat and took off.  The boys again quickly disappeared ahead of me checking in every so often to make sure they hadn’t lost me off the side of the mountain.

Exhilaration.

The wind, bumps, curves…all of it, but especially the thrill of overcoming fear, made my cells buzz with the thrill of living.

Love and laughter,
Jenn

 

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Sunrise Coffee Kisses

Brent and I could have fun together in a cardboard box. Put us in the mountains at sunrise with cameras and coffee and 2 hours feels like 2 minutes. The…


Brent and I could have fun together in a cardboard box.

Put us in the mountains at sunrise with cameras and coffee and 2 hours feels like 2 minutes.

The day after the cast and crew left Brent and I got up at 5:30 am to film b-roll (him) and take pictures (me).

There was dew.  There were ducks.  There were shadows. There were jumping fish and croaking frogs. There was some nut job a girl army crawling across cracked pavement to get within feet of a rabbit.  (Ahem.)

There was no one else there around the lake except the critters and us which meant there were also….

….kisses.

Who doesn’t like coffee breath kisses at sunrise.

With Love,
Jenn

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Land Sailing in Primm, Nevada

Unplanned discoveries are usually the most memorable of all. Last weekend, Brent and set off on yet another road trip to Vegas.  Before this year, the last time I had…

Unplanned discoveries are usually the most memorable of all.

Last weekend, Brent and set off on yet another road trip to Vegas.  Before this year, the last time I had been to there was when I turned 21.  My grandparents and I drove across the desert and celebrated with room service at the MGM Grand. (I party hard yo’.)  In the past 6 months, I’ve been to Vegas four times.  Four times.  In those four visits, I’ve gambled exactly $5 and “Kitty Glitter” ate that up in less than 5 minutes.  Hiss.  I’ve also kicked a few heads, hence, the regular trips to Vegas.

On this particular trip, we decided to stop at Primm.  There is something about Primm that intrigues and amuses me.  We wandered around the dreary outlet mall for a bit before we deciding to follow the dirt road to the Ivanpah dry lake bed.  Unbeknownst to us, there was a land sailing competition or festival of some sort taking place.

Out on the lake it was warm and breezy.

I insisted on snapping a few pictures of my love.

And he of me.

But what really grabbed our attention were the kites that filled the sky.

The kites danced while their riders glided across the dry earth.

A land sailer who had come all the way from Great Britain for the event.

It was oddly quiet and we were quite content to be with our thoughts fleeting about like the kites in the distance.

With love,
Jenn

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Who, what, when, and why????

(photo by Raya Carlisle) Well to our almost brand new blog.  Since, this is the first post and I’ll get straight to the point with the 5 Ws. Who ? Brent,…


(photo by Raya Carlisle)

Well to our almost brand new blog.  Since, this is the first post and I’ll get straight to the point with the 5 Ws.

Who ?
Brent, Jenn, Thing 1, Thing 2, Meow Cow (the cat), Nigel, and Nico (the pugs)

What?
A year long cross country road trip.

When?
ASAP.  Which realistically means sometime this fall or possibly early winter.

Where ?
We would like to see all 48 contiguous states.  If time and finances allow, we would also like to drive up to Alaska.  Hawaii would be awesome but I’m not sure how well the RV would do in the ocean. However, we are sort of thinking about adding some rocket boosters to the RV and checking out the moon.

Why ?
To learn about the country.  To learn about each other.  To slow down.  To live simply.  To live with less.  To seek adventure.  To seek God.

From there I’ll let you decide if you want to stick around.  I hope you do!

With love,
Jenn

 

 

 

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