Yes, we did it again!
Introducing “Mosey” our new (to us anyway) Airstream International Serenity 19”
Hello, our travels have come to an end in my hometown of San Diego. We just moved into our new home and we are super excited to have our own private bathroom!! You cannot appreciate the convenience, cleanliness, and privacy until you have exclusively used public restrooms for 6 months – seriously! We took our Airstream back to the LA dealer for resale. Yes, it was a bit sad, but Joel and I have no plans to do any camping for quite some time and storage costs are very high. She is better off finding a new home with someone who will enjoy her instead of gathering dust and dings in some backlot storage facility.
With having a home and a garage, Joel and I quickly got back to one of our favorite hobbies, refinishing old furniture. I made quick work of our 4 piece Thomasville dressers and night stands, they are now a beautiful Paris gray. Also, I just finished a buffet and I am starting on our breakfast dining room set next. We have been busy these last few weeks going to estate sales, flea markets, etc. I found these great vintage bottle capping tools, they are old iron (??), very heavy and have a great rust patina – I love them ❤️!!
Ok, finished refinishing the dining room set and getting ready to start my new job in two days, so much happening right now — but it’s all good! God bless!!!
We pulled into San Clemente State Park to a stunning sunset and were so excited to be seeing our sons Jeff and Matt again. Matt and his fiancé were the first to come by and we had an early Christmas celebration because they were heading out of town. We later met up with Jeff and Andrea and all had a nice dinner together.
This State Park is a great choice for the beach, but when it comes to amenities, it’s not so great. No wifi, no cable, and the bathrooms are slightly above using the great outdoors because they are very basic, no heat (brrrr, very cold in the winter months) and bring plenty of change for the showers! This is fine for weekend camping, but long term RV living, you really notice the difference between this State Park and private parks. You get a lot more for your money at the private parks in this price range ($65 per night with “holiday” per diem).
Only in Las Vegas will you find a”real” mermaid all dressed up for the holidays hanging out in a giant aquarium! We were looking forward to some warmer weather after being chased from the East coast by freezing winter storms. Not so! Vegas was cold and we found ourselves spending very little time on the strip – or anywhere outside! We stayed at the Oasis RV Resort which is a huge RV park just a few miles from the strip. Even closer was the Silverton Casino which featured a blackjack game that Joel really liked and the aforementioned mermaids. I spent a lot of time in the casino lounge watching the jellyfish in the pic above circling round and round while Joel was playing cards.
Another reason for visiting Vegas are my cousins, Steve and Shannon. Shannon and I are the same age and share many fond childhood memories together. Steve – aka crazy cousin Steve – has a motorcycle shop and spends most of his spare time defying death. In fact, he had yet another close call when a speeding teenager plowed into the side of his large box trailer, barely missing his driver-side door. Luckily, he was okay and for once he was not the person trying to break the sound barrier while driving. We had a great visit with them and our time there just flew by.
Whew — have we been doing a lot of driving! We went from Dallas, TX to Prescott Valley, AZ in the last three days, a total of 1050 miles. The temps have really dropped, and it snowed the day we arrived in Albuquerque. We are hightailing it to the southwest because Joel and I have become thin skinned living in California. While in Prescott Valley, we had a very enjoyable visit with Joel’s mom and grandmother. His mom went all out making us a breakfast and dinner feast, and we had a very lovely day chatting and sharing stories. His grandmother is in her 90s and still so physically and mentally active, she is a true inspiration.
With all the driving we have been doing, the dogs have been real troopers and we have been very fortunate to have safe travels so far, a testament to Joel’s conservative driving.
Out intent in heading to Dallas was to visit the Gas Monkey Garage, the location of one of Joel’s favorite shows. We stayed at a KOA located in Arlington, just outside Dallas. Somehow we got so distracted with all the estate sales in the area (there are TONS of them), that we ended up skipping out on Gas Monkey all together. We did manage to take a drive down to Waco (about an hour South) to visit Chip and Joanna Gaines shop, Magnolia Market. They have the popular show, Fixer Upper, and we love their style. The Market did not disappoint! Super cute decor items, a bakery (cupcakes!), food trucks, a giant play field, and loads of charm. I am really glad we took a break from estate sale shopping to check this place out.
Of note, we are really starting to experience winter weather. Yikes, has it gotten cold! The heater in the Airstream is noisy to keep on all night, so we purchased a nice space heater which seems to do the trick. On our last day in town, we saw the forecast that rain was coming and packed up the night before. Luckily we did, when we woke up the next morning, it was pouring and freezing cold. All we had to do was disconnect our water, electricity, cable, and sewer connections and we were on the road. We’ll be traveling hard core the next two days, Amarillo and Albuquerque (where it snowed this morning) before we reach Joel’s Mom’s house in Prescott Valley, AZ.
Twining! We were parked next to another Airstream at Huck Finn’s Mississippi River Campground in Memphis. However, it was pretty cold and windy (before the big storm) so we really didn’t spend too much time down by the river which seemed to be a constant flurry of activity between the barges and trains. There is a lot of manufacturing in the area, and the smell of a paper mill is not very pleasant 😳.
Yes, we were in Memphis and did not visit Graceland! Is this actually illegal? I don’t know, but the reviews were not all that great and Elvis was more of my Mom’s gereration and even she didn’t give it a good review – so there you go. We did try the famous barbecue and it was good! Oh my gosh the seasoning on the outside of the chicken, sweet potato fries, baked beans, pulled pork – it was all so yummy. Sometimes I think we are just eating our way across America.
These pics were taken by the Mississippi and in the giant Bass Pro Shop in a huge triangle building downtown. The shop incorporates a hotel, restaurant and general store. It has giant ponds with all sorts of fish, ducks and even alligators – we just can’t seem to escape the alligators!
Our last night in town a huge winter storm blew in from the Gulf of Mexico. We got about 3 hours sleep as the wind and rain pummeled the trailer. The dogs refused to stay in their own bed and by 6 am we were packing to leave. Actually leaving was a bit hair raising as well. The rain was coming down so hard and pooling on the freeway, we saw several bad spin-out accidents. Worse yet were the big rig drivers who saw no need to slow down and would barrel past us at 80 miles an hour in zero visibility. On top of it all, tornado warnings. Boy were we glad to get through Tennessee and Arkansas.
Joel was very excited to visit the home of Andrew Jackson while we were visiting Nashville. It was a very interesting day and I really like the following quote that is attributed to him: “I was born for a storm and the calm does not suit me. ” Let’s just say, I can relate!
Andrew Jackson served as President about 30 years prior to the Civil War. Even then, South Carolina was stirring up trouble and there was some talk of succession. President Jackson was determined to hold the Union together and selected a Vice President from South Carolina. However, the tensions were so high that the Vice President resigned within months. Jackson was the only President to pay off the national debt and establish a national banking system. His home is preserved in amazing detail, including original furnishings and decor (the wallpaper is almost 200 years old!!!).
You cannot visit Nashville without making a trip to the Grand Ole Opry and I was super excited to see the musical How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The performance was great, the actors were spot on and I loved the costumes and set design. The Grand Ole Opry complex is enormous, encompassing a huge hotel, multiple stages, gardens and even stables for the horse drawn carriages. They put up a ton of lights, a large nativity scene, ice sculpture and sledding, bonfires for s’mores – it’s a very festive and happening holiday scene.
Nashville is also home to a lot of shopping! We had fun visiting Antique Archeology, the vintage store owned by Mike and Frank of American Pickers., one of Joel’s favorite shows. They had great stuff, but way out of our price range. No worries though because we found lots of great Christmas decor at other shops and the Airstream is beginning to look 👀 a lot like Christmas 🎄.