airstream adventure

life in 150 square feet on the open road and beyond

airstream, travel, full-time RV, road trip, america.

Filtering by Category: "road trip"

IT'S OFFICIAL!




“...I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

well, folks, (insert mary tyler moore music) we're gonna dooooo it! we're puttin' our money where our mouth is and gearing up for the granddaddy of all road trips. after much thought and deliberation and serious logistics wrangling, we've decided to put everything we own in a storage facility and become full-time airstreamers and travel the U.S. until...well, we get sick of it. say what?!


we're planning on an early august 2010 departure, so there is much to do between now and then. pack every stitch of our house, sell my car (bye bye little blue passat wagon!) and make sure we are equipped from a business perspective for life on the road. being that we both are in the very fortunate position to have jobs where we can work from home, we figured that home could just as easily be a silver twinkie, no? that means some pretty serious techie stuff, but after a few trial runs in savannah and charleston, i think we've sorted that end out and we're both able to do our jobs (quite well, i might add) from the road. we've even upgraded our truck (affectionately dubbed "tundy too", since we traded in the '08 tundra for a swanky, more comfortable '10 tundra).

i can't tell you how personally exciting this is for us. but you might wonder exactly why we are doing this. living in approximately 200 square feet with your spouse and (often times a lil' gassy) dog means a few things for sure: you had better get along really well, have a top-notch sense of humor and not get hung up on little idiosyncrasies that living in a trailer can present. as cushy and creature-comforty as the airstream is, it's still a small space and let me assure you, every nook and cranny counts. but all of these little things pale in comparison to the idea of seeing this country via the winding back roads, the small towns and the big cities, too. weekends will be filled with route 66 oddities, fall festivals in towns we've never heard of, quirky local attractions, and the natural beauty of state and federal parks and delightful people whom we'll meet along the way. when you are pulling your home behind you on wheels, it's a new front and back yard every week. i love that.

aside from the incredibly compelling adventure-of-a-lifetime bit, there are also some significant savings to be had from paring down for a while and living a little simpler. sure, you have park fees, but you also have no rent/mortgage and no utilities. my car payment and insurance goes away, too. so we figured, why not save some decent cash, and when we're tired of living like gypsies, we'll have a nice little down payment for a house upon return.

we do hope you'll follow our adventures in the wild blue yonder through this blog and also via twitter (@airstreamADV). we'd also love to hear some "must sees" from all of you – feel free to share the places out there that can't be missed, whether that be a legendary diner, a museum or a roadside produce stand.

see you down the road, friends!

xoxo,
jen & richard



REVIEW: Best Holiday Trav-L-Park, Chattanooga

Don't let the antiquated name fool you into thinking this place is best left alone. Kind of reminiscent of a tacky 60s trailer park, right? Wrong. It is one of the best places we've stayed at! While it isn't flooded with nature or particularly quaint or picturesque, it was clean, easy in and out, well-maintained, and best of all, just a short hop from downtown 'nooga. (That's Chattanooga, folks.)

We showed up at our usual time (10:30 PM, waaaay after sundown and far too late to hope for any sort of daylight to illuminate the area). Fearing the worst, we got to the office and picked up our site info. Pull-through. Nice.

We breathed a sigh of relief to find our site well marked and easy to navigate, with ample room for our sweet little aluminum adventure cottage-on-wheels. Actually, it's big enough for even far larger rigs. Pulling into our site was easy, and all sites had some sort of light to make it easier. We pulled in and hooked up with minimum muss and fuss.

The RV sites all had electric (some up to 50 amp), water, sewer, and cable hookups. Of special note, we were overjoyed (ok, maybe overjoyed is a strong word) that the sewer connection was situated a little lower than the pad, making a nice gentle slope from the Airstream to the connection. That would mean no messing around (literally...ewww) with the sewer hose on disconnect. The less time that thing is in your hands, the better. Nothing turns a good day bad when you've got, um, you-know-what running down your hands. Bring on the Purell. As for the cable, a fair amount of channels to be had. I don't think we watched more than a couple of minutes of TV, with good reason. We're not ones to sit around and watch the clouds roll by, as we're primarily using the site as HQ.

Location, location, location: Best Holiday Trav-L-Park is smack dab in the middle of tourist central Chattanooga, TN. And yes, there is such a thing as The Chattanooga Choo Choo. We've seen it. We stood where the engineer would stand, if this train still moved. Currently, the cars behind the Choo Choo were converted to (rather tourist trappy, overpriced with aging bad 80s decor) dining facilities, and some of the other cars at the station were converted to be guest rooms for the Holiday Inn that adjoins the museum. That actually seemed kind of cool, although we didn't recall them feeling particulary clean. Maybe we're just used to Wally and prefer our own germs to others'. If you're into toy trains, the museum has a toy train car collection, which should be enjoyed for those that are into that. All aboard.



Next up: Rock City has been a tourist trap for decades. However, it still is an enjoyable place to visit. The view from Lover's Leap is fantastic; get your cameras ready. No picture could ever adequately describe the view. When we finally got to the "top" we were pleasantly surprised to hear a bluegrass band playing some old timey tunes with a nice crowd gathered around. It was nice to sit down for a bit and enjoy the breeze.


4th of July evening fireworks found us, once again, heading to where the crowds wouldn't be. There are a good many overlooks if you wind your way up Lookout Mountain, and we settled on a nice view near the Incline Railway station. Speaking of the Incline - yep, another heavily populated tourist trap, but still neat. The Incline is the steepest passenger train in the world, boasting a 73% grade near the top of the mountain. That's downright almost vertical, people. The ascent (or descent) takes about 10 minutes and is truthfully a little lackluster until you get to the steep bit. The "station" at the top is a bit of a disaster: an outdated building with bad carpet, a snack bar that needs a good deep cleaning, and all the magnets, shot glasses and keychains you could shake a stick at. Not our scene.


Finally, one of the more interesting tours is that of Ruby Falls. Best thing: it never rains on Ruby Falls, nor does the temperature get above 58 degrees. Why? Because the Falls are underground inside Lookout Mountain! During the day, there are normal tours with plenty of artificial (and some call...errr...tacky) light. However, we chose to do a nighttime lantern tour. Why? Less crowds, and just a cooler, off the beaten path experience. So all lights were turned off, and the only available light was from our flashlights. This definitely added a bit more adventure. The most incredible thing was when we finally arrived at the falls, the tour guide ran a lantern up more than 200 feet of rope to illuminate the falls. They were completely inside a large cavern, collecting in a large pool on the ground. Interesting fact: they know where the waters end up, but still cannot figure out where the source is coming from.

Bottom line – we'd recommend Best Holiday Trav-L-Park, and the city of Chattanooga makes a lovely weekend jaunt from lots of places in the Southeast.

Until next time...happy travels.

Sheriff Spiffy Came to Blogtown.

we can do better and we knew it.

perhaps it's a late case of spring cleaning taking effect, but we decided it was time for a major blog overhaul. see the new graphics?! new palette!? and from here on out...better content, like:

more stories that actually do happen on the road (and beyond!) but never quite seem to make it to the page. also, more pictures that i am constantly taking of our travels but don't make it off the camera card. (shameful, right?)

we are gearing up for another weekend trip, albeit close to home, to the north GA mountains. just a few nights away can be such a nice change of pace from the same four walls you face during the week. hot, juicy topics of conversation around the house regarding the coming trip include:

- biscuits and egg beaters for breakfast (regular style or southwestern? hmm. these are serious decisions. )
- will the AC stand up to 96 degree temps this weekend?
- will miss pickles (our boston terrier) ever stop having anxiety attacks everytime we travel?
- the "fishtail": our new secret weapon for maneuvering the trailer out of some tight spots and campsites. (try getting a 27" trailer into a back-in...takes some practice.)

oh, yes. i told you the content was going to be better. (tantalizing, even.)

we hope you'll love the love we're putting into sharing the airstreamin' life with all of you.

happy travels,
jen

{new blog airstream image courtesy of steven myers photography, design courtesy of miss pickles press design + paper goods}

Review: Table Rock State Park, SC

Review: Table Rock State Park from Richard Mageau on Vimeo.



We spent yet another 'interesting' weekend in Wally. Started off scary (got there late at night) and got much nicer as the weekend progressed.

The park is nice, very rustic. Most of the original building we built by the CCC's in the '30s and '40s. There are a few cabins (some being renovated) that are available for renting, as well as the campground of course! The Lodge was currently being rented out for a wedding,as it's a beautiful place for it. The view of the mountains was just fantastic.

The town has a lot of local flavor. We had a surprisingly good meal at Aunt Sue's in town (just look for the giant inflatable gorilla). Also were some small shops nearby.

Note to self: Leave early enough where you are not attempting to set up in the dark!

3 Days and a wake up!

Our First Issues with the Airstream from Richard Mageau on Vimeo.



Finishing off cleaning Wally for the trip Memorial Day Weekend. Just need to wash the floor, and some other things packed like outside rugs (keep the outside outside!). Learned a bunch of things about what to do (and not to do) on our last trip.

Are we there yet?

The anticipation of a trip. Preparing, making sure all things are ready, and packing up. And the inevitable return home. Beginning, middle and end of a cherished memory. What else can I say?

Wally (our Airstream) is sitting at Carolina RV, getting some work done. The converter/inverter/charger met the great bit bucket (in other non geek words, it ain't working) and needed replacing. That explains why the battery wasn't charging. Ah, the joys of warranties! After we pick it up next weekend, we'll be getting ready for a trip to Destin, Florida. We'll be staying at Destin RV Beach Resort. Just a quick walk from Wally to the beach! Nice. Definitely need some down time this Memorial Day Weekend.

So here's the list:
1) Get Wally (you did name your rig, didn't you?)
2) Spruce it up, spring cleaning.
3) Pack some stuff, clothes, beach towels, etc
4) Before leaving, fill the fresh water tanks, gas, cool down the fridge.
5) Fill fridge with snack packs!
6) Get out of dodge!

Top of Georgia WBCCI Park


Willa: Winter Host at Top of Georgia Airstream Park WBCCI from Richard Mageau on Vimeo.


Stayed here for the first trip of the season, this is nice! Full hookups, sewer, and a babbling river right behind us.

To be able to camp here, you have to have:
1) an Airstream
2) a membership in WBCCI

To get here, we had to go through what I call "Lil Bavaria". Meant to look like a German village, we ate at a restaurant in town that had seating outdoors, which was great as we didn't need to leave Miss Pickles in the truck while we ate. They even brought her a bowl of cool water with ice in it. Nice! And the bratwurst was good too (just a little too much sauerkraut for my taste).

They had just dewinterized the campground, so we had our choice of locations. We met Willa, the winter host there, and had a great conversation about the campground and WBCCI in general.Check it out!

Easter at Lake Lanier


Easter on Lake Lanier from Richard Mageau on Vimeo.

A bad day camping is better than a good day..you know the rest. Even if there's a ton of rain, your campsite is on a hill, not level, and consists mostly of gravel and mud, it's still better than being in front of a PC. Even with tornadoes looming. And you're stuck in the aforementioned gravel and mud, sliding ever closer to the lake.
Well, it wasn't all bad. Friday was the worst, Saturday was the best. After it dried up, and the backhoe towed us out of the campsite, we got another more level, drier, and all around nicer campsite.

It's April!

Well, almost.
First 2 trips planned. First one will be to Top of Georgia Airstream Park. This is a WBCCI only park. We finally got our numbers in, so this first trip may be the one to place the numbers on Wally!

Top of Georgia's a nice little park! Nested in the mountains, there is a nice little stream running through it, a clubhouse, and full hookup (including sewer) hookups for $7 a night. WiFi available, and cable (7 channels). Good place to make sure Wally's up for the summer.

Next trip will be a family affair at Lake Lanier Islands Resort Campground. It will be for Easter, having our family out to enjoy (hopefully) a nice day at the lake, good burgers, an Easter Egg Hunt, and some other activities for the kids. Good Times!

See you on the road y'all!
Team JuJuMagoo