Travel Throwback | Grand Canyon 2014

Every time Andy and I take a road trip we take toooonnnss of video, and then never ever edit them into anything! (except for a special compilation here). It’s gotten to be a very bad habit, one I am determined to break. I’ve decided to challenge myself by editing together one new video each week of our past trips! I’ll be throwing it backs for the next couple of weeks to some very special adventures Andy and I have shared together. I’m super excited to finally get these big check marks off my to-do list!

We will be kicking it off with one of our very first road trips: The Grand Canyon + Vegas of 2014. Keep in mind this footage is some of our very first experiments with travel journaling! It’s not going to win any awards, but its so exciting and refreshing to remember where we started.

Cheers!

 

Song is ” I Should Have Known Better ” by THE BEATLES

BOOK CLUB // August

SO this summer was kind of a wreck for reading + blogging. I won’t say I failed, but I could do immeasurably better.

I haven’t finished Jane Eyre. My entire book club (my mother, sister, and myself) have all agreed that we are going to take our time with it, rather than try to cram it in a month (or three…). It’s a BIG book. I’m still working on it, but I’m going to do alongside other reads.

My sister recommended The Martian to me. She sat down and read it in ONE day, and then lent it to me. So for August, I am going to get back into Book Club by trying to knock this one out! I’ve seen the movie, but one chapter in and I’m not worried about it not being enjoyable. This story has amazing voice and I’m really looking forward to the novel version.

Happy Reading!

Throwback // Roameo Origins: Part V

ROAMEO ORIGINS: PART V

June 22nd, 2015

The more we dig into Roameo the more we are realizing that our trailer re-model has turned into a trailer re-build-the-whole-damn-thing. We’ve embraced it though and are so looking forward to finishing this crazy endeavor together, (whether it’s the last thing we do or not).

As we walk around on the floors we are noticing more and more spots that need to be replaced. As well as 3 of the 4 bottom corners of the wall. And the entire roof  and ceiling. We are salvaging everything that we can from Roameo in order to repurpose later and save us some cash. We don’t want to purchase any more than we have to, and there is a quite a lot of paneling and trim that is in perfectly usable condition. We are just dismantling a section, piling it in either the garage to use for later, or by the trash, and repeating.

Another fun detail about Roameo is that he came without a title. We put off getting the title for way longer than we should have, but did eventually manage to get our trailer titled and registered in our name. A way larger accomplishment than we anticipated. We now understand why it’s common practice to not even consider a vehicle that is being sold without its title. Because whatever it is, it is not worth the ensuing headache, and possible chance of not even being able to legally register it in your name. We were very fortunate to be successful in this aspect, especially considering we’ve already put a great deal of time and money into our little trailer and have grown quite attached (which we definitely should not have done). We were literally given a piece of paper at the DMV that was basically a scavenger hunt for forms we’d never heard of, that all required different information and appraisals and prerequisites and on and on. It took us 2 full days and 1 mental breakdown, but we finally sprinted across the finish lines minutes before the office closed for the day, and were awarded the title for our junky baby. Not fun.

If you are like us and can’t resist the temptation of buying a super sketchy title-less travel trailer, just make sure that getting that title is the FIRST thing you do. PERIOD. We were fortunate enough to secure our title but if we weren’t, it would have meant that the previous owner could show up at any time and demand Roameo back. We wouldn’t ever be able to prove he was ours for anything. Not a very nice thought, especially considering all the work we want to put into him (other than that, we fully support shady Craigslist deals).

 

Throwback // Roameo Origins: Part IV

ROAMEO ORIGINS: PART IV:

June 7th, 2015

Once again, the morning brought with it fresh hope and dreams of a beautifully re-done travel trailer. In the light of a new day, our amateur handiwork didn’t look too shabby at all! After all, we were only beginners! This was only our very first project! We allowed our hearts to be refilled with determination and optimism. And the important part, we told ourselves, was that the thing was STURDY. We would be covering up all the interior beams with fresh insulation and paneling anyway. Who cared if the craftsmanship on the inside was a little sub-par? At least the it wouldn’t be falling apart anytime soon. (We took some time to add extra security to the front end, a little more glue, a few more screws, just to make extra double sure.)

At some point we decided to haul all of the cabinetry out in order to begin the work that needed to be done on those, as repainting cabinets is an entire project in itself. We’ve decided we want to paint everything a clean, bright white, with gold hardware and dark wood flooring. So the cabinets need to be white! We unscrewed every hinge, handle, and drawer track out of Roameo, which turned out to be quite a lot, and got to work prepping for painting. Removing all the handles was very repetitive and weary work, but we got everything detached and soaking in a bowl of vinegar water before too long. The next step was cleaning everything and scraping the wallpaper out of the bottoms of the drawers. Yet another unexpectedly grueling task. By the time we wrapped up the cleaning phase we were totally spent. We pulled all the doors and drawers inside our house and left them in our kitchen to revisit with a paint brush another day.

BOOK CLUB // May

Happy May! This is the ONLY time the first of the month falls on a Monday this year, so let’s try to enjoy it.

I read “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler last month, and I wish I could say I loved it more than I actually did. I’ve heard only great things about the book, and I personally have had it on my shelf and on my to-read list for over a year now. But, I think it was only ok. Enjoyable but not particularly memorable. I certainly wouldn’t read it again. I searched around a bit after I finished reading it to see what other people thought, and it seems to be more enjoyable if you listen to the audio version of it, which I can certainly understand. The physical book itself is really pretty though with tons of photos and graphic visuals all throughout, which I always really appreciate and enjoy. The book is divided into three parts, and each part is filled with stories that support that part’s theme. “SAY whatever you want”, “DO whatever you like”, and “BE whoever you are”. So it’s written in a bit random order and doesn’t really follow the typical autobiography flow, but most of the stories are charming and it’s filled with a lot of girl-power motivation stuff, which is always fun to read.

For May, I want to read something a little more story driven, and something that has ALSO been on my shelf for too long just waiting to be read.

Jane Eyre (or for you Kindle readers >> Jane Eyre )

Here we go! Cheers!

Throwback // Roameo Origins: Part III

ROAMEO ORIGINS: PART III:

June 5th, 2015

It felt really good to be removing huge chunks of Roameo. The more we removed, the cleaner it felt. And the cleaner it felt, the more hope we were filled with, the easier we could imagine what he would look like when he was finished.

The next pieces that came out were the wooden frame that the bed laid on, the wooden bench seating frames, the microwaves, the AC unit cover, the bedside table, ALL the cabinetry doors/drawers/hardware, a few window frames….. and the entire front end. The front end was what we decided was the part that needed the most work done to it. Both corners had water damage, and the beams connecting the corners were weak from trying to support them. So we pulled off all the paneling here, stripped out all the insulation, shop-vacced, and took all the measurements needed in order to rebuild the section. It consisted of only a few wood beams creating a little grid that supported everything, which Andy re-created without too much trouble.

The trouble came whenever we went to replace the old piece with the new piece. For some reason, being the architectural newbies that we are, we thought we could just remove the old rotten piece and slip the new piece in no problem. What we DIDN’T think about was “How will the rest of the trailer support itself if we remove the bottom?”. So as soon as we removed the bottom of the front, the entire upper part began to slip and slide out of its position. When we realized what was happening we instantly nonverbally agreed that no matter how sad of a state our Roameo may be in, if we allowed the front end to completely collapse on itself it would be officially classified as “broken”.

I instinctively grabbed ahold of the part that was slipping and successfully stopped it from falling at the cost of my body now being the support beam for the entire front of the trailer. Classic Andy is choking down laughter as he shouted “hold on baby!” and tried to install his new support piece as quickly as humanly possible. We took turns being the human support beam and being the real-life Fix It Felix; frantically hammering and glueing (yes glueing) the new frame into place. It took several strenuous hours, but some how we pulled it off. As you can imagine, there are no photographs of this part.

At the end of the night, we took and exhausted look at our crude frankenstein repair job, and despite the success of keeping the thing from completely collapsing we felt defeated. Our visions of craftsmanship perfection were shattered, it was so, well, ugly! There were hodge-podged pieces all nailed together haphazardly and dripping with dried glue marks. We heaved a sigh and convinced ourselves that it was at least a success in that it was still TOGETHER, and not in a hopeless mess on the floor. It was with heavy hearts that we clocked out for the night, hoping that things wouldn’t be so bleak in the morning.

Throwback // Roameo Origins: Part II

ROAMEO ORIGINS: PART II:

June 2nd, 2015

The first night that we had Roameo home, we were so thrilled to begin cleaning him out we got started right away! We thought he just needed a thorough scrub down, a fresh paint job, couple new tires, and he’d be good as new! Unfortunately, as so many travel trailer renovators have said before us, it turned out to be wwwwaaayyy more work than we had initially anticipated.

Andy and I began by taking out the old mattress and taking down all the curtains. There were a few loose papers and miscellaneous things lying about that we removed as well. We began piling it all up in our garage to figure out later. Then we went to the seating area to pull out the old cushions. And that’s when things started to get ugly. Underneath not one but both of the seat benches, was what appeared to be a large bag of cat food that had been dumped out. Not stored and then ripped and spilled. DUMPED. OUT. The bag itself was nowhere to be seen, but the giant heap of old cat food could not be unseen. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, as we began shop-vaccing the heck out of it we discovered that during its time under the bench it had been converted into a lovely ant pile/rat house combination.

The night grew dark and ran late as we proceeded to pull out every drawer and unit and shelf and thing that could be pulled out of poor sick Roameo. We did not stop until we had shop vacc’d every reachable corner, made several more gruesome discoveries, chucked a bug bomb in there, slammed all the doors and ran for it. On one hand we felt very accomplished and proud of all we had done, and on the other hand we felt the dread of all that there really was left to do…..

Everything always seems brighter and less frightening in the morning sunshine. When we returned to Roameo the next day, we found him much cleaner and less bug filled than the previous night. We threw away the remnants of the bug bomb and did another vacuum pass. (That shop vac turned out to be a more useful tool than we could have ever imagined, the project literally could not be done without it).

At this point we began tackling some harder-to-remove-but-desparately-needed-out-of-there items, i.e., the shower unit. It was yellow, excuse me, PARCHMENT. Andy and I quickly discovered that 99% of RV accessories come in two colors: white, and parchment. Parchment sounds pretty cool in theory but in reality just looks like it used to be white. I’m sorry to all you parchment fans out there, but we just do NOT get that one! And of course all of Roameo’s innards were done in parchment.

So we unscrewed all the screws, exact-o-knife’d all the rubbery sealant strips out from around the edges, and began to gently pry it violently force it out. After the second gallon of sweat started pouring we figured we were throwing it in the trash anyway so EFF IT. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more like a savage warlord as I did when we finally cast that crappy plastic shell out of the trailer door and out into the yard.

We would later realize that brand new RV tubs/shower surrounds were not even remotely in our budget, but that’s another chapter.

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