Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Diners Drive Ins & Dives-Yes but Food Trucks?

I’m a “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” diner.  Show me a squeaky screen door, some retro décor, dollar bills stapled over the entire place, once even a bait shop in the front or maybe devoid of any “décor” and I’m in my food zone.  But food trucks, no way!

Until a few days ago when we actually ate at one!! A BIG FIRST because I’ve always been a bit, well more than a bit, leery of them.  I remember when they were parked almost exclusively at construction sites, referred to as “roach coaches” and, to me, that just didn’t sound or look like appetizing or safe places to eat!

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In recent years they have gone upscale and are everywhere but I just couldn’t get past the old “roach coach” idea until the other day when I bit the bullet! GET and I were out shopping and wanted a quick lunch.  “How about that taco truck we saw over on St. Francis?  There are always lots of people eating at the tables.”  It turned out to be The Bonsai Asian Taco truck!  Not only had I never eaten at a food truck I’d never eaten an Asian taco!  We shared an order of shrimp tempura tacos which consisted of three tacos loaded with tempura shrimp, Asian slaw, a generous plunk of guacamole and a nice spicy aioli sauce! 

Nothing to be leery of and a meal which changed my attitude toward food trucks forever!  I’m in!

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Now I’m thinking of the food trucks we have by-passed in our full time RVing travels.  The Monterey Street Food Truck Fest a couple of years ago when we visited and then left to have lunch elsewhere.  Oh, the possibilities! What were they serving at the Voodoo Van?  What in the world is Omininjasj?  I love Lumpia and missed it!

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And in Portland…

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Then this week, just as I’ve gone through this great food truck awakening, there was an article in the Pasatiempo section of the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper: “Trailer-made:  Food Truck Parks.”  Food truck parks everywhere!!

I really must go now…have to try the Trinity Kitchen or Santa Famous Street Eats or Bang Bite Filling Station or….

In a few days we will be back on the road.  I wonder what we will find in Carlsbad, San Antonio, Galveston and places between and beyond?

Another thought:  maybe food trucks can be classified in the diners, drive-ins and definitely dives genre?  Umm?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

RVing…Where were we & When were we there?

So, I admit I don’t have a really good memory!  Then, take into account that we have been fulltime RVing for over 22 years and have been to all 50 states several times, how in the world do I keep track of our life and travels?  Journals and a timeline do the trick!

The idea to do journals of our travels wasn’t exactly original.   Of course, like many of my age, when I was a girl I had a little five-year diary.   And, over the years, I had done sporadic journals of our family vacation travels.  This is my first, from the 80’s, of family travels in our motorhomes. It was really just a small calendar notebook.

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In 1990 while on a cross-country trip in our Corvette I kept a journal of our adventure in one of those cute bound Journal books.

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One of my special inspirations was my Aunt Freda who kept journals during her entire married life!  She and Uncle John’s thirteen children used her journals as reference when there was a disagreement about when a family event had occurred.  She compiled entries from these into a priceless handmade typed book.

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I use 5x8-1/2 loose leaf binders for my journals.  At times I have tried writing them on my laptop but like the personal feel of cursive writing with one of my fountain pens.

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Each year I design a cover which is slipped into front of the binder.  Sometimes it takes several weeks after the turn of the year to come up with an idea which seems to fit the coming year. These are samples. Then I make a handmade bookmarker; this year its a tassel but other years I’ve used shells, buttons or beads.

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After a few years on the road and a bunch of journals we found it hard to remember where we had been and/or when we had been there so I made a timeline.  Now, we can go to the timeline for specifics and then go to the appropriate journal to settle the “argument” about when we last visited the Corvette Museum! (Correct answer: 2004)

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I like the idea of documenting and keeping track of things so this serves me well.  Let’s see now, what was the name of that group we saw in Branson?  Give me a minute, I’ll check…

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

RVing. . .an office in a small space?

You don’t have to be running a business in your RV to need/want office space. GET and I don’t have a business but do have our own laptops and ”need” our individual space.  (Another example of full time RVing together successfully. ALSO, he is an only child and you know how they are at sharing!)  In each of our full timing RVs, there have been six, we have carved out personal office space. Here are a few of our arrangements.

In our Travel Supreme we removed the dining table and chairs, found a computer desk that fit the space perfectly and added a wicker stand for the printer.MVC-704S gary at computer

The HitchhikerII LS had a built-in desk. Pretty small but it did the job. (An aside, don’t buy a rear kitchen 5th wheel no matter what the salesperson says, YES, IT DOES BOUNCE!  AND YES, DISHES WILL GET BROKEN---AND THEY DID!)HPIM0188 Hitchhiker interiorHPIM0095

I loved the office space we made in our Escalade.  Before we made the office space I used the dining table pushed forward against the sofa.  The printer sat on the stand behind my chair where it worked out ok.  Then I came up with a better idea!DSCN0193

As in the Travel Supreme we removed the dining table. (We eat on our pop-up coffee table.)  We bought upper kitchen cabinets at Home Depot and fastened them against the slider wall for stability. Upper cabinets are more narrow than bottom, thus making them more suitable as RV cabinets.  Fortunately we were able to match the natural maple of our 5th wheel.  The cabinets provided a generous amount of storage.20140324_132432

Next step was the top and workspace area for my laptop. I used a piece of cardboard to design a pattern for a cantilever shelf.   I didn’t want to be bumping into a leg.  After several adjustments it was ready to go to the cabinetmaker.

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Took my cardboard pattern along with the cabinet top dimensions to a cabinet shop where I chose a beautiful piece of light maple.  They cut the top from one piece of 4’X8’ and edged it to match. Bought the finished top home and it fit perfectly!

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The cantilevered work top needed support and the entire top had to be installed permanently so GET got busy doing the finish work.DSCN0215

An there we have it—workspace and computer desk!  Absolutely loved it!DSCN0341

And then, what did we do?  We bought a new 5th wheel!  And left this wonderful desk! 

This is my desk in our Landmark 5th wheel on an ordinary day.  It is a built-in dining table so customizing it will be a bigger challenge. DSCN9758

The outdoor TV casing protrudes into the inside cabinet.  (We have never used this TV!)DSCN9763

I do have nice storage space although some of it is taken by the steel casing of the outdoor TV.DSCN9760DSCN9761

We replaced two huge dark brown leather recliners that came with the 5th wheel with a smaller leather Lazy Boy making space for the credenza which serves as office space.  I chose the printer almost totally based on space available in the credenza.DSCN9764

I’m still contemplating ideas on how to make this a more efficient workspace. Until that brilliant idea hits me I’ll be content with my present arrangement.

P.S.  We are excited. . . back on the road this month!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Full-time RVing…Can I still Collect?

While reading comments and posts on RVing sites I’ve noticed that many refer to what they can’t have or do anymore/what they have to give up.  I wonder if they should reconsider the lifestyle?  As I’ve stated in previous Blogs we say that we can have and do anything we had in a traditional home just on a smaller scale.  Even collect “stuff” like souvenirs?  I say YES!  Remember the “smaller” scale!

I love baskets and had all sizes.  I still buy small ones which fit perfectly on the living room valance.  We were camp hosts at Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground and made some of these with the guidance of an Oklahoma Indian artist who stayed during Santa Fe Indian Market.DSCN9732

We have very little wall space so I buy small food-themed cards and frame them for my kitchen.  Blueberries from Maine, Tabasco from McIllhenny Company on Avery Island, Louisiana, Beignets and chicory coffee from Café DuMonde in New Orleans, chairs on Jordan Pond House in Acadia, Maine where they are known for their delicious popovers.  The little pewter basket is from Massachusetts.

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A practical purchase in Alaska, which I use a lot, is this Ulu and small cutting board.  So handy!

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GET added a Plexiglas shelf to this small niche making it a perfect place to display my small pots, basket and vases.   DSCN9722

We all like to have photos of our loved ones and in our bricks and mortar home we had large photos. In our RV home we have the same photos, just small.

The “Grands” Jorden, William, Stanley (waiting for Mary’s current photo)DSCN9739

Our Mom’s and our three kids, Kelle, Gary and Russ with spouses Joe, Vivian and Denise.

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I’m going to try something new (for me anyway.) So far in our 22 years of full-timing I haven’t traveled with plants.  I found this little planter at a thrift store and have planted three small succulents.  Let’s see how they fare!DSCN9742

One of my true loves is reading (my Aunt Genevieve always said I grew up with my nose buried in a book!)  Nowadays I do most of my reading in my Kindle or Nook however, there is real joy in actually seeing books in a home, even a RV home. I have a small shelf which is my library. DSCN9747

(Of course, if you are a reader you know there has to be a hidden “stash” somewhere in the rig!)DSCN9753DSCN9756

People ask if we get tired of taking all of these things down everyday when we travel.  No, we don’t take them down!  I use what us Californians call “earthquake putty” everywhere so we are able to travel with everything quite intact.DSCN9740

So, you see, while it seems that I have a lot of things in my rig, by choosing “small” I am able to have a touch of everything I love!  It reiterates my theory that we full-timers don’t have to sacrifice what we care about in order to live the lifestyle!

Of course, a good plan sometimes goes awry…we like to visit college campuses and I have gotten quite carried away and collected A LOT of college sweatshirts which definitely DO NOT occupy a small space!DSCN9693

Oh well!