Leaving Out

So the time finally arrived.  The house is up for sale and we are actually on our Road Trip!  (Actually, we have been on the road for over a week now, stopping on our way out to visit family and friends here and there.)

Getting ready wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but between the two of us, we managed it.  I was in charge of packing and organizing food and clothing while Bruce worked on the interior.  In the front of the unit, he changed out the old TV for a flat screen.  He even made sure to match the stain to the wood already in the RV.  He knows I am a little OCD about things like that.  Gotta love a man who cares.

 

In the back, he pulled the old TV and made a cabinet.  It added so much storage space in the back room.  We don’t watch TV in the bedroom anyway, so it was a good trade for me.  I was able to fit extra blankets, movies, and other odds and ends in there.

My favorite upgrade is the new larger, rectangular table.  There was a smaller circular table in the space that was fine for eating, but would not work as office space.  Since I work from my laptop, I wanted a “desk” for the days when I have several hours of serious work to put in.  I love that I can earn money from a beach chair, but sometimes, you just need a solid surface to spread out on.  He found and ordered the table top and installed it on the original base.  I just love my new “office”.  🙂

Before we started loading, we pulled everything out and cleaned thoroughly.   I added contact paper in the drawers.  I think it looks beautiful.   Once, that was finished we put things back exactly where we wanted them.  This way we know what is in the rig and where it is.  My grandmother always said, “a place for everything and everything in its place”.  I figured it was a good way to go about organizing.

We used a lot of bins and storage containers to keep things organized in the overhead and undercarriage compartments.  I found a solutions to my shoe “problem” (not a problem for me…I need shoes, people).

Overall, I am happy with everything.  I am sure we will make adjustments throughout our travels, but at least we are starting out organized and tidy.  I like things that way.  🙂

 


Final Touches Jeep Commander

We are finishing the last touches on well, everything, but I wanted to post the last bits about our tow vehicle.  We added a hood scoop (for looks more than anything, the hemi proves plenty of power).  It shipped to our doorstep and was easy to install as a team.  It was also a fun bonding moment for the two of us.  We didn’t use all the pieces in the second photo, because we didn’t screw down through the hood. Instead, we installed using the roll of double sided tape.

The most important thing when using double sided tape is to make sure both the hood and the underside of the scoop are clean.  That way it will hold well.  Then wipe the hood with adhesive bond enhancer. The red on the bottom of the hood is the double sided tape before we pulled the backing off.

We didn’t completely agree on where we wanted it, so we set it on the hood and moved it around until we found a compromise we both liked.  When we were ready to install, Bruce was in charge of holding the hood, while I made sure it was centered.  (He’s taller and I have a better eye for these things.) Once the tape touches, it’s game over, so we wanted to do it right the first time.  Happily, between the two of us, it ended up perfectly centered with no wonkiness.  To make sure it really stuck, we covered it with a towel and topped it with a bag of stones to weigh it down for about ten minutes.  It was rainy the day we did it and I was worried it wouldn’t really stick, but it worked out just fine.

I love the new look! The Commander looks so bad ass with the scoop and the roof rack.  It’s like driving a Tonka Truck.

We also had to have the connections for the Blue Ox connected under the front grill.  It took a day at the mechanic to get that installed.  We already had the tow connection on the back of the RV, so it was just a matter of setting the Commander up to connect in.  I really like the Blue Ox system.  It’s easy to connect and disconnect, and you almost can’t see it on front of the Jeep.  See what I mean?  You have to look SUPER close to see it!  Just love it!

Because we are planning to do some off-roading, we also bought an air jack that attaches to the exhaust pipe in case of emergency.  I read about it on another blog.  Actually, I loved his blog post so much that I really followed a LOT of his advice.  You can read his post here: How I Turned My Outback Into…

He recommended this Xjack and both Bruce and I loved the idea! It will stay in the back of the Commander along with the winch system for those “oops” moments.

Overall, I feel pretty happy with the Jeep set up.  We have a bike rack on the back, tire pressure and brakes are checked, and the dealership did a once-over for us just to be sure we are good to go.  🙂

 


Packing for the Road

It’s finally time!  I am so excited to be back in Port St. Lucie, FL, because it means that we are actually getting ready for our road trip.  On top of packing the RV for the trip, I am staging my home for sale.  This is making the process a little harder.  When the house sells, I don’t want to have to come back for any length of time.  This means that I have to have everything out of the house except the furniture.  At first this felt like a huge problem to figure out, but then I decided to tackle packing for the road trip first.  This way I can see what I have left over, then decide what to sell and/or donate.  I started with clothes.

Bruce and I each have a cold weather bin that will go in the storage under the RV and are sharing a third bin for clothes we don’t wear all the time, but want to take with us.  I considered a capsule wardrobe, but it’s just not me.  I need variety with my clothes as well as my food, so I didn’t cut down as much as I probably should have.  In my defense, I did give away a lot of my clothes that I know I will not be able to wear while on the road.  I cut my hanging clothes down until I felt they would fit into half of the closet in the RV.  I have to be fair and let Bruce have the other half.  Both of us are also keeping clothes we wear often in a bin in the bottom of the closet, so they are easy to access.

The rest of my clothes/underthings will be in bins in the storage area above the couch.  I already cut everything down until it would fit into my four bins, so I can get used to the idea over the next week or two.  This way I can still wear them in the meantime, and when it’s time to go, I just have to move the bins from the dresser to the RV.  I feel happy with the clothes I kept.  They are my favorite pieces out of my wardrobe.  They are easily mixed and matched, and also comfortable to wear.  Now, I just have to figure out which shoes I am taking and which I am getting rid of.  I don’t even want to talk about that right now.  I know you other girls feel my pain on the subject!

I don’t keep a lot of food in my pantry.  I prefer fresh ingredients, and don’t mind running to the grocery store or market often.  However, I know we will be camping in areas away from grocery stores while we are traveling.  In order to make sure we always have something to eat, I grabbed rice, pasta, sauce, canned and dried beans, quinoa, and dried cereal.  These will stay in the bin until we need them.  On thing I couldn’t leave behind is my spice collection.  I use a TON of spices when I cook, and I didn’t want to leave any behind.  I may regret my decision later, but for now, I am going with it.  After the food was packed, we tackled the garage, but not without Angel’s supervision.  She insisted on hanging in her stroller while we organized the garage and packed up the trailer.  I offered her a blanket and pillow.  She was having none of it.

We have taken long road trips in the RV before.  When Skylar was in 7th grade, we spent months at a time on the road.  I home-schooled her for the year while we explored 3/4 of the lower 48 states.  We visited New England, the Midwest, and even spent some time in California before heading back across the bottom of the country.  We only missed the Northwest states that year.  The difference is that we left the house as it was, and didn’t have to figure out what to do with everything while we were traveling.  If you are thinking of selling your home to live on the road for several years, there is definitely a lot more to think about than there is when you head out on a simple road trip, even if it is a long one.  We are still in the process, so I will update again before we leave.  If you are a full-time RVer, and have any tips or hints, please leave a comment.  🙂


Vegan in Saint Augustine Florida

I love Saint Augustine, Florida.  It is one of my favorite places in the world.  It is full of history and charm, especially the downtown area around St. George Street.  I get to visit often because my daughter goes to college in St. Augustine.  As I posted recently, my daughter broke her ankle, so I left the Abacos (Bahamas) early in order to help take care of her for a few weeks.  Not only did this give me time to catch up with her, I was also able to explore the beaches, restaurants, and shops.  It was wonderful.

I love the water, so I took a lot of beach walks.  The sand in St. Augustine is soft near parking, but hard near the water.  It’s perfect for a jog or even a bike ride, and it is really good for building sand castles.  Dogs are allowed on the beaches here; bring your dog!

Walking downtown near the inter-coastal is an excellent way to get some exercise.  St. Augustine is perfect for early risers.  Watching the  sunrise over the Bridge of Lions from the fort wall is just gorgeous!

I really like all the vegan options in STA.  Breakfast at The Manatee Cafe is fantastic.  I highly recommend the vegan french toast, breakfast burrito and tofu scramble.  http://www.manateecafe.com/

The Floridian Cafe has a few great options, but my absolute favorite is the Winter Salad with Tempeh. http://www.thefloridianstaug.com/

Dos is a great coffee shop to work in during the day.  Friday nights they have live music and a full house!  They also serve wine, beer and local kombucha.  This particular latte is Vanilla-Pear Tea with soy milk. https://www.dosbar.com/

If you like drinks with a view, Sangria’s is on St. George’s Street and awesome for drinks and appetizers.  Live music on the weekend.  Make sure you specify NO DAIRY when ordering! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sangrias-Wine-Piano-Bar/

Another favorite coffee shop is The Kookaburra.  They have several locations.  These photos are from the larger on on US1.  Perfect place to work while enjoying a fantastic latte and vegan pumpkin donut.  It’s bigger than it looks in these photos, and often full to capacity. https://www.facebook.com/TheKookaburra

I didn’t include all the places I visited and delicious food I enjoyed while I stayed in STA.  I have been busy with the business, taking care of Sky, making sure she got to class and appointments.  I will miss this beautiful little city while I am away, but leaving means getting ready for the roadtrip!  So happy to get to travel the country soon.  🙂  I will post more next time I am in town.  If you visit and find an amazing dish or restaurant I didn’t mention, leave a comment!  I would love to try a new place next time I am in STA.

 


Marketing Mastery Event Orlando Florida

Good afternoon, Blog Peeps!  I had the opportunity to join some of the people I work with online at an event at Coronado Springs Resort at Disney in Orlando Florida for a few days so I jumped at the chance.  Online marketing has changed my life and provided me with the financial freedom I had always wanted, and I only want to get better at what I do.  In order to do that, I am surrounding myself with gurus, mentors, coaches, and other like-minded people.  Luckily, I get to do that in a beautiful location! This is my amazing team at the Meet and Greet with the founder of the company.

Being at the event means I won’t be posting again until the weekend, since my days are full of amazing speakers.  I’m taking a ton of notes, and my brain is desperately trying to soak up all the information.  I am writing this over lunch break, and still have about 45 minutes before I need to be back for the next speaker.  Since I have the time, I am going to talk about lunch today.

I ate at Las Ventanas inside Coronado Springs main building.  It is one of five restaurants at the resort.  There are three other eateries in the immediate vicinity of Las Ventanas and one at the main pool.  Disney always provides at least one vegan option on their menus, or at the very least a vegetarian option that can be modified to accommodate vegans.  Last night at the Meet and Greet the chef was kind enough to make me veggie skewers since there were no vegan options available at any of the stations.  I have to apologize for forgetting to take a photo of them.  They were quite pretty and delicious.  Each had a tomato,  an artichoke heart and an olive.  I was enjoying the party, and didn’t get a photo.  I will do better!

Back to lunch, the Soba Noodle Bowl I chose was good.  I will not say great, because it just wasn’t.  I did enjoy the fresh herbs and jalapeno slices, since they really brightened up an otherwise dull and boring dish.  I would have really enjoyed some kind of vegan protein like tofu or tempeh, but the restaurant doesn’t have it as an option.  I am going to contact Disney about that, because I know they want their customers to have the best experiences, and I feel like they will respond positively.  Since it is the only thing on the menu that is vegan friendly besides salad, I guess I will recommend it; but it’s not a dish I will rave about to anyone. I will rave about the resort and the event though.  I’ve had so much fun, met great people, and learned a ton in the last day and a half!  I am so grateful to have found such a amazing, people oriented company to work with.