Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Traveling with Apples


One famous traveler of this country is brought to mind when seeing the symbol above.  Although, we will be driving the distances he walked.  Things have changed quite a bit since the late 1700s and early 1800s when he did his traveling.  

But we'll still be surrounded by apples.

We have the iMac...love it.  But, the large, 21" screen may not be conducive to road travel.  
So, we'll be looking at the MacBook Pro.  (And with my old Dell going to Apple for a rebate, we'll save some money there.)
When I buy the MacBook Pro, I get a free iPod Touch! 
(Being an educator has its perks!)

We are awaiting the iPad that we ordered for Ian.  This will be a great resource for the kids to use for learning, as well as games while driving.  The apps are really cool.  
To round it all off, next month our Verizon phone contracts are up.  So, we'll add to the bushel an iPhone (Steve still has his work Blackberry and we may only use one phone between us once we head out in Eagle.)
To me, the iPod and the iPhone look the same.  It'll take some tutorials to figure out how all these things work, and work together, as they apparently do quite well.  

i think, with all of these apples, the bunch of us will blossom!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Uncontrollable Urge to Purge

Years and years worth of stuff is piling up everywhere in my house as I tediously pour through item after item. There is a plethora of paper; copious amounts of CDs; oodles of outgrown and over-worn outfits; and an infinite mass of photos telling stories of the past. Deciphering what goes and what stays is fairly easy. It's the elimination of such excessive effects that's causing me grief.
Steve suggested a dumpster.

I wanted to at least try to salvage those particular items that could be used again, and maybe make us a buck.
So, Yard Sale it was. Monday was as good a day as any, especially since I riddled Craigslist with advertisements for all of the great furniture and wares I would be selling.
Happily, we had a good showing and profit was gained.
Still, we were left with a ghastly amount of stuff.

So, a Saturday in July brought me and a truck-load to my mother's in Riverside. Along with Auntie C., we set up shop on a hot morning and waited for the madness to ensue. It wasn't to be. Oh, plenty of people visited and perused..but, man, it isn't like it used to be. People want something for nothing! They try to bargain you down from $3 to $1 for an item worth $10!

At the end of the day, once the downpour subsided and we were able to dry off what was left, every last scrap of clothing went into bags and was donated. Toys went to my kids' daycare center. Two bins went home. The rest, on the curb. All-in-all, not a very cash-rich day.
The $60 I made was spent that night at Carrabba's in Warwick.
The true winner of the day?
Ask him, he'll tell you why.

Have Hitch; Will Travel

When you hitch your wagon to a star, what kind of hitch do you use?

A fifth-wheel camper does not attach to a truck the same way a travel trailer does. It is called a fifth-wheel, because it has a fifth wheel...from wikipedia: Some recreational vehicles use a fifth wheel configuration, requiring the coupling to be installed in the bed of a pickup truck as a towing vehicle. The coupling consists of a coupling pin (or king pin) on the front of the semi-trailer, and a horseshoe-shaped coupling device called a fifth wheel on the rear of the towing vehicle.

Our Dodge Ram 3500 has a mega cab. This is so the kids have ample space in the cab as we drive along the highways and byways of America. This longer cab makes for a shorter bed. A shorter bed allows for less room when the big ole fifth wheel is turning...the camper may hit the cab. Which would be a bad, bad thing.

So, the search has been on to locate the best hitch for our needs. Of course, the fancier, the pricier. Steve's research and comparison skills have been put to the test on this subject. He'll fill you in on what he has found.

So far, the hitch will probably be installed in Indiana where the RV is now being built. When the boys head out to grab the camper, hereinafter referred to as Eagle, they will have the hitch placed into the bed of the truck, then hitch up Eagle and be off.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tonight's Research

Research is something on which we will be spending a great deal of time this year. Tonight was watching the Travel Channel's show on the National Parks. The Ten Best of the West.


To accompany such appetizer for the brain, I made a fresh appetizer for the pallet; using some fresh ingredients from the garden.

Fresh-picked tomatoes and basil.

Ciabatta Bread
Sauteed fresh garlic with tomatoes and oregano form the garden, in evoo, ground pepper and sea salt.

The "fish" bottle we stole from Bellini's in North Conway; too long ago to recall.

Fresh basil.

Bake and eat...mmmmmmm.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Warranty is Paid

3 years/36,000 miles is a pretty good warranty, except when you may do 36,000 miles in 18months. So, for the truck, we need to add on a bit to 6 years/100,000 miles...thank you Triumph for supplying that payment.

We'll miss you Trophy.

You took us to North Conway, and Steve to the top of Mount Washington during Bike Week. Your sacrifice is not unappreciated.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

First Step to Shedding the Weight

Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first. ~Frederick B. Wilcox

That said, the house must be sold. As Cortez did in 1519, we too, shall burn our ships.

Of course, sold "as is" will attract less cash than with a good remodeling. Luckily, the big one, the kitchen, was accomplished a few years ago. But, if I learned anything from HGTV, the bathrooms are just as important to a buyer. So, to better entice a buyer, I have started the first bathroom remodel.

New paint on the walls...basically same colors as before. New sink, and new commode. Just a spruce-up, really. But, of course...nothing is easy. Thought I had everything ready, but when I went to get the roller prepared for the walls, the old roller tube was stuck to the actual roller. There's a lesson here; clean your equipment when you are done. That left me with spackling, sanding, and painting the areas around the ceiling and trim...all set for rolling. Have to head out and grab that now.

I ordered the sink online at HomeDepot.com. Got free shipping, too, since what I ordered was over $249. Here it is...

The toilet is a white toilet...not much to talk about there. Neither matches the 1985 yellow shower stall, but, guess what...not changing it. A nice curtain will hide that.

Tomorrow, I need to add one more piece of wainscoting that we never attached. (Didn't want to take off the sink and toilet 9 years ago!) Then, I become a plumber...

and when the sink comes in, actually hook the new sink up to the pipes...I think I can handle it...really. How hard can it be?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The New Home

This is the truck that will pull the camper...

Well, we don't have the camper yet, but it is ordered. Steve and Ian will be driving out to Indiana to pick it up for August 20th. Here is the layout...

2011 Jayco Eagle 365 BHS

Kids will have their own bedroom with 4 bunks, storage, and a TV. They'll also have their own bathroom. Quarters and living space will be tighter for sure, but we don't plan to be in the camper more than necessary. Our days will be spent outside or visiting interesting places. The camper is 40 feet long. If you know our house, we will be living in the size space of our solarium.

The Big Decision: part II

OK, so what exactly is The Big Decision? Well, it wasn't spontaneous. It is the culmination of several years of discussion and thought, peppered with circumstances and instances. You think that you have it all figured out; then you realize, that life is not linear. Life is constantly affected by obstacles, people, good things, bad things, new desires, old dreams. What was thought of as the best path, now is not as favorable. Or, at the very least, is making way for something else.

So, here it is:
We are selling our 2800sq. ft, 13.67acre home in Glocester and trading it all in to be a full-time RV family.

No, we have not flipped our lids; this is not a mid-life crisis; we have not turned hippie or overly-religious.

What we have chosen is living life as unencumbered as we can possibly live. We have chosen to spend our time with our family, for our family, and as a family. We want to dare to be adventurous. We want our adventures to be educational for our children, as well as for us.

This undertaking begins next summer...that is the plan. However, it really starts now. One does not just up and leave. There is a plethora of preparation...

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Big Decision

Selling most of what you own, leaving your home, jobs, schools, family, and friends to start a new life, one that is unknown and unplanned, sounds like, to many, a crazy idea. Maybe it is. Maybe that's why very few people actually do it. Instead of crazy, I would prefer the term "daring." It's the unknown that is attractive...not scary. To me, this static life has become scary. The monotony of the day-to-day is stifling. What should be a safe feeling, being home and secure in that home, is coming with a high price...work, work, work...and very little opportunity to enjoy spending time with my husband and children.

Since we have made this big decision, Steve and I have had one common goal...and, I think it is the first time we ever have shared one goal. Before, what drove us was mostly material-related, whether it was to get something, or build something, or go somewhere. Now, what we are striving to acquire is experience. Of course, we'll need to have some "things" in order to do this. I am no martyr...I am not living in a beat up 1979 camper or tenting it. But, what we will have when we are through is 95% less Stuff, and 500% more Experiences.

It will be a long process in planning this new adventure. Any questions you have are welcome...we need answers to these questions. If we don't yet have them, we need to find them.
So, join us, virtually, in our Journey of a Lifetime.