So, how was everyone’s Christmas? I didn’t want to bombard you with blog posts just after the holidays. You know, I thought I’d give you a chance to relax and wind down after all that celebrating. So you got a whole six months without me. You’re welcome.

Truthfully, I’ve been drafting this blog post in my head for awhile. It’s a tough one. Three years ago we set off on this crazy little Airstream journey. We gave ourselves three months initially. We thought the first month would be challenging. 160 square feet–could we live in something that small? Could we tow a trailer? Could I empty a sewer tank without throwing up? Could Chris keep his job? Could we stay married? Could we stay sane? After the first two weeks on the road it became clear–this Airstream life was awesome. We didn’t need three months to decide if it was for us. It only took days to realize that we were doing exactly what we needed to be doing. And that’s how life should go. No regrets. No looking back.


We traveled thousands of miles and saw incredible sights that first year. In year two on the road, we had a baby. An awesome one. While we didn’t travel great distances with a newborn, it didn’t stop us from our Airstream life. She’s a well-traveled little girl, having seen the entire east coast and even some of Canada.

Last summer, we started the discussion of stopping the full-time life. There were challenges. It’s not easy to raise a family and maintain an office in 160 square feet. Chris’s job requires him to be on the phone often (all day) between the hours of 9am and 6pm. So he needs a quiet space. And I don’t always want to be out and about with a child. Spending time at home is nice. So you see the dilemma. A toddler and conference calls don’t really mix well in small spaces. We need doors, people.

And a community. We needed a real community in which we could be involved. Playdates. Friends. Classes. Campground life is great but you meet people and then you say goodbye. We wanted to get involved, enroll Emerson in classes, and feel…settled. Words we never though we’d say again.

But were we ready to stop? Not really. Not yet. The idea scared us. Full-timing and travel was part of our identity. Where did we want to live? Having traveled this great country, there are a lot of beautiful places. We considered Oregon, Montana, Vermont, and many others. But one place stood out…at least for me. Virginia. Our home. We left Virginia never expecting to come back. But every time we drove through the state, I got warm fuzzies. And you never ignore warm fuzzies.

We spent Summer 2011 in Staunton, Virginia. We searched for that dream farm property that we’ve been discussing. We didn’t find it. Or, we did…but it didn’t have internet. (I know…crazy. There are places without high speed Internet still.) We returned south for the winter. We had some great stops along the coast of North Carolina and then in Destin, Florida which left us in greater confusion. They were beautiful areas–should we consider those places instead? We didn’t know what to do.

As winter came to an end this year, we traveled back up to Virginia. Settling down was starting to feel like the right thing to do. After one week, we found a cute little farmhouse for rent. It sits on 100 acres and has beautiful views and a tennis court. There they are again…those warm fuzzies. And just like that, we signed the lease, parked our Airstream and called it home. Our garden that we planted is 160 square feet. It was by accident that it measured this way but I like to look out and think, “hmmm, that’s the size of my former home.”

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There’s plenty that I miss about the Airstream life. I miss new places and sights each week. I miss the quick house cleaning times. I miss the simplicity of it all. But there’s also plenty I love about our new farm adventure. I love our garden. I love my big kitchen. I love cooking/cleaning while Emerson naps–that couldn’t happen in our small space. I love our doors that give us our own space when we need it. I love taking Emerson to a weekly playgroup. I love creating a new home for my family. (I don’t particularly love the mice in my home or the old house issues…but I’m adapting.)

We are renting, so if the mice do drive me insane, we could just get back on the road. But so far, no regrets.

Now what to do with this travel blog? Hmmm…we do still have an Airstream and we aren’t afraid to use it.

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Categories: Airstream Living | 9 Comments

Merry Christmas!

Once again, I’ve let too much time go by without updating the blog. My New Year’s resolution is to blog more. And exercise more. And eat healthier. (Translation: don’t get your hopes up about more blog posts.)

We closed up our Airstream for a little while. It needs some work and a thorough cleaning. We are spending some time with family for now and plan to be back in the Airstream in the near future.

Before we moved out however, I still managed to decorate it for the holidays. A simple Christmas tree was the perfect addition to our aluminum home to get us in the Christmas spirit.

We are currently in Georgia with family and excited for the holiday season. Yesterday, we took Emerson into Atlanta where she rode the Pink Pig, an Atlanta holiday tradition. She loved it!

I’ve also been talking to her about Santa a lot in hopes that she would smile for that ever important picture with him. Alas, she takes after me as you can see. My picture time with Santa in 1978 did not go well. Nor did Emerson’s picture time yesterday. Oh well! Still a great memory. Also, when she looks at her picture with Santa, she smiles and says, “Anta.” so maybe no permanent damage was done? Let’s hope!

Again, I promise to get some blog posts up…I still have to tell you about our trip to Puerto Rico!

Until then, may you all have a safe and wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!

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Categories: Airstream Living | 6 Comments

We Found Nemo


We are still in Atlanta. Okay, not really. But according the blog we are STILL in Atlanta. We’ve actually been in many fun places since and I will get to those posts. Next year. But for now…back to Hotlanta. The ATL. My old ‘hood.

P.S. The blog format is messed up. I know. I use BlogPress on iPad and it’s very buggy right now. So I had to use the WordPress app and I am not a fan. I’m probably using it wrong. But I couldn’t get my pictures to appear within the post. Does anyone know if you can position photos from the WordPress app? It’s driving me crazy.

So, yeah. Atlanta. It is rare that I actually spend time in Atlanta when we go see my family in Georgia. Chris commutes into the city daily for work but I usually stay out in the ‘burbs with the family. This visit, however, I made a point to go and check out some tourist attractions because blog entries about my daily trips to Publix probably wouldn’t be very exciting. (You’re welcome.)

Chris had a day off while we were there and while he would prefer outdoor activities on his day off, this particular day was rainy. So we came up with this genius idea that no one else would surely think to do on this gloomy day. The Georgia Aquarium. I love aquariums. And zoos. So I was giddy with excitement. Our brilliant idea was shared by only a few other thousand families. Also brilliant? Let’s all bring our SUV-sized strollers…because who doesn’t love navigating a crowded aquarium with a large stroller? (I swear when we bought our stroller it was the the non-SUV size. But I think it is growing.) Oh, and did I mention the stroller is empty? Because really, what child is going to quietly sit in their stroller when there are whales and sharks swimming around you? Whales and sharks, I say! I totally wouldn’t. Neither would my child. Nor many other children, apparently.

Thankfully, this is the world’s largest aquarium and can accommodate all these families and their empty strollers quite comfortably. (Also, the aquarium fully expects useless strollers as there is a stroller check area staffed by an aquarium employee…a fact I discovered at the end of our visit. Of course.)

Emerson loved the aquarium. She stood glued to the glass while colorful fish swam by her. There is a tunnel where the sharks swim overhead. A massive ceiling-to-floor viewing area of the beautiful Beluga whales. We saw otters, penguins, jellyfish, and we even found Nemo. (Although we had a hard time seeing Nemo because every child (and grown-up child… was trying to catch a glimpse. Nemo is popular.)

The penguin area offers a chance to crawl up into a glass viewing area that puts one right in the middle of the penguins. I had to keep an eye on our large, empty, totally unnecessary stroller, so only Chris and Emerson took advantage of this opportunity. I stood and waited to catch a glimpse of them appear in the glass when I heard the crowds laughing and shouting, “Oooooooh! As I turned to look to see what all the fuss was about, I saw Chris and Emerson peering out the glass, and Chris was smiling. Note to future penguin tunnel visitors: don’t try to stand all the way up in the glass viewing area. You will hit your head. It will be loud. People will laugh at you. Including your spouse.

As the day came to an end, the crowds began to dwindle. We were not in a hurry to get back out in the rain so we explored the aquarium twice. There is a conference room on the top floor that also provides a great look at the whales and sharks. Whales and sharks! I still get excited. By this point, Emerson was kind of over this whole “fish in glass” bit. But the space to run freely in this conference room? Hello! So we spent a good bit of time in a conference room while our daughter happily ran across the room and back six million times. She slept well that night.



Categories: Airstream Living | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

We were recently in Atlanta for a few weeks so Chris could work in his office and Emerson could have some quality time with Nana and Grandpa. While there, my father and I went on a little field trip.

When I was in seventh grade, I became obsessed with baseball. And New Kids On The Block but that’s another story. But baseball…ah, baseball. I loved it. Not playing it…heavens no. I have no athletic ability whatsoever. But I can watch baseball like no other. And I did. Night after night, my best friend, Wendy and I stayed on the phone for hours examining our team, the Atlanta Braves. I knew stats. I knew the players. I read the sports section of the paper. I collected baseball cards. Yep. Obsessed.

This all started when the Braves were the worst team in baseball, so don’t think I only liked them as a winning team in the 90s. Nope. They were terrible! I went to a lot of the games because they gave away tickets to students who made good grades. Seriously, they could not fill the stadium even by giving tickets away. Wendy and I would beg our parents to take us early so we could watch the players drive in to their parking lot. This was also when the players parked outside and talked to the fans before going into the stadium. My how times have changed. I met a lot of the players, including John Smoltz, Steve Avery, and the real reason for my baseball obsession…Tom Glavine. My Tommy.

As an awkward, big haired (as in really tall bangs) thirteen year old with braces, I was sure that someday my Tommy would see me from afar and instantly fall in love. Who wouldn’t, right? I mean, it was definitely between him or Donnie Walhberg. Alas, my dreams didn’t come true. When I did meet Tommy, he didn’t seem to notice me…but did sign his baseball card.

I continued to support my Braves for several years but my obsession weakened as I grew older. I still love a good baseball game but I am no longer the stats-knowing, baseball card collecting, brace-faced girl. (Awkward still applies.)

But during this recent trip, I relived some of these great baseball memories with a tour of Turner Field, where the Braves play. It’s not the stadium I knew during my baseball days as they tore down Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium years ago but it has an excellent museum, full of pictures of my team and my Tommy.

It was a quiet tour day so it was just me, my dad, and our guide. We walked the stadium, visiting the press box, the dugout, and the really expensive seats that I will never sit in. Unfortunately, it was a home game that day so we weren’t allowed in the clubhouse. And then there was the museum. It had the bench from the old stadium…the one where my players sat. They had video footage of games past, including several from the early 90s. Immediately, I was back on the floor of my living room, talking to Wendy, squealing every time we got a glimpse of our favorite guys, doing the Tomahawk chop certain that it would bring the team luck, and cheering with delight when they won a game…and a championship.

It was an awesome trip down memory lane.

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Categories: Airstream Living | 8 Comments

Our Video Debut…

There are many reasons why I don’t do video blogs. 1) my videos would give everyone motion sickness. 2) The camera does not love me. 3) I’m shy. 4) I’m a better writer than I am public speaker. So I always thought the chance of any blog readers seeing me in video was very, very slim. And I was wrong. (As usual.)

We met up with Sean and Kristy of LongLongHoneymoon recently while in Florida. We had a wonderful lunch together and shared stories of our travels. They are awesome. After lunch, Sean asked if we’d be interested in being in a video for his blog. My first thought? I had just walked three miles earlier that day and my hair was BIG and frizzy thanks to the Florida humidity. Also, my child was so well behaved during lunch but would she sit still during a video? Hahahahaha. No.

But, we thought it would be fun so we did it. And it was fun! My plan was to let Chris do all the talking. Yeah, that didn’t happen. And Emerson? She was all over the place. Knocking over cups, running for the stairs, squirming all around. It was comical. (And somewhat difficult to share our story on camera when a 14 month old is enjoying her ability to walk. Everywhere.) I left with a feeling that we scared Sean and Kristy with our chaos. But, welcome to our lives. I’ve always tried to keep the blog honest so what’s more honest than my frizzy hair and squirmy child, right? (Seriously, about the hair…recently I was walking in a Florida mall and the flat iron salesman at one of the mall kiosks yelled out, “Whoa” when I walked by and pointed at me. I’m not kidding. It’s big and frizzy, y’all.)

Chris and I were excited and a wee bit scared when we saw that Sean posted the video. Sean did an amazing job putting it together. I didn’t criticize myself too much after watching it. Emerson is adorable (of course!) And Chris? Well, his response was, “I look awesome!” So, thanks Sean and Kristy! I hope our paths cross again soon!

Here’s a link to their blog:

And, here we are. Lani and her frizziness. Emerson and all her squirminess. And, Chris and his awesomeness.

Aluminum Bliss from Sean Michael on Vimeo.

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Categories: Airstream Living | 10 Comments