Road Trip – Southeastern Adventure Part Two

Hey ya’ll! Just thought I’d finish up my review of our camper adventure here today. We had done so much and traveled so far, it was too hard to put it all in one post! Where was I?

Oh yes.

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After the Dixie Stampede, we found Riveredge RV park off of the GoodSam RV website. Pretty nifty little website – and it lead us right to the most sparkling clean camper site I’ve ever seen. The bathrooms… the bathrooms were nicer than any bathroom I’ve ever owned. Not kidding. I thought… this is camping? Double shower heads and bronze metal finishes?  Sheesh! Best campsite by far. Yep. I took a picture.

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The next morning we headed into the Great Smokey Mountain National Park for a hike. Despite our best efforts to go in the morning so it would be “cool”… it was still a sweltering 90 degrees by the time we parked and walked to the trail we wanted to hike. Probably not the best activity in the middle of July.. but we went anyway. Glad we did! It was beautiful. We tried hiking the Rainbow Falls trail, and although we didn’t make it all the way up it was still a great “moderate” hike. The shade of the trees definitely made it tolerable. I highly suggest doing your research – find a hike you can manage, bring lots of water, and watch out for bears because THEY LIVE THERE.

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On Friday we found ourselves in Asheville, North Carolina. We got a two for one special on tickets to the Biltmore Estate through our 4th RV site : Mama Gerties. The Biltmore House is an amazing mansion built by George Vanderbilt (yep, those Vanderbilts) cloaked within the scenic North Carolina Forests. They have restaurants, hotels, and gardens galore to walk through and admire. The tour itself takes almost 2 hours to get through, so if you go make sure you hydrate and wear comfy shoes! It was a great experience.

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On Sunday we had to start making our way back to MO. We drove through Atlanta, GA and stopped at a Farmers Market in Birmingham, AL. We ate lunch at a great BBQ place called Deerman’s BBQ, where all the cute southern ladies came in their Sunday’s best after church and each one vowed to take the baby home with them. She probably would have – my little social butterfly. We also had the chance to stop by Talladega Superspeedway and use as many Talladega Nights quotes as possible because, if you’re not first you’re last.

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Mississippi, Arkansas, and finally back to St. Louis where our Southeastern Adventure began.  Thanks for sticking with me through this long post! Hope you enjoyed the pictures and that you get to visit some of these places too. Get out there!

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Camper Remodel – Phase 2: Use it.

Since the hubby had some personal days at work to burn, we decided it would be the perfect opportunity to take the camper we’ve been renovating out for a spin. (Still thinking of nicknames… Any suggestions?)

I gotta admit – my husband is the handiest dude I know. His dad taught him a lot, and he’s teaching me a lot through this project. He was able to get the old propane stove working, as well as the water connections. He also re-wired the lights to get it highway legal.

So with most everything working, and a few coats of primer and paint, we set out on an adventure! We tend to be really spontaneous (a.k.a. bad at planning) when it comes to these things, but it’s often more fun for us in the long run.

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We packed up and headed south east. For the first time in my life, I lived in a camper for almost a whole week! We ended up driving through eight different states : Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Click this link to read about our Southeastern Adventure.

I thought for sure I was going to have to name this post “how to start a fight with your husband when traveling” since I’m not an avid camper and our little 8-month-old baby girl came along – but nah! It was all really good! All three of us had a fantastic time. Whenever we got tired, we took a break. When she needed a nap, we just planned our drive times so that she’d sleep in the car. When we didn’t want to drive anymore, we just found an RV camp and parked. It was so nice to not have to carry luggage or check into a million hotels. We saved money by cooking our own breakfast every morning, and keeping snacks around. Everything we needed was in the camper, plenty of storage for our things!

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One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to go on another road trip. I’m glad we got the chance to use the camper so that now we know we like it and the money we invested wasn’t in vain.  We still have more work to do on it but I’ll keep you posted on the camper renovation and makeover. I’m thinking blue paint and copper Moscow mule mugs are in its future…and hopefully some rock in’ flooring!

Camper Remodel- Phase 1: Clean it up. 

Hey all! Happy Monday – I thought I’d show you a little bit of our latest project – a travel camper.

My in-laws have had this 1958 Garwood camper on the side of their yard since before my husband and I started dating. Apparently, it’s been used by several family members including his brother for a good amount of time. We’ve always joked about living in it – but recently we’ve had this crazy idea to renovate it!

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Lookin’ pretty rough huh. It’s mostly been used for storage of Christmas decor and odds and ends. A few weeks ago we unlocked it and shuffled around, and then we ended up just cleaning it out. Thankfully, Papa Calvin (Bryce’s dad) had sealed it up well so that rain and snow didn’t do too much damage.

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It’s actually a cute set up on the inside, if you can see past the grime and wasp nests. The power washer was our BFF for this project.

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Inside there’s two bunks, a closet, a sink, an old propane stovetop, and a dining area. Everything needed a deep cleaning and some paint, but for a few days work I think we did a great job making it useable again. Here are some BEFORE pics:

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Wood. Panelling. Everywhere. I had to use two coats of Kilz primer and two coats of paint to cover it up… and I’ll probably end up using another coat before we finish! Luckily I had a little painting buddy to keep me company. Isn’t he a cutie? Here’s some progress pictures:

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With some sweat and elbow grease, we were able to get the camper “livable”. We covered the old cushions with some plastic tablecloths for temporary usage. Don’t worry about the propane tank you see, we just kept it there while we were driving – not while we were using it. There’s still SO much work to be done to make it ours, but it’s a great start! Before we invest in more upgrades, we’re taking it out for a test drive soon. Keep watch for our updates coming to you soon! Hoping to have some instagram-able before and after photos for you!

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