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Why My Garage Stinks…

Kimberly No Comments

This morning, I logged onto facebook and found one of those gut popping, tears rolling blog posts that moms write and other moms find hysterical.

Here it is: http://putdowntheurinalcake.com/2012/07/so-your-bathroom-smells-like-pee/

and it’s call to action was to no longer feel shame for the unpleasant aromas kids’ cause in your home…

So, here’s my confession, by which I purge my shame about both killing animals and why my garage stinks:

#1 You should know that my bathroom too smells like pee too!  But more troubling is that our garage smells like a combination of wet dog and… something vile that you can’t quite put your finger on.

I know what it is, but I can’t quite put your finger on, or better said… I can’t find it.

Month’s ago, in a campground so overridden with frogs you might mistake it for the plague, one Mama (that would be me) decided it would be a great home school activity to dissect a few of these frogs.  So how to prepare the frogs for their ultimate donation to science and the education of blood thirsty child (a disturbing euphemism for ‘how to kill the frogs’)

After much debate, it was decided we would freeze the frogs… if you’re a mama – you probably know where this is going!

So, freeze the frogs we did.  And they selflessly died in the perfect pose for dissection – such wonderful frogs really, I’m kinda sad we killed them.

Frozen Frog goes well with Peas

But now, we had frozen frogs and I had lost the nerve to filet them and start pointing out guts.

I thought the nerve would return so I kept the frogs in the freezer…. I should restate: I KEPT THE FROGS IN THE FREEZER!!!

But if you have kids, you know their curiosity is ceaseless and one of them (all of them actually) was sure if we defrosted the frogs, they would come back to life.  🙂

So, someone did just that… defrosted a frog and simultaneously lost it, in the garage of our camper.

Maybe it did come back to life and its death smell is a curse it cast on us / me.  But more likely, somewhere in that garage is a limp, soggy, rotting frog carcass and that’s why my garage stinks!

So when guests come to check out how the crazy people live in their camper, I mean ooh and ahh about our ‘spacious accommodations on wheels’, I feel compelled to blow in their face, and let them glance from the threshold the area the represents half of our 500 square feet living space!

Until the frog is no more….

Is there a stench in your home?  Share it and feel shame no more – that’s why air fresheners are a billion dollar business!

How many pics will Chris let me take of his butt???

Kimberly 2 comments

Some how, we decided instead of hanging out in NC and SC, after our time in VA, we’d head straight to Florida, spend a week with Chris’ parents, and then head to the Keys where I could turn 40 island style…

Florida or Bust…

But as usual, Franken-Truck had other plans for us.  It started just 40 miles into our 957 mile journey, not a good sign for sure.

Chris glanced out the right side view mirror and said, “Why is that piece hanging off the side of the camper?”  At precisely the same time, a befuddled motorist passed us on the right and rolled his eyes… I took that to mean, “you’re screwed”.

We pulled off the road and into a gas station and started making some phone calls.  We were pretty sure we had snapped one of our leaf springs (this has happened to us before so we’re kinda experts now – in diagnosing at least) and the roadside tech confirmed it.

Yup! We done busted it!

We are so used to repairs at this point, we’ve developed a system.  There’s no more yelling, struggling, tears or gnashing of teeth.  Just quiet patience, usually some ice cream and check writing.

It took the mechanics 2 hours to replace both the left and the right leaf spring and we were back on the road, $941 lighter.

917 more miles to go.  Glad we got the mandatory TTR (Traveling Travaglino Repair) out of the way, we continued down I95 confident we wouldn’t have to stop again. Little did we know the best was yet to come!

We pushed ourselves and drove to South Carolina to try to make up some lost time.  We slept in the South Carolina Welcome Center and headed out in the morning.

611 more miles to go.  Ya know, 957 miles is a long long drive.  The kinda drive that tests your resolve as a family, but we made it to the tip of Florida by night two and spent that night in the Florida Welcome Center.

The next morning, we woke to a pack of wild hogs roaming the parking lot, after 2 1/2 years, we were back in our home state and I guess this was the Welcome Committee.

Chris went out to start the truck and I vaguely remember it didn’t turn over on the first try… the thought of “that’s odd” was quickly replaced by the thought of “I definitely don’t want to leave my cup of coffee on the counter again – I remember that did not go too well the last time”.

325 more miles to go. We loaded up and headed off, totally energized by the fact that in a mere 6 1/2 hours we’d finally be ‘home’.

100 more miles to go. 225 miles later, we pulled into a truck stop and Chris matter-of-factly announced he needed to change the fuel filter.

Oil, Oil Everywhere – But None in the Engine!

“Really?”, I said, “In 2 1/2 years on the road, I don’t think we ever stopped to do that.  Why do we have to do it now?”

Trying not to alarm me, he made up some story about the truck seeming sluggish and it would be a quick change and blah blah blah.. I totally know where this is going. There is NEVER EVER such a thing as a ‘quick fix’ for us.

I hear grunting coming out from under the hood… Problemo #1: Whatever doo-hicky is holding the fuel filter on can not be budged.  But that’s nothin’ compared to Problemo #2: Which is that the engine has white smoking pouring out of it.  I’m totally not buyin’ that this is a fuel filter kinda thing.

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Still 100 more miles to go.  We’re pretty sure the engine is shot and we make the decision to limp to Chris’ parents house.   This is accomplished by something resembling a Chinese Fire Drill every 20 miles.  Keep in mind, we are making this completely broken engine tow our 42 foot home!  Every 20 miles, we pull over, Chris and I jump out of the truck, open the hood and dump as much oil as she’ll take, to keep the engine from seizing.

It takes 5 stops, but we make it.  Everything is covered in oil because the engine has been spurting it out as fast as we’ve been putting it in.  We are all exhausted but we’re home and everything else can be handled in our own time now.

Tune in later this week when we discuss.. how to buy an engine. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes Ya Gotta Kiss the Moose!

Kimberly No Comments

As far as I know, I’ve only got 30 maybe 40 more trips around the sun – and I sure as heck didn’t sell it all, stuff my kids in a tiny box on wheels and head out on the open road to miss opportunities and more importantly, to teach my kids to live out loud!

So when I hear about a rock that needs rubbin’, a bull that needs ridin’ or a moose that needs a little smoochin’ – you can bet your bottom dollar, I’m on it!

The morning of our Blue Angels field trip, Margie M. reminded me that we should have lunch at McGuires Irish Pub, so we headed straight there from the Pensacola Naval Base.

look at the two faces in this pic… happy and strangled

What a great place! Mixed up bathrooms (I love when restaurants really test their patrons) money hanging all over the ceiling (about $500,000 according to Google) and a moose with a bare muzzle from too many kisses!

Whether you live on wheels or stick and bricks… I hope you take every opportunity to kiss the moose!

 

 

 

 

For Immediate Release: Delray Beach Family home after 2 1/2 Years Traveling the USA

Kimberly No Comments

For Immediate Release

November 8, 2012

 

Prodigal Family returns to Delray Beach, Fl after over 2 years of touring the country

 DELRAY BEACH, FL — November 8, 2012 — The Traveling Travaglinos are back in their beloved hometown  of Delray Beach, FL after 37 states and 19 months on the road.

The Traveling Travaglinos

 

Their adventure started in the summer of 2010 when they moved out of their Delray Beach home, pulled their kids out of Henderson School, sold most of their belongings, bought an RV and headed out on the open road with their young kids in tow (Dominic 7, Blaise 6, Tonia 3 and DJ – Brand New at that time!)

Since their adventure began they have established a support group for other families traveling full time via RV or families dreaming of such an escapade. Fulltime Families.com is a one stop online destination for families seeking to “get their lives off hold and on the road”.

 

This support company includes a monthly magazine (Fulltime Families Magazine) two weekly radio shows (Road Rebelles Radio & Black Top Teens), biannual rv rallies (FtF Family Reunions) and a thriving community.

 

Kimberly Travaglino also penned two books while on the road.  “How to Hit the Road; Making Your Family’s Full Time RV Dreams a Reality” and “Buried Bliss; 7 Steps to Finding True Happiness by Losing it All”.

 

While an amazing experience, the Travaglino’s life on the road has not been without strife as they’ve encountered the death of a close family member, the adjustment to a completely radical lifestyle, at times a lack of family support, and numerous expensive repairs including dropping the camper and a brand new engine.

 

I hope you will take the time to interview this intrepid family while they are in the area for a short time.  They are inspiring families across the country to dream a new “American Dream” and would love to be an encouragement for their previous south Florida neighbors.  Before long, they’ll be back on the road heading to destination unknown.

 

 

For more information:

Kimberly Travaglino, 561-305-3829, mailto:Kimberly@fulltimefamilies.com

 

Visit our website at www.fulltimefamilies.com

Shhhh… The Best Kept Secret in RV Furnishings is…

Kimberly No Comments

For years, I have searched the aisles of Camping World looking for fun and interesting things that would be fully functional and funky additions to my RV. For years I have been disappointed. Spare the clock with the days of the week, I have not found anything exciting in any CW across the country.

That doesn’t mean we haven’t spent a lot of money there, in the form of sewer hoses, vent covers and other RV Essentials, we have. But those interesting, dual functioning, perfectly proportioned items that would make life in my camper easier… were not there.

Then, I found them! All in one place, all affordable and all served with a delicious side of Swedish Meatballs… Was this a dream??? No, it’s IKEA!!!

THE BEST store for fun, functional and funky things to add to your RV at affordable prices.

Check out some of the things I got…

High chair 19.99 – Note this chair is light weight, the perfect height for an RV table AND a picnic table, and it’s totally weather proof! Love it!

Toddler potty 4.99 – Simple, portable, works great in the RV and on the tailgate of the truck – oh and it looks great in the middle of my kitchen too! Atleast I think so!!!

Matchbox car carpet $12.99 Since we brought this home it has seen hours of play time. It’s the perfect foundation to build a Matchbox World on top of. Also works great with our train collection and Tonia loves how her Giant Barbie Dolls can wreak havoc on the entire town her brothers just diligently built.

Butt that’s not alll!

 

These dog leash holders for $2.99 each are absolutely my favorite. Not only do they help me organize the various tethers I have for our three mongrels, they also make me laugh!!!

Keep in mind, once you go to Ikea one time you will be absolutely addicted because… unlike that dusty Camping World… Ikea offers (are you sitting down) FREE BABYSITTING!!!!

Yes, you can shop in peace! or make it a date and check out the Ikea Cafeteria.

Check out this menu… Sometimes they even offer “kids eat free” http://www.ikea.com/us/en/store/sunrise/restaurant

And get this … Ikea has RV Parking and they’ll even let you stay overnight! It’s like they were built with FtF’s in mind!

Ikea is definitely the best kept secret in RV stores, so the next time you pass that bright blue and yellow sign, hang a u-ie and be sure to keep a lookout for me in the parking lot – it’s my new obsession! 😉

 

 

 

Make Your Own Paper Creeper

Kimberly 1 Comments

It’s official! Minecraft has infilitrated our RV. It’s available on every screened item in our home. So when Blaise saw a Youtube video on “How to Make your own Paper Creeper” I knew it was only a matter of time and ink before we were in full blown creeper creation.

It was actually quite easy to make this little guy. All you need is some paper, glue, tape and scissors.

Oh and this print out helps too: http://pixelpapercraft.com/papercraft/4f1b1e1a6f923f8035000002/creeper

So if you’re interested in making your own paper creeper, it can be done!

 

 

Our visit to the American Girl Place NYC

Kimberly No Comments

image

How much would you pay for a hair do, an ear piercing and a special lunch with your special girl… now what if that special someone was an American Girl Doll? Wanna know how much we spent?

Well, the answer’s coming soon, but first a little back story.

I hate American Girl Dolls. I hate what they stand for, I hate how they indoctrinate little girls into a materialistic branded way of life, veiled by fake historic characters and I especially hate how much they cost. I don’t honestly believe there’s a place for one of them in our anti-consumer, rv lifestyle, where we treasure experiences over stuff.

So why do we have one? Because I am a complete hypocrite! Don’t believe me? Keep reading.

Last week, Tonia and I boarded a plane bound for New York to attend the wedding of my oldest friend.

A familiar skyline

A familiar skyline

This trip also provided the opportunity to satisfy my mother’s desire to take her one and only granddaughter to lunch at the American Girl Place in NYC. Knowing of our impending jaunt to this fantasyland of molded plastic, I made a reservation for lunch weeks in advance. It’s not uncommon for this event to be sold out, so if this is something you are interested in, I strongly advise reservations, lest you find yourself with a starving doll and a disappointed little girl.

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American Girl Place NYC

Thursday morning we headed to 5th and 49th street to the mecca of all things AG with Kanani, the 2011 Girl of the Year doll my mother had purchased and stashed away 2 years ago.
My mother had decided that Kanani need not be a full time rver and told Tonia the doll would stay at her house. To assuage the upset, I had agreed to get Tonia an Our Generation doll at Target. With an $18 price tag this is a much more palatable option for me and would resolve Tonia’s issue regarding taking a doll home with her.

However, as we stood in the midst of everything American Girl, the ‘big red bag obsession’ took firm hold in Tonia’s heart and she confided in me she no longer wanted an Our Generation doll, she wanted a “real doll”.

image

Meet Saige – the newest full time rving American Girl!

 

Yikes! It was happening right before my eyes! The idea that one 18 inch plastic doll could be more real than another was just the insidious attitude I try valiantly to guard against… or at least I thought I had…

But then I caught my reflection in the mirror and knew the awful truth. There I was in my Miss Me jeans, with my Coach purse and designer cowboy boots. I was really nothing more than an overgrown version of these 6 yr olds running around pleading for overpriced dolls, accessories and furnishings.

In a last ditch effort to impress upon Tonia the implications of owning a $110 doll, I told her that this purchase would necessitate the complete suspension of her allowance for one whole year, while she currently had enough money saved for the Our Generation doll and could continue to accrue her weekly allowance without interruption if she chose to go that path. But it was too late. I had opened the door to Pandora’s Doll House and there was no going back.

wpid-Photo-Apr-21-2013-907-AM.jpg

Thank Goodness these dolls don’t eat, lunch was expensive enough!

After we purchased Saige we headed to the third floor to check in for our lunch reservations. Lunch started with some sweet treats as fresh hot cinnamon rolls were delivered to the table, followed shortly by a veggie and cheese platter.

The menu had a savory assortment of salads, entrees and even some adult beverages.

Not to be left out, the dolls have plates and cups set in front of them, so you can share some of your lunch with them. I think these dolls are all calorie conscious ’cause I didn’t see a single one eating!

After lunch, the cakes (which I must say looked absolutely scrumptious) started rolling in, candles being blown out left and right to that ol’ familiar tune.

Since we were not celebrating a special occasion (unless you consider losing your mind and spending enormous amounts of money a cause for celebration), we were served iced heart cakes, a stick of fruit, and a cup of dirt 😉

These dolls are all starving!

These dolls are all starving!

As the meal wound down, I noticed a large collection of wall flowers. They have a huge assortment of ‘loaner dolls’ on hand, although I could not think of a single instance in which one would utilize this option.. except maybe if you dropped your doll in the sewer on the way to lunch?!?

Next up, the lovely ladies at the hair salon were anxiously awaiting Kanani for a hair appointment and ear piercing.. Yes, you read that right – the doll was getting her ears pierced, or more accurately holes drilled into her head.

Gettin' her hair did!

Gettin’ her hair did!

When we came upon the Doll Hair Salon earlier that morning my initial reaction was “what a clever way to make even more money”, but after seeing the transformations from ‘well-loved’ gnarly-haired dolls to prim and proper well groomed toys, I have to admit I was impressed.

I have spent many an hour on the floor of my camper trying valiantly to unknot the unknottable when Tonia went through her “I LOVE RAPUNZEL” phase and the quality and resilience of these American Girls wigs should be given due credit.

The ear piercing was done behind closed doors, so no one could hear the doll screaming. She emerged with sparkly star earrings and a triple set of mix and match options to take home.

Next stop, traipsing through endless galleries of doll clothing and accessories. With weddings on her mind, Tonia picked a Flower Girl ensemble that ironically cost more than Tonia’s own real life Flower Girl ensemble.

This could double as a 'toad'

This could double as a ‘toad’

Again, I must give credit where its due and although I can not justify the crazy price tags, I can say the clothing is very well made, exceptionally detailed and durable.

The furnishings are completely over the top! I have no idea what kind of square footage the target market girls have, but a 6 foot hot air ballon is never going to fit in my RV!

All told, our time we spent at the American Girl Place in New York City was definitely an experience.

wpid-Photo-Apr-19-2013-342-PM.jpg

This bag is almost bigger than Tonia’s “room”

Our grand total was:

Lunch for 3 $125
Saige $110
Hair Style and Ear Piercing $35
Flower Girl Outfit $32
Not including transportation expenses: $302.00

Holy Cow! That’s more than my Coach purse, Miss Me jeans and designer cowboy boots combined!!!

Glass Bottom Boats in San Marcos

Kimberly 1 Comments

Hungry for an economical and educational field trip, Renee and I packed up the kiddos and headed to the aquarena at Texas state in San Marcos.

There, we boarded one of the original boats from 1945 and left the dock to explore the natural springs.

 

This was our first experience on a glass bottom boat and we all enjoyed it very much!

The water was crystal clear. We were even able to see the spring water bubbling up from the sand at the bottom.

Can you see the turtle?

We were able to watch the underwater wildlife in their natural surroundings and even got to check out some of the local aviary life.

 

The tour lasted a half hour and cost our family $27.00 (which left some $$ for some frozen yogurt!)

This unique aquafir used to be home to mermaids and a swimming pig… But we found no evidence of them.

 

 

Exploring Tinkertown Museum in Sandia Park, NM with Video

Kimberly No Comments

When you travel full time, you can’t see everything. This is one of the ironies of full time rving.

Don’t they all look thrilled!

Whether its due to finances, weather, crowds, time or just plain overlooking, families need to realize that some things will need to be left for the next trip around.

Count me as one of those friends

 

This was actually a hard lesson for me (the family itinerary maker) to learn.

The excitement is growing

 

When I sat in my house, making list upon list of all the places we’d visit, I thought I’d be disappointed if we had to forego some excursions. And truth be told, I was. In those early months, I was known to pout and carry on when we couldn’t do this, or wouldn’t be able to eat that, etc

Buttons along the front animate the scenes

But somewhere in the midst of year two, I matured (thankfully and possibly somewhat questionably) and realized we don’t have to take every opportunity set before us and chances are we will be here again, some time in the future, and won’t it be nice to have something to look forward to then. Ahhhhhhh!

So what does this all have to do with Tinkertown Museum?

Well, this is one of those places we missed due to overlooking and possibly your family would have no trouble overlooking such a place, but you might regret it!

This scene blew me away

It seems I have a certain gene that loves colorful collections of, what might be called by the untrained eye, JUNK.

Never a truer word!

My husband, bless his heart, lacks the gene and runs around with not one, but two, untrained eyes.

A one man band in a box!

But he’s always very accommodating so when I exclaimed one evening in Texas, “oh no! We’ve been to Albuquerque twice and we completely missed Tinkertown, we need to go back!”. He said, “ok”.

Kids have their own guest book

So back we went, to a city neither one of us are particularly fond of, to see the Tinkertown Museum.

Leave a message in a bottle

It took Ross Ward over 40 years to carve, collect, and lovingly construct the collection on display. His miniature wood-carved figures were first part of a traveling exhibit, driven to county fairs and carnivals in the 1960s and ’70s. Today over 50,000 glass bottles form rambling walls that surround a 22-room museum. Wagon wheels, old fashioned store fronts, and wacky western memorabilia make Tinkertown’s exterior as much as a museum as the wonders within.

Outside you’ll find a unique collection of items Ross and his wife have collected from ghost towns.

When you go to Tinkertown make sure you bring quarters and ask for a scavenger hunt handout, or download and print it from their website.

We all thoroughly enjoyed our time at Tinkertown and we know you will too!

For more of the sights and sounds of Tinkertown, check out our episode of One Epic Adventure.

 

 

The best atv date ever

Kimberly 2 comments

This could also be titled, “don’t ride an at 9000 ft, unless you know what the heck you’re doing”.

As you may or may not now, I am writing this with a broken wrist.

Due to my lack of typing ability and keeping in the spirit of this epic adventure, I decided to put this in comic book form.

I hope you enjoy it, and pay special attention to the safety tips at the end.

Safety tips:

The location of the accident and where we had to leave one atv

  1. Be very familiar and well trained on any motorized equipment before you head out on a trail.
  2. Make sure someone knows where you are going.
  3. Take a picture of each trailhead.
  4. Be sure to sign in at the Rangers log and program the Rangers phone number into your phone at that time.
  5. Have a GPS application on your device before you head out. (See pic above)
  6. Wear all available safety equipment!!!!
  7. Bring a small first aid kit along with you.
  8. Make sure you always know where you are so you can tell first responders.
  9. Never go out alone!

A huge debt of gratitude is owed to:

Our friends, the Livingston Family and the Hartog Family who sent their men to retrieve the ATV we had to leave behind and made us delicious treats while helping out with the kids.

 

To Chris’ parents and grandmother, who made it possible for us to return to Florida for surgery and who continue to nurse me back to health.

 

And to the countless people who have been praying for us through this entire ordeal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Got Wood?

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