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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! 😉

 

 

 

13 Things You Don’t Know about Friday the 13th

Kimberly No Comments

Don’t let this Friday, freak you out!

Use today as a special road school study on Friday the 13th, past, present and future!

Here are 13 things you probably didn’t know about this grave date.

#1 Did you know that fear of Friday the 13th could stem from The Last Supper?

The trepidation surrounding Friday the 13th is rooted in religious beliefs surrounding the 13th guest at the Last Supper—Judas, the apostle said to have betrayed Jesus—and the crucifixion of Jesus on a Friday, which was known as hangman’s day and was already a source of anxiety, Vyse said.

For more information about why Friday the 13th gets such a bad rep, check out: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/140612-friday-superstition-taboo-fear-luck-triskaidekaphobia-phobia/

#2 Do you know what the fear of Friday the 13th is called?

The word is triskaidekaphobia. Its literal meaning is ‘superstition about the number thirteen’, but it’s also used to refer to the specific fear of Friday the 13th.

 

#3 Do you know how rare it is for Friday the 13th to fall on a full moon?

You’d have to go aaaaall the way back to June 13th, 1919 to find a Full Moon that fell on a Friday the 13th in the month of June. This will next occur on June 13th, 2098.

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#4 Did you know if your cell phone stops working today you can blame the sun?

One of the flares created a “coronal mass ejection” that actually could come into contact with Earth on Friday, according to NOAA. The ejection is essentially a huge cloud of plasma that could hit the Earth and cause a shock wave, affecting communications systems.

Want more info about that… click here, but make it snappy ’cause the internet might go down at any minute! http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2014/06/solar-flares-disrupt-communications-on-earth-could-send-shockwave-on-friday-the-13th/

#5 Do you have a list of things you’d like to do on Friday the 13th?

Haven’t had time to make a list?  Here, check out this one: http://www.boldsky.com/insync/pulse/2013/13-things-to-do-on-friday-13-035239.html

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#6 Did you know there’s free printables and lesson plans for Friday the 13th?

Kiddos too ‘scared’ to do their school work?  No problem, set them onto these Friday the 13th math problems and they’ll soon realize how ‘soothing’ their ol’ worksheets can be. http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/EMT669/Essay.Ideas/F13th/Fri.13th.html

#7 Did you know that most sky scrapers don’t have a 13th floor?

Even landlords who are not themselves superstitious realize that the rentability of suites on the 13th floor might be compromised because of superstitious tenants, or tenants who are afraid their own customers might be superstitious.

Want to know how and why they build buildings without a 13th floor… check out the answer here: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060917174241AAgpRlk

 

Since I’ve run out of things so say about Friday the 13th… I’ll end my list here.  You can consider yourself unlucky if you clicked on this expecting 13 things 🙂

 

Thanksgiving Dinner in an RV: 5 Ways to make it Work

Kimberly No Comments

Happy-Thanksgiving

As we prepare to celebrate yet another Thanksgiving on the Road, I reflect back to when I was in a house, in a sea of pies, side dishes and extracting the ‘guest of honor’ from our industrial sized oven and remember thinking, “How am I going to do this in our RV next year?”

 

But like all things associated with full time family rv living, where there’s a will, there’s a way!

So here are a list of options to help you maintain your Thanksgiving traditions no matter how much room is in your oven.

  1. Take it outside!  Like our pilgrim forefathers before us, Thanksgiving is a holiday best served outside.  Your site’s picnic table could be the perfect spot to celebrate your thankfulness for God’s creations.  grilled turkey
  2. Grill it! To add to our ‘take it outside’ theme, consider grilling your turkey.  With oven real estate at a premium—grilling the turkey will ensure you still have room for the really important stuff… the side dishes and pies! Here’s how we grill our turkey every year.
  3. Join Forces!  They say many hands make for light work… well many ovens make for an easy Thanksgiving.  Consider making reservations at a campground that will be hosting a Thanksgiving Potluck or possibly host one where you are.
  4. Bring it in!  Many local grocery stores provide catered meal options for Thanksgiving.  Do the whole meal, the side dishes or any combination that works for your family.  Then on the big day, it’s just heat and eat!
  5. Go out!  Maybe this year is the year to have Thanksgiving at the Grand Canyon or at a restaurant with an ocean view.  There are tons of locations that will be open for Thanksgiving so skip the cooking, cleaning and the left over relocation and enjoy the day with a little extra pampering.

Bonus Tip: Serve!  Thanksgiving is a great time to serve others.  If you have no Thanksgiving plans considering serving as a family at a local food charity in your area.  To find one, simply google something like “location soup kitchen”.

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

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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!!!

These Books Can Help You Get Your Life Off Hold and On the Road

Kimberly 4 comments

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“I love all the options you provide for each stage in preparing my family to launch our full time rv life, but I’m really interested in what YOU did.  Can you tell me how you personally handle things like adhering to homeschool laws and how you finally chose the RV that fit your family?”

Each section of HTHTR Revised Edition now includes a “What the Traveling Travaglino’s Did” so we can share exactly what worked and what we would have done differently.

“You list a lot of options for making money on the road, but what have you seen families have the most success with?”

In the “How Can We Afford This” section, I’ve listed the opportunities that I’ve seen many families successfully support themselves with.  I also include the proven, trusted resources and providers of those opportunities.

I’ve added Family Activity Guides to help encourage your family to set goals together to achieve this dream.

I’ve doubled the “We’ve Made it; Now What” section, including information on:

  • WHAT’S OUR ADDRESS?
  • GETTING YOUR MAIL
  • HANDLING JURY DUTY
  • RENEWING YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE AND VEHICLE REGISTRATION(S)
  • INTERNET ON THE ROAD
  • VACATION MODE
  • THE ADJUSTMENT
  • MEETING OTHER FAMILIES
  • WHICH WAY DO WE GO?

And while I am thrilled with the this new version, I am busting with the spin off project that came out of this overhaul.

For years, I’ve wished for the perfect journal where I could record exactly why I felt compelled to uproot my family from all that was known and comfortable and trade our old life for all the uncertainty of life on the road.  A book that would challenge me to answer the questions that really mattered, to distill what I really wanted my life with my family to look like.  A book that spoke of not only what we hoped to achieve, but what we (all of us) gave up to pursue this life.

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Where, in my own hand writing, I would be able to convey my hopes and fears and dreams and aspirations.  A place to record our bucket list and accomplishments, with space to record contact information for people we crossed paths with.  A place to prepare for our journey that would stand the test of time and become a treasured keepsake.

This idea churned in my mind for several years, and then a designer who could bring it to fruition appeared.  Megan Jurvis, fellow full time traveling mom and graphic designer extraordinaire, assembled the scattered jottings and renderings of a tattered notebook into a work of art.

The result is “Our Journey Journal; How we made our full time rv dreams come true” a stunning professionally designed and typeset journal where you can record the events of this critical time.

What will yours be filled with?

What will yours be filled with?

“Our Journey Journal” is a one of a kind journal for the trail blazing family.
The prompts in this book have been thoughtfully compiled to help you and your loved ones, with each step of this lifestyle transition.
You’re about to embark on a huge adventure and within these pages is your place to record:
your reasons
your hopes
your desires
your impressions
your reservations
your achievements
your downsizing efforts
your bucket list
your packing guide
your budget
your home on wheels shopping experiences
and ultimately your launch.
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With timelines, interactive projects, worksheets and places to include family photos, this book can be the catalyst to a whole new life for you.
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Journaling and preserving your impressions through your own hand writing now, will help motivate you through the more challenging times and will surely become a treasured keepsake for generations to come.
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Give yourself, your family and your future generations the gift of your insight into the aspects that encouraged you all to take this leap of faith and the steps that allowed you to realize this monumental goal.
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We are currently taking pre-orders for these companion books.  For a limited time, you can get both the revised edition of “How to Hit the Road” and “Our Journey Journal” at an introductory sale price.

Choose Your Bundle

e-Bundle, formatted for your e-reader and print your Journey Journal on demand.

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Hard Copy Bundle, professionally bound editions.

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Both bundles also include the following enhanced media downloads:

  • Full time RVing Family Budget Worksheets
  • Full time RVing Children Wardrobe Lists
  • RV Packing List
  • RV Shopping Worksheets
  • Junior Journey Journals
  • RV Maintenance Checklists for Driveables and Towables
  • Roadschool Planner
  • Free Lifetime updates. You’ll receive free e-updates to both of these books for your lifetime.*

This is a limited time offer.  Both books will be released in e-version and hard copy on September 1st, 2015, at which time, prices will go up.  Secure the lowest prices and be the first to receive your copy. 

If you’re a previous “How to Hit the Road” reader, contact kimberly@fulltimefamilies.com for your free update.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

2017-2018 Roadschool Planner Free for a Limited Time!

Kimberly No Comments

Are you getting ready to head back to your Roadschool?  Just in time for a new year, is an updated tool from the Roadschool Moms Radio Team to help you achieve Roadschool Success!

Roadschool Moms CautionThe Roadschool Planner has room for you to record:

  • Goals
  • Reading Log
  • Map your Journey
  • Family Bucket List
  • Attendance
  • Monthly Themes
  • Field Trips
  • and so much more!

And best of all, it’s free!

It’s the perfect place to keep track of “what you want to learn where”.  Like no other planner available, this planner integrates your travels with your learning opportunities so you don’t miss valuable lessons and you can easily capitalize on your journey – making your time on the road a true learning adventure!

Super Charge Your Roadschool!  Check out this recent show where MB and KT share their Tips for Prepping for a Great Roadschool Year

Join us every Sunday night at 9pm est at http://www.roadschoolmoms.com for more tips, advice, fun and fellowship to recharge your Roadschool.

Not available on Sunday night?  No problem!  Subscribe to our iTunes podcast and catch the replays when it’s convenient for you!

To get your free Roadschool Planner, click here!2017- 2018-Roadschool-Moms-Planner2 copy

And a special “Thank You” to Roadschool Mom, Bethany Van Mills who updated this document for all of us!!

 

 

Membership has it’s Privileges; Top 5 Benefits of Joining Fulltime Families

Kimberly No Comments

The Fulltime Families Membership can save you thousands of dollars, but the privileges of membership go way beyond saving money.

Here are the top 5 benefits our members point to as their favorite thing about being a Fulltime Families Member.

#1 Finding My Tribe!

  • Fulltime Families Members share a common bond that is considered weird by the majority of American Families.   We think less is more… that’s weird!  We’re actually excited about living in 350 sq feet, alongside our family, every minute of the day… that’s weird!  We don’t want to wait until our children are on their own to explore this country… that’s weird!  Fulltime Families Members understand and embrace these “so called oddities”.  If making time with our family makes us “misfits” then we’d rather not fit in.  Fulltime Families supports and applauds You, the risk taker, You the pioneer, You the trail blazer, who is looking for more out of life than just security!

    #2 Making Spaces to Meet in Real Life!

    Fulltime Families hosts events around the country so families enjoying the full-time RV lifestyle can meet in person and make friends.  The reality is lifestyle can be isolating and connecting through Fulltime Families events, provides adults and children alike the opportunity to make friends and form bonds that span the miles.  It is very common for families to establish temporary or long term intentional neighborhoods with the families they click with, after an FtF event.  Just because your family is nomadic doesn’t mean you need to be alone.  Join us for our next event and embark on the next leg of your journey with friends in tow.

     

    #3 Connecting Families with the Services and Suppliers who commend their choices!

Isn’t it great to do business with someone who values you as a customer?  Isn’t it awesome to know you are supporting businesses that are supportive of your lifestyle choices and actually look forward to serving you? Fulltime Families reaches across all service and supply industries, vetting companies both large and small, to present our members with businesses of the highest level of integrity.  Through both our Resource Guide and our Partnership list, FtF Members are connected to trusted resources that will help you save time and money!

#4 We’ve Got Your Back!

At Fulltime Families, we’ve got your back!  Through our relationships with RV professionals, Home School curriculum providers and the media, we have a unique opportunity to help you spread your message and connect you effectively to the resources that can help you the most.  You’re not out on the road alone and being a part of the FtF family has made an impact through the collective voice and the collective efforts of your other FtF family members.  Case in point, in 2016 alone, FtF served 343 families in person at FtF events and provided over $21,000 in relief to RVing Families!

#5 Saving You Money and Time!

Of course, your Fulltime Families Membership will save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of wasted time.  Through our extensive list of partnerships, which currently includes a Free Year of Escapees and a Free Year of Good Sams Membership, our members rack up savings on:

So what are you waiting for?

Don’t you like friends, having fun times with people who get you, businesses that understand and value you, someone who has your back and saving money?  Join Fulltime Families today!  https://www.fulltimefamilies.com/joinftf/

 

 

 

 

Investigating Aliens in Roswell, NM

Kimberly 2 comments

We had heard mixed reviews about Roswell, NM. Some families said emphatically “Don’t miss it” while others suggested we could totally skip it without regretting it.

When we realized it was on our route to the rally in Colorado, we decided we’d take the opportunity to finally cross it off our list.

While I can now completely understand the ambivilance to this tourist trap of a city, I am immensely happy we went. Not so much for Roswell itself, but rather for the hidden gem of a campground we found at Bottomless Lakes State Park, a mere 11 miles west of downtown Roswell.

Coming from the south, we drove for what seemed an eternity down a dirt road. All the while, Chris asking me, “are you sure we’re going the right way”. My response… “Yes!” Eye roll, didn’t give away even a hint of my own uncertainty.

Nothing but dusty desert stretched out for miles before us, and then, a single left turn revealed the pristine oasis that is Bottomless Lake.

If you stood on the cliff overlooking the water at Crater Lake, wishing you could dive into that unimaginable crystal blue water, then you would love this campground.

Full hook up set us back a wooping $18 a night.

The night sky revealed a myriad of stars and rolling out of the rv every morning to this stunning swimming hole was a dream come true!

Sometimes we rented paddle boats, sometimes we used our floats and all the time we enjoyed the laid back family atmosphere of his wonderous place.

Of course, we did roll into town and do the “alien thing”.

 

We skipped the international UFO museum, and opted instead for a $6 (for the whole family) admission to the Alien Zone.

A converted store front, with limited air conditioning, it’s a veritable treasure trove for those seeking photo ops of the other worldy variety.

 

Am I glad we stopped at Roswell? Yes. Not so much for the town itself, but rather for the opportunity to recharge and reconnect in a bottomless lake.

 

 

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