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I Left my floor in San Francisco

Kimberly 1 Comments

Mark Twain is falsely credited with the witticism, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”  Well, if he didn’t say it, he should have!

We visited the famed ‘City by the Bay’ in the middle of September, while it’s California sister cities were experiencing a brutal Indian Summer, San Fran was locked in a dense foggy 60 degrees.

The irony of this was the fact that our RV parked on a crumbling ledge (really, there were signs and caution tape and missing chunks of asphalt) overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Overlooking is quite an exaggeration as we never actually got to see the Pacific from our risky perch, but we did get to hear the crashing waves that threatened to deliver our wheeled home to Davy Jones himself when our parking spot gave way.

A brief moment of clarity

A brief moment of clarity

The first attraction we visited in Frisco was The Exploratorium, which still today, holds a special place in our hearts among Science Museums.  The Exploratorium is hands down THE BEST museum of its kind we have visited in all our travels.

In the 7+ hours we spent their, every single one of our senses were tantalized and challenged.  The kids took part in a Cow’s Eyeball Dissection, Chris was ensconced in a great ball of energy and color, baby DJ explored his magnetic personality and Dominick drank out of a toilet.

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On Day 2, we walked the length of the Golden Gate bridge and then toured Chinatown.

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From a quick FourSquare search we were able to find a Chinese Fortune Factory.  Having been on my fair share of factory tours, I expected more than the hallway that serves as the main production floor, but that’s really all there was.  A hallway, a couple of Chinese people, some lazy susans and a thousands of round flexible discs being turned into the fortune telling wonders we all know and love.

fortunecookieOn the 3rd day, we all went  to prison.  Of course, I’m talking about Alcatraz which was an awesome tour!  If you’re considering it, I strongly urge you to reserve your Alcatraz ferry tickets in advance.  As a National Park, Alcatraz is free, but there’s only one way to get there, and the ferry is known to sell out on a daily basis.

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We loved our time in San Fransisco, but as the title of this post implies, our trip there did cost us our floor.  Several months prior, we had installed a wood floor  (click the link to see the video of that installation), but the humidity of San Fran, wrecked havoc with it and when we pulled out of Pacifica 6 days later, it had buckled and swelled in several places.   Months later, we ripped it out and used it as firewood.

I should also tell you, one of the most awesome places we have found in this country, we found while parked in Pacifica.  Across the other bridge, in Berkley is Adventure Playground.  That place was so awesome it deserves its very own blog post!  So click here to learn why no matter what age your kids are, you should NOT MISS Adventure Playground!

 

Tubing the San Marcos River at Rio Vista Park

Kimberly No Comments

Water! That’s all it takes to make our family content… Well, we like rice cakes and beef jerky too… So any day on the water with a cooler full of rice cakes and beef jerky is a seriously good day! Add ice cream and we’re talkin’ Epic!

So when life presented us with a particularly trying day, we packed up the cooler, pumped up the floats and headed to Rio Vista Park in San Marcos!

What a gem! Like seriously some top 10 USA awesomeness!

Picture a really wide pool with some pretty calm water and then a 6 ft wide spillway… Imagine tubing that!

But wait… There’s more. Two more pools with spillways, each with their own torrential character.

Do it with a float, or don’t. The choice is yours and the experiences are completely different but equally thrilling. Check out it for yourself here:

Oh… Did I mention about the twin rope swings???

Where to go: San Marcos, TX 78666 @29.878367,-97.9345

What to bring:

Floats (local Walmart has the best prices)

Water shoes

Life vests for little kids

Towels

Cooler

Some cash for the ice cream truck (the park is free) here’s where it gets Epic!

Don’t forget the rice cakes and beef jerky!

 

 

Fulltime Families Just Got Pinteresting

Kimberly No Comments

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You may or may not be aware of the fact that Fulltime Families has their own Pinterest Account.

That’s a place where we pin all sorts of ideas for our life, like the Awesome Organization Thingies for your RV, Celebrating Holidays in your RV, Easy RV Crafts, and Ideas for Entertaining Little Ones on your Drive.  If you haven’t been to our Pinterest Boards, check them out here: http://www.pinterest.com/ftfamilies/

But that’s not what this post is about!

This post is about a brand new feature we just included on every post in our website.  It’s a tiny little red button that says, “Pin It” in the top corner of every post.

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Check out how it works (we’ll wait…).  See when you click that little button, it brings up all the pics on that particular blog post and allows you to pin any ones that you want to add to your own Pinterest account.

Happy Pinning!

 

 

 

Fulltime Families Canada Rally Limited Spots Available

Kimberly No Comments

The FtF Canada Rally has a very limited number of spots available.

The event sold out in 20 days, our fastest selling event to date, but a few cancellations have opened up spots.  If you missed your chance to get a spot for this event, now is the time to book.  Visit our Fulltime Families Canada Rally Info Page for reservation instructions and FAQs.

 

No RV Yet?  There are options, send an email to the above address for more info.

Keep an eye on our Upcoming Events Page for more FtF Events coming soon!

Looking for Larry in Seattle

Kimberly 3 comments

I love bringing books into our touring efforts!  So when Seattle was on our route, I searched for just the right story and found “Larry Gets Lost in Seattle“.  Although I usually gravitate to e-books, I purchased the hard copy version so we could use it as a bedtime story.

The pages are filled with beautiful illustrations that follow Pete and Larry (Pete’s lost pup) through Seattle’s landmarks.  I decided to use this story book as our actual tour list and made a touring itinerary that incorporated as many of the Pete and Larry’s detours as possible.

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So when Pete and Larry checked out the flying fish at the Public Market, we did too!

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And when Pete and Larry stopped by Pioneer Square, we did too!

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Larry found a hammering giant, so we did too!

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And when Pete looked for Larry by the Space Needle, we did too!

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When Larry found a scary guy in Fremont, we did too!

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and just like Larry, we didn’t find these people to be so helpful with directions.

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We searched the Lake Union Houseboats, just like Pete and Larry.

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Some things we did that Larry and Pete missed were:

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Eating sushi off a conveyor belt at Blue C Sushi!

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Making our own contribution to the Gum Wall!

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And drenching ourselves in rainbows at the Chuhily Museum and Garden.

We loved following Pete and Larry’s footsteps through Seattle and still read the story nightly.  It warms my heart to hear DJ squeal, “we been dere” as we turn the pages.

You can bring this post to life by clicking play on our latest episode of “One Epic Adventure”.

And there’s even more good news!  In researching for this blog post, we’ve discovered that Pete and Larry have explored other cities!  Check out the whole list here and see if one of these cities is on your route: Larry Gets Lost Series

 

 

 

 

 

How to Park a Big Honkin’ Truck in Downtown Seattle and Get the best priced tickets to the Space Needle

Kimberly 1 Comments

City touring can be a pain when you need to consider finding a parking space for your big honkin’ truck.  Then there’s the issue of getting the best value out of the attraction tickets you purchase.

As a full time traveling family, we are not actually on vacation and can not afford to splurge on every tourist attraction on our route.  Therefore, we must be picky with our touring dollars and are always looking for the best bang for our buck.  This time was a total score and I’ll fill you in about the ticket specifics later in this post.  Timestamp of snap: 0:01.3

At this point, I’m pretty good at uncovering the value in attractions.  See this, skip that, I can make those decisions pretty quickly based on online reviews and facebook comments.

So when we were exploring Seattle and it came time to search out ticket options for the Space Needle,  I knew which websites to focus on to find the best deal.

Through my research I found that Sunday was the least crowded day to visit and specifically Sunday night yielded the best viewing opportunities.  A quick google search told me sunset would hit the Seattle area at 8:23pm, so I booked our elevator tickets for a 7:30pm viewing time.

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Sure enough, there were no real crowds to speak of at this very popular landmark when we arrived for our reservation time.

As an aside, I’ll tell you that right next to the Seattle Center, the downtown area that houses the Space Needle and several other well known landmarks, is a pay parking lot.  It cost us $15 to park for the evening.  Sure it was tight, but I live with “a dually drivin’ boss” so as long as there’s an open spot, he can make it work!

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The views at the observation deck of the Space Needle were breath taking! Watching the sunset over Pugent Sound was a memory our family will cherish.

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Then, when the sun dipped below the horizon, the city skyline twinkled as far and wide as the eye could see.  The observation deck is open until 11pm on Sunday’s* and visitors can stay at the top as long as they like with their ticket so we had plenty of time to check out all the sights.

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We loved picking out other locations we have visited on sea level.  There were also a great number of interactive exhibits within the Visitors’ Center.  We learned all about the construction of the observation tower for the 1962 World’s Fair and that it was built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour (89 m/s) and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude.

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So, wanna know how much this aerial tour of Seattle cost our family of six?  $144 (not including $15 parking) which is a real splurge for our family, but I should mention that we purchased a combo ticket and after we descended from the Space Needle, we headed right next door to explore the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit.  A visit to this museum was top on my list so the combo ticket was definitely the most affordable option available.  Separately the Space Needle tickets would have been  $86  and the Chihuly tix would have cost us $88.20.  By purchasing the combo ticket we were able to maximize our downtown Seattle experience, pay for parking only once and save $30.

Tune into our Seattle episode of One Epic Adventure to find more great things to do with kids in Seattle!


*Please check websites for actual times

Stuck in the Sand

Kimberly No Comments

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There we were.  Having the perfect Roadschool kinda day.  Exploring the rusted, decaying spine of the Peter Iredale.  This relic from 1906 impales the shoreline at Fort Stevens State Park along the sun kissed, fog laden coast of Warrenton, Oregon.  A quick google on the beach yielded the ships fated tale of woe.  A saga of wrong turns, nautical mishaps and stowaways.  Little did we know that this wreckage would serve as prophetic foreshadowing of what our future held.

IMG_9939The dogs were romping, the kids were dune diving and three sets of adults enjoyed the surf and each others company, but like all good things, it was time to wrap up and head home.

And so we packed up and started home.. only we didn’t get far.

The front bumper of some hapless vehicle, laid in our path… only the bumper… another clue to the fate that awaited.

50 feet from pavement we were moving, but not forward. Frankentruck was digging its own hole to China.  No amount of transmission rocking would grant our freedom. 4wd high… nope.. the big guns, 4wd low… only served to seal our fate as sand was flung across our hood and windshield.

The Hamilton’s who had left a mere 5 minutes before us, made a u turn, but stopped short on the paved border as they had just narrowly avoided the clutches of the soft sand themselves.  It’s a good thing too, ’cause as everyone knows, two stuck trucks makes a grown man say… ‘aw…. shucks” 😉

A young Canadian family was on the beach and started triage with a plastic pink princess shovel.  For some reason I was under the impression that this required more substantial equipment.  When I realized our beach toys would work, we all got busy, digging.  With shovels, and cups and even a seahorse sand mold.

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We dug and made a haphazard sand ramp and then the pulling began.  Strapped to our Good Samaritan, the tug-o-war began.  Unfortunately, Frankentruck won and stayed put!  The tow rope snapped and came flinging back to our bumper.  Thank goodness we were all clear otherwise this would have been tragic!

Then the Calvary came… in the form of the Sheriff Wood.  He formed a truck sled team tying a tow rope to his Standard Issue Dodge and our Canadian Savior’s Chevy.  Would this be the horsepower that would yank us from the grips of the sand that by now had fully engulfed the frame of Frankentruck?

You can see for yourself in this brief video.

Rambler Goes to Portland

Kimberly No Comments

today rambler went to vodoo doughnuts

Learn How You Can Have FREE Wi-Fi In Your Rig

chrisadmin 18 comments

Welcome to FulltimeFamilies.com, the RV club for families who live or are seeking to live, the full time rv lifestyle.

A reliable internet connection is like the Holy Grail for many full time rv’ers.  How many crowded lodges have I come across full of surfers, with every available power outlet in use.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could have reliable, free internet right in the comfort of your own rig.  Did I just say “free”?  I did indeed, and now I’m going to tell you how!

I have researched this for a long time and have come up with a solution that will work 90% of the time.  This internet solution requires some hardware and software configuration, but at the end of the day, you can expect to have FREE internet 90% of the time.  That’s right, I said FREE!  How can this be you ask??!!

Ok, here is the answer to FREE internet on the road.  Most McDonalds, Starbucks, book stores, or even local libraries offer free Wi-Fi.  I know what you’re thinking; I don’t expect you to sit in at coffee shops, book stores, or the library all day.  This is about internet in your RV at the location of your choice!  This is about internet, in your jammies, with your own snacks an arm’s length away.

With this configuration, I have been able to pick up Wi-Fi  from up to 1.7 miles away!  I said it right, 1.7 Miles away!!!  This is surrounded by mountains.  With that in mind, I think I may be able to get up to 3 miles away on flat terrain.

To get access to FREE internet in your camper,you will need 5 pretty inexpensive hardware components.

  1.  100’ Cat6 Ethernet Cable
  2. RiteAV – Cat5e Network Ethernet Cable – Blue – 6 ft.
  3. Ubiquiti BULLET-M2-HP Outdoor 802.11b/g M2HP
  4. TP-Link 2.4GHz 15dBi Outdoor Omni-directional Antenna, N Female connector, weather resistant (TL-ANT2415D)
  5. NETGEAR WG602 54 Mbps 802.11g Wireless Access Point

I put links in the text to Amazon where you can find all these components for about $200.00.  This is a small sacrifice when thinking about what you pay a month for an Air Card plan or paying a campground a monthly fee for internet.

Putting all these components to work for you is not a hard task either.

1.  Pick a spot! The first thing to consider is where you are going to place your wireless access point and how you are going to run the 100’ Cat6 cable to your Ubiquiti Bullet and Wireless antenna.  I mounted my bullet and antenna on the existing TV antenna so that when I bring my TV antenna with the crank, it brings up the Celluteq antenna as well.  It will also lay flat for travel making this a seamless system.  You can mount this setup on a flag pole style mount, but that will require you setup and tear down every time you move.  For now, let’s keep going!

2.  So you have found the perfect spot for your wireless access point and antenna.  Now you will need to run the cable as neat as you can from the two devices.

3.  Once you have run the cable, connect the bullet to the antenna with the N style connector.  You just simply screw the two pieces together and you’re ready to go.

4.  Next plug the Cat6 cable into the Power Over Ethernet (POE) device that was provided with your Bullet.  From the 2nd port on the POE device, plug the 6’ Cat6 cable in and run that to the wireless access point connecting that to Port1 of 4.

Voila! Your hardware installation is complete and all that’s left is configuring the software of the wireless access point and the Bullet.

Using the supplied documentation (included with your wireless access point device), configure the wireless access point to meet your needs.  Once you have completed the configuration and you can connect your your access point wirelessly, you will need to configure the Bullet.  Complete the form below to download the PDF on how to configure the Bullet.

That’s it, you now have FREE internet from the local hotspots in your area.

Here are some more pictures for you to get an idea of what everything looks like:

 

Sizzling Summer Savings on your Fulltime Families Membership

Kimberly No Comments

For a Limited Time, Fulltime Families Annual Memberships are on Sale!

THIS ONLY HAPPENS ONCE A YEAR!

From now through Midnight July 17th,2017  Fulltime Families Annual Membership are 20% off!  That brings an Annual Membership to below $40!!!!

For just $36 you get access to savings on:

Plus, find travel companions with our easy to use Fulltime Families Family Finder and join us at Upcoming Events!

RENEWALS SAVE EVEN MORE!

There’s even better news for renewing members! Renew your membership during the month of July and save 25% off your next year!  To renew your account and take advantage of this limited time offer, send an email to Chris@FulltimeFamilies.com.

In the past year, we’ve added $1000s of savings to our list and have lots of new partnerships coming online this fall!  Don’t miss out on these great deals!  Renew your Fulltime Families Membership this July and pay only $33.75!

TIME IS LIMITED

Don’t miss out on this deal!

 

 

This Offer Expires July 17th, 2017 – After your payment processes, your PayPal  Account will be credited with the discount rate.  $9 for New Members, $11.25 for Renewing Members.

*Offer valid for New Members of these organizations only.  Sorry this offer can not be combined with other savings offers.

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Oct 28, 2011 0 comments

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