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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.

 

 

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!

 

Rambler Goes to Portland

Kimberly No Comments

today rambler went to vodoo doughnuts

Debutants, Debauchery and Death at the Derby

Kimberly 1 Comments

The Bucket Bunch at the 138th Kentucky Derby

“Who’s got the key to this gate?”

“Just break it down!” yelled the frantic police officer.  Just to the right of Sean’s arm, you can see the chain and the slight opening that led to the clearly labeled Emergency Exit.

The clearly labeled but very much locked “Emergency Exit”

The time was 6:45pm.  We’d been in the infield at Churchill Downs, on this, the first Saturday of May, also known as the 138th Kentucky Derby Day, for more than 11 hours!

Our neighbor, who’d also spent the last 11 hours in temps upwards of 90 degrees and 100% humidity, lay topless and lifeless on a blue tarp under that darker blue awning in the picture above.

Five armed officers thrashed steel toed boots at the gate, while paramedics counted chest compressions and charged up the defibrillator.

11 hours earlier, when we had claimed the speck of land adjacent to this Emergency Exit, Sean had said, “I wonder, who in the world, has the key to that?”.  Little did we know how prophetic that question would become.

It was 8 in the morning and we, 11 Bucket Listers, (4 adults and 7 children ranging in age from 13 years old to 22 mos) were getting acclimated to the patch of grass that would serve as our home for the entire day.

DJ dealt with the heat by taking a very long nap

I can remember willing myself to absorb every element of the derby experience.  For the last 35 years I have ached to attend “The Greatest 2 Minutes in sports” and here I was, finally!

At 10:30, the water from the early morning rain storm was evaporating, sending a wave of heat from the ground straight into the air.  Things were heating up and the ponies had begun to run.

The Infield is full of Free Stuff!

What I had always envisioned as an Upper Crust event full of fancy hats and minty cocktails, might have actually been in the bleachers, but here in the infield, where my blanket was laid out, was Kentucky’s version of ol’ school Nascar, complete with horse power and mud wranglin’ wild women!

When I had packed up my brood early in the morning, I had fretted over a possible dress code.  The irony, I bemused, as the police routinely shuttled people to the paddy wagon, each with considerably less clothing than the group before.

These girls got their own escort to the Paddy Wagon

As the day wore on, the crowds and lines grew exponentially.  The garbage cans overflowed en masse by 11am, giving the infield an apocolyptic auro.

Beer bottles were EVERYWHERE!  When the lines for luke warm $4 waters are longer than $8 ice cold beers, people drink beer – and lots of it!

The day was a long, hot, sweaty tirade of sun, punctunated by 9, 2 minute races.  That’s 18 minutes of entertainment in 11 hours!  The rest of the time was spent, picking horses from our program, standing on line making bets, collecting meager winnings and occassionally yelling at people who tried to encroach on our homestead.  Is that what you thought the Kentucky Derby would be like?  Me neither!

50,000 people make a lot of trash!

But as the Debutantes curls flattened and mascara ran down their faces, debauchery set in and death lingered in the air, seeking to grasp one unlucky soul who had miscalculated the brutal force of the heat and toll of the unrelenting sun.

Minutes before the 6:30 post time, our ‘camp’ was a flurry of activity as we packed up and got ready to make a mad dash to our trucks (parked 1 mile down the road).

What we had sacrificed in lack of shade all day (ultimately leaving with 1st degree sunburns) we made up for in portability as we had no cooler or awning to tote home.  You can click here to learn from our mistakes and make sure you are more prepared for this once in a lifetime event.

The crowd swelled toward the gates, and collectively held their breath as the Triple Crown contenders made their mad dash.   “I’ll Have Another” claimed the lilies for the fillys and we pivoted 90 degrees to make a hasty retreat.

And then the commotion started…

The Emergency Exit, quivered and wavered with each kick, but absolutely refused to yield egress to the victim who so desperately needed it as the seconds ticked away his life force.

As my eyes searched for the epicenter of the emergency, he came into focus.  A bloated, milky corpse with first responders swarming his body like buzzards.  With my 9 year old at my side, I stood frozen as the scene unraveled in front of us.

There was counting, and puffing, and pleading and praying, but the man could not be coaxed back to life.

Then a shout of “CLEAR” and the paddles were placed on his bare chest.  His body violently arched and floated back to the tarp.

Applause broke out!  He had been revived, but his status was still critical.

How would they transport him through this crowd to get him stabilized?

How long had he been unconscious before the police had arrived?

Would they ever get that Emergency Exit open?

And who in the world had that key?

I have no idea what happened to that man.  I hope he’s ok and maybe rethinking is attendance for next year’s derby.

As for me… the next time I attend the Kentucky Derby will be via a chauffeured limousine, watching the event from the comfort of my air conditioned box.  Until then, I’ll just tune in!

 

Gardening in Your RV; How to Grow a Garden on the Go

Kimberly No Comments

One of the things I miss from my Sticks and Bricks life, is my garden. The ability to walk outside and harvest fresh grown, organic produce for free is something I know a lot of full time rvers miss.  So when I saw Ashleigh Priest’s pictures of her “garden on the go” on the Fulltime Families Facebook Group, I got very excited and asked her to write an article on just how she made her mobile garden a reality. Here’s what she had to say:

Rver Rver, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Rver Rver, How Does Your Garden Grow?

 

2015 has brought my family a few epiphanies. We had a rough winter for 2014. Too much of it was spent in our camper, as this Floridian family tried to adjust to a Minnesota winter.  It seemed something was always happening. First our truck needed an expensive repair. Our water access port kept busting every couple of weeks. The truck broke down a second time. A third time. We were behind on all bills.  Bad weather, meant work days missed and money was tight.  Some weeks we had to decide between food or paying the cellphone bill. Food obviously came first.

RV Garden

RV Garden

Boy food is ridiculously expensive! How do people with large families do this?

Here’s epiphany number one.

If only we had a garden we could have healthy food. Too bad we travel.

March came around and my back went out. I’m young. This should not happen. It’s always attributed to my weight. Yes, I’m very unhealthy.

This was epiphany number two.

I NEED to get healthier! I really wish we could have a garden. How can this become something we can do?

I did research. Joined gardening groups on Facebook. Asked if anyone in the traveling groups have a garden. The limited replies I received were in the “that’s a cool idea” vain..  and if I followed through with the garden to keep everyone posted.

Garden on the Go

Garden on the Go

So, I got to work.

I planned out what I wanted to grow. What I’d use for containers. How to make my own compost (what’s a better fertilizer than compost 😉 ).

My original plan was to build planter boxes from pallets, have holes on both sides, put some rope through the holes, and make a loop on each side.

Then take two 2x4s, drill 7/8 inch holes in them and put a wooden dowel in the holes after putting the dowels through the rope and hang up the planter boxes. The 2x4s would have a rubber covering on the top and lean against the camper.

Phew! Let me say if that sounded like a lot of work, it was! With two toddler boys, I was already stretch thin. I got two planters built and that was that.

I planted sweet peas and green beans in the boxes.

Then I simplified.  I used four 5 gallon buckets to plant tomatoes and corn in. Everything got covered at night because there were still cool nights.

Then we got a surprise snow! That storm killed all my plants except my sweet peas. I decided to wait until May to replant.

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This time I had a different plan.

I bought some storage tote boxes, soil, pea pebbles.

I took my original 5 gallon buckets, and with a hammer, and a nail, poked 4 holes in the sides of the buckets at the bottom. I put about 3 inches of pea pebbles in the bucket then filled up the bucket about 2/3 full with soil and added my seeds for corn and tomatoes (I feel like I just did this lol). Finally, I watered the seeds and set them aside.

I replanted green beans in the wooden box I used before. I watered them and put the box aside.

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I was ready to expand my garden.

Butter crunch lettuce, spinach, green bell pepper, parsley, and basil seeds were all planted in the storage totes, which had been prepped like the buckets, with several holes and pea pebbles topped with soil.

In one tote, I planted the lettuce and spinach together. This way I have an instant salad with the combination of these greens.

The other box was a little more tricky. I went to Dollar Tree and bought two long, plastic planter boxes. I poked holes in them. Next I filled the tote box the way I did the other containers. I then grabbed two pieces of broken concrete blocks we had laying around and placed them on top of the soil in the tote box. Afterwards I placed the Dollar Tree plastic planters, each on the concrete pieces. There was space in between these, which is where the green bell pepper was planted. In one planter I put seed for basil and the other for parsley.

So far everything has sprouted wonderfully. I’ve harvested two large handfuls of sweet peas already. My lettuce has been harvested for salad as I please. My corn is growing along with my tomatoes. My last box has just sprouted in the last couple weeks.

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The dirt on dirt.

I mentioned compost earlier. We made our own compost as well. We bought a Roughneck tote box (I think like 3 gallons) in dark blue. We have put in things such as used coffee grounds and filter, banana peels, orange peels, egg shells, ashes, mud, corn husks, and whatever else we thought of. We then bought fishing worms (don’t judge) and added them to the box as well. We read that the worms help aid in the breakdown of the matter and their excretions are good for the soil. I will be adding some compost to each plant this week.

I have been asked how we will transport our garden when we move. We have a bumper pull travel trailer so we are able to put the garden in the bed of the truck. We have a contractors topper on our truck so the garden will be protected during travel. As for crossing borders, we’ve never been somewhere we have been stopped, so we will address that if we ever encounter that problem. So I will say, use your best judgement and plan ahead.

Another option would be to place your garden in your shower during moves.

Rver Garden1

I’m excited to see how well our traveling garden does. I hope to have enough of a harvest to give me the opportunity to learn to can as well.

For those considering gardening on the go, this is my first garden ever. I have not killed the plants this go around (so far). If you put your mind to it and do some research, you can do it! Happy trails!

Ashleigh Priest is a proud wife of a union pipe welder/fitter. Mother of two rambunctious toddler boys, traveling this great land since 2011. Always looking for the best in life to make my family the happiest and healthiest it can be.

You can find her on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ashleigh.huggins1?fref=ts

RV Basics Seminar Spots Open at Upcoming Fulltime Families Rally

Kimberly No Comments

To increase the education within the FtF community, Fulltime Families has partnered with MyRVSchool.com to bring RV Basics Seminars, Driving Courses, and RV Weigh Services to the upcoming 7th Annual Fulltime Families Family Reunion Rally, hosted in Tallahassee, Feb. 2 – 5th, 2017.

myrvschool

A RV Basics Seminar will be hosted 1/31 and 2/1 and include:

10 hours of RV Classes (5 hrs per day) $149

RV Weighing $40

RV Driving in Your own Rig!

 

MyRVSchool.com will also be bringing additional education opportunities to this event including RV Driving training, in your OWN RV!

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You can reserve your driving course here.

Fulltime Families is thrilled to be able to bring these educational aspects to the event.  Proper RV Education saves RVers money, time and prevents accidents and unnecessary losses.

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Additionally, MyRVSchool.com will be offering RV weight services.  Overweight RVs contribute to hazardous conditions on the road as well as increased wear and tear on equipment.  RV Weighing is fast, easy and affordable.  Visit My RV School.com’s online scheduler to reserve your RV Weighing spot.

These optional services are available to all FtF Family Reunion Rally Attendees.  Don’t have your spot yet?  Find out about this event and make your reservations here!

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Recap Video Released from Fulltime Families Colonial Times Rally

Kimberly No Comments

This week, the recap video, highlighting the fun, educational, and fellowship that took place at the recent Fulltime Families Colonial Times Rally was released on the Fulltime Families Youtube Channel:


This event, attended by over 50 families and 350 attendees, boasted Colonial Inspired Activities including:

Colonial Family Games

Candle Making

Ice Cream in a Bag

A 3 day Improv workshop hosted by professional Acting Coach, Russ the Big Guy

Educational Seminars

A Colonial River “Crossing” with homemade boats and paddles

and the Main Event, hosted by Fass Fuel, a Colonial Town Dance under the Stars!

You can check out the complete schedule of this event here: Tentative Schedule for FtF Colonial Times Rally

And be sure to join us for our next event, the 2017 Fulltime Families 7th Annual Family Reunion in Tallahasee, FL.

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2 Ways to Save on Internet with New Fulltime Families Wifi Partners

Kimberly No Comments

ftf-badge-partnerInternet access is a critical component for many full-time rving families.  From online curricula, to your location independent income source, and beyond to connecting with your mobile community, reliable, high speed, internet access is a cornerstone to long term, slow travel on your own terms.

Fulltime Families has two internet provider partners:

 

Introducing our newest Fulltime Families Partner: Mobile Internet Satellite.com

The only mobile Internet connection that can always (baring extreme weather) be available is satellite. This rather “amazing” option will provide Internet access virtually anywhere in the lower 48 states of the United States.

Who Can Benefit from Mobile Satellite Internet?

If your cellular connection keeps “dropping” you or the connection is unbearably slow or non-existent … if the closest Hot Spot is an hour’s drive away … if you cannot afford to be without Internet access for a day or longer occasionally …

… then you can most likely benefit from mobile satellite Internet!

There is a lot to understand, when it comes to mobile satellite Internet which is why Fulltime Families is thrilled to have a dedicated resource who can answer all your questions and determine if Mobile Satellite Internet is the right fit for your family.

Mobile Internet Satellite can provide “The Always Online Solution” with an easy to set up tripod-based Satellite Internet system. The folks at MIS bring over 13 years of experience and carry a complete line of mobility accessories.

And they are offering Fulltime Families Members an exclusive $100 Rebate off setup!

Reach out to them today at http://www.mobileinternetsatellite.com/contact-us.php and explore the connectivity of Mobile Satellite Internet.

FtF Colonial Times Rally has 2 Spots Left!

Kimberly 1 Comments

We have two spots left for the upcoming FtF Colonial Times Rally, Sept 8 – 11th, hosted at TallPines Campground in Bainbridge, NY.

Attendees of this historically immersive event will participate in:

  • Kids Run Colonial Marketplace
  • Colonial Period Crafts and Educational Hands On Activities like candle-making, butter making, homemade ice cream, tin art, etc.
  • Colonial Times Family Field Day
  • Crossing of the River – Make your boat Family Activity
  • Adult Discussions
  • Teen Trading Challenge
  • Educational Classes
  • A Town Dance

To reserve your spot, visit the Colonial Times Rally Shop.

Fulltime Families is looking for Corporate Partners for this event, To promote your product or service email kimberly@fulltimefamilies.com

Superhero Rally Wraps Up in Montrose, CO

Kimberly No Comments

The Fulltime Families Superhero Rally has wrapped up at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Montrose, CO.

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Attendees participated in a variety of superhero themed activities, seminars, and crafts, headed up by the event’s Wagon Master, Laura Hamilton (FtF Lifetime Member).

Some activities hosted during the 4 day family friendly event were:13432430_10153710464627844_1697444592130315714_n

  • Superhero Costume Making and Origin Story
  • Superhero Sidekick Pet Parade
  • Superhero Vehicle Assembly / Parade
  • Superhero Dance
  • Super Solar Seminar -Harnessing the Power of the Sun

 

You can download the complete schedule of events here.

Super Hero Rally Schedule

Check out our event calendar for additional upcoming events.

 

Fulltime Families appreciates the support of our corporate partners for this event!

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If you are interested in promoting your your brand at a Fulltime Families Event, email kimberly@fulltimefamilies.com

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