Camp BoTown

Our very first campsite EVUH was at Beaver Run RV Park near Metter, Ga. It was just a hop, skip and a jump from our home and even closer to the Camping World parking lot (see previous post). Wherever Baby Beluga parks will be called BoTown, a combination of our name and, well, “town”.

This park was very nice and clean, and the peeps there were oh, so friendly and helpful. This guy’s name is Huey. He and his family are frequent visitors and he was so helpful and led us right to our spot; number 15.


The place was really flat! That helped a lot for these first timers


We set up camp, strung our little string of Tiffany lights (we decided we need a second string) and Driver replaced a burned out bulb by the door.

“You should bring a ladder,” I said before we left the house.

Well, who needs a ladder when there is a big picnic table nearby?


This is Huey and Jingles. Jingles has bunny ears on because it is Easter weekend. We also met Huey’s wife and Jingles’ mom Janice. We hope to camp with them again someday.


Huey even shared his wood and lightered pine, which gave us a pretty fire in the firepit.


By evening, we toasted our little campsite and our big whale of a camper


Our next trip is in 2 weeks, a weekend outing with our church. We are looking forward to a sweet time with our church family.

Baby Sets Sail aka Shakedown Cruise

Baby was ready for her virgin cruise.

Well, not really.

I spent a good while watching Driver do this:


One of baby’s slides became “dead as a wedge” according to driver. The motor worked but the thing wouldn’t budge. I Googled the situation, read a bunch of Greek to Driver, and he scooted up under that thing and WHAM! Fixed it. I even made a video for others like us who are having the same problem.

Little did we know replacing a roll pin with a handy dandy rivet so we could get the slide in would be the least of our troubles.

Driver got Baby Beluga out of our teeny driveway by going cross-country. “I’m sinking!” He yelled. Thankfully, he didn’t really sink, it just felt like it.


But that’s not all. We took off and our brand-spankin-new hitch was….FAULTY.

Yes it was.

Scared the stew outta us.

Baby Beluga shoved us into Camping World – 10 minutes from our home – and with no one there to help (the Faulty Hitch Guy left moments before we arrived) we had to boondock.

What is boondocking, you ask? Well, it’s when you park anywhere and spend the night. Or week. Or whatever.

Camping World has a limited number of slots with electric hook ups and over to the far side of the parking lot, they have water and black water (poo) dumping stations.

This is us- 3rd one from the left.


We were so disappointed to spend our first night waiting on a service tech to fix our rig, but we made friends with fellow parking lot guests so that made us feel better.

And we saw this:


How stinkin cute is THAT?! I, being the shy one, walked up to the window and almost said, “What the crap?!” But caught myself in the nick of time and instead said,”that is adorable! What is it?” The 30-something guy behind the wheel explained that the big one is his dad’s and he is the driver (elderly dad was in passenger seat) and he and his wife sleep in the wee one.

Stinkin cute, I say.

So there we were, feelin like a couple of boondockers, so in utter desperation I decided to cook. We have a cute propane stove and oven in the galley, and I made this:


I don’t have much in the way of traveling spices so I packed chicken breasts and some butter and curry. Cooked that, and since Driver wanted sauerkraut and sausages, my other pan was busy so I took up the chicken and poured the can of beans right into the buttered-curry-chicken pan.

Wow. It was deelish!

And his sausage dinner plus my chicken dinner combined with a little battery operated tealight candle made for a great celebratory meal for our first night.

After their boondock dinners, the pups did this:


And I’m an avid crafter and had to get ready for a card making class I’m teaching next week, so I set up my supplies on our little table.


And made these little 3X3 cards and a box to put them in.



I think my friends will enjoy making them!

The next morning we had quite a bit of interest over our decrepit hitch.


An exchange, more than a little bit of upset plus $160 later, we had this:


When we drove off around noon, we were certain – without a doubt – and even though the Camping World people did not agree – that other hitch was seriously faulty because the new one was silky smooth! Easy towing and Baby Beluga didn’t bully us a single time as we drove the hour to the campground.

By 2pm we were settled in and camping, just like we’d dreamed for over 20 years.

It was bliss.


Tweaking Baby

Like all babies, our Baby Beluga is adorable, BUT she needed a bit of updating.

She is a 1999 model and needed to ditch that hey-baby-what’s-your-sign shiny goldtone hardware that adorned every cabinet and drawer.

I spent FO EVUH in Lowes, picking out the perfect ones. They had to be toned down, un-gold (yeah, that’s not a word), they had to be affordable and not butt-ugly (major challenge), they had to fit in the existing holes AND there had to be enough in the bins to do the job.

Baby’s Driver was roaming the store looking at lightbulbs, so I was digging in the bins, figuring out which ones we could use.

Finally, I found some that were per-fect-a-moso! Then driver walked up.

“Those?” He said with a bit of an “I-smell-something” look.

“I was thinking of these,” he said, reaching into a bin further down the aisle.

Driver is amazing and can do stuff like walk up and find the perfect hardware after I’ve been searching fo EVUH.

Wouldn’t you know, they met all the requirements and I loved them!

Here’s the old: they are SUPER shiny. And gold. (feel free to sing bonchickkabonbon, I won’t be offended)


And here’s the new:


Baby gets cuter every single day!

Oh! And I forgot to add this:

Baby’s Driver at work!


Baby’s FIRST gifts!

When our friends said they were stopping in on their way to a convention, we were excited. Bill and Emily are dear – and when I say dear, I mean DEAR – friends. They are the kind of people who open their home to a high school senior when her family has to move four hours away just so she won’t have to leave familiar ground and just so she can graduate in the only school system she ever attended.

Yes, that is our precious Bill and Emily and that high school senior was our baby girl. We love them for even so many more reasons and are blessed God allowed our paths to cross.

So we were giddy when they said they would be passing through! We would visit, go to dinner and introduce them to Baby Beluga.

Just before we went outside, Bill and Emily gave us a beautiful array of camellias – a deep red, just stunning! I wish I’d photographed them that day because I have been enjoying them tremendously and they are just a wee droopy by now.

And then they gave us these:


Sizemore pottery!!! Our friends and favorite potters, the Sizemore family, make amazing pieces and we cherish every one. These will be even more special having come from our friends.

The Sizemore’s are from Newnan, Ga and have an impressive studio adjacent to their home. Dale and Nancy’s sons James and Daniel followed in their parent’s artistic steps, and together, this family creates amazing works.

We are so honored that Baby’s first gifts are Sizemore creations and that they came from Bill and Emily.

Precious. Precious. Precious.

And we are blessed once again.

A few more creature comforts!

Driver came home after a week-long trip and found that I’d been busy getting Baby Beluga all dressed up.

First, I scrubbed and shined from the living room to the kitchen, then the bedroom to shower and toilet. She twinkled like a fairy princess!

Then I sewed a little band for this sweet little indoor-outdoor condiment-napkins-silverware holder!


I love it because I bought the fabric in Paris a few years ago and didn’t want to cut it – till now. The little button came from some that my mom had. When the light hits it jusssst right, it has a purple hue. We all know that Baby loves purple, and her interior is ever so purple, and that makes it sooo perfect, oh yeah.

Besides my find on a great galvanized bucket that I could elegantly pimp out, my Driver and I found this:


How stinkin’ sweet are those cups?! Less than $20 at Sam’s Club, is how! And they look FABBOOLUS from a distance too!


We will make them safe to travel of course, but once we’ve beached our whale, they will be cute as a button on the kitchen counter!

Driver, not to be outdone, decided to tweak a few things himself. Here he is working on the TV.


This man is brilliant. No. Really. I mean, I’ve been the Mrs. for 36 years and I have yet to meet a smarter man. Here’s just one example:


And then it does this:


Do y’all have any idea how hard it is to Snoopy Dance in an RV? Well, it is pretty hard, but it CAN be done! And dang skippy, I just had to Snoopy Dance left and right when I saw how he installed that TV.

And just when I thought it was as good as it gets, our precious friends Emily and Bill came to meet Baby! AND they brought us her very first gifts! I’ll share them in my next post, so stay tuned!

Stuff. Baby needed stuff.

It was plain and simple; Baby Beluga needed stuff.

Little hand towels for the kitchen, plastic plates and glasses, rugs and more. Among the things I love about Baby is staying in budget. We got her at the price we needed so that we could buy a few necessities as well as creature comforts.

As you may have noticed, there is a lot of purple in Baby Beluga. I found that brown and the new spa green goes well with the deep purple, so I picked these up:


At the top of the picture are a couple of fun embroidered towels that added some color to the beige. It’s just what baby’s kitchen needed.

I found so much silicone I’m happier than a Valley Girl. Baby’s cabinet drawers will be full of this stuff!


The blue bowls are just old fashioned plastic, but they were so cute I couldn’t leave ’em behind.

The only thing cooler than silicone spatulas is stuff that collapses. Yeah. It’s just so neat.

I found a dish drainer that folds flat! I have issues with my hands, so it’s super easy and wow, what a space saver!


But wait. There’s more.

These are waiting for their turn in the dishwasher.




My Driver picked out the big colander, I picked out the small one. We needed a mixing bowl too.

Here’s what they look like all popped out:



See what I mean? Cool and stinkin cute. They are called “Squish”, a perfect accessory for a Baby Beluga, dont’cha think? Oh. I almost forgot; these don’t “squish” but they do match and are super cute:



Lastly, Driver helped find these plates and cups – not squishy – but microwave safe AND they match! They are perfect for so many more reasons: great for outdoors, perfect for our grandkids, easy to wash and store and they don’t weigh much! Weight is a huge issue for a Baby Beluga so we watch her carefully!


I was pretty delighted to find these too- plastic wine glasses! Driver picked out some others but I liked these since I can use them for tea and stuff.


If you are looking for Squish, I found them at Target. I just LOVE target!


Of all the things I found for her today, THIS is just unbelievable. My friend Leia was with me and is witness to the love-at-first-sight. I had to have it. It is the softest most cuddly rug EVUH. It’s for the bath but my toes will hit it every time I get out of bed. Morning bliss. Ohhhh.



Here’s a picture that wouldn’t load earlier:


That’s all for today. I’m still in budget and have a bit more shopping to do. I guess you could say I’m a happy camper!

Bringing Baby Home

It’s a girl! Well, maybe she is… I’m not too sure but I’ve been referring to our long-anticipated RV as a girl – a girl baby Beluga whale!


She kinda resembles one, don’tcha think?


This is our girl in her natural habitat.  That is, until we get her weaned and in the Great Outdoors!  And yes, we have an HOA. I’m waiting for their sweet letter, a welcome note if you will!

But even the HOA cannot rain on this Beluga parade!  I am Snoopy Dancin’ happy. Or as my favorite Duck Dynasty dad says, “Happy. Happy. Happy.”  Yeah. THAT happy.

I will never forget the first moment when my Driver and I connected with Baby Beluga.  It looked like this:


Why I photographed this:  well, Driver and I have been talking about getting our very own RV for more than T*W*E*N*T*Y years and I did not want to Miss. A. Thing.  That very moment it clicked into place resonated with me. It was like pushing a button or crossing a line.  It was here. Now.  And you know what? I just had to have the picture of that “real” moment.

Driver was ready to go.  One more check of Beluga and off they went!


I followed behind in the SneakMobile.  One day I might tell the story of the SneakMobile and how it is black and how I gather up the ladies in my ‘hood and we sneak off after all have gone to bed, sneaking all the way to Dairy Queen or Sonic, in our P’s and our J’s, get ice cream and then sneak back home.  But there’s no time for that right now… we are talking about Baby Beluga, tee hee!  So off Driver went with Beluga following dutifully behind.  This is how they looked going into the ‘hood:


That thing on the far left of my windshield is not a taco; it’s something coming off of the interior of the SneakMobile. Driver has to fix it.  It’s an old paid-for car that I LOVE and don’t want to part with because parting with it means payments and I’m highly allergic to such things.

“Can you park it?” I asked.

Driver assured me he could.

And he did.

I really had no doubt.  I even helped a little, but I know he could have done it fine without me.


Once we got her home, we had to do the first, main thing.

Introduce Hoover to her.

“Thanks for the big doghouse,” he said.


Today was day 2.  Hoover and I took a nap, right there in the driveway.

It was perfect.


I had just picked out my Lucky Camping Socks when all of a sudden….

We found it.

She is a 36 foot dream on wheels and I am so excited I can hardly stand it. My Driver and I have been talking about her for 20 years and seriously looking for her for two years. Count ’em. TWO YEARS. It’s the longest we have ever waited, shopped and dreamed over a purchase. And we have done it with immense planning, saving and as much common sense as we could have mustered.

Spoiler alert! This is NOT the one we bought:

When we began searching, we found this:

Super expensive. This is one of the nicest 5th wheels on the market... which is why it won't be following us home!

Super expensive. This is one of the nicest 5th wheels on the market… which is why it won’t be following us home!

So we quickly nixed that idea. The plan is to actually own one like this one day, but after it’s 10 years old AT LEAST! I’m pretty sure we will love it even more if we don’t have to pay a gazillion bucks for it!

We continued to look. During the two years, we climbed in and out of dozens, certain that we’d found “the one”. Then we’d leave the dealer / individual / place where we found one unlocked / campsite where we’d stalked one we thought we might like / and we’d clear our heads and realize that no, it wasn’t “the one.”

And we kept looking.

Our criteria was simple enough: 5th wheel for him, pretty inside for me. I’m not even sure there are words to begin to describe how incredibly ugly the interiors of RVs can be, but I think I nailed it once or twice. My Driver even knew what I would and would not like.

“Don’t go in,” he would say, exiting the metal door and shaking his head. “It’s in the “puke” brown hue.”

Yes, I had described it well enough and he saved me multiple times from having to see yet one more puke brown / green / mauve interior.

No one could have been more surprised than me when we found our gem.


Oh. Yes. It. Is.

The fabrics (tiebacks, pillows, comforter, etc) are a deep royal purple color.

I know you are on the edge of your seats so I’ll just show you a picture.

Or two.

Super pretty. Who knew I'd love it? I figured I'd be sewing from dusk to dawn to cover the horrors of RV interiors gone wrong. But no. I like it. A lot.

Super pretty. Who knew I’d love it? I figured I’d be sewing from dusk to dawn to cover the horrors of RV interiors gone wrong.


When I said purple, I meant PURPLE! And guess what?




The only problem I can imagine having is when my sister Carol sees it. She is going to go nuts. She is the most purple loving person I know and dang skippy, she could OD on this purple. It is so rich and regal and has retained its deep hue even though it’s from 1999 and this is danged 14 years later!

Here she is. I'm so stinkin' happy I could hug her! She looks a bit like a baby beluga whale, doesn't she?

Here she is. I’m so stinkin’ happy I could hug her! She looks a bit like a baby beluga whale, doesn’t she?

Today we put the money down on our little dream wagon and I had to carry SOMETHING home so I took a pillow. Yes I did. I told the guy I was going to take something and he said, “please, not the furniture,” and I said, “No, silly, I just want something A) to see when I wake in the middle of the night and convince myself I dreamed it all and B) to match some other fabrics with. So the little pillow went home with us and it is sitting quietly beside me now, being REAL.

And tonight, REAL is wonderful.

We did a few things “first” after we put our down payment into the hands of Mr. Salesman. We walked around the RV store and looked at hoses and plugs and grills and chairs and little bowls that smush flat and big metal things that get screwed into the sides, top and bottom of the RV. I don’t know what all we saw, but I do know what I bought. I bought the socks. These aren’t any socks.

They are

My LUCKY RV Socks.

I had to have these in order to live a normal life.

I had to have these in order to live a normal life.

I found them when we first arrived at Camping World and had to have them, RV or not. I carried them in my hands for so long I was afraid I’d forget to pay for them so I left them at the register with a responsible looking young lady. Of course I couldn’t leave them with just anyone.

“These are my Lucky RV socks,” I told her.

“Um, huh?” She asked, and even cocked her head a bit.

“Yes. My Lucky RV socks,” I repeated. “I have carried them around for so long I think they are already mine, so I am afraid I’ll walk out with them.”

“Then they wouldn’t be lucky,” she noted.

“Exactly,” I agreed.

I left them with her, but I had confess I had to walk by a time or two to make sure they were still there and some traveler from Kentucky or Texas or wherever else didn’t buy them.

And indeed, we found the RV, we got the price where we desperately needed it and I stole a pillow. All because of my Lucky RV socks.

I shall wear them tomorrow and I may, just for good measure, take the pillow on a driving tour when I go to the insurance company, the bank and all the other places I have to go in order to make this wonderful thing happen.

So that’s where we are. Lucky RV socks, found RV, stolen pillow, downpayment, and now I have to try to sleep.

It’s like Christmas. At ten years old.

It’s just too wonderful.

Good night.