The Start to A Wonderful #RVhoneymoon

Well, the guys over at Avalon RV Center pulled through and got our RV all fixed up! I told them I would write something nice about them since they helped us out, so here it is guys. Hope you’re reading this!

We got the RV back on Thursday around 4 and drove him home! We unhitched my car and ran a few last-minute errands. How we still had errands to run as we were supposed to leave dayyys ago is beyond me. We got home from our errands and went to load some stuff into the RV and the electronic step didn’t work. Weird. As I’ve mentioned, we are not very RV savvy yet (and I doubt ever) so we just assumed (there’s that word again) we were doing something wrong and went and got ice cream at Strickland’s instead of messing with it. We thought maybe it would fix itself by the time we returned. No such luck. I had the bright idea maybe we should just turn the RV on and that would fix it. Well, it didn’t fix it but THE RV WOULD NOT TURN ON. It wouldn’t even try to turn over. REALY!?! Are there hidden cameras somewhere, because this cannot be normal.

Well, it is now 8 pm and our only choice is to call GoodSam as we are members. The guy walks us through a few things and still nothing. He says the only guy he could find to come help us would be around 9 am tomorrow. “Better than sometime next week,” is all we can say. We get the rest of the RV loaded up because “we are leaving tomorrow even if we have to push the RV in neutral down the street to the Walmart.”

The mechanic arrives at 9 am ish, to our pleasant surprise, and informs us our battery is 110% dead and we need a new one. Fine. He goes and gets a new battery and puts it in and Stan (thanks mom for the great RV name) starts right up!!! YAY!!! I wanted to kiss the mechanic I was so happy! We loaded up the last few things and hit the road around noon! #RVhoneymoon has officially started!!!

Mark, officially in the captain's chair!

Mark, officially in the captain’s chair!

We head towards PA as our plan is to head east to the coast and then up it into New England and possibly Canada! Everything is great, we are riding smoothly and enjoying the drive and views and company. Our first stop along #RVhoneymoon is a place Mark found called “Joe’s Bar.” It doubles as a taxidermy museum. In fact, there were more animals than bar. Also, you can smoke in bars in PA apparently so we got out of there STAT after viewing the museum.

Joe's Bar everyone!

Joe’s Bar everyone!

Now for the fun stuff. The keys have to be in the ignition for my car to be towable. As we were planning on walking around the little downtown and go to “Joe’s Bar,” we didn’t think it wise to leave the doors unlocked and car keys in the ignition whether it was hooked up or not. When we got back, we went through the series again to hook up the car to be towable and put the robo-brake in. We start on our merry way and get about .1 miles and people start honking at us. WHY!?! I know we are a big RV driving through your little town, we’re sorry we are blocking intersections. But then we see it, smoke billowing out from my car’s tires. (slightly dramatic, not billowing so much as barely smoking- poetic license over here). Anyway, we stop and realize the robo-brake is just in the down position, so we’ve been basically dragging my car with the brakes initiated. Oh vey.

It has been about 4 hours since we left home for anyone keeping track.

Considering we were blocking about 85% of the town’s downtown intersection, we decided our best plan is to just unhook the whole thing, test the car to make sure we didn’t cause permanent damage and I would just follow Mark to the campground about 30 mins away and we would readdress robo-brake tomorrow. So for about 1/5 of our #RVhoneymoon, Mark and I weren’t even in the same vehicle. *golf clap*

I'm driving my car and following Mark. The drive to Brenner's Meadow Run was reallyyy beautiful and my iphone pic taken while driving doesn't really do it justice.

I’m driving my car and following Mark. The drive to Brenner’s Meadow Run was reallyyy beautiful and my iphone pic taken while driving doesn’t really do it justice.

The rest of the evening went smoothly. We put some food in our bellies and went to Walmart because, you guessed it, we realized we forgot stuff and needed stuff we hadn’t even thought of. It is the start of our first full day of #RVhoneymoon and we’re headed to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water and Laurel Canyons! We will address robo-brake tomorrow when we leave. Stay tuned for pics and I’m sure more stories of trial and error (which I know is the real reason most of you read this 🙂 )

Our first night at a campground!!!

Our first night at a campground!!!

xoxo,
Rachel

p.s. I just spellchecked this, and I had spelled “brake” – “break” the entire post.

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Update on “Delays, Delays, Delays”

We unfortunately did not leave this morning as scheduled. We don’t even have the RV back from the dealership yet and as of about 10 am they still hadn’t even started the work!!! UGH! Trying to keep a positive mind but all we want to do is get on the road!! We are more or less all packed up… well actually we just have files of stuff around the house ready to be loaded into the RV when we get it back!

Channeling my inner positive spirit: When we get our RV back before the shop closes at 5, we will get everything loaded up tonight and hit the road first thing Friday morning!!!

xoxo,
Rachel

Delays, Delays, Delays

Hi all! Sorry it has been awhile! Back when we planned this trip, we said we were going to leave for our RVhoneymoon the day after our wedding. We reconsidered that soon thereafter and decided that we didn’t need the added stress of planning & packing for an RV trip in addition to us (me) planning our wedding. This was probably the best decision we’ve ever made as I.WOULD.HAVE.SNAPPED. In fact, my inner bridezilla did appear a few times, which I’m not proud of per say. But hey, you only get married once right?!

We took our PreHoneymoon trip to Turks & Caicos (read about it here & here & here) the day after our wedding and decompressed for 8 days. It was so incredibly perfect. We came home refreshed and ready to plan for the RV honeymoon! We had tentatively planned to leave May 30th after getting back from the PreHoneymoon. The RV was not finished upon our arrival back from Turks & Caicos. Delay #1. This delay wasn’t too disappointing because Mark was in the process of buying our 3rd rental property in Scottsdale, AZ so we flew out to AZ to do some planning, negotiating and buying! More on this new rental later!

Recap of some of our adventures! Watson Lake | Turks & Caicos | Miami

Recap of some of our adventures! Watson Lake | Turks & Caicos | Miami

When we returned from AZ, the RV remodel was done! It looks soooo good! If you haven’t seen the remodel, check it out here! Delay #2 comes in the form of busy schedules and too many moving parts. I’m kind of stretching here with this being a delay as our lives are always a hot mess (in the best possible way, I would never change it) but it does feel like a lot of things have happend in the last few weeks. We’re in the process of selling our house in Ohio to prep for a probable move to Arizona in the future, Mark is going through some major business changes, I’m about an entire year behind in the book-keeping (accounting) for a few of our side projects including the vacation rentals and really need to get caught up, I needed to hit my 100th class in Pure Barre so that I could wear my tutu in class and sign the barre, etc etc etc. All of these things compiled together and there was little time to take the RV back into Camping World for them to fix a few things and for us to learn how to use the thing! We pushed our tentative departure date to June 13ish. We spent an entire day getting lessons on how to work the RV & took videos of all the stuff! I think we are good to go with that!! We also turned our learning day into a shopping day at Camping World! Everything there seems so necessary for an RVhoneymoon road trip. It is a dangerous place I’ve decided. We then did the next most logical thing, went to Target. Because Target is the least “dangerous” store on the planet.

Some of our new kitchen things!

We did get some shopping done for the RV in the meantime! Some of our new kitchen things!

Delay #3 is all about towing a car. We had gone back and forth between towing a car or not. We ultimately decided that because we want to see as much of the country as possible, including cities, we needed to tow a car so we could be more mobile when we needed. By the time we figured out that we couldn’t tow Mark’s car (as was our original plan) and made appointments to get my car tuned up and get it some tires – we were another week behind. But this was much needed as a mechanic probably hasn’t looked at my car since 2006 when it was built and it was approx 15,000 miles overdue for an oil change. I take such good care of my belongings. June 20th estimated departure date.

Some goodies we bought from Camping World

Some goodies we bought from Camping World

Delay #4 Still about towing the car. We assumed that towing a car was a simple process. Well, we knew we would have to get a hitch but we thought that was simple. Wrong. We went to Camping World where we bought our RV first to ask about how to tow a car. The guy told us there were 3 choices. (Have I mentioned that I’m still recovering from all the wedding decisions and lightweight freeze when anyone asks me to make a decision almost 2 months later). We were not prepared for 3 choices. Basically we could, flat tow (all 4 car wheels down), 2 wheels down tow, or get a trailer and put the entire car on the trailer. Well shit, with option 3 we could have towed Mark’s car after all. research people, research. Flat tow is the easiest and doesn’t involve strapping wheels down to a trailer (dirty) every time we need to drive the car. Flat tow is also the most expensive and involves adding parts and pieces (official terms) to my car. Guess what, Camping World told is it would be August before they could get us in. Estimated departure date August?! Well that ain’t gonna work. We spent a day or two going to a few RV/trailer places learning more about all the types of towing and the soonest we could get any of it done. We decided to flat tow my car after all the running around. We found a place that could have all the parts and pieces ordered and delivered and do the work on Wednesday the 25th. Departure date June 26th.

Trying out my new chair while sitting in the driveway.

Trying out my new chair while sitting in the driveway. I’m sure the neighbors appreciated this masterpiece.

Possible Delay #5.  As we were taking the RV to FastSigns to get some RVhoneymoon.com decals put on today, we found out that the AC doesn’t work. There is a fuse that is permanently tripped or something. Neither Mark or I are handy (we didn’t even own a tool box until May 3rd – Thanks for the wedding gift Bankovich, Bankovich and Frank families) and clearly fuses are beyond a screwdriver and hammer fix. So we will keep our fingers crossed and hope the RV people can fix “it” on Wednesday. Otherwise, Delay #5 it is!

How cute are our new decals!! Love!

How cute are our new decals!! Love!

But the good news is, we are so close to leaving for the RVhoneymoon! We are more or less all packed up and all our goodies are purchased and in their new home! Hopefully it is just a matter of a few days before we are on the road! I’ll keep you posted!

xoxo,
Rachel

Our Packing List

Forget what we need to have in our RV, I’m talking what we want to have in our RV. RVescape covered the boring, albeit 100% necessary list of things we need to pack here, but now that we are safe and fully operational – I want to start buying & packing the FUN stuff!

I should mention, however; that neither one of us can still figure out how to properly close and lock our new “front door” so “safe and fully operational” might be a slight exaggeration. I’ve still mentally checked that box off and am ready for the fun stuff! Mark will figure the door out, I’m confident.

I should also probably mention that aside from driving the RV from point A to B (a total of 10 miles), we’ve spent zero minutes learning how to use our RV. I don’t know how any of it works. Electricity? nope. How to take a shower? nah. How to empty the toilet? Certainly not. What runs off the generator? Um, what. How to use the kitchen appliances? Isn’t that what restaurants are for? How to connect _____ (I don’t even know “what” connects) when we are at an RV park? Seriously, I can’t even complete the entire sentence because that is how little I know. So “safe and fully operational” is a giant exaggeration. Still, fun stuff people!

Here is what is on our  packing list!

The 9 things we simply need to have for our RV trip!

The 9 things we simply need to have for our RV trip!

1. solar charger. I’m under the impression (and common sense leads me to believe) that electricity isn’t necessarily easy to come by while driving down the road. I believe it comes from our generator which I believe runs off gas or propane. (We really need a crash course in RVing). Either way, I like to be on my phone 24/7 and it dies in about .8 minutes so charging it is a big deal for me. Why not save some energy and use the sun to charge for me! Lets just assume that we are places where there is sun…
2. propane grill. I’ve been known to grill in the middle of winter in my UGG boots and winter coat because I simply love grilled food. A grill is a no brainer for this trip.
3. bonfire tools. You can’t have a bonfire without hotdogs, s’mores and other goodies right?! My mother had the genius idea a few years back to make little pizza pockets and sandwiches using crescent rolls and sandwich irons over the bonfire! If you haven’t done this, highly recommend as it is a fun twist on traditional bonfire food!
4. RV GPS. They make a specific GPS for RVs. I’m going to assume it will help us SUPER NEWBIES out quite a bit. Don’t worry Google Maps, I won’t forget about you!
5. travel steam buddy. I will start this off by saying I Hate (capital H) ironing. I have never ironed successfully without burning myself, I always iron more wrinkles in than out, and it takes forever. The travel steam buddy seems like the perfect solution because I know Mark will pack 700 button ups that will need some attention after being packed away in a tiny RV closet!
6. lounge chairs w/ detachable tray. As Mark and I will be working from the road during our trip and we’ve never “shared” an office, let alone one as tiny as an RV, I’m picturing my workspace to be OUTSIDE and IN THE SUN! The tray is perfect for my computer. Let’s be honest tho, I really want the chair so that I can lay out in the sun and the tray for my fruity cocktail.
7. fold-up bikes. I just think these will be super fun to have in the RV and the perfect toy to have to explore fun places we find along the way!
8. Pure Barre DVDs and equipment. This is just for me! I’ve recently found a deep & true love for Pure Barre. Read more about it here. I am going to try to take classes at as many studios throughout the USA as possible, but I know there will be states that don’t have a single PB studio – I’m talking to you Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont (PS, we’ve decided to head to New England first on our RV Honeymoon) and I will need to have my Pure Barre fix in the RV. The at home equipment is perfect for this! Just pop a DVD in I’m all set!
9. bluetooth speaker. The perfect way to have some good tunes while on the road!

 

Things We Are Leaving Behind:

1. TV. We think our RV Honeymoon is the perfect time to leave the TV out and just enjoy the experience. (and enjoy our iphones, tablets, kindles..) baby steps.
2. kayaks. A lot of blogs talked about bringing kayaks. We’re going to pass.
3. random kitchen gadgets. They make a ton of RV specific gadgets like a microwave pressure cooker. In theory it sounds great, but I made it through 2 years of college dorm life with just a microwave while adamantly avoiding the dining halls and I lived. I might have gained some weight, but I lived. I’m confident that we’ll be able to make do with our oven/stove and microwave without needing 1,000 RV kitchen gadgets.

That is all for now. What have you packed for your RV trips? Have I forgotten anything major? Let me know!

xoxo,
Rachel

The Grand RV Remodel

Let’s flash back real quick to the day we bought our RV. We love her (still accepting names for her) but decided she needed a little facelift.

The day we bought our RV <3

The day we bought our RV ❤

I put Mark in charge of the remodel as I was doing last minute wedding things and just didn’t have the time to help pick between shades of paint or to stay on our contractor who would be doing the work. Mark did the only logical thing in this situation.. he hired someone else to make design decisions and to coordinate with the contractor. Works for me. Whatever. Turns out the designer he hired, Anne, is/was amazing. She totally took our vision and made it come to life. AND all the work was done on time. A++ for Anne!

Here was our inspiration! If you haven’t used or heard of Houzz, go to the site immediately. It will get all your creative home remodeling & decorating juices flowing, even more so than Pinterest!

Our inspiration via Houzz

Our inspiration via Houzz

 Ta Da!!

RVBeforeAfter

Before & After of the “entire” RV

TableBeforeAfter

Before & After of our kitchen

And some more afters:

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Another shot of the kitchen!

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The bathroom!

IMG_9283

The bedroom!

Can’t wait to call this babygirl (seriously, name suggestions people!!) home in just a few weeks!!

xoxo,
Rachel

WEDDING PICS, well the preview anyway!

I’ve bragged about her before on here, but our photographer and “new” friend over at emilymillayphotography.com did such an outstanding job capturing our wedding day. Seriously, outstanding. I’m not sure how she narrowed it down to these for our highlight reel and I’m not sure how Mark and I are supposed to narrow it down and pick ones to print, but we will see.

R&M-4

My reception dress!

R&M-35

My sweet mother and I!

My handsome groom getting ready!

My handsome groom getting ready!

The best girls I could possibly ask for!

The best girls I could possibly ask for!

Mark and I did a "first look" right before the ceremony. It was such a special moment to see each other for the first time alone, except for the photogs and videographer of course.

Mark and I did a “first look” right before the ceremony. It was such a special moment to see each other for the first time alone, except for the photogs and videographer of course. Highly recommend doing a first look on your special day!

first kiss

First kiss! See that shiny new ring on his finger?!

Our adorable flower girl!

Our adorable flower girl!

Our favorite people in the world!

Our favorite people in the world!

love him so so much

love him so so much

The sunset was the perfect end to our special day and led to some gorgeous pictures!

The sunset was the perfect end to our special day and led to some gorgeous pictures!

You can view the entire preview here! password: rmwedding.2014.0.5

Hope you enjoy our pictures as much as I do!
xoxo,
Rachel

Watson Lake | Prescott, AZ

We find ourselves in Arizona wrapping up some last-minute business stuff this week in prep for our #RVhoneymoon! Mark and I have 2 investment properties in Arizona that we rent out as vacation rentals and we are looking at buying a third! To say the least, the rentals are successful and our renters love vacationing in our homes! We’ve had some nightmares.. the neighbor ran her car into our sun room, some renters threw all the outdoor furniture into the pool, a broken AC in the middle of an Arizona Summer.. but the highs greatly outweigh the lows.

car.. sunroom.. not great

car.. sun room.. not great

It is sometimes stressful managing a property remotely especially with a 3 hour time difference but I love hearing how much our renters enjoyed their time in our house and how they appreciate the small attention to detail that we put into the houses! Anyway, we flew out early Thursday and went straight to the house we are potentially buying. It is in the middle of the desert, literally where the black top ends.

because *right here* seemed like the natural breaking point for this road.

because *right here* seemed like the natural breaking point for this road.

It is a gorgeous setting and I could look at the mountains all day so I was in heaven. We meet with a few contracts to guestimate some costs to make sure the numbers will work with this investment. It all looks a go so we will mark this trip a success! Naturally no one wanted to meet with us on Sunday so we had the day to relax. It was a hot 108 in Scottsdale and Mark somehow managed to get himself a nice little sunburn  in the 27 seconds he spent surveying the backyard yesterday, so laying by the pool was out of the question. sigh. We packed (water bottles and sour patch kids, watermelon) and hit the road to Prescott, AZ- a 2 hour drive north. It was approx 15 degrees cooler here and it was on a ton of google searches for “day trips from Phoenix” so it seemed as good an idea as any.

Mark and I get super lucky 99% of the time when we just randomly decide to go somewhere. This time was no different as it just so happened that Prescott, AZ was celebrating its 150th anniversary and the city was filled with street festivals. Our favorite. We spent the day walking through the street fairs, indulging in “whiskey row” & relaxing at Watson Lake. Perfection my dears.

Sunset lookout point where we stopped when I had to pee about 15 minutes into the drive

Sunset Point where we stopped when I had to pee about 15 minutes into the drive.

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Part of Whiskey Row!

sorry my headband is beyond ridiculous but my hair needed washed about 4 days ago and I was desperate to cover it up. sippin' some whiskey before noon because we can.

Sorry my headband is beyond ridiculous but my hair needed washed about 4 days ago and I was desperate to cover it up. Sippin’ some whiskey before noon because we can!

when in Rome, right?!

When in Rome, right?!

Watson Lake!

Watson Lake!

but seriously, gorgeous.

But seriously, gorgeous.

sorry not sorry. #purebarrelife

sorry not sorry. #purebarrelife

That is all for now! If you get the chance to visit Arizona. DO NOT HESITATE. From downtown Phoenix and its skyscrapers to the middle of nowhere with desert dirt roads, we could not love this state more!

xoxo,
Rachel