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

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

Turks & Caicos Wrap Up

So we were scheduled to depart at 4:20 pm to be on our way home. Unfortunately our plane hasn’t even left Miami yet (current time 4:21). ugh. This has not been the easiest of travel for this vacation (our flight was cancelled on the way here and delayed 24 hrs) but I’m not complaining because I got to spend a week in paradise with my HUSBAND! Plus it just makes me that much more excited for our RV Honeymoon because.. guess what.. NO FLIGHT DELAYS!

As I’m sitting in a remote corner of this airport, sipping a bloody marry (why not?) & struggling to connect to wifi I’m thinking back over the past week and reliving all the memories. We are 10 days happily married, yes I’m going to be that person.. at least for now & just had the best week!

Here are some more pics from this week:

 

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My hubby strolling on the beach

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The sunsets were to die for.

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Life-size mural of the Turks & Caicos Island.

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I’m so happy my husband/best friend will let me be goofy in public (and sometimes he plays along too :o)

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You know you’ve had a good vaca when THIS is your tan line

I’m a Pure Barre fan and spent one beach walk “Lift, Tone, Burning it across the white sandy beaches. Missed my post about Pure Barre? Check it out here!

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How cute is this wifey sweatshirt? It is soooo comfy too! Check out teambrideapparel.com for other super cute Bride & Bride To Be clothing!

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showing off my “wifey” shirt – how cute?!

 

And that’s a wrap everyone! It is now 5:07 and we’re told our plane is on the way. I’m secretly hoping that we get stuck in Miami tonight because I don’t want this week to end. Fingers crossed?

 

xoxo,

Rachel

How Pure Barre Saved My Wedding

How Pure Barre Saved My Wedding

Okay, okay…that is a little dramatic. BUT if you have read and/or decide to keep up on my (our) blog, you will soon learn that I do have a little flair for the dramatics.

 

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In all honestly, Pure Barre really has been the thing that has kept my sane throughout the last few months. I had heard about this Pure Barre thing here and there for a littlewhile and even have good friends who had urged me to try a class out. Of course I hadn’t listened and was content running on a treadmill in my basement and hating life (it was winter in Ohio, there were few options). I was intrigued with the idea of Pure Barre and its low impact class style with ballet, pilates & whatever other influences that I had been told went into the class, but the cost at $20 a class roughly and the 35 minute drive to the closest studio weren’t really up my alley. I can also note that running has been the only consistent exercise that I have ever stuck with, so I didn’t have high hopes for adding Pure Barre into my life.

I was laying in bed one morning, debating on whether it was time to finally get up and start my day (it wasn’t), but I had gone through my normal procrastination routine of Email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TimeHop, CNN, Pinterest and back to Facebook to see if anything new had happened in the last 20 minutes (nope) and resorted to opening my Groupon App. Basically this would be one of the best decisions I ever made. See, procrastination IS key. The first thing Groupon recommend for me was a package at Pure Barre. It offerend 10 classes for $69 dollars. SCORE. I could absolutely handle committing to driving to 10 classes if they were only $7 a class! I signed up for my first class about 2 weeks later as it took me 2 solid week to muster up the courage to actually try this unknown.

I was addicted about 3 classes in.

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The first few classes I felt like a fish out of water. I felt like I was flailing around and not doing any of it right. How can lifting my leg only 1 inch, or standing on my tip toes and squatting my legs only 1 inch or doing a crunch where I only move 1 inch or using a 1 lb weight really do anything? But lo and behold my seat (Pure Barre’s word for butt) was shaaaking after about 8 leg lifts, my thighs were shaaaking after a few squats and my abs were shaaaking after one set of crunches and my arms? My arms felt like jello after using 1 lb weights. The next day I felt it even more.

It took me about 20 days to use my 10 free classes and I immediately took advantage of their “Bride to Be” package which gave me 3 months unlimited classes! I have been consistently going to classes ever since then. The first class I took was 12/20/2013 and as of 4/22/2014 I have completed 72 classes. My original goal was to hit 100 classes because YOU GET TO WEAR A TUTU AND TIARA DURING CLASS and I really want to do that, before the wedding, but that ain’t gonna happen. This was an unrealistic goal anyway because on the day I made it my “goal,” I would have had to go to a class every single day from then until the wedding. Now my goal is to hit 100 classes before we leave for our RV Honeymoon Adventure and I’m 100% confident I will be wearing that tutu and tiara in no time!

When people ask my why I’m obsessed with Pure Barre, I always hesitate before I answer. Not because I don’t love it, but because the answer is so much more complex than “because I got skinny” or “because I got abs” or “because I love the people there.” All of which is true, but it is so much more than that. On the (sad) days that I don’t get to go to a class, I feel very off  that day. The physical changes are second (although greatly appreciated) to the happiness, inner strength & confidence I feel when I leave class. It is the only 55 minutes that I dedicate to myself ever. I refuse to let my mind wander away from the instructors cues and I only focus or perfecting my form or getting a little lower. I don’t think about reception seating plans, or wedding flowers or anything wedding; I don’t think about work; I don’t think about anything other than what position my body is supposed to be in or what muscle I’m supposed to be working. It is the perfect escape from the craziness that is wedding planning (or life in general).

Here are the things I love most about Pure Barre:

1. It doesn’t get easier, it just gets better. Once you learn exactly what muscles you are supposed to be using – did you know you can move your legs by contracting your abs?!? neither did I! – the movements get better because you’re using your muscles better and deeper.

2. The classes are never the same. Although there will always be a warm up, thigh work, seat work, floor work, 7 minutes of abs and then a final stretch, you never know what specific series you’re going to do that class. It is great! Some series you will learn you like more than others, but you always have to give it 110%.

3. I got to vamp up my legging collection (& grippy sock collection).  It is the perfect excuse to buy all the leggings and tank tops and jackets your little heart can desire (okay, maybe not all that you can desire) but you do need to have the appropriate clothes for class. As I had mentioned, I used to run. I do not run in leggings so I went on a little shopping spree to update my wardrobe for all the classes I was going to be taking. Also, the perfect time to buy grippy socks. I have a whole drawer dedicated to grippy socks.

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I will keep my “tuck on” and “lift.tone.burn” my way through these last 3 weeks of wedding planning, knowing that I have 55 minutes to myself at Pure Barre to center and ground me for whatever life throws at me that day! Thank You Pure Barre for rocking!

xoxo,
Rachel