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Have Hippie Van…Will Travel

Beach Camping on Gulf of Mexico

http://voices.yahoo.com/have-hippie-vanwill-travel-12348821.html?cat=16

One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

We Created THIS...

We Created THIS…

...from THIS!

…from THIS!

…Or so the saying goes!  But for us, it has been true here lately.  You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff people throw away around here!  Hey…I’m not complaining!  Because of a few ‘rather well-off’ folks on the island, we’ve been able to acquire an interior door (which we turned into a wall in our living room/kitchen area), 3 white ‘wide louvre’ blinds ( which we later priced at Home Depot for over $100 dollars a piece–ours are the larger (much larger) ones), a bum-load of lumber to fix what needs fixin’ round here (which would be just about everything), a kitchen full of cabinetry from a historic three-story home over in the Strand District of Galveston (they were seriously going to the garbage out in the alley), a kitchen full of synthetic Italian Marble countertops for our caravan kitchen remod (it looks like terra cotta or stained concrete–so beautiful).  I know I’m missing a few items…but you get the jest of this ‘trash to treasure’ thing we got going here!  :  )

All I know is–this place is going to look so great when we’re done, and it won’t even have cost us but a drop-in-the-bucket in comparison to what it would’ve had we not foraged through our island neighbors’ trash piles.  I feel really Blessed that we were able to save it all from the local land-fill, recycle and repurpose.  When it comes down to it; all our trailer remodeling has cost us…out-of-pocket is what we paid for primer, paint, garden seeds and a few plants, as well as the shutters and screen door we bought at the local Architectural Salvage Store; which is ran by the Galveston Historical Society.  In-short…we’ve taken bits and pieces of a few of the historic homes here on Galveston…and made it all part of our travel-trailer home.  And what a flavorful home she is becoming!  I can’t wait to see my new kitchen when we put it all together!  I’ll be sure to post photos when we do.  May it inspire you to do some trash pile digging of your own!  :  )  You never know what you may find. 

Blessings & .V.. 

A Place To Call Home

Cozumel Caravan

Cozumel Caravan

Sometimes we take the smallest things for granted in life, including ‘life’ itself.  But in the end, if a lesson has been learned, we find that the simpleness of living is priceless.  This is what I’ve come to find since we up-rooted from my hometown of Fort Worth, and relocated to Gulf-Coastal Texas.  It has been a long road to plow (as my dear Mother used to put it), but I find now that our ‘garden’ (the garden that is life) is beginning to come-in quite nicely. 

It all began the day we pulled out of Jamaica Beach RV Resort; happy to be leaving the paved-but-posh confines of the best RV park on Galveston Island.  (Our opinions…and we’re sticking to it!)  I have to admit, our past experiences with campgrounds has left us with a bitter taste for such surroundings.  JBRV would have to be an exception…if you ask me.

Either way, and even though we would miss the hot tub, laundromat, pool…playground, and the charming little Seven Seas Grocery just across the road, we remained hopeful that we’d be well-on-our-way to actually gaining a semi-permanent address on Galveston Island.  The Blessings we’ve been met with since that day have been abundant.  We have been at our island home ever since; being lucky to have a very understanding landlord who knows what it means to start from the bottom and work your way up.  He has become somewhat of a friend since we’ve gotten to know him better. He has also taken Nico under his wing by teaching him a trade that my husband had never-before learned.  It brings to mind a saying I hold close to my thoughts: We never stop learning until we are no more. 

So there we were– we had a place…but not entirely.  Our very understanding landlord had taken a chance on us–renting us a lot, even though I know we appeared a rogue bunch.  We had made a deal that if we could rent the place ‘temporarily’, and set up Camp Peniki, we’d be hard-at-it to find a better-suited living quarters…to keep up appearances mostly, since we’d live in our old Campervan full-time if society allowed.  Had it just been us (Nico and I), we would still be out there…giving in to Wanderlust.  But most vandwelling souls with little n’s find out the hard way–like we have–that we really aren’t free after all when it comes to the way we are ‘allowed’ to live or be. 

So…we had a limited time to find a larger place to put on our really great lot…with a priceless view of the sunset…out over the bayou.  I set to work searching and combing the internet, selling everything we didn’t need in storage to raise the money for our new home.  Two weeks later, with half of our belongings sold and our storage half empty, we were on our way to get our new/old place: a vintage caravan in major need of some love.  Perhaps it was the way I had called and called the man to see if our ‘home’ was still there (I had already claimed it in my mind).  Maybe it was the desperation in my voice (I’ve never been very subtle with my emotions).  I guess I’ll never truly know.  All I do know is that he (the seller) took pity on us and ended up knocking $200 bucks off the price when we showed up with cash-in-hand.  It’s a very good thing too, cause without that extra money…we wouldn’t have made it back to Galveston with our new place. 

I know I’m just one of the numerous folks who believes that Blessings often come in disquise.  This was so true for us when it came to getting our caravan-home…home.   More than 24 hours later we finally pulled into our lot with what would become a full-time remodeling job.  As that day before had gone, we’d suffered a major blow out in Liberty, Texas…right in front of a church, where the pastor had just arrived, on Memorial Day weekend.  Due to the holiday and the late hour, no tire shops were open anywhere near the small town.  The nice preacher man Blessed us with the offering of allowing us to park our travel trailer there…safely in the church parking lot for the evening.  We all headed back to my Mother-in-law’s to stay the night, with hopes that we’d find a place to buy some spare trailer tires on a holiday Sunday.  It’s great to know people when you are in a desperate state to do business when everyone else is on vacation or just off work. 

Thank God we have good family to help us pull heavy things our old VW Van can’t; nice folks who know Nico’s family back in his home town; nice sellers on C List who don’t mind taking less and giving more to a family who was in need of a place to call home.  And even though it has been a steady stream of remodeling our badly damaged and neglected caravan, I can honestly say…”It sure is a great feeling to actually ‘own’ our home.  Bought and paid for; it may be small and not so pretty to some, but to us…it’s perfect! 

It’s all in how you look at things.  From where I’m sitting, this place is really coming around.  I’ll gladly be sharing photos of our remod when the time is right.  I hope it inspires some family…somewhere, to step off the crazy train of keeping up with the Jones’s, and live within (or below) their means.  We are so-very glad we made that leap! 

Blessings your way, from our Vagabond family to yours! 

.V.. (Peace),

GVR    

Beach Bums

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GALVESTON Move - Jamaica Beach & Motor for CL 002

GALVESTON Move - Jamaica Beach & Motor for CL 008

So we’ve become a couple’o beach bums!  It isn’t hard to do here on Galveston Island.  Time has just flown by since that first month we were here; struggling harder than we’d ever thought we would.  But the worst part of that first month was relinqushing to the RV Campground; as full of amenities as it was!  That ‘one week’ we stayed there cost almost as much as we’re paying a month in our current spot.  Never mind the fact that it had two pools, and hot tub, miniature golf, showers, laundry facilities, breakfast buffet…and the whole nine-yards–an RV park is always overcrowded, and well…an RV Park.  We do not care for them one little bit!

So, there we were, at Jamaica Beach RV ‘Resort’ and Campground; enjoying the finer side of roughing it…if you will.  We’d spent nearly two weeks camping–really camping–on the beach…and enjoying it immensely (minus a few little set back and situations I don’t care to mention).  Either way, we knew we had to head back to some version of civilization, if for no other reason than to stop turning heads of unknowing passersby who seemed to take an interest in our camping rig on the sand and the fact that we have a little’n.  People who think they know what we’re all about really do piss me off!  I wanted to throw sand in their eyes at times!  Free country?  Yeah…whatever you think!  I care not to fool myself on that one. 

Needless to say, we were ‘pressured’ into the crowded comforts of JBRVP (Jamaica Beach RV Park), and set about catching up on laundry…and taking nightly dips in the hot tub.  I have to admit that the fact that we could ride our bikes just across the highway to Seven Seas Market was an added bonus.  I just love that little store!  It was the best discovery on the west end of the island–for us anyway.

So…there we were, set up at JBRV…and wouldn’t you know thatBaby screamed and cried about just about everything…almost every night we were there.  I can just imagine what our RV neighbors might have thought!   But I really don’t care…quite honestly!  I know it sounded pretty bad from the outside, but they didn’t know what bad ‘growing pains’ Baby was having on the inside of our little van-home. 

We had been dealing with such sleepless nights for several years…on and off.  Baby would sleep soundly most of the time, but then it would hit; the growing pains…kicking, screaming, and crying, night after night for about a week.  It just happened to be bad timing for us, when we stayed at JBRV.  But we made it through, and so did Baby.  She grew, but we didn’t sleep much at all that week. 

Most folks might think she was crying because we were all cramped into our little rig, but that wasn’t even close to being the case.  We were all quite comfortable in Peniki, with the drive-away tent attached.  We were camped right next to the playground, which was next to the splash pad, which was next to the swimming pool and hot tub.  It was really ‘the life’ when it comes to camping and not living off the grid; as we’d hoped to be doing by this time.  We don’t like most people, so it goes.  People are shallow, fake, superficial, and prejudice; even in this day and age.  We like very few of the folks we meet.  But the majority really don’t deserve a second glance or the wasted breath…as far as we’re concerned. 

So, enough of that little confession…or opinion.  We were looking forward to getting the heck out of the concrete jungle of big rigs.  Camping…you said?  Hah!  People have all gone ‘soft’!  Few could survive without their flat screen TV’s, A/C or heat, golf carts (Really folks…?  If you’re not a senior citizen…or on a golf course, you look like a complete lazy ass idiot rolling around the RV park on a golf cart!  Sheesh!!)  But, hey…!  Whatever works for some, is just insanity to others.  But it sure does shed some light on why a lot of people are fat in this country.  : I

Either way, different strokes for different folks!  We were happy to end our stay at JBRV and be heading closer to Seawall, and to a place we hoped might soon be ‘our’ new place.  We’d set up a time to view a spot at a private RV lot in an out of the way area of the island.  Pulling out of Jamaica Beach that morning, we were hopeful we’d soon have a more permanent address.  It was just the calm before the storm.  Even if you think you have life planned; it never does turn out the way you thought.