Saturday, August 25, 2012

Off to Beautiful Door County

I was so excited to finally make the long drive up to Door County.  The place is absolutely fantastic!  Door County is divided up by bays - Sturgeon, Egg Harbor, Sisters, Ellison, Ephraim, Fish Creek,  Rowleys, and Baileys Harbor, with some facing Green Bay and others on the Lake Michigan side. 

There is nothing that I didn't like about Door County!  I highly recommend a visit to the "Cape Cod of the Midwest".  It must be spectacular in the fall. 

 Best ice cream ever!

I have lots more to share with y'all about Door County tomorrow.  In the meantime, start making your plans for a visit, you won't be disappointed!


Friday, August 24, 2012


That's right, Ethel got herself carted off to the big house!  Well, actually the big house is our little garage. 

                                         Yes, that is a piano and a portable dishwasher!
Are you asking yourself, what did she possibly do?  Nothing!  Who knew that a cute vintage camper wasn't allowed on City of Chicago streets - hehe.

I tried pleading her case to Officer Friendly - Isn't she cute?...  She's actually smaller than some of the big pick ups on the block.....  The neighbors lover her! ..... The kids have their breakfast in her. 
It didn't work, but luckily she didn't get a ticket.

Getting the old gal in the garage wasn't easy.  Poor B-man was up on a crate pushing the garage door up as far as it could go while we pushed and I mean pushed her in. 

Remember the portable dishwasher?  Well, sweetie moved it out to make some room and forgot to put her back in.  A couple of hours later when we realized our Craigslist wannabe was left in the alley, he ran out to find her gone!  Maybe I should check Craigslist to see what the asking price is....

Friday, August 17, 2012

On the Road Again

We're heading to the Illini State Park in Marseilles.  This campground is a little bit different as we don't have the wooded site as we did at Starved Rock.   You have a grassy site that sits on the Illinois River. 
We really enjoyed this campground!  It was great to watch the boats and coal barges go down the river.  There are wooded areas for hiking, fishing and a boat launch.  We found this campground to be filled with a lot of regulars from the western suburbs.  They refer to it as their "go to place".  I think it may become our go to place also.

Did I mention yet that the state parks only charge $20-$25 a night?  This includes electric, water, and about 1,000 stars in the sky. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Extreme Heat Hiking

We had some extreme heat and even though there are trees galore, it was still HOT!  The trails and bluffs are beautiful.  They also have a lodge with a beautiful banquet hall, rooms to rent and pool.

Ugh!  We have to break camp and get out because we can only stay one night.  Starved Rock was booked to the max for the weekend.  Wake up Ethel, it's time to hit the road...


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Visit from Rocky Raccoon

There are plenty of warnings about furry friends that may come to visit your site, but I really thought they would make their way in the middle of the night when we wouldn't see them.  Well, the Starved Rock raccoons are a little on the bold side.  While eating our very first campfire dinner which was fantastic - burgers, corn on the cob, and cheesy veggies wrapped in foil (thank you pinterest), our cooler was invaded!  Our city slicker pup, whose tail was going a mile a minute, had no idea that Rocky Raccoon probably would have taken a bite out of him if he didn't get his teeth on our entire bag of Butterfingers.  That raccoon managed to lift up the lid of the cooler and swipe our bag of candy bars, the nerve of him! 

Because his eyes had a minute or two to see what else was in the cooler, he came back for the Reese's in the middle of the night!  I didn't hear him but Pic Man said he was scratching like a dog burying his bone.  We were way more prepared this time and put the other cooler that had all the beer, wine, and juice boxes on top.  No way was he getting our Reese's!

I end each night, sort of like the Walton's -
This is So Tinsel!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I'm all about a Bathroom

Now that you have seen the inside of Aunt Ethel, did you notice anything?  If you're a guy my guess would be no, if you're a gal you noticed from the get go.  You got it - no potty!  How I love my Aunt Ethel but I didn't realize how much I would like a bathroom.  So, here we are on our first trip and the first thing I'm looking for is the bathroom!  I have to admit that they weren't too bad.  The shower house must have just been cleaned and I was pleasantly surprised.  They also had porta-potties much closer to our site that must have been emptied that day! 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Her Maiden Voyage

After cleaning, painting both inside and out, and shopping for everything one would need to glamp.  Yes, that means going down aisles at Walmart that us city slickers have never been down for every gadget known to the camping world because you never know when you will need tie wraps, bungees in every size and color or plastic doohickies to hang lights.

Well, with all the work going on to get her ready for a trip somewhere, we had no idea it is so difficult to secure a reservation.  With luck, Neighbor Joe, who has probably camped for 30 some years gave great advice: 
The first time out, ONLY go about an hour from home because if you have troubles you can get back home quickly.
He suggested Starved Rock State Park  and Illini State Park, both of which are close to home and I'm sure there had to be a Walmart nearby!

Wow, there are a lot of glampers out there because Starved Rock had one site with electric on a first come, first served basis.  I was determined to get that site because I know this is strange to hear, but I have never been there! 

We packed Ethel and the new used car with the hitch with everything you can imagine and headed west.  The further west we got the more clouds appeared along with lightening, thunder and then the rain.  Are you kidding me, we're in a drought!

We finally arrive, the rain stops and we actually get the spot that is open, which happens to be next to the friendliest bunch of Amish I have ever seen.  Just as we got everything out where we wanted the storm hit again!  All I have to say is thank goodnes for a roof and a solid floor.  I really don't know how tenters manage in the rain.  Of course Pic Man and Paddy Boy were thrilled for the storm because that meant nap time for them.  Yes, P-boy loves Aunt Ethel!

Welcome to nature, a crackling fire heating our dinner, the smell of pine, and B-man sitting with the I-Pad!

She's just about there....

That painting wasn't as easy as y'all may have thought.  Those nooks and crannies and the really tight quarters made for  a really stiff back, arms and legs.  But, it was all worth it!
All of the vintage prints can be found on my Pinterest board.  I just printed and framed them in Dollar Store frames and then attached with some sticky strips.  They are my fav, especially at night when the Christmas lights twinkle on them.
I need to get out the paparazzi camera and take some better shots, now that I remembered my account information and can get back on the blog!
Next up: our maiden voyage

Monday, August 6, 2012

Good-bye brown paneling!

                                                                      Hello green!

    It's amazing we got anything done with all of our visitors.  Ethel became quite the celebrity on the block.   Everyone wanted to hear her story -  "Where did you get her?"  "Where are you going with her?"  "Hey, where's your red van?"  HAHA!

                             We're thinking someone may become a professional painter.

                                          Come on paint dry so that the fun can begin!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rust-Oleum? Who knew?

It truly is amazing how 15 cans of spray paint can transform a dullish white travel trailer into a shiny Christmas camper.

So glad B-Man loved spray painting.

Ain't she sweet?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

It's Time to Glamp Our Ride

She made it home!
Here's some before pics:
                      Paddy Boy is already getting comfortable under the dinette/fold down bed.

                         Another sitting area turned full size bed.  And yes, that's an AC unit!

And here's the cute little kitchen.  The stove works, but the oven has seen better days.  But                really, we'll be glamping around a campfire!

If you like brown then she would be ready for you, but since it's not on my color wheel, it's time for paint.

Friday, August 3, 2012

So, why did we buy a 1973 camper?

Well, I have always wanted to camp and I thought it would be a good idea to start out small (without going the tent route) and see how it goes!  After finding some vintage camper sites and seeing what awesome things people were doing with their little campers, I knew that was what I wanted.   I also knew that the bones had to be good because there is no way we would be able to completely overhaul one of these little gems.  I was out to paint, decorate and start glamping!  Glamping is glamorous camping, not a lot of roughing it.  So, now to find one - we scoured craigslist in the Midwest and there she was outside of Indianapolis.  Yay, we found her, a '73 Lark that looks great from the pics, and we are ready to drop everything and get down to see her. Okay, here comes the snag - we don't have a hitch!  We make lots of calls and the owner was super kind to look into the situation for us, but we concluded that our old Nissan Quest was no way able to take on a hitch.  Now what?  Well, let's first say that the Quest was in need of more work which this gal wanted nothing to do with.  It looks like it's time to speed up this story (you really don't need to hear about the conversations that went on over this little glitch! hehe!)- went to Carmax, bought a new used car, and then drove south to Indy.  Yes, all in the same day!  And yes, our new roadster has a hitch! I know you're thinking we're nuts but that's the way we do things around here!

The family we bought her from couldn't have been nicer.  They shared their camping stories and gave in depth instructions to Sweetie.   
B-Man couldn't have been happier!  Now to make the ride home in the dark, in a new car, and a camper hitched to the back.