Monday, November 21, 2011

Surprise visit to Maine!

After 123 days,  28 states and more than 18,000 miles, we returned full circle to Maine for a spontaneous (and surprise) trip!  Only 1 person knew we were coming (excellent secret keeping Bobbie!), so we had a ton of fun popping in on friends and family.  We captured some of the surprises on video to share with you….

The BIG shocker: Amy’s parents thought we were still in Nashville…..however they were expecting a package from us to arrive for Dad’s birthday!  Surprise – we showed up instead!!
Click here to watch video

Amy’s sister-in-law, Julie, definitely didn’t expect us! Click here to watch

And she helped us surprise Connor, our nephew…click here to watch

Roger had no idea it would be us walking through his front door!  Click here to watch...

Dropping in on our friends at Amy's old here to watch video #1 and here for video #2!


TRICK or treat?  One of our biggest surprises was at Kim and Kerry's Halloween party - they most certainly weren't expecting us… we came up with costumes we could wear to disguise ourselves – ROBOTS!  However, because Amy couldn’t see very well out the tiny robot eyes, the camera was put on the wrong setting & didn’t end up taking video L.  Needless to say, it was a blast to hit the party, dance the robot and have people try to figure out who we were until we whipped off the costumes!  Such a fun night!!

Amy & Kim (aka Dorothy)
Kerry (aka Wicked Witch)
and Tracy

It got a little crazy - who is who?
Joy, Kristan & Bobbie
Bobbie (that 70's girl) & Amy

We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate our friends (and former neighbors) Greg & Michelle on the arrival of their new little bundle – Lizzie Isabella!!  Watch as we visit them and see our old house for the first time since the day we closed on it!
Tracy's a natural (when Lizzie's sleeping)

Pics of some other fun we had while in Maine:

Our favorite spot - Portland Pie
Kerry, Mary, Tracy, Bobbie & Kim

A visit with Aunt Bunny

The Friday night gang! Love them!!
Dave, Jenny, Keith, A &T, Kristin
Not a complete trip without a visit
to Norm's with Eric!  Hope that
hematoma is better, hon!

Aww, my little Koo Koo was happy
to see us!  Such a precious kitty that
we miss very much! 
Uh, yeah, it snowed in October
Definitely a WTF moment and a
reminder of why we're on our way to FL

Besties - Amy and Amy 
Couldn't go without a basket
of popcorn and an ice cold brew

Perfect ending to the trip - dinner at
Goucho's with Amy's Mom & Dad!   

We were also very excited to see Connor's championship football game while we were home!  So proud of him....AND of my brother, Jon (the coach)!!  After a season of not allowing a single point to be scored against them, they won in OT!  Click here to watch the winning moment....
Connor hits the field
The Sirois family there to cheer
on Jon & Connor in the finals

And last, but not least, Over 5 months ago, we sold many of our possessions and put a lock on a storage facility that houses everything else that didn’t fit in our 98 square feet baby and set out for life on the road……dreading the day we would have to go back and deal with ALL that stuff!  Well, we briefly visited it while we were home…..and yup, still dreading that EVENTUAL day!  Watch the video and you’ll know why!

OMG - we didn't know whether to
laugh or cry!

Despite extending our stay to watch Connor’s game (postponed b/c of SNOW the weekend before), we sadly still weren’t able to see EVERYONE we wanted to!  But it was wonderful seeing those of you we did get to spend time with and hope you will continue to follow our travels as we migrate south for the winter!!
Until the next exit…
A & T

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nashville Rocks - Let's Move There

"Country music is the people's music. It just speaks about real life and about truth and it tells things how they really are."  Faith Hill

With Tracy at the wheel, I thought I would take a moment to share our Nashville experience with “y’all”!
Growing up to the voices of Kenny Rogers, Alabama, Barbara Mandrell and Dolly Parton, my true passion for country music didn’t actually kick in until high school when I heard the sweet sound of Trisha Yearwood.  My appreciation only deepened as I found the likes of Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Suzy Bogguss, Reba McEntire and some historical greats like Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash.  Yup, I'm proud to say that I liked country before country was "cool"!  Songs by Faith Hill, The Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain monopolized my disc-man as Taylor Swift does with the ipods of today.  And speaking of today – Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton  - I could fill this entire blog with the names of artists I adore in this amazing genre of music.  So, needless to say, when Tracy and I decided to go on our big adventure there was no doubt in my mind that we had to visit NASHVILLE!
Coming off our recent disappointment in Austin, we were a bit worried that Nashville would also fail to live up to our expectations.  A worry that was very short lived however….as it quickly earned residence on our favorite cities list!  Our only regret is that we didn’t stay longer and see more...
The biggest attraction to this city is obviously MUSIC!!  Like 2 kids on Christmas morning, we couldn’t even wait for the sun to go down before hitting the town!  Bouncing from bar to bar all over the city, we were in our glory with live music at every stop.  We also hit some great places off the beaten track during our visit, including Musician’s Corner - a weekly outdoor concert in Centennial Park.
We didn’t get nearly as many photos as we would have liked….guess we were just too captivated to pull the camera out!  But here are a handful...

Nashville is one of our top "picks"

Too funny - just sitting outside of Tootsie's on their "ride"

Mechanical Bull inside - yes, we regret not riding it!

Amy still hasn't danced on the bar despite
us going to several Coyote Ugly's
How can we entice her to do this??

Some great local talent at
The Listening Room
(cool venue, too!)

This chic was 16...crazy!  And she came with a
full entourage of people!

Music in Centennial Park on Saturdays
Safe to say, I think we would be there every Saturday
This kid was an American Idol cast off

More music in the Park - so neat to watch all the
drummers play random acoustics like wash boards
for percussion

Rockin the house at Tootsie's
Tiny little bar, packed with much fun!

Amy's hoping to come back to
town and land a job at CMT

As usual, we're a bit behind on our blogging - so next up (very soon), is our surprise visit to Maine.  We have lots of great video to share - and most likely, many of our readers will be IN those videos!

In the meantime, we've been enjoying the South and have found a new favorite in Charleston, SC which we'll also share with you soon.

Until the next exit...

Amy & Tracy

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Texas is BIG

Hey everybody!  Yet again, the Happy Campers have fallen a bit behind on their blogging.  But, we have a really good reason - we made a SURPRISE visit to Maine and have been so busy cramming friend and family visits in that blogging took a back seat.  That's probably not a very good excuse, but we're going with it anyway.  So here's what we did after we left amazing New Mexico.

Austin, TX
We drove, and drove, and drove, and drove (you get the picture!) to Austin where we were super excited to check out 6th street and lots of live music.  Well, hate to disappoint, but we were disappointed!  Maybe it's because we aren't 20 anymore, but it just didn't meet our expectations.  Here are our highlights:

Hangar Lounge in the Warehouse District - OMG, the BEST salsa ever with nicely poured cocktails!  Very cool multi-level club with an outdoor bar on the roof which provided excellent views of downtown Austin.  Apparently we were all too excited about the salsa because we failed to take any pictures here....but we've borrowed one from their website to show you this uber chic hangout!

Fado Irish Pub - Sometimes when traveling, you happen upon unexpected little gems.  This was the case with Fado's.  We were walking up and down the streets of Austin checking out various restaurants and clubs that had been recommended to us when a little outdoor irish pub caught our eye.  Per Tracy's vote - they had the BEST Fish Tacos ever!  Fado's earned two thumbs up on food, atmosphere & live music!!  Looks like the photographer was once again sleeping on the job though.....because somehow we don't have any pics of this stop either!!

Congress Street Bridge - Bats - Bats - was one of the craziest things we've ever seen.  These bats sleep under the bridge all day and then fly off into the night at dusk as a crowd stands by to witness the eerie sight.  Please, do yourself a favor and watch the video.  You will not be disappointed.

Watch the Bats take flight

Hard to capture in a photo - but there was an endless
stream that came out from beneath us on the bridge!
Amy watches th bats from
the bridge

The Salt Lick - Voted best restaurant in the Austin area, we drove to what seemed like the middle of nowhere to find this massive winery/bar/BBQ place.  Our mouths watered as we walked in and ordered 2 giant plates of meat - ribs, brisket, turkey, sausage.....I think the waiter was a bit shocked at how much food 2 chicks could put away!  T ended up loving it - the sauce was amazing.  Amy was a bit disappointed since it wasn't smothered in Smoky BBQ sauce.  But definitely worth the drive if you're in the Austin area!

The Meat!!

Walked in and saw these guys - T thought it was so funny
they had their bucket of PBR.  Turns out - they're from
Boston and came into town for the Texas/Oklahoma game

Barton Springs - Ok, this was pretty cool, although not exactly what we expected.  The spring is a constant 70 degrees and changes itself out daily with 32 million gallons of fresh spring water.  People have been enjoying the abundant waters of Barton Springs for over 10,000 years.

It was like a giant swimming pool only it had moss in it
We weren't sure what to make of it

We wish we had more to report on Austin, but honestly, it appears we mostly just ate!  Big surprise there!

Port Aransas, TX (aka Port A)
After Austin, we decided we needed a "vacation" from our daily sight-seeing so we headed to the gulf coast of Texas and managed to find a nice gem in On The Beach RV Park in Port A, just north of Corpus Christie.  We took a free ferry with 98 square feet in tow and spent 3 beautiful days and nights parked almost right on the beach.  The water was warm, the sun was hot, the cocktails were cold, and relaxation was found very quickly!

I (Tracy) also had one of my favorite laughing moments here...the water was shallow and warm, so we could go pretty far out.  I turned around at one point to see Amy blazing a trail towards shore, her flip flops flew off, her arms were swinging all over, I swear she was actually running ON the water.  Come to find out, she saw a little sting ray....I laughed so hard....only to have the act repeated the next day when a jelly fish swam by me.  FYI - I didn't move, but when I told Amy I just saw a jelly fish, she beelined to shore with limbs a flying!  Wish I had a video to share - it was funny....TWICE!!!

Sunrise in Port A
The view - can't beat it!

Come aboard, matey!
This bird squawks too much!

Cute Sandpipers
Their little legs move so fast!

Our first ferry ride with 98 square feet!

Probably the same jelly fish I saw in the water
washed ashore - Amy decided to save it by rolling
it back into the water using 2 water bottles!

All in all, Texas was BIG....but SMALL on overall enjoyment!  From Port A, we drove, and drove, and drove some more until we hit Nashville, TN....which we'll cover in our next blog.....coming very soon!!

On a sad note, while in Port A, we lost our little Sunny Boy.  Such an amazing kitty who we'll miss very much.  Many thanks to Aunt Cindy for taking such great care of Sunny while we were away. 

R.I.P Sunny Boy
1996 - 2011

Until the next exit...

Amy & Tracy