Van Camping, Part One

Sunday, October 18, 2015

I've caught the van camping bug (again)! There are so many great websites on van conversions that I've been inspired by, as well as friends who are living the van lifestyle. I've been towing with Chestnut, my 1969 GMC, but lately she just has been wanting to take a break. G and I have been sharing the GMC Van until he recently bought a pick up truck for work. This is my chance for a van takeover makeover!!

I went to Malibu this week for an Airstream rental with my Luxe Lounge, and it was my opportunity to dial in the van again for van camping. Even though I regularly have an Airstream in tow, I often leave it with the client for a couple of days, have long stretches of driving to do, or I have this Airstream with me, which is set up like a lounge. It's nice to have the option of pulling over and to take a snooze in the van, find some shade from the heat while on set, make a cup of coffee, or catch up on emails in the van 'lounge'. I feel very at home in there.

So, back to styling out the van... This time I went with a coastal theme. Here are pics for you, including one from my campsite at the edge of the sand. This is super "dry camping", but it worked for me and I love the simplicity of it. As for traveling for extended periods of time in more extreme temperatures, I'd definitely need more amenities. Yet for this type of trip, it was everything I needed.

This is Part One of the vamping takeover. I like thinking about every item that goes into the van to try and keep it as minimal, comfortable, and nice to look at as possible. If you're interested in researching van camping, YouTube has some great videos of what fellow travelers have done to make their van just right for their travels. Happy Vamping!

Anniversary in Monterey

Monday, October 5, 2015

G and I celebrated our 8 year wedding anniversary last week. We're usually content having a cozy dinner at home by the river, but this year Greg planned a getaway to the place of our first date 16 years ago - kayaking at Elkhorn Slough, at Moss Landing, in Monterey County, California. 

From Wikipedia: 
"Elkhorn Slough is a 7-mile-long tidal slough and estuary on Monterey Bay in Monterey County, California. The community of Moss Landing and the Moss Landing Power Plant are located at the mouth of the slough on the bay."

Back then, I was living in San Francisco, and Greg was living in Coloma, CA. What I remember most is 
1. Having no idea what to wear
2. The sea otters and sea lions swimming so close to our kayaks
3. How cute this kayaker guy is!

The weather in Monterey was perfect- ocean air and just right temperatures.

We had a nice anniversary dinner at the Alvarado Brewery followed by laughs as we walked on the beach. It's a trip to think of our journey together this far. We both feel pretty darn grateful to have each other, and to live the lives that we do. To me, it doesn't seem like marriage is "work", but more of a beautiful design project. Anyway... where was I? Oh yeah, kayaking...

The next morning we headed to Kayak Connection to rent some kayaks and gear for our date. We have kayaks and stand up paddle boards of our own to use, but it didn't make sense for us to travel with them this time, since we'd be coming from Las Vegas. 

Succulents at Kayak Connection

 Before we headed out in our kayaks, Matt had us watch a quick video and then gave us an orientation. He reminded us of the imporance of respecting the marine life and keep a viewing distance of at least 100 feet. He also said that at times, even when you are keeping a distance, a sea otter may swim over and investigate you, even try and climb on your boat- at which time you should very gently use your kayak paddle to "gently shoo" them away from boat. Whaaaaaat?!  Well, I always say G's spirit animal is an otter. Wouldn't you know, I look over and this little guy is wishing G a happy anniversary! 

Anniversary wishes from a sea otter

Then the sea otter decided he might like to hitch a ride on the boat, so he started to climb aboard...
Of course we followed the suggestions given earlier, even though it was hard to not do what my imagination wanted to do, which was to make make that little sea otter my new best friend! Sea otters are a beautiful reminder to be playful together, that's for sure. 

Even though we didn't want our kayak time to end, after a couple of hours and following the tide, we headed back for the shop to return the boats.

If you love birds, sea otters, and sea lions, you will love a day kayaking here. Be sure to check the tides in advance, and give yourself time to get back as the wind comes up. The staff at the shop can help you with the planning.

G's rental boat

Having a spray skirt was nice to have to keep fairly dry. Life jackets are mandatory and they will provide you with them. They have spray skirts too. Having a hat for shade is nice. 

Spray skirt and life jacket. A hat is good to have too.

Vapur water bottle, binoculars, waterproof case, and sunglasses

I brought my collapsible water bottle, binoculars, sunglasses, and waterproof case for my phone. I'd recommend putting a small microfiber cloth in the case to catch drips when you open and close it. You may want to invest in a waterproof case for your phone so you don't have to worry about it. Make sure to clip the case to your boat if you keep it out, above your spray skirt.

As for what to wear, I wore surf shorts and a long sleeve rash guard on top, they are both quick dry and comfortable. I've come a long way in those 16 years, with many multi day river trips with G, I'm happy to say!

We came back to shore with big smiles on our faces! Thank you, Kayak Connection!

I bought a small artwork at the little art gallery next door to remember the dates we had, and will have at Elkhorn Slough.

We then decided to head down the highway to another favorite place, about 35 minutes south, Point Lobos State Park.

It was an amazing anniversary, and we can't wait to do it again. It's my turn to plan the next one, and I'm already thinking of many possible destinations. My oh my, it's amazing how time flies...

Full circle - Silver Trailer Airstream camping rentals

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Do you remember this piece of press from 2009? Well, maybe not, but I sure do. 

It was 2009, and it was huge for my Airstream rental business. A LOT of people contacted me after that post! The Coloma Resort is just up the river from our house in the Sierra foothills, and is one of my all time favorite campgrounds. I loved towing my 1967 Airstream Trade Wind the 1.3 miles down the road, setting up and styling out the campsite. What I loved even more, was reading the happy reviews of campers when I picked it the trailer up. That's pretty feel good stuff, when a family says it was one of the best vacations they every had!

A few months after that press came out, I accepted the two month TLC rental traveling down the east coast with Osa Pony, with my 1969 GMC towing the Trade Wind behind us.

After that trip I was hooked on the idea of renting my Airstream for commercial rentals- video and photo shoots. I loved the camping rentals, but the delivering and picking up limited my ability to travel. I can honestly say I've loved every single commercial rental I've been on, sometimes I pinch myself on the drive home (like on the way home from the Miranda Lambert music video my Airstream Globetrotter was in last month).  I feel grateful for the lifestyle my business offers me, for all of the people I've met along the way, the locations I've been fortunate to have access to, and all I've learned on my travels- from others and from myself. 

Silver Trailer rental at the Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas

Fast forward to last year when Daniella Faieta, the daughter of the owners of the Coloma Resort pitched the idea of having a vintage Airstream park within their campground, starting with, you guessed it, my Airstream Trade Wind. This week we delivered my trailer to the park, and soon after my 1960 Airstream Caravel and 1962 Bambi will follow. 

Daniella picked up a couple of Airstreams of her own, and we will collaborate on designs for her silver babies this fall. It will be a fun way to have a "big reveal" for each trailer upon it's completion.

What a great way to share my trailer with fellow Airstream lovers, and still have the flexibility to travel. I love when good things come around full circle, especially new and improved good things!

We are still fine tuning the details with the park, so stay tuned for details...! I can tell you that the Trade Wind will be available for rent starting May 1st, 2015 and there is no longer a 4 day minimum. Check this page as we get closer.

UPDATE: Sept. 2015
We've decided to put this collaboration on a long term hold, but will continue to plan fun events together in the future. 

Silver Trailer will be placing Airstreams in other locations with this similar model. Stay tuned!

Silver Trailer / Vintage Airstream Park at the Coloma Resort taking shape

Happy + Shiny 2015 To You!

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's shaping up to be an exciting year already! I feel like I just woke up from a deep slumber and I'm ready to party! Jewelry orders are continuing, Airstream Wedding rentals are being booked, photo shoots lining up - and it's just the first week of the year! I am so ready to shine it up and see what exciting things 2015 has in store for all of us. I hope the things you've been dreaming about will come to fruition, and that you find yourself smiling the majority of the year. (I'd wish you a year round smile, but then your face would probably hurt). Feeling good, my friends, feeling good. Hope you are too. xoxo.

Introducing: "The Boler", 1971 Boler Travel Trailer

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The newest addition to the Silver Trailer fleet! 

Meet the newest and youngest member to the Silver Trailer fleet! This is the first fiberglass addition to the collection as well. One afternoon I was searching Craig's List for a vintage daybed and this little dude popped up in the neighborhood. "Well, I can just go look at it I guess...", I kidded myself (this is why I can't foster dogs). Next thing you know, it followed me home. I texted Mr. G, and his beautiful response was "Ha! I love you, Baby". Nothing surprises him anymore! Stay tuned for The Boler's new story to unfold...

10 Tips - Dream and Manifest

Sunday, September 14, 2014

I'm all for creative Sundays, especially when they involve writing down dreams and plans in a beautiful notebook and creating inspiring images to look at.

Here's an image I created to inspire you and me. It's of Betty Jane, my 1964 Airstream Bambi II, with a quote by Wally Byam, founder of Airstream. 

I hope it will remind you to follow your dreams and make them happen. Dreaming is half the fun and manifesting is magic and action coming together. 

I put together some tips for you that I like to use to make a dream happen.

1. Write down 3 dreams you have.  Each dream will need its own piece of paper for space to grow. If you like working on your computer, do that- just be sure to print out the pages when you're done with this exercise so you can write things down on the spot when ideas come to you.  

2. What is it that you love about each of these dreams? Write it down next to each dream. Try not to self judge, just write freely.

3. How you will you feel when you reach each dream? Scribble it out on the paper- doodles, words and feelings.

4. Which one of these dreams means the most to you right now? Try not to use "should" in this equation, just think of the one that stands out and lights you up when you think about it.

5. What are the next steps you can take toward this particular dream? Maybe it's making a call, sending an email, doing research... Do a brain dump and write down all of the steps you can imagine it will take. Once you have them down, put a number next to each of them to put them in order.

6. When will you take this step? Schedule and exact day and time, put it on your calendar / circle it / create an alert if it's a digital calendar.

7. On the scheduled action step day, keep your promise! You wouldn't blow off an appointment you made with someone else, would you? You deserve to follow through on this. Already took the step? Act on the next one. Or, you really can't keep this appointment? Immediately make a new date and time and follow through when the time arrives.

8. Make time and space in your life to manifest your dream. Often, it takes less time than we think to take one little step. What if you take time off during the week from Facebook, Instagram, TV, texting, shopping (insert your vice here), and spend that time taking action on your dream? Maybe it's one day a week off. Maybe it's the entire month. Where can you find pockets of time? While you're waiting on line...walking your dog...having morning coffee? Spend that time on your dream.

9. Keep brainstorming ideas and ways to get closer to your dream. Think of places where you get your best ideas (driving, in the shower, walking perhaps). Keep your notebook handy and write them down and schedule them. (I have a white board just outside my shower and a notebook in my car and purse for ideas when they pop up). Transfer those ideas to your dream paper to keep them in one place.

10. Form a goal group. Meet regularly with a supportive friend or two to share and brainstorm goals and dreams. Offer and receive encouragement and ideas. Hold each other accountable and follow up regularly to check progress. This is has been a huge help in my life!

Step by step, you will make your dreams happen. Now go grab that paper and a pen or your computer, and start with step #1 above...

Feel free to share here:

1. Your big dream.
2. Your next step and when you will take it.
3. Any tips you have to make dreams come true.

I'd love to hear them and cheer you on!!

Alt Summit

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I'm back in Salt Lake City for Alt Summit! I was here in January for Alt and LOVED it. This session is getting off to a great start already.

The view from my grandiose room at the Grand America Hotel has a balcony (yes, a door that opens to the outside- dreamy). This room is quite possibly bigger than our apartment. Jumbo!

The rain felt so good today that I walked a mile each way without and umbrella to The Rose Establishment for a late breakfast. It was well worth it. 

Yum. On the walk home, I spotted this cutie Airstream tucked away. 

If there is an Airstream in the 'hood, I'll find it! 

Tonight was "Tuesday Night Dinners", hosted by the generous sponsors of Alt. I joined a fun group at Saba Sushi, hosted by the fabulous Garbrielle Blair, of Design Mom.
I was a nice night being inspired by all of these positive and supportive entrepreneurs.

Tomorrow the talks and workshops on all things blogging, social media and entrepreneurship begin. So much information, inspiration and sharing to take part in. Can't wait!

Airstream, Betty Jane in Coastal Living magazine

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Coastal Living magazine has long been a favorite magazine of mine. It inspires me to take more trips to the beach with my shiny silver babies.  I really enjoyed the photo shoot and interview with Barry Yeoman and photographer, Brown Cannon III.  I did a blog post about it here. It's so exciting to finally see the article in print! Barry interviewed several different Airstreamers and got a great variety of perspectives that he wrote about.

Coastal Living magazine, April 2014 issue

Here I am riding my bike with Osa trotting along!

Betty Jane, my Airstream Bambi II's interior. She already has a new look since this photo!

The April issue is no longer in newsstands, however, PDF's of the issue are available for purchase on Zinio app on iTunes.
Happy beach camping, friends!

Top 12 Towing Tips for Newbies

Friday, March 14, 2014

Our Silver Sisters Caravan. Towing is more fun with friends!

When I first got my Airstream, for some reason I relied on my man G to tow it. He was a love to tow it whenever I needed it for a show or wanted to camp somewhere.  He had experience towing, so it seemed like it only made sense... only it didn't. It was my trailer. I am a good driver. Why would I not be towing it myself? Soon there came a day that G had to work out of town and I had a jewelry show with my Airstream showroom several towns away. I had no choice but to tow the Airstream myself. As I was whining / freaking out about the situation, an older gentleman friend said to me, "You're a big girl, you can do this". He was right. I put my big girl pants on, and with my 1969 GMC pickup, I towed my 24' Airstream Trade Wind through one of the windiest sections of road I know to this day. I told myself, "If I made it through that, everything else will seem like a piece of cake".  Little by little it was.  I can still get worked up in certain situations when around not-so-lovely drivers, and so does anyone who drives. Now I have the philosophy, "If you can drive, you can tow".

My dog Osa and I traveled cross county round trip with that same 24' Airstream in tow on a two month journey. It was magical and I learned a lot along the way.

My truck and Airstream on a 2 month road trip with TLC

Here are some tips from me and other helpful trailer friends who shared on my Facebook page

Top 12 Tips for Towing a Trailer

1. Check your set up. Do a final walk around inside and around your trailer before you head out. Make sure items are stowed away inside, off counters and vents are closed and cabinets are latched. Walk around the exterior of the trailer and look underneath it to make sure you're in the clear. Most importantly, check the hitch set up and make sure everything is connected properly and in good working order. Check that your lights and signal flashers are working properly. A checklist is helpful for all of these items and more.

2. Be calm and focused. To this day, I make sure when I get in the truck to tow, I feel calm and focused. I like to sit for a couple of minutes and take a couple of deep breaths and clear my mind, while I have some sips of coffee. It's a big part of towing- to get your mind in the game, get excited for the trip, and to feel centered and calm. Breathe. This mindset with keep you cool and clear when you need to be. Once I'm on the road and on my way, I put on music and enjoy the ride, while staying focused.

3. Take your time. It's important that you don't feel rushed or pressure to go faster thank you're comfortable. The people behind you have a beautiful view!  Go the appropriate and safe speed limit. People will pass you when they can. On some smaller roads, when you're able to safely pull over let others pass if there's a stack of cars beginning to form behind you. Be considerate.

4. Think ahead.  Just as motorcyclists have to think and look ahead, so do you. Look far ahead down road in front of you and be aware of your fellow drivers around you. When towing, your lane changes and stopping are slower, so you need to think ahead for lane shifts, and slow down sooner. This will eventually come naturally. Sometimes I'll see truckers all merging into the next lane and I'll know that it is an exit only lane ahead or a short merge for entering traffic.

5. Fill up your gas at truck stops. This obviously depends on where you are traveling, but it you're on a route with truck stops, this will make entering and exiting the gas station much easier. Plus, they have some cool trucker stuff in some of the stores. If you don't have truck stops available, look for gas stations with plenty of space to pull in and out of.

6. Bring along a happy co-pilot. You'll likely be nervous behind the wheel the first few times. Bring along that someone who is encouraging and supportive (and perhaps brave) to be your navigator and cheerleader. If this is your dog, that that works too!

7. Have good tow mirrors on your vehicle so you have the best visibility possible.

8. Check your tire pressure on your tow vehicle and trailer before you head out. Inflate as necessary.

9. Take your turns wider. The trailer tracks tighter on turns, so check your mirrors and swing the turn(s) wider than you would if you didn't have a trailer in tow. Again, check your mirrors through the turn.

10. Put your hand on the base of the steering wheel when backing up the trailer. The direction you move your hand on the wheel is the direction the back of the trailer will move. It's easy to over think it. Do this, it works.

11. Ask for help if you need it. There's no shame in asking someone to help spot you when backing up, you may even make a friend. Ask them to use hand gestures you can see in your side view mirror. Have them tell you what the direction the back of the trailer should go (not which way to cut the wheel- that only gets confusing). Fellow Airstreamer, Neil Holman posted on my Facebook page: "Please do ask for assistance, especially when backing up. RV folks love to help...they were beginners once".

12. Enjoy the Ride! That's the whole point, isn't it? Thank the ones who are joining you, take in the sights (while keeping your eyes on the road), and be darn proud of yourself for rising up to the challenge of towing- facing your fear and doing it anyway. This new skill will lead you (and your trailer) to many beautiful places and experiences.

And there you have it. You've got this! Practice in a big wide empty parking lot to start. Drive around your neighborhood when you're comfortable (depending where you live!), soon you'll be ready to get on the road- we'll be cheering you on all the way!

(For you experienced trailer friends reading this, if there are any tips you'd like to add for a newbie reading this, please do. This is a growing list and we can all learn from each other's experiences).

Business, renovation and design

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Material samples for a new mobile project.

So much to blog about... 

Things have been busy helping run Airstream 2 Go, my own business Silver Trailer, designing our recent fourplex fixer upper purchase in downtown Las Vegas, a new look for my Airstream Betty Jane Bambi II, and taking on an exciting new mobile design project for a client. I think I know why I haven't had much time to blog! It's nice to have some topics to blog about- I'd love to share them with you. I'm envisioning some blogging time back in Lotus from our sweet little bungalow overlooking the river. I hope you're enjoying March and taking on some fun projects too...