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New to Trippin’ With StanleyNew to Trippin’ With Stanley Who is Stanley? Well, Stanley is our RV! He takes us all around the U.S. to taste delicious craft beers and meet new friends along the way. We work from the road, Brian is a graphic designer and I am a...

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Austin = hashtag epic, hashtag awesomeAustin = hashtag epic, hashtag awesome As I type this I sit on a beautiful outside patio on S Congress at a coffee bar called Jo's. I am surrounded by Mac Book Pros and I can almost see all the tweets swarming around my head. I am sure...

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Sedona I'm glad I got to knowya!Sedona I'm glad I got to knowya! Here are some pics from our time in Sedona. We stayed with our good friend Brenden and his girlfriend, Britta, in Cottonwood, about 20 minutes from Sedona and Jerome. They were the most excellent...

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Golfing and Hashing in PhoenixGolfing and Hashing in Phoenix We had plans to meet up with our Nu friends Bill and Debbie in Phoenix after we left our troubles in Tucson. Maria was able to convince Debbie that it would be a good idea for all of us to go golfing...

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B-C-YessB-C-Yess In between our stops in Quartzsite we made a detour to Tempe to visit my friend Kevin and enjoy a long weekend of sports. The main reason we wanted to be in the Phoenix area was that the BCS National Championship...

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Stanley’s First Tailgate

Posted by Brian | Posted in You trippin! | Posted on 19-12-2010

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Even though Maria persistently states that she is not a Chiefs fan we thought it would be fun to hit up a Chiefs game while we are on the West Coast. A month prior, we had considered going to a game when they were playing in Oakland, but the timing didn’t work out and Raider fans have a certain reputation we didn’t want to validate in person.

Turns out we already had plans to head San Diego the weekend that the Chargers were playing KC. Maria found an RV parking pass on Craigslist and we were set. We always like to share to joy, so we assembled a crew of Kansans and headed out to stadium bright and early at 7:45 am.

While I have been to several Chiefs games I can’t say that I’ve ever noticed the RV section at Arrowhead, but Qualcomm stadium definitely had a large section set aside for recreational vehicles.

Some pregame activities included:

Observing the passionate fans

RV Alley Beer Pong

Checked out the VIP Limo at the end of our row. Maybe next year.

Reppin' the Red in enemy territory.

The game itself was a disappointing showing as Kansas City’s starting quarterback was out because of an emergency appendecomy, and his back-up looked utterly clueless. The Charger’s scored first, last and everything in between as the Chiefs were shut out 31-0.

But the party doesn’t end when the game does. The RV section continues until about 4 hours after the teams have left. We couldn’t have left earlier if wanted too, as Stanley was pretty snuggly fit in between our neighbors. So we broke out the washers game and observed more fans like this one…

Charger bolts on elbows and name in Chargers font tattooed on back. Check.

All in all it was beautiful day for football and friends.

4 Months In…

Posted by msdesign21 | Posted in You trippin! | Posted on 06-12-2010

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Hello everyone! Thanks for checking back on the blog. Lots has happened since our last post, but I guess that is what happens when you don’t post all the time!!

After San Francisco we headed down the CA coast through Santa Cruz, Monterey down through Big Sur. What a drive!! Everything from the Redwoods to the winding road on steep cliffs. 17 Mile drive was definitely worth the $10 toll. It winds its way through Monterey and Caramel. We saw Pebble Beach and many more just as incredible golf courses and even got to take the dogs on a walk on the beach. We watched 12 or so surfers cutting it up on a somewhat chilly breezy day. A “storm” was supposed to be moving in that weekend, so we made our way down the coast in 1 day to avoid driving in the rain.

From there we basically cut across CA to get to Las Vegas. We arrived 5 days earlier than we really needed to but casino parking is free and Brian and I wanted to get some poker time in before our fun filled Jayhawk weekend. Brian is going to post more about that and I am sure he will be sure to mention my 2 seconds of fame with 1:32 left in the KU Arizona game.

1 Month in I did a reflective post of our time on the road so I thought it would only be right to do another 4 months in. Not much has changed in the way of our opinion of this trip, which is still “Best Idea Ever”. Other than sleeping in too much I am very happy with all our decisions on this trip. Sure there are many, many places I wanted to see but missed, and certain decisions I’ve made on where we should drive and when that could have been better, but you learn and I just tell myself, we will hit it the next time around. It’s nice to know that I have a whole life ahead of me where I will continue to travel and explore and see all of this planet’s amazing sights.

So 4 months in what more have we learned?

1. I might have mentioned it before but we use Mint.com now to track all our expenses. It is super helpful to create budgets and categorize your spending such as Gas, RV Parks, Groceries, Restaurants and of course, Breweries. We started using it in Oct and now have 2 months to look back and realize we spend A LOT on food.

2. Continuing along the lines of Mint.com we have been spending a lot more time boondocking (parking while we aren’t hooked up) versus paying to park at a RV Park. Typically, we will expect to pay anywhere from $30-$40 to pay to park which will allow us to plug in for electricity, dump the black tank, fill up our water tank and get cable TV. It always seems more convenient to be hooked up in a park when we are trying to work from the road. If we aren’t plugged in we can use the lights off battery power and use our 2 outlet inverter to charge all our electronics. I think we stayed in RV parks probably 20/30 days the first month, I think last month we stayed 6 or 7 days. That is a big cost difference.

3. I don’t understand how California is struggling so much economically when everything is SO taxed!! The most expensive we paid for gas was $3.69, we would be lucky to find it around $3.26. Now that we are in AZ its $2.56 right around the corner.

4. People are still asking us, what’s next and I am happy to say I still don’t know! I think uncertainty scares a lot of people but not me. I can tell you for certain that we want to continue this trek for at least 1 more year. Circle back to spend time with family and friends in Kansas and Nebraska once it gets warm again and then go back through Colorado, over to Oregon and back to Cali sometime next October. But in order to continue that long we will have to start making more money from the road. We need at least $3000/month to live comfortably, but could definitely do it cheaper if we had to (which i think we might).

5. Now that we are familiar with our new lifestyle we have been able to spend more time focusing on our own projects. This includes researching the home brew process and working on our new t-shirt store which will hopefully be launching this week. Brian is working on a custom-made sweater company and continues to contract for Popstar.

6. Brian, what have you learned?: “Um, home is where your heart is”. haha! I love catching him off guard. A simple man says so much without many words.

7. My favorite places so far have been: visiting my cousins in Denver and Nevada City, Hood River, OR, Fort Collins, CO, Portland OR, and Pacific City, OR.

8. Places we missed so far that we are hitting next time around: Whistler, Canada, Glacier National Park, and Crater Lake, OR.

9. Best beer for me: The Hub, 7 Grain Stout, Portland, OR – Brian’s Pick: Coopersmith, Green Chili Ale, Fort Collins, CO

10. Ernie says: “(cue whining sound)” and Buddha says: “if I focus on “walking” at a dog park I generally don’t need to bully other dogs around and get in fights”. Buddha still hasn’t learned to NOT drink the salt water even after puking each time he does it.

Thanks for following once again. I am starting to upload videos now to YouTube so subscribe to my channel here. We are spending the next few days in Lake Havasu and plan to head towards San Diego for the weekend, hopefully catching the Chiefs Chargers game on Sunday, to tailgate with a few friends. Hope you all are keeping warm. Stay in touch we love to read comments from our friends!

Stan Francisco!

Posted by Brian | Posted in You trippin! | Posted on 17-11-2010

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After spending  a week and a half with Wendy, Mathew, and Tyler we left Nevada City, CA and headed to San Francisco (“SF” to those in the know). This was one of the places Maria was really looking forward to seeing and it did not disappoint. Our friend Carlos had moved there a year prior and did a great job showing us around.

We stayed in an RV park the first two nights in Marin a town just North of SF, before taking Stanley into the city. We knew this was not as simple as most towns with SF’s narrow roads and 45 degree hills. Smartly we stayed to the outer edge of the city where it was flatter and less congested.

Parking  in SF turned out to be more complicated than most cities as there are not a whole lot of long curb sides, because of complex system of under building garages. After spending one night boondocked on some random curb, we were able to find a spot behind Carlos’ apartment. This worked out perfectly as it was Friday and over the weekend it is not a two hour limit spot.

We haven’t been very touristy in our travels thus far, but we branched out and visited some of the standard stops such as the Fisherman’s Wharf, “the world’s crookedest street”, and the Haight Ashbury district. We also got our culture on at the SF MOMA, but were a bit disappointed in the diversity of work as it seemed like 90% of the exhibits were photographs.

The next day we met up with Carlos, Jenn, and our fellow rubber tramp Brendan to hit up the Exploratorium, which is essentially a giant hanger filled with little science projects and interactive stations that run the gamut from physics to how the mind works. It was a bit overwhelming, but after about 4 hours in there I felt I was able to see about three quarters of the exhibits.

Exploratorium - spectra shadows

Exploratorium - mirror room

Saturday we relaxed at Dolores park with dogs and spent Sunday fixing the bike rack on Stanley and getting ready to head Monday.

Great time in SF and it definitely made the list of top 5 cities been to thus far. Thanks to Carlos and Jenn for the being great hosts.

New Adventures Ahead – Many to look back and reflect

Posted by msdesign21 | Posted in You trippin! | Posted on 08-11-2010

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Well it’s finally time for us to head to San Francisco after a much needed relaxing stay in the woods with my cousin Wendy in Nevada City, CA. We’ve been here for about a week and a half and had the opportunity to hop a flight back to Kansas to surprise my sister at her Delta Gamma sorority initiation. Now, not only are we half sisters, but we are sorority sisters to boot. Awwe, how cute, i know. Well, our trip back also meant we got to hang with our good ol’ buddies in Lawrence for Halloween. You know, we’ve been to a lot of places in our lifetime and I can honestly tell you nothing compares to Lawrence, especially when it comes to basketball season. Brian is going to do a post on our halloween antics, and as for me, well I’m going to back, back, back it up and update you on our past few weeks.

Here is our path since the last post:

After the volcano pass drive we found ourselves in Bend, Oregon. A beautiful little mountain town with some very nice breweries. We only visited 2, Bend Brewing Company and 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Both were worth the visit with great specials on Monday/Tuesday night. 10 Barrel Brewing has a great patio with a fireplace to enjoy your brew outside. After Bend we made a whacky path through the “Painted Hills” John Day Fossil area of Central Oregon. With a little help from my friend Wiki: “Painted Hills is one of the three units of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, located in Wheeler County, Oregon. It totals 3,132 acres and is located 9 miles (14 km) northwest of Mitchell, Oregon and 75 miles east of Bend. Painted Hills is named after the colorful layers of its hills corresponding to various geological eras, formed when the area was an ancient river floodplain.”

Buddha in the Painted Hills

Buddha's face matches the landscape in Painted Hills, OR

The black soil is lignite that was vegetative matter that grew along the floodplain. The grey coloring is mudstone, siltstone, and shale. The red coloring is laterite soil that formed by floodplain deposits when the area was warm and humid.
An abundance of fossil remains of early horses, camels, and rhinoceroses in the Painted Hills unit makes the area particularly important to vertebrate paleontologists.

The Google image search has MUCH nicer pics than I was able to take

But here were a few of my Fav’s I was able to snap:

Buddha and Ernie in the Painted Hills

Red Painted Hills

Painted Hills

Stanley in the Painted Hills

Hipstamatic Hills

After our drive through the hills we found ourselves in Hood River, about an hour east of Portland, for the KU – K-State game, luckily on a Thursday and on ESPN. Unfortunately the game wasn’t much to look forward to but the brewery we found, Full Sail, was quite the delight. Tasty food and many, many beers to sample. Not sure if I’ve said this before but everyone in Oregon is a HUGE hop fan and quite understandably so, as they grow them up here and have some of the freshest hop brews in the country. Hood River definitely found a place in our hearts, the city is sooo pretty bordered by the Columbia river, you can find many outdoor activities including their most famous, kitesurfing. The weather was perfect while we were there and this is definitely a place we would like to return to if we can manage a round 2 next fall.

We would have liked to stay a few more days in Hood River, however we had to be on our way back to Portland to catch M.I.A. concert which pretty much rocked my world. She is an incredible politically charged, funky, future-forward, British visual music artist. I met her briefly in 2008 when she came through Lawrence and performed at Liberty Hall, I snuck backstage and was thrown out just about as quick, but NOT before I could tell her what an incredible show she put on and how she rocked my night. She was really short.

After Portland, we made our merry little way down the Oregon coast. Definitely something everyone should see in their lifetime. Incredible cliff views and huge boulders, just like you see at the end of Goonies. We also managed to make our way to the Tillamook Cheese Factory for a tour and taste. I went through the sample line 3x, it was tasty! We headed as far south as Florence and then made our way over to Eugene to tailgate with the Oregon Ducks vs. UCLA. Brian also has a post about our times there.

After Eugene we were forced to drive south inland, rather along the coast like I would have preferred because of a mighty storm and 50 MPH winds on the coast. We spent the second part of Oct. staying at quite a few casinos for the free parking and subsequent poker if it was in the cards for us 😉 One night found ourselves in the middle of a Live UFC fight night, full of Ed Hardy and Affliction wearing tough guys, a town which seemed to be a population of 200, got all decked out for this night. I played in a poker tourney that night and busted out on the bubble. For the non-poker jargon peeps that means if I waited for one more person to go out I would have won money, but instead I went home with none :(… NEXT time!!

So along our casino crashing night we finally found a fellow RVer doing the same thing as us, or as he so eloquently puts it: “Quit Job. Buy RV. Kick North American Ass.” Brenden, our Canadian counterpart, had a surprising amount of similarities, working in the technology/web world, ignoring the predestined future and comments from everyone around us saying you should climb the corporate ladder and feel warm and comfy with “job security” and plans to RV around North America for the next 2 years, which has also turned out to be a brewery tour for himself as well!! We had a great night sharing travel stories, people we’ve met, sketchy places that we probably should have thought twice parking in and how we now have an incredible heightened sense tuning into any little sound we hear. Seriously, every time i hear a wonky sound nowadays I think, what the hell is that!?” He is pretty much on the same path as us heading south so I have no doubt our paths will cross again. His blog rocks BTW, he is a really good writer, much better than I am, you should check it out at www.blimpyb.com.

From there it was south through the Redwoods, where it was still pretty stormy, but we managed to get lucky and find a 2 hour gap in the rain to make the drive of the Avenue of the Giants. We found what was one of the tallest trees, Founders Tree, fallen in the 90s measuring over 300 ft. tall. Incredible, again, something to not miss!! After Redwoods we drove through wine country and finally visited a few wineries. I loved a couple of shots of the valley with my Hipstamatic iPhone app.

Hipstamatic Wine Country 1

Hipstamatic Wine Country 2

And the rest is history, hanging out with my cousin. Over the weekend she pointed us to the Yuba river where we took the dogs on a 3 mile hike on Hoyt’s Trail. The river has huge white boulders and geological landscapes unlike anything I’ve seen before. Buddha has a great time chasing rocks in the river, sticking his entire head underwater, trying to fetch rocks. This guy just cracks me up!!

Thanks again for following. I will keep you posted on our times in SF, heading south on 101 from there. Life is good! 🙂