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Eco-friendly Couple. Airstreamin' Across America.

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Maui Eats

Even though it wasn’t a real vacation for us (we still had to work), we made sure to eat out a lot. That has been our favorite part of traveling so much, eating out. And Maui did not disappoint in the food department, that’s for darn sure. Here is our top five list of amazing eats on the island.

1) Choice Juice Bar: Local and organic fresh food, ‘nuf said! The food was phenomenal and the smoothie was delicious. Get the buddha bowl: healthy grains, vegan soup, and kale salad.

2) Star Noodle: Crazy long wait, but it was so worth it. Paid thai, brussel sprouts, garlic noodles, and roasted mushrooms were just a few of the items our group shared. The drinks were great and the dessert was even better. Get the malasadas (fried doughnuts with chocolate and caramel dipping sauces). Yum!

3) Pi Artisan Pizzeria: New pizza place on the north end of Front Street. If you are from Minnesota, it’s very similar to Punch Pizza.

4) Lahaina Pizza Company: Another great pizza place. I didn’t get to have a piece (dairy allergy) but Travis said it was amazing. The service was kinda crappy though.

5) Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop: Best pie ever! We actually went here three times. The food was really good, but the pie, WOW! Get the Banana Creme.

 

Here are the top two drink stops we made on the island.

Lorraine’s Shave Ice (Banana Bread): This women’s house/food stand is about 20 minutes passed the Nakalele Blowhole. And it is worth the frightening drive. The shave ice was wonderful. And yes, it’s shave ice, not shaved ice. Get the Lorraine special. And the banana bread was delicious. Big chunks of banana.

Maui Brewing Company: This place just opened up a new tap room and brewing facility. The grounds are beautiful and it looks like they did a great job of designing environmentally friendly. Love it! The beer that is brewed with pineapple was our favorite.

 

It’s never easy to pick a top five, so I wanted to give you the rest of the restaurants we dined at: Vineyard Food Company (catering), Down to Earth (cafe and grocery), Charley’s Restaurant and Saloon (great smoked tofu), Kō at the Fairmont Kea Lani, and Kimo’s. Those are in no particular order. Aloha!

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Waves, Whales, and WordPress

Obviously I’m a little behind on the blogging. Sorry! We have been out of our Airstream for over two weeks and it makes for an even crazier life than we are used to. I am hoping to get caught up next week while we are vacationing in Big Sky, MT.

On Wednesday, February 11th we flew to Maui. The flight was pretty turbulent, enough for me to have to put my phone down at one point, grip the arm rest, and chant to myself ‘Please be over soon, please be over soon.’ Six hours later we were on the ground, enjoying the sun and palm trees. We rented a car to be able to explore the island a bit. Here’s a hint to those renting a car while traveling with their significant other: ask if they have any deals for honeymooners. We saved $100! What they don’t know, can’t hurt them.

We had the privilege of staying with our friend Jeff while we visited Maui. His place felt so much like ‘home.’ Our own bedroom and patio furniture that looked out over the ocean. It wan’t so bad to sleep in a ‘real’ bed and have dual sinks in the bathroom. In fact, we felt downright spoiled. We spent most of our time exploring the island or working, except for Friday and Saturday when we hung out at WordCamp Maui. The conference was actually kind of fun. And that is coming from someone who knows next to nothing about WordPress. However, writing a blog has made me a little more knowledgable.

One of our favorite parts of the whole trip was driving around the northern part of west Maui after work on Thursday. We heard that the homemade banana bread on that side of the island was amazing and there was always the off chance that we could see a whale from shore. The road was really curvy with crazy cliffs. Several sections were even one-way with no advanced notice. I hope to have our GoPro footage posted soon. We stopped quickly at a few spots on the way out, but we really just wanted to get out there to get our snacks. We found Lorraine’s Shave Ice and were so impressed. We planned on grabbing a loaf of bread and eating it on the way home. We ended up getting two loaves and a ‘Lorraine’s special’ shave ice, and sat in her backyard for a half hour watching the waves and chatting with this wonderful woman. She grew up in this house and has been making banana bread for years. She showed us her room of pictures that she receives from her customers and family. It was amazing. This woman, who lives on a remote part of Maui, has touched so many lives. We were so moved. We finished the shave ice (which was amazing, as was the banana bread) said our goodbyes, and started our drive back to Lahaina.

We stopped to do a hike down to the Nakalele Blowhole. The waves were coming in strong so the water was getting shot out of the blowhole every few seconds. We got pretty close, but not as close as this crazy couple that was hit with a huge wave from the ocean. They were drenched! Ha! We could have sat there and watched the ocean and the waves for hours. The islands of Hawaii really have a majesty to them. There is some kind of pull that you can’t experience anywhere else. I feel it every time we land. It’s amazing.

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The Importance of Roadside Assistance

Our second week in California was much more boring than the first. Travis worked from the Airstream and I worked from the side of the pool. The wifi was ok for me, but not good enough for Trav. We went swimming several times after work this week too. We had some great conversations with people that were staying at the park. There were many couples wintering from British Columbia and Ontario. We met a couple our age that was from Georgia, Dan and Jenna (check out their Instagram). They have been traveling for five months with their dog, Baxter. We hung out two nights just talking about our travels and what we like and don’t like about traveling. We found out we have a lot in common with them and that Baxter may be Porter’s long lost brother.

On Sunday, we ventured out to the Salton Sea. It’s a large saltwater lake in the middle of the desert. It was created by mistake when people in the early 1900s tried to create irrigation canals to increase water flow from the Colorado River to the agriculture fields of the Coachella Valley. Over the next two years, the basin filled up and created a large lake. The salinity of the lake continues to increase because they is no outlet for the water and evaporation continues to increase. The lake is actually kind of beautiful but the smell is awful. The beach is made up of crushed shells and fish bones. Porter enjoyed walking along the lake, but I didn’t let him get to close to the water.

Because we were finally leaving the RV Park on Tuesday, we had to clean up and pack on Monday afternoon. That meant another load of laundry, repacking the truck, and giving the Airstream a thorough scrub-down. Luna is actually going into the shop for a week to get a few repairs, so I had to be sure that stuff was not in the way for the repairs. This meant that the cleaning and packing took way longer than usual. Dan and Jenna stopped by for a beer and to say goodbye that evening. They will be staying at this RV park for awhile, but we hope to meet up with them again soon.

On Tuesday, we left at 6:15am and set off to Santa Barbara. About an hour down the road we stopped at the CabIMG_0083ezon Dinosaurs and recreated an epic scene from Peewee’s Big Adventure. It was a quick stop, but neat to see these huge dinosaur statues in the desert.

The only issue on the way to Santa Barbara was during a bathroom stop. I was driving (Jenna) and pulled over to the side of the road because the parking lot of the gas station was really small. But I pulled too close to a tree. When we tried to leave the spot, we were so close that driving away would have caused the awning to be completely torn off the shell. I called Good Sam Roadside Assistance and a tow truck was there in 45 minutes. We unhooked the Airstream, he attached a wench, and slid the Airstream away from the curb in about 10 minutes. It was remarkable! Thank you Best Car Towing of Los Angeles. And because we have roadside assistance, it was totally covered.

We dropped Luna off at HofArc and drove back into LA to drop off Porter. The traffic was awful. I know that’s not a surprise, but I had to say it again. Yuck! It was bad. The last task for the day was dropping Porter off with a couple we found on rover.com. He was whining when we left and I cried as I walked back to the truck. :( I know he will be fine, but it was so hard. We stayed with a friend that night, which was so helpful. Next stop, Maui! Aloha!

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Trapped in the Canyon

We have had quite the week in California so far. We have been staying at Oasis Palms RV Park just south of Coachella, CA. Yep, that Coachella. It’s a great park with really nice people and amenities. But you’re going to have to wait for the review to hear more about that. I’m trying to get away from a minute by minute review of our time on the road. So I’ll give you the exciting bits and summarize the boring stuff.

The work week (January 27-30) was spent working, cleaning, cooking, swimming, and taking Porter for walks. Our RV Park has a great hot tub and pool that has been very relaxing at the end of the day. And helped us get some more exercise. I have been trying to cook some more exciting meals for dinner, so on Wednesday I made stuffed portabella mushroom caps. Wow, they were delicious! Here’s the recipe. We ventured in to the Palm Springs area for a couple of doctor appointments and to fix the fuse on the truck’s electrical outlet. Back on New Year’s Eve, we tried to heat up some water in the electric teapot to rid the sewer line of ice when we had to stay at that RV park before we made it to Big Bend. Needless to say, it was too much and the fuse blew. So now it’s finally fixed. We would have done it ourselves, but there are so many fuses in that truck, we couldn’t even guess which one it was.

On Saturday, we went up to Joshua Tree for the morning/early afternoon. We decided to leave Porter in the Airstream because dogs aren’t allowed on hiking trails in National Parks. I don’t even know if they would care, he’s barely the size of a squirrel. Anyway, we drove through the IMG_9726lower end of the park (east side) where the Colorado Desert gives the park more cacti and low shrubs. As we made our way to the western side of the park, we crossed into the Mojave Desert where we finally got to see a Joshua Tree. They really do look like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. One turned into two, which turned into a forest. It’s still a desert, but it was so nice to see trees, no matter what they were. By the time we got up to our hike, Hidden Valley, the temperature had dropped from 72 to 55. And we were NOT prepared for that. During the last hour of driving, we hadn’t even noticed that we were going up in elevation. Travis put on the pants he had brought and I found some leggings, hats, and mittens in our winter bin in the bed of the truck. Even though I was still wearing my sandals, I felt much more prepared to hike. It started to rain a little as we made the loop through the biggest boulders in the park, but it was beautiful. We finished and decided to drive up to Keys Point for a nice view over the Valley. It was so windy, but worth the quarter mile hike. I think I saw the San Andreas Fault from where we stood, hundreds of feet above it. We couldn’t really see Palm Springs because of all the pollution/particulates in the air. We took a few pictures and drove out the west entrance of the park. I had to stop at the visitor’s center to quickly grab some more postcards. I haven’t been sending out enough of those.

We decided to extend our stay an extra day (instead of leaving on Sunday), so we went back to Joshua Tree. This time we brought Porter and we were just going to do a quick hike and take the Geology Tour Road. Before we headed out on our hike we IMG_9829ate some peanut butter sandwiches while we sat on the tailgate. Porter decided that from that height he was tough enough to bark at a big black lab. Ha! The hike turned out to be a little longer than expected, 4 miles. But it was great to get out and stretch our legs. Porter stayed in the car and did really well. The hike lead to an old gold mine, Lost House Mine. There was still a ten-stamp mill left behind. We finished around 3:00 and it was shocking how the temperature drops when the sun isn’t blazing overhead.

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McDowell Mountain County Park Campground Review

Why we chose here? We had family coming in from MN and wanted to be close to them, plus this campsite had great reviews.

Location: Fountain Hills, AZ, about 40 miles NE of Phoenix

Sites: We had a large gravel spot (57) for the truck and airstream, picnic table, charcoal grill

Amenities: Trash and can recycling, restrooms and showers, only water and electric hookups with a dump station, lots of hiking and biking

Groceries: Fountain Hills has a couple of grocery stores, we got groceries before coming to town

Cell Coverage/Wifi: No wifi, AT&T was not great (only 3G I think), Verizon had LTE

Price Paid: $30 per night, plus $8 reservation fee

Date of Visit: Jan 2015

Other: Bathrooms and showers were nice. Hiking and biking trails were fun. Sunsets were unparalleled.

Would we come here again: Yes! Great sites, very private!

http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/mcdowell/

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