Whew! What a whirlwind of a week! We have had too much fun to stop and write. So, let’s catch up…
Tuesday, we embarked on our maiden voyage from our family farm in Tennessee to our builder’s shop in Chattanooga where he graciously let us hook up and stay for the night (see: previous post). We then left on Wednesday and journeyed to Atlanta. Now, I’m not going to lie: I have never been a big fan of Atlanta. The traffic makes me crazy. I used to drive through the ATL to and from college in Florida. It stressed me out so I’ve always thought less than positively about that giant city. However… we had a great time in Atlanta. We stayed at Stone Mountain Campground just far enough away from the madness, but close enough to go into the city for some culture and amazing grub.
And of course, Ikea. I find it very difficult to go through any city with an Ikea without stopping. After we set up at Stone Mountain Campground, we headed to my adult Disney World AKA Ikea. (Ooh, Disney World… That’s an idea!) We had a gift card and some things to return from our build so I didn’t go overboard and spend every penny we’d saved for this sabbatical much to Ross’s pleasure. You can’t buy too much when you live in a tiny house.
After which, we went to Flip Burger Boutique on suggestion from The Frugal RVer (an awesome family we’ll talk about soon). Those were some dang good burgers. Side note: we’ve never found a better burger than at Burger Republic in Nashville, but Flip is a solid second craveable meal. The next morning, we visited the Georgia Aquarium where I fell in love with the sea lions. It really is a cool aquarium that was packed with people. Also, I’m fascinated that they can keep whale sharks and belugas in captivity in a relatively small aquarium facility.
Anyhow, then we walked a bit around downtown and decided on Aviva by Kameel for lunch. Holy Mediterranean yumminess. That was the best meal with the best customer service we have had in a long time. I HIGHLY recommend that any Atlanta visitors find this popular, hidden gem and order all the things. I’m hungry just thinking about it. We then came back and explored our campground a bit. Later that evening we were honored to talk with that fantastic family I mentioned earlier: The Frugal RVer. Check out his website/Facebook/YouTube for the full interview coming to you soon. You can also see some sneak peek shots we shared on our Instagram and Facebook.
Do you all remember that insane winter storm that swept the country last week? Well, it was supposed to hit Atlanta Friday afternoon, so we packed up and tried to outrun it. We outran the cold and snow, but not the rain. Our house is not built for snow, and neither am I for that matter. The pitch on our roof is not steep enough the sustain heavy loads of snow, so guess who would be climbing on top of that 13-foot roof in the freezing cold to knock of that white villainous stuff. No thanks. Given that we have a great water catchment system designed by Mike Bedsole at Tiny House Chattanooga, I was perfectly OK with testing it out at our next, much warmer yet rainy destination: Savannah, Georgia.
Savannah is beautiful with all its rich history, original architecture, and Spanish moss. Just driving around downtown was gorgeous. We decided to try out our Harvest Host membership while there. For those who don’t know, let me tell you about Harvest Hosts. I. Love. It. Harvesthosts.com is a network of hosts that allows members to stay overnight on their property… wait for it… FOR FREE. Your rig must be completely self-contained and you should contact the host before you visit to make sure there is availability. Most stays are 24 hours, unless your host agrees to longer. All they ask is that you support the business, whatever it is (winery, brewery, u-pick farms, alpaca farm, museum, etc.), and either work there for a short time or buy some of the product. It really is the greatest thing ever. We stayed at Keller’s Flea Market and successfully boondocked for the first time using our solar and water catchment systems. The Keller’s allowed us to stay for the whole weekend. We gladly did and explored a bit of Savannah and Tybee Island.
We decided we wanted to be a little warmer. Heading south seemed like the thing to do. We drove down to America’s Oldest City: St. Augustine, Florida. Our tiny house got to be the first one ever parked at the friendly Compass RV Park. My great-aunts and their husbands, Ruthie & Ed and Pat & Ken, moved down from Tennessee quite a few years ago. Let me tell you, these people knew what they were doing when moving to this beautiful oasis. They’ve got the right idea, and I love how active in their communities they have become. My Aunt Pat and Uncle Ken are raising a fantastic young ten-year old kiddo and Pat volunteers at the local hospital gift shop in addition to a myriad of different activities. My Aunt Ruthie quilts and embroiders some amazing pieces, and Uncle Ed has really mastered his art of creating unique copper sculptures. It is incredible what they are able to produce. We had the pleasure of meeting up with them and enjoying some Florida sunshine while exploring the National Monument, Castillo de San Marcos. The downtown area of St. Augustine is adorable with great people watching.
Remember that Disney World idea we had? Oh yeah. It’s happening. From St. Augustine to Orlando we went. What was supposed to be a two-hour drive turned into a seven-hour drive thanks to I-4 traffic including a vehicle and brush fire. Now, we have a 200 mile or 2 pm rule, meaning we don’t like to go more than 200 miles or travel after 2pm in a single day. Otherwise, it becomes too tedious and just not fun! Needless to say, seven hours in the truck was not our idea of a good time. It really didn’t help that the “amazing tiny house community” we found online with the gorgeous lakefront pictures was terrible. I’m talking sardine can-close parking spots filled with a few cute tiny houses but mostly old RV rigs literally being held together with duct tape. It even took us three tries to get OUT of the place. No. No way. Not staying there. Even though we can be completely off grid and boondock anywhere, this is the moment we had our first thought of “Where in the world are we going to stay now?!” We semi-frantically called around, but seriously… Orlando in peak snowbird season? Highly unlikely that we were going to find anything open on this short notice. And then, we called Central Park RV Resort. And y’all… the angels were singing. I’ll tell you all about our one week stay in our next update. Until next time…