TGIF San Diego… BEACH!

Celebrity sighting! Today, John and I left our rad rental pad to go get the Truckster an oil change (she needs to be in TOP shape for next weeks’ trek home though the desert,) but we were stopped on our way out of the neighborhood. A glimmer of black metal attached to long, thin poles caught our eye. We saw it from afar. We hoped it would be true. As we approached to turn the bend we found ourselves facing our dreams come true… a camera man and a reporter!

“Ron Burgundy!” John shouted in his failed attempt to ‘play it cool.’

Camera loves Edna

The camera loves Edna

As it turns out, it wasn’t Ron, but we had an enjoyable time throwing around movie quotes from both Anchor Man (2004) and, our personal favorite, National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983).

After our close-up, we continued to the local Jiffy Lube where we made friends a with mechanic who gave the Wagon Queen a make-over.

When we came to pick her up, a different mechanic came up to me and said “Miss, you should be all set. That’s yours over there, right?” He nodded in the direction of a black SUV across the lot.

“No,” I replied. “Mine’s the green one.” I nodded in the direction of the Truckster.

This exchange reminded me of shopping the used car lots with my dad for my very first car. I remember talking to a sales person after I had just been coached not to let them think I really wanted the awesome, beautiful, sleek black one we’d just passed. So when the sales woman said to me, “well what color are you looking for today?”

With a smirk on my face, because it was the LAST color I would EVER want in a car (no offense to anyone who drives one…) “I’d prefer a green one.”

Boy, how things have changed. Telling that mechanic the “green one” belonged to me today at the station was a statement of pride. These days I wear my truckie badge of honor on my sleeve for the world to see. To all green car drivers (who I probably just offended) please accept my olive branch; I LOVE driving this green station wagon. I am one of you.

oil change

Perhaps she looked a little like this back in her Lou Glutz Motors days...

Pulling out of the service station, she ran better than ever. So John and I treated our beauty to some premium gasoline and took her for a joy ride. Away to nearby Mission Beach we drove with the windows down and music loud.

We made sure the sunscreen flowed all afternoon as the three of us hung out at the beach boardwalk. And luckily, for John and Adam, the Truckster tried to shake off any residual sand (no one wants to drive for hours on end with sand sticking to the back of your legs!)

Word on the street is that Dave Matthews is playing in the area tonight. I think Dave fans would love the Truckster… I mean, I do! So fingers crossed, maybe the Metallic Pea can work her magic one last time to get us in the concert? Maybe? Or perhaps John and I will look for other amusements on what is shaping up to be a lovely southern California evening.

Regardless, today goes down as a good day in my book.

Happy Friday, see you tomorrow at the Chargers vs Cowboys pre-game tailgate in lot P1 where we’ll be hanging out with San Diego’s Rock 105.3.

“You stay classy, San Diego” –Ron Burgundy

And that’s all you’ll be hearing from me this summer.
Make me proud and get my fellow Truckies home to Austin, Truckster!
I’ll miss this, Steph

A goodbye salute to life as a Truckie

I’m really bad with goodbyes. I figured I’d get it over with ahead of time so that I will be able to enjoy my last few days on the road. (I don’t ACTUALLY leave until Sunday, but…) From the beautiful Newport Beach of Orange County, California… I typed this farewell to my summer of fun while surrounded by the serene ambiance of sand below me and waves crashing before me.

It’s strange to think that in less than one week’s time I’ll be back in Austin, Texas. For those who don’t know, I’m leaving the tour just a few days early since I am moving to New York City for my full-time job this September. This summer’s adventure has been just that, an adventure. There have been bumps and bruises along the way (from stacking and unstacking our hard-shell Samsonites, not doubt,) tired days and days I wished would never end. But all in all, I’m proud to call myself a “Truckie” and sad to be leaving that name behind. There are memories I will keep engrained in my senses for years to come – like the smell of the Truckster, and this high-pitched, fast laugh that resonates from John when something unexpected happens. I will miss turning heads when I drive down the street… some how I just don’t think my white Hyundai Elantra will elicite the same reaction.

There are things I would say I’ve become a bit of an expert at – like washing the front windshield, remembering to keep track of my receipts and to leave a thank you note. But there are some things, though almost three-months later, I still can’t get used to – like pumping gas into the trunk, ‘happily’ eating out every meal, and living out of a suitcase every day.

At the same time. I’m preparing myself for a transition period in my life. The Truckster travels conveniently mark the end of an era. Now 23, I suppose it’s time to ‘women’ up; it’s time to be an adult. I’m assuming it’s going to take determination to convince my full-time self that sitting behind a desk on your computer is a bit more normal than typing away while hundreds of miles of scenery pass by my passenger seat window. I hope my new office provides good coffee because this summer I’ve expanded my taste buds having experienced probably the very best AND the very worst American coffee vendors have to offer.

But happily, I enter this transition into the ‘real world’ with…

Steph with map

…a new found respect for our country

AdamAnnen

…respect for the daily grind (thanks to the amazingly dedicated HomeAway.com PR team)

JohninNewYork

…a new friend who I will dearly miss, but will never hesitate to call

(and never thought I’d say this one)

familytruckster

An obnoxiously obsessive love of the Wagon Queen Family Truckster.

Bye y’all and in the words of the man who saw an opportunity to create something incredible, and has brought more smiles to complete strangers this summer than he could ever imagine… as Gary Schneider, Mr. Wagon Queen Family Truckster himself wrote on the back of my favorite Truckie shirt when I asked for his autograph, “Keep on Truckin.’

Now, enough of that. Grab a tissue, get your head in the game, and watch this video of our STELLAR vacation rental in Anaheim, California! We’re hanging out here for tomorrow (BREAK DAY!) and Thursday we’re headed to San Diego!

You’re invited to a HomeAway BBQ with the Truckster near Madison, WI

From the streets of Chicago to the lunch crowds of Third Ward Milwaukee and coming home to our ‘convenient cottage’ just outside of Madison, Wisconsin, today Mondays are for MEETING… meeting friendly faces and warm welcomes all around.

We ran into the Milwaukee area news crew from CBS-58 while making a lunch stop in the bustling Third Ward. If you happen to see the famous Wagon Queen Family Truckster, or yours truly, tonight on the news – let us know how we look!

Then we headed back to John’s old stomping ground from his weenie days at Oscar Mayer: Madison, Wisconsin. The free spirited parents, Kim and Jason, from kimandjason.com welcomed us with a pitcher of lemonade. We chatted with them about our travels and let them play around in the Truckster. Look for a bit on the Truckster to show up on their blog soon!

John at Kim and Jason's house

John, Kim and Jason in Madison, WI

Steph at Kim and Jason's Home

With Kim and Jason from kimandjason.com

Now, if you’re in the Madison area and interested in making tomorrow a ‘Truckster Tuesday’ =) you are cordially invited to join us for some BBQ at HomeAway Property: 175522. Check out the Facebook event at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=135931669772316&index=1

Event details:

5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
30977 County Hwy B
Lone Rock, WI 53556

All are welcome!

Please RSVP accordingly on the Facebook event if you’ll be joining us for bratwursts and a photo opportunity to get your picture with the Truckster! And of course, if you can’t make it out on this ‘Travel Tuesday’ you can still celebrate with us by posting a family vacation photo to our Facebook for a chance at the $5000 vacation giveaway.

See you tomorrow!
Steph

Philadelphia Phillies Game

There’s nothing like a summer night at the ballpark! Today, after a little business in the office – I mean our Atlantic City townhome – John and I drove back to Philadelphia for the Phillies vs. the Clevland Indians baseball game.

It was great. The citizens of Philadelphia truly understand the mystique of the Truckster and there was all kinds of brotherly love in the warm welcome we received by tailgaters at the game. We’re talking dropped jaws, and fist pumps in the air when we rolled up. Families that had gathered around their big red cooler to debate whether it should be called “coke” or “soda” (in their city accents) stopped mid-sentence, shocked at the sight before them. As for me, I felt like a celebrity. What can I say…is there anything more American than baseball and the icon of family vacationing – united in the SAME PARKING LOT?

No, there isn’t.

As the clock ticked down to game time, I had the special privilege of meeting Mr. and Mrs. Gris— I mean John’s parents. They came from Harrisburg, PA (FYI: it’s the state capitol) just to see the metallic pea paint and eight headlights. Seriously, John was just a bonus. =)

We soon joined the 44,836 attendees for the night who had piled into the ballpark. I sat on the edge of my seat all night hoping for a Phillies homerun; all I wanted was to see the giant Liberty Bell (shaped out of lights that stands illuminated over the Citizens Bank Park sign off in the outfield) ring!

I waited.

And the Phillies Phanatic danced.

But the score remained 2:1 Phillies with no “dings” to be heard.

Suddenly, it was just about the middle of the 9th when pitcher Brad “Lights-Out” Lidge heaved the final blow that defeated the Indians, signifying another Phillies victory!

And much to my surprise…

Peace-out (I’m getting REALLY excited for NYC!) Steph

Truckster’s History Lesson in Colonial Williamsburg and Bowie Baysox Game

Here ye, here ye. I doth declare that Mother of All Trips, Mara, and 8-year-old Tommy, shall here to forth be addressed with the prefix “Truckie.”

Truckie Mara and Truckie Tommy rose to their feet in the Colonial Williamsburg Courthouse at the final words of the judge before them, and the crowd cheered with jubilation upon realizing the historical event taking place before their eyes. For only twice before have any two nobles ever doned the prestigious “Truckie” designation. But after two days in the Truckster, the vote was unanimous with ‘Ayes’ all around.

Congrats Truckie Mara and Truckie Tommy, your hard work paid off and Truckie John and Truckie Steph could not be more excited.

And then there were four.

After our brief but interesting trip to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia the Truckster was craving pavement. (If your planning a family stop there, it’s a great place to visit but make sure you alot plenty of time to explore the vast historical city – you’ll need it! In fact, I recommend sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and time. : ) We hit the road again and pointed north to march on the capitol. With our shades on and the traffic thick, we slowly approached the beautiful Maryland rental home where our newest Truckies are spending the night, before we hit the Bowie Baysox minor league game. The spectators came hungry and happy to cheer on their Baysox as they battled the Reading Phillies. Though they were outnumbered in the stands, all-things-‘Philly’-fans and Truckies at heart, John and Tommy were the loudest pair at Prince George Stadium.

One thing is for sure, we’ll all be sleeping soundly tonight.

Tomorrow, we’ll say goodbye to Mara and Tommy, but look for Aunt Edna at the “Taste of Reston” festival in the afternoon and on Saturday we’ll be there with a special guest from MIX 107.3!

g’night, Steph



Great American Road Trip kicks off at Six Flags Fiesta, Texas!

Ready, set, let’s hit the road!


With the tank full and the Truckster packed, Truckies Adam, Stephanie and John cruised into Six Flags Fiesta Texas for the official HomeAway Great American Road Trip kickoff! The sun was hot, but that certainly didn’t stop thrill-seekers and Truckster fanatics from hitting the roller-coasters and stopping by our green machine for their family photo! We had a great time hanging-out with San Antonio’s Country Station KJ-97 and morning host Jamie. I have to say, the Truckster looked good out there surrounded by families and smiling faces.


Remember to become a Facebook fan of Home Away if you snapped a picture at our event http://www.facebook.com/HomeAway.  You can upload your photo to Home Away’s Facebook page because, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well, at HomeAway, your picture could be worth $5000 vacation!

Happy Memorial Day everyone! Be safe out there on the road and keep an eye out for the Wagon Queen Family Truckster!

Next stop: Galveston, Texas then off to New Orleans!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.