We call her Betty. I honestly don’t know how we lived without her. She’s amazing. Sometimes she has some emotional issues…but we still love her. Yes folks, I’m talking about our Garmin Nuvi 350. Roadtrips will never be the same. Before Betty, we would use our Blackberries to get online with Google Maps. This worked great, except when we didn’t have service. Then we were out of luck. Betty is much more advanced. She gets her information from a satellite. Let’s just say I love the inventor of GPS.

Betty can find ANYTHING, it seems. For example, when we are driving down the interstate and need to check on grease possibilites, we just tell her to find restaurants and she lists them in order of distance. If we want Chinese restaurants specifically, she’s glad to refine the list. My favorite search, of course, is for the nearest coffeeshop. Now, if somehow I could just get her to taste test and review each one, that would be perfection.

She will calculate our speed while we’re driving, our average speed, total time on the road, moving time, moving average, stopped time, stopped average and overall average. It tells us how many miles we’ve gone and also how many miles until our destination. She also tells us the our estimated time of arrival. These are all very important things, as Matt is the ultimate trip planner. We can also install a language update with translations for French and Spanish (but we won’t be). She’s a very cultured GPS. AND, she’s an MP3 player too.

But, like any electronic device, she isn’t perfect. Betty doesn’t really care that we are an RV. In fact, we might as well be a little racecar for all she cares. She will sometimes take us on a route that doesn’t take our HUGENESS into account. She will also take the most direct route…even if it’s not logical. So sometimes we opt for a “Betty Override”. The other little glitch is that development happens so fast that she needs an update every once in awhile so she knows where the new roads, new restaurants,new campgrounds, etc. are located.

Bella heard me talking about Betty…so I tried to explain.

Bella: “Who is Betty?”
Me: “Betty tells us where to go when we’re driving.”
Bella: “Where is she?”
Me: “She is kind of in that little computer (pointing to the dashboard).”
Bella: “Why ?”
Me: “Well…she’s a pretend person who helps us while we drive”.
Bella: “Why is Betty in there?”
Me: “She’s pretend.”
Bella: “Why?”
Me: “Betty is like a map”.
Bella: “Ohhhhhhh. Ok.”
Me: “We love Betty.”



  1. I like how she just ends up saying, “Ooohh, OK” So, how far to my house and the little Thai place downtown?! :)

    Comment by Kristin Mayo — July 3, 2007 @ 10:37 pm

  2. I know someone who has one that you can change the voice. Does yours do that? It seems like a very cool thing especially while travelling.

    Comment by chelee — July 4, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

  3. Not so impressed with your ‘living lightly’ anymore. Why buy a huge motorhome when you could find a minimal one? Why buy ‘toys’ like a GPS when you have all the time in the world to read a map and explore? And why would you expect anyone to pay for your luxury trip around the country? Very disappointed.

    Comment by Hannah — July 5, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

  4. Hi Hannah…
    Thank you for stopping by. Here are a few more thoughts for you to consider as you judge our actions.

    Why buy a huge motorhome when you could find a minimal one?

    By RV standards…ours is VERY minimal. With a 3 year-old already and probably more on the way in a few years, 200 sq. feet of living space is, in my opinion, excessively minimal :) Also, living in an RV is very “light living”. The footprint made by an RV, especially one running on veggie oil, is much less than even the tiniest of apartments.

    Why buy toys like a GPS when you have all the time in the world to read a map and explore?

    A GPS is a luxury, yes. However, in the few short days that we’ve had it, it has saved us much time and energy. I would rather spend my time and efforts spreading the news about sustainable living, playing with Bella, or talking with Matt instead of driving around lost and looking at a map. Especially with the amount of touring we’ll be doing…we’ll be in cities that are completely foreign to us. It’s such a wonderful thing to be able to enter an address and go straight there without stress. Plus, there is no map that I know of that tells you where restauarants are so that we can find places to fill up easily.

    Lastly, we are not expecting companies to fund our “luxury trip” around the country. All companies have marketing budgets and they spend money all the time on placement marketing. We are not soliciting companies to fund our trip…we are merely trying to raise enough funds to put the vinyl “Live Lightly” logo wrap on the RV. We will be making money on our own (doing photography and other things). Hardly a “luxury tour” :-) We are working very hard (over 40 hours a week in some cases) to live the kind of life that we want for ourselves and our daughter.

    I hope that you’ll reconsider your assumptions and stick around. :) Peace.

    Comment by Sara — July 5, 2007 @ 10:29 pm

  5. Really I think a GPS is a wise investment because (as you stated Sara) it helps conserve energy -mental energy as well ( : My dh and I have tried traveling by map and with mapquest directions-and still have ended up lost. With GPS it is much simpler to find a place, thus the less amount of fuel is consumed.

    Comment by nikki — July 7, 2007 @ 3:33 am

  6. She’s definitely jealous of the grand adventure you are having with your family…. Enjoy!

    Comment by Meghan — July 8, 2007 @ 12:41 am

  7. Yea…a bit too quick to judge I’d say…I love telling people what my sister is doing…they find it really intriguing and have lots of questions. Some think it’s weird but I just say well…that’s just who they are : ) hehe, only kidding.. I’m loving reading your updates and your new pictures are spectacular. Miss you guys!

    Comment by Laura O — July 10, 2007 @ 2:19 pm

  8. [...] Rapid City at 10:00 p.m. We were getting pretty tired at that point and decided to stop for coffee. Betty told us where to go for a cup of joe…but what we didn’t know was that it was the [...]

    Pingback by Back to Bozeman « Live Lightly — July 10, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

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