Saying Goodbye

We have “officially” closed the cross-country traveling chapter of our lives…because there is no more RV to travel around in! :) A few weeks ago, we finalized the sale of the coach to a most wonderful couple named Kevin and Annmarie Gianni. They contacted us even before we had officially put the RV on the market…looking to find a “green RV”. They flew into Bozeman on a Friday night, and all day Saturday we taught them the “ropes” of the RV, how to gather veggie oil, what this button does, what this door goes to…they were complete newbies, but we had total faith that they would do fine all the way back to Connecticut. And they did.

Beginning this spring, they are going to be heading out on a tour of their own…speaking all over the country on a topic that is near and dear to our hearts…raw food and holistic nutrition/health. Woooo! Kevin and Annmarie are a powerful voice and a wonderful example of how we can live healthy lives. They are so laid back and “real”…you can’t help but to like them. :) Check out more about them at their website, Be sure to register to receive their hilarious and informational online health show. They filmed their trip back home from Bozeman, and it’s quite amusing. Well, I’m sure that they wouldn’t categorize getting stuck in an ice storm amusing, but they’re just fun to watch. I would highly encourage you to follow them as they tour….we’re sure looking forward to seeing them again in Montana!

Saying goodbye to this RV wasn’t nearly as hard as leaving the blue beast…there were just so many more memories linked to that one. But it was an emotional transition nonetheless. Especially for our little princess. Well, at least for about 5 minutes…and then she was on to something else :) We reassured her that we would still be able to travel without an RV, but we would just do it like normal people…in a car! That was a new concept for her. You can see more photos of their visit here (including Bella’s very sad face).

We are still LOVING Bozeman and being settled. Just today, we found a kitchen table and chairs on Craigslist (we’ve been without for over 6 months!) and it’s amazing how the little things in life are such luxuries right now. I am 21 weeks pregnant…and everything is progressing nicely. Measuring perfect and a strong heartbeat. Lots of kicking going on as well. Life is good.

I’ve been editing photos from the last leg of our trip and will post those blogs sometime before 2012. :)

Do You Smell Sunflower Seeds?

Dakota Burl Renovations
Yes! That’s because Matt just created and installed our new counter top and table. They are made from Dakota Burl, which is compressed sunflower seed shells held together by a soy-based resin. It’s an incredibly renewable resource, as it can be re-grown in four months. I’m so thrilled to have these beautiful and functional new surfaces. I love to cook…so having 2/3 more counter space makes me a very happy girl. He also replaced all of the old, deteriorating plumbing and put in new drains. I am constantly in awe of Matt and his craftsmanship. He did such a great job! There are a few more photos of the process in our “Renovations” photo set here.

We purchased the Burl from the Refuge Sustainable Building Center in Bozeman. It was fun to look at all of the different types of alternative materials available. Here is more information about this particular eco-friendly option:

What Is Dakota Burl®?

  • A unique composite material that utilizes a bio-based technology and exhibits the beauty and elegance of traditional burled woods.

How Does Dakota Burl® Benefit Our Environment?

  • Manufactured from a rapidly renewable agricultural fiber product.
  • No out-gassing solvents are added during the manufacturing process, thus the material emits no VOCs into the atmosphere.

What Does Dakota Burl® Look Like?

  • The defined black outlining complements the natural yellow and brown tones of the fibers creating a distinctive pattern.
  • Natural or stained, the material resembles authentic burled woods, giving a wide range of color options.
  • The burled pattern and natural appearance run throughout the thickness of the material.

How Does Dakota Burl® Work?

  • The material cuts, sands and routes with standard woodworking tools.
  • Traditional wood staining and finishing techniques can be used on the material to create a wide range of appearances.
  • Four foot by eight foot panels are manufactured in 1/2″, 3/4″ and 1″ thicknesses.

How Can I Use Dakota Burl®

  • Superior panel properties allow for a variety of applications.
  • Table Surfaces, Horizontal and Vertical Surfaces (transaction surfaces and interior decorative wall applications), Cabinetry, Furniture and Architectural Applications are all excellent uses for Dakota Burl®.

Edited to add: We have had some trouble with water damage already on the countertop…and after researching a bit more, we found that it’s not recommended near water sources. So….we will be sanding and sealing it more and hoping for the best!

Home Sweet Home

The Completed RV
After 10 straight days of painting, hammering, sawing, and praying…we have officially “moved in” to the RV. You can see the entire renovation process and the final photos HERE. We are really happy with how everything turned out…it truly feels like home. It should…because we were able to use all of the same colors and decor as we had in our previous apartment. It was great not buying anything…and yet having a totally new space. We re-used it all…curtains, photos, hardware, lamps, etc.

It’s quite an odd, yet wonderful thing to have a house on wheels. We have all the comforts and familiarities of our favorite things…but we can choose to change what we see outside of our windows in a moments notice! What fun!

Many of you have asked questions about the RV itself…here is a rundown of the specs:

  • 1994 Fleetwood Flair
  • 32′ long, 8′ wide
  • Diesel “Pusher” (engine is located in the rear, under the bed)
  • GMC 6.5 liter V8 Engine
  • 90 gallon veggie oil tank/20 gallon diesel tank (system installed by GFS)
  • Roof-top solar panels
  • Flexsteel couch/seating
  • King bed in rear/Dinette and Couch both convert to beds
  • 3 burner gas stove with oven (and it fits my stoneware muffin pan! hooray!)
  • 6 cubic sq. ft fridge/freezer (new)
  • TV in front and rear for watching DVD’s…equipped with DirectTV (not activated)
  • Cabin air conditioner/Roof-top air in front and rear
  • Large enclosed roof-top luggage carrier

Here is a list of what we have updated so far:

  • Painted cupboards and walls with AFM Safecoat paint
  • Installed bamboo flooring throughout
  • Changed hardware from gold to silver
  • Took out the microwave and created a “tea/cookbook nook”
  • Hung “real” curtains
  • Installed entertainment system with surround sound
  • Installed iPod player in the kitchen area
  • Modified bedroom to add our own king-sized bed (which created more storage under the bed)
  • Added more storage (baskets, hooks, etc)

Future Updates:

  • Inverter and more batteries to increase solar capabilities
  • Stabilizer jacks
  • Composting toilet (Ecolet)

So there you have it. We’ve been living in the RV for 5 days and we’ve loved every moment of it. It does have it’s own unique challenges…but it brings unique joys as well. We’re looking forward to welcoming you into our new home!