Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Family Hike....!

Hello Luvs,

I hope that you have enjoyed your Halloween! For some, the night has just begun. To you I say...have a blast! Everywhere we went today there were costumes. Age was/is not important. This day means different things to different people. For one of my friends who I have not seen in person for ages (but I have been graced with pictures he has shared via Instagram) was born today. Very often 'Dia de Los Muertos' is part of it all. I can only imagine the blast his kiddos have each year! Happy Birthday Javi...!!
Myles was amazed by this cactus
surrounded by flowers.

Now, I have to tell you about the Airbnb we are currently booked at. It is listed as a casita and boy does it feel like it! From the first moment we walked in we felt comfortable. The owner is an interior designer. You can tell that she lovingly added unique pieces throughout. It might be the best Airbnb so far. Remembering that we have been living Airbnb since February that is saying a lot. There have been several that we have enjoyed and felt very comfortable in, but there have been some we worried about something being destroyed or broken...which is unfortunate and NOT relaxing. Later in the week I will blog about this oasis. I'll be sure to include pictures. You might have seen the pic I posted on Instagram (@haveparasolwilltravel) this morning. It is the view of the courtyard between the casita and the main home. A feeling of bliss greeted me this morning...and I was more than willing to let it in!
Where the soul leads we will follow....



The sun waving good-bye through the clouds!
The feeling of being in a 'home away from home' is the goal of Airbnb. You can book something that would be beyond your means on a regular, or you can stay somewhere rustic that allows you to unplug for a while. There is something for everyone...even if you have a baby, kiddos, or a dog. Living in Airbnbs has been a blessing in so many ways. We have even extended our stays at a few. I recommend experiencing one. If you have questions or would suggestions about any area I have visited (from Quebec, Canada to Palm Springs, CA....and many states that lay between) please either comment below or shoot me an email (katsmeoww11@gmail.com).


The sound of my life....connected to the ground below
even as I float above....in bliss.
If you are unable to view the video simply click
this link: https://goo.gl/photos/FgCKgfwABXGV7ieN9
This afternoon we took a hike at a spot that was so close that we walked to it. There were several trails. We picked one that offered up a pretty steep hill toward the end (or middle since we still had to walk back). We thought we would get to see a lake, but no such luck since we had to return home. Time passed by like lightning, The views that surrounded us were stellar, amazing, beautiful, stunning, magical, and awe inspiring. I am sure that you can tell just how much I loved it.

I have included some pictures and a video throughout the blog. Hope they convey the beauty that I saw before me.




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Til next time,

Kat

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Our visit to The Downtown Container Park- Las Vegas, Nevada

Hello Luvs,


One of my favorite t-shirts!
Thought I would take the time to write a quick (well maybe not quick)  blog about our family outing yesterday. We were able to see repurposed material in action and take in a part of older Las Vegas.


This is what greeted us at the
entrance. Pretty cool right....!
Both Josh and I are into leaving a small footprint wherever we go. We want to live a life full of adventures which include good food, great hikes, learning about new things, and raising our children to be aware of their affect on the world around them.

Shipping containers definitely fit the bill in regard to taking something that someone wants to dispose of (a challenge owners of containers face) and changing it into a simple yet smart building material. In Las Vegas they have built a little piece of heaven called The Downtown Container Park located at 707 E. Fremont St. The designer of the entire place was Breslin Builders. It is a retail-performance-food bubble. You can find anything from locally made jewelry/accessories, mosaic portraits, men's clothing, toys, candles, all the way to soaps that smell divine.
The back end of this glorious
piece of art!



This is one fancy heel...
The first store we went into was full of various accessories and art from local artisans. Whenever you can buy something from an artist that resides in the area you are not only helping them earn a living while doing what they love but helping an area to thrive. The store is ART BOX LAS VEGAS. They are a 'boutique with unique items from local artists and crafters'. If you decide to pop in when visiting you will not be disappointed. They have something for every one. I met one of the owners (Tom) and he was friendly and approachable. Sometimes when you visit somewhere that is outside the box (a niche) you might run across those who act as if they are doing you a favor because of their 'specialness'. This WAS NOT the case, and I would visit again in a heartbeat.

Their website is: www.artboxdesigns.com


Vixen above....
After leaving the store we headed toward the stage area (loctaed toward the back of the main entrance). There were some adorable kiddos dancing with ghoul/undead make-up on. They did several routines to different songs including 'Thriller' by Michael Jackson. I love seeing preteens expressing themselves through dance. The crowd seemed to really like them too.
I always wonder if others look up and
see what i see.

While waiting for Josh (who was still parking the car and meeting us there) we went into a shop that sells candles, plaques with various quotes, bath bombs, soaps, along with many other things. The name of the shop is Natural Earth. I spoke with the employee/owner(?) of whom I forgot her name (color me mortified!) and she told me that they sell items from local artists along with handmade products from other artisans throughout the U.S. She is from Germany and was also very welcoming. If you like items that have a wonderful smell without being overpowering this is the place.
don't tell mama what?

Their wedsite is: www.naturalearthcosmetics.com 


Someone actually had a heart attack here!
We hopped into a toy store when Josh arrived along with checking out various seating areas. We LOVE what they've done. If and/or when we decide to build a tiny house repurposing shipping containers is the way we'll go. Seeing their final result proved it.


Gotta love this!
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Til next time,

Kat
                                                                     

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Here is How to Achieve a Five Star Rating as a Host or Guest on Airbnb?

Hello Luvs,

Today I thought I would share what I (we) have learned from using Airbnb solely since February (8 months!WHEW!!!!). Trying to accomplish this morning breakfast made me think that there are folks who could benefit from our experience(s). This is meant for both guests and hosts. If you are a host and find that you are struggling with attaining a five start consistently please make that you are following the checklist I will share. Of course Airbnb has people who advise their hosts, however being a long term guest of more than a dozen different Airbnbs I believe it is important to know how small things the hosts have done that has made them a return to house versus somewhere that we would not book again. Still reading? Good! Let's get down to it.
Having to make my pancake batter in a saucepan brought
about my content today....I have had to do this before at
a different Airbnb and it affected the rating we left

When the booking is confirmed- Please send the address and/or any additional information to your guest (or your arrival time) as soon as possible. We have actually had to reach out to hosts within an hour of our arrival because they had not sent us the necessary information. There is nothing more stressful after a long drive than not knowing where or how you are going to get in.

Arrival- Allowing guests an open arrival time (of course this might change if you have back to back bookings). Since we have been venturing from the east to west coast along with the southwest any pit stops can set us back. Sometimes however things go swimmingly regarding stops and traffic, and we would now arrive earlier. Being able to come in earlier than late afternoon (a lot of places have a 3 or 4 p.m. check in) is beneficial. This is something that might not be an issue with others, but since I have two children along with a chihuahua getting in sooner (or later) is invaluable.
Used to making it happen.  However I shouldn't have to to make a simple meal!
Unpacking- This is something that has been an issue with a few places we have stayed. Either they have no hangers or no where to place our things. If we are doing an overnight stay it is not as much of an issue. When our stay is two days or more grabbing items from a suitcase is an issue....Josh is 6'3 and having to bend over to grab things is a pain....let alone if the guests are up there in age. My suggestion? Have between 6-12 hangers in each closet. Also, have a 2-4 drawers for guests to place their things. It does not have to be very fancy, but this is something that a few hosts have not done and it has been as inconvenient. Not only are the drawers used for storage, but they are used as nightstands. At least four of our bookings have not had nightstands. This is not something that is ambiguous...it is necessary and not optional to have nightstands. For those of us who bring water to bed along with our electronics (including computers) NEED them.

Kitchen- Now this section is something that affects me more than the rest of the family since I am the one who prepares meals. So, what do I think is essential? I have them below in bullet points so nothing gets lost in the mix.

  • Eating utensils and items to eat from- (8 of each) large plates, small plates, bowls, mugs, forks,  butter knives, spoons, glasses. They do not need to match. If you only have one set of four you run out of plates and untensils and have to wash them continuously.
  • Cookware- small and large skillet (two of the large if you can), small and large saucepans, large pot, cookie sheet, small and large baking pan
  • Complete set of cutting knives
  • Cooking utensils- spatula, pasta spoon, large spoon, tongs, whisk, grater, salad utensils
  • Blender
  • Mixing bowls- I use them for fruit on the counter and/or ya guessed it....to mix ingredients!!!
  • Dish and dishwasher soap
  • Broom with dustpan
  • Paper towels- (we do not use them much, but others do) you should flex the amount by how long someone is staying...we have stayed for a week in places where there was a small amount of them, and I have had to go buy them.
  • A set of tupperware
  • Foil, saran wrap, and wax paper
  • Two cutting boards- I use one for meat and one for other items
Bathroom- Anywhere between 4-6 sets (wash, hand, and body). If you are located at the beach...beach towels also. Shampoo and conditioner in each full bathroom, body wash, blow dryer, hand soap, extra toothbrushes (nothing fancy...but appreciated if someone happens to lose theirs), bath mat, if your tub is slippery you should place a shower mat in there and have the cleaners (or you if you clean the unit) sanitize the mat between guests. Oh, and toilet paper! We have stayed at a few places where it actually hurt your bottom. I type that doesn't do that is more appreciated than you know. If the guest is staying leave an extra roll in each bathroom. If longer leave a pack.

Washer/Dryer- A lot of places have them, however some of them do not have supplies at the ready. We are talking about bringing your place up to a five star rating right? If so, leave a mild detergent, dryer sheets, and bleach. Also, if you included a basket to toss dirty laundry on top of the dryer it will go a long way. Once again....these do not need to be expensive. Some guests will leave behind their supplies (like we have because of a lack of space).

Instructions for guests- Please leave info for anything that is not obvious. 
  • If you leave a sheet/list/binder of the things below believe me...your guest will appreciate it!
  • Since we have stayed in several different states we have found that the systems in regard to remotes have varied. It might seem like a no-brainer, but it isn't for those of us who are not familiar with the area. 
  • Leaving a sentence about where things are stored (broom/dustpan/vacuum/iron/etc.). 
  • How the shower works (especially if your hot water is skin melting). Some places have old fashioned plugs which you pull down versus flip a lever.
  • Clear expectations on what is required upon exit. We stayed at a place that needed a gate remote to enter and exit. At the end of our stay they wanted the remote and all keys left in the house. Why is this a problem? Well...you also need a key to come and go by foot, and if you leave the keys and remote back in the unit how do you get out? The only option is for the guest to wait for someone to come through and follow them out. That does not leave a great impression for your guest and is a hassle.
  • If there happens to be ANYTHING that is hanging by a thread or will not pop back in easily for your guest let them know.
Now....guests, you know that you have a responsibility to do your part right? I know that you are the customer and you might feel as if you should not do these things. An Airbnb is not a hotel/motel. Having great experiences calls on being mutually courteous, respectful and transparent. 
  • Make sure you read the hosts rules before coming and going. If you don't you might find out that you will have a fee tacked on, not complete the items you need to in order to get back your deposit (if you paid one for a dog or anything else). 
  • Be respectful to the neighbors especially if they are located close, above, or below you. 
  • Recycle if they have the option. 
  • Make sure you place items in trash before you leave.
  • If others have left unopened items make sure you pay it forward. Do not just eat the items and leaving a bare cupboard behind. Most hosts are great about letting you know to use whatever you like. In turn we have left behind condiments, boxed and/or canned items, along with some cleaning supplies.
  • Make sure you throw any perishables away. This ensures that you do not leave behind any items that might cause an odor...and expecting others to clean up after you.
  • If you have issues when you enter the home reach out to the host as soon as possible. I am speaking about appliances or items not working, a smell that is strong, or if the home is a safety hazard (had a few of those!). Also included in that is if the place is dirty. Some but not all hosts charge a cleaning fee. This is something you can find out in the pricing before you book. Either way....you deserve to have a clean place to lay your items and head down on. We have experienced anything from old food left in fridge, toilet and shower not cleaned, body hair and dirt in the bed when you pull down the linens to go to sleep, a mouse running across the floor (and droppings found..I am frightened of them!), food remnants on counters and tables. Per Airbnb policy the host needs to be available for the first 24 hours of your arrival. Letting something serious wait does a disservice to both you and the host. Most have appreciated it when we let them know. If the hosts are not receptive (when it is a valid issue), unable to reach, or have not responded after a decent waiting time your only option is to reach out to Airbnb. Airbnb has been great in this regard. Once I had to send pictures of the place because what I was saying was crazy but true...they canceled the booking, refunded my money (plus 10%), and have even gave me a travel credit before.
  • Leave a review of the place as soon as possible. Neither you nor the host will see the public comment until both of you left one. This affects both you and the host in regard to rating.
Bottom line...whether you are the host or guest there is a way to do the right thing and provide the best impression when both arriving (host) or leaving (guest). Of course you could not follow these and receive a great rating, or you could have a difficult guest or host. It will depend on your expectations and preparations. As a guest for over eight months I have experienced many levels of service and amenities. I know some of these things might cause a few to turn away from booking an Airbnb, and even though I've had issues I still recommend trying it out.

Of course you are going to come across (even though I hope you won't) those who just list without really prepping their homes. They think that they can be there then leave the place when booked yet not take the steps to adjust either the cleanliness or safety issues they are comfortable with. This is where I feel Airbnb as a service could stand some improvement. There seems to be no vetting done. Because of this I feel we have booked at places that took strategic pictures that do not show some obvious things that should remove them from being able to book they're rectified. That is where folks like me come in. Dream job for me would be staying at a place for a few days and letting Airbnb know of issues (if there are any) and allow the hosts to fix things that could affect their rating and/or bookings... Anyone have a line on that for moi?

I hope that this helps you feel more confident knowing that you are already doing most or all of things suggestions. If not and you see that the highest you have been receiving is a four you might want to think about doing some of the things listed. You do not have to go out and spend a lot of money to make these things happen. A lot of the hosts have used items that were theirs or thrifted. Just make sure that everything is clean and ready to use. If you do, trust me, your guests will appreciate it!

*As always, i welcome your comments and feedback. To make sure that you never miss a blog you can follow the blog and/or on one of the social sites to the right------> 
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Til next time,

Kat 





    

Friday, October 28, 2016

Coming Down from Our Lake Tahoe Visit...

Hello Luvs,

Well....Tahoe was a blast and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Pretty sure ya got the idea from the crazy amount of pictures and posts about it. Josh and I thought about moving there in the past. If you are new to reading the blog you probably do not know how much of a wimp this kat is! I dress for 30 degree weather when it is 50. The visit found me being a little more comfortable with the weather...might have something to do with the fact that it hadn't really reached a cold snap. Whew! Oh boy am I glad that it didn't.
Saying goodbye to Lake Tahoe and
these glorious trees was hard!


In regard to an update on our search. We are on a never-ending circle of decision making. There have been a few Airstream Excellas for sale, and most of them are about 1,800-2,000 miles away. Josh thinks that it might be because they were manufactured around that area. Whatever the reason...taking on such a long drive after the last one is a little much for us (and the kids) to tackle right now. We went back onto the various websites and found a few that are close to our current location. Do you remember when I shared that we wanted to try not to force ourselves to buy something when we should hold off? We find ourselves in that predicament. Maybe we are not meant to buy an Airstream? 
Goldie's fav positions- in Daddy's arm,
in her bed on my lap, and making sure
no one was swallowed up by the store.
The main reason for wanting to get in one fairly soon is that both Josh and Jalen really want a spot to call their own. Packing and unpacking constantly can be tiring. I am not saying traveling to different places is the problem. Once we have our tiny home on wheels (RV) we will still flutter and explore. However, at the end of the day we will be coming back to our RV to settle in and recharge. When putting it that way...I think I am starting to feel the same way. Placing your head on YOUR OWN pillow and sleeping in your own bed at night is huge. Also, the joy of having a few of your things in their place is also a benefit of having one.
                                                      
Summerlin Library Branch...

Reached out to a gentleman about getting additional pictures of his RV. He said I should receive them sometime today. If we like it....we'll drive (the Hubster of course!), inspect, and negotiate the price. Of course I'll share with you during the process. Hopefully you are not holding your breath waiting for me to do a periscope?!? I will when I think it is time and I get the itch. If you would like me to start sooner leave your comment (interest) below. Maybe that will establish an even better flow of sharing.
Some of the wild horses and an elk that
roam around the Cold Creek area.

Throughout the blog I have placed various collages of what we've (including Princess Goldie) done over the last couple of days which includes a visit to another library in the Clark County Library System.. Hope you like 'em!
                                     
Left or Right the glorious sunset
called to me.
Til next time,

Kat





Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How to Get the MOST from Your Airbnb Experience

Hello Luvs,


Make-up free/ready to go.


I have a teenager!
I am actually writing this a day early (can you believe it?!?) because we will be traveling during the day and I would like to make sure I am touching base. I have been coached to write blogs and schedule them for a later date. Because I am not the type of person who adheres to a 'must be done now' or 'everything has it's place' person I find myself feeling outside the bubble. In all honesty I kind of like it that way. Oftentimes I am not sure what I want to write about ten minutes before sitting down. So this is a bit new to me.

There are two quick things I wanted to talk to you about. The first is finding a way to get your moneys worth out of the Airbnb you book. Most times when we are looking for a place we take location and nearby trail systems. Because we like to stay active (homeschooling p.e. often includes walks/hikes) this is pretty important. Some host will actually include the nearby places you might like if you have a family or not. I would check each listing to see if they include that. If you really like the listing and are curious you can contact the host. We have found that they are more than willing to let you know.

Hey....wait for me!

Another way to save is booking closer to when you need the place. This depends on your comfort zone. A lot of times the host is willing to work with you on price if it has not been booked yet. You 
This rock acted like a seesaw....
can reach out to them to see if they might entertain an amount that fits your budget. If you are planning to stay for a week or a month most offer discounts. That still should not deter you asking. The most they can do is say no or come back with another amount (which might be what you were trying for to begin with. For example, you are planning to stay for a week and the place would be $749 total price which includes the cleaning and Airbnb fees. You can reach out to the host and see if they are willing to accept $600. If the host offers 15% off for a month and the total is $650 you could offer $550-575. You might find that the host just doesn't answer, accepts the offer, or comes back with an amount somewhere in the middle. This strategy might be uncomfortable for some. If it is then ask if they have any deals going on. Once again, they could say no....but, on the other hand, they might want it booked and make an exception.
When you looked up....oh my!
Josh found this incredible
piece of moss.
                                                         
Now back to what I mentioned about location. We really try not to do the tourist thing when visiting a different area. Josh reaches out through reddit and most of the time the advice is stellar. For the Airbnb we just left, we scored again. Not only was it close to the areas we wanted to visit, but it was less because it was just outside (we usually find that to be the case....book just out of town!). When we arrived we noticed that there was a trail that started right behind the townhome. It turned out to be the Thomas Memorial Trail (TMT). It is well maintained and has tree cover for most of it (at least for the hout we were out there). We loved the trees, size of the pinecones, moss, and clouds above. To have it just outside our door was a total score!!!! Hey....I rhymed!
Hum....anyone ever cut down
one of these?
The various stages of cloud cover
while we were out.

How would I rate the TMT?

Rated 1-5 (with 1 being the lowest)

Convenience- 5+ Come on...right outside our door!
Staff- N/A It is a self-led trail.
Trail- 5 It is wheelchair/stroller accessible. There is also a decent amount of incline and decline. As we walked around we noticed that they do a lot of tree maintenance.
Kid friendly- 5 Myles was able to climb rocks easily and it felt safe for him to do so. The line of sight was great also just in case they were a bit ahead.                

My rock jumper having a blast.
Named this my lemon-lime
tree. It was two trees that
looked like one from this angle.

I would highly recommend booking (in the off season for the best price) in Northstar. The community is quiet, and we found people both her and in Truckee to be very friendly.




From beginning to end...

Til next time,

Kat

*Update on my Airbnb issue. Both Josh and I spoke with the same phone agent, and he removed all of the reviews. Turns out that the host broke Airbnb policy with what he said. We knew that what he did was not kosher and it turns out that Airbnb agrees. If you find yourself in either an uncomfortable situation or feel something is not right you should reach out to the host and try find a way to rectify it between you. If it turns out that the host is the issue then reach out to Airbnb. By the way....this goes for hosts who have an issue with a guest.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Feeling on Top of the World at Eagle Rock!

Hello Luvs,

Wow! These last two days have been filled with awe inspiring views and a town that felt welcoming and comfortable. We brought along Goldie which was great. She loves to be out and about with us. With a bounce in her step she seems to say, "Yay! Were we goin'!"

Truckee, California...
First thing we did was pick up sandwiches from the deli shop named Full Belly Deli and they were soooo tasty. Because the sandwiches are big in size (split two) and in the middle as far price we decided to bring along sparkling waters to align with our budget. We did buy a cookie (that was tremendous in size also) that we split between the four of us. They make their breads, and they were among the freshest we've had. We found a free parking lot (which I recommend always looking for on your maps app when visiting anywhere) located right when you come into town named Beacon Lot. You can do long term parking or free for two hours The paid slots are $1.50 an hour. That money can go toward food or souvenirs. We used it for the latter.
Took a quick drive around Squaw Valley.


We were now in the historic part of Truckee, California. It was a 15 minute drive from our current Airbnb. The location of this one has turned out to be perfect. We took a walk around and stopped at a combo store that had costumes with a Jim Carrey (Mask) and a replica of Sasha Baron Cohen from Alice Through the Looking Glass. They had vintage (which was overpriced significantly) clothing and accessories along with lots of costume items. Because of the pricing I an holding back on recommending them. It may be the locale, but I still find it difficult to see items that should be around $30-35 priced at $80. 

Panoramic view courtesy of the Josh.

The next store we went in was where we purchased postcards (Jalen is collecting them) for $.25 each, stickers ($1.99-3.99), a wooden whistle ($8.00), and a leather bracelet for me ($8.99). Once again....the pricing is a bit more than I can recommend for a budget conscious traveler. Most stickers we have found have all been at the $1.99 price point. The postcards are about the same (if not slightly less) at other places. We have seen similar wooden whistles for around $5.99. The bracelet is a design I have not come across which is why I snapped it up. I wear my slim gold bangles everyday and it compliments them wonderfully. The prices were not exorbitant which is why we bought all of them. All that being said, it is not at a price point that I can claim that this shop is a no brainer for the traveler who wants to keep costs down.    

Video of view:  ! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vidstitch
Large pinecone, ground designed
to resemble art.
Myles taking in the view.
                                                                    
After that I changed my boots to hiking shoes (you know I have a tendency to wear inappropriate shoes from time to time :-)....) and we hiked up Eagle Rock. The trail immediately starts with an incline and after about ten to twelve minutes you come to a rocky area that still slopes up. That is why I switched shoes. If you decide to go please wear shoes with a grip (recommended by a reddittor who was on point). Once you reach the rocky part you start to see just where you are. The view is unlike any I have seen in the U.S. thus far. There is the lake, trees that stand majestic, and other areas that seem to have been plucked right out of a fairy tale. Josh took a panoramic shot which gives you an accurate sense of it's grandeur. For once I wore the right clothing, and boy am I glad I did. It was another windy day but being dressed in the right attire made it bearable. Of course we came across an area where someone added graffiti to a rock. That was not cool and they should be ashamed of themselves. I am a fan of graffiti artists, but was not the place to do that.
Gorgeous from any angle!

How do I rate Eagle Rock?


Rated 1-5 (with 1 being the lowest)

Convenience- 5 The drive was a joy on it's own. We pulled over at a space for cars at the entrance.
Staff- N/A It is a self-led trail.
Trail- 4 It is not wheelchair/stroller accessible, and I would rate it between easy with some challenging parts in the rock area.
Kid friendly- 4.5 There was a family with three kiddos coming down as we hiked up Jalen and Myles had to be aware of where they stepped for balance. At the top everyone needs to watch footing if you decide to go closer to the edge. Because it was so windy we stayed a couple of feet back. If it wasn't windy we light have gone a little closer. Even so....the view was unforgettable!

 
Our view going down courtesy of Josh.
                                                                          
There it is....what a day it was! I believe that Eagle Rock is a must do activity when in the area. Just remember to wear the proper shoes, a hat (even though there is a good amount of tree cover) if it is sunny, and water for either before or after. The trial is not very long (about 15-20 minutes each way) and before you know it you will be at the top and feeling.....On Top of the World!


Til next time,

Kat





Monday, October 24, 2016

Family Trek around Lake Tahoe!

Hello Luvs,

Seeing the beauty of fall rear
it's head led to------->

I told you a little bit about our morning yesterday and how we had yet another RV disappointment. We know that things happen when they're meant to and forcing them gets you into a situation best left avoided...yep! We also imagine that there was a lesson somewhere deep down in there. Might be hard to find, but it is somewhere to be found.....just kidding! Yesterday taught us once again that the RVs we'll look at next week could be a better fit for us and give us a little more piece of mind.
My eyes nearly popping out of
my head!
We thought that it would be a lost day but it wasn't! We took the kids on a drive around Lake Tahoe. The Hubster lived in a few different areas and one was South Tahoe. It was funny seeing a casino built right inside the Nevada border and Cal-Neva signs all around. Lake Tahoe is split between the two states (didn't know that!).

Because there were so many great pictures I decided to to do yet another slideshow. If you don't care for slideshows I regret to tell ya that there WILL BE MORE! It is hard for me to decide sometimes. Being a novice photographer I want to capture both the posed and organic. Where we are right now has been great for that.

Overlooking the Tea Island...

One of the places we visited was Emerald Bay. There is an island that is right in the middle. The Hubster told me that a very wealthy woman had rocks brought over to the island which still remained after glaciers in that area went away. With those rocks they built a castle. She held tea parties for her and her friends a couple of times a year. I KID YOU NOT! It is a sight to behold.

Could you just imagine....!
During our drive we stopped a few of times and walked down closer to the Lake. Unfortunately the Hubster noticed that the water level is visibly lower than when he lived in the area. They must have had a drought. When people deny global warming I want to shake them and force them to look into my eyes and explain why they think all these things are happening. Why do people with freewill consciously decide not to adjust their habits so future generations have a planet to inhabit? Walking around in denial is not the answer. Some argue that it is not too late. To that, I say, let's have a talk! If this village of Humanity decides to work together and change some minds we can accomplish great things. 
It was just a tad windy...!
In so many ways we have seen behavior that is destructive in the worst way possible. Tears and pounding fists on our tables will not change this. Seeing this glorious place firsthand reminds me that it is OUR responsibility to ensure that it is around for others to see. It is greedy and just plain wrong to think just of ourselves....we are Humanity and HUMANITY does not stop with us!

Parting video that show just how windy it was while we were out yesterday. It made my camera look like it was about to pass out! 


As always I welcome your comments....

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Til next time,

Kat

Latest Lesson on RV Buying and Our Roadtrip Sing-a-long!

Hello Luvs,

I hope all is well with you all.... Thought I'd take a moment to catch you up. We are in Lake Tahoe until Wednesday. The Hubster found us a great deal not to far from one of the places he lived along with the resort he gave snowboard lessons. I think that I am about a day behind, so I will share pictures from today with you tomorrow. 
I named these my sherbet mountains...

Before then I wanted to share something wild thing that happened today. Last night I was checking the Airstream Classifieds for any recent listings. I came across one that is located about an hour away from where we are now. The seller had it listed as 'excellent'. The length was perfect along with being about ten years newer then the ones we had looked at and loved. We could not believe it! Was it a meant to be thing? Coming across one so close to where we are seemed like destiny. Little did we know that the actual RV had more than two issues (as the listing mentioned). The more time we were there the more things the seller kept telling us about. At the end of the day we realized that we must reserve excitement. The truth is that a seller can spin things to get interest. For us....it ended up making it a no for us. It was a learning lesson because now we know that we would rather drive further and get something more reliable and accurately priced (yeah, his was waaaayyyy overpriced! Early next week we will be looking at a couple in another state.
My polka dot  tennies
weew peeeerrrrrfectly  comfy!

Boy oh boy has this been a rollercoaster! We will figure this out. So happy that you are on this journey with us....! I have put together a roadtrip video. The link opens in another window. Hope you like it!

Sing-a-long with us!- 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B56MAMcz57roWktZYmZBd0hLTFU/view?usp=drivesdk

**Don't miss a travel, roadtrip, RV living update, fashion, or poetry blog....follow me on one of the social sites to the right.


Til next time,

Kat

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Early Voting...then Roadtrip!

Hello Luvs,

I was up and at 'em early this morning. I think that maybe...just maybe...I am both anxious and nervous combined with a ton of excitement rolled into one very tired ball. It's a new day greeted with the beautiful morning sky and early voting!
These shadows are made for travelin'
And that's just what they'll do
One of these days these shadows
Are gonna travel close to you!

Last night I decided to respond to the Airbnb review with a detailed account of our experience. Airbnb will not remove, edit, or adjust a review so the only option is to leave a response. If you ever find yourself in the same situation make sure to flag the review BEFORE leaving your response. If you wait til after you will end up flagging your own instead of theirs. Hopefully the hosts' review will be negated once others read my response. I guess only time will tell. Oh, and a weird thing about the review was that it went on the Hubster's profile too. This happened even though he did not book it, and the host did not mention his name. It went on simply because I had invited him. Not too sure we like that.
When we arrived (early) the line was
long and the sun beat down on us.
Parasol to the rescue....!

So, it looks as if we have a slight change to our destination. Instead to booking in Lake Tahoe (did I mention that that is where we were going?) we are staying outside of Reno. This helps with the cost of the booking and makes it easy for to pop into Reno and drive to Lake Tahoe. Had not seen the listing, but I trust the Hubster's judgement. He did a most excellent job.

I was hoping that we would find decent stations, so I can do a roadtrip video of us singing our hearts out. It's been a while since I've done one. Now that the van has a home with another family I wasn't driving. That allowed ease for recording the landscape and turning to different stations on the regular. We also had cds that we brought along. Hopefully I will post about it tomorrow. Keep checking in!
My beautiful Baby Girl kat napping....


While you are waiting on it please take a moment to read the latest blogs. Also, my sidebar should be more dialed in. Those of you that were unable to follow me in the past should be able to do so now. YAY!

Til next time,

Kat

Friday, October 21, 2016

Airbnb Review, Family Fieldtrip, and Next Family Destination.....

Hello Luvs,

I thought I would check in before we make our trek to another state. Tomorrow we will be driving to Colorado. The Hubster wants to show us the area he lived in while he was a snowboard instructor and worked at a restaurant. We've heard a few times about when he was snowed in and lived off of one pizza, avocados, and lemons for days. Ok, we might have heard it more than that....but clearly it means a lot to him. The least we can do is see just where he feels will change our lives once we see it. Needless to say, I will be sharing pictures.
Hoped to see these while there.
No luck....
Unisex parasol to the rescue!
                                                       
Before then I wanted to share an interesting experience we had today regarding our stay last week at an Airbnb in Arizona. When we walked in we loved the way it was decorated. The host said his wife was responsible for what was there. Within an hour or so of being there we noticed several areas that were either not cleaned (kitchen, bathroom, and second bedroom) or not cleaned very well. I reached out to the host since I booked the stay instead of the Hubster. One of the really serious things we dealt with was the smell of sewage. We thought it was a fluke. Little did we know (at about the third day mark) that it would be a continuing issue. To get the smell to go away you had to run the washing machine. The host knew to do this, so we are pretty sure that the problem has been going on for a while. 
We LUV our bridges...
                                            
So do the kiddos!
When the host came over the second day (before the sewer disaster) he thanked us for the issues we pointed out and tried to replace the remote for the ceiling fan in the living room. Because the remote did not work we did not have use of it throughout the stay. Yes, there was a secondary light, but it was further away and did not help with cycling out the sewage smell. Why did we not leave? It was not until halfway through our stay that we knew there was such a serious problem. Also, the running of the machine seemed to address the problem which then happened again the next day. Being an environmentally conscious family running the machine (and using so much water) just felt bad. Trying to find a place (under $150 a day) for the dates was even harder. Oh, and the hotels in the area did not allow dogs.
and herons...!

There were egrets...

I'm mentioning this place because the owner left a terrible review about me. He came into the house, smiled, showed empathy about the issues, and thanked us for letting him know. He said that he would want to know about ANY problems. We were cordial and thanked him multiple times for not only trying to fix it but for bringing muffins and a dog biscuit for Goldie. Little did we know that he would blame us BECAUSE we let him know. To make matters worse....I left a review that was not scathing but leaned on the more positive. I did not want to affect his future bookings. The last communication he sent stated that he was going to go in and rectify the issues. 
The view was stunning!

**Side note- I fixed the bathroom sink which took twenty minutes. It was the cap of a hair dye bottle that had been dropped in backwards. I did not have to do that...but I did not want to call again and just did it myself. To say that I was ungrateful after doing that really angers and saddens me!

This is the first time when we decided to work with someone and struggle through the experience and have a host turn it against us. In the past we would either work through the issues because they would address it promptly which allowed us to enjoy the rest of our stay, or we would cancel the booking on both sides. When we ended up canceling we evaluated the situation and tried to make it work if we could. Unfortunately two had safety issues. in that case we cannot not stay. Right now we are on the plus side regarding our experiences. We have been using Airbnbs since February. Anyone is bound to run into a dud at one point.
We visited the big horned
goats again.
Might have been the elder of the group.
Look at those horns!

Luckily...we have more than one option for an rv and are considering HOSTING one! I will fill you in when we make a decision. We thought we would have made a decision by now....movin' like molasses we are! 

Until then, enjoy the pictures taken while visiting the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve and the Hemenway Park in Boulder City placed throughout the blog.


Til next time,

Kat