Pho - Vietnamese Soup

Pho - Vietnamese Soup
One of our favorite dishes - Pho

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sugaree's Makeover

VOILA'!  Here she is...the finished product!!! 

No, just kidding.  Sorry...I couldn't help myself.  ;-)

We finally did get to see, hear and touch our beautiful, darling Sugaree again.  We all miss her when she's gone.  And yes, we all are completely obsessed with her.   Avery was home just in time to see her before the magical makeover and now she too is completely obsessed.  You can't help but fall in love with her.

While waiting to meet the guys that are up for this very challenging project, we got to tour some unbelievable RV's.  The one pictured above is only a mere $400,000.  The culinary classics we could cook up in that amazing kitchen, it's nicer than our kitchen at home. This RV is complete with marble floors and counters, fireplace and couple of large, flat screen tv's, outdoor frig and beverage center and of course another flat screen tv for the outside.  The amenities go on and on. It was a Miami Vice, over the top, kind-of-deal.  Call me old fashioned, but I would much rather have our Sugaree just the way we want her.  

The time came when we got to meet the man, Jeff, who's in charge of our makeover.  David and I both feel very certain we've finally found our team to do our conversion.  Jeff spent a good 2 hours with us explaining his recommendations, not rushing us through, taking his time to explain what all needs to be done, and very happy to answer all of our questions.  He has been building houses and renovating RV's for 29 years and he obviously knows exactly what he's doing.  We're overly thrilled with our girly's newest home.  She will definitely get the TLC she needs and deserves.  Now, we're in the fun process of picking out appliances, bedding and decor. 

This last week was all about choosing what big-ticket items we could purchase to help keep down on costs.  Jeff had the blue prints all ready for us and went over them very meticulously.  He has great vision and apparently it's quite the juggling act to figure out what plumbing can go where so as to not interfere with AC, drains, generators, etc...

The next order of business was to take our Sugaree to get weighed.  I can't help but think of that Little Feat song, Willin' ..."driven the back roads so I wouldn't get weighed..."  We got her inspected, registration transferred into our name.  Not so sure I would've ever thought I would find myself in a "real" truck yard waiting to get our school bus, or anything else weighed for that matter.  Jeff recommended getting all of that not-so-fun stuff done now because once the conversion is complete he said we will want to go get out and play with her right away and not have to deal with all of that and as usual, he's absolutely right.  We followed up with Jeff a few days later for the final re-cap before they go in and start gutting our bus.  He told us the transformation will take 6 - 8 weeks, with an additional 2 carpenters to help with the process.  He also told us had we have waited much longer to get our bus to them that they too would've had to turn us away because their business picks up tremendously prior to summertime.  Timing is everything and it all seems to be working out beautifully.  

The current game plan is we're going to extend the "master" so it will accommodate a queen sized bed and leave a little room to help change sheets and clothes.  We will be able to add a shower and extend the bathroom a bit.  The kitchen counter will be extended with the whole dinette area/bed moved down, with the help of removing a huge speaker behind the driver's seat.  They'll also move the couch down also to help accommodate for the additional space needed for the bathroom.  For now, we're planning on adding a dual induction burner, more cabinets and drawers.  A butcher block counter that we are in the process of staining.  I'm going to paint and distress our cabinets as soon as we get measurements finalized.

We had another tye dye session this weekend.  All of our kids and David got to dye their sheets for their and our beds on the bus.  That's always great fun.  Thanks Marty for teaching us your fabulous techniques.  By far, between all of 5 of us, our favorite color is "Robin Egg Blue."

So, we're wrapping up another week of obsessing about our bus.  It's been so fun having everyone home to help collaborate on our newest, family vacation home.  Our entire family is so incredibly talented and artistic.  I cannot wait to see our end result.  Happy Sunday my friends!  xoxo

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Inside the Bus

The newest love in all of our lives is our school bus, whom we've decided to name Sugaree.  All 5 of us are completely obsessed.  The worst thing is that she has sadly been neglected up in Denton for going on 4 weeks now.  David and I can't stand letting so much time go to waste, because time is of the essence.  We want our darling Sugaree where we can make her the most awesome bus conversion ever.  And we would like to do a few test runs before venturing out for the major "Jamily" extravaganza.

Unfortunately, the folks in Denton said they couldn't do our conversion and that they only work on luxurious RV's.  We continually thought we found our people to do this massive conversion only to be rejected time and time again. It was a little discouraging to say the least.  Although, we (mostly David) never gave up hope.

After numerous phone calls and much consternation, David felt certain we had finally found our guys.  They were one of the only ones out of dozens that truly seemed to be up for the challenge and were even excited about it.  Our newest friend told David the soonest we could get the bus to them, in Rockwall, the better because with spring break coming up business would be picking up and he had guys that could start working on her right away. He didn't have to ask David twice, we were on the road in no time, that same day, on our way, to pick up our newest baby.  David was very eager to get her to her temporary destination because we're expecting ice and snow today...again, for the second time within a week.  One never knows if it will be 70 degrees or 20 degrees in Dallas these days.  Either way, we've all missed our Sugaree...even Dylan, our almost 16 year old, commented the other day that he misses her too and was asking the infamous question of ..."When will we get her back?"  

So, David and I start our adventure up I-35 to Denton, rain, pot holes, massive traffic and all.  Will they ever really and truly ever fix I-35?!  It's so hazardous...Semi's were all but getting in our lane...literally, there was no wiggle room whatsoever.  We finally got to our destination safe and sound, after white-knuckeling it with all the crazies out there.  I'm sure the folks in Denton were happy to get rid of us and our bus.  We were so excited with anticipation to see our girl.  She's been at an RV sales center with only the finest of RV's in their rather large parking lot.  And our Sugaree was nowhere to be seen...obviously hidden in the very back.  Oh well, we love her and that's all that counts.

After squaring up with the folks in Denton, it was time to move our girl to her new destination...where she is going to have the makeover of all makeovers.  We were taking her to Rockwall.  

Another funny tidbit is while I'm trying to keep up with David, following him in his car on a 2-lane highway, concrete barriers on either side (again) with no shoulder.  I thought surely he would be moving at a snails pace, like he was when we were caravanning to Denton. Apparently the Denton crew got a few mechanical issues fixed for us, because he was hauling a**.  Thank goodness for the white, blinking light on the top of our bus as it wasn't too hard to spot him.  Dylan is absolutely not a fan of the blinking light because it blinks whenever the bus is up and running. Dylan would like to have the blinking light removed ASAP.

Again, I-35 being the biggest nightmare...while driving you don't know if there are two or three lanes because of the poorly marked roads and potholes galore.  But my sweet David drove his newest love like a pro, blinking lights and all.

We feel very good about where our Sugaree is currently residing.  Hopefully we'll get her home soon.  It definitely won't be soon enough.

In the meantime, we'll get to plan her decor, while keeping up with her transformation with those who seem very passionate about this project.  Finally we feel like these are our guys to take on this challenge.  Have I mentioned how much we already love our Sugaree?!  <3<3<3