Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rob Baker at the Cheese Shop, Madison, WI

We made another trip to Madison, to sadly send our foreign exchange student back to Japan last weekend. We decided to take some of the capital, State Street and the Farmer's Market in while we were there. We decided to check out the Cheese store that Rob Baker took his picture in front of during the International Rally and low and behold, there was the picture proudly displayed on the counter (right next to the ice cream!) We were excited to see someone we knew there on State Street!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Campground Nazis & 11AM Checkout — ANNOYING?

Campground Nazis & 11AM Checkout — ANNOYING? You need to check out this great video on those campground nazi's. I hate the ones that charge you for having guests come visit you for campground. I appreciate that they don't want large groups of people coming in, but, hey, if you go somewhere to visit friends, it's nice to all get together for s'mores, don't you think?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Airstream Rally - Pipe, WI and Castle Rock State Park

Just one last photo from the weekend in Pipe, WI with the Wisconsin Unit of the Wally Byam Caravan Club, International. Again with the "kids" games. The highlight had to be the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament that was played by everyone, kids and older kids alike! This event was quite the theatrical event and truly was fun for all! Ed did a wonderful job of officiating the event, with a much-coveted one-of-a-kind trophy made by Sandy topped the evening out!
The sunset at Castle Rock State Park in Adams County, WI was gorgeous. We had this view from our campsite! It was wonderful to be able to park our Airstream right on the Lake. Instead of driving all the way home after Pipe, we decided to try another stay at a new campground. My husband and I camped here when we were first together.

Here's the view of the beautiful Airstream right on the beach, yet in the shade. I highly recommend going to the parks on Sunday evenings. The place was a ghost town. We even sang songs around the campfire without disturbing anyone.

Airstream Rally - Pipe, WI

We attended the Airstream Rally in Pipe, WI this weekend and had a wonderful time! I thought I would share a few photos of this last weekend. For those of you who have to take constant pictures of food, I included those, but for the rest of you who enjoy the friendship and scenes of our wonderful country, I also included those.
For the food minded - here was our potluck dinner on Saturday evening. This was only one table. We also brought our own meat to grill out with. This sure was a wonderful savings for a family and yummy too!
We went on a tour of one of the Windmills in the area. They are so huge and really make very little sound. Can you believe that at the best, they are 46% efficient? Last year, that was only one month that it actually hit that efficiency. Do you think we can come up with better efficiency for millions of dollars of our tax money?
This was a buddy and a kid rally, but it seemed that kids were rather large this weekend! Thankfully, we finally had scorching weather, so the water games were in full swing! The Ladies won the relay against the men (or shall I say boys), because they didn't play fair! Imagine that with water guns!
Another one for the foodie - we had omelets-in-a-bag, pancakes, toast, bagels, coffee, milk, juice, etc. for breakfast on Saturday morning. In fact, there were so many eggs left, that we had eggs and pancakes along with our donuts on Sunday morning. For the omelets, you put your eggs, veggies, and cheese in a Ziploc bag and drop it in boiling water to cook until fluffy. I have to tell you that with so many kids it is so wonderful to not have to think about what the next meal is! Thanks Don & Kay!

Here was the fabulous sunset over Lake Winnebago the first evening. My husband took this from the watch tower. (The dog and I were scared of the see-thru steps!) Columbia Park was the campground that we stayed at! It was right on the water's edge and had electricity and a free bunch of wood for the fire!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Airstream Camping

We took a camping trip to visit our friends in Waupaca area and thought we would share a picture with you. It was a fabulous site and had a pond right out the rear of the Airstream! We were really wishing for one of those rear bedrooms just to look out the back window at the gorgeous view! The resort we stayed at was called the Blue Top Resort in Fremont, WI. The kids could go fishing right in the pond or in the lake or inlet on the other side of the Airstream. We were on a little island right on the the water! We had a wonderful time!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reflections from a First-timer

I wanted to share with you my article that I wrote for the Wisconsin Bulletin which detailed our thoughts and feelings about attending our first International WBCCI Rally:

As we finally were able to load up our 1963 Ambassador, instead of fixing it, we could feel the excitement building for our very first International Rally. This would be my first time towing the Ambassador anywhere, and I was nervous and excited. The kids could hardly control themselves as they got all their things together. Every time I turned around the two year old was in her swimsuit ready to go to the Dells (A trip for the youth that did not occur until Friday, July 3rd!) My husband was worried about what may go wrong with all of the vehicles in our 11-day adventure. Even the dog tried to load up in the truck a day early!

As we rolled out in our mini caravan, we had high hopes for this rally. Our excitement got even higher as we pulled in to the Jefferson Fairgrounds with the 60 or so other vintage Airstreams. Even a fire in our 12 Volt wiring at 6:20 the next morning would not detain us from joining in on the Vintage Parade into the 2009 WBCCI International Rally.

We had done our research for this rally, but nothing could really prepare us for what International was all about. I had even saved up my tears for the dreaded parking police screaming when I couldn't get the ball to line up on the painted dot! My dear husband did save us both the embarrassment, by taking over when he saw that I may have to back in to our spot (if you went to the Fort McCoy rally, you would know that my husband's attempt to teach me backing up didn’t turn out so well). He jumped in my vehicle to park it then ran back to park his own.

Once we got settled, registered and signed up for almost every contest and show we could possibly do, we decided to just hang out in the Vintage area. This actually was the best thing that we could have done the entire week. We came to International with high expectations of programs, shows, entertainment, youth programming, the works and discovered what the true meaning of the WBCCI is: Wally’s Dream of bringing people together and building relationships!

The best thing at International had to be meeting people from all walks of life. We met so many of the people that you usually just read their articles in the Blue Beret, or hear on the Vintage Airstream Podcast. Best of all, had to be the opportunity to hear “Pee Wee” (Dale) Schwamborn speak about his adventures on the African caravan and his mother, Helen’s part in the early years of WBCCI during the Vintage Happy Hour. To top the evening off, the vintage area was treated to a “drive-in” movie of the African Caravan followed by more comments from Pee Wee! If you don’t already have the wandering bug, take a look at what our founders have done in the past, with much less technology!

We began to develop (or should I say enhance) our need to be adventurous and see our United States, every corner of it. Of course, we would love to see the world, but for now, we will pick the adventures that are do-able. It’s not just about the travel though, it is about joining together with people you may not ever have met to see where the road may take us together.

One of the many guests that we had in from the public stated it well, “I have never met a bunch of people who are more willing to open the doors of their campers to share. In my whole life, I have never met a Winnebago owner that would let me just see the inside of their trailer!” That’s us! We all open up not only our trailers to show people the inside, but we share with them the passion that we have to see the world and build relationships with others. We carry on Wally’s Dream!

What have you done to further Wally Byam’s dream lately? Have you gone on an adventure? (I’m not talking about the local KOA with all the amenities either!) Have you caravanned with others to a new place, even just one other trailer? Have you invited your friends to a rally? Have you shared the awesomeness of owning an Airstream with another? I’m sure most of you have. You can’t help but to have the stars in your eyes when you talk about Wally’s dream!

Although our first experience at International was not without it’s challenges. We experienced a fire, two floods, and near winter-like weather on this adventure, but we gained so much more in friendships. The people we have met will be friends we look forward to meeting down the road again someday, and will definitely stay in touch with for years to come! I will close with a quote from Pee Wee, “Keep the road straight, the sky clear, the glass full, good friends, and the laughter loud!”