celebrations

It’s Finished!

The little project has come to an end.

No more measuring.

No more cutting.

No more blisters.

No more sawdust flying around my face.

The cleanup was pretty quick. Kept some scraps for the next project. Returned extra materials to Home Depot. Emptied the trash. Ran a quick vacuum and packed up the tools. Snapped a few more photos. Finished. 

Time to use the newly updated 120 square feet of space. Finished in the time allotted. Somewhat within budget. Recycled materials were used. Ideas were reworked many times. A little helper provided some labor along the way. Many songs were listened to while jamming and working. Evening and weekends spent hustling in a different way. Rain days got in the way a few times, but not too many.

Two trips to Home Depot. A few cuss words. No emergency room visits was a plus. Some tools were borrowed. A small power saw was purchased but will be reused on another project. Winter will require a small space heater for warmth (see above). Spring and fall will have a nice breeze with windows open. Summer will have a small Room air conditioning unit. Built on a budget. Built to be used. Built by me. Not perfectly designed but it’s perfectly useful. A great experience to learn and see the fruits of my labor. 

As I wrap up this DIY project, I definitely have a new appreciation for the construction industry. I also understand why there are specialized trades such as carpeting, painting, ceiling work, trim work, electrical, plumbing, etc. It’s hard to be good at everything. So many chances to get injured with a momentary lapse in judgment. 

From nothing to something. Building away. Lots of different types. Carpet. Metal. Trim. Walls. Insulation. It sure was a fun experience to knock out this little project. Two more projects to go. One planned. One unplanned. Just the way life goes I supposed. DIY trims the budget and allows one to do more with less. That’s where I am at on these little fix it jobs. Elbow grease and positivity will get you far in these kind of projects. A willing helper goes a long way, too.

I didn’t even mind cleaning at the end. Gave me a sense of completion. Happy 2023 to you!

adventure

Rocky Top

The road trip destination was programmed for the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee on this beautiful weekend. An uneventful drive north from point A to point B. Nestled just outside of Knoxville and close to Dollywood. Another state to add to the list of 2022 RV visits. Documented of course via a sticker on the trusty RV map tucked just inside the RV door.

A big Georgia vs. Tennessee football game on Saturday was a funny coincidence making the camping resort a little bit of a rivalry zone for home fans and visitors from nearby Georgia. Friday night was set for settling into the site. Sitting by the fire. Toasting marshmallows and making big plans for the days ahead. The smell of fire in the air was so peaceful. The chatter amongst the travelers was so much fun. Everyone toasted their marshmallows just a bit differently. Some dark charcoal. Some light. Some full blown s’mores. It was a great first night for many.

We met a few new friends. Saw some cool vehicles that were in tow or for show. A vintage 1950 Chevy truck to a 2010 Stallion trike. Those were the standouts among the normal golf carts, motorcycles, sling shots, electric bikes, scooters, among others. Off to bed to rise early for a hike to Grotto Falls.

This hike was amazing from start to finish. First we had to rise early to guarantee a parking space. A hint we received from locals. Once we began the climb I first noticed the many step formations along the way. Some wood. Some rock. Some sand and leaves. Some water spots with little rocks to step across. It was a good mix with the trail.

Some of the trail was along the water’s edge. Some of the trail we just heard the water rushing in the distance. Another benefit of the early rise was the possibility of seeing the sun rise. It’s was peaking through the clouds and trees. Not enough to say we saw a fantastic sunrise but we did enjoy the chase.

So many picture opportunities along the way. The rock wall formations of varying colors. The large rocks in the water. The falls and everything in between. After we got our fitness in we headed to the town of Gatlinburg to enjoy being tourists.

As we tackled the city a trend arose. We liked to sample things. Alcohol tasting seemed like the midday activity. We tasted flights of local wines. We sampled local moonshine. We even taste tested the local ciders. All was so good. None of us were big drinkers per se but we all purchased our favorites from the samplings. This led to our second fitness journey. Hiking back to the car with gift boxes full of cider, wine and moonshine by the box. Three bottles in each hand was the equivalent of a small kettle bell in each hand for miles. Functional fitness I suppose.

Back to the site we go to chill by the fire again but this time during the prime football games. First up was the big rivalry of Georgia vs Tennessee. That was fun to spectate. The Rocky Flop Tennesee chant was all the buzz by the end of that game. Then we shifted to Alabama vss LSU game. The sole LSU fan was dancing and cheering for her home team. This was amazing in itself. While others not so interested in football gazed at the stars. I learned about a cool app called starwalk where you can use your phone to see what’s lurking up above. Another fun treat by the campsite to mix in with football and marshmallows.

Time to sign off to mingle and eat marshmallows. A solo trip in the books for this RV girl. 

adventure

Sand For Days

As part of my coastal Oregon series, this particular writing is dedicated to the amazing experience I had on the Oregon Sand Dunes. So much fun that I had to write about it in just one post. All by itself.

I really didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t visualize the beauty of the dunes or the depth of how far the dunes stretched. I did however catch a glimpse of the dunes roadside where there was an enormous hill of sand with a four wheeler going down it. I silently thought to myself no way. That is way too high for me.

We were lucky to get on the ATV tour as that was the best way to see the shore and the dunes in what I called the safest option for our trio to navigate the dunes as first timers. 30-40 mph on the climbs and the descents were so fast I didn’t even check the speedometer. 26 miles we rode round trip. Nobody flipped. Nobody got stuck. It was a success. This Bay Bridge photo is hard to capture in a photo meaning the in person view seems 1,000 times nicer. 

So much beauty. Such a thrill ride. One of travel buddies said this is definitely a top 10 experience. I would have to agree. I will definitely find my way back to this coast to tackle the dunes again. Not sure when but I will make time for sure.

We had a great guide and we even did some bowl rides at the end. It is hard to explain but you ride the dunes sideways up and down like you were in a bowl. You have to hit the right speed and maintain or your could roll! Just an exhilarating experience. This is also very different from the straight up climb to the straight down descent where you actually can’t see what is ahead of you when you then begin this descent.

This adventure covers the dunes and plenty of play time riding. From the natural bumps or jumps on the main road trail to the coolness of passers by. Everyone added flair to their personal rides with cool flags, political flags, neon lights, and so on.  Our adventure also covered the trip to the ocean to ride along the water. This was another breathtaking sight to see. The large ocean waves were just feet away pounding the shore while you zipped by. There was a fog in the air making the visibility low but the air was cool and crisp off the water. 

This adventure comes with a few $$$ on the review but if you take into account gas prices, the equipment used on the terrain and the guide it is well worth it. The family that owned our rental company was super focused on customer service which I also appreciated.

Can’t wait to come back to this coast and hit more spots along the way. Such a beautiful place to spend some time off the grid.

adventure, fitness and nutrition

The Pinellas Trail

It was a sizzling hot summer day in late July. 2 Chicks hit the road on the Pinellas trail in Dunedin, Florida. We hit the pavement by bike. A mode of transportation we enjoy. Today was a good fit and fun adventure.

18 miles were ridden. We might have walked a little funny when done but it was worth it. Recently I wrote about the backside of life on a train ride. Today I again saw the backside of life, but this time a little differently. What I mean is the back of buildings are visible from the trail since its original use was for rail hence the reason it’s called a rail trail. Fast forward to today and the backsides of the buildings are purposeful and used vs left to decay and look like an eye sore.

Keeping with this topic many sections of the towns have eateries or stores that back up to the rail trail. However this view is more aesthetically appealing or inviting. Stores had welcoming signage. Restaurants had patios on the backside. Ice cream shops had spots for pets. Many establishments had bike pumps for courtesy use. Some had sitting areas for those who needed a break. Many offered free water which was so nice on the super sunshiny day we rode.

The backside of life can look different depending how you view it. My perspective here was welcoming and one I will remember. My previous train ride was a little different view of neglect of those backsides many overlook. I often see opportunity in weird places. Some could post fun messages or kind words or advertise on the backside of old buildings for passers by instead of just leaving them to sit idle. Maybe it’s my always on business brain. Maybe it’s my desire for others to see what’s in plain sight or what could be endless possibilities. Clearly I can’t change the world but I can dream of how it could look better or be more useful.

Circling back to now, one of my favorite spots on the trails were the roadway crossings. Some busier than others. Some had stop signs for bikers while others had stop signs for cars. However on the main drags we had red lights and the little bike lights made me smile. I wish every city had a safe pathway like this to enjoy. Many would probably choose to bike to work some days.

Another tiring but beautiful experience was the opportunity to make the climb up a bridge, enjoy a photo at the top and the amazing views and then having the satisfaction of feeling the wind in your face on the way down the decline of the bridge. So many other fascinating tidbits I could share, but I would rather suggest you take a trip to experience this ride for yourself.

Opt outside. Be adventurous. This day was $30 to rent the bike all day. I was able to close my exercise ring for the day. I saw some beautiful street art, great trees, a few parks, and the water was a great backdrop along the way. $30 for a day of memories. 

celebrations, dare to be different

What a Drag Brunch

I recently got invited to attend a Drag Brunch. I couldn’t resist going. I just had to see what it was all about. What to wear was my first question. I couldn’t wait to add this adventure to my “new to me” activities for this year. Off I went with friends. No expectations just prepared for what might be.

Upon arrival there were colorful boas on each table. Great for a quick photo opportunity and some giggles. The feathery accent piece got old real quick for me. It was itchy and left stray feathers all over me. Off that went. Food and mimosas came out while you socialized and listened to music. I’d call this the kill time phase while the queens got into costume.

This was the Drag Queen who managed the show. Her name was Cake. Her introduction says what’s a party without cake? No party is a party without cake. Clever. Funny. Applicable. Cake rolled in at 6 foot four and this Queen left her mark on the audience. From big hair to her fan snapping movement. She even broke a nail in her first act and had to have it reapplied because it’s a much needed accessory.

This queen was a jumping diva. She jumped off chairs and flipped in the air. The pure acrobatics and energy were nothing short of amazing. The hair flips even seemed to match her choreography. The details the divas displayed.

The costumes were very intricate and went with the personalities of the performers. Real showmanship was viewed on this day. I could see such a sense of pride in all they did. It was funny to hear many had real day jobs and this was a weekend gig. Made me think about who is behind the makeup and costumes.

Another fun experience for my record book. Many more to come but I do enjoy sharing this experiences on the blog in case others want to venture off to try something new or for those who won’t they at least get a glimpse from my lens.

Have an amazing week. Be the queen that you are. Embrace your inner diva. This statement may sound sexist but since a drag queen is well a drag queen I’m applying this statement to all genders.