Airstream Updating


We rolled out of Georgia, through a bit of Alabama, and into the Florida panhandle. One of those places that we’ve always missed. In part, because we generally can’t stand Florida. But hey, we’re just passing through, we can give it another shot.

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Another swimming hole we couldn’t enjoy. Gators, gators, everywhere. Well, gator warning signs everywhere. This was at Falling Waters State Park, which is way, way up, at 300 feet or so in elevation. A veritable Floridian mountain. There is a cool waterfall that disappears into a sinkhole, but they’ve been so dry that only a few drops were falling down into the abyss.


The park is crisscrossed by wooden walkways to keep people—kids— from falling into the sinkholes scattered all over the place.


We ended up in Baker, Florida. An anonymous sort of weird place for us to stop, but we’ve had some projects we wanted to get done, and there was a cheap AirBnB with a big yard here, so we planted ourselves for a week. We did clear our project with the owner, though we may have understated the scope of the build just a little bit. Mainly because the minute we started digging into one project we decided to do a dozen more.

When we bought this Airstream we did so in large part because we could just move right on in without needing to do anything. The first night we owned it we could be sleeping in it. But after a few weeks living in it it was inevitable that we’d have things we wanted to change.

The number one project was building the kids’ bunk beds. That was the major job. Beyond that there was just a lot of little things. The red was too much for us. It’s fine for a while, but eventually just hurts your head. The curtains are water stained. We didn’t like the fridge cover. The cabinet in the pantry was only utilizing about half the available space. The wall above the fridge was a mess. Rivets were missing all over the place. An old unused thermostat was sticking out of the wall. Like I said, there are minor things that didn’t work well for us visually, and as a family of four in a 22 foot space.

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Destruction underway. Time to make this Airstream ours.

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I bought a $25 jigsaw and a $25 cordless drill. That’s the extent of my power tools.


Florida has furry spiders the size of your palm. Enough said.


Found this place down the road. Didn’t catch anything, which I’m sure had nothing to do with Lowe throwing 1,000 rocks in the water.

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I’m sure you all know where I land on the political spectrum. This week has disgusted me—and the thought that my children could very well be teenagers before there is another change of hands truly saddens me. I’m thankful now, more than ever before, that we’ve provided a life for ourselves with so much mobility and so many choices. We should be in Mexico again soon—if they’ll still have us.


27 Comments on “Airstream Updating”

  1. Please don’t stress about politics! It’s all crooks and liars on both sides.

    I kept hoping both of them would slip in a puddle of their own BS, break a hip and end up in nursing homes where they belong! But alas, it didn’t happen. Just an endless parade of nonsense and incompetence.

    Why do you hate Florida? Bugs and heat and too flat, or is there another reason?

  2. Pat, your about 25 minutes north of some great beaches, Destin being the closest to you. Don’t leave the panhandle without checking it out. Crystal clear blue water and white sand. Thr surf is not so great, but there is always paddle boarding.

  3. Lots of great state parks to check out in that neck of the woods.. And tons of beautiful natural springs all over Florida.. Some of the prettiest springs in Florida are in the panhandle and kids can swim there as well.

  4. I am with Bryan and Dominic. Be sure to go to Destin, Pensacola and Gulf Shores, Alabama. The kids will love it. You might get lucky with some small kine surf for the kids too.

  5. Good update. I’d like to escape to NZ myself, but hey, whatever. Mexico sounds very nice. Steady on.

  6. Ahhh….Florida. Spent 26 years down in Melbourne keeping the world safe for capitalism and democracy. Hairy spiders? I think those are called wolf spiders. We kept them around to eat the roaches. They can jump around 5 feet or so. Just enough to get from the ground to your face. Pretty sure that spider in the picture is a banana spider. Oh, almost forgot, some roaches can fly. And watch out for the fire ants.

  7. As sick as we all are, I do want to commend you. You have done such an excellent job of maintaining your blog whilst not alienating your readership with religion, politics etc. Not that we might not get a glimpse here and there about your views but there is certainly nothing I have seen that would give folks the impression that we can’t all be friends. Love the trip, love your life.

  8. The spider in the pic is a writing spider. Legend has it, if you see your name written in its web you’re a goner.

  9. I would have picked you as a straight up libertarian who was pretty much assured of a bad morning either way on Nov. 9.

  10. Welcome to our neck of the woods! I was born, raised, and lived in Milton, Florida for 34 years now. My house is only twenty minutes away from Baker. I’ve been following your blog for years and years and thought one day you might run the east coast down to the gulf and swing by here.

    It’s funny you chose to come here now because this is pretty much the reddest part of Florida being full of conservative military families. I myself and am a conservative voter but I do like to follow your blog because it’s interesting to see how the other side thinks and read widely.

    Maybe I understated that a bit, actually, I love your blog! Your blog inspired me to create my own blog at and recently we did a tour of Grand Falls, Valley of the Gods, Goosenecks, Lone Rock Beach, and Horseshoe Bend with our Canon 6D and two kids in tow. Sound familiar? 🙂

    While you’re here you may want to check out Bear Lake in Blackwater State Forest if you want to stay in the woods. A mile and a half walk down a nature trail is Krul Lake where there’s clear water you can swim in without fear of alligators (or you can even camp at Krul Lake). For beach access Fort Pickens would probably be my first choice and Big Lagoon would be the second. I’ve heard Topsail is a good place to camp but I’ve never been there myself.

    Keep up the good work! Your photography is inspirational! Maybe we’ll see you around town some time while you’re here.

  11. I think if you are a sane, sentient being on this planet, you should be very concerned about what happened in the US recently. I think George Carlin said it best, to wit “…when you are born, you get a ticket to the freak show. If you’re born in the US, you get a front row seat…”

    1. And my all time favorite from Carlin:
      “Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

  12. We will be joining you in Mexico. We’ve been wanting to do this for a while but the election gave us the kick in the pants we needed to finally go through with it.

  13. We’re based in PDX and a long time follower of your blog since the cat days,
    Earlier this year we completed a 12,247 mile loop of the US and fell in love with the “Forgotten Coast” of Florida. The fresh fish, shrimp and oysters exceeded our expectations…not to mention the sugar white sandy beaches and shore fishing. Great times! Do enjoy!

  14. Perfect place to stop and actually let the kids swim: Ponce de Leon Springs State Park 🙂 Cheap entry fee, cool natural springs/water to swim in, and not too far off the highway, but feels super private/natural. Thanks for sharing your adventures!

  15. No comment on politics 😉 I still love all of you all. Loving the new digs. Looking forward to a play date on your way through Teh Idaho.

    Much love. Much respect. ¡Mucho gusto!

  16. There have been presidential elections in our past that would have been seriously scary for us; Jefferson’s, Jackson’s, both of Lincoln’s to name a few. Our democracy survived them all.

  17. Heads up on your Airstream. They are notorious for water issues (rotting underfloors) and leaks that can be undetected before it’s too late. The first signs are spongy floors around the perimeter and the aluminum sheet covering the underside frame shows corrosion. Your ‘water-stained curtains’ are an indicator of issues.

    How do I know? We had an ’81 Airstream and had to have the back bedroom all redone because it had rotted away. There’s a fellow in Austin, Texas that makes his living doing this kind of repair!

  18. First thing I thought of after President Pussy Grabber got elected… how will the Mexican people receive us now? We were planning on heading down to La Ventana this month.

  19. We are the closest we are likely ever to be….I am a Canadian, in Destin for the winter. A couple of minutes from me is the Henderson Beach State Park. It is right on the most beautiful beach and in the middle of Destin. You might want to check it out. I know you don’t like tourist areas, which Destin is, but when you are in the park you will never know. If I can help in any way, let me know….

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