Airstream Work and Play


It took us seven days, but we got it done, and the Airstream now feels much more like a home. Everything got a fresh coat of paint, cabinets were rebuilt to make them more user friendly, new cubbyholes were added under the kids’ new bunk beds, book cases were built, upgraded power outlets with USB replaced the old, all the cabinet hardware was installed so that they actually close and lock, new curtains were ordered, tons of rivets and empty rivet holes were replaced, random 50-year-old wiring to non-functioning switches were removed, and the list goes on. Fortunately, all the work was cosmetic and done with the aim of creating a more pleasing and useful space for us to live in. I haven’t had to do any work at all on electrical, plumbing, or exterior.

Anyway, that project is done and we feel much happier in our new home. The kids were thrilled with their new beds. There is something about bunk beds that just brings joy to children. I had bunk beds when I was a kid, and I didn’t even share a bedroom with anyone. Best of all, Ouest and Lowe both knew which bunk they wanted, and there was no arguing.


These cushions were from the couch where the beds now reside. They were fun to play with for a day or two.


After a week of being 30 miles inland from the beach, we packed up and dropped down to Destin, Florida. I’ve mentioned before that Florida is really one of our least favorite states. Driving around down here couldn’t be any less interesting. There is just nothing on the horizon. Ever. All I see in Florida is a steady wall of Dollar Stores and strip malls. I’d feel bad for saying that if it weren’t true, but take a drive from Destin to Pensacola some time, and tell me I’m wrong. The one saving grace is, of course, the beach. Destin’s beach is insanely beautiful. If there is a better grade of sand out there, I’ve never come across it. White, fluffy, sticky smooth for building, yet somehow non-sticky on skin. It’s the best. Combine that with the clear blue water, and it’s a tough combination to beat.


It is November, though. Starting to get a little chilly.


The new bed makes an excellent platform for driving cars.

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Severe drought down here—sorry kid, no fires.

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Ouest, the whole tongue lolling outside your mouth when you die thing—it’s a myth. Acting 101. Look at your brother. That’s legit death right there.

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Getting Hermie and Crabby some exercise.


Hopefully we’ll get our act together in the next few days and take some good interior and exterior photos of the Airstream to really show everyone how we’re living in our twenty-two feet.


27 Comments on “Airstream Work and Play”

  1. uh oh. looks like you and ally are sleeping in the same bed these days. the airstream could turn into a baby makin factory.

    see you guys in mexico!

  2. It is looking really great! Is it a little easier to work then when it is 5 below zero….inside?!
    Have fun guys!


    1. Yes much easier for everyone involved. Though what fond memories of bus work in 65 below. Who can say they did that right?!

  3. I’ve lived on the East Coast, West Coast and all three Florida coasts, and I can tell you that the Florida Panhandle has the best beaches in the country, bar none. It’s a shame you had to experience the Gulf while it was chilly, because in addition to being gorgeous, the Gulf waters have such great temperatures compared to the frigid Pacific and still mildly too chilly Atlantic.

    My mom had a condo in Miramar Beach, just outside of Destin, from the early eighties. So my kids grew up spending summers and holidays there. We even lived there a few months, but the schools weren’t so hot back then. For years, I kept telling everyone not to go spreading the word about how wonderful the Redneck Riviera was, but progress couldn’t be stopped. It was a whole lot better before the ostentatious Italianate houses started going up and the four lane highway turned into a parking lot on weekends.

    Of course, I have fond memories of Las Vegas before it spent a dozen years as the fastest growing city in the U.S., too. I don’t like crowds and they keep moving into my fun spots. Still, I brought my granddaughter to Big Kahuna’s and the Track, and she enjoyed it every bit as much as the earlier generation had. Of course those places are outrageously over-priced as amusement parks always are, but that was the case way back then, as well.

    My family will always have fond memories of the place, it will always be special to us. In fact, my brother and his wife just moved back there last year. The beach is so wonderful, there area so many great places to eat and drink, and the people are so nice – as long as you don’t talk politics with them, bc they are rabidly conservative – it’s actually not a bad place to live.

  4. Looks great! But now I have to go shopping with my wife and look for those curtains. Not good. 🙂

    1. The curtains are Sunbrella fabric I believe. Unfortunately ours are coming down due to water stains. Happy shopping! (or go online!). 🙂

    2. The curtains were a Michael Miller fabric that you can’t find anymore. I looked to replace the curtains that were water stained but no luck!

  5. TH Stone (aka Port St Joe Peninsula) State Park is far more interesting. Same white beaches on one side, bay on the other. Far less commercial area. Short hop to Appalachicola , a charming old town. Indian Raw Bar has the best oysters. Much more like what you are accustomed to.

  6. If you are back in the panhandle area of FL, head to Gulf Islands Nat’l Seashore/Fort Pickens area. It’s the western-most tip of Santa Rosa Island. The park is about 6-8 miles from the gate to the end of the island. Has a campground and easy walk to the beach or sound, some trails, and a fort.

    Sure, you can find ‘civilization’ outside the gates (though I’d suggest Pensacola Beach is less crazed than the Fort Walton/Destin stretch) but it’s gorgeous, uncrowded, quiet in the Campground. Been going since the 70s.

  7. The airstream is looking great. Wonderful skills and self-sufficiency have served you well over the years as you and Ali turn each mode of transportation into a real home. Don’t completely discount FL until you explore inland. So completely different! No crowds, few malls, cows, horses, cane and citrus fields, etc. Heck, we have to drive 25 miles to go grocery shopping–and we love it. Come visit Lake Okeechobee on your way to Mexico. You can help Mike search for those 10-pound bass! Continue to have fun.

  8. Looking good guys! I keep seeing those magnetic blocks in your pics, so Idecided to get some for Xmas for Sol. The legos didn’t make it to Spain. Those magnetic ones look less bulky and more interesting anyhow. Now I just
    need to find a hermit crab 🙂

  9. Just looking at your pictures of the red in your Airstream made my eyes hurt. So glad it is gone, and I love red. Good job. Your interior decorating made vast improvements. Happy travels in your “new” rig.

  10. There’s some good things to see but you have to look for them. About a half mile from us there’s a park called Emerson Point Preserve that has an Indian mound, lots of historical markers, kayaking creeks, and miles of bike and hiking trails. There’s also an observation tower that lets you see Tampa, St. Pete, and most of the way up the Manatee River. We go almost every week in our bikes and love it.

    SV Kintala

  11. You have to stop by Barefoot BBQ in seaside and see the 2
    Airstreams that my friend Murphy has turned into a thriving beach BBQ – good food too!! say HI from me !!

    The BBQ is so good it will ” knock your socks off” – hence the name.

  12. The curtains were a Michael Miller fabric that you can’t find anymore. I looked to replace the curtains that were water stained but no luck! The upholstery was done with a Sunbrella fabric. I’m glad you guys are making it your own and that you haven’t had any issues with the mechanicals!!!

  13. Love the New Belgium bottle! Now if I could just get you the El Segundo bottle with the International on the label….

  14. I like the IPA with the Airstream looking van on the seasonal bottle, great photo, 6.2% too, I’m going to hunt some of that down here in the UK this weekend.

    I love your Airsteam , they just look so great, the photos you’ve taken with the Autumn colours just look wonderful, you’re clearly a natural at capturing your life and the landscapes that you pass through.

  15. Funny, those birds eye shots of the inside make it look more like the oscar meyer weenie mobile:-)

  16. Hi Pat & Ali,

    I’ve been following you both on & off pretty well since you started your fantastic website. Sometimes I have a break for awhile then come back to see what you are all up to. Those two kids of yours seem to be growing up fast !
    Keep up the good work and interesting website. Oh by the way thanks for the free copy of your Bumfuzzle Catamaran, circumnavigation, I’m enjoying the read, especially when the wifi drops out.

    Best Regards Will

  17. Agree about Destin: lived there for 16 years and found it uninteresting but for the beach. Moved 6 months ago Asheville, NC and couldn’t be happier! Do not miss Florida one bit after 50 years of living there!

  18. Love the new look! Did you follow any specific plans for the bunks or just wing it? What are the dimensions? We are adding custom bunks for our 3 and 6 year olds to our 17′ Casita travel trailer and might just copy your design.

    1. Hi Kate, We just wing it. Tell the kids to lay down, make a couple measurements around them, and go to work. Kids don’t care. They like being up high, and they like being in a cave. So bunk beds rule. Have fun!

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