12/13/10

Best of the Trip Pics

We finally got the best pics from the trip uploaded to Shutterfly. Enjoy!

Click here to view this photo book larger

7/31/10

Bye Bye BAMH

Last year when we started planning our 20th anniversary trip to Alaska, we looked over our options for travel. We knew that RV travel was the way to go. We researched RV rentals and found out that it was going to cost a minimum of $8000 to rent. (125/day, 49 cents a mile over 100 miles a day, cleaning fee, household goods rental, 11% tax for a Class C) We'd still be paying for gas and we can not tow with a rental. So we started researching how much it costs to purchase. When we looked at a few RVs we decided we'd like to travel in a Class A (rental would have been $4K more) instead of a Class C. We figured if we purchased an RV and then sold it after the trip the difference would be FAR less than $8000. So we purchased BAMH and enjoyed our trip.

I put the RV up on CraigsList around 4:30pm yesterday. Calls and emails started flooding in by 5:15. We priced it a little more than we bought it for...and it was sold (asking price) by noon today! WOW~ how easy was that?!! We did put some work and repairs into it, but if you add up all those costs and subtract our selling price, we only paid around $1000. And I can tell you that we spent a little less than $7000 on entire trip costs. I did NOT count the price of groceries I bought in that. We carried ALL our non-perishables with us, I precooked and froze meat that lasted nearly the whole trip, so we only had to buy milk, produce, and bread. I only shopped in bigger stores in bigger towns/cities, so those costs weren't too bad. We still have LOTS of cereal and can goods left, which means my grocery costs over the next month or so will be lower.

So for people wondering how you can afford a 5 week trip to Alaska...do what we did!! Plan well, stick to your plan, and enjoy your trip of a lifetime!!
I guess this signals the end of the purpose of this blog. We will keep it open and continue to post about our trip and reviews of places we went and stayed.
Our last look at BAMH as the new owner is driving off with it!

7/24/10

HOME

8488 miles
36.5 days or 1/10 of a year
11 states & 3 provinces
???? dollars
139 loonies & toonies
1561 liters of diesel
3 repair bills
2 cracked windshields
1 bicycle ditched
1 spare tire fell off
0 accidents/incidents
0 sick/illness
1 minor injury (cut thumb)
1 arctic adventure
42 animal sightings
100s of bald eagles
1 amazing mountain
28 glaciers
18 days w/o a shower
5 days w/o rain
28 days w/ ice cream
5 pounds gained
18 loads of laundry in our rv
8 blogger meet-ups
0 major arguments or fights
3000+ photos taken
A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES

7/23/10

Meeting More Bloggers & A Giveaway

On Tuesday we arrived in Ellensburg, WA around 9:30pm and our online blogging friends, Cora & Jim, were waiting to meet us. They met us on the edge of town and we followed them to the Fred Meyer parking lot. We were ready to park and relax. It was our 2nd night in a row where we were driving in the dark. Not big fans of that. We want to hightail it home, but I am guessing we will stop before darkness.

Cora & Jim are a hoot! I connected with them online (via Kim) because they are waiting to adopt from Burundi & China. We adopted from China a few years ago and I am still plugged into the online adoption community. When we started planning our trip to AK we figured we might get a chance to meet Cora & Jim in WA. When we turned south due to RV issues, the plan to meet was on. They were troopers to stay up late (Jim gets up for work early!) to meet us and we had a lot of laughs. Jim is a great artist and he brought some pictures he created for us and they gave us a BUNCH of WA cherries. I was so excited because we had spent several hours traveling past fruit stands and we didn’t take the time to stop at any of them. Anyway, we spent about 90 mins with Jim & Cora and everyone had a good time. Cora & Dori bonded and the boys enjoyed Jim. Jim just got a new camera (named Precious) and he actually let Jake touch it. WOW! We had fun trying to take jumping photos in the parking lot. I will go pilfer the pics of Jim to post. LOL!While they are waiting to adopt, Jim & Cora are holding a few fundraisers to support their adoptions. Cora sews adorable outfits and blankets and sells them on her Little Misses Blankets & Stuff blog and together they have created Color Me Home books. These coloring books are awesome! We have ALL of them! Jim draws the pictures and Cora compiles the books. These are NOT your typical coloring book. They’ve done a Under the Sea, Transportation, Dragons, and Animals. Take a look at some of the pages we’ve colored and you will see that each page is detailed but not cluttered with extras that take away from the design. They are perfect for all ages! Eric loves to color them too! We got a sneak peak of the upcoming Princess book which is going to be a story of sorts.
Photobucket
Cora recently started making crayon rolls that can be used with the coloring books. I got one for each of my kid and they love them! Dori got crayons and the boys each got the colored pencil rolls. Dori has done a lot of coloring on the trip and it’s been nice to NOT have crayons all over the place. We also like how there is a cord with a cord stop on it. Dori can roll them up and secure them herself. Cora is in the process of making up a bunch of these to sell at a local festival in August, but I am sure she’d be happy to make any you want to order. The crayon rolls are $10 for 16 crayons, $12 for 24 crayons, and the colored pencil rolls are $15.I know that several of our readers have younger kids or grandkids who would LOVE these coloring books. I have made a donation to Cora & Jim so that they can send one of these great books to one of our readers. To enter you just need to leave a comment in this post saying why you’d like to win the free book. The winner will get their choice of books (Under the Sea, Transportation, Dragons, Animals, or maybe even the Princess if it’s done!) and it will be mailed straight from WA to the US post address of your choice. If you don’t win, don’t fret! These books can be purchased for a donation of $5 + a shipping charge. Order several and save on shipping. Great to have on hand for gifts. See the Color Me Home blog for more info.

The giveaway will go through Friday, July 30th. I will announce the winner on July 31st. If you are entering the giveaway and you don’t have your email linked to your blogger account you can check back when the giveaway is over and contact me then or just leave your email address in your comment now.
Jim sent this to us before the trip. Eric colored it and
I laminated it and put it up in the window of the rig.

Still Trucking...

We had good wifi last night, but we swam, ate ice cream, and socialized. 

Right now we are about 40% across SD. If we push it we can be home tomorrow night. We'll see how the next few hours go and decide. It's really HOT out so we really don't want to stop til it's cooler. We see rain just to the north, but we this we might miss it. Bummer! We have quite the bug collection that we want washed off.

At this point I might just update after we get home. I will post about meeting our friends before that!

Diana
- Sent from my Palm Pre

7/21/10

WiFi?

Last night we stayed in the Fred Meyer parking lot in Ellensburg, WA so no wifi. Tonight we are at an RV park in Garrison, MT and the wifi is iffy. I need a better connection to be able to do a decent post with pics. Overall we are putting in longer days so we can get home, which means there really isn't much excitement...but I do want to post about some online buddies we met last night. That post will include a cute little giveaway.

Would like to make it to SD tomorrow, but it is more likely to be WY.
Diana
- Sent from my Palm Pre

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