Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Our planning is in full gear and it is coming and going in all directions!  We did make a decision to step down from a 550 Ultra to a 550 Special...and special she will be.  It is a money savings step and one we feel very comfortable about.  The differences are about the lighting, stove, front storage box, and sink.  We are staying with Ultra lighting fixtures...they're too sweet to forgo, and we are getting the front storage box to store our tents.  But we will find a cheaper stove and can do without the sink.  So we are saving about $3000 which can go towards our supplies.

We did order and receive our "living room" tent.  An REI In-Camp 100 (talk about irony...an In-Camp tent for our Camp-Inn trailer!) arrived a few days ago and has been set up since then.  Although I have reservations about how it will work with our trailer's open galley hatch, we tested it with the 4Runner hatch and it may work out better than I anticipate.  Michael, who cooks 100% of the time, feels it will work out just fine.  The purpose of it is to give us a place to sit out of the rain, but also to cover the galley area so we can still prepare meals when raining.
Camp Showers & Accessories at Cabela's
Next to order, is our privacy tent.  This cute little number is actually where we will shower and use a portable toilet when we are dry camping.  It is also a dressing room and a nighttime bathroom!

Oh, and the portable "loo"...    Reliance Luggable Loo® Toilet at Cabela's

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Friends Talking

Tonight Gerry and I went to meet with Elisha at the DoubleTree hotel to talk about the next Cape Cod Bird Festival (2015).  That meeting lasted about 45 minutes.  After Elisha left us, Gerry and I talked for well over an hour about many things.  For as many times that he and I have butted heads during the last few years while Festival planning, we seem to have a mutual respect and fondness for one another.

We spoke about the Festival, past and upcoming, birding, and the pending travels of me and Michael.  It was an easy and good conversation.  When Michael and I tell family about our teardropping plans, we will undoubtedly be confronted by many reactions, mostly emotional, I told Gerry.  Forget the fact that Michael and I are adults, there will be questions about our sanity and our decision to up and leave jobs, our home, the Cape.  Gerry changed the word 'emotion' to 'commotion' when anticipating the reaction family will have!  But, he also advised that Michael and I need to do what is right for us.  Agreed.  This is what's right for us. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy Tears

During our camper research, we discovered all sorts of tiny campers, mostly box-shaped.  For various reasons, we wrote off the Cricket.  We looked at Scamps and Casitas and other boxy styles.  We knew we needed affordable and we didn't want to be tied up in a "house on wheels" that might mean lots of maintenance and care.  Oh, what to do?!

Then one evening I came home from work and Michael excitedly said he had a video to show me.  It featured this tiny yellow trailer and its two owners camping in forests, by rivers, and near mountains.  Intriguing.  A tiny teardrop trailer.  http://tinyyellowteardrop.blogspot.com/

Say what??  This little trailer can fit people in it??  Yes, it can.  Two fully grown adults sleeping on a queen-sized mattress, with tiny cubby holes holding clothing and other essentials.  Simple.

So our next step was to look at the many models and companies out there making teardrops.  This style trailer dates back to the 30's and 40's, and is currently having a resurgence in popularity.  Many folks build their own, make them out of wood or aluminum, incorporate old classic designs, or new slick looks. Teardrop trailer companies are popping up all over.

After checking out many teardrop trailers, we decided teardrops were for us. Now how do we pick one?  You-Tube came in handy as we learned about the sleeping quarters,  options, accessories, and that the kitchen is actually a galley that opens up in the rear!  Cool!  The outdoors becomes our kitchen!  Hey, where's the bathroom?  Well, larger teardrops have them inside, like Alto's from Canada.  But for the teeny, tiny ones, bathrooms are a whole other thing!

Some teardrops offer heat and AC, TV's and stereos, and other creature comforts. Not for us, please.

We wanted something simple and cozy, and this Ultra 550 by Camp-Inn is ultimately the chosen one!  Our goal is to pick up our TD (hip nomenclature for 'teardrop') around April 1.  www.tinycamper.com
But before we signed a contract we visited Mark from Pepperell, MA to look at his larger Camp-Inn Ultra 560.  Larger than the 550, it even features a couch that converts into bunk beds!  We got to look it over in detail, check out the construction,
sit in it, and generally 'oooh and aaah' over
it.  Yep, we were ready to get a quote and send
in a deposit.

We are on our way to total retirement!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Future is a Dream Coming True

I don't mean those tear drops that run down your face when sad or laughing too hard.  I mean camping trailers that are tiny and, well, shaped like a teardrop.  I will attempt, at some point, to post a photo of a teardrop trailer, but for now, I am too much of a newbie to blogging and can't figure out where/how to find a photo!

About a year ago, Michael and I began to have this dream of retiring (actually he has been retired; I still work) and taking off in a camper to call all of the US our home.  One day I came home from work and Michael said, "you've got to see this!".  "This" was a way cool travel trailer called a Cricket.  Multi-colored, funky-shaped, and simplistically designed, we were smitten!  We've got to have this trailer and hit the road! Nothing like making a rash decision!

First, you must understand that this "wanderlust" fever has hit us before, actually two times before.  In 1994, we left very good jobs to bicycle across country, fully loaded with our camping gear and other essentials.  We took our time, traveling from NJ to FL across the southern tier of the US to CA where we took summer jobs at Sequoia National Park.  That's a whole other story.

After returning to NJ, we worked until 1999, when once again we were bitten by the "hit the road" bug.  This time we drove our Honda Civic loaded with kayaks, bicycles, and backpacking and camping gear to re-visit some special sites we had cycled through previously, and to discover new places.  After 6 months of traveling we were headed home to NJ by way of MA.   Let's go through Cape Cod!  Best decision ever...we bought a house and found jobs all within a week!  We're "wash-a-shores", the affectionate name given to outsiders like us who invade the Cape as new residents.  We settled into Cape Cod easily and here we still are 14 years later. 

Fourteen years is a long time for us to be so stable, so once again we are researching and planning a way to celebrate retirement for both of us.  This story and how we found a teardrop will come soon.