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Rental Sweet Rental

blog picture

It is snowing in Austin. And when I say snowing, I mean there is light snow and some ice/sleet. The whole city has shut down for Ice Apocalypse 2014. So what happens when you are stuck in  a space with a 2-year-old, in my world I need to create. Better late than never. Last thing I wrote was we were thinking of moving into a tiny home or other options. Well things took a  sudden left turn in our life and we decided that it was time to get back into a rental house for now. (it sounds so boring) Our road dreams are being put on hold. We decided on a Tuesday we were going to look at houses, Wednesday we put down a deposit, Thursday our application was approved, Friday we got the keys, Saturday we moved into the new house and Sunday we had our storage unit emptied. We had the RV unpacked, cleaned and stored the following weekend.  It was literally that quick. When we make decisions, we make them fast. We moved into the house mid November just before Thanksgiving and we have been going non-stop with holidays, vacations,  our birthdays and hosting many parties at our new-found space.Including a Technomadia Meetup for full timers and dreamers. It was a weird experience to sit around and listen to everyone’s dream about RVing, when mine had been put on hold. It made me wish we were back in the RV.

We were in the RV just shy of one year. We sold many things and stored some possessions and things we thought we would sell at a later date. Moving back into a house we had many basic things but the one thing we lacked was furniture. In the past we would have went straight to IKEA and picked everything out. Instead this time I went thrift store shopping and picked up a few items to re-purpose and re-finish. So far I have picked up a dresser, end tables(3), bookshelf, a couch, Zoes bed and various decorative things all from Craigslist or Thrift stores. All these items cost us a total of $161. With paint and other supplies our grand total is $250.

dresser redo

side tables

I think the best thing about getting back into a moderate sized house(1000 square feet) was the ample space to create some play spaces for Zoe. Creating spaces for Zoe prove to be just as much fun for me as it is for her. She now has an art space, the kid paints at least 4-6 times a day.

art space

But the greatest space is the outdoors. We have managed to find a spot within walking distance to our favorite hike and bike trail. We are in heaven here.

barton creek beltway

Our plans are always changing and nothing ever stays the same with us. Our dream is to be on the road…. we are just on a bit of a break. Our new direction is to be back out on the road in 2 years, hopefully this time Derek will not have to work as much so we can enjoy road life with a slower pace.

If you liked this post or want to hear more about our nomadic  to stationary life,  please subscribe to the blog or send us an email at  If you would prefer to stalk from a distance, head over to our Facebook page and “Like” it. If you don’t like it, than why are you still reading? *grin*

2013 New Mexico Ski Trip

If you liked this post or want to hear more about our nomadic to stationary life,  please subscribe to the blog or send us an email at  If you would prefer to stalk from a distance, head over to our Facebook page and “Like” it. If you don’t like it, than why are you still reading? *grin*

Meeting Back Up with our Friends in Austin(September – October 2013)

Better late than never!

If you liked this post or want to hear more about our nomadic  to stationary life,  please subscribe to the blog or send us an email at  If you would prefer to stalk from a distance, head over to our Facebook page and “Like” it. If you don’t like it, than why are you still reading? *grin*

We are giving up…maybe a tiny bit.

Written on Sept 18 way to late that evening.

We are giving up…..well not entirely true. We are stopping for now…traveling by RV that is.

It is hard to write this post and I have put it off way too long. As in the words of Tupac “Things will always be changing.” Yes Tupac things be changing for the Smeetings.

Derek has accepted a new job with a start up tech company called Vobi. Super cool things are happening and it was a chance of a lifetime for him to be a part of brand new technology.

Downside is that it is not a remote job. Upside the company is based in Austin, Texas. The place where we have called home for so many years.

It is weird to think that the day that I am writing this is also the day we bought the RV one year ago today. So much has changed in a year for us and it took us so long to get into the trailer and on the road.

I am really lost as to what to do with the blog, I don’t want to give up on it just yet. I know that in our hearts we are adventure seeking whores so it will be no time again until we come up with our next big idea. But as many readers are looking at us for inspiration to live life on the road….what if we are not doing that anymore…will people still read the blog? I know that many friends and family will  be interested in what we are doing but others I am afraid this blog may be lost.

This above post was written and never posted, I had been so lost as what to do but as of yesterday I think we know our next direction.

We had an incident yesterday that completely pissed me off.

The back story. I made our winter reservations at Pecan Grove RV park in Austin back in May. They were made for Sept 13-December 31, the only thing we had to do is leave for a two week period during the music festival, Austin City Limits. No big deal.  If you recall, it was hard to get in here the first time. but we did it.  All reservations for this park are done on paper with a PENCIL, usually only 3 months in advance or so they say. No computers, no phone numbers, no credit cards, no confirmation  number…..nothing just a piece of paper and a pencil. While we were on the road Derek had to come back to Austin for a few days and physically walked into Pecan Grove to verify that we had reservations for September- December.  The man behind the counter said YES and Derek saw that paper calender with our name on it.

I walked in yesterday to pay rent for the week and to make sure we were set to leave on October 3 and for our return on October 15 after Austin City Limits Music Festival. The man fumbled with the paper calender for a bit and looked up and said sorry I don’t have your reservation.

“What do you mean you don’t have our reservation???????”

It was gone. It was erased. It was no longer there and that paper calender had every single day scratched on with some other persons name in PENCIL.  I looked up at him with a metaphoric tear in my eye and said “What are we suppose to do now?” I knew our days at Pecan Grove were coming to an end. They had erased us for a reason. You can tell me all day it wasn’t on purpose but I know it was. I had heard grumblings from other monthly neighbors that they would never let us stay here long term because we had a child.  I had others tell me that we would get a spot here….when our daughter is 18 years old. I always felt like were being judged for having a kid. We were told from the beginning that it was not a “child friendly” park. Like our daughter was some type of aggressive dog breed that no one wanted to be around.  “NO PITS AND NO KIDS” is what the sign should read on the door.

Derek tried to go back into the office and find out what had happened. But it was to late.  We knew we were leaving no matter what they said, It was time for us to move on. I know that everyone loves this  park. The location is wonderful the residents are amazing but something is going on in that office. The managers are leaving at the end of the year which has me thinking that maybe this park is in its last few months/year. Every single square inch of property outside of the park is being developed and there have been rumors for years that this place will be bought and turned into condos, much like the fate of the other RV park that was down the street.

Derek walked back into the RV and announced get your shoes on we are going to go check out a new RV park, Lonestar RV Park.  Luckily for us they were able to accommodate us in the next couple of weeks while we figure out a more permanent situation. Did I mention they have a pool, and not 1 but 2 playground areas oh and some of our friends are there now with their 3 daughters. And they have cabins for rent, so if we have family coming in for the holidays,  they could stay in the cabins and not be right on top of us. (Hint, Hint Grandparents) The downside is we are not going to be in that fabulous location and Derek’s commute to work will be about 5 miles longer.  However, at Pecan Grove we were paying for location and nothing else. So now we will have more amenities at half the price.

This will  help us save up for our next dream.

Land for a tiny house community. Land for a mountain bike trail. Land to build an urban camping experience. Land for a shipping container community. Look…we all can dream, right?

So the direction of the blog is still up in the air but our direction has shifted to a more sustainable community living project. Maybe there are more people out there that want to join a tiny community revolution. I feel like RV nomads and tiny house dwellers might be cut  from the same cloth.

Road Map to Nomad and Nomad to Tiny House Dweller is to long of a website name, right? Until next blog I hope that you stick around to follow our next dream.


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Road Map To Nomad Travel Vlog: Pacific Northwest

Remember this post, from the other day, of me harping away about Derek’s new purchase. Well this was our first collaboration together on video editing.  YouTube famous, here we come.  (er, Vimeo)  *grin*

(If the video doesn’t show up, view it on Vimeo)

If you liked this post or want to hear more about our nomadic life,  please subscribe to the blog or send us an email at  If you would prefer to stalk from a distance, head over to our Facebook page and “Like” it. If you don’t like it, than why are you still reading?

Do We Really Have Room For That?

Derek, my partner in crime, has a problem. He is what you might call an  impulse buyer.  It never really bothered me…until we started living in 230 sq. ft. Now it bothers me. Before in our sticks and brick house, he had his “own” room, I just shoved everything in that room and thought “out of sight, out of mind.” I can not do that anymore, almost every nook and cranny is taken up with Zoe’s toys, our clothes and that Costco toilet paper stash under our bed. See why I have that stash here.

I have never had a problem with spending money, I just have a rule.

“You bring something new into the RV, you must take something out and donate it”

Simple right? I get a new pair of shoes, I donate an old pair. Zoe gets a new toy, I donate like 50 old toys as often as I can.

Derek might not follow this simple rule.

The First Offense

Derek tried to find a way to bring our two hard shelled sea kayaks with us on the road. I said they were not worth fooling with for now. Who wants to climb up on the RV to put those kayaks on the roof, let alone drilling into the roof for the kayak rack. I tried to convince him, IF we really need a kayak we should get an inflatable kayak or just rent them. The look of horror on his face, you would have thought I told him Zoe, our daughter, wasn’t his after all. There was no way he would buy an inflatable kayak, they were not good enough. Fine. It was settled, hard kayaks stay in storage, if we want to kayak we would rent.

We weren’t even 3 weeks on the road yet. We end up at an REI in Seattle, their flagship headquarters store, at 8:30 PM, the night before we are heading to Whistler for a month. Just in case you don’t know what an REI store sells, think of an outdoor adventure store, meets a badass bike stop, meets an LL Bean. Did I mention the store closes at 9 PM. Did I mention we went for rain paints and a fanny pack waist purse.  So an hour after they closed, we were the last people rung up, we walked out of the store with an INFLATABLE kayak, paddles, life jackets for the whole family, fanny pack, and NO RAIN PANTS.

The Second Offense

I woke up one Saturday morning in Whistler and Derek had already been up for a few hours it seemed. Which is not that that out of the ordinary, since I refuse to get up until Zoe wakes up. But he had a factitious smile on his face. What did you do? I asked.

“I may OR may not have purchased a new computer.”

What? Where the Eff  are we going to put that? Yeah like we really need that I said, you are joking right? Nope, he wasn’t. It was being shipped as we spoke, thanks a lot Amazon Prime. Because of you, we can get almost anything in 2 days now. Effing great. All I could think about was I barely have room to cook in this RV and I spend most time trying to keep it clutter free. Plus, you know what computers come with, cords. And do you know what cords do, they piss me off.

Go ahead, go clink on this link so you can see my own personal hell. I will wait. Do you see what I mean?

I demanded wanted to know his reasoning behind this purchase.

“I want to make and edit better videos” 

Maybe this would be a good time to mention my OTHER rule for living in the RV.

“No one thing can have only one purpose”

So I can name several things in my RV that have duel purposes. Name anything and I can tell you its second purpose.

Just a few examples in case you are wondering.

Our bed is a slumber heaven by night and a desk, clean laundry surface, cord holder by day.


Our stove is a cooking machine by day and a storage container for our pots and pans by night.


Zoe’s bed is her space by night but our store all by day.


I dare you to name one thing in the RV that does not have a dual purpose. (I expect some comments challenging me)

Back to the new computer situation. “You mean to tell me you bought a NEW computer for ONE sole purpose to make and edit videos.” *face palm* These better be some great videos.  These videos better show our awesome adventures. These videos better make us famous on YouTube.

Done. He says.

Guess who is up late at night, learning  how to edit videos of our INFLATABLE kayak adventures, jamming to some Bloody Beetroots, while blogging on this huge MF screen . ME! This new computer rocks. I have been blogging the last year from my iPad and wireless keyboard. Because I wanted my iPad to have a dual purpose,

Consume internet content by day and produce my blog by night. See DUAL purpose theme.  I will be finding some of Derek’s personal items to donate shortly and I owe him a BIG FAT apology for doubting him.

Hello, My Name is Monica and I have a problem,  I love my  impulse buyer, Derek.

If you liked this post or want to hear more about our nomadic life,  please subscribe to the blog or send us an email at  If you would prefer to stalk from a distance, head over to our Facebook page and “Like” it. If you don’t like it, than why are you still reading?

9 States and 2 countries in 2 weeks. A Picture Story from Road Map to Nomad


June 6 Austin, Texas-Launch off from Pecan Grove in Austin, Texas.


June 7 Norman, Oklahoma-We came to Oklahoma for this wedding. My brother and my new Sister in Law.


June 9 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Stuck for a few days because of the truck saga and bought this new truck.


June 10 Near the Oklahoma/Kansas border- Back on the road again after a 3 day delay and Zoe is digging the new truck.


Kansas-We pretty much drove straight through this state as fast as we could to catch up to our regular scheduled Colorado.


Plus, I grew up in Kansas and had seen enough of western Kansas to last me a lifetime. At least Derek let me drive the rig across the flat lands.


June 10 Denver, Colorado-Cherry Creek State Park.


June 11 Loveland, Colorado- Derek’s first day back at work, looked something like this.


Stop talking to me Sign…….I already know this.

Loveland, Colorado We spent some time with my cousin Sara and her husband, but for the life of me I can’t remember if we took any pictures. Oh well, we had good times discussing the worlds problems.


June 13 Wyoming-How on Earth, in the middle of BFE Wyoming, the least populated state, does this guy pass us on the highway? *Disclaimer: I may or may not have worked for this company in my previous corporate life.


Wyoming: Indian for wind storms and runs with windy beards. We had to pull over a few times.


Zoe is unphased by our white knuckle driving.


June 14 Utah- Great place to pull over and go for a little hike.


Zoe didn’t like the view from the top. She said, “It was no Colorado view.”


Utah-We had every intention to stay in Salt Lake City for a few days, instead we drove through in order to have a couple extra days in Idaho. So all we got was this lousy picture. *grin*


June 15 Boise, Idaho We had to dry camp for one night. This is what the travel trailer looks like when we can’t put out the slide.


We found a nice little brew pub downtown Boise after the farmers market. Enjoyed a sampler of beers.


Zoe insisted on trying one of daddy’s siiracha and lime hot wings. Oh, honey do you need some milk? Parent Fail.


Zoe’s first baseball game


Another Parenting Fail. Zoe grabs Dr. Pepper, runs around for 5 minutes, lays down and falls asleep immediately. Great……A picture of Zoe’s first soda experience.

June 19 Oregon-Only drove through the northeast tip, but plan on spending a week there after Canada.


Eating stamps from an activity bag I made her, I should really keep a better eye on this kid. Parenting Fail AGAIN.


June 20 Somewhere in Washington- Stopped traffic on the highway? People walking their dogs, riding bikes and helicopters flew over. Zombie Apocalypse? No just some standard rock blasting that lasted 2 hours!


Don’t worry, Zoe is going to drive us the rest of the way to Seattle.


June 21 Seattle, Washington- Say something witty about the space needle.


Music Museum in Seattle-Outfits from musicals and muscians.




I have confession. I love Britney Spears, there I said it. This is the outfit that changed everything for her.

Zoe drumming it up with Derek

Giant Splash Pad

June 22 We left Seattle on a low note, we were suppose to spend some time with Derek’s old friend, however she had some tragic news and had to fly out immediately.


Crossing the border. Super stressful. 

Truck Saga Part Deux

Well I left you with a cliff hanger, last you knew we were in a pickle with no towing truck. Thank you to everyone who left comments and took our poll, everyone was quite concerned. 24 out the 37 votes from our readers thought Derek brought home a new truck and you were right! He totally got me and I should have known better that he would bring home a truck. Do not delay a man from his mountains he will turn into a bear.



Awesome truck, right? Just kidding. Although, I would have loved to own this truck. I have a mild obsession with the Zombie Apocalypse and it has its own Facebook page. I guess I am going to keep dreaming about the Zombie truck.

Drum roll please……..



Derek brought home a Black 2008 Ford F250 4X4 Diesel 4 door truck. I feel like we just added another room to our house. It has so much room compared to our single cab 2003 Ford F250. And on top of more room, Zoe now has a whole back seat to herself. I feel like it is much safer now that she is in the backseat. The truck is rated to pull 12,500 lbs, which is much higher than what our trailer weighs. Honestly, I can’t even feel the trailer behind us when we are driving.

So we are back on the road again after a 2 day delay. We had to finish up some paperwork at the dealership in Oklahoma City and we were able to leave at noon. Next stop, DENVER! Want to help us name our new truck? So far we have Black Sabbath(since it was bought on a saturday) and Black Widow. Leave a comment below with your suggestion.

Guess who is a happy camper again?


We Are Stuck In The Red Mud….Norman, Oklahoma

We are currently parked at the Thunder Bird State Park. Home of the red dirt and red dirt makes red mud and red mud makes red lakes. Derek is out truck shopping at this very moment. Let me go back a few months to catch you up on what has been going on with our 2003 Ford F250 . Back in October 2012 our truck problems began with a “popped” spark plug. I am no mechanic and do not claim to understand anything about vehicles, but apparently this is a common problem with Fords from 2003. So we have replaced the spark plugs four times now,  happened in October 2012, February 2013, June 4 and now June 7. So after speaking with several mechanics, we have come to the conclusion that we need to replace the truck. One of the good things about being “stuck in the red mud” is that Oklahoma has a lower sales taxes on trucks than Texas or Kansas(Our next stop on our trip was suppose to be Hays, Kansas) and the added time with my little brother, his wonderful new bride and family.

So back to the story of our lives.

TUESDAY JUNE 4 4:30 PM (2 days before on launch off date)

Derek calls me and asks that I pick him up, another spark plug “pooped” and he had to take the truck to the shop.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 5 3:30 PM (the day before our launch off date)

Pick up said truck from the mechanic. Everything looks to be good and we were told we should be good for at least 3 months.


Leave Austin, full of excitement to get our road trip on the way.


We arrived in Norman, OK , after our first night of boon docking at a Wal-Mart parking lot in Denton, Texas. Our plan was to get dressed quickly and head to Oklahoma City for my little brothers wedding at 3:30 PM. As Derek was backing the rig into our water front spot, a huge gush of liquid dropped from the truck and another plug had popped. SHIT> What are we suppose to do now? Quickly call my brother, he will meet us at the mechanics shop in town and let us borrow his truck. At the mechanic shop, my brother quickly hands over his keys(remember this detail, it will be funny later) switch out the car seats and we are off to OKC. My brother was late to his wedding by 3 minutes, luckily for everyone involved it was a court wedding and lasted about a total of 7 minutes.  So we head over to the “reception” which was in downtown OKC. I use reception in quotes because it was more like our whole family had dinner.


Leaving dinner, Derek, Zoe and I are strolling through the parking lot, glad that we actually made it to the wedding. I think we have got everything figured out.  Truck in shop, truck will be fixed, we can continue our trip and only be one day behind. I knew things like this would happen and I was expecting that it would. Maybe not so early into the trip, but I knew it would happen.

We get into my brothers truck and all of sudden the ALARM goes off. We can’t get it to STOP. Put the key in the ignition, does not work. ALARM STILL GOING OFF. Try unlocking several different ways, STILL ALARMING>>>BEEP< BEEP>BEEP.  Try to turn the truck on, the engine has killed itself for safety reasons. It will not start. BEEP > BEEP > BEEP Called my brother and he tells me to use the alarm remote to turn it off. Wait….what? We don’t have the alarm remote, we only have the KEYS!

Oh no….. alarm remote is in Norman….30 minutes away.

I lose it, I start to cry. HULK MAD, HULK SMASH EVERYTHING AROUND. This day has been to much for me and I am at my boiling point.  Our family piles into my fathers truck and we head back to Norman, with two undriveable trucks under our belt for the day. I need a glass of wine and a new day to start.


We slummed at my brothers house all day waiting for the mechanic to call us back and tell us that the truck was fixed. Waiting….turned into waiting longer….our New plan was to leave as soon as the truck was fixed and at least make it to Wichita, Kansas. Mechanic calls and he basically says truck is fixed,  but you should go trade it in while it is still worth something.


Did you know that in some states it is forbidden to sell a car on Sundays? I see that as “we are going to have to wait until Monday” to even begin looking at trucks. Derek sees that as a challenge. So after 30 minutes of research, he is off to go find us a truck. Luckily for him, he already knew exactly what he wanted. Car dealerships close at 9 PM on Saturdays. His plan to find the youngest, smallest  sales guy, the one who has spiked hair and is dressed to the nines. Find him, because he probably has a place he wants to be after work and wants to start his night of partying, not heckling with a bearded man twice his size.


I just got a text “On my way home, coming back empty handed.” Dang it, we will have to wait until Monday. We are going to be stuck in the red mud for a few more days until this is all figured out.

Saturday 11:45 PM

I just heard Derek pull up…..his truck oddly sounds different….different like a diesel.


Note to Blog

Why is there red dirt in Oklahoma? In central Oklahoma, the ground around the area is brick-red in many places. The red color comes from small amounts of ferric (iron) oxide mixed in with the clay and other materials that form the red dirt. Apparently the ferric oxide was present in the same rock formations as the other materials that weathered over the years to form the soil and mixed in with it, giving it the red color. Incidentally, it is very good for growing many crops. If there is ample rain, that is good farm land.