Tell The Beaubeauxs Where To Geaux

Posted March 22, 2016 – Narrated by Carmen
To listen to the podcast, click the play button

“Every day is a new day.
    It is better to be lucky.
But I would rather be exact.
    Then when luck comes you are ready.”

        ― Ernest Hemingway

The day we pull out we will go … I don’t know. Somewhere.

It’s not a secret. We just don’t know – don’t want to know.

Our first day of full-timing we will hitch up Beauty, crank up The Beast and journey Out There.

Maybe I will be driving and Jim will say, “Engage” or maybe Jim will be driving and ask me to say, “Engage” and, of course, trekkie sentiments will honored on our big, first day of Livin’ The Dream…

Our son, Christopher and Jim at the San Diego Aerospace Museum

Our most memorable and idyllic family camping vacations had one rule: no destination, no reservations.

The miracle of that travel philosophy is, with decent research under your belt, your chances improve to find yourself in better places at better times.

We’re a team.

Jim’s the confident, capable, can-do, no-need-to-overthink-it guy.

His motto is: The trail will be our guide and our instruction manual.

Preparing for the worst is my job. I focus on stuff like not hitting deer, being devoured by wolves, murdered, kidnapped or burned alive.

So far so good. No horror stories.

We’re mostly ready to go. Hit the road. Arrivaderci Roma, Hasta la vista, Baby – but, the YeeHahs are caught in our throats because … real estate.

We’ve had challenges in our lives and this one came unexpectedly, like a stubbed toe – makes it hard to focus on everything else in our lives that is going perfectly well.

Hopefully, this silliness will be over soon and someone who wants to two fine houses for the price of one just four blocks from the beach in Coronado, California will come forward to reap the substantial benefits it is their good fortune to enjoy.

view from house
View from the 3rd floor deck overlooking downtown San Diego

Until then … we need to regain that breathless sense of adventure and move with our dreams.

So, our thumbs are out. Take us away.

Tell the Beaubeaux’s where to geaux!

Put us on your map. Take us Out There where you are now, or someplace you Used to be.

Or, if you’re like us and in the Planning stage, do you know some annual event we should attend like The Joshua Tree Music Festival?

Have you camped on the Olympic Peninsula and have a favorite area? Will you suggest a hot springs … or two.

Please DO! We’d love it!

Where is your Happy Place? If – at this moment – you could be anywhere in the Americas… Where would that be?

Here’s a few of ours:

1) The Adobe Deli!

Just an eight hour drive from San Diego, this destination restaurant in Deming, New Mexico is what Sunday drives are made for. Just go.

It’s hard to give directions but trust your GPS even though you will think you’re lost well before you get there.

If you have one too many and need to crash in their ample parking lot, their after-hours parking policy for customers is one of cautious generosity: Just, when you arrive, tell Van Jacobson, the owner, who you are and what the hell you’re up to.

Jim taking in the wonders at Adobe Deli

2) Someone’s secret natural hot springs near Mammoth Lakes we exploited one luxurious September afternoon in 2014.

About a three and a half miles or so off the highway, using three different locals’ directions (all different) we drove past it at least six times.

If you haven’t visited these springs and need guidance, just leave a comment and we will respond to you via email.

There are many springs all through this valley and we hope to explore again someday.

Secret hot springs in Mammoth Lakes

3) Paddling in the Glorietta and San Diego bays … or, just anywhere. We love to paddle.

Now … Your turn!


If you want to see our exact route, click here.

*photos in this post (unless otherwise noted) were taken and copyrighted by Living In Beauty.

30 thoughts on “Tell The Beaubeauxs Where To Geaux

    1. Jim loves this idea, Sophie! He used to build slot cars and worked in slot car raceway back in “the day.” We’ll put this on the map (soon to be published) for 2017 or 18 … because we probably won’t be out of here soon enough. Thanks! Keep the suggestions coming!

  1. We are National Park fans and this year is the NPS 100th anniversary. We are heading to Glacier National Park in August. This is the perfect time of year to head to Zion National Park before it gets too hot then head over to Moab.

    If you get over to Missouri in the Ozark region look us up. There are many COE campgrounds on the local lakes and state parks. Plenty of opportunities to paddle. You can make use of your Federal senior pass at the COE parks. Thats basically what we stick with since we still have a couple more years to work before we try full timing.

    1. Great to hear from you again, Kelvin! We love the National Parks and Jim will qualify for the senior pass on his birthday in October – but that won’t stop us if we can find a serious buyer for our property. We’ve never even seen a COE and need to research that.

      The current plan for our exit is to leave San Diego sometime this summer or early autumn (depending on the sale of our property) then – if the weather holds out – we will head up the coast visiting friends along the way, in California, Utah and Oregon then, Jim’s sister in Twin Falls and his aunt in Nevada. Then go south to my family home in Decatur, Mississippi. There, we will visit my and Jim’s relatives in the deep south – Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia (friends) and Florida. We’ll stay there until it’s too hot and go up into the Cherokee Mountains where my sister lives in the National Park. The riverside camping up there in the Cherokees near Tellico Plains is pristine, remote and soulful. Because my sister lives nearby, it cuts about an hour off the commute to get basic supplies.

      Thank you so much Kelvin! We WILL look you up when we’re in the Ozarks! And, we will let you know when we’re in the Cherokees and Smokies. Having my sister nearby as a resource is quite a boon! Paddling is also crazy good there and the trout fishing too!

      Happy Wandering!

  2. Neuman here.
    One place high on our list is Anatasia SP, St. Augustine FL.
    The camp sites are “jungle”like, then you have the Atanltic Ocean right there.
    The plus is St. Augustine. A wonderful city (450 yrs. old)
    Then you get to see the sun rise instead of set being out east.
    Another great desitination is Cape Cod, Nickerson SP.
    Same thing, you have woods, 5 lakes, the great beaches and the Atanltic 15 minutes away.
    Just took ownership of our AS FC 28 Twin.
    Test run is down near the Cheaspeake mid April.
    Keep us posted on your travels, as will us.
    All east coast trips this year for us, then hopefully west 2017 !!!
    Happy trails !!!

    1. Who0Ho0! Celebrating with you Neuman! Yes, we will get to St. Augustine ASAP. I camped there with my parents when I was very young and we have some photos. The State Park in Nickerson looks amazing! Jim and I look forward to hearing more about your travels with your teenagers Neuman! Hey! How did the Smokies go? If you liked it, maybe we could meet up there sometime. My sister lives there. So excited for you and your new Beauty! Happy Travels!!!

  3. Check out the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN. Usually the first weekend in October. They have a “Swapping Ground” tent and if you want you could get a time slot and tell some of your stories of living on the road. My wife and her friends have been going for many years and when we met I started going along, we also spend a few days in Chattanooga on the way up.

    We don’t have a camper yet so can’t provide any info on places to anchor down. I recently retired from full-time work, my wife is still working. Found your blog on the Airforums, been looking at small Airstreams. Your stories and anticipations have been inspiring though we don’t have full-time aspirations (yet?). Viewing it as a way to stay longer in an area without the ongoing hotel expenses, and to be closer to the outside world.

    I’ll try posting a link to the festival and see if it works:

    -Mark in Louisiana

    1. Hey Mark! Aren’t AirForums great! Jim mentioned today that he’s eager to spend more time there …

      We have pinned in the Storytelling Fest in October! If all goes according to plan we could make it this year! My great-grandfather was a storyteller in the old tradition. Folks from all over came to his front porch to sit in the shade and hear his stories, songs and harmonica playing. Thanks for this great suggestion and the link!

      And, congratulations on your retirement! You have plenty of time now to look at Airstreams. If you’re like us, the more you look, the easier it is to know you’ve found the right one – and also to decide if AS is the right choice for you. It took us two years, but we could tell our Beauty was “the one” just from looking at the photos and description online.

      We talk big, but this full-timing stuff is intense! We sure do hope we can pull this off for several reasons … 1) it’s a dream … nothing to do but play and find beautiful and affordable places to camp 2) it’s a way to see places we couldn’t afford to visit otherwise 3) without the trailer we couldn’t even stay in most of the remote places we want to go 4) we’re hoping that full-timing can save $ to pay for health insurance – at least until medicare kicks in. Half of our reasons involve finances. We plan to talk quite a bit about budgeting and retirement planning here. Jim is a CFO/COO and we’re exploring ways to share how much we are spending as we go along.

      Thanks so much for following, Mark!

      BTW We love Louisiana! and plan to spend quite a bit of time there!

      Happy Camping!!!

    1. Jim has that info and he’s writing up the directions and will send this week along with some other details. Thanks for following Kim! xoxox

  4. I think you should meet up with us in Denver the 2nd weekend in Oct for the Great American Beer Festival. It has to be on Jim’s Bucket List somewhere 😉

    1. I watched the video of your wedding … We must take our photo beside the pond for good fortune. Cornerstone Gardens and Jack London SP and Petaluma are pinned on our map for our first (ever, for both of us) visit to Sonoma. Can gardens smile? … Such tranquility. Thank you, Brian! I am researching camping possibilities in the area. xoxo

      PS: Love the photo of you and Yazel by the bridge. We remember that day well 😉

  5. We took our first tour with our Excella last September. It was a circle around lake Michigan. Up the Michigan side and back down on the Wisconsin side. We took two weeks and wish we had two more. We especially liked Luddington SP in Michigan. The Cove in Leland MI is not to be missed.
    The U.P. of Michigan has a number of hidden gems. Kitch-iti-kipi Spring, and Fayette Historic Townsite were memorable. Every one said we should go to the Pictured Rocks National shoreline but that will have to be next time.
    On the Wisconsin side, Door County is tons of fun. My guess is the middle of the summer can be a bit crowded but September was wonderful.
    Hope this helps your planning.

    1. Bill – We’d love to know more about your Excella! We’ve seen so many AS, but not even the sleek and sophisticated new models make our hearts do the happy-dance like the Excella … though the Pendleton comes darn close.

      My brother lives in the Chicago area so Lake Michigan is a priority. I see there are several impressive botanic gardens along the route you suggest, and the opportunities for paddling – – are especially tempting because today we purchased new kayaks!

      So, we have pinned it all in! If we can’t make the trip this year – and, chances are looking dim that we would – then, certainly next year.

      Thank you so much, Bill! Stay in touch. We would love to have an Excella meet-up!

      Happy Travels!

      1. Yes, an Excella meet-up would be great fun. I would love to show it off. It has a bit of a history. The first owner ran an Inn/ French restaurant near Bar Harbor Maine.
        As soon as she bought it, she took it to a Maine boat builder to do her suggested changes inside. She was an avid Fly-fisherwoman who liked to boondock so it has solar units. She took it on one final swing that ended where she bought it in Tucson. That’s when I came across it while visiting family.
        She, by the way, retired to the South of France where her mother was from.
        As soon as I saw it I heard it calling my name. I still hadn’t talked Mary into the whole camping idea at that point. We came home to St Louis and I saw it listed also on Airstream Forums. After communicating with the owner in France I just knew it was what I wanted. I bought a one way ticket back to Tucson where I bought it with it’s tow vehicle. Drove it home never having towed before. I was amazed at how well it towed.
        Luckily, Mary enjoyed our trip around the Lake as well.

      2. What a great story, Bill! Wow … all that wonderful French karma and solar and yacht features too! We’d love to meet up with you, Mary and your Excella! We had our first towing experience last summer – Mississippi to San Diego in 8 days. We flew to Mississippi with nothing but what was in our backpacks, bought our TV in Meridian, hitched up and swooped across the gulf coast on the way home, stopping in New Orleans for our 40th anniversary – an epic adventure.

        We love France and french cuisine, and Kate Ratcliffe’s book:

        … is inspiration for us that we can – with minimal equipment – prepare the meals we love in the Airstream.

        A meeting of the Excellas? Yes, lets!

      3. So we’ve started our next journey and encountered a problem you might want to know about. We were heading to Big Bend NP on Friday when I had driven all I could. We came up short stopping at the Lost Alaskan RV park in Alpine TX. After unhitching and leveling we went in to find the large skylight had blown away in transit! Storm clouds were brewing all around so I didn’t have much time to make temporary repairs.
        The fix is holding but I’m afraid to travel with it. We are waiting for repair parts to come and are making the most of our time here.
        I had no idea the skylight had degraded so badly. Since our units are so similar I suggest you give yours a good check.
        On the bright side, we can add another fun stop to your list. We took in Hot Springs NP on the way down, and can say it’s well worth the stop. You’ll also find the only microbrewery on NP property!

        1. Hey Bill! Wow. That must have been a shock to find your skylight gone! Please keep us informed about the repairs. Fortunately, you seem to be in a good location for this mishap. The quote, “Adventure might be dangerous but routine is lethal” might be helpful during such times. We were lucky that Beauty’s previous owner, Larry Cook, replaced the original skylights with Maxim” skylights, which are triple glazed polycarbonate plastic. Jim had read about how the skylights are a weak link in the Excella … and the white painted kitchen sink which we are replacing soon. But Excella owners have this great exclusive insurance policy: every time you worry about something going wrong with it, you can knock on wood. 🙂

          Thank you for the great travel tips! They will be posted on our Zmap!



          1. Carmen & Jim,
            A quick update the repairs were made to the trailer and we’re happy with the results. That’s interesting that you knew about the weakness. Next we had an issue with the 4 wheel drive system in our Suburban. Also a know weak link. This trip is suddenly getting very expensive!
            Our schedule is now taking us to Williams AZ then the Grand Canyon NP. Is this a chance for a meet up?

            Bill & Mary

            1. Hey Bill & Mary! So sorry it’s taken so long to reply – but glad to hear that nothing happened that money couldn’t solve 🙂

              We’re having a slight furnace problem ourselves. I say slight because it’s not cold here right now. The furnace comes on but sometimes it doesn’t … it’s weird that way right now. Jim’s been too busy with his last month at work to do much about it, but I expect he’ll get on it before winter sets in.

              We will also be replacing our double sink because the paint is chipping off. I love the white sink, but it’s not to be … we’ll replace it with a stainless steel double sink.

              Count your blessings. We have met some other 2001 Excella folks here and they’re in the remodel phase due to a plumbing crisis …

              We might be here for a while…. At least till mid-July if escrow ever closes we’ll head north. Right now the plan is Paso Robles because we’ve never been there. We’ll keep you posted. It shouldn’t be hard to find a place to meet up!!!

              Ok. Stay out of trouble.

  6. Eaud to the Reauxd

    Eaux! I kneau a place to geaux-
    Seen the sneaux in Idaheaux?
    The Feaukloriceaux dancing in Mexiceaux
    or the rod-e-eau sheaux in Coloradeaux!
    Travel Eauklaheauma’s red dirt reauds
    that brought out west the family Jeauxd’s.
    To I-eauxa where I hear the ears of corn greaux
    and to Old MacDonald’s farm singing “e-I-e-I-eaux!
    Try riding the rails- the BeauBeaux’s turn Heau-Beauxs
    Eaux you’ll have fun- traveling far and freaux.
    Just don’t get lost in Eauhieaux
    Turn left -head heaume- to San Diegeaux!!

    1. Haha!!! Yep … A, E, I, O, U and sometimes X.

      Love you, Lori. Thank you!!!


      Talk soon … VERY soon, I hope.

  7. Come for Floyd Fest and stay at Highland Haven Airstream Park. Google em both. It might require some planning though, but will be worth it if you like to meet nice people and listen to Bluegrass music. 🤡

    1. Dan, we stayed at Highland Haven Airstream Park for almost a week back in August 2017. We loved it and attended every 4:30 pm Happy Hour while there. We also hiked to the waterfall and ate in Floyd’s at OddF3llows. Unfortunately, we missed the Friday night jamboree music in Floyds. We hope to go back again someday.

      1. Carmen and Jim,
        I hope you are well and had a nice Thanksgiving LIB. When I sent you my recommendations on where to Geaux Geaux, I had only read your blog posts to that point. So, since you’d already been there done that and bought the T-shirt on my suggestion. I felt I needed to read the rest of your blog posts before recommending anything else dumb. Oh, by the way A new microbrewery has opened up in Floyd called Buffalo Mountain brewery, you can check them out on Facebook and visit next time you come.

        When I first started reading your blog, I felt a sense of familiarity because all of the places that you talk about in Coronado. I went through BUD/S over the winter 87-88 and was stationed in and lived in Coronado until 1995. I used to go up with my friends to Mulvany’s and we’d all have the steak for two and a salad bar. Clayton’s is the best little diner and the slam burger at Danny’s was a staple of my diet. My wife and I were married in the spring of 89 at Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church. We would often go to art in the park and attend the Sunday afternoon concerts in Spreckles Park. I would sometimes go to McP’s on Thursday nights and hang out with friends. If you didn’t know, Greg McPartlin passed away on November 5th. It was great when the CBC opened up, I worked with Mark Divine when he was at ST-3. I’ll always feel a kinship to that town and especially the beach because of the amount of time I’ve spent cold, wet, and sandy there and all of the good times with friends.
        We are a bit nomadic. My wife Liz is from Denmark 🇩🇰 and spent time as a child living in Africa. Since our days in Coronado, we have lived in Germany twice, Hawaii, Chicago, I did one year unaccompanied in Bahrain and we currently live in Norfolk. A few years ago my wife and I rode our Harley’s from Norfolk through Banf and up the Alaska highway to Seward, ran the Mt Marathon race and rode back. Liz and I had lunch at the hotel your video shows at the end of your paddle through Lake Louise.

        In 2015 we sold a Harley’s and bought Airstream. It was a 25 foot flying cloud we loved it, but it was a little bit small for us and our two boxers Conan and Tori. We sold it and bought a 2008, 34 foot Classic limited with a slide out. Our intent is to go full-time. Jim’s posts and how you guys have solved problems are the most interesting to me. The 432 method sounds good, but I think ours will be a little different…Micro breweries and wineries are definitely very important to us but I also want to search out world class music festivals around the country. A couple years ago we went up to the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport Rhode Island. We stopped at Daryl’s house on the way in Pawling New York. This might require a bit more planning and maybe some reservations and advance ticket purchases. If you’re travels take you near Chicago in the summertime you should check out Ravinia. It’s a park that’s been in existence for over 100 years and they have great music every night through the summer you could check them out on the web.

        Well I hope I haven’t bored you too much. Maybe we’ll see you up at Highland Haven some summer or cross paths somewhere else.

        Dan Destefano

        1. Hey Dan! Please tell us where to Geaux Geaux anytime you like! Thank you for the tip on Ravinia. We are pinning it onto our wish list map. Here’s one for you. Today, a lady from South Dakota told us about a ranch where you can stay if you donate time to the stables. So there you have it: Wild Horse Sanctuary in The Black Hills. Did you hear it here first? Last one there is a rotten egg.

          I lived in Norfolk in the mid-60’s when Dad was stationed there and I hear the city has developed quite a bit since then. We’d like to visit that part of the country next year – and also Saint Simon’s Island where we lived while Dad was stationed at Glenco.

          You’ll be happy with that 34′ as full-timers. In three years on the road, we’ve seen a lot of rigs and how people use them. Too much or too little makes a huge difference. People who begin with too much either stop or downsize and people with too little, the same. You can’t put enough thought into what size rig to begin the journey. We think 30′ of Airstream is mandatory for two people living full-time. Sometimes I think I’d like to size up to the new 33′ but we’re too happy with Beauty right now – it’s fun to have a trailer that we can fix up and not worry about – we’ve been through the dinks and hail storms with this one – why torture ourselves all over again?

          Traveling the music festivals is brilliant – most of the festivals are in the best places during the best time of year. But, as you said, it would be a scheduling challenge. We’ve thought about spending a music festival season in Louisiana.

          What year do you hope to launch your travels, Dan?


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