The latest buzz from Utah – a successful hunt

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It perplexed us. In a state whose emblem is a beehive, why couldn’t we find locally produced honey? I mean, if you visit a state with the nickname  “The Beehive State,” wouldn’t you expect to see lots of beehives?

beehiveNot so in Utah.  Here, the beehive was chosen for its connotation of  industriousness – you know, “busy as a bee.” Utah’s founders chose the beehive to honor its hardworking pioneers.

The hive was chosen as the state symbol in 1848 and has remained so – unlike other states who can’t seem to make up their minds. For instance, Tennessee has been known as The Volunteer State, the Big Bend State, The Hog and Hominy State, and the Mother of Southwestern Statesmen. Likewise, Delaware has been known as The First State, the Diamond State, the Small Wonder, and the Blue Hen State.

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Some state nicknames have obvious roots – the Mount Rushmore State for example. Others are more obscure. Like the Sooner State, the Flickertail State, the Hoosier State and the Yellowhammer State.

My favorite state nickname is Wyoming’s “Equality State.”  Who wouldn’t want to be from a state famous for being the first to allow women to vote?  And the first to put a women on juries, and the first to put a woman into public office. Go Wyoming!

If you want to know more about state nicknames, and how they came to be, check out the excellent 50 States website.

Here in the Beehive State, we did finally find a locally produced honey. Stumbled on it last week at the Muddy Bees Bakery in the town of Hurricane.

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The owners keep a beehive in a glass case right inside the shop, with a tube that runs across the ceiling and to the outside, allowing the bees to come and go as they please.

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What a cool idea.

 

Beep, beep, beep. That’s the sound of us backing up

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By Saimi Bergmann

OK, we have been out of touch, so let’s back up and catch up.

After circling the country clockwise (our first year fulltiming, we went counterclockwise), we hunkered down in San Antonio in December and January, then stayed in St. George, Utah, for February and March – thus managing to skip winter altogether!

We left the RV in Utah and spent the summer in Ohio, reconnecting with family and friends, and running the third season of Foodie Field Trips with partner Jennifer Mastroianni.

After a successful, sold-out tour season, we packed up (wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve packed or unpacked in the past two years) and headed west again, with a stop in Chicago to see the grandkids. Who are, of course, amazing. And speaking of amazing, get a load of this birthday cake my daughter, Katrina, made for her dad’s 60th birthday.  img_2080

 

Next, we drove to Colorado Springs at the invitation of my sister Susan. Her son, Thomas, is a cadet at the Air Force Academy there. The campus chapel is AMAZING.  It includes a Protestant chapel, a Catholic chapel, a Jewish temple and a Buddhist temple. If you happen to be visiting the nearby Garden of the Gods, make time to stop and see this architectural beauty. img_2165

Together again. Us and our car. Yay.

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One of the toughest things about our style of fulltiming is surviving without a car. We do not tow a vehicle, so getting around can be a challenge, especially when the RV is parked somewhere remote.

We reunited with our car this summer in Ohio, then drove it to Utah where we had left the RV. I won’t lie, it’s been wonderful having that freedom again. Need groceries?  No need to make a 40 minute bike ride. Want to check out a state park that’s 30 miles away? You can be there in about 20 minutes instead of 3 hours. img_2247

If you, like us, find yourself without a car for whatever reason, here’s a tip.  Check out the weekend deal at Enterprise car rental. You can pick up the car at noon on Friday and return it by noon on Monday and pay $9.99 a day. With taxes and fees, it comes to $39 for the extended weekend. If you are reserving online, use promo code E999WES.

What I miss since we’ve become fulltime RVers on the road

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By Saimi Rote Bergmann

My beads. My mosaic tiles. Flower arranging. My car. A fully equipped kitchen. My vegetable garden, even the weeds. This is how desperate I’ve become – I even miss weeding.

Of course it goes without saying that since selling our house in Ohio and going on the lam, I’ve missed my friends. But right now, stuck in one place for more than a month, I miss something to do. 

I miss crafting. I had two full cupboards of every imaginable crafting supply. If I got bored or had a spare minute, I could create something.

I miss my garden, especially the tomatoes and the herbs.

And – here it comes – I even miss work.  Not my former job, but the actual process of working. The purpose, the helping, the challenge, the paycheck.

So… hubby (also restless) and I held a meeting. After we visit family for Christmas and New Year’s, we are pulling up roots, er, wheels, and heading west again. We had thought about looking for jobs here in San Antonio, but even though it is the friendliest town we’ve ever visited, it’s not the right place for us.

We will still spend half the year in Ohio – we have family there, and I have a seasonal tour business (www.foodiefieldtripsohio.com). We will still travel extensively in the RV, but come January, we will be on the hunt for a winter home.

 

Happy Givingthanks Day – a nontraditional celebration

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Holiday meals on the road can be pretty lonely. This year, thanks to the good folks at Braunig Lake RV Resort in San Antonio, we spent it with about 60 other fulltiming “orphans.”. Braunig has a tradition of hosting a turkey dinner for residents – they provide the turkey, potatoes and stuffing, and the guests bring a dish to share.  IMG_20151126_121339555

As with all potlucks, the array of dishes was amazing. All the usual suspects, plus some unexpected additions, like bacon-wrapped asparagus bundles. The food was so good, we forgot to take pictures of it!  I brought cranberry applesauce, and a bowl of bacon coleslaw. IMG_9586

 

The recipe is simple – make coleslaw the way you prefer, then add in thinly sliced green pepper and thinly sliced green onion and crispy crumbled bacon. I used two bags of shredded cabbage, 1 medium bell pepper, three green onions, and half a cup of crumbled bacon.  I prefer to use sweet and sour dressing, but couldn’t find any (What the heck Texas?) so I used a jar of Whitehouse Coleslaw dressing.IMG_9589

Sat with two lovely couples from opposite ends of Canada. We had lots of shared interests, so conversation was lively. We ended up staying two hours, then left with a package of leftovers. A good day.IMG_20151126_131525145

Hitchcock’s “The Birds” comes to life in San Antonio

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Lions and Tigers and Grackles…..Oh my!

We were a little intimidated by the number of black birds surrounding us on a recent visit to a grocery store in San Antonio. The birds were grackles, which do not look threatening  unless there are thousands of them.IMG_20151114_174749037

IMG_20151114_173930803_HDRTo get a feel for our experience here is a short video. I don’t think a scarecrow would stand a chance with this group of birds!

 

A vagabond’s lament – contents will shift

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By Saimi Rote Bergmann

When you live in a regular house, your breakables are safe unless you are hit by an earthquake. When you live in a house on wheels, a pothole can do equal damage.

Somewhere along interstate-10, something shifted inside a storage compartment, and this happened…IMG_9526

Which of course meant this had to happen…IMG_9533

As annoying as it was to have to empty everything out to dry, I secretly wish I could have seen the explosion happen. Wouldn’t it be cool if the can flew around like a balloon that’s been punctured?