Sunday, October 23, 2011

Playing The Waiting Game

I had my membership certificate in hand, I had my official patch in hand.  What I didn't have was a Sister Experience!

After learning about a big Sister gathering on Tybee Island in April, I immediately contacted Anita (Sister #440 from GA) to register.  What I didn't know was that it was full and my name would go on a waiting list.  So I waited throughout November.  I waited all through December.  I got my official SOTF Christmas card and still I waited.

And then the email arrived in late December!  There had been several cancellations and I had moved up to the list to take one of those spots.  Tybee here I come...or so I thought.  Next I had to contact River's End Campground to see if there were any sites available.  I must have had some good camping karma going on, because I snagged the very last site they had!

But now the real wait began...January, February, seemed endless.  So I spent my time reading blogs, visiting vintage trailer websites, downloading pictures, learning all about these adorable trailers...and waiting.  This leg of my Java Journey was spent playing the waiting game!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Building My Vintage Trailer Library

Ready for the next chapter in my Java Journey?  OK then, let me tell you about my vintage trailer library.  After returning from the Country Living Fair in Atlanta last October, I began to devour articles and books and websites about vintage trailers.  I can't tell you how many I bookmarked to return to time and time again!

The first book I purchased was at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center on top of Waterrock Knob near Cherokee.  It was titled, "Teardrops and Tiny Trailers" by Douglas Keister.  I poured over the text, drooled over the pictures, and thoroughly enjoyed every one of the 160 pages of these retro campers.

While browsing around the internet, I found a blog called "My Cool Caravan" and it referenced a book by the same name.  Written by Jane Field-Lewis and Chris Haddon, I was transported across the pond to view 30 retro caravans in all their glory.  Hoping to inspire a whole new generation of camper owners, they succeeded in sweeping me along in their journey.  Thanks to Amazon, I had the book in hand in no time at all.

The third addition to my VT library was another National Park visitor center find..."Silver Palaces", also written by Douglas Keister.  While I appreciate the big streamlined aluminum campers like the Airstream, I knew that would never be a camper on my wish list.  I love the handsome interiors, am fascinated by their renovations, and love looking at the pictures, but they are not for me.

And then I found my ultimate favorite..."Sisters on the Fly: Caravans, Campfires, and Tales from the Road".  Written by Irene Rawlings, this book covers it all, from buying and restoring a vintage trailer, to turning it from trash to treasure.  Individual stories are shared about the Sisters' loving restorations.  There are recipes and shopping resources, websites and blogs.  And if I wasn't hooked after meeting a few Sisters in Georgia, I was hooked after pouring over this book!

So the daydream of owning a vintage trailer took on a whole new life!  Now I had pictures and words and inspiration in the palm of my hand.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Face To Face With The Sisters & Their Trailers

It was just over a year ago that I met my first Sister face to face and saw my first vintage trailer in person.  This all happened over the weekend that my sister Becky and I went down to Atlanta for the Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain.

I knew from checking out the SOTF website that there would be a couple of trailers parked at the Fair for people to look in.  That also meant that there would be Sisters there to chat with.  Becky and I both peeked inside and I couldn't believe my decorating eyes!  

Friday afternoon after spending hours at the Fair, we went over to the Stone Mountain Campground to see our TABbin' buddy Cheryl.  We weren't there 10 minutes until we were being offered wine and food and were being invited to sit and chat.  It was overwhelming!  I met Anita, Paula, and Peggy, but don't remember any other names.  What I do remember is their hospitality and those vintage trailers.  Oh my, those vintage trailers!

All I could think about the rest of the weekend were those Sisters and their vintage trailers.  I was hooked!  On the way home we opted for some back-road driving instead of I-85 and that's when we saw this long, beautiful, shiny trailer.  By the time we came out of the store where we had stopped, it had moved on.  

I came away from that weekend knowing that I had met some special women and had been bitten by the vintage trailer bug!  My journey towards The Coffee Cup was starting to take shape.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Where It All Began

A couple of years ago, after seeing a segment on the Travel channel about a bunch of women that liked to camp together in fixed-up vintage trailers, I began looking for info about these ladies...these Sisters on the Fly.

The idea of women camping together and doing it in such a "campy" style was doubly intriguing to me.  Little by little, I found newspaper interviews with Sisters, magazine articles written about these wild women on the road, video clips from TV news shows when they were camping in the area, YouTube videos and Sister blogs.

After finding the official SOTF website and seeing yet another program about them on A&E, I knew this was a group I was destined to join one day.  So in August of 2010, despite not having a vintage trailer of my own, I did just that!