My Favorite Things (#s 3, 4, and 5)

Kudos to this crafty baker

Kudos to this campy baker

“Wrapping up” the posts about Christmas gifts I wish I still had today are #s 3, 4, and 5 (since they’re all similar versions of each other): Barbie’s Country Camper, Barbie’s Beach Bus, and Barbie’s Friend Ship. Damn that Barbie. She made travel look so effortless, so fun, so luxurious. It just set me up for disappointment later in life.

#3 Barbie’s Country Camper: I love camping, but I never look (or feel) half as pretty and refreshed as Barbie and PJ in their Country Camper. I blame it on tent sleeping, not to mention lack of bathing facilities in the woods.


PJ and Barbie, makin’ it look so easy.

#4 Barbie’s Beach Bus: Complete with surf gear, beach chairs, and clambake cookware, it was an endless summer with Barbie’s Beach Bus. I think I lost both Barbie RVs when the two were involved in a backyard pileup in the late 70s.

Real Dodge van styling!

Real Dodge van styling!

#5 Barbie’s Friend Ship: I swear I would still take this out to play with (like this person did in a pretty long youtube video) if I still owned it today. It had so many cool accoutrements, and even the drawn-on galley and cockpit details added to the fun.

If I had this arrangement on my Newark to New Delhi flights, maybe I'd like visiting India more.

If I had this kind of arrangement on the Newark to New Delhi flights, maybe I’d like traveling to India more.

I guess airlines discontinued daiquiri service.

I guess airlines discontinued daiquiri service some time in the 70s.

The Friend Ship even came with a beverage cart.

The Friend Ship even came with a beverage cart. (I hope I didn’t make my Barbie flight attendants ram it into sleeping passenger’s shoulders.)

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My Favorite Things (#2)

goodbye yellow brick road

#2 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John.

It was 1973. I was 6; I was all about The Wizard of Oz; and Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” was my favorite song. Six-year old Paige didn’t get the metaphor or the deeper meaning behind Bernie Taupin’s lyrics. I just associated it with the movie, my favorite coloring book, ruby slippers I’d received on my 6th birthday, and the Disney magnificent full-color illustrated book and long-playing 33 record.

Wizard of Oz

I played this so much it skipped every few minutes

Aside: modern-day Paige still loves Oz and has even rented Dorothy’s cottage in the vintage, long-ago closed Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain (the park was my favorite vacation spot where I first went with my mom and dad in 1974). You, too, can rent Dorothy’s cottage on the slopes of Beech Mountain, and when you’re not skiing, you can explore some of what’s left in the merry old land of Oz. The park is also open every fall for Autumn in Oz. Here are some photos of that fabulous place.

Apparently so happy to be skipping down the Yellow Brick Road.

Apparently so happy to be skipping down the Yellow Brick Road, summer 1974.

Bricks are still sunny yellow after all of these years.

The bricks are still sunny yellow after all these years. Most are still there, though poachers are known to steal them from time-to time. March, 2004

"Are you hinting my apples aren't what they ought to be?" (Dan with one of the remaining trees, 2004)

“Are you hinting my apples aren’t what they ought to be?” (Dan with one of the remaining angry apple trees, 2004)

YBR on a foggy day in 2002.

YBR on a foggy day in 2002

Hanging out on Dorothy's porch (Uncle Henry's barn in the background)

Hanging out on Dorothy’s porch (Uncle Henry’s barn is in the background), 2002

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My Favorite Things (#1)

airstreamIt’s that time of year again—at least for me. The time when I try to find some cool Christmas presents for my nieces and nephews that won’t end up as landfill. So I did a quick brainstorm activity of Christmas presents that I remember exciting me as a kid—a.k.a. toys that I wish I still had today. I came up with about 6 or 7, aside from the 1980s’ Sony Boombox I received (along with some CDs that I’m not so proud to name). Apparently, 1973-1975 were the years that Christmas toys/gifts made the most impression on me (or 6-8 year old in layman’s terms).

My list was short, but sweet. Here are the top five—in order of the way my brain storms. Interestingly enough, my favorites still define me today: Four of them involve traveling, while two involve a camper of some sorts (which means I need a Vintage Shasta, right?). And the one that immediately pops into my head brings to mind innovative cooking in a small space: eb1#1 Easy-Bake Oven: I don’t hesitate when someone asks me about my favorite childhood toy. I had lots of things I loved, but my EBO was the one magical machine that empowered me to bake tiny light-bulb-powered teacakes to host my own parties at age six, inviting the hoi polloi of whatever apartment complex we were living in at the time. Today, I can’t think of anything I like more than throwing a shindig, though I’ve stepped it up a notch (I think, and I hope).

Mine was aqua like this one. Why do the newfangled ones have to be pink?

Mine was robin’s egg blue/aqua like this one. Why do the newfangled ones have to be pink?

#2: To be continued…

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Thanksgiving on the Road

A bountiful harvest

I’ll be eating my turkey and dressing at Pepe’s in Key West this year. But camping on Thanksgiving sounds fun. These folks at Doran Beach Campground in Bodega Bay, CA have built a nice tradition celebrating Thanksgiving on the beach. Read more about it here.

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Cody is ready to get campy!


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Spartan Carousel Sighting!

Spartan Carousel

Carousel Kitchen

Cam (who is the Wizard-ess of finding awesome campers for sale) sent me a Craig’s List posting for this beautifully restored 1960 Spartan Carousel for sale in the San Francisco area. Oh, how I’d like to see more of her!

For sale! $75,000.

Carousel bathroom

Eureka! Looks like the original pink toilet base.

I’ve connected with the owners of two Carousels (including MaryAnn Reynolds who has some posts about her remodel), so I hope to hear where the new owner of this great trailer takes her.

It looks like she was lovingly renovated, and her pink fixtures are in pretty good shape. I hope the new owner buys her a proper pink fridge though. Maybe like this new-to-made-look-old Northstar. Or this aging rose that hasn’t lost her bloom.

Or this restored 1950s GE. Another new model, the Big Chill would look nice.

Add vintage (or vintage-looking) appliances to my wish list. Any ol’ color will do.

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They put the f-u-n in funeral

I love the Brits. They celebrate everything in style, from Diamond Jubilees to funerals. Check out what the folks at Volkswagen Funerals in Warwickshire, UK, have put together for those dearly departed who prefer a more upbeat farewell.

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