Our mornings start around 7am when Ava the Alarm Clock calls out for me as she awakens from her 11 hour slumber. Mama? Mama? Milk! We spend the first hour of our day together in bed, trying to keep as quiet as possible as to let Carrie and Dan catch a few more winks. Not an easy task… especially since toddlers have vocal chords. Surprise, surprise. After head butting her Dada and screaming for Carrie from our bed, the rest of the crew awakens and we are ready to start our days together.

Before we can hit the ground running, we need showers. Badly. The facilities at Catalina State Park are surprisingly clean and roomy. And the showers were pretty warm but the water shot out of the shower head like blast of needles. Having needles blast onto you while holding a squirming toddler who is screaming ‘No Mama No‘ at the top of her lungs is not a great way to start off your morning. Trust me. I would like to officially apologize to the lady that was “lucky” enough to be in the shower stall next to us. I’m sorry. Stupid, stupid, needles.

Dada the smiley face

As soon Ava was out of the shower and back at the Mali Mish, she busted out a couple funny lines that put us all in a wonderful mood. Her first zinger happened when Carrie drew her a picture of a smiley face in the dirt. When Carrie asked what she just drew, Ava responded by saying “Dada”. He he he. We all know that Dan has an unusually large and round head but I guess Ava knows too!


And the second zinger? She stuck her finger in her nose, pulled it out and screamed “I got one!”. She was so proud. Not sure who she picked that one up from. Not it! Not it!

Ava riding a ram

Our first stop of the day was the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. We actually took Ava there back in January during our first T@b road trip but we couldn’t resist a second trip.  I have a huge soft spot for animals and to see them displayed in an unnatural environment at zoos make me uncomfortable. This place is so different than a regular zoo. The desert museums we have been to, this one and the one in Palm Desert, have animals that are actually FROM the desert and have them living in a setting that is as close to realistic as possible.


Timing Ava’s naps just right is a little tough to do while traveling. And today was no different. She was only asleep in the car for about 15 minutes before we got to the museum. She was not a happy camper. I had a hard time getting her to take closer looks at the animals. She just wanted to look at them from afar in her stroller. But things started to take a turn for the better when she saw the wolves. Her eyes widened and then she asked me where Little Red Riding Hood was. Hehe. We’re in the desert, not the forest, silly Ava. And when we rounded the corner a bit later and saw praire dogs, game over. Ava wanted out of that stroller. Fast.

Airstream Life and Mali Mish

Once Dan and I figured out that we wanted to do some traveling, we jumped online and stumbled upon a handful of blogs of people who were already full-timing their dream just like ours. One of the blogs that stood out from the crowd was Tour of America. They are a family of three, traveling North America in their 30 foot Airstream. They had three whole years under their belts and we had three whole days. As luck would have it, they actually have a home base in Tucson. I got the courage up and contacted Rich of Tour of America to see if he would be interested in meeting up. We needed all the advice we could get. It was a big deal for me to reach out as I am a very quiet and introverted person in real life. Not that you would know that from reading this blog. Back to the story. I contacted Rich about meeting up and he said yes. Actually, he said said more than yes. He invited us to his house for dinner. Us. A BUNCH OF STRANGERS! It was awesome. They are the Airstream full-timing rock stars, if there is such a thing, and they invited us over for dinner. Little ol’ us. All the anxiety that I feel before meeting people for the first time was totally worth it.

Ava and Emma

We had a fabulous dinner (Thanks Eleanor!), got excellent advice on all things Airstream (Thanks Rich!) and Ava met a wonderful friend that she can’t stop talking about (Hi Emma!) Rich also has a new blog located here and is the editor and publisher of Airstream Life Magazine. We hope to see them again and a few other Airstreamers on their way out to California in January of next year.

Oh damn, I should have got my magazine signed 🙂 Maybe next time.

the end,


Nicole · December 1, 2008 at 11:58 pm

You are living the dream! Have tons of fun and keep the post coming!

Man In The Maze » Blog Archive » Blog meets blog, again · December 5, 2008 at 10:51 am

[…] of fortunate coincidences we discovered they would be at Catalina State Park this weekend.  So they popped over for dinner last night and we got to meet the entire crew (except for the cat) plus Carrie the guest […]

Mali Mish - Let Go. » Blog Archive » The Never Ending Debate: Generator vs. Solar Panels. · February 18, 2009 at 6:29 pm

[…] magazine, and I had a conversion about just this topic when he graciously invited us to his house on our trip to Tucson. He had recommended that the best first step is to increase our battery capacity before deciding […]

Mali Mish - An Airstream Travel Blog. » Blog Archive » Day 5: Clean clothes and a hitch from Rich. · February 10, 2010 at 12:17 am

[…] ended up visiting our Airstream friends Rich, Eleanor and Emma again on this trip. We were planning on just visiting for a bit but we all ended up chatting about life on the road […]

Mali Mish – More confessions. · November 30, 2018 at 12:17 pm

[…] what gross germs the previous person had. No more cursing that all the hot water is gone. No more uncomfortably strong streams of water making Ava grab onto to me for dear life. No […]

Leave a Reply