Coastal Christmas, Day 3

Our third day at the Gulf coast held an unexpected encounter with friends from one of our Airstream groups, an evening campfire, and an unplanned viewing of a classic movie.

The day began as expected, with coffee, Bloody Mary’s, and The New York Times. But as Jon was setting the picnic table for our al fresco brunch, he noticed the arrival of an Airstream several sites away. Enter Dan and Stephanie Mattney, friends from our Heart of Texas Camping Unit (HOTC). We have a relationship with the Mattney’s that dates to our remodeling project last year. They made our banquette cushions and mattress. Soon, another couple from HOTC, Mark and Patti Baird, arrived, adding more longtime friends to our impromptu Christmas gathering. Mark made the vintage Airstream logo that hangs in our lounge. He also gifted us with two of his handcrafted walking sticks (Cliff took Barney, Jon took Fred). Much visiting ensued.

Against the backdrop of a stunning sunset,we enjoyed a campfire, cocktails and conversation. Chef Cliff prepared a seafood pasta with grilled shrimp and scallops in a white wine and butter reduction. Then Jon saw this post on Facebook: “When you’ve seen every Christmas movie a hundred times, and Christmas with the kids has already come and gone, it’s time to relax in the Media Room and have a laugh with a Lucy & Desi oldie!” The post included a photo of the opening credits of “The Long, Long Trailer,” a favorite of ours. So we settled into another viewing of the 1954 comedy starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as Nicholas and Tacy Collini, a newly married couple who decide to buy a travel trailer instead of a house so they can travel to wherever Nicky must work on engineering projects.

The humor in the movie comes from the disastrous experiences they have while traveling to from California to Colorado, including Nicky’s attempt to back into a driveway at the home of Tacy’s aunt, Tacy’s effort to cook dinner in a moving trailer, and the couple’s cliffhanging ride through narrow mountain passes. Along the way, they argue over directions, driving speed, campsites and mounting expenses. We can relate.

Every time we watch the movie, we see something cringe-worthy related to our own travels. The towing challenges, the parking problems, the annoying neighbors, the unexpected expenses, and the petty arguments that can sometimes lead to hurt feelings and cold shoulders–we’ve experienced all of this and more as we’ve traveled border-to-border and coast-to-coast. But we’ve also experienced breathtaking beauty, unparalleled adventures, great escapes, and more memories by the mile that we could have ever imagined.

A few lessons we’ve learned along the way are worth sharing:

  1. Home is wherever we’re together.
  2. Despite its challenges, life on the road is just so much more interesting than at our “sticks and bricks” home.
  3. The best campsites have ample trash receptacles and poop bag dispensaries located throughout, not just in a single place.