Even in the most spacious motorhome, things can get tight. Creating an outdoor room lets you spread out and also take advantage of nice weather. We’re back in Milwaukee right now, and it’s still only in the mid-40s. 🙁 But for a little while, we were in Florida at Sun-n-Fun, volunteering and hanging out with our aviation friends. It was the perfect place to create our first RV patio.
We popped over to Home Depot and headed straight to the garden section. We bought an indoor/outdoor rug ($69) and a stretch of white picket fencing (25). The fencing made a nice pen for the bark babies. Sadie and Meeko used to have a back yard to lounge around in, and they don’t get nearly as much outside time now that we’re in the rig. So it was wonderful for all of us to be outside together. The folding chairs we’d bought for camping a few years ago went really well with the rug, and we didn’t have to worry about ants or grass stains on our toes.
The best part of our RV patio was chilling out as a family with friends every evening. And when the fly-in was over, everything rolled up and fit into our basements.
It’s so cool when online friendships become offline meet-ups, particularly when they happen in fabulous new places. Our Twitter pilot friend PJ just happened to be flying from his home town of Houston to Austin to see Alton Brown when we were in the area. PJ suggested we have dinner at Searsucker.
Searsucker is one of the newer eateries in the Warehouse District, and the 7,000-square-foot space fits in beautifully with the other eclectic offerings. The decor is vintage Americana meets Anthropologie, and I just wanted to move right in. I’m already figuring out how I can translate the style to our RV!
Our small plate selections included Lobster Mac & Cheese and Spicy Shrimp & Cheddar Bacon Grits.
Chef Brian Malarkey is a “Top Chef “finalist and is currently a judge/mentor on ABC’s new cooking competition show “The Taste” along with Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre. His New American menu at Searsucker is innovative and interesting. The “small” plates are actually full-size meals, something PJ and I wished we realized before we ordered four of them! (Mike, a less adventurous eater, stuck with steak and potatoes.) Everything was delicious, and the service was attentive and friendly.
Dessert was the King Sundae. We skipped the caramelized bacon but thoroughly enjoyed the PB Cup ice cream, bruleed bananas, whipped cream, and Cracker Jack bits.
PJ was super excited when Chef Malarkey strolled by our table. He’s apparently not always in the house. We asked our waitress if we could meet Chef, and he came out soon after our request, shaking hands and posing graciously for pictures. PJ was thrilled! Between meeting Chef Malarkey and seeing Alton Brown later in the evening, it was quite a night for him! We were glad to part of the whole thing, especially getting to know PJ in person and enjoying an amazing dinner in an amazing city.
We always meet interesting people on the road. Bob with the 2001 diesel pusher Bounder was our neighbor at Warrior RV Park in Tulsa.
We started chatting with Bob because he had this really cool slide topper that wrapped around the sides as well as the top of the slide. Our slide topper was ripped to shreds early in our journey. We finally took it off completely, and we’ve been looking for just the right the replacement ever since.
We were bummed when Bob told us that the topper had been discontinued. But in the process, Mike was invited into Bob’s spotless rig and got to learn a bit more about him. Bob was from Worland, Wyoming, which was cool because Mike is from Cheyenne. Bob’s sole companion was his fluffy white dog Cheebee as his wife had recently passed. A couple of years ago, his wife had suffered a stroke. Bob added a lift to the motorhome so that they could continue to enjoy their travels. The lift mechanism was still attached by the door. Bob was in Tulsa to bring his sister home from his wife’s services. His next stop after winterizing the rig was returning home to Worland.
Bob turned out to be a member of iRV2, one of our favorite forums and the hosts of our first RV rally. He and Mike are now friends on the forum so they can stay in touch.