Christmas Tree Lighting at the Capitol :: Rices’ Radical Sabbatical Continues


Ok. We’re ready to pick up this blog, shake out the dust, and get back to writing regularly! We apologize that it has taken us this long to feel settled enough to focus on anything outside our businesses and acclimating to a new place.

So, in case you forgot, this is what we do: We work really hard as business owners and a (practically) volunteer basketball coach from whatever location our RV happens to be parked. We are laptop nomads, exploring the United States and escaping cold, snowy winters while running our businesses from any place that has high-speed internet (or Verizon service so we can tether our Droids).

Tim is teaching online Sport Management and Sport Psychology bachelor’s/master’s/doctoral classes for 3 universities. In addition to his grading work each week, he has chosen to coach a girls’ private high school basketball team as a way to give back and share some of the knowledge he has accumulated in that field over the past 15+ years. Even as the head coach, and responsible for the development of the program from 6th grade on up through varsity, it is a stipend job, but it does pay our site rental each month we’re in Austin, and with that we are content. We have many, many blessings and are grateful for them.

I am 1 of 2 co-founders and partners in a concierge marketing coaching business, The Collective Savvy. Our company helps small and medium-sized businesses by coaching them on how to improve their marketing efforts, integrate social media into those efforts, and by offering concierge services in graphic/web design, copy writing, photography, programming, public/media relations, and more through a network of amazing solopreneur professionals. This kind of collaboration with trusted, like-minded pros, gives our clients consistency in their marketing messages and visual “feel” by keeping all the print and online components centered around the same purpose. In other words, their website purpose and visual message matches their Facebook official page, which is connected to their blog, which is reinforced by the printed materials they use, which are related to the campaigns we help them develop and implement.

My business partner, Cassie, is based full-time in Denver (the place we still call home, despite our travels), and I fly back to Denver at least once each month for 3-4 days. During those heavily-scheduled, long days, I usually photograph merchandise for one client, and Cassie and I meet with several other clients in addition to brainstorming and preparing for our next campaign. Cassie is a very talented pro herself, and also finds time somehow to run Colorado Culture, a Facebook page and blog highlighting quirky, cultural events in Colorado.

We live full-time in a Trailmanor RV, the 3124KS model, which stands for 31 feet long when set up, 24 feet long when folded down for travel, and a King (bed) Slide (front end slides forward to extend the living room area). If you look at this older post, you’ll find photos of the exterior of our RV. I intend to photograph the interior in the coming days, and finally show off to you our raspberry & lime retro decor scheme on the couch and curtains, courtesy of my mom.

Over the next several weeks and months we’ll be sharing with you some of our philosophies, goals for the future (God willing), challenges of this lifestyle, and some of the hopes & dreams we have. But for now, I think a good fill-in-the-blanks update is in order.

We left Minnesota-Fergus Falls to be exact-on September 27th and drove about 5 hours before stopping at the Iowa Welcome Center just south of the Minnesota border. We dry camped there, despite having no internet, which really frustrated me, as I had to rely on my Verizon/Droid tether, and the cell service was spotty.

September 28th: We drove 8.5 hours before stopping at the Wellington, Kansas, KOA for the night.

September 29th-October 6th: We drove 11 hours before reaching our destination, Jamaica Beach RV Park on Galveston Island in the Gulf of Mexico. We spent the week working quite a bit, despite the fact that this time was meant to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, and we were in a gorgeous little campground just across the road from the beach and the beautiful Gulf of Mexico! We didn’t get to spend nearly as much time on the beach as we would have liked, but it was the perfect time for us to be there: very few people around, pleasant temps in the 70s, and great opportunities for Chase to be in the water, which was knee-deep for probably 50 feet out from the shoreline.

October 7th: We drove 5 hours to our winter home in Austin, La Hacienda RV Resort, and chose site #B22 as our winter residence. Except for the trips mentioned next, we have spent every night here in our RV, with neighbors who come and go, and now finally sandwiched on either side with snowbirds from the north.

Tim started coaching on October 8th and to date his team has played 12 of their 27 scheduled games, with a record of 4-8. Tim’s going to write more about his team and the season so far in tomorrow’s post.

Since our arrival in Austin, I have flown back to Denver twice (October 21st-24th for business and November 8th-9th for an emergency dental appointment). I fly there again tomorrow, and will return on the 8th.

In addition, my grandpa Minion died the week before Thanksgiving, and because Tim couldn’t find a replacement for himself at the basketball tournament that weekend, I took Chase and drove our Ridgeline to Minnesota and back by myself, logging about 2400 miles roundtrip over the course of 5 days. Essentially, other than Sunday of that week, I drove a minimum of 9 hours each day…it was crazy. However, it was good to see some of my extended family with whom I’d had no contact for several years and to reconnect with some of them as adults was nice.

When I returned to Austin at 9:30pm on November 23rd, Tim and I did a few loads of laundry, unpacked my suitcase and repacked it so that we could leave early the next morning for Alabama to spend the holiday weekend with his family. We spent Thanksgiving Day and the next morning with Tim’s brother’s family and their Grannie, and ate a turkey meal at the Cracker Barrel in Foley, which is an 11.5 hour drive from Austin. On Friday we drove 3 hours northeast of Foley to Enterprise, Alabama, to spend the afternoon and following morning with Tim’s dad and step-mom and one of his step-sisters, Courtney. Tim’s step-mom Carol is known for her amazing skill in the culinary arts, and we enjoyed yummy leftovers from their Thanksgiving meal, and I had the privilege of tasting collard greens for the first time. I’m certain that they tasted better than any other collard greens ever prepared, because Carol is that good, but they still tasted like what I imagine cooked grass would taste like. I guess it’s an acquired taste, and I haven’t yet acquired it. 🙂

We left Enterprise on Saturday afternoon and drove 8.5 hours before stopping for the night in Lake Charles, Louisiana. We slept in the next morning and drove the remaining 5.5 hours to our cozy little RV. For me that 10-day period involved 10 straight days in the truck and a total of 4,000 miles. I was exhausted when I returned, both emotionally and physically, and spent a few mornings sleeping in!

We have taken only a few circle drives so far, once to Port Lavaca on the Gulf (where a black buzzard hit the truck windshield and shattered it), once to the small towns north and west of Lake Travis, and one overnight trip to Lake Charles, LA. We hope to get out this afternoon and will let you know about it in a future post.

Early in November, I finally settled on a doctoral program and am now enrolled at the University of the Rockies in their PsyD program in Organizational Leadership. My first class started this past week, and I am excited to be finally pursuing this particular long-held dream! God willing, I’ll be finished in about 3 years.

Last night we decided on a whim to attend the Capitol Tree Lighting and caroling event in downtown Austin. I did a quick Google search to see what was happening in the area, and found this event, which is also combined with a lighted bike parade. The capitol building sits at the junction of Congress Avenue and 11th Street, and it was beautifully lit. There were tons of people on the capitol lawn signing Christmas carols that were led by a local public radio station guy and his female counterpart, and it was fun despite the sometimes off-key song leaders. At 7pm, everyone in the area counted down from 10 to turn on the tree lights. We had a great spot for viewing it…sitting just 10 feet away from the base of the tree. The street corners were 15 people deep or more as folks lined up to see the tree lights turned on.

We did see a few lighted bikes, but somehow missed the bike parade. One of the bikes was pretty cool…it was a long, serpentine representation of a rattlesnake. Another bike was a dual-bike with big butterfly wings. We spent a few moments pushing our way through the crowded Farmer’s Market, and then headed off to a fabulous Mexican dinner at the Don Juan restaurant near our RV resort.

We hope you enjoy a few of the photos I took last night, and when you’re ready to see some video, head over to our Facebook page, where you’ll find 2 new videos from last night!

We are so glad you’ve hung in there with us, and we look forward to getting back into the groove of blogging here!

by candy

show hide 4 comments

12.05.2010 - 10:18 pm

Mom SO GLAD your blog is back! Thanks for the pix – always fun to see how others celebrate – loved the butterfly bike! Looking forward to regular posts again…and more pix!

12.06.2010 - 9:33 am

candy Thanks Mom! It was fun to get out, and glad we could share it with you!

12.14.2010 - 9:36 am

Happy Glad to see you decided on your PhD program! It is the same one I have not yet finished, though mine is Masters level. I know this was a big thing you wanted…so glad you started it! 🙂

12.14.2010 - 10:40 am

candy Thanks Happy! Yes, it’s been a goal for many years, and I’m happy to be starting on it! Are you working on yours again?

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