Monday, November 22, 2010

Vintage vanners campout Canungra, Gold Coast (350km return)

Yes, it has been a while since Vicky and I hit the road, but this weekend we set out to Canungra on the Gold Coast for the vintage caravanner’s campout at Canungra Showgrounds. It was awesome! What do I love best about caravanning? The fact that even though it’s been a few months since our last trip, the van has everything I need already packed inside – the beds are made, the pantry is stocked, the fridge is already cold by the time I get there and the crockery and cutlery is all in its’ place. All I need to do is hitch her up and we’re off. No matter how far I drive, or how exhausted I am when I get there, all I need to do to set up camp is open the door and my dinky little home is just as I left it ready and waiting for me. No stuffing around with tents and sleeping bags or packing the car full of camping equipment. I just grab a bag of clothes and toiletries and that’s it. Pure freedom and no stress – that’s what caravanning means to me.

I was busy all day Friday sewing up the cute vintage van print material into cushions to take with me and managed to sell a few while I was there as well as put one on the raffle giveaway table, the rest are still in the van looking ever so pretty.

I set off on Saturday morning and arrived at Canungra showgrounds just after lunch. I found myself a possie next to the other aluminium vans. Across from us was a fine collection of fibreglass Olympics and over the other side were a collection of older bondwood vans, a selection of teardrops and the odd classic, around 40 vans and 88 forum members came and we all had a great time checking out each other’s vans.

Some of the restorations and interior decorations were amazing. Check out this one that even had chandeliers! I love the way you can personalize a van and it becomes such a reflection of the person who owns it. Of course, although I have chosen to leave the interior in the mint original condition I bought her in, my decorative finishes are just so pink it leaves no one in doubt as to what my favourite colour is! On Saturday night we had a catered group dinner and Santa came for the kids before playing trivia and doing the raffle draw.

Fellow vintage vanner, exhibitionist and griddle cake expert Banno gave a plug for my cushions and threatened to get his gear off if they didn’t sell. He followed through at breakfast the next morning and we were welcomed to griddle cakes on the barbeque by the naked chef himself.

Vicky did me proud and received plenty of compliments and even an offer to buy her – which was, of course, quickly denied. As my fifth van, I assured the potential buyer that she is the only one for me now and is not for sale at any price.

I met heaps of great people and even a few from the Sunshine coast and I am sure we will catch up again at the next event.

The drive home was lovely; there is something about having the van on the back of my car that just makes driving so much fun. When the van is on, my heart soars. I had to stop and take a picture of this place though – hmmm... son of manland? Hilarious!

Here are a few more pics of the lovely vans I saw:

Butcher Bob and Maria were about to set off on their around Australia trip

A big thank you to the organisers of this event and for the hospitality and friendliness of all who attended I look forward to catching up with you all again at the next event.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Australia Zoo

This week I've been busy showing my old college roomie from the U.S the sights of my home in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Susan has gone back to Vanuatu now for another week before heading home for Oregon, but we had such an awesome time together while she was here.

We had a lovely breakfast at the Mary Caincross Cafe overlooking the magical Glasshouse Mountains, checked out the local musos night at the Upfront Club in Maleny, watched the most incredible sunset I have ever seen over the ridges of Maleny and Witta. We then spent the last night in Brisbane at the Mercure Hotel so that Susan could catch her early flight out. 

But, the highlight was definitely our trip to Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo where for an extra $20 each, Susan got to cuddle a koala and we got to hold a huge Burmese python named Charlie with gorgous photos to keep. Just a few mintes drive down the hill in Beerwah, Australia Zoo is an amazing place. The staff are all so happy and friendly and are doing a great job of keeping Steve's legacy alive, and with all those gorgeous Aussie critters to care for why wouldn't they be? The experience certainly put smiles on our faces and I can't wait to go back again.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vicky gets PINKED!

OK so the adventures of Vicky and Lisa have been a little slow lately - what can I say? It's been cold!
I realize now that I am more like a reptile than I thought. I must admit that I am finding it hard to get quite as excited about venturing out as I do when it's sunny and warm outside.
So I'm doing what the guy who wrote my runes book says; "when the fishermen can't fish, they repair nets"
So, what does a caravan nutter do when she's not out caravanning? She buys cans of pink paint of course! Having taken about enough of egg yellow as one girl can possibly handle, it was off with the yellow, and in with the pink! And she now looks sensational!!!!

With overseas family members and old college room mates descending upon me over the next month or so, Vicky will be called in for spare bedroom duties for a bit before we take off on any more road trips...
Vicky is a 1965 vintage Viscount 15-foot Duralvan


Go West young woman!

Independence Day Hot Rod Round up and Campout - Maidenwell, QLD 1-4th July 2010 (300kms)

It was red, white and blue all around at the highly successful inaugural Maidenwell Independence Day Hot Rod Round Up last weekend. Hosted by the Nanango-based South Burnett Gas Guzzlers Hot Rod & Customs Club, and organized brilliantly by president Andrew Farrell, the weekend brought out a great turn out of cars and curious onlookers from far and away in a little country town about as far away from the USA as anywhere could be. 
Up near the Bunya Mountains and high up on the country home-style hospitality, Maidenwell really is a one-pub town, and Publican of the traditional Queenslander style Maidenwell Hotel “Spud” and wife Wendy did a great job of coordinating an unusually high number of temporary residents and takers-over of their facilities for the duration of the weekend.
I opted out of Friday night’s festivities and drove out Saturday when the weather cleared into a glorious sunny day and as soon as I got there I was glad I chose the option of taking the caravan and camping onsite. The costs for the weekend including camping were more than reasonable and, apart from the perfect country driving conditions it was well worth it to partake of Saturday night’s most sumptuous pig on the spit feast put on by the Maidenwell Hotel. Later on there was a chance to work it all off by rocking out to the jiving beats of the sunshine coast band Atomic Cruisers.

Temperatures dropped to zero overnight and I was greeted by frozen grass when I stepped outside the van the next morning, but the sun shone and the skies couldn’t have been bluer as the chamois came out and the grumbling of even more V8’s slowly brought sleepy heads out of caravans.
By 9am and another fine cooked breakfast thanks to the staff of the 100% old school Hotel, the centre field of the adjoining show grounds was full of two big rows of motoring awesomeness. From rat rods to fully customized classics and muscle cars to traditional rods and original classics, including a late entry with the bands gorgeous old cream-coloured Falcon Station Wagon, were cars of every vintage and era. But scooping the pool in the prizes later in the afternoon’s trophy presentations including Mayor’s Choice, Entrant’s Choice and best Hot Rod Ute/Commercial was Noel’s very smooth and sexy, shiny black KB1 International pick-up truck.

But, of course, being the caravan nut that I am, I was once again drawn to the selection of restored vintage and classic caravans and teardrops in an assortment of candy-coloured paint finishes parked up behind the cars. Yes, I am pretty sure I died and went to heaven that day. Add to that fairy floss, market stalls, a jumping castle for the kiddies, crazy antics involving hot rods, hay bales and golf balls and the Wilko’s Pro-Shine guy making my car sparkle like a Twilight vampire and what more could a girl want? What about the legendary hot-rodding fraternity friendliness, yet another BBQ style cooked lunch up at the hotel, even more rockabilly goodness by the Atomic Cruisers for a Sunday session out on the deck before the long trip home? Yep, I’d say that’s pretty much my idea of a perfect way to spend a weekend!

Thanks so much to South Burnett Gas Guzzlers for a great event and to the Maidenwell Hotel Staff for your most bountiful hospitality.
I know where I’ll be celebrating Independence Day next year!

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Seeing Pink

Pink Cars & Caravans...

In my never-ending search for my perfect pink dream car I came across this link to a website in the U.K that just deals in, would you believe it, PINK CARS!!!! Check out
How mad is that? So, I'm not alone and it feels strangely reassuring that there are others out there like me wondering if they too, are the only nutters on the planet with this peculiar penchant for pink.

So what is it about pink? Although one of my mates hinted at some kind of pseudo-psychological deep and meaningful explanation for my desire to pink up my caravan and my car (he's a bloke - they'll never get it!) I have found a more justifiable reason: growing up as a tomboy.
When I was a kid I thought pink was gross. Girly things such as barbies and ballet and tutus just didn't interest me. When I was given the choice, I chose to have my bedroom painted in my favourite colours of the time; green and yellow. Not out of patriotism, but because of my admiration of all things natural.
I just wanted my space to be green like the forest and yellow like sunflowers.
Now I'm all grown up, I realize I may have missed something in my repulsion for pink. Pink is to me now, soothing, fun, playful, represents all that is girly, makes me happy and, the best bit is that most guys won't be seen dead in it! And no, aforementioned friend who alludes to similarities to the inside of my van to the inside of, well, um, you work it out! Au contraire, mon ami. It was meant to KEEP YOU GUYS OUT! 

Now, because too much pink is never enough, here is my own personal collection of pink car and caravan photos I've taken or collected. Enjoy!