A Different Kind of Home for the Holidays…

A few weeks ago, I got a wild hair (which tends to happen when I’m “home” for any length of time), and decided to convince hubby that we should join a rally of families traveling through Arizona and Mexico for the holidays. The thing about my wild hairs is that while they are pretty crazy, I’m usually dead serious about them…and I eventually wear down any resistance with a potent combination of logic, negotiation and pure enthusiasm. So he agreed, and arragements were made.

We initially planned on being out for 3.5 weeks- 1 week in Yuma, Arizona, one week in San Felipe, Mexico, and one week in Los Angeles (plus some travel time). Our plans have since been extended…but I’m keeping that little extension a secret for now. On Friday the 13th (always an auspicious travel day), I left work at noon, we loaded up the rig, and picked up the kids from their activities on our way out of town. It was crazy, and we forgot a few things that were easily replaced (cutting board, sound machine) thanks to Amazon but we were on our way and OUT!

We stayed the first night in Medera, CA on the fairgrounds. Did you know most fairgrounds have RV hookups/sites that they will  rent out for free or a low fee year round? I didn’t either, but a google searched turned up one such arrangement in Medera, and it was perfect. It was raining when we arrived, but sunny the next morning, and we took our time with a leisurely breakfast/run/time to play before we left.

That day we made it as far as Chiriaco Summit, where we boondocked again (boondocking = RV term for camping without hookups) at the George S Patton Museum right outside Joshua Tree National Park. This was actually pretty nice for a boondocking/Harvest Host spot- there was a gas station, cafe, and access to a pretty cool World War II history museum. The kids took a tour of the place and checked off a few social studies boxes while I hoofed it around Joshua tree, clocking in just over 7 miles and picking up a new National Park mug to add to my collection.

We had planned to leave from there as soon as my run was done, but unfortunately, somewhere between miles 5-7 I stopped to take a selfie (#whenselfiesgowrong), and dropped my I.D. So, a family hike in Joshua Tree was called for, and we re-traced my route in an effort to find the card.

We weren’t successful, but we did have a blast hiking around, so it wasn’t a total loss, though I’m sure I’ll be moaning a bit when we return to California and I have to spend ages at the DMV getting it replaced.

Since we were out there anyway, it seemed like a good time to snap a couple photos of my latest pair of Super Gs.

These were made with double pockets (which I’ll take advantage of next time, keeping my ID in a SEPARATE pocket from my phone- lesson learned), and that huge gusset that the Super Gs are famous for. The fabric is a athletic brushed poly custom print from Styled Magnolia, and I added reverse cover stitching on every accessible seam, both as a detail and for comfort.

This print is called “Rocker Roses”, and is available in their pick a print gallery, if you missed the pre-roder for it- it’s a really fun one, with a little bit of an edgy vibe. You’ll see plenty of custom athletic prints on this blog, and its because I find them such a great bang for the buck.

Printed non-custom athletics are few and far between, and the cost, even at $25/yard, is far less than what I’d pay at Lululemon or a similar retailer, with a much better fit. (If you’re sewing a pair of leggings for the first time, or just want some tips on construction, you can find the SewAlong here on the blog)

After our hike, we pushed onward and finally made it to Yuma, Arizona just after dark.

For this part of our trip, and we were staying with 24 other traveling families at the Yuma County Fairgrounds, which again turned out to be a great spot for kids.

This was part of the official FullTime Families rally, and though we are just wanna-be full timers at this point, they embraced us with open arms and we had a blast hanging out over the week in Yuma.

The kids made plenty of friends, and enjoyed a field trip to visit the Camel Farm/Petting Zoo, a dance party, building gingerbread houses, some “Reindeer Games”, and my personal favorite, a mom’s night out and a “Parade of Homes”, where we all got to tour each other’s RVs.

I’m totally the kind of person who’s always curious about how other people decorate and accessorize their rig, peering in without trying to be nosy, so this was a really unique opportunity, and it spurred some last minute Amazon/WalMart Shopping to add a few more “homey” touches to our space, as we decorated for Christmas. It’s really important to me that my kids learn that HOME is more about being with people you LOVE than being in a specific location, and I think travel is a great way to do that.

I even managed to browbeat/encourage a few other moms and dads into running a few miles every morning with me, which made the stay even more enjoyable. I actually did bring my Peloton bike on this trip, but getting outside for a run is always my preference, when it’s an option.

The cherry on top was the chance to sew up a couple more pairs of leggings while the kids played, using fabric I’d brought with me. I took a short video of my new sewing space, and posted it to Instagram, and I’m in love with the bright, airy feel, and the opportunity to have all my machines available to take advantage of little sewing moments throughout the day.

On our last night in Yuma, we enjoyed a dance party/dessert potluck, and spent some time walking around downtown, which gave us a chance to photograph some of my Arizona sews. This fair isle printed pair of Super Gs (this time without the side seam) is another custom Styled Magnolia fabric, that I ordered for the holidays and was glad to have a chance to sew up in time.

I chose it because it felt like it would last all the way through the winter (not too Christmassy to wear after the holidays, in other words), but I ran out of fabric for the gusset, and accented with a custom Knitpop “denim” print. I don’t usually colorblock the gusset, but I actually like how it turned out, and I was able to use the rest of the denim print on another pair of leggings I’ll share soon.

Since these didn’t have any handy side pockets, and I didn’t want to lose any more precious cargo, I added a back zipper pocket (see the hack here)

While I was at it, I also sewed up a third pair of tights, this time using the Tempo pattern.

I love the girly vibe of the pink camo, and chose to keep the only colorblocking at the calves for this pair. Again, the camo fabric is a custom print from TSM, and the solid mauve is Greenstyle yoga flex- both fabrics were great matches for this pattern. To play up the pieced look of these tights, all accessible seams were reverse coverstitched.

Since this was only my third pair of Tempo Tights, I was still working on perfecting my fit. In addition to shortening the front rise by 1/4″ and narrowing the waistband (adjustments made to my test pair, blogged here), I made one more important adjustment- shortening the petite length 1” at the knees to take out some wrinkles I had experienced in my test pair.

This led to the best fitting pair of Tempos yet! (For reference, I have a 28″ inseam, and pretty short calves. I do not make this adjustment to the Inspire Tights or the other Greenstyle Leggings Patterns). I still have a little excess fabric on the inner thighs/crotch area, so I will be working on adjusting that, but I’m pretty happy with these overall.

After a week in Yuma we loaded up on gas, American groceries, and got ready to head off to Mexico. I haven’t been south of the border since my honeymoon, and so this was all pretty new to us. We each got a number for our place in the Caravan line, and set off (we are the rig in the front of this photo, if you’re curious).

Twenty Four giant RVs cruising down the highway was quite a sight, and we got plenty of waves, photos and oogling as we set off on the next part of our adventure. I’ll continue sharing about that in my next post, but in case you’re a worrier (like my mom), here’s photo proof that we made it- and are loving our holiday time on the sand!

If you’re curious about our other travel/sewing adventures, I chronicled our summer trip in four parts: One, Two, Three, and Four. I’d love to hear what you think- especially about travel, sewing and spending holidays in a home away from home! Since we often have limited data, Instagram is a great way to follow me in real time HERE– I’d love to connect with you on the ‘gram!

Until then, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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  1. Leigh Thow on December 26, 2019 at 7:57 am

    OMG I love this! Especially your sewing table in the camper and the beach for the holidays too eek!

    • Sarah on January 2, 2020 at 11:18 pm

      Thank you Leigh! I feel pretty fortunate to be able to do this!

  2. Kelli on December 26, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Yeah…I lost my ID while we were on vacation in Zion….same thing, pulling out my phone out of my leggings pocket….right down a canyon. I did have the foresight to have a photo of my ID on my phone so I could drive us home (maybe not completely legally but close enough…I had proof!!)! But still aggravating.
    Love following your sewing travels. What a blessing to be able to do that!! Especially for the kids! And where on earth do you put your Peloton? I know your rig is good sized but…sewing machines and Pelotons…wow!!

    • Sarah on January 2, 2020 at 11:18 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only one with a sad story about losing on ID on a run! My peloton is in the “garage” section of the toy hauler- which doubles as the laundry room and kids space!

  3. Emilie on December 26, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    Merry Christmas Sarah! That is really some nice quality family time. And I love your sewing nook!

    • Sarah on January 2, 2020 at 11:17 pm

      Thank you so much Emilie! I really enjoy it too!

  4. N. MacGregor on December 27, 2019 at 12:27 am

    Sounds like an amazing trip and a great way to spend your Christmas Holiday not to mention an adventure for your kids compared to what a lot of other kids will be doing – sitting at a computer playing games.
    BTW – I noticed your daughter’s hair is starting to grow.
    Glad you are able to take your sewing machines along and that you actually manage to find time to sew.

    • Sarah on January 2, 2020 at 11:17 pm

      I’m so happy as well- about the hair and the sewing time! Yes, we certainly do try to make as much time for outdoor play as possible- I think kids really need it!

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