Hot to Trot!

Last September the kids and I took the perfect road trip down the West Coast.  Travel is my passion, but my nesting instinct is strong.  Those two inclinations might seem to be at odds, but while exploring the  town of Ferndale, CA I saw this hot little vintage set-up parked on the main drag. Bells went off in my head.  Like Pavlov’s dog, I started to salivate, and experienced an almost uncontrollable urge to sidle up to it and polish its chrome.

Check out these digs! I peeked into the windows, and decided where I’d put my bookshelves, what kind of coffee I’d stock the cute little cupboards with, how many pairs of shoes I would bring, where I’d pack my kids into this arrangement.  And, of course, how to charge my laptop.

There is a time to make tracks.  I’ve done the seven countries in five weeks thing, kept up a wicked pace, and lived to tell the tale.  I’ve even spent months at a time on the road in an old VW bus, hauling a beat up Apache tent trailer.

As I get older, I want to stop and smell the coffee.  One day  I’ll take my laptop, and spend a month of the shoulder season at an Italian villa, a thatched roof cottage in the English countryside, or a log cabin in the Tetons.  In the meantime, this combo would be just the ticket!  I wonder if it comes in purple…

I’m an old dog, but I can still learn a new trick or two.   What a wonderful way to cover your miles, fill up your story banks, and crank out that next novel!

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Travel Theme: Gloss

Click here for more interpretations of Cee’s Travel Theme: Vintage Cars.

All words and images ©Naomi Baltuck



  1. That IS a great set-up. Even the colors match. 🙂

    1. I put great stock in tasteful color coordination!

  2. paulaacton says:

    I dont know if you have seen Travels with a blonde Coyotes blog she literally travels across the states with her little camper van and has posted all about ways to get internet signals in it etc you can take a peek at her blog here

    1. Dear Paula,
      Thank you so much for this link. I will go take a look at it right now!

      1. paulaacton says:

        the idea of travelling that way is very appealing unless i actually think about having others with me then it all gets very stressful lol

      2. Very often the idea is much more appealing than the reality!

  3. Oh I would love to do this! My gypsy feet are itching and the color coordination has me going WOO -HOO! to travel at leisure just enjoying all the beauty of our country. What a blessing to write and pray to drive or stay to listen to music or the birds sing whenevr without interruption ahhh a woman can dream…..

    1. Oh, yes! Doesn’t that sound lovely? And dreaming about it is ALMOST as good as doing it. Then we can put it into our next novel!

  4. adinparadise says:

    Love your interpretation of the word ‘Hot’. I can just imagine you glamping along in that ‘Yellow Peril’. 😀

  5. carolisle says:

    OMG we had a truck like that when I was a kid. My dad hand painted it green and turned it into home made camper! I too would have drooled over it 😀 What a great trip, Ferndale is a trip back in time.

    1. It was the best stop on our road trip for SO many reasons.

      It’s a small world–would love to see a post on your homemade camper! Do you have pictures? You could write it up for Cee’s vintage car challenge.

  6. i mayfly says:

    Love the idea of morphing into a turtle – carrying everything I need in a little shell. But then the reality of bathrooms, laundry, hum, hum…I’m thinking, I’m thinking. No, that’s about all the downsides I can think of. Except convincing my husband to sell out and hit the road. It probably won’t happen for this little chickadee, but it’s a marvelous fantasy. – Nikki

    1. Dear Nikki,
      Sometimes the fantasy is the best part. I love the image of becoming a little turtle with your house upon your back. For a little while I used to go visit the car lot with the Getaway Vans for sale. Then the reality finally sank in. It was the image of two little kids in sandy swimsuits both trying to dry off, get clean and change at the same time in the very limited space of one of those camper vans. I realized that I probably liked the idea better than I would the actual experience.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I am SO far behind in my blogging, but am home sick today, and using it as my opportunity to catch up. Warm wishes for a happy holiday, Nikki.

  7. footsy2 says:

    This post had me salivating too!

  8. nutsfortreasure says:

    Life is good when spent on the road

    1. Where you can literally leave it all behind!

      1. nutsfortreasure says:


  9. What a fab idea – if you do find your camper van – can I come too?

    1. Always room for one more!

  10. rutheh says:

    What fun to imagine your peeking in and rearranging the place! I had never heard of the term clamping before. I especially like the idea of the month at the Italian villa. And I love your mule or donkey in the header.

    1. Oh, thank you! We were headed down a dusty road in Salta, Argentina, and a shepherdess with a flock of sheep and couple of donkeys came bleating toward us, so we stopped to let them pass. I opened up my door for a better look, and this donkey came right over, stuck its head in the door, and said hello!

  11. gkm2011 says:

    That sounds pretty good to me – and I’m in my early 30s! I think everybody has different goals when traveling – I’d like to stay at least three nights in each place now, but that’s not always realistic.

    1. That would be my preference too. I remember the whirlwind tours, and then we had kids, which slowed my husband down to my pace. Of course, now the kids are grown and we still love to travel together. They can keep up, but my husband is more inclined now to stop and smell the roses.

  12. nominated for award please see blog of the year 2012 😉

    1. Wow! Thank you so much, Len. I am honored!

  13. 4amWriter says:

    One day I’d like to leave all the trappings of home/nest and travel across the globe. But like you, I’d be pulled back to that one center after a while. Maybe just a summer road trip. Now that I could manage. Maybe. 🙂

    1. Oh, that sounds lie so much fun! I am like you, though. I like to be on the road for two or three, or even five weeks. But then my homing instinct goes off, and I am ready to go home and work in the garden. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. Best wishes for a happy holiday and a bright new year.

  14. Carol says:

    I think I’ve hit the part of my life where a vehicle and little camper would be so much fun. Just go here and there, spend a few weeks on the road, then return to my safe harbor. I would have to stay where wi-fi was available of course.

    1. I love that idea. Just driving teenagers around, I learned a little bit about finding the wifi hot spots. For instance, I’ve learned that the parking lot outside Office Depot usually has free wifi. It is nice to check in with your friends while you are out and about. Thanks for checking in, and sharing your thoughts. It is always good to hear from you, Warm wishes for the holidays, Carol!

  15. Debra Kristi says:

    That is sooo cool. I wanted to get one of those sleeper shells. You know the ones that are basically a bed in a tiny camper and pull it behind my little skylark. But alas I was afraid my poor gal wouldn’t care for that much road tripping. She’s been too much of a garage car since I got married. Sigh. It was one of the ideas I had for my blog when I first started that never came to fruition. Maybe I’ll be brave enough to give it a try some day.

    1. Hi Debra,
      I have always fantasized about one of those camper shells. About thirty years ago I spent the night in one of those. It was a sweet little nest on wheels. It’s fun to think about. Maybe some day.

      Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday.

  16. frizztext says:

    “… even spent months at a time on the road in
    an old VW bus, hauling a beat up Apache tent trailer…”
    Volkswagen in our memories …

    1. Our home away from home!

  17. My Dad had a 63 Ford pickup and a camper that looked quite similar to this one. We went on a family vacation from Jersey to High Point Penn, when I was eight.
    My parents and brother sat inside the truck and me and my sister sat at a table inside the camper, playing cards (Old Maid). Needless to say we got car sick and threw up all over, not to mention how dangerous it was…
    But things were different back then.

    1. Oh, yes. I don’t think it’s legal for anyone to ride in a trailer any more. We traveled to forty-nine states without ever buckling a seat belt.

    1. Hi Maryam,
      Thanks so much for stopping by, and taking the time to comment!

  18. I have a serious travel bug, but I struggle to find the time.

    Loved this post!

    1. Dreaming is half the fun! Thanks for stopping by.

  19. 12kilroy says:

    This made me laugh. I understand the conflicting impulses. I was once described as a homebody with a pilgrim’s soul.

  20. ShimonZ says:

    I can definitely identify with you. In my younger days, I traveled every way… with pup tent, and with a large tent; and sometimes with a few tents that were able to include kids and their friends… And with vans, and with campers, and with trailers that I dragged behind me. It was great fun.

    1. Dear Shimon,
      I would love to hear about some of your travel adventures!

  21. I’ve always wanted a yellow car, but, so far, no-one has offered to buy me one — especially a cool vintage one like that. The VW is pretty neat, too.

  22. Hi Sarah,
    My daughter Bea has always wanted a sunshine yellow VW bug. It is such a cheerful color. That VW was my father’s pride and joy. He discovered the VW bus in Germany during WWII, and we were riding in one before anyone ever knew what one of those vehicles even was. It was the first in a succession of VWs that we drove into the ground–after the two tone red and brown came the blue one, a fire engine red one, and then the orange one. It was the only vehicle that could comfortably transport a family of nine.

  23. What a dream! I’ve always been a road tripper but haven’t had much of a chance to do it in a while. Taking to the road in style with a laptop sounds amazing.

    1. Maybe one of these days you can do a tour of author appearances at bookstores! It is great that you have received such support from Powell’s.

      1. That would be amazing! Road trip with a trunk full of books, yes? I have been so grateful to many members of the Powell’s staff, including their event coordinator, who has been so helpful in setting up our January reading and panel discussion.

  24. tita buds says:

    Fab car! Does it have plumbing though? Very, very essential for glamping. 😉

    On a trip with my sister, our rental car was a Mini Cooper. Loved it! There is nothing like a vintage (or at least vintage-looking) car to make one feel like doing more carefree and fun things.

    Hmm, when I was growing up, my Dad (a typically strict Filipino dad) always chose one of those VW Beetles as our family car. Now that I think of it, it must have been the secret hippie in him. 🙂

    1. You’re so right. I LOVED driving a little red Fiat in Italy, and it did make us feel more adventurous. And I love Minis! I was introduced to them by a British friend thirty-plus years ago–I still have the Mini patch he sent me sewn to my backpack. I also enjoy the idea of your father being a closet hippy! We grew up with a VW too, only it was a van, because that’s all that would hold a family of nine.

  25. eof737 says:

    I just love that shade of yellow… Buttery! As a young girl, I traveled and did the backpack thing which was a ton of fun and a great way to meet others. At this point in my life, I want luxury trips… no shlepping if possible. 😆

    1. Dear Elizabeth,
      My daughter Bea’s dream vehicle was a bright yellow VW bug. I’m with you, though. I stopped shlepping a LONG time ago! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You always make me smile!

      1. eof737 says:

        TY and so do you. 🙂

  26. Jamie Dedes says:

    Amen to that!
    And did you enjoy the old victorians there?

  27. Kourtney Heintz says:

    What a cool way to travel. 🙂 I’ve always wanted to roadtrip around the US in a mobile home. 🙂 Hope to some day do that. 😉

    1. It’s fun to think about in any case!

  28. Madhu says:

    Aah……sounds very, very appealing indeed! Especially in a vintage beauty like this one 🙂

  29. frizztext says:

    wonderful mobile home!

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