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After way too long of a stay in Van Nuys, CA we finally finished the store that we were building! The store looks great and we are tired and ready to head to Texas. We were originally heading to Texas when our job ended up sending us to L.A. to build this store. It was supposed to be an eight week project, but went over by a month. Waiting for us to head to Austin, Texas The XtremeFamily came over to help us start building out more Fuzions and stayed with us for a month and a half in Van Nuys. After the project went over schedule XtremeFamily decided to head to the desert and wait for us after getting burned out in L.A. They left just in time because the wildfires kicked up just a few miles from where we were staying. That sucked.
Greg worked crazy hours to finish the store and we went with him several nights as the painter finished painting the inside. It was cool to have the mall to ourselves at night and the kids loved running around. We made many friends there and were grateful for the opportunity.
Hanging out at the RV park we got some great sunsets. At one point we were disappointed about being in L.A. for so long and not really happy with it. Jenn walked out and sat in front of the RV and captured this beautiful sunset realizing that it's all perspective. The kids were taken back by this sunset that they came over from riding bikes to make sure that we saw it.
Not a sunset but a guy sucking poo out of the RV park holding tank. We were watching these guys unload the sewage hose dripping waste all over the place before sticking it into the tank to pump it out. At first we were just watching thinking no way we are seeing this! As we were watching this the other guy kept on smoking his cigarette with his bare hands leaning on all the valves and tanks not bothered at all about it. Makes you not want to smoke. Yeeeaahh.
When we were getting ready to leave and head to Blythe Tah-Rick and Mike, some of our friends in the RV park came to say bye. We made so many good friends while we stayed here we will miss all of them. Tah-Rick woke up late one night when he didn't even know us to tow our car home when it broke down and became a friend to all of us sharing some great stories and Doors music. He took us to a studio where he was shooting his first movie and taught us a lot about what he does. He also became Greg and Austin's karaoke partner singing any Van Halen, The Doors, AC/DC tunes. Mike and his wife Cindy were also really great friends that not only got us to sing karaoke but taught us a lot about film and things. We exchanged tons of music and equipment and buffalo wing recipes. They were certainly some of the nicest people we have ever met. The kids also made a great music video with Mike that we have showed off endlessly.
We were ready for some time off before heading to Texas to start doing Fuzions again. The Xtremefamily found a great camping spot on the border of California and Arizona in a place called Blythe so we were off to see them!
Off to Blythe.
We didn't know what to expect from this little place they found because we have only driven by Blythe on the highway. It's one of those remote places with nothing off the highway so we never thought about stopping there. But the Xtremefamily said that it was beautiful so we took their word for it. Blythe.
And it was awesome! They had the best campsite right near the river and there really wasn't anyone around. The stars were so bright and there was no noise. Coming out of L.A. we were happy with this peace and appreciated every part of it. We spent our days tubing on the Colorado river and BBQ'ing in the evening. That's Arizona on the other side of the river!
Greg really needed some time to rest after working so hard. That's him on the tube with his feet in the river.
The kids spent their days in the river trying to catch all kinds of fish. It was so nice to see them be able to be outside and in the water so much. They played so much while they were here, it really was the perfect place for all of us.
The sunsets out here were also amazing. It was like the sun set right behind the mountains and was so bright. We went out to a field right behind the RV park to watch Jim fly his model airplane. Another day Jim took us out about twenty miles or so into the desert floor to look for geodes. It was a long and dusty road but was worth it when we got to walk around the desert and break open rocks. We had to dig into the ground to find the rocks and crack them open. Cindy found the best geode of the day! After spending the day out in the desert we had to head back to Blythe after seeing a huge desert dust storm coming our way.
Sunset in Blythe. Blythe.
Austin went Asian in Blythe. Maddie straightened his hair for him thinking that it would look cool, but we never got past this look.
Jim and Greg chillin in the Colorado river.
Jenn and Cindy watching Jim and Greg chill in the Colorado river.
Jim and Greg took the kids for a late night tube down the river. The water was pretty cold already but they decided to go anyway. Nothing like tubing between the states.
We spent a week in Blythe before heading to Texas. We stopped in Quartzsite, Arizona to hit the huge RV flea market thing, but missed it. We did have a Joe Dirt sighting though.
On the road to Texas, that's the Xtremefamily bus in front of us.
October 24, '05
Back in Austin
Hey ya Nekkeds. Here we are back in our hometown of Austin, Tx, The Live Music Capitol of the World!!! All the kids were born here. When we were corporate, they moved us to the Seattle area back in '98. We started RV'ing back to Austin from Seattle which helped lead us to the whole RV travel lifestyle thing starting May '01.
Searching for Family Events
Since, we've been all over this country, we've been to all kinds of 'Family Events'. We've literally searched the country for 'Family Events' that we were all really into, together as a Family. They exist, but we've recognized that most 'Family Events' separate Families with for the kids and for the adults activities.
We were just in the local paper here and the 'Best Bets for the weekend' section was a screaming example ~ the top part had club listings with great local music in 'Over 21' clubs with some 'all ages (over 18)' clubs listed. The 'For Families' section listed many activities including clowns; arts and crafts; markets; and childrens movies, readings, museums, camps, theatres...
Are there any other Families out there frustrated with this disconnect? We feel like we're taking crazy pills!
The activities that we've had the most fun were the ones we just made into our own. We've had more fun and connected more deeply as a Family ~ kids and parents ~ simply dancing together to music...
...from free drum circles on Venice beach; high dollar Rock concerts in multiple states; Mariachis in Tijuana and San Antonio; Honky Tonks in Nashville and Austin; Revivals in George, WA and Asheville, NC; Sing alongs and campfire jams in Maine and Yellowstone; Karaoke in Van Nuys; Bluegrass in the Appalachians; The Whisky, The Roxy, and the Viper Room on Sunset Strip in Hollywood; Musicals in Niagara Falls; with Mormons in Utah (where footloose was filmed); Cajun stomps in Slidell, LA; Rock a Billy's in Detroit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Americana and Weird Al in Chicago; Street music in San Fran, New York, Santa Monica, and Seattle; Street festivals in San Diego, Austin, Asheville, Prescott, Seattle...; DJ's in Vegas; Barn Dances in Chino Valley; singing servers in Flagstaff; Ho-Downs in Knoxville; Graceland in Memphis; a free to us Van Halen from the fence at an outdoor venue in Chula Vista; Folk singers / songwriters in Santa Fe, Telluride, Durango, Austin... (and many morrrrrrre...); Gospel in Augusta; Surf rock in La Jolla; Coffee house jive in Pacific Grove; free concerts in the park; rap-offs on 8-mile... and local music in local bars every chance we get (mostly left out in the street to dance because the kids aren't welcome).
We've searched everywhere we could, every chance we had to find some great music to dance together as a Family. We were more often disappointed in what we could not find or attend together. Mostly we'd find concerts that were too expensive for five; live local music venues that would not allow kids; purple dinosaurs, gay wiggly fellas, and clowns with guitars and squeaky voices talking like we're a bunch of tards. WTF? (Why Try Finding? ;-) ...Family events that parents can actually enjoy.
Creating our own events
We've reacted by making perceived 'adult' events something we've enjoyed together as a Family. We also created our own events for Families and called them Fuzion! We'd hire a band (or fix a music mix), find a venue, run a promo and party and dance with other Families. They've all been great. We've developed a skill and have some experience that directly relates to our passion. Family Rock Concerts.
Sharing these experiences
We've touched a nerve. Our own and others out there. Families do wanna rock together. Kids actually do enjoy similar music that parents enjoy. Kids wanna rock out and dance with their parents; parents wanna rock out and dance with their kids....
We formed a non-profit in 2004 to promote bringing Families together through three primary principles that we designed our Family life around ~ Working, Learning, and Playing Together. It's that simple. It's that hard. More often than not our modern society has pulled us apart. Separating Families through dual careers that require parents to have life goals that don't include each other. Careers that require kids spend the high majority of their time away from their Families in child care, school, and extracurricular activities. 'Family Events' that tend to divide Families with for the kids and for the adults activities. We think this sucks.
Fortunately there are others out there that recognize this sucks too and are actively taking back their Family lives. We're extremely fortunate that this Family has found us and offered to help expand our mission and work towards our ultimate goal of working, learning, and playing together as a Family full-time: To actually make a living at it and help provide other Families that want the same to have more examples and opportunities. Inspired.
We recently purchased this domain to share our experiences; review bands and venues that are otherwise difficult to find that Families can enjoy together; promote events that will get Families together and having fun; an attempt to get other Families out of the house, away from the TV, and enjoying each other's company. Hanging out together like typical adults do with their friends, Families being friends, being Family. Imagine that. FamiliesRock.com
Austin, TX >>