But first.. how we got here after our meandering through Arkansas.
Harvest Hosts Stays
We love staying places that aren’t traditional RV parks whenever we can. When we’re looking ahead we seek out opportunities like state parks, Army Corp of Engineers, boondocking and driveway surfing.
We’ve been on a most excellent streak but its been a few stops since we stayed at a Harvest Hosts location.
Harvest Hosts reaches out to wineries, vineyards, farms and museums who have parking for RVs to more formally make an invitation for members to park overnight. It provides a really unique way for us to visit awesome locations. We’ve really been enjoying our membership as a way to mix up our stays.
With our caravanning buddies being brand new HarvestHosts members, we made it a priority to make a stop at one together.
We spotted OOVVDA Winery just north of Springfield as a potential spot and called ahead to see if a stay was possible. No problem they said, and as a bonus – they were having live music that day!
We arrived, got parked, grabbed a bottle of cherry wine and sat down for an afternoon of tunes and friendship.
That evening, we were also communicating with new to the road nomads Kelly & Anna of SmallHouseBigWorld.com who were enjoying a Harvest Hosts stay just a bit east of us. They checked in with their host, who extended an invitation for our little roaming crew to join up the next evening.
After a beautiful drive down narrow twisty windy roads, we arrived to Wenwood Farm Winery. We had two video casts scheduled (our monthly exclusive Mobile Internet Aficionados chat, followed by our ‘Costs of Full Time RVing‘ public topic) – so we got right to setting up.
This was a location where having both Verizon and AT&T, and wireless cellular boosting gear made a HUGE difference (our current Mobile Internet Arsenal).
Kelly had reported that there was no Verizon signal, but he was getting a smidgeon of AT&T LTE… which matched what our Coverage? app was telling us to expect. Sure enough, without our Wilson Mobile 4G booster, we would not have been able to stream a video cast. But with the gear, we were able to broadcast for over 2 hours in HD without much of a glitch.
Technology… it just rocks 🙂
(By the way, if you haven’t been following our RV Mobile Internet News Center – Wilson rebranded earlier this year to weBoost, and there are some great deals on close-out Wilson equipment. There’s also finally some new 4G boosters starting to hit the market that we have in for review.)
We had a great evening hanging out with Kelly & Anna and Forrest & Mary, and in the morning got to meet the owners of the winery. What a great spot, great people, fantastic wines and a lovely lovely location – we’ll definitely be making this a stop in the future.
St. Louis Fun
Our reason for coming into St. Louis is always family – it’s where Chris’ family is mostly located and his parents now summer here (previously it was their full time home, now they winter in Florida). It’s been a constant stop over point for us, and with each visit I fall more and more in love with the city.
And we just love sharing it with friends.
My mother had booked a flight to come stay with Chris’ folks – so we wanted to be here for her first visit to the midwest.
Forrest & Mary hadn’t spent too much time in St. Louis. The timing worked out great to share one ouf favorite cities with people we love.
We hit the ground running playing tour guides – taking them to some of our favorite places. A quick introduction to Forest Park, frozen custard at Ted Drewes, a brewery tour at Annheiser Busch, Grant’s Farm, a trip to the top of the Arch, a Cardinals ball game and the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
There was also lots of dining around town to be had!
Since we’ve now been to St. Louis many times, I’m putting together a guide to St. Louis for RVers with our top picks for RV parking and things to do. So we’ll share more details of our adventures in that upcoming post.
It’s been an absolutely fantastic visit with lots of marvelous memories made.We’ll spend a couple more days waiting on some packages to arrive, and then we’ll continue on northward to Elkhart where our bus projects will begin later this month.
Aside from all of the family and tourist stuff, we’ve been deep in planning all of the bus renovations we’ll be tackling in addition to the re-painting.
The Alaskan trip is coming together, with just the return leg left to book – we’re monitoring one-way southbound cruises continually coming down in price to be even cheaper than taking the Alaskan ferry. We’ll snag one soon.
Also, while we’re in Vancouver, BC we’ll be hosting a small casual meet-up on Monday, June 8. If you’re in the area and interested – let us know.
So whew.. been busy busy busy! But it’s all good and awesome.
The next couple of weeks we’ll be diving deep into work projects on our way into Indiana to make up for all this play time we’ve been enjoying. We have some mobile internet equipment testing for our Mobile Internet Aficionados members, some app updates and continued roll-out projects for Xscapers (which if you haven’t checked it out lately, the new website launched recently – it’s looking really sweet!)