Ambidextrous Sleeping and the Saga of the Claustrophobic Glamper

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Welcome to the continuing story of claustrophobic me, and our new Airstream RV….

To get up to speed, you can read some of my earlier posts. But, here’s a very short recap.

– We bought an Airstream Motorhome.

– First night in it, I had a full-on claustrophobic panic attack.

– Next day, I met a man who told me to chew gum to relax. I bought gum and I bought sleeping pills


Now that you’re all caught up on the basics, I’ll continue with the true tale.


So, it was night #2, it was starting to get dark outside, and I was getting nervous. I was chewing a huge wad of gum per the stranger’s RX. I figured that it couldn’t hurt. But, I couldn’t chew gum all night, so I spit it out, and brushed my teeth. And I popped one those sleeping pills I’d bought earlier that day at the drugstore.


And finally, the inevitable….I crawled reluctantly into bed. As I lay face up, and looked around, I had a couple of really important epiphanies.

Listen carefully, because this is when this witty blog turns, briefly, into a real self-help tool.


1. I realized that Mark and I needed to switch sides of the bed. If I lay on the left side of the bed, the cabinets on that side were all low, and I could see over them. It made me feel like I had more space. The other side is the side with the bathroom, and hence, cabinets/doors that went floor to ceiling. So we switched sides. No big deal. Turns out we are both ambidextrous sleepers.

2. As soon as we closed all the privacy shades and curtains, my heart started pounding. Being visually closed in from the outside world triggered huge PANIC!! I realized that I had to sleep with most of the windows uncovered!! I had to see beyond the confines of the walls of the RV. I visually borrowed space from the outdoors and pretended there were no boundaries.


These were huge revelations for me, and that night I slept like a baby. (Could have been the sleeping pills!!)


Although these changes didn’t solve all of my claustrophobic problems, it was great progress. By the next morning, I was considering allowing Mark to fill the soap and shampoo dispensers! I saw that it just might be possible for us to keep the RV after all.


I was really proud of myself, and bragged all day about how resourceful I was and how I was pushing my own boundaries, and confronting my fears head-on.


In hindsight, I was a little too cocky, because that was not to be the end of my “issues.” Nope. They’d rear their ugly head again soon, during our trip to Palomar Mountain.


Stay tuned for the next installment!

The Maiden RV Voyage…Boondocking in Santa Barbara


Our very first trip in the new RV, was a 4-day 3-night trip to Santa Barbara. Mark had a business meeting there, and we made arrangements to “boondock” out front of our friend’s house.


Just south of Santa Barbara, we stopped in Carpinteria to have dinner with our friends Bob & Jen. Bob is a stellar banjo picker, with whom I used to play in an old-time jam group. Jen is his better half, and some say that that is because she does NOT play the banjo!

After a wonderful dinner, upon returning to the RV, we were greeted by a loud ear-splitting smoke detector-like warning alarm. WTF was going on, and were we going to explode and end up on the late evening news?

Gotta tell you, we never did figure out what that alarm was, but after a good 5 minutes it stopped, and we merrily went on our way with what was probably just a tiny bit of hearing loss!


We arrived in Santa Barbara late that night, parked in front of Ken & Barb’s house, and began our first night in the RV. Brushed my teeth, washed my face, climbed into bed (we have a king sized bed at the rear of the vehicle). So far, except for the mystery alarm earlier, so good….except for one little thing….


I wasn’t in bed 10 minutes when I have a FULL-ON PANIC ATTACK!!!!!!!!!

Long story short, sort of, I spent almost the entire evening sitting in the front seat, snuggling with my pillow, and looking out the window to the great outdoors where there was lots of space and lots of fresh air. When I couldn’t take that any longer, I went outside in my jammies and sat on the curb next to the RV.

It was a long long night, which wasn’t so bad because it gave me plenty of time for self-berating, and for wondering……


7 Important Tips For Buying Your First RV…or NOT!!!

What you’re supposed to do…

1. Rent an RV for 3 or 4 days. Just gather up your 2-legged and 4-legged clan, pack some tasty food and beverages, and hit the road. You’ve got to experience the whole lifestyle before you buy into it.

2. Go to RV shows and RV dealers and look around. This is the best way to narrow down what you do and don’t like in an RV.

3. Research on line. Get more detailed info about the models you like. Also, find out what other owners are saying about their rigs. There are some great RV discussion forums on line.

4. Go back to the RV shows and/or RV dealers and look again!

5. If you’re getting close to deciding on a model, see if you can rent that exact model, or at least, something similar.

6. Educate yourself on the care and feeding of the model you’re interested in. If your dream is to travel and live off the grid for weeks at a time, but your rig only has 30 gallon holding tanks and no solar power, this probably ‘aint gonna happen.

7. When you’re pretty sure you’ve decided what you want, go back to the dealer. Hang out in the rig  for a few hours, without the salesperson. Pretend you’re actually camping. Pay attention to the space, the layout, the storage, sleeping arrangements, cooking facilities, and generally, just what it’s like to be inside the rig for an extended period of time. Close all of the doors, and close the privacy curtains/shades to experience what it will be like in there at night.

Now, contrast this with what we did…

1. We did NOT do anything I mentioned above, except for an occasional visit to an RV show over the years.

2. We were sucked in by the shininess and beauty of Fiona

3. We bought Fiona


Aha!!! That story is for my next post….

WTF Have We Gone And Done?!

One fine day in November of 2013, after 10 years of thinking about doing it, and 10 years of saying “WTF? Are we crazy?” we just did it. We bought a shiny new Airstream motorhome.

We named our new rv FIONA. It stands for Fun In Our New Airstream. She’s an Airstream Interstate Ext model.
FIONA is 24.4″ long, and just wide enough to keep us constantly bumping into each other in the center aisle. She’s just wide enough for 2 dogs to come running up the aisle together when we call them for dinner. She’s just wide enough for all of our adventures…no more, no less. She’s just perfect!