Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Poolside: A Zen Experience

My favorite hour at Pinecrest pool is a zen experience. I'm all alone in the water, surrounded by green hills and azure sky. There's nobody on the deck watching me glide up and down the pool the long way. I count every length I swim, until I and the water are one and I forget about the count. At this point, I'm strong, not tired, and could go on all day. Oh! I wish I had all the time in the world.

If your timing is right...during the adult swim hours...a visit to Pinecrest pool can be a chance to meet and relax with old, or new friends. On a recent Friday afternoon I splashed around with Edie Seger and her daughter, Katherine, while catching up on the local news. Paths crossed often with members of the Holeman family, particularly Marilyn.

Some would rather not have kids around. I rather like seeing them having a good time at the pool. It reminds me of my childhood when I spent nearly every day in the pool, having fun by perfecting my strokes. Julian kids have good manners; marco polo and cannon ball battles are rare. They try to avoid crashing into someone like me who is gliding (I'm a slow swimmer) back and forth. The little ones are fun to watch as they paddle through the water wearing their inflatable wings. The first swimming lesson for some.

I can't say enough about the Pinecrest staff. All are friendly and helpful. When she's there, Sydney never fails to stop and chat, reminding me that the retreat is home to many vintage trailers. Perhaps it's the only such place in Southern California or beyond. As a longtime camper and RVer, I appreciate seeing those old rigs, so lovingly restored and well kept by owners half their age. I love those original classy Airstreams, Land Yachts, Wally Byam called them in the early days.

Poolside Reflections: Written by Bobbi Zane

Monday, September 20, 2010

Christopher Deam restyles the Airstream | Video on

Christopher Deam restyles the Airstream | Video on

Trailer History: The Post-War Market

"The Palace"

Although Palace Coach Co. advertised their newest models for 1944, they did not produce any until the war was over (See text of ad). These new models were supposed to be the latest thing in trailers for the post-war housing shortage. It was soon after this period that some folks started making their travel trailers their primary residence, and the age of the "trailer home" had begun.

Today, pre-fabricated homes are making a comeback on the green design scene, as many cool and modern designs are making a positive impact in the world of "small architecture".

Trailer History

Do you see the little building at the end of the patio? The 'better' trailer parks of the period offered trailer lots with private toilet and shower facilites. These were always little concrete block buildings at the rear of each lot. All you had to do is step out of your trailer (and run a few steps) to your own private restroom!

The September sun warms the Pool!

Come enjoy the peace of the season in transition, from the tranquility of the pool.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vintage campers evoke feelings of a time gone by.

Campers from the 40's, 50's and 60's are considered vintage. They are classics and evoke feelings of a time gone by. Many people choose to purchase a vintage model for the look and quality. Not only do they provide comfortable and convenient camping facilities, but they are also easy and inexpensive to maintain.

Vintage campers can be easily found online. There are multiple sites that specialize in selling and restoring these campers. There are also clubs dedicated to the restoration and use of these campers. People who use these types of trailers do so for a variety of reasons. Some people like the classic look while some want an economical way to camp in comfort. Others have no desire to use them for practical purposes and simply enjoy the restoration process.

The most popular vintage trailer is the Airstream They started producing these in 1932 out of wood and then changed to the aluminum models that are widely recognizable. Vintage campers can often be towed by smaller vehicles. This is not because they are lighter weight but because of the aerodynamic design and the weight distribution allows it to be pulled with greater ease.

Buying a vintage camper can be a lot fun but you should do plenty of research before deciding on one. Unless you are an experienced buyer, it is best to buy a camper in as good a condition as possible. Run down campers can take a lot of work to restore and can often times be more frustrating than you'd want. Continual work will increase the amount of time without its use and will also cost more money. Once a person gets some experience, they can then move on to more advanced work. However, it is better to start off small.

Before buying a vintage camper, think about why you want it and what it will be used for. This will determine the model and size of the camper you may need. Inspect the interior and exterior to determine the condition. Some wear and tear is expected and dents may be found on the exterior. But, it should still be in relatively good shape. Ask the seller to demonstrate the plumbing and refrigeration to ensure there are no leaks. Check the floors to determine if they are solid or if there may be rotting.Tires should be in adequate condition to at least tow it to where it will be stored during minor repairs.

After purchasing a vintage trailer, be sure to get it fully insured. Owning a classic piece of Americana can be a highly rewarding experience. It can also be a practical way to enjoy retro camping. If you like classic vehicles, this is a great option for spending time on restoration as well as having a great conversation piece to use for vacationing.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Serenity of Nature: A Poem

The serenity of nature fills my soul

As I lay back on the crisp, yet soft grass
I let my mind wander to a tranquil state
Where pain and suffering is nonexistent
And only the serenity of nature remains

While in my state of placidity
I watch in awe as nature works its wonders
I see the trees dancing to the wind's soft, sweet song
A host of bird's announcing the end of a wondrous day
An array of brightly colored flowers
Flaunt their beauty to the world
The pillow-like clouds, like sheep, graze in a large blue meadow
And hide the seemingly shy sun

And as i experience this beautiful setting
A gentle breeze whispers to me
'Time to go'

The serenity of nature fills my soul with peace

Garrett Bradley