Excited to play Country Concert again this year in Ft. Loramie, Ohio! Come on out if you're in the area. Tickets at www.CountryConcert.com
A couple weeks ago we headed up from Nashville to Jackson Center, Ohio. The tiny dot on the map is the Mecca for dedicated Airstreamers, as it's the location of the Airstream factory. The Ohio factory opened in the 1970s and by 2016, it was cranking out about 72 of these gorgeous aluminum adventure mobiles per week (and the number continues to grow). Not to mention the fact that the majority of vintage Airstream's are still on the road today!
This is the eighth year that the factory has hosted the Airstream celebration festival called Alumapalooza and our first year to attend. This five day event offers education, entertainment and community for the attendees and the land surrounding the factory fills with silver campers quite quickly. We enjoyed mingling with all the Airstream-lovers and catching up with some of the folks we met through our experience with Endless Caravan.
We also got to be on a PBS cooking show called Chef Driven, with Chef Frank Bonanno. Frank owns 10 restaurants in the Denver area and enjoying a dinner cooked by him personally was quite a treat! The show was filmed by the crew of The Public Works and it was an absolute delight meeting and working with those awesome guys as well! That was definitely a highlight of the trip.
Here are some pictures of our week:
All photos copyright Pilgrim (Aaron and Katie Thomas) (except photos of film crew)
Winter in Nashville is breathing its last breath with an overnight dusting of snow and a few subsequent frigid days. We're fully ready for spring but are taking advantage of this final chance to wear winter goodies!
Leona in her Baby Gab polar bear suit and me in my H&M faux fur.
Stay warm out there kids!
We're late to share this but we LOVE this video that the amazing Danielle Stevens made for us. We met up with her in Cold Springs, NY this past spring and roamed around the cute little town as she captured some wonderful photos and this beautiful video of our little family. Fun fact, I was feeling tired and nauseous that day and so we skipped our NYC plans and started our trek back to Nashville. I threw up one time on the side of the road and was confirmed in my suspicions- I was pregnant! And just two and a half weeks ago we gave birth to our little Leona Willow!
Happy Valentines Day friends! Love is definitely in the air in our home with little Leona Willow here with us. She is about a week and a half old now and we are all so in love! The sun peaked out from its winter hiding place the other day so we decided to snap a few pics as we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon. Enjoy these photos of our new family of four!
We arrived home from our three month Airstream adventure just before Christmas and halfway through my third trimester of pregnancy.
The trip was incredible- a once in a lifetime experience. A fast-paced and exciting exploration of the entire western half of the United States- the majority of which I had never even seen before (and which is absolutely breathtaking!) Happily exhausted upon returning to our little cottage in Nashville, I think we all could’ve crashed into the couch and stayed there for a month. However, with just a few weeks until Christmas, and a short time until the baby would come, no couch-crashing would take place. We immediately dove into Holiday preparations, settling back into our house, wrapping up the tour, catching up with folks we hadn’t seen and then in any spare time left we would try and wrap our brains around the fact that we would soon have a family of four!
In no time I was attending weekly appointments at Baby+Company birth center and getting huger every day. At my 38 week check up, the midwife said,
“Alright so you have your bag packed and the carseat in the car?” and I stared at her, blinking.
Very slowly my brain began to register that we were officially full term and within the any-day-now window and I was way behind on preparedness. Holy moly that snuck up fast!
I went home, gave my husband the task of strapping the car seat into the car, grabbed a duffle bag, and got to packing.
Based on my previous experience giving birth at a birth center and a very helpful list provided by Baby+Company, I was able to gather my essentials and ease my mind, feeling much more ready.
Packing for the birth center is a little different than packing for the hospital (and obviously different than preparing for a home birth), so I thought I would share with you what I’ve learned and what’s going into my bag, in hopes that it will help you, too, feel ready and relaxed.
A few differences between packing for the hospital and the birth center:
1. At the birth center, you won’t stay for several days- most of the time just about 4-6 hours after baby is born, so it’s not necessary to pack for several days.
2. At the birth center, you won’t have an epidural or any other drugs that would prevent you from eating and drinking, so it is great to have snacks and hydrating drinks on hand.
3. Being able to move freely around the room and employ many different pain management techniques means you should bring any resources for this that are important to you- whether that’s a specific massage oil or focus item.
4. Specifically at Baby and Company, there are several things that are provided for you. Namely, a robe, a bluetooth speaker, and an aromatherapy diffuser. Because these things are already in the room, you can forgo a robe and just bring a gown or something comfortable to labor in, any music you may want to listen to, and essential oils to diffuse.
5. There is also a bathtub so if you are interested in laboring and/or delivering in the tub, you may want to bring a sports bra or swimsuit top, and possibly a swimsuit for your partner in case they’d like to get in with you. (I gave birth in the tub with my first child!)
Here’s what I’m packing:
1. Newborn Diapers and Wipes - 365 Brand, from Whole Foods Market
2. Everyone Baby Wash and Lotion from Whole Foods Market
4. Overnight Maxi pads - 365 Brand from Whole Foods Market
6. Essential Oils - Now Brand from Whole Foods Market
7. Siphon Draw Apothecary Body Butter (I LOVE this stuff.. found it in Arizona)
12. Change of Clothes for me - a loose comfy shirt and leggings (plus cozy socks and extra undies!)
15. Hairbrush and Hair Ties
16. Phone and Charger (and any other electronics you need, maybe a camera?)
17. Healthy Snacks
18. Coconut Water
1. A change of clothes for my husband and daughter (plus sweaters)
2. Swim trunks for my husband
3. A sports bra and gown to labor in
4. Extra water (and refillable water bottle)
Check out the video:
What are you bringing to the birth center? Is there something we left off? Let us know in the comments! Happy birthing!
An Airstream is a beautiful thing. All the comforts of home easily- and quite stylishly I might add- being towed behind a vehicle, allowing one to experience first hand the beauty and intrigue of this glorious land, and then climb into a familiar and cozy bed night after night. We've parked ours on the top of a mountain, with no hookups and snow outside our door, and after a day of exploration we still cooked a hot meal, brushed our teeth with running water, and snuggled into a warm bed.
I love that the sleek, minimal and highly functional interior allows us to tote our necessities neatly and orderly while providing a lovely canvas for a bit of personalization. And that's exactly what we were looking to do when we called up our friends at Walls Need Love and said "Its Airstream makeover time."
Walls Need Love is a Nashville based company that creates awesome removable wall paper, wall decals and other adhesive art. Now that they also supply blankets, pillows, shower curtains, and a bunch of other decor items with their seemingly infinite palette of amazing patterns and prints, they seriously have your home (or Airstream) decor covered. We selected a handful of different decals and decor items from their website and then got to work in the 'Stream. Check out our before and after! I'll link the specific items we chose below. Enjoy!
Fridge wallpaper: Prickly Party Removable Wallpaper
Cactus in Kitchen: Desert Cacti Wall Decal
Kitchen Backsplash Arrows: Flying Arrows Mini Pack (in Chocolate and Gold)
Dry Erase Decal on Table: Basic Dry Erase Decal
Dry Erase Calendar: Dry Erase One Month Calendar
Bed Duvet Cover: Inked Swiss Cross Duvet Cover
Bag in Entryway: Pineapple Purist Tote Bag
This was a major bucket list moment. I love trees. Tree hugger, yes. They are just majestic creatures- all of them. But these- the trees of the Redwood forest- these trees are on another level. I felt like a tiny fairy and wished I had wings to flit about among them. (This is obviously Katie writing this post..)
But seriously, this was an incredible sight to see and words don't do it justice-- and to be honest, pictures never could either! But nonetheless, I hope you enjoy these photos of our magical time in the Redwood forest.
Oregon is a gorgeous state. We spent a lot of time camping and sight-seeing around the Columbia River Gorge, visiting a few waterfalls, and enjoying some down time. We filmed a "Live from the Pilgrim Trail" video of our song "Chase Down The Moon" while camping in that area as well.
After some one wonderful time in Nature, we decided to explore the city a bit. We parked the Airstream at a Park & Ride and after figuring out how to buy a ticket and get on the right train, we made our way into the city! It was a bit rainy that day so we didn't have the camera out much- mostly just on the train! I think that was Magnolia's favorite part anyway :-)
Portland had a wonderful feel to it. There was such a great energy in the air. We were starving when we first got in so we went straight to the first breakfast joint we found, which happened to be Fuller's, established in 1947. It was a delicious good ol' country breakfast.
Afterward we walked around the city, did a little shopping at some boutiques and also Buffalo Exchange (we really didn't bring enough cooler weather clothes on this trip!) and then made our way to the famous Powell's City of Books. The bookstore was all we had hoped and we really could have spent all day in there! We got Magnolia a new book and ourselves a couple coffees.
For dinner we found a place for our favorite- Pho- a Vietnamese noodle soup perfect for a dreary day. I can't remember the name of the place but it was good!
We we moved on from Portland to head out to beautiful Bend, Oregon. When we get to a new place, we're usually hungry, and always trying to track down a local specialty or something unique to the area. The meal we ate when we first rolled into downtown Bend, though simple was one of the best of the trip. I mean, is there anything better than grilled cheese and tomato soup on a crisp fall day?? Add to that a bottle of local Kombucha and I'm a happy camper.
In Bend, we met some new friends, went to a pumpkin patch, filmed our cover of Adele's When We Were Young out at beautiful Smith Rock, and toured the Two Old Hippies guitar factory (which produce Breedlove Guitars, Bedell Guitars and Weber Mandolins).
The beauty of Oregon is certainly breathtaking and we hope to be back again soon!
Well, we only had about a day and a half to spend in the glorious city of Seattle, but we loved it! We got to catch up with a few friends and see a city completely new to us. We were initially struck by what a BIG CITY it is. Driving into the and slowly becoming overwhelmed by buildings, bridges, water, and lights was breathtaking. We spent the first evening having dinner at a dear friends' amazing condo (with a city view from the top floor!) The next day, we got to do a little bit of sight-seeing. We definitely didn't see IT ALL, or even close to it, but we went to the famous Pike Market, ate some great food (don't we always??), walked around a bit and saw it all from above on the Seattle Great Wheel. We filmed a lot of it too so be sure and lookout for our next webisode!
When you think of Idaho, what do you think of? Maybe potatoes? Well, I do love potatoes- every way they come- but even better than potatoes is Idaho's landscape. It was truly breath-taking and a wonderful surprise. Granted we did not see all of the state, our time in City of Rocks National Reserve was enough to lodge it permanently in our minds as one of the most beautiful places we've seen. We hadn't planned a whole lot of time there in fact and ended up extending our stay to the absolute last possible minute (which is one of the reasons our visit to Seattle was cut short.) We played a wonderful show hosted by some of the park rangers, had a surprise snow, wandered all over the grand rock formations, and met some awesome people. Enjoy!
**Did we skip Episode 4?? Well, we are calling this Episode 5 because somewhere between this and the last one there is some lost footage which we will happily share as Episode 4 once we recover it!
We are so excited to share our new video with you. This is the live acoustic version of our new song, Chase Down The Moon, filmed and recorded at our Beacon Rock State Park campground in Washington just a few days ago.
As we were editing and putting this video together, tweaking and analyzing, doubting and perfecting as we are prone to do, I suddenly became aware of how perfect it really was- and how our greater message is threaded throughout every detail and every flaw.
We wrote this song several months ago- a little while before this tour was even conceived. We had been traveling in our own '73 Airstream on and off for about a year, oscillating between feeling great about our path and feeling totally stuck. In a very stuck-feeling moment, we began to sing out our need to get away. The cry of our insides to be allowed to change in a way that is difficult to achieve admidst the familiar and to be transformed as only the eye-opening experience of travel can transform you began to pour out in melody.
"Well I can't get far enough away, cause I know I need to make a change. And when you're home nobody wants to see you be anything new. But there's a fire and it's catching on, burning me up and getting me gone. It's gonna kill me soon."
Feeling as if we were swimming through mud, desperate to make these dreams in our hearts a reality, was painful. Wondering if it would work or if we were heading in even remotely the right direction. The song poured out of us as a soothing bath, and we imagined ourselves as weary travelers crossing the desert in search of our own promised land.
"Been a long time comin' as I ride away into the sunset dusk like a hurricane. Got a head full of worry and a heart of pain that the west coast water's gonna wash away. There's a desert in my soul oh Arizona. There's a gold rush comin' for ya California. This fire will consume, if I don't chase down the moon."
Months later, and here we are on the cross-country journey we've been dreaming of. Exploring, creating and sharing our music, art and message. Staring across the expanse at our own personal promised land. Now we sing this song that healed us and encouraged us as it came out.
The day we recorded this Magnolia insisted on being in the video, which was not a part of the plan. We sighed, knowing we'd need her cooperation if we were to get it filmed today. She wanted to dance with the guitar strap. Ok, we said. Ok, fine. Let's do this.
Well, letting go and flowing with "what is" proved to be perfection once again. Not only does she look like an angel and add a quality of innocence and beauty to the video, but having her back there dancing expresses our message and our dream beautifully- that we are writing our own story here. Our reality is that we travel, we create art and music and we are growing a family. All at the same time. Because this is our one life. And we want it all. Even with the challenges this presents, we love it. We've learned not to simply appease or occupy her in order to do "our thing", but to include her. Her ideas, her presence, her desires. Every time it leads to magic.
When I suddenly saw the perfection in all of this- even down to the fact that we could really only do one take with her attention span- I felt so happy to see clearly this unique path that we have chosen. It's not perfect, and it's not for everyone. But it's tailor-made for us, by us.
Life is not a multiple choice question but a blank page. Draw your own. Design it perfectly, uniquely, for you. Dream it up. Go after it. Love the journey.
So much love,
America has a secret. And it's Idaho. We didn't see a single potato (well, except some French fries..) but what we did see were some of the most exceptionally gorgeous views we've ever seen!
After falling head over heals for New Mexico, we took our time driving through Colorado (stopping for some great sight seeing and an appearance on Good Morning Vail!) and Utah (a continuation of insane photo-ops!). We enjoyed ourselves and took our time as we drove. Unfortunately though, our hard-drive (which housed ALL of our content from the trip so far) decided to go flying and slam into the cabinet! Not. Good. So everything from that week is temporarily [we hope] unavailable. (If anyone has any insight regarding recovering files from this kind of this, let us know!)
So while this remains a mystery we will jump ahead to America's best kept secret- Idaho. Like I said, it was gorgeous. We got into Almo, Idaho- a tiny town along the southern border- on Thursday afternoon. We started out camping in beautiful Castle Rocks state park, where we were to play a show the following evening! (Anyone catch our takeover of Airstream's Instagram account that day??)
Then after being shown around by our new friend, the Park Climbing Ranger and our concert host, Roberta, we moved to the most magnificent RV spot we've ever seen, in the City of Rocks National Preserve. The Preserve was simply breathtaking, and so full of history, as it is along the original California Trail. Roberta even showed us a large rock formation where many travelers had written their names and the dates. It was quite the imagination candy seeing fading inscriptions from the 1800s on the rock wall.
The first morning we awoke in our new spot with the grand peeks and valleys of the Preserve right outside of our windows, we were surprised by a freshly fallen layer of snow on the ground! We simply had to push back our schedule a bit to relish in the beauty of this place for a few days.
We stayed there through the weekend and the first part of the week, hiking, climbing (our version of climbing- with a four-year-old), cooking on the fire, and meeting new friends!
it was a glorious time.. And then, off to Seattle!
Love from Pilgrim! Don't quit your daydream!
If you've been to a Pilgrim show, you've probably seen our photo prints at the merch table. These are 8x10 photos we have taken all over our travels and added quotes to them so you can take them home and be inspired. Well, we are now happy as clams to tell you that you can now add some Pilgrim positivity to everything from your bed spread to your shower curtain to your laptop. We are now a featured artist on the Walls Need Love online store!
Nashville based Walls Need Love started as an online shop selling apartment-friendly removable wall decals and now stocks just about everything you need to whip your home decor into shape!
Their store is unique in that they partner with many different artists to make available a plethora of unique and inspiring patterns, prints, colors and designs. I myself have spent hours perusing their site- picking out pillows, wallpaper, even ipad skins! I know you'll have as much fun shopping as I did (and as much trouble deciding!) So head on over to the Pilgrim Walls Need Love artist page and be sure to tag us in your decor pics!
Wow- three weeks on the road already?? And it's just getting better and better. This week, we absolutely fell in love with New Mexico. We spent time in Santa Fe and Albuquerque and from the landscape to the architecture to the culture and people, we were completely enchanted. Enjoy this week's webisode, "Pilgrim on Airstream's Endless Caravan - Week 3: Falling for New Mexico" (Plus a sneak peek of our new single- Chase Down The Moon)
Well this was something that we will never forget.
We just happened to have planned to come through Albuquerque, NM during their yearly Balloon Fiesta. We connected with some of Aaron's extended family who live out there and they wanted to host a house concert. They told us that our timing was perfect as there was this festival going on. I had actually not heard of it before but it certainly sounded wonderful! We arrived in the city on the last weekend of the festival and played a wonderful show with them on friday. My plan had been for us to spend time at the fiesta the following day but due to wind, the balloons didn't go up that Saturday. For us that was just as well- we were pretty tired after the show the night before and I don't think we would have made it out that early anyway (official activites start as early as 5:45am with "mass ascension", or all the balloons taking off, at 7am). Nevertheless we had a lovely day exploring Albuquerque that Saturday. We first headed down to "Old Town" and within moments of parking and paying for our spot in an incredibly antiquated machine (literally just slots for shoving folded up dollar bills into), we were enjoying the sounds of a lively and authentic mariachi band. I'm still not sure what it was exactly about that moment- the music, the joy they conveyed or just something in the atmosphere, but as I stood there, tears came to my eyes. Sometimes its the simplest moments that touch you for reasons you can't even quite put your finger on. I could've stayed in that spot all day.
We did move on however and walk around, eat some New Mexican food, peruse the tourist shops and treat ourselves to ice cream.
The next morning we were rested and ready to head on to Colorado so we got up early and headed in the direction of the festival, hoping for a balloon sighting before we left town. It was the very last day of the week-long fiesta. Parked on a street close to the main park, we began to see them pop up into the morning sky. A few at first and then within minutes they filled the sky. We were giddy and running all about taking photos and videos and sharing the joy of such a magical moment with our daughter Magnolia
A couple hours passed as we stared at the sky, until many of them began to descend- several right in our parking lot! Their expertly trained teamed flocked immediately to the landing site and began their process of packing up. Aaron and Magnolia ran over and offered help which was welcomed, and I filmed them (of course- somebody's gotta man the camera!) roll and tie up a giant deflated penguin.
After watching a few more land, with still a few more soaring, we began to pack up the Pilgrim-mobile and hit the road North to Colorado. On our way out, we stopped at New Mexico Pinon Coffee Company to try a local specialty- Pinon Coffee, which is made from the nuts of the state tree, the Pinon (or Pinyon) Pine. Furthermore the house specialty- the Biscochito Latte, was delicious.
Watch this week's webisode to see this glorious balloon display in action! As well as additional New Mexico sights and shenanigans.
Well, New Mexico felt like heaven from the moment we crossed the border. We drove for hours across gorgeous desert painted my favorite palette of mustard yellow, avocado green, dusty clay, and dark hunter green, and pressed against a sky of the clearest blue. The sparse expanse around us gave way in the far-off distance to mountain formations gently lining the horizon. A chill was creeping into the air as the sun still warmed us fiercely. We were absolutely compelled to stop frequently to stretch, breath, and of course- take a bunch of pictures.
We rolled into Santa Fe at dusk and quickly stopped for dinner at the first place we saw. Having seen the city in dim lighting for just a few minutes, we were already completely smitten. The adobe, the chile ristras hanging, the cactus, the culture, the art everywhere, the smell, the chill in the air as the sun set, the prayer flags, and as we would find out in mere moments- the New Mexican food. Wow. We were lucky that the first restaurant we saw was Casa Chimayo- it was delicious. We learned quickly the official state question: "red or green?" This question refers to what color chile you would like on top of your burger, enchiladas, eggs, or absolutely any other food. In New Mexico, it can all be made better by red or green chilies. At Casa Chimayo we tried their famous enchiladas that were actually featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The food was wonderful (and filling!) and the vibe of the place had me absolutely giddy.
We found a great campsite, which was recommended to us by an Instagram friend- Rancheros de Santa Fe. It was about 20 minutes from town but had a great vibe, a playground, a little hiking, and a sky-full of stars. It also had this little photo-op:
We were told that the Aspens were not to be missed to we trekked out to Hyde Park for some hiking the next day. We grabbed a picnic lunch at Sprouts and headed out into the gorgeousness.
Over the next two days we spent more time exploring the city of Santa Fe. We visited:
- The downtown square- touristy, yes, but still a must-see.
- Canyon Road- glorious art galleries and an antique store that blew every other one I've ever been too out of the water: Santa Killim. In fact I'm not sure they would consider themselves an antique store but perhaps more of a curated collection of global curiosities. This road also held a peaceful little treasure in the Quakers of Santa Fe compound- they caught us peering down the corridor into their beautiful garden and invited us in and said to spend as much time as we liked in the peaceful setting.
- Kakawa Chocolate house- Amazing ancient chocolate elixers, which was new to me, but one of the best things I've ever tried!
- Cowgirl restaurant and nearby shopping (both excellent)
- A guided tour of the whole city, thanks to Magnolia's desire to ride on the trolley-type tour car. This actually ended up being a great idea, as I learned way more about the town than I would have.
Check out our New Mexico Webisode!
Check out our newest YouTube webisode of our second week on Airstream's Endless Caravan! We made our way from Oklahoma down to North Texas, where we immediately bought some western wear, visited some family in the city and some family in the country, ate some good food, and played a fantastic house show!
Make sure and subscribe to our channel to keep up with our weekly webisodes! YouTube.com/aaronandkatietv
There are so many reasons why we love Airstream and love partnering with them. One of which, is there consistent effort to be more sustainable and more "green". And just one example of that effort is a side project that they have started called Leave It Beautiful. "Leave it Beautiful is an Airstream social action initiative that is inspired by the legacy of Airstream’s founder, Wally Byam, and the passion projects which many Airstreamers create and/or participate in today, " says the site.
Leave It Beautiful is about making the world a better place, one small action at a time. Its about all of us all coming together to take care of the nature areas that are so dear to us and so enriching to our lives. Airstreamers, RVers, campers, or really- ANYBODY can participate in this effort in several ways.
The website calls Leave it Beautiful "an interactive hub where Streamers and Dreamers (and all the In-Betweeners!) can create and share any projects that leave the world a more beautiful, better place to live, love and travel. From park clean ups to serving food, and fundraisers to building homes, Airstreamers have a long history of helping others, both on the road and also in their own communities."
How to start? First head over to the website and create a profile. Then, start or join a project! We started one that is simply called "Clean Up Your Campsite". We are aiming to leave each site that we visit on our tour even better than we found it. We would love for you to join our project and show us some pics of you cleaning up your campsite!
Even if you are not a camper (or you don't even visit the website)- you can be a part of Leave It Beautiful. Everyone of us has an impact on our world and our environment and small actions to improve even just your immediate surroundings will add up to a more beautiful place for us all.