Monday, September 01, 2008



Tag It! by Adriana Lunette (Amy)
Aren't these too cool? get yourself some today, click HERE

I know, I'm a spoiled Princess - though my birthday's not till mid-September, I already have my present. Really, its a good thing, because with Mr. Miles being an instructor, September is a crazy month and it sometimes feels like my birthday gets 'squeezed in' with everything else.

This was totally unexpected, really. If you would have told me a month ago that I would have this for my birthday I would not have believed it.

(click photos to view larger!)

You're going to laugh, looking at the following photos, because our old VW Vanagon was almost identical to this new/used one. It is... but it isn't. The layouts are very different, and this new one has everthing in pristine condition and good working order. The paint is IDENTICAL.

With our busy lives, we'd allowed the old one to (other than mechanically) fall into a state where, though it would be a DREAM for a 'fixer upper' sort of person, we could not have caught up to all that needed to be done. Things like door handles and hubcaps etc that we kept saying we'd fix ONE DAY. (Brother Dave, you won't have to be changing the tires on THIS one!)

Then along came the new one. Quite by chance. Mr. Miles driving by a dealership - actually spying one of the new fancy-schmancy ones... thinking I'd just like to take a gander at them, and we could DREAM about owning one of them. This one just happened to be parked next.

Our BIG DREAM was one day own a brand new sparkling RoadTrek or something like it... but you're looking at something up to like $100,000 and even higher - HA! It would have to have a built in place to hold our dentures in it if we waited till then, but we could always 'look', right?

So, I looked. The new VW Vanagons are nice, for sure. But for me, a bit 'sterile'. Pull down blinds and all that. Sorta boxlike and aerodynamic. Sleek. But not ME.

Mr. Miles opened the door to the new/old one, parked right next to the new one... and I KNEW the moment he opened it, I loved it. And that was the start of it all.

This was the one we sold, to buy our new/old one - am I confusing anyone yet? It always made me think of a gypsy caravan - for it was tall and swayed in a good wind when we traveled. It had a lot of custom work done inside, all wood, which gave it a truly homey feel. We had two beds in that one, but never slept 'up top' - for we used that area for storage, and somehow with it being a 'hard top' it did not seem as romantic as a tent 'pop up' top.

Because of all the custom work in it, we often had strangers approach us and we'd give them the 'tour'.

We were blessed to sell this one right away... you see Vanagon People are VERY passionate about our vehicles. We wave to each other on the highway - and not like "hi, how are ya?"... no its like "we know what you know" - that kind of thing. Like a Happy Club or something. We just know the lady who purchased ours (referred by our VW mechanic - ya, VW people are "like that") - yes, we KNOW the adventures and memories she's going to build around the old one for many years to come. Its not JUST a vehicle to drive. It was sold in less than a week.

Do you know, there's an entire website devoted to Vanagons - people sharing all the mechanical information, but so much more than that - their photos, videos and adventures. Postings on events where if you have worn out the ear of all your friends and relatives, you could go and be amongst other "Vanagoners" Just click HERE.

I even found a site where these vehicles are rented out. To me, it says volumes about the quality and reliability of VW Vanagons when a rental company can make a business out of these 20+ year old vehicles. Now my Sister, who lives where they rent these from COULD rent one if we come and we could drive off into the BC sunset together (ok, perhaps thats just TOO cheesey) - but really, if you look thru the slideshow, our Van is EXACTLY like the one they've named Charlie Brown, we could BE THE SAME! (look under Adventures - Some of the Fleet, then click thru)

Just click HERE to visit the site, to see the layout of ours - go to OUR RENTALS, then LAYOUT OPTIONS, then DELUXE CAMPER. Pretty nifty, right?

And, can't say enough kind words about the service at the VW Dealership (Abbotsford) ... they treated us ROYALLY - you would have thought we bought a high-end Jetta or something. The staff were so helpful and accommodating. The van was FRESHLY repainted and spic and span, inside and out.

Our van, was previously owned by ONE owner, who, in their 80's decided to trade in on something smaller. Lucky for us - for ME!

Last night, we camped down by the lake. Not at a campsite, just a quiet spot, and Popped the Top and we slept up there, on the 'top bunk', under the bazillion stars in the sky. And the only sounds we could hear as we drifted off to contented sleep was the lapping of the waves on the lakeshore, and me sighing with happiness.

MUAH to my sweet husband, who makes something wonderful and amazing happen every year for my birthday - and no, you won't have to try to top this next year... because I'll be 50, this year is a BIG birthday year!


A huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to Virelle Kidder for her generosity in donating this book for giveaway, and for her wonderful ministry to Joy at this very difficult time. Your thoughtfulness has surely touched far more lives than just Joy's thru this experience.

If you did not win, you can still buy this book by clicking HERE.

All of the names went 'into the hat' and out came...


Melanie, if you read this, Virelle will have emailed you, but you should be sure to contact her and make certain she has your mailing address. Thanks to all who entered this contest - who knows, we may have another in the future!

Joy emailed me to say its been a very difficult time since she lost her Mother, but she will post in the future. She's so grateful for all of the love poured out upon her.

I can tell you, its certainly touched me - in a big way.


  1. way to go looks beautiful...and it will hold lots of good memeories to ...can't wait to see deserve it and yes we all know about who turns 50 this year..hehehe:):)..well I will chat to you real soon you sis ..awesome job Miles ...

  2. I have a VW too - buit nothing as fun as that. It is a 7 seater red Touran (my bus) ideal for school runs, and packing up for the cottage....but not as much fun as yours would be :)

  3. Girl, that is so funny - cause I was looking at the pic and thinking.. um, that looks a bit diff, but not all at the same time (then I read the info). LOL!

    WOO HOO! And you can see totally hot Mr M in the background taking the pic. :) Tell the man hi!

    I really want to see you next summer, so tell him that staying at home on that gorgeous piece of land you have now is NOT an option!

    LOVE YA!~G

  4. Oh you lucky, lucky gel you! I am TOTALLY jealous!!!!

    I hope you have many, many, many happy adventures and explores in your new/old van!!!

  5. Good Evening Barb:)
    Happy Early Birthday! are totally spoiled.LOL How fun.!Congratulations on your new addition to your family:)
    Jim was off of work today and we went thrift storing.:)Hmmm...Bet you could fit a lot of your little yard sale treasures in that van...cause you can pop the top.LOL
    BTW..I have an award for you on my blog.Now I know you don't pass them on..but you still need to come get this one...cause it's from ME.hehe


  6. Congratulations on yuor birthday and your birthday present.

  7. Woohoo~ Happy early Bday! What a great surprise. We are VW people too, although we don't currently have one. Believe me, however, my DH is checking them out everywhere we go and I'm sure we have another in the future. In fact he has already told both kids they'll have VWs someday! LOL, I was going to tell you about the Vanagon webstie but it sounds like you've already found one. We have a friend that is a regular at, which is another hangout!

    Have fun with your new toy!

  8. Very cool birthday present!! Thanks for the birthday poem, I loved it!! LOL

  9. OOOOOH- what a Bday pressy girlfriend!! Holey smokes! you lucky fish you.- hahahaha. So when is the BIG DAY!!???- tell tell.

    And you won't believe it but our first car ( together) was a VW Kombi ( the old ones) and it was also done out at the back with a bed and cupboards/grill etc. We used it for going away on weekends! We upgraded to a VW Caravelle Exclusive which we only sold 3 years ago for my new car now-lol. They are such great vehicles for traveling and carring passangers!

    So saddened to hear about Joys mom-I've been to leave her some love too.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your grab bag- I'm such a sucker for styles and yours are DELISH! Can't wait to play- at least I'm sort of caught up on all the *have too's* now-lol. Should have some free time in the next few days to PLAY- YIPPPEEEEEEE.

    Sending huge hugs and loves

  10. Love those label stickers!

    Great story about your VWs!

  11. Oh Barb!!! I should SO be in bed, but accidentally (not really, meant-to-be!) clicked on SAVE TEMPLATE rather than VIEW TEMPLATE and have spent several hours redoing my blog. I ended up attaching a link to your blog beneath the "I'm Proud To Be American" flag you gifted many of us with and clicked on it to make sure it worked properly and HERE I AM!!!

    WOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! You GO girl and NO, you are NOT spoiled, you are simply WELL taken care of honey by a WONDERFUL man who LOVES you to pieces!!! AWESOME taste and selection there girlfriend! I used to be a VW girl and owned a 1970 Super Beetle, which was the first car I purchased from a car lot at the age of 19! LOL! I'm chuckling as I spent most of our last conversation with my BIL and SIL before leaving Yosemite talking about things that JUST happened to take place when I was 19!!! I'm beginning to believe that it was, indeed, a rather MONUMENTAL year for MOI!!!

    I LOVE the way in which you have showcased your series of SPECTACULAR photos and thank you for the INSPIRATION to be MORE creative in posting my photos!!!

    I'm with Kim B on the LOVELY grab bag styles - THANK YOU SO MUCH and I am REALLY, REALLY looking forward to playing with them this week!

    My condolences to Joy for the loss of her mother. You were just speaking to me about her last we chatted. Though her mom is in a MUCH better place without pain and a failing mind, my thoughts and prayers are with Joy and family as they grieve the loss of a VERY special member of their family.

    Take care sweetie - hope to catch up with you soon and won't you PLEASE let us know when the BIG DAY is??? PRETTY PLEASE???

    BIG HUGS and some LOVIN',
    Linda :)


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