more »" />

#SXSWFRESH – Let the Journey Begin

by Meghann on March 6, 2012

Say HELLO to my new home for the next few days.

IMG_0161.JPG

Chevy hooked us up on our journey to SXSW! We are riding in style in a brand new 2012 Chevy Tahoe with OnStar Navigation, onboard WiFi, drop down DVD player, sunroof, comfy leather seats, and so much more. If you’re going to road trip, THIS is how you do it.

IMG_0162.JPG

For the next three days, I’ll be blogging from the road as my teammates and I (Go Team Fresh Squeezed!) make our way from Orlando to Austin for South By Southwest. Along the way, we’ll be stopping at local schools to raise awareness for Adopt-A-Classroom - an awesome organization that places the resources teachers need directly in the classroom. To learn more about Adopt-A-Classroom – or to donate to the cause – check out our team page at FreshSqueezedSXSW.com.

IMG_0104.JPG

Our first classroom was right here in Orlando!

IMG_0159.JPG

We had the honor of visiting Ivey Lane Elementary School this afternoon to say a special hello to Mrs. Fowler’s kindergarten class.

IMG_0157.JPG

IMG_0155.JPG

Our first group shot! Say hello to the rest of the members of ‘Fresh Squeezed’: Nick, J,  Josh, and me. :)

IMG_0153.JPG

After we signed in the vice principal, Mr. J, gave us a tour of the school. He wanted to show us some of the great things that programs – like Adopt-A-Classroom – are doing in action.

IMG_0109.JPG

He showed us a garden patch that the local community had built for the school.

IMG_0112.JPG

The garden teaches the children where their food originates from and how a seed can grow to a plant with just some soil and a little water. Throughout the year, the school has several projects that revolve around the garden area, including their recent salsa project where the students grew all the ingredients for a basic salsa recipe then made the salsa using the fresh ingredients right from the garden. Pretty creative, right?

It gets better. ;)

Do you know how the students water the garden? With water collected from a rain catcher that a few of the older students had designed and built in the classroom.

IMG_0115.JPG

They’re also teaching the kids to be resourceful. ;)

IMG_0117.JPG

Next, we paid a visit to one of the coolest science classrooms around.

IMG_0131.JPG

The science room was FULL of fun lab materials, ongoing experiments, and…

IMG_0132.JPG

…furry classroom pets.

IMG_0123.JPG

Ummm… they weren’t all furry.

IMG_0122.JPG

“Do you want to hold the corn snake?”

Ummmm…….

IMG_0124.JPG

“I’ll take that as a yes”

IMG_0125.jpg IMG_0126.jpg IMG_0127.jpg

His name was Wakaflocka Slither. We’re now BFFs.

Every time a new pet is introduced to the science lab, the students have a contest to name him or her. Wakaflocka Slither? Awesome name. Next time I get a pet, I’m polling elementary aged kids for a name. ;)

IMG_0136.JPG

Finally, we ended our tour at Mrs. Fowler’s kindergarten classroom.

IMG_0137.JPG

The students were so sweet, so welcoming, and so well behaved!

The class knew we were on our way to Texas via the Chevy Tahoe, but they wanted to share with us how THEY would get to Texas. Let’s just say they got creative.

IMG_0139.JPG IMG_0141.JPG

*photographed children have signed releases from their parents with written approval to appear on the blog

My favorites? By skateboard, by scooter, and by dragon. :)

IMG_0143.JPG

Then we shared a road-trip themed story with the class.

IMG_0148.JPG

And illustrated just how far it really is from Florida to Texas ( a looonnngggg way).

IMG_0151.JPG

At the end we collected all of the artwork that the class created for us. We plan to collect art from every classroom we visit along the way and add it to the HUGE collage Chevy and Adopt-A-Classroom are creating at SXSW. I can’t wait to see what the other classes have come up with from around the country!

IMG_0154.JPG

We had a blast visiting with Mrs. Fowler’s class, but we had a long journey ahead of us and needed to get on the road!

Thank you Mr. J and Mrs. Fowler for allowing us to visit your wonderful school!

Just a reminder that Ivey Lane Elementary is one of three schools our team is sponsoring on our journey to SXSW. Any money we fundraise on the road will go directly to Ivey Lane to support programs like their garden, amazing science lab, or materials for their arts and crafts projects like the ones they created today. Learn more HERE.

Backing up…

Today’s journey didn’t really begin in Orlando. It really began in Tampa, where I started my car and realized my stereo still looked like this:

IMG_0093.JPG

A 2 hour drive to Orlando with no music? Hmm…. I don’t think so.

Here’s my solution.

IMG_0094.JPG

I rigged an ipod up to a portable speaker in my car. Not ideal, but it worked. Otherwise I might have gone a little crazy in dead silence for 2 hours.

I left Tampa around 11:30 and stopped at a rest area to eat lunch on the way.

IMG_0097.JPG

IMG_0095.JPG IMG_0096.JPG

I packed an almond butter, strawberry, and pumpkin butter sandwich on dark german wheat bread

IMG_0098.JPG

IMG_0099.JPG

A bag of carrots

IMG_0100.JPG

and apple sauce.

IMG_0102.JPG

Right now we are somewhere between Orlando and Tallahassee and I am on the verge of kissing Chevy’s feet for hooking us up with onboard WiFi. I’ve never been in a car that has has it’s own WiFi signal before and I have to say that it’s pretty bad ass. My car doesn’t even have automatic locks or windows – hell, my car doesn’t even have a stereo at the moment – so it really doesn’t take much to impress me, but I think this takes the cake.

Now I have no excuse to do any work on the road. ;)

150 miles down – 1050 more to go!

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather March 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

HOW FUN! I hope you have a blast. As a former teacher, I think adopt a classroom is amazing!

Reply

2 Rachel Wilkerson March 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I’ve rigged up SO many iPod listening systems like that in my car over the years! Last year (on my way home from SXSW coincidentally) I just opened my laptop in the front seat and blasted iTunes. A girl’s gotta do.

Reply

3 Chelsea March 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Did the students sign the releases? Wouldn’t their parents have to?

Have a safe trip!

Reply

4 Stacie D. March 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Their parents probably signed them prior to the team arriving. At the school I teach at the release form is part of the papers that are completed at the beginning of school. It typically covers all type of media releases (photos, local news coverage, newspapers, etc).

Reply

5 crystal March 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm

And kudos to Meghan for thinking of the releases before posting pictures. That is a huge privacy/safety thing nowadays, especially with custody issues.

Reply

6 Meghann March 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I can’t take the credit for that – J was the one who worked with the schools and teachers to make sure the kids had releases. She’s our team captain superstar!

Reply

7 Mica March 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Hey Meghann!

What kind of gas mileage are you getting in the Tahoe while carrying you and all the luggage for the trip? It seems like it has all the amenities for a comfortable road trip, but I’m curious to know how efficient it is.
(I’m totally not trying to sound accusatory. I’m curious!)

Reply

8 Meghann March 6, 2012 at 6:29 pm

No problem! We’re getting roughly 22 miles per gallon on the interstate.

Reply

9 Silvia @ skinny jeans food March 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Now, if Chevy would also integrate Google’s self driving car capabilities, traveling long distances would be a breeze :-)

Reply

10 Kristen @ notsodomesticated March 6, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Fun!! And strawberries on a sandwich?? That’s a new one to me, but I like it!

Reply

11 Heather @ Better With Veggies March 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Onboard wifi? I’ve never even heard of that – very cool! Have a great trip. :)

Reply

12 Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon March 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm

A car with wifi? Say WHAT!?

Reply

13 Army Amy* March 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm

That school looks amazing! I want to be a student there!*

Reply

14 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Wi-fi car? That would make a road trip so much more tolerable!!

Sounds like you had a fun field trip to the school. I’m sure the kids loved it! I remember when we had special visitors. It was so exciting!

Reply

15 Silvia @ skinny jeans food March 6, 2012 at 7:38 pm

They should call it the blogger mobile ;-)

Great reporting on the classroom. Hope you raise lots of money! Sounds like a great school!

Reply

16 Heather March 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Wait… what happened to your stereo? Wasn’t stolen, was it? Yeesh!

Reply

17 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats March 6, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Okay 1) that car is awesome, how lucky are you?!? And 2) what a great school! I love the garden and teaching kids how things grow. I feel like most children these days couldn’t Recognize most vegetables!

Reply

18 MrsSwan March 6, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Wifi in a car is friggen awesome! I had no idea there was such a thing. Is it like 3G included or is there a monthly fee like onstar?

Reply

19 Carissa March 6, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Wait did someone steal your radio???? That’s insane! Also insane..that awesome car..so can you blog from the car? Because if so I’m buying one NOW…and a person to drive me around!

Reply

20 Coco March 6, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Wow- what an awesome car!!! Seems like you guys are off to a great start :)

Reply

21 Megan @ Megan's Munchies March 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm

What an incredible journey already! Can’t wait to follow the rest of your trip!

Reply

22 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City March 6, 2012 at 9:37 pm

What a great trip, have a blast!

Reply

23 Lily March 6, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Wow you’re awesome! That is such a great thing you’re doing :) HAVE FUN ON YOUR ROADTRIP!!

Reply

24 ash bear March 6, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I’m so excited for your trip! How great that it benefits wonderful schools like today’s elementary school! Was it weird to be back in the classroom? You like Chevy Tahoe’s these days don’t you? WIFI? Who knew!?

Reply

25 Alyssa March 6, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I’m so disappointed to learn you’ll be in Austin. I JUST moved from Austin to NYC less than 2 weeks ago. You are one of my favorite bloggers whom I’ve been following since 2008 and would have loved to meet you in person. my longest road trip was Rochester, NY to Austin…then again most recently moving from Austin to NYC! FL to Austin is nothin!

BTW – I KNOW Nick, we briefly interned together back in 2008 in Rochester, NY at the D&C RocLoop.com..Small world after all!

And one tip for Austin, be sure to test out our food truck scene, one of the best in the nation! One of my favorites is Kebabalicious (for real eats) http://www.austinkebab.com/ and Holy Cacao for dessert! Get the Brass Balls for PB heaven! http://www.theholycacao.com/food/item/brass-cake-balls/

Reply

26 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 6, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Wifi in the CAR? OK, I’m impressed.

Reply

27 Yasmin March 7, 2012 at 8:31 am

I feel like you’re a celebrity coming to my stomping ground, Austin. It’s too bad you’re going to be super busy because I would love to meet you! Have safe travels and enjoy the road trip and your visit to the ATX!

Reply

28 Christina March 7, 2012 at 9:52 am

What an awesome fundraiser! So nice of Chevy to hook yall up! The garden projects at the school sound like such a great idea. I would have freaked out tho if they tried to hand a snake to me.. no bueno

Maybe yall can play the Alphabet game while on the road :)

Reply

29 Nikki March 7, 2012 at 10:43 am

Meghann, this is seriously AMAZING! I am extremely jealous. As a graduate student in education, I am seriously in awe over the pictures and the amazing things that school is doing! What a spectacular experience. I wish I had your life! :)

Reply

30 Elisabeth March 7, 2012 at 10:58 am

That is so cool of you guys to be involved in this project – major props for working for $ for schools :) Oh, and the wi-fi on vehicle?? Totally awesome!

Reply

31 LizP March 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Love the idea to help classrooms!

One surprise- there is no dresscode (short shorts, ripped jeans?) when visiting elementary schools? Especially when you are representing an organization or company?

Reply

32 Joss March 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm

That science classroom looks soooo cool :D And love the idea of the gardens and collecting the rain water!

Reply

33 Calvin March 7, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I swore off American cars but this post is making me rethink my position! Have fun riding in style.

Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: