So our first city on our 5 week RV trip was….drum rolls…PITTSBURGH!!! 🚎💨You can follow our journey across the Midwest and down the Mississippi River at @rvtheryet on Instagram and this blog www.sprintingwiththeshaps.com
Since Abby Lee is in jail it appears as though she has leased out the studio to a new company called Appolonia Leake Dance Company. But when we took a tour inside there was many recognizable landmarks from the show!
From the uncoveringpa.com site “VISITING RANDYLAND: THE HAPPIEST PLACE IN PENNSYLVANIA…Stand outside of Randyland and you might think that it’s a quirky art project and a great way to fix up a once-dilapidated house. However, when I asked owner and creator Randy Gilson what Randyland was, he responded with a very simple answer: “Randyland is a giant heart of love.”
There are no words to explain what my eyes saw and my heart felt.❤️ It was a beautiful jumble of colors🌈, and paint🎨, and art and junk turned treasure, and nature, and culture and LOVE💗. There was LOVE And HAPPINESS everywhere you look.
You could spot Randyland blocks away because the colors were beautifully blinding and the architecture was well…extremely UNIQUE.
I was so excited that I took a wrong turn and ended up in Randy’s house. Well THAT was an interesting way to meet Randy! As I was walking around from room to room 🚶🏽♀️🚶🏽♀️🚶🏽♀️I thought to myself well this is INCREDIBLY generous of Randy to allow fans to walk through his personal space like a museum. Then I heard the voice “yoohoo!” And I shouted out “am I not suppose to be up here???”🤦🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️ and I did an about face and headed down the stairs and was greeted by a smiley blonde RANDY! 💁🏼♂️We both giggled about how awkward it was that I just gave myself a tour of his home and he was totally SO SWEET and directed me towards the Randyland gardens. 🌈💐🌷
First thoughts that came to mind were WHO?WHAT?WHEN?WHERE?WHY?HOW? It’s something you’ve never experienced before and may never experience again! You know the saying “one mans junk is another mans treasure”. This should be the motto for Randyland!!! Randy is the “Master in the art of making something worthwhile out of what is seen as worthless”. He gives new life to the meaning “repurpose, reuse, recycle” ♻️ Randy is the ultimate dogooder “Gilson purchased the home now known as Randyland in 1995. Dipping into his savings as a waiter, he purchased the home and began to clean it up. He had been working on cleaning up the neighborhood for almost 10 years at that point. Removing trash, setting up community gardens, and putting flowers in front of abandoned buildings got him in trouble with the police more than once, but his goal was always to make the neighborhood a better place to live.”
We walked over to ask Randy so I could ask how the gardens came about and he gave my girls the most beautiful inspirational pep talk ever. 👨🏼🙌🏽 He told us how he was homeless as a child and he used to dig in the garbage collecting toys and giving them to his siblings. He also said that he tries to mentor local homeless kids and allows them to help in his garden. What a special guy! 👏🏽🙌🏽
It brought tears to me eyes. 😅☺️ With every sentence he spoke he exuded SO MUCH KINDNESS. I’ve met nice people but Randy will always stand out as one of the NICEST people I’ve ever met. 👍🏽He told us he is constantly adding new pieces of art to his garden.
He has a special section of hundreds of painted arrows with the word WELCOME from around the world. When someone from a new country comes he has them paint the word WELCOME in their native language!🇰🇳🇻🇮🇸🇿🇺🇬🇹🇰🇺🇾🇨🇭🇼🇫 SO COOL!
It was such a beautiful experience and I’m so glad that my family got to experience the LOVE that was Randyland!!! ❤️💛💚💙👨🏼
We jumped back in the RV and headed to Bicycle Heaven.
We ended our day at the Carnegie Science Center at the building called Highmarks SportsWorks to let off some steam!
After an action packed day 😴 we packed up the RV and headed out. So as to not cross paths we waited for Trump to depart Ohio this morning 🙄 so we could safely enter the state without seeing his dreadful face! 🚎💨👋🏽 NEXT STOP OHIO! 👏🏽