We are down to the final stretch before leaving our possessions and family behind. We are filled with excitement, last-minute jitters and, ever so slightly, a bit of doubt. OK, maybe doubt is not the right word to describe it as it has little to do with the actual trip itself. We are quite excited to get back on the road. The main cause for our concern is Luka. There are a couple of small but lingering health-related problems we were hoping to resolve.
Getting your trailer ready for some serious boondocking usually calls for some type of replenish-able, off-grid power source like adding solar panels and a generator. However, power generation is only 1 part of the formula when considering ways to build up your off-grid power. You will also need to consider ways to increase power storage capacity as well as items to help lower your consumption. The latter two are frequently ignored even though they can be more cost efficient.
Last night was our first night in the Airstream as our full time home. Because of some problems with our buyer’s lender, they had to extend their escrow closing day. You’d think we are glad to have a few extra days to move out, but the changes in plans are actually a bit aggravating. We have had our plans in place and this was not going to change them.
Now that we are a family of 5, traveling in the Airstream is a bit more challenging than before. Our last extended trip was our tour of the southwest in the fall of 2011 when we attended the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Since then, we have installed new solar panels and added Luka to the roster of our road trippers. Both additions worked out surprisingly well in their first outing a couple of weeks ago at our local KOA. We intentionally opted for a dry campsite to see how much the solar panels can handle. Although it does not completely replenish our batteries daily with only 100-watts of maximum output, it reassures us that we will at least put enough juice back in to run the bare necessities.
Over 6 months after we returned from our first cross country trip, we have only been on a few local trips. One trip to San Onofre State Beach and another one to Lake Casitas just up the hills from our house. Many of the causes are just us getting back into the swing of things and overwhelmed with work, kids and household chores. But one of the biggest reasons that we did not jump right back into a big trip is that Mali Mish really needed to spend some quality time at her Airstream Resort and Spa of her choice: C & G Trailers.
The girls are excited for Mali Mish that she is going in to get much needed work done. Don’t worry, we DO put seat belts on them when we are driving. We are not driving in this photo, put the phone down, there is no need to get the cops involved.
It was inevitable. We had been talking to everyone about it for too long and we have gotten to the point where we could not back out of this one even if we wanted to. But all joking aside, we have been waiting for this day to come for a long, long time.
Rain and Mali Mish seem to go together. On our very first trip in her to Lake Isabella, it rained on us for the first 2 nights we ever spent in her. Now as we are about to embark on our first cross country trip, we are having the heaviest rain we have seen in years.
As the title of this post suggests, we now have each been issued a 49 square foot space in the Airstream that we can call our own. Actually it will be less than that because the toilet, shower, fridge, oven and all of those niceties are talking up much of those precious space inside the aluminum walls of our soon-to-be-called home.
Happy third birthday to my little Ava! Hope you had a good one!
Today is Ava’s 3rd birthday. It is also the start of our last full week at home before we head out on my long awaited journey.
Even though we are not officially headed eastward until February, we have a trip planned in Northern California. We wanted to spend some time with my family who lives in the Bay Area before we take off on this adventure, so we decided to pack up and head up to San Jose for a week or so before swooping back through Southern California one last time. This trip will be a good way for us to figure out if we packed everything we will need for the trip. Whatever we forget to bring, we will have one last chance to come back to get it. Like-wise with items we feel that we will not need to lug around with us, we can drop it back off at home during the drive through.
We made the tiniest dent on our to-do list today. We successfully crossed off item #5 by signing up for a mail forwarding service. A mail forwarding service basically collects all of your mail for you and keeps it until you are ready for it. And when you are ready for it, they ship it to your current location. Easy as that.
We chose the basic package that will cost us $12 a month. And then each time they forward us our mail, they will tack on shipping charges plus a $2 handling fee. Not bad! I was expecting a lot worse for some reason.
So… the rumors are true… we are hitting the road!
In less than a month!!
And we haven’t done jack shit yet!!!
Well, that’s a little white lie. We did do one thing. We made a “to-do list”. It’s 25 items long. And it’s 25 items long not because that is all we need to do. But because we ran out of room on the white board! Sad. I know.
On Friday, we left for another little adventure down the street. To a place called Malibu Creek State Park. I just love the feeling of being in the van again with the Airstream in tow… especially as we just start pulling it onto the open road.
We usually hit the road directly from the house. But this time, we decided to leave right after daycare. It took a couple trips around the block to find a big enough parking spot for our set-up but we eventually found one.
Stay tuned for Day 1 of our trip to Malibu Creek State Park.