Yesterday, the town of Jackson was hosting a father's day celebration with music and food trucks, so we decided to try to head over and check it out. The weather had different plans, and we barely got past the Wyoming-Idaho stateline before the Teton Pass turned into a skating rink. Hail the size of marbles was coming down on us combined with snow and lightening. We didn't make it too much further before we turned around!
We had a bit of a scare last night. Who am I kidding? My heart was nearly escaping my chest as I fought back tears seeing how Olin was not feeling too well. We checked her temperature early in the day, and it showed around 99.0- which we figured was from her teething pains. She had also had a diaper rash that we'd been keeping a close eye on, so that was a bit of a worry too. Later in the night, she was totally not acting her crawl-around-go-happy self. A bit of a worrier as is, I began scrolling through the list of possibilities in my mind. We had popped over to the market earlier and bought some antifungal cream incase the rash was in fact a yeast infection. Her temp hit 103.4, and after Collin spoke with her doctor (Thank goodness they have a late night on-call), we were advised to continue monitoring her temp over the next 24 hours and watch for signs of unusual behavior (like extreme pain). After a sleepless night, we took turns checking her temp every couple of hours and with some rest and children's Ibuprofen- she is back down around 98.0 THANK GOODNESS. Around 1:00 AM, Taco was pacing all around and Collin took him out and was surprised with explosive diahrrea. He went to sleep in the van with Taco, as I stayed inside my uncle's house with Olin to keep an eye on her. Taco poo'd on our bed in the van and on the floor (praise vinyl flooring). And also, we had a foam pad and extra sheets on the bed, so it was fixable. We are very lucky right that our fam is letting us hang out with them, putting up with the van being broken down in the driveway, and in a situation where we are close to clinics and doctors where Olin can receive care if needed. So, the carb couldn't have honestly went out at a better place or time. We have actually been pretty lucky this whole trip when it comes to timing and meeting people who know stuff about older vehicles. That all being said, we are still eager to get on the road and back into #VANLIFE routine on our search for home.
The familiar waiting game.
Obsessively checking the status of the UPS shipment, our Rochester Quadrajet carburetor will arrive in Jacksonville, Florida this Thursday "by the end of the day." Olin is able to get in some quality time visiting with cousins and it is so nice to finally get to hang with our family here. We need to find a place by August- September, including jobs and housing since the summer season out this way is fairly short. If all else fails, we can drive South for the winter, but our hearts crave a place with snow thicker than Eugene Levy's eyebrows. So- let the waiting prevail and the search will soon continue.
In the Meantime...
Collin has been able to revive some creativity and make some videos while I've been able to throw some thoughtful words into my novel. And, we have gotten several jumps in on the trampoline with the fam and even roasted some BROWNIE s'mores which I strongly encourage everyone and their mother to try.
1. Bake brownies, take out a little early so the batter is still chewy & soft.
2. Make campfire and hang out around it with fam.
3. Smear brownie on one side of Graham Cracker.
4. Build S'more as usual.
5. Have your mind blown.
Olin visiting her cousins Shane & Bode and Uncle Jake!
Well yesterday we were able to ship our carburetor off to Jacksonville, FL. Luckily the issue we were having will be covered under warranty, but it's going to take a while to get things shipped around. In the mean time our computer has (barely) started working again, so we're able to catch up on a few things. Our iPhone's storage are pretty much completely full, so filming and editing through iMovie has been next to impossible as well. We did manage to put together this little video of our journey from Michigan to now!
We spent yesterday afternoon visiting some of our favorite spots in Victor and showing Olin around some of the spots Mom & Dad hung out before she was around. The rain had been coming down for most of the morning and finally cleared up, Olin was very excited to get in her Burley and go for a little tour. Our first stop was Grand Teton Brewing, one of the very first places Allie & I went together when we started dating. Gotta say, these are some of our favorite beers out of anywhere we've ever been. We started with a Lost Continent IPA and Teton Range IPA while Olin snacked on some popcorn and played with rocks. After a lengthy discussion on whether or not we should try to ride up to Driggs, we decided to stay put and have a few more beers. I had a 208 Golden Ale, one of my all time faves, and Allie had a Bitch Creek ESB, and even got a sweet shirt to match it. By this point we were getting hungry and decided to call in a carryout order for dinner down the road and have one more beer while we waited. I opted for another 208 while Allie got a Sweetgrass Ale this time. Olin ate another bowl of popcorn and met a friend in the mean time! That's probably why we love to go to Grand Teton Brewing- people are very laid back, and it's extremely easy to make friends, even for kids!
Olin hopped back into her Burley and took the short ride over to Brakeman Burger to pick up dinner. Dad was pretty excited to take her there, because it's his favorite place to get a burger in the valley. Olin & Mom split a little cheeseburger with fries, which she absolutely loved. She was even dipping her fries into the fry sauce by herself! After we finished dinner we rode over to Victor Valley Market and pick up some snacks for later. Allie got the trivia question of the day right and won herself a cookie. On the way out, we ran into some old friends and caught up on the sidewalk. We made it back to the van just in time to get settled in for the night before the rain started.
Can't wait to see what we get into today!
When Collin and I decided to share our journey via the internet, we decided to share both the good and the bad stuff and be as transparent as possible. Before we had the van, we did A LOT of research into the lifestyle and lots of homework on which kind of van would be best for our family. It seemed like everyone already doing it, like many things you see posted on the internet, was living easy and effortless lives and stoked-happy 24/7. The first thing we agreed not to do after getting the van was live through Instagram. We didn't want to turn our exciting family van trip into a scheme to acquire the most likes on the gram- so we deleted it. And yeah, we are still doing Hashtag Vanlife, just without the hashtag. We share photos and videos on our Youtube channel for those who enjoy following the journey and pics on our Facebook for friends, family, and new friends we meet along the way.
So, here's the truth.
It's not all glamour and sunsets everyday. Some days, we are too tired from driving and the set up/ tear down to even make it to sunset. I had a pretty selfish expectation going into this lifestyle assuming my family and I would be trekking huge new mountain peaks everyday just in time to settle into a camp spot by crystal glacial waters by 5pm and get delicious new recipe dinners cooked on the propane stove in time to have our daughter in bed by 8:30 pm. While we have went on some pretty awesome hikes, kayaked beautiful mountain-fed lakes, and scored some pretty sweet sunsets at mountainside camp spots (And okay, we had some pretty bitchin' van-style fajitas the other night), just because you're living in a van doesn't make you any less human. You still get tired. You still do laundry and dishes. Sometimes, the van feels like it needs to be rearranged just like the old living room at our condo. I guess what I am trying to get at here is, there still needs to be a balance whether you're living in a van, a mansion, or a teepee. And, living in a van doesn't necessarily mean an easier or more glamorous life. It just means sacrificing a few extra bills and substituting them with gas receipts and changing up the view more. Which, works for us. As with everything in life, it has been and continues to be a learning experience.
So, currently we are broken down in Victor, Idaho.
As the mom in the family, I feel amidst a 27-year old life crisis, again. There are days I question everything, wondering if I am making poor decisions for my family. We entered this lifestyle as a means to "get back west" and with a very hopeful and open mindset to seek new opportunities in the career realm. We have this crazy, near insane, urge to follow our dreams and our hearts. But there are mornings that we wake up with an uneasy feeling in our stomachs wondering what in the hell we are doing. And I have to remind myself that we woke up with even bigger, nastier pits in our stomachs when we were trapped in jobs we were not passionate about or had no room to grow with along with living in an HOA unit that micromanaged our daily existence. We entered this lifestyle with ambition and a pretty low budget. We have a couple jobs lined up for backup income if we hit our agreed upon $900.00 in the bank. At times, nerves get us and leave me thinking that I am not doing the right thing for my daughter. But then we pass a herd of wild buffalo grazing in front of the mountains where we first met, and I couldn't think of anyone I'd rather share that with than my family.
The truth about Vanlife?
We still bicker like people who love each other do that live in ordinary homes. We still struggle to find time to ourselves and together, as a family seeking balance with a new addition does. And damn it, our dogs still act like dogs when they get in a tight space around other animals. The thing is, we are vulnerable right now and shamelessly exposed to our very own destiny. Yet, we still don't know exactly what's around the corner.
Dogs & Diapers