She’s crafty

Almost been a week at our house/dogs sitting gig. Tara is Auntie Christy’s to be closer to school. Thanks Malia for driving her to school and back from practice. We miss her. But we will get to see tomorrow at her game. Teren has been sleeping inside to be with the dogs and his xbox. We’ve been in the driveway. It got so much better after we put blocks on to get Vanessa leveled.

So there have been talks of down sizing, yet again. Honestly this van was a gateway. I wanted the best I could get so that the fam would transition smoothly. And we have….we survived winter, spring, summer (kind of, we were in a lake house :), now fall and we figured a bunch stuff.

Why down size?

  1. So we can fit in more places and spaces. At 8’x25′ it can be tough.
  2. $$. Our current van(s) we pay a monthly payment. We want to be free of that.
  3. Moving parts. This LTV has a bunch of them. There are just parts on this rig we don’t need or use.

We had been interested at Van Do It after seeing one at Giant Bicycle festival. We talked with the rep, Dennis. Visited the van picked out the parts. We were actually going to thru another round of parts picking and they writing a deposit. Except….

I saw a post on IG that Van-Craft had two vans coming up for sale. They sent me the builds. I forwarded it to Almie. Well as luck would have it Almie would be in San Diego and their office is Oceanside. I said go check it out. She did a shop tour today and really liked what she saw. After her and I talked on the phone while she was in the parking lot and me at work, it was decided a down payment would be placed. I reached out to these guys in February 2018, inquiring on what they had, but instead we went with Zach at that time.

2 months or so….we will be moving again!!

If you are in the market or know someone who is for an RV/class b+ van I have lightly used LTV Serenity

I am savage…you fold a bed?? Don’t know what your talking about Your dad is doing it 85% of the time, what a savage.

One of the many selling points of VanDoIt. The bed

Selling point on Van-Craft, simplicity.

New season

So it’s been almost 2 weeks since we left our house sitting gig. That was a tough move back to the van move stuff wise. We (some of us) accumulated more stuff than what we had before. Both kids have been back in school, full swing. School work and sports. New teachers new teammates. We all are busy with a bunch of new stuff. Almie got a new job!! My office got relocated and moved to a newly renovated space in Bothell. Almie’s cousin came up to visit and she got to check out the van. We spent Labor Day hanging at my parents house in Bremerton organizing our “storage”. We did an emergency trip 2 days later to grab some of our documents. Hung out with Kevin this past weekend for his bday, drank and ate way too much. Almie got to talk van and life at Anjo’s bday party, too bad I couldn’t make it. Our October house sitting gig got cancelled but our mid September gig is on. During that 2 weeks Tara will be staying with Christy and Ben, she called them her host family, to make her commute to school/soccer easier. Since our gig will be in Lynnwood it will be hitting that Seattle traffic. Today I got a new bike. I traded Almie’s mountain bike and got a gravel bike. I plan to race ‘cross on it. I chatted on email today to a coworker about vanliving. I hope she gets inspired and reaches for her dream of owning a tiny house. We love telling/talking to new people about it. Almie got a chance to meet DeCastro’s neighbors, who have graciously allowed us to park while they go on vacations. Tonight we are staying at a new location! Usually when we hit a new spot you get a little of that uneasy anxious feeling. Not right now, fam is knocked out snoring. The Sy family and Mama Lou are very generous. They even offered to let us stay till next summer!! While it would be too easy to do that, we will keep it moving as to not go off our plan of frequenting the same place for too long to not overstay our welcome. We finally got to try some Salt and Straw ice cream. Part of our window in the back fell off when we driving. Getting a replacement has been a pain in the ass. Hope to get a new window as it’s starting to get colder and rain is coming. We are working on getting a new van. I think Vanessa got mad and decide to “lose” part of the window.

Moving day from my building of 12 years. 🙁

Can you find the missing piece?

She has decided to donate this shirt she got from SU when she was like 10. Congrats child on becoming your HS team captain.

Somewhat organized “storage unit”. Goal is get this way way down by next summer

My little dudes 1st day of 5th grade

Lucky enough….

In 3 days we will be leaving our house sitting gig which we have been at for almost 8 weeks. It has been a great time! It marks the ending of the summer. Tara is already back in school. Teren just got back from his month stay in San Diego, he has grown a bit. When he starts school, it will be the same day we go back into the van. We miss Vanessa. We will miss the lake house.

Thank you Dan and Angi for sharing your home, something that none of us will ever forget.

summer time and the living’s easy

Last update was July 13th.  It was has been a whirlwind….

We’ve been house sitting since early July.  Vanessa is parked at my parent’s house.  We miss being in there.  The house on the lake is pretty amazing though.  The house’s occupants are #vanliving thru Canada and many parts of the US as I write.  I will be doing a big road trip like that in my life, when….TBD.

Weekend of July 21-22nd we had a Borromeo cousin reunion.  Fun to see again and meet people of Almie’s past and hopefully future.  Lincoln city, Oregon has cold waters even in the summer.  We ate and drank lots.  Had a good time, enough so that talks of a 2nd annual in San Diego are coming.

A few days after Tara, Teren and I hit the road for San Diego.  We took Zach on his 1st road trip.  Picked up a soccer teammate in Orange County, they got tolls.  We hung at my inlaws for a few days.  Then dropped the soccer players at their hotel. I got to hang at my homeboy Jon’s house for a few days in Escondido.  Only 25 minutes from the soccer fields.  Got to help him pack for his up coming move.  I don’t miss doing that for my own move, it is and was stressful.  Got to hang with Godson, they grow so fast.  I snuck in a ride with Jojo.  So hot but so fun.  Met up Al to try to ride in Temecula but I locked my bike in the van, so we just had a nice breakfast and he showed me around.  While at the soccer games I ran into Tony (if you read this==send me our selfie :), Maeva, Michelle, Katie, Chris, Gee and Gen.  All these beautiful people were part of our 2016 soccer adventure in Philippines.  We left Teren in San Diego for the rest of his summer.  Tara and I hit the road for home.

San Diego to Slab City.  I used to do this drive to El Centro when I lived down there.  The desert landscape is beautiful. Giant rocks moved by nature.  We arrived at Salvation Mountain.  I wasn’t really feeling it cause it was 110F out there.  It is amazing to think someone dedicated a lot of their time to build a mountain that really reference faith, the motto “Jesus I am a sinner , please come upon my body and into my heart” “God is love”.  Got touristy and took lots of pics.  Chatted with the lady that was a docent, I like that word.  We ventured into Slab City.  But really only just on the pavement, didn’t want to risk getting stuck or having issues in the middle of the desert.  You need to go on youtube and search for slab city, there are tons and tons of videos.  It is after all the “last free place in America”.

Got back to Seattle and back to work. Some bike riding. Then more soccer at the girls last tournament of the summer. Now it’s soccer training for high school. Enjoying this weather.  Still love telling folks about the van.  Note to self, “car” battery of the van needs to be started or else it will die if left sitting for more than 3 weeks. Shout out to my dad for getting it charged up.

 

IMG_6743

6 month vanverisary interview!

This is a special guest interview with Tara….  Questions were created by Almie and myself.  Today is 6 months we have been officially been in the van.

Tell us about yourself:  My name is Tara.  I am senior at Holy Names Academy.  I like to play soccer and I live in a van (laughs) with my mom and and dawg (Teren).

What do you love most about living in the van?  I like the concept of being nomadic.  To experience challenges and new encounters.  I enjoy being close to my family even though it can get crazy sometimes.

How do you adjust to the lack of privacy? You simply don’t (laughs).  Only time I get privacy is when I close my eyes. Or when I use the bathroom.

What has been the most challenging?  Privacy.  Conserving water when showering is a challenge because I like taking long showers, despite that I feel like I’m doing my part to help the environment.  The curse of parking at Uncle Fel’s (across the street) on the slightly slanted ground, though I am grateful that we can stay there and park on the closer side sometimes.

How do you deal with being with your family all the time?  You simply just do.  As any family gets annoyed with each other, I just deal with it.  I also don’t mind it cause I like my family .

How do you manage your “stuff” with the little amount of space?  I think a majority of my “stuff” is the amount of clothing I have.  I think a good rule of thumb for me is every time I go shopping or get something new…one or two other things have to go.  Having my mom tightly roll everything into the drawers.

What have you learned about this life? I’ve learned minimalism is a good thing.  While we live in such a consumerist society, it’s good to remember “using things and loving people always works and the opposite never does” from the documentary The Minimalist.  How freaking expensive a house, mortgage, bills and all the other shit that comes with having a house really is.  I’ve learned to be appreciative and grateful to those who have welcomed and supported my family’s journey van living.

What advice would you give to someone interested in this life?  You got to be willing to explore what you don’t know.  You can’t be high maintenance, you could, but you probably wouldn’t experiencing the whole van life.  Invest in a gym membership because it’s a 2 in 1 deal you get to work out and conserve your water by taking a shower there.

Would you do this on your own?  Yes.  I’ve come to realize how many benefits come with van living.

How do you handle your showers?  Generally I do not take showers in the van because I take so long so typically I take showers at the gym.  Or other places that will not be named.

How do you like sharing a bed?  I don’t mind sharing a bed unless it’s with my brother because he kicks me in the face.

What do you miss most about living in a non moving house?  I miss my cat, uh-oh.

 

***************as I was interviewing her this song on came on.  This song bring sadness to me ever since I read what the writer was writing about.  He basically would give up everything in his life to be with his father again.  Just another reminder in life that stuff will never more that and your family\friends and the memories you have with them are more important.

click me –> everything i own

I do like the reggae version! <—click me

IMG_6743