life

Our Happy Place: Our portable, compact vacation property

We finally took the plunge and joined the RV world. Ever since I had my first panic attack while tent camping three years ago, we’ve been trying to decide the best way to make the leap. Yes, we’re both overthinkers, and as I mentioned in my bathroom series we’re also very debt-averse, so it wasn’t a decision we made lightly. Obviously, since it took three years!

But seriously, a trailer, a fifth wheel or a motorhome, a truck camper or a tent trailer, there are so many factors to consider. Ultimately, we decided we didn’t want to deal with another motorized vehicle and the added expense and headache that could create. A truck camper is too small and not my kind of thing so that was easy to nix also. So then we waffled about a trailer, not wanting to store it away from the house but not having enough room to store it behind the front of our house. The bylaws, and some neighbours in our municipality are pretty rigid, so parking it on the driveway is not an option. Not really our thing, either.

Searching Facebook marketplace, a 1996 Jayco tent trailer came up for a decent price not too far from our house. Living on an island we don’t have quite the same access and availability as people on the mainland, so you have to move fast. This seemed the perfect solution, small enough to park in the driveway, but large enough for us to use as a family.

It’s in beautiful shape for a 23 year old camper, so despite assuring each other we would walk away and think about it overnight, we made an offer right away and drove it home the next day.

After a minor Griswold moment that our awesome brother-in-law came and helped us out of, we realized the tent trailer is much bigger than we thought – yes, we measured but that doesn’t give the visual impact that having the actual thing sitting there does, we decided storage was the only option. Oops.

It’s worked out beautifully though, because the storage place is out of town right near where we’ll be mostly using the trailer and we don’t have to haul it through town every time. It’s very affordable, as was the tent trailer, compared to if we had gotten a larger trailer or fifth wheel. Most RVers seem to think a tent trailer is the perfect way to see if you will actually use an RV as often as you think you will, especially if you buy privately and don’t mind a retro look. We can use our trailer without worrying about things getting damaged, or any depreciation – this puppy can only get better!

There are many impressive pop-up camper makeovers on Pinterest, and as much fun as that could be, that won’t be happening to ‘Happy’. I intend to spend my time camping and hanging out with my family and friends, not redecorating a camper that’s just going to get dirty anyway. Life’s too short, and that’s what my home is for. I go camping to get away from all that.

Anyway, we took Happy out for a test night with our youngest last week and she performed beautifully! We thought towing and backing up would be stressful because neither of us has done anything like that before but after researching some tips online (important!), and taking things slowly, it was not a big deal at all. Set up was a breeze, we used a curved leveler that made it so easy, and again, benefitted from the tips I read online beforehand.

We were so pleased with how easily everything went the first day but of course you don’t really know until you sleep in it. What surprised us most was how sturdy and stable the trailer was. With the ends sticking out, I always thought pop-ups looked a bit precarious and wobbly, but it didn’t move at all or make any sound as we moved around. We were all so comfortable and slept so well, we were sad we could only stay one night.

We already had three other camping trips planned but we came home and booked three more, including 5 nights in August which is the longest we’ll have camped since we travelled through Europe together in 1994. We’re excited to do some spontaneous camping too, at some of the first-come, first-served sites.

Now when we head out of town to pick up the trailer, we say “okay, let’s go get Happy.” 😊 On second thought, maybe we should call her “Happier’ -? La vie est belle! 😊

Okay, finally here are some photos.

❀️ Amanda

Raising the roof!

Easy enough for our ten year old to do!

life

Bathroom Renovation – Part 6: The Reveal – finally!

Four months later, the final details are finished! Things got delayed because I was M.I.A.: Lost in the Garden for several weeks. I’m really happy with the final results, and finishing the last things myself after the ridiculousness of the ‘designer‘ I hired, was especially satisfying. Now it’s entirely my vision and finished to the level I expect. Anal? Well, yes I am.

The only thing I really don’t like about the new bathroom?

I still have to clean the damn thing! 😏


BEFORE PHOTOS – not terrible just ugly – and the tub leaked.

AFTER – Simple and clean, simple to clean. Aaah!

Disclaimer: This is staged – the floofy white hand towels are only for my sink. The kids will use the old black towels until I find the right shade of dark blue. White towels wouldn’t last two days!

Beautiful sea glass and pebble picture from LoveRocks Pebble Art, representing our family.

I love these air plants – so easy to look after, just soak them in the sink overnight every 7-10 days.

I made this towel rack from a piece of driftwood I found on Willows Beach. I followed these instructions but first I baked it for several hours in a 200 degree oven, flipping it every hour, to make sure it was really dry and there were no critters living in it. I sprayed it with matte sealant which changed the colour a little bit but I’m okay with that.

I also added invisible hangers by drilling two holes all the way through under two of the hangers, then using a countersink to stop the long screws from going all the way through. It’s really solid on the wall just with plastic anchors and long screws. I love that it’s one-of-a-kind and that I made it myself. So satisfying!

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading. I’d love to hear any comments, and if anyone is working on a self-cleaning bathroom, let me know!

❀️ Amanda

mental health

Reblog: Mental Health Awareness Week

I was going to write a post about mental health this week but I couldn’t say it any better than this. Please read this excellent post by The Feathered Sleep, in honour of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019. A spot-on description of depression.

❀️ Amanda

https://thefeatheredsleepcom.wordpress.com/2019/05/16/mental-health-awareness-week/

life

M.I.A.: Lost in the Garden

Aloha! It’s been too long since I’ve posted, but the weather has been so gorgeous that my writer brain has disappeared and I’m living full-time in the plant world. This obsession focus has also delayed my finishing the last details of the bathroom renovation, so the final reveal is still pending.

The spell of summer weather has ended for now, replaced by typical West Coast rain (can you give me a ‘hallelujah’ – no watering!) so the call outside is quieter. I thought I’d share some pictures of our early May garden, before I get to finishing the bathroom. We have built the entire garden, it was a sloping lawn when we bought the house ten years ago.

Happy Spring!

❀️ Amanda