008 - we are northwestbound
Updated: Sep 27, 2018
On Tuesday last week, we left my parents driveway in Florida and with that, our comfort zone. We finally embarked on our adventure of heading northwest. Henry Ford holds all our belongings and we solemnly rely on him to take us where we want to go. What a scary thought. Holy shit.
Yes, to be honest, we had a few minor freak out moments. Wouldn't we all in this situation? It's like getting a hint of cold feet on your wedding day.
Luckily it was only a hint.
So, we made our way to Tampa for our first night. And because we are so lucky, and our first boondocker's weren't available, we were able to crash on the sofa's at Amanda and Olivier's [and Milo's] apartment. After a nice dinner with them at the Hall, laughing and watching the neighbor mow the lawn at 10pm, and starting a new creepy show on Netflix (Glitch, and yes we are hooked and almost done with season 2), Mattia took the large couch, and I curled up on the small one.
With an early start, we made our way up the state all the way to Tallahassee by lunchtime. The feel of being real "roadies" really sank in, when we started to take every opportunity to pee, collecting napkins at Dunkin Donuts (where they kindly refilled my cappuccino for only a dollar fifty), and by avoiding all toll roads.
In Tallahassee, we first took Henry on a tour around the campus, to then park him conveniently in front of a frat house right down the street from Bill's Bookstore,
to actually tour campus on foot. Since it was Mattia's first time at FSU, I treated him to a legendary Mom and Pop's hot dog, took him to all the buildings I used to have classes in, and convinced him to sit and relax on Landis Green with me. After dinner at Jasmine's, for old times sake, we made our way to our first boondocking spot and soon realized our taillights aren't working
In the driveway of our first boondocker's, we realized that they had a bad hook up, the surge protector was showing open ground. We decided not to take the risk and go without electricity instead. In the morning, we thought our water heater wasn't working when I decided to take my first shower. As soon as I began washing my hair in the tub upside down with ice cold water, Mattia realized that to first boost it, we had to turn the water heater off and on a couple of times. And of course, it needs time to heat up. Voila, warm water to the rescue.
At the Target parking lot we made our first encounter with a fan of Henry, who uncomfortably walked away when she realized we were in the RV. At Autozone we tried our luck with new bulbs for the rear lights, but unfortunately struck out.
So, we decided to continue our journey to Atlanta, GA, in the hopes of making it to the United Tiny House Festival.
We scored a beautiful boondocking spot just outside the city in Brooks, where the owner was kind enough to let us overnight for two nights even though he wasn't home. Again, we had bad luck with the electricity hook up, this time there was no power at all. And after crawling under the rig and taking a look at the cables of the taillights, we decided this problem was out of our hands.
After a cold night and an even colder morning, we spent the entire next day driving around the suburbs of Atlanta, trying to find a garage that could help us fix our taillights on short notice. No luck (except for the free water and popcorn at Ford), and because we couldn't risk driving in the dark we had to skip out on the free entry night at the Tiny House Festival.
The next day, now Saturday, we decided to just screw those darn taillights for a day and made our way to the Festival. Even though we had to pay that day, it was worth every penny. We saw some cool tiny homes, tons of incredible Skoolie conversions and got to meet our Instagram friends, Danielle and Tommy from @SlowCarFastHome.
With Danielle and Tommy’s advice, we made our way back to Autozone to buy new fuses. And because we tend to have a little luck in between, we were able to stay at my sisters friends house on Saturday night. Steph wasn't home (she was spending the weekend in Florida with my sister) but Ryan and Phoebe were perfect hosts nonetheless. After a Pizza way too large for the two of us, Mattia and I were able to crash in Steph and Ryan's lovely guest bedroom. And after a proper shower in the morning, we tried our luck one more time and replaced the fuses for the taillights. Nada.
Because it was Sunday, we decided to continue our way to Sweet Home Alabama.
We crossed our second state boarder and with it our first time zone. After a quick drive through the old historic town of Selma, where the cutest houses sit next to demolitions, we headed for Paul Grist State Park before the sun set. We payed for a primitive camping spot for the night and ended our first week with our first (of many) rice dinner.
We still have to get used to this new lifestyle; which entails quick GI showers every two or three days, finding a safe place to park every night, conserving water every way possible, barely flushing the toilet in order to not fill the tanks to fast, living in a space where one step each way will get you everything you own, charging our phones while driving because we cannot rely on having electrical hookups, and of course the drawbacks like the issue with our taillights that just simply come with our lifestyle now. But, we are slowly growing more and more comfortable, and we are learning a hell of a lot on the way.