Full Time Vanlifers! This is our new normal- and we love it.
Day Twenty-two The start of week 4! Last night was cold! Kate crawled into my sleeping bag so we could stay warm together. Thankfully, we decided to stay put in Lake Havasu. Our original plan of heading toward Texas would have been the end of us. There is no way our uninsulated (or, as of a couple of days ago, half insulated) van could have protected us.
We picked up our general delivery mail from Amazon (insulated black out curtains) at the post office. We also splurged on breakfast at Rusty's Restaurant and dinner at Juicy's. Both were yummy!!
Day Twenty-three Havasu was windy today. Again. I'm thinking this is normal? It's okay, though, because work clobbered me. We had broasted chicken at Scotty's. It was not greasy and totally delicious.
Day Twenty-four RV Guy kept saying he would help with the build, but never did. I offered to pay him his normal fee, but he always had an excuse to not do anything (yet he frequently talked about all the things he will help with and insist on not taking the money). Plus he got a bit inappropriate and creepy, so we headed to Yuma and found a great park, West Wetlands.
We met a nice mom who was concerned about a little girl who had been playing unattended for over an hour. The girl was "tree" years old and didn't know who she came to the park with. We looked for parents or caregivers and found none after another half hour of searching. I ended up calling the police. Right as they arrived, a clueless grandma claimed her. Ugh. Come on lady, it's not 1951 anymore. You can't trust everybody. And a tree-year old certainly shouldn't be unsupervised for so long.
We caught the last few minutes of the concert in the park then headed over to Harbor Freight to grab moving blankets. Another van lifer had posted a tip online about moving blankets being great insulation. I thought we could use them under our sleeping bags at night since the floor gets cold. Yes, the floor is insulated with polyiso and plywood, but cold is cold, and this is a metal box, after all.
Day Twenty-five We stayed at Yuma Love's last night. There was only one other car when we went to bed. There was a parking lot full when we woke up. We love that! #vanlifecommunity #nomadcommunity #gypsygang
We went to Gateway Park, then to the church that held the free concert yesterday (for a parking lot service). After that, we visited two museums: the Yuma Prison and the Colorado River History Museum.
Yuma is just as windy as Lake Havasu was, but the weather warmed up throughout the day. We checked out some of the town. It's quite a bit larger and less touristy than Lake Havasu. There are more shops (resources) here. We had a nice day!
Oh, and the moving blanket trick worked last night. The weather was itself warmer than the night before, but we could tell that the floor felt warmer with the moving blanket underneath the sleeping bags. We did try another (normal) blanket before, but this works much better.
Kate is trying to convince me to go to Mexico since we are so close to the border. I heard that the US isn't allowing anyone in or back in without a negative test. We'll have to do some checking. But, she has a point. We can't go east or north due to the cold temperatures. We don't want to go back to California. The only way left is south.
Day Twenty-six Today was great! We made an early visit to the laundromat, then got some work-related printing done at Staples. We got much-needed pedicures at a place called Sexy Nails. We installed the edging around the floor at the doors. Kate finished her Writing (cursive) assignments for this progress report and got started on Spelling. We mailed envelopes and a post card at the Post Office, then went back to the castle park for some mini zip line fun.
We also went to Sprout's for some yummy food. We were SO happy to find a healthy store after not having one in our last town. We got fresh fruits and veggies (including a ripe avocado!!), turkey, whole grain bread, Melissa's clean snax, and pita with hummus. We had a feast for lunch then again for dinner (with enough left over for tomorrow, too.)
We called around to find a "local" dentist for Kate and scheduled an appointment. We found out that Planet Fitness won't allow Kate to sit in the lobby area while I work out and she isn't allowed to work out until she turns 13, so we researched drop off daycare options.
We also researched the YMCA Nationwide membership and thought it's probably a good idea to join soon. It makes more sense to join a club that has the gym and child care in one spot. Plus, they have many locations. Double plus, just paying for one shower a week at Love's is more than half the price of a Y membership- meaning that two showers a week is more expensive than the Y membership. And, most Ys have work out facilities, child care, a swimming pool and other family-oriented stuff.
That's a no-brainer, really. While we won't have a Y at every single stop we ever make on our journey, knowing they are out there and accessible for workouts and showers feels nice. Plus, we might be able to park overnight at some of them. We'll have to check that out. And, triple plus, there is a Y at our eventual home on the North Carolina coast.
In the evening, Kate designed a mini chandelier using solar glow bulbs we got at the Family Dollar yesterday and continued with her school work. I just kept fantasizing about all the delicious Sprout's food we still had in our "kitchen" and cooler.
Day Twenty-seven We headed out of Yuma to explore Mittry Lake and stumbled upon glorious free campsites in a wilderness area. We saw a sign stating that campers can stay free for up to 10 days per calendar year. We googled it and found it is in fact BLM land. We parked for a few hours and made plans to stock up on food and supplies and come back.
Day Twenty-eight Today was not fun. I understand that messiness and not-put-way clothes, and not-thrown-away trash is part of having a nine year old but I was up to my eyeballs in mess and out of patience. That's all Ima say about that.
Single mom and kiddo set out on a nomad, van life, roadschooling lifestyle. Watch the beginner diy van conversion, first time homeschooling, first time build, first time on the road experiences, and newbie family van life adventures unfold.
We will share van life travels and tips to encourage other people to get out and explore the open road.