I should have known there was no escaping it. Once I clicked over and saw the first images I was captivated and completely drawn in. I was hooked.
I had found this website in the summer of 2005 via comments on my friend Chris’ blog, The Big Yellow House (I know, she needs to blog again). I can’t remember what the comment said, but I clicked on the blog link and my eyes were filled with images of the Gulf of California and 4 children, very similar in age to my own, playing on the beach in Baja, exploring Colonial Mexico and swimming in the Caribbean.
I spent the entire weekend pouring through the blog entries, and when I was finished I walked the laptop over to Billy and said “If you love me, you will read through this blog and take me away like this. I need this.”.
There was one picture in particular that had just sold me on the idea. It was just a snapshot of someone else life, taken through the door of a trailer with the Gulf just steps away. The husband had a handful of clams he was passing through the door. A child was darting through it, and there was cilantro and tortillas on the counter. It was so real. So perfect. I think right then and there I mentally transported my family to that same beach and I knew that I simply could not stay where we were for another year.
We became friends with Kathy and her family, and in Fall of 2005 bought a new truck, and in January 2006, a giant 5th wheel to live in. Then we began clearing out the “stuff” inside our house and waited for the school year to end so we could start our road travels.
Life has a funny way of changing your plans, and by May, we knew we could not leave because Bill got pretty sick and, well, if you have followed this blog you pretty much know that story. If you don’t, head over to my archives on the right.
I was pretty devastated, but also so grateful to have Bill with us that it took a way back seat in our lives. We did take that giant 5’er on many adventures, one of which led us to where we now live. Fate is pretty cool like that.
When we moved here, we honestly didn’t use the 5’er much anymore. I think we took it to a wedding and then spent a Thanksgiving on the beach once, but for the last 9 years it has essentially been in storage. We could not bring ourselves to sell it. So many precious memories and we were both sentimentally attached to it. That giant thing had essentially been our ticket to our life at the beach. The memories we made in it with our children were absolutely priceless.
From time to time I would look online for a new trailer. Something smaller, with a bit of flair. I looked at Shasta Airflytes, Airstreams, Riverside Retros and Sero Scotties. We found several we liked and I posted about them here, but never pulled the damn trigger because, honestly, it was a hassle. Most of the dealers were hours away and that meant hooking up the Little House and hauling it there after it had just been sitting for years and years. Daunting.
A couple of weeks ago I was looking online at some Rpods and Bill casually told me to take a look at the dealers website in our town. I clicked over to it and he walked to the computer and clicked on a trailer he had been looking at. Bingo.
We went to see it and felt right at home in it. It was perfect. Small, easy to tow , very well made and slept 4. It isn’t retro, vintage, or flashy, but it sure felt right. We told the dealer we would call him in a day or two, and went home to think about it.
On Sunday I woke up very early, made coffee and logged in on the computer. I went to Way Back Machine and searched up Kathy’s old blog and started at the beginning and made my way through it. In the past, from time to time, I would scroll through her archives… especially if I was down or missing my life with all my kids. It is like reading a good book and it always cheers me up.
When I was finished later that afternoon, I sat down with Bill and said “You know, it will be different this time. 2 of our kids have moved out and Quinn is not interested in it at all. Mia is, but that won’t be the case for long. This trailer will basically be for us….one day soon we can travel together in it. I don’t know how I feel about that.”
He listened and then asked “Is that why you were reading Kathy’s blog again?”
Yup. I am not sure how it will be not seeing everything through my children’s eyes… experiencing all those places without them. Will it mean anything anymore? Will it be as special? I needed to see if reading it from that perspective would still enchant me like it did 11 years ago.
The answer was a resounding yes. It did. It was magical, beautiful, raw and full of adventure and love. It again captivated me and drew me in.
In answer to my other questions…..Honestly, once you have experienced things through the eyes of a child, I don’t think it will ever be as colorful, vibrant or exciting again without them present. I wanted to see those places with my 4 kids. To watch my sons swim in those warm waters, dig for clams and see Mia playing with her My Little Ponies in the tide pools. I can’t tell you how bad it pains me to know that when Bill said “It’s now or never” in 2005 that it would be “Never” in regards to traveling there with my young children.
But! what has been happening with these kids leaving my damned nest so fast is that I am starting to see my life again with Bill. That life we had, pre-babies. It was pretty darn good and I am starting to think all is not going to hell in a hand basket when Mia takes flight. No, it won’t be the same at all. Seeing those places will not be as special through my own adult eyes, but it will be mighty fine.
Two days later we made a deal to trade in the Little House for a 2016 Lance travel trailer.
They got it ready and by the following Wednesday it was snugged into our driveway.
We have already taken it to the island for the maiden voyage. 5 days at our old spot, #19 at IB Magees. I towed it there, backed it in and set it up by myself. Stoked!
Bill and Mia joined me on Saturday morning and we spent the weekend surfing, exploring and just kicking back in the Little Bitty House. I stayed to give her a good test until Tuesday.
It was most definitely not the same without all my babies, but it was damn fine for sure.
Scenes from the maiden voyage:
Post run brekkie.
On Monday and Tuesday it poured. And poured. I was snug in the trailer, reading, drinking coffee and Mexican hot cocoa and watching the rain.
And then Bill came and stole me home.
So, you may ask, was it still the same?
Well….. Same same, but different. Instead of being filled with my own kids, the trailer was filled with Bill, Mia and her surf buddies.
There was laughing, walks on the beach, donut shops, skate parks, movies, hot cocoa (made with almond milk because I forgot to get milk)….
….dirty feet, sand, ice cream, late nights talking, laughing, pelicans, rain, coziness in a Little House and I am happy to say that Never can go straight to hell.
I have Now.