Our goal is to explore all 48 continental US states before re-settling in Seattle, unless we find another place that we just can’t live without. After selling our house, Humz’s parents were kind enough to let us park the van in their driveway and bum off their power/water/indoor plumbing/laundry/wifi/general hospitality as we eased into vanlife. They didn’t really have a choice; we just kind of showed up and wouldn’t leave until we were able to furnish the van and tie up the loose ends with the entire moving process. Our first night sleeping in the Travato was in their driveway, and a sleepless night it was. It started off going well, streaming Game of Thrones on my laptop, and then Lucy and a neighborhood fox growled and howled at each other all night. It was her first real interaction with nature that isn’t a tree-pit in a city sidewalk, so we gave her a free pass. Such a city dog! It was also a little difficult getting used to the Travato mattress, which is similar to a full-size (which is what our condo mattress was) but it has a chamfered corner, so it's a little smaller. I also didn't realize how much I like to dangle my limbs off the bed, which can't really happen in the Travato because it is enclosed on 3.5 out of the 4 sides. Limbs were flying errywhere!
We wanted to take the Travato out for a spin on a weekend trip to get comfortable with the rig before actually leaving on our Tour De Northeast. Luckily we have some friends in Delaware with a new sparkly estate and fresh white carpets for Lucy to poop on (because yes, she actually did that 5 minutes after arriving at their house. Sooo embarrassing!) We were initially concerned about parking the van in our friend’s well manicured suburban neighborhood with the leering eyes of the neighbors. But it turned out that they all just wanted a tour of the van, so step right up and have a look at our wet-bath and fold-a-bed! We're a self-contained traveling house-mobile!
Even though it was an unusually cold/rainy weekend it was a successful weekend of exploring, brewery visiting, and Old-Bay shrimp eating! Lucy's favorite part was having her ears flap in the wind in our friends Jeep Wrangler.
It was a successful maiden voyage in the Travato and we were ready to set sail on Phase I of our adventure “The Northeast”…but as not to pull the bandaid off too quickly, we spent the night camping in our friend’s driveway in Armonk, NY. They are renovating their house, and hence limited to living in a few rooms of their house while the rest is under construction, so we were able to bbq in their backyard and then hang out in our van “living room” quite comfortably.
The next day, August 14, 2017 is what I believe to be the first day of our actual journey. We set out for our first campground experience in the Travato. We were headed to visit my parents for a week or so on the isle of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, but we wanted to have one night of camping and a chance to dump/fill our tanks before taking the van onto the island. So after bouncing around various Connecticut beaches/parks that wanted to charge us $25 a day to access them on a Monday, we bailed on that idea and headed to Frontier Camper Park in Ashaway, RI.