Cubans and Whiskey

Our friend Cody and his girlfriend Jaz have spend the last six months hiking across New Zealand on the Te Araroa trail. It was a pretty epic adventure. They carried all of their belongings on their backs as they walked 1,800 miles across an entire county. They saw some beautiful scenery, met some wonderful people, and came to really appreciate the high quality of U.S. hiking trails. You can read about all of their trials, tribulations, and shenanigans on their blog at

We have known Cody a very long time. He was friends with my older brother when we were little kids and was one of Brandon’s closest friends in high school.  We were thrilled when we learned that Cody was going to come visit us as soon as they returned to the states! Jaz and Cody flew into L.A. from New Zealand. She was going to stay in California to visit family while Cody came north to visit us. Continue reading “Cubans and Whiskey”

Portland RV Show

It was a rainy weekend in Portland, so we decided to check out the Portland RV Show at the Expo Center. We figured this would be a great way to get some ideas for renovating and outfitting out own RV. In reality, we just spent the afternoon ogling all the shiny, new, expensive RVs. The people watching wasn’t bad either. We also picked up a set of leveling blocks that fit together like Legos and store in a neat little stack. Continue reading “Portland RV Show”

Champoeg State Park

Even though Alpha wasn’t totally legal and would be back in the infirmary on Monday, we were really itching to take our new RV out for the first time. We decided to check out Champoeg State Park because it is only about 30 minutes from our house. We could easily be rescued if we had a mechanical problem. For our first test run we didn’t want to do anything too adventurous and Champoeg sounded perfect. Continue reading “Champoeg State Park”

Getting Alpha Legal

Neither Brandon nor I have ever bought a used vehicle off Craigslist before but we knew that actually making it ours (in a legal sense) was more complicated than just handing over a stack of hundreds to the previous owner. We also needed to have the title transferred into our names and get it registered here in Oregon. This was going to be a simple trip to the DMV, until the check engine light lit up on the drive home from Washington. You see, in Oregon a vehicle needs to pass an emissions test in order to get registered. The problem is that they won’t even test your vehicle if the check engine light is on. Suddenly, getting legal wasn’t so simple. Alpha would need to go see the doctor before he could be a legal Oregon resident. Continue reading “Getting Alpha Legal”

Fat Guy in a Little Coat

We pay our neighborhood HOA $72 a year. In exchange they repaint the sign at the entrance, put up streamers for the 4th of July, and ban RV parking. In all likelihood, the ban is partially based on aesthetics and partially based on the fact that RVs are humongous vehicles. Our RV is only 27 feet long, on the small side as far as motorhomes go, but we knew that it would be tricky finding a place to park it once we got it home from Washington.

The RV spent its first night at home blocking our driveway, access to all of the mailboxes, and partially blocking the driveways of our neighbors on either side. As a peace offering we invited the neighbors over for happy hour in the RV. We had a bottle of Cuban rum we had been saving for something special and this seemed like the perfect occasion. We ended up hanging out in the RV until nearly midnight. It was so homey that we didn’t want to leave even though our big comfy house was just steps away. A good sign. Continue reading “Fat Guy in a Little Coat”

So . . . we bought an RV!

Two weeks ago Brandon and I drove to Shelton, Washington to check out a used RV we found on Craigslist. We left immediately after work, only stopping by the house to grab a pillow and blanket (I was planning on sleeping in the car) and dinner to go (bananas with peanut butter and a bag of beef jerky – nutritious, I know). It was a two-hour drive and we were already exhausted. I had just started a new job and was totally drained from pretending like I knew what I was doing all day. And there we were, driving two-hours north on a Wednesday night to look at a 25-year old RV that we could barely afford. For a fully-functioning motorhome it was actually pretty cheap, but we would still have to drain all of our bank accounts to buy it. We spent the drive talking about all of the amazing adventures we would have and how long we could live off peanut butter and bananas. Continue reading “So . . . we bought an RV!”