We’ve been hanging around Portland ever since Carla left. We’ve done some Jeepin’, caught up with old friends, and generally enjoyed staying in one place for a change. But summer is officially over and we’re getting restless again, which means it’s probably time we get back on the road. So on Monday we’ll be packing up and migrating south for the winter.
This next leg of the journey is going to move a lot faster than the last leg. We took nearly four months to drive from Austin to Portland. We’re hoping to do the return journey through California in just under two months. There is so much to see and do in California that we could easily spend a couple of months there. However, we need to be back in Texas before Thanksgiving.
We haven’t spent Thanksgiving at home with family in five years! We’re really looking forward to the green bean casserole, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy… Oh wait, I mean spending quality time with family. Yes, family time, that’s what I meant to say. Just kidding, we actually really miss you guys!
We also need some time to get ready for our next big adventure: sailing in the Bahamas! That’s right, our honeymoon road trip is taking a brief detour out to sea. We will be storing the Alpha 1 in Texas for the entire month of December while we join my parents on their sailboat, the Irie Joe. We are both so excited to be on a sailboat again!!
Craziness, right!? Just typing that makes me feel so overwhelmingly grateful that we have the opportunity to live the life we’re living. It’s seriously amazing.
So here’s the details. When my parents retired they got back into an old hobby from their pre-kid days, sailing! And a few years ago they made a long-term dream come true and bought a catamaran sailboat that would live in the Bahamas. They named it the Irie Joe, combining the Jamaican word “irie,” which means to be without worries, and my paternal grandfather’s name “Joe”. The boat is a Maine Cat 41 and is maintained as part of the charter fleet at Maine Cat Charters. This means that while my parents own the boat, it is also available for rent. In exchange, my parents have someone on site in the Bahamas helping to maintain the boat. This is important because my parents don’t actually live in the Bahamas (they’re in Texas) and boats require a lot of maintenance. Well, no one rented the boat during the month of December so my parents invited us to go sailing with them!
If you are interested in chartering either the Irie Joe or another Maine Cat sailboat check them out here. Additional information and photos are also available from Abaco Multihull Charters. We have done chartered vacations before and they are a ton of fun. If you also hire a captain to sail the vessel, no experience is necessary. If you would want to sail the boat yourself (also known as a bareboat charter) you will need sailing experience and generally some form of certification. You can take lessons and get sailing certifications at locations all over the world. We have taken classes with the American Sailing Association (more info here) and highly recommend them for anyone interested in sailing.
We’re leaving for the Bahamas the first week of December and plan to return a few days after Christmas. Getting back to Texas before Thanksgiving gives us a bit of time to pack our bags and get the RV ready for a month of storage, but not much.
We have previously tried to keep our plans and route pretty flexible. If we plan too far in advance something always happens and we end up changing plans anyway. But with such a short amount of time to get south (and so much we want to see) I decided our route needed a bit more structure if we were going to keep up the pace. So I am tempting the travel gods and making a plan. I even made reservations!
NOTE: I decided it’s probably not smart to list our actual travel dates on the internet, so this is just all of the destinations we’re planning to visit. If you need to know exactly where we’re going to be and when, call me.
- Bend, Oregon
- Crater Lake National Park
- Northern Redwoods, Jedediah Smith State Park
- Coastal Redwoods and the Trees of Mystery
- Redwoods National Park and the Avenue of the Giants
- Point Reyes National Seashore
- San Francisco
- Yosemite National Park
- Pinnacles National Park
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios California
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Brandon’s Dad in Arizona
- Sedona, Arizona
- Somewhere along Route 66 in New Mexico
- Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas
Phew! You can see what I mean about picking up the pace! You also might have noticed that our route completely leaves out Nevada and Utah, while just barely touching Arizona and New Mexico. Before you start telling us how amazing these states are, we know. We just don’t have enough time. And for that reason we’re actually planning a second trip west, most likely in January and February after we’ve returned from the Bahamas. We think winter will be a great time to enjoy the desert areas and possibly also some snow up in the mountains!
It’s going to be tough to keep this blog up to date while moving so quickly but I’m up for the challenge! Also, I plan to continue posting while we’re in the Bahamas, so stay tuned!