Showing posts from April, 2014

Expedition Day 1: Leaving the Nest

After a morning of packing the camper and a tearful goodbye to Ma and Pa LaBoube, we finally set off on our expedition! First stop: Shawnee National Forest in southern Illinois. 
Our workhorse, a 2014 VW diesel Golf TDI, worked like a champ. We encountered what we expect to be some of the worst winds we'll experience on this trip and still managed 17-18 MPG towing just under 2,000 pounds. In more favorable conditions we averaged 21-22 MPG going 55-60 MPH in the flats of mid-Illinois. There's room for improvement, though.
We've got some good news for Chicagoland on the status of summer because not only do the trees in this part of the state have leaves, they are also blossoming and we saw dandelions! 
We discovered that, in addition to tons of music, Spotify also has audio books and educational materials, so we learned Chinese and listened to some classic Sherlock Holmes. 
Hello from Shawnee!

F-Yeah Friday!

Hooray for today and finally having a win with the car!

First, a note on the meaning of F-Yeah Friday! Back when Ryan and I were working folk with regular Monday through Friday, 9-5 jobs, instead of bidding each other a TGIF on Friday mornings, we declared them F*** Yeah Fridays! It seemed to better represent our sentiment.

Well, today, Friday, we finally have something to celebrate. As anybody who has checked in with us recently about our trip knows, we have been waiting and waiting on the wiring for our car. We had a fantastic team of professionals who specialize in German cars working on ours so that the brakes and blinkers from the car would transfer to the camper. For safety.

As it turns out, our car is incredibly computerized which is both a blessing and a curse. After several attempts at wiring things the 'right' way, as they do in Europe, our mechanic finally gave up and we picked up our car yesterday. Having never done anything like this before, we decided to give it …

New Beginnings

I would like to begin with gratitude for everyone and everything that have helped us to get this far. We are thankful for our wonderful family and friends who have assisted in even the tiniest of ways, from simply supporting our decision to travel and sharing in our excitement, to those who have recommended their favorite places across the country and tips for how to get by, and especially those that crawled under our car in chilly temperatures to install the hitch.

We are particularly grateful for everything Ryan's parents have done for us, whose kindness and generosity have been integral in our success. Without them we would be living in a parking lot without a car. It wouldn't be pretty.

It is not lost on us how fortunate we are to be setting out on an adventure like this. While we have made this trip our priority and have worked very hard to get here, we also acknowledge how fortunate and lucky we have been. Thank you to everybody who has played even the smallest role in …