First Week of Skoolie Life

What a full and wonderful week it has been!  Any entry entitled by the week will be a summary of events.  For deeper ponderings, I will add separate entries.  As many of my readers know, I’m a thinker, so more time to think equals more thoughts to share.  I’ll also work to link deeper thoughts on a particular experience to the separate post so that you can peruse as time allows.  Now that we’re organized, let’s dig in!

We took off on Saturday, June 30th around mid-day.  The bus had been in the shop longer than planned, so we ended up with more last minute projects and packing than we hoped.  Amidst the hustle and bustle, we skipped lunch (we’re prone to such things) and set sail.  Once we were on the road and realized we skipped lunch, we let the boys dig into a big bag of chips to fill their bellies…on a bouncing, nearly 100 degree bus (from sitting parked and unplugged in 95 degree weather while we packed and prepared).

You guessed it!  First stop equals puking on the way to the restroom due to travel sickness (I guess we can’t call it car sickness anymore).  Our spirits still high, our sick one claimed the front spot on the sofa and wouldn’t budge for fear of getting sick again.  (He is actually just now trying out other spots on the bus a week later and beginning to believe me that it probably had more to do with the empty stomach, 100 degrees, and bag of chips than just the bouncing alone!)  The rest of us ate lunch…and, of course, we all needed some soda pop to help our bellies.  😉

We drove late into the night because the bus was cooler once the evening came, but we eventually stopped at a rest stop to sleep in our bus for the night.  We wanted to shut the windows and start the generator for the AC so our dogs didn’t bark at every person who parked, but the new (expensive) generator failed us, so we slept with the windows open.

In the morning, we hit the road again and arrived at my parents’ in the countryside surrounding Montrose, Pennsylvania mid-afternoon on Sunday.  Everyone was excited to see the bus – we’re the main attraction these days!  We spent the evening eating, relaxing, and saying “hi” to extended family.  By 10:30 pm, the whole crew had arrived to spend the next few days celebrating my parents’ 50th anniversary!  In all, we were eight adults and twelve (grand) kids, staying in the house, and RV, and of course, our bus!

The next few days were filled with kids playing in the pond, 4th of July festivities, connecting with friends, the giving of gifts, looking at old slides, and a lobster fest.  Each of us “kids” and our families’ took a day of kitchen and meal prep duty so that my mom didn’t have to deal with cooking for all of us and cleaning up after all of us.  Though, I suspect there was plenty of other cleaning up after us that occurred after we left!

We also spent a good bit of time working on the bus.  There were things we hadn’t set up sturdily enough that needed to be re-secured to handle the kind of bouncing and lurching to which we subject the contents.  We also returned the faulty generator…and learned that generators are advertised for what they can handle at half-capacity!  Who cares what something can handle at half-capacity?!?  I’m not a half-capacity kind of lady; I need to know what something can handle at full-capacity!  Since we are traveling fairly far north, we are just doing without a generator for now and using the windows if we are not hooked up on a campground’s 30 amp service.  (Feel free to congratulate me on my new vocabulary awareness like “30 amp service!”)

Thursday morning, we headed up to Boston, Massachusetts.  My dad’s family is from that area, so I have lots of memories there, and we have never taken the boys.  We have our pets with us on the bus (two dogs and a parrot – some of the main reasons we opted for the bus), so we were a little perplexed on how to tour the city without our pets either keeping us out of the museums or making campground owners nervous due to our absence.  So we splurged on a pet-friendly hotel in the south seaport district.  We were still a little worried about Charlie (the parrot), but the temps were just right, so he stayed on the bus the whole time.  One of the biggest surprises of this journey is how great Charlie is doing!  We expected him to be nervous the whole time, but he is loving the bus…only acting nervous in transit (reference above mentioned bouncing!).  Our dogs did great in the city!  The hotel and neighborhood were very pet friendly…and chic.  It was our type of place.  I’d never heard of Aloft hotels before this, and I need to give them a big shout-out here.  I would recommend them with or without a pet – super clean, super hip, and super service!

We jaunted around to all the things – the public gardens to get pics with the statues of the ducks from McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings (and we saw real swans nesting too!),

the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, food trucks, the Freedom Trail – not bad for a day and half!  On the way out, we stopped by Newton, where my great-grandmother and my grandmother lived.  We ate some delicious regional food from an eastern European grocery.  We then went to find my grandma’s house, parked our bus in front of someone’s house so we didn’t have to figure out how to turn it around at the end of the one-way street and walked the boys and dogs down to see the house that used to be our family’s (didn’t stick out like a sore thumb at all!), and then spent some time enjoying the neighboring park before hitting the road again.

We started our trek to Acadia National Park in Maine and planned to stop part way at a rest area for the night, but the going was good, and we went the whole way.  The national park was full, so we found a lovely little campsite nearby that has ocean view RV parking.  We are enjoying the perfect summer weather up here – mid-seventies by day and mid-sixties by night.  Every time I walk back to Green Pastures (my name for the skoolie, based on Psalm 23), all I can think is how much less money I spent than each of those RVs, and it makes me smile. But now we are dipping into week two, so details about Maine will have to wait for next week’s post.

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