WE MADE IT! Not gonna lie, it has been a long few days. I’ll keep this short and to the point as we recover. Tip: If moving across the country, take more than 5 driving days to do it. Our days were intense, and the 14 hour drive from Nebraska to Knoxville, TN about did us in. Scout mutinied, and projectile vomited in the car and at 4am in the hotel room. Here was the good and the bad of the trip:
We surprised Conor’s sister in Omaha for her college graduation! The look on Ashley’s face when she saw us was priceless. We spent a lovely 2 days in Nebraska with my in-laws, and parted with tearful promises that they would visit us soon at Camp Lejeune.
Conor got two tattoos! On his feet (ouch!)
No speeding tickets or car crashes, and we are still speaking to each other 🙂
Vomit. So much vomit.
The disturbing amount of religious billboards damning us to hell as we drove through middle America. Why do people pay money to advertise messages of hate and judgment?
Road food. I can only eat so many burgers, and I think we gained about 5 pounds each.
But, despite it all, we are here. We have an appointment tomorrow with Mike Wood from Neptune Yachts to look at the boats! After everything it took to get this far, it will be surreal to climb aboard. Fun boat updates to come!
Drum roll please…WE ARE ON THE ROAD! After all those months of preparation, interim living, and tying up loose ends, we’ve finally left the Golden State. Conor and I packed up the car early on Monday morning and drove toward the rising sun. I promised myself that I would give an update every day, but failed on the first day (of course) so here is how the first TWO days of the trip have gone:
Day 1 was a long haul—San Clemente to Albuquerque (12 hrs)
Highlight: Stopping for lunch to visit my WONDERFUL great-aunt and great-uncle in Prescott, AZ. I hadn’t seen them in years, and they are very much my ‘grandparents’ in every sense of the word.
Lowlight: When Conor accidentally dumped an entire bowl full of wet dog food onto my lap. I don’t know who was less pleased, me or Scout.
Day 2 was Albuquerque to Colorado Springs (6 hours)
Highlight: Visiting the candy store in NM that supplied the blue ‘meth’ rock candy for Breaking Bad (see my badass self below) and walking around Old Town.
Lowlight: It’s freaking freezing in Colorado. Like, there’s snow on the ground. In May. I don’t understand.
I almost forgot to thank our lovely California friends for a great send-off! We decided that instead of tearful goodbyes, we wanted to make it a happy ‘see you later’ event, so all of our friends joined us for an Open House at an outdoor bar. We had a steady stream of people coming by all day to drink a beer, wish us luck, and give us hugs! (Disclaimer—I may have cried a bit once it was over).
Time for sleep before our next adventure tomorrow.
I can’t believe we have less than 2 weeks left in California. Sometimes I think we’ve been so focused on our next duty station that we’ve forgotten to appreciate the last, incredible bits of now. This past month has been such a transition, and we’ve been completely distracted by the practical details. Taking a step back, I’m finally starting to get a wee bit nostalgic whenever I gaze out at the endless Pacific. The desire to be out there, surrounded by wild blue, has been driving our dream forward, and it seems almost wrong that we won’t sail our boat on this ocean for a LONG time. I am west coast, born and bred, and a piece of my heart will always be here. There is something about the Pacific that speaks to me, and I think Van Morrison sums it up best:
Hark, now hear the sailors cry
Smell the sea and feel the sky
Let your soul and spirit fly into the mystic
And when that foghorn blows I will be coming home…
One day we will be back and sail up to Washington. We just plan on having a lot of adventures between now and then.
2) 3 GREAT boats (yes, the newly-posted 44 Catalina is also a perfect fit for us!)
3) Conor’s orders are still for North Carolina
Things that were unexpected this week:
1) Someone else is interested in the Endeavor 42, and will apparently put in an offer today. Cue our panic that none of these boats will be available for us come May 10, and we won’t have any boats lined up to see. This led to a long discussion about whether or not it would be worth it for me to fly out to NC solo to get the ball rolling. I was fully prepared to buy a last-minute ticket to New Bern, but thankfully our broker talked us down, and has urged us not to rush. Spring is the high season for selling, so he is confident that even if our three current options get snapped up, he can still find us a perfect fit.
My mantra: the right boat will be there at the right time. The right boat will be there at the right time. Repeat as necessary, accompanied by deep breaths.
2) We found out that while USAA finances boat loans, they do not finance loans if the boat will be used as a liveaboard. SURPRISE! Monday was a day of intense research and many phone calls, and we discovered that most banks do NOT understand/like/approve of the liveaboard lifestyle. This has been incredibly frustrating, and our options are limited. We can get a personal loan through USAA, but the terms and APR will be pushing it. We are also exploring our options with Lightstream (part of Sun Trust Bank), as they give boat loans for liveaboard purposes. Don’t even get me started on finding insurance.
3) Our plan to live at Gottschalk Marina on Camp Lejeune has been disrupted. I was promised a slip back in January, but some of the dock pylons were damaged in a recent storm and they don’t know when they will be repaired. The two intact slips big enough to fit 40+ foot boats are also currently occupied indefinitely. However, there is another marina at the air station (a separate entity within Camp Lejeune jurisdiction) called New River that has liveaboard slips available. WOOHOO!
The downside: Conor’s 3-mile bicycle commute is now turned into a 45-minute car commute. Which means that instead of going down to one car like we planned, we have to ship Conor’s car to Camp Lejeune (goodbye, $1000 that the Marine Corps won’t reimburse). Hopefully, our stay at New River won’t be too long, and we can relocate to Gottschalk in a few months and sell the car on the east coast.
WHEW! Thanks for reading until the end, this might be my longest blog post to date. I feel like this week was a test to see how much we really want our boat, and we are proving that we do. Shit hit the fan, but so far we have been able to find a workaround for everything.
Feel free to send us questions and comments, or any topics you want us to discuss!
It’s official, folks, we are out of the house! Though I’m sure you will miss my posts about downsizing, minimalism, and moving…JK—even I’m sick of writing about it. Now that the PITA part is over, we can get to the fun part! I am excited to focus on our adventures in San Clemente and our boat search over the next few weeks.
As I mentioned in my last post, our boat broker has come back with two AMAZING boats for us already, and will be sending along the link to a third boat sometime this week once it has been uploaded. Right now, we are looking at a 42′ Endeavor (1989) and a 48′ Bavaria (2000). We are waiting to see the details of a 44′ Catalina (1989).
Both the Endeavor and the Bavaria have everything we are looking for—center cockpit, fiberglass hull, blue-water sailing capability. The Bavaria has room for us to grow into, while the Endeavor fulfills all of our needs right now, and is at the right price point. I can’t say which we are leaning towards at the moment, at least until we can compare the Catalina as well. We should be able to view all 3 of these boats in person once we get to North Carolina (if they are still on the market) before we make any decisions. I am confident that we will just ‘know’ once we’ve found our new home.
I have a feeling there will be a pro/con list for each of the boats posted sometime soon for you guys to see 🙂 Until then, we are spending the next month recovering and unwinding with numerous glasses of wine before diving into May. Thank you for all of your encouragement and sticking with us as we orchestrated the move!
My voice echos through my empty house, my suitcase looks like it exploded, and I’ve only eaten sandwiches the past few days to avoid cooking. As I shove the last boxes into a tiny 7’x7′ container, I marvel at the fact that this POD now holds everything we own in the world.
Packing up the POD is more than just putting our stuff in storage for the next 2-3 months, we are also saying goodbye to any sense of ‘home’ for the near future. Giving up our stability and security is an adjustment, but by pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones now, our sacrifices will be exchanged for greater gifts down the road. At least, that’s what I told myself last night as I tossed and turned in my sleeping bag.
For the time being, we are adrift. Well, about to be cut loose, anyway—checkout is on Friday. It is terrifying and exciting all at the same time, and we get to discover what we actually need in order to get by day-to-day. Familiar creature comforts are gone as we prepare to live out of 1 suitcase each for the next 2 months, from temporary living at an Airbnb, to driving across the U.S., to our TBD situation on the east coast.
The great news is that I heard from our broker today 🙂 I will update with boat info soon! He’s found us some truly spectacular options.
We are in the final stages of moving out! Sorry there haven’t been as many posts during these last two weeks, but you guys really haven’t missed anything. We’ve been doing more of the same—getting rid of stuff on Bookoo and Craigslist, cleaning out the house room by room, and making numerous trips to the dump.
Here’s the really fun part over the next few days: I get to pack up the POD all by myself! Conor has a field op, and it’s on me to move us out.
Every time I almost have a panic attack, I remind myself that no matter what, by the end of the month, it will all be over, because it has to be. There is no other option. I will do the best that I can to prepare everything, but by the time I need to check out of the house, nothing will keep me here. Didn’t have time to fix the holes in the walls? Charge me, I don’t care. Didn’t mow the lawn? Okay, fine me the $25.
No matter what happens, come March 31, I’m tossing the keys to the housing office and burning rubber out of here. The end result will be the same regardless, I just have to breathe.
I’m daydreaming about April, and our month-long Airbnb vacation in San Clemente. When we get to relax and unwind for a month while still in California before taking a cross-country road trip, all of this will seem worth it. Middle of April is also when our boat broker in New Bern, NC will ramp up the search for our perfect boat!! We should have 4-5 boats lined up for us to see in May.
Taylor and Conor
PS- If anyone you know needs a washer/dryer or a couch, send them my way. They are the last few things we need to get rid of by next week!