The last two weeks were more exhausting than we expected.
People keep asking us how RV life is. The truth is.. we haven’t been home much to enjoy it.
It’s weird: we’re already living in the RV, but we’re not yet away from our ‘old’ life. Kyle is still working, and we’re still kind of around (although we’re an hour away from Chicago), but we already said most of our goodbyes. It’s like we’re in two different worlds — the RV and then our life in Chicagoland. One more month until we leave Illinois. My head is already in Kentucky. I’m sad to leave people behind, but I’m ready to go. You can only say “goodbye” and “see you later” so many times. The next chapter is waiting…
If you’re interested, here’s a recap of our full-timing beginnings:
Sunday (June 1st- Moving Day!)
I didn’t wake up in a great mood on Sunday. My body ached, my head hurt, and my stomach was clenching with hunger pains. It took about two hours (including a momentary crying breakdown because I was upset about feeling this way) before the fog lifted and my mood elevated. Meanwhile, we were rushing, trying to clean up the last of our things and the mess from our goodbye party the night before. When noon rolled around, we were able to turn in our apartment keys. Our cars and the trailer were packed with our belongings and pets (no worries, the animals were in the car with me). We ran a couple errands ($90 to fill up the truck, ouch), picked up some lunch, and hitched up the trailer — which was sooo exciting! The hitch was only just installed a few days prior so we never actually hooked the trailer up yet and I was nervous that perhaps the truck wouldn’t be strong enough. But silly me, the truck was strong enough (although we’ve decided our next truck will be a diesel)! It was a very exciting moment when the trailer was pulled out of the parking lot! YAY! Our first stop was Kyle’s parents house, so we could fill the trailer tires with a little more air, and then it was onward to our first park — 45 miles west of Chicago. This place was home for two weeks.
When we arrived, we found a spot near a bathroom that was easy to pull in, unhitched, unpacked, cleaned, threw out all our melted cold food (we tried to save it!), went to the store to pick up some things, watched the rain, and crashed in bed around 10pm.
By the way, Kyle did a fantastic job towing the trailer. I’m proud of him. 🙂
It was so fun waking up in the morning and walking outside to…. forest! The water wasn’t hooked up, so we were using the outhouses and water pumps for our cleaning needs. The weird thing about being in the RV at this point is that we’re both still working regular jobs. Leaving the park and heading back into the hustle and bustle of the Chicago ‘burbs was a bit disorienting, and, I admit, wasn’t a joy. In the evening, we figured out how to get the fridge and stove/oven to work. Yay! First cooked dinner in the RV: spaghetti. This was followed with a walk around the campground, scouting out a better location. After Sunday’s craziness, Monday night was just what we needed.
That night, we moved the trailer to another spot — it was closer to a water source, close to bathrooms, large enough for the trailer and two vehicles, flatter/more stable, and a bit more private. It was very quick to pack up our stuff this time around, which was good so we could get used to picking up and going without feeling like we had to take all day to pack.
We were hoping to hook up the water but found a couple leaking spots in hoses. That had to wait, but it was nice to grill and watch the storm clouds roll in across the field.
Wednesday was better. Severe thunderstorms were predicted; instead, we got a little bit of rain and sunshine the rest of the evening. I was able to leave work at 2pm and beat traffic….. went to my friend’s house to take a shower (it was marvelous — thank you, Jenny!) and relax, then back home to help Kyle figure out how to hook up the water. We encountered a leaky hose/pipe in the bathroom, so we couldn’t hook up the water yet. Sigh.
Woke up to a gorgeous foggy morning!
And we finally got the water hooked up! Thanks to my father-in-law for helping us!!
That evening, we had our first guests — the girls from my ladies’ small group. Not only was it good to see them (as always), but it was cool to have friends sitting around my dining table, talking about life and God and everything in between. The place felt like home.
Friday – Sunday.
By Friday, I think we got the hang of everything and finally felt settled. The weekend was a whirlwind of weddings and birthday celebrations (I turned 28), and Eddie Izzard! It was a fantastic weekend that ended with four hours of sleep before work started on Monday.
Monday-Saturday (Week #2).
The second week was hectic with calm moments. The last day of school (work) arrived, as did dinners, parties, water leaking through the bedroom cabinets, credit card issues, a cold (who gets sick in June?? me, apparently), and so many car problems. My husband and I ended up selling our cars (my Alero and his Camaro) and purchasing a brand-new 2014 car (to be picked up in a few days). I am not thrilled with buying a new car and adding another debt, it was the best thing for us to do. Now we’re down to a truck and a new car with no issues and good gas mileage; it’s a burden that has been lifted from our shoulders. Our last night at the first campground, we were finally able to have a nice fire going and eat dinner outside. Oh, and the cats seem to have adjusted well to RV life! We did have issues with Zuka going to the bathroom on the doormat for a couple days, but we relocated the kitty litter and the issue has been fixed (for now).
Sunday (June 15th).
We left the campsite around 4pm and arrived at a new one around 5pm. It was a much smoother transition this time around! We found a pull-through spot, unhitched & unpacked quickly, and drove over to a roadside bar & grill a mile away for dinner. After the stress of everything, it was so good to sit with giant glasses of beer and yummy food. There was no where else we had to be. No bill that needed to be taken care of. No cars to fix. Just us.
The new campground is much quieter. Less people occupy the spaces (actually.. there’s only five RVs currently parked there) and the rural surroundings are peaceful. We also have a great sunset view for the next two weeks.
The sun woke me up bright and early. I went for a quick bike ride through the preserve to find the lake. The bike ride was exhausting (I must be seriously out of shape), but finding the lake was marvelous. I spent the rest of the day alternating between watching episodes of Six Feet Under and reading a book outside in the sun with whatever drink I wanted in my mason jar. I also met a few of the other people living in the park, which was wonderful since I was starting to feel a little too lonely. After one day, I already like this park better than the last one we stayed in.
In the evening, we found out a couple more issues with things, so my husband and I are feeling a little bit overwhelmed at the moment with things beyond our control. The trailer is great, it just feels like nearly everything else is falling apart. I guess things can’t be perfect, eh? It will all be taken care of soon. Breathe…
Nothing is planned for the next two weeks. I’m spending the day at my in-laws (huzzah for a long, warm shower and access to wifi!) before picking up my new car tonight. Then I hope to spend the next few weeks resting, being outdoors, exploring (there’s a neat house eight miles south of the park that I’m eager to check out), reading, and isolating myself from society a little bit. I hope my husband finds time to rest, too. He needs it even more than I do. Oh, how I am so thankful for this man.
Oh, and using coconut oil as ‘shaving cream’ is a lifesaver when you have a limited water supply!
There you have it, friends. The crazy start to our ‘new’ lives. Thank you for reading & cheering!
How have things been for you? 🙂