...it was to travel throughout Mexico and Central America in a Volkswagon Westfalia Syncro. But a funny thing happened on the way to the border. Got a few minutes? I'll tell ya the story!
The VW is a 4WD camper, and was our dream vehicle for the trip, which we were going to make a leisurely, year long affair. We spent a couple of years 'fixing' Frida (our VW) while we waiting for our house to sell on St. George Island, FL. We actually had the house sold in 2004, but then we had Hurricane Dennis, the sale fell through, and the coastal housing market crashed. And so we waited, worked, and improved Frida.
In November the house finally sold, the new owners were eager for a quick closing, and we hustled to close down our landscaping business. The big challenge was to fit everything we needed into the VW, and get rid of everything else we owned! We sold, gave away, gave away, and gave away some more. Finally, it all fit. (Did I mention this is a Volkswagen
With Christmas right around the corner, we decided to visit family before taking off, so we loaded up the Christmas presents in what little space was left, crammed in the dog, turned over the keys to our old home, and took off.
And then, drum roll, please, two days after Christmas I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Damn the luck!
Jobless, homeless, and unable to pursue our dreams, (are you pulling out the hankies yet?) my dear sweet husband told me it was all going to be okay. And you know what? It is better than okay! Got a few more minutes? I'm not done yet.
Thanks to our beautiful friends we had a lovely cabin on the outskirts of Tallahassee in which to stay while we got ourselves together. I had a mastectomy (since I had two areas of concern) but they started on reconstruction right away. (Sorry if this is more than you wanted to know, fellows!) The cancer was Stage 1, and the oncologist decided I didn't need radiation or
chemo! How lucky is that? And, when my reconstruction is finished up this spring, I'll be 'perky' again! How lucky is that
So, I'm getting to the best part. While we were waiting for surgery we needed to occupy our brains with something besides dread, so we started looking for an RV. Sweet husband decided we couldn't live off of our friends forever, and needed a 'place' while I convalesced. He started checking out campground host positions, and we prowled RV lots looking for our new home.
Junk. For the money we wanted to spend, I was not impressed. For one thing, the interiors of most RVs, well, I'm not going to get insulting.
And then, the silver lining! Somehow, I was divinely led (online) to the statement that something like 60% of all Airstreams ever made are still on the road. I had forgotten all about Airstreams! For one thing, neither of us come from a camping family, and you just don't run across Airstreams in the used section of RV lots. And when you ask salesmen about 'quality', they will hem and haw and look at their shoes, but they ain't gonna recommend something they don't have.
So our search (engine) narrowed to Airstreams.
Well, did I mention that we are a little impulsive? We fell in love with the first one we saw. Our requirements were that it had to have a double bed, no rear bath, and in good shape. (Husband is sweet, but only now learning to be handy.) Did we thoroughly check it out? NO! All the POs stuff was in it when we went to look at it, and, incidentally, still in it when we went to pick it up. Did we plug it in, check the appliances, run the propane? NO!! We took their word that everything worked. Are we crazy? YES! We paid a lot of money on total trust. Did we get incredibly, overwhelmingly lucky? YES!! We've had to replace the awning and get a new hot water heater, but other than that there was very little that needed fixing.
And now, the rest of the story. Well, this is a story that will go on and on... We have named her 'Upscaleability', and she is a beautiful 1978 31' Sovereign
. We are, for a whole week now, full-timing in her, at a very beautiful lake in North Florida, right outside of Tallahassee. A lot of my questions have been answered on this forum, and I have been very eager to introduce ourselves, but having bottled it up for so long I've had more and more to say! Dear sweet husband and I are very happy, very healthy, and feel blessed beyond words that life has brought us in this direction. Mexico is still there, and we will make it yet, in Frida. But when our roaming is done we have a beautiful little Airstream to come home to, which, I might say, holds a lot more stuff than a VW!
Bye for now...