Roadtripping to FL
We finally did it!
We stuffed everything we could fit in the rental van (which we now call “the mini” with very little affection) and pulled away. It was in some ways very reminiscent of when we first pulled away from our tiny underground condo in Vancouver almost 7 years ago with all our belongings in the back (and had to stop and reorganize a few blocks later to make room for us to live) of the VW Bus, except this time we weren’t in our new home. We were stuffed to the gills inside a vehicle that wouldn’t allow us to sleep inside it for the first time since that day. And to be clear… we weren’t thrilled about it (and neither was karma).
This road trip didn’t take long to make it clear it was very different than anything we’ve done together. This wasn’t about comfort, or exploration, or adventure. This wasn’t us meandering through whatever new town we stumbled upon and stopping to take in the local flavor or snap photos of beauty along the way. This was all about efficiency. This was about getting across the country as fast as we reasonably could and getting to work on the boat we haven’t yet seen that will be our new home.
Our first day took us past boise, and we thought maybe we would continue across to denver, but a glance at the weather showed possible storms/snow and we didn’t want to risk driving the mini through anything that resembled snow, so we turned south through texas.
I cant remember the last time we’ve had so much fast food. I cant remember that last time a road trip seemed like a task rather than an adventure, and i certainly cant remember a single hotel as crappy as the 3 we stayed in for a few hours sleep each night before continuing onward - but the further we got cross country the more rushed we also felt. The more anxious and impatient we became. By the time we reached the state of Florida we barely wanted to stop into a hotel at all… we wanted to simply get this trip over with and to see our boat.
We were ready (overdo really) to start this new lifestyle and adventure that we only first conceived of a couple of months ago, but have been working toward and waiting for every day since.
As we got to southern Florida we could both feel the nerves growing. It was otherworldly and i cant remember us being this emotional about, or nervous/stressed out about anything since we made that first big “leap” and took off for mexico. This somehow feels very big, despite the fact we’ve gotten quite used to living outside the box and unconventionally.
This wasn’t just a new vehicle, but a new everything. Time for us to admit that we know absolutely nothing about boats, sailing, living aboard or whatever else is about to be thrown at us and to figure it all out.
We stopped a few blocks away from the marina for karma to take a walk and pee. I think maybe just to take a few deep breathes and check in with ourselves. Maybe because in our minds we actually thought that once we stepped onto the boat there would never be another chance for her to do so. That we would all be stuck for a few weeks before stepping foot on land again. Im not sure… its honestly all kind of a blur and i think the brains had mostly stopped working.
We loaded back into the mini, drove that last mile and pulled into the marina on pins and needles. We drove around and could not find our boat. How very anticlimactic.
We pictured ourselves pulling up, seeing it for the first time and I don’t know… running and dancing around on the deck before going below to test out the beds and then sharing a happy hour toast to our new adventure. Um… not so much.
We had to stop in to ask where our boat was, learned that the projects we had fought so hard to get complete before our arrival were not even close, and that there were in fact a few guys working on the boat currently.
We followed the guy over to our boat, realizing for the first time exactly how hot/humid it was. Shirts immediately soaked in sweat and constantly wiping sweat from our brows, we followed him quickly aboard our boat to see a mostly dismantled and torn apart and dirty interior and tried to feign listening intently while he described the status and told us about all the problems encountered and things that had broken along the way.
Honestly… I cant remember a single word he said. My eyes and brain were far too busy trying to look around us, to finally put eyes on the boat we’ve waited so long to meet, to try to stop freaking out about how… huge… this all was.
We grinned and nodded politely as he spoke and eventually got him to leave so we could walk around at least the parts of the boat we could actually get to while the workers aboard tried to wrap up before leaving for their weekend. It wasn’t exactly the entrance or the celebratory gala we pictured upon our arrival… but par for the course I guess. We are used to living in construction zones- not sure why we thought this would be any different.
Once the guys were off the boat we unloaded a single overnight bag from the mini as though we were checking into another hotel room, lifted the dog aboard (without really thinking through how we would get her back off), poured that happy hour cocktail and tried to figure out what the hell we’ve just done. ;)