The van is gone
...so we ran away to Vegas Vegas? "How do they have time" you must ask. The easy answer is... we don't!! But, we also were becoming very aware of the fact that we would be watching the van drive away in less than a week and despite our best laid plans were clearly not going to be able to make another trip down to cali.
When our friends called and told us they were making a quick weekend trip to vegas for a jimmy buffett concert we simply couldn't say no. Sure it added to an already hectic/crazy situation but it also gave us a chance to see them again (and a nice opportunity to get our wedding "ring" tattoos touched up) before leaving for the caribbean and surprisingly enough a few days lounging by the pool (and by the craps table) was actually a much needed respite to the work/research we've been doing back home.
So we broke the news to Karma that she's be staying with our lovely dogsitter for a few days (ironically... just before she moves into a van to travel full time), boarded the plane and set out.
It also didn't hurt that the van's new owner wanted to fly in and pick it up just before that weekend. When we first offered to pick her up at the airport and find a place to park and give her the detailed tour/briefing...we never imagined that afterword we would have to ask her for a lift back to the airport to catch our own flights!
It was all pretty otherworldly. She dropped us off at departures. We turned and stared for several minutes as our home drove away and i fought back the temptation to chase after her screaming that someone had stole our home... but then we took a deep breath, every felt right and as it was supposed to be. So we turned around, walked into the airport and flew to Vegas. ;)
I think the weekend away might have saved us some sadness (or at least provided some distraction) from watching our home on wheels drive away... but we had to admit it was going to happen at some point. For the first time in almost 7 years our primary home is no longer a van. The van is now someone else's home. Yikes!
Regardless... It was a simply lovely trip and our friends gave us a great excuse to leave the craps table and spend days by the pool (who even knew vegas had pools) =) Our minds would still race back to the lists and projects on the boat and we fielded calls as needed- but its amazing what a few laps around the lazy river can do to calm the mind.
Besides... things are getting cold in portland, so this seemed like a great way to introduce our bodies to what's to come and give us a reset button for the insane weeks to come.
Oddly, even the Jimmy Buffet concert was a completely different experience than we might have imagined. Any Jimmy song has always been fun, and a concert with friends is always an event to remember... but as we sat in the nosebleed seat amongst the thousands of parrotheads all dressed head to toe in beachwear and listened to Jimmy swoon about boats and sailing and the islands- we couldn't help but feel as though he was actually singing to us.
The message in his songs hit a little deeper than before and every word not only drilled home exactly Why we were embarking upon this new adventure, but also sent chills through us as we began to realize that this is actually happening. That the images and videos playing behind Jimmy as he sings to us about blue waters and tropical drinks were about to be our new life.
The entire event was otherworldly, but we are thrilled we continued to say yes to opportunities (even when they present in the middle of madness), and the trip was a blast. We didn't win enough at the tables to pay for the trip as planned... but did walk away winners, and thats not even counting the time with friends and whatever life lessons Jimmy taught us along the way! ;)