I know this is similar to another photo I've shared, but I really want you to see my piano... well keyboard I guess. It brings me great pleasure to have brought something to the van that really makes it feel like home.
When I was really little my dad (who plays the piano beautifully by ear) did his best to teach my sister and I how to play the piano. We developed some skills, but we were way more interested in playing outside so we never progressed past a very basic level. When we moved back to the States though, my parents started both of us in lessons with the most amazing piano teacher ever - Mrs. Robinson. Unfortunately, we had lessons with her for less than a year when tragically, she died. It was enough time though to make me really start falling in love with the piano, but I never took lessons again.
When we moved for Justin's residency we found ourselves in a new place, far from family, without any friends. This wasn't an entirely new situation for us, but somehow it felt harder and I found myself very sad and lonely. To help pass the time, I purchased a piano off Craigslist for $50 and decided to conquer the instrument once and for all, which meant learning all over again since it had been almost 15 years since I'd played. I had this idea that it might be too late to ever get good since I was learning as an adult, but over the next couple of years playing the piano became one of my favorite activities and I made a ton of progress. I'm no Rubinstein, but I'm happy to say I can play classical music with two hands 😁 When we decided to move into the van, I immediately thought about my piano and the thought of living without it made me sad. So, we decided to come up with a way for me to keep playing, which ended up being a sliding table, bench seat, and keyboard. It's not the same as my piano, but I'm so glad we decided to add this "non-essential" but emotionally essential feature to our van.
Moral of the story: it's never too late to learn something new/if you're going to move into a van, incorporate the things you really love even if it doesn't make total sense.
Today marks 7 years of being married to my best friend. We planned our wedding in a few days time. I didn't want any frills or any big fuss. And we decided we most certainly weren't going into debt just to get married. I got my dress off the clearance rack and my mom and I made my bouquet with my grandma's pearls wrapped around the stems. We were married by an Englishman in a field under a 300 year old oak tree in Savannah, Georgia. We had a single violinist and whatever family was able to show up on short notice. My "grand entrance" to the ceremony was made by awkwardly spilling out of the back of this vintage Cadillac in the 2nd photo. I tripped on my dress and my heels immediately stuck in the mud. For some reason, I was compelled to shout, "here I am!" in a weird voice followed by nervous laughter. It was a Lucille Ball entrance for sure. The only part of our wedding we really splurged on was our photographer. Beautiful photos were so important to me. I remember the day we got our wedding photos back and my first thought was, "we ruined them all!" We'd get put into formal poses by the photographer and then we'd end up like some version of this photo. My false eyelashes were coming off from so much laughing and Jason couldn't keep a straight face to save himself. The faces he did manage to make just ended up looking like sheer terror. And in some of the photos, Jason stuck my bouquet in my face and I promptly pretended to eat the leaves. 😂 I'm sure the poor photographer thought we were insane. We were surely the least graceful couple to ever pose for wedding photos. For some reason, we just really, really enjoyed watching eachother squirm in the awkward poses. And then I realized these photos completely captured who we were and exactly what kind of relationship we have. We are the best of friends and we don't take ourselves too seriously. It's only fitting that my favorite photos from our wedding are the ones of us not being able to keep it together. 💜
“Mornings are for coffee and contemplation." They're for relaxing, de-stressing, and catchups. Mornings are for all of the things you've yet to do and all of the ideas on how to get yourself there. Mornings are for breakfast (the best meal) and sunrises from the van. Grateful for our mornings.
Some progress from Mexico. Two parts of a long list of modifications to the van are nearly complete. The first is to cut out and reinforce the metal at the top of the rear hatch where the GoWesty swing aways attach. With the extra weight on my swing arms I already had to beef them up this past summer after one of them cracked in Nova Scotia. I was concerned about them holding up over the long term so I had them beefed up. Next up is a custom carrier for my DiBlasi folding scooter which I’ve decided I want to take with us to South America. Made out of lightweight aluminum it will attach to the swing arm down low and the DiBlasi will be bolted into it and secured with 3 locks. The DiBlasi weighs 63lbs. The spare tire that I had on the back there is going to be relocated under the van where I’m having a custom carrier made for it to replace the stock clamshell. Goes in for repainting next month. 🚎🌬🛵