Vaya Con Perros is on the road! Kevin’s dad took this picture as Kevin and the dogs left Lake Stevens, WA this morning to head south and pick Suzanne up at the airport. It’s not that Suzanne was trying to avoid the last-minute packing, it’s just that she had to make a quick overnight trip to Chicago for work. Since we each experienced Day 1 in slightly different ways, we decided to share our individual points of view.
Suzanne’s Version of Day 1: I woke up in a comfortable bed at the Doubletree Hotel after having spent the previous evening talking about fundraising with a group of endurance athletes from the AIDS Foundation of Chicago’s “Team to End AIDS” and enjoying a delicious dinner with my dad and his sweetheart, Mary. I took a shuttle to the airport, settled into my spacious seat in the exit row and caught up on emails during the relaxing 4-hour flight home. It was so much fun to be waiting outside baggage claim and see Kevin and the dogs come around the corner in the RV. I hopped in and was all smiles as Kevin guided us and the rig eastbound on I-90 up and over the Cascades. I hadn’t yet driven the RV on the freeway but he made it look so easy that I started to think it wasn’t going to be that big of a deal. We stopped in Cle Elum for gas, switched drivers and then continued east with me at the wheel.
Let’s just say that it wasn’t quite as easy as Kevin made it look. Being behind the wheel of a 36-foot RV while towing an SUV and driving at freeway speeds with semi trucks, other motorhomes and cars whizzing by me just about maxed out my stress level. I did manage to drive the rest of the way to Wanapum State Park without losing my mind or crying or giving up. (I cannot, however, say that I kept my language entirely clean). But what really saved me today were the “Student Driver” magnets I purchased on Amazon a few weeks ago. One of my best purchases ever. Seriously. After the first 10-15 miles of white knuckle driving I was able to settle in and relax, focusing on what I was doing and not worrying about what everyone else was doing. The student driver magnets told them everything they need to know. I guided us safely into Wanapum, we enjoyed a delicious home-cooked meal and we are all tucked in for the night.
Kevin’s Version of Day 1:
5:15am – Wake up after 5 hours of sleep for the 2nd night in a row
5:30am – Coffee and personal email
6:00am – Feed and walk dogs
6:30am – Conference call for work
7:00am – Check fluids and start packing things away for the trip
9:30am – Dad arrives back at house and we begin hooking up the toad
9:40am – Realize keys for motorhome are nowhere to be found
9:50am – Minor emotional meltdown
10:00am – Brother comes out to search for keys, now three people on the search team
10:30am – Keys found under a bag of groceries
10:50am – On the road. Several items fall on Molly on way out of driveway
10:51am – Molly has minor emotional breakdown
11:10am – On I-5 southbound, pouring rain, wind, and being passed on left by giant 5th wheel and on right by semi truck. Simultaneously.
11:11am – Minor emotional breakdown
11:50am – Arrive at airport to greet the wife
12:00pm – On the road
3:10pm – Fill up gas tank in Cle-Elem. Have to reset pump because of too much $$ for one transaction. Twice.
3:15pm – Hand keys to Suzanne
3:25pm – Big hills, fast moving semi’s and cars, extremely rough road on I-90
3:26pm – Suzanne has minor emotional break down
5:00pm – Arrive safely at Wanupum Park on the Columbia River – absolutely gorgeous and ready to relax!
As our friend Jane said, “Enjoy the moment. You only officially get to leave on this big adventure once and there’s always that delightful anticipation of leaving on a trip.” It’s so true. Even with the stress of navigating the freeway driving today, it’s definitely been delightful. There’s something so relaxing about not having to be anywhere. We’re already here. Wherever we are these next 6 months, we’re home.
(The pictures in the album below are from our test drive of the toad on Monday with Suzanne’s brother Scott and a few from today. We’d especially like to point out how cute and tired our dogs are after their first full day of RV’ing).