Even buying new, we still had work to do in the camper. From tackling the big issues like “where is Little Bird going to sleep” to other big issues like “do we have the right toilet paper” and “how do you empty the black tank,” we knew we needed to get a couple of nights under our belt before we go full time. We both camped quite a bit growing up and tent camped many times together, but since the last time we went camping (when I was 6-weeks pregnant), life has changed a little bit and we were both a little anxious about how this trip would go.
We headed to the storage unit in the early afternoon to pick up Cate. Will got the truck hooked up while I did a final walkthrough to make sure we had the basics covered. Once we double- and triple-checked all the things, we headed to the Laurel Highlands.
We arrived at the campground and found our spot. Will backed her up beautifully and, by an amazing stroke of luck, the site was perfectly level. We juggled the very curious toddler and dog and managed to get everything set up and ready to go by dinner time.
All in all, everything went well that first night, aside from the adjustment everyone needs when sleeping in a new place for the first time. Little Bird was uncharacteristically unsettled and Daisy was on high alert, overly concerned about the squirrel and chipmunk population. We are so excited to be able to travel with our home so even though the scenery might change, we will still be settled and comfortable inside.
Early that first morning, though, just after Will left to go check out the fishing in the campground’s pond, the heat kicked on and so did the smoke detector (oh joy!). He graciously came back to help get me and the girls settled down and to air out the camper while the heater burned off whatever was in the system. Luckily, that was the only (false) alarm of the trip. (And he made it back to the pond and caught a dozen bass.)
Will’s sister and her partner joined us for the second night, and we were so excited to have them. We have been lucky to have such loving support from our families as we make this drastic change in our lifestyle, so it was extra special to get to share our first trip with someone close to us.
All in all, our test run was an absolute delight, and coming home was bittersweet. We know the next time we take Cate out will be the real deal, and we are so ready for that time to be now. At the same time, we know that this was the last time we would “come home” to our sticks and bricks from an adventure. We are more than ready to move on from this house, but it will still be hard to say goodbye to the place where I went from a single gal to a homeowner, a wife, a dog mom, and a mama.