Accommodations

California, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Florida!

Wow folks, it’s been over a month since I posted! Sorry not sorry. Let me tell you why!

Last you heard (besides Shanties first race) was our poor Skoolie blowing the transmission and leaving us sideways in the middle of a highway. Once we handed over my left arm and Matts wallet to fix the motor, we parked it in Oklahoma. Matt was a champ and took on a part time job in contracting with my family while I found odd end jobs.

Before we left Florida back in July, I had already committed to doing hair for a wedding for mid October. To keep my word, I packed up Shanti and headed east to fulfill my promise.

Quick pic of the bridal party and their beautiful hair! Such a fun group of lovely women!

This was the beginning of 2 full weeks in the panhandle spending quality time with Gam Gam and MiMi! I know Shanti enjoyed it as much as her grandmas did!

FYI: Gam Gam is my mom in the collage below.

…and Mi Mi is Matts mom in the photos below!

After I wrapped up the time in Florida, we loaded up again and flew all day to land in Sacramento, California. This is where Shanti and I spent another week visiting friends and doing hair. This trip to Folsom was the first since I was only 6 months pregnant. Our little travel love bug! This girl (daughter of Nomads) has been on 12 flights in her 9 months of life!Hair clients, childhood friends and what I call “chosen family” welcomed us with so much love and arms wide open. The story goes… I booked this California trip with Matt coming as well to assist with Shanti, “father-daughter days” as I did hair. With him working and building on the bus in Oklahoma, we decided it’d be more productive if he stayed back and I went alone.

wait, Matt working without a camera? Yep! My amazingly talented husband dove into the dusty world of cabinetry, both professionally and in our bus!

Meanwhile back in Cali, look at these happy & helpful people loving on Shanti!

I had a day off that allowed me to take Shanti to her first gymnastics class! It was Halloween week so the kids got to wear costumes! Fun fact – Her coach Kira is also a long time friend that actually visited us in Barbados! You’d recognize her from the post Visitors… a dozen of them! Another fun fact- This is the same gym that I taught at for 7 years and Matt worked at last year! Click here for the post about Tricks Gymnastics!

Shanti had no fear of going upside down and clearly likes to shake it…. I mean bounce it….rrrr… jump?!

Andrea and Josh, the way you opened your home and handed over the car keys meant so much to me. I felt extremely comfortable and our trip wouldn’t have been the same without your hospitality!

On our flights back to daddy in Oklahoma, we got to meet 2 unforgettable women and a bundle of others. #iplankforpizza (I’m embarrassed to admit I forgot her first name) is a fitness instructor that Shanti immediately connected with. It’s hard not to make a new friend when a small human is literally attempting to sit in your lap.

These flight attendants kidnapped her right away and asked for my phone… they brought her back with a photo of the captain letting her explore!

Dionna from our late night flight was by far the most helpful during our journey. Shanti was showing signs of being tired and I was ready for my pillow and slippers. Not only did Dionna hold Shanti, she had a seat with us and let my little monkey climb all over her while we had some girl chat. She’s one of those women that you can talk too easily and feel like you’ve known for years! It was too dark for a photo but I most definitely see us reconnecting in the future… bus and all!

Speaking of the bus, once Shanti and I got back to Oklahoma with Matt, we packed up and headed to Arkansas to get the floors done!

A huge thank you beyond words and a blog post mention to our cousin Dakota. Not only did he allow us to park our bus on his property, he gave us his room and took on the role of the best Uncle Koda ever! We thank you so much!A little more family time is always wonderful with these lovely people!While we were there, we also took a family day and went to the Gorge near Hot Springs for a walk and mini hike. What a backyard to play in!…back to the bus.

Our cousins (and owners of the recently awarded #1 company O’Bryan Family Flooring) provided us with these beautiful floors!

After 4 months of living between Oklahoma and Arkansas, we headed back to Florida to complete the bus and spend the holidays on the beach!

Next up, our new chapter in Miramar Beach Florida! Photo by my hubby:)

Categories: Accommodations, Baby Talk, Bus life, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Another adventure away from the bus!

In the last post, Skoolie paint job is almost done! we had accomplished a majority of the exterior design. Since then, we have added our surprise addition which is a chocolate chip brown shiplap accent on the sides. It’s a tongue and groove style that went on nicely with some help from amazing, patient, knowledgeable, loving family members. Thank you Reggie, Bryan and Dane!

We got an opportunity to go back to Florida for a visit so we locked up the bus and headed to Miramar Beach! This makes for Shanti’s 3rd airplane ride!

I was able to get all my hair clients in for another round while Matt worked his camera around the area. I absolutely love that we can travel with our careers!

Between the catching up, Shanti got to reconnect with some of her biggest fans. My mom (Gam Gam), was all about getting this little girl in the water and we all loved it! Babies are meant to float, kick and splash!

And of course all that energy spent means for a crash on Gam Gams shoulder. This photo will forever be precious to me.

We stayed with Matts mom (Mi Mi), so there were plenty of snuggles from her as well! The hugs were accompanied by Shanti’s Great Grand parents (Maw Maw & Paw Paw). You’ve seen them in past posts like Shanti meets more family! We also made time for a family brunch!

This is TJ and Erica (she came to visit us in Barbados!) …and Shanti with the photo bomb.

What’s this, an 80’s themed birthday party for Dustin!? Well don’t mind if we do! (Special thanks to Stephanie, safe to assume it wouldn’t of happened without you!)

Look, it’s the couple that gave us the bus!

After the quick Florida visit we were ready to get back to Arkansas. Matt more than me as he really missed our other “baby” – aka the bus.

Matt rode his motorcycle back (with intention to sell it) so Shanti and I took a mother/daughter day of flights! Well actually, night of flights. Look at this sweet little tired girl…. and never mind my mouth piece.

Back home and almost finished up with the exterior! How do we ever repay for the amount of help we’ve received here!? Well you saw the land we’re living on in the post The wheels on the bus… go to Arrrkansas!and this week they’ve rented some heavy machinery to continue the renovation. You don’t have to ask Matt twice to play with big toys!

Meanwhile, Lacie is missing from the photos…. again. In fact, she took all of these photos, as usual. Lacie, I will be doing a full post on just you soon, so get ready!

Next up – a road trip to Oklahoma for more help from family and friends!

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The wheels on the bus go…. to Arrrrrkansas!

As you saw in the previous post, we were making our way from Florida to Arkansas to park it where it’ll be stationed for a majority of the renovation. Along the way, it started overheating whenever we’d go up hills or if the engine was pushed too hard… no good. While letting it cool down in Mobile Alabama, we decided to take it to a diesel specialist who spent hours diagnosing it with an estimate higher than you can imagine or at least more than we wanted to hear.Check out the sign they put on our beauty queen. (It says “this is not trash”). Priceless. So Matt decided to contact Steve (the magical mechanic from back home) to see if there was an alternative. Steve said that it wasn’t hard to fix as long as you had the right tools and instructions. With that said, Matt was willing to park our beast road-side and do it himself! During a phone conversation, we got the most unexpected news, Steve was going to drive all the way to help Matt fix it! Sure it was only a few hours round trip, but would you want to drive that after working all day!? Here we have yet another helping hand willing to contribute to our journey. We’re so grateful! Fast forward through the evening, Matt and Steve got the bus dialed in and it’s ready to roll. 8pm seems like an ideal time to check in for a good nights rest however it’s also the perfect time for Shanti to sleep through the drive, so we decided to skip the bed and keep on trekking.

Our goal was to get to Jackson Mississippi and find a hotel to close our eyes for a few hours so we could continue fresh(ish) onto Arkansas. We accomplished our goal to Jackson however finding a decent hotel with a reasonable price at 4am didn’t pan out. Plan B? Sleep in the bus! We found a gas station with diesel parking and we made it home for an hour nap.

Thank you Matt for capturing this photo even though I was not into it. This will go down in history as our first night in the bus!

We woke up to a beautiful sunrise next to a gorgeous open green field that welcomed us with the faint scent of cow manure. Other than the smell (cough-gag-cough) it was perfect!

We fueled up and headed north. Just a few more hours coasting at an average speed of 50 mp, we arrived to the surprisingly green Arkansas.

Here’s the view of the new location for our new home! It used to be packed full of forest but they’re currently transforming it into a self-sustaining farm with a spring fed pond. How lucky are we!?

Looking outward from the property.

Birds eye view. How amazing is this spot for our bus conversion… Space, privacy, security and family (help hehe)! See our yellow buddy down there?

Thank you cousins for the instant smiles and open arms that welcomed our project. It wouldn’t be the same without you!

Next post, updated bus pics! I can’t wait to show you how far it’s come. Here’s a sneak peek with a sweet video of two of our helpers:)

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Bus conversion – Making it a Clean Canvas!

Our first family photo in our first owned home! (A proper fixer-upper to say the least).The last week has been filled with many discussions over coffee about the layout of our new space. As you can imagine, the decisions we make now will determine our comfort and functionality of our future living. Luckily there are several nomads who have done this before us so it’s been helpful to look at other people’s ideas for our bus conversion.

Even though we’d (I’d) rather be drawing out the design and spending time on the color scheme, first things first… create a clean canvas. Matt has definitely gotten his workouts in by removing everything in the bus so we can clean, seal and protect the shell of our home.

Once the bulky items were removed (and we got a day full of rain) any leaky holes or loose seals were quickly taken care of. Rust was removed then protected with Rustolium and any gaps in the floor were patched up with fiberglass and magic.

I’ll have to be honest with you, it was hard for me to visualize anything besides a bus until I saw it completely gutted out. Now I can see the endless possibilities for our home on wheels. Of course due to the small square footage, every space needs to be accounted for and every item needs to serve a purpose with multiple uses.

Nerd alert… This excites me!

The following is my husbands quick breakdown of his experience this past week working with his new found love.

Matt + Fiberglass = Endless creations

“Laying the fiberglass is a messy, but super crazy awesome process. Especially when you think about all the possibilities and things to create with it.

First Step- Buy raw fiberglass sheets, and Bondo epoxy resin.

Second Step- Find all the spots that need to be sealed, and cut small fiberglass sheets to cover those areas. Prepping is key because the epoxy resin starts to set in about 12 minutes.

Third Step- Mix the resin one to one and have a brush ready! It time to move quick.

Fourth step– Completely saturated the fiberglass with the resin. I started brushing resin on the floor and then on to fiberglass to saturate it. I quickly found that that was not fast enough so I just started dumping it in with my hand!

Fifth step- Lay it out and smooth it with your hand or brush.

And boom! We are all fiberglass experts! That’s how I felt at the end of this process. It was a little stressful because of the time crunch, but it’s a easy process. I’m thinking there will be a lot of this stuff around the bus now!”

Something to look out for! Matt has been filming our bus journey and will soon be posting the videos online. That channel will soon be announced!

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There’s no place like home… on the road!

After 3 attempts to live somewhere stationary, 2 years of discussion and a recent “ah-ha” moment, Matt and I have decided to sell what we have (again), and hit the road! Instead of investing in a house with a picket fence, (can you imagine? Haha!) we’re going to be renovating a large vehicle into a mobile tiny home!

We’ve started a goal list with an old fashioned savings jar (which is a beautiful recycled zip cloth bag) to make this dream happen. We even created a cheesy drawing to record our earnings for a visual to manifest this journey! Do you see Shanti’s hand helping?

What kind of wheels are we looking at? For us, it has turned into more of a narrow it down game based on priorities verses knowing exactly what we want. What’s more important to our family? Safety, space, mobility, gas mileage, engine strength, comfort… the list goes on.

We’ve found 6 options and have narrowed it down to 3. Here are the ones who have already been cut from the running.

VW bus. The classic hippie van that invites minimal bathing with a laid back vibe. I can only imagine most of them with a sticker that says “Gas, Grass or Ass for a free ride”. For us, too small.

Sprinter Van. This one is the next up in size and probably the most mobile for it’s space. Super versatile, easy to drive and the average person can sand straight up inside! We liked the “incognito” idea, people wouldn’t know if we were a flower delivery company or the local plumber. However for our party of 3, still too small.

Monster Custom Off Road Beast. This home on wheels is designed for all terrain including cliff sides, bottom of the ocean, and tree tops. This was the winner until we realized it was a $450,000 above our budget. Bummer.

Now to the finalist!

Mid-sized Transit Bus. Decent in size, still fairly mobile and easy to park mostly anywhere.

Full length School Bus. Tons of living space but a giant to drive. Most likely to feel like home, but limited on places to park.

Traditional RV. Everything would mostly been done (plumbing, wiring, etc.) Plus comfortable space and clean layout. Just not as cool as the others.

We’re curious what you would choose if you were in our shoes… or what you think we should do! Click here to cast your vote!

Reminder to follow officially to get updates as we take off on this family adventure!

Categories: Accommodations, Bus life, Polls, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

7 years ago today…

What were you doing on this exact date 7 years ago? I was zipping up my backpack to load up before my mom dropped me off at the Sacramento airport for the first day of an unpredictable journey around the world. I can recall having no fear or at least no hesitation in the adventure I was about to embark on. Just excitement and a new found enthusiasm for life!

As each year unfolded and my passport filled to the rim (with about 80 stamps!) I encountered new friends, adopted cultural traditions and continued to allow my mind to expand. Sometimes it’s surreal when I look back on the photos as it usually feels like I’m talking about someone else from a book I read or movie I saw. If you want to see a clear layout with links of my first exciting year on the road, take a look at the 2012 archives!

I was going to make this post about some of my favorites from around the world, cuisine, music, architecture, etc. but as I began to write I felt more drawn to explore what kind of lessons I gathered from a variety of places. Could be that I’m 9 months pregnant and my sensitive hormones are on high, or simply because I’ve never really stopped to ask myself such a question.

So Erika, where did you learn some significant lessons and how did you walk away from it a better person?

PERU – Although I visited several different cities throughout the country, a little village has always stood out to me. I rarely go back to a place I’ve been, but the magnetic pull was too strong for me to ignore in Huambutio. I was invited to volunteer there in a variety of things from teaching English to painting walls, cooking and even to coach gymnastics.

The lesson here was simple, appreciation for the simple things.

Sounds obvious or cliche, but there were a few events that triggered this conscious thought. First was the toothpaste. We taught the kids how to make their own toothpaste (that they got to take home) and the importance of dental health. The enthusiasm and gratitude they showed was outstanding! Something we may all take for granted or even see as a thoughtless item we look for on sale at Target, but these children guarded their portion like it was gold. Makes me wonder if they had ever used any… ever. Next was meal time. The children’s breakfast everyday was 1/2 of a hard boiled egg with a scoop of plain oatmeal (not your Starbucks brown sugar, toasted nut and cranberry shenanigans, but warm oats and water). We would divide an apple into 1/8 slices in order for everyone to get a bite as a snack and occasionally got to accompany it with a few pieces of toasted corn. Lunch and dinner was whatever we picked that day from the garden. A clear memory I have was the evening they said we were goin to make corn bread. Now, I was aware enough to not aimlessly look for a box of ready make Betty Crocker, but I was on the scout for cornmeal and the rest of the ingredients. I can’t remember how long they let me look before informing me that we actually have to go pick the corn to start the process. After I was done blushing, off to the garden we went! An experience that made every bite of that bread savored as if we had spent hours preparing it… because we did!

I suppose all of this hit me harder than I was expecting when I flew out of Peru into the states to visit family. My first stop was Dallas, Texas… home of everything huge! I had my apple bits, a few nuts and some cash to get me buy as I plopped down in the food court during my layover at the airport. A family sat next to me who didn’t go out of their way to be discreet. The children were clearly mad at the toy they got in the happy meal, a meal that they didn’t want to finish for whatever reason. After fits and French fries on the floor, the meals went into the garbage. I’m not claiming that we need to starve to appreciate fullness, or go without toothpaste to love a good sale at Target. I will admit however, that I may have judged this situation in the moment, but looking back now it was an opportunity that invited me to reflect on my own behavior. Had I carelessly disposed of food that could of been leftovers or compost? How many times did I complain, especially as a child, about the items in front of me with no gratitude that I even had options!?

Moving from food to activity, we ventured to the outdoor area and I was pleasantly surprised at the creative use of items that would typically land in the trash. Used plastic containers, snack wrappers, laundry bottles, juice boxes, warm out shoes and more. I loved it!

This experience as a whole opened a new part of my character to this day (even ask those close to me), it’s left me very aware of waste, unnecessary abundance and a love for keeping things simple. I am that weirdo that has 1/4 of an apple in my fridge with full intentions of eating it. I order a to-go box with my meal whenever we enjoy the luxury of eating out. I choose not to go to Costco and buy a village sized pack of paper plates on sale because I “might” need them someday. By no means am I claiming some sort of award winning lifestyle, just sharing the lesson that 7 years later still sticks in my everyday existence. And now with a little girl due any day, I hope to carry this in our family and raise a grateful human that appreciates her surroundings and has gratitude for our simple luxuries.

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16 flights, 4 states and a lot of love

Just as quickly as we arrived to our new place of residence, I was packing up to fly back to California for a round of hair for my loyal clients. This trip was a mother-daughter adventure and was packed full of work, food, work, a day out and more work. It was also my little ones first airplane ride!

Without exaggerating, we were in the salon 11 of the 13 days we were in California. My hands were in hair and mom was taking care of everything else for me, such a help! One day we were off early enough to check out one of our old favorite sushi restaurants, Mikunis!

With over 70 salon clients completed and a beautiful bride happy with her hair, we were on the flight back to Florida.

Upon landing back home, I didn’t put my suitcase away since just a month later I was headed back to California! This time with Matt to do a few more weddings and one last round of hair for my clients.

#PregnantGirlWithASkateboard

My dear friends Sandy and Cheryl put on a baby shower for us which was such a sweet surprise surrounding us with so much love and excitement! Tons of hair, 2 weddings and a flight back home puts us back in Florida and into October. Believe it or not, 6 days later I hopped another flight to head to Oklahoma and Arkansas for one last visit to my fathers family before our little girl meets the world.

Oklahoma was peaceful and full of family time which I value so much. If you’re new to this blog, feel free to look back on the older post, New found higher love or Hot with a 92% chance of muggy to get more of an understanding of these precious kids!

While in Oklahoma, my fathers amazing wife threw me a baby shower which was filled with so much love!

Fun and crazy fact, if you were to take the women (about a dozen) at this shower and added up the total amount of children they’ve had combined… it rounds out at 50!

After Oklahoma, my brother Ben and sister Hannah drove me to Arkansas where I got to spend about a week with my dear cousins. Road trip!

Arkansas was wonderful as always and ended with a fun photo to capture my best friend (cousin) and I with our role reversal. These pictures were taken 7 years apart!On my flight back home I realized that our little girl has been on 16 flights since being created and she’s not even born yet! Hopefully this is preparing her for the beautiful journey ahead.

Finally landed back in Florida with my babé where we’ll stay until Shanti Mae is born!

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On the road again!

After 8 months in Folsom, we were preparing to make our journey from California to Florida. First step was to sell our beloved Toyota 4Runner and purchase a “grownup” vehicle, a family friendly, fuel efficient, safe and reliable Subaru Crosstrek.

In the meantime, we had been looking into renting a Uhaul trailer to tow all of our belongings and after weeks of research, we (he) decided to build a trailer on his own to save cash and have something we can keep… and let’s admit it, it was a cool project for captain construction to have some fun with 😉 I’ll admit I was a little hesitant in the beginning but as time passed it proved to be perfect! I’m so proud.

Ok, so we’re packed, loaded and ready to go! Looking at the car-trailer photo from above makes me giggle knowing that everything we own is in that picture (excluding Matts surf boards). We have so much to be grateful for and so minimal to worry about. Beautiful!

The last time we made this trip (in reverse) we took the northern route through Nevada, Utah, Colorado and then on. This time we chose to go south to visit a few friends along the way and see some new scenery. First stop was in Riverside (Southern California) to see Craigg! You’ll recognize him from his first trip to Barbados, my time in Japan and most recently at our wedding.

Next up was Phoenix to hug Christie and John! Another bundle of joy that you’d recognize from Doing work in the AZ and also our wedding!

There really wasn’t anybody from Arizona to Oklahoma so we just made a quick overnight stop in New Mexico and woke up to get to my dads house for bedtime.

Our time in Oklahoma was short and sweet but allowed for a solid catch up with our family and announce the gender of our little one! We gave all 5 siblings a can of silly string and let them unload on us. Too much fun!

After Oklahoma we made what should of been a quick trip to Arkansas but considering we stopped every hour for the prego to pee, it took us far longer than expected. Sorry babe. The photo below is me attempting to get comfortable with a pregnancy pillow that was gifted to us. Epic fail… but we eventually made it to beautiful Hot Springs!

More cousins and tons of love greeted us on our final extended stay of the trip.

We made it to our last stop of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in which the camera regrettably didn’t leave our bags. I have no picture highlighting our visit with Matts grandparents (Maw Maw and Paw Paw) but it was short, sweet and full of homemade cookin! Early the following morning we said our goodbyes and put home in the GPS. Final destination, Miramar Beach, Florida!

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Honeymoon Road trip – part 2!

Our honeymoon happened to overlap with Matts birthday so I wanted our next pitstop to be extra special. Utah or Nevada, hmmm. I searched for hidden jems and popular attractions and didn’t have to look any farther once landing on this beauty….

The Mystic Hot Springs of Monroe Utah!

👉🏽 CLICK HERE to see the video of our adventure at the Springs!

It’s a quaint little community many miles away from well, anything! Although the main attraction was the natural hot springs that bubble up on the property, the selling point for me was the accommodations. You had your choice between a van, covered wagon or old fashion school bus, all which had been converted into lovable spaces. We chose the bus!

The outside had a small patio which was the perfect space for Matt to cook us up some dinner on our camping stove while we sat and took in the ambiance. Inside there was a small dining area, full bed, couch and sink that took up most of the space with a bright tapestry separating the door from the room. The door, mind you, was the original swinging model with no lock or safe way of securing it completely closed. The bright side was being surrounded by people who generally gave off the hippie “one love” vibe with no concern of taking from you. A lot of bare feet, beards, braids and smiles greeted us as we walked the property.

The highlight of our stay was by far the music! We happen to hit the weekend when a female bluegrass brand was passing through. The Sweet Lilies had a magnetic way of drawing you in to their soulful sound and unique style. We were sitting front row and enjoyed every minute! To make it even more memorable, one of the girls had spoke with Matt prior and found out he was a musician as well. This led to them inviting him on stage to jam out for a few songs, what a rare opportunity!

If you’re ever driving through the dessert of Monroe Utah and need some entertainment or place to crash, I highly suggest you take a dip in the springs and walk the grounds barefoot!

The rest of our trip was through the dry desert of Nevada finally landing us in Northern California. Here’s a few more random photos to wrap up the road trip!

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Visitors, a dozen of them!

Visitors! I’d love to go into full detail about each guest and at happened while they were here, but I’m too eager to catch up to the present day! With that said, I’m just going to sum up the 10 wonderful months of guests (for my selfish reflection and future reference).

First there’s Florian. If I could bundle up happy, creative, smart, funny, quirky, loyal and loving… he would be it! I met him over 7 years ago at my first Oktoberfest in Munich Germany, (a tradition that went on for years to follow) and continued to reconnect around the world. Prior to Barbados, there was a a surprise trip to Recklinghausen, a quick stop in Amsterdam , a week in Crete Greece and the unforgettable vacation he took to visit my home state of California!

Florian’s visit was over a year ago and I was able to make a post about it (I just didn’t want to leave his smile out of this article). If you’d like to see that one, please click here!

Next up was Amanda, a driven, hard working, beautiful friend that I met while working out. Who would of thought a few partner burpees would lead to a friendship and a visit out of the country?! She was also the first and only guest to get me out to run a casual 5k with her… on a Saturday… just for fun. Only you Amanda!

Kira and John, the first couple to come see us. I was so honored that they were willing to jet off (leaving their 3 kids with Nana) and stay awhile! I don’t think I had laughed so much in a matter of 5 days until these 2 showed up. Too much fun and memories for a life time!

Cole is a photographer, videographer, musician and owner of the quickly growing Enlightened Studios. Such an intriguing guy to have a round, especially when him and Matt would often nerd out on camera talk. Fun facts: Cole is the one that recorded our engagement! Fun fact #2: Cole and Matt now work closely together as they expand Enlightened Studios!

Sweet Erica… hairstylist, yogi, free spirited and a pocket full of sunshine. Her arrival overlapped with Coles and made for a great combo. She joined us with the cruise and a mud n’ paint party fully embracing the local celebration. My favorite part of her trip was our girls day out adventure! Accidentally driving the off road course, animal flower caves, a sunset glass of wine and a toast to the next chapter.

Josh is a long time friend of Matts and a new time friend to me! Adventure came full force when he landed, with hiking, climbing, surfing, dancing and a vegan dinner every night. Josh seemed to fit right in with his flexible personality and willingness to experience it all!

Matts mom Terri, her fiancé Jack and his daughter Lauren came out to see what all of our talk was about this beautiful island. It was also the perfect opportunity for me to get to know them even more! Island tours, boat cruises, beach days, local cuisine and a girls night (just me and Lauren) were just a few of the events welcoming this crew to our home.

Reni was Matts best man in the wedding and stayed with us for the days leading up to it. He doesn’t go unnoticed with his bright smile and not-so-subtle character. It definitely wouldn’t have been the same without him! What added to his energy? Only my dear friend Bree! An equally enthusiastic person with a lot of love and energy to give. These two at our place during the same time made for constant laughter and a family feel right off the bat! We were focused on the wedding so there weren’t too many casual photos taken around the house. Here are a few from the celebrations!

So in the short 10 months that Matt lived in Barbados with me, we got to house-sit 5 different homes and hosted a dozen visitors (not including the 25 at the wedding)! I’d like to claim a small success in sharing the beauty of my favorite island, so thankful we had the opportunity.

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