Punta De Mita – a trip of many emotions

So two years ago, I took a job with a company as an independent writer for their social media. I learned the ins and outs of content creation on different platforms while practicing my creativity through words. How cool, right? I loved my job with Tiny Home Tours and was sad to resign, but I knew it would be best for my family and our future travels. Plus, after writing 30 hours a week, unfortunately, this blog was put to the side. Luckily, my talented husband is an incredible videographer that captured those years through the camera AND we’ve created a family-friendly(ish) YouTube channel! It’s called Their Happy Trails.

If you’d rather watch an entertaining episode of this post, we have a 13-minute video of it on our YouTube. Click here!

Our first family stop out of the United States was Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We’ve soaked in the sun, eaten delicious (and not-so-delicious) food, and explored the city’s vibrant culture—more on that in a later post.

An exciting part of our trip was when we accidentally stumbled upon a huge annual festival in Punta De Mita! It was an incredible experience for all of us.

I went for a morning walk to find us coffee, and there it was, a line of trucks, boats on trailers, and homemade floats lined up along an old city street. In my broken but mistakenly confident Spanish, I asked a local what was happening. Little did we know, we were in for a big surprise! He said, “It (never said what “it” was) starts at 9 am in the Plaza.” Ok then, off to the Plaza we go!

As we got closer, there was a big crowd of people. We could hear the authentic music of guitars, horns, and accordions, which caused Shanti to dance her way up the path. Oh, how I love this kid!

It was a huge annual festival celebrating the local heritage specific to this city. They take so much pride in their area and and we were thrilled to have stumbled upon it.

While exploring Punta De Mita, we met a family traveling on a bus! You guys, a Skoolie! For those of you that don’t know, Our family lived the bus life for 3 years! We recently sold our second rig to start these travels. See our last home on wheels and the amazing journey it took us on by heading over to our YouTube.

I was not expecting the rush of emotions to see an international family in a DIY tiny home just hanging out in this little surf town. They had driven there from Maine! They were so friendly and welcoming that I felt we had known them for years, especially the awesome momma of the all-boy crew. They showed us around and told us about their adventures. We were so inspired by their stories that we joined them multiple times, once for nighttime tacos, a few surf days, and of course, the crazy parade.

Matt got to surf while we all walked the long beach to La Lancha, and when I say long, I mean 4 miles roundtrip! Matt had his surfboard, so naturally, I assumed Id be the one carrying Shanti for most of the journey. Nope! This energy ball ran the whole way there and skipped the entire way back (and also slept for 12 hours that night).

Ok, total scene change. Matt, Shanti, and I were walking the streets one afternoon, and out of nowhere, like, thin air, this baby chick came chirping up to us. Way too young to be away from its momma but healthy enough to want comfort. It had clearly lost its way and, due to Shanti’s adoring snuggles, soon thought we were its family.

It was heartbreaking, but we knew we couldn’t keep the chick. We had to let it go, but we all fell in love with this little thing! It was an essential lesson for Shanti; she learned about the circle of life and how to let go of things we love. Confession, I secretly kept looking for it in the following days, hoping to get one more day with our adopted pet.

The images below were daddy telling her we had to say goodbye. Both of their expressions are on point with emotions.

Overall, it was an incredible trip. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our journey has in store for us. Shanti may remember some, if any, of these times, but I hope the overall energy of the experience will be seeded in her life’s journey.

Next up, more of Mexico!

Categories: International Family Travels, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Coming back with a confession…

So I had a baby…. like 15 months ago. (CONFESSION: she’s over 2 now to give you an idea of how long it’s taken me to finally publish this post). This article may not relate to all of you, but for some reason, I thought to write about this topic in hopes that someone out there could relate, connect and benefit from knowing you’re not alone.

Pre-baby, actually pre-marriage, ok so in truth, pre-any obligation to anything besides myself… I was a self-employed hairstylist turned international backpacker. An independent woman with 24 hours a day to do what I wanted, when I wanted, where I wanted, and for how long I wanted. Selfish? Maybe. Amazing? Absolutely!

Although I wouldn’t trade my present life for anything else, I’d be lying to you if I were to deny the fact that the transition I’ve encountered over the last 3 years has been difficult. So many factors come into play here. Going from living in a variety of countries with everything I own on my back, to the USA, a land of convenience, luxury and wasteful habits. Calm down, I’m not judging you… believe me, I’m guilty as well. The only way I became aware of what I had, is when I didn’t have it at all. Clean water, air conditioning, fresh fruit, locks on my door… all of these things are at our fingertips yet so many go without.

I could really get into the depths of my perspective about things we take for granted but that’s really just a perspective thing and not what I want to write about. Today I wanted to reach out to those who have transformed their lives into parenthood, primarily the mommas. Some choose to not make many changes after delivering their baby and that’s ok. Some alter their life in a way that’s unrecognizable and that’s ok… my goal was to organically find the balance that was right for me and my family.

Easier said than done.

Before I got pregnant you could find me in a crossfit gym for the 4:30am class or running a 10k for fun, especially if it ended at a pub. Woo! I’d do hair for 12 hours a day no problem then go dancing all night with the ladies, just to sleep for a few hours, and do it again. I know there’s a bundle of you out there right now reading this with a smirk, like, “yeh, those were the days!”.

I’m not saying I want those times back, but what I do want to write about is the transition that I wasn’t prepared for.

Breast feeding, got it.

Sleepless nights, sure.

Making baby food, doing tons of laundry, reading children books… check, check and check.

Sacrificing workouts because my daughter is sick? Wait..what?!

Cutting a date short in fear that she’d need to nurse soon, being bound to a baby while life was going on around me!?! Not so much.

Again, I know not everyone makes the same choices or has similar situations, but my life went from a drift car series to a merry-go-round in 9 months. I could have pumped or done formula bottles but I was so thankful for milk-filled nini jugs (boobs) that nursing was my priority and my choice. I could have hired babysitters so that I could get some alone time, but letting her out of my site just wasn’t a comfortable option for me.

My amazing husband did the best he could but in all reality, it was impossible for him to completely counter the imbalance I was feeling.

I’m not claiming to be anything besides the best I could be, but I tell you… there were moments of doubt.

After my journey around the world, there was a weird sense that often took over me during the first few months I returned to what most would call “normal life”. I wasn’t sleeping in orphan work halls, hostel bunk beds, train stations, airport terminals, or other bizarre locations. I had an abundance of food within reach at all times rather than sharing an apple with 4 other volunteers. I could drive to the store versus walking until I found the nearest village market. Coffee? You mean, right here in the kitchen? I think some of my most dominant morning memories on the road was waking up hungry and ready for coffee knowing neither was nearby. So I’d pack up the essentials and start walking. The bliss of finding fresh coffee and a piece of fruit was like Christmas every day! After that, all of a sudden I’m nose to handle with a Keurig and staring at my choice of every cereal known to man. I didn’t like it.

I think determining why I’m more comfortable in an uncertain situation versus the luxury of accessibility is way beyond a blog post, so I’ll leave that one up to the professionals to figure out. All I know is that now I’m a stay-at-home mom with a store in every direction that sells everything I need at all times and I’m itching for something different. Something less.. or is it actually more? More focus on the things that matter, more desire for making a lot out of a little.

Rather than “midlife crisis” I’d like to refer to it as “next chapter transitioning” or “new door opening” or “what the…!?”

I’ve kind of went off on a tangent here, but I suppose to wrap up the post I want to acknowledge that being a good parent doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Choosing to have a child doesn’t mean you’re in love with all of the conditions that it comes with. That being said, becoming a mother has been one of the most humbling and challenging things I’ve ever done. I’m so grateful for the experience and truly look forward to the many lessons, laughter and adventure that our future holds… I mean, we haven’t even endured the 6 year old sass-pants stage yet, let a lone the teenage years! One day at a time my friends… One day at a time.

Categories: Baby Talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Behind the scenes… tires, smoke, action!

You all know by now that my superstar husband is a photographer/videographer and content creator, brand builder, bus builder and, and, and…. pretty much anything he wants to be. I’m excited to share with you his latest project, producing a professional music video for a local artist! His position was to take the lyrics and develop visual concepts that go alongside them. Once the script was created, he picked up the camera to start capturing all the footage in which he’ll then edit and choreograph into the completed video.

In this portion of the video, the main character (our friend and multi-artist Velia Lala) is living out a fantasy of being center (literally) of an adrenaline filled, “bad girl” dream coming true. I’ll most definitely be posting the final video, but for now, I got permission to show you all a sneak peek of behind the scenes!

Side note: We learned that in addition to Rumba vacuums, Shanti is also afraid of drifter noises. (I kept her in our car for the remaining of the time poor thing).

Even sweet Shanti got to be a part of the mix, bring your baby to work day!?

A special thanks to Kluth Kickers for letting us tag along and providing the car, professional driver and drifting experience!

And now for the I super sneak peek! Click here and enjoy the short teaser edited by Matt!

For more about the main character and her incredible artistic abilities, see Velia Lala and what she offers at Velialala.com!

Categories: Art, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby’s 1st birthday and another bus video!

Matt just put this video together so I thought it’d be fun to post it out there! To see the previous footage of us being introduced to the bus, check out the last post by clicking here!

This next clip is our first visit to the bus as the new owners! Shanti was so little, my goodness how time flys. Before you click the link, let me share with you that it was a super hot day in Northwest Florida and our little girl was barely 5 months old, in other words, not cut out to melt in the smoldering heat. I took it upon myself to protect her by driving to a local grocery store (where we walked around in the air conditioning drinking iced beverages, snacking on samples and talking to strangers) while Matt willingly battled the heat in order to start the transformation. For what it’s worth, he did it with a smile with no complaints.

Here’s a minute peek of our first day working on the skoolie!

Now back to the present moments, well kind of. Last month on January 17th, Shanti had a birthday and was a happy little superstar just smiling her way through her first steps.

Between MiMi, Gam Gam, friends and other family, this little girl was spoiled with love, treats and more love!

Momma bragging moment: I made the cakes for each gathering! No dairy, no artificial anything and absolutely no food dye… just coconut products and blended berries for the pretty colors!

A month later was my moms birthday, so on February 18th we went out for a girls day!

Another wonderful event from this last month was a visit from a long time friend from abroad! If you’ve been following this blog since the beginning, you’ve seen him appear in at least 20 posts and probably more ranging from several steins at Oktoberfest, to quirky parties in Greece, Fútbol in Europe, good times in Barbados, California, Amsterdam and now Florian is in Florida!

…and a bigger surprise was his sweet girlfriend Tatjana joined!

We didn’t take to many photos, but here’s a video of Florian making Shanti laugh… worth a look if you need a smile!

And here’s Florian teaching Shanti how to snap. I freakin love it!

That’s all for now folks.

Keep smiling and remember that too much attention on the destination takes away from your beautiful present journey.

Categories: Baby Talk, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The bus, our baby, and some quick catching up!

When I was a little girl and would hear people say, “My grandfather built our home from the ground up.” or “My dad made this with his own two hands”. I was always in awe with a sense that it only happened in the movies. Now I know we’re not building a mansion over here, but when Matt comes home with progress made on the bus I’m overwhelmed with amazement! He’s googled, you-tubed, researched and experimented his way to building our home on wheels. From plumbing to electric, cabinetry to a good ol’ composting toilet… all done by my hard working husband.

Before I write anything else, check out this quick 1 minute video of the very beginning of our bus adventure! Click here for our 1 minute YouTube video!

Here’s a bus review of the past couple of months! Nuts, bolts, hammer, nails, welders, wires, plugs and power! Before we dive into the interior, here’s where our baby has been parked. Do you recognize the location? Of course not! It’s in the sticks of the woods, in the middle of a town on the outskirts of a city near a beach highway in Northwest Florida.

For our kitchen, I requested that we didn’t pinch on size in regards to appliances. This is going to be home, not a weekend sleeper so I wanted to make sure we didn’t feel like we were camping all of the time. A fairly large copper sink, two burner stove top with oven, a 7.5 cubic feet fridge (not installed yet) with plenty of storage to support my mason jar pantry collection. Matt even surprised me with a vertical pull out cabinet and an overhead spice rack in perfect reach. These pictures are obviously the raw layout, but I wanted to give you a sneak peek!

We designed the closet to accommodate long hanging items, large drawers for folded clothing and a few random drawers for miscellaneous storage.

The bathroom includes a medicine cabinet, composting toilet and ventilation fan that pulls the lovely poopouri scent out of the bus. No pictures yet, but I’m sure you’ll still sleep tonight not knowing what our business keeper looks like.

We decided on a Murphy bed to allow for extra room during the day for whatever we want to use it for. A space to workout, home (road) school, games, stretching, art, crafts… anything! We also lifted Shanti’s bed up to be flush with ours, this means she has her own space in a crib sized area, but is pretty much laying on an extension of our bed. Yes, we co-sleep… gasp!

The office space will accommodate Matts monitors for editing footage, drawers for supplies, storage for his gear and enough counter space for random needs. Photos coming soon!

Matt decided that welding our 55 gallon water tank to the bus was the best idea so that’s what we’re doing! Where would we find a welder that could custom manufacture a protective cage for the tank to sit in? You guessed it, my incredible husband took it upon himself to find a friend who had a machine and some knowledge and boom… he’s a welder now!

Next up will be the cosmetic steps. Eeeeehhhh I’m excited! Watching this all come together has been a joy and now the colors, textures and designs will bring it to life! Here were are picking out the interior color scheme.

Not gonna lie, the holidays had us busier than ever with work, family and gatherings so rather than full details descriptions, I’ll let a few photos speak for themselves.

I got creative for one of Matts Holiday gifts. His mom found a bus ornament as a joke and so I painted it like ours! Even added shiplap (painted popsicle sticks), I was so proud like a kindergartner and her first macaroni necklace!

While I do hair, usually my mom will watch Shanti but on this day, daddy took he for a beach day!

Another dad and daughter photo opt!

I’ll end this post with small dedication to my dear Aunt Heidi who recently passed suddenly.

You first heard about her in one of the first Oklahoma posts in which I wrote;

Aunt Heidi, Aunt Heidi, Aunt Heidi…. What will we ever do with her? She has a blunt direction when sharing her opinion and an effortless way to make you laugh. Being around her gives you a youthful sense of life (she didn’t pay me to say that). While raising her teenage daughter, she still maintains sanity and invites me for countless hours of laughter and reminiscing.

Things I inherited from Aunt Heidi: The nickname “Shug”, love for high energy socializing and her “guns” (aka arms). Also when I sarcastically laugh, my mom says “that was SO your Aunt Heidi!”

She fell in love with Shanti from the day I told her I was pregnant and then after she was born, Aunt Heidi referred to her as “Lil Purple Snurp”. Nobody knows why or where that came from, but that’s typical for Aunt Heidis nicknames. To give you an idea of her love, I looked back at my phone and Aunt Heidi sent over 100 requests for me to send pictures, video or FaceTime. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve recorded a video just for her lately, soon realizing she wouldn’t be there to receive it… life can be so bitter-Sweet.

I didn’t post any pictures back in the day because she usually ran from the camera and/or threatened me if I asked to put any on here. Well Aunt Heidi, you should be celebrated along side the countless amount of smiles you generated while on earth. I love you and miss you so much.

Heidi Young ❤️ May 31, 1965 – January 16, 2020

Categories: Baby Talk, Bus life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shanti’s first race!

Well actually, her first race was (prenatal) Cinco De Mayo last year, 4 days before I even knew I was pregnant!

Here we are now, she’s almost 8 months old and I’m back at it again, or at least trying too! I’m learning that although I do well with spontaneous adventure and live what some call a “nomad lifestyle”, I’m still very goal oriented. Rather than, “I should start running again.” I succeed much more with “I’ve signed up for a race and now I have to train”. So that’s what I did!

The Oklahoma City Zoo 5k was to raise funds for the Monarch Butterflies. Matt wanted to run with me so this was an ideal choice as strollers were welcome in the course that took us throughout the entire zoo!

Before I continue, I must give a shout out to Velia from V Lala Galleries! The fun pants Shanti and I are wearing are designs straight from her art wall. You can see her other creations by clicking on her website Velialala.com!

Getting ready for the race!

This girl is such a champ! She woke up at 7am as we pulled into the parking lot, got changed in the backseat and was ready to roll with us. I’d like to believe she brought a few extra smiles to the runners as we were all waiting for the gun to go!

…And we’re off!

… And we stop. Matt was ready for the first water station about 200 yards into the 5000 meters. He made sure and confirmed they didn’t serve espresso.

I’m not a huge fan of zoo’s given the whole animal prison feel, but this one had an open layout with an abundance of greenery along the path. We definitely stopped for a a few photo opportunities.

A little over 3 miles later was the finish line! Cheering and high fives welcomed us along with neck medals … one for Shanti too!

After every good run there’s a necessary stretch and maybe a necessary grunt in pain?I wasn’t laughing at you babe… I was laughing with you.

Meanwhile, Shanti’s sharpening her two teeth.We finished up the day with a mini tailgate picnic full of delicious healthy snacks.

Not quite sure when the next family day on foot will be, but I’m sure it’ll be soon!

Categories: Fitness, Fitness Friday’s!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ever seen a bus blocking a highway?

Our time in Arkansas exceeded all expectations! Quality family time with tons of fun, and help with progress on the bus. Perfect! Here’s a wrap of some of the captured moments during our stay in Hot Springs!Now it’s time to drive the beauty to Oklahoma where there’ll be more family, fun and help!

The journey from Arkansas to our new home in Oklahoma is gaged at about 5 1/2 hours. Hahahahaha! That’s in a car, no baby and not one bathroom break… so you can imagine… we had a car with a baby and a momma who drinks a lot of water following a school bus that tops out at 60mph and drops to 15 on inclines. With all of this in mind, we estimated about 7 hours. Driving through the night is always best for Shanti so we chose to leave right after dinner so she could snooze the whole way.

And we’re off! (notice the hanging camper in the window? Thank you O’Bryans!)

In no time, we were 100 miles in and if had to guess, Shanti was peacefully dreaming of playing with her cousins and eating paper (her two most recent favorite things to do).

As the sun began to drop with Matt driving in front of me, we shared this beautiful sunset (via walkie-talkies).

About 150 miles from our new home, Matt mentioned the bus feeling different. We even pulled over to smell and look at the engine. With no apparent problems, we kept on trekking. About 15 miles after he checked it out we were climbing our way up a hill at a whopping 9 mph wondering if this was always going to be the case.

In what seemed to be a moment of seconds, I saw the bus leaving a trail of fluid and heard Matt over the walkie say, “Something’s not right, I’m losing all engine power“. By the time he pulled off onto the shoulder mid-hill (which you always try to avoid in a beast like that!) smoke was barreling out from under it. As my heart sank, I could hear Matts break when he informed me, “This isn’t good babe”.

So it’s in the middle of the night and we’re in between two tiny towns on a back woods highway. Matt quickly got on his phone to find a local tow-truck company that would be willing to attack this challenge. We were so lucky. Not only did he find a company, but the kind owner also owned a school bus and was eager to help!

Here’s a video of Matt attempting to move the bus across the street and into the opposite direction. The towing man suggested we do this since it’d be tricky to make a U-turn with the tow truck and the bus going up hill on a small highway.

Since moving forward clearly didn’t work, Matt put it in reverse to maneuver backward then to turn it down hill. Unfortunately the back wheels caught the lip of the shoulder and he was going nowhere except backwards farther into the ditch! As you can imagine, my stomach was at my feet watching helplessly from afar.

My job while cringing across the street? Keep Shanti safe, warm and peacefully sleeping during this unexpected event. Success!

While we were waiting for the tow, I pulled our car far off the shoulder (even more than the first picture shows) at an angle so I was in no position to be side swiped while aiming my headlights at the bus. This ensured that any vehicle rounding the corner would clearly see the brightly lit bus.

Within an hour the Mighty Mouse of Semi tow trucks showed up!

It was amazing how much power this monster showed when lifting us out and down to the rescue. I recorded it too!By the time we back tracked to the mechanics it was creeping its way to 2:30am. Of course they weren’t going to be open so we went for a cheap hotel, a rest and and early sunrise.

After a nap at Motel 6, we went for a morning bite while we patiently waited for the mechanics to open and take a look at the engine.

Happy baby loving on her daddy at breakfast!

The final verdict brought us gut twisting news… it’s the transmission. Anyone who knows about a busted transmission knows it’s no joke.

Look at our sick girl just sitting there waiting for her surgery.

A few nights in the bus hospital and she’s almost ready to come home!

Here’s Matts silent interpretation of the situation.

Next up, her homecoming and a new backyard!

Categories: Bus life, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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!

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

Skoolie paint job is almost done!

How many days does it take to paint a school bus? We don’t know, we’re still not done!

In the last post, Back to the bus!, we had started the process. This included sanding, stripping and cleaning it so we would have a fresh scuffed up surface to begin the painting.

Next, we masked the beast to prevent any paint going where it doesn’t belong and to create clean lines.

Then came brushes and rollers? Nope. We were lucky enough that Bryan just happened to have a paint sprayer! This grey primer you see here helps the final paint adhere to the exterior bus walls. Not gonna lie, I kind of dig the color.

Now she’s ready for a cosmetic makeover, starting with the main color! We chose a rich sandy tone for the neutral base and a vibrant turquoise(ish) color for the accent!

Now we paint!

But first, Peppa the pig! Some of you with amazing memories might recall this buddy of mine from the post Sweet Home Arkansas!

After our beauty was painted we taped off the lines to add our accent tone. There’s no proper name for the actual color but no matter what you call it we, think it’s fabulous!

Oh boy, am I’m excited for you to see what the next addition is!

No hints… sorry not sorry.

I’ll leave you with a glimpse of what we do when the Arkansas sun has won and we put down the paint brushes for some cooling off.

Next up, final work on the exterior!

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