It has a been a whirlwind of a couple weeks here on the west coast, especially in the United States but now we have entered Mexico for a few days and everything has started to settle down with building the car and creating our home. We are now able to travel south bound and enjoy our living space as it has finally come together but it sure as heck did take some work to get there in the small amount of time we allotted ourselves.
We had from September 9th until the 20th to go and pick up our car from James house and remodel it to fit our life style, both helping eachother out by undertaking different tasks to get it done as fast and efficiently as possible. As much fun as it has been to build our home from nothing but an idea, it can get freaking annoying sometimes.
Freaking Land Crisuer
When we picked up our car on the 9th just outside of LA Frederik was on cloud 9, all giddy like a high school girl and Peter, his friend who kindly drove us and I couldn’t stop laughing. It was a big old bertha for a land cruiser that looked like it needed a little love. As we washed the exterior with a powerwasher it was comical how slowly the real white colour was coming out in streaks from under the dirty grey. In the course of two days we worked hard at James house as he kindly let us borrow his tools to fix up the car and construct our living space.
Their conversations were in a different language to me in reference to the car so I made the always needed extra Lomowes run and tried to make everything ready to cut. I laughed as Frederik rushed around frantically but we were able to execute most of what we needed thanks to it. We divided the bottom into 4 compartments with his brilliant 3 part hinge system. Now we were sent off to finish the rest on our way.
Well we didn’t make it very far. In fact we resided the in Wal-Mart parking lot close by, constantly visiting Wal-Mart and home Depot for the following numerous days throughout LA and San Diego. I was completely useless when it came to anything to do with the engine and electrical system or really our car in general. So I figured why don’t I do something that I thought I would be good at and would help to better our car. It had bothered me sleeping in the trunk for a couple nights without curtains so Frederik, much to my surprise, let me pick the curtains, which of course were totally crazy colourful and I went to work trying to hand stitch us some privacy. Well it turns out hand stichting is much harder than I anticipated. After 2 days I got shit all done and what I did accomplish looked embarassily awful. So one day, when we spent 7 hours in Home Depot parking lot, running in and out for parts, I sat down on the ground and went through a whole bottle of super glue. Meanwhile Frederik create our whole electrical system for our car and fridge. Our work was most defiantly not cut out equally in terms of difficulty or significance but some how, little shamefully on my part, it managed to take the same amount of it.
Finally we have curtains, a mattresses (which mine is an inch higher because I if I am sleeping in the back of a car for six months I had to buy a little extra memory foam so my arms would stop falling asleep underneath me during the night), electrical system and soon to be potable little kitchen. We have boxes on boxes making our car, when you open the back hatch, look like a wonderful game of Tetris.
Freaking Home Depot
Building the car was no picnic. We had to do it all in parking lots l, with no more tools than the ones in the 45$ tool set we had bought. This means that whenever we started on something that worst case could put the car out of service, we had to do it at a home depot, in order to go for a walk to Home Depot, and return with the necessary tools. We swore after the seven-hour day in the parking lot, we wouldn’t be back. First place we stop on Mexico after our night in Tijuana? Freaking Home Depot. Following day. Home Depot again. Well now that we are their most visited customer of the month we should be set and ready to go and I hope we don’t have to return to another big box store for a long time.
One of the final touches to completing the need to make it feel like a home was the acquiring of our fridge. Working on the car while also living out of it without electrity yet was difficult for making and keeping food. After a week of having to essentially eat out or make meals from grocery stores on the spot with no way to cook got very annoying so we were on the lookout for a stove and fridge. Being that our car is now our home for the next 6 months we don’t really have a shipping address and the only fridge we could find to fit our compartment was on amazon. So we were lucky as one of my friends responded to our Facebook request for letting us ship our fridge and stove to her apartment in San Diego.
Unfortunately due to time and economy we didn’t spend any length of time in the States exploring. Only sleeping in parking lots, the occasional ocean dip and lots of remodeling. By the time we hit Tijuana we didn’t want anything to do with cities and by accident I got our hotel in the red light district so that didn’t help the overall moral. Once we reached the golden coast of Mexico and had the cities behind us in our dust for a while we couldn’t have been more happy.
Now we are on the road and it is time to really see how we function with everything we have in our car. Of course everyday we are finding small things we didn’t need or wish we had. Small things like an inflatable kayak. So small it takes up half of a compartment. A buy we were both so excited to make sitting on my sofa in Canada having no conception of it’s size and our storage availability. Or the fact that we will be driving mostly coastal so a surf board would have totally been a better purchase. Chairs are another luxury you take for granted at home when you eat along with a huge list we are progessivly working through on what we realistically need and want.