Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Living in a van (down by the river)

In response to a few questions about the technicalities of life on the road: 

What’s the cooking situation?
Except for Vegas, we’ve been pretty good about preparing most of our meals. We have a lot of snacks and granola bars that usually carry us through the day, but we definitely aren’t trying to starve ourselves (as you’ve seen by some of our dinners). The fridge in the van is a lifesaver, so we keep it stocked with beverages, condiments, sandwich materials, and usually some meat. For dinners, I cook something on the stove in the van with the door open for ventilation, while Brian grills meat over the fire. Surefire combination! We have to stop for food every few days, so we try to stock up on our way to a campground.

Breakfast anyone?

How are you always blogging?
Ah, the beauty of wi-fi and computer batteries. I try to blog in the car when Brian’s driving (although we do a good job of sharing driving duties), and then post whenever I pick up a signal somewhere we’re staying. Surprisingly, good wi-fi is hard to come by these days, but RV parks and coffee shops are our usual suspects.

Brief attainment of wi-fi.

How do you decide where to go next?
We spend a lot of time, usually on Brian’s iPhone using one of his awesome apps, figuring out our next actual stop. We have yet to plan our destinations more than a few days out (if that), and we haven’t known any of the actual places that we’re staying until anywhere from 1 hour to 5 minutes in advance. Once you give up the idea of ever having a reservation, this stops being scary.

What kinds of places are you staying?
We try mostly for campgrounds (either in state parks, national parks, or national forest service territory). These tend to fill up on the weekends though, so if we're SOL or just jonesing for a shower and wi-fi, we'll throw in a night at an RV park to take care of business. We've spent three nights on the side of the road in a safe area next to other cars doing the same, and have yet to grace a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Getting ready to clean out our tanks. This is slightly less disgusting than you would imagine, but I'm in the passenger seat so what do I know?

Laundry - have you done it?
Three times in fact! Once at a friend's house and twice at campgrounds (think quarter machines and awful long walks back to your site with arms loaded with laundry over your head).

How do you kill time?
Shockingly, there’s hardly any time to kill. I’ve gotten through one short book, and we’ve played five games of Words With Friends (iPhone-ers out there, you know what I’m talking about). Actually we’ve pulled to the side of the road to salvage some fleeting internet service for this. Brian's ahead, 3-2, in case you were wondering. But aside from that, I think we’ve taken two naps, done a few sudoku puzzles, and that's about it. You’d think we’d do a lot of something in the car while the other person’s driving, but there's so much to see out your window!

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