Week 7 – Longings

Dear Diary,

we have now been living on the road for a full month. Until now my longings are keeping within the expected realm an extended road trip in North America with two toddlers entails.

  • I miss being able to simply drop the kids in somebody else’s lap and lead an adult life for at least a part of my day.
  • I miss our coffee machine and milk frother – not for my own sake, but to be saved the effects of my wife’s lasting “good” coffee withdrawal. Americans are so misguided in their understanding of coffee that we have started to specifically state that we do not want any sweetener or caramel flavor added to our latte! What’s wrong with these people?
  • I miss the REWE grocery delivery service. Going grocery shopping is a total drag. It’s time consuming. simply annoying and usually ends with at least one of two kids throwing a food induced tantrum. REWE – I hereby solemnly swear loyalty to you as long as you continue to enslave drivers to carry my groceries to my door step!
  • I miss Friday Dinners. I miss cooking. I miss drinking. I miss kicking butt a table football. I miss mobbing Gabriel and Laurens. I miss the company of our wonderful friends.
  • I miss football. Those suckers are making a run for the championship and cup. And I will most likely miss both! WTF! I obviously ware my jersey on game days and cheer them on from afar. I am also monitoring whether the prices for flying back for the cup final will drop to a reasonable level at some point. Surely, it’s not worth $ 3.500 to fly back for a single game. Or is it?

Continue reading Week 7 – Longings

Week 6 – Back North

I can’t believe it’s already been 6 weeks since we left for this life changing adventure. Our camper now truly feels like home and Benni and Alex seem to have started to enjoy life on the road. We have established routines for travelling efficiently and have learned how to maximise the limited resources provided by our camper. Electricity, fresh water, waste water and propane need to be smartly rationed when camping entirely off grid. While it continues to be rather cold at night our propane tank will last us for approximately four days (versus 2 weeks when we don’t need to run the heater), while our 120 litre fresh water tank will last for up to 5 days if we use the campground showers and are proficient when washing the dishes. Electricity is the scarcest resource with the camper battery draining within a day. Luckily, we have a generator that can fully recharge the battery within two hours, while the main car battery can be used to jump start the generator when needed!

Continue reading Week 6 – Back North

Week 5 – Washington D.C. to Florida

Leaving a still rather cold New York behind us, we made our way towards Washington. A shuttle bus operated by our campground took us into DC – the perfect alternative to trying to drive Gonki through a buzzing city. We spent almost the entire day walking up and down the National Mall, enjoying the sunshine and taking in the magnitude of the American capital. However, only when a road was blocked directly in front of us for a convoy of cop motorcycles, cop cars, 7 or 8 black SUVs and a black limousine with flags on the front, did it truly hit me where we were.

To me, what really turned out to be a wonderful surprise was the National Air and Space Museum (that Benni and I had initially only walked into to look for a bathroom). Not only is admission free of charge, but the museum has lots to offer: hand-on experiments for different age groups, life-sized space shuttle replicas to walk into and all kinds of kids workshops. Benni learned how to construct and fine tune the perfect paper airplane.

And then our crazy journey down to Florida really began: Continue reading Week 5 – Washington D.C. to Florida

Week 4 – New York City

We spent the last week in New York City and to be frank the weather was up to no good. Entertaining two toddlers with rain and constant temperatures close to the freezing point was quite a challenge. Luckily, the endless knowledge of the worldwide web allowed us to make the best of our misfortune. With the gracious help of mommypoppins.com we took refugee at an indoor playground and treated Alex and Benni to their first Broadway performance: The Gazillion Bubble Show. Sixty minutes of bubble tricks and a multi minute bubble storm finale that engulfed the entire audience in bubbles rewarded us with laughter, giggles and two big smiles – a sweeping success.

Continue reading Week 4 – New York City

Week 3 – Home Improvement

We have now officially been on the road for 5 days and have successfully traveled from Boston to New York City defying wind and snow! Settling into the camper we made sure to use these first couple of days to make the home improvements required to turn Gonki into our home for the next 7 months.

In the kitchen we installed additional counter top space that also functions as a protective lid for our main switch board. Within five minutes of moving into the camper the switch board had obviously turned into Alex’s favorite pastime entertainment. We further installed a fruit hammock and a paper towel holder. All kitchen shelves were outfitted with rubber shelf liners to reduce unnecessary rattling of our kitchen hardware while driving. We finally upgraded our refrigerator by removing the wooden door panels and applying first magnetic and subsequently chalkboard paint to the panels before putting them back into place. We can now easily keep track of our shopping list and hang the most significant tickets and leaflets from our travels. As a bonus the refrigerator now also looks much nicer and the kids will have a place to get creative (once we’ve actually gotten around to buying some chalk)!

Continue reading Week 3 – Home Improvement