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It Begins

April 27, 2012

Yesterday was my 42nd birthday.  By sheer coincidence it also was our final day of domestic domicile dwelling.  After more than 5 years in our beloved triplex in the heart of Portland’s Hawthorne district (which we moved to in large part to be near some of the world’s best coffee and – I’ll just say it – THE best coffee tasting room in the world:  Stumptown Annex) we put the final touches on our cleaning job and loaded up the remnants of our schtuff into our mobile storage unit (’92 Buick) and began our new life as full time RV dwellers.

By further coincidence, yesterday was also the day that our friends Ben and Robin Pasley came to town to host a retreat in Corvallis, OR.  So we picked them up at the airport, hit the Horse Brass for some celebratory Fish N’ Chips, picked up the lil’ uns from school, and headed to Corvallis where we are enjoying the very schwanky riverside venue called THE VUE.

SO….it’s been an eventful 24 hours, these last ones.  And this morning I awoke from my first night of off-and-on sleeping, wondering each waking time if the tiny noise I just heard was a security guard driving up to kick me out of the parking lot where we are camping stealth-style (boondocking in RV jargon), and headed across the street to The Beanery, chosen strictly for it’s proximity.  The Beanery is an Allann Bros shop, which has a handful of locations around Oregon, and roasts their coffee old school style, which to my palate that has been trained by Stumptown to appreciate subtle tasting notes, tastes like a cup full of charcoal.  Oh well.  The breakfast sandwich was nice (bacon!).

But let me finish here where I should probably have begun.  A bit of back story.  You see, our plan has had – as all plans do – a wrinkle.  In February we put our final coffee shop on the market, figured we’d sell by summer, and we’d be off on our adventure, visiting friends, family, and every half-decent coffee shop we could dig up along the way, learning about RV living, and practicing living simply and loving deeply.  Then in March our months-long “conversation” (which in retrospect wasn’t a conversation at all but me talking and them ignoring me) with the new owners of the Subway which is our neighbor at our coffee shop regarding property line issues came to an abrupt halt.  We arrived at work one morning to find a fence where the access to our drive thru window used to be.  Now this situation is not the point here really, and it’s quite complicated, but I know you must be curious so I’ll just say a bit about that.  We received a letter from Subway’s lawyer in July of 2011 telling us to cease and desist trespassing on their property.  Since the drive thru had been in operation for over 18 years, we assumed that we had legal access when we purchased the shop, but as it turns out there was never any written permission, and now Subway was reclaiming their property.  I offered a variety of creative, win-win solutions which I thought were being heard, but when the fence went up I realized it was game over, so we closed our drive thru for good.

This had the immediate impact of reducing our business by about 25%, which isn’t a strong position for a seller to be in, so we took the shop off the market and settled in to Portland for another year (aw, too bad!  🙂 and began the process of rebuilding our business as a walk-in only with no drive thru option.  That part is going pretty well by the way, but that’s another post for another day.  For the purpose of THIS post, let me get back to the RV thing.

By this time in our big plan we had already located the exact RV we wanted – a 2000 VW Rialta with enough miles to bring the price down but not so many we couldn’t trust it, the exact floor plan we needed, and a seller willing to finance a portion of the purchase until we sold our shop.  So when selling the shop got pushed back, we were still pretty excited about RV living and decided we’d just do it anyway, right now, ready or not.  So instead of moving into our RV and pushing off across the country, we’re moving into our RV and staying put, living where we feel like it, and getting to know our new life with no borders and no stuff.

Breakfast after first night full-timing. So far so good!

I suppose there are a million tangents we could cover at this point.  Where we gonna park the thing?  How did we get our entire family’s necessities into a 21 foot RV that fits into a standard parking space?  Why this particular RV?  And on and on.  But this post is getting long, and its purpose, I think, has been fulfilled.  Just a general inauguration of blogging about our new life on day one.  There will be plenty of time to fill in the blanks as we go, and I look forward to unfolding it all together.

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3 Comments
  1. steve mitchell permalink

    Just bought our Rialta two weeks ago.. Really excited. Been watching Rialta’s for 5years on internet.Owned 4vw’s over 46 years of marriage. Also followed tiny home movement for 2yrs. What a lovely combination minimumlists/wheels. Just been reading your many articles.. Good luck ,drive safe and enjoy each and every day. Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a Gift!!! That is why they call it the “PRESENT” . Enjoy the presents.. Your lovely family!! Steve,the 68 yr. Young collector thats trying to reduce..

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