November 27, 2018 @ 1:07 p.m.
It's been a while since I've posted and much has happened.
Melanie and I picked up our Leisure Travel Van in St. Louis on October 27, 2018. We became full-time van dwellers at the moment we drove away. Today marks our one month anniversary.
Melanie put it most succinctly a few days ago when she looked at me as we were preparing to move to another location. "This has all gone pretty seamlessly, wouldn't you say?" I would. Aside from the obviousness of getting used to a much smaller living space, we've made the best of our new home which included good prior planning on our part.
Our first few days were at Cahokia RV Parque, provided to us as a shake-down cruise by VanCity in St. Louis. We were fully hooked up to electricity and water and sewer. From a practical standpoint, the park provided us with everything we needed to test out our new vehicle/home. The park is clean and check in was easy. Driving into downtown Saint Louis was easy from here.
From there we drove up to Elkhart, Indiana to have an auto-leveling system installed on our van. Melanie and I had several times discussed what our daily travel limit in miles should be before we picked up the van. We settled on a preliminary rule of no more than 200 miles in a day and no less than a 2 day stay wherever we ended up. Elkhart was 300 miles away. It was a long day of driving, though the van rides very nicely and is really comfortable and we really took our time, stopping every few hours to take a break. The 200 mile, 2 day rule is reasonable.
After leaving Elkhart, we traveled south toward Birmingham, stopping at a Harvest Hosts location, Cedar Creek Winery in Indiana. We picked up a nice bottle of wine, a growler of Double IPA and stayed for free for a night. Nice rural location.
After a brief stop in Louisville, Kentucky to share our news and have lunch with close friends, we traveled to Alvaton, Kentucky to a farm and winery. The winery came with horses and resident Tom Turkey and rooster (crowing at about 4:00 in the morning). The spot is another Harvest Host spot so our stay was free. We bought a few bottles of wine.
We got an early start the next day and made it back into Birmingham just before lunch. A friend in Mountain Brook, Alabama offered us his driveway for a few days, our first moochdocking experience. It was great catching up with them, doing some laundry and having a minimal electric hookup to keep the batteries charged.
A good and smooth beginning to our life as nomads.