Friday, December 6, 2013

Connecting All of the Pieces

15 days and a wake up, my peeps!

Until what?.... you ask

Until our "Maiden Voyage: Take Two" starts.

We came to the Bay area at the beginning of July to visit an old friend. Our plan was to stay & visit for one month, maybe trek up the coast a bit, see some new sights & maybe even other friends, and then drift back to wherever the wind blew us. While visiting with one friend, it led into a visit with another and some work was laid on the table for our taking. We figured it was only for a couple of weeks and it would allow us to fix some things on the van, and maybe even get some items on our wish list!

So Jamie started working with one of his friends, doing plumbing, that he actually used to work with 25 years ago. At this moment in time, we had been in the Bay area for the month of July, like we had planned, and another one of our friends had asked us if we wanted to stay with him for another month.

We accepted.

During that month & two weeks, so much had already been done to the van. We got ourselves a new radiator (the old one had a 5-6 inch crack down the front),

[caption id="attachment_5167" align="alignright" width="150"]Crack Cracked[/caption]

new Rancho shocks on the front...made the biggest difference in the way Joon drives, and we replaced a "suspension" belt. J' did all of the labor himself, among a ton of other stuff, sigh... my handy man. The only thing we paid to have done was to have a new A/C pump and power steering pump installed...well worth the cost!

So, we're working, we're playing, we're gettin' stuff done. We spent a weekend in the mountains with friends; one day in, and around, Lake Tahoe and the next day at the river.

[gallery columns="2" ids="5171,5170"]

About the 3rd week, or so, of August, we were gifted two tickets to the Giants vs. Red Sox baseball game at AT&T Park in San Francisco...heck yeah!

What a fun experience all the way around...well, we had one little snafu, but it was so fun! We walked to the train station, (it's about 3 blocks from the house we were at), and took the CalTrain into San Francisco. The train system out here does not mind if you "pre-party", meaning if you want to get loaded on the train before the game then have at just can't bring outside containers into the park and due to that, we were gifted two 16 oz. Coors Lights...hell yeah!

[caption id="attachment_5172" align="aligncenter" width="350"]Toasters Toasters[/caption]

We obviously were not prepared for the train system to be this way or we would have brought our own 6-pack. Beers inside the park are $10.50 a pop! Anyway, we had a great time from the train, to the free beers, the ballpark food, great pics, great weather and great seats. Are you wondering what that one snafu was...? You know you're wondering. Well, we were walking to our seats and after searching hi-n-lo for them, finally found them. The game hadn't started quite yet, we both decided to hit the potty one last time and get some food before sitting for a while. We ordered our food; I had to get the traditional loaded ballpark dog and Jamie went for chicken tenders...the crunchy kind. We walked over to this wall where you can place your food and eat while overlooking the's a fantastic view.

I think it was right about when these pictures were being taken...

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that it happened...

Jamie bit down on a chicken tender and something didn't feel so right, it bothered him the rest of the night and into the next day. We got the name of a recommended Dentist and a day later J's reclined in a Dentists chair getting x-rays taken of his teeth! Turns out that chicken tender, he bit into, was just enough to split/crack his tooth all the way up into the gum! Yep, you can say it....FUn times!

[caption id="attachment_5177" align="aligncenter" width="350"]At least we can still laugh! At least we can still laugh![/caption]

Our 1 1/2 month Bay area visit has now been rearranged to be lived out until just about the 2nd week of we can pay off our dental bills, of course! This is some of what was involved in the 8 different appointments: x-rays, a root canal, his gums extracted, fitted/molded for his crown & tooth, check-ups to see if he was healing the right way and then finally getting the tooth put in. That would round us out to around $3,800. In my opinion, that tooth should be put behind glass in a museum! Damn, dude for one tooth! Anyway, we have had many months to overcome the entire situation as well as paying the entire thing off...which we have. (To all of our friends that are going to tell us, "You should have gone to Mexico".... the situation we were in with work, funding, the van, time, etc. just didn't fit the Mexican slot in this scenario.)

We moved back into the van full-time at the beginning of September and spent two months stealth parking around the city. While not the most convenient way to live this lifestyle, we made it work by rotating between a handful of places like grocery stores, gyms, Wal-marts, etc. Then "Mr. Biscuits" (our friend J's working with) offered us his shop to sleep at, we would still be in the van but would have a guaranteed spot to sleep undisturbed at night. It was the perfect plan. Jamie had to be at the shop early in the a.m.'s anyway, so it really worked out well. We spent a day short of exactly two months (nights only) at the shop without any distractions or infractions. One (work) night we dozed off around 10 p.m. or so, a normal night, and about 1:37 a.m. abruptly woken up by a BANG BANG BANG on the side of the van. Our security alarm (Savannah & Chili) was going crazy, I jumped up like someone had just woken me up to get out of a fire...another BANG BANG BANG... "Belmont Police, come to the door with your hands in plain view." Dude, seriously...we're sleeping, what the hell. So, I answer the my undies (they gave me no time to do anything but get to the door). After talking to me like I'm an idiotic 4 year old and treating me like I'm a hardened criminal, they ran both of our I.D.'s ...coming back clean, duh. After a half an hour of the same questions of what we are doing here, I kept telling him the same story (a.k.a. the tooth story a.k.a. the TRUTH, after all that's why we are still here). Then, the one guy, Officer Douchnozzle, told us we had to move on due to it being unlawful to sleep in our vehicle in their town.

[caption id="attachment_5194" align="aligncenter" width="800"]JOON VAN @ SHOP During the day at the shop[/caption]

Okay, now I was starting to get peeved, it's now 2:30 A.M., Jamie has to get up in about 4 hours, and they want us to move knowing that if we had somewhere else to park, we'd be there and not here. We just moved our bed into the shop and slept in there the rest of the night, er... morning.

Bed in shop 500

In the morning Mr. Biscuits told me that the shop is private property and they had absolutely no right doing what they did....oh, if only I had known that 6 hours before! Harassment...yes, I think so.

The very next day we were moving over to our friends' house that we started at in July, he was going to Cabo for vacation and asked us if we wanted to stay at the house while we watched his dog. Just a few more hours and that may have never happened (with the bobbys) but we think someone called us in. Before "everyone" took off to Cabo, we were able to hang out with a couple more friends we hadn't seen yet.

[caption id="attachment_5188" align="aligncenter" width="350"]Triple Trouble! Triple Trouble![/caption]

All in all, everything worked out, if we do move back into the van while we are still here, at least we know we have a place to sleep, even if it's not in the's not forever.

Thanksgiving has come and gone. This year we spent it with a family of friends, while last year it was just our trio in Laughlin at the top of a very bitterly breezy mountain. It was nice to cook up some yum yums, get all gussied up, and cram our faces full of food...and it was Chili's 1st Turkey day with us!

[caption id="attachment_5189" align="aligncenter" width="350"]Turkey Day G" Style Turkey Day G" Style[/caption]

So as our one month in July has turned into me writing this along to Christmas tunes (John Denver & The Muppets, to be exact!), it's been a very interesting experience here. I guess now we can say we've lived in the Bay area for half a year! haha

Big Thank You's to:

Mr. Biscuits for giving us an opportunity to make those dolla' bills to get our stuff right and to some great weekends. Our friends for putting us up all over town and showing us a good time while doing so. My peeps at the dog park, you & your pups have made our time easier to pass during the week and I will miss every single one of you, your furbabies & our funny conversations. And last but certainly never least, my babaa' for being such a trooper for working, having patience & understanding, being our handy man to save us money and for being so darn cute!

We'll be buttoning up for the next two weeks. If you think about it, please put out some good thoughts & prayers for us as we get all of our puzzle pieces put back together and back on the road.

Happy Holidays to all of you, may you be blessed with laughter, love and most importantly LIFE!

[caption id="attachment_5190" align="aligncenter" width="150"]PEACE PEACE[/caption]