Duplex exterior before & after


The before:

The after:


Cross Country


It all happened rather quickly. During our last few days in Barbados Denver spotted a  4WD Sprinter on Ebay. A deal that was apparently just to good to pass up and a perfect base model for the conversion he wants to do, located just outside of Washington DC in the town of Chantilly, Virginia. We had just booked flights into Fort Lauderdale, FL and were looking for a good connector back to Oregon, but decided to just roll with it. Neither of us have spent much time on the East Coast (still haven't for that matter) and really really wanted that Sprinter.   

Our last day in Barbados was September 12th. Since then we've driven through a total of 18 states from Florida up the east coast to Washington DC and from Washington DC across the country to Bend, OR. After being contained on a tiny island for over a month the open road felt like endless freedom. At least for the first 20-30 hours of driving.

We did take a little time to see some sights along the way. After landing in Florida and driving most of the night we arrived in Charleston, SC just in time to walk down cobbled streets to the beach park and catch a sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean. I had remembered Charleston from a family vacation years ago and it was just as good the second time around.

We spent a full day in Washington DC just checking out the sights and walked as many miles in one morning as Barbados is wide. I caught Denver looking a little dewy eyed (I could count on one hand the amount of times I've seem this happen over the last 11 years of  marriage) as he stood in the Lincoln Memorial and read Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. It's a powerful place.

The next highlight was an overnight visit with my brother and his family in Indianapolis, IN. They introduced us to Chic-fil-A (we are so late to that party) but it was delicious and worth waiting for.  23 driving hours later we made it to the wilds of Yellowstone National Park after a quick stop to the Sierra Trading Post Outlet to grab a sleeping bag, a flannel for Denver and a jacket for me. Our island apparel and beach blankets for sleeping just weren't quite cutting the mustard as we headed farther north and west. It seemed like a perfect time to visit Yellowstone, bright fall colors everywhere and still crowded enough to make us glad we weren't visiting before Labor Day weekend.

It's good to be home for a couple of weeks. We've got big plans to do some fencing and insulate the apartment ceilings. Denver is in his element researching and planning for the Sprinter conversion. The first order of business is to install passenger and rear-door windows. I think it's going to be a great adventure rig when he's finished.



Caught in the act. It's been talked about before, months ago, what on earth will I obsess over once my right thumb finally heals.


Miami beach is on repeat because there's lots of shade and the fish cakes from Mr. Delicious (the food truck at the north end of the beach) are the best deal on the island. Plus you can bring your own cold drinks along and nobody is there to care. A pint of generic ice cream for $12 and a wilted head of lettuce for $5 at the local supermarket makes grocery shopping an experience that sends us hurrying back to Mr. Delicious. Which leads me to the real question: how many days can we last on a fish cake + beer diet?