Alaska again, but first…
We have some work to do.
We started the year making the most of our time in Florida, visiting family, visiting Hogwarts and Hogsmeade… well Harry Potter is family too! I attended the SecureMiami conference and the family takes another trip to Cayman. We alternate travel so that we don’t have to board Hobbes. We have more good food, Peruvian, Vietnamese and Ramen. Alaska was in our plans, however we had our last warranty service appointment for Bubbles at the Mothership.
By mid-February, we get back on the road and head north. We stopped in Chattanooga to see friends. It is still chilly in this part of the country and when we reach the Mothership late February, there is still snow everywhere. Our service goes pretty well, addressing the small laundry list of items, and we have fun catching up all the staff that we know. Unfortunately, on our second to last day of service, we find a showstopper – evidence of mold of the outside of the subfloor.
In order to facilitate the investigation and remediation, we vacate the trailer by storing most of our stuff in a nearby storage unit and moving into an Airbnb in Columbus. It was tricky finding a place that would allow pets. Moving out of the Airstream in single digit temperatures was challenging. We had to keep the furnace running just to keep the water lines from freezing. Seeing the full extent of our mold problem, we needed a more cost-effective place and moved into a short-term rental apartment near Dayton, in a nice town called Miamisburg. So we left in the Airbnb and settled in for a longer haul.
We spent much of the next month or so adjusting back to sticks and bricks living and relearning what a commute feels like. Most days, we would get up early and make the hour commute to Jackson Center. At the end of the day, we would do the same in reverse. The apartment was unfurnished so we simply used our mattresses, cushions, camp table, chairs and pretty much all of our indoor possessions. The apartment, by the way felt/was huge – nearly 1000sq ft – five times the size of Bubbles. Hobbes had a blast running around and exploring the three rooms.
The beginning was a little depressing but we made the most of the situation. We had a dishwasher and two bathrooms. The carpeted rooms made for really good acoustics for me to record some work podcasts. Spring was on the way and we could watch the grass and leaves start to turn green. Hobbes enjoyed watching the birds in the trees from our windows. We spent time (re)watching Alaska YouTube videos – many from just last year. And our Cayman friends were at the World Equestrian Center again so it was an easy 45 minute drive over to Wilmington. The week with them went too quickly. Used to organizing lockers and UPS Stores for package deliveries, it was fun to have Amazon deliver to our door.
In the meantime, Bubbles was being put back together, the mold remediated and prevention strategies implemented. As most of the interior was gutted, we took the opportunity to perform some renovations. We added some some storage nooks, 12v and USB sockets. In preparation for future Lithium battery upgrades, we ran 2 AWG wire from our power center under the fridge to the wire nest in the front locker. We also performed some significant changes to the furniture in the main cabin. Hobbes now has a permanent tower, clubhouse and food storage area. We shrunk our couch and built a small desk. Lastly we got rid of our dinette by removing the table completely and turning the U-couch into an L-shape. For tables, we switched to using three folding TV tables that are stored in a newly built cubby between the couch and fridge/TV wall. Our main cabin space now feels huge!
It was the into the third week of April when we brought Bubbles home – to the apartment. The property managers were nice enough to let us keep her in the parking lot for a couple of days so that we could move back in. Our first experience moving into Bubbles required suitcases, an airplane ride and rental car. Moving in from a sticks and bricks home was a new experience for us. Once back in, we head south again, back down I-75 towards Orlando.