This has been quite a year, hasn’t it? Peter and I have been blessed to be able to travel safely from Florida where we were last Christmas to Las Cruces, New Mexico where we are now and where we will spend this Christmas. In between the late-April departure from the east coast to today, we stuffed in one airplane flight back to Tampa at the end of May for Liz’s in-person graduation ceremony at Saint Leo University and then took a quick flight to New Hampshire. There, we visited Liz’s 98-year old mother and joined a family celebration in Keene with our oldest granddaughter who received her undergraduate degree from University of Vermont the very same day that Liz received her Master’s degree in Florida.
In July, Peter had an unexpected total knee replacement in Las Cruces, making this his third joint replacement and officially earning him the moniker “bionic guy” in our family. Peter spent the better part of seven weeks in focused rehab and rest (a tough balancing act) before we departed for a long-planned trip through western Colorado, the Tetons (staying at Gros Ventre Campground), and then west to the Pacific Northwest. This was both vacation and a purposeful trip to drop off T2, our Airstream, for updating in the capable hands of Ultimate Airstreams in Clackamas, Oregon. We unhitched T2 on October 4 at Ultimate and traveled around Washington state, exploring Mount Hood, Mt. Rainier National Park, the Paloose of eastern Washington, and the Columbia River Gorge. We visited the spot where the Snake River flows into the Columbia at Sacajewa State Park and tried to capture bits and pieces in the pictures below. We stopped to visit a friend in Albany, Oregon, traveled down the Pacific coast through the redwoods, and then spent time with friends in Windsor, California. From California, we turned toward New Mexico, landing a camping spot one night in Joshua Tree National Park and then turned east through the saguaros of Arizona back to Las Cruces.
On December 30, we will mark our seventh anniversary of living full time on the road. Our 2015 Airstream has been refreshed over the years as we discovered what we needed in order to live comfortably and efficiently in our aluminum tiny house. Back in 2017, Ultimate reduced the long couch we did not need, upgraded the cushions, and installed an essential built-in cabinet. That year we also added a comfortable lounge chair, trimmed down the width of the dining table, and installed a combination gas cooktop and gas oven.
This time we wanted to refresh the interior and improve the efficiency of the kitchen work area. I love the 2021 interior design of new Airstream kitchen cabinets, the deep side cupboard access, the rectangular stainless sink and the lightness of the color palette in the beautiful Globetrotter. Ultimate was able to bring the dream to life for T2, changing out the entire kitchen installing new countertops in a light color, changing out the dining table to butcher block, installing a new countertop on the built-in cabinet, adding a spice rack next to the cook-top and switching out the bathroom countertop. I am going to share pictures which will reveal the entirely new look of our living Christmas gift to each other.
The round kitchen sink and the dark green countertops (shown below) were the original design. The new sleek cabinet, undercounter storage, and drop-down shelf next to the sink completely changed the look and feel of T2. The butcher block dining table inspired a new collection of textiles in pillows which bring rich textures to our lives. We love the overall effect.
The next two photos show what the bathroom looked like when we purchased T2 in 2015 – no window, white walls and the original dark green countertops. Now (the window was added in 2017) we have light countertops which work beautifully with the grass paper and paint which we put in earlier this year.
Our current plans are to stay here in the southwest through April and then take to the road heading east for our annual maintenance work at the mothership in Jackson Center, Ohio and then drive to New Hampshire to visit family in June before turning back west in early summer. We have new dreams and new ideas and we get restless for the road after a few months, so we’ll see how 2022 unfolds. Be well and take care of one another. Peace.
Liz and Peter are continuing their pilgrimage to here in their Airstream, enriched along the way by the gifts of friends and the continued discovery of beauty in everyday life.