When I first envisioned picking up our RV, I pictured us casually driving off into the sunset, with wide angle pans of sweeping vistas on either side of us. The reality ended up being a bit different. We were delayed at the dealership, as we needed to coordinate some last minute installs, and got caught in rush our traffic making our way back into and then across town. To add insult to injury, my daughter had to pee in the worst way, a fact she informed us of exactly five minutes after driving away from the dealership, with a full RV hooked up behind us. Her situation grew more urgent as we crawled along with traffic, so of course the first order of business once we finally arrived was to find a washroom.
As luck would have it, the wonderful technology of the GPS had taken us to the wrong side of the park, which was quickly revealed to us by a rather grumpy gentleman who indicated that we should have seen the sign painted on the road (in the dark). I ran over to the other side the of the park with the kids, and knocked on the office door (which was now closed) to procure the elusive washroom key. We made our way back to the other side of what was starting to feel like a very large park, and started to wander up the road (as I had of course left my cell phone in the truck). We rounded the corner to find my husband, the new truck and our brand new rig in a rather precarious, Austin Powers-esque situation, trying valiantly to make his way around a hairpin turn, only inches from a major cement wall on one side, and major obstacles on the other. Did I mention that by this point it was pitch black out?
A very kind man came up and offered to move his car to give us room to maneuver (while regaling us with tales of all of the people who had totalled their vehicle/trailer/motorhome on the same bend in the road) and I set myself to the task of navigating. It was a case of the blind leading the blind I'm afraid, and before long I managed to get us into an even worse situation, where the trailer was now literally one inch from someone's truck on the other side. We were both sweating bullets at this point, and were seriously wondering if we would manage to make it out in one piece. With a precarious dance of back and forth we managed to squeak by without hitting anything, I am still not quite sure how that happened. Thankfully moments later a good samaritan arrived, whose husband used to work as a long distance truck driver, and he was able to help us navigate the turn properly, for which we will be eternally grateful.
We made our way back over to the “right” side of the park, and easily parked in our drive through spot (kindly given to us by the owners as they knew we were new to this and wanted to make things easy for us!) The rest of the evening was more than a little bit intense, with my husband almost braining himself on the bike rack while setting everything up (he literally clothes-lined himself and ended up on the ground), the bottom falling out of a nearly full bottle of bleach while we were doing a final clean of our condo, and a move that took us into the wee hours of the morning. For a few days afterwards we were running on fumes, but managed to catch up on enough sleep to thoroughly enjoy the low key Christmas we had planned with the kids. It is amazing how little time it takes to get settled in, when you are moving into a small space, and how a few well placed Christmas ornaments and decorations can make everything feel incredibly festive.
The biggest take away from this whole experience for us was first, that we made it through, as a team, and second how incredibly kind everyone was. My husband pointed out that people are often at their best when they see someone else struggling, and this was indeed true for us. I am so grateful for the help we received, it made all the difference. We have reflected on our first experiences a lot over the past week, and both feel an incredible sense of gratitude and abundance, for the things we have and for the wonderful people in our lives, friends and family who have been with us for years, and chance encounters with people whose kindness and generosity with complete strangers is inspiring. We are in Nanaimo for a couple more days, before we head up to Tofino for a week. The next leg of our trip was meant to last only a couple of days, but we decided to settle in a bit, to explore the area more fully, get out on our bikes and out to the beach, and also take in a yoga class or two while we are at it!
Until next week,
Juliette, Dominic & Family
Living Forest RV Park – awesome location with beautiful views and lots of gorgeous trees. They offer a games room, laundry, a kid's play area and lots of washrooms and showers, plus full hook ups. We will definitely be back!
Pomme Market - Pomme Market is a wonderful health food store, located across from the Woodgrove Centre (one of the big malls in Nanaimo). They have a wonderful selection of organic produce, bulk items and pretty much anything you might need to support a healthy lifestyle.
Rawmbas - Close by to Pomme Market on Aulds road you can find Rawmbas, a lovely cafe featuring raw and cooked vegan foods, in addition to smoothies and desserts. Delicious!
Powerhouse Living Foods - Nanaimo hosts two locations for Powerhouse, a lovely raw food restaurant featuring juices, smoothies, and a selection of raw food mains and treats. One location is beside Pomme Market (above) and the second is on Commercial St, downtown. For folks in Victoria, there is a location at Uptown Mall as well. It is a fabulous spot, and well worth a stop!