Kevin and I have different perspectives on when the tiny dream actually became a reality. For me, it happened over the summer of 2017. The boys were 2 years old and we were finally coming out of our twin fog, which felt like it had lasted an eternity. Pre-babes, Kevin and I loved festivals; camping and live music is where it’s at for us. So, we decided to take the boys to Northwest String Summit, which is an incredible, family-friendly 4 day, 3 night bluegrass festival Near Portland, Oregon.
We worked for months to set ourselves up for success. We bought a HUGE tent and everything you could possibly imagine to make camping with 2 year old twins a good experience for everyone. I even went so far as to build a tent for the boys that would fit within our tent. They are used to sleeping in a pitch black room with white noise machines blaring. They also refuse to sleep with us, which made us nervous thinking about trying to put them down in a tent where they would be able to see us. The structure that I built was a masterpiece… I used PVC as the frame and covered all 4 sides and the top with blackout fabric from JoAnns. It worked like a charm because the boys slept amazingly well, even with the cold nighttime temperatures.
Even with all of our precise planning, chaos still ensued. Within an hour of arriving while we were trying to set up camp, the boys took off on a golf cart! The driver had taken the keys out, but the venue is hilly, and when the boys climbed in to check it out, (which we all thought was adorable) one of them released the break and off they went, rolling down a very steep hill toward a lake. I frantically ran after them and luckily stopped it, but totally freaked the boys out with all of my mama bear screaming. Until then, they were having a great time with their hands in the air like they were on a roller coaster squealing “WHEEEEE”! I grabbed them both and carried all 65 pounds of babe back up the steep hill to our partially put together campsite. Less than 5 minutes later, River picked up a drink and took a sip only to start screaming that his mouth was on fire because – surprise – it was vodka. That’s when Kevin and I knew we were in trouble.
The weekend continued in very much the same fashion. On Friday night Bodhi and I were sitting at a picnic table enjoying a delicious noodle dish with some friends when all of a sudden, he was gone. I ran everywhere looking for him, but there were so many people and it was dark. I booked it to the paramedics tent and they initiated lost child protocol (if you’re going to lose a kid at a festival, you want it to happen at String Summit because they have an amazing system in place). Less than 2 minutes later, a friend found him and came running. Apparently, he ran past someone we knew who was sitting in a hammock and they scooped him up, which is why I couldn’t see him.
Even with all of the drama, it felt so good for both Kevin and I to get back into our element and expose the boys to good music, good people and the fun that comes along with camping with friends. It was also bittersweet because it made me realize that there was no way we could do that on a regular basis. The months of planning and the 10 hours of packing and the 5 hours of setting up and the 5 hours of take-down and the 8 hours of laundry and clean-up when we got home was so overwhelming. It was also impossible to cook and clean up while we were there because we never had a place where we could contain them for a few minutes. Our boys are explorers and left to their own devices, they would have been rustling through everyone’s tents and uncovering treasures along the way.
We got home and it inspired me to think about our lives; the things we enjoyed and the things we were struggling with. Life in Seattle was only getting more expensive and Kevin really wasn’t enjoying his job. When we left Colorado we had only planned to be away for 2 years, but we had been in Seattle for 3 and a half years. We wanted to make trips like this one even easier and more accessible for our family and, if possible, to turn our lives into an adventure. It just made sense for us to try something unconventional. Kevin took a little more convincing, but in no time was on board with the idea as well.
It’s still early in the game as we just moved in and started traveling, but it already feels amazing to get out from under that steep mortgage and all of the belongings that were weighing us down. Now we just need to find our first music festival we can take this beautiful home on wheels to!