07 December, 2009


We had a big weekend after a sort of harried week, running around trying to prepare for this big weekend. We called banks, moved money around, photocopied and faxed papers and made a zillion phone calls. We oiled, smogged and waxed and wiped, then packed and drove to Tahoe, and everything went exactly as it should.

Our family loves a good adventure. We plan well, and try to account for most contingencies, but the story is always better when things go wrong, as long as those things do not interrupt sleep or safety. In an effort to thwart those particular types of problems, and with great hope that we will be able to have Jake and Lucy experience as much of this country (continent?) as we can help them experience, in spite, and a bit because of disability, Descartes researched, and we just bought this weekend...

AdventureVanthis really is a photo of our van with Lake Tahoe in the background.

Sorry that this "MonsterVan", as little Hawk called it, has only this small picture to post so far. I have yet to photograph the entire thing myself. This van will allow us to go camping with Jake and know that he will be safe at night, locked in tucked away and cozy. It has 4-wheel drive, so we can set up camp in locations that are more off the beaten path, which generally means farther away from other people and their cars. We can keep Jake safe in the woods, near bodies of water, cliffs and rocks, but it is nearly impossible to protect him from careless drivers in campgrounds, or the evil scowls from neighboring campers when he is hooting and hollering with happiness.

AdventureVan is gigantic, seats 12, has a pop up top to provide a sleeping area, and provides our family with the comfort of being able to carry everything we need.

Descartes spent a lot of time researching these types of vans. He actually told me he started to look when Jake was only 3 or 4, after he realized that our family's camping experience would probably need to look a bit different than what camping looked like when he was a child. The first thing we had to do was trade our beloved LandCruiser, but I know it was time to let it go (notice the mileage on the odometer over there). We took some great trips in that car, and it was the first major purchase Descartes and made together after we were married. I stepped outside the house just as the new owner of the Cruiser was starting the engine, and I was suprised to have my eyes well up. I know it's going to a good home, a Daddy and his two beautiful girls. We all ended-up with what we needed.

As soon as the papers were all signed and keys traded, we put in all of the car seats, noting how easily they all fit across the bench seats. We put Wolf, Hawk and Lucy across the back, Jake had his own row and Jaster and Demanda sat in the front bench. We enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite Mexican food places, Taqueria Jalisco, where the seating is easy and the customer service is kind and the food is delicious. Then we made Descartes drive us all around and all the way to Red Lake
Jaster and Descartes did a happy dance on the banks after they discovered that the lake is indeed frozen over, and already shows signs of ice fishing, with 3 or 4 holes drilled already. I smiled happily because the children were all asleep (except Jake of course). A happy, driving, napping van. Descartes guided our crew back to South Lake through a snowstorm.

Our first big trip will probably be to the Grand Canyon, but we will put the van to good use before then. I'm hoping for a grownups only trip to the wine country. It needs to be vacuumed and spit shined a bit, but it is so cool and the kids love it, and my husband is happy. The kind of happy that I haven't seen sustained in a while, and it looks good on him.

We made a good choice.
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