As the hotel valet stacked the rental minivan with bag after bag, he turned to us and asked where we were going. In a somewhat sheepish voice, Christa explained that the bags that filled our Chrysler minivan were most of our possessions as we were moving onto our sailboat for at least the next year. Upon hearing that the valet turned to us and said, "So you are like those crazy people that I've read about…cool." With that send-off, we rolled down the highway through the Adirondacks to Keala’s camp where she will spend the next six weeks of summer while we spend time getting the boat ready for adventure in Newport, Rhode Island. But let’s rewind for a moment to talk about how we got here.
After many years of dreaming and three solid years of planning, we have finally jumped into the deep end and moved onto the boat. The logistics of preparing for this adventure have kept us more than occupied if not perpetually overwhelmed. First, we needed to find a boat and get it ready for us to liveaboard. That process took us about 18 months. Then, we had to figure out how we would homeschool Keala (8th grade) and Summer (Kindergarten). Christa did her homework, and we've settled on a curriculum from a school based in Vermont (Oak Meadow). Finally, we had to extract ourselves from our lives in Laguna Beach. We sold our cars, we rented our house and did a massive purge of our stuff. We happily donated ten pick-up truckloads of "stuff" to Goodwill and other charities. It's funny, but once we got rid of our stuff our house looked amazing! If we ever go back, I sure hope we can maintain our simplified life. We also had to figure out where our dog, "Lucky," would live while we are away. Leaving Lucky behind was hard for us as he is an important part of our family. We are delighted that we found a great temporary home for him. Finally, we had to say farewell to so many special people in our lives. Through parties, lunches, get-togethers and phone calls, we felt so much love and support from everyone as we head out on our journey. So WHERE are we going?
Keala & Summer with most of our possessions.
Who could ask for a cuter helper?
What? A stroller? Yes it's true, Summer cruises in style!
The best part of cruising is that the plan is not written in stone. Rather, it’s written in sand and changes as the wind blows. However, this is the first part of our plan. We will spend the summer exploring the northeast from our home base in Newport, RI. We've got a spot a great dock, and from there we will explore places like Block Island and Nantucket.
Keala will be at camp for the first part of the summer, and when she returns, we'll head to Europe for a bit. Our European adventure is the result of me losing a bet with Keala. Since she achieved the honor roll for all three trimesters, she earned the right to go to "LeakyCon" which is the Harry Potter convention and this year it is in Dublin, Ireland. After our trip to Europe, we will begin to head south towards New York City and then the Chesapeake Bay. Ultimately, we plan to spend the winter down in the warm Caribbean. Of course, our plans may change at any time, but for now, we are comfortably sitting aboard Summer Kai watching the beautiful sunsets in Newport harbor. We look forward to sharing our adventures with you.