Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Adventure Time!

Mike had been gone 10 days when I decided to fly down to Los Angeles and help him drive the van up. I had found a $109.00 ticket, leaving in two days, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I packed, arranged for a pet sitter, and called the cab.

When I got to the airport, I found out I had actually booked my ticket for JULY, not June. Oops. When I thought about it, it was very weird that I could buy a super cheap ticket only a couple days in advance.

Yes, I am a moron.

Luckily, the kind, no-nonsense lady at the ticket counter rescheduled me to fly out that very day, same times, for no extra charge. I am now a huge fan of Alaska Airlines!

I got to LA just fine, and helped Mike finish up the van.

me, putting on door seals.

We got it running and figured we'd do the rest (interior, etc) up in Bend. We christened the car with the name we had picked for a future child: Mortimer Danger Manser. "Morty" for short. Human Morty is probably super glad he was never born and subjected to that name. I think Vanagon Morty loves his name, though. It fits. He's an old soul, but tough.

Mike, baptizing Morty with a bath.

We couldn't wait to leave on our first adventure back to Bend! We decided to take the coastal route up (much prettier than the I-5), and pass all the VW Vanagon specialty service shops and suppliers. We needed to buy a few things for the interior, and a few things for our other Vanagon. And in case you didn't catch that, yes, we have another Vanagon in the works, up in Bend. She's blue, with a sunroof! 

It's so fun to be on the road; you can do whatever you want. I'd never been to a mission before, so we stopped at the Santa Barbara Mission for a quick tour.

Mike at the front of the Santa Barbara Mission, which is over 200 years old.

Inside the church. Opulent, as most churches are...

skull and crossbones outside the door, marking the entrance to the cemetery.

Huge, gorgeous tree in the cemetery. Love these!

We were SO lucky we took the coastal route, because Morty decided to lose part of his shift linkage on the way. It was one of the only mechanical pieces we didn't replace. Guess he thought he should have a new one. We heard something bouncing off while we were on the freeway, looked at each other and said, "rock?" Then, "wouldn't it be funny if Morty was just falling apart?" HA. We lost the part only 20 miles from San Luis Obispo, so it was an easy tow to Westy Werks

This is where the cool vans hang out.

We felt comfortable the second we pulled up. There were at least 8 other Vanagons/Westfalias/Synchros at the shop, and the guys that work at Westy Werks are super nice, professional, and extremely experienced at working on VWs. They hooked us up with some sweet t-shirts that totally appeal to our sense of adventure, and their shop tag line is, "love the life you live." I think we came to the right place!

Mike's new Westy Werks t-shirt. Thanks, guys!

Tonight, we're off to Santa Cruz, to camp at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and wait for Van Cafe to open. Our first adventure is off to a great start, despite our mechanical problems. Being broken down on the side of the road is so much better together, rather than apart!