A Look Back…

Wow, it feels good to be home and finally get back into the swing of things.

We came home to a clean house thanks to our rad summer roommates, we unpacked, caught up on laundry and thought about this upcoming year. Ben started work yesterday and I’m currently looking for a job while running Utopia Invitations and doing some freelance work.

We’ve made some incredible memories this summer and we’re so glad that all of you have taken the time to follow our trip. Thank you for all the encouragement, support and prayer.

Since it’s been a lot of fun connecting with new people through the blog, we’re still trying to figure out what to do with it. To keep the blog or not? We do have an upcoming camping trip planned with the in-laws. Hmmm…I wonder if “Follow This Trip” could imply following our lives…that might be a stretch.

Until we figure out what to do next, here’s a look back at our summer in 10 minutes. Thanks again for following along.

After we put the van up for sale we decided to give it 6 days to sell and if we didn’t have any interest we were going to try and drive it home and hope and pray for the best. We had a few calls and emails but nobody too serious until the 6th day when a local artist test drove the van and bought it the same day. He has some ideas for painting some murals on it and we think Buddy will be enjoying some more adventures on the West Coast. We thought about flying back, but after unloading the van we realized we had way too much stuff and decided to rent a car. Our new trip mobile is below… definitely a little cramped, but we made it work.

As you can see, we tried the magnet out on the car, but it wasn’t a very good fit, so we just packed it in the back. It was similar to a game of Tetris (or Blokus) fitting all of our gear from the van into a Nissan Sentra, but somehow we did it.

We were eager to see some family so we decided to drive straight to Nashville, TN (32 hours) to stay with some of our best friends, Rich and Tiff Zuch, and then on to Greenville, SC to be with family.

The trip has been incredible with plenty of highs and lows and tons of memories that we will never forget. We are happy to be home and to have been lucky enough to experience all that we did. Here’s a few shots of our trip home and the last video taken of Buddy.

We are very happy to report that Buddy made it to San Diego. We were lucky enough to know some incredible friends that let us crash with them while we were figuring out the van situation. The picture below is when we watched the Women’s World Cup and decided to dress in matching patriotic outfits… unfortunately the USA lost in penalty kicks to Japan, but it was still a good game…

After arriving in San Diego, we took the van to a transmission shop and had a few minor repairs done and it seemed to be running smoothly. A few days later we had to make another repair and decided to try and sell the van by Tuesday and if we couldn’t find a buyer, we would just try to drive it back. Our rationale was that we could probably find a buyer quicker in California than in South Carolina and honestly, we were sick of dealing with the stress of the van breaking down and wanted to have reliable transport back home.

During the time the van was at the shop, and while it was up for sale, we had some great adventures in San Diego and our friends, the Salmons, were awesome hosts. We got to spend time snorkeling at La Jolla Shores, watching seals at Seal Beach, going to a reggae concert, experiencing the Del Mar horse races, eating some great fish tacos and of course beaching it up as much as possible.

Lauren and the girls at the Del Mar Horse Race

Seals at Seal Beach

Here’s a few of the highlights from our time in Southern Cali