We made it back from our Washington D.C. trip last week and got back to work on our trip. We only had the opportunity to learn one thing about the van on this trip....check the parking garage heights before booking hotel rooms in large cities!!! Fortunately, Toni thought to check this out before we left and found out that our van, no higher than most SUVs, would be too high to park in their parking garage so we had to drive the car instead. Very valuable lesson learned. Once we arrived, we did learn that there was more clearance than posted online so now we know to call and check before booking. Most garages average 8 feet or more, but this one stated 6'2", which seemed to be the average in D.C., so it's important to find hotels that offer higher garages or outdoor parking options.
The March itself and our time in D.C. was an experience in itself. It was not our first trip there and certainly will not be our last, but it definitely was one of the most interesting experiences of my life. I'm not going to go into details here, because that's not what this Blog is for, but the trip still taught us a few things in regards to our upcoming adventure and overall was a successful trip.
Now that we are back, it is time to get back to the planning. This week we went through our house and started to sort through each large item and decide if we would store it, sell it, donate it, or trash it. Originally we had decided to keep a lot of our furniture....and then we watched Minimalist. It's a documentary about simplifying your life. Now, I have no desire to live that simply, not forever; however, we have never been much for buying "things". We prefer to spend money on travel and experiences, or buy things that provide us with experiences (kayaks, paddleboards, etc). Don't get me wrong, we own plenty of things. Most we have accumulated over the last decade or so. We just don't have many knick-knacks or useless things. Most everything that we have has a personal story behind it or some type of sentimental value to it. After really sitting down and trying to plan on how much we want to spend on storage, the value of these items, the ability to replace them when we return, and whether or not we would be wiling to ship them to us if we decide not to come back to Tampa played a large role in ultimately deciding to let go of most of these items. With the exception of some personal belongings and a few larger pieces of furniture and equipment, the rest will be sold. The downsizing process has begun and we have started to advertise some of the things that we can live without for the next few months. We also got rid of that ridiculous cable bill and have started using our Amazon and Netflix more. One of Toni's projects is to find ways that we can still stream some of the shows that we love while we are on the road. We have a ton of adventures lined up on this trip so it seems silly to be thinking about TV shows, but we do plan on having plenty of down time so we are on the go constantly, and it would be nice to have access to the shows that make us happy! I am going to open up the comments section on this blog post so you can chime in on what you are using for your TV enjoyment these days!
Another project that we are trying to finish this week is the closing on our investment property. This property is the same property that we have rented for the last 8 years for our business. Though we are trying to sell the business, we recognized that 1. This might not happen before we leave and it would be nice to know that we have the office secured while we are gone, and 2. It's a great investment in a fast-growing area and will provide us with rental income which will help pay for our travels. The property is under contract and we are just waiting for a closing date. We are very excited about this purchase, but we also realize that this will make some additional projects for us before we go. Once we have closed we will talk some more about those projects.
Toni has started her research into stops that she would like to make in the US. Though many seem to overlap, she has found some great resources online of some weird and mysterious type places that we will definitely be adding to the list. Once we publish our list we will make sure to provide you with the websites to this information! We also are opening up the comments section on this Blog Post so we can begin getting feedback from all of you on some of your most favorite places from back home, from where you live, and from where you have visited. We want to hear all of your stories about beautiful places, great restaurants, and some of the coolest experiences you've had. Please share!!!
We are starting to spend much more time preparing for the trip now so please make sure to like us on Facebook (@ThirdRockExplorations) and keep check our Blog for more information. We will have notifications set up soon via and RSS feed for those that don't want to miss a thing! Stay tuned...it's about to get crazy!!!