NMC078 Portland Oregon

Daphine Mbithuka


Episode 78#: Portland Oregon

Recorded: June 29, 2018

Location: Portland, Oregon

Subject: Making comparisons between life on the boat versus the camper!

Experience is the best teacher! And as much as this may sound like a cliche, having experience on a subject matter can lead to making better decisions in life. And having lived on a boat, on land, and in a camper, Rosa Linda Román admits that as a traveling family, they have amassed a lot of knowledge.

In this week’s episode of New Mexi-Castaways, Rosa Linda interviews Ahava, her 13-year-old daughter about her experience while living on the boat and being in the camper. As she shares her experience, we get to learn how they transferred the knowledge from living on the boat to being in the camper and how that transferred to other areas of life. She also shares the pros and cons of living on a boat versus the camper. Listening to this episode guarantees you one thing – you will learn about some simple life hacks that you can also implement in your life. We hope you enjoy the episode!

P.S. If you liked this episode check out our most recent episode:

NMC077 Camper


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Episode Transcript:

Rosa Linda Román (00:28): Hello and welcome to New Mexi-Castaways. I'm Rosa Linda Román and I am driving, just leaving the Portland Airport. Actually, I'm just leaving IKEA near the Portland Airport because we came to the Portland Airport this morning from Lincoln City, Oregon, which is on the coast, and it's about a two-hour drive, a little more than a two-hour drive to the airport from Lincoln City. I drove there with my niece Christina, she's 10, and my daughter Ahava, who's 13. Ahava is now in the backseat working on her schoolwork. You'll hear Google occasionally cut in to tell me directions. It's sending me a weird route, but I'm going to try to just follow the directions and hope that they're correct. I don't know if I've ever been to Portland other than when I was in college or I had just graduated college. Rosa Linda Román (01:30): I took a train trip across America when I was flown out to San Francisco for the William Randolph Hurst Awards… Competition and Awards, and came in second in that competition and also won an additional writing award, which was pretty cool. And with some of the cash that I won for that award, I took a train trip from San Francisco up through Portland, and then, across to Minneapolis, and Chicago, Washington DC, and eventually down to Florida. I'm just going to say that Google just took me some very wonky, weird way, and I have no idea why because it took me through a neighborhood with speed bumps as opposed to the light, which I can see two blocks down in the distance where I could have turned normally. So, that's the risk you take when you're traveling in a city you don't know. Rosa Linda Román (02:33): You don't really know where you're going, so I'm going to have to trust Google. It has me routing onto the 84 West and let's just hope that's correct. Anyway, so we drove here to the airport because my niece has been with us for the past 11 or 12 days from Chicago. Her mom, my sister works for United, and so she flies free, but it's standby. And today was a perfect example of the love-hate relationship I have with standby. It's quite a distance to get here, but let me make sure I'm going on the right road. I am. Okay. Anyway, so the thing about standby is it's all based on space available, and I grew up going standby because my dad worked for Eastern Airlines and we would always fly standby anytime we flew anywhere. I don't know if we actually bought any tickets when we were little. My mom could tell me that. Rosa Linda Román (03:41): But I have very strong memories of spending many hours, sometimes overnight in airports with my siblings and my mom because that's the way we flew, and that's how we got to go to Puerto Rico, and how we got to go to Colorado, and many other places. So, we went to Portland after a bit of a whirlwind drive from she… so Christina flew into Austin the day after Father's Day, and from Austin that day, we drove to Van Horn, Texas and we spent the night there. And that was just Ziva Samuel, Christina, Nala, our German Shepherd, and myself driving all the way to Van Horn. And then the next day we drove to Tucson. Then we spent a day in Tucson prepping the camper. It's my brother-in-law's camper, which I drive, I do the driving when I'm with him, unless my husband's with us, which he is now. He's doing the driving. Rosa Linda Román (04:53): But we drove the camper. After that, we spent some time in Tucson at my mother-in-law's house, which is up against the Catalina Mountains, which is beautiful. And then we packed up the camper and drove to Las Vegas, Nevada, where it was just about as hot as being on the surface of the sun. Super, super hot, 110 degrees at 8:30 at night. And we stayed there just for… we stayed there for two days while we saw Ari off from that airport. And Ahava and Nathan flew into that airport because it was a good jumping-off point. Ari flew to Portland so that he could go to help with wedding preps for his friends. And he had quite an adventure after he left us. We dropped him off at the Las Vegas Airport in the morning. And he actually had to change his flight last minute because somehow the communication got mixed with Nathan and we booked the wrong ticket. Rosa Linda Román (06:00): So, we had to last minute get another ticket to make sure he got to the airport in time for the shuttle, which left Portland Airport at two o'clock. So, we did that. We made the arrangements, paid the extra a hundred dollars so that he could make it in time to catch the shuttle to get to Lincoln city. Well, the shuttle apparently just decided to leave without him at 1:30, or 1:20, or something like that. And he had to end up taking like a Greyhound bus and I don't know what other circuitous route, but he didn't get in until late that night. His friends had to drive, I don't know, an hour or two out of the way after they had driven 24 hours straight from Tucson all the way to Lincoln City. So, I guess it added to the story of, you know, their wedding adventure. Rosa Linda Román (06:50): But that sure wasn't a nice way for him to have to go, especially, because the whole point of the camper trip was that he and I were going to spend time going up the coast like we did for a cousin's wedding in White Salmon, Washington last November, I think it was. And we had a really great trip. And so, we were going to do a repeat performance of that, but trying to fit everybody's schedules in with the timeline to make it in time for the wedding, to get from Tucson all the way up to Lincoln City, it just wasn't going to work. So, he flew out. And then the other challenge and blessing was that we had my niece with me. And because of that, she is not, you know, the truck that I'm driving, which is a Ford F-150 pickup truck fits six people. Rosa Linda Román (07:45): And so, once Nathan and Ahava flew in, if Ari was still here, there would be no room for my niece because we are a family of five plus either my niece or Ari. So, Ari graciously flew to Lincoln City, and then we drove to meet him after that. So, that was Vegas. Then we went from Vegas with our crew of our immediate family, plus Christina up to Reno, Nevada. And Reno was equally hot, well, not equally, but it was pretty hot and I didn't love it that much. And by the way, our trip to Vegas, that was quite eye-opening. We were trying to go to dinner after we got in and I found a restaurant on Google that said it was family-friendly and good. And so, we went to that or tried to go to that and it took us to this like really creepy area and you had to go through some kind of smokey casino in a strip mall to get to that. Rosa Linda Román (08:57): So, we're like, "Yeah, we're not going to do that." And you know, we had the dog too, so we had to consider what that's going to mean. So, then we ended up finding another one that said family-friendly. And I navigated to it and it took us to Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. And it was just like, oh my gosh, yes, this was a Saturday night in Vegas and there was just no escaping the Vegas crowd that was in front of the car, crossing the street, and right there at the crosswalk. As we were waiting at the light, there was a naked man. I did not see his full nakedness, but apparently, my niece, and my son, and daughter did, Ziva, and Samuel, and Christina all got quite a show. I did see the Batman character and Kiss character in basically no pants and just chaps. Rosa Linda Román (09:56): But it did cover their parts. I guess maybe they had a bikini on or something, albeit a thong. So, that was a sight to behold. And that was like, "Oh yeah, we're not going to be going to this restaurant that we thought we were going to go to." And so, we ended up going to IHOP for dinner that night. So, when you're traveling with kids and it's, you know, late, and you're tired and desperate, and people are getting hangry, sometimes you just have to have IHOP for dinner. And actually, it turned out to be very good. But it was funny, not funny, but when we got to IHOP, we sat in this one booth and I thought, "Oh, this will be great. You know, it's over by the window." And the kids were kind of distracted with figuring out where they were going to sit. Rosa Linda Román (10:43): And I looked out the window and there were people of the night, one was undressing and the other was helping that person undress. And I went, "Oh, we're going to go move to a different booth." So, it was definitely Vegas and its full sin city type of moniker, but we ended up having a good dinner in another booth and the kids were none the wiser. And then, so that was Vegas, and then Reno was pretty uneventful. We didn't really go out, we just stayed in the camper. And I got to say, it's really nice to have the camper. It's not camping like, you know, people love to do tent camping and that's a whole different thing. What I'm talking about is a travel trailer that is hauled by this F-150 pickup truck, and it has pretty much all the comforts we need to have a very nice trip. Rosa Linda Román (11:39): And in a lot of ways it really does remind me of cruising in the boat because we have what we need there, but nothing's like super instantly convenient like living in a house. But the benefit is you have your things with you and you can go to explore new places with your belongings along for the ride, which I think is super awesome. Let me pause and tell you, I'm going over a bridge, getting onto I-5 south towards Salem. And it's a beautiful bridge over the bay. And I don't know what waterway this is, I probably should know, but I don't. And there's a really lovely bridge. Ahava, can you see that? Ahava (12:26): That's awesome. Rosa Linda Román (12:27): Yeah, it's really pretty. And by the way, Ahava's working on her FLVS, which is Florida Virtual School right now. But after I chat for a while with you and do my typical Rosa Linda's Ramblings, I'm going to interview Ahava a little bit. I already warned her. She's got headphones on right now, so she can't really hear me. But I thought you guys might enjoy her perspective because I know I've had Ziva on here a bit, and each kid here and there, but Ahava's usually doing her competitive gymnastics or working on something school-wise. So, I don't always get to interview her. So, hopefully, we'll get to chat with her in a little bit once I'm fully on the road, on our way. It says we've got two and a half hours to get back to our location, which means it's a lot longer than our original and… than our drive here, which was just two hours. So, yeah, we've got our ways. So, lots of time to chat. Rosa Linda Román (13:29): As Ahava pointed out, she said, "Well, you could record like three episodes if you want." I said, "Yeah, but I don't want to just ramble and ramble. It has to be something worth talking about." So, I'm going to just kind of fill you in on our trip right now, and then I want to talk a little bit about what I just alluded to, which is how is it the same as being on a boat and how is it different and the way it's the same right this minute or what I just proved is when you are living on a boat or you're living out of a camper, IKEA is awesome. I just went and bought some of the things I knew we loved having on the boat for the camper. Namely, there's these hooks that you don't need to drill anything, or use nails, or screws, or anything. It has like a rubber suction, but it's not like a typical one of those horrible suction cups that never work. Rosa Linda Román (14:29): This, you put it against the wall and then you twist a screw that tightens it against the wall. And we found on the boat that was the only thing that we could get to stick to the walls of the bathroom. And when you're on the boat, everything's so musty, and there's always towels that need to be hung up, which I tried to hang up outside whenever possible, but when you're in a big wind, you can't really hang them up outside. So, sometimes we had to put them in the bathtub or the shower. And so, my brother-in-law, Ari, and I were talking about what we needed for the camper and one of the first things I said… he said, "You know, we really need to figure out a way to hang the towels." And he was talking about stringing a line maybe across the living room or something like that, like a clothesline. Rosa Linda Román (15:21): And that's when I got the idea that IKEA would be a really good way to get those hooks. Now, I don't know if they're going to work in the camper because the wall might be too porous to actually fix these suctions to it, but I'll find out because sure enough, as I was going to the airport I saw a big IKEA sign right on the way, right near the airport. So, I told Ahava. I said, "We're going to the airport… we're going to IKEA right after we're done." And she was like, "No, we're in a hurry. We can't." I'm like, "We already." So, because of the standby, let me back up. So, Christina was going to try a standby flight early, early this morning which was at seven, and we really should have gotten up to do that, but because it was a two-hour drive and we were up late, and I thought, I just really don't want to try at seven in the morning, which means leaving at like four in the morning. Rosa Linda Román (16:18): So, there was an 11 o'clock flight and I thought, "Yeah, that's perfect, we'll try that." And I think it had nine open seats or maybe 12 open seats and nine people on standby list or something like that. And it is prettier, but I think it's going to be slow going these windy mountain roads. So, I just got off on Garden Home Road or Multnomah, something like that. I'm just going with Google, just going with it. Okay, so we did the standby. We tried, and I was just going to take Christina myself because the thing is because we don't have enough room in the car for all seven of us with Ari, and Christina, and our family, we needed someone to depart or find an alternate method of transportation. And we had originally thought maybe my sister could come in, fly in, and spend a couple days with us and then fly out and get a rental car and fly out with Christina. Rosa Linda Román (17:24): But the time got away from us and it just didn't work out. So, we ended up saying, "No, I'll bring Christina to the airport. I don't mind the drive." I figured I could record an episode and then I drive back to where I was. But I got diverted off the highway. But it seems to be the right route. It just, I don't know, I don't know if this is or not, but I'm following Google. Hopefully, it's right. Okay. So, anyway, we tried the 11 o'clock flight, and this is an example of how standby can be really maddening. We got there and we were tighter than I like to be on time. It got behind a cement truck the whole way from Lincoln City all the way to Portland. Literally, he turned like a mile before the airport and that's two hours plus behind a cement truck. Rosa Linda Román (18:27): Anyway, so we got there, but you know, I didn't like how tight we were on time, but we did okay. We got to the, so you go to the checkout, I mean the ticket counter, and tell them that you have an unaccompanied minor who's traveling standby. And then they have to give you a pass to get through security for the child and then one for you. And since I have my daughter Ahava with me, they give us an additional pass so she can come through security with us. And so, we get through security. I mean, we get the ticket, the little pass to go through security. We wait in security line, do the usual, and then after you get through security you go and sit at the gate and you just have to sit there until about 10 minutes before the flight takes off when they start to clear the standby list. Rosa Linda Román (19:19): But nowadays it's very different than when I was growing up, standby, you just sat there waiting with no idea if you had any shot of getting on or not. And you're like sitting there trying to count how many passengers are in the waiting area and how many seats are on the plane and trying to see if maybe you'll fit. But now they have a display, at least United does where it shows you a picture of the airplane with all the seats and it shows you the open seats. And then the next screen will show you all the paid people who are trying to upgrade to first class. And then the next screen is the standby list. And on the standby list on the morning flight, it had three names, but one of them had already been greenlighted and checked and they obviously had already gotten cleared to go on the plane, but there were two people still on the list, someone before us, and then my niece Christina. Rosa Linda Román (20:20): So, we sat there and waited, and waited, and waited, and then they started calling two names of people who obviously had not shown up yet to get onto the flight. And that really is why when you're going standby, the number one piece of advice is never ever, ever leave the gate until you know, and you see that flight taking off because sometimes a last-minute change will happen. And if you're the person sitting there, and you're ready to go, you'll get that seat over somebody who they have to call. They won't call you twice. So, if they call someone and they're not there then you get that seat, which is great. Rosa Linda Román (21:03): So, we were sitting there and I could see that she was the second name on the list and they were calling for these two guys. And all of a sudden one of them showed up and I was like, "Oh man." And I knew there were two seats left there, you know, and then we were out of luck. So, I was sitting there and then the guy who was first before us was kind of standing there and the gate agent said, "Oh, okay, Mr. So-And-So just, you know, stand over here and be ready." And he was kind of stepping back and she said, "No, no, no, that's too far. You need to be right here." And I said, "Oh yeah, you better be careful. We might trip." You know, I was just kidding. And he goes, "Oh, are you waiting too?" I said, "Yeah, but it's my niece, you know." And he saw my niece sitting there with her big brown eyes all looking like, "Oh, I wish I could get on this flight." Rosa Linda Román (22:00): I said, "Yeah, she's trying to go home. And he said, "Oh, well it looks like I'm going to get this seat and you know, she could have it. I have other options." And I said, "Yeah, you know, she has to fly nonstop because she's unaccompanied minor so she can't connect in another city or anything like that." And he said, "Oh, I'm happy to give up my seat. I'll just catch a different flight." And so, we were like, "Yes." You know, that was just such a nice gesture. So, we were excited and we said to the gate, he said to the gate agent, "You know, no, she can have my seat." And she said, "No, no, she can't have it." And she said to us, "Oh, he's different. He can't give you his seat." And I was like, "What?" And my sister works as a gate agent, so she knows all the ins and outs and what the rules are, and I'm texting her at the same time and she's like, "That's bs. He totally can give you the seat. And, you know, that doesn't make, you know, why would she say no? And of course, you know, if he wants to give up the seat, he's welcome to do that." Rosa Linda Román (22:52): And I was like, "You know what?" The other thing about standby, you should know, and if you're ever stand flying on a standby pass, you are representing the person who is the employee. So, you have to dress respectfully, act respectfully, and not carry on or make a scene. And so, in that case, I can't just yell at the gate agent or make a, you know, big to-do about it. I have to just say, okay, you know? And so, the guy, he's like, "I'm sorry." I said, "No, thank you for trying, you know?" And he went on the plane and they closed the gate and I was like, "Oh, it just killed me." Rosa Linda Román (23:39): Because what we were going to try to do is have her take that flight and then we were going to drive back to Lincoln City, and then drive the camper up to Sequim, Washington, which is about five hours away. And that's where my brother-in-law lives, my other brother-in-law. So, we were going to be there in, and today's Friday. So, we were going to be there in time for Shabbat and all be together for Shabbat. But it's not going to happen now because she missed that flight. And so, then the gate agent, you know, I said, can you carry her over to the next flight? Well, the next flight option was 1:49, so, you know, almost three hours later. And wait three, two hours later? Yeah, almost, almost three hours later. Rosa Linda Román (24:33): And so, we were just bombed, and we thought, "Oh, okay." So, I said, "Can you just carry, you know, put her on the list for the next flight?" And she said, "Yes." And so, then she said, "Oh, well he was a revenue passenger so he couldn't have given you his flight." And I just didn't say anything. I said, "Oh." I said, "Oh, okay, because my sister does the same job as you and she thought it was possible." And that's all I said. And I didn't further pursue it, you know, that's all, that was enough, that was pushing it enough. And she did say to me, my sister said to me like, "That is so not true. He totally could have given you his seat. And that's not true at all." But it is what it is. We hung around the airport in Portland. Nathan extended the reservation at Lincoln City and we tried for the next standby flight and we had some lunch and stuff. Rosa Linda Román (25:19): And then we went to go sit for that standby flight and that went way more smoothly. Everybody was super nice and they gave her her seat assignment early and they walked her down onto the plane even before a lot of the regular passengers boarded. So, that was really nice because then we could not worry. And it was funny because Ahava was like, "Okay, let's go." Like, you know, because we still have now two hours to drive, two and a half hours. By the way, I'm stopped in traffic and that's why it's nice and quiet as I'm recording. But anyway, she said, "Come on, let's go." I said, "No, we can't leave the gate until wheels up." You can't leave at all in when you're taking an unaccompanied minor, whether standby or any other way. You, as the person delivering them onto the plane, can't leave the gate area until they are physically in the air. Rosa Linda Román (26:16): That plane takes off. You cannot leave at all because if, heaven forbid, something happened at the last minute you need to be there to, you know, receive your niece nephew, you know, brother, sister, cousin, whatever they are, daughter, son. So, we stayed, we waited, we watched her flight take off, and then we went to IKEA. And I'm going to talk with Ahava. Let me see if she's available so I can have her share some of the tips, and tricks, and things that we got from IKEA that we are going to use for the camper and hopefully, spark another discussion about the differences between cruising on land and cruising in the camper. Please stand by. Rosa Linda Román (27:03): Okay, I'm staffed at a light for a second and it's a good time for me to bring Ahava into the conversation. Hey babe. Ahava (27:09): Hello. Rosa Linda Román (27:10): I'm going to hand her the recorder, which by the way is a Zoom H4n recorder. And I wanted to ask you, I've been chatting with our listeners about our trip to IKEA. I mentioned about the hooks that we got, but I wanted to talk about some of the similarities and differences between being on a boat and being in cruising on land. And I was wondering if you had any impressions and we'll start with what did we end up getting at IKEA? Ahava (27:44): So, what did we get at IKEA? Oh, a floor mat. Rosa Linda Román (27:47): A floor mat, we needed, right? What else? Anything that stands out? We got the- Ahava (27:54): Oh, the squeezy bottle thing. Rosa Linda Román (27:56): We got this, oh, like travel bottles? Ahava (27:58): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (28:01): We got a squeegee. Ahava (28:04): Yeah. Which we need the squeegee on the boat to wipe down all the windows. We had like four squeegees on the boat. Rosa Linda Román (28:11): Yeah, and those came in handy. Ahava (28:12): Oh, we got chopsticks. Rosa Linda Román (28:14): Oh yeah. Why did we get chopsticks? Ahava (28:17): Also, we wanted straws because we're trying to not get as much like plastic, which chopsticks aren't plastic, but as much waste, especially, plastic by getting plastic straws. We're trying to find metal straws so that we can reuse them and we'll each have our own and carry it with us wherever so that we don't just keep making as much trash. Rosa Linda Román (28:42): Right, because what is the little factoid that we learned about straws? Were you with us when we talked about that? Ahava (28:50): Maybe. Rosa Linda Román (28:51): About how they never break down and they- Ahava (28:52): Yeah, I watched a video about it. So, I watched a video about it. I think it was on ASAP Science. And it was that like for billions of years, it still won't degrade. Rosa Linda Román (29:09): So, basically, straws are just- Ahava (29:11): Well, not only straws but plastic in general. Rosa Linda Román (29:14): So, the more that we can reduce. Ahava (29:17): So, if aliens ever come to our planet after all the humans die out, then they'll wonder what our weird fascination with plastic was. Rosa Linda Román (29:27): Yeah, exactly. So, we got a few of those kinds of things. Ahava (29:31): But what else did we get? I don't know what you're trying to say. Rosa Linda Román (29:32): Some silverware, because part of the challenge is a lot of the stuff that we had on the boat we left on the boat. Ahava (29:39): Yeah. But what are you saying that the difference? Rosa Linda Román (29:42): Oh, I just said something that's the same is that we go to Ikea. Like, when we were on the boat, we went to IKEA, because, you know, any excuse to go to IKEA is fine by me. Ahava (29:55): But they didn't really have that much stuff for traveling. Rosa Linda Román (29:57): Yeah, they didn't. Ahava (29:58): The Container Store had a bunch of it though. We didn't go there today. Rosa Linda Román (30:02): No. Thank goodness or I would've never left. And it was funny. Tell them how you were trying to keep me out of, you were like kicking me out of IKEA. Ahava (30:11): Yeah. Like, walk away, just step away from the store. Like, no, we have to go towards the exit. We don't need that. Rosa Linda Román (30:23): That's right. So, okay. So, besides the IKEA stuff, you've been in the camper now for how long? A week? Ahava (30:34): Something like that? Rosa Linda Román (30:35): A little less than a week, but almost. Ahava (30:36): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (30:37): So, what's your general impression about traveling in the camper? Ahava (30:42): Well, first of all, you travel differently because on the boat we sleep in there and we travel in it. Like, that's how we get around. But here we can't stay in the camper while we're actually moving. So, we can't be in the living space while we're moving. Which- Rosa Linda Román (31:04): Is annoying. Ahava (31: 05): Is annoying and a big difference. And Rosa Linda Román (31:06): And this trip to Portland was a perfect example of the effect of that. Ahava (31:12): Yeah. Like, we can only fit six people. I keep saying to throw people in the trunk, but nobody listens to me. So, yeah. Rosa Linda Román (31:23): So, that's one way, it's different. You can't just go about your business while you're underway. Ahava (31:28): Yeah, less privacy. Rosa Linda Román (31:31): Less privacy in the camper? Ahava (31:32): Yes. Rosa Linda Román (31:33): How so? Ahava (31:35): It's just basically one hallway with a bunch of beds and stuff stacked in it versus on the boat you could put a door somewhere or you could put a curtain or something like that and you can't really do that in the camper. Rosa Linda Román (31:55): Yeah, how did we fit seven people last night? Talk about the sleeping arrangement. Ahava (31:58): So, basically in the camper, there's a what size bed? It's like- Rosa Linda Román (32:02): King size of a bed. Ahava (32:04): It's not a king because it's not fully six feet. It's a weird shape, not weird shape. It's- Rosa Linda Román (32:09): You can call it a king. Ahava (32:10): … less than a king, daddy measured. it's a little less than a king-size bed. And that is an extension. So, basically, when we're moving, we pull it in and so it makes the- Rosa Linda Román (32:26): Oh, it's a slide-out? Ahava (32:27): Yeah, it's a slide out and then when we are ready to use it, we extend it and makes more room. Rosa Linda Román (32:35): Okay. So, that's one bed. Ahava (32:36): Yeah. And then we have the table which converts down into a bed. Actually, on the boat, we had that too. Rosa Linda Román (32:45): Yeah. Ahava (32:47): And then we have the couch, which also converts into a bed. Like, it folds flat. And then there's bunk beds, so another bed, and then so like two more beds on the other side. So, yeah. Rosa Linda Román (33:02): We were maxed out last night. Ahava (33:03): Yeah. And the dog sleeps on the floor even though I want her to sleep in the bed. Rosa Linda Román (33:10): So, close quarters, no like private rooms because on the boat you didn't really have a big room, but you did have your own space. Ahava (33:19): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (33:20): What was that? What kind of room did you have? Ahava (33:24): I had a storage cabinet. Rosa Linda Román (33:27): We locked her in a cabinet. Ahava (33:30): Yeah. So, actually, but no, that's not what I wanted to talk about. Rosa Linda Román (33:34): Oh, okay. Talk about what you want. Ahava (33:36): So, something that's similar is both the boat and the camper, you have to hook up when you're staying somewhere, you have to hook up to… do we have to hook up to electricity. Rosa Linda Román (33:50): Mm-hmm (affirmative). Ahava (33:50): Yeah, so we have to hook up to water and electricity for both places. And we have to dump our sewage and gray water. And- Rosa Linda Román (34:01): Same thing with the boat. Ahava (34:01): Same thing with the boat. Rosa Linda Román (34:03): Yeah. The fact that we have to think about our power, our water, and our sewer, that's not something you really think about when you're living in a regular house. Ahava (34:14): Yeah, except for the water. Rosa Linda Román (34:16): Well we did, but a lot of people don't. Ahava (34:18): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (34:20): Because in New Mexico we had to. Ahava (34:21): We had to have it hauled but still not nearly as much, not like a daily basis. Rosa Linda Román (34:29): We would get it hauled up there once a month maybe. Ahava (34:31): Yeah. On the boat, you could shower a lot more on the actual boat. But here the shower is not that great and so we have to go off, meaning on the camper, we have to go off and use the showers because this one really just doesn't… it's too small though. Rosa Linda Román (34:50): What is your- Ahava (34:51): Most of the time Rosa Linda Román (34:53): Is there something better about the camper than the boat? Ahava (34:59): You travel faster on land. Rosa Linda Román (35:02): Yeah, that's true. You can get much farther. Ahava (35:04): So, that's a good thing. And it's on land so we can go, and walk around more, and while we're actually traveling we can stop and like stretch our legs versus on the boat. We are not as cramped as much because we don't have to sit in the same place for most of the time. But you also can't like go out, and run around, and have the dog go pee, or whatever. Rosa Linda Román (35:38): Yeah. Well, and that is a big difference. The other thing is you can unhook the truck and go around town in that and leave the camper. Ahava (35:52): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (35:53): I guess that's like the dinghy. Ahava (35:55): Yeah. That is like the dinghy. But I think, well, in the camper we are so much more cramped and crowded. Yeah. We're so much more cramped and crowded both when we're actually traveling and when we're not because we have to sit right next to each other and we have a little bit of leg room and plus we have to have all our stuff like right on top of us versus- Rosa Linda Román (36:22): Yeah, it's a little more crowded. Ahava (36:22): … on the boat, you could store your stuff somewhere. I mean you can't, really in the camper. And Rosa Linda Román (36:33): Yeah, we have the stuff in the back of the truck. Ahava (36:35): And you don't have to be sitting in the exact same space, crowded right next to each other with stuff all around you on the boat. But it's actually the opposite where you're supposed to be like putting everything away to make sure it doesn't fall and making sure that things aren't loose and hanging and stuff like that. Rosa Linda Román (36:56): Does it make you miss the boat? Ahava (36:58): It doesn't make me miss the boat. Rosa Linda Román (37:00): Do you miss the boat? Ahava (37:02): I don't know. I mean, I like the boat. I really enjoyed that but I think it'll be good to stay in one place for a while. Rosa Linda Román (37:16): So, talk about that because right now we're not in one place. We're moving around. Ahava (37:20): Yeah. Well, this is kind of like a hurrah before it took five weeks traveling, and then we're going to be in Austin for six months, at least. Rosa Linda Román (37:33): Well, what prompted that move or that thought? Ahava (37:38): So, well, there's a lot of factors, but mostly two things is my gymnastics training. I found an amazing gym called AcroTex in Austin. And it's a great gym. They train up and so you're not just training at your level, you're training like 2, 3, 4, 5 levels ahead which other gyms don't usually do that. Rosa Linda Román (38:13): Normally, they just focus on the skills that [crosstalk 00:38:15]. Ahava (38:14): They focus on the skills that you're at but, and then you move on to the next level, and focus on those skills. But not here, they don't. And also, my dad's work. He has an office and nice people that he can work with here and he's working on like this project, in his work integrating something or other and yeah. Rosa Linda Román (38:40): Well, and you've been going to work with daddy almost every day. What does that feel like? Ahava (38:43): Yeah, because I'm doing school all year round basically, because I have to take civics over the summer because I did not know that it was one of the core courses and required. So, I didn't take it over like during the actual school year when I signed up for all my other courses. And so, now I have to take it over the summer so that way I'll be caught up for the next school year and I honestly don't think I'll finish in time for the summer. But- Rosa Linda Román (39:19): You'll get done as much as you can. That's the nice thing about the Florida Virtual is you have flexibility. Ahava (39:25): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (39:26): As long as you keep turning something in, you'll eventually get it done. Ahava (39:31): Yeah, but it depends because it could take longer than normal or it could take a lot shorter. Like, for example, and I messed up, but in language arts which I only have like two final tests left or something like that and then I'm done, because, in the first segment, I was like 10 weeks behind my pace that I was supposed to be at. And I don't even know how I got away with that, because it basically, I would wait two weeks and then I would turn it in, and then I would wait another two weeks, and then I would turn something in. Because two weeks is when you get kicked out. Rosa Linda Román (40:18): Oh my gosh. Ahava (40:19): And then it's like okay you have 24 hours to turn something up in, otherwise, you're getting disenrolled. But then the next segment, segment two, which I'm finishing up, I am 10 weeks ahead of pace, and also some of the courses I really enjoy and others I really don't. And civics is like long and drawn out and I have a good teacher. He is really nice, but I just don't like it. Rosa Linda Román (40:48): You just don't like it. Ahava (40:49): And same with language arts, but like math and science I did. I had a really good teacher in, yeah, science was my favorite because I had a really good teacher and also some of it was interesting because three of the modules were on geology and I really don't like geology. But I like, like biology and what's the other one? Like heredity and genetics. I found that really interesting. And also, like the law of conservation of energy and stuff like that. So, I'm taking advanced physical science, which is a high school course next year. And also, Algebra 1 advanced. And then I think I'm just taking regular language arts because it doesn't give me any extra credit at the middle school level. So, I'm not taking that. Rosa Linda Román (41:44): So, let me ask you. Ahava (41:45): And yeah. Rosa Linda Román (41:46): The first year we were on the boat, we homeschooled in more of a unschooling way. Ahava (41:51): Yeah, because we had no clue what we were doing. Rosa Linda Román (41:53): Right. Compare that to doing homeschooling with Florida Virtual School. Ahava (42:00): I think with the, we'll just call it unschooling, the unschooling way we just had no idea what we were doing. And I think it was definitely much easier because we didn't have to do anything basically. I mean, we had to write journals and stuff and stuff like that, but not like we had to turn it in and we had to meet the rubric or something like that. It was easier. I definitely don't think it was better, because I didn't know what I was supposed to be learning. And also, I couldn't measure if I was actually getting anywhere. And like, because the thing was my dad would, for example, he would give us math problems but I didn't know like I could have skipped over an entire thing. Yes, I was learning this advanced part of math, but there's so many other parts that lead up to other things that I could have been skipping. Rosa Linda Román (43:04): Yeah, we were all worried that there were gaps in your education. Ahava (43:08): Yeah, well it turned out to be fine when we went back to regulars, well not regular school, but like a curriculum and it turned out to be like more than fine. But also, once we actually started doing this curriculum, it's like you accomplished something like, oh, I got a hundred percent on that test, Oh, I'm almost done with this course, I mastered that, I did that. Versus there it's like okay, do these problems but you don't know like what it's leading up to or stuff like that. And you don't get grades and- Rosa Linda Román (43:50): In theory, you can step back into a classroom at any point and be [indiscernible 00:43:56]. Ahava (43:56): Oh, definitely, because this court, the FLVS is Florida Virtual School and it is the Florida public school-like curriculum, basically. And yeah, it's the same. And like, I definitely like this better because I know, and like at the end of the year, though I don't live here, I don't really have an end of the year, because I'm working year-round, but there we kind of did, oh, okay it's the end of the year. So, at the end of the year, it's like, I did that. I'm done. I'm free, not free, but like I finished that. And the funny thing is, even though I started my courses around the same time, I finish them at totally different times. Like, science, I finished first, and then math was like a few weeks after that. And language arts I'm still working on, and civics I just started. So, totally different pace. But I get to know that I've actually mastered that and I will be able to easily go onto the next level. Rosa Linda Román (45:12): So, I know that you're looking forward to staying in one place for six months, but what do you think overall about, you know, people ask me all the time, well what do your kids think about this traveling lifestyle, living on a boat, you know, all of the things that we've done? Ahava (45:29): So, I would do this all the time. I love it. And my voice keeps cracking. It's horrible. I would do this all the time. I think it's really great and awesome. And the only problem is gymnastics, because- Rosa Linda Román (45:48): Yeah, you never did find a way to reconcile the wanderlust with the competitive gymnastics. Ahava (45:53): Yes. And so, if I didn't have gymnastics and I love gymnastics and being in a sport and all that, but if I didn't have that, I would definitely a hundred percent do this 24/7, all the time, and it would be great. Rosa Linda Román (46:15): What is one place that you wished we had traveled to that we didn't? Ahava (46:21): I've never been out of North America, which is really sad. It's really sad mommy. Rosa Linda Román (46:27): Why is that? Ahava (46:28): Because I've never been out of North America. Rosa Linda Román (46:32): Okay. Ahava (46:34): And we're supposed to be a traveling family, but I've never been out of North America. And so, you're kind of slacking here. Rosa Linda Román (46:44): I know. Well, this is the year I think that we're going to use Austin as a home base. Ahava (46:48): Yeah, because Avery and her family are going to Australia. Rosa Linda Román (46:53): Right, so now we should do that too. Ahava (46:56): But not at the same time. Rosa Linda Román (46:58): Not at the same. All right, well, anything else you want to talk about before I let you go back to your work? Ahava (47:04): Nala likes the water. Rosa Linda Román (47:05): Oh yes. We took her on a… that's something that's similar with the boat and… Ahava (47:12): Yeah. She's a salty dog because… oh, the water you swim in pools more, and the water around, not The Bahamas is way not as like, not necessarily dirtier. A lot of it is dirtier but not clear. Like, also there's like rivers, and lakes, and not oceans, not like a roaring ocean, and waves and stuff like that. Because we're staying at this campground now and it's at this lake or river. See he keeps correcting me and it has brackish water which is very different than the ocean. And another one where we could drink like straight from the lake,and it was river, and it was fresh water and so- Rosa Linda Román (48:08): But freezing. Ahava (48:09): Yeah. But also in Austin, there's like a bunch of lakes and stuff. And it was so funny. There's like this "Blue hole." in Georgetown, which first of all it was all brown and it was not a blue hole. It was- Rosa Linda Román (48:26): A muddy hole. Ahava (48:26): A muddy deep-like thing. And we've been to a blue hole, an ocean, actually, a bunch of different blue holes in The Bahamas. It's so different. Rosa Linda Román (48:39): Yeah. You have some perspective that maybe some other people don't have. Ahava (48:42): Yeah. But that does not count as a blue hole. Rosa Linda Román (48:45): But it doesn't stop Nala from enjoying every minute of the water wherever she is. Ahava (48:50): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (48:52): That's true. Ahava (48:52): Okay, and also when we're in the camper versus on the boat people visit us more. Rosa Linda Román (49:02): In the camper? Ahava (49:02): Yes. Rosa Linda Román (49:04): Why do you think that is? Ahava (49:06): Because it's on land and it's easier for them. And it's in the same country except for Canada. Rosa Linda Román (49:13): Yeah, it's a little easier to get to. Ahava (49:15): Yeah. Rosa Linda Román (49:16): I I miss the boat in case you didn't know. Ahava (49:20): Yeah, I know. Rosa Linda Román (49:22): Okay, well thank you for talking with us. Ahava (49:25): Thank you. Bye-Bye. Rosa Linda Román (49:33): All right. Well there you go. You heard from Ahava, my 13-year-old daughter talking about some of the things that I'm always talking about with the kids and this traveling lifestyle. But it's nice to hear her perspective. Obviously, we have a different opinion. I do miss the boat. In fact, I just got a notification this morning that some of our boat friends, some of the other kid boats that we had been traveling with specifically Rondo is one of them, and Pura Vida, and then the other one was Clarity. They all are either to Trinidad, I think, it is, or toward Granada. And they have made it down the chain of islands, the whole way that I thought we were going to go together as a family and travel with those kid boats and explore not just Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, and then onto the Virgin Island, and St. Lucia, and Guadalupe, and all those places. Rosa Linda Román (50:41): We didn't because we decided my husband wanted to go back to work and Ahava wanted to go back to the gym. So, we didn't do that. And today my friend posted that they made it, I think, 2000 nautical miles and they were very, very excited about the milestone that they made. And I just, you know, I'm very excited for them. But I also am sad because it reminds me that we never did do that. And I really did want to with my kids while they were young and have those experiences. The good news is we did have some wonderful experiences and I'm doing my best to keep the spirit of adventure alive despite the domestication that may be going on for the next several months. I'm trying my best to continue the adventures as much as we can. Rosa Linda Román (51:43): So, you could hear some of Ahava's perspective and what she is thinking as we probably we'll be in Austin for a bit. And I'll try my best to share Ziva's perspective one of these days so you can hear kind of what we're wrestling with as a family. But for now, I'm going to let you go. I'm going to just focus on driving, maybe listen to some podcasts myself. If you want to see pictures and videos of our journey, you can always join the New Mexi-Castaways Facebook group. There's on my New Mexicast Facebook page, just click the Join button or Sign Up button, whatever it's called. And that will take you to the group where you can see more of our adventures. All right. Thank you so much for listening and I hope you have a great adventure wherever you are. I'm Rosa Linda Román.

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