Oh, Baby!

Last night my niece, who lives far away (Atlanta) and who I rarely see, had a beautiful baby boy.

He is huge … 9 pounds 6 ounces!

(Big, adorable, chubby cheeks!!)

It made me want to cry happy tears and sad tears at the same time.

I’m so happy for her.

I was also so happy to see the photos my brother sent me.

(I said all those “old people” sayings like, “I remember when my niece was a brand new baby!”)

At the same time, I feel sad my family is so spread out and so rarely together.

I know some families still have family members living in close proximity to each other.

But …?

My family is spread out all over the entire country.

Most of us are really terrible communicators too and don’t stay in touch very well.

I’ve had off and on plans to go see my brother for the last two years and *something* always seems to interfere.

(It’s often been yet another car-accident-related surgery.)

The arrival of a new baby makes me determined, once again, to do a tour of the United States in order to visit with all my long lost relatives.

I’m so tempted to buy a vintage 1960’s VW van and travel the country taking photos.

I could sleep in the van and drive from destination to destination.

Between family members, blogging friends, and/or photography friends –

I bet I’d have a great time visiting people and seeing the country.

You think I’m joking, don’t you?

I’m actually thinking quite seriously about it.

I’ve had this idea for a few years now, but it’s moving into the forefront now.

Would an old van really do the trick?

Or would it break down all the time and be a pain in the ass?

If I left at the end of August, how many places could I get to if I want to be back by Thanksgiving or Christmas?

How much money would I need?

How could I keep myself, and my gear, safe on an extended live-out-of-the-van trip?

I think it’s time to start looking into the details.

Maybe I’ll find the idea unmanageable.


Maybe I’ll finally stop thinking about it, and really plan the trip.

10 Responses to “Oh, Baby!”

  1. Missy Stalcup

    How about renting a small RV. I often though that would be so much fun. Keep us posted on the planning. I like the cool factor of an of VW Bus but I would also worry about the mechanical issues, especially if you are driving alone.

    • Suzanne

      I think I’d be scared to death to drive an RV.
      Maybe there’s something more reliable than an old van, but more manageable than an RV.

  2. Mary Jo

    I do believe you have found your extended vacation that you spoke about in your previous post. I personally would rent an RV as Missy suggested instead of buying something which if it breaks down you are responsible for fixing. Take a friend and it will be more fun than solo.
    Looking forward to seeing your photos! I hope your time spent with your family is everything you hope it to be and more.

    • Suzanne

      All my friends have “normal” jobs … I think this would have to be a solo trip.
      This is very much still in the “idea” stage.
      I’ll see if I can pull it off somehow …

  3. Sandra

    I don’t know anything about this company so I can’t recommend them, but we saw one of these Jucy vans while driving home from Santa Cruz. I was intrigued so I immediately looked them up. They’re fully equiped vans with a bed and kitchen inside. The color is sort of wildly fun too. Maybe check ‘um out. http://www.jucyrentals.com/vehicles/jucy-champ.aspx

    • Suzanne

      Huh – that’s interesting.
      I had never heard of anything like that before ….

  4. Erica

    A van is a van. Get a new one (or a fuel efficient car) and sleep in beds you pay for at hotels most of the time. RVs are toilets on wheels, so you really have to want one before you pay for it.

    You can lower back seats and sleep in almost any car, but you won’t like it. If you can get a van with a real bed… Okay.

    • Suzanne

      Hotel cost would be an issue.
      Actually, the cost of the whole trip is an issue.
      Maybe sell photos across the country as I go …?

      • Erica

        That is what you do now.

        You may be one of those rare and lucky people who can live or go anywhere because so much of your work is digital and there are no full time demands at home. Setting things up can be costly and you need equipment and reliable internet access, but then you’re free. Well, you are more free than most.

        Food has to be purchased everywhere, even at home, and large houses cost less when they are empty. I hope this works out,


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