Thursday, April 28, 2011

And the moon rose over an open field

Ever since I was a kid, I've been a little bit obsessed with RVs (and to a degree houseboats). My first love was an intense one-sided affair with the shiny silver Airstream that was permanently parked in a driveway down the block. I was so enthralled that when I was 20, I got a book about the history of Airstreams as a Christmas present and considered it the great gift of the year. (you can get it here)

And before I could even drive, there were many years I would beg--and then drag--my parents to the boat, sport and travel show so I could scamper around all of the campers and double wides and fantasize about living in one someday. There's just something about everything being so small and efficient...and moveable. It's like the ultimate Alley-Sheedy-in-The-Breakfast-Club purse turned into a home. After all, you never know when you may have to jam!

Now that I'm writing about it, I can think of so many things I loved as a child and how they tie back to my love of transportation abodes.

Remember the Gypsy caravan Danny and his father call home in Danny the Champion of the World? (more on that here)

What about the motorhome Juliette Lewis lives in in What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

Or who can forget Dylan McKay's dad's houseboat on 90210 (RIP Jack McKay)?

Oh, and Maude's sweet-ass railcar apartment in Harold and Maude totally counts.

If you're still with me at this ramble down my weird-kid memory lane, you have to read Travels with Charley: In Search of America, one of my all-time favorite books. It's John Steinbeck's account of exploring the country in a camper with his standard poodle Charley.

A quintessential indoor kid (my parents used to punish me for reading too much by making me call friends to come over and do legitimate, real-people activities with me), I was a Steinbeck nut, PLUS we had a standard poodle (RIP Mr. T), so this book really resonated with me. I think it's what made me decide my dream job would be to drive around the country and have a syndicated newspaper column where I interviewed different people for a kind of "slice of life" feature, and it's probably at least partially responsible for my journalism degree.

Ahh, and here I am today: A mobile home non-owner (I don't think we can count the Caravan, as tempting as that is), and the only writing I do is on this-here blog, which is becoming more infrequent. Crap, I don't even have a toy poodle, let alone a Standard.

All of this is a big preface to a few things that have popped up (like a camper--hahahaha...groan) lately to remind me of my all-American (in theory) wanderlust.

- Season 6 of Weeds, in which the characters are on the lam (no spoilers here--motor homes aren't aerodynamic anyway....somebody stop me) and travel from Montana to Michigan in a huge Jesusmobile RV.

- This incredible (and gorgeous!) blog, Double Decker Days, in which author Crystal Thomas details her renovation of a 1970s double decker bus with the intention of turning it into a vacation getaway. I love it, love it, love it!

So in summation, this is all what had been rolling around in my head when I told Marc I thought we should rent a motor home and take a few weeks to explore the country at the end of this summer (I want the cats to come with us because I'm totally insane, not just a little bit crazy).

See, we haven't taken our honeymoon yet, and our original plan was to go to Europe and tourist around, which also sounds lovely. But I can't shake this idea that it would be a lot of fun to, in the words of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, walk off to look for America.

Who knows what will happen. Thoughts? Pros 'n cons?

(image from Double Decker Days)

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