Today is the day! We are starting out on our journey around the United States. We left a couple of days ago from our Cabin in the woods. It took an extremely long time to get everything packed up from the cabin! We had to sled the last of our items to the car aver 1/4 mile through the woods through many feet of snow! There is tons of snow in Marquette and now we are traveling through North East Wisconsin through thick fog, rain and unseasonably warm temperatures. In my opinion, it is much better than a blizzard.
After leaving the cabin, we went to Mike’s dad’s house in Marquette, MI and we stayed there for Christmas Eve and left in the morning Christmas day to my Mom’s house which is a few hours south of Marquette, Michigan. We stayed in Marinette for a few nights and we are left this morning to visit my cousins in the suburbs of Chicago. I have never really met these cousins, so I am excited to meet more of this side of the family.
We are going to stay with them for a few days and then on Monday morning, we will be heading to South Carolina to meet up with our travel buddies. We originally were going to take our 1973 VW Van on the journey, but we were unable to get it fixed in time. I am happy that we are taking my car 1993 Mercury Sable and a pop-up camper that Mike’s grandparents gave to us! This was one of the most useful gifts we got this year, but all the gifts we received were extremely well thought out and useful for our trip! They all fit into the car too!
I am excited about the trip, and a little nervous. We are going to be on the road for 5 months! Mainly we will be camping and staying with relatives a bit too. Living like this is actually (technologically speaking) a step up from living in our off of the grid cabin. We were hauling water to the cabin and melting snow to make shower and dish water. We were also burning wood for all of our cooking and heating. We have a power inverter in the car that we can use as a outlet and we will also have running water, electricity and propane cooking at the campgrounds.
I really do love living in our off of the grid cabin, but I am also elated that we have the freedom with my ‘job’ of making handcrafted sterling silver and copper jewelry to travel and go to art shows. I have currently put my Etsy store on “Vacation Mode” so I can catch my breath and just get to Florida.
I have brought my entire studio with, so I can work on the road! Also, I was starting to worry about not having a big enough torch to do some of my upcoming custom pieces. I have been using a prest-o-lite torch which runs off of acetylene, I think it might be illegal and even if it wasn’t I am not willing to bring an acetylene tank on the road. I have a second hand Vulcan Torch that was actually made in Grand Rapids, Michigan that I cannot find a lick of information about, so we just purchased a regulator, hose and fittings and now I will have a large propane torch that I can anneal and work on larger pieces with.
I have been accepted to two art shows in Florida, one in Cape Coral, the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts which is January 10th-11th. I have pretty decent sized inventory, so I think I will do well with all of the people vacationing to Florida. I also have a couple of custom pieces that I need to start on as soon as we get settled in at the first campground, south of Cape Coral, FL. The second show I am accepted to is the Venice-Nokomis Rotary Art festival in Venice Florida, which is in Venice, Florida.
I will write often about the trip, please read more posts about the Art Festvial Tour 2009.