A little while back, I was storming the internet and randomly came across this site, Escape Campervans. Josh and I have talked very seriously, on more than one occasion, what it would be like to live out a van full time. Honestly, we have idealized it. So when I came across this website, I realized it would be the perfect getaway for Josh and I. And to make things even more interesting, I decided to make it a surprise.
Josh had no idea what we were doing. It even got to the point where Josh thought we were going to fly somewhere for the weekend. Thankfully, despite all of his guesses, when the time came to drive off, he still had no idea. So I picked up an old-school map (yes, we actually used it instead of our GPS, cause we are weird) and I laid out three different trips, one North, East, and South, for us to choose from.
Each van from Escape Campervans is uniquely painted, so I had no idea what we were going to get. I snuck off from work and pulled into the rental parking lot to find our flower-power mobile waiting for us. It was perfect.
Initially, my plan was to park the van next to Josh’s car, cause I knew he would make a comment about it and then I would surprise him with the keys. But, unfortunately, there weren’t slots next to him open so I had to go with plan B. When we walked out to his car, I stopped him and said, “Okay, now it’s time for the surprise!” and handed him the keys. He looked a little suspicious, so I asked him if he could find our car. He immediately turned in the direction of the van, a few yards away and the biggest smile spread across his face!
So at around 4pm on a Friday, we set off. After some initial debating, we decided to head north, possibly to Oregon. We didn’t make it to Oregon, but we made up the trip as we went. In the end, we drove up to Fort Bragg the first night and then took our time to mosey down Highway 1 all the way back home.
We took the fastest route to Fort Bragg and were greeted by a crazy thunderstorm when we arrived. We couldn’t see very much at all due to the rain, so we pulled off the side of a back road and decided to sleep there for the night. The van, during the day, had a table and seats to hang out in, and they folded down to make a queen size bed for the evening. As we were falling asleep, I kept hearing this noise, which we both assumed were cars passing by. It turns out, it was waves!
We woke up right next to a beach with an extravagant rainbow that matched the van. Can it get any more perfect than that?
We hung out at the beach for a few hours and cooked some breakfast in the back of the van (which comes with a full kitchen…burners, pots&pans, plates, etc.) before we took off for the day. Glass beach, filled with sea glass from years of dumping garbage into the sea, was exceptionally beautiful and picking up the glass from the shore was impressive. We then headed south stopped in Elk for some Queenie’s Cafe lunch (amazing…seriously…amazing food) before we went inland to Anderson Valley. In Anderson Valley, we stopped at a winery (of course) that also sold goat cheese (uh, yum). We then headed back to highway 1 and cooked dinner at the Point Arena before falling asleep at the pier.
The next morning, we woke up and headed to the Point Arena Lighthouse to cook breakfast out of the van with some amazing views. Afterwards, we headed south and stopped whenever the views were breathtaking, aka all the time. Jenner was one of my favorite stops because we got coffee and sat on this beautiful balcony that overlooked the bay.
While we were driving out of Jenner, I happened to see a sign that said “Farmer’s Market”. It was a little bit of a detour, but we ended up at this small elementary school in the forest where all the locals had gathered (~10 people) to drink some coffee and chat. Between the handmade crafts and freshly baked goods, you could say I fell in love a little bit.
After we spent all of our cash at the farmers market (which wasn’t enough! I needed more of those scones!) we headed towards Bodega Bay for Oysters followed by the Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes. What can I say, we love good food!
We finished our jammed packed trip on Sunday night, hanging out at the lookout over the Golden Gate Bridge while Tycho sat in the car and slyly ate the rest of our cheese. Despite the depletion of our delicious Red Hawk, we had a fantastic trip that we recommend to everyone.