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My Van Life: Day 47

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Swansboro, NC – Wilmington, NC

Did I do something to upset the big guy upstairs??? I feel like I’ve been really good, making Santa’s Nice List every year and everything but YEESH sometimes it feels like I cannot catch a break. I hope my loyal readers appreciate the real behind the scenes look at van life because while it often appears to be a pretty picture plastered on my Instagram, it’s not always rainbows and butterflies my friends. Far from it.

After our crazy journey to that super sketchy and terrifying but likely absolutely stunning (during the daytime) camping spot last night, we ended up driving to a nearby and very well lit Walmart. Upon arriving there were no other RVs in the lot which is almost always a bad sign so we approached with trepidation but Adam inquired inside and it ended up being totally fine for us to stay despite what the barren parking lot made us think. Because we had been blasting the AC the entire drive to Walmart, when we shut the van off it actually felt kind of okay inside. We didn’t even open up the vents because the humidity was off the charts so essentially we’d be inviting all that warmth inside and honestly I just don’t need that in my life. Who does?! We set up our little portable fan, did our evening routine and called it a night.

Of course I went to bed with my traditional anxiety over feeling like I’m sleeping somewhere I shouldn’t be and that we'd be woken up to cops banging on our door in the wee hours of the morning but I’m happy to report that did not happen and in fact I got a great night’s sleep. I didn’t even wake up unbearably hot. I did wake up at 5:45am however and you could tell the air was much thicker than when I had first laid my head on the pillow but she got her full 7 hours of sleep and that is what matters.

Anyway, imagine our surprise when we woke up to little tiny bugs crawling on both of us. Adam found one on his hand and brushed it off thinking that was an oddity and then when I hopped out of bed I saw a couple near the sink. As we started walking around the van we realized to our astonishment that there were ants absolutely EVERYWHERE! We had an actual ant problem. An infestation! These were not random little bugs that made their way in the vents or something, we had full on ants. WHAT. In a panic, we grabbed paper towels and became ant murdering ninjas, killing them one by one until we realized it was too much. They were outnumbering us. The car wash I thought! That would be perfect. We can pop over, get the van washed and completely clean out the inside in the hopes that that would rid us of our very pesky ant problem. Imagine our even greater surprise to find a LUXURY self service carwash directly across the street from the Walmart parking lot. Winning!

We popped over, did a THOROUGH excavation of the interior of the van, taking out rugs, furniture, the whole song and dance, and vacuuming up every square inch (and hopefully every ant) in the process. When I tell you it was 8:30am and my eyelids were legitimately sweating – my eyelids were legitimately SWEATING. I was not exerting myself either friends I was literally vacuuming. I could feel the sweat collecting on the end of my ponytail dripping down my back. Pools of sweat forming in crevices of my body that you just hate to have pools of sweat forming. It was something quite special. I forgot to mention actually that when I woke up this morning I checked the weather out of curiosity and do you know what the humidity was at? 99%. Yes you read that correctly, one percentage point away from 100% humidity. What happens at that point? Does everyone just melt into a pool of water and wash away? That’s certainly what it felt like would happen at 8:30am this morning with sweat dripping down my eyelids.

After feeling like we successfully rid the van of ants (fun fact – turns out we didn’t), we drove over to a local laundromat and figured a weekday laundry day was a great choice. The first one we visited was packed so we had to go to a different location but the second one was very nice, spacious, super clean and got the job done. While at the laundromat we did our individual work inside the van but I will tell you today was the first day we actually had to leave the van on. Thankfully we have diesel which essentially means you don’t burn up gas as rapidly leaving the van on like you do a traditional car because honey we needed it. I don’t know that we’ll be able to survive some of these places with the van off quite frankly. At least not if we’re expected to be inside working and such.

Anyway, after the car wash and laundry situation in and out in and out, I felt absolutely wiped and it was only noon. If that. The tone of the day was not well established thanks to our surprise visitors this morning. With fresh clothes in tow we drove to Wilmington, NC which if you remember from our Road to Arrive road trip back in December 2020, we’ve already visited and we absolutely loved. We were pleasantly surprised upon arriving in Wilmington at how quiet the streets were. Even when we visited back in December it seemed busier. I’m sure everyone was smart (unlike us) and remained inside in the air conditioning on this miserable summer day.

We managed to snag street parking easily which was a relief. I found this café, Java Dog Café, on Bring Fido, which was a coffee shop offering outside AND inside seating for owners and pups. Read: air conditioning to be enjoyed with Coco. We arrived about 15 minutes after 3pm, ordered our coffees and headed up to the loft area upstairs to get some work done. Java Dog Café is located in the Cotton Exchange Building which we visited last time we were in Wilmington in an area we’re very familiar with as well. The coffee was amazing and it was such a cool space but unfortunately they have altered COVID hours and closed at 4pm. In other words we had 45 minutes to enjoy the delicious coffee, the spacious café and free FAST wifi before moving on. Thankfully there were tables and chairs located directly outside the café so we just moved to those and kept on working.

As of August 20, Hanover County which includes Wilmington, is back to mask mandates so we did have to keep our masks on at all times (unless actively eating or drinking) which was not the most comfortable, especially with how hot it was, but that is part of traveling the country. Adapting to the rules and regulations of the places we visit. We stayed there until 5:30pm when the shops closed up and then popped over to a beautiful nearby park where we were able to open up the van and get some circulation moving and make ourselves a late lunch/early dinner before heading over to Planet Fitness for an evening workout. I just got back from mine and having to wear a mask while working out certainly did not help the cause but MAN I was not feeling it. Perhaps it also has something to do with having eaten shortly before but I just felt like garbage during my workout. I feel much better now after getting some movement and a sweat in, not to mention another glorious shower but man. Today was just not my day! Looking forward to waking up on the right side of the bed (hopefully an ant free one as well) and a beautiful new day tomorrow.

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