Previous entries had been entirely about the build up, moving into and subsequently leaving an ecovillage, Whole Village. Not many entries happened during our stay there if just because there was simply no time. Any time I had went towards the community or the family, and blogging took a back seat.
Upon leaving in October of 2019, we had only seen a few photos of our destination before we were five weeks without a home. We drove to Virginia and spent two weeks in early October with my family, which was really amazing. We spent time at arcades in Harrisonburg, drove the Blue Ridge Mountains and I helped my Dad jackhammer the front walk and put in new drainage. It was a work vacay, which I was totally cool with. Julia put in full-time hours for her work in my Dad’s video production loft studio.
Then we started the one week drive through the US. We went through West Virginia at full fall foliage, and it was gorgeous. Cue John Denver’s “Mountain Roads.” The mountains were incredible, the fog skirting red and gold mountains in the rain a surreal experience.
It was a long drive. So long that in the five days of driving we had a daily routine; on the road before 9 AM and off the road no later than 5 PM if we could help it.
We we drove past a turnoff pointing towards Gary, Indiana. We dodged around the windy city known as Chicago. We stopped in Wisconsin and bought cheese. Then came the great mini vacay in Wisconsin Dells where we bunked at Great Wolf Lodge.
Now I’ve been to theme parks like Disney World, Worlds of Fun and Epcot Center as a kid. I had never been to a resort where it was all in one interconnected honeycomb. This facility was so massive it had three big buildings the size of soccer fields with indoor waterparks. I asked one employee how many it employed during the busy season and they told me it was over a thousand. Holy cow!
When we stayed it was during an off season time for the resort. We got a great deal on our room, as the place was rather empty. There were animatronics in the lobby that sang songs every hour which gave it a very Disneyland-from-the-80s feel. There was a big arcade with new games, several restaurants and a fantasy adventure game that spanned the entire facility. Bears, wolves and other creatures looked down on us from their taxidermied posts on the walls and rafters. We did not have enough time to do everything.
It wasn’t long before we were back on the road and driving through 10,000 Lakes on either side of us. St. Paul, Minnesota also was where we had an absolutely terrible motel experience. The one that Julia had booked through Expedia turned out to be a real dive. We were not cool with how much the place stank like cigarettes. It was pretty clear it was a hookup place for truckers and women. When they placed us in a non-smoking room we still found cigarette butts under the bed. We didn’t feel safe there.
I managed to find us a Holiday Inn Express that honored a cheap rate of theirs I found online. The experience with them was like going from sleeping among the desert scorpions and sand dunes of Nevada into the Vegas strip. From a 0.5/10 to a 10/10. When we told them what had happened to us, they gave us some free cards for their arcade, which made Arthur’s night! Because it was through Expedia, the first motel never did return our money and instead we received an Expedia credit that we will now probably never use because we vow to never use Expedia again.
When we started hitting the Dakotas, the landscape started getting more familiar. I subsequently started feeling more disoriented. It was truly weird seeing the flat plains again. Crossing the border was painless and it was only a few hours to scurry around Winnipeg and pull into Gimli.
We spent two weeks staying with Julia’s parents before we received the keys to a rental property. We had been informed while staying at my parents that Linda had found a place that might work for us. Once we were in the new place, it was a welcome space. I had only been told about it, and seen a couple of blurry photos of the house. However, upon walking in, it went from being a numinous projection to a real place with very real possibilities that we are now quite happy to be calling our abode. The main floor has been renovated and the basement is partially reno’d. There is work to be done, but at the same time in some places the house is a blank slate that we could do our own thing with.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been here now for almost three months. It feels longer than that. My first job with Kingdom Construction laid me off after almost exactly two months. I got picked up by Sobeys shortly after, and it has been a great place to work. I really can’t complain about what I have there.
Arthur has been integrating into his new Gimli kindergarten class well. He has friends, and it helps that he has cousins here too. He’s taking gymnastics, likes reading Berenstain Bears, plays Spore and watches Rabbids Invasion. I’m thinking of getting him a Rabbids video game for his birthday in a few months.
Julia has a large studio space for herself again, which she has been greatly enjoying. Her sewing machines are setup and she’s working away on projects. I have my own den for myself too, and Arthur has a massive basement to spread out and play in.
It is very different to go from the small space we had in Greenhaven to the large space we have now. We’ve got heating bills now, when previously we did not have any heating bills at all. (Reduction of cost of living had been part of the interest in the Whole Village experiment.) We also are close to Myriad Village. Myriad is only about twenty minutes away, and we’re getting involved with them.
In the next post, things get real.