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Bus Life

When the Mood Strikes

Ok, so the box is huge, but the actual product is teeny tiny! I thought all espresso makers were too big for bus life, but we lucked out with the Nespresso Essenza Mini. It’s 3” wide, 12” deep. Now we can have delicious coffee any time the mood strikes, which I’ll be frank, is often… Hooray, coffee!

Mt. Shasta

Found a nice little spot in the woods to park the bus. Isn’t she cute?

Brad saw a big, blonde bear while I was inside, and it spooked and ran before I came out. This area by Mt. Shasta has a lot of bears. We’ll be sure to keep the door locked so none of them decide to come inside for a little snack.

Spacious Tiny Home

As awesome and roomy as the full sized skoolies are, all we need is a shuttle bus. People tell us they could never live in something so small, but let me share how spacious our home is.

We have plenty of storage under the bed for clothes and miscellaneous. We have a dedicated charging station for our equipment and many devices. The stove top and sink are under mounted and the countertop is continuous for maximum work space. A table folds out from the side of the bed when we need to expand cooking space or sit down to eat. We have both a shower and a toilet, and the two efficiently share the same space. We can heat our home and also cook with a mini wood burner (people freak out when we tell them that we have a wood stove inside our bus). We have a “garage” that fits all of our climbing and skiing gear, accessible from the rear door of the bus and also through a little hobbit door. Our bed is queen sized and feels so spacious. We have a projector mounted over the bed and full sized screen for a complete cinematic experience. And there’s still room for a spare tire, chains, ladder, fire extinguisher… instant pot, electric kettle, sparkling water maker, vacuum.

Most importantly, the bus is small enough that driving is easy and we can get to places in the mountains where a bigger bus couldn’t reach. I don’t feel like we are lacking in anything, and we are so lucky to have this life.

View of the walkway to the shower. I keep forgetting we put a light in there!

Window Shades

We have window shades! They look so great. I’m glad we decided to buy them instead of cobbling something less functional together ourselves. The privacy and light blocking portion is on the bottom. Light filtering and air flow is at the top. Both sections are fully adjustable. Kinda perfect since our windows only slide open at the top.

Caught Me!

Caught me! I heard Brad calling my name, and when I leaned out of the bus he was standing on the roof and took my picture. No one gets my picture. The photographer’s prerogative to never be in any of the photos.

Wood Burner Installed

Our wood burner is officially installed! This was the last major project to do, and it’s so exciting now that it’s completed. We are in the full swing of summer, so I don’t think we are going to need it for a while, but the option is there… Now we just work on smaller projects like window blinds, cabinet doors, and trim. I love our cozy little home.

Nice Perch

The weather in Seattle is a cool 68 degrees and overcast. So lovely after the crazy high temps this week. It has me in the mood for split pea soup, so that’s what’s on the menu for tonight. I’m grateful for our new fold out table. It basically doubles our cooking space. Not surprisingly, a cat will always jump up on a nice perch, and that’s the first thing he did.

Fold Out Table

The projects continue! We are working on building a fold out table so that we can sit and eat like civilized people. Don’t get me wrong, eating on the bed is FUN, but not practical. I love these locking 90 degree shelf brackets, and they hold up to 330 pounds. They would work great for fold out seats too.

Sparkling Water on Demand

Something awesome about being in the Seattle area – ordering from Amazon Prime in the morning and having your items delivered that afternoon. For free, of course. I could get used to this.

So we spied a SodaStream inside the Lucky Bus at the Bus Fair and found out we are not the only sparkly water addicts living in a bus. The addiction is real. Living full time in a bus does not make it easy to maintain the addiction when you have to deal with can storage and recycling. So we pulled the trigger and got one (an Aarke instead of SodaStream). This thing is amazing, and ain’t she pretty too? Also, just learned that raspberry cucumber is an amazing flavor combination.

Bus Fair

This photo pretty much sums up our Saturday at the Bus Fair. It was pure childish joy at seeing the tiny homes and all of the creativity that humans are capable of. We left inspired in so many ways.

Paradise

It’s so peaceful and beautiful here in our new home, with the green foliage pressed against the windows and creating shady breezes, red roses growing in the trees and birds chirping. It feels like we are in paradise.

We’ve Moved!

We’ve moved! It’s official! We are living in our new home!

Our host (also a coworker and friend) is an amazing and lovely woman. She brought us a housewarming gift from the garden, and I was so touched. Our kitchen counter now has some color and cheer.

Hot Summer

What’s to be done with the hot summer sun? We are roasting in the bus already, and in its current location that can’t be helped. After this weekend we’ll park under some lovely shade trees, which will cut some of the heat. But we’ve had endless energy in our battery bank, more than we ever imagined, and are using hardly any of it.

So we’ve been incrementally adding some electrical devices, and the additions are so lovely. Now we have an electric kettle to boil water so we don’t have to use the propane stove top. I love it, it boils water so fast! And a cheap, tiny evaporative air cooler that works remarkably well. I’m pretty sure that it’s some “As Seen On TV” product and has horrible reviews, but in this tiny space it actually works quite well.

Today we will go buy some Reflectix to make inserts for the windows and hopefully bounce away more of the sun. This, combined with new window shades for light blocking and also air flow will help a ton.

So here’s hoping we survive another blisteringly hot southern Oregon summer, this time in a tiny bus! 

Mini Projector

We got the little platform set up for my tiny cube projector last night. We planned ahead and piped the cables through the wall, so no more getting tangled up in cables in bed. 😃 Queue more laughing like kids. We can now watch anything from Netflix, Amazon, Plex, YouTube… in surround sound. And with the projector screen spanning across the entire foot of the bed it’s like a private cinematic experience.

I’ve always wanted to live in a treehouse ever since I was a kid, and I’ve decided that why I love this so much is because I never grew up. It’s like living in a tree house – with movies, snacks, comfy bed, and shower. My dream come true!

First Showers

You can’t tell from this photo, but there is a shower in progress behind that curtain! We took our first showers in the bus, and oh my god, it was so great! We were laughing like kids. Our tiny shower room is plenty big enough for a sit down shower, the water was the perfect temp, and it felt so good and refreshing. Then we got into bed with wet hair and warm jammies, and nothing feels better than that.

Mt. Hood

Get a load of this view! We were so high above the clouds, and in the distance you can see Jefferson poking through. It was fun skiing until we were tired, then went back to the bus for a nap, some food, and evening entertainment (finished up season three of The Expanse). Also, I made a cinnamon cake in the instant pot. 30 minutes to cake time with no noticeable drain to our power. I think I love this life.

Woke Up Today at Mt. Hood

Look where we woke up this morning! In our home! This is a dream come true.

It was cold last night. The bus door froze shut, and condensation froze on the inside of the windows. We don’t have our wood burner installed yet, but we were so toasty warm in bed. The Cuddlebus has earned its name well.

Kitchen Curtains

Look at this guy, being all domestic! He is a wizard with a sewing machine, and whipped up some kitchen curtains out of the bed skirt that came with our comforter. He also cut down and sewed a cloth shower curtain to fit the tiny shower opening – a temporary solution until we build a door. What a guy. ❤️ So we are all ready for our road trip up to Mt. Hood for our last resort skiing of the season. In prep for this we’ve basically moved into our new home, and get to sleep in it tonight. So exciting!

Kitchen Cabinets

Working on cabinet doors again. It’s one of the final things to finish (including window blinds, shower curtain, and trim) before moving in. We are so close we can taste it!

We are taking a long weekend up to Mt. Hood to ski one last time on our spring passes. This will probably be the last official resort skiing we do now that I’ve learned how to ski – the rest will be in the back country. It’s so amazing that we can now bring our home with us! Let the adventures begin.

Cozy Bedroom

The bed is in, and sooo comfortable! It’s only a six inch high mattress, and I thought we would feel the bed platform, but we don’t at all. Comfiest mattress ever. Cutting memory foam is a chore though. I still have little bits of foam clinging to my clothes.

Also, we got the speakers and shelf above the bed mounted. It’s feeling so homey, I want to move in ASAP.

Window Shades

I had planned on making my own custom window shades and not spending money on a professional solution. But after reviewing what our needs are I’m changing my mind. Privacy and light-blocking is super important. Light filtering and air flow is also important. Ideally, we would have the blinds open top down so we can have privacy and air flow at the same time (our windows only open at the top). We stumbled onto this TriLight window display at Lowe’s, and it’s perfect. They open bottom up and top down, with an adjustable light filtering option at the top. Super versatile. So now I’m justifying the cost for five windows – I think it would be worth it to get everything that we need in one solution.

Unrolling of the Mattress

The unrolling of the mattress has begun! We had to finish putting polyurethane on the walls before doing anything with the mattress, but the final coat went on last night. So we are fluffing our new mattress and will cut it down to size today. Our bed is a non standard size, just shy of a queen. We made the choice to shorten the mattress so we have room for the narrow walkway to the shower. But at 5’7” (me) and 5’9” (Brad) I think we will still be very comfortable. Brad is a wizard with a sewing machine also (what a man!), so he’ll customize a fitted sheet to fit. This is when it’s going to start feeling like a real home!

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