woman in yellow dress and sharing the newest member of the family

I’m SO excited to share the newest member of our family with you today! Drum roll please…

woman in yellow dress and carrying her dog, the newest member of the family

Meet the Newest Member of the Family + The Cutest Little Town in California!

 Introducing…Sally Tomato!

woman standing and carrying her dog and showing the newest member of the family

Sally who?! Sally Tomato, our new Sprinter van!

open road and mountains

You may remember that we rented a Minnie Winnie for the first time over Fourth of July weekend?

painted foot prints on the road

Well, we ended up LOVING the freedom it afforded us — namely the ability to have a kitchen so I can travel carefree again (since I can’t eat out + have to make all of my own food because of my health issues).

As our family’s resident driver, Fred Baby didn’t love driving something as big as the Minnie Winnie though. So, after LOTS of research, he ended up going down the #vanlife rabbit hole.

And now, here we are, a month later. We are proud new owners of a 2017 Mercedes Sprinter van (shout out to Dustin Lambert at Mercedes Palm Springs who was awesome to work with and all good vibes BTW!).

Soaring Swine Acres

Also, we affectionately call the newest member of the family Sally Tomato (after the character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s).

Oak Tree Village

Then, we took her out on her first spin this past weekend and ended up in Oak Tree Village in Oak Glen, California. After, Fred Baby looked at the map and found the coolest temperature within about an hour’s drive.

 souvenir shop

Smack dab between LA and Palm Springs, a drive we have done a million times, we had never been here.

store that sells drinks and ice cream

And it’s unbearably adorable! It was also under 90 degrees, which felt amazing.

Thank you come again sign

It was filled with cute little shops, goats, deer, farms for berry picking and apple picking (apple picking opens Labor Day weekend). Also, I look forward to going back when our family comes to visit next month!

Mountain Town Animal Museum, CA

But, back to Sally Tomato…

an open door of a sprinter van which is the the newest member of the family

Sally is currently an empty shell. With these vans, you build them out however you like.

open side door of a sprinter van which is the the newest member of the family

Fred Baby’s already drafted up a floor plan based on what’s most important to us (kitchen, bathroom, bed — although we don’t plan to sleep in Sally, it’s just nice to have the option and to be able to kick back while we’re traveling).

woman holding her dog and showing the newest member of the family

We look forward to sharing the process — and our adventures!

Film Strip App | Kelly Golightly

Now, we need to find someone to help us build Sally!

woman sitting on a chair and her dog on the floor

Apparently these things take several months, but we’re hoping for sooner, because we can’t wait to hit the road. Until then, we’ve made a makeshift situation with these poufs, a rug  and a cooler. 🙂

the wheel of a Mercedes Sprinter Van which is the newest member of the family

If this is all new to you, as it was to me, check out 40 Hours of Freedom on Instagram for inspiration. We hope to build out something similarly light and airy.

a sign Apple Picking near Palm Springs and LA

And can’t wait to hit the road for many adventures together!

a road with no cars

Do you have any experience with #vanlife? Any tips, wisdom you’d like to share? 

Would you ever do something similar? Or do you think we’ve lost it? 😉

p.s. If you know of anyone who builds out vans, please share. We’re anxious to get this party started!

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