We did it. We have started living in the Vanabus full-time. I think I will be keeping a diary of our daily activities and posting here weekly.
We are also going to be doing more videos (spoiler alert, Damien got a drone), so check them out on YouTube (link in bottom paragraph). Here it is though. What happened the first week of our full-time, cannabis-centric, van life lifestyle.
Van Life Day 1: Starting our 90-day van life adventure in Denver was perfect. We spent some time with our peeps and visited some of our favorite places before heading out of town. To start, we picked up our friends, Larry and Carole, in the Vanabus, had a nice sesh and made our way to Sassafras American Eatery, one of Denver’s top brunch stops. Damien and I both ordered the Cajun Benedict, one of their specialties and we all enjoyed some sweet conversation over a couple of rounds of their powder sugared beignets.
Right next door is Good Chemistry, a dispensary Carole and I both love. After living in Denver for 2 years, I have seen dispensaries with great flower suddenly fall off. Their flower will have mold or mildew, or the buds won’t have any smell at all, or customer service just becomes horrible. But, Good Chemistry has always had top notch product, great branding and pretty friendly staff. I picked up some flower, edibles and concentrates before we headed back to drop Carole and Larry off.
Our next stop was up in the mountains, at Ebbu. This was the first time we took the Vanabus on the steep upgrades that I-75 has to promise. She held her own, at 20-30 mph. The visit at Ebbu was full of learning and more tantalizing conversation. After we finished up our tour, we gave the guys a tour of the Vanabus and hung around for a few while we warmed up the engine.
Suddenly, there was a police officer in front of us and one behind us. I was like, whaaat? One of the guys went outside and talked to the police, while Damien and I locked our stash in our new StashLogix bags and put them away. When he came back in he let us know that another tenant in the building had called to report our Vanabus outside, worried that we may stay the night (and use the building’s electricity). After assuring them we were only there for a tour, the police eventually left the parking lot.
With my heart pounding a bit, we took it slow down the mountain. We stopped at the Melting Pot to celebrate our anniversary and headed over to Chatfield State Park for the night.
Van Life Day 2: We have stayed in this park multiple times and have always enjoyed it. The park has a lake that is used for ice fishing and when we got up in the morning, people had tents and heaters out on the lake, fishing their hearts out.
Colorado Springs was calling and it was time to really say goodbye to Denver. We stopped by our condo one last time to make sure we had everything we needed and to have a quick roof top sesh to properly say farewell.
The sun was setting as we pulled into the Springs. Our day had been long and we were ready to hang out. Damien had picked a pretty quiet spot in an industrial area for some urban camping and we closed everything up and called it a night.
Van Life Day 3: It was still quiet when we woke up, which made it feel like it could be a lazy day. We had plenty to do though, so we had a quick wake and bake and got dressed for the day.
First stop was the laundry mat, in a strip center. We thought it would be easy to throw in the laundry, skate to the grocery store and come back to pick up the clothes. Perfect way to start the day, all fresh and clean.
When we arrived, there were two onlookers that we promptly noticed. When Damien headed inside, they both stopped to talk to him. One was a guy who had rebuilt GMC RV’s for years with his Dad. The other guy was, well, drunk at 10 a.m. He showed me where the best washing machine was and went off to talk Damien’s ear off. When we left, he even followed us outside to see what we were doing next.
Happy to shake him, we jumped in the Vanabus and hung for a bit to kind of wait him out. He left and we turned our laundry over to the dryer and headed to the grocery store. After some shopping, we headed back over and met up with a furnace repair guy.
He basically told us he had no idea how to repair the furnace and that we probably shouldn’t even run such an antique because everything could catch fire. He suggested that we use space heaters and not bother with the furnace (which we already do, but okay). Thankfully, his bad advice was free. We just shook our heads and continued on our way.
In the late afternoon, I checked out our power panel. Our solar power charged our battery so well today that it stopped charging because the battery was full, go Damien!
Cold was coming so we decided to plug in for the night. Driving up to Cheyenne State Park was another one of those journeys that tested Serændipity (our Vanabus) to the fullest. The hills were super steep and she gave it her all. It was a movie night so we pulled down our California King bed and snuggled in.
Van Life Day 4: In the morning, I worked on the climbing wall by Metolius Climibing for our Vanabus, while Damien worked on minor repairs and filled up the air bags and tires. It was a nice morning with some gorgeous views. A great way to start the day.
Going down the hill proved to be more exhausting on the Vanabus than coming up was. Damien put her into overdrive and held the brakes as easy as he could. When we left, she was chugging a bit, like she was out of gas, even though she wasn’t.
Native Roots has a gas station that is also a dispensary in Colorado Springs and we just happened to drive by. We decided to get gas and the Vanabus was a hit. Two of the budtenders wanted a tour and one was even about to start her own Van Life in the spring. It was really neat to see such a new idea in action. We talked with the girls a bit and headed to our next destination, a bud and breakfast.
No one was home when we pulled up to the house on a hill. The sign clearly said, “Lofty Living Bud and Breakfast” and as soon as we walked in, we knew for sure we were in the right place. There was a welcome note with my name on it and a folder full of helpful information.
We flipped through the folder and made our way upstairs to the “Glass” room. The door had a cute little chalkboard hanging to it, and my name on the board. Too adorable. We opened the door and there were windows lining the whole wall. Our bed was fluffy and comfy, the seating room was quite quaint and the entire room had a chill vibe.
We relaxed a bit before meeting Mama K., Chauncey and the dogs. Mama K was so welcoming and sweet and excited to know about the vanabus. We all chatted a bit before heading to the community smoke room. We met a couple here and smoked a bit with them. The guy kept passing us a bowl that was pretty much empty and the two argued with each other most of the time, but we brushed it off.
Close to restaurants, we thought we would go out to enjoy a bite to eat. As soon as the cold hit me, however, I immediately knew I wanted to order in. We did and never left the room that evening. We wanted to chill.
Van Life Day 5: When the sun hit our eyes, we knew exactly what we wanted to do with our morning. The hot tub at Lofty Living Bud and Breakfast was calling. We grabbed our Ebbu vape pen and jumped in. The air was chilly and a perfect contrast to the water bubbling in the tub. We seshed and enjoyed the gorgeous morning to the fullest.
Breakfast was next. We enjoyed Mama K.’s grandmother’s quiche recipe and were both thoroughly satisfied with our breakfast. Damien went to shower in the bathroom with cathedral ceilings, while I took pictures of the whole house, room by room. We gave Mama K. a tour of the Vanabus before heading off for the day. Thank you, again, Mama K. for having us.
Since our generator had been giving us some issues, we stopped to take a look at it before our tour of Speak Easy Vape and Cannabis Lounge. The lounge was huge. It had a dance floor, a dab bar, a recording studio, a full menu and more. You can smoke anywhere you please and they are open from 11 am to 11 pm., perfect for those who are looking for a place to sesh or for a place to go out that doesn’t have alcohol in the mix. (Check the highlights on our Instagram page for pics and video of this establishment.
Van Life Day 6: Our last and probably, most fun day in Colorado Springs. When we woke up, we quickly seshed and got ready for the day. Today we were going to have brunch sponsored by Urban Steam.
As soon as we walked in, we knew we were in for a treat! The vibe of the restaurant was upbeat and positive. The motif was meant to be a controlled chaos. Our waitress was really nice and very knowledgeable about the menu and Kelly, the owner, came and chatted with us a bit. I had a salted caramel espresso to start while Kelly told us about his vision for the restaurant. He said he wanted everyone that came in to feel like they were part of it all, like they were welcome and included. Something I have personally struggled with feeling my whole life.
We ordered blue corn biscuits and gravy (I can’t remember what it was called) and Damien got the house waffles (to die for). We gorged on the brunch and left with a full heart and belly. Thank you so much, Kelly, for helping us to feel included and for keeping us well fed while we are on this adventure.
Heading away from Urban Steam, we still had some time until our next adventure. So, we stopped at Sam’s Club and got a new house battery. Our solar was charging so well and our generator was having a hard time starting, that we thought if we had more power it would fix things. It sort of worked.
In the evening, we stopped in at Anger Management and met up with owners, Camille and Tyson. The two explained how serendipitous it was that they started this company. They had seen this type of entertainment before, but knew it didn’t exist in the Springs. After talking about it, they kept getting people telling them they should actually start it. They finally did.
Camille got us squared away with all of our protective garb and then asked, “so, what do you wanna do?” We could pick from stereos, liquor bottles, speakers, tea cups, computers, a piano, monitors; almost anything you can think of to break. We picked the liquor bottles and a tea cup.
Next, we got to pick what weapon we wanted to use to break our items. We used a bat, a lacrosse stick and a golf club to beat these things into oblivion. I thought I was going to have a hard time breaking things, but it was absolutely exhilarating. I suggest everyone tries this AT LEAST once. It was fan-fuckin-tastic.
We gave Camille and Tyson a tour of the Vanabus, got them feeling like a, “baked potato” and were on our way to bed for the night.
Van Life Day 7: It was time to put a few miles on the Vanabus. The Springs is only about 60 miles from Denver, so we hadn’t done much in the way of driving yet. We headed for Maggie’s Farm in Canon City. The dispensary grows all of its flower outdoors and it is all grown organically. The prices were reasonable and the flowers smelled lovely, so I spent a lot of time in this dispensary. Plus, the place has the same name as me! I really wish we had gotten a tour, or were able to see their grow (I’m guessing winter isn’t the best time, hee hee). We will be back again this way someday, so maybe then!
We continued on to Ponchas Pass and stayed on the top of a huge hill in the pass. We arrived at dark and within an hour of getting situated, we noticed the stars. It was the night before the super moon and the sky was so bright.
Damien grabbed a couple of beers, I got a bowl ready and we went out into the bright night to shoot. I had never done a night shoot before, but I had done some long exposures. It wasn’t long before we started feeling the cold, but the sky in front of us was so stunning we didn’t want to go in.
Quietly shooting our own perspectives, we put some smoke in the air and sipped on our brews. This had been the best night so far.
Discover what happens on our 2nd week of our full time, cannabis-centric van life lifestyle. Until then, stop by our Instagram stories and see what we are doing currently. To learn about how we started this crazy, new lifestyle check out the blog, How it all started. Van Life Diaries. Oh yeah, and see our YouTube videos too.