February 21st, we left for our first show on the road, in Fountain Hills Arizona close to Phoenix.
We pull in to Fountain Hills Thursday night for early set up and knowing that it was supposed to rain all day Thursday we decided not to set up that night...
It rained for about 4 hours of our 6 hour drive over to Fountain Hills from California. Getting colder and colder as we traveled east. To our surprise, we pulled into Fountain Hills around 11 pm and we were greeted with HUGE snow flakes, and flocked tents for those who had decided to set up that night.
It was a dream!!!! (Side note, we had spent Christmas with my family in Indiana and was counting on at least SOME snow, and I didn’t get anything. So I was so happy I was able to be around the snow, at least for an hour or two!!!! We found out that the last time it snowed in Fountain Hills was in the 90's!!!!!!
Luckly we had learned from previous experiences and now bring ALL the layers with us when we travel. So we piled on everything we had and settled in for a long night in a 39 degree winter wonderland in our van that’s no home yet...
We have everything planned out on what we want to do to the van but it’s been a slow process. Currently we have a queen bed in the back, up cycled storage that was part of the ambulance when it was in use to make our makeshift kitchen and that’s about it. It’s barely insulated and we feel ALL the cold.
So we found a palm tree with a power outlet and started our kettle to fill our old school hot water bottle with hot water to keep us warm in the middle of the night.
It got down to 31 that night.
I normally HATE sleeping with socks on, but it is a must when it’s anything below 50 in the van. Lol
So, day one, we wake up the next day and there were a handful of poor tents that had collapsed under the weight of all the rain and then the snow on top of that.
The show gave everyone the option to choose whether or not they wanted to set up on Friday, and while the weather forecast had called for rain ALL day, it only rained for about a couple hours. We decided to brave the cold and rain and set up. We pulled out all of our waterproof prints, and kept all the originals and framed pieces safe in the van that first day! Some die hard shoppers came out that day, but I think everyone had waited until the second and third day!
That night we ended up calling around to every Walmart, Home Depot, and Bass Pro Shop in the surrounding area to try and find a little Butane Heater that wouldn’t use electricity, was safe for indoor and outdoor use, and would keep up toasty in our van outside in the elements!
They all looked at us like we were crazy!!!! Since it’s been a record breaking winter, they had been sold out of them for a couple months!!! Well, we know what we are going to get when it warms up this year!!! Lol, and we’ll be all set for next year!
We decided to get a little heat lamp, like the kind some diners use to keep fries warm ... My rods and cones were a little off after being around that thing, but it did the job!!!! Enjoy this all too random video below!
So we worked out and showered at a local Planet Fitness and then made our way back up to Fountain Hills for the night!
Since we don’t have a proper kitchen or any way to heat anything up, we eat a lot of salad bag kits, and cheese sandwiches. Lol. Let me tell you, sometimes after a long show day, there is nothing better than Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese, Mayonnaise, and Mustard, all between two slices of Gluten Free Bread. I did attempt to make hot soup, by taking a can of condensed soup and adding boiling water to it… in theory it seems like it would have worked. It wasn’t awful, but I feel like if it had been prepared in a full kitchen it would have tasted much better.
The second and third day of the show went on like normal, and everyone that had decided not to brave the frigid Friday weather had made their way out on Saturday and Sunday!!!!
Monday we slept in, and spent most of the day in the Fountain Hills Library!! We worked on our taxes, I got some finishing touches done on my Pronghorn piece, and we started on our journey to Las Cruces New Mexico.
After working out and getting a hot shower at a Tucson Planet Fitness last night, we spent the night in Tucson at a casino with literally about 250 other RVers and Van Lifers. The most we’ve ever seen in a casino parking lot. Normally it’s just the back half of the parking lot, and there around about 45 or so… not here! We had trouble finding a parking spot!!!
After driving the rest of the 4 hours to our next show location, I’m currently sitting in a Las Cruces Planet Fitness writing this blog and waiting for Dave to get done with his workout! We will eat when he gets finished and then watch Russian Doll while we fall asleep, for tomorrow is laundry day.