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Always wear proper safety gear when using tools, kids.
Don’t worry everyone (I’m sure you were all worried), I FOUND A VAN! The Mitsubishi Express I mentioned last week turned out to be awesome, so it is now my own little (big) surf wagon! The day after I bought it, before ever really driving it, I jumped right in and drove from Bondi to Manly, about 45 minutes away. Well, I didn’t crash, but wow, my depth perception was SO off! I’m not sure if it was from driving a new car, not driving for two months, driving on the other side of the road, or a combination of the three, but I really just felt super shaky. After a whole weekend of driving around, I started to feel a little better, and now I am super comfortable behind the wheel!
When I bought the van, it was completely empty in the back, so I needed to figure out a way to build a bed with storage space and some board racks. With very little handywork skills and no equipment, this presented quite the challenge. In Manly, I caught up with my friend Matt (some of you may know him from his amazing surfing - instagram @thewaxhead ), a fellow longboarder, who I haven’t seen since the Mexi Log Fest down in Saladita in May! He owns an auto shop, and had a spare mattress for me to pick up. It always amazes me how the longboard community makes the world a much smaller place.
Unrelated to my van concerns, I called up a new friend that I met last weekend named Jess, because she told me she lives in Manly, and I wanted to hang out! Then, she asked about my van and told me her boyfriend Jake could help me build it out! So I met up with Jake, and it turns out he also has a Mitsubishi express, so building a bed in mine wouldn’t be a problem at all! We set off for Bunnings (Australian Home Depot) and hit the ground running - rhyme not intended.
Before: An empty shell.
We spent all day working on the van - well, I mostly DJ’ed the bluetooth speaker and did snack runs, but I helped as much as I could - and amazingly, by the evening, it was finished! The bed frame was built and nailed into the van floor, with storage space underneath, and strings were hung from hooks around the ceiling, for the dual purpose of hanging curtains and surfboards. The next steps for me would be to put the mattress in, get some curtains and blankets, and put my interior designer hat on for some home decorating!
During: A little plywood goes a long way!
So yesterday, I went to Target (and yes, it is just as amazing here as it is in the US), and picked up a comforter and pillow, some fairy lights, and was on the hunt for curtains. Normal curtains were very expensive and would have been difficult to hang on my already hung-up ropes, and I was trying to figure out what I’d do, when I spotted the bath section and realized that shower curtains are usually hung by little hooks! I ran over and sure enough, the shower curtains were super cheap and would be easy to hang! I scooped up four of the curtains and chuckled to myself because I felt like I beat the system by managing to re-purpose something cheap to avoid an expensive hassle... life’s little joys, right?! I went back towards the beach, went for a quick surf (finally the waves are good here!) and got to work... When I was all done, I was so excited to have my first urban camp out in the van! It is so cozy and the decorations incorporate my personal style, so now I really do feel like it is my own home on wheels.
After: The gang’s all here! With space for boards, bikinis, and myself, what more can I ask for?
(featuring: Aloha Collection, Stone Fox Swim, Brixton, and more.)