by Kate Houle
When my husband, Rob and I were asked to sing in our longtime friends wedding in Malibu, CA, we jumped at the chance to take our RV on a trip out West and park it in Malibu for a week.
Staying there for a full week really gave us the sense of living there and if I had the cash, I would move there in a heartbeat. You know what is expensive in Malibu? Pretty much everything. Except, liquor. For some reason, liquor is ridiculously cheap there.
The RV park we stayed at overlooked the Pacific and we could hear the waves crashing on the shore as we drifted off to sleep at night. You could also hear all of the action down on the PCH, it didn’t bother us though. Looking out at the view, our morning coffee never tasted so good! Sunny loved Malibu too.
We hiked at Leo Carillo State Park. We took surfing lessons and strolled along the beach in Santa Monica. We hung out with some of the greatest people and friends a person could ever have or even hope to have and laughed until our faces were in pain. It was glorious! We also saw David Duchovny in the parking lot of CVS in Malibu, though I think he was probably coming from the Sushi restaurant next door. I even got a chance to take a mixed aerial class atHollywood Aerial Arts with a dear friend,Sarah, from high school. All of this awesomeness and excitement and the wedding was still yet to come!
Rob and I even had the chance to entertain guests at our campsite twice! My filmmaker cousins April and Jordan came over one night for dinner and film project swapping entertainment. A few nights later, we grilled fresh fish from the Pacific that we bought at the fish market that was just down the hill from the RV Park while taking in the scenery of the expansive Pacific Coast horizon with a great girlhood friend of mine from summer camp, Sharon, and her husband, Brian.
One day I made the drive through Topanga Canyon to Burbank to have lunch with girlfriends from college, Mandi and Jen. Jen is a very talented costume designer and stylist who took me to L.A.’s fashion district. Bolts of fabric as far as the eye can see!
Rob stayed back at the camper. He did everyday stuff like take pictures of a few items he had brought along to sell on Ebay and a load of laundry at the RV laundry facilities. He relaxed and made like The Dude, hanging out in Malibu. That night we walked down the hill to the fish market next to our RV park. The fresh fish sandwiches were delicious and satiating! The experience was most definitely a version of perfection.
At the end of our weeklong stay in Malibu, on our way out of town, we even met up with more friends for dinner, got a tour of Glendale and had a music related business meeting!
Now that I have actually typed out everything that we did on this trip I realize that we did a lot. Interestingly, the one argument we had while on the trip was because I freaked out and panicked that we weren’t “doing enough” and “seeing enough people”. It is true, I would have had to spend at least a month out there to have quality time with everyone that I wanted to see, hug and have a laugh with. After all, they were working and we were on vacation. I did my very best to cram it all into a week. I was saddest to miss out on invitation to go Rock Climbing atMalibu Creek State Park with my friend Sarah and her husband, Brandon.
Did I even mention the wedding??? We went to the best wedding rehearsal and dinner I have ever been to followed the next day by a beautiful wedding in Temescal Gateway Park. Rob and I sang, “Grow Old With Me” by John Lennon, in the ceremony, requested by the Bride and Groom, and made everyone weep. Then we partied and danced the night away with some of our dearest college buds. The next morning we all went out for brunch in Santa Monica. It felt like a dream that I didn’t want to wake up from.
Getting into a daily groove while far away from “home”, this was a turning point. We realized that we were not missing any of the comforts of the 1800 sqft house that was back in Austin. We became aware that we were spending more time outside and that we were both happy and comfortable, this really made us realize that indeed, “we can totally live in this thing!!!” “Also, moving into it will drastically reduce our monthly bills which will give us more opportunities do amazing trips like this one!”
AND a view of the water is really good for the mind, body and soul!
One of the reasons we moved to Austin is because it has a fine mixture of art, culture, music and outdoor pursuits readily available in addition to being a vibrant yet laid-back and friendly city. You know what? When we made that decision, we had never been to any cities in California, ever! They have all of that, plus beaches with great surfing, plus mountains and snow skiing and multiple National Parks! This pretty much describes paradise to me.
I know L.A. isn’t laid-back and many people don’t consider it friendly… But Malibu, in my experience, is. And since the time I have spent in L.A. has been with friends, it seems very friendly. Also, I am a grounded person without distortions surrounding fame and fortune, I see no reason that I can’t find a sense of peace in any city. Fame and wealth don’t impress me. A generous and kind heart does. Those who make helping others a priority, those who know who they are and “work for their luck” impress me. All of the people I am close to in L.A. have those qualities.
We have wanted to spend more time on the West Coast for some time now. We have played shows out there with our band, Before Dawn, spent time with our friends and family and always had nothing short of an honest to goodness amazing time. I can truly, honestly, and completely free from sarcasm say that, I LOVE L.A.! A big piece of my heart is there. No joke. Rob reminds me that I feel this way because of all of the loving, artistically supportive, fans and side splittingly hilarious people we call friends out there. He cautions, “trust me, the city is not what you love.”
In any case our most recent trip to L.A., the one where we lived in Malibu for a week in our RV overlooking the Pacific was a significant catalyst in our realization that it would be both possible and fulfilling to transition to full-time RV living. I mean, what if we could even figure out a way to travel and work at the same time??? Fast-forward three months and we happily, though not without tremendous trials and tribulations, moved into our travel trailer. We are getting closer everyday to cutting this tether of single location living. You see, L.A. is already making our dreams come true! Viva Malibu!
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Kate Houle is a RV and tiny living geek, writer, musician, and Yogi always lusting for the next adventure. Blogs about the full-timing lifestyle, minimalism, RV travel and much more at MassiveTinyDreams.com