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8 Months Later – the Grand Lounge Remodel

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New and improved set-up

4.5 years ago Kelly and I moved into the Aristream and have been living inside our comfy tincan on a full-time basis ever since.  Over the years we have made a lot of changes designed to increase comfort or efficiency.

Two years ago when Kelly and I left California – and our traditional corporate office gigs, the trailer began serving as both our home and primary worksite.  Pretty quickly it became apparent that our (otherwise very popular) 27FB floorplan was not adequately meeting our needs or preferences.  We wanted a more flexible seating/lounging setup and more counter top surface space.  Another round of changes was desperately needed.

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The Factory Floorplan

About this same time I stumbled upon Ultimate Airstream, a small Portland, OR based company specializing in customizing Airstream trailers.  Immediately Kelly and I became intrigued with their remodeling ideas and capabilities, in particular a resign solution dubbed ‘the grand lounge’.

Over the 2015 holidays we had an opportunity to see a grand lounge retrofit firsthand. Impressed with Ultimate’s workmanship, Kelly and I quickly made arrangements for them to remodel our trailer a few months later.

In June of last year we arrived to Portland and handed over our trailer for it’s makeover.  The process took just over three weeks, so we moved into a rental house situated a hipster NE neighborhood.  As we made final decisions relating upholstery, flooring, laminate surfaces, etc., we enjoyed visits from friends and family, while enjoying fabulous dining, craft beers, and delicious espresso.

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To tour delight, the conversion process went smoothly.  After a final walk through inspection we signed closing paperwork, paid the bill, and again took to the open road giddy with optimism that our new layout would be a huge improvement for our living comfort.

So how are we enjoying the changes?  In a few words – we love it.  In hindsight, I would have done a couple things slightly differently, but at this point cannot imagine going back to the original layout.

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American Airlines #6038

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Yesterday I flew from San Francisco to Los Angeles on business.  About 50 minutes in duration, the trip is quick.  Like many early morning flights, this route seem to be full of business travelers who, like myself, sit quietly tapping away on laptops before arriving to our final destination. 

Often the views along this route are limited due to fog other marine layer cloud-cover reasons.  However yesterday the clouds gave way and played nicely.  Floating silently high above the horizon, the clouds gave way to expansive lines of sight.  

I’ve flown this route many times and views like this are a rarity.  Those of us who took a moment to look out the window, away from our laptop screens were rewarded.
On a whim, I decided to snap a picture.  And then I did it again, and again, and again thereafter.

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The Eternity Of Five Minutes

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Corpse Pose.  It goes something like this …

“Invite peace and silence into your mind, body, and soul.  Stay in Savasana for five minutes.  To exit the pose, first begin to deepen your breath.  Bring gentle movement and awareness back to your body, wiggling your fingers and toes”.

Yesterday, upon concluding my best efforts to balance, bend, and twist through the practice, my smartphone yoga app again offered me this thoughtful guidance.  And just like always, I struggled with Corpse Pose.

I failed to lie on ground and let my mind completely relax.  I didn’t close my eyes.  I didn’t invite peace or silence into my mind.

Instead, I continued to look high into the sky.

When I should have been taking measures to gradually enter a truly relaxed state, I reached for my iPhone and took the picture above.

Painting the Desert Sky

Because our rig cannot easily sustain continuous high altitude winter conditions, Kelly and I flee to the desert southwest this time of year, biding time until we can again comfortably deal with realities of weather at high altitudes.

Generally speaking, I am not a huge fan of the desert.  Given the choice I will always prefer to spend time in the big mountain regions of the west.

However, anyone who has spent time in the Arizona desert – myself included –  will confirm the sunrises and sunsets are crazy beautiful.  Colors that words cannot adequately describe, paint the sky in a fashion one can only appreciate witnessing firsthand.

If ever in the area, I suggest taking pause to experience these moments for yourself.

Yes, as you awake to catch sunrise, the morning air will be shocking chilly as you step outside.  You’d be surprised how well a warm cup of coffee – steam quietly rising from your cup complements the moment.

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Later in the evening, once you’ve completed all the bullshit that consumed your day, grab a preferred cocktail of choice and once again step outside.

The weather will be pleasant – nicer than it was in the morning, but there will be no denying nightfall is quickly approaching.  Cooler air will soon overtake these last moments of sun and warmth.

Sipping from that drink as you observe all that is happening above, take note how the sky shifts colors from blue, to a swirl of pink and purple, before fading to brilliant fiery orange just as the sun dips below the horizon.

Yes, good stuff.

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