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Hello, Catbus

kids in a westfalia vanagon

driving the westfalia catbus

westfalia catbus

We did it: we bought a VW camping van.  Twelve years ago Tom and I had our last van, an old Toyota that we camperized by taking out the bench seats and throwing some foam mats and loads of blankets back there.  With two kids we needed to keep a bench seat in there and we also needed more sleeping space, so this van has a poppity top.

On Saturday we went on our first spontaneous camping trip, and it was as awesome as I’d always dreamed it would be.  30 minutes of packing and we were out the door and down the road.  It doesn’t go fast but I don’t mind driving slowly and enjoying the view.

All we need now are some glowing mouse headlights on top and we’ll be all set.  MEOW!

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{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Kirsten May 28, 2012, 11:32 pm

    I’m so happy for you guys! I was just thinking about how we should skip buying a real vehicle and go straight for the camper. It just makes so much sense when you have kids.

    Also, Totoro is the best movie. It makes me happy that you have Catbus.

    • michelle May 29, 2012, 2:47 pm

      Thanks Kirsten! I discovered Totoro through your recommendation, and the Catbus made me squeal out loud when I saw it. Squeee! So silly and so much fun. Thanks for introducing us to Studio Ghibli. :)

  • Dawn June 2, 2012, 9:42 am

    I’ve always been obsessed with VW Vans and have yearned for one. Dh seems to think for sleeping it would be a tight fit for 4 of us though.
    I thought the pop top was just so you could stand up and cook, is there a bed up there too?
    Did you get rid of your car, or do you have both?
    I’m excited for you guys! I love spontaneous trips and trips that might not have happened with just a tent when it’s colder.

    • michelle June 2, 2012, 9:56 am

      The Westfalia vans are actually very roomy – there is a fold-down double bed in the main body of the van, and there is another bed in the pop-top. The girls slept in the pop-top since they’re shorter and lighter, and Tom and I slept on the lower bed, and we all slept very soundly. I was a little worried about having Claire up in the pop-top in case she needed to get up in the night since there is a drop where you climb up to the bed, but we re-iterated calling for help if she woke up and she ended up sleeping through.

      We have not sold our car, and I’m not sure whether we will keep both vehicles or not. The downside of the Westy vans is that they’re from the 80s and need fairly regular repairs/maintenance, so I’m kind of inclined to keep the van for trips and find somewhere to take the plates off and park it over the winter when we’re not using it.

  • renee @ FIMBY June 2, 2012, 11:52 am

    This is awesome news! My parents used to have Westfalia and there’s getting another one because they love doing exactly as you describe here.
    renee @ FIMBY´s last blog post ..Our Montréal Digs

    • michelle June 2, 2012, 12:26 pm

      Thanks Renee! I’ve been thinking ahead to travelling when our kids have left home, and the Westfalia would be a lovely way to travel as a couple as well.

  • Lori June 2, 2012, 1:37 pm

    congratulations! we love love love our westy — the best way to travel and by far the easiest way to camp. love being able to pull into a campground later in the evening because set-up is a breeze.
    Lori´s last blog post ..take them for what they are

    • michelle June 6, 2012, 2:16 pm

      This is exactly what we did on our first night of camping – we pulled in at 6pm and started making dinner right away. No messing around with tent poles! So easy. :)

  • grandmasue June 6, 2012, 10:12 am

    awesome camper- awesome people- love you all XXXXOOOOOOOOOOO

    • michelle June 6, 2012, 2:18 pm

      love you too, Sue! Did you have an earlier version of the VW camper back in the day?

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