“…and then after the cruise and tour, we’ll go walk around Crissy Field and get a good picture of us with Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Oh, and we can’t forget about Ghirardelli Square! Did you know they pass out free chocolate?” I was rambling off my list of plans for the rest of the day as we sped towards Pier 39. It was our last day in San Francisco and I had planned it out meticulously from start to finish. I was about to list off our lunch options when Brandon’s phone rang. He answered it on speaker:
“Hi, uh, this is Margot from the RV park? I’m not sure what’s going on here…but you guys were supposed to check out of here at 11, and, well, it’s 11:45. There is someone waiting for your spot…how quickly can you get back here?”
Brandon shot me a sideways glance as he tried to explain to the lady on the phone that we thought we were leaving tomorrow, and that we were on our way to see Alcatraz. She made it very clear that we needed to edit those plans and get back to the park as soon as possible. My heart sunk when I realized that we were, indeed, supposed to leave on Wednesday, not Thursday. I was so certain that our check out date was the 6th, not the 5th, that I hadn’t thought to double check. I called the tour office, cancelled our cruise reservations, and sulked like a child the entire ride back to the RV park. I had squished in every touristy activity I could think of to celebrate our last day in the city, and now we had to skip it all. Brandon was level-headed as always — “One day we’re going to come back here and laugh about the time that we messed up our check-out date,” he said.
A couple hours of cleaning and RV-prepping later, we were ready to go. We had plans to hang out with several of our full time friends later that evening, but since that was no longer a possibility, we met up with a group of them by the pool to say goodbye before we took off. I shared the story of how I had completely ruined our day to the group. One of my new friends, Jennifer, smiled and said, “If that’s the worst thing you’ve done so far, trust me, you’re doing just fine!” I laughed, eternally grateful to be surrounded by other full timers who had made similar travel mistakes and were able to laugh instead of cringe.
Because of our abrupt change of plans, we ended up at a park outside of San Jose where our good friends Troy and Deanna were staying. We had a great time visiting, playing pickle ball, and getting caught up on loads of work and cleaning that needed to be done before packing up and heading to Santa Barbara. Brandon was also feeling under the weather while we were there, so it gave him a few days to get away from it all and focus on getting well. In hindsight, the last couple of days were just what we needed.
Moral of the story? The memories that we’re making through this crazy vagabond lifestyle are far greater than the ones that I could create in one tourist-packed day around the bay. When you’re juggling a house on wheels and you “rent” a backyard for only weeks at a time, issues are bound to arise. Through this silly little error, I’ve promised myself that next time I make a mistake, I will work harder to laugh it off and forgive myself right away. I will also make it a point check my damn calendar before making plans!
What are we up to now? As of last night, we’ve made it to the San Ynez Valley. We will spend nearly two weeks around Santa Barbara, exploring the beach, wine country, hillsides and quaint nearby towns. Cheers to the future, mistakes and all; I’ll drink to that!
“There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.” – Richard Bach