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Updated: Apr 14, 2023

I’ve routinely been astonished by the view unfolding in front of me from the seat of our 2020 Mercedes Sprinter, affectionately named Marian as a nod to Melisa’s adventurous maternal grandmother.

After exactly 12 months to the day from the day we took delivery of Marian, we finally had her home with us, and our months of planning and years of anticipation all began to come together as we started making the van our home.

In the little more than 3 months since Marian became a regular in our driveway, we’ve managed to squeeze numerous trips into the calendar. We’ve been to upstate New York to cheer on our youngest’s college hockey conquests, we’ve rolled to Raleigh and Wake Forest NC in the name of friendship and philanthropy, and we spent the entirety of our Christmas holiday on the road, making extended stops in the driveways of those closest to us.

We’ve crossed the Mississippi River by foot on a bridge, we’ve crossed the Rio Grande with Marian and we’ve skied resorts I never thought I’d have the willingness (and/or bravery) to attempt. We’ve basked in the sun and tailgated in a parking lot in a blizzard. The puppies, Melisa and I are so comfortable in our rolling house on wheels we’ve declined invitations to spend nights in guest bedrooms.

Don’t get me wrong. We’re living in a space that is smaller than our master bedroom closet at home. There is some serious adjusting to get used to. The toilet doesn’t magically whisk away its contents to be treated; there’s ZERO magic in that process. I smack my noggin on the header from the drivers’ cabin to the living room daily. The van is a BEAR to keep clean, inside and out. We still don’t know where to put most of the things we need with us on the road, and doors and drawers have not always been properly secured prior to driving. Nothing has broken yet, but it’s been close on more than a couple occasions.

As I reflect on our time with Marian, it’s clear to me that the sacrifices come built in with some pretty amazing rewards. If you don’t give yourself the opportunity to find out, there’s no way to know whether what awaits on the road is meant for you. It hasn’t taken long to get accustomed to the situation, and as soon as I can convince her, Melisa and I will be off somewhere warm, countering this cold-weather jaunt with some serious sun-chasing. In the meantime, more skiing is in our immediate future, and you just might find us in your favorite craft brewery if you invite us over!

Check out PRKTopia on Instagram and PRKTopiaTV on YouTube to keep up with our latest adventures.

Thanks to Paul, Kim, Kathleen and the entire team at Drifter for setting us up so comfortably as we explore the country.

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