So, we want to live in a school bus…
Folks, I’m going to get a little more personal with you in this post. I talk a lot about love stories on my blog, in my Facebook posts, and with my clients… so I feel that it’s important to share my own love story with you. Hearing the love stories of my clients always shows me that people fall in love for a multitude of different reasons. My partner Shawn and I, you could say, fell in love over a school bus conversion.
Shawn and I both came into each other’s lives before either of us were really ready for it to happen.
I was a recent escapee from an emotionally abusive long distance relationship, and he’d just moved back to Regina from Edmonton, having been just broken up with by his long-term girlfriend. Needless to say, we were both pretty heartbroken over our respective pasts. We certainly weren’t anticipating that we’d both be meeting someone that would grab everything we thought we knew about life, turn it on its head, and shake it out!
I think the time has finally passed that online dating is taboo and embarrassing, and it’s become the norm, at least for the couples I’ve photographed in the past few years! Shawn and I met online on OkCupid in 2016 – and I tell him quite often that he has this handsome man (Aldous) that was also in his photo to thank for that… because who could resist this adorable furry face?! I certainly couldn’t.
Our first date…
For our first date, we met up at Wascana Lake with the intention of taking a walk around the lake after some ice cream. I can’t remember the reason, exactly (it was probably too hot that day, hence the ice cream and the purple dress I was wearing), but we didn’t make it on the walk. We just sat and talked for HOURS on one of the benches lining the lake. I don’t remember all that we talked about, but it was probably mostly me nervously talking about my cats the entire time (how could I not?! Look how beautiful our two girls are!).
Shawn and I continued to date, and it didn’t take long for us to figure out that we both wanted similar things out of life. I’d been dreaming recently about buying an RV to live in while I travelled Canada shooting weddings. Of course, including my two cats, Storm and Ember, in those travel plans. Crazily enough when I mentioned it in passing to Shawn one evening, he about fell off the couch. Living in an RV and travelling was something he’d been dreaming about, too!
It didn’t take much research or take long for us to discover the Skoolie or School Bus Conversion movement and before we knew it, we’d been swept up and totally taken over by the thought of living on the road with us, our three cats, and our own school bus conversion. We got a little plan-happy at the start, making plans to convert the diesel engine to run on waste vegetable oil (it can be done! Those plans just got scrapped), but things like our plans to run off solar power, have a composting toilet, and a skylight in the roof above our bed, stayed.
In June of 2017, we bought a 1999 Blue Bird 72 passenger big ol’ yellow school bus and we got started on our school bus conversion project.
So far, we’ve:
- Gutted all the seats, flooring, ceiling, and wall panels, including the old insulation (yuck!)
- Ground down all the rust on the metal floor of the bus (there was a lot!)
- Treated the floor for rust and painted it with a rust-proof paint
- Raised the roof an entire foot to accomodate for Shawn’s height (no joke! It was a big project that we’re SO grateful for all the help we recieved on it)
The next step is to insulate!! We’re splurging on spray foam which is pricey – but this will be our home when it’s complete so we figure we shouldn’t cheap out 😉. We hope to have that part of the project done in time for the Spring when we’re going to get back to work building the inside of the bus!
We’re planning on spending the 2018 wedding season based out of Regina. Once we’ve shot our last wedding of the season, we’re taking off to destinations unknown until wedding season returns. We’ve already opened our books to weddings outside of Regina for the 2018 season, and any 2019 weddings will have their photography team roll up in their house on wheels!
You could call us crazy, weird, or a couple of hippies (we’re not insulted!), but this is our love story. Just a couple of crazy cat parents with plans to travel Canada in their school bus conversion, photographing weddings, and capturing our couple’s love stories.