Inside the Rabbit Hole - Alice in Wonderland Trailer Conversion
How it All Began
For many years my husband and I have dreamed of building a glamping retreat for people who love adventure, good food, wine, and art. We have spent hours fantasizing about fun locations up and down the California coast where could build, and all types of imaginative accommodations we could offer like hobbit houses, cob cottages, treehouses, and trailers. Our visions have changed like clouds in the sky, but we have kept our dream alive believing someday we would find our path.
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and even when things seem terrible if you just remain positive, good will come. That was definitely true for my family and I in July 2020. While trying to raise our three young kids, work full time from home due to the pandemic, and figuring out if or how we were going to ever buy a home in Southern California, we got a 60-day notice to vacate the home we were renting. The owner intended to sell. I could not believe we were being asked to move during the middle of a pandemic and I was terrified as home prices in our area were astronomical! I had no idea what we were going to do but was confident we would figure out something.
My family and I were soon blessed with a well-timed phone call from a family member in Humboldt County who was going to sell some property and wanted to know if we were interested in purchasing some and moving. 13 hours North and away from my job of 16 years?! It was a terrifying thought... How would I replace my salary, who would watch our kids if I got a new job, there were so many unknowns but my husband and I knew this move would be the perfect chance to start building the path towards achieving our dreams! We had the unbelievably fortunate offer of access to acreage of the most magnificent ocean front property I had ever seen to start our glamping business. As I stood on the deck of the property for the first time, looking out at the ocean, my breath was literally taken away as I was consumed by the beauty that surrounded me. The idea that we will be building here is a true dream come true!
We knew this was our calling and we had to go. We also knew the adventure that lie in front of us was full of massive projects that would be both gratifying and exhausting! The plan - pack up our family and move, buy a house house to live in and flip to generate capital, start our glamping business, and build our forever home! Whew!!
Every Adventure Requires a First Step
The first thing we needed to figure out was how we were going to get our ridiculous amount of belongings (my husband is a general contractor with a ton of tools!) to Humboldt! Well I have always wanted a travel trailer, so that was step one. Off I went to find the perfect travel trailer. I found one with exact layout I wanted. It had a Nascar decor theme complete with black and white checkered floors, diamond plate backsplash, and, red countertops. Well growing up in a racing family, I found the decor somewhat fitting and pretty funny so we purchased it, ready to embrace it in all it's Nascar glory!
We managed to get our family and stuff to Humboldt in October via the trailer, a uhaul, a 30-foot flatbed, a truck, and a van!! It took us a quick minute to get unpacked and settled into out new digs. Next thing we knew it was December and time to travel back to Orange County for the holidays, and officially the first time we were getting to use our trailer for a vacation! I was so excited! Finally, we could pull into a campground and not have to spend the first several hours of our trip setting up camp! Yay!
Have I Gone Mad? Yes, Entirely Bonkers!
What I did not realize as we set off on our 3-week trip is that spending so much time in our trailer was going to lead to tons of ideas on how to make it better. Well it did not take long for me to have this amazing vision of an Alice in Wonderland theme come to life. I remember laying in bed super early in the morning staring at the black and white checker board floor. Everyone else was sleeping and i was just dreaming up ways to convert the Nascar themed decor into a magical Alice in Wonderland experience. By the time my husband woke up I was deep into my creative thought process and ready to talk his ear off the second his eyes cracked open! Yes, that's me... the early morning, natural tweaker, who is ready to take on the world at 6am! I know its super annoying so I usually keep my craziness to myself but sometimes I get so excited I just can't help it! This was definitely one of those mornings!
"Can you picture it?", I asked him. "Teal walls like breakfast at Tiffany's, contrasting the checkerboard floor, and a silhouette if the Mad Hatter on the wall. We can paint Alice at the end of the rabbit hole, and hang things from the ceiling to make you feel like you are in a rabbit hole".... I just kept going. Instead of rolling over and telling me I was crazy, my almost-as-nuts-as-I-am husband, said "go for it" before he rolled back over. It was game on!
By the end of the week I was painting the trailer teal and drawing out a huge checkerboard hole to go on the drop down door of the toy hauler. My amazing skilled daughter had freehanded the Mad Hatter on the wall and the vision was coming to life!
The Only Way to Achieve the Impossible is to Believe it is Possible
By the end of the 3-week vacation we had covered the ceiling in astroturf and were preparing to hang a small rocking chair upside down! The project had evolved into the creation of a full Alice in Wonderland experience that I knew would be perfect as an Airbnb!
Since returning home, we have added custom curtains, cabinetry, and converted the bathroom into a dark forest complete with tree shower!
We are currently in the process of painting mural of Alice at the bottom of the rabbit on the wall and adding a 3D flower garden . Next up, new carpet and black velvet seats. We still have lots to do but as you can see from the pictures, this thing is going to be amazing when it's done!
What's Next for Alice
We realized that this travel trailer conversion was the next step on the path of reaching our long term dream of owning a glamping retreat for people who love adventure, good food, wine, and art! Instead of cob cottages, yurts, or hobbit houses, we were going to use fantasy themed trailers to start our retreat!
We are hoping to have our Alice trailer ready for rentals by the Winter 2021 at our private glampground, Idiom's Retreat, overlooking the ocean, in Trinidad, California. And, remember when I said we like to have too many projects all the time?... We are already getting started on anther conversion for the property! We recently purchased a 1958 GMC school bus to convert into a skoolie! Lots more posts to come on that project in the near future. The bus has been an adventure from day one!