We stopped at a great little campground (Rancho Camping San Nicolas) in San Cristobal de Las Casas where we met Shannon and Josh from The Next Adventures and Wilson, Sarah, and Ace who we have been meeting throughout different parts of mainland Mexico.  San Cristobal de Las Casas was our last little colonial town in Mexico with a really cool atmosphere.  More time would have been spent at the markets and in the seemingly unlimited

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Our plan after Mexico City was to head to the colonial town of Puebla to try the famous mole poblano and then continue on to hike the dormant volcano Ixtaccihuatl.  En route to Puebla we made a last minute decision to skip it because we were citied out and needed some nature ASAP.  Ash's nasal passages were blocked up with air pollution and we were craving some clean mountain air.  Instead of heading straight to

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After our trip to the amazing pyramids in Teotihuacan, we parked the truck at the RV park and hopped on a bus bound for Mexico City. The bus ride was about 45 minutes into town, and from there the metro took us to the Centro Historico of one of the largest cities in the world. We had heard stories about the traffic in Mexico City and how busy it was.  There have been restrictions placed

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The ruins of Teotihuacan were the first that we saw on our trip. Finished in 100AD, the Pyramid of the Sun towers over the site and is the third-largest pyramid in the world.  We haven't been to Egypt to see The Great Pyramid of Giza or to see the Great Pyramid of Cholua here in Mexco, but we're inclined to agree with Wikipedia on that fact based on how out of breath we were once

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The Muskoka Foundation in their own words: Mission Our vision is to create a fleet of hundreds of modern day explorers, who are traveling in developing communities around the world, leaving a wake of positive change. This network together can lead to a significant impact on the world we visit, reducing poverty, improving health and inspiring others to do the same. Company Overview Do Good As You Go is a network of volunteer experienced professionals,

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A 5 hour drive north from Patzcuaro took us to the Unesco World Heritage Site and colonial town of Guanajuato.  We had heard romantic musings from fellow overlanders about how much they loved this city.  We agreed.  It was so easy to stay, and we did, for close to three weeks. Don Quioxte striking a pose. Comex, the local paint store, must have been busy!  There was always somebody out painting (or repainting) the houses.

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So yeah, our truck got broken into... again.  Read about the first time here: A Christmas Miracle in Puerto Vallarta This time it was our drivers lock that got punched in and the cab that got ransacked.  It was in a nice neighbourhood in Leon where this apparently never happens.  This night a handful of cars got broken into while we were all in the backyard enjoying a family BBQ.  Good thing the BBQ was more

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We weren't mentally prepared for the freezing temperatures of Patzcuaro's 7000 foot elevation at night.  We also weren't prepared for how amazing the food would be in this little mountain town. We reached Patzcuaro after a 6 hour drive from Guadalajara, around Lake Chapala, and through Morelia.  We had originally planned to stay at the lake, but the soggy campground and lack of atmosphere made us push on for another 4-5 hours to Patzcuaro.  It

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"CVT is not a faceless company from some place you have never heard of. We are a family-owned company. Live life to the fullest and pursue your passion for the outdoors with our Roof Top Tents" - CVT There are a few major players in the roof top tent game, but after one phone call to Bobby at Cascadia Vehicle Tents we were sold.  Yes, the tent is built very well and it is at

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Our last stop before heading inland was Chacala.  We didn't have time when originally passing by to check out this town, but made sure to stay here for a night before driving east.  The grass campground on the beach surrounded by palm trees was awesome.  The sunset and the fresh caught/cooked fish dinner beachside were a nice farewell to the coast. Sometimes the weather sucks.  It happens.  This time it happened while we were spending

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So what do you do on the road during a holiday?  You invite your new friends over for a party, that's what. Richard's mom had rented us a little apartment in PV for a few days over Christmas so we had somewhere  to host other travellers.  We bought a piñata, some tequila, made our now famous German potato salad (okay, not famous at all, but still tasty) and invited Sam and Erica from Song of the

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La Penita Market 8am-Noon every Thursday We were told by more than one person that we had to go check out the market in La Penita.  By 8am the vendors will be fully set up, but it won't be too busy. As Roy Orbison sang, "Anything you need, you got it!" The market has anything you could need or want.  Trucks full of fruit or veg?  You got it!  Kitchenware, tools, parts for blenders and

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We love Rincon De Guayabitos.  So do the Mexicans.  Tourists from the inland cities poured into Guayabitos and covered the beaches, surrounded the taco stands, and cranked up the volume on every stereo system they could find. The busy atmosphere made for a fun, bustling, and easy town to be in.  Oh yeah, once again the food was fantastic.  Our daily walk down the main drag netted us a giant fresh jugo verde (green juice)

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December 23, 2013 - 9:00 p.m. The night watchman arrived by surprise at our door.  He rattled off a string of sentences in Spanish, which Richard interpreted as "follow me!" with a big smile on his face.  So together Richard and the night watchman walked up the dark main road away from our apartment.  After about 1/2 a km Richard started to get nervous.  He was in a foreign country, with no cash in his

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Lo De Marcos is a sleepy little coastal Mexican town (pop. 2000) that we would have driven right past if it were not for the fact that Ash’s Auntie Barbie was housesitting there.  We were just a little north of town so we popped in for a few days to visit.  Fortunately we were able to stay in the house and enjoy running water, laundry, hot showers, electricity… and great company! For the first time

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We arrived in Mazatlan fresh off the boat, and with no map we made our way through town to the Zona Dorada (The Golden Zone) in which the RV parks are located.  After some tediously uninteresting and un-blogpost worthy activities such as laundry and unpacking, we strolled through the local area, checked out the beach, and looked for a good place to eat dinner.  A local tour operator advised us that there was a great

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Our final task in Baja was to get on the ferry and head to the mainland. Essentially there are two options here.  Baja Ferries or the TMC Ferry.  Baja Ferries is the classic passenger ferry and TMC is the trucker's ferry.  Since TMC allows you to stay with your vehicle for the 18 hour passage we decided to go with them. We pulled in to the ferry terminal and took a quick left into the

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You need four things to spend 39 days adventuring through Baja California: 1.  The AAA Map for Baja California This map showed all of the small places that a lot of other maps didn't.  The scale is perfect for scouting your route, discussing potential campsites with people you meet along the way, and navigating your way south. 2.  Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping and/or Traveler's Guide to Camping Mexico's Baja by Mike and Terri Church This is

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It took four weeks for us to get to the very southern tip of Baja after crossing at Tijuana into northern Mexico.  We had crossed back and fourth from the Pacific side to the Cortez side of the peninsula multiple times.  We had driven on dirt, sand, good roads, bad roads, no roads, free roads, and toll roads, but to get to Land's End we would have to park the truck and hop in a

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By Ashley After a long day of driving around the port city of La Paz attempting to find a Fed Ex (and failing, just missing their open business hours by about 15 minutes), we decided to get the hell out of there and move on to Todos Santos.  Located on the southwest side of the Baja peninsula, Todos Santos is about an hour’s drive north of Cabo San Lucas.  We were tired.  We were frustrated. 

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It may sound weird to our friends and family back home who are dealing with the rain, snow, and sleet right now… but we were beached out and, as John Muir would say, the mountains are calling. There is a 30km stretch of ever winding paved road heading west from the coastal town of Loreto that ends at the San Javier mission.  This mission is one of the best-preserved missions in Baja.  The main cobblestone

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From the palm-filled oasis of San Ignacio, we continued to Guerrero Negro, a town on the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula.  The drive, as it always seems to be in Baja, was spectacular.  As we drove through Guerrero Negro, we realized that this was probably a town to drive through while continuing onto our next destination.  Boy, were we glad we made a lunch stop for fish tacos, though!  The owner the legit looking

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We opted for a dual battery installation after we purchased our ARB 37 Quart Fridge Freezer and Samlex America 1000W Inverter SSW-1000-12A.  After some consideration we also decided to install an 85W Samlex Solar panel.  We hoped (and have been) spending up to a week on secluded beaches with no amenities except for what we bring in the truck.  The solar panel has provided enough energy (up to 50W midday so far) to keep the fridge

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Between the Bay of L.A. and Bahia Concepcion we mad a quick overnight stop at the oasis of San Ignacio.  This area is well known for its mission and dates.  We made sure to experience both. Today the church is largely in its original condition, with its last restoration in 1976.  It is used by the local community for masses, weddings, funerals, and daily worship.  There is a rose garden to the north and garden

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The first thing you need when going clam digging is knowledge and experience on the subject.  Since we didn’t have either of those we set off with eight hands, a bucket, and a shovel. We weren’t 100% sure what the deal was with the whole “red tide” thing, but guessed that we’d be able to see the red algae (or whatever the heck red tide is…).  Since the water was the clearest we’ve ever seen

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Before the race even started I knew I wanted to come back to Baja for the 2014 Tecate Score Baja 1000 race.  The atmosphere the night preceding the race was full of anticipation as we chatted with others who had been to races in the past.  They shared stories, photos, and videos. The morning of the race started with the wind picking up near Gonzaga Bay.  Our little rooftop tent was getting really hammered by

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We drove south from San Felipe assuming that we were going to stop in Puertecitos for a few days before continuing to Gonzaga.  When we arrived at Puertocitos to find less than optimal campgrounds (more like campground-junkyard combos on the beach) for almost $30/night we decided to press on to Bahia San Luis Gonzaga. Gonzaga welcomed us with white sandy beaches, warm water, and $5/night camping.   There was also a 5ft high jump on a

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We headed out early and took highway MX3 from Ensenada towards San Felipe. The windy and potholed road took a few hours, but the scenery was epic once again.  We climbed the mountains through Oso Negro, paralleling part of the Baja 1000 racecourse, stopped at a couple of military border checkpoints, and pulled into San Felipe in the early afternoon. We stayed at Kiki’s campground for a few nights.  We had okay wifi, great beaches,

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After La Bufadora we drove north to explore Baja’s wine country.  It was Monday… and apparently most of the wineries aren’t open on Monday.  No matter, we were able to find at least one winery that was open.  After a quick wine tasting at L.A. Cetto, and after Erica purchased a bottle for the evening, we decided to get serious about finding a campsite. We found the campsite that runs in conjunction with a free

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It has been just over 4 weeks since we departed on our journey from Vancouver, BC and made our way down to Baja, Mexico.  We left the safety of our downtown condo, secure 9-5 jobs, our friends, family, and our fairly normal North American lives.  In a mere 4 weeks, our lives have drastically changed in every possible way – and we’re loving every minute of it.  You may wonder what life on the road

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Fish Tacos.  (R:  My mouth is watering right now just reading this.) Day three (we didn’t move from the beach on day two) in Mexico had us on a hunt for fish tacos, baja style.  So far Mexico is all about the food and we don’t really see that changing anytime soon. Once again we were lucky to be travelling with Song of the Road. Erica had heard of a place called Tacos El Fenix

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There was one thing we couldn't get out of our mind... Lobster burritos.   Erica from Song of the Road had been talking about lobster tacos and lobster burritos the last time we had seen them and we just couldn't stop thinking about them.  All that stood between us and this mouth-watering garlic butter covered goodness was the Mexican border. After filling up the truck with genuine USA 91 octane (and only creating a small

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After our adventures in the mountains at the SoCal Mountain Rendezvous, we had the great pleasure of being hosted by Mike and Dana (parents of Erica from Song of the Road).  They were so generous and warm, we felt lucky to have spent some great times swapping travel stories, eating many delicious dinners, and drinking countless bottles of fabulous wine.  Mike and Dana – if you are reading this… thank you again so much for

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 “I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.” - Steve McQueen We planned on meeting up with Song of the Road in Orange County.  We when got in touch with them on Friday morning they said they were on their way to the 2013 SoCal Mountain Rendezvous put on by American Adventurist.  Since we were relatively close in Santa Barbara we detoured slightly East to the San

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 "There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met." - William Butler Yeats Pismo Beach was another town we almost didn't stop in, but were so glad that we did!  You know it's going to be a good place to stay when it costs $10 to camp on the beach at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. We pulled onto the hard packed sand of the beach and headed south to the camping area.

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  After the mountains of Yosemite it was time for us to head back to the coast.  We put in a moderately long day of driving and ended up in Monterey at the Veterans Memorial Park camground.  This campground is right in the middle of the city, but felt like it was in the middle of nowhere.  Unfortunately we ended up with some heavy duty fog at low elevations... but we had some sights (other

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After a great day scoping out San Francisco, we figured it would be a good idea to head out to Yosemite (remember, that random guy told us the National Parks were open and we based our decision entirely on that).  By the time we rolled into our campsite (after 6 hours of driving) it was well past dark and we had driven around the park half hazardly without a map (par for the course), attempting

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It's probably obvious that we're on a budget.  We also want to experience as much as we can on this said budget.  This is how we did it in San Francisco. 9AM :  Golden Gate Bridge - FREE We took the last exit before the bridge and drove to the second viewpoint.  Perfect photo op if you crop the rest of the tourists out of your photo. 10AM :  Parking near Fort Mason - FREE

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After an amazing hot shower and sleeping in a real bed, we left Petaluma and took off for the Napa Valley.  It offered us everything we needed – gorgeous sunny and hot weather, a campsite with hiking close by (and with showers and free wifi), and WINE TASTING!  We spent three nights in the area where we checked out some local wineries, did some hiking, and walked around downtown Napa and Sonoma.  Traveler’s tip: stop

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We never seem to acknowledge big life changes until all of the little things add up over the course of a day or two… or a week.  “Oh yes!  We are going to quit our jobs, and move out of our condo and into a truck!  Instead of sleeping in a bed, we will sleep in our roof top tent and drive and see amazing things and have a great time, and everything will be

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"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin" - William Shakespeare   We couldn’t pass through northern California and miss the Redwoods!  Almost immediately after crossing into California from southern Oregon, we entered Redwood National Park.  Lucky for us, this park is both state and national so it was open for business.   Driving through some of the world’s tallest trees was truly amazing!  We had never seen trees as vast, and laughed at

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Our first stop in Oregon was a no brainer.  Portland.  We went straight to Hawthorne Blvd. to refuel our bodies with lunch.  Immediately after lunch some guy sees us and pulls a u-turn to ask about our Cascadia roof top tent.  Even after only a few days on the road this is commonplace.  Bobby should send business cards with every tent, because people ALWAYS ask about it! We decided to get out of town and

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We decided to head south from Kelowna and threw away our original plan of heading to Alberta, and through Montana and Idaho before crossing over Oregon to the coast.  Frankly, we are both just wusses in the cold and weren’t interested in freezing our butts off in our tent.  No problem, heading south suited us just fine.  We definitely didn’t regret our decision after heading through the central Northern section of Washington State – which

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The week leading up to departure day was all a blur.  Rich’s last day of work was on a Thursday, Ash’s last day of work was on a Friday, and we moved our entire condo contents from Vancouver to Ash’s parents’ place in Kelowna on Saturday (big shout out to Ash’s parents’ and brother for all of their help!!).   We hung out in Kelowna for about a week getting the truck ready and "finalized",

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Finally time for a quick catchup! We're already on the road heading south (stealing wi-fi in Florence, Oregon) but thought I should work on catching up this build a little bit! The new engine was dropped in about 5 weeks ago, was broken in, and then dropped off at Disturbed Industries for a valve adjust and oil change. Since we were cutting it really close to our departure date I left Ryan to complete the

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"It's only when we truly know and understand that we have limited time on earth - and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up - that we will begin to love each day to the fuller, as if it was the only we had." - Klisabeth Kübler-Ross It's Monday.  You've been counting down the hours all weekend until you get to sit down at your desk and get to work!

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 "If you want to influence your family,you can lead the way through your own actions. They are not going to change their worldview by something you repost on Facebook, but when they see you following through on your big dreams, they can’t help but notice." -  Chris Guillebeau We are holding a used camera drive with the Muskoka Foundation to support their photography workshops for children in need of a creative outlet!  We'll bring the

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"Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson I'm not going to lie to you, some people might not find this post interesting.  Sad face.  For the rest of you out there who are interested in exhaust pipes, gauges, and fiberglass fenders this post is for you!  The next build post should be about the 22RE engine install so stay

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"Aerodynamically the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it, and so it goes on flying anyway." - Mary Kay Ash Old Man Emu Suspension Install The original suspension in this truck was clapped out.  The rear springs sagged with the lightest load in the bed and the shocks could barely dampen the ride with the original tires.  Now that we're going to be running larger tires and hauling

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We leave on what will hopefully be an epic adventure in 75 days. We still need to: 1.  Rent out our condo.  (We are finalizing the details of hiring a property manager...) 2.  Save more money.  (An ongoing constant struggle between our bills and our savings account.) 3.  FINISH THE TRUCK.  (This feels like the big one right now.)   The above image from John Muirs "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive : A Manual

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“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson Road trips are the best.  #obvious Road trips to pick up gear to take on our next road trip are even better. We took last Friday off and made the trip down from Vancouver to Seattle to pick up some gear that we had ordered through ARB.  We sent

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Disclaimer - Despite how it sounds in this post, we are truly grateful for our jobs.  We enjoy them most of the time.  We like our employers.  We like our co-workers.  We love our passions that have turned into second jobs and we'll continue to pursue nutrition and photography work while we travel  This decision is right for us right now.  It wasn't right for us 2 months ago and it may not be right

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http://vimeo.com/67620343 We finally got started on the build of our truck. The first thing to do was to gain a little clearance for our new tires.  We chose a small 4Crawler 1" body lift to do the trick.  The other thing I like about a body lift is the increased clearance between the drive train and body. Although the 4Crawler website looks like it was made in 1990 there are a ton of great parts

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"Not all those who wander are lost." - J.R.R. Tolkien Well, this will obviously not our first time travelling.  You're going to see where we go next, but where have we been? Cuba This is the first time either of us stepped foot outside Canada or the US.  We flew to Cuba and went to a resort in Varadero.  We no likey resorts.  Never again... but we did love the Cuban culture, sun, and beaches.

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We just counted the days until our proposed departure date of October 1. 126!  Yes, that's only four months.  That shit cray. Okay... take a deep breath and think this through.  On the one hand we can't wait to leave.  We long for the freedom of the road, the simplicity of travelling day by day, and the adventure that follows. On the other hand, at first glance 126 days really doesn't seem like much time

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This is our new ride. Why did I end up choosing a Toyota Pickup for our journey?  Reliability was the key factor.  I've owned Toyotas in the past, seen them with 500,000+ km beat relentlessly in the Wadi Run desert, and knew that we'd be able to find parts anywhere if/when something does break. Originally, I was cruising Craigslist constantly hoping anything would come up in my budget.  In all fairness, I didn’t really have

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"How do geese know when to fly to the sun?  Who tells them the seasons?  How do we, humans, know when it is time to move on?  As with the migrant birds, so surely with us, there is a voice within, if only we would listen to it, that tells us so certainly when to go forth into the unknown." - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross The Plan: Drive down through the Western United States, along the Baja

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With a simple text message conversation our short-term life plans were about to change.  At least there isn’t going to be a divorce or babies…. Phew! I met Ashley  for our “life chat” at Trees Organic Coffee (2655 Arbutus) on April 13, 2013.  Our full-time day jobs combined with our part-time evening/weekend work became too much that afternoon.  Ash hit the wall hard, pushed through, and now had hit another wall.  It was time for

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