As my 30th birthday approached I realized that I wanted to figure out a way to celebrate that involved tiny houses, but I wasn’t sure how to make it happen. Last year at birthday time I helped Brittany get her Tiny House On the Road Again so we could return the Bayside Bungalow to its beautiful spot in Olympia. I started A New Year in a New Home by settling into Granny's Garden Cottage, which I enjoyed as My Summer Garden Cottage.
This year as birthday time rolled around I co-taught a Portland Alternative Dwellings Tiny House Basics Workshop with Dee Williams. It was, of course, a lot of fun to meet some great tiny house folks, but I wanted to find a way to celebrate with my good ol’ friends AND tiny houses. And my birthday fell on a Monday, which is not typically the best night for party hosting.
Fortunately, the obvious answer came to me in the midst of a conversation with some fellow tiny house friends. Kol and Deb recently created Caravan – The Tiny House Hotel, which is, to the best of our knowledge, the first hotel in the world. It currently features a collection of three tiny houses on wheels and two more currently being constructed will be added soon. (Here’s my take on Caravan’s Tiny Houses.) Caravan is set up as an RV park so there’s a hook up station for each of the little houses and they have all electric appliances, hot running water, and flush toilets. The tiny house hotel was featured on this year’s Pedalpalooza Tiny House Tour and it opened on July 1. Caravan’s Grand Opening will be this coming Saturday, July 27th and I’m looking forward to the party!
So I asked Deb and Kol if I might be able to spend the night at the tiny house hotel for my birthday (before Caravan's Grand Opening since I know it will book up fast once the word is out!) The place was miraculously not booked out for my birthday night so Deb suggested I reserve the whole place and host my 30th birthday party at the world’s first tiny house hotel. So I did. (And as my birthday present Kol and Deb gave me an incredible discount on the reservation, too! Thanks guys!)
Kol and Deb have outfitted the tiny house hotel with all the fixins for a party. There’s a circle of Adirondack chairs around a fire pit, a parachute shade to provide protection from the sun, a hammock for skygazing, a colorful mural on the ground, and even a table with a grill in the middle! I knew we were in for a good time.
The friends who arrived early joined me for supper next door at the Grilled Cheese Grill. Yes, I ate a delicious but probably not super healthy jalepeno popper grilled cheese sandwich for my birthday dinner, thank you very much! (Deb also informed me that Radio Room across the street is now providing room service to the tiny house hotel!)
My party was a dessert potluck so we indulged in fresh berries, giant chocolate sea salt and caramel cookies, fancy ice cream sandwiches, sticky sweet donuts, refreshing rose, syrupy framboise, and chocolaty porters. Several friends went with the tiny theme, bringing tiny pies, mini cupcakes, and delicate petite fours! We roasted marshmallows on skewers over the grilling table and made gooey s’mores just as the moon was rising, round and golden in the east. As darkness crept up we sat around the fire pit while my long-lost friend Chris strummed his guitar and we sang along.
As most people headed out, a handful of us settled into Caravan’s Tiny Houses for a good night’s sleep. We were all up early for work in the morning, but that seems fitting considering that this was my 30th and it was a Monday night!
My birthday presents were less tangible, but no less meaningful this year. Throughout the day I received love notes via facebook and text from friends and family around the world. I was also able to reconnect with several people I hadn’t seen in a while. It was fun to see my worlds colliding as people from different parts of my life got to know each other. I was even delighted when one of my dear friends told me she couldn’t make it because she’d been offered a job and had to talk through logistics with her partner. It feels good to be heading into a new decade with this sense of appreciation for my loved ones and gratitude that I’m at the beginning of a great adventure as I pursue this path.
Kol and Deb, thanks for making my 30th Birthday Bash such a great time! I’m looking forward to Caravan's Grand Opening on Saturday, July 27th, 2013!