Letters From Basecamp Gallivance: Back in The Saddle

Stove in Living Room

Uh-oh, the stove is back in the living room! That can only mean one thing. The Basecamp Gallivance renovation is back on.

After what seems like a too-short hiatus, a month of travel in the Baltic, and some serious R&R, we’re back at work on the condo. Inertia is a difficult force to overcome. It kept us on task for the 3 months of Phase I of the renovation, and prevented us from re-starting the process after our break. And it’s embarrassing to admit that the catalyst for cranking up again was borrowed tools and the need to return them.


However, in our defense, the foot-dragging was exacerbated by the projects remaining, and the mess and disruption they will cause. The punch list includes: replace kitchen countertops and sink and put up beadboard; build new bathroom vanity top with sink; and install a brand-spankin’ new HVAC system .


So here we are, up to our elbows in ripped-out pink countertops.

Cutting countertop

One countertop was wedged in so tightly, we had to saw it in half for removal.

J under cabinet

Being new to countertop installation, we used the “learn as you go” approach. There were a couple of nerve-racking steps, the biggest being the cutting of the Ikea butcher block. Making exacting measurements is no problem, but a small slip with a noisy, unforgiving power saw, and a $150 piece of wood is too short (and our closest Ikea is 225 miles away). Ouch!! And cutting the holes for the electrical outlets required a phone call and Facebook message to Jim, our handy, smart, and skilled brother-in-law. We’ve done a dry-fit of the counters and amazingly they worked OK, which earned us a couple of extra trips to the liquor cabinet.

Dry fit

Ultimately, we’re glad to be back on task. Tomorrow’s effort will involve killing a few brain cells while applying Waterlox Sealer, and some wrenching of the spine while painting bead board under the cabinets. And who says that renovation can’t be a fun, family hobby?

Happy Trails,


Author: gallivance.net

We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at gallivance.net.

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