The Top 5 Weirdest Places We’ve Built Hoops
It’s a cold and rainy
day, but Cody has over 30 hoops to build for the school he’s booked at
tomorrow. There’s definitely not enough room inside our 250 square foot house
on wheels for that kind of work, so we need to think creatively. His “portable
hoop workshop” consists of an old cooler filled with tools, strapped to the
back of our camper. The rest of what he needs – a small workbench, at least
enough electricity to charge his drill, and a large, flat surface (usually the
ground) – he has to find.
Thankfully, today, he’s in a garage. Four walls, a roof, AND electricity! It is truly luxurious considering some of the other places we have built in…here are the Top Five WEIRDEST places we have built hoops in so far:
#5: On a freezing cold desk outside of Innisfail (AB) with Amigo the therapy dog
When I reached out to one of our customers and asked if we could camp at their house, I really didn’t know what kind of response I would get. But when we pulled onto their land, we were greeted by smiles and tail wags! Little did we know that Ley-Anne provides animal-assisted learning and equine-assisted craniosacral therapy! We quickly met Amigo the super friendly dog (if it were up to him, he’d sit in the middle of the highway just to say ‘hi’ as people passed by!) and then got the full tour – a group of super adorable giant bunnies, two horses and a number of cats (some super friendly, and others just like regular cats 😉). Cody worked outside on the deck and it got pretty cold – just below freezing – but Amigo kept him warm!
#4: In the dining room of a Sphynx breeder in Winnipeg (MB)
Most of the time we ask if we can use a backyard, deck or garage…but for these friends the dining room table was more of a massive craft station than formal dining area, so Cody got to work indoors! This time we were greeted by even more animals: 2 different kinds of lizards, a massive tank full of exotic fish, 4 sphynx (hairless) cats and a talking parrot! The cats were much more cuddly and friendly than I imagined they would be, and very good with their paws! They kept stealing Cody’s rivets! And the parrot asked what we were doing, laughed at us, and even creepily whispered at us…
#3: Inside our motorhome in a Walmart Parking Lot in Vancouver (BC)
This day felt like an episode of Punked…
First, we were all ready to leave Vancouver. We were totally packed up and our motorhome was running, ready for us to drive out of the campground. Then, we got a big hoop order from a brand new Vancouver instructor! Woo hoo! Oh, but wait a minute, we are out of tubing.
The motorhome was running anyway so off to Home Depot we went. We really only had a few more to make (the rest we had in stock) so we didn’t see any point in paying for another night in the campground. It was beautiful out, so we decided to head to a park! Oh, but wait another minute, we need a cordless drill!
That need had really never come up until this day. So, we drove to another hardware store and Cody found what he thought would work great. Then we drove around Vancouver in a panic looking for a park (a couple of prairie folk driving up and down city mountains during rush hour in our 25 foot RV). Then, when we finally found something, unpacked everything and got to work, it started raining.
Then Cody’s brand new drill stopped working.
So, back in the RV we went. This time we drove to the dreaded Walmart. Now maybe you’ve heard that Walmart is perfect RVing – free overnight parking! Well no, that is not the case in many cities, and especially in BC. The Walmart parking lot was tiny, jam packed, and we had a strict 3 hour parking limit. Now our motorhome was packed with rolls of tubing and the various snacks we were calling “lunch” while I sat up on the bunk taping hoops and Cody drilled connectors in the corner of our “kitchen.” This was one of those times I was really grateful our 5-yr old had a computer to play on.
#2: In the back of the Corix warehouse in Calgary (AB)
Our experience in Calgary was quite similar to Vancouver. You might think that we would have learned from that experience and always kept a full inventory, but the truth is that we can only strap so many hoops to our roof, and once we start filling the RV with rolls of tubing we can no longer use the kitchen or access the main door. So, our experience in Calgary was unavoidable.
We hosted training on the weekend and our instructors ordered about 45 hoops (in addition to pre-orders). We had quite a few made already BUT we had 3 days of school programming ahead of us so we couldn’t sell our stock.
Then Cody did the 3 days of school programming and promptly sold over 90 hoops to the school. He stayed up most of the night building more hoops in the campground lounge but, inevitably, we ran out of tubing Friday morning. Now, we had to purchase tubing, build and tape more hoops, deliver the hoops, and then drive to Lethbridge for another event the next day (and, of course, have a few hoops on hand for that event!).
Thankfully, Cody has built a stand-up relationship with Corix Water Products. The CEO was delighted to see the little hoop family back for more supplies and let us finish building in their warehouse. Back-up career: Irrigation tubing salesman.
#1: In an abandoned laundromat on Vancouver Island (BC)
Finally, the weirdest (and creepiest) place we built hoops was in a run down old laundromat in Sooke. We found an incredible free campsite on the island, but we needed a few days with electricity and cell phone reception to get some work done, so we went into town. No need to name the specific place, because maybe to someone that laundromat was just perfect… .but for Cody, who is quite allergic to mold and totally believes in ghosts, it was pretty weird.
We still have one more training date left before this tour is over, so let’s hope it doesn’t get any weirder!
To celebrate the end of a fantastic year on the road AND Canada’s 150th birthday we’re having a BIG SALE: get the instructor rate (30% off) AND FREE SHIPPING on orders over $150! Now until July 1st using the coupon code ‘CANADA150′ through our online store at hoopplay.ca! Follow our adventures in our facebook group, The Rolling Hoop, and learn more about who we are and what we’re doing along the way @ www.hoopplay.ca