WHO WE ARE
The Cast & Crew of Our Life on the Road:
Lissa Nilsson grew up in Michigan, where the rest of her family still resides. Over the years, she has lived in CO, MA, and CT, before finally settling down in Vermont. Long ago, she started college as an art major, but after deciding she didn’t want to starve, Lissa went on to earn a BA in Geography from Mount Holyoke College.
Lissa had a successful 15-year career as a cartographer making digital maps for NAVTEQ before losing her job due to ME/CFS. She has been mostly housebound and operating at about 30% of her former self since becoming disabled by illness in 2010. Since then, returning to her roots in art has brought immense satisfaction and a sense of purpose to her life.
David Fontaine is originally from Connecticut, and went to UCONN for a BA in Electrical Engineering. He also has a MS in Systems Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. Before relocating to Vermont, and settling in to his current career as a Systems Engineer for Collins Aerospace, David had co-ownership of a marine electronics business in Mamaroneck, NY.
David grew up sailing, both cruising and racing – so his life experience has set him up perfectly for RV living full-time. He’s taken to it very well, and is a master at crafting all sorts of solutions to everyday problems. Now that he’s no longer dealing with all the associated burdens of their toxic home, David is rekindling his interest in astronomy, photography, and geology.
Lissa & David met through a dear friend, and their romance set sail with a shared love of Vermont and all it could offer. Both were active, outdoorsy, and had a thirst for adventure, knowledge, and truth, which brought them together. Plus, they share a great sense of humor that keeps them laughing even through the hardest of times. Before losing their dream home to hidden toxic mold, Lissa & David lived in Ferrisburgh, VT with their two awesome cats, Nugget & Wooley Bear.
Nugget was adopted from a local shelter when he was about a year old. He was 8 pounds, and everyone thought he was full grown. Nope – he had other plans. With care and feeding, he quickly blossomed to be a 14 lb ball of joy. He continually delights everyone with his antics and wonderfully loving personality. He is an absolute golden nugget of sunshine! Aka “Sun Cat”.
Wooley Bear was adopted at the same time – although the two cats didn’t know each other previously. He is about 3 years older than Nugget, and has been a stellar role model – despite the occasional “brotherly kerfuffle” usually started by “The Orange One”. Wooley gets his name from his black-tipped coloring, his soft, thick fur, and his signature move. He throws himself on the floor and wriggles and curls about just like a caterpillar, making his cuteness irresistible. Wooley is a very loving, sweet, and intelligent cat, but his antics and favorites are often the very opposite of Nugget’s, thus he is aka “Moon Cat”.
Humphrey is a favorite travel buddy. He has accompanied Lissa & David on many trips since he was adopted in 2005 during their first Christmas together. He’s named in honor of Camel’s Hump mountain in Vermont – where they hiked together on one of their first dates. Humphrey is especially excited to be on the road again – he secretly had wanderlust for the past few years while Lissa was too sick to travel.