Return to Boulder

We recently returned to Boulder. We visited some of our favorite spots, including the bookstore and a delicious fast casual Brazilian restaurant called Five on Black where almost the entire place is gluten-free.Boulder, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Unfortunately our yoga class was canceled due to rain, but we did visit a tasty chocolate food truck to sample drinking chocolate and a truffle, and we still had a fun gig at The Laughing Goat.Ice Cream Social, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a Scoop

We also got to meet Shack, a wonderful blues performer who opened for us. He’s extremely talented and will be representing Colorado and competing at the international competition this year! Ice Cream Social, Fort Collins, CO | In Search of a ScoopWe’ve only got a few weeks left here, so we are doing our best to make the most of it and not get stressed about the silly stuff. We are also continuing to work on booking gigs in our free time.

We are excited to return to New England. From visiting family and friends to eating at our favorite places and cooking with local produce, there’s a lot to look forward to. And we have tons of teaching and performing to do too!

Thanks for following our journey, and let us know if you have ideas for us this fall.

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Returning to Cheyenne

Last week, Ross had a lot of work to get done in the RV, so I agreed to go off on an adventure while he worked. Knowing I had missed some fun stuff on my last trip, and with fond memories of a meal at Dad’s Cafe, I headed back.

Cheyenne is about fifty minutes north of our campground in Fort Collins, so it’s an easy day trip. My first priority was to visit Dad’s Cafe before it closed for the day.Cheyenne, WY | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Dad’s Cafe is completely gluten-free and avoids a lot of other allergens too, like soy and dairy. I had their most popular sandwich, the Reuben, and it was out of this world on their made from scratch bread. I paired it with a pickled cucumber salad.

After an outstanding meal, I drove over to the State Museum, although I realized later I could have walked. The State Museum is free and full of wonderful exhibits on the history of Wyoming as well as special exhibits on the National Park Service, Native American tribes and more.Cheyenne, WY | Ross and Jamie Adventure Cheyenne, WY | Ross and Jamie Adventure Cheyenne, WY | Ross and Jamie Adventure Cheyenne, WY | Ross and Jamie Adventure

I learned a lot and even enjoyed the videos they had available. I loved seeing a coach that was made in New Hampshire! After the State Museum, I headed to Cheyenne Botanic Garden.

This Botanic Garden is also free, and it’s wonderful. It has a beautiful indoor area with gorgeous balconies as well as outdoor gardens with water views and a soon to be completed Children’s Garden that looks incredible.Cheyenne, WY | Ross and Jamie Adventure Cheyenne, WY | Ross and Jamie Adventure Cheyenne, WY | Ross and Jamie Adventure Cheyenne, WY | Ross and Jamie Adventure

I really enjoyed my trip to Cheyenne, and I’m definitely glad I went back. If you enjoyed this, be sure to read about part 1 of my adventures!

A Day in Denver

Last week I had a dentist appointment for a cleaning, twenty minutes north of Denver, so Ross and I used it as an excuse to spend the day in the area.Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventure

We first headed to the Denver Zoo, which was Ross’ top choice for the city. While there, we had a wonderful conversation and catch up with Katherine and Morgan, our bosses at Musicalarts, the studio we taught at in Exeter. Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureWe loved seeing them, even if it was way too short, and then we spent the rest of the afternoon seeing animals, including an elephant presentation, and eating BBQ and ice cream (from God Save the Cream, a Denver company).Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventure

The zoo is really wonderful, and being there brought back memories of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and of course Animal Kingdom at Disney World.

After our zoo adventure, we headed to a gaming store for Ross, where he found a Gameboy game he’d been looking for. Then we headed to the Denver Botanic Gardens, which are definitely the most stunning I’ve ever seen. Here we met up with Melanie, a classmate of mine from high school. Melanie and I hadn’t seen each other in about sixteen years, but our conversation was easy and natural, and after closing down the gardens, she agreed to join us at our next destination, High Line Creamery, for some ice cream. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of Melanie.Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureDenver, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureMelanie and Ross each got a (reasonable) double scoop, and I got a (not so reasonable) ice cream flight. In fact, the two of them wanted some real food, so I sent them next door to grab burgers (closing time was approaching) while I finished my epic flight. (You can subscribe to In Search of a Scoop for all the ice cream details.)

It was an awesome night, and it reaffirmed a) that we have awesome friends b) that RVing is a great way to see them and c) we love the Denver area.

It’s so strange to realize the summer is quickly coming to an end. And with it, the end of our time in Fort Collins gets closer. We will definitely miss this area, and we know we will be back, but we’ve got some wonderful ukulele classes to teach and performances to share, and lots of family and friends to visit with.

I hope you’re all had a great week and find your own adventure too!

Denver, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventure

RV Tailgating Tips

If you know Ross and I, you probably know that we are basically clueless about sports and fine with that. So you might be shocked to learn that I was recently asked to blog about RV tailgating tips for Outdoorsy.

I may not care about football, but I know how to research and I like being paid to write. So here’s my article on RV tailgating tips. Enjoy! And thanks for stopping by.

Want us to perform near you? We are seeking work in New Hampshire, particularly places we can perform our original music (cafes, theatres, restaurants, yoga studios, libraries).

Further out, we are booking Raleigh, D.C., Greenville and anything else near those East Coast cities in late November and December. Suggestions and contacts are welcome.

Thanks, and have a wonderful day!

Visiting A Botanical Garden in Fort Collins, CO

As you may know, I’m a sucker for flowers, nature and gardens of all types. The older I get, the more I realize this is true and seem to embrace it.

For instance, last night I was stressed and tryin to avoid a panic attack. My solution was to take a walk on the nature trail here in the park.

When I started walking, I was wishing I had a friend who’d take my call after 10 pm. By four minutes in, I was filled with gratitude, pure and simple, for my surroundings. It was almost an immediate fix. Telling, right?

So Thursday morning, I made a trip to the City of Fort Collins’ botanical garden. They suggest a donation of $5 for admission, although that felt a little steep to me today. (By next year, that would be a steal, once the construction and expansion are complete.)

I could tell you stories about their outdoor kitchen and Garden of Eaten, and rave about the colors and flowers I saw. But instead, I will just share some photos, so you can enjoy too. Thanks for stopping by! Gardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureGardens on Spring Creek, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Knowing When To Say No

I’ve been struggling recently with knowing when to say no. When do we say no to a job opportunity? A networking opportunity? A discount for a thing we wouldn’t have done otherwise?

I’ve been spending a lot of time working on articulating what is essential and what is flexible in my life. The answers are constantly evolving. What does it take for us to settle down? Is there a perfect job? A perfect location? When does it get close enough to perfect that the difference isn’t of much consequence?

We are truly in love with Colorado. Yesterday we visited Greeley and Windsor; two more great communities in the corridor that we could envision ourselves living in.

And yet, we are nowhere near being able to afford a house here. Is that okay? Will we ever buy a house? Is living in an RV (or maybe a pet-friendly apartment) and renting a small studio space good enough? And if so, how long will that be true?

There are more questions with every answer. For now, we’ll keep the faith and do the work and trust that if we build it, they will come, whether they are clients or job opportunities or a clear next step or location.

Five Coffee Shops Worth A Visit

When you’re traveling the country in an RV, you don’t necessarily need to stop at coffee shops for a latte or an espresso. But it’s a fun way to discover the local scene, and we’ve really enjoyed visiting cafes across the country.

I recently wrote a blog on this subject for Outdoorsy. Enjoy reading about five coffee shops worth a visit across the U.S.!

We’re looking for contacts for the upcoming fall and winter. Whether you know someone at a school, library, senior center, cafe or other live music venue or anywhere else that might enjoy a workshop or some live music, please let us know! We’re currently seeking connections in Raleigh, N.C. (and nearby), Washington D.C. (and the surrounding area), northern New England and the Boston area, New Mexico and Austin, TX. Thanks in advance for any leads you can provide!

 

Live Updates and Live Music

Life! What an incredible gift this life is. Every day I am so thankful for all of the incredible blessings in my life, from our family and friends, to able bodies and minds, to passions and skills and privilege and the courage and freedom to pursue our dreams and use our gifts as we do.

This week, I’ve had tons of thoughts running through my head. I’m happy to be taking a lot of time to myself today and yesterday, because it’s really been a roller coaster. In addition to working at the recreation center, I was given the task of hiring new employees, and that has easily added at least five hours a week as long as significantly more responsibility into my schedule. On top of that, I’ve applied for a couple of jobs, written my weekly blogs, taught music lessons (Conducting is now in my repertoire) and provided social media work for my clients, and Ross has started editing another podcast in addition to his existing work for other clients and ourselves. We are busy! But I’m so thankful that we have so many income streams, and we’re steadily chipping away at saving money and paying off debt acquired in the leaner times.

We’ve been thinking a lot about the upcoming year, and we’ve got some great goals that we are working towards. Our major goal is achieving financial independence, so that we have enough work employed online that anything extra, like music gigs or workcamping or a local part-time job, wouldn’t be needed, and if we took it, it would just be gravy. We’re lining up wonderful opportunities in New Hampshire this fall. I’ll be directing a reading of a new musical. Ross will be recording a demo CD for the musical. We’ll be performing, of course. And we’ll be teaching a (free!) ukulele class for older adults in both Lebanon and Haverhill, NH.

We’ve got some additional goals for ourselves. We are planning to get enough work while we’re in NH to keep us afloat this winter, which would in turn give us more time to build up our businesses and even build a few sources of passive income through a few projects we’ve got up our sleeves. We’re hoping to book some work in the D.C. area as well as Raleigh in early December, which would finance both a mini-vacation in D.C. and a visit to see family before we head back out west.

We’ll be in the Southwest for the winter (seeking any and all gigs or shorter-term workcamping arrangements in New Mexico and Tucson, AZ), and in April we’ll be in Austin, TX. By June, we’ll be in northern New Mexico, including Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM.

We’ve got big hopes and dreams, and we’re still figuring out how to finance it all. We pursue great opportunities and trust the universe to lead us. And thank you to all of our friends, family and followers who reach out to us with opportunities and suggestions. Your help is greatly appreciated.

I’ve spent yesterday and today decompressing, and I took a fantastic six mile walk yesterday across Fort Collins, including some of the gorgeous Poudre Trail. Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureWe also performed at an open jam at Scrumpy’s (our favorite cider bar), Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventureenjoyed watching Won’t You Be My Neighbor? at the Lyric Theatre (with delicious gluten-free eats) and finally visited one of the Fort Collins libraries (best wifi we’ve found in Colorado so far). Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie AdventureSometimes you need to really take a break, and I’m so thankful I forced myself to disconnect yesterday.

Thanks for reading, and if you haven’t read it yet, you might enjoy this blog on how to find live music while you’re on vacation. I hope you’re enjoying your summer, wherever you are.