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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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

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.

Spins on S’mores and more!

We’ve been truly enjoying our time in Colorado. We keep falling deeper and deeper in love, to be honest. But it’s not all fun and games out here. We’re both working full-time jobs and also continuing our variety of remote work to make a solid income.

We’re continuing to actively book work for the fall and winter too. We’ll be in New Hampshire in October and November, and in the Southwest (mostly southern New Mexico and hopefully Tucson) beginning in December. We’re also looking for work in Austin and en route from there to Austin in March, April or May. Let us know if you have any leads or ideas for venues!

My latest blog for Outdoorsy explored five tasty variations on a classic s’more. Enjoy, and have one for me!

Daytripping with Dad

A couple of weeks back, we were really blessed to have Ross’ dad visit us from New Hampshire. He flew in early Tuesday, with plans to fly out Saturday evening.

Despite the fact that it was his birthday and he’d flown out to see us, he basically treated us the entire week, so we had to get sneaky if we wanted to pay for anything.

We had an incredible week. Tuesday evening he visited us at the campground and then we headed downtown for an outstanding Brazilian meal that was almost entirely gluten-free. Apparently it’s a chain, but the experience was truly special, with outstanding salads at an epic buffet, an assortment of appetizers (with additional on offer) and then an endless array of meats brought to the table. Finally we saw the dessert tray, and much of it was gluten-free. We highly recommend this experience, even for the less adventurous among us! Outstanding. Also, Happy Birthday, Stephen!Brazilian at Rodizio Grill | Ross and Jamie Adventureimg_2930Ross and Dad | Ross and Jamie AdventureDessert at Rodizio Grill, Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Wednesday wasn’t a teaching day, so we headed to Cheyenne, Wyoming just to say we did. The Visitor’s Center was absolutely outstanding, with amazing exhibits, and then we headed to Dad’s Cafe, an incredible allergen-free cafe where the entire place is gluten-free! We enjoyed our soups, sandwiches and cookies before spending the afternoon visiting local museums. The first was free, and the latter (we treated Stephen) was perfect if you enjoy railroad memorabilia or miniatures.

After our day in Cheyenne, we headed into downtown Fort Collins for some tasty Mexican food (and a great gluten-free menu). We capped it off with dessert at Walrus ice cream because we were too drunk to drive yet! It was okay, but the gluten-free cone was delicious and Stephen loved his sundae.

On Thursday, Jamie spent the morning writing a blog post while Stephen adventured on his own. Then we hit the Museum of Discovery which does an incredible job of creating an interdisciplinary, hands-on museum experience unique to Fort Collins and the area. After the museum, we took a distillery tour, enjoyed a few drinks and went back for more Mexican food.

Friday, Stephen spent the day hanging out while we worked. We had a campfire that night with a singalong, and he helped tend it and took a few train rides with Ross.

Saturday we did more work at the campground while Stephen surprised us and spent the day again. He managed to stay pretty cool despite the heat and we definitely enjoyed the company before he headed to the airport.

We had an amazing week, honestly feeling like it was a vacation for us. Thank you for your visit! It was so great to see you.

We will share further details on some of the highlights in future blogs. Thanks for reading and have an awesome week on your own adventures!