Five Unexpected Places To Visit In The U.S.

I’ve recently started blogging for The Virtual Campground, a wonderful community of RVers and aspiring RVers with a sense of humor, fun and compassion throughout. I’m honored to be sharing my thoughts over there, and it’s challenged me to up my blogging game with new topics for a new audience.

My first effort there covers five of my favorite unexpected places that we’ve discovered in our travels. Let me know what you think!

I-20 Wildlife Refuge, Midland, TX I Ross and Jamie Adventure
1-20 Wildlife Refuge in Midland, Texas

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.
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Music Projects and Bills – Oh My!

Music for yoga, Alamogordo, NM I Ross and Jamie Adventure

Ross and I have been working almost non-stop on our businesses this winter. Ross in particular has been very focused on two projects: his online ukulele course, and his new album, an ambient album composed with yoga and meditation in mind.

The number one challenge in working on both projects, but particularly the ukulele course, has been the limitations of Ross’ current gear. Ross has an old, reliable, wonderful laptop, but because it’s almost ten years old, it just can’t keep up in the video department. After waging battle after battle to edit and render video his laptop, Ross finally admitted defeat and came to me for help in choosing the next step.

After much debating, we decided we’d get him a new iPhone. The fanciest one, so it would have all the space and specs to do everything he wanted. (To be fair, his old phone was about three and a half years old,  and it was no longer useful as a phone, so some sort of replacement was imminent anyway.) Ross spent his first week with the phone testing all of the things to make sure he’d be able to edit the videos on his phone and wouldn’t still need a computer. The phone passed all the tests with flying colors!

Unfortunately (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?), we’ve since found that while the phone itself is equipped for it all, the editing apps can’t handle long (10, 20, 30 minutes) videos without crashing. After putting up with it for a while, it became clear that for Ross to get his course ready at the speed that I was asking him to (aka within the next few months, not the next few years), we’d need to invest in a new laptop.

It was a tough decision, but we eventually decided to go with what we could afford without debt, which turned out to be a gaming laptop with great specs that can handle all sorts of video editing. It won’t replace his existing laptop, but it should be an incredible asset for video editing. (Please send all the good vibes/prayers/happy thoughts are way that we’ve got all we need to succeed in this department!) The extra benefit of going with the computer? Now we can market Ross as a video editor for real – he’s got the gear he’ll need to edit video for anyone who needs it.

Luckily, in the midst of the ukulele course editing drama, Ross was able to distract himself by recording/editing/mixing his new album. We’re putting the final touches on cover art and hope to release it before the end of this month. In the meantime, if you’d like some free tracks, head here to join the list and get some free stuff!

Music for yoga, Alamogordo, NM I Ross and Jamie Adventure
Ross playing music for a Buti yoga class. He’s played Yin Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Restorative Yoga classes too.

So if it seems like we’ve been quiet in New Mexico, it’s because we’ve been oh, so busy with projects…and making the tough decisions about financing a phone and not financing a laptop. And we’re extremely thankful that we can handle these purchases – we haven’t forgotten that if this had happened two years back, we’d have been forced to ask friends or family for help.

One fun piece of news – our new podcast, “Finishing The Season”, has received some happy (5 out of 5) ratings on iTunes! Here’s what Christie Conticchio had to say in her review: “Jamie and Ross have an undeniable chemistry and conversation in regards to everything Broadway. Jamie is so resourceful and knowledgeable about music. Her fun personality comes through. Ross adds his opinion and banter which makes this show so fun.”

That’s the news from Deming today! We’re setting up CD release parties and working on booking out through the summer, and we’ll be returning to New Hampshire as teaching artists (both of us!) this fall. Life is beautiful and we’re exceedingly thankful.

Stay warm and safe, wherever you are, and we’ll talk to you soon!

p.s. We’re giving away some private music lessons on Facebook if you’re interested! Just find the post and follow the instructions.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Visiting City of Rocks State Park

I recently had the opportunity to visit City of Rocks State Park, a park and campground I’d heard about from several bloggers in the past. It’s in between Silver City and Deming, New Mexico, and as we were staying in Deming, it was an easy drive of about a half hour to the park. I found it to be a small, but gorgeous, park, with a botanical garden, hiking and incredible large rock formations that you can camp next to, climb and photograph.

City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico | Ross and Jamie AdventureDuring my visit, I lucked into watching a hawk feed its family. Absolutely an incredible sight. I was also pleasantly surprised to have a pretty excellent cell signal (3 bars on T-Mobile, good enough for high-quality streaming on my phone). There are two campground areas – one area is with the rocks, boondocking, and the other area offers hookups. To be perfectly honest, I felt the area with hookups wasn’t too appealing. Sites are very close together and don’t have much privacy. But if you’re able to boondock for a few nights, I highly recommend it here. Due to the height of the rocks, the sites offer a ton of privacy and space, with incredible views and a truly unique experience camped among the rock formations.

City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico | Ross and Jamie AdventureNew Mexico’s state parks are an incredible and affordable resource. A day pass is only $5/car and will get you into multiple parks in a day, which is especially helpful in this area if you just want to drive through them or make quick visits. But an annual pass (day use) is only $40, making it extremely affordable.

An annual pass for camping is also a steal, if you’ll be using it for say, three months, but if not, camping rates at the state parks are only $8-$14/night, so it’s definitely a great deal.

I’mCity of Rocks State Park, New Mexico | Ross and Jamie Adventure very thankful I finally had the chance to visit City of Rocks. It’s an other-worldly experience that I highly recommend.

Next up for us: we are hard at work on our online ukulele course and are about to release a new album of ambient music for yoga and meditation. Lots of great stuff.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a wonderful day!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

How And When To Apply For Spring Camping Permits

State Parks | Ross and Jamie Adventure State and national parks especially can get really competitive if you want to stay on site! I recently wrote an article for Outdoorsy on this subject.

Here’s how and when to apply for spring camping permits.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Visiting the New Mexico Museum of Space History

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is a must stop for those with an interest in space or history or both. It’s an interactive museum you’ll enjoy whether you’re six or sixty. Don’t miss it!New Mexico Space Museum, Alamogordo, NM

Ross and I recently spent a month living outside of Alamogordo, and my number one to-do while there was a visit to this museum. Ross was a little more on the fence, but since we both loved visiting the John C. Stennis Space Center and it had been two years, I convinced him and we headed there.New Mexico Space Museum, Alamogordo, NM

The first thing you’ll notice when you pull in is that everything is built into the hills, on a hill. It’s really pretty. Second, you’ll notice a planetarium (which we didn’t see). And third, you’ll notice the distinctive building housing offices and the Space Museum. Outside are several exhibits, so even if you don’t pay to go inside, it would be a fun stop…at least if you enjoy taking your photo next to giant spacecraft like I do.New Mexico Space Museum, Alamogordo, NM

Once you’ve gotten your fill of photo ops, head inside. Admission is $8 for adults, and I thought that was pretty cheap for what you get. You can also purchase a joint ticket if you’ll be watching a Planetarium movie while you are there.

Once we paid for our tickets, we took the elevator to the top floor. I loved the layout of this museum. It’s built with sort of a forced perspective, where you walk around the top floor and then walk down the ramp, through part of the Hall of Fame, until you reach the next floor. Then you repeat that process several times. I found it to be really effective, and it meant I was much more interested in reading about the Hall of Fame members than I would have been if we’d tried to take it in all at the same time.New Mexico Space Museum, Alamogordo, NM

There are lots of incredible exhibits, where you’ll learn the history of the space program and the era, see what space craft looked like, learn the science, experience art about the space race and much more. There are some spots where the museum is a little lacking in polish currently, but it’s made up for by the number of interactive exhibits, which allow you to train to pilot a space ship or feel the wind and ground when a spaceship takes off, or learn about Star Trek and its place in our cultural history.New Mexico Space Museum, Alamogordo, NM

It’s easy to spend several hours here. I’d recommend at least three or four. And be sure to check the schedule of the Planetarium too if that interests you.New Mexico Space Museum, Alamogordo, NM

There’s a beautiful nature trail, a memorial and other outside exhibits worth a stop before departure too.

New Mexico Space Museum, Alamogordo, NMNew Mexico Space Museum, Alamogordo, NMNew Mexico Space Museum, Alamogordo, NM

If you’re considering a visit, a highly recommend it. It’s an awesome deal. And if you need a place to grab a bite or a coffee (and gelato if it’s in stock), I recommend Plateau Espresso nearby.

Thanks for stopping by! If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy A Long Day in Longmont, CO.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

How To Spend A Day In Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hot air balloons I Ross and Jamie Adventure

Albuquerque, New Mexico is a wonderful city, full of art, great food, and convenient transportation options including an airport, train station and bus system. It’s well worth a visit by RV, but choosing where to go and what to do during your stay can be overwhelming.

Here’s your guide to where to go and what to do in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I hope you enjoy it!

Hot air balloons I Ross and Jamie Adventure

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

How Capital One 360 Saves Us, And Why You Need it

Do you have a savings account? Do you have several savings accounts to organize the money for the roof that needs replacing vs. the money for your next vacation vs. the money for your car insurance vs. the money for your kid’s college fund? If you don’t have it already, you need Capital One 360.

We live by these banks accounts, honestly. For many, many years as a freelancer, this has been my foolproof method for saving money for the inevitable big expenses that come up.

Emergency fund? Check.

Car insurance payments? On it.

Money for our honeymoon? This is where it all went.

They have their own checking account too, which works really well, but if you like your current bank or credit union, there’s no need to give up your existing checking account. Follow this link to receive $25 when you open a savings or checking account – or $100 if you’d like a money market account – and you can experience how easy this is! Create as many bank accounts as you need – I’ve had as many as 20 here – with titles like Vacation, Pet Fund, Future House etc., and then set up automatic withdrawals. If you get paid on Fridays, set up auto-withdrawals of small amounts when the paycheck hits. That’s how we save for RV repairs, birthday gifts and future Disney vacations. It’s fun to watch the money accrue, and it’s so easy! You’ll also find they have some of the highest interests rates around for savings accounts.

I can rave about the ease of their savings accounts for days – open new ones in moments, name them whatever you want, set up easy automatic deposits from your main checking account, do it all online or on your phone – but you should really try it for yourself. Head here to sign up for free and earn a $25 bonus when you open a savings or checking account, or $100 if you open a money market account! We also get a few coins when you sign up, so it’s a win-win for everyone.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this helpful! I just recommended it to several friends who found it to be a lifesaver as they work on their budget and savings goals. We’ve been studying the book You Need A Budget, and this will work perfectly with that book. (My other current favorite is You’re a Badass At Making Money if that’s more your style.) Have a wonderful week!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Progress and Pretty Views

I set some goals for this year. Most of them are financial and career goals. I’ve also got a series of health habits that I’m building.

I know that some of them are ambitious. I have absolutely no clue how I will accomplish most of them. But by putting own foot in front of the other and doing the next thing I know how to do, I managed to hit all of my goals for January.

New Mexico | Ross and Jamie Adventure

The sunsets here are the best.

I’m feeling different. In fact, I’m being different. I spend less time scrolling social media and more time learning through podcasts and self-help books. My daily walking habit is now paired with weights again (yayyy) and at this writing I’ve been walking 30-45 minutes daily all week. I’ve also started meditating a few times a week.

I’m really proud of myself. I’m also feeling kind of lonely. I love who I am, I love what I do. And I could use more friends. Which is tough with our lifestyle. I’m going to try to be more intentional about texting, emailing and even Skyping friends to stay in touch. I hope that putting the intention out there will help me make it happen.

Music for Buti Yoga, Alamogordo, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Today was great. Ross played music for Buti Yoga, which is a much faster style of yoga that almost resembles tribal dance. I participated. And we got some great conversation in with local folks.

I feel like I should have a grand summary, a conclusion that ties all this together. But it’s kind of random, I think. My life is great. I’m so thankful. These walks are such a gift. And I hope you’re doing well too, wherever you are.

Museum of Space History, Alamogordo, New Mexico | Ross and Jamie Adventure

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Visiting Ruidoso, NM

Last weekend, Ross and I made our first visit to Ruidoso, a touristy kind of ski town with a casino in New Mexico. I’d booked Ross a gig playing music for a yoga class there, so we headed in a few hours early to explore.

Ruidoso, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure

It reminded me of Estes Park, Colorado, the community at the base of the Rocky Mountains. There were tons of cute galleries and shops, including a boutique called 25th in Mid that I will definitely go back to for US-made tops at affordable prices. We also loved the bookstore, which also carries amazing backpacks and purses, games and gamer toys that are really fun.Ruidoso, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure

I definitely want to return and visit the winery, but I did visit a local coffee shop for gelato, which was delicious despite the clueless staff.

Sacred Grounds, Ruidoso, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Ruidoso was a fun place to spend a day or a half day, and it’s an easy trip from Roswell or Alamogordo. Have you visited Ruidoso?

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.