Four Years Of Thanks

It’s been more than four years of being full-time RVers (with vacations along the way, but always returning to our home), and with all of the uncertainty in the world, I’m feeling especially grateful that we followed our dreams and made this adventure happen.

There were so many things that we didn’t know when we started out. If I’d known then that we’d burn through our savings, that we’d have to spend so much money on repairs, that we’d clean toilets or nasty equipment or even experience a few truly horrendous things along the journey, would we have done it?

But, of course, if I knew the bad stuff that would come, then I’d likely know the good stuff, and how could I have passed that up? Getting to meet extraordinary people, visiting gardens and museums and animals and the ocean….eating extraordinary gluten-free food, amazing ice cream, the freshest Mexican and New Mexican cuisine and meeting up with family and friends (some we hadn’t seen in ages) along the way.

(Just a few photos from the past year or so below!)

We’ve worked full-time and part-time jobs, built businesses, checked off bucket list items and built new dreams. We’ve found communities that feel like home and places we look forward to returning to, and we’ve gotten clarity on what is and isn’t important in our lives.

And when I created the tagline for this website (Making The Lives We Want: A Practice In Living), I didn’t have any idea just how much we’d be leaning into it. I’m so glad we have.

I hope that whatever you’re going through, you’re okay. And if you can, take one small step today to make the life you want. Even if it’s just taking time for a cup of tea or a short walk. You deserve it.

Take care, and be well. Thanks for reading.

______________________________

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. 

 

The Future Is Unknown – So Enjoy Today!

Hi everyone! Nothing super exciting to report this week. We’re continuing to find ways to have fun in a small space, from cooking elaborate meals and trying new fruits and vegetables to finding new things to watch on Disney+!

We’ve been talking a lot about what’s next for us, and COVID-19 has really thrown a wrench into our planning. Will we feel safe traveling? Will we feel safer elsewhere? When will we again want to go into a theme park, or feel safe going into a bar for an open mic night?

Our goal has been to try out Portland, OR for their music scene…but if the music scene isn’t open to us yet, we’ve actually got several other favorite places in Colorado and New Mexico we’d be happy to spend time in. So we keep expanding our list of options, clarifying our goals and staying as flexible as possible.

Are your plans changing because of COVID-19? What do you think things will look like next spring?

______________________________

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. 

Stillness, Movement and Disney

Still in Florida. Still spending 99% of our time in our RV. And still thankful that we have enough, and that there’s plenty to enjoy, even in a small space.

Stillness

We haven’t gone anywhere since we last checked in. Just walks around the campground. And honestly, that’s fine. In fact, I just took about 3.5 days off this past weekend, and you know what? I LOVED it. I hadn’t taken that much time off since last summer! So having hours to stream great programs (like Bernstein’s Mass, a Hal Prince documentary and a livestream of The Marvelous Wonderettes from Seacoast Rep) was delightful, and having time to make cookie dough (the kind you don’t have to cook – mine was an almond flour base) and enjoy whipped coffee courtesy of my husband? It was so lovely.

I also had the time to make a Pros and Cons list, something I’d been threatening to do for many weeks. And the grand conclusion, shocking, I know, is that it’s safer and better for us to stay put in Florida than go anywhere else right now. We’ve got plenty of internet access, an affordable site in a comfortable place, access to deliveries of all sorts…and the moment we move, we’ve got extra risk and a whole bunch of new variables. So, barring weather or other changing tides that make staying here unsafe or unsustainable, we’ll be sticking around. We’ve got a few logistics to figure out with doctor appointments and the like, but this feels like the best course of action through at least most of the winter. So we commit and stay the course.

Movement

It can be easy to get restless when you realize you haven’t gone anywhere for about six months and won’t be going anywhere until next year. One way I’ve been able to combat this has been participating in projects to get me outside of my RV. I had a blast with a virtual choir experience (I’ll let you know when it’s complete), and more recently, I got to participate in some movement. I really love how this one came together if you’re interested. (I’m in the blue dress later in the video sequence.) It was lovely to have an excuse to dance for a while!

If you know anyone wanting to create one of these videos, let us know! Ross’ video and audio editing background means he can do these types of things very well.

Disney

Disney has announced that Disney World will be re-opening, with lots of modifications of course, in mid-July. July 11th and July 15th, mainly. We don’t feel comfortable going, because of underlying health conditions and the knowledge that it will be a LOT of extra risk for us. We haven’t been in a building off the RV park grounds since March 16!

I’m happy for the people who have been in need of this. I truly hope and pray that Disney can keep their employees and guests safe. Since Florida testing has gotten really unreliable and shady, I’m not sure how we’ll know if “it’s working” or not. So I’m just going to be thankful for all of the time we got at Disney in our first three months here. It was really wonderful. And now I’m going to practice self-care and be thankful for all that we do have. (It is so, so much.)

Wishing you and yours all the best. Take care and be well.

______________________________

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.

Passing Time

Time passes quickly and slowly right now. We haven’t been in a store since March 16th. Our days are spent in the RV or at the campground, doing the same things we used to do there – working, relaxing, creating – but there’s no escaping to Disney World or Orlando and the like to break things up. 
In some ways, that should make it easier to focus on our goals. But with the world falling apart around us, focus is a much, much tougher thing to attain than it used to be. 
We interviewed a new potential client yesterday. Video editing and some virtual assistant work – we love the type of work and when the right clients connect with us, it’s an absolute joy! Being able to be picky about what we want to do is a blessing in itself, of course. We remember our blessings and our privilege every single day. 
Life is simpler than it used to be, in some ways. We spend more on food than we used to, and we actually budget for alcohol, so we’ve got weekly produce from Misfits Market, twice monthly food and supply deliveries from Aldi and Amazon (yeah, trying to limit that) and though we’ve only done takeout/delivery once so far, I’m sure it’s a matter of time before we do it again. I also budget for yoga classes, affordable ones but nevertheless an indulgence and an appreciated gift. 
And then, of course, there’s the logistics. Produce delivery means I spend about two hours getting the box in the RV without getting the germs transferred to the RV, and all produce gets washed before it gets put away. Shelf-stable deliveries get quarantined in the car for a few days since we are running low on Clorox wipes and can’t seem to refill them. And as the temperature increases, getting outside for walks requires a system all its own, especially with the addition of a mask. 
Yes, the mask. So far, behavior around us isn’t changing in regards to mask-wearing. We are still one of a handful of people wearing a mask around the park. This last week Florida “opened up” again, at least somewhat, with all but the three hardest-hit counties allowing retail and restaurants to operate at lower capacity, assuming their city or county didn’t restrict things further. 
We know, of course, that that’s a dangerous thing. So we strengthen our resolve to control what we can control and try not to panic when we have to be in shared spaces and around other people. 
Ross said to me last night that the thing he really misses is our ice cream dates. And I agree! Going on an adventure and stopping for a cup (or two!) of ice cream is one of our favorite things to do. Being unable to do that, at least in a manner we feel comfortable with, is definitely a bummer. We are so looking forward to that changing.
Our July gig has been canceled, so we officially have no more reason to be in Florida. And yet with the uncertainty of next week and next month, is there really a reason to go to another state right now? We are residents here. We were hoping to go back to New England in July, but NH campgrounds are closed to non-residents this summer (which we applaud!), and our work seems really unlikely to go on as planned (library performances? Teaching older adults?) so we weigh pros and cons, feeling like sticking with a situation that’s working well could be the best course of action. 
And then there’s the news of Disney Springs, Disney’s shopping complex, opening May 20. We certainly don’t feel comfortable going back yet. But the whole reason we are here is for Disney World. So how long will it takes for us to get comfortable with the idea? A month or two? A year? 
Right now, we feel safest staying put. That may change in the coming weeks or months. 
Meanwhile, we pray for our family and friends and for those less fortunate than us. So many are struggling right now, in so many ways, and of course our essential workers aren’t being given the protection they need to do their jobs, or in many cases, adequate compensation. We continue working to build our businesses knowing that the more we earn, the more we can give back and support others. Thank you to our front line workers in all industries. Truly.
I hope you’re well and taking care during this time. Virtual hugs your way. Thanks for reading! How are things where you are? 

______________________________

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.

The Best Part

The best part of waking up early is getting to see a gorgeous sunrise.

The best part of a nutritious breakfast is how it fuels you well for the day.

The best part of a bowl of ice cream is how delicious it is! Though science would say the first eight bites.

The best part of visiting friends is creating new memories and reminiscing on old ones…well, unless the food is amazing, in which case that’s pretty great too.

The best part of working hard is the financial freedom you can create for yourself and how you can spend the money.

The best part of living in Florida is the sun and the Disney time.

Hope you’re enjoying the best parts of your week, even if there’s a lot you’d like to change.

Our First Disney World For RVers Meetup

Last weekend, Ross and I, for the first time, met up with a couple that we only met because I started the Facebook group Disney World For RVers. Lily and Anthony are, as it turns out, absolute gems of human beings, full-time RVers, fellow geeks and nerds and just truly lovely, kind human beings.

We spent four hours hanging out, and if Disney Springs hadn’t closed an hour prior, we may well have stayed even longer than that! We enjoyed dinner at Cooke’s of Dublin (amazing gluten-free food for me!), wandered World of Disney a bit and then had delicious goodies at Amorette’s – two out of three were gluten-free! In fact, I took home a mini-cake that I indulged on during the week too. Yum. Coffee cream…

We wish them the happiest of weddings this week and a beautiful life together, and we look forward to spending more time together soon.

Here are a few pictures from our fun! Cooke’s of Dublin, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie AdventureCooke’s of Dublin, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie AdventureAmorette’s Patisserie, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie Adventure

______________________________

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.

Visiting Sanford and DeLand, Florida

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Ross and I spend a lot of time at Disney World when we are in Florida. In fact, it’s our favorite thing to do in our free time, in part because we want to get as much value from our passes as possible. But every now and then, we get an itch to check out a non-Disney spot, and that’s just what we did on Friday for Valentine’s Day.

After spending the morning working (me) and waking up (Ross), we made our way toward Sanford, a town the bloggers Technomadia had fallen in love with. It’s got a great downtown, with friendly people and excellent food, and we also found a wonderful used bookstore/record store etc. with great deals. Parking wasn’t too stressful and we loved our visit to Wondermade for local marshmallows and delicious ice cream.

Sanford, FL | Ross and Jamie Adventure

They also have a great coffee shop where all the proceeds go to fight sex trafficking, and another ice cream shop across the street serves ice cream and waffles for the same cause. The coffee shop also had a board where you can pay a cup of coffee forward for the next person who needs it. So sweet!

After enjoying our Sanford visit, we hoped back in the car to drive another 40 minutes or so to DeLand, and we were not disappointed! We came for a museum event that was kind of a bust, so we skipped that, but we got a primo spot downtown for their Friday farmer’s market (tons of arts stuff, food trucks, health supplements…it was awesome!) and we had an amazing time meeting people and exploring it all. After that, we made two more stops for ice cream (ever important for the ice cream blog!) before making the drive back through Orlando to our RV park.

Wondermade, Sanford, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureIt was our kind of Valentine’s Day, with treats and adventures and quality time. It also confirmed that we’d be excited to spend more time in both locations, especially DeLand, so if we ever decide we want to live in Florida in the future, we’ve got more options.

DeLand, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureHope you had a nice holiday too, and even if not, know we are sending our love from Florida to you!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

______________________________

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.

Fun with Friends in Atlanta

This last weekend, I had the delightful privilege of surprising a friend for her birthday!

We haven’t finished exchanging our photos yet, so I don’t have photos of the two of us, but I’ve got photos of the views and the amazing gluten-free food I enjoyed. (Don’t worry, I gave the waffle pieces away.)

Atlanta and Peachtree City are lovely, and I had some amazing food and incredible quality time. So blessed! The airfare was only $133 total round trip – thank you, Southwest!

A few photos from the fun. Have a wonderful week! Atlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie AdventureAtlanta, GA | Ross and Jamie Adventure

______________________________

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.

Five Fun Things at the Festival of the Arts

Let’s be honest – the main reason Ross and I are spending the winter and spring in Florida is that we want to go to Disney World. So it shouldn’t surprise you that attending the Festival of the Arts has been a priority for us.

If you’ve never been, we highly recommend visiting at least once. Here are five compelling reasons to try it!

1. Broadway Performers

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, FL | Ross and Jamie Adventure

I almost called the festival performers free, but then I remembered you paid a lot to get into the park. But however you think of it, you can see some outstandingly talented performers at Disney World, and during the festival, talented Broadway performers abound. If you have the chance, I highly recommend catching Heidi Blickenstaff like I did!

2. Tasty Food and Drink

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureThere are some delicious treats during the festival. It’s harder to find gluten-free options than I’d like, but since I’m not celiac, I have more options than a lot of folks. One of my absolute favorite treats is trio of drinking chocolate! You’ll find this in the American pavilion. Adding alcohol is an option, but I’m a purist when it comes to drinking chocolate. 🙂

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureRoss recently got one of Joffrey’s specialty coffees with a donut – he went for a white chocolate something or other and a red velvet donut that looked and tasted decadent, according to him. Super fun!

3. Amazing Artwork

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureThroughout Epcot, you’ll find incredible originals and prints, much of it on a Disney theme and much of it just really beautiful and unique. This is the only time of year to see most of this work in person.

4. Meet the Artists, Be an Artist

You’ll also be able to experience art in a whole new way – meet and greet, grab signatures, watch artists at work and try your hand at creating, whether in a free workshop or one you pay for. Be sure to book ahead of time if you’re interested in a workshop!

5. Experience Epcot With New Eyes

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureOne of the best parts of festivals at Epcot is that everything just feels different. There are new things to see and do, and wandering through it all can take up a day or a half day of its own. The other benefit of this is that you may find the crowds are less busy than usual when you check out a ride. And if you hit big crowds somewhere, it’s fun to wander elsewhere instead.

Have you been to Epcot’s Festival of the Arts? I’ve been to three of the four they’ve had so far, and I’ve really enjoyed them. What did you think? And if you haven’t been, what would you be most excited to check out?

______________________________

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.