Wacky Weather In New Mexico

We’ve been enjoying our stay south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We’ve been cooking up delicious Mexican and New Mexican cuisine (easy on a budget here) and we even celebrated Ross’ birthday by playing his new video game (yes, I played with him!) and having an incredible dinner out by a little cantina with an owner who’s extremely versed in what it means to be gluten-free.Pack’s Restaurant, Willard, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure

100% gluten free…and options for celiacs too!

They even gave Ross cake for his birthday! And the taco was literally the best I’ve ever had. (The shell was perfection.) In other words, life is good. But boy, the weather has been ridiculous! We’ve been through two winter storm warnings (that disrupted our plans) and one “special weather statement” in only a couple of weeks. Braving the wind we expected, and the cold, but not the snow!

New Mexico snow | Ross and Jamie Adventure
At least the views are gorgeous!

Nevertheless, we extended our stay here. Since we are trading for a campsite, it let’s us conserve our limited funds. And honestly, the people here are just fabulous. We spent about seven hours partying (with outstanding food) the day before Christmas Eve, and on New Year’s Eve we contributed to a potluck and played games for more than four hours before relaxing on our own. We’ve eaten and drank well throughout and have really enjoyed getting to know everyone here.

Turner Inn & RV Park, Mountainair, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure
Workampers are some of the best people! Christine, Deanise and owner Ruth.

Nevertheless, it’s time to move on. The cold is wearing out our RV gear and the snow is getting to us mentally. Time to seek warmer climates and enjoy exploring new cities.

We will be staying in the Alamogordo area next, and we will be playing music while we are there. Where we book work will help dictate our future travels.

Thanks to all of the friends and family who made this holiday season special, wherever we were. Squeak, Ross and I resolve to eat more frozen custard and green chiles in the coming month.

Thanks for reading, and have a great 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.

 

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Doctor’s Orders: You Need More Nature

I think we all know we’d like to get outside more. But have you read about the growing body of science supporting that?

I wrote an article on a recent study about this for Outdoorsy. Hope you enjoy it and get some outdoors time this winter!

p.s. I recently updated our Recommendations page. It’s a great resource, especially for RVers and campers or people curious about working remotely. Please take a look and share with others who might be interested! If you purchase with our link, we get cash back or an extended membership.

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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.

 

Why RVers Should Join Harvest Hosts Now

Hi everyone! We’ve had a very busy week, hunkering down at our campground in New Mexico while working on a variety of projects toward our business goals.

In the midst of our work, we’ve been finding time to catch up on our Netflix queue (go watch Springsteen on Broadway! It’s amazing!) and to think about what business purchases we should make before year’s end.

This year we decided to invest in a membership with Harvest Hosts, which is something we’ve been considering for a long time. With a Harvest Hosts membership, you’re entitled to stay for free for a night at wineries and other awesome businesses across the country. They suggest you purchase something from the business as a thank you (it’s a great excuse for a wine tasting!), but you’re under no obligation, and there’s no limit to how many places you can stay over the course of the year. Some places even offer hookups or will allow you to stay a second night!

Ross and I love buying local wine and other local goods, and we can’t wait to take advantage of this. But the reason I thought it was important to purchase now, and the reason I’m telling you about it, is that the membership rate is currently only $49 for a year. I’ve been told that as of January 1st, the cost will almost double! On top of that, those who’ve already purchased at $49/year will be grandfathered in and able to renew at that rate indefinitely.

So, frankly, we thought it would be a bad decision not to purchase this now. It’s an investment, if nothing else!

Harvest Hosts is only for self-contained RVs, so if you don’t have your own bathroom or you’re tenting etc., you’re out of luck. But if this sounds like it’s for you, head here to save 10% on the cost of membership and throw a few coins in our coffer too!

Make sure you purchase today; after all, the deal expires on December 31st, and after that you’ll be looking at paying double the price from now on. At the current rate, you’ll earn your fee back in just a night or two of camping.

Whether you need Harvest Hosts or not, we hope you have an incredible New Year and a wonderful 2019!

We’ve Arrived!

Back in our RV and life is good.

We are still adjusting to small-town life and life on a tight budget again, but we are back in our RV (which seems to be in great shape, minus a broken water filter that must have occurred in transit) and are so thankful.

Our cat, Squeak, is happy. We are happy. And pretty exhausted.

Ross and Jamie Adventure

But with daytime temps in the 50s and sunsets like this, who can complain?

Sunset, New Mexico | Ross and Jamie Adventure

More soon on where we’ve been and what our plans are. But until then, Merry Christmas, if you celebrate! Ross and Jamie Adventure

Overseen in a botanical garden in Oklahoma City

How Did We Make Money This Fall?

The most common question people have as we spend time with people this fall is an essential one: how did you make a living this fall?

I write this from Raleigh, NC. We’ve got some really generous family members hosting us during our East Coast adventures as we head south and then West to New Mexico.

We are currently in relaxation mode, taking a few weeks to continue our online work but mostly relax and recuperate from our extremely busy fall in New Hampshire.

So here are all of the ways we made money this fall, if you’re curious!

1. Ukulele Classes

The number one way we made money this fall was teaching group ukulele classes. Thanks to grant funding, Ross taught three groups of about 15 people an eight week series of classes for older adults. The classes taught them to play the instrument and gave them a social outlet, and many of the students are committed to continuing to play in a group or individually in the future.

In addition, Ross taught a couple of classes to last year’s Littleton group, who have continued to meet weekly, and he taught an additional series of classes for students 12 and older as well.Ukulele class, New Hampshire | Ross and Jamie Adventure

2. Music for Yoga

Ross played music for yoga classes while we were here. He improvises ambient music on keyboard and guitar, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for a yoga class. We look forward to doing more of these wherever we travel in the future.

3. Music for Libraries & Senior Centers

Ross and I perform a variety of originals and covers in different concerts for different audiences. This fall we performed Splish Splash, music from the 50s, 60s and 70s, at a library; and Ross performed his solo Christmas concert at a senior center. We have a variety of offerings and perform at concert venues, cafes, libraries, senior centers, schools and more.

4. Produce & Record Demo CD

Our friend wrote an original musical and hired us to produce and record a demo CD for it. We hired musicians and did a live recording during one mammoth day. It was an absolute blast! I cast it and played piano, Ross played guitar and he was the audio engineer.

5. Direct & Accompany Musical

For the same musical, I was hired to direct a staged reading! I also played piano for it and Ross played guitar. It was a big success and I’m extremely proud of this, as I was the demo CD. It was a wonderful chance to get some of our favorite people together for a project, as was the demo.

6. Music For Church

I’ve spent about ten years of my life accompanying church services, and I’ve also got a concert that I perform at churches with Ross. I love accompanying services on piano and organ and enjoy working with church choirs too. I played the organ for a recent church service.

7. Online Music Lessons

One of our main sources of income while traveling is teaching music lessons. We teach voice, piano, ukulele, guitar as well as music theory and technology, songwriting, conducting and even drums.

8. Virtual Assistant Work

I work as a virtual assistant for a variety of clients. I work with entrepreneurs and small businesses and nonprofits, helping with marketing and social media, grantwriting, writing and editing, research, data entry, customer service…any kind of office assistance that can be done remotely.

9. Blogging

The final way we made money this fall is that I wrote blogs for one of my clients. I blog about travel, food, ice cream and RVing.

Hopefully you found that interesting! This lifestyle is challenging but extremely rewarding, and this fall we were blessed to truly be doing what we loved and making a living at it.

Thanks for reading!

Gluten-Free Goodies in Maine

A few weekends ago, Ross and I had the pleasure of joining my mom and taking an adventure to Maine in search of seafood and ice cream.

The number one goal of our trip was to get a gluten-free lobster roll, with just butter rather than mayo. My second priority was to enjoy some gluten-free fried seafood as well if possible.Gluten-Free Goodies in Maine | Ross and Jamie Adventure

We began the trip heading to Mack’s Place in Bridgton, Maine, about two hours north and an hour or so west of Portland. Their gluten-free options are truly extensive, and everything from their lobster roll to their whole belly clams and fries was extremely delicious. Their staff was attentive and informative and everything was affordable too!Gluten-Free Goodies in Maine | Ross and Jamie AdventureGluten-Free Goodies in Maine | Ross and Jamie Adventure

After a wonderful meal, we continued the beautiful and scenic ride to Portland, where we walked by the ocean, shopped a bit, got ice cream at Mt. Desert Island and topped it all off with a visit to Seadog Brewery for a drink or (in my case) a delicious gluten-free flourless chocolate dessert.Gluten-Free Goodies in Maine | Ross and Jamie AdventureGluten-Free Goodies in Maine | Ross and Jamie Adventure

We so enjoyed spending time with my mom and exploring New Hampshire and Maine together. We had some delicious food and drink, but the company really made it.

Seafood in Maine: Check!

A Whirlwind in NH

Ross and I have been so, so busy! This past weekend was memorable because it gave us some well-earned time off. We spent time with some of our closest friends and family, and it was wonderful! (I saw my friends Tom and John as well as my brother Robbie, and Ross spent time with his best friend, Pat. I also saw my mom for a bit.) Thanks to everyone who is making time to see us during our stay. It’s made our time here so special.

I recently wrote a post for Outdoorsy with some nice autumn campfire treats. I hope they inspire you to enjoy your culinary adventures this season!

Theater And More In NYC

Hi friends! I recently got to spend an entire week seeing shows and friends and family in NYC. It was really amazing, and I thought you’d want to hear about it! I’ll be talking more about the shows themselves on our Finishing The Season podcast, so subscribe wherever you get your podcasts if you don’t want to miss that.

Day 1:

Day 1 of my adventures began with a pre-dawn outing to the bus station (driven by Ross) and then making an Amtrak connection in Boston. When I arrived in NYC, I immediately headed toward the ferry and then walked for about a half hour to get to my (free) apartment for the week in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was a pleasant and largely uneventful trip, and I was delighted to see my host and tour my lovely home for the week. (Fifth floor walk-up = quite the workout!) Exhausted from my trip, I participated in my group’s mastermind call and then relaxed for a few before heading back into the city. My destination? 54 Below for Jonathan Larson’s “The Jonathan Larson Project”. Five years of research went into this history-making concert, conceived by Jennifer Tepper, and I got to experience its closing performance in all its glory. (I also had a tasty burger and greens and followed it up with some delicious gelato! There’s a food/drink minimum at the club, but the food is great.) As planned, I then called a Lyft after the late show, and I swear the driver was there within seconds. Perks of being in a big city! I returned “home” uneventfully.Musicals and Broadway, NYC | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Day 2:

Day 2, a Monday, saw me sleeping in, getting a bit of work done and then heading out to a local market for food supplies to get me through the week. I had brought most of my own snacks from NH (much cheaper) but I picked up a couple of vegetables and yogurt. My only frustration was that they stole some money from me, charging me for fish I didn’t buy. And for once I didn’t look at the receipt before I left the store. 😦 Oh well. When I got back, I prepared my vegetables (spinach and butternut squash) for breakfast. Then I packed dinner and headed into the city to enter the lottery for Once On This Island. Lucky for me, I won (and another single person and I had teamed up, so he won as well), and for $49.50 I got to see this Tony-winning revival. Besides one slightly pitchy cast member, the show was stupendous, with an incredible set and an understudy for the lead who was really transformative. Circle in the Square continues to be a favorite Broadway house and I loved it, and although there aren’t bad seats there, my seats were really awesome. Afterwards I learned how to take the NJ Transit bus back to Hoboken (thanks for the encouragement, Google!).Musicals and Broadway, NYC | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Day 3:

Tuesday was an earlier morning, and I woke and packed my lunch and snacks for later. This morning my goal was to get to Come From Away in time for a rush ticket. I was about the seventh person in line, which meant no seats were left, but I was the first to get standing room for only $32.50. What a deal! After I got my tickets, I met my host and friend for lunch at Dig Inn (outstanding), got ice cream at Van Leeuewens (best in NYC I think) and then made my way downtown for the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Google first directed me to a different museum that’s been there for a while and maintained by the families and friends of the victims, so I visited there first. The first visit was good. The Memorial was really pretty and the museum next to it is extremely well done. After a powerful afternoon, I headed back toward the theater…the real reason I came here. Wow. Come From Away is a gorgeous score and an absolutely stunning production, with a stellar cast (I saw a few understudies but mostly the original cast) and incredible direction…This show is just outstanding. A highlight of my trip, for sure, and possibly the highlight. I took the PATH train back to Hoboken afterwards.Musicals and Broadway, NYC | Ross and Jamie AdventureVan Leeuwens, New York, NY | In Search of a Scoop

Day 4:

Day 4, a Wednesday, was another slower start. I still had plenty of work to attend to in the morning, but doing it while lying in bed was a treat. I also attended to entering lotteries and deciding on my show priorities for the day. When I didn’t get my dream shows, that set my course for the day. Then I set off on a mission – to check out Torico, the closest homemade ice cream place to my apartment. This Jersey City location is OUTSTANDING and I was blown away by the service, the prices and best of all the sesame seed and peppermint candy ice creams. Follow my In Search Of A Scoop posts if you want the full write up! After ice cream (which I walked a half hour for), I took the train into NYC and then took the subway to Midtown for my first show of the day: Head Over Heels! I hadn’t done a ton of research on this one, but the reviews were great, the music was The Go-Go’s and wow, am I glad I chose this one! It’s set in Elizabethan times with gorgeous costumes and sets and lots of rhyming couplets but it’s a decidedly now musical, with a wonderful score and a plot worthy of today. It was also a thrill to see Alexandra Socha of NH originating a major role in a Broadway musical. For this one, I got to see the entire original cast, and I’m so glad, because if there’s any rhyme or reason to the world, this one will get some Tony recognition next season. Go see this now, while there are plenty of seats available and you can get digital rush seats for cheap through TodayTix! I saw this from the literal front row center. Amazing!Musicals and Broadway, NYC | Ross and Jamie AdventureTorico, Jersey City, NJ | In Search of a Scoop

After my first show, Google told me where the best gluten-free bagels were in NewYork, and I do believe I found them! I had a gluten-free bagel with lox and scallion cream cheese and I remembered how wonderful New York is. 🙂 And then I headed to Renascence, a weird and wonderful show about Edna St. Vincent Millay with a small cast of extraordinary singers and actors, including Jason Gotay, who I’d loved in Bring It On. The location on the Lower East Side was the only one that made me really nervous during my NYC visit, but I kept my wits about me and got home safely without panicking. Also, rush tickets for this were super cheap – $25!Musicals and Broadway, NYC | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Day 5:

On Thursday, after again losing the reach lotteries (alas), I settled on Desperate Measures, a cowboy Western off-Broadway take on Shakespeare’s Measure For Measure. I got tickets to the evening show, which gave me time to visit the Met for a donation. I also returned to Torico for another cup of ice cream. Yes, it’s that good!

Unfortunately for me, I learned when I arrived that the Met changed their policy in March, so now if you aren’t local, you can’t set your own rate for tickets. 😦 But after a quick visit to Central Park and a consultation with my brother, I headed to the natural history museum, which still lets you pay what you like and was an easy walk from where I was! I had a fun and really interesting lesson in museums and sociology and such as I observed not only humans and animals but also the historical exhibits and what they did and didn’t highlight. It was fascinating. After all that, it was time for a dinner stop at Shake Shack (yayyy for gluten-free buns! Delicious chocolate custard!) and then I caught Desperate Measures. Which you should all go and see before it closes. So much fun and a truly talented cast of characters and a super fun plot I wasn’t familiar with before this.Museum of Natural History, New York, NY | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Day 6:

On Friday, I woke up bright and early, tended to emails and headed out to spend the day visiting MoMa for the first time. The Museum of Modern Art has been on my list for more than a dozen years, and it was such a thrill to finally visit! (Tickets are $25 but they are totally worth it.)

I had no guide or plan for my visit, except that I knew I wanted to see everything before I left. Luckily for me, the very first exhibit I went to was my favorite, so I had lots of time to see it. “Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done” was an astonishing exhibit that I will absolutely never forget. I should explain that not only am I dancer first before a theater artist and musician, but I’m also a geek about dance history in the same way I am a geek about theater history. But like theater, dance is an ephemeral art form, and although I’ve read a lot about companies like Judson Dance Theater, I’ve very seldom gotten to see any of their work.Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY | Ross and Jamie Adventure

So this exhibit was a dream come true. I saw dance work recorded for film as well as tons of clips from dance productions, and I listened to audio interviews with members of the company. I read a ton and geeked out over pictures. And when I finished my exploration, I happened to wander in and catch a modern dance performance by a few dancers from the company.

I then explored the rest of the museum. I love modern art and art of the 20th century, and I really love impressionism, and all of this was well-represented at the museum. They also have a beautiful sculpture garden, so I enjoyed the sculptures while I had lunch.

When I had completed my visit, Ross let me know his bus into NYC was running late, so I got into place to view a dance performance by some of the founders of Judson Dance Theater! Deborah Hay and her dance partner revisited a work that they’ve been performing for more than fifty years, with two different video screens, audio recordings, their own dance and their own voice. The company featured about twenty dancers and it was unlike anything I’ve seen live. The exhibit explained that their work was heavily influenced by twelve tone music and the other art of the era. It was incredibly special, and it was all free with my ticket for the day.

Unfortunately Ross’ bus was super super late to NYC, but eventually he made it into Port Authority. Then we headed to the Museum of the Motion Picture to join my brother for a free night focused on an incredible Jim Henson exhibit. We followed it up with ice cream at a new to me place, Ice & Vice. (The story of that visit will be great fodder for a future post, so follow In Search of a Scoop if you like a good ice cream adventure!)Fun with family | Ross and Jamie AdventureMuseum of the Moving Picture, New York, NY | Ross and Jamie Adventure

It was wonderful to see Scott, and we got home uneventfully on the bus.

Day 7:

Saturday with Ross we were bound for his choice of adventures, which focused on the Nintendo store! We also visited another newto me ice cream place and met a really sweet couple, their child and their two service dogs in training. We also went underground at Rockefeller Plaza for the first time, and I found a wonderful place for a casual and affordable gluten-free meal (I went with soup and salad), Ross visited GameStop and we both fell in love with their bookstore full of quirky stuffed animals, puppets and adorable books.

We were pretty worn out, so we relaxed on a bench for a while before grabbing a coffee (for Ross), a treat to share and made out way to the theater for the reason for our trip: The Band’s Visit!

The show was absolutely outstanding (we’ll discuss it much more on Finishing The Season), and we relished every minute of it. It was a wonderful way to conclude my week of theater.Fun stuff | Ross and Jamie Adventure

Day 8:

Our final day was pretty uneventful. We took the ferry into NYC (Ross loves a boat) and then took our time walking uptown to meet our bus. Along the way we found lunch for each of us, including pizza for Ross, and our luxury bus ride back was refereshing with included snacks and drinks (including lots of gluten-free options) and a comfortable place to sit.

We are incredibly thankful to our host and to Scott and to everything and everyone that helped make this trip possible. And I’m truly thankful that Ross supported me making it happen!

p.s. Subscribe to our podcast, Finishing The Season if you want more show details and follow In Search Of A Scoop for all the ice cream reviews!