Big News About Where We Are Headed Next

This week has had lots of excitement. My new group coaching program, Crafting Your Life Adventure, is launching soon, so I’ve been sharing lots of tips and information on Instagram and in my Facebook group.

We also got word that as of April 5th, Florida residents can get the vaccine, so we are seriously considering a trip to Florida in the coming weeks (perhaps to spend a month or so there, depending on which vaccine we get).

But our biggest news, which I am THRILLED to finally be able to announce, is that we are moving to Canada this fall!

Ross has been teaching music for more than fifteen years, and he has an associate’s degree in audio production that he frequently draws upon as a composer and as an audio/podcast and video editor. But what most people don’t realize is that he has never completed a bachelor’s degree or a degree in music.

As we debated where we wanted to go next, we were reminded of how much we LOVED our honeymoon on Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. In fact, after spending time in Charlottetown, we had multiple conversations where we kept saying “how do we live here? How do we get back here?”.

Moving to Canada isn’t easy, but it was a dream that we kept in the back of our minds all of this time. With the uncertainty of health care in the US, our desire for better options kept resurfacing.

Last fall, we decided our next step should be to attempt to go to Canada. Since Ross hasn’t had the opportunity to get a bachelor’s degree yet, that seemed like our best course of action. I’m thrilled to report that Ross got into his top choice school, the University of Prince Edward Island, and he even received a $3,000 merit scholarship from the music department!

He’ll be studying music education, composition, and classical guitar, and he’ll be getting his bachelor of music degree. I am SO proud of him – keep in mind, he just bought a classical guitar for this audition, and he’s only been playing it since December!

If you’ve never been to Prince Edward Island, it’s astonishingly gorgeous. Like, take your breath away. Though we are going to miss New Mexican cuisine, warm winters, and being able to visit our favorite spots in the U.S. via RV (gosh we will miss our RV!), we are looking forward to unlimited hot showers in an apartment in an awesome city (Charlottetown) and plan to purchase a van large enough to camp out of when the weather is nice.

School begins in September, so we will head to Canada in August, provided visas and all of the other details come together as planned.

Can you believe it? We are thrilled!

If you’d like to support our adventures, consider purchasing a Harvest Hosts membership or one of these other products using our link. You can also share our blogs and social media posts with your friends and family.

And two other incredible ways to support us would be these:

1 – Buy Ross’ play the ukulele course – perfect for beginner and early intermediate students

2 – Buy Jamie’s Crafting Your Life Adventure course – perfect for aspiring adventurers, whether you dream of starting a business, traveling the country, or creating a schedule full of joy and freedom (or all of the above!)

Thank you so, so much for supporting us and this amazing life adventure. It’s been almost five years of RV life, and we are so blessed. We can’t wait for what’s next!

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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! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • 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.
  • 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. 

An Almost-Fire And A Major Nuisance

Well, it’s been one of those weeks here, but first of all, I hope you are well and staying warm! Much of the United States is dealing with unusual cold (with Texas particularly struggling), and we’ve had some of those cold temps in our RV here in New Mexico too.

The biggest bummer was that our space heater gave out – and killed most of our outlets in the RV in the process. That means most of the places we plug in aren’t working anymore – and we are very lucky we didn’t have a fire in the RV!

We’ve also had the nuisance of the campground turning off our water for several days in a row.

We are still sorting out next steps and whether insurance will cover the damage. In the meantime, the key for me to getting through this week has been gratitude.

Here are ten things I’m grateful for this week:

  • Propane heat (and a nearly full tank)
  • The extra income to order a new space heater without saving up for it
  • Lots of delicious food we’d made over the weekend
  • Bottled water
  • Hot Hands hand warmers (I sleep with them on my toes, between two layers of socks)
  • Tea
  • A working microwave and television
  • Cell phone and internet
  • Warm clothes
  • My incredible family

So, I challenge you! What are a few things you’re grateful for this 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! 
  • Take Ross’ online ukulele course!
  • 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.
  • 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 Role of the Sacred In Crafting Your Dream Life

Do you consider yourself to be a religious person? Or a spiritual person?

It’s something that I’ve struggled with somewhat for as long as I can remember. I’ve always wanted to have faith, to have a certainty or sense of knowing or trust about what’s coming.

I grew up Episcopalian, aka mainline Protestant, aka Christian, in a fairly liberal, “low” church that saw more diverse families than I ever saw in my classes at school. It wasn’t unusual for our pastor (a woman) to have us dance around the church, singing a song that wasn’t in our hymnal, or have us engage in discussion groups during worship.

Nevertheless, even with her occasional elaborations and interpretations of the beautiful Episcopal prayer book, I still grew up with a fairly “by the book” religious education.

Going through confirmation classes, I did my fair share of questioning, but I’m also a rule follower, so it didn’t occur to me to do anything but complete the classes and get confirmed in the church.

When I went to college, for the first time I felt like I had a wide variety of options for where and how I would worship. Some of my friends became Pagan (intriguing, though it never occurred to me at the time to seek it out), but after trying out an Episcopal church service in town (nice, but nothing too memorable for me), I found my home at our college Protestant services.

These ecumenical services brought together students and staff from very diverse backgrounds, and they were designed to give everyone a little taste of the familiar. So we’d sing a “traditional” hymn or two that I might have sung growing up, and we’d have a praise and worship part of the service, led at the piano by our African-American pastor who had grown up Baptist and gotten his bachelor’s degree in music. For that section, there was no need to hold the hymn in our hand – the pastor would call out the lyrics and we’d follow him for the cues.

There might also be another hymn or two from a different hymnal, and perhaps we’d have a guest performer, and every other week, I’d sing with the gospel choir, where I was usually the only white singer and learned every song by ear – an incredible contrast with my strict, traditional, white, Western music education. It was a wonderful immersion in another culture and a new experience for me.

I’d stand on the stage with the choir, singing gorgeous music that filled and uplifted the space, and I’d be in my element. Afterwards, people would come up to me and say how transformed they were by my solo, or how much they enjoyed our performance, how moving it was.

I always wished it would move me that way. I felt like something was missing, something was wrong with me. To be fair, music did sometimes give me glimpses of God, just brief moments, when all the musical parts would come together perfectly. But otherwise, I’d always feel like there’s something wrong with me. Jason Robert Brown describes it well here when he requests, “Let the music begin.” and “Longing to feel what you feel…music of heaven to open some path to your soul and let something glorious in.”

After leaving the utopia that my bubble of a college experience was in many ways (definitely lots of privilege there), I spent the next year traveling the country with a children’s theatre, followed by a few additional years of searching when I settled down in New Hampshire. In weeks that I had some flexibility on a Sunday, I made a point of checking out a local church (in hopes of finding the connection I’d been seeking). I enjoyed the contemporary Christian experience from a music standpoint, but found it didn’t resonate with me in terms of beliefs. I found lots of mainline Protestant services that reminded me of home (similar, but different), and I got angry at the Catholic church a couple of times. I also had a couple of truly frightening interactions that I won’t get into here.

Later, I found a ton of satisfaction as the accompanist at churches I found a home in. I loved the communities I worked in, and in addition to those occasional transcendent music, I was delighted to help other people find those connections to God through my music.

In more recent years, I’ve loosened up my definition of spirituality. Maybe I’m never going to feel that clarity I’m seeking every Sunday. Maybe it’s more a question of creating a practice of contemplation, where I seek wisdom, get in touch with my inner knowledge and seek connection with the universe. I connect with nature. I read. I engage in challenging conversations. Creating sacred time for myself each morning has evolved into one of my favorite things about my day, and I’m so thankful to have a morning routine that truly lights me up and makes my day better.

Working with my clients, I’m finding it’s really important to encourage them to take time for themselves to check in and be still each day. We all need that time for ourselves, and the consistency of a morning (or evening) routine offers us so many benefits. For some it’s meditation, for others prayer or reading and journaling, but it is essential.

Do you aspire to have a consistent morning practice? If you’re working to create the life you want, it may feel daunting to acknowledge where you are now compared to where you want to be. I encourage you to take one small step today to get aligned with your dream life.

Does the dream version of you make time for a prayer each morning? Practice gratitude before bed? Take a walk outside? You may not have the car of your dreams, or the abundant bank account, or the dream schedule, but I’ll bet there are steps you can take today to make your present more like your future.

So while spirituality or religion isn’t a requirement as you create your dream life, it’s important for all of us to have some grounding practice that centers us each day. And honestly, sometimes even very religious people, on the outside, aren’t taking enough time to do the work on the inside.

If you’d like help with this, let’s get on a call to discuss how I can help you get there.

Do you have a sacred practice? Does it light you up? If not, what’s one change you can make this week to get you more aligned with your future and best self?

P.S. Ross’ new holiday ukulele album (it’s gorgeous!) is available now – what a perfect gift for a friend or yourself – and Ross’ online ukulele course is now available for purchase, less than half price until the end of the year. And my new Facebook group is a great place to chat about next steps in your life and career!

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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! His latest is a holiday ukulele album, and pre-orders are half price!
  • Become a beta tester for Ross’ new online ukulele course!
  • 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. 

What if your success was inevitable?

Self-doubt is so, so common, and when you’re a business owner and/or a creator (or aspiring to be either), it’s common to find yourself plagued with doubts. What if this investment doesn’t pay off? What if I lose my clients? What if the economy goes south? What if I’m not as good at doing __ as I think I am?

It’s so easy to get on the doubt train, and when you get started, it can be so, so challenging to get off. And yet we know that those negative thoughts feed on themselves and sabotage our progress. What we focus on tends to be what we bring forth, or manifest.

So what if, instead, we make a conscious effort to change the conversation. When those worries and fears creep in, can we give ourselves a reset? Let’s try a mantra, or an affirmation – a phrase that you will repeat over and over again, in your mind and, if you dare and ideally, outlead.

Your success is inevitable.

Try it again.

Your success is inevitable.

So the big question: what would you do differently (in your business, in any area of your life) if your success were inevitable?

Ex. If you struggle with relationships, and you’ve been holding out on getting back in the dating game out of fear. What would you do if your success were inevitable? You’d keep trying, right? And maybe you wouldn’t put so much weight on a given date or interaction, laughing off the awkward coffee conversations knowing that sooner or later, you’d find the person of your dreams, and it would all work out.

Ex. If you knew investing $2,000 in your business now would translate to making $100,000 in your business next year, would you do it? I certainly hope you would! The cost/benefit analysis is clear.

So much of our success or failure, ultimately, stems from our confidence. If we believe with 100% confidence that we will be successful, that confidence is contagious. Our clients and potential clients see the way we ooze confidence and go yes, I want some of what she’s having! The people we date sense our charisma and our detachment from the outcome of a given moment and want to spend time with us. And while failure is really common, the sooner we show up and give it all, the sooner we take the next steps in our business and our life’s growth, the sooner we will get there. Instead of this do I or don’t I, will it work or will it not, we move on to the next step in our journey. If this particular venture is going to fail, wouldn’t you rather know now? I would!

I recently invested about $2,000 in a coaching mentorship. I’ve been loving coaching, feeling an incredible passion for helping people to achieve the life of their dreams, and I wanted some extra confidence to help me in building my business. I could have kept going it solo, but I knew that this calculated investment felt truly aligned for me – I was a little fearful, of course, as we often are before we commit to something or purchase something. But it was all I could think about, and I was super excited about it.

So I went for it. And I was so passionate about it, showing up with enthusiasm each week for my studying, my business and my clients. I know that investment will pay off in dividends as I’m now a more confident and skilled coach ready to work with more clients, create new offers and help people achieve their goals.

So I challenge you today: what would you do if your success were inevitable?

Leave me a comment, write about it in your journal or send me a message and share. Don’t let fear hold you back- there is so much you’re capable of. The world needs you.

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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. 

Top Tips For Facing Your Fear

What a wild time to be alive, friends! I hope you’re prioritizing your own health and well-being. There’s so much stress and vitriol in the world, and if we let it consume us, it really will.

I read this quote this week and it really resonated with me. It can be really helpful to stop and articulate, with words (out loud or in writing, or even with imagery) how we’re feeling and what we’re fearing. Putting a name to it can make it easier to face. 

Here are some of the things I’m fearing right now: 

  • I won’t build my business to the level I dream about
  • I won’t be able to visit family and friends for a long time
  • I won’t be able to attend my friend’s wedding
  • I won’t be able to safely share my views & background and be my authentic self under our next administration
  • I’m not doing enough to help the causes I care about
  • My BIPOC and LGBTQIAA+ friends and those with disabilities (basically anyone that isn’t a white male, TBH) won’t be safe in the near future

Putting it down makes it clear that that’s a lot to navigate! No wonder I feel stressed sometimes, despite my healthy habits. 

Here are some of the things I’m pursuing to clear my fears: 

  • Daily work on my business & accountability checks with my mastermind & mentors
  • Weekly calls and video calls with friends and family, plus emails and text check-ins
  • Daily and weekly work to encourage voting, educate those around me and assist anyone with questions
  • Supporting the causes I care about, financially and with my time and energy

It’s so, so important to not only articulate what’s on our minds, but, when we’re in the right headspace, make a plan with concrete steps to feel better. If we’re feeling scared of the unknown, what’s one thing that’s within our control that we can make progress on? If we’re frightened that x might happen, what’s one step we can take that will listen the blow if it comes true? 

For instance, if we’re afraid that a wildfire could burn our house down, we should pack an emergency bag & create a plan. 

If we’re afraid of the outcome of an election, we should vote and encourage our friends to do the same, and lend our support to the causes and people we care about if we’re able to do so. 

We can’t eliminate the possibility of the things we fear, in many cases, but we can eliminate the fear by tackling it head on with the pursuit of new things, as Susie Moore says. Taking concrete steps feels good, mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Can you relate to any of these? What is one thing you can do today to face your fear?

Navigating Relationships During COVID-19: A Preview!

You may recall that Ross and I created a course for a super-helpful work-from-home bundle that came out a few months back.

We’ve now got a preview from the course posted, so if you’re considering whether Navigating Relationships When You’re Both Working From Home is worth purchasing, this will give you a wonderful taste!

The full bundle of “Essential Work From Home Essentials Training Bundle” includes not only our course on “Navigating Relationships When You’re Both Working From Home”, but 25+ other courses from experts across 10+ fields, all who work at home already.

Please let us know if you have any questions! We’ve been working really hard on this to ensure the content is top tier, and I know the rest of the experts have as well.

Watch the preview here or below, and thanks for reading! As always, we really appreciate your support of our work. Let us know if this is helpful for you.

P.S. You can save on the bundle by purchasing it here!

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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. 

Using Frustration as Fuel for the Future

I’ve been dealing with some challenging situations in my work lately. One of my clients has been particularly disorganized, and for the first time in a long time I’m finding it hard not to carry their own stress into my life.

It’s not the scenario I hoped for when I took on this client, but it’s a scenario that many aspiring adventurers know well.

Do you find yourself carrying the stress of your 9 to 5 into your nights and weekends?

Do you find it tough to turn off the worry when you turn off the laptop?

Is it hard for you to devote time to working on your goals and dreams because you’re too stressed about the here and now?

I can certainly relate, and my best piece of advice is this: use your frustration as fuel for the future.

When you catch yourself dwelling on anger or frustration, reframe the situation by saying (out loud, in a journal or in your head) “I’m so thankful for work that allows me to pay my bills. I’m so thankful for work that allows me to save for my future goals. This situation is helping me to build my future dream life.”

Remember that this frustration is fueling your future in multiple ways:

  • Financially – this money supports you while you dream and scheme and plan, and it may let you save enough for funding future too.
  • Emotionally – this experience is giving you visceral lessons that will stick with you moving forward. You’ll remember this feeling and when you lose momentum or focus on the work of dream life creation, remembering how much you don’t want to experience this again will get you that fire under your butt that’s needed for change.

Rewriting our stories is truly important for growth. It’s essential that I keep rewriting my frustration so that instead of a thing that’s happening to me, I put myself in a position of power.

I choose to do this job to support my future life.

I do this work to feed my family.

I’m learning lessons that will help me in the future.

Choose a story of empowerment. Choose to use your frustration as future fuel.

Have you been in this situation?

How did you handle it?

How are you rewriting your story today?

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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

A Forced Pause – Quarantine Life

How things change for full-time RVers during COVID-19!

Before leaving Florida, we spent several weeks stocking up on supplies (all via delivery), not just for our journey across the country, but also for when we arrived in New Mexico. It was fun – we didn’t just buy supplies for meals, but we also bought car snacks and treats so that we could avoid gas station runs or Walmart stops to minimize our risk.

Our Misfits Market subscription was also an excellent source for this, from oat milk to nuts and granola. In addition, we decided to top off our produce and proteins with a delivery from Sprouts (new to us) while we were in Oklahoma City.

Our planning was extremely helpful. We could have gotten through a month in the RV if we needed to! As it stands, we’re currently more than halfway through our two week quarantine in New Mexico, and we’ve got all we need for sustenance and fun, including several bottles of wine and fancy cheese for a once a week treat. Our planning has made our adventuring fun instead of feeling like a burden.

So, what do we do for fun when we can’t leave the campground? In addition to our work (which has run the gamut from music teaching and music making to virtual assistant work and coaching), we’ve done the following:

  • Completed a mystery box from Deadbolt Mystery Society
  • Enjoyed wine and cheese after a night of (virtual) yoga and a (virtual) ukulele jam
  • Watched the entire series Space Force on Netflix (it’s so funny and sweet!)
  • Watched several Youtube videos about the history of Disney parks and properties
  • Taken daily walks around the campground (well, Jamie has anyway)
  • Enjoyed mountain views
  • Had Zoom meetups with family and friends
  • Made tacos and guacamole, caramel popcorn, fancy pasta and s’mores

I’m sure we’ve done much more too, but those are the first eight things that come to mind. And since most of those are things that I imagine most all of us can do from home, maybe it will give you some inspiration to create an adventure at home this weekend or any time.

What’s your favorite fun activity when you can’t leave home?

______________________________

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 Top 5 Things From Our Cross-Country Trek

It’s an unusual week when we drive across the U.S. in 10 days, but that’s what we just did! Okay, sure we stopped in New Mexico, not California, but that was pretty darn close to coast to coast, so we’re counting it.

It would be easy for me to lament all of the cool places we didn’t stop along the way (due to COVID-19, budget constraints or anything else), but instead, I thought it would be more fun to share the top five things that we did get to do on our trip!

We’ve created an absolutely incredibly lifestyle for ourselves, and we know we’re very privileged to get to live and travel on our own terms. And of course, we’ve made lots of decisions along the way that have allowed us to build this life, and we love helping other people to do the same. Today, I’m celebrating our hard work that led us here, as well as the hard work that got us across the country in ten days! Here are the top five parts of our latest RVing adventure.

5. Cracker Barrel 

Okay, so maybe visiting Cracker Barrel doesn’t sound like your top choice right now, but as full-time RVers we love that Cracker Barrel has RV-sized spaces and allows overnight parking. We don’t eat at a lot of chains, but we do visit a Cracker Barrel a few times a year because it’s affordable, tasty and it gives us a safe place to stay (usually with a convenient location off the highway and near or in cities with fun things to do). In the age of COVID, I really thought we’d be skipping them this time around, but as we were driving we started noticing a lot of highway signs for Cracker Barrel that said “Dine In. Curbside. Delivery.”

So when we needed a spot for a night, we didn’t hesitate to try Cracker Barrel. We used their curbside option (Ross drove the car into a curbside space) so that we didn’t need to go inside. As usual, it was reliably delicious with big portions. And curbside was so easy that when Ross needed more coffee on the way out of town, it was curbside again for the win! (Oh, and if you’re wondering, Ross doesn’t really have a regular order, but I do – I love getting tons of sides so I can get my veggie fix! And some fried apples, of course.)

4. Twin Fountains RV Resort, Oklahoma City, OK

This campground is such a cool one! In the time of COVID-19, many of the perks aren’t as appealing (limo rides to downtown, anyone?), but we enjoyed the spacious grounds (largest campsite we’ve ever stayed at!), catch and release pond and laundry facilities. They’ve also got a restaurant, salon and dog groomer on site. This was a great spot and if we ever want to spend more time in Oklahoma City, we will be happy to pay a bit of a premium to stay here!

3. Tontitown Winery, Springdale, AR plus Fayetteville Fun

This winery was perfect for a Harvest Hosts stay, with delicious wine, a sweet spot with electricity, room to walk in nature nearby and some amazing food too! We did a meat/nut/cheese/fruit tray for 2 for dinner, and it was incredible, with pickled veggies, olives, bread and crackers as well as the aforementioned deliciousness. And thanks to corona, they had made their famous grape ice cream for a local festival and didn’t have an outlet for it (no festival this year), so we were able to grab a pint of homemade ice cream too!

We went with takeout, but outdoor seating with live music was also an option. Such a fun night, and super convenient for exploring nearby Fayetteville! Under normal circumstances, we would have done a lot more, but even so, I (Jamie) had previously tried another location of Bliss Cupcake Cafe when I was passing through, and it was amazing and had stellar gluten-free options. (I also learned that delivery is now an option – so you can get these too!)

I made a trip to Fayetteville for cupcakes and a key lime frosting shot to go, and since I was heading in anyway, I got some homemade ice cream as well (also excellent). Basically a pretty perfect evening!

2. Big Spoon Creamery, Birmingham, AL

Well, if this was just about me (and not Ross), this would be number 1! But since Jamie went solo, it gets the number 2 slot. Big Spoon Creamery’s ice cream was incredible. Life-changing. I went with three flavors, and while they were all absolutely incredible, the vanilla was literally the best I’ve ever had in my life.

No doubt. More like a custard and more like white chocolate, honestly…so outstanding! I would probably just tell everyone to get the chocolate and the vanilla. Perfect together or solo. I can’t wait to go back someday. Such a highlight!! You can look forward to a blog about it here soon.

And finally, at #1, Iron Star Urban Barbeque, Oklahoma City, OK

Curbside from Iron Star was so good that we seriously debated going back immediately for more food. Ross went with a brisket sandwich (it comes with amazing pickles!), and believe it or not, I just had a bite and ordered some outstanding deviled eggs that came with a spicy vegetable pickle appetizer! (I was saving room for ice cream, TBH.)

This place is truly special, and we can’t recommend it more highly. Honorable mention to Roxy’s Ice Cream Social for some excellent ice cream with extraordinarily friendly service.

As you can see, we had a TON of fun despite the challenges of COVID. We felt much more comfortable treating ourselves when we got out of Florida and Georgia (the COVID hot spots), and we had some really tasty indulgences as we made our way across the country, taking what felt like reasonable risks for us.

So, I want to know: How are things where you are? How are you making the most of your summer right now?

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