My Boots

A few months ago I read the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed, mostly interested to see how this one would be interpreted via screenplay. The book is not really about the great outdoors but about a woman’s journey to find peace set along a brutal through hiking trail. In the introduction the main character goes into a rant about her hiking boots. They are in my option the most important piece of equipment you will own. That was actually one part of the book that drove me nuts, who doesn’t make sure they have the right boots!?!

I have had my hiking boots for ten years, they are an amazing pair of Lowa boots. They have been around the world with me. I love me boots, well I loved my boots. While on a four-day hike in Shenandoah they fell apart. Epically fell apart, the sole started to come loose from the boot and disintegrate at the same time. By day two I was limping along with them taped together. This also meant they were no longer waterproof. They were wrecked. I can’t be too hard on them, they were in fact ten years old and had taken me miles and miles. My boots didn’t need one minute to wear in, they were delightfully comfortable out of the box. So they now lay retired in Virginia.


On went the search for new boots. One trip to REI later and I figured that I would just pick up another Lowa or maybe a Merrell. All things being equal and sticking to my own standards I tried on a few. The Lowa boots have changed in ten years and just were not as comfortable. After looking at every pair they had I chose a Vasque mid boot and boy are they are light. We don’t do week-long trips anymore and having a lighter boot for the 3-4 days trips is just fine.

Having a few extra with us on the road makes the most of time off. We have our hiking gear and our scuba gear, always being ready for adventure.


***This is part of a series of posts called “Travel Tuesday“, each covering topics unique to our lifestyle***

This week we are in Canada. Montreal and Ottawa.  This is a bit exciting due to a first visit to Montreal.  Next (hopefully by Sunday) we will be in Chicago.  If we can make the time right we will get to there in time to watch the Bears season opener with family.  The week after will bring us to Greensboro and Birmingham, AL.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

Song of the week: Beat the Devil’s Tattoo – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, we are fans of not only BRMC but the genre. Their sound is often grouped in with The White Stripes and The Black Crows.

Week in review: We ate famously. Not only did we have a few divine meals but they were at some well know New Jersey haunts. First up (and two second up) was Clemente Italian Bakery, not being from the NY/NJ area visiting an Italian bakery is an experience all in its own. This is a local and non-local favorite for picking up cheeses, meats and other goodies to keep any Italian household running smoothly. We went for the incredible sandwiches, twice. It is nestled into a more industrial part of Meadowlands Area and a don’t miss.

In 2006 GQ released a list of 20 hamburgers to try before you die. I am pescatarian but to enjoy meat on occasion. We have been to a few of these and knocked another off the list last week. White Manna Hamburgers is one part dive, one part soup nazi and one part manna from heaven. There is no glitz to this place but the burgers are hot, oniony and just amazing. I can’t image how good they would be on a hangover but we left just a the hipsters were invading on a Sunday morning.

We also made it a cinema week, going to see The Giver and Guardians of the Galaxy. I am a fan of Lois Lowery but enjoyed the Dine-in theatre more than the film. I would highly recommend Guardians of the Galaxy to everyone, fun, funny and a good setup for the series to start.

A Tip About Frontline

We had a bit of a scare with Pippi a few weeks ago and I wanted to share the learned lesson. We use Frontline to protect her from those nastily little critters. I have always been happy with the results and use every 30 days as instructed. Well Frontline is not infallible and it also not as toxic as I thought. After a hike we found that Pippi had a tick problem, WHAT!!! We use Frontline!! Well we were at the very end of the cycle and it was at its weak point when the ticks were at their strongest. A frantic call to the vet later and we learned that you can apply Frontline early with not harm to your pooch. If you know you are going to be in a tick area you can apply early and prevent issues.

I am thrilled with Frontline and to know that I have this extra option to treat Pippi.



Wordless Wednesday


Samantha Brown has been with the Travel Channel from the early days, a host since 1999. I know that her poise and fun on-camera style has inspired many to “just go”. I am no exception. Watching Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown fascinated me; this midwestern sounding woman is traveling all over the place and makes it look easy. She always carried the air of someone who wasn’t pretentious, privileged or arrogant. She was just a typical American tourist.


She inspired me to pursue a life away from my hometown; she inspired me to relax about being in the unfamiliar. We recently had a chance to hear her speak about her life as a TV host and her passion for travel. We are always trying to find fun things to do and when we caught a billboard for the Travel & Adventure Show it was a must.


After seeing that Sam Brown would be speaking there was not question when we were going. To meet an inspiration was amazing but what she had to say was even better. After all these years of being a TV host she is still approachable and sounds like she an old friend. The biggest concept she was trying to impress upon the audience was to travel your own way. There is a distinction between tourist and travelers but what does that matter as long as you are experiencing something.


Sam signed a Polaroid for me!!!

Sam signed a Polaroid for me!!!


Josh and I are travelers, we like to be a part of the places we visit, detest resorts and prefer to set a minimal itinerary. I am often a bit judgmental of tourist, how I feel they are doing it wrong. I know of some people who travel to another countries only to never leave a resort. I have a hard time understanding that but why should I care, it’s their holiday. It is about what you get out of it, not what others want.


Travel is also about more than just seeing the history of a place. I love going to museums but there is real value in being a part of the present. When we went to New Zealand we had the perfect mix. Visiting historic locations and museums while also being a part of local customs and eating local food. A highlight of our trip to Belize was having lunch from a street cart with the dive crew instead of going to a restaurant.


The great guys from Island Divers in Belize

The great guys from Island Divers in Belize

Brown did have one parting story that really struck me, once while in the middle a long string of filming (being gone for months like us), she was just craving a bit of home. I live out of a suitcase and have no home. There are times when this wears on Josh and I, that we have no place to call home. This is the hard part of traveling like we do, that lack a normalcy. There are times when we could drive into a city and see something spectacular but instead we just get takeout and do laundry. It is boring but at times more refreshing than a spa day. We travel our way.


Be a traveler or be a tourist but Just Go.
***This is part of a series of posts called “Travel Tuesday“, each covering topics unique to our lifestyle***

To Sweet Jazzi




This is a sad week for the Scottish Terrier world.  This week we said goodbye to Jazzi, the blogging extraordinaire. Jazzi crossed the rainbow bridge after 8 years with family.  She was an ambassador for the breed, sharing with the world the joys of scottie life and the “uniqueness”.   I am lucky enough to have met sweet Jazzi in person.  Her peeps live not far from where we call home.  Jazzi has even been out to see our exhibit.  I think back fondly to some of our visits, seeing that spunky girl and having a cup of tea with her mom.  Nothing I can say will take away the pain of such am event but I am glad I got to know her.


To sweet Jazzi, you will be missed and are loves.


We are starting the end of our tour year with Rohde & Schwarz, so the next 8 weeks will be very fast and miles will be done.  This week we are staying in the Northeast Region, New York, New Jersey and Virginia.  Next week we will run up to Canada, including a first ever visit to Montreal.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps




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