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This week we are back on home turf, so of.  We will be doing shows around Detroit and spending some time in the office.  Lucky for me we are close enough to Illinois that I am going to go home for Easter.  Not home but meet my folks.

 

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

 

Song of the week: St James Infirmary by Cab Calloway

Week in Review: Last week was the first time we have really been able to explore Philadelphia, some of my favorite people are from there.  Thankfully we had a few days off and filled them with some local attractions.  First off we hit the Mutter Museum, if you are a fan of the Travel Channel show Mystery’s at the Museum you will know this one.  The museum is part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and is an amazing collection of medical specimens.  Sure this place isn’t for everyone, but it is very unique and well curated.  I am a big fan of Victorian Era collections that are now museums, yeah I have a thing for taxidermy. So often these collections are the foundation for much loved museums, I appreciate when a facility gives a nod to those roots, like the Mutter.  We also had time for the National Constitution Center, something that I wish I had been able to experience as a kid.  While it was good, I think it was much more focused on foreigners and students.

Fun Photo of the Week:

IMG_3444

Wordless Wednesday

WW - Scuba Selfie (1 of 1)

Enjoying Our Eats

While we have made an effort in 2015 to change our diets a little, cooking in kitchenettes more and choosing the deli at a grocery store, that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a good meal out.  There are a few restaurants that we frequent, pretend to be “regulars”.  Ahhh, being a regular, as an adult I have not had that place.  The bar or restaurants where you know the staff and it is relaxing just to slide into a favorite booth.  When we lived in the Twin Cities we were broke!  While there was a rugby bar, it was not a place I would have chosen to drink at had they not been such good supporters of Josh’s rugby club.

 

Having this place was something I wanted, thought I would find in the city we settled in.  I’m sure we would have if we had settled for longer than six years.  While I don’t miss the domesticity or a home I do know that we are missing out on some things.  I know that many people who travel like we do tend to love things like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts.  Everything tastes that same, it smells the same, and there are some days when I feel a bit in the wind that a cup of coffee is just the ticket.

 

There are many others that we really enjoy but here are the tops for where we don’t miss.

Husk – Chef Sean Brock took a risk opening up a very high-end Southern Cooking restaurant in the already saturated Charleston Market.  There is also one in Nashville.  The quality of food has gone down a bit in the last two years, Brock is stretching himself too thin and I’m certain will work this out soon.  I like Husk because it was one of the first “fancy” places we went after starting this job.

Deliciousness from our first Husk visit

Deliciousness from our first Husk visit

High Cotton – Thankfully there is multiple High Cottons, you can find these in North and South Carolina (so far).  While the food is good the service is always wonderful.  Each time we eat here we are made to feel like regulars, like a friend coming for dinner.

YUM

YUM

Copper Onion – This Salt Lake City find is the biggest example of how diverse Utah is.  They serve a wacky variety of cuisine.  Deviled eggs are followed but a dry aged steak, they make amazing ice tea along with serving a wide selection of local craft beer.  At one table you will find a group of dirty hipsters and the next will be a guy is a three-piece suit.  I love the food and always get a kick out of the scenery.

And shockingly there are some chains I like.

Yard House –  Alright this a crazy chain with a ton of taps and a HUGE menu.  However I like the menu and the well the beer.  We have some friends that we always meet there and it is a place to just relax.

Specialty’s – Fresh and organic, Josh and I both want to dive into the menu with both feet.

I used Yelp to find most of these places the first time, it isn’t about having the most reviews or the highest scores.  Read the reviews, read past the silly “our party of thirty had slow service” crap.

 

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

Boy oh boy did we enjoy Virginia, we really always do.  It was sad to leave but Philadelphia awaits us.  We rarely make it to this area, mostly stick to Allentown.  After this we are making out way to Detroit for two weeks worth of shows in the North Suburbs.

 

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

 

Song of the week: Stomp and Holler by Hayes Carll

Week in Review: We had a morning off last week in Virginia and decided to take in the Virginia Aquarium.  It was great, we both like regional aquariums.  Usually an interesting mix of history and science.  This one did not disappoint and had some unique exhibits, like a Komodo Dragon.

Fun Photo of the Week:

A little jealous of this guy!!!

A little jealous of this guy!!!

 

Wordless Wednesday

Fish Finder (8 of 14)

Being on the road can be very taxing and sometimes isolating but there are many ways to make the most out of your time.  It just takes a little effort and knowhow. This is another post that is focused on new MRA employees.

Yelp: There are all kinds of services you are going to need between visits home.  Yelp is a great resource for finding anything from a hair dresser to a dry-cleaner. You can see rankings, reviews, and get an idea for how their services are prices against others.  I use this site for everything but especially restaurants.  There are ways to use filters and preferences when looking for food that will give you just the right place.  You can choose price, atmosphere, food type, and many others. I love that they also have a category of take-out and delivery.  I know there are other apps out there for those two specific categories but I still use Yelp first (at least right now).

Blogs: Obviously I am a true believer that blogs are a great way to find information, I write a few myself.  A quick google or WordPress search can lead you to someone who is local or has traveled to your destination with the inside scoop.

Other Social Media: Some find that Twitter is a great place to find info, others like looking for Facebook Pages, I use all of these are others like FourSquare.  It’s all what you like to look at.

Travel Apps: There are so many apps to add to your phone that do one or many different functions for travel and making it easier.  I encourage you to try a few, decide what you prefer later.  I can’t live without Google Maps, The Weather Channel, Honors, eBates, Target (tells you the closest store, map programs often send you to a closed location like on near our office), Starbucks, USPS and all other shipping apps, Yelp and Uber.

Staying Fit: Everyone, EVERYONE gains weight their first year on the road.  This is a huge lifestyle change, even for drivers who are coming from OtR.  You will eat all your meals are a restaurant and work odd schedules.  Finding a routine is difficult.  I encourage you to look into an activity tracker app (Fitbit or MyFitnessPal, ext).  Hotels will not consistently have exercise equipment or good equipment.  Josh and I have had great success from committing to exercise programs like Insanity or T25.  Neither of these require extra equipment, just your time.  The last thing you are going to want to do is drag anything else into a hotel at night.  I’m happy to let you try either if you reach out to me.

Staying Connected: Download and use Facebook on your MRA issued smartphone.  There are lots of other apps and sites to stay connected to your family and friends but nothing like Facebook.  A bad day or a lonely one can get much better by connecting to friends.  You will be surprised as you use it how often you “forgot” someone lived in a town you are visiting.  I share a weekly post about where we will be.

Staying Entertained: There are lots of ways to fill your time with fun activities instead of vegging on the hotel bed all night.

Overdrive: This is an online lending program sponsored by your local library.  You check out books just like at the library but they are electronic.  I read an insane amount and listen to audiobooks checked out from the library.  All you need is a library card and the account is really easy to set up.  Your taxes already pay for this service so use it.

Netflix: Stream videos right to your MRA issues laptop or tablet.  Most hotel’s wifi is strong enough these days to stream.

Amazon Prime: This is a two-part program I encourage you to purchase.  For $100 a year you get access to a huge library of TV and movies along with free two-day shipping.  That last part will save your life out here.  There are just so many times you don’t have time of a way to get something you need and prime shipped to a hotel is just the ticket to stay happy.  I often use it for items that I need for the tour.  This annual fee is not reimbursable from MRA but can be included in your taxes.

 

These are just a few of the options you have, try things see what you like.

 

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

Another week of crap weather!!  Oh well I have high hopes for how Virgina Beach is going to treat us.  And even higher hopes that Philadelphia will welcome us with warm arms before we head to Detroit where I know it will still be cold.  Not sure how much longer I can hold out before buying new coat.

 

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

 

Song of the week: I’m Gonna Be by The Proclaimers

Week in Review: I am very fond of Huntsville, AL; for the size it is surprisingly metropolitan.  There is a so much to do and lots of resources we need.  Our visits can be very short but for once we had an extra day we took full advantage by going to the US Space & Rocket Center.  You can bet I’m gonna share photos.

Fun Photo of the Week:

 

Ice Ice Baby

Ice Ice Baby

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