Coming This Week: July 24th – 30th

I actually have no idea where we will be this week.  We are starting the week still at home with my folks and then heading back to Detroit.  I am certain that there will be some travel and adventure to have but I don’t know what that will be.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

Song of the Week: Dirty Paws – Of Monsters and Men

Week in Review:  Last week I mentioned that we were at a pretty cool festival in Indiana, it was the Three Rivers Festival.  There were a number of unique “happenings”, the actual festival is spread out in different area parks.  Each location has a bit of a focus, we were near the carnival and not far from Junk Food Alley.  There were concerts, car shows, craft shows, and raft races.  Homemade boats sponsored by local businesses raced on one of the rivers, but to add a little fun many had water cannons and balloons.  We stayed and watched the race, witnessing battles between spectators and the teams.  So you can either row to win or swerve close to shore and bombard the crowds.  It was awesome. Every festival should do this.  We spend most of last week with my folks, helping out while my dad is recovering from surgery.

Fun Photo of the Week:

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Adult Field Trip – Fredericksburg Texas

Texas is always good to us, allots us opportunity to visit with our family and all our rowdy friends. This past spring we set out to see San Antonio via an Adult Field Trip, while in the area Fredericksburg also made the list. Whereas San Antonio is full of historical sites and notable bars, Fredericksburg is all natural beauty and cultural gems. We once again started this AFT with a stop for lunch.

There is always something that makes a community unique, not all embrace it and create a sort of destination from it. Fredericksburg Texas or Fitzburg to some locals, is a flourishing German community in the heart of cowboy country. We have been lucky enough to spend a good deal of time in Ohio and have an affection for German beer gardens, well in Fredericksburg they are truly Biergartens, so we figured it was appropriate to find a lunch spot serving sausage and liters. Silver Creek fit the bill; a little bit Texas, a whole lotta German, and as I gather a little dash of what is Fredericksburg. They have a really lovely outdoor space where live music can be found most days and nights, a unique bar area, along with an actual restaurant space. The menu had plenty of light snacks and just the perfect listing of german fare. As for the beer menu we were able to choose between German brews, some area micros, and for the less adventurous there were domestics. Honestly this place has something for everyone. We chose very well, enjoying the beer, food, and a little music.

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There are a few choices in this area for your enrichment activity, one could spend a poor weather day indoors taking in the National Museum of the Pacific War. We did consider this but the day was absolutely stunning and a hike at one of the many area state parks won out. It was off to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area for us. We do most of our trail miles on mountain or forest paths, dessert and prairie trekking is always unique but big ol’ rock domes are something to see. What is more fun than scrambling up rocks and climbing around openings to see who will go into the crack and crevice? It was a great way to spend a few hours but alas we became a bit, cough couch, parched.

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The plan had been to take the scenic route back “home” and find a winery to stop at on the way. Honestly this is getting easier to do just about everywhere across the country. While this would technically be called a detour, we actually did find a detour. While in route we figured out that we were in the same place as the cool folks of GoPetFriendly.com. Stopping for a brief visit is just the kind of treat you want on an AFT. It didn’t take long to find a winery and winner included a little lesson on the emerging Texas wine industry. While I wouldn’t say that Kerrville Hills Winery is some hidden gem, it was a lovely place. The wines are still made with mostly imported (outside of Texas) grapes but that is changing. This large facility has been built up in anticipation of some interesting prospective growth. According to the proprietor, the soil in this part of Texas (and others) is quite similar to regions in France, allowing vineyards here to establish new growths of some unique varietals. Will be interesting to see how this industry develops over the next 10 years.

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Like many of our other Texas AFTs we were joined by a good friend, Scott is always up for adventure and his work schedule often allows flexibility to come play with us. This trip is a great example of creating an interning and fun day in any area.

SCOTT!!

SCOTT!!

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

Coming This Week: July 17th – 23rd

This being summer and our full-time tour being on hiatus, we are getting the opportunity to work with a bunch of different programs.  This week we will touch two tours before heading home for a mini-vacation.  I can say that I know where we will be this week but not next.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

Song of the Week: Fire and the Flood – Vance Joy

 

Week in Review: Well we spent the weekend (and part of the week) in Fort Wayne, IN.  This was an opportunity to learn a program our company has for Sprint, a bit related to the one we work most of the year.  I have to admit that we both had some preconceived notions about the area and boy were we wrong.  The downtown area is wonderful, more than a few interesting restaurants.  Two really stuck out and warranted multiple visits.  A little place called Dash-In had an interesting menu with creative items like a pesto grilled cheese and only microbrews from the bar.  The real gem was a nicer place called Club Soda, picking entrees was a challenge due to the entire menu was amazing.  The real feature of this place is that all the steaks were Iowa raised.  When it comes to fine dining we can be a bit picky buy Club Soda passed that test (soft butter and black napkins, both a sign that staff and management are attentive and don’t skip details).  This was certainly nothing like expected and I know that we will both not pass on an opportunity to come back.  The actual festival we were at would rival many State Fairs in the attendance and size.

Fun Photo of the Week:

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What To Eat

I mentioned Sunday that we have been able to connect with a bunch of friends and family over the last few months.  If we are lucky our route crosses with the great folks at GoPetFriendly.com and a dinner full of “have you tried this ensues”.  Outside of our coworkers, there aren’t many people we know who really understand the love and difficulties of living and working on the road.  We usually exchange woes and any cool gadgets but this time it was a little more focused on what we have been trying to maintain a healthy diet.

 

Amy and Rod are always looking at new options for low-calorie, high protein, whole foods that are convenient.  After looking at their list of gems and some of my own staples I thought it might be interesting to share a little on here.  It is a struggle to maintain a healthy diet when so many of our meals come from a restaurant.  Like many of my fellow road warriors we often start the day with a shake, having access to a refrigerate in our truck these have gotten fairly good by adding things like coconut water and lactose free milk.  Using a protein powder is all well and good but no one wants to haul those giant container around, so my pro-tip here is to invest in a powder container like this one from Jaxx, this gem holds three days worth of powder.

Now that breakfast is covered lunch is a whole different struggle.  When we are set up for a show it is easy to take the time during lunch to make a good choice and many of the places we end up are nearly amazing restaurants.  The hard part is staying on pace during travel days.  Truck stops are not known for their low-calorie selections, I’m not going to claim we don’t eat fast food (some days you just need fries) but we always have other options in the cabinet.  We love GoPicnic meals, Josh is addicted to the hummus one.  I’ve preached about these before and highly recommend trying one.  They are moderate in calories and match a number of dietary needs.  We also pack plenty of meal bars that are made with whole ingredients.  Seeking to stay organic and simple.

And this brings us to dinner time.  Now after a shake for breakfast, a bar for lunch, and a light snack it’s time for something hot.  I will admit that 90% of the time we order takeout, thank you Grubhub!!  This is where we struggle, often ordering too much food and the wrong kinds.  I would like to say that we make the better choice and stop at a grocery store after work instead of ordering pizza but it just doesn’t happen enough.  That is actually a great option for itinerants like us, take advantage of the portioned fresh choices and even some spectacular deli options.  We do try but after a long day we often just want to get check into the hotel and shower, figuring out dinner comes second.

 

The one thing I would absolutely recommend adopting is the use of a calorie counter, at least when you start making diet changes.  Not only will you get a picture of your calories but some trackers like MyFitnessPal are full of nutritional info.  Being a pescaterian I struggle to get enough protein.

I don’t think there is any one perfect method but putting any effort into maintaining a balanced diet is going to make road life better.  No one enjoys a day of driving with a funky tummy.  I’d love to hear tips you have.

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

Coming This Week: June 12th – 18th

Well I sure have been away too long and there is much to talk about.  Since this is the summer marketing tour season Josh and I have put on different project for a few weeks.  This sometimes happens where are so many great programs out and we are both a fit for more than one.  So after spending a few days with my folks in Illinois I am going back to Michigan to pick up the Aerie Summer Real Tour and taking that to the East Coast.  Josh is spending his time out west.  Today is actually Josh’s 40th birthday, while we aren’t together he did get to spend it with some family in Wyoming.  I guess I just make it extra special when I do see him next.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

Song of the Week: Whole Lotta Love – Fats Domino

 

Week in Review: So much has happened since I last posted.  I finished and walked in graduation for my masters degree.  We wrapped up the spring tour season and have begun summer which had included new projects.  We have seen so much of our families.  I was in the horrible Texas flooding.  Josh has been out to Colorado and Wyoming.  Pippi has an adorable new lab friend.  My goodness just so much.

Fun Photo of the Week:

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Adult Field Trip – San Antonio 

The city of San Antonio has much to offer but when you have only one day off to experience the area what do you pick? On a recent work trip to the home of the Alamo, we found ourselves with short window of downtime to see the sights and our local friends. So here is a little about our San Antonio Adult Field Trip:

 

Our day started by meeting our buddy at Bier Garten Riverwalk, this little German place was the prefect location to finalize our plan of attack. As you can guess we had a nice brew but also enjoyed the sausage and pretzel plates, just a snack to get us started. This spot is not as close to the actual Riverwalk as some other restaurants but is butted against a lovely fountain. There really are so many options in this area to enjoy a bite and a beer, you can’t go wrong.

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It was off to our next stop; the one you can’t miss in San An, the Alamo. Parking in the area can be tough, so instead of driving down there we parked near our last planned stop and took a Lyft over. There are multiple things to do in this area and not fussing with meters or garages has some benefit. What can I say about the Alamo, the biggest tip I can share about this place is to know that it is free and self-guided? There are docents around and guided tours you can go on but for the most part things are there to enjoy at your own pace. Photography is limited only in certain areas but this place is ALWAYS crowed. There is no reason not to take a little time from your schedule to learn a bit more about Texas history.

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Just across the street from the Alamo is the Menger Hotel, made famous by Theodore Roosevelt, but he is not the only notable guest. There is quite a list of US Presidents and Dignitaries whom have spent time at the Hotel and Bar. I have a real love of places like this, where it history is in the walls and in this instance, in the bar stools. Here is a good example of why we call these “Adult Field Trips”. This is one historic location that a parent is not likely to take you as a kid or would really be inappropriate. You aren’t going to enjoy your soda nearly as much as a gin & tonic in the place where Teddy met his Rough Riders.

 

We made one more stop in downtown; it was onto the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum. This place is pure Texas. You get your saloon, albeit as total tourist trap, and two floors of taxidermy specimens from all over the world. Now the latter might not be everybody’s bag but I certainly like it. While I am not a big game hunter, many of these specimens were taken during an era when conservation was viewed different and this is a great way to see animals without keeping them is zoos. Larger collections like this often feature a critter or two that is extinct or incredibly rare. This is just one of the many attractions; there is a penny shooting range, an antler collection, some beautiful dining rooms, and a really nice bar. So it was a brew for my crew (served in a chalice) and onto our last stop.

 

Now many of you know how much we like to visit breweries. We like beer, like craft beer, and I feel like you get a real sense of a brewery by visiting. There is always something special or informative to find when talking to those who work right at the source. This is way we chose Alamo Beer Company as the final stop. This is not the original brewing site but an upgraded and now multi-use facility. This place is HUGE and I’d imagine usually crowed. We were there on a weekday late afternoon. Not only do they have a delightful taproom with engaging staff but local food trucks come by to serve up goodies. I know there are many choices for breweries in the area and this one is a bit commercial but when you don’t have to work hard to enjoy some sun, the suds, and a killer street taco it’s a great choice.

 

So there you go, an Adult Field Trip. We wanted to get a rounded view of San Antonio, while also keeping the day relaxed. Two striking points of San Antonio, the Riverwalk and the Alamo; mixed with some less known culture catching sites, Menger and Buckhorn. Top that off by chatting with locals who share similar interests and we were left wanting a second day off.

Bier Garden Riverwalk

The Alamo

Menger Hotel

Buckhorn Saloon & Museum

Alamo Beer Company

Coming This Week: April 17th – 23rd

It’s a long running joke with people we work with, that we know someone in every city.  We are lucky to have a large family but most of all it’s friends we have gained.  This week we will be getting to see some of our favorite people while making the trip from Seattle to Albuquerque.

Courtesy of Google Maps

Courtesy of Google Maps

Song of the Week: Shortyville – Trombone Shorty

Week in Review:

We had a pretty wild week.  Spend a fantastic couple of days with friends in Seattle, they used to do the same job we do, now their adventures are a whole lot more fun.  During the first few years we were on the road a great deal of effort was put out to find live music or catch acts we liked on tour.  It quickly got frustrating to be a day behind some group for months.  While we aren’t the best at seeking out the bands see live, there are times it all comes together.  That is how we got to see Trombone Shorty in Portland on Friday.  While the actual venue wasn’t ideal (Keller Auditorium) he put on a good show.  Really makes you want to hit Jazz Fest and see all these guys in their element.  Our quick trip back to Portland afforded the opportunity to do a tour of local breweries via bike, something we have wanted to do for a while.  I will admit that after the second stop I was much more comfortable on the bicycle, wonder why?  It really was fun and I think we could easily go again, hitting more of the 65+ breweries in Portland.

Fun Photo of the Week:

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