Thursday, September 19, 2013

Travel Trailer Remodel Reveal!

     After 7 weeks of remodeling Drew and I have finally completed our 2006 Keystone Zepplin II travel trailer.  Drew did most of the heavy lifting, I helped painting and tile work. We left all appliances, cabinets and electrical elements. Drew gutted the rest. He removed all the furniture, painted every surface imaginable and put in new floors.  He did an awesome job. I am so glad I did not have to operated the power tools!

We did some special adjustments to fit our full time lifestyle. For example, we purchased a normal queen and had it refitted so our backs don't think we are rv living! Drew added a cat door and curtain in the second bedroom so Mojo's Litter box will be out of the site and smell!  Also we took every opportunity to have multifunctional elements. We used an Ikea entertainment center instead of traditional bed frame to add style and storage. The couch we bought is very deep and can double as a single bed for overnight guests. The ikea table in the kitchen has 6 drawers in it and can be pulled out to open on both sides. The table when opened can sit 5-6 people. In addition, Drew will be using the second bedroom as a gaming area. He will use his projector to throw the TV image against the interior wall. It looks great! The process was stressful, but also very rewarding.

The Before Pictures:

Ok so now you have seen the before.....Here is the after!!

The "Master"

The Tiny Bathroom

The Living Room and Dining Room

The "Second Bedroom"

The "Eat In" Kitchen

Home Sweet Home! 

Massachusetts Travel Adventures

Massachusetts Travel Adventures.
                In the last eight weeks Drew and I have been so busy we have neglected to blog about some of our best adventures.  We were lucky enough to have both of our sisters and their significant others up to visit.  Drew’s sister Rachel and her fiance Bryan visited us mid-august.  Rachel and Bryan are both Boston enthusiast and showed us several sites they have enjoyed during their travels.  During their visit we hired a tour guide and explored the freedom trail.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Freedom trail is a red line on the pavement that connects significant historical landmarks in Boston.
                 Our tour guide was dressed as a “daughter of liberty” during the revolutionary war. She guided us around the sites and brought history alive for us using a creative blend of storytelling and humor.  My favorite story from the tour was the history of the Boston Common. The Boston Common is a beautiful park, and is the oldest in the United States.  Its original owner was the first European settler named William Blaxton, who was a little quirky and enjoyed riding his white bull naked.  He was a compassionate man, and felt sorry for the Puritans that settled at Plymouth Rock due to the fact that they had no fresh water and pastures to graze their cattle.  Kindly, he invited them to the area to share in his available resources.  Not surprisingly, when the puritans arrived they were less than thrilled with his nude bull riding habits.  Frustrated with their constant judgment, Blaxton sold the land to the puritans and moved to New Hampshire where naked bull riding was not as taboo.   Overall the tour was illuminating in its information and enjoyable in its delivery.

                 The following day, Drew joined Rachael and Bryan at Fenway Park to take part in one of the greatest historical rivalries in sports, between the Boston Redsox and the New York Yankees.  For those of you who are baseball enthusiasts, you may remember this game in which pitcher Ryan Dempster  beaned steroid using Alex Rodriguez.  You could hear the crowd cheering on Dempster blocks away from Fenway.  Drew said that he has never been a part of something so exhilarating in the sports arena.
                It was a wonderful weekend and was a great reminder that while traveling alone can be freeing and convenient,   it cannot compare to the joy of shared adventure with people you love.  With that sentiment in our minds we were excited for our second set of visitors. My sister Brianna and her husband Joel came up last weekend to celebrate Brianna’s 30th birthday.
                During this trip we drove to Providence town at the tip of Cape Cod.   Ask any New Englander what town you should visit at the Cape and 90% of them will say, “well P-town of course!” After visiting I could understand their devotion to this small quaint fishing village. The town is situated on the bayside of the cape and has a beautiful port filled with sail boats, yachts and fishing rigs. Unlike many beaches in MA, the ocean meets wide sandy beaches instead of a pebble and rock filled shore line.   Historic homes, churches, and meeting houses have been converted into shops, art galleries, theaters and caf├ęs.   We enjoyed a day of leisure in p-town, walking the narrow streets, perusing the art galleries, eating the seafood, strolling the beach and we even snuck in a visit to a genuine Pirate Museum.

                The following day we headed into Boston.  The boys did a beer tour at the Harpoon Brewery while Brianna and I visited the Museum of Fine Arts.  Satisfied and hungry from our adventures we ate at The Top of the Hub, a skyscraper restaurant selling a view as much as their amazing cuisine.  After a fabulous dinner we took the subway into Cambridge for a night of slam poetry at the Lizard Lounge. This experience was a throw back to my college days, without all the amazing poetry, beer, and underground venues.  In short, it was way better then the college haunts Drew had at LBC and I had at Bloomsburg. I guess the saying location, location, location, holds true again.

Speaking of amazing locations, Drew and I were able to visit the playground of the rich during the Industrial Era.  Newport RI, was the summer home to the Kennedys, Vanderbilts, and many other rich and powerful people during early 20th century.  Eleven of these summer mansions are now opened to the public to tour. These homes did not allow photography indoors, but we did get some great shots of the properties.  If you ever get a chance to visit Rhode Island, I would make Newport one of your destinations. The tours were affordable, well produced, and very relaxing. 

                While there were many other fun experience and adventures during the Traveling Triad’s time in New England these three were among some of our favorites. Thanks for letting us share our adventures with you on this blog. Stay tuned for the photos of our remodeled travel trailer, our continental road trip and arrival of puppy Murphy into our family! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Hello again, it's been a while

Wow, so almost a month since the last time we have posted.  Sorry it has taken this long.  The three of us have had such an interesting experience up here in Boston and time has just flown by.  It's crazy to think that in just over a month we will be leaving to our next destination (wherever that may be).  So many things have happened in the past month so I thought I would fill you in and get you up to speed.

We finally had our first Fenway Experience.  I love baseball and to see one of the most historic baseball parks was one of the goals of mine for coming up to Boston.  The Red Sox beat the Arizona Diamondbacks that night and all of the Boston traditions we in full effect.  I had been waiting each inning to join in with Red Sox Nation in singing "Sweet Caroline".  Little did I know that it was in the 8th inning.  I think even Jenae might have enjoyed herself last night.  The self-proclaimed "Baseball Hater"  said that the non-consumerist vibe from the stadium was much more appealing to her than the gimmicks and up-selling at other ballparks she had been to.  This weekend we plan to go to another game, this one against the Yankees, Boston's most rivaled team.  I look forward to taking part in one of america's most heated rivalry in sports dating back to over a century.

In mid July, Jenae and I decided to take the plunge and purchase a travel trailer that we will be using for housing starting in October.  It is a 2006 Keystone Zeppelin 291. We took a weekend to visit my mother on her birthday as well as go down to the PA/MD border to buy the "Zep" and hauled it back to Abington.  We have been scoping out a trailer for about 5-6 months in order to bank some extra cash at each assignment.  We also decided to renovate the trailer to make it more our style and not something an 65 yr old would retire in.  So the renovations have been ongoing and we will be posting before/after photos to give you a glimpse of  our "home on the road".  In addition to the value of extra cash in each location, we (mostly me) have been waiting for an opportunity to add a dog to our family.  As of last week we have made a deposit on a male vizsla puppy born friday located in UT.   One of these puppies will be coming on the road with us and I am really looking forward to it.  8 weeks cant come soon enough.

I need some help with names everyone, post a comment with what you think we should name our little Vizsla.

So thats is just a little bit of where we are, what we have done, and what the future holds.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Photos Photos Photos

Hello again everyone,
It has been a little over a week and we have done some pretty awesome things so far since moving up to Mass.  I'm sure you all have read about our crazy dance club night. We also had a chance to cross off one of my boxes on my bucket list:  Seeing the Blue Man Group!  What a great show.  I encourage you to go see it if you ever get the chance.

So in addition to all of these fun activities we have captured some pretty amazing shots (if i do say so myself).  Katie and I are entry level photographers currently honing our skills in "The Athens of America" as coined by William Tudor.  Katie has already posted some great shots of Fort Revere Park and I'm sure you will get to see some of her fantastic shots of Boston.  I have so many shots to put up but for now here are some of my favorite shots of the Bean-town Architecture :

A Little Boston Fog

More fog please with the Custom House Tower Clock

Sam Adams... A Patriot (and delicious beer)

Three building back to back looked like a massive fortress

On way to The Blue Man Group

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dance Disaster

It’s a warm Saturday night.  Katie and I had just gotten back from a long day of shopping, exhausted I collapsed into the couch next to Drew.  “I think I want to take a long bath.” Drew says with a sleepy smile.  “Hmm a night on the coach sounds great. “ I add.  

Katie looks woefully back at the two of. “I’m bored.” She declares.  Inside I have to laugh, Drew and I are not used to such constant activity and Katie’s energizer bunny attitude shames me into action.  I grab my lap top and state, “Alright well it’s 10 pm, let’s see what Abington’s night life looks like.”  Drew and Katie laugh at me simultaneously.  Abington is a small quite town on the outskirts of Boston. The main population here is suburban families and retirees. Yet, I always did love a good challenge.
I started scrolling through my goggle search announce destinations aloud, most of which were bars or bowling allies. I look up at Katie to see if anything caught her attention. Her blank stare, let me know she less then enthused to spend her Saturday night at  Joe’s American Bar and Grill. After a few more moments I struck gold, “Katie there is a night club 20 minutes from here called Vincent’s. Cover charge is only ten bucks.”  “Do you guys want to go?” Katie asks tentatively with a twinkle of excitement in her eye.  

I sigh and working up my most energetic  smile say, “Sure we do! Don’t we Drew!”  Drew says nothing. I can see the panic forming in his eyes at the thought of giving up a relaxing bath to be designated driver for his wife and her best friend. Even worse, I might expect him to dance too! I elbow him in the ribs and with a little coaxing, he slowly nods and states, “why the hell not.”
After a feverish rush to get “nightclub” hot, we rush to the car to try to make it to the club before midnight.  As we arrive we see a packed parking lot and bouncers out-front.  “This is a good sign.” I declare aloud. Surly a busy nightclub is an indication of a good time, right.
As we walk in the bouncer looks slightly amused to see us. Is it something we were wearing? Were we overdressed, under-dressed? I don’t do this sort of thing often. It could be any number of things. The bouncer asks for ID, and when seeing our PA licenses nods his head as if had just solved a riddle. “You guys are from PA, huh?", he says with a smile. Well, have a good time.”  While trying to unravel the Bouncers mystery statement we walked through the entrance and into the lobby.  
While paying our cover charge, anticipation and excitement flooded me.  Katie and I were ready to get our dance on.  Bring on the Usher, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Flow Rider and Pit bull!  After paying we finally entered the big black door. The club music flooded my ears and bright, neon, yellow, blue and red lights shown down on hundreds of people.  For a moment I was completely disoriented. Wait a minute was that Billy Jean, by Michael Jackson playing?!

As my eyes adjusted to the lights I realized my mistake and everything made sense.  I now knew why the bouncer thought we were out of place!  Unfortunately,  Katie and Drew had realized it quicker than me. “ Jenae, you brought us to a elderly night club!” Katie declared loudly over the music.  To my horror I realized they were right. There was not a single person under the age of 40 in the entire room!  There were hundreds of inebriated older people bobbing awkwardly around the room with rhyme or reason and certainly without rhythm!

“This is awesome!” Drew declared loudly.  “ It’s the funniest thing I have ever seen! Check that guy out over there.” Following his finger I saw which dancer had caught his eye. The middle aged gentleman was shorter in stature and dressed head to toe, Michael Jackson style  with a white top hat, white jackets, undone tie, and white pants.  He also had sequined silver socks and 1 matching silver glove.  To describe this mans unique form of dance would takes hundreds if not thousands of words.  Let’s just say, his signature move was taking his right ankle and tucking it behind his neck while gyrating with his hips and making a grand sweeping gesture with his left arm.  In short, it was one of the craziest and most entertaining drunk dances I have ever seen.
The night was filled with many such spectacles. There was the lady who loved spinning in repetitive circles and attempting scissor kicks. We also saw jazz hands, a man jog dancing in the corner, and my personal favorite, the grandma grind.  There were of course several shinning stars in this club. One couple in their late fifties actually had great moves and did an impressive salsa dance.  While it’s true the good dancers were few and far between, everyone was having a good time and cutting loose and we enjoyed every minute. While we did not get a lot of dancing in we did have a lot of laughs.
At the end of the night we all agreed we had learned three valuable lessons:
                                1. Never let Jenae pick out night clubs.
                                2.  A night out beats a night on the coach.
                                3. A travel experience might not be what you expect, however, it could be even better
                                    if  you embrace it with a good attitude. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Arriving and Exploring Fort Revere

 So in the span of a couple of days we all ended our jobs, moved to Massachusetts, and started our new jobs. Luckily my packing wasn't nearly as epic as Drew's and Jenae's (see video below). For one I'm one person. Also my car is the size of a glorified roller skate so I had to pack like a minimalist. The trip up here was an exercise in navigation and trust. Navigation because it's a five hour drive. Trust because my slightly neurotic/OCD/lovable cat Mia found out that just because I was leaving the car for a cup of coffee it did not mean I was abandoning her to the world. Luckily she didn't cry bloody murder the entire way up to Boston. 

We arrived at our new home in small little Abington outside of Boston and set up our new apartment. And the next day, off to explore the world we began! The three of us found ourselves on the beach in Hull, MA and made our way up to Fort Revere Park. It's ironic, at least for me with my love of history, that the first adventure that we took on this trip was to a historical site. Fort Revere is an old military fort dating back to revolutionary times. It provided quite the sights as well! It sits on a hill overlooking the water and town. And for lunch? Seafood of course. I would say that's a good start. 

Check out the pics! Excuse my subpar photography skills. Hopefully that's something that will improve as we progress!