A ‘Layover’ in Philly

We enjoy watching Anthony Bourdain’s travel shows and generally adore his sarcastic wit and definitely love seeing the places he goes and the food he eats. While The Layover isn’t our favorite of his shows, we’ve blown through the seasons on Netflix quickly. The Layover is a set amount of time to see the city and we even took his advice on Philly and didn’t try any cheesesteaks. (ok, that’s really because we were full during times we were around some joints that served them up!)

View from our hotel room in Philly
View from our hotel room in Philly

When Keith got the word he needed to go on a client site in NJ, I was inspired to see what a whirlwind weekend would be like, layover style!

Even last minute, DFW has some great options for flights and I am already digging that so many of them are non stop. I devised a travel plan that had us flying in on Friday, spending Friday night and Saturday morning in Philadelphia, then heading up to NYC for an overnight and a show before heading to Princeton, NJ where Keith had to be for work. Have I mentioned lately I love that I can work from wherever? Another thing I love about my current company? That we are all remote and therefore located all over the world. I got some great tips on Philly from a few coworkers that live in the area.

Walking along the streets of Philadelphia
Walking along the streets of Philadelphia

Our first stop in Philadelphia was the hotel I booked right in downtown and then to get some food. We stopped at Good Dog Bar and snagged some pretty decent sandwiches. We went back to the hotel for a few hours as we both had to catch up on a little bit of work before once again heading out to explore. We took off on foot to wander the city on a glorious not-too-hot Friday night. We first wandered west and walked around Rittenhouse Square. I really dig old squares in a city and this square looks well utilized by the crowds enjoying it.

Walking along South Street
Walking along South Street

Taking a quick look at the map, we then turned south until we hit South Street. We walked the entire length and noticed it got much funkier the closer we got to the river. We LOVED the art murals and installations as we walked. Eagle eye Keith spotted a Atomic City comic book store and they had the comic I’ve been trying to find so I can read the series – also a good score!

So much great art on South Street
So much great art on South Street

We then arrived at Penn Landing and walked along the waterfront, admiring the boats and listening to some great jazz. Finally, we getting quite hungry after walking for hours so we started headed back in the direction of our hotel. We ended up stopping at Red Owl Tavern  –which was a tad expensive and in tourist central, but overall rather decent eats– before we dragged our tired selves back to the hotel. We probably should have planned a little better for our food stops, but we will learn!

View of New Jersey from Penn Landing
View of New Jersey from Penn Landing

The next day we again headed out on foot and stopped at the Reading Terminal Market for breakfast. We made an ok choice in food but probably could have done better as we kept wandering the market. I love downtown food markets & its nice to see this one hopping.

Reading Terminal Market sign in downtown Philly
Reading Terminal Market sign in downtown Philly

We really enjoyed our abbreviated stay in Philly and hope to make it back again soon. We learned that if we are going to have more weekend layovers, we need to plan our food stops better. Otherwise, it was a short but fun visit.

So many great murals scattered around downtown.
So many great murals scattered around downtown.

Time for NYC!!

Our New Home Base – Denton, Texas!

We’ve been traveling around this great country for nearly 4 years and much of that time has been in our 37 foot RV. While we took two city breaks in Portland, OR and Cincinnati, OH, we’ve relied on Crush to be our main home and she’s taken good care of us.

We’ve learned that we love to travel, and love to travel with our dog Samantha. We’ve also learned that at about the 6 month point in the RV, we start to crave a little bit of space. The mantra of life is great if 80% of the RV is in working order gets a bit old, and things that used to be fun, like flipping switches to decide if I get hot water or clean clothes, gets annoying. After a break, all the crazy that comes with RVing is A-ok again!

Samantha in front of Crush in Kansas
Samantha in front of Crush in Kansas

Renting with a ‘vicious’ German Shepherd is hard and as the rental market gets tougher across the country, it makes it tougher for us to pick a random city and take a break from RV living. Our two previous apartment stays we bought ikea furniture and then donated it when we were through, but that gets expensive and a bit old as well.

We decided it was time to own a home again, but we wanted a small, affordable home as we still plan on traveling 4-6 months out of the year. A house would give us a place to land when we are craving space, and a home base so we can get involved in the community a bit more. I miss doing local theatre and want to return to college to learn a language, and Keith is looking forward to getting involved with tech groups. It will also be nice to get into a better exercise routine!

The beautiful Denton courthouse in the square
The beautiful Denton courthouse in the square

So why Denton? It’s a college town which brings a lot of energy and we like that. The downtown square has some great bars and restaurants and is becoming quite the hub of activity. It’s a music lovers town and for the size, has a lot of festivals. It’s only 45 minutes to DFW which will support our international travels quite nicely, and it’s centrally located in the country allowing us to still RV during the summer months.

We initially only wanted to be within walking distance to the square, but we quickly found that the homes were either too close to the college, or needed way too much repair for the price. We’ve expanded our search some within 5 miles of the square, which is reasonable biking distance. We’ve found a subdivision (I know, I know!) that doesn’t completely suck and is within a mile of restaurants. We’re being picky as we don’t want to back right up and only see the neighbors roof as our view out the back, so we’ll see how this all shakes out.

So, that’s why Texas…in July. It’s prime house hunting season and we’ve been traveling since last September which means we are past due for a break. We’re struggling a bit as the temps soar and have had a lot of AC issues – we’ve been dealing with 84-92 degrees INSIDE the RV. We currently have two NEW AC units after weeks of struggles and are now much more comfortable.

When we announced we were house hunting on our personal facebook feed, many people were sad that our traveling was over. Believe me, it’s not! Texas summers are a killer and I have designs next summer to RV across Canada. Like I also mentioned, we want to step up our international travels as we loved our time in Italy so hope to find a great dog sitter or nice spot to board Samantha for those trips.

Along with house hunting, we need to plan on RV shopping as we are pretty sure downsizing is in our future. The best part of downsizing is knowing it will be easier to secure state park reservations!

I look forward to highlighting Denton on this blog, maybe even highlighting some of our home updates and of course still highlight all of our travels we plan on doing.

Campground Notes: Royal View Campground

After spending some time near a city center in Santa Fe, it was time to be out in the country. I took some time searching for a campground that would be willing to give us a monthly rate and ended up splurging a bit on the site at Royal View Campground.

View out our front window
View out our front window

For Class A RV’s only, you can pull into the spot and see nothing but mountains & trees. The first two weeks were glorious – perfect views to watch the storms roll in, and reasonable temperatures. And then, it was 90 degrees and we had no shade.

Impressive storms rolled in almost daily.
Impressive storms rolled in almost daily.

It’s tough in hot weather when you are a large 37 foot Class A, with 30 AMPS. While we have 2 AC units, they just barely keep up in that kind of heat. We then have to use gas to heat the water and for our fridge so we don’t trip a breaker.

Our lunch walk - the dirt road next to the campground with beautiful views.
Our lunch walk – the dirt road next to the campground with beautiful views.

Other than that, we really enjoyed our stay. While some reviews had some negative things to say about the place, we had zero issues. Keep your site cleaned up and pick up after your pup and there shouldn’t be a problem here. The park itself was nicely kept up and we walked the trails in the meadow and the loop every day.

Our rig at Royal View.
Our rig at Royal View.

The park wifi is spotty at best and due to their location, this was something I was warned about when we booked. Don’t plan on free interwebs for netflix here. Since we travel with a Verizon mifi, this was not an issue for us.

It was an easy drive into Canon City proper but far enough away to enjoy the scenery. If only we prepared for such heat in June!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...