Week 9 update

January 14-20, 2015.
We’ve been away over 2 months and we’re really feeling like we’re on vacation now! The sun, the palm trees and the island culture feels like a great fit. We left Orlando and headed south through Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach (stopped for the afternoon), passed Miami and headed for the keys. We’re definitely taking advantage of the weather, spending ($) like we’re on vacation and enjoying cold beer during the hot days.





Taking a beat on the beach in Palm Beach and watching the parasailers


Heading south on the overseas highway is a really stunning drive

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We stayed in Marathon, a little low-key town between Key Largo and Key West. This was our campground. (we normally stay with friends and Walmart)


We enjoyed some yummy key lime pie. The hurricanes have wiped out most of the key limes in the keys, but now they’re imported from Mexico to keep the tradition alive.

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We did a vision-boarding session with Merredith (Jackson’s mom) and friends over skype. Jackson’s is shown first, Erin’s second/below. We’ve got them hanging in the van to keep our possibilities alive.


We went on a little zip on a jet ski before we made it to key west. That was so fun! It was choppy and we were soaked, laughing the whole time. That is until we saw a fin circling our ski. We both paused…and then two dolphins jumped out of the water beside us. We were surrounded in dolphins just playing. It was so magical….and totally unexpected (the company really didn’t up-sell the experience).




Jackson hunted and killed a coconut for us

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We finally made it to Key West, the most southern point in the ‘continental’ US. We pulled into our camp site at Boyd’s campground and joined the folks beside us for a BBQ and drinks. Emma, RJ, Mira and Colin were fun to hang with (from Rhode Island and northern Florida).






We spent the rest of the evening on Duval street, the big tourist party street. We did our own pub crawl and saw everything from sport’s bars to live music to DJ.


We sampled some conch fritters at the Rusty Anchor, a local spot.


We did an after dark kayak tour off Stock Island, saw some photo luminescent worms, as well as urchins, star fish and lots of small fish. The experience being out in the dark, sneaking around the mangroves and seeing the stars was really cool. The sea life was less than exciting, but nothing beats the dolphins.


1 US state this week (FL), 16 in total during the trip
874 kms this week (543 mi), 7709 total on the trip (4790 mi)
Spent $1453 this week, $8387.53 total

Week 8 update

January 7-13, 2015.
This past week we stayed in Florida and wrapped up our time in Orlando….getting ready to head even further south (where we are now – in the keys). We’ve been away for 2 months now and we’re starting to get our stride with figuring out what works best for us: taking time to enjoy coffee in the mornings, getting to the gym early, having lots of fresh food around, adding in a little straight-up tourism here and there, chatting with the locals, staying in touch with family/friends back home, getting lots of sleep, meditating, etc.






Seeing our new friends again (the ones we house-sat for) Victor and Houda. They took Erin out for dinner at the Cedars (Lebanese restaurant) which had great food and belly dancing.


Jackson did the Landmark Forum course which he’d love to tell you more about if you’re interested. It’s a total life reboot. The pic above is he and new friend Dasha at dinner during the course.

Erin attended “a course in miracles” which is a course on shifting how you see the world in simple terms (meeting new friend Elisa, another participant who is also exploratory and is planning a great adventure herself).



Erin also attending a mass same-sex marriage ceremony at the Unitarian Church since same-sex marriage has just been recognized in the state of Florida. Some of the couples have been together for decades. Celebrating love!

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We wrapped up a month of working out at Anytime Fitness in Orlando (South Hiawassee Road), a club owned by Ella and Nick Carter. They kept a really well-run, clean, friendly gym. We kept healthy over the holidays, sometimes visiting twice a day. Thanks!

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We enjoyed another (our final) evening of improv, watching the group Penguin Knife Fight. Lots of laughs once again. We had become regulars, but alas, we’ll find a new laughter hotspot in our upcoming locations.


1 US state this week (FL), 16 in total during the trip

587 kms this week (365 mi), 6835 total on the trip (4247 mi)

Spent $474.38 this week, $6934.53 total

Week 7 update

December 31, 2014-January 6, 2015.

Ringing in the new year is always a treat for us. In gratitude, we look back at 2014 and with anticipation we look forward to 2015. Erin wrote a post on her Chapter 30 blog listing some of the coolest experiences in 2014 with pics (trips, celebrations, challenges).

This was the final week of being in our house-sitting gig in Orlando (which was a great experience). We’re in Orlando for another week while Jackson reviews the Landmark Forum course. After the life transformational course, we’ll head to even warmer weather in Miami. After a sunburn we will head up the gulf coast of Florida.





We brought a groupon to “Airheads” trampoline arena which was playful, childish and oh so fun. Jackson jumped higher than everyone else (note: everyone else was 7 years old).



We met the neighbors at our housesit when EVERYONE set off fireworks on New Year’s Eve. We had bought a supply in Georgia and were waiting for the right time.



In good form to ring in the new year, we went to the gym twice.Finny thing, in the week following January 1 the gym got much busier.


We did some Tai Chang (similar to Tai Chi) and yoga this week


We went to Salsa Heat for a beginner salsa lesson. They made you switch partners every few minutes so after a few rotations of dancing with snowbirds, Jackson’s skills were looking pretty darn good.


We checked out Penguin Knife Fight again at Natura Cafe which is a really great improv comedy show. Jackson volunteered for a game where the performers would point to him to fill in the blanks. He’s a quick thinker and did a great job!

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We’ve been doing a lot more walking this week and ocasionally we come across interesting creatures.


Erin started song-writing this week with instructor Ben which was so cool! She wrote a song called “Tied Together” and is working on more. As well, she’s learned some Eagles music and is going country-music this week.


Jackson enjoyed his final session of acupuncture in Orlando with Dr. Yang. As well, we each got massages this week from Crystal Blue Health Spa (Amanda Howard).  NOTE: the new haircut 😉




-We’re reading (Listening) “The Pursuit of Perfect” by Tal Ben-Shahar and “You are a badass” by Jen Sincero

-We visited the First Unitarian Church of Orlando this Sunday too which focused on how times and attitudes change in society (how women used to not lead churches, how this week Florida passed legislation to allow same-sex marriage and then…where will we be in 100 years? What will we look back on and think how bizarre it was?)




1 US state this week (FL), 16 in total during the trip

369 kms this week (229 mi), 6248 total on the trip (3882 mi)

Spent $323.32 this week, $6460.15 total

Week 6 Update

December 24-30, 2014

Hope everyone had a great holiday! It’s odd being in the sun for the holidays, but who’s complaining?! This week we took advantage of being settled in Orlando and took in some of the local activities, and as well did a quick trip to Miami to visit friends.




Christmas festivities


Big baptist church Christmas eve service (we wanted a carol sing and this was the place)


For Christmas Eve we called lots of family and friends, and as well had a competition to see who could put a puzzle together the fastest (clearly we are stellar at rainy day activities). Okay, Jackson won by 4 minutes.



Our “Christmas tree”



We learned our friends Steve and Nadine (from Toronto) were in Miami (only a 3.5 hr drive from Orlando) so we drove down for a little visit.





We did a date night just the two of us as well



Improv Show


This great group called Penguin Knife Fight does a Monday night show each week at Natura Cafe. Best $3 we spent this whole trip! Erin got involved at one point as a volunteer. This is definitely something we want to get into (doing improv and not just watching).



Afternoon tea


We did afternoon tea at Infusion Cafe (which also has a craft co-op retail space in it). We ate dainty things and did a little new year’s resolution work/play. We used Susannah Conway’s awesome (free) workbook – Unravelling 2015 which you can download yourself. It helps you wind down the past year while dreaming about and gearing up to the new year. Awesome exercise!


We also had an evening on our own where Jackson relaxed in a quiet cafe and Erin went to a bustling cafe for an open mic night/spoken word event (Dandelion Communitea Cafe). “Diverse Word” was hosted by Shawn Welcome so check out one of his poems in this video:



Other highlights:

-Erin continues with guitar lessons from Ben Zier-Vogel who is an awesome teacher!! If you’re in Orlando and want a great experience learning guitar, Ben’s your guy. Contact him

-Tried another Unitarian Universalist Church (UU Society) in Orlando that is lay led by members of the congregation. This week the theme was the war on Christmas.



1 US state this week (FL), 16 in total during the trip

1232 kms this week (766 mi), 5879 total on the trip (3653 mi)

Spent $765.12 this week, $6136.83 total