Tampa, FL and Nosara, Costa Rica

Sorry I’ve been off the blog wagon as of late. I take holiday time seriously – time off means time off, and for me that meant time off of the computer, too.

We landed in Tampa, FL on November 20th. My dad lives there, so we came to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with him and send Benjamin Franklin into the shop to get a good once over and some maintenance. Turns out the closet stench is from wood rot. I’m amazed that rotting wood can smell as foul as to convince us it was actually a dead animal of some sort.

Thanksgiving was lovely – Ramos Gin Fizzes and turkey were had, as well as lots of QT with family. Travis’s grandparents live in nearby Plant City so we were able to have them over for Thanksgiving dinner and see both his mom and aunt who were in town.

To be honest, we didn’t do a whole lot that was exciting these two weeks as we were mainly interested in some R&R and little to no running around. My dad lives in a non-puny living space, unlike what we had in Brooklyn and at present, so Monkey the cat didn’t quite know what to do with so much space. It’s no mansion, but I don’t think she’s ever had so much space to explore and attempt to dominate.

My dad was kind enough to cat sit for the two weeks that we’re off on a Costa Rica adventure. Some of the best nicknames for her that have come out of his mouth (so far) are: Captain Bellyflop, Pesky Nematode, and Miss Pussner.

At present we’re in Playa Guiones, Costa Rica on a Robly retreat. Six of us are staying in a beautiful home with a pool, near the beach. It is breathtaking. Getting here was a haul – we flew Tampa > Miami, had a 4.5 hour layover, then 2.5 hour flight into Liberia, plus a 3-hour drive from the airport to where we are. But sweet jesus, was it worth it.



It’s hot, humid, and the ocean is perfect. You can jump in at 6 am or 6pm and the water feels perfect. The house has several nooks that are perfect for working.



We’re taking surf lessons every morning, working during the day, going to the beach for sunsets, and going to bed by 9pm. Pura vida, ‘fo sho. We’ve had a couple of power outages, though. So far only one has impacted our work day – today there was a planned outage (we didn’t know until our surf instructor told us first thing this morning, apparently they are monkey-proofing some of the power lines) until noon so we had to truck down to a local hotel that had a generator and WiFi to get on the work stick. Hopefully there aren’t too many of those on the books for the time frame we’re here – it’s a bit pathetic how little we can get done without internet OR cell service (the towers went out, too).



There are also lots of fun bugs and critters here. Lizards, iguanas, giant grasshoppers (locusts?), birds, millipedes, moths…


Greg the Grasshopper. Or is Greg a Locust?

I have to admit I’ve been pretty lazy with the camera for once. I’ve been too interested in doing The Things rather than making sure I capture them on camera, but in the next two weeks I should be able to catch some decent snaps with ye olde GoPro. Maybe. No promises, though.


We Did It!

We left our home in Red Hook, Brooklyn today.

The last few weeks have absolutely flown by. Thank you to all our loved ones who spent time with us these last several weeks – we have some damn fine friends in our lives!

As we  took our final pass up Van Brunt Street, I asked Travis how he felt. He was sad, I was in an in-between state of disbelief and excitement. Monkey, champ that she is, yowled as we carried her down the stairs and into the truck, but once she was deposited into her back seat screen box, she settled down and has been sleeping and chattering as per usual. I’m writing this blog post in the truck, we currently just passed Rocky Gap State Park in Maryland.

The mysterious case of the disappearing suitcase

The weirdest thing happened before we left – we didn’t have much to pack up this morning. The mattress, one bag of fridge stuff, our laundry bin the cat, and our bags. My carry on suitcase was one of them. I didn’t put much in there, just some clothes and my bath kit/toiletries. I remember zipping it up this morning. I literally don’t remember carrying it down or putting it in the truck or the RV. I don’t know what made Travis mention it about a half an hour after we had left, but as everything we had left was put into the RV in two trips, I figured it had to be in there.

The more I thought about it, the more I had no recollection of moving it beyond seeing it this morning.

I made Travis stop so I could check; sure enough, it wasn’t in the RV. I called our landlord who was kind enough to check our apartment and the curb – this was probably 45 minutes after we left – then called our friend upstairs and he walked down the entire street back to where our RV was parked and didn’t see it.

I’m completely stumped. The only thing I can think is that I left it on the sidewalk while placing other things, forgot to throw it in the truck bed that first run, then someone nicked it. It was 6:30 am on a Saturday morning so even that seems unlikely.

In any case, we’ve both gone over and over what could have happened – fortunately nothing irreplaceable was in there. I’ve already replaced the important bits on Amazon and was able to find the dress I was sad to lose on eBay for $25. Hot damn I love the internet.

Okay anyway, I’ll let you know if we ever solve the mystery but I’m not holding my breath – and I hope whoever finds my bag enjoys the motley selection of crappy tank tops, old underwear, and travel size toiletries. Score for you!

Here’s our plan so far:

Today we’re making our way to West Virginia. It’s probably about a 10 hour drive, but we’re breaking it up so our first voyage can be slow and relaxed…and so kitty can have breaks.

Once there we will put our boxes in storage with Travis’s mom and stepdad, who live on a lovely little hilltop in rural West Virginia, and we’ve decided to stay there for a month. It’s scenic, has beautiful sunsets, lots of fireflies, and all the peace and quiet you can handle. AKA a great place to decompress from NYC!

Originally we thought we might spend the last two weeks of August in Virginia’s Shenandoah  Valley, but prices for RV parks the last couple of weeks or the month are relatively out of control, so we’re going to stay put until Labor Day weekend, when we’ll head to the D.C. area for my dear friends Tanya and Scott’s wedding in Alexandria, VA.

From there we’ll head north and probably make our way toward Maine. We’d like to traipse around in Maine and Vermont through September and October, then make our way south as the temperature goes down.

My dad lives in Tampa, FL so our goal is to make it there by Thanksgiving. Maybe we’ll do Christmas in Key West.

After that we’ll make our way west. 🌅

But Which Shoes Should I Bring?

The packing process has started.

The nice thing about moving into an RV is that I know I won’t need most of my stuff. That means getting rid of or storing non-necessities is a no-brainer. But ugh, what about shoes, you guys? And I don’t mean this in an “OMG you guys I just canNOT live without ALL MY SHOES” way but in a “How the heck do I know what is practical and necessary for the next year” way.

I have a couple weddings to go to over the next year, which means at least one pair has to be wedding-worthy.

Hiking shoes/boots and flip flops are mandatory, of course. And sneakers. That’s already four pairs, but not so terrible.

I’m adding at least one pair of leather ankle boots and some cold weather boots. Okay that’s six.

What about rain boots? Will I need those? I’d love to NOT bring them because they’re bulky, but can’t imagine we won’t get stuck in rain at some point and I don’t wanna get stuck inside because I don’t have footwear that can slosh through puddles.

What about Toms? Great, easy slip ons for outdoors. Croc Mary Janes? Lightweight, also great for anything involving water. Slip on Vans that I wear all the time? One sensible pair of flats for anything potentially work-trip related? That’s at least 11 contenders and feels like far too many for RV living. I dug my 10-year-old Tevas out of a bag yesterday, too. Do I need those?!

Help me, internet. What are your tips for a well-curated shoe selection when it comes to RV Life?