Burlington to Ithaca!

Last we left you we were en route to Burlington, Vermont – and we’re stoked that we went. After being in super small, rural towns we were excited to be close to a more mid-sized small city.

We parked Benjamin Franklin (this is what we’ve named our 5th wheel by way) at North Beach Park – and so happy we did. It’s behind the high school (kind of random) but steps away from a beautiful sandy beach on the shoreline of Lake Champlain. The site definitely has more of a state park feel – the spots were a bit more packed in and due to its location there was a lot of local foot traffic due to its proximity to the beach and the recreational trail that runs along the waterfront.

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Benjamin Franklin at North Beach Park

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North Beach – a 45 second walk from our site!

Burlington was a lot like Boulder – I’d always heard that Burlington’s Church Street was a lot like Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall.

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Church Street – very much like Pearl Street in Boulder, CO!

They’re essentially fraternal twins – same vibe (college town, pedestrian mall, very outdoorsy culture), similar eating scene (plenty of fun bars and eateries with farm-to-table fare and craft beer up the yin yang), and shops (everything from chains like Urban Outfitters and lululemon to metaphysical book stores and Tibetan shops).

 

We were a 15-minute bike ride from downtown – and definitely took advantage by biking around whenever we could. Burlington is basically on a hill, though – there are some steep streets that make for a great leg workout.

Between the two of us we spent work days at places like Dobra Tea (finally, a place with Bi Luo Chun!), the Skinny Pancake (ALL the crepes and Heady Topper cans on deck), Scout & Co. (spacious, with waffles – we’re kicking ourselves for not getting the Wafflegato), and Uncommon Grounds Coffee & Tea (lovely coffee shop with foodstuffs – beware though, there are ZERO power outlets here – I mean I get it, don’t linger but some of us have janky laptops whose batteries don’t last as long as our lattes).

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Heady Topper at the Skinny Pancake. Heaven!

I spent my afternoons back at camp, working from the beach with a hotspot or inside the rig and was also pretty yoked to make a grocery run to Trader Joe’s – something that is definitely a luxury now that we’ve left the city.

I had also had enough of dealing with my long hair – so I decided to chop it off. I’m not sure why it was more annoying to deal with in an RV than anywhere else I’ve lived but nevertheless, I was over it.

Armed with Pinterest photos, I booked a last minute appointment at Sequoia Salon with Leah Liberty. I warned her that I’m the laziest human on the planet when it comes to my hair, but that I was maybe sort of interested in an inverted bob, as long as it was low maintenance. Armed with all the reassurances I needed, I gave her the green light to chop and I couldn’t be more happy with what she did. ✂️

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I should have taken a before photo. Trust me, this is 3,000% better.

We ate dinner at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill on Leah’s recommendation. Travis at the chicken! For those of you who don’t know, Travis has been a staunch vegetarian for more than five years now – unless he knows that the meat on a menu is sustainably and responsibly produced, he won’t eat it – so it’s always very exciting when we find places that fit that particular bill.

We wanted to stay in Burlington over the weekend – we were booked through Friday – to ride our bikes up the recreation path to Grand Isle over what looks like a bonkers bike path over the lake to a ferry in the middle. Sadly, the weekend was booked solid so we had no choice but to leave.

And so on to Ithaca we go!

 

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NYC Recovery

Things have slowed waaaaaay down since the little tractor that could hauled us up the hill. And I couldn’t be happier about it.

While my work life is still relatively bananas (shouldn’t everyone in the country be on vacation right now?!), everything else in my life feels like the volume dialed down from max down to about a four. I’m not sure why four is the number, but it just feels right.

I have to say that thing I’m most grateful right now is that I’ve been sleeping like a motherfucking feline (yeah, NOT a baby because…have you ever SEEN new parents? Babies clearly suck at sleep. Cats sleep two-thirds of their lives away, so they’re clearly the better metaphor) for the last 10 days and I couldn’t be happier about it.

In my list of what I won’t miss about NYC, I whined about how noisy it is. Most mornings for the last five years I’ve been woken up by myriad vehicular cacophanies before 7 am, among other sleep disturbances. I don’t think I truly realized how much more of a mutant this made me. I mean, I LOVE sleeping. And now that I’ve officially left I was able to recognize how sad and interrupted my log sawing has been for the last five years – I figured I’d just assimilate at some point and get used to it, but I never did.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.” Sleep also helps your brain form new pathways, improves learning, and lets your body heal. It keeps your immune system up and running and your hormones in check. I mean, come on, it’s amazing! In fact the more I read up on it the more I’m convinced I should just go back to sleep RIGHT NOW.

Life in general feels better when I’m well-rested. Combined with a desk set up right in front of a window with a view of colorful Cosmos, Swallowtail and Monarch butterflies, hummingbirds, goldfinches, Mourning doves, bumblebees, green grass, and forested hillsides, I am 1000% content with our life decisions at the moment.

A break before The Break

 

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Best office, ever.

I mentioned in my last post that the company I work for went fully remote at the beginning of the year. Our CEO decided to put an off-site employee retreat together in Antigua for the week, so despite everything we need to do before we hit the road in August (pack, figure out what to put in storage, figure out what to toss, get both vehicles road-ready, etc), it was basically impossible to say no to a week in paradise.

We’re staying in an amazing Villa in Willoughby Bay – technically it is hurricane season between June and November so in terms of tourist traffic it’s much slower, but the weather is amazing – we’re on the southeastern side of the island where there’s always a stiff moving breeze – temps are between 77° and 85° 100% of the time.

Travis was invited to come along as well so here we all are in paradise, having a lovely week working hard and playing hard. The villa has WiFi but it’s relatively inconsistent (think: LOTS of plugging and unplugging the router) but we got a backup connection thanks to the property manager. Afternoons have been punctuated with trips to several of the 365 beaches on the island – and PS, none of the beaches are private. Also, fun fact: Eric Clapton has a (massive) home on the island as well as a swanky rehab facility that we can see across the bay from our place.

We did a group sailboat trip on Sunday as a pre-workweek outing – we took a 39-foot single hull boat out for a little sail and some snorkeling. I saw a couple Eagle rays (probably one of the most amazing things in the ocean IMHO), a stingray, and a handful of sea turtles. It was heaven for me and feeling VERY lucky and grateful this week for the life I’ve managed to put together between my job and everything else.

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Honu! Sea turtles snackin’ on the grass.

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Eagle Ray! Love those spots.