Google Places and Platypie

Celebrating Two Years on the Road: Part 1

November 17, 2011

Key Lime Pie MartiniEarlier this month we celebrated our second anniversary of living on the road. We toasted the occasion with our new favorite bedtime drink, a Key Lime Pie Martini.

We raised our glasses to our decision to live on the road and how well it has been going for us. No regrets.

We decided to share a little bit of what we may or may not have learned, what people ask and what we have liked.

Top Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are your favorite places to visit?

Big Bend Country along with the towns of Marfa, Alpine and Ft. Davis in southwest Texas: This is probably the area that made us decide to go full time on the road. (We have been heading back there ever since we left New York City.)

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park (gauche by Peg)

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park (gauche by Peg)

2. Where would you settle down?

I still love New York City, but the practical answer is somewhere near our daughter in Washington, DC. (Lucky Liz)

If in twenty years we could be the same age we are now, it would be New York or Key West, although New Orleans whispers to us, “come back.”

3. How do you sleep in that bed?

Winnebago full queen-sized bedQuite well thank you. We know it doesn’t look like it, but that is a full queen-sized bed up there; actually extra long.  (I have an extra long husband) Recently we bought a memory foam mattress which we love. We can sort of sit up to read and there is plenty of room for other activities. We both read books on our iPads at night, so the overhead reading lights are no longer a problem.

4. What do you do when you can’t find a campground?

Usually, we will boon dock at a Wal•Mart. However, small banks with drive-up windows are often quite level and a nice place to sleep late, especially on weekends. Other places we have boon-docked in the past few years: Churchill Downs, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art, A Causeway in Titusville, Florida, McDonald Observatory in SW Texas, Tailgating lots in Buffalo and Indianapolis... If we have more than 100-200 miles to travel we usually plan on sleeping at a Wal•Mart. Honestly, we don’t drive much. Some months we have only used one tank of gas

5. What do you miss the most about New York City?

Our friends and Central Park. Bernie misses his hardwired hi-speed connection and playing video games on line with his son and son-in-law.

Left: A cold and rainy morning walking Sully in a Wal•Mart near Erie, PA.
Right: Boondocking below the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame on Lake Erie.

6. What are the best campgrounds you’ve stayed in so far?

Blue Water Key RV Resort, just north of Key West, Florida: Tiki hut, mini kitchen, fishing and snorkeling off our own dock and an orchid garden...

Blue Water Key RV Resort, just north of Key West, Florida

Army Corps of Engineers site on the Red River in Texas: Rolling grassy hills, hiking trails, a beautiful river, migrating birds and bald eagles and pretty much alone...

Army Crops of Engineers site on the Red River in Texas

7. How do you cook in that thing?

It’s pretty easy and I tend to do much more of it out here than I did in NYC. Calling for delivery of almost any food was just too easy in the city. Now, we favor recipes that don’t require too many bowls and pans because there is not a lot of room. We have been posting recipes that we have gathered along the way, and that are easy to prepare in a small space. Check out our kitchen and some recipes.

8. How do you all get along in such a small space?

Same as always. We figure we live well in a small space because we almost always worked together in our businesses. For years, everyday we went to work together and then came home and hung out together. We have a rule that when walking/hiking or taking in a site together: We NEVER talk about W. (Work) Pretty much same deal has held out here. Even when we lived in our fairly large four-story house in Woodley Park in Washington DC we were usually together working at our face to face drafting tables.

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park (gauche by Peg)

This is someone else in our workspace, but you can see our two iMacs and the general look of the workspace. (How Many Calli's can you find in this picture?)

9. What do you say to people who say, “I dream of traveling around the country like you”

Rent a camper and take a long trip in it before you commit and buy one.

Not everyone is cut out to give up a “real” home and live full time on the road. Accept that, but know that If you keep a residence somewhere, that your property will consume much of your time and worry.

Left: Frida is helping us move out of our apartment in New York City. Above: Our 10 cubic foot storage space north of Baltimore, Maryland

Keep it simple...don’t buy too large a vehicle  and don’t tow a vehicle. ( If we find we need a car we rent one. Renting is much cheaper than owning and towing.) One of the reasons we have stayed fairly small is because we want to see our children and we want to park in front of their houses and be with them. They are pretty much OK with that. Also, out here there are many, many places where you cannot take a vehicle over 30 feet. This leaves you parked miles and miles away from where you want to be, hooking and unhooking a towed vehicle, never having the right equipment with you and leaving your bathroom and dog behind. Not good.

It is important that both people involved have a compatible skill set. Bernie is great with all our systems and I do the navigating along with G1 and plan the itinerary. We try never to be on a tight schedule or make reservations.

Get automatic levelers. You won’t regret it. Sleeping on a level bed is an unheralded luxury.

Be flexible... you CAN use a public laundry, get milk at a mini-mart and eat catfish - it's all good.

Kroger works when there is no Whole Foods or Dean & DeLucca, and Kroger can have some of the best fried chicken on the planet. They run a big vat in the prepared foods section where they fry chicken all day long.

10. What do you do out there in the camper at night?

Well, if we are lucky enough to have our favorite special guest, we build fires, toast marshmallow and make s’mores.


On Eastern Bay overlooking Acadia National Park in Maine. (The tide is out)

Never think for a minute that we are out here roughing it. No, we are not sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories...This is our home. We lounge about on the couch and watch TV (We have Direct TV with a DVR.), eat popcorn, play or read on our iPads and computers (plus the XBox and WII) draw and write. Bernie still works and I try to keep up our website, so many nights we are always.


1. "G" is Google GPS on our iPads.

It sounds like you really have it made.  Not many people get to go to the places you have been and seen the things that you have enjoyed seeing again and again. In my day there were not many people that went on the road.  I have heard of people retiring and just taking off.

It sure sounds good to me.


Thanks for the insights.  You two are true adventurers! 


Happy birthday Scorpio girl! Love hearing all about your wonderful adventure.


Anita m

This is my favorite of your postings yet! Great photos, too!

Melissa Conway

Great post! I found the photo of 1E moving, pun intended. What a great time you are having! I love how you figure things out and keep on exploring.


I miss you guys.  When are you heading back this way?  Would love you to meet Shelby Blue and Juno, my 10 year old german shepherd "foster".


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