All posts by WorkPlayAdventure

Julie and Mike are small business owners, traveling the USA in their toy hauler 5th wheel they lovingly call "The Lilypad". What better office than the beautiful vistas of America?? They have two traveling companions, Indy, a great dane/ hound mix and Ries, an orange short haired tabby. Julie and Mike are avid runners, cyclists, triathletes and beer drinkers. ; ) We love recommendations for local races and pubs!!

Full time downfalls

Of course full time RVing has lots of pros. But there are a few cons too. Exercise, for instance.

I told myself I’d have all the time in the world to exercise when we were on the road. That’s partially true – I do have more free time. But I never considered how much of a routine you can get into at home. A routine that I’ve found impossible to find on the road.

The easiest exercise for me is running (although probably my least favorite). But sometimes I get overwhelmed trying to find a new route in an unfamiliar place. But I try.

I like to road bike and mountain bike. These are significantly harder to do. Not many places in the US are bike friendly. Not to mention that Mike hates to ride on the road. So that forces us to find paved bike trails. *If* we can find them they are usually great! Most often then not they just don’t exist.

Weight lifting is my favorite. I have not been on a lifting program since we started full timing. Almost 4 years!!! My body is screaming at me too. Where there was once tight, strong muscle there is now atrophied mass and and unusual amount of cellulite. Swimming is good too but we aren’t always close to a YMCA. Which is also the reason I haven’t been lifting consistently.

Here’s the thing. When you live in a house with someone you presumably have 2 cars and go about your own routine. In a camper, when you’re always moving around and have 1 vehicle, this routine is non-existent. If I want to run in the morning, instead of just going, I wait until Mike is ready. That’s not usually until the afternoon. By then I’ve lost motivation and it’s usually hot as balls. I’ll do it but it absolutely kills me.

If I want to bike I also wait for Mike. But he doesn’t like riding on roads so it’s a hunt to see if/where there are trails.

If I want to swim I have to find a pool. And Mike really hates it soooo…

Is it Mike’s fault for me not working out??? NO! Absolutely not! It’s my fault for not just doing what I know I need to do when I need to do it. Mike might want to go for a run with me but I need to do it when I need to for my body. (Usually in the am).

This is an interesting trap I have found myself in that I didn’t expect.

So I’m trying to turn this sinking ship (aka – my large ass) around. This morning, in SC, I got my butt out for a run before it got too hot.

Did it feel good? Honestly, no. It did not. I felt like a fat, sluggish, 2 ton bouncy ball bumpin’ down a dirt road. Every step hurt my joints. My heart rate would skyrocket after about 100 steps forcing me to walk a bit. Which, by the way, if seen by a bystander, they probably couldn’t tell the difference between my “run” and my walk.

Was it embarrassing? ABSOLUTELY! Times like these I’m glad I’m alone.

But I did it. And I need to do it again tomorrow. And if my joints hurt too bad in the morning then I’ll just walk. Because this unhealthy “situation” I’ve gotten myself in is NOT sustainable.

(This is my face for the “Julie, get your shit together” talk.)

Going… home??

We wrapped up Dayton shennanigans with friends and headed back east. Stopped last night outside if Cleveland to meet up with my cousin Laura and her hubby, Bill. Laura and I do look similar, our moms are sisters, but a few months ago we got mistaken for sisters!!❤️❤️

This morning we got out if town fairly early and are now almost to Syracuse. This is, was, our home town. We haven’t been back in a few years. True to form it’s cold (for August) and rainy here. Two of the three main reasons Mike wanted to eave in the first place. (Snow was #1, in case you’re wondering.)

We’re excited to be able to meet up with friends we haven’t seen in a while but I also think Mike has a countdown somewhere that’s he’s tracking days until we leave. We both have a lot of mixed feelings coming back. August is generally a good time to visit and it looks like the weather is going to clear up soon and it should he delightful while we’re here.

We are planning on staying at the Elks lodde just a few miles from.where we used to live. Funny it never occurred to us to become Elks while we lived here. But we ar e now and can’t wait to meet some new people and maybe some we already know!!!

The Most Underrated City Ever – Dayton

I know, I know. You hear “Dayton, Ohio” and you’re like… what? Who cares.

But let me tell you. You should care. After almost 4 years of travel this is the most underrated city we have EVER visited!

I don’t even know where to start. The beautiful artwork and murals? The awesome craft beer, breweries and restaurants? The fountains? The bike paths and parks?? Cutesy neighborhoods??

Since we’ve been in Dayton there has been a HUGE Celtic festival. There’s a German festival going on right now. I have biked the neatest, cross-town bike paths, seen fantastic fountains and imbibed at the most unique and coolest bars and restaurants ever!

Today we biked with a group around Dayton and stopped at R- Taco. It’s a small taco joint that also sells margaritas and beer. In my book that gets a rating of #1!! Order single tacos or a dozen. Choice is yours. Inside and outside seating. Granted, they have locations in OH as well as TX, NM, NE, MN, CO and IA. But it’s still a great location in a great neighborhood!

We also stopped at another bar… or should I even call it a bar? Proto Buildbar serves beer and cider but also….. has 3-D printers, soldering tools and other delightful nerdy things you can rent!!!! This is such a unique concept I can hardly wrap my head around it! AND they have a life-size giant claw game!!!!

Having run, biked, walked and driven through town, you see all sorts of murals painted on walls of buildings. I have never seen so much artwork in a town! Even the graffiti! It’s like all the graffiti artists got together and agreed they would respect each other’s art, not paint over each other and provide a unique artistic angle to their artwork. It’s beautiful!

We only came to the Dayton area because we made friends months ago who lived here. But we have not been disappointed. I’m sure the winters aren’t fantastic – I mean, it does snow here. And I’ve heard when the river floods, it FLOODS. But hey, that’s river life in most places, especially in the midwest.

About an hour north of Cincinnati, Dayton should be on your list of places to visit. Dayton has a minor league baseball team and summer festivals are sure to keep you busy. This town is a hidden gem!

A Great Way to RV – Elks Lodges

About two years ago Mike and I joined the Elks lodge in Phoenix, AZ. We kept seeing lodges pop up on one of our overnight camping apps but every entry included “Must be a member to park”.  The costs were minimal, usually anywhere from $10-25/night! Some are dry camping, some have electric hook up and some even have little RV parks!

We get a lot of jokes about us being so “young”  to be Elks from people who are not Elks. Yes, the average age of an Elk member tends to be on the grayer side – but this is only because most lodges have had a difficult time recruiting “younger blood”. This is by no means an “old person” club.  It’s a social/philanthropic organization that does a lot for kids and military (active and retired).

The great parking options was the original reason we joined the Elks. However it has become so much of a family for us! We can pull into an Elks, go inside, sit at the bar and just meet the neatest people! We always feel welcome and have some great experiences. Some lodges are large with lots of amenities.  Our Phoenix lodge has a pool, 2 racquetball courts and a small gym! (And showers!!) Although we have to dry camp in the parking lot. But we don’t mind especially with the showers so close. They also are large enough to have dinner every night. So if I’m feeling lazy I can feed the 2 of us at the Phoenix Elks lodge at the Friday night steak fry for $8-$12 each!!! The whole meal with sides and everything!! (salad, bread, potatoes or something similar!) You can’t beat that!!!

Did I mention it’s inexpensive food and drinks?!?!?!  There aren’t many bars anymore where you can get a pint of Bud Light for $2 or less!

I really encourage you to look into your local lodge and see if it’s a fit for you, whether you RV or not.

Meeting Fellow Travelers

I haven’t posted in forever. However, after a fantastic convo with Elise, an dental student starting at U of L (Louisville) in August, I feel the need to make a post.

What a great time talking about traveling, people of the US, etc. over craft beer!

I thoroughly enjoy talking with people who also share the love of exploring. Elise, if you read this, never stop exploring!!! And share your adventures with everyone! We can all try and encourage adventure and travel! Cheers!!

Need to Buy Stock in Tires

Welp! When you’re driving a huge fifth wheel camper on the interstate and there is something in the road (scattered across a few lanes) your only real choice is to hit it. Swerving and/or slamming on brakes are NOT options.

And so we ran over a big twisted sheet of what appeared to be corrugated metal.

And now we’re waiting for roadside assistance to replace a flat camper tire.


EDIT: we got lucky! The Ram is a fricken beast! (Little crack in the under bumper). The belly cover under the camper saved us from getting a rip in any of our tanks. (Cuz no one wants literal crap leaking all over the roads) and lastly, an outter bin – that we dont even use – got a slash. Speaking of slashes….. the far back trailer tire got the worst of it.

Nothing in Nebraska… or is there??

There’s nothing in Nebraska, am I right?


We had been in Colorado for a little over a week and decided to head eat, then north to be able to mark off a few more states on our US sticker map. First stop, Nebraska.

We weren’t expecting a whole lot. We found a city park in Bayard, NE with hook ups that’s FREE for the first 2 nights! The little town has less than 2,000 people. And it was great to find this little gem of a village.

Last night we after we arrived we went for a run through town and noticed lots of extreme tree damage but mostly newly removed huge trees! This morning we found out a tornado ripped through town last Monday!

This morning we headed out to hike at the Scottsbluff National Monument. The typography on this area is amazing! It’s plateaus of sandstone!!! 

You can to the top of the bluffs and they have little paved trails and lots of educational displays. Both the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail went through this area.

Granted, it is mostly farmland out here but we love to see neat geological formations on our travels.