Tag: travel blog

Kilwins, Celebration, FL

I’ve been meaning to visit Kilwins for years, but this was my first visit to the national chain. To be perfectly honest, I’d resisted visiting this location in the past because every time I went, the store was astonishingly crowded and felt overwhelming.

But last fall I found myself in the right mindset, so I made it inside. I limited myself to one flavor only because the crowds were quite extreme (and there were some really rude people too). They specialize in candy and fudge (made on site) and I wouldn’t be surprised if the ice cream itself is made elsewhere.

Here’s what I tried:

Cappucchino Chocolate Chip – It’s very creamy. Surprisingly, I found it a lot less sweet than I anticipated, but the chocolate pieces are excellent, melt in your mouth and plenty sweet, like a semi-sweet chocolate. It’s the kind of cappucchino or coffee flavor that I really enjoy, though a bit sweeter and a bit more of a coffee punch would have been great.

I got one scoop, which is quite pricey at $5.36. The portion is very plentiful, but it still feels overpriced.

The flavors on the board here are quite traditional, with perhaps 6 more unusual ones in the mix, and they all are in the sweeter realm.

Photo courtesy of Kilwins.com

This location is gorgeous – downtown Celebration is fabulous, with tons of water to walk around or sit and look out on, and they have several tables and chairs outside to sit at and benches nearby.

Overall I’d say if you need some ice cream while you’re in Celebration, go for it, particularly if you can tolerate crowds and aren’t on a budget.

Thanks, Kilwins!

I’ve got one more hot tip for you too – Wonderland Cookie Dough is also in downtown Celebration. They’ve got a sampler and a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough, and I highly recommend a visit if the idea of edible cookie dough is intriguing.

Have you tried Kilwins? Where, and what did you think?

Thanks for reading, and happy eating!

Supporting This Blog

I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

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  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
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Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream, Cary, NC

Andia’s has a few locations in North Carolina, and it’s well-worth a visit when you’re in town. They offer a variety of flavors with decent portions and a sampler available too. It’s a cute shop.

I visited last fall, but they now offer some of their items (pre-packed pints, ice cream sandwiches and cakes) via online ordering for pickup. The rest of their menu must be ordered in the store itself.

Here’s what I tried:

Carrot Cake – This is very interesting. You can taste the very freshly grated carrot. The spices are interesting…they honestly reminded me of a satchel in a dresser drawer!

Peppermint – This is a little creamier than I usually see, with a higher cream to peppermint ratio…it was really nice!

Eggnog – This is a subtler flavor, super creamy and very delicious (not at all artificial-tasting as is sometimes the case).

Rose Pistachio – It’s got chunks of pistachio that are fresh and awesome! The rose is subtler, but still present. It’s really delicious.

Butter Pecan – This is honestly sweeter than I prefer. It’s harder to taste what’s going on here. It’s pleasant, but not as memorable unfortunately.

Double Dark Chocolate – This is smooth, creamy and dark. And perhaps a touch of graininess? It’s very nice (though not the best I’ve seen).

Dark Indulgence – This is super delicious! It’s so fudgy…nice dark chocolate with chocolate chips. A big winner!

Mint Chip – The real mint flavor here is pleasant, though be warned that my husband found it tasted like toothpaste! This is definitely freshly sourced. not my favorite, but a solid flavor.

Peanut Butter Fudge – This is peanut butter, Reese’s pieces, and a fudge ribbon. It’s a classic flavor for lovers of chocolate and peanut butter.

As you might have guessed, I went with a sampler! The sampler gives you seven mini-scoops and waffle pieces for $6.50 They also offer a single for $3.50, a double for $4.99 (you can get two flavors) and a triple for $6.47.

Overall I found the ice cream at Andia’s to be really consistent, super creamy and tasty! A few of the flavors had a bit of an odd spice or flavor profile. I really liked the chocolate and peanut butter ones, and the rose pistachio and eggnog were nice too.

I’m a HUGE fan of the labels they use – V for vegan, G for gluten, N for nuts – to help those of us with dietary restrictions. And the location was adorable, with flexible seating.

I look forward to visiting Andia’s again when I’m back in town. Have you tried Andia’s? If yes, what did you try, and if not, what flavor would be first on your list?

Photo courtesy of Andia’s website.

Supporting This Blog

I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

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Ceo’s Gelato Bistro, Portsmouth, NH

My generous friend Tom, after getting ice cream with me, agreed to also stop for gelato with me while we were in Portsmouth. Ceo’s Gelato Bistro was friendly and fun. This homemade place hadn’t come across my radar before, and I was very glad I stopped. Prices were $5.96 for a large (8 ounces) or $5.27 for 6 ounces, plus tax, and they were willing to cram 4 flavors into one dish for me!

They’re currently offering contactless curbside delivery, with extra offerings like party packs and some other fun local products too.

Here’s what I tried:

Avocado Chocolate Chip – This is a bright and super creamy avocado base. Really nice!

Apple Cider Sorbet – This is like a smoother take on applesauce. It’s tasty, mild and reminds me of fall.

Honey Grapefruit – This has a nice natural sweetness, and the creamy pairing is neat with grapefruit. This is really fun and not too tart.

White Chocolate with Fig – Yum! This is a very smooth and creamy, not too heavy, white chocolate base. The touches of fig in it are lovely, and it has a nice and natural sweetness to it.

Ceo’s was definitely a hit. It’s a really fun place if you’d like to try some unique flavors, especially because they’ll let you sample a lot of them. And curbside pickup makes it even easier.

Thanks, Ceo’s!

Photo from Ceo’s website

Supporting This Blog

I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

  • Become a patron of my work!
  • Make purchases via my Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
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Holy Cow Ice Cream Cafe, Gloucester, MA

Last fall, I visited Gloucester, and after an awesome visit to White Farms on the Causeway I had to check out the ice cream at Holy Cow Ice Cream Cafe!

They pride themselves on their super premium ice cream and vegan offerings (4 flavors during my visit), and they have a trendy cafe with a fun vibe. They play around with macarons, s’mores, ice cream sandwiches and lots more. There were tons of seasonal flavors, and also tons of flavors with gluten in them, so I had to choose my bites strategically.

One of the coolest things was that they let you get multiple flavors in ALL sizes – that’s a major selling point for me!! Their portions are large too – I went with the $3.99 kiddie, and it is LOTS of ice cream. So don’t be alarmed that the prices look a little bit high – you’ll get plenty of ice cream even with the smallest sizes.

They make their waffle cones fresh to order. My husband got one, and found it warm and very tasty thin and crispy.

My only complaint, if I can call it that, is that the staff acted pretty bored with life during my visit. But they did whatever we asked without complaint, so I can’t really slight them for that. 🙂

Here’s what I tried: 

Pumpkin Spice Latte – I really dug this one! It almost has a bit of heat from the spices used. The coffee base is really yummy, very smooth and tasty. It’s such a fun combination of flavors. It was so good it motivated my husband to get a cup too!

Cranberry Walnut Chip – The cranberry spice is nice. It’s a more subtle flavor, without a particularly prominent cranberry flavor. The chunks in it were great. Personally, I’d prefer to have a more consistent cranberry base (like a gelato), but this is a nice fall flavor and appropriate. It has chunks of cranberry, walnut and chocolate.

Note: they don’t have a public restroom. But they do have very cute indoor seating. So just be aware.

They’ve got a walk-up window and are still sampling in the time of COVID, so you’ve got a handy outdoor option as well.

Thanks to Holy Cow for a tasty visit! Have you had any great ice cream lately?

Supporting This Blog

I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

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White Farms on the Causeway, Gloucester, MA

Last fall was my first visit to Gloucester, MA, and for a lot of reasons, I truly hope it won’t be my last! It’s a gorgeous area and I had some delicious food during my visit. One of the highlights was a visit to White Farms on the Causeway.

It’s an outdoor ice cream stand, with the ocean salt in the air and some fun cows for decoration. Portions here are VERY large, with a kids one giant scoop for $4.50, small two giant scoops for $5 and a large for $6. With tax, my two giant scoops “small” was $5.25. It’s really a great deal because of the gargantuan portions.

During my visit, the kids in line were being pretty crazy, which was stress-inducing, but the person behind the counter was very sweet and patient despite the chaos happening outside.

Here’s what I tried: 

Pumpkin – This was actually almost like a cheesecake! It has the sourness of a cheesecake, and isn’t too sweet. There are no chunks and it’s nicly spiced. It wasn’t super soft in consistently, but it was definitely soft enough and consistent.

Chocolate – This is a super deep cocoa flavor, like a rich hot chocolate. And it’s smooth. So yummy! It makes my top ten and is maybe even a top five contender, though probably not because I just had ANOTHER one that knocked things out of the running. One of these days I will publish my actual top five for all of you!

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was absolutely thrilled by the ice cream at White Farms Ice Cream on the Causeway. If you go, be sure to try both the pumpkin (in the fall) and the chocolate – I highly recommend!

In light of COVID-19, this is a great place to visit, as it’s all outside and they mark six feet with milk crates to help with social distancing.

Thanks for reading, and happy eating!

Photo from White Farms Ice Cream on the Causeway’s Facebook Page

ice cream 2

Supporting This Blog

I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

  • Become a patron of my work!
  • Make purchases via my Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
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  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
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Grassroots Ice Cream in Granby, CT

This week, I’m honored to have Max Schwimmer, known to me mainly as a stellar saxophonist and arranger, as a guest blogger. I think you’ll love his contribution (and if you do, be sure to comment, so we can convince Max to return again sometime soon!), and I know it definitely makes me want to take a road trip to Connecticut soon! 

For a small state, Connecticut has no shortage of high-quality, fresh ice cream. I’ve lived in the state for nine years, and I’m still discovering new spots.

But no matter how many places I visit, there’s one that stands out above the rest. Grassroots Ice Cream in Granby boasts “wickedly creative ice creams”, with 36 constantly-rotating flavors like goat cheese blackberry, rose chocolate, cardamom cashew, caramelized pear, Irish cream chip, and salted caramel bacon brittle.

These unique flavors were what first drew me to Grassroots, but what keeps me coming back is the consistency of their ice cream base. I can’t overstate the perfectly creamy texture. If they only served vanilla, I’d probably still go there because the ice cream itself is just that good.

Grassroots is located just off the town green in Granby on the site of an old general store, and the space still has an old-time, New England vibe. In 2018, they expanded the building to open Deep Roots Street Food, serving up fast-casual style global cuisine like falafel wraps, “pho-rritos”, and Greek street cart fries…perfect for a pre-ice cream meal.

Starting at $3.50 for a scoop, the prices are reasonable for premium, fresh ice cream. You can get a milkshake for $7.25 (definitely not a bargain, but then who wants a milkshake when you can try so many fun flavors?), as well as ice cream cakes and pies. Grassroots offers a variety of toppings too, but I’ve always felt that fine ice cream is best unadorned. Come at me if you disagree!

Here’s what I tried on my recent trip:

Strawberry Oreo – Grassroots usually offers several Oreo flavors, and I don’t think I’d ever tried one before. The strawberry flavor was strong, fragrant, and not super sweet. The oreo pieces felt soft, as if they had soaked up some of the ice cream before freezing solid. This was probably my favorite flavor of the three.

Lemon White Chip – I was pleasantly surprised by chocolate chunks and large shortbread pieces in this scoop. The lemon flavor was pretty subtle. Shortbread pieces were definitely the highlight.

Garden Berry Pie – based on the name of this flavor, I was expecting something a little more exciting…maybe some fresh berries mixed in with some pie crust pieces. Instead, I think it was just a plain vanilla base with a berry swirl. Definitely the least interesting of the three flavors, but since it was still Grassroots ice cream, it was still good.

In non-COVID times, I recommend taking advantage of taste-testing several flavors before ordering. Since there are so many tempting flavors to choose from, it’s helpful to try a few to figure out which ones are truly worth it.

Have you visited Grassroots? If so, what did you think of it?

About Max, our guest blogger: 

Max lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, where he is a digital marketing specialist by day, a saxophonist and music educator by night, and an ice cream aficionado by all hours. His blog at maxschwimmer.com helps students and parents navigate the challenges of learning saxophone, from instrument purchase guidelines to pandemic practice tips.

Supporting This Blog

I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

  • Become a patron of my work!
  • Make purchases via my Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using my affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh or Capital One 360 is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support me, and I also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money. This link will take you to my other travel page with my husband – we’ll have one here soon!
  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to this as well as my other travel blog, RossAndJamieAdventure, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from me and my husband, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Kellerhaus in Laconia, NH

Kellerhaus offers homemade chocolate, ice cream, candy and gifts. Most of the “chocolate, ice cream, candy, gifts” places I’ve traveled to haven’t put enough emphasis on crafting great ice cream. Many of them don’t even make it themselves. So I was delighted to see that Kellerhaus is the real deal.

Kellerhaus is 100% worth a visit if you’re in the area just to browse the unique gifts. While it clearly caters to tourists, it’s got a diverse range of items and is just a really fun experience. (They’re currently open and require masks when you aren’t eating, with seating inside and out.) It’s got a really neat layout for wandering, super cute with a player piano that’s very fun to watch.

A few other logistics to note would be that they close early – outside of the main summer season – they closed at 6 p.m. the day I visited last fall. Check the website to confirm their hours. They offer cups, cones and a sundae bar, which is extensive, but I haven’t confirmed if that’s open during COVID-19 or not. Their scoops are quite large, but be aware that you can’t combine flavors in a scoop. So I got a regular with 2 scoops/2 flavors, and my husband went with 1.

The sundae bar includes hot fudge, butterscotch, tons of fruit toppings, chocolate sauce, marshmallow, whipped cream, candies, nuts…it was really yummy. The only thing I missed was a cherry – and I imagine experience showed them not to put those out!

Here’s what I tried: 

Chocolate – This has depth, and surprisingly darker notes, but overall it’s a medium ice cream.

Cherry Chocolate Chip – This is a classic fluffy ice cream, a tasty cherry flavor with nice chocolate chips. It’s great!

Pistachio – This bright flavor was really nice.

Maple Walnut – This has a great classic maple flavor, which I liked a lot. Not winning awards but very tasty.

Lemon Custard – This is a nice recreation of a lemon meringue pie type of flavor. It’s nice, but I felt like it needed a little more oomph somehow.

These flavors have a nice fluffy consistency overall. Expect classic flavors, and the sundae bar is a really fun touch.

The ice cream itself is really great here! It’s not too sweet a base, and it’s fluffy and yummy, quite consistent. And the prices were reasonable too, at $5.10 for 1 scoop and the sundae bar and $5.75 for 2 with the sundae bar.

Kellerhaus was a pleasant surprise, and I’m so glad I stopped by! It’s definitely worth adding your list when you’re in New Hampshire.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for next week, when we’ll have a guest blogger!

Supporting My Blog

I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

  • Become a patron of my work!
  • Make purchases via my Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using my affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh or Capital One 360 is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support me, and I also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money. This link will take you to my other travel page with my husband – we’ll have one here soon!
  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to this as well as my other travel blog, RossAndJamieAdventure, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
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Eating at Olson’s in Eau Claire, WI

Olson’s has a classy and super cute downtown location with parking nearby and Phoenix Park practically next door for exploring. It was one of those places that made me wish I could come back again soon – the location really can’t be beat! (They also have a Chippewa location, which I haven’t visited.)

Olson’s has reasonable prices, and they’re honestly great for a small city in a location like this. They have an extensive menu with lots of traditional flavors, but I had to go for the wilder ones. They also have a nice coffee menu and homemade waffles (including gluten-free)!

Here’s what I tried:

Lemon Poppyseed – This flavor wasn’t particularly a smooth base, but it’s a super fun flavor combination. The base was on the hard side, with a lovely bright flavor and of course the poppyseeds.

Maple Mania – My word. This is a maple base with a maple swirl. The base is less sweet, not super creamy but very consistent. The swirl was outrageous and sweet and really made the ice cream. It reminded me of waffles!

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake – They had me at “no crust” since I’m gluten-free…Oh my gosh! This is a cheesier, not super sweet, but very smooth cheesecake. To be fair, it isn’t my favorite cheesecake flavor ever, BUT the chocolate is great, the texture is awesome and it’s gluten-free. So worth a shot, ESPECIALLY if you’re gluten-free.

Raspberry Cheesecake – Luckily, this one is also without a crust. My favorite – the raspberry is SO luscious and bright and yummy! I really loved this one.

Next time I’m in town, the gluten-free waffle with ice cream for $8 will be an absolute must. Sounds like the perfect breakfast to me and I only wish I’d had more time.

Olson’s, you honestly comforted me a lot at a time when I really needed it – I was halfway through a solo trek across the country to get to my grandfather’s funeral. You’re the reason I stopped in Eau Claire for the night, and I’m so, so glad I did. I look forward to returning someday under happier circumstances!

Supporting My Blog

I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

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Big Dipper Ice Cream, Missoula, MT

Big Dipper Ice Cream in Missoula, Montana is an extremely popular ice cream spot. It helps that it’s in a college town, has a great location on the edge of downtown and it’s delicious.

I spent a summer working for Missoula Children’s Theatre when I graduated from college, so from 2005-2006 I had gotten lots of opportunities to sample their delicious ice cream (and sometimes, to eat it for dinner). I was delighted to return in August of 2019 and give my husband a brief walking tour of my old haunts in Missoula.

Though they’re currently offering contact-free pickup, I visited late on a Tuesday night last year and found a gargantuan line around 9 p.m., which tells you how popular this place really is. Please note that there isn’t a restroom, though at least pre-COVID they had tons of outdoor seating.

You can combine two flavors in a single (yay!) for $3.50, or you can go for a double (a very generous portion) which is super reasonable at $5. They serve the ice cream with a wooden spoon, which is a great environmental move I imagine but which does affect the taste a bit, if that bothers you.

Here’s what I tried: 

Elephant Chai – This is special! It’s a fun flavor, but my sample was very icy.

Chuckleberry – This is chocolate ice cream with huckleberry (the latter a regional delicacy if you haven’t had it!). I found this to be a pretty fun and smooth combination, and it was quite creamy.

Chocolate – This is super smooth, a classic lighter chocolate flavor. I found it kind of like a fudgsicle! This might make my top ten for lighter chocolate ice creams, and it isn’t dissimilar to a soft serve texture if that appeals to you (as it does me).

Cardamom – My first bite of this was ice, honestly. Otherwise, the cardamom spice is quite fun, and this was a super creamy texture. It’s a sweet enough base and the creamy aspect pairs well with the spice. I thought it was excellent, minus that first ice bite.

Big Dipper offers mainly traditional flavors, though it gives them a creative spin (like the chocolate plus huckleberry combination). With the giant line, I didn’t feel comfortable asking for additional samples. It seems like this location at least has some struggles with ice in their ice cream. I imagine this is more of a storage issue than a product issue – the ice cream is also sold in some stores, so they distribute it on a wide scale and I’m guessing they’ve got a very consistent product.

That being said, be prepared to get a bit of ice, but if you’re willing to forgive it, you’re likely to experience some truly delicious and very good to excellent ice cream. Enjoy, and say hi to Missoula for me!

Photo courtesy of Big Dipper Ice Cream. 

Supporting My Blog

I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

  • Become a patron of my work!
  • Make purchases via my Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using my affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh or Capital One 360 is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support me, and I also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money. This link will take you to my other travel page with my husband – we’ll have one here soon!
  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to this as well as my other travel blog, RossAndJamieAdventure, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from me and my husband, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

 

Kurt Farm Shop, Seattle, WA

I’ll begin by saying that when I visited this shop in August, the owner was already looking for a buyer, and I’m happy for them but sad for the rest of us to report that Kurt Farm Shop sold its tiny and adorable location to Sweet Alchemy and instead is focusing on their cheese and farm.

I’m thrilled that we got to visit while we were in Seattle. It was such a quirky location, a tiny storefront you really had to work to find, and they were known for their interesting flavors, in particularly their Flora’s Cheese.

Here’s what I tried:

Flora’s Cheese – This is a very fun base – I think it’s a kind of a milky or sweet cream base, and it has chunks of cheese in it. It’s a milder flavor, and very fun. This is the one everyone raved about and it’s definitely unique! It was my husband’s favorite – I enjoyed it a lot too.

Lemon Verbana – Wow! This was super bright and had a complex pop to it. It reminded me of an antiques store! So fun, very creamy, and honestly reminded me a little bit of Fruit Loops milk!

Chocolate – Their dark chocolate is amazing! They also have a milk chocolate. The dark chocolate is rich and dark like a brownie batter. It makes my top five…it wasn’t as creamy as the ones I usually gravitate towards, but it was amazing, textured like a brownie and I think it’s even better than the chocolate I’m so fond of at Epcot. (Probably a top 3 or 4!)

Strawberry – This tart strawberry is sweet, but not too sweet, very creamy and good. (Dedicated readers will know I’m not a big fan of strawberry ice cream, but I enjoyed this a lot.)

This was the best ice cream that our group found during our visit to Seattle. For me personally, I preferred Frankie and Jo’s because I’m gluten-free and kind of wacky, but for traditional ice cream, this beat everything else we had time to try.

We are very sad to hear of Kurt’s closing…it’s probably for the best since COVID would likely have closed them anyway. Wishing them and the new folks all the best. So glad we got to enjoy while we were in town.

Be well, and happy eating!

Supporting My Blog

I am truly grateful for your support of my blog! You can help keep the content coming regularly by doing any or all of the following:

  • Become a patron of my work!
  • Make purchases via my Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using my affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh or Capital One 360 is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support me, and I also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money. This link will take you to my other travel page with my husband – we’ll have one here soon!
  • Listen to, subscribe and review my theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to this as well as my other travel blog, RossAndJamieAdventure, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from me and my husband, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.