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Digital Nomad Life Month 97

Month Ninety-Seven was a fun one and saw me traveling through two countries, four states, and the District of Columbia, while also working three shows at the Gorge.

I like to keep busy.

I started the month with one more night in Chicago, and what a night it was! I saw Stevie Nicks in concert and she was fantastic. I also spent a perfect day enjoying the sun in Chicago.

Chicago in summer

From Chicago, Kurt and I flew to Washington D.C. for two nights where I explored more of one of my favorite U.S. cities, then we hired a car and headed to a cabin in rural Virginia for three nights.

We didn’t have the best weather during our time there but enjoyed the cozy cabin and being able to visit nearby Shenandoah National Park.

Then it was back to Washington D.C. to catch a bus to New York City for the last six nights of my trip.

New York was a fun time, as usual, and I revisited a few of my favorite places and a few new ones. 

Manhattan Bridge

After celebrating the 4th I flew back to Washington to work Dead & Company which went better than expected but was still very busy. Then it was time for another break. Toby and I headed to one of our favorite little mountain towns, Leavenworth, for a couple of nights of relaxation and German food.

The second event of the month was a comedy night – the first ever at the Gorge – which was a nice change of pace. I had four days off after that so I headed up to Vancouver for three nights to visit a friend and enjoy the cooler weather, then it was back to the Gorge for the last few days of the month to work Above & Beyond.

Now onto the stats!


Countries Visited: USA, Canada

Places Visited:

  • Illinois: Chicago
  • District of Columbia: Washington D.C.
  • Virginia: McGaheysville, Harrisonburg
  • New York: New York City
  • Washington: Issaquah, George, Wenatchee, Leavenworth 
  • Canada: Vancouver

National and State Parks, Monuments, and UNESCO Sites: Shenandoah National Park, Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site, National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington D.C.

Islands Visited: Governor’s Island in New York City, Blackbird Island in Leavenworth, and Granville Island in Vancouver.

Days on the Road: 20 days.

Brooklyn Bridge

Best Meals: Ethiopian vegetable curry plate with inerja from Ghion Ethiopian Restaurant in Washington D.C.; Shrimp tacos and guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips from El Centro in Washington D.C.; Coconut shrimp with roasted broccolini from Capital Ale House in Harrisonburg; Tofu Banh Mi and Pastel de Nata from Queens Night Market in New York City; Peking duck dumplings and jerk chicken dumplings from Smorgasburg in New York City; Regina pizza from Paulie Gee’s in New York City; Grandma pie and white pie from Best Pizza in New York City; Squash sandwich and olive and grape focaccia from Radio Bakery in New York City; Palak Patta Chaat from Chote Miya at Timeout Market in New York City; Rosemary and Potato Bread with fig butter and chive butter, smoked trout croquettes, garlic prawns and calamari from Wild Fin in Issaquah; sweet potato Banh Mi from Yodelin in Leavenworth; Sushi rolls from Sushi Ton Ton in Vancouver.

It was truly a great month of eating!

Worst Meals: Nothing comes to mind.

Best Craft Beer: Blackberry Lemon Crush from Talea Beer Co in New York City; Dark Persuasion German Chocolate Cake Stout from Icicle Brewing Company in Leavenworth; Ginger Pear Sour from R&B Brewing in Vancouver.


  • Old Rag Mountain via Berry Hollow in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia 5.9 miles
  • Dark Hollow Falls in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia 1.4 miles
  • Tumwater Pipeline Trail in Leavenworth, Washington 2.4 miles
  • Cypress Falls loop trail in West Vancouver, Canada 2 miles

Watching: The Bear Season Two (even better than season one!), Renfield, This is Wrexham, What We Do in the Shadows Season Five.

Vancouver sunset

Reading: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver.

New Posts: I wrote one new post this month, about the best places to do on a Crete Road Trip. I can’t recommend Crete enough if you are planning a trip to Greece.


Seeing Stevie Nicks in Chicago

Seeing Stevie Nicks in Chicago was a definite highlight of the month and getting to and from the stadium was surprisingly stress-free and easy. I was amazed at how her voice has hardly changed despite her now being 75 years old.

Stevie Nicks in concert

She played my favorites – Stand Back, Edge of Seventeen, Landslide, Dreams, and Rhiannon – and has a really down-to-earth stage presence.

A Perfect Early Summers Day in Chicago

My last day in Chicago was my favorite and not just because I got to see the incredible Stevie Nicks. I spent the day biking along the lakeshore from Boystown to the city, walking the Riverwalk to the end and back, and swimming at Oak Street Beach. What a beautiful day in a beautiful city.

Chicago beach

Return To D.C.

I was excited to return to the other Washington, even if it was just for two nights. It was Kurt’s first time there so we packed in a lot of sightseeing.

I visited Georgetown, the U District, Ford’s Theatre, the National Mall on a moonlight tour, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Adams Morgan, the Renwick Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery. 

Martin Luther King Junior Memorial

We also stayed in a capsule hostel – I loved the one I stayed in during my time in Tokyo so it was fun to stay in another one.

Cabin Time in Virginia

I absolutely loved the cozy cabin Kurt and I stayed at in McGaheysville, Virginia! It was an absolute steal on Airbnb and was fully stocked with snacks, hot chocolate, and a million different kinds of coffee. We also had passes for a nearby rec center and we used the outdoor jacuzzi there one day.

The weather wasn’t great during our stay but having the cabin to relax in and watch movies was perfect.

Finally Making it to the Met 

I finally made it to the Met – it only took me six visits to New York to get there. I originally wasn’t that interested in going because it is billed as an art museum, but really – it’s a history museum, and one of the best I have ever been to.

I had four hours there and it wasn’t enough time, I was completely wowed by their European and Egyptian galleries and didn’t have time to see everything I wanted. Guess I’m going back on my next visit.


A Picnic on Governor’s Island

Governor’s Island has been on my New York City wishlist for a while so it was great to finally get there on this recent visit. We took the ferry over there and walked the circumference of the island, admired the incredible views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan, and had a delicious picnic of bagels and baked goods from Radio Bakery in Brooklyn.

View From Governors Island

A fun item to tick off my bucket list.

Seeing Shucked on Broadway

I knew I wanted to see a Broadway show when I was in New York but I wasn’t sure which one. Dani recommended a few to me and I liked the reviews and price of Shucked so we went with that. And it was definitely a winner. 

One of the best parts was seeing Tony award-winning Alex Newell play Lulu – what a star! I remember watching Alex when they were on Glee and their talent has become even more impressive since then. Alex singing Independently Owned gave me goosebumps.

Celebrating July 4th in NYC

I was originally meant to fly back to Seattle on the 4th but when I saw there were going to be scattered thunderstorms all day, I was worried that my flight would get delayed like last year so I changed it for free till the 5th when the weather was more stable. 

July 4th Fireworks

This allowed me to go to a rooftop BBQ with my friend Dani and Kurt, and I had a fun time eating delicious food, meeting new people, and watching the Macy’s fireworks.

Relaxation in Leavenworth

Toby and I escaped to Leavenworth for a lazy motel stay for a couple of nights after working Dead & Company and it was just what we needed after working a very high-maintenance and busy event.

Leavenworth Beach

We ate German food, did some shopping and brewery-hopping, went tubing, walked the riverside trails, and swam at the sandy beach along the Tumwater Pipeline Trail. It was a very lovely escape from the heat of the Gorge.

Fun in Vancouver

I squeezed in a quick three-day trip to Vancouver between events and it was so great to be back again this summer. On this visit, I hung out at the beach in Kits and Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver, hiked to Cypress Falls, wandered part of the seawall to Third Beach, shopped in Mount Pleasant and Granville Island, and did some wildlife spotting in Horseshoe Bay.

Vancouver seawall

Hopefully I will make it back again before the summer is over.

Wildlife Spotting

I had some great wildlife spots this month including two juvenile raccoons washing their hands in the river in Leavenworth, and an otter swimming around the coastline in Vancouver.

Seals in Vancouver

But my favorite was seeing a mama and baby seal sunbathing on a small beach in Vancouver when a larger male seal came along. The mama seal fought the other seal to protect her baby – it was like Animal Planet but live! Luckily she scared the male away.


Mishaps With the Rental Car

I always stress when I am responsible for a rental car and driving out of busy Washington D.C. was scary – especially when a car came barreling onto the highway right in front of me without looking. I narrowly avoided a crash then, but I wasn’t so lucky when I was backing out of the steep and narrow driveway at the cabin we were staying in.

I hit the wooden log fence and toppled it, slightly scratching the car. Luckily we were able to fix the fence and the car rental place didn’t notice the scratches.

Smoky Skies and Rain on My Trip

The weather for most of the two weeks I was away was great but New York did have a couple of big downpours while were there and we had smoky skies for a few days in Virginia and New York from the Canada fires.

The views from our hike up Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park were particularly disappointing because of the hazy, smoky skies.

Old Rag Mountain

Smelly New York City

I don’t remember this being a big thing on my previous visits to New York but on this visit, I was just really struck by all the bad smells. It reminded me of India.

A lot of the time when I was walking around I could smell putrid garbage or piss, and unfortunately, someone died in the apartment below my friend’s place where we were staying and the smell lingered for the days we were there.

I also saw so many rats during my time there, a lot more than usual. I did not care for it.


Possible Achilles Tendonitis

So, I have been having intermittent pain in my heel since hiking the Annapurna Circuit and then in the past month a lump appeared there. I looked up what it could be and all the symptoms match Achilles Tendonitis which can take months of resting to heal – pretty hard to do if you work events and are on your feet a lot of the time.

I’ll get my doctor to take a look at it when I am back in New Zealand in November, hopefully it isn’t anything too serious.


A lot of these costs are my half with Toby paying the other half. I also don’t include international flights in my recaps.

Total: USD$2968

An expensive month due to travel costs for my East Coast trip and lots of expensive meals and drinks out. It should be less next month.

Accommodation $399

My seven nights of paid accommodation for the month consisted of two nights in a capsule hostel in Washington D.C., three nights in a cabin in McGaheysville, and two nights at a motel in Leavenworth.

My 23 nights of unpaid accommodation for the month consisted of one night at a friend’s apartment in Chicago, six nights at a friend’s apartment in New York City, two nights at a friend’s place in Vancouver, one night of van life in Vancouver, and 13 nights in staff accommodation at the Gorge Amphitheatre.

Cypress Falls

Food and Drink $1218

Yikes. Food and drinks are expensive in New York and I splurged on some great meals in Washington and Vancouver too.

Clothing $137

  • Bikini top $8
  • Beach cover up $15
  • Cardigan $18
  • Socks $18
  • 2 x Bralets $55 
  • Dress $23

Transport $762

  • Gas $137.50
  • Flight from Chicago to Washington D.C. $168
  • Uber to the airport in Chicago $30
  • Trains in Washington D.C. $12
  • Washington Monuments by Moonlight Tour tip $10.50
  • Three Day car hire in Washington D.C. $80
  • Parking $4.50
  • Bus from Washington D.C. to New York City $23
  • One week Subway Pass in New York City $33
  • Ferry to Governors Island $12
  • Flight from New York City to Seattle $236
  • Train from New York City to Newark Airport $15.50

Activities $164

  • One day bike rental in Chicago $14
  • Reservation to hike Old Rag Mountain $4
  • Shenandoah National Park entrance $15
  • Met Museum in New York City $30
  • Shucked on Broadway $69
  • Tubing in Leavenworth $32

Other $236

  • U.S. Phone plan $35
  • Spotify $10.50
  • Hulu $8.50
  • Toiletries $70
  • Skype credit $5
  • Computer charger $20
  • Gifts $46
  • Room spray $18
  • Haircut with tip $23

Granville Island

Website Costs $12

  • Monthly payment for Keysearch $12

Van/RV Costs $40

  • RV and van insurance for the month $40

Whytecliff Beach

What’s in Store for Next Month

I start the month still working Above and Beyond Festival before heading to Seattle for a couple of days to hang out between shows.

The next show of the month is boygenius, which will be chilled as we don’t have many tents booked. From there I fly to Denver for three nights to get my biometrics done for my citizenship application and to hang out with family including my favorite kitty, Milo.

I’m back at the Gorge again after that to work Watershed Country Music Festival – it’s going to be a hot one! Luckily after that, I have eight days off and I am planning to do a camping and hiking road trip through North Cascades National Park and up to Mount Baker. Hopefully Toby can escape the Gorge for a week and come too.

Then it is back at the Gorge again to work Bass Canyon, our longest show of the season. The last day of the month I am hopefully heading up to Canada to do a road trip on Vancouver Island.

To read additional Monthly Recaps, you can find them here

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