Miles from Monday: A Place to Pitch a Tent

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Miles from Monday is a travel series focused on venturing out of the spaces we inhabit during our work week and retreating to landscapes that feel far from routine.

June 2, 2014, Washington, DC: It was thumbtacked to a bulletin board in Eastport’s Leeward Market last week, just across the creek from downtown Annapolis. “Wanted, a place to pitch a tent… just a safe spot to sleep under the stars… my phone fell in the river so email is temporarily the best way to contact me.” A vine of flowers, birds and sunshine surrounded the message. Simple. Idealistic. Handwritten.

Maybe that’s why I found the note refreshing instead of naive. It was a throwback to an era that preceded the online status update, a return to a time when a lost cell phone was not the end of the world. It was a retreat to days when a bulletin board in an old deli was the optimal to contact the neighbors. It was a reminder of a former phase of my own life when solo travel was the greatest adventure imaginable and all a girl could ask for was a safe place to sleep under the stars.

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Miles from Monday: November Moments, Near and Far

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December 2, 2013, Washington, DC: November was my slowest month yet on Neighborhood Nomads, but November out here in the non-virtual world was anything but. November was busy. I know everyone is busy and it’s nothing to write home about, but in this case, life out here was an all-consuming frenzy that kept me away from life on the blog. Exciting projects are brewing in our home, neighborhood and city, and I can’t wait to share the details soon. For now, I’ll just say these days are full in the best of ways and I am optimistic about December.

Before we forge ahead, please enjoy these lovely moments collected during a month that went largely unrecorded. November moments were gathered in my favorite old hometown and a shiny new city, in the businesses along Barracks Row and the parks of Capitol Hill. Below is a collection of November snapshots, near and far.

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Miles from Monday: Oregon Coast Reunion

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July 29, 2013, Washington, DC: Luckily Washington served up its most impeccable day of the summer today, otherwise it would have been impossible to get back to work after a vacation on the Oregon coast. The beaches of Manzanita, Cannon Beach and the broader Pacific Northwest are among the more drop dead gorgeous I’ve seen and provided a sublime location for a family reunion. I tend to think I’m a chameleon who could live happily in a variety of cities and towns, but this place reminds me I still have a type. I’m a west coast girl at heart, choosing to love and make the most of my east coast city for as long as I stay away. But I’d take the ocean towns of northern California and now the Oregon coast — sweatshirts, windburn and all — over most other landscapes without a second thought.

The backdrop was the perfect one upon which to reconnect with my energetic, wise and uplifting family, as evidenced by this week’s favorite photos included below. I think this place brought out the best in us. I know we brought out the best in each other.

Which places bring out the best in your family? Share with your fellow Neighborhood Nomads in the comments section below.

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reading coastaldancemoon

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Miles from Monday is a weekly travel series focused on venturing out of the spaces we inhabit during our work week and retreating to landscapes that feel far from routine.

Miles from Monday: Someplace to Float

north beach, md, summer 2013July 15, 2013, Washington, DC: A sandy beach is all we’re after. Nothing fancy, just someplace to float outside the city on a slow, hot Saturday. Somewhere that doesn’t require an overnight trip or Friday night traffic on the Bay Bridge or driving 115 miles to the nearest stretch of Atlantic coast. We’re looking for someplace where the water is wider than our urban rivers and we can vacation for the day, but be home by dark.

Our search brings us to Maryland’s western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, to a pair of old summer resort towns just 31 miles from the front door.

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Miles from Monday: Chesapeake Road Trip

Chesapeake Bay road trip

June 24, 2013, Washington, DC: An immaculate croquet court behind a restored mansion is the last landmark we pass before reaching the water. We walk alongside a string in the lawn that outlines the court’s boundary and it leads us directly to a dock over the North River just off Mobjack Bay. We sit with our feet dangling above the water on a Friday night. The fish start jumping like mad as the sun sets. Boats return to Mobjack Marina across the cove, clanking in the dark after a long day out on the Chesapeake beyond.

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Miles from Monday: A Dose of West

boulder, colorado may 2013

June 3, 2013, Washington, DC: West. It’s got a nice ring to it. Bigger than east and south and north, more dramatic and convincing than the whole lot of them put together. It’s been just a week since my last trip west, but that morning hike up Mt. Sanitas and a hot afternoon on the banks of the Boulder Reservoir are excursions I’d jump at this very moment if someone offered me another dose of west.

Is there enough west in your life? If you had your pick of mountains or ocean, which would it be? Could you trade the edges for a landlocked state like Colorado if a mountain trailhead was accessible just beyond the backyard? Are you your best out west or most at home back east?

Miles from Monday is a weekly travel series focused on venturing out of the spaces we inhabit during our work week and retreating to landscapes that feel far from routine.

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Miles From Monday: Running the Capitol Hill Classic

Capitol Hill Classic, Washington, DC, May 2013

“It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination. We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to get somewhere else. We can enjoy every moment of movement, as long as where we are is as good as where we’d like to be. That’s not to say that you need to be satisfied forever with where you are today. But you need to honor what you’ve accomplished, rather than thinking of what’s left to be done.” — John Bingham

May 20, 2013, Washington, DC: We run together through a spitting rain. First as a tight pack and later as a long string of a neon sneakers stretched out over the entire neighborhood. We check the landmarks off the list first, tagging the back of the Supreme Court and the Shakespeare Library before beelining it away from the city in a straight shot out toward its edge. Familiar faces and strangers reach into the street offering paper cups and high fives. Clutching coffee mugs, wearing baseball caps, there’s the shopkeeper from around the corner, the family who lives down the block…

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