Weekend inPortsmouth - Music Hall

A Fabulous Winter Weekend in Portsmouth NH

Last month, in honor of one of those “big” birthdays, Paul and I spent a fabulous winter weekend in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Portsmouth lies a little over an hour from our house. However, the real distance from suburban Massachusetts to this old New England town was obvious from the minute we crossed into the city.

Portsmouth, founded in colonial times, features restored 17th and 18th century houses, many of which are open to visitors. It also still functions today as a working seaport. Over the years, Portsmouth’s main industry has alternated between boat building and repair (during times of war) and tourism (in times of peace). In the weeks leading up to Christmas (which was the case during our visit), Portsmouth is decked out in holiday finery and hosts glittering evening tours of historic homes. In fact, Portsmouth has a lot in common with last year’s holiday destination, Mystic Connecticut.

Another plus to spending a weekend in Portsmouth is the proximity of two of our regular New England poker rooms. Portsmouth is less than a half an hour from both the Seabrook and Hampton Falls poker rooms. This was definitely a factor in our choice of locale for the weekend.

What to Do in Portsmouth New Hampshire

USS Albacore

We started our weekend in Portsmouth at the USS Albacore museum. We had seen the Albacore several times before, as it sits by the side of the main road entering Portsmouth from the south. However, we had never actually stopped to take a look. We figured it was time. The USS Albacore was built in Portsmouth in 1952 as a research submarine. After her decommissioning in the 1970s, she returned to Portsmouth and moved to where she currently sits. The USS Albacore museum offers the rare opportunity to walk through a fully preserved, formerly working submarine. For 8$ a person, we were able to stroll through the Albacore at our own pace. The sub features strategically placed recordings explaining key details of the ship’s history and functioning. At the end of our tour, we returned to the visitors center, staffed by former navy men who answered any questions that the recordings did not address. I have to say that this place blew me away. Also, I never want to be in a submarine underwater. Quarters are as tight as you would imagine, and I’d be pleading to get out about five minutes in.

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Long-term poker travel

4 Keys to Preparing for Long-Term Poker Travel

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. However, we love all of the products and services listed here. We promise! For more information, see our Disclosure page.

 

In a couple of years we plan to spend at least a year traveling the United States playing poker.  That goal is still more than 2 years away, but the planning has definitely begun. Constructing a lifestyle based on poker travel requires significant preparation. Creating the plan and communicating our discoveries is one reason that we started this blog.

We should define what we mean by long-term poker travel. We are hoping to play poker several times per week while maintaining financial viability and travelling around the country.  For poker players who have reached a comfortable retirement or are independently wealthy, the financial implications may be minor. For the rest of us, such a plan requires a delicate balance between freedom and flexibility and working to maintain economic stability. Our intended nationwide trip is still at least 3 years out. Yet sometimes it feels like we don’t have sufficient prep time.

There are four critical areas to address if you want to forge a successful poker travel lifestyle.

1. Improve at Poker

Even if you’re a solid recreational poker player, it can be a challenge to break even. The impact of rake and tipping in small stakes cash and tournament games is substantial.  On top of that, it seems like every year the average poker player gets better. A decade ago, there were very few good, solid players in low stakes games.  Today at any given table, half the players may be pretty good.

Show me 10 low stakes players who claim they are lifetime profitable, and I’ll show you 9.7 liars.

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Best things to do in Boston - Boston Common

The 9 Best Things to Do in Boston

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When you grow up near a city, you sometimes take it for granted. You may figure you have all the time in the world to see the sites. That has certainly been true for me, living 30 minutes outside of Boston for the past two decades.  Every time we get up the energy to make the trip into the big city, we’re reminded how much we love Boston. The scope of entertainment, cultural, and scenic pleasures in the greater Boston area seems limitless. If you find yourself heading for the “Hub” (of the Universe, of course), these are our picks for the nine best things to do in Boston.

While we could share dozens of favorite activities in and around Boston, we’ll stick to the highlights. One caveat: Boston is not the easiest city to drive in (an understatement of the greatest magnitude). Do yourself a favor and leave the car at home. Instead, take advantage of the aging but sufficient rail system (MBTA or the “T”). Or if budget allows, use Uber/Lyft or cabs. Nothing ruins the Boston experience more than driving in it.

Boston Common/Public Garden

The Boston Common is not only one of the best things to do in Boston – it’s also free! A bucolic space in the middle of a dense urban area is always refreshing. Starting your visit to Boston in the Common will help you get a sense of the scope of the city while enjoying its more pastoral side. While the Common lacks the massive scope of New York’s Central Park, it provides a similar respite from the bustling city scape. Beside the lush greenery, features include the Frog Pond, which operates in various seasons as a reflecting pool, children’s spray pool, and ice rink. The Public Garden houses not only a plethora of seasonal floral offerings, but the iconic Swan Boat rides and the bronze ducks made famous in the classic children’s book Make Way for Ducklings. At Christmas, the Common is transformed into a magical landscape of lights and winter cheer. Finally, if you ignored our advice to leave your car at home, some of the most reasonable parking in Boston can be found in the giant lot that lies beneath the Common.

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How Much Can You Save When You Travel Cross Country by RV?

Ever since I came across the idea last year, Paul and I have debated the merits of RV living when we travel cross country on our poker adventure. I have been tentatively pro RV, while Paul has leaned hard toward “Are you insane?”. Then I decided to use the magic words that always pique Paul’s interest: “You know, travelling cross country by RV will be much cheaper than staying in hotels and rentals”. While I was pretty certain that living in an RV to travel cross country would save us money, I was not 100% sure. What I was certain of: Paul would immediately open an Excel spreadsheet and figure it out.

Presto, the spreadsheet was open and Paul began to enter numbers.

Scenarios and Assumptions of Cross Country Auto Travel vs. RV Living

We brainstormed the categories of expenses for our two primary scenarios:

  1. Driving in our Mazda3 and renting AirBnBs, hotels, and hopefully some house sitting; vs.
  2. RV living for the whole trip

If we take our Poker Pilgrimage via our Mazda3, we assume that we would keep our current vehicle: a 2017 model with 30,000 miles on it currently. We estimate that we’ll be at about 80,000 miles at the start of the trip and will have the car paid off.

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Las Vegas

6 Reasons to Visit Las Vegas Even if You Don’t Gamble

Las Vegas is an amazing city. Yes, it’s a mecca for gamblers. And if you play poker like we do, Las Vegas is a must-visit vacation destination. But Las Vegas is also a wonderful place to visit even if you never intend to drop so much as a penny into an airport slot machine. The city and its surrounding area offer everything a traveler could want.

Las Vegas

The Food

Las Vegas has incredible restaurants. The city has everything from top of the line eateries with menus planned by celebrity chefs to some of the best tacos you’ve ever bought in a parking lot. Food is one of the many areas where Las Vegas offers a little something for everyone. We’ve only visited Las Vegas four times (but we will be back!), so we have many meals yet to eat. In the meantime, here are some of our favorites:

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