They actually did it.
Somewhere between the barbecue ribs and brisket, manager Jim Miller and bartender Sandra Russell fell in love working at Pork Barrel BBQ in Del Ray. Over the summer, they formed an idea to leave it all behind and spend a year driving around the country with a 21-foot Keystone Hideout camper in tow.
On September 20, Miller and Russell pulled up stakes and left Alexandria.
ALXnow caught up with the couple at a laundromat in Swansboro, North Carolina, about 10 miles from their latest campground. They’re documenting their experience in a public Facebook group, and at every new stop are sending back postcards to Pork Barrel.
“I’m telling you that life hasn’t been this good for a long, long time,” Miller said over the phone. “We live in 186-square-feet of space. That includes a queen-sized bed, two bunk beds, a toilet, a shower, a double gas burner stove, refrigerator, and an air conditioner and heater. ”
For Miller, a 1988 graduate of T.C. Williams High School, and father of three grown children, the experience is liberating. Russell, who grew up in a military family, is used to traveling around the world. The couple met after Russell started work at the Del Ray restaurant a year-and-a-half ago.
“We needed a change of pace, and I’ve never really seen too much of this great country that we live in,” Miller said. “We felt like our lives were just going around one of those hamster wheels.”
Russell said she’s loving the experience, even though they had to find a new mattress.
“I was a little bit sore in the beginning,” she said. “The mattress wasn’t all that comfortable, but I’m young. I can do it right now, before kids, before starting a career and all that.”
Pork Barrel BBQ owner Bill Blackburn says that he’s gotten four postcards from the couple.
“We miss them both right now,” Blackburn said. “Jim and Sandra were both a lot of fun to work with.”
Miller says the plan is to spend Thanksgiving back in Alexandria and Christmas in Palm Springs, California.
“We’re thinking about trying to do this for a full 12 months and then find a place out of all of our travels where we find the most peace and serenity and the most opportunity for us to live good, peaceful lives around good people,” he said.
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Enjoy live music and pop up beer garden at the Happy Hour Concert Series starting tonight at 6 p.m.
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At Nova Fencing Club, the beginner fencing classes are designed for students of all levels – including students who have never fenced before.
If you’re looking for a fun physical activity that improves your fitness, critical thinking and rapid decision making skills then come join us!
There’s no better time than now to give us a try – and take part in one of the fastest growing sports. Our highly educated, professional coaching staff includes Virginia’s only Maitre d’Armes, a member of USA Fencing’s coaching team, former members of the USA National Team, and our Head Coach, who has produced national champions.
Register for either our Youth Beginner Fencing Classes (7-12) or our Teen & Adult Beginner Fencing Classes (13 to Adult) and become a part of the club that champions call home.
Join the City of Alexandria and Arlington County’s Initiative to Rethink Energy at our first ever electric vehicle (EV) and sustainable technologies showcase! Get inspired by seeing a variety of electric cars, scooters, bikes, motorcycles, police cars, buses, trucks and