Sunday, December 2, 2018

Beauty in decay...things are not always what they seem!

Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on the links, behind the lady who dances and the man who madly drinks, under the look of fatigue, the attack of a migraine and the sigh…there is always another story, there is more than meets the eye.  -W.H. Auden  

The dawn of winter has arrived and the chill of its grand entrance has followed us to the familiar village nestled just west of the beautiful Hudson River.  The first Nor’easter of the year has decided to rear its ugly head and attempts to deter us from our prize.   There are those who quell their curiosity when the weather is less than cooperative and then there is J & M.  It is not within our nature to let a little detour from mother nature get in our way. 

It has been a over a year since the vine covered fieldstone in its somewhat uniform architecture captured our attention and drew us into a love affair beyond  imagination.  The haunting remnants of child's play and mysterious structures surround the buildings that were once over 130 in number.   Amazing and beautiful in its decay, it has become the place we long to return to again and again. Diligent research into intriguing locations led to the allure of this spectacular place.   Others had gone before us, including a trio of celebrity ghost hunters, taggers, squatters, explorers and other curious adventurers bewitched by the charms within the darkened hallways and decrepit structures.  As for us, we were captivated immediately by its tragic past and haunted reputation.  You see, not everything is as it seems, and these buildings hold a menagerie of memories.  From the caring and loving hands of those dedicated to the care of those less fortunate, to the dark and sinister acts of betrayal, incompetent care, under-staffing and neglect.   In its creation, it was a philanthropic and noble vision.   Imagine a place where mentally and physically challenged citizens could live together in a caring environment where they would be taught to provide for themselves, farming the land, tending to livestock and caring for one another.  A place that would provide employment to many people in New York and would carry on the legacy of the man who made it all possible.  Over the span of many years, the concept of this utopia grew and the population which should have been held at 3000, exploded well past that margin.  Overworked and understaffed, it was the residents who began to suffer.     Its story brought to the forefront of national headlines would be the catalyst for change in the horribly flawed mental health system.  It would be a beacon of hope for the future of those with mental and physical disabilities.   Through its darkness, the light prevails, and it is through that illumination that our infatuation has blossomed and led us through journeys that most dare not to embark upon.

The defiant wind howls just beyond the corridor, as the stinging rain scolds us for our audacity to explore in such inclement conditions.  It’s of no significance to us, for our hunger for its intrigue holds immunity against any obstacles in our way.   M leads the way toward the closest entranceway.  As a team, we, for the most part, will stick together in the name of safety and my abundant adoration for the partner who has brought to me such joy in our mutual love of exploring.  The disintegrating staircase strains as we make our way into a large awaiting room.  The familiar smell of decay fills the air as we immediately begin our tour within the halls that we have grown to love so much.   I run my fingers along the weathered casing of a long-lost employee instructional book.  It’s pages now tattered, torn and singed with evidence of fire damage, no longer to be read by any sane soul.   Although its relevant existence is over, to us it is a remnant of the once bustling halls of an overcrowded hospital.  A clue to the past.   I look to the ceiling…it too is crumbling, allowing the icy rain to beat down, unwelcomed, upon our heads.  I can only hope that the flooring that we tread so carefully on has not yet succumbed to such deterioration.   With each step, each discovery of forgotten everyday items, unique architecture and mysterious fixtures, my trepidation fades. 

With swift and careful placement of my face mask, we traverse on.   As always, the camera is on and we set on to document our explore through these familiar hallways.  The storm has chased away all rays of light and has set the stage for dramatic views through the peering lens.  Darkness falls swift as we move forward.  Its of no consequence to us.  We love the darkness and have little to no fear of what we will discover.   They say that evil dwells within these walls and perhaps a little discretion might be in order, but our minds are at ease.  I can close my eyes and sense that we are safe.  We may or may not be alone, but evil has yet to make its grand entrance.   Respect for the past, acknowledgment of experiences that others have had here and a general love for the pitch-black pathways, lead the way.  

With youthful excitement, we travel on.  Things are not always as they seem, right?   As we have mentioned in our other writings, we know that we are no longer green and budding.  Our hues are ever changing and although mature in stature, our child-like curiosity for lost places continues to blossom.    It is rejuvenating to seek knowledge and solace amongst peeling paint and somewhat hazardous dust particles.  Although we are no longer young sprouts, our roots have been planted and our desire to bring others along on our adventures continues to grow.  A seed has been planted and we have this wonderful opportunity to bring others along as we discover places long forgotten.   

As we move along the somewhat ominous corridors, I catch site of his sparkling eyes. He has seen many places in his own adventures.   He has been to many places that others only dream of and has brought knowledge and joy to others in his travels to well known ethereal locations.  His love for adventure, exploring and seeking knowledge of the unknown has evolved into an additional passion for documenting and sharing his experiences with others who have interest in all things amazing.  My mind wanders for only a moment...I feel blessed to be here in the shadows with my best friend.   Our mutual passion for exploration has so wonderfully collided and with every step, I know the best is yet to come.   He points the camera into the abyss…”Guess what time it is…” he says with an impish grin.  My own eyes light up, for I know exactly where we are going next!    A small light is lit to guide our way as we round the corner.  There is not a trace of illumination, save for a couple of breaks in the infrastructure, where we are going.  He pauses for a slight dramatic edge as we take the view in.    It might as well be a grand staircase with jewel lined risers and railways.  It evokes excitement and a mysterious calling to descend into the depths of darkness. With childlike exuberance, I skip happily into the void beyond.   A giggle in the gloom, for I am entering my playground.  

We have been scolded in the past for our humorous antics and jovial demeanors when we are in the midst of places known for their tragic occurrences and historical atrocities.   It is true that we often bring our lighthearted personalities into desolation, but it is our honor to bring light into the darkness of such places.   These dwellings have sorrowful history, but are not so consumed by the past that they cannot allow for joy to seep in.   Happiness comes in many forms and can be described in infinite ways.  If not for our delight in decay, the spirit of adventure would be lost in regret.  The spirits that dwell within the hallways have had enough sadness and suffering.    And so, as I lie down upon the cold and clammy slab that once held the bodies of so many lost souls, I close my eyes and pay tribute.  It’s true that it is somewhat of a novelty for me to prove my courage and “hey!  I’m not afraid of nothin” (except bridges and lightning strikes) attitude, but I (and I know that M feels the same way) hold nothing but respect and love for the souls who perished within these walls.   Things are not always what they seem…

Our adventures within these walls are far from over.  We have heard others say how there is just something about this place that draws you in….a certain obsession and longing to return.  Within the structures, grounds and last but certainly not least, amazing tunnel system, lies a magical mystique.  As always, we wish to encourage you to get out and explore on your own.  We know that traveling to certain locations that may be deemed less than prudent to explore might be beyond one’s own desire, so we will happily bring you along with us.   Through our eyes, we hope to bring you joy for the forgotten and a shared love for all things tattered and decayed.   

Close your eyes as we speak to you from the darkness which is our light….”Do whatever makes you feel alive!”    Share your own inspirations with us by leaving a comment and thank you so much for taking the time to read about our adventures! 

-Jennifer and Marcel

J&M Explorations

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"Get Busy Living, or Get Busy Dying"

I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living, or get busy dying. -Andy Dufresne (The Shawshank Redemption)

Some days we awake from sweet slumber ready to take the day head on. Bright eyed and eager to face challenge and adversity with courage and strength.  Other days, the challenge lies in the simple act of crawling out from under the covers, wandering half blind through the darkness as we fall deeply into the pit of despair that we so hopelessly call our daily routine.  Infectious melancholy that we harbor deep in our souls as we so willingly succumb to its repetition.  It is within these days of woeful awakenings that the joy and wonder of life can begin to fade quietly into despair.  We are all different.  We have our own stressors and daily obstacles to face.  We all place different value on our stressors and it is easy to get caught up in our own perceived desolation.  And so, it is within these moments that we must choose our daily path.  To get busy living or get busy dying….  

Whether you know us and have been following our adventures on YouTube, or have stumbled across this article by chance, you should know….Both Marcel and I have decided to get busy living!  I’m not saying that we don’t both have our days of gloom and doom (take today for example…nothing but trouble!!), the point is, that even in the days that go directly down the toilet, we never lie down and give up.  We (and by we, I mean me) may whine every now and then and grumble to each other about our own daily stressors, but within those moments of wretched despondency, there is always light.  Radiant illuminations of adventures to come and the bright glow of memories to treasure.


Get busy living, or get busy dying.  Every fellow adventurer knows that there is some risk involved in exploring. This past weekend we stood on the banks of the Kennebec River in Richmond, Maine with aspirations of exploring Swan Island, an abandoned and historic settlement full of mystery and wonder.   It was a bitter cold day in November, and we were hell bent on crossing the chilled water with nothing more than a well-loved Coleman canoe separating us from life and certain death (or a really bad case of frost bite). 

As always, trepidation gives way to splendor as courage is fed by trust. There was just no question that we would cross, and cross we did!!  It was our island for the day and we relished every moment of serene exploration. Our thirst for nature and abandoned structures quenched, we forgot all about aching feet, freezing cold temperatures and the inevitable death-defying canoe ride back to the Explore-mobile. To live in the moment and to be the only two people in the whole world exploring that island just at that moment in time, was worth any perceived danger. And so, as we arrived back on the safety of the shoreline and heated seats, we smiled.  Another amazing adventure to treasure and another chance to inspire others to make their own memories…no matter what the stinking weather holds.  There is always the element of danger in exploration, but risk gives way to immunity when one of your greatest loves comes in the form of; pitch black hallways, decaying staircases, whispering souls of history and stunning artifacts from days gone by….just to name a few.

There are many obstacles that by all intents and purposes should deter level headed, mature, responsible and completely sane people from diving headfirst into, and although we are all of those things, our desire for adventure overrides any reservations we may have.  Is it not enough to feel the sting of a razor sharp thorn as it rips unhindered into our thighs while we wander through an abandoned woodland?  Maybe the pungent odor of a million spores of mold dancing dangerously though the air as we peer into rooms betrayed by time. Or possibly, precarious walls and buckling hallways taunting us with their decay.  Maybe just maybe the risk comes in the form of judgement and disapproval of our escapades from those who have no understanding of what we do.  Peril can take many forms when you get busy living.  But here’s the thing…when we have slowed down, when we can no longer push our bodies to their limits, we will sit, our fingers lovingly intertwined as we share our memories with each other…no regrets, for we have lived life to the fullest.  Get busy living….or get busy dying…that’s goddamn right!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Grossingers Catskill Resort....seizing the day and saying goodbye.

“Carpe Diem.  Seize the day, boys.  Make your lives extraordinary.”  -John Keating (aka the late, great Robin Williams) 

Close your eyes…now, picture your life the way you have always dreamed it to be.  Are you sucking the marrow out of life or are you choking on the bone?   Dreams, no matter if they are large or small, give our lives purpose.   They encourage us to live life to the fullest and to never ever take one day for granted.    It is with these thoughts in mind, that we, as explorers and lovers of life, have taken the past couple of months and turned them into epic adventures filled with the most amazing memories that will last a lifetime. It is our mission to encourage and motivate you to do the same!!  
Although feeling slight pangs of writer’s block and an urge to cram everything into one blog post so as not to miss anything, I (J of J&M) have made an executive decision to take my dear sweet time with our upcoming blogs, so as not to miss one darn thing.   After all, seizing the day is hard work and we don’t want to miss sharing a single adventure.

With all of this in mind, it was easy to choose which adventure to write about first.   A lesson in taking advantage of opportunity and not wasting a moment of the precious time we are given.   A lesson in seizing a moment of time before it’s too late and the moment is lost forever….

A graffiti covered security checkpoint guards the seven story abandoned hotel at the once world famous Grossingers Resort.

It was just a few months ago that we had found one of our favorite places to explore.  Perhaps it was, to some, an eyesore within the beautiful rolling hills of the Catskill Mountains of New York.   A time capsule filled with memories of the past.  It’s buildings looming with grandeur over the small town below. Mysterious echoes of days gone by resonated within our souls as we explored each time encapsulated hallway.  With each discovery, our affection for the treasures within grew and we found ourselves longing to return.   We had talked about documenting our adventures from the very beginning of our explorations together.  It would be a chance to share our favorite adventures with anyone who has an interest in urban exploration, historic locations and even a paranormal investigation or two.  Never claiming to be anything we’re not and through our flaws and sometimes amateurish camera issues, we shoot some of the most amazing abandoned places in the northeast and beyond.  And so, with that dream in mind, we vowed to return with camera in hand, to showcase all the beauty in the decay of what was once the premier resort for not only well to do Jewish families, but many celebrities as well.  To them, it was Grossinger’s Catskill Resort.  To us, it was exploration heaven.  

It was a typical J&M Explorations road trip!   The J (that’s me) of J&M was, as usual, blabbering on about some monumental occurrence of the upcoming trip…most likely in anticipation of Liberty Diner’s world-famous salad dressing and Baklava.  M always shaking his head and smiling…in awe of the plethora of oddities spewing from his silly partner’s mouth.  We reminisced about our last visit to this wonderous place and even joked a little about its eventual demise.   It had stood vacant for so many years against the hillside.  Why on earth would anyone want to tear down history?  We laughed….it just couldn’t happen. 

We veered right off the exit and came to a slow stop at the familiar stop light just below the magnificent resort.   At the exact same moment, we turned to each other with confusion in our eyes.  Could it be that the seven-story building that had become the hallmark of our entrance to Liberty, New York was simply engulfed by nature?   Collectively, our hearts sank, for we both knew.   There were no towering trees in Liberty…the building that had greeted us twice before was gone.  A quick drive up the familiar streets confirmed our fears.   Grossinger’s Catskill Resort was fading into history…it’s wonderous buildings, soon to be just memory.   The destruction was abundant, and our hearts began to ache.  Haunting echoes from the original owner and matriarch, Jennie Grossinger’s house cried out to us as we scanned the dirt where her cozy house stood.  

How would she feel to see her dreams…remnants of her extraordinary life being bulldozed into asbestos saturated dust?  We scanned the perimeter for a place to respectfully enter her abode.  We were eager to see what was left.  Eager to pay our last respects to this hallowed ground.  Our eyes met as we turned to the mountain of rubble just beyond the gateway.   Shards of glass, jagged stacks of cement, and the ominous smell of less than healthy dust particles greeted us with their intriguing embrace as we made out way toward ground zero.   The blue sky shimmered above as haunting images of detonation filled our minds.  What a sight it must have been to see the grand building’s demise.  What once stood so proud and tall, had fallen into desolation and in return had broken the hearts of at least two explorers that held her forsaken structures with great affection and regard.  Our collective sigh echoed in the abyss of debris as we turned the camera on ourselves.  Our usual playful and lighthearted introduction felt shadowed by a sense of loss and regret.   How can you seize the day, when the stroke of midnight intrudes?   But even in the shadow of despair comes the opportunity to shine.   We quickly turned our attention past the ruins to the treasures beyond.  It was a chance to seize the day without regret and to deliver a message of adventure without delay.   The day went by all too quickly as we found ourselves immersed in its abandoned brilliance.  Although a few of our favorite places had fallen, many remained.   And although awaiting certain death at the hands of bulldozers and a hearty stock of TNT, stood still in time, echoing haunting voices from the past as it intertwined two adventurers into its history, creating a firestorm of memories that could never be extinguished. 

And so, another day had been seized and our extraordinary lives would carry on to hopefully inspire others to do the same!  It was within the graffiti stained hallways of Grossingers that we found our motto,  “Do whatever makes you Feel Alive!”   We will carry this motto with us throughout our lives and wish to inspire you to do the same.  Live your dream and don’t waste a minute!   Make your life extraordinary and inspire others to do the same.  

Thank you, as always, for taking the time to read our blog!  Be sure to check out the video of this exploration on YouTube at

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Age is just a freakin number, people!!

Older than dirt.   Past their prime.  No spring chickens.  If you are over the age of 45, you may have heard such whispers of age induced misconceptions.  You may have even taken them to heart.  After all, we all grow older.   We all begin to feel the strain of aging upon us as we take on challenges that may have been effortless in our youth.  We all begin to stare at the proverbial hill of maturity and wonder how we will fare in its relentless efforts to hold us down and to, as legend would have it, take us by the hand and lead us directly into the grave.   But legends are not always the reality.    As Charles M. Shulz, creator of some of the most beloved characters that have ever existed, once said, “Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.”    For the two of us, these words are so magnificently true!  

Now, there is just no need to spew out exact numbers as to our chronological value, but if you have seen our videos on YouTube, our pictures on Instagram or if…lucky you, you actually know us, then you will know that J&M have been around the block a few times more than your average urban explorer.   Yes, there are advantages to youth that have fallen with stealth and precision into the wayside, however maturity has gained a new power and strength.    Within each day of life brings new opportunities to defy perception.    Age, energy, desire and determination are the cohesive bonds that, through new challenges, only grow stronger.  This was never so apparent as it was during our latest and greatest exploration….

Once again, we had pulled out our cellphones to gather meteorological insights regarding our best bets for the next location for adventure.  You see, we have several places around the Northeast that we love to visit and quite often find ourselves planning spur of the moment adventures based solely on mother nature and her fickle New England ways….truly, you have to have lived in this area to appreciate what a wicked chowdahead she can be….hot as frickin Hades one day, freezing your Yankee butt off the next.   So it was that we were cursing her once again….66 degrees and raining?  Really?  It’s the end of June for crud’s sake.  We looked at each other and sighed…really we didn’t have much choice, Mother Nature had decided to be a buzz kill all over the East Coast.  And….as you might already know, we DO NOT let a little stinkin crummy weather pattern ruin our explorations!!!  So off we went!  Destination: a deserted ski resort in the high hills of Massachusetts.

It was harmless looking enough.  Sure, we have seen the peak of this mountain a million times, but we never really realized the enormity of the task ahead of us until we began our trek up the jagged hillside.   No, it’s not the Rockies, or the Alps, or even the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee (which, by the way, we will be going to very soon in order to bring you a new batch of adventures!!), but it is a mountain nonetheless….1,202 feet of steep, rugged, pointy, slippery when wet rock.  Did we mention that it was raining?   Still….no way to stop us!!  We had a plan and when there is exploring involved, there will be no stopping us!   

And so, up we continued….

The summit of the mountainside was a sight to behold.  To take in the view, even on a misty, rain sprinkled day, was quite majestic and, extremely empowering.  
Admittedly, we did have to stop a few times so that J (that’s me) could catch her, now ever so close to the age of 50, breath and to also allow her heart to not beat directly out of her chest, fall to the ground and make climbing through a slippery mess of cardiac tissue even harder for someone else.  But with M’s (that’s Marcel…my hero, in case you didn’t know)  help and constant encouragement, I made it!    It would have been nice if the summit would have been our final destination, but it was not the case.  You see, good things not only come to those who wait, they come to those who hike their asses off and with our collective asses  almost completely gone from the enormity of this hike, we traversed the summit and made our way toward the prize.   Walking back down the other side of the mountain to reach the elusive, or so we thought, resort was quite daunting in itself, as we knew that, unless we hailed an Uber, we would be committed to walking back up.  The Explore-mobile was on the other side of the rain-soaked mountain and since we had not yet seen enough episodes of Naked and Afraid to educate us on all aspects of survival, we would be forced to return to civilization.  

It didn’t take long before we found our “in” spot.  Ya know, the place where we could move with cat like prowess into the jungle of abandonment.  Never mind the fact that there was, as we later found out, a completely incurious and less than rebellious place of entry.   We bush-wacked our way across flowing wisps of thigh high grassland, taking every care in the world not to disturb the wildlife eutopia lying delicately beneath our toes.  A glance to the left beheld a grand view of the ski slopes that once carried those who find their joy in dodging crystalized drifts of icy pillows through the glades on a brisk and snow-kissed day. Haunting echoes of residual laughter resonated within the boundaries of the slopes as we made our way toward an ominous looking cabin that had appeared just beyond the whispering winds. 
  It was beautiful in it’s desolation.   Within moments, we found ourselves exploring its darkened depths.   A self-guided tour into rejected habitation.  The usual profane graffiti could be found, but amongst the foul obscenities lay great magnificence in the decay surrounding us.

 We continued on, suddenly realizing that we would not only be cutting close on our video battery, an ever-important factor in documenting our adventurous and epic journeys, but also on our cell phone reliability….how in the world did we ever make it through our day without cell phones?    With frugality in usage of precious batteries now on the front burner, we suddenly found ourselves prioritizing our every move.  Our new-found love of documenting and sharing our explorations had become of paramount importance and we did not want to miss one single minute of showing these tattered, rotting and eroding treasures of history.    

With swift steps, we made our way along the grass enveloped path and through a clearing that brought us to a cement graveyard that was once adorned with crisp new tile, flowing pumps filled with chlorine and crystal blue waters.   Three and half feet at the deepest end gave clues to it’s past.  A young mother sitting with eyes wide open upon the stairway leading into the chill of the pool, she is afraid to close her eyes for even a second for fear that her little ones might slip into the waist high abyss.  An older couple splash each other playfully with their feet as they close their eyes to relax under the sunlight…their children are older and have children of their own…they sit content in their freedom.  It is as it always is when we visit these places.   Whispering memories of the past flow through the winds surrounding us.   Clues to history abound, always calling for our return.

I can go for hours about all of the sites that we beheld that day.  Spectacular graffiti art adorning crumbling cabins, a large and vacant wave pool wrapped in the clutches of nature, remnants of tropical drinks and food that certainly contributed to someone’s first triple bypass surgery, a forgotten vehicle blanketed with rust and clever designs of street art.
    It was a buffet of rejected splendor!!  Our passion for exploring growing with each step as we made our way through a great majority of the resort and its amazing wonders.  

There is just never enough time!!   The sun was making its way toward the western sky and under the brilliant hues of blue, we knew that it was time to begin the somewhat….oh, who am I kidding?....the EXTREMELY intimidating hike back!!    M placed his hand in mine and smiled, and in that moment, I was right where I always wanted to be.   The musculature of our necks straining taught and tight as we gazed toward the midway point of our final destination.  The slight tickle of raindrops fell softly as our grasp on each other tightened.  Encouraging words carrying my body toward the misty clouds above.  With strength and courage, we continued… a youthful determination prevailing amongst the aches and pains of our seasoned and careworn steps. 

 For some, adventure and exploration are a dream.  For some, it is their life’s work.   For the two of us, it is our love, and a monumental part of that love is being able to share our experiences with others.  Whether you are 25 or 75, whether you are climbing up the hill of life, or zooming straight down with vigor and vibrant energy, we hope that you will always and forever live each day to the fullest.  Take a moment to breathe in all that life has to offer and when you may be feeling down or having one of those days that make you want to pull out each and every strand of your hair, know that there is adventure for you around the corner.  Whatever your dream of adventure may be.  Don’t waste precious moments in anger or in sadness.  Climb up the hill of life and when you reach its summit….rejoice!  For if you have an adventurers soul….the best is ALWAYS yet to come! 

And, as always and for the love of everything youthful and  kind to your aching and adventurous feet….”Do whatever makes you feel alive!!!”

-Jennifer and Marcel

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Rutland Prison Camp....Discovery awaits!

Check out all of our videos from this adventure!  Like, comment and subscribe!  Many more adventures to come!

Ready or not here I come!!! Discovery and elation at the Rutland Prison Camp in Rutland Massachusetts.

The oak tree stands tall against the rolling hillside as a lone sound comes from just beyond the layered bark.  Three, two, one…ready or not here I come!!  Muffled laughter as a child trembles with excitement in his hidden lair.  Footsteps echo in the air as the hunt commences.  What childhood would be complete without the exhilarating memory of a magical game of  hide and go seek?   It was, within the child in all of us,  the first taste of an adventurous quest for that which has gone lost.   Is that not what we as explorers crave?   Peeping and peering through every shadow to find that which is hidden.   Seeking skeletal remains of neglected infrastructure lying intertwined with wilderness gone rampant.   Such elusive treasure is like sweet nectar to the lips of the adventurous soul , evoking a hunger for discovery and a passion to ignite such feelings in others.

It was in our latest expedition to the Rutland Prison Camp in Rutland Massachusetts that we once again felt such triumph and a ravenous desire to share our experiences with those who would plop down on their couches for 20 or so minutes to watch our somewhat goofy, however (insert  shameless plug here)  highly entertaining video antics on YouTube.   Our commentary began as it always does with our unpolished, unrehearsed, off the cuff, what you see is what you get, style of recording the adventure of the day.  We had seen our fellow YouTubers exploring this location and had  ourselves been inspired by their videos to visit the remnants of this prison camp which once housed the not so naughty drunkards and low caliber criminals of the early 1900’s.  The sights were fairly familiar echoes of what we had previously viewed, but captivating nonetheless.    To be amongst such familiarity could quite possibly seem redundant, however, the vivid colors of street art,  the bright sunlight peeking through the decayed rooftops, the smell of  burnt remnants of soot from the last kegger bonfire, only  fueled our drive to inspire.    We pressed on through the desolated isolation cells, where once the prisoners who had disobeyed common laws of incarceration would peer longingly to the fields beyond their freedom.   Whispers of abandoned decay spoke clearly through the soft afternoon breeze, leading us further toward a dark cavernous, graffiti blanketed opening in the hillside just beyond the rotting cells below.    Apparent remnants of a root cellar (NOT A HOSPITAL…See our YouTube video to sympathize with Marcel on his daily tolerance of me constantly yapping my yapper.) with a dark and mildly creepy vibe.  It was perfect in its cognizance…a grand place to bring all of our seven subscribers on YouTube too!  But….there just had to be more!!

Enter geocaching…. (Seriously, you have to get involved with this activity!)  We had filmed just about all we were going to film.  The sun had provided us with just enough warmth to make it feel somewhat like spring and had just begun to descend into the lower three quarters of blue hued sky above.  It was then that we collectively (as has become a new habit with us) pulled out our cell phones to bring up the geocaching app we have come to enjoy so much.  Surely there would be a geocache somewhere in sight,  as we were in a State park with complete public access allowed.  A few swipes to the left and to the right, and there it was…a geocache to be found!!   We quickly gathered our GC backpack filled with BYOP’s , swag and trackables; and made our way through the knee high grasslands toward our GPS coordinates.    I’m sure in some perfect world, there MUST have been an easier pathway to this destination, but we are rebels and prefer a challenge (Attention Wildlife advocates…no wildlife or foliage was harmed in our quest to find a 5x5 waterproof container filled with goodies).    A few dodges of thorn covered bushes and tick infested shrubbery led us to an opening within the canopy.   There before us was the most beautiful site we had seen all day….Crumbling remnants of architectural magnificence.   Engulfed by nature’s web of foliage, intertwined with never ending vines and  surrounded by crumbling rock.   It was gorgeous,  and the euphoric feeling of discovery blasted the two of us as we gazed upon it’s,  untouched by vandalism and other dark clues of human intrusion, grandeur.  Camera rolling, we delighted in the fact that others may too come along on this grown up version of hide and seek.    Elated by our find, and ever watchful of the setting sun,  we decided to forgo the whole reason why we had found this treasure in the first place and drag our weary, but completed satisfied rear ends back to the explore-mobile (aka Marcel’s cool car).  The cache would lay untouched by the two of us, but would be held in high regard and respect, for it had taken us both by the hands and led us to yet another precious moment in time.     And as we are inspired by these places that we find, so often times by chance, we long to be the catalyst for discovery in others….to lead our subscribers and all that may stumble upon our newly born YouTube channel to…

”live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms...” –Henry David Thoreau  

And to….for the sake of all that is untouched, undiscovered and just waiting to be explored…”Do whatever makes you feel ALIVE!!”        

-Jennifer and Marcel

For the amazing video footage of this adventure, please visit…..    


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Cumbies, caching, and catching some getting side tracked can be a good thing!

It had been a rough week and we were both looking forward to a weekend of relaxation, laughter and exploring.  The hands on the clock moved all too slowly toward quitting time, as it always does when a great expedition is on the horizon.   If you know any weekend warriors, or if you are one yourself, then you are familiar with the overwhelming feeling of anticipation for your next great journey.  The minute you return to the comfort of your somewhat neglected home (laundry in the hamper, dust on the shelving, cat hair on the couch, weeds in the garden…) you already have your thoughts in motion, gathering information that will help you in planning your next magnificent odyssey.  For this particular adventure it came down to one thing….would the  nasty, unpredictable, horrid, wet, dreary,  weirdest spring ever in New England weather cooperate with us and give us at least one day of half decent weather for our  travels?  I mean…come on!!!  Don’t take our whining(ok, it's J that needs a box of tissues…M never whines)  the wrong way!  If you know anything about the  two of us from our former blogs or crazy videos, then you will know that even the worst weather can’t stand up to our collective thirst for fun!  It’s just that….well, we’ve had enough and just wish for the stubborn sun to shine on us for once!!    The fickle weather app on Marcel’s phone gave us conflicting reports on where our best bet would be for traveling and as for my source….well, I feel sorry for poor Alexa.    If I asked her one more time to give me the forecast for the East Coast, I thought for sure she would have a complete and total meltdown of epic proportions!     As the sun began to rise on our first day of freedom from work, and the rich aroma of Cumberland Farms coffee began to waft through the house, we slowly but surely began to formulate our final plan.   It was a grand plan full of  “let’s just see where the day takes us”  and “whatever we do is fine with me!”  No arguing over destinations…just the amazing feeling of knowing that anywhere you are with your best friend is the place to be…the other stuff would just fall into place! the past we would have packed our adventuring must haves, double checked all of the things that I most likely forgot and bee-lined our way to Cumbies for yet another cup of joe.  Yes, we are hooked!!    As a side note, we recently broke up with a certain other coffee chain, and I’m not trying to start any trouble with you loyal D&D er’s but…. How do they get away with charging you at least  5.5 million dollars for a cup of coffee that you may or may not get in the way that you like it?   Trust us when we say our wallets and our taste buds are much happier!!  Anywayyyy….This ritual would be followed by a speedy, smoke coming from the back tires type exit,  you know… Bo and Luke Duke style, and then we would be on our way!!  But that was before we found Geocaching….   We have traded in our hasty departures for GPS mapping and taking the route that will give us the most hides (that’s caching lingo)  in one day.    We knew we were heading to the Worcester Massachusetts vicinity (thank you, Mother Nature) for a plethora of adventurous destinations, but what J&M Exploration would be complete without a little Geocache hunt??     Long story short… our five completely awesome abandoned, spooky, cool and totally amazing destinations turned into time for only one.    You might think that this would upset us.   How can Geocaching possibly be as fun as climbing into dark, muck and spider infested  places?  How can you compare searching  for, what seems like, hours for a 5x5 lock and lock with toys  inside, to listening for ethereal whispers from restless souls in sacred places?  The answer lies in  the quest for new discoveries!   This little hobby called geocaching has swept in and  led us to places we may not have otherwise had the pleasure of finding. (As you will read about in blog #2 from this expedition)  It is in the desire for discovery that our lives can be filled with wonder and joy….without discovery; we lay dormant like the dew on a snow kissed willow.  It is only in the thaw that the willow blossoms, only in the act of discovery can we, as explorers of life can flourish.   So it is  in that moment when we gaze upon new landscapes that our GPS has guided us to that we can reflect on just how much is out there to explore.   Whether it be abandoned ruins filled with history and intrigue or a cascading waterfall under a plush forest canopy…there is not a moment to waste!!  Our days on this earth are but a precious moment in an infinite measure of time, and so it is our mission to inspire you through our sometimes kooky and completely unpolished videos on YouTube to get out there and make new discoveries…get a little mud in your hair, endure a bug bite or two, know what it’s like to hike until you can’t feel your feet….and…..for the sake of every discovery that has not been made yet…Do whatever makes you feel alive!!!!  
-Jennifer and Marcel

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ghosts, gulls and a gaggle of geese! How Rose Island Lighthouse Captured Our Hearts!

Ghosts, gulls and a gaggle of geeese
I will love the light...For it shows me the way!! 

Anticipation.  Take a moment to reminisce about moments in your life that brought you complete and utter joy.  Perhaps it was when you were a wide eyed five year old opening each window of your advent calendar in hopes that Santa Claus would get his toy packed sack down your chimney without getting his chubby belly stuck amidst the soot.  Maybe it was when you were in middle school and you began counting the hours, minutes and seconds until you could throw the mangled contents of your locker into the oversize trash can located conveniently near the janitor's closet, in order to  to get your summer on.  It could have been signing on the dotted line for that cherry red sports car you always longed for, or an event you had been daydreaming about since before forever.  Maybe, just maybe it is something you still dream about. (enter batting eyelashes and a sheepish grin here)   The best part about anticipation comes just as you are on the very threshold of wondrous fulfillment.  For the two of us, it comes as you hear the churning of brisk ocean water in the gurgling motor of Chris's boat. 
You see, Chris is the captain of the most wonderful boat on the east coast, for it is the boat that guides you, depending on the swell and surges of the chilled Atlantic Ocean, onward toward, in our completely unbiased and never strong willed or stubborn opinion,  the most beautiful lighthouse in the whole wide universe. 

Marcel is a bit of a veteran at visiting this historic and ever beautiful treasure that is nestled so snuggly between Jamestown and Newport Rhode Island.  His eyes sparkle when he talks about his prior visits and his excitement for all of the mystery and intrigue the island itself holds.  It was through his adoration of this location that I became completely enamored myself and, in turn, experienced that nostalgic feeling of anticipatory elation when we began to plan our own adventures there.  If you have read our other blogs, you have a bit of an insiders view on the places that we are drawn to.  The magical and completely marvelous thing about Rose Island is that it is an unabridged (no pun intended....see compilation of almost every single thing we love.  Okay, so it doesn't have cascading waterfalls,  honey seeking black bears,  a dilapidated mental hospital, the Liberty Diner and it's famous salad dressing, or the entire Boston Bruins hockey team, including the ever cool, calm and hardly ever angry Bruce Cassidy, but it does have a plethora of our signature must haves for our completely amazing explorations! 

Now if you take the time....and we know that you will take the time (nudge, nudge) to watch our YouTube videos at Rose Island, then you will see Marcel (the natural in front of the camera...sigh) and Jennifer (the goofy one who spews out way too much, but not enough to be completely and 100% accurate history)  wandering and exploring many of our favorite places around the island.  A bit of a disclaimer for our recent visit....Rose Island is not only home to historic remnants of Revolutionary War bastions and hauntingly mysterious bunkers that hold the secrets of the soldiers that lay sickened within it's bomb proof walls.   It has much more than the weathered and worn skeleton of a Naval torpedo station and the magnificence of the lighthouse itself with it's narrow stairwells to the lanthorn where you can feast your eyes on a gorgeous sixth order Fresnel lens that still illuminates Narragansett Bay.  It even has a Geocache for all of our geofriends!!   And here after all of our (ok, my) yapping is your disclaimer....  Rose Island is also a wildlife refuge for many shoreline birds including herons, egrets, sandpipers, seagulls and....Canadian geese...a great gaggle of geese to be exact.  If you come for a visit....and we encourage you with every single ounce of adventure in our exploring hearts to make your way out there...please make sure to watch where you walk during the spring and summer seasons.   There is no shortage of goose poo and you will find yourself two stepping around the fowl (see what we did there) droppings with a great amount of skill and resolution.

Now we (ok, it's the J of J&M) find ourselves going on and on...and quite honestly, we could go on forever because this is literally one of our favorite places on planet earth , but you came to this site to read a short blog not the War and Peace of adventure novels.  Our intent, as always, is to inspire you to get out and enjoy this life!  We highly recommend that you see for yourself all of the wonder that Rose Island holds!   

You can come for a day, a weekend or even stay as an honorary lighthouse keeper for a week!  Make sure you plan your stay in advance because this amazing place fills up speedy quick and for good reason!  You will have incredibly romantic views of the sunrise and sunset, soft ocean breezes outside of your window and a peaceful serenity that is hard to come by in this day and age.  You could even consider leaving your electronic devices at home and if you visit between the months of September through March, you can explore parts of the island that are off limits during nesting season.  As adventurers, this is our favorite time to come.  Not only could you possibly have the island to yourself, but you will see all of the abandoned beauty and ghostly structures that adorn the entire island.

Check out this website for a day visit:
and this website for overnight accommodations and information on supporting this beloved location of ours:

Thank you  for taking the time to read this blog and....for the love of lighthouses, secret abandoned places, ghost infested mental hospitals and diners with really awesome food...."Do whatever makes you feel alive!!!"

-Jennifer and Marcel