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Uncoinventional Living Tour 2014, Bitcoin Road Trip, Live Blog

Op-ed - Uncoinventional Living Tour 2014

Wednesday, 07/30, 12:24

Here is a list of the Media Coverage we received along the journey:

1. Yahoo Travel

2. Concord Monitor

3. Hays Free Press

4. Sun Times

5. Tony’s Kansas City

6. Ben Swann

7. Coin Desk

8. Coin Telegraph

Here is a list of the articles I wrote about the journey:

1. Money and Tech, One Week in Review

2. Money and Tech, Two Weeks in Review

3. Money and Tech, Week Three in Review

4. Bitcoin Magazine, Our Uncoinventional Journey to Bitcoin Boulevard US

5. Bitcoin Magazine, Constructive Reflections of Bitcoin on the Beltway

6. Uncoinventional Tour in Review, Our Month on the Road Spending Bitcoin Only

7. Our Nightmarish Experience Using Bitcoin on Expedia

8. “Uncoinventional” Family on Bitcoin Only Tour to Visit Ohio’s Bitcoin Boulevard

9. Unvoinventional Living Tour 2014 Press Release

Here are John’s Podcasts about the journey:

Wednesday, 07/09, 11:34

Almost home! We have our kitties!

Wednesday, 07/09, 8:03

Uncoinventional Living Tour Wednesday July 9 Day 24, The Last Supper

We just had our final meal on our cross country bitcoin-only road trip at the Free Man in Dallas, Texas. This restaurant is owned by a friend and was a real treat!

The food is cajun and features delicious plates of catfish, shrimp and crab. I had a cream cheese crab dip and a house salad fit for a king. Oh, and the sweet potato fries had cinnamon on them!

Here is Dallas as we pull out!

Wednesday, 07/09, 4:51

Uncoinventional Living Tour Wednesday July 9th Day 24, Heading Home

I lost steam on this live blog after arriving in my hometown of KC. I was lost in the world of old friends and family. It was truly amazing.

We are on our final day and very excited to be on our way back. We crossed into Texas this morning, but missed the Welcome to Texas sign.

Last night we stayed in a Holiday Inn Express in Texarcana, AR. We tried to use Expedia, but could not find a single hotel with the option to pay in BTC. We decided to use again, and paid quickly and easily with BTC.

Here we are leaving this morning.

Here is the Welcome to Arkansas sign from yesterday.

We slightly miscalculated how much we would need to spend in gas, so my mom bought us a gift card and we are sending her a card from with btc.

Here is one of our final gas stops yesterday.

I will update more today, we have just over five and a quarter hours to get home!

In the coming days I will compile a list of media attention, articles, and stats on our trip.

Happy Bitcoin travels!

Monday, 07/07, 3:57

We have been visiting family in Kansas City and I have failed to update! Tomorrow I will catch up. It has been amazing!

Here are a few sneak peaks: Broadway Bridge in KC, the quad at Mizzou and the St. Louis Arch!

Only 3 days left!

Friday, 07/04, 3:35

Uncoinventional Living Tour Thursday July 3, Bitcoin Boulevard

Last night we arrived in Cleveland Heights, OH and met Nikhil Chand and his amazing wife Rebecca. They are the founders of I really cannot speak more highly of this pair.

They took us on a stroll from their 1920s vintage home to Lee Street, also known as Bitcoin Boulevard. Nikhil knew people everywhere we went. Neighbors, store owners, and folks strolling down the street all knew who he was and excitedly greeted them. I believe it is this close connection to his community that allowed him to so quickly launch this inspiring project.

We weren’t planning on a stay in Ohio, but Nikhil had sent us a tweet inviting us to make the detour a few days back. I am so glad he did!

Via email he helped us decide where to eat.

Dinner at The Tavern Co. was amazing. I got the salmon roll salad and literally devoured every morsel.

Unfortunately our sweet baby Bill was totally crazy during the meal. Shreiking, biting, going nuts. My only guess is the Steak and Shake milkshake he shared with us earlier in the day. Our kids don’t usually have that kind of stuff…

A reporter for the Sun News met us there. I feeel bad for her having to work through all the kiddo choas, but she was able to produce an amazing article nonetheless.

It was republished in the Plain Times; you can read it here:

John made the payment via BitPay and we walked down the block to SweetyFry to try some homemade ice cream on BTC. Once again we paid BTC directly through BitPay.

I had the dark chocolate and peanut butter flavors. Amazing!

We took a picture as a group out front, but my tablet won’t open it. I will try again when I have a computer!

Here are a few shots from around Bitcoin Boulevard, including a few places that currently accept BTC.

We took a nice stroll in the dark back to Nikhil and Rebecca’s house. They were super hospitable and our kids absolutely adored their dog, Clive, who I failed to snap a picture of! We miss our dog!

We stayed the night then returned to Bitcoin Boulevard this morning for breakfast. We ate at Katz’s Diner and this might have been the best meal of our trip to date. They offered local foods and had many gluten free options!

If you are wanting to dine on BTC, Cleveland Heights is the place to go. Every bite of every meal was simply amazing. What a fabulous detour on our journey.

Thank you Nikhil and Rebecca!

Friday, 07/04, 2:23

Uncoinventional Living Tour Thursday July 3rd, To Ohio We Go (Yesterday)!

To pick up where I left off in the last post, when the kids woke up we stopped at a Steak and Shake in Erie, PA. John had never ate there and it had been years for me. I was plesantly suprised to find vegetarian options. The vegetable soup is great, by the way!

Of course we got shakes, they only have 4,000 photos of them around the joint. Big mistake, our kids literally went insane later in the day.

We paid with a gift card we bought with BTC via Gyft. Another successful Bitcoin meal.

After we filled up, we hit the road and soon we arrived in Ohio.

Friday, 07/04, 1:30

Uncoinventional Living Tour Thursday July 3 Day 18, Niagara Falls and Bitcoin Boulevard

Yesterday was an awesome day for our family. After waking up in our hotel purchased with BTC through we enjoyed a mediocre breakfast and then hit the road for Niagara Falls.

The drive was beautiful and we got to see Canada from across the river. I was pleased to find there is no fee to visit the falls!

After Niagara the kids tuckered out.

I thought I had found a Boomerang Grille on the way to Ohio that we could get a gift card through Gyft. We arrived to find that it was a local Boomerang Bar and Grill. Whoops. No BTC gift card for this place!

Since the kids were still asleep we had the brilliant idea to buy some snacks at the 7/11 attached to an Exxon. We had purchased Exxon gift cards with BTC through I grabbed a salad, some Boathouse juice, and some gluten free chips. I got to the register and swiped the card. Denied. John went in and tried all three of our other cards. Denied, denied, denied.

We never got a reason, but we assume it was because the shop was 7/11 and the pumps were Exxon. Thankfully we still had snacks we had ordered from Amazon with a gift card purchased with BTC from Gyft.

John pumped the gas and we hit the road again.

I will update more shortly, we are currently enjoying a meal at Cracker Barrel in Illinois.

Wednesday, 07/02, 10:55

Uncoinventional Living Tour Wednesday July 2, Quick Update

Lots to update, but we are pulling into Bitcoin Boulevard and I will have to update tonight.

Had a nice chat with both Expedia and CoinBase today about our issues. I think we have found a clear path toward resolution! More later!

Wednesday, 07/02, 2:32

Uncoinventional Living Tour Tuesday July 2, Day 17

Yesterday we got lunch on the road at Applebee’s. As a gluten free vegetarian, I am longing for other options. We talked to a very large gift card service that is interested in accepting BTC. Their list of establishments is over 700! That would change the game for me! The transaction was flawless on Gyft. We ordered a gift card with BTC and paid!

We drove through a rainstorm before we stopped for gas stop number 12. It was another successful gasoline stop in upperstate NY. We used a card purchased with BTC through

Our only complaint is that we were on a turnpike and BTC friendly food was hard to come by. So we had Papa John’s delivered to the hotel. We bought the giftcard with BTC through Gyft then called and placed our order. We even left the tip through our gift card.

Gas, food and hotel all on BTC. Another successful day!

Here is a blog about our experience with Expedia. I did not include yesterday’s attempt:

Here is a press release about our Bitcoin Boulevard stop tonight:

Tuesday, 07/01, 7:46

Uncoinventional Living Tour Tuesday July 1 Day 16, Hotel Booked Via

We tried to book a hotel room with our Expedia credit and could not find the option to pay with BTC. I had to turn to social media for help and it sounds like it was an issue of mobile phone verse desktop.

Here is a screenshot of what I could see, notice there is no Bitcoin option.

Here is a screenshot of the help I received.

I found it strange that three of us saw three different screens while trying to book on Expedia! We decided to simply book with since was a pain, again. Here is a screenshot of they payment options. It was quick and painless. They use CoinBase to process the BTC payments o their site.

Tuesday, 07/01, 6:15

Uncoinventional Living Tour Tuesday July 1 Day 16, Gas Stop Eleven and Media Coverage

It looks like our gas stop 9 and 10 did not post. I will have to look into that. They may have got held up in editing, or it was an Internet issue.. Today we pumped at Exxon in Massachusetts with a gift card bought with BTC!

We also received word of more media attention, this time local to our hometown!

Our friend Ian posted a screenshot of our tour on yahoo news.

Also, we received word that Gyft had paid ads on facebook for our tour!

Here is a screenshot of the daily dot coverage if you missed it.

We made it through Massachusetts and are now cruising through New York toward tonight’s destination of Buffalo. We will see the Niagara Falls tomorrow then hit up Bitcoin Boulevard in OH!

Tuesday, 07/01, 3:56

Uncoinventional Living Tour July 1 Day 16, On the Road Again

Two weeks on the road with a another week and a half to go! We are loving our life on the road; it has been filled with so many interesting experiences. Nice hotels, grungy hotels, camping, staying at friends’ homes, big cities, farms, forests, parks and more.

We are officially out of New Hampshire and cruising through Massachusetts on our way to Buffalo, New York.

Yesterday and today we ate breakfast via a proxy at a really great cafe in Hollis, NH. We also took our kids strawberry picking via a proxy.

Monday, 06/30, 8:23

Uncoinventional Living Tour Monday June 30 Day 15, Kiddos at Porcfest

This year was probably the most kid friendly Porcfest to date. There were kid activities and lots of new friends to play with. Here are some pics of Aliana and Bill enjoying themselves!

Mikey Arman teaching Bill to skateboard!

Enjoying bubbles and chalk outside the homemade icecream stand!

Bill pushing the stroller everywhere.

Aliana dancing on the path.

Monday, 06/30, 1:09

Uncoinventional Living Tour Monday June 30 Day 15

We survived Porcfest and are now enjoying a down day in Hollis, NH. We had our first hot showers in a week and slept on a bed instead of in a tent. Amazing.

Before I update about the entire Porcfest trip, I wanted to add more about the organization Fr33 Aid.

At nearly every Bitcoin event inthe country, you will hear of Fr33 Aid. Not only do they provide on the spot first aid, but they conduct CPR trainings and raise Bitcoin for emergency response when a disaster strikes.

After Aliana burned her hand we had to visit their booth four times for check ups and band aid reapplications. That is twelve band aids for those of you counting! Each time we met with a new volunteer and each time they made a great effort to connect with Aliana and make her feel safe.

When I reminisce on the burn itself it fills my heart with gratitude to know they were there. We didn’t miss a beat, we got her hand on ice then began running her to their tent. I knew right where they were and didn’t have to waste precious time figuring out a first aid response.

If you are planning an event of any sort in the future, please invite them to set up a booth. You will never know how valuable their service is until you need it!

Here is a picture of their booth amd QR code. I highly suggest you support them if you can!

Friday, 06/27, 11:11

Uncoinventional Living Tour June 27 Day Twelve! Porcfest Continues

Yesterday was the Bitcoin Magazine Panel and party. They were both great!

I wasn’t able to speak on the panel because my daughter burned her fingers just minutes before it began. Thankfully, there is a fabulous Bitcoin based nonprofit called Fr33 Aid. They provide first aid and emergency aid trainings.

Friday, 06/27, 8:41

Uncoinventional Living Tour June 27 Day twelve, Porcfest in Progress

We are in site 29. Bitcoin Magazine, My Magic Mud, Pinkies Paleotillas, the Liberty Beat, Sovereign Living, Liberty Stickers, Hemp 360,, Sovereign Living, Surviving Sheftall Bracelets, Austin Alliance of Agorists, Cowboy Miners. LOVE!

We have very limited internet, sorry for the delay.

Tuesday, 06/24, 7:58

Uncoinventional Living Tour Tuesday June 24 Day Nine, Gas Stop Ten

I just realized I failed to post about our ninth gas stop last night. It was a BP north of NYC and our gas card worked perfectly.

I also failed to upload the photos from last night’s NYC TGI Friday’s meal. I will be glad to have better restaurant options at the end of this journey! Another successful Gyft meal!

We are an hour from Porcfest and getting gas at a small Mobil in Springfield, VT. John feels like he is falling asleep, so I am going to drive the last hour to the campground.

Tuesday, 06/24, 6:35

Uncoinventional Living Tour Tuesday June 24 Day Nine, Rough Start

Last night was nuts. We conducted a screening of in NYC, we witnessed a mugging in Manhattan, we sat in bumper-to-bumper construction traffic, and dealt with an hour and a half Expedia debacle.

Because of this, we arrived in Springfiled, MA at 3 am. We all needed to sleep in this morning. Last year at Porcfest we worked way too hard and got sick after 3 weeks on the road. We know better this year, and put our wellbeing first.

My Women in Bitcoin Panel starts in 45 minutes and we are still 3 hours away. Thankfully, Stephanie Murphy is going to moderate for me. I am totally bummed. And still very tired. Porcfest is always a great pick-me-up, so I am excited to arrive and work the vendor booth. We do have a screening tonight at 9pm of episodes 1-3. Then we have four days of vending and playing before our screening of episode 4 and a preview of 5 and 6.

We just had a fabulous experience at Whole Foods in Hadley, MA. We got food for lunch and for camping.

Here we are checking out with our amazing cashier, Heather.

Another successful BTC purchase via Gyft!

And now, we drive!

Tuesday, 06/24, 7:44

Uncoinventional Living Tour Monday June 23 Day 8, Finally Checking In

I am never using Expedia again if I can help it. Ten representative calls later, it comes down to an impossible scenerio. The 100 FRN voucher from our Asheville debacle does not cover the cost of our room. There is no way to pay the difference in BTC over the phone and the website will no longer let us select last night (23rd) as the date of arrival because it is after THREE AM on the 24th. They offered another 50 FRN voucher, but only one voucher can be applied per purchase. This leaves us with 21 FRN that we cannot pay in Bitcoin over the phone or online.

We cannot book a hotel with a gyft card on because their website also won’t let us choose yesterday (23rd) as our check in date.

Honestly, I sobbed in the car as John paid the 21 FRN with our debit card. He got tired of driving 1.5 hours ago and it took that entire time and ten rep calls to figure this situation out. I wish our first rep, who offered the 200 FRN voucher, had not been disconnected.

I intend to call tomorrow and talk the daytime supervisor about refunding my 21 FRN. They still owe us 25 FRN in BTC anyway. I committed to paying for food, gas and housing with Bitcoin on this trip and by golly, I am going to make that happen!

John says, and I agree, that our health and safety are on the line. We had to stop driving as it is simply unsafe to continue at this hour.

Wish me luck on finding resolution tomorrow!

Tuesday, 06/24, 6:46

Uncoinventional Living Tour Monday June 23 Day 8, Expedia Dropping the Ball

We tried to redeem our 0 credit Expedia offered after our debacle in Asheville, and we have spent another hour on the phone. I am talking to the seventh person tonight. Not only were we not given the 0 credit as promised, but we were not refunded the in BTC.

The first supervisor I spoke to was apologetic, looked up the notes and offered a 0 voucher to make us whole. Then our phone died. We called back and were denied transfer to the same supervisor. While transferring us to a new supervisor, they hung up on us.

On our third call I finally got through to Supervisor Jessica, ID number 7410, in a call center in Central America. She was incredibly rude to us, saying she would give me in Bitcoin back OR our 0 credit, not both as we promised. She rose her voice to me saying no one told me they would give us the 0 credit that we were offered in apology as our phone died. I asked to speak to her supervisor, she said no. She told me to hang up and talk to someone else tomorrow if I wanted to complain about her.

She applied the 0 credit then I asked to be transferred to a call center to book a room. She put me on hold and I was never transferred. John is now speaking to the EIGHTH Expedia rep tonight, over an hour of time lost and we still do not have a room. They can not figure out how to accept BTC over the pbone and he is being transferred to a NINTH person tonight.

Unreal. Ridiculous.

No more Expedia for us, accepting Bitcoin or not. BUYER BEWARE.

Tuesday, 06/24, 5:06

Uncoinventional Living Tour Monday June 23 Day 8, Evening Plans Foiled.

Our goal was to leave at 9pm after our screening of at the NYC Bitcoin Center. Everything was going according to plan until we wittnessed a mugging on the way back to the Holiday Inn in Brooklyn where our car was parked.

Here is what I posted on Facebook about it:

“Today John Bush and I saw a girl get robbed in Brooklyn. Both had passed us and turned the corner heading away from us. We saw the man walking behind her, John said, “is that guy gonna do something to that girl?”, the guy started running toward her and we both stood there in shock as he grabbed her and she screamed. I felt so helpless standing so far away unable to do anything. I ran to her and held her hand and hugged her. She was shaking violently. We walked her to her boyfriend’s place; I held her hand the whole way; she only had a few buildings left to walk. The guy only got her phone, thankfully she wasn’t hurt. The police came and we left her in the care of her boyfriend. It was really scary. Don’t stare at your phones while walking alone at night, folks. I wish I had screamed to warn her, but we just weren’t sure what was going on. I think the fact John’s gut told him something was up and the fact we both stopped walking across the street to watch her was our intuition speaking loudly. Poor girl. It was really intense. I wish we were “allowed” to carry our gun when we visit NYC. Her name was Maggie, please say a prayer for her peace tonight as she sleeps….”

And now, of course, we are sitting in bumper to bumper traffic at 1 am. We really need to get to Porcfest before my Women in Bitcoin Panel tomorrow!

The plan is to sleep in Springfield, MA. Here is hoping we make it….

Tuesday, 06/24, 1:04

Here is an amazing article by the Daily Dot!

Monday, 06/23, 11:25

Uncoinventional Living Tour Monday June 23 Day 8, NYV Bitcoin Center Screening

The screening is live!

Monday, 06/23, 11:22

Uncoinventional Living Tour Monday June 22, Day 8, NYC Bitcoin Center

We have arrived!

Here is our journey to the Center! We start our screening of episode four any minute!

Monday, 06/23, 8:02

Uncoinventional Living Tour Monday June 23 Day 8, Lunch and Fire Trucks

We met up with Danny Panzella of and his son, Xander. We took a nice stroll through Brooklyn to a restaurant that accepts bitcoin. Food was fabulous, service was ok. It took about 20 minutes to make the payment in BTC because they had to call the owner. John did a podcast on the experience, I will post later.

Out front we found a fire truck; they let the kids inside.

Monday, 06/23, 7:17

Uncoinventional Living Tour Monday June 23 Day 8, NYC Bitcoin Center

See you there!

Monday, 06/23, 6:03

Uncoinventional Living Tour Monday June 23 Day 8, Breakfast and Media

We woke up at our hotel and enjoyed an amazing breakfast – the best hotel breakfast we have had to date: Udi’s gluten free bagels and muffins. Absolute heaven.

Later we met with Charlie Shrem and a reporter from the Daily Dot, it was a great conversation. Wait for that article to launch later today!

Here we are with Charlie at the Holiday Inn in Brooklyn.

Here is the reporter from the Daily Dot:

John had a lengthy conversation with Yahoo Travel, watch for that article to hit tomorrow!

Monday, 06/23, 7:06

Uncoinventional Living Tour Sunday June 22 Day Seven, Hotel Check In

We just checked into the Holiday Inn Express in Brooklyn. They are doing a BTC pilot program set up by Charlie Shrem. Tomorrow morning we meet Charlie and a reporter from the Daily Dot, followed by a day of tourism and interviews.

Tomorrow night we will be at the NYC Bitcoin Center at 6pm to screen the bitcoin episode of and to ring the bell on the Bitcoin Exchange Floor.

It is 3 am, I guess we should catch some z’s!

Monday, 06/23, 3:08

Uncoinventional Living Tour Sunday June 22 Day Seven, Word is Getting Out

A spa in NYC just invited us to get a massage on bitcoin after our morning interviews. I wish we could! I told them we are on a travel-only budget. If you are in the market for a massage or facial on BTC, sounds like your destination of choice!

Monday, 06/23, 3:03

Uncoinventional Living Tour Sunday June 22 Day Seven, Gas Stop Number Eight

I didn’t take a picture at this stop because there were some interesting people standing very near John while he got out of the car and pumped the gas. We drove to another gas station to use the restroom.

While the gas pumping was a success in itself, I dont think we would have stopped there if we did not have a gift card to use. We would have picked a gas station closer to the road and with fewer hovering folk.

My daughter felt very uncomfortable with “those men staring at my dad”. Unintended consequence of bitcoin-only travel.

We are down to 85 miles on this journey!

Monday, 06/23, 1:45

I just found a picture of the media panel at Bitcoin in the Beltway on Twitter. Enjoy!

Left to right: Cathy Reisenwitz, Catherine Bleish and Perianne Boring.

Monday, 06/23, 1:26

Uncoinventional Living Tour Sunday June 22 Day Seven, Toll Roads

I guess my celebratory post of a full week on only BTC was preemptive. We just went through a toll road. I know there are probably routes without tolls, but we are exhausted and on target for another mid night arrival. So there you have it folks, our first expenditure of an FRN in one whole week was on a dang toll road.

I feel a tad inconsistent and slightly remorseful, but we really had to put our children and their well being first when we made this decision.

How do you all feel about this? What is the BTC solution to tolls?

Monday, 06/23, 1:16

Uncoinventional Living Tour Day Four Audio Update

Another tardy audio post! Enjoy!

Monday, 06/23, 1:08

Uncoinventional Living Tour – Audio Update from Day 3

I didn’t get this updated when it was posted, check it out!

Monday, 06/23, 12:34

Uncoinventional Living Tour Sunday June 22 Day Seven, On the Road Again

We just took off! We had to stop back by the hotel to pick up a package. We asked half a dozen times if it had arrived and they said no. Low and behold it was there with a typo in John’s last name! Thank goodness we got it before heading out! It is bumper stickers from Liberty Stickers and miners from Cowboy Miners to sell at Porcfest.

Here is John driving back to the hotel:

The tray that Aliana is eating her flxseed cookies on was bought with Bitcoin on with a Gyft giftcard.

Monday, 06/23, 12:22

Uncoinventional Living Tour Sunday June 22 Day Seven, Whole Foods on Gyft, Few Pictures from the Weekend

We just had another amazing meal at Whole Foods here in DC. I am going to be honest that this whole foods has a very different feel than others. Most shoppers must not come with children. None of the carts had children seats and there were no highchairs. The check out line is automated and calls out the open lines – very high pressure. The cashiers were impatient with our giftcards on the phone, but it was a success nonetheless.

I just pulled a few pics off of John’s phone from the conference, here they are!

Zhou Tonged is a music group that takes mainstream hits and changes the lyrics to Bitcoin related themes. They have a hotly followed YouTube channel that I am excited to check out. We tried to watch their show last night, but they took a while to come on stage and the kids were too restless. Thankfully, we met them in the green room.

Here we are walking through the hotel lobby after our breakfast at the hotel buffett:

And here is a better picture of our fabulous dinner company last night:

Sunday, 06/22, 11:56

Uncoinventional Living Tour Sunday June 22 Day 7, Week One Complete!

Today marks the end of our first week on the road. It has been a total success! Seven days and we have spent only BTC!

I spent most of the day today relaxing in the hotel room with the kids while John worked our vendor booth. I really needed some down time after all the driving and walking we have done this week.

John purchased a Bitcoin ATM today from a fellow Bitcoin in the Beltway vendor, we will have it set up at Porcfest. Be sure to stop by site 29 for all things BTC! I am super excited about this ATM and look forward to taking some pics! The brand is Sky Nook and it is open source software.