Alexandria Noir

Rev Up Your Engines—It’s Time to Get Out of Town!

Get Out of Town Travel Hosts Laurita & Lauren Portee (Photo: WETA PBS)

Alexandria, VA – Travel is my passion, so when I attended this year’s Travel & Adventure Show in Washington DC, I was excited to see the travel hosts of the popular WETA PBS show, Get Out of Town live and in person. The theme of Laurita and Lauren Portee’s show is to take their viewers on a weekly road trip that is within a short drive from Washington, DC. The ladies show satisfies the wanderlust urge while providing an itinerary that can be replicated by any traveler. During the interview, I had the pleasure of learning about the mother & daughter duo’s love of travel and got a sneak peek into what season two of their show has instore.

Zebra: How did you first get the travel bug?

Laurita: That’s a great question! As a family we always traveled, but one trip that really solidified our love for travel was when Lauren turned 16 and we took a mother daughter trip with another mom and her daughter on a two-week vacation to France. Our adventure started in Paris, then we traveled down to the south of France and finished the journey back in Paris. That is when Lauren and I discovered that we were really good travel buddies.

Lauren: I agree with my mom, I caught the travel bug by taking family trips on a yearly basis. Even if the trips were not out of the country, they would be out of the state. I was also fortunate to take a few international trips when I was younger and I just loved being in the airport and on the plane.

Zebra: What would you describe as your travel style?

Laurita: I would say that we are very relaxed travelers and can go with the flow. We don’t get flustered when the plans might change, we just move on to Plan B. When it comes to my accommodations, Lauren and I differ on this. I like to stay in an Airbnb or a quaint bed and breakfast that is off the beaten path. I love getting to know the owners of the establishment or learn a little history about the location I’m staying at.

Lauren: Our travel style is relaxed, but I would also say that it depends on the trip. If I’m going to the beach or a place where there is a spa, I’m not going to plan as much. If I’m going to a big city that has a lot to do, I will plan a lot more and have a detailed trip itinerary. Deciding between a hostel, bed and breakfast, or a hotel, I would definitely choose the hotel every time. I enjoy staying in hotels during my travels so I can experience all of their amenities.

Zebra: What sparked the idea for your WETA PBS show, Get Out of Town?

Laurita: Nothing we thought of! I was approached by a WETA PBS producer, that I knew from coaching his boys and he knew that I was a PBS junkie. One of my favorite shows to watch is “If You Lived Here” and being aware of that he wanted to talk to me about a new show that WETA wanted to create. I really thought he just wanted my opinion and over coffee he asked if the show would be something that Lauren and I would enjoy doing together. At first, I was surprised, but quickly responded that yes, we would be honored to be considered to do the show.

After that, WETA came to my house and filmed Lauren and I in order to put together a sizzle reel to pitch the show. The tape was then sent to the executives and about a month later we got the show. Now, when I hear and see us on the TV or in a magazine ad it’s truly surreal.

Zebra: Season 2 of your show is scheduled to premier on April 15th, are there any sneak peeks you can share with the readers?

Laurita: We are just delighted and blessed to be picked up for a second season. In this upcoming season, we go to Williamsburg, VA which is a place that I have been to many times. I was excited to try something new that we never have done before and the filming of this episode did not disappoint.

Lauren: A sneak peek that I can share is during our Williamsburg trip one of things that pushed me out of my comfort zone was trying colonial food for the first time. The peanut butter soup that I tried was something that I would have never ordered on my own and I actually enjoyed it. I was skeptical at first but now I can say that I have eaten a colonial meal and can check that off of my bucket list.

Zebra: What’s one piece of travel advice you would give to someone who is looking to Get Out of Town?

Laurita: Check the weather, that way you can be prepared to have everything that you may need. As Lauren say’s “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just improper clothing”. My second piece of advice is to bring an extension cord. I’ve learned that when staying in an Air BnB or bed & breakfast there are not enough outlets to for you to charge your devices. I actually just keep one in my suitcase so that I’m always prepared.

Lauren: My tip would be to travel with someone that can make you laugh. There is nothing worse than being on a trip and not laughing.

Zebra: What is one destination in the DMV that everyone should visit? Why?

Laurita: A cool place to check out is the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum in DC that is located off of New York Avenue. I was mesmerized by all the different shapes and sizes of bonsai trees that they have on display.

Lauren: The National Museum of African American History & Culture is a must-see historical attraction in DC. It’s such a groundbreaking museum and I learn something new every time that I visit. The food in the cafeteria is absolutely delicious and you can try different types cuisines from across the African diaspora.

Zebra: What’s next for Lauren & Laurita?

Lauren: We are still in the process of filming season two of Get Out of Town. We have about four more episodes to go before we wrap the season. In the meantime, readers can catch up on season one on PBS.

(Photo: WETA PBS)

Zebra readers can keep up to date with Laurita & Lauren’s Get Out of Town adventures by visiting the WETA PBS website (weta.org/watch/shows/get-out-town) or by following the station on the following social media platforms: Instagram (Facebook (and YouTube.

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