Sometimes A College Town Can Be A Vacation Getaway

We passed a beautiful college town on our way to Letchworth and decided to spend some time there on the way back home. It’s a lovely quaint town with an historic downtown with outstanding Mountain View’s and quaint little shops and cafes.

You can always find good, inexpensive, healthy restaurants in college towns. We stopped for vegan falafel sandwiches filled with spinach @$5.60 each. Toped off with a shareable large cappuccino @$3.00 and a brownie @$1.35.

We did a lot of walking and clocked in a little over 4 miles for the day. It was a very nice afternoon meandering and browsing through old books and vinyl records.

Who knew college towns could be such fun! When we got back to the RV Park we jumped in their brand new pool and swam a few laps  perfect ending to a perfect day. Thanks. We needed that!

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There’s No Place Like Home

We came. We saw. We conquered. Now after two days of solid rain, there’s no place like home. We did all the things this area had to offer. With 9 days of 90F degree weather on the horizon, our home community pool is looking better and better.

Chalk it up to rain experience. We need ponchos. Better shoes. And an indoor electric frying pan to cook in when it rains.

And that’s life on the road.

Before The Rains Came

As we were checking in, the manager told us he moved our spot to higher ground because it was going to rain. For two days. Say what? I hadn’t thought about that. I just knew the weekend would be in the 90s. Never once did I think about the eeek. Oh well.

We got up super early this morning. Went out for a massive big breakfast and then hiked Letchworth State Park. We got in about 4 miles and managed to see the lower, middle and upper falls. As well as The Grand Canyon of the east thanks to the Genesee River.

When we were done, it started to rain.

Lucky us.

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We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

If you didn’t get yesterday’s hint (click here) DH and I are off on a two week adventure vacation. I’ve automated most things. Am NOT bringing my computer. And will be disconnecting from any thing related to human behavior. I need a break from the news, current events and whatever. The biggest separation I need is from social media.

The only thing I’ll be posting will be photographs of nature, birds, waterfalls and any thing to do with vegetation. Throw in a few good meals and I’ll consider it a success.

We started our vacay with a birthday celebration for our 3 year old grandchild. Hanging out with children certainly makes life more meaningful. Until you start thinking about what their futures might be. But I digress.

Stay tuned:

3 birthday

 

First Dinner Of Summer

WE’re starting this summer off right! I got some good, fresh deals at the market today. The best being, split leg of lamb, just perfect for the BBQ @$5.99 a pound at Aldi. I always serve lamb with a side of my home-made, fresh tzatziki (Greek cucumber and yogurt sauce with dill, click here for recipe) It’s delicious on anything, but especially lamb. Fresh farm corn on the cob @ 10 ears for $5.00. Since the theme was basically Greek tonight, I made couscous with grated Parmesan cheese. DH had a side salad  too (not pictured). A smallish glass of authentic Greek red wine to top off the meal……..it was a great first meal of summer.

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farm fresh ears of corn
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tzatziki sauce
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BBQ’d boneless leg of lanb
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multi-grain cous cous
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plated dinner

 

A True Frugalista? Yup. To The Bone!

My youngest granddaughter is turning 3 this month. When I asked my daughter what would make a nice present, or what did she need, she gave me two links to Amazon. One was for barrettes and the other was for girlish play butterfly wings. The grand total for both items came to $24.89. Amazon popped up a notice and told me if I spent .11 (eleven cents) more, I’d get free shipping, thus ‘saving’ $6.99, but in reality I’d be ‘saving’ nothing, because I’d be ‘spending’ more than I anticipated just to get the free shipping.

Other than a pack of needless gum (@$4.97) I searched high and low to see if there was anything I either needed or wanted in order to spend the eleven pennies. Well, yes there is one thing that I need, and that’s a bra BUT I’m not buying a bra on Amazon (plus their prices were higher than what I would pay in a discount chain) I really didn’t need nor want the pack of Wrigley gum, so after two days of endless searching on Amazon, I declined to buy anything.

Which brings me to my point: I really only buy what I need. I don’t spend my money mindlessly. I really sit and think about it. That, to me, is the true/real meaning of someone who is frugal. We buy what we need AND it has to be at a discounted, more realistic price. I knew if I got in my car and drove to Wal Mart I could buy those things my daughter wanted me to get for my granddaughter cheaper, and that is exactly what I did. Plus, I got a discounted, brand new bra for only $9. Not the $24 Amazon wanted, just to get the ‘free’ shipping. I would have spent an additional $23.89 rather than the eleven cents to get the $6.99 free shipping. NOT a good deal IMHO.

 

the list
part of my spring/summer list

Which brings me to my second point. At the beginning of the new season, I sat down and wrote a list of all the things I needed or desperately wanted (within reason, such as a pedicure and a eyebrow shaping). Every week I’d check off what I bought from the list. Every week I’d accomplish something off that list. It was a slow-moving process. It gave me time, however, to calculate what I really wanted vs what I really needed. Eventually, I didn’t get that pedicure nor my eyebrows shaped. I did the work myself. But I did get that haircut. And I did get myself some brand new beauty products that I had been longing for. The only thing I had left on my list was buying a necessary new bra.

 

So, when I was faced with that choice on Amazon, to spend an additional eleven cents in order to get free shipping, a $6.99 value, I realized the spending trap outside forces can put upon us.  No matter which way I calculated it, I was going to be forced to spend more money than I needed to. And a true frugalista will not do that to him or herself. I just emptied my online cart and shopped retail instead. Thus ‘saving’ myself from spending more money than I needed to.

And that, my dear friends, is what it is all about.

This Is What A Day Out In NYC Costs

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I wanted to treat everyone to a great day out in New York City for Father’s Day. To us, that meant a day out to see a matinee on Broadway and to have a nice meal out either before or after the show. We chose to get up early, go out for brunch and then see a 3PM performance of Disney’s Aladdin ( click here, winner of 20 Tony awards!)

The least expensive seats I could find for all of us, was up in the balcony, right center. Despite the tickets being $75.50 each, they also had a service charge of $28.50 tagged on to them (you read that right!) thus bringing the cost of one ticket to $104.

I bought five tickets totaling $520.

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Brunch cost $79. Parking the car cost $32 (DH refuses to ride a subway). Gas for the day cost $30 round trip. Tolls were $5.28. DH and I stopped for dinner before our ride back home. Cost for dinner $30.

Total cost for a day out in NYC: $696.28

I’ve been going to Broadway shows since I was a little girl of 5 years old. I took my own two daughters to the theater starting at the age of five. And our tradition has been passed down once again as my granddaughter just turned five a few days ago. That’s one of the benefits of being born in NYC: you get to do and see many cultural events, one of which is seeing an authentic Broadway production. Priceless!

The amount of money spent yesterday is meaningless. The experience we all felt, together as a family, has no pricetag attached to it. Granted, we can’t have days spent like this all the time BUT we can do it to celebrate certain milestones in our lives.

Such as Father’s Day. And turning five years old.

Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.

New Hobby: Backyard Birds and Photography

I bought this little leftover birdhouse from Aldi a few weeks ago. Hubby hung it up on a tree right outside our kitchen and dining area. Within a few days we had the makings of a new family. Two birds took up residence and started building a nest inside. We anticipate being “parents” not too much longer now. Needless to say, it has been a very interesting experience.

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The birds feed and nest twice a day. Once in the early morning and again around 4PM. It’s been a joy to hear their singing and chirping. They stop, however, and remain silent if one of us should venture out onto the deck. So, when they’re here, we keep inside and watch them from the windows.

In the interim, I keep my camera ready, with a super zoom lens and I set the dial to ‘action’. I’ve been able to capture some really neat shots. It’s as if the birds knew I was photographing them. They seem to stop, turn around and give me a long look. I guess they’re ready for their closeup.

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“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille”

Click on any image to enlarge and start slideshow:

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