Ahhh! To be home is a good thing-even though I love travel, it is always wonderful to come back home.
San Diego was wonderful-beautiful, clean and friendly. I haven’t tallied up all my receipts, but it wasn’t exactly a cheap vacation. On the other hand, it wasn’t really expensive (especially since Doc paid for the hotel room at over $200 a night). We ate breakfast in the room every day except the first, avoided buying drinks out (except for the first night when we found out that the drinks in the hotel ran about $10 each. Ouch!), and ate reasonably priced meals, to include some very yummy Indian and Greek food (which was a first for some of the girls-they RAVED about the Indian food).
I kept my souvenir purchases light-the kids each got a keyring with their name on it (that was a must buy for me-they actually had one with Princess’s real name on it-and I never see anything with her name!) and a small deck of trading style cards from the San Diego Zoo. Princess got the panda bear ones, and Buddy got the one with all the different animals. I also purchased a Harley T-Shirt for Yankee Bill (those are never cheap), and a few Christmas presents. I can’t tell you what those are because YB reads this blog, and some of them are for him. Suffice it to say those items were small and reasonable as well.
I thought that it was a frugal triumph that the kiddos were happy with just getting the cards as a gift. I had really contemplated purchasing some more expensive things for them, but checked the impulse. I have to admit that as I watched my girlfriends purchase T-shirts, stuffed animals, snowglobes and all for their kids I started to feel a bit guilty about the paltriness of my gift-but it turned out that I was right to go with my gut. Yankee Bill and I have taken great pains NOT to buy our children toys and gifts indiscriminately, so they are not jaded about receiving presents. They were absolutely THRILLED with their little $5 pack of trading cards, and spent the entire afternoon looking at them, comparing them etc. Princess immediately had to put hers in a little photo album that she has. Ha! Frugality wins again!
Stage two of the vacation started after the 6 days in California (I had a 24 hour break)-the whole family went camping for the Columbus Day weekend with friends. Since camping is a cook from scratch type event and we stayed at a state park, it would have been a very inexpensive weekend-except the entire intent of the camping trip was to hit the Finger Lake Wineries. Six wineries and 2 full cases of wine ran me over $200 dollars. But that is OK-it wasn’t impulse, it was a planned expense. This is again one of those instances where we are thrifty most of the time so we can spend guilt free when we decide to. Yankee Bill and I enjoy a nice bottle of wine occasionally, a habit left over from our time in Germany, home of delicious Reislings for next to nothing! We also like bringing wine as a hostess gift when we visit folks at the holidays. The two cases should last us until next years trip.
But now we are home and I must turn my attention to all the chaos of our lives-issues related to our move, the touch up and sale of our current house, and of course the beginning of my new blog (which will probably occur in a week or so). Not that I’m busy or anything!