June 27, 2011

I'm Back.

I’m back…. After a couple of days to get organized, declutter and take a break from blogging, we headed on our vacation to Washington, D.C. It’s not the kind of thing you want to announce to people over the internet that you are leaving town for vacation so I needed to keep it to myself.

I did have a few days before we left to walk through the house and make a list of what I wanted and needed to accomplish over the remainder of the year. It’s a long list but it is full of more projects that I want to do versus those that I have to do. I was also able to get more sewing done.

Our trip to Washington, D.C. was a graduation present for our son who will be in college in the fall majoring in journalism and American government. My husband had set aside some money 3 years ago for just this trip. The unique thing is that he didn’t tell me. He wanted it to be a surprise. And as long as money secrets have to do with fun stuff like this, I’m okay with it.

The money he set aside didn’t pay for the entire trip; it just paid for the hotel in D.C. and the hotel stay on the way there and on the return trip. The total hotel expense for the entire trip was $2,050. Yes, that’s right – over $2,000. On the drive we stayed at very inexpensive hotels for those overnight stays, but D.C. is a different story. Hotel accommodations are very expensive and we had two requests: 1. We wanted to be able to walk to all of the sites or be near the Metro (train) as we knew that we didn’t want to have to drive our car around D.C. 2. We wanted to have breakfast included with the hotel.

We paid $259 per night to stay at the Homewood Suites 5 blocks from the White House. We parked our car in the hotel parking lot and walked everywhere. The hotel provided a full breakfast and when I say full we are talking about eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, biscuits, waffles, yogurt, cereal and hash browns. Then to our surprise they also provided dinner from 5:00 to 7:00 each evening.

When we were checking prices on hotels in D.C. even those in the suburbs were very high and they included a continental breakfast. Staying at the Homewood Suites where we enjoyed a suite with a small living room with pull out sofa sleeper, kitchen, bedroom with king sized bed and bath and with the benefit of those two added meals along with being able to walk everywhere, saved us more money than if we would have stayed at a cheaper hotel in the suburbs.

We budgeted $400 in gasoline and $300 for food (I packed food for travelling and we ate at the hotel and purchased other food as needed such as lunch, ice cream and other treats). As to souvenirs I wanted to pick up some pictorial books on the Capitol and White House. I priced these in D.C. and then went on line to check the prices of the same book, but only used, on Amazon. At the stores in D.C. each were priced at around $20 each. On Amazon, used, they were around 25 cents plus shipping.

This was a special vacation trip. It was one of those once in a long time, save up, go all out and stay at a special hotel trips.

Now it is back to scrimping every penny and save as much money as possible. We need a new roof. Yep, we took money and spent it on hotel accommodations for a trip that we probably should have used to put towards a new roof. Perhaps it was irresponsible with our money, but I don’t think so.

We are now home and it is back to hanging clothes up on the line, mending clothes, baking bread, painting and patching and cutting back on anything and everything to save money. I will never regret the trip to D.C. Every time I want to purchase something and have to say no to myself, I will pick up my cell phone and look at the pictures we took in D.C. It was oh so worth it.

Tomorrow we will begin the Tightwad Gazette III.

1 comment:

~Carla~ said...

Welcome home! That was so sweet of your husband! :) Sounds like it was a great trip!