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Back from Vacation

October 7th, 2012 at 11:24 am

**Vacation couldn't have been better! Only Snafu is that teenaged neighbor (cat sitter) lost the key to our house. Rolleyes So we learned to keep an extra copy a little closer to home. Lesson learned!

**Thumbs up to Dollar Rental car and United for *excellent* service. I Was so not looking forward to flying in this environment, but it actually went pretty well. I thought there would be fighting for more overhead space, etc., with the nickel and diming for baggage. On the flight there it was not bad at all. On the flight home it seemed a little more crowded in the overhead bins, but we got in the plane early. We left a few minutes early to get ahead of a big storm - phew!! We really don't fly *that much* - maybe once every year or two - but I don't remember the last time all our flights were so smooth. No delays, no issues whatsoever. Dollar was cheap, and I actually had a pretty bad experience with them once, but this time was an A+ experience.

**It ended up being fairly easy to pack light. I think all these digital toys have made travel so easy in that regard. I remember being impressed how lightly we were able to pack last we went to HAwaii, but I remember carrying a lot of books. This time, just the e-readers, which freed up a lot of room. We ended up with 2 carry-on suitcases, but one was pretty much just for the carseat I had bought. Next time we can travel *much* lighter. The kids are just so small - and we knew we would have laundry in our room so packed for only 3-4 days of light clothing.

**Weather was pretty good. We bought ponchos at WalMart for something like 90-cents each (you could pay 10-20 times as much in the parks). IT was generally not too hot or too wet all week. Oh, and there was absolutely no lines for anything. I had seen all of D-world in 2 days before - was kind of the same as before except we didn't even bother with a couple of the parks this time.

**I suppose we didn't need all those quarters, because the tolls all had attendants giving change. That had changed since 2009. We just used the quarters anyway - but I have a roll left. We easily spent $20 in tolls, but had accumulated so much other change - might have used some dollar bills early in the week when I Wasn't sure $20 would be enough.

**Reminds me, dh found a giant pile of change on one of the big rides at Universal. It was so bizarre - about $4.25 in loose change. He told me there were a couple of dollar coins in there so I didn't think much about it but had to laugh when he emptied his pockets end of night. HA!! It was just this HUGE pile of coins. Yeesh. It was like the biggest roller coaster there, so very odd.

**The only reason I am so happy is because the bed we had was really comfortable. Another A+. I usually never sleep well anywhere else - spoiled by our own ultra-comfortable mattress.

**Happy to be home. Today we just recover and adjust to the time change. I don't have much else to do. I'll do a post on the financial side later. I pretty much already did all the work, so don't have much to do today. We decided to order pizza in. Haven't gotten the mail yet - so see what surprises we get (still waiting for various medical bills).

I had estimated to make a $3k credit card payment next payday to cover September expenses + vacation. I ended up about $3100, but some of that is gas and groceries (which can use October budget for), so I think I will just pay the $3,000. How is that for some good estimating?? I also think I did a good balance of keeping track of the finances without thinking about it too much. More on my method, later.

**I generally do not like to travel much at all. I pondered on how flight home what it was that I so enjoyed about these last two trips. Dh and I had a GREAT trip to Hawaii in 2010 - about exactly 2 years ago. That is two "big" vacations, with flying and everything, that I *Really* enjoyed. {I am usually perfectly happy to do a road trip and to keep it much more simple - just more my style}.

I think there was a huge element of just packing light, and getting on and off the planes. I think electronics has a lot to do with it. That said, dh and I have not traveled much together, so I was pondering that maybe I like traveling with him more than otherwise. In recent years we have done a lot of family trips without each other. In the more distant past we would do more trips for business or with friends, without each other. I realized, we just haven't traveled a whole lot together. Without a big crowd of family. Traveling with a big crowd always sucks, of course. So hey, maybe I'd be willing to be a little more adventurous in the future, with a great travel companion like dh.

**I've decided after the last month or so that the extra $400 per *year* we are paying on our smart phones is DEFINITELY worth it. IT was invaluable in the hospital (which we seem to spend lots of time in, in recent years). On vacation, it was so great for communicating back home with the time change. I could have wasted to much time on the phone with the whole cat sitter snafu. But a few quick texts resolved that. I Called my mom to grovel a bit, to deliver a spare key 100 miles away. But, other than that... Thirdly, I do not do *work* on vacation. I can think of nothing less appealing than being constantly reachable. BUT, I did have to check on a couple of payroll things. The caveat is it depends who you give your info to. I did not give my personal e-mail to a rude manager who would call and bug me about the stupidest stuff on vacation. My employer/boss is polar opposite - he would never bug me about anything - there have been many times I said, "You should have called me!" because something or other came up. I did give one client and one co-worker my personal e-mail. IT was DIVINE. I had to crunch some numbers mid-week and it was so nice just to know when the info was ready for me. Co-worker e-mailed me a quick question - again - I didn't have to keep checking. So that was a perk I did not expect. I'd be likely to be grumpy that I had to take work on vacation with me - something I generally never do - but it just worked out well. IT just is what it is when you are involved with payroll - the payroll must go on.

**Anyway, usually I am just SO HAPPY to be home from a vacation. !! This time, I am kind of "meh." I guess that is the sign of a good vacation. Big Grin

**I can say the grand total for our trip was right about $3,000. That was absolutely everything, for 7 full days in Orlando, 4 people. I think we did good. Airfare and parks was $2200 of that.

5 Responses to “Back from Vacation”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    That's about what we spent for a week in Orlando as well. I remember the year we went in October was the very very best for weather and lack of lines. Would go again in a heartbeat! Glad it was great for you.

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I'm glad to hear you had such a great time!

  3. PNW Mom Says:

    Glad you had a great time!

  4. jewels3 Says:

    The couple of weeks before Thanksgiving is one of the best times to go (if we're talking Disney). Christmas decorations will be up, weather is not intolerable, and crowds are lower. The couple of weeks before Christmas is also good, but the weather can be cooler (though last year it was not). Glad you had a good time!

  5. Looking Forward Says:

    Glad you and the family had a great time.
    I really enjoy my DH as a travel buddy. Smile

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