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'Fun' Weekend & more Vacation Spending

March 10th, 2024 at 05:39 pm

It's a fun weekend of taxes and FASFA.  It would feel good to get these things done, but just cleaning up my own stuff before tackling everyone else's taxes.  The calendar is pretty empty this month and so wanted to get these chores done, but I don't have any of the in-laws' tax stuff.  So that will spill into April and be a little hectic.  

MM(20) has his "Martha Stewart" girlfriend back. She has way too much time on her hands (without school and work) and this was the menu for last week: egg salad, vegetable sandwiches with hummus and tapenade & fries, mashed white beans with chili fried eggs and toast,  french onion soup, rigatoni with red wine sauce & focaccia bread, California rolls, tofu cutlets with rice and veggies.  That's what she shared.  She has been cooking 2-3 meals every day.  She is just delighting in feeling 1,000 times better.  She could barely stand (too weak) when I saw her two weeks ago.  I think she is blessed to have another 3 weeks to build up muscle/strenght before school starts up again, but not sure she even needs that at this point.  She is planning to come home the next two weeks (all her friends will be busy with finals) and we will very likely be the recipient of some of her cooking/baking.  

DL(18) asked me last night if we could invite his friend to camp again, this summer.  MH and I were kind of *shrugs* though we'd probably have to ask the in-laws to drive up our sleeping bags.  I thought maybe the last time we took this friend was the last year we had the van, but DL(18) said it was 2019 and I confirmed.  We are small car people and I couldn't even tell you why we had a van.  We mostly did not use it (too much of a gas guzzler).  I mean, we usually chose our small car (the gas sipper) for road trips.  & this means a lot of people were bugging me how we would ever survive without the van (we live in SUV land).  I felt very *shrugs* about it, because we always drove as little as possible.  (I can probably count on one or two hands how many times we actually found it useful to have a minivan).  So it's funny to think back the one time we packed 5 people in our vehicle for camp, it was just one of our small cars.  But the kids were a little smaller.  In contrast, I guess we didn't have to drive DL(18) last year and I was delighting in being able to bring a mattress.  It's a little tiny thing but it's not going to fit with the 5 of us.  I will 1000% send that ahead with the in-laws.  

The girlfriend has been asking to go to camp too (for 1 or 2 years) but we said no.  My niece didn't want the competition for time with her cousins.  But I think we will let it go this year.  This is the "final" year that my in-laws are paying for the trip.  My MIL is just about 80.  I give her one big gold star.  I don't know that I will be offering to rough it in the woods when I am 80.  😁  I think it's more than fair that their time is done.  I am happy to take over paying for these trips if the kids still want to go.  Or if not, I'd like to rent a house in the woods every summer, something like that.  Pay it forward to our kids in some manner.  In addition to recognizing the value in the annual tradition.  

I did have a small hesitation about bringing the one friend, re: cost.  I feel about 90% "this is important and cost doesn't matter."  But there's that 10% "Ugh" if we are going to save any money this year.  For some reason I thought it would be $2,000 to bring two guests.  ???  Which would be no big deal except for you know, the roughly $2,000 we just spent on Pasadena & Sketchfest, and the $3,000 we just spent getting MH's movie made, and so on.

I looked it up today and it is $329 to add one person to the trip.  $1,000 was roughly the cost of the whole family, when kids were smaller.  Which felt like a bajillion dollars when my kids were small, but feels very, "That's it?" today.   But that's why I had $1,000 stuck in my head.

DL(18) reminded me it was 2019 the last year we took his friend.  I think that explains the Ugh feelings I had about it.  x1 it was a no brainer and we paid for his friend.  But that was when I took that big pay cut.  I literally make 40% more today (salary).  That one year was just a particularly tight year.  $329 x2 we can easily handle, and won't be a big drain on MH's income or savings goals this year.  Phew!

Inviting the girlfriend also gives us more car room.  I don't know where we could park a second car though, so will have to check ahead of time.  I mean, I am sure we can figure something out.  

It's going to be a fun camp year, & it's also fun looking forward to new traditions. 

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