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Spring Break and Summer Travel

March 4th, 2012 at 03:37 pm

Last night I had a blast with several of my coworkers. We had "game night." We played two games from start to finish (Redneck Life and Quelf) and partially played Pop Culture Trivia DVD (it was getting really late.) One of my coworkers made homemade burnt brownie ice cream (something she discovered last year when she attempted making brownies here for the first time) and I brought soda. Smile

I hope we do this again soon. Big Grin (Kari wasn't very happy with me - gone pretty much all day, breeze in for five minutes, then gone again for 3 hours ..)

I filled up my car yesterday - $3.48/gallon. I'd only made 234 miles on the last tank, nearly 80 miles less than normal. I asked one of my coworkers if she thought it was possible someone was siphoning gas. She told me that she'd been getting less gas mileage too - most likely due to driving against the wind.

I also stopped by the library and dropped off the two latest Evanovich books and picked up a new Kinsella book (author of Confessions of a Shopaholic series - LOVE!)

Then made a ~$30 stop at Walgreens (prescription+), and a $44 stop at Wal-mart.

While I was waiting for sunset in the Wal-mart parking lot, I had a chance to talk to the lady I'd stayed with the last few months I lived in Texas. She and her daughter had moved into a new home over Christmas, and are really loving it. They've had a spate of bad luck though with cars - two cars wrecked by drivers running red lights - but thankfully no one injured!! It was really good to talk with her.

I went to take a shower Saturday morning and found out that the pilot light on the water heater was out -- so no hot water. Frown Then found out that the mobile home park manager quit last week ... doh! Still trying to get in touch with someone to relight it. I have several places to go to take a shower, so am not worried about that - just can't do my dishes.

One of my co-workers and I were talking about Spring Break plans and ended up deciding to take a bit of a road trip. It'll be her last year here, so I let her pretty much decide. We're going to go to Santa Fe and Taos. I found a hotel room in Santa Fe for only $38 which allows dogs (she has two dogs.) I'll have my Discover card by then which will give me 5% cash back on gas purchases. Big Grin I've been to Santa Fe before (when I was in elementary) but I don't remember ever being in Taos, so that should be fun. Smile Even with gas, I don't think the trip should cost me more than $130 or so, since we'll be splitting the costs.
I looked into Amtrak tickets and airplane tickets for my summer trip to CA. Going to where my dad/grandma are, then up to where my brother is, and then back here on Amtrak would cost $265. Doing the same route/dates via flying would cost $370 + driving to/from Albuquerque and a hotel stay (so getting pretty close to $500). So ... I think I'll be doing Amtrak this summer. Big Grin I just need to find out for sure when summer school ends to finalize my dates. I'm hoping to be able to be there for my dad's birthday (July 5.)

I checked what the amenities are on Amtrak nowadays (last time I was on it was in 1988?) It looks like the seats have electric plugs, so I'll be able to plug my phone in and enjoy myself reading or watching movies. Big Grin That'll be good, because I'll be having a lot of travel time. (The one thing I'm wondering is how you secure your luggage if you're traveling alone and need to use the restroom or go to the lounge car, etc? No checked baggage on most of the trip.)

I've now redeemed 5 $5 AGCs from Swagbucks for March. I have enough left for 5 in April and almost enough for the first one in May. (I applied for a Discover card - 3600 SBs and then actually *completed* two surveys and did an offer that cost $.99 which netted 408 SBs. Nice!)

I've had a tooth that's been bothering me for the past few days. I'm really hoping that it'll pass soon. I have no desire to find a dentist in the area just yet. Frown

Just talked with one of the teachers who does summer school. The last day will be June 29 - will only be two weeks long. The pay is $30/hr, so somewhere around $1800 - $2100 for those two weeks (before taxes of course.) Sweet! If I go to CA for two weeks, then that will give me a month or so here to work on various projects in the library before school starts again, plus the boost to my EF/car fund. (So in two weeks I'll be making almost as much as I make in a normal month at the mission school - summer school is paid by the county.)

With the rising cost of gas, I'm thinking that the sooner I book my summer travel, the better. I'd also maybe even book my Christmas tickets, but without knowing exactly what my mom's situation will be then ... (she's broken up with person she was with at Thanksgiving ... again.)

6 Responses to “Spring Break and Summer Travel”

  1. Looking Forward Says:

    All that traveling sounds like a blast! I would try to book soon too. Smile
    BTW, I bought my tix for the Murder Dinner on the train. Big Grin

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Yay! I can't wait to hear what you think about it. Smile
    I'm looking forward to the traveling too - esp. on train. I think in a way it'll be much more relaxing than flying (although I do enjoy flying.)

  3. snafu Says:

    Security concerns on Amtrak: Don't keep valuables in your luggage, wear a 'money belt' under clothes for cash, CC, ID, jewelry etc. The best protection for electronic devices is to haul them with you when leaving your seat. Usually a seatmate will keep an eye on belonging if you feel comfortable relying on a stranger.

  4. mamasita Says:

    I've never been on a train in the states before, it's something I've always wanted to try. It's always cost just as much as plane tickets when I've priced it, though.

  5. laura Says:

    Amtrak travel is awesome if you don't like to fly. Three years ago I took five kids plus myself to/from California (from IL). The staff was lovely. We had a family room and an extra sleeping car. The food was wonderful. I was concerned about security and locked everything (including our garmet bags which had Irish Dance dresses valued at over $3K.) Nary a problem. What fun!

  6. frugaltexan75 Says:

    I won't be getting a sleeping car. If I was going to be on the train more than one night I might do a sleeper car, but I think I can handle one night sleeping in a seat. Smile
    I'm looking forward to it!

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