Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Traveling tips on how to be cheap.

I have been traveling since last Saturday. I thought I would blog about how to make traveling more comfortable and affordable. One of the things I do is bring food along for a road trip. I mostly bring things that will stand up well. I have took with this trip noodle cups, trail mix, assorted fruit, muffins, goldfish, cajun mix, almonds, all sorts of assorted cheeses ,salami and crackers. I have a little cooler for the cheeses and drinks. I always buy my own drinks before traveling as drinks can add up. I also try not to buy any booze in a lounge as that also adds up also. I bring my own. I also don't like the coffee the hotels or motels provide. I bring a coffee press. I bought mine from Starbucks and it has paid for its self. I bring my own canister of coffee so I can measure it out and get the strenght of coffee that is suitable for me. I don't like weak coffee. I boil the water in a hot pot. Basically it is like a electric kettle. I also make instant soups and noodles with it for lunch or a light dinner. I can also make a nice pot of tea if I want to. If a place doesn't offer free breakfast which is rare if they don't I have made my own. The hot pot will also boil eggs. I usually have that with a muffin. I buy a box of 9 muffins at walmart for about 6 bucks. They are huge. Remember though if they factor in extras such as breakfast you are paying extra for that room. Every little fancy thing or what you think is a freebie is factored in to the price of a room. That is why I loved the Motel 6 in the states traveling. It is no frills and totally stripped down. Every one I have been to has been very clean but with no perks . The perk is the cheap price one saves. Another thing is take advantage of all the travel sights in making a reservation. Tonight's stay is booked as that is the only place where we have stayed in a bigger city with chain hotels and motels. Most of this trip is just been picking places at random and availability as it is more remote and they don't advertise. One motel was the only motel . Guess what they can charge what they want in the middle of no where. It was nice enough but not worth the price. It was the most uncomfortable place I have stayed in awhile. It was very pretty but very unpractical with log furniture. I about needed a back adjustment in the next city. So all the divas out there pretty isn't always comfortable . In the good old days you could check out a room before you paid for it. Some are still like that and I wish I would of checked it out before we paid. My back is shot now and probably will be like that for about 2 more weeks or a sports medicine massage. See, I could of saved myself the agony by checking out the room.
Also, if you have to buy something do it at a real store and not a quicky mart or a gas station. I had to go to the mall the other day because I forgot the charger for my ipod. I found one on sale at The Source. Truck Stop stuff is of low quality usely and will damage your cell phones or other devices by trying to save a buck or two. That brings me to another point don't forget things at home. Make a list and check it off. Organization will save you much money.
The things I have done have been pretty cheap if not free. My whole trip has been viewing the scenery. Every year we get a parks pass. We have been to many parks this trip. Generally, a parks pass will pay for it's self . Also, a day pass will cover all the parks in a day for Ontario. Parks are fun. I ride a bike so a day of bicycling is fun and just about free. I also hike and do photography. You will get the best pictures in a Park up north and many hiking trails also.
Always read the hotels or motels little book they put together of the facility. It will tell you of the local attractions. I looked in the book and it told me about a local wild fowl viewing platform that was by the motel. It is free to look at birds and fun. it also told me about local hiking trails and other things. The book and brochures are valuable. So is looking at the phone book. It will tell you where to order food cheaper than the places the hotel and motel advertise. It will also tell you who deliverers food and what is available. It is cheaper to decide where to eat after you know what exist than blowing gas and dining on impulse. Which brings me to another thing if you don't bring things for a sandwich , Subway is pretty cheap and more low cal than most places.
Travelling can be cheaper or more expensive . It really depends on what you want and what your lifestyle is.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Cat Chewed My Power Adapter

I have been on a much needed break. I have been traveling up North in Ontario. It has been so relaxing. The fall colours are wonderful. So many trees with orange, yellow, gold and red. Mixed in with the pines. I have stayed right on the north channel of Lake Huron and discovered the cat chewed my power adapter for my laptop. It wouldn't of been so bad but that was the first night of the trip. Drove a little farther and have no cell phone coverage . It has been a total dead zone for about 150 miles of our trip which is really the core of my trip to some of Lake Superior. Lake Superior is gorgeous this time of year or any time of year for that matter. It is very hilly cliffs and water like an ocean. It is pretty rugged scenerary. It is also very rural with towns very far apart. I was surpised at all the places we have been that has offered wifi in the motels. Most get it through satelitte but the speed is awesome. Even though we have been in a dead zone for cell coverage. I will blog later about the perils of my trip.
Just before I left for the trip my uncle died. It is sad but I have been handling it. My biggest fear was about my daughter and yesterday I found out she doesn't have cancer. I have had like cement blocks lifted off me. It has been a very stressful couple of weeks. The onocologist has ordered more test for other things and what ever it is , I can handle it better than cancer. I have been so much lighter today and in a much more upbeat mood.
I also was able to manage to make my power adapter croak on and charge up my almost died laptop. I might spare the cat some terrible wrath. Life is starting to look up. I can much deal with anything after the last year I have had.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sad days

I haven't been writing lately. That is because it has felt like life has kicked me in the teeth again. I have had so much going on and much tragic news. I don't much talk about my family on here. The news I have received lately is my uncle has liver cancer and is terminal . My grandmother that lives with my mother is going on hospice in the real near future. She is 94 so that isn't a big surprise. She also has severe senile dementia. I have mourned the departure of my grandma when she lost her mind about 7 or 8 years ago. The hardest one I have to stomach right now is the possibility that my daughter might have leukemia. She has had several blood test that all come back screwy. The values indictate something is wrong and she will be going to a hematologist for farther investigation. I will hear something hopefully by Friday. It has been the longest 2 and a half weeks with this. I just want some answers and they aren't coming fast enough for me. I'm scared and haven't dealt very well with all this news. I should say I'm dealing with it the best I can. Some days , I don't even get out of my pj's and just watch the crappy t.v. Some days, I try real hard . I feel like I'm on a roller coaster ride and just want to get off.

I'm planning a trip up north and will be gone for about 5-6 days. Up north is very spiritual for me and I need to connect to something. This trip is to restore some of my sanity as well as just to escape. I need some recharging. I know my problems will be right where I left them. Maybe, with some renewed spirit I will feel more like coping instead of finding my faith in a beer bottle. I have been getting drunk lately and it isn't acceptable to me. I need the beauty of nature and up north is where I find the divine wave , the colour of fall, the majestic waterfalls, trees that whisper in the wind and the pebble sanded beaches. I can find these things and relax without modern technology or most anything modern. It is very rural and cell phone coverage is spotty. Part of me is going to moan and grown for a day without my wifi or my daily calls to my mother. I might still make my daily calls but it will be on a land-line in a motel of mystery. I still have what we used to have before computers and blogs. It is my trusty journal and notepaper . I really plan on doing some journal and getting in touch with me. Hopefully, I might find one motel that might have wifi. I doubt it though because most of it is so rural. If I do I will update my blog. But probably will when I get back.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Good and Bad

On a good note, I have started to battle some of my depression. Baby steps have been applied to my life. I started to get out of the house. That started last week. I have been continuing that aspect as much as I can. I went shopping yesterday and actually didn't mind it. I also got my hair done . I love getting my hair done. Nothing like a good shampooing and massage to the scalp. The stress totally leaves me and makes me a happy camper.I shopped for more exercise clothes. I was thinking it might get me back on track. Since, it has felt like I have derailed this past last month. I also was pricing a new stove top for the kitchen and realized , I'm going to have to shop harder as the one place I went I didn't like the price. Which translates I'm going to have to order it via Internet or drive a distance. Sometimes, it really sucks to live in a rural area. The selection is just not there.
Last week, we went and visited my in-laws. To be honest it was more like checking up on their well- being. They are 90 years old. It always leaves me wanting to bang my head into a wall. They really need to be in a nursing home. They are hanging on by a thread. My mother in law has senile dementia and my father in law can hardly walk. My father in law makes all the decisions and lack of good ones in my opinion. He is very difficult for me to get along with as he is very stubborn and very argumentative. It lives me not talking much and just observing. I also get mad at J for not pushing them more to get more care. J and her brother don't want to step on toes. Well, I step on toes and wouldn't mind shaking things up. No, I'm suppose to bite my tongue about anything they do and that includes J's father treating me like shit and being in my opinion treating J lesser than the rest of anyone in J's family. Sometimes, I feel J's family is ungrateful as we travel aways to see them and help them. We also spend a ton also. We pay for most of the meals and have to pay for our lodging also. That doesn't even include gas. For as much as we pay we could have a nice mini-vacation of three days , anywhere in Ontario . So it chaps my ass, when they aren't grateful. I have been sort of ranting about J's parents for about two days. Mostly, in my head as it isn't nice to rant about someones elderly parents even if they are a huge pain in the ass. I always suck it up and I'm nice out of duty. Even booked another trip next month to help out and visit . Whether I'm in the mood or not. I will suck it up like I usually do and make my way to the hotel lounge and make the bitter taste in my mouth go down with a double of scotch.

Today, I'm going to not let this eat me as I can't change people and the only person I can change is me. Hopefully, I will make an appointment for a personal trainer to get me ready for the ski season and some help rehabbing a past injured shoulder. Several years ago , I tore a rotary cuff. I really need more aerobic activity also. I know how to exercise but it also helps me to get a firm schedule of what I need to do to get stronger in my core and legs . It cuts down on injuries when down-hill skiing when you are in shape. I need at least 8 weeks of fitness training. I have heard in might be a earlier winter and I want to be ready this year before the SAD seats in. I want to be locked into a proper schedule so I don't flounder.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I have been missing for awhile. I have been in a depressive mood. The weather hasn't been helping. It has been raining off and on for over a week. It has been so grey and black out. No sunshine at all. It is almost fall and with fall comes SAD (seasonal affective disorder) I'm just dreading it. The good thing is the doctor said she would loan a sad device to see if it will work. I will also have to step up on exercise and nutrition. I tend to sleep a lot when it gets all bleak outside and I will have to start setting my alarm clock not to sleep 12 hours a day. I haven't been active at all in the past 2-3 weeks and it has took a toll on my self-esteem. I feel a little bit more like conquering today. I told myself I have to start some where.