Yes, we are on vacation yet again. Our trip to Discovery Bay was, originally, going to be our only true vacation this summer. We booked it about a year ago. I don’t include moving to Bend for the summer a vacation, although Budge seems to disagree. Going to South Dakota was a late addition to our calendar and was time specific or else we probably would have separated the two a little more.
These two vacations, Discovery Bay and South Dakota, couldn’t be more different if I’d tried to write the stories. Discovery Bay’s temperatures linger around 70 as a high (instead of 100), the views are amazing here (I could sit at the visitor’s center at Hurricane Ridge and breathe in the Cascades for days) and the condo here is large and private.
It’s cold, I’m not going to lie. I would never leave this place if it was 85 or 90 degrees and sunny, not with the impressive views of the bay and surrounding mountains. The fact that it’s 65 at noon and the sun has yet to show itself leaves me with a desire to take the ferry over to Seattle to see if it’s any warmer. I shudder to think what it’s like here in January and February.
The views here are breathtaking. When we are sitting at the table, eating a meal, and you look out onto the bay, it looks like we’re in the water and not just near it. The views from the two balconies are unobstructed bay views and I couldn’t be happier with them. Janet even saw two otters frolicking in the water the other morning. We keep looking for whales but I don’t think they like coming into the bay much; too much like taking a bath for them.
Jessie’s best friend from Texas, we’ll call her Destiny, came along for this trip and we took them to the Olympic National Forest to check it out. What a stunning chunk of land. I think Destiny was impressed with her surroundings since she was born and raised in Texas, a much flatter and sometimes browner place to live.
Janet told me, before we made it to Hurricane Ridge, about the similarities to The Sound of Music I’d notice in the hillsides and I really had the urge to break into song when we stopped at the top. I actually did break into song at one point until my clearly embarrassed daughter told me to stop. She said the twirling was too over the top.
Staying in the condo is a much better setup than the hotel room on our first trip. Not that I didn’t enjoy sharing a room with my mother-in-law and bed with my kicking, hitting, teeth grinder of a daughter, but separate rooms are really nice. This condo is three floors and the setup is adult friendly.
When you come in through the front door, it’s a split level entrance. If you go up to the left you come into the main living area: kitchen, dining area and living room with a nice gas fireplace (we use it every day – it’s cold here). Off the dining area is a patio with a gas grill – Janet’s preferred form of cooking. We’ve already grilled pork chops, sausage, and chicken; all delicious.
If you keep going up, on the landing between the main floor and the upstairs, the girls’ full bathroom is off to the left. The girls’ room is up at the top with a beautiful view of the bay and two of the narrowest beds I have ever seen. Yesterday morning, while Janet and I were up and watching the Olympics, we heard a loud thud followed closely by an ‘owwww’. Destiny had fallen out of bed and I was surprised that was the only time it had happened. I would just have to sleep on the floor.
If, after entering the unit, you were to go to the right and down you would find yourself in the master bedroom. A wonderful, soft, king sized bed (a joy after sleeping on a double futon in Bend), a sitting area with a TV and a VCR (I didn’t know they still had those), a Jacuzzi bathtub, a shower in the bathroom, and our own personal deck. The condo turned into quite the pleasant surprise, especially after sharing a hotel room for a week. Not that I didn’t enjoy the perfectly lovely tiny hotel room with my mother-in-law and daughter.
I can’t begin to describe what our budget looks like after two vacation weeks in July. Well, I could, but I will spare you the gore. Budge does not look good; she is cowering in the corner, looking weak and anemic. It helps having a kitchen in this unit, but we still went over (doubled) our budgets for dining out and groceries. I’m so glad it’s August now and we can try and stop the blood loss.
We flew to the South Dakota trip (expensive) and drove to this one (not quite as expensive with the Prius), but having two weeks of vacation almost back to back: this will be hard to recover from. We’d been doing relatively well with Budge up to this point. We’d been close to our goal amount, and when we did go over it was only by a couple hundred dollars. But in July we went several hundred dollars over.
It’s a hard thing to justify, spending so much money on travel. Should we stay at home and deny ourselves one of our true passions: travel? Or should we ditch our goals (the main one being saving enough money to get Janet off the road) and travel and spend with abandon. I’m a Libra, so I’m thinking we should try and find a balance somewhere. That and I should stop getting all those travel deal emails. Those are killing me.