By: Revanche

Closing out October

October 29, 2013

On the road ... Again

I’m not normally much of a Halloween person but this year I had high hopes of dressing up my victim … Doggle, and taking him either trick or treating or to a good friend’s house to play. Instead, we’re sadly in Southern California to lend a dear friend moral support and planning support. Her elderly mother, weighed down by a series of illnesses and then a serious fall breaking her hip, simply couldn’t bounce back and I’m grieved to say we lost her. I don’t care how old you are, losing a beloved parent is never easy.


This month has been busy as all get out and I’m rather glad it’s coming to an end, or I would be if that wasn’t rapidly pushing us toward a conclusion I’m not ready for (the end of the year). Which means that we have to make the most of this trip down south for wedding stuff as well as life stuff.

We need to (deep breath):
Visit friend with a new baby,
Visit friend who lost her mother,
Meet the photographer,
See the venue for the first time & figure out if anything else needs doing,
Deliver any wedding stuff that we don’t need here so we’re not transporting a moving van’s worth of frippery the weekend of,
Buy suits for PiC and my dad,
Buy or rent a traditional dress for me,
Attend a wedding,
Attend a family dinner,
Oh and WORK.

Talk about your last minute trips!

We decided this would happen only 2 days before and it was a flurry getting ready! (I thought it was wise to start preparing by doing seven loads of laundry…..)

I booked three hotels because it’s a long stinking drive down to SoCal, and if we want to be convenient to certain people without spending 2 hours in traffic either way, it’s a hotel or bust.

Booked 1 hotel for 50% off. Yay for catching billing errors from our last visit and their profuse apologies = savings: ~$100 or less. Includes breakfast or lunch.
Booked 1 hotel with SPG points: 7,000 points + $50 pet fee instead of spending $200.
Booked 1 hotel for cash: $120 + $100 pet fee.  Occasionally this fee is waived so we’re hoping for the best.

We’re also renting a car for the week. We’d normally take the Dog Chariot but we need more room for transport of several cases of things and we need to keep the mileage on our personal vehicles low since we get a major discount on the insurance. I booked a week-long rental on using ebates (3% back): $273.
The funny thing is, if I rented the same car from Tuesday through Sunday, it would have been billed at a MUCH higher per day rate and the total estimate was nearly $600. !!!

In total, this near-week long trip will cost about $800 in travel;
probably another few hundred on wedding clothes that are meant to be rewearable for years after this;
and miscellaneous costs for food.

[insert aggrieved face here]  Staying home is so much cheaper.


On the bright side, we’ve decided to put about $20K toward principle on the mortgage. We’d squirreled away cash for a re-finance but thanks to some legal mumbo-jumbo with the HOA we can’t at the moment. Might as well put it to work reducing the mortgage, then!

Also, made a dinner at home for friends this weekend. Not counting the cost of garlic or butter, I think we managed to feed four for about $20: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes w/onions & garlic, braised bok choy, and roasted beets. Unfortunately for a cooking-for-guests night, I wasn’t terribly impressed with what I turned out. PiC loved it but I’m convinced he’s far too kind when I cook.



8 Responses to “Closing out October”

  1. Lordie! That is totally frantic!

    Sad to hear about friend’s mother. My uncle died — at 84 — shortly after he fell off a chair (changing a ceiling fixture’s light bulb) and broke his hip. Apparently there’s a point in your life where a major bone break creates so much shock you just don’t get over it. But now that I’m getting closer to that point, it seems to be not such a bad thing but even possibly a potential mercy. Not so great for the kids, though, who deep inside hope you’ll live forever.

    • Revanche says:

      We do. For ten long yrs, I always insisted my grandma go to the hospital when she got sick and weak when she just wanted to be let go. :/

  2. eemusings says:

    (Hello from SoCal!)

    Drive safe, and may the dress/suit fairies of shopping shine down on you.

    (incidentally, carrentals isn’t actually one I was aware of, but the site we booked ours with was carhireplanet which was cheapest by miles, if you haven’t checked it out before?)

    • Revanche says:

      Thank ye ma’am, I hope the rest of your trip was good!! I haven’t tried carhireplanet yet but I’ll have a look!

  3. Kris says:

    Breathe, and if you have to let something on that list go, don’t worry about it. Sounds like an insanely exhausting trip.

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