We’ve been back from Iceland a bit over a month now, so it probably comes as no surprise that we were itching for a weekend getaway. We don’t do big trips that often, but we tend to find the time for at least a night away once every 4-6 weeks it seems.

This time, we landed on Coupeville on Whidbey Island. We’d originally considered Port Townsend, but thanks to it being both President’s Day weekend and Valentine’s Day weekend, everything semi-affordable was booked up when we looked last minute. We picked an Airbnb just a short walk from the Coupeville waterfront, which was perfect for the single night.

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Friday’s Frugal Five

1. While we generally stay in Airbnbs when we travel, we usually pick the places where we have the whole home or apartment to ourselves. That changed a bit when we traveled to Iceland, where we stayed in Guesthouses there in family style hostel lodging. We haven’t exactly been opposed to shared spaces, but with a group of us they are usually individual ones, and when the kiddo was younger it seemed even more important.

This past weekend, we found a room only option in a shared home that slept four people, which was what we needed (Bob came with us, of course). It was cheaper than anything else around, plus it was actually available. It actually ended up being a great choice and my husband ended up having a couple of long conversations with the homeowner while we were there.

We checked out the library too, of course

If you haven’t stayed in an Airbnb before, I would highly recommend it. We love the flexibility it gives us while traveling as a family – full kitchen, laundry, and extra bathrooms, and it’s usually considerably cheaper than a hotel, especially when you travel as a group. If you’re new to Airbnb, here’s a link for $40+ off your first stay.

2. On Sunday before we went home from Whidbey Island, we headed over to Fort Casey for the morning. There is a triangle of forts out on the island and the peninsula, remnants of World War II, but Fort Casey is the only one with the big guns still on display. Unsurprisingly, it’s the most popular of the three, and it was quit busy even though it was a crummy winter day in February.

Access to the park is with an annual Discover Pass ($30/year) since it’s a state park. Other than that, the trip is free. We visit parks enough through the year that the cost is minimal for each trip, but we would pay the fee even if we didn’t go frequently. One of my new recurring donations this year is to the state park system at the suggestion of my husband, because we really value the accessibility and importance of the natural areas in our state.

Checking out the fort

3. Monday was President’s Day, which meant the kiddo’s preschool was closed, but my work was not. He went to spend the day with my mom and grandmother instead, and they had a blast as always. We are so lucky to have family support close by, and any time we have a school closure, it’s even more obvious. And of course, he adores the, both and would spend every day with them if he could. There’s nothing better than watching that bond.

4. We ran into our neighbor while walking the trails Thursday afternoon, which resulted in an impromptu dinner together. The weather was entirely too nice to spend much of it indoors before the sun set, so we had a simple dinner of chicken nuggets, broccoli, and cheesy rice.

We are so lucky to live where we do and with the neighbors we have, and I’m reminded of that fact weekly. There’s nothing better than running into friends regularly near the house because they too live near your house.

Best buddies

5. One of the days the kiddo was with my mom this week she also gave him a haircut. His hair had gotten pretty shaggy and started falling into his eyes again, but we completely let his hair style be up to him. Young kids don’t have many things they can control 100% in their lives, so when we can, we let him have that control.

This week he decided he did want a haircut though, so my mom took care of it for him while he was with her. This, of course, means we don’t have to pay for a haircut, but even better, we can go on a walk in the sunshine in the afternoon instead of spending it inside at a hair salon waiting for an appointment.

Haircut and a show

Exercise Update

Still no running. I really need to sit around more often and give my foot a real break, but I just don’t sit down well. It doesn’t hurt much now when walking, but any time I run even a couple minutes I’m set back again, which is so frustrating.

So, of course, Saturday was a ton of walking around Coupeville, as we parked the car for the trip once we arrived, and I ended the day with 21,000 steps. Monday we walked into town with my grandmother, enjoying the nice weather.

Tuesday was my three mile walk to work (again, not resting the heel, oops) and then forty five minutes on the stationary bike in the afternoon. Wednesday was more walking and forty minutes on the bike. Oh, if only I enjoyed biking. Thursday was that long walk through the trails where we bumped into our neighbor.

Do you know your neighbors? If not, maybe this is the week to say hello.

19 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2020 – Week 8)

  1. i used to know, ’em all. we are friendly with the people directly next door and usually just chat across the fence. i used to help them out moving heavy stuff when they were still working but they haven’t needed me much the past 5 years or so. i like people, generally, and i meet a lot of strangers while walking around with a friendly and jolly dog.

    thinking about a podietrist visit yet?

  2. Your getaway trip sounds like fun! I’m itching to plan a big trip soon, but also more frequent one- or two-night escapes from the everyday. We took a day trip to Cincinnati for President’s Day (calling it part of our 5-year-old’s birthday celebration) and had fun at the museum center there. It’s only a 2-hour drive each way, but we’re about ready to make it an overnight trip next time we go, so we can relax more and enjoy the city more.

    Sorry about your heel. I’m with you in that I don’t get into biking and I really miss running when I can’t do it. I hope you can get some relief soon! For me, just going to the podiatrist and getting custom orthotics helped a ton. I don’t even use the custom-made ones anymore, and just buy cheap insoles from the drugstore; it seems enough to keep any heel pain from flaring back up. Hope you can get a simple solution (and soon)!

    1. Yeah, if things don’t get better soon (see: in the next week or so), I’ll be scheduling myself an appointment.

  3. Also a big fan of the weekend getaway. Hubby and I were talking about our summer plans and I think most of our vacation is going to look like that — long weekends away or taking an extra long weekend during weeks when there isn’t one. I’m also in the rolling-the-idea-around phase of a possible mini-solo writing retreat. It will likely end up just being me booking an AirBnB or a hotel room for a couple days to write but it will be nice to have the break.

    Sorry the ol’ foot is still giving you trouble. I know your pain (literally) and it’s the worst, especially when you want to be active. Hopefully it keeps improving and you’ll be back up and running in no time.

  4. Sounds like a fun overnight away! Every time I read your blog and local hikes, I want to visit the PNW even more! And the park pass sounds great. I need to keep that in mind when I see more parks.

    We did an overnight last weekend to DC, which was awesome! I had a travel reward that offset the cost of the hotel, which was already discounted for the off-season. I thought Valentine’s weekend would be insanely expensive, but I guess no one wants to go to DC in the winter. 🙂

    Great job with all the exercise!

  5. Airbnb and VRBO are great options. I have a house in an Association on a lake, just a few miles from my farm and I have used both to book guests. I have had to limit the age to having an adult over 21 as I had a couple groups that did some damage to include holes in the wall. Families have been great and I take in over $4500 a month in the summer, plus book weekends for winter sports in the winter, plus fall foliage visitors, as well as the city folk who want a quiet weekend in the mountains. There are costs with owning the house that can sleep ten, but I do come out ahead.
    It is great that your mother can give your family their haircuts. It is so convenient and saves a lot of money. About ten years ago, my wife was fed up with getting bad haircuts for her boys at the barbershop, bought a set of Wahl clippers, capes and decided she was going to cut their hair herself. We watched several tutorials on YouTube together before she was ready to try. I had been cutting her hair for her, and had given haircuts to other female friends over the years, so I had good shears and some experience. She started got flustered and she handed it off to me. From that day on it became my job, and I have given her sons hundreds of haircuts, a lot of practice as well as saving thousands of dollars. I have watched YouTube tutorials to improve my technique, and being her teens are very happy with my work, I consider that a win. No wasting the time driving to, sitting in the barbershop, waiting, getting mediocre haircuts and having to pay for them. It takes me about ten minutes to do each boy’s haircut monthly, twenty minutes to cut my wife’s long hair every other month. She likes my work and her mom and a couple of her friends stop by to visit to get their tresses trimmed. So I take that as a compliment, and they like the part that they don’t have to worry about making an appointment, wasting the time sitting in the salon, getting a bad haircut or paying a lot of money for it.
    Our summer plans include working in the garden, planting, weeding, then harvesting fruits and vegetables. We will do canning, freezing and freeze drying as well.
    There will be fun time of going to the pool, hiking the different trails, kayaking and fishing on the nearby lake. We will host a few barbecues as well as attending some at friend’s homes.
    But these are not expensive recreational activities being we are local. Such are the perks living in a vacation destination.

    1. Thanks for chiming in Charlie!! My husband does his own hair with Wahl clippers as well, but he’s never attempted to do mine. If my mom wasn’t around and available, we’d have to figure it out!

      1. Being you have a good situation with your mother wielding the shears and clippers, I would stick with it. If you had to relocate or your mother wasn’t available to do haircuts for you, then you would have to look at other options. I think it is strange that most people are eager to to men’s and boy’s haircuts at home, but freak out at cutting women’s and girl’s hair at home. I have found it is a lot easier to cut a lady’s long hair than it is to do the boys’ haircuts. Theirs is more detailed with their short haircuts and less forgiving if you don’t put in the effort to do it right as I don’t just shave them bald. That would not be an option with teens. My wife had a friend visit and she kept pushing her bangs back out of her eyes and mentioned she needed them trimmed, but had been putting it off as they were chatting. My wife told her that I could cut them for her if she wanted. She knew that I cut my wife’s long hair, but asked if I had cut short hair. I told her I give the boys their haircuts, and she said ok. I got my shears, hair clips and a cape as she took a seat. I trimmed her bangs to the middle of her eyebrows as she asked. She was happy with her bangs trim, and mentioned that her stylist usually cut them too short. She has a shoulder skimming layered bob and suggested she grow her bangs out to the rest of her hair length, then they wouldn’t need to be trimmed so often. She appreciated the suggestion, but loved her bangs as she has a high forehead, so she was going to live with them. So it is definitely a handy money saving skill to learn.

      2. Oh, that’s so awesome that you were even able to help your wife’s friend! That community aspect is my favorite thing.

  6. We try to let JB have control over their hair too, mostly, except when it’s poking them in the eyeballs and they haven’t noticed 🙂

    I wish more of our neighbors were cool but so far, it’s just two sets that are ok.

  7. I hope your heel heals and/or you get a medical opinion. One of my friends has been dealing with (different-sounding from yours) foot pain for a couple of years and they finally figured out one of the problems was a fracture in her heel that has been very very very slow to heal. Her symptoms were not really like yours – she had more pain and more consistently, including when walking – so I don’t mean to be alarmist! But feet are very important and it’s good you plan to see a professional if this keeps up.

    It’s always amazing how much I take my healthy body for granted – when something goes wrong it’s such a shock!

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