If you follow me on social media (or get our Women’s Personal Finance newsletter), you‘ll already know, but we got to go visit Regina and her family down on the Oregon Coast! We’ve known each other for four years and have been close for the past three or so, but this was only our third time together face to face.
It was so good to get to spend time together in person instead of virtually like we’re used to, and our husbands got some time to bond as well. Our boys played and fought like siblings, since they know each other pretty well via the virtual world as well. After we left, they both said that their highlight of the trip was getting to play with each other. Definitely a good trip, and here’s to hoping it won’t be another two years before we get to see each other again. Thanks, Covid.
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Friday’s Frugal Five
1. We packed up my car for the trip, which included some camping gear. It’s a Camry hybrid, so it doesn’t have a lot of space, but we have a car top carrier that allows us to road trip in it without feeling cramped.
My husband does have an F250 pickup truck, so we can travel even more comfortably in his vehicle, but clearly, the gas mileage is way less. Whenever possible, we choose to drive my car for the gas reason (really, because of the environmental impact first before thinking about the cost). The car top carrier itself came from the property my parents purchased five years ago, a leftover item from the previous owners. Over that time, we’ve definitely gotten our money’s worth (which was only the cost of the car rack to install it on).
2. Regina’s family lives in a small home, like we do, so we camped on their property. They have a drool-worthy property with twenty acres and we were able to set up our tent down a trail in their woods. It was so dark at night. Since we live in town, we don’t experience that kind of dark unless we’re camping off grid, usually well down a logging or forest road.
They’ve actually set up their woods as “official” campsites through Hipcamp, which I think is pretty dang awesome. They built a new outhouse back by the camp sites, and the artwork was pretty fabulous. The kiddo is definitely ready to have a lot of land so we can build an outhouse, too.
I actually hadn’t heard of Hipcamp until they set it up at their property, but since then, I’ve looked at the options and am sure we’ll be using it to book campsites in the future. It’s like Airbnb, but for camp sites, and for simple cabins, which tends to be our preferred way to travel. If you’re interested in checking it out, here’s $10 for your first trip. And if you have the space to be a Hipcamp host, make sure to grab a discount code from Regina if you decide to try it out.
3. We may have a lot of berries for an urban lot, but their berry patch(es) put ours to shame. While we were there, we picked lots of blueberries, blackberries, huckleberries, and some early ripening loganberries. And then I drooled over the fact that they beat me to the first large tomatoes of the year, even on the much cooler Oregon Coast, thanks to their large greenhouse setup.
They also do quite a bit of mushroom foraging, and Uriah really wanted to take us, so we made sure to go out one day, even though it wasn’t peak mushroom season. We did, however, find a few flushes of chantarelles and plenty of inedible mushrooms.
Mushroom foraging now doesn’t seem so intimidating like it has been. I know plenty of edible plants in our area and I feel comfortable there, but mushrooms have felt like a different level with higher stakes. After this experience though, I think I may want to try in our area now.
4. Speaking of evergreen huckleberries, they have a lot of them growing naturally throughout their forest trails, and we went home with five plants. We love the red huckleberries in our woods, but I’ve yet to find a nursery that sells them. Our backyard doesn’t get direct sunlight pretty much ever, so our edible options are pretty limited. Fingers crossed these black evergreen huckleberries take root in our yard over near the chicken coop.
They also have seed fennel growing throughout their property, and I asked to take home a bunch of seeds as well, initially because I was almost out of fennel seed, but then realized that I should try and plant them as well. They seem to self seed pretty well for them, so maybe I’ll get lucky and have them do the same for us (though I still need to get them in the ground, whoops).
5. My college roommate actually lives in the next town over, so we got to visit her on the trip as well. Thanks to Covid, I hadn’t seen her in quite a while as well and got to meet her two year old for the first time. My kiddo and her older daughter hadn’t seen each other in years, so they didn’t remember each other, but they became fast friends.
We were able to have two dinners at her house out on their back deck, which was wonderful. My heart was so full getting to spend time with such dear people. If only the Oregon Coast wasn’t six hours away from home.
PS Regina and I are leading a coffee chat next month on an introduction to PrepperFI. If you’re interested in a copy of the recording (or to attend live, if you identify as female or non-binary), you can sign up here. Not sure what PrepperFI is, but it sounds interesting, you can learn more here – we coined the term back in 2018 when Regina wrote a guest post on the subject on my blog. Since then, we’ve both written more on the topic (you can search via the #prepperfi tag at the bottom of this post as well).
Friday was our mushroom foraging expedition and we hiked off trail down a logging road. We went for a walk together in their small downtown on Saturday before we headed home, and then I squeezed in a run in the evening after dinner back at our house.
Sunday was a bunch of yardwork after being out of town for a bit, and then we went for a hike back in our woods. Monday was some time on the elliptical and some stretching afterward.
Tuesday was more stretching and a couple of walks. Wednesday was another run at the end of the evening after temperatures cooled down. Thursday was more time out in the garden, with breaks inside with the air conditioning and away from the smoke (yes, the smoke has finally found us again this year….) and then a short slow jog at the end of the day.
How was your week? Anything notable going on in your world?