Our original plans for the holiday weekend involved a group camping trip, but…a week before the trip, that was canceled, which has left Greg and I to make our own weekend plans. I’m not much on traveling far over a holiday weekend though, I hate the traffic stats. Living in New Orleans, we usually also have plenty of local offerings to choose from.
Plaquemines Parish Seafood Festival is being held this weekend, with great local bands playing. The low admission also makes it a good budget event as well, so we can go hang out, have dinner & a great time without breaking the bank–always a plus! It doesn’t hurt that it supports a good cause, and is a sign of support for our local seafood industry in the face of Big Oil’s BP oil spill.
I’ve also postponed numerous times a trip to our local Southern Food & Beverage Museum, which would also be a nice local trip. With their $10 per person admission, it’s a bit more expensive than driving to Belle Chasse for the seafood festival, but it is also closer and has long been lurking on my “must-do-soon” list. They have a great website, and I’ve heard such wonderful things about the museum already.
I should also see about the “you pick” blueberry farms-some may already be open or will be opening this weekend. There is nothing like a bowl of fresh blueberries that can brighten up any day. I’m not sure they are sweeter than listening to a local blues band is, but they are a bit more compact at least!
Ahhh but the best laid plans of mice and men…
All of that was high hopes for this weekend from Friday morning. On Friday afternoon, it’s a complete revision.
We were responsible drivers. We had put two new tires on the front of the van last week to replace the nearly bald ones. The back ones still had adequate, if not good, tread, so we left those go. An unexpected windfall allowed us to purchase the rear tires AND allowed us to purchase 2 cheap mountain bikes to start bicycle riding.
I’m ecstatic-silly but true. I can, for one rare day, have my cake and eat it too. Granted its not the Trek bike I wanted…but it’s a bike that I’m sure I’m going to fall in love with for the duration. Maybe next year we’ll be able to afford that Trek, but in the meantime, I’ll have a chance to start riding bike and exploring the world at a slower, greener pace.
Now for those that are truly into biking…you realize that buying an off-the-rack-bike-from-Walmart is the least part of the bill. That dreadful hard “wedgie” seat had to go, there was no way I was going to enjoy riding on that with my sit bones riding on the edge of that hard seat. Yes, it is true, I have middle age computer user spread on the hind side. So, a cheap gel seat went out the door with us, but at least its better than the one that came with it, with a wider base to sit on. I may like it, I may want to upgrade, but for now…that’s my choice. Of course Walmart bikes come complete with flat tires, so that meant purchasing a bike pump immediately as well. And buying new bikes meant a bike lock…
Then, with a van that contained our Sam’s Club purchases as well as most of our camping gear, we had to cram in the bicycles, since a bike rack has not yet been purchased. That told me immediately that a bike rack is VERY important! What good does it do to have bikes to take camping with us if we can’t fit them in the van?
I’m really jazzed, but we had to come home–Greg has mega lawn mowing to do, a storm (as usual) is threatening, and it had cooled off some. I’ll pump up the tires and try it out after a while…and in the meantime, I can come up with the appropriate bike rack for the van, right?
So…I’m not sure there is much left in the mad money budget, but that’s okay…
The van is in good running order once again, with tires that aren’t going flat and are overall in good repair and tread, since they are brand new. We have our bikes so we can begin riding. My new stove, direct from China, arrived today, and that will get tested this weekend. (It’s a really cool MSR-type ultra light pack stove, multi fuel & all. I’ll take pictures of it this weekend.)
All in all, today was a really good day. I am really truly thankful for wonderful days like today.