Vacation to local places in your area.

3rd Lifestyle Alterations: Vacation to local places.

Applying lifestyle alterations on our vacation may sound easier than done. In those ‘plump financial’ years, we traveled the world.  So taking our rest or vacation to local places, as seemingly fresh sounding, yet will take some mind-set adjustment.

Vacation is essential in most people as is in our family.  Respite time is at any length of time. There is no set formula; weeks, days or a day is always good.  Why, because rest and recoup is a fundamental need in each of us.

Gasoline budget for our 2 cars was cut down to provide fuel for important drive time. Employment interviews, part-time jobs, grocery shopping and trips to the bank consume most of this plan.  I try to ‘kill 2 birds with 1 stone’ so to speak.

Before I go home from an errand to the bank, I drop by to see my daughter and grandkids. By the way, prior arrangements have been made!  My grandkids always light up my day so getting ignited by innocent little one’s joyful laughs is a must stop.  Hugs and kisses, pushes plush vacation out of the equation somewhat easier.

Timing my food shopping on the same day I take my exercise class, kept my workout routine on schedule.  Just in case you are wondering, my gym participation goes all the way back to the 80’s.  Cost: drum roll please, $50 per year for my membership fee!  That is $4.16 a month investment for my health.

Vacation to local places in your area. California here we come!

Southern California is as diverse in natural beauty as its human population.  Northern, ‘NoCal’s’ redwoods, Eastern parts’ alternating green and white carpeted mountain-side, South’s beaches and borders with Western’s vast beach-front! Bountiful nature in drivable distance; 800 miles from north to south.

Our vacation going null was not the issue.  Mental health has superseded the financial burden that has placed tremendous weight on our narrowing shoulders.

I consider myself artistic.  Seamstress to concert (guest vocalist) my life has never been muted to mindfully create.  Conceiving and designing keep my energy going.  Couple these with physical activity, there is never a dull day in my life, truly.  Even the mundane are made into masterful ways!

Creativity in planning a vacation to local places is a breeze.  Wishful thinking, at the time.  Going from ‘sky’s the limit’ to $75, a month.  It ‘was’ a breeze to do so with no limitations. Yet, a tight budget challenges my creativity.  Of course with the help of my husband, who is the expert in planning.

Two vacation and rest places we took:

~ Joshua Tree National Park.  We drove 124 miles and en-route, visited our best friend’s new home.  A resort-like home, provided our stop as leisurely as any other over-night accommodations taken elsewhere.

Having a hearty breakfast with packed nuts and fruits delivered a nutritional advantage for our day at the park!  Yes, we have frozen water bottles with us for hydration.  Cost:BFForever
$35 for 10 gallons of gas was at a high $3.50/gal
$7.50 park fee per vehicle (split $15 two ways)
$12 for snacks, fruits and water
$20 BBQ items at our friends

Descanso Garden, day visit.
It is cheery to spend time in the midst of colorful lawn.  The array of landscaping, trails along Descanso Garden display flowers jumping with message of joy and merriment.  As if the blooms are in standing ovation, applauding as passersby approach.  Further, appearing to curtsey as eyes admire in stillness appreciating a ‘performance.’ Cost:
($9) Adult admission
$7 two gallons of gasoline roundtrip to Montrose where my daughter lived. She drove me to Descanso Garden which was less than 3 miles from her home. Special note: consider a Labor Day visit.

My daughter picked up the tab 😉 total cash out: $18 with my two grandkids under 5 years, admission was free.  We enjoyed a packed snack. This day will always be in my memory bank ready to be extracted for its uniqueness and timing of family bonding moment.  Simple togetherness in the midst of a beautifully designed landscape.

A special event announcement:


This November, Descanso Gardens presents Enchanted: Forest of Light, an interactive light experience unlike anything else in Los Angeles. Enchanted leads you on a one-mile walk through 10 distinct lighting displays in some of the most beloved areas of the Gardens. Tickets are timed and number of tickets per time is limited.

Internet search for local places in your area.
Summer events, family activities and community services are offered in more places than we know.

~ Check with your local Chamber of Commerce.  Hard copy announcements are for your taking.  Offering its communities valuable information on activities, events and happenings.  Notices of: bicycling, hiking and tai chi groups are just a few of special happenings.
~ City Parks and Recreation in your area.  Provide picnic grounds, family get-together, Summer concerts, access to swimming pool and sometimes offer activities for both young and adults.  Labor day is around the corner, so make early plans to beat the crowd.
Churches Summer events for: Vacation Bible School, concerts, athletic games for all ages and a variety of ministries to get involved in.  New activities are formulated for upcoming seasons.

Home lays our hearts desire!

Five months of stretching our creativity has only shaped us more than we can imagine.  As I imagine elongating my muscles in extending moves, so was our financially lean months have shaped our abilities to cope.  There is always a choice.

The need to get away though intentional, in the end our home provided much of our R&R time.  Reason: acknowledge we have the complete basic needs to survive. Gratitude for having God, each other, good health, family and opportunities wider than visibly within reach.  

Home is still where our hearts desire, we are thankful and truly blessed!

For a complete list of 12 Lifestyle Alterations:

12 Lifestyle Alterations to live on $780 a month. 1st: Giving is Receiving.

12 Lifestyle Alterations to live on $780 a month. 2nd: ‘Food for Less.’

About The Author


A “Pinay” at heart, beautified by the Western ways. Respond to God’s calling, it never fails. Tribal of many colors include many personalities; a part of one’s wholesomeness. Experience lifelong happiness by living a healthy lifestyle.