The idea of a summer trip to St. Louis came to me back in March, but I kept it hush-hush because I had no idea (due to the financial upsets over the previous months) if it would be possible. Then overtime opened up at work, which helped us loosen our belts in normal daily life at least. It wasn’t until we found out that Uncle Sam owed us money this year that I thought it really might happen. I even started a little light planning in my head for a day at the St. Louis Zoo (a MUST), a day at the local water park, and a gathering of friends and family on my dad’s birthday. What better way to get to see everyone without spreading ourselves so thin that we run out of time to see the sites?!
Reality started to hit. Once upon a time, I would have whipped out credit cards for gas, food, and entertainment to make such a trip happen. We don’t play that game anymore! Fifty points to the Karner house! Also in the past, we would put off home improvements to afford trips “home” instead. This time, we decided it was finally time to get rid of the nasty carpet (instead of the nasty dogs) and put new flooring down with part of that tax return. There would still be enough for a road trip. Or so we thought. We got a little sloppy with the budget, too. Strict meal planning and bargain grocery shopping went by the wayside. Too much dining out happened. Then the biggest whammy … the other knock sensor began to fail in my car creating roughly an $800 dent in the bank account (twice the round-trip cost for gas alone, not counting in-town driving).
There was still enough to make the trip happen, especially if we pushed through and made the trip there and back without stopping overnight and paying about another $100 each way for a hotel, and if we mooched off of friends and family as much as possible, foregoing a few favorite restaurants while there. So I continued to put off a final decision while going back and forth in my mind … we can do it … we shouldn’t do it … we might be able to … we really shouldn’t …
The “shouldn’t” turned into “can’t” when the responsible side of me finally stepped up and said, “Look, dumbass! You can’t do this!” My willy-nilly side was trying to put some pretty big wants in front of needs. We have a dog in need of dental work – and I don’t mean just a cleaning; I mean extractions to avoid infection and end some pain. Do you know how horrible I’d feel if I used money that could have been used for that to go on an unnecessary trip and the dog ended up with a bad infection? And I say “unnecessary” because everyone in St. Louis knows where we live and are ALWAYS welcome to come see us! No guilt or pressure … just sayin’ … That highway runs both ways. Plus, when people come to see us, they get to spend more time with us. No waiting to see when we can fit you in!
There were a few more reasons, but I’ll end on that note. Our doors are always open to friends and family. We may have a full house with no fancy-schmancy guest room to spare, but we have two spacious rooms (living room and family room) where air mattresses can be set up. I think we even have a couple small tents should anyone want a little extra privacy while sleeping! I’m not kidding!
So it’s yet another staycation for us. We can’t complain about that, though. We live in COLORADO!!!