Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May's Simple Savings


Of course we were traveling again and spending but still we managed to keep the costs down and the enjoyment up.

How did we save this money and not negatively affect our retirement enjoyment?

Here is how we did it:

Reduced to clear food at the grocery store
Free ebooks (lots) for us to enjoy
Using a few earned free hotel rooms when we traveled
Marriott's Friends and Family discount rate for hotel rooms
A savings code worth $10 from Vitacost
Saving on insurance when we rented a car because we insure with USAA
A discount on yarn at the charity shop
The two Together railroad travel discount
Hours of searching to get a good airline discount
Eating meals from the supermarket and not a restaurant when living in the hotel
Taking advantage of the hotel's free breakfast even if you're not excited by the choices
A bargain haircut, or two ( including a free beard trim for Mike)
Using Gas Buddy to find cheaper gasoline
Taking advantage of our membership discount at our Whole Foods Co-Op
Using a sale, a coupon and Ebates when buying Mike new slippers
Getting a free 8 by 10 photo enlargement and a discount on 4 by 6 prints

Our five month average per month is $1210.66.

Your possibilities are different. Your savings will be different. But give it a try. It's like found money.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Catch Up Post

We have congratulated and celebrated with two graduates. How proud we are of them.

We have maxed out on junk food including Kentucky fried and Pizza Hut.

We found great yarn at a thrift store and also got some components of Christmas gifts at our Whole Foods Co-Op.

Today is coffee and conversation at Starbucks and shopping with a friend.

Tomorrow is a family picnic at my sister's.

Life is good.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Heading Stateside

Tuesday we will be leaving the boat at a marina to be blackened.

On Wednesday we will fly out of Manchester for the states.

We will be there for graduations, a family week on Conesus Lake, a trip to Prince Edward Island, and time with family.

We will return to the boat on July 13th.

I will still be blogging but probably not as often, although who knows.

Regular blogging will resume in mid July.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

National Memorial Arboretum

Last Friday we rented a car to go visit some friends and also to pick up some salvage groceries to restock our larder.

While we were out and about we decided to visit the National Memorial Arboretum which is nearby.

The Arboretum is 150 calm and serene acres that houses over 300 memorials, military and civilian, to various organizations,groups, and individuals.  All the memorials are located amidst a beautiful maturing woodland of over 30,000 trees of differing species.

The memorials are of differing scale but all we saw, and we barely scratched the surface, we found to be extremely thought provoking and quietly beautiful.

But if memorials are not your thing, it is a beautiful place for a walk and still well worth a visit.

Guided tours are available but we chose to explore on our own.  We did, however, enjoy the offerings of the Arboretum's small cafe.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

No Wonder I Am Tired

So here was my day:

A trip into Whitchurch to scope out charity shops.  I found quite a bit of yarn for 5pounds so I came home happy.  And, I was registering over 6000 steps by noon.

When I got back on the boat I cleaned out all my food storage areas, reorganized them and rewrote my list of what is where.

Then I moved on to three loads of laundry to wash and hang.

Maraschino cherries were next on the list. I now have a jar aging for my Manhattan's in a couple of months.

Then we did one lift bridge and six locks.

I have also done the meals and the dishes all day.

Total number of steps so far, 10,200.

All on two hours of sleep.

No wonder I am tired.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Antique Railroad Ride

While we were in Llengollen we enjoyed a ride on a steam engine driven train through the Llengollen countryside.

Here are some pictures of the gorgeous countryside we went through.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Pictures taken from the Aqueducts and along the Llangollen Canal

Here are some pictures taken from the Chirk Aqueduct

and the Pontzysyllte  Aqueduct.  Floating high above the trials and tribulations of the world below with only beauty left to be seen and appreciated.

And then the gorgeous scenery along the Llangollen including the starry white blooms of the wild garlic.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pictures From Normandy that Didn't Accompany the Post

My laptop was malfunctioning for awhile and wouldn't connect to the internet.  Therefore no pics for my recent blog posts.
Here are some pics  from Normandy that you missed out on if you want to see them now.

Friday, May 13, 2016

We Are In Llangollen

And boy was getting here worth the ride!

After we left Whitchurch we headed to Ellesmere where we did some laundry in a laundromat, checked out some charity shops, and had a latte and teacake in a local shop.

Afterwards we headed towards Llangollen.

But here it is the scenery that steals the show.

We went by Britain's largest peat bog. It was commercially "harvested" until the 1990's when it became governmentally protected. It is like looking out over an alien landscape of some sort.  But it is also now a wonderful refuge for wildlife.  Win. Win.

You then travel through the beautiful Shropshire Lake District near Ellesmere.  The area of nine lakes, or metres, will literally stun you with how picturesque it is.  Icy blue water surrounded by gorgeous forest.  Cole Mere and Blake Mere border the canal in all their scenic splendour. We hope to moore here on our return trip. Wish us luck.

We crossed the border between England and Wales while navigating the 696 foot long, one lane wide Chirk Canal. Built in 1801, it rises 70 feet above the River Curiog.

The aqueduct is followed immediately by the literally one boat wide, 459 yard long Chirk Tunnel.

Both were navigated successfully without meeting another boat in an awkward location, I am pleased to announce.

Then we had the joy of cruising through some more splendidly isolated rural countryside where only the language of cows or sheep disturbed the silence. Even the usual canal side pubs did not add their usual touch of civilization.  And all the time the comely Berwyn Mountains overlooked us.

Today we crossed the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and for all its 1000 feet it seemed like we were slowly floating above the world 120 feet below.  Built in 1805, it is supported by 19 curved arches that just add to the beauty it projects.

Once off the Aqueduct the canal travels along a narrow ridge of land overlooking the splendid Vale of Llangollen.  In many places it narrows to the width of one boat and the hillside you are clinging to twists and turns with such abandonment that a view of what is ahead is impossible.   I walked the canal path ahead of the boat in order to provide information about what was ahead and forestall any unwelcome meetings of the too up close and personal type between us and another boat.

The hillsides along the path are blanketed with wild garlic now beautifully in bloom with delicate white flowers.  I just had to pick some to flavor tonight's pasta.

A wonderful, wonderful day.

Monday, May 9, 2016

We've Got Wood

Yesterday we came upon a great amount of wood along the canal.  So our afternoon was set.

We cut and stacked on the roof all the wood the boat can hold.

Now it will cure and be ready for burning next winter.

It will not be enough for the entire winter but it's all we can stockpile for now.

A good day of work for all.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

For Our Cruise Shipmates

These pictures are mainly for our cruise companions since Google will only let us send a max of two pics at a time.  But for the rest of you, these are pics from Bilbao, Spain.