Monday, November 24, 2008

Wasn't I Wearing a Tank Top Just the Other Day?

Well the sun is shining and the sky is blue but 33 degrees is a far cry from the tank top weather I left behind in Florida. We finally pulled into the driveway a few minutes before 11:00pm last night and so ends my two weeks of yoga training in Florida. I'm a little too addle brained and backed up on laundry to go into great details about how I kept costs down while I was there but I'll give a peek into my technique.

Perhaps the biggest bit of wisdom I have to share is this: Sometimes the hotel that costs a bit more is clearly the better choice.
How can this be my frugal friends? Let me explain. I opted to stay at the hotel the training was being held at. It cost about $20/night more than some other local choices, even with the groups discounted rate. However, because I didn't need to worry about getting to my training every day, I eliminated the need to rent a car ($44/day before all those screwy charges they add on) or take a bus ($3.00/day unlimited transfers).

This hotel also had a fairly complete kitchenette, including fridge, stovetop, microwave, pots, pans, plates, cups, utensils and a dishwasher. This allowed me to go grocery shopping when I got there and eliminated the need for eating out which is always a big savings.

Additionally, this hotel had a massive continental breakfast every morning with lots of choices that a creative veg or vegan guest could partake of. They even had dinner included Mondays thru Thursdays with free unlimited wine and beer. No, I didn't eat the meatloaf or pulled pork in the name of frugality and I didn't need to pour myself into bed after a few too many but I was able to make a hearty salad every night to have along with whatever I prepared in my room. Best of all, the coffee was free and fresh 24 hours a day!

They also had a courtesy shuttle bus that would take you anywhere within a 3 mile radius, including back to the Amtrak stop so we could start our journey home.

Another bit of wisdom comes courtesy of my husband and a woman I met on the train ride down: Before deciding you need to rent a car so your kids and hubby can see the sights, check out the local bus system. The SCAT bus system was friendly and super easy to navigate. Jim was able to visit:
Siesta Key Beach

Coquina Beach on Longboat Key

Mote Aquarium

I'll share more but now I've got to get back to being mom (that's code for doer of laundry, maker of dinner, payer of bills, and general organizer of daily life.)


Chile said...

Wow, the room amenities and hotel freebies sound like they were well the extra twenty bucks! When we used to have to stay in a hotel, we'd always try to find one with a microwave and fridge at the very least. Unfortunately, willingness to take one or two dogs was the higher priority, so we didn't always get our wish. (Although, I remember one trip where we cooked with our camp stove out on the room balcony. LOL)

Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize your family was going too--that is so nice! And I smiled to myself when you said you were going to grandparents live near there, and Siesta Key Beach was always one of my favorites to go to with the white sand! I hope you had some time off from training to enjoy the beach with your family :o)


Katie said...

Would you believe they allowed dogs as well? One of the girls in my training had her dog with her the whole two weeks.

I went alone for the first week and Jim joined me with the boys for my second week so I had the best of both worlds.

I did get to Siesta Key beach twice. It is unbelievably beautiful with all that fine white sand.