Frugal Hound hanging out with her houndy-friends
Frugal Hound hanging out with her houndy-friends

Today’s Woot & Grumble comes to you from the vacationing Frugalwoods! We’re in North Carolina this week celebrating Mr. FW’s younger sister’s high school graduation and visiting with his family. Frugal Hound, meanwhile, is relishing her time at our friends’ house out in the suburbs–complete with a huge fenced yard, other greyhounds to frolic with, lots of treats, and tons of different toys to sniff. Basically, it’s greyhound summer camp.

Traveling to visit family is wonderfully frugal–all we had to pay for were our plane tickets! Food and ground transportation is generously provided by Mr. FW’s family and Frugal Hound stays for free thanks to our cooperative greyhound baby-sitting agreement. I use the word “agreement” loosely–basically we just dog-sit when other people need us to and they return the favor. No money exchanges hands and the hounds are happy to hang out together.

Speaking of food (near and dear to my pregnant heart these days), I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that my mother-in-law is the most fantastic cook I’ve ever met in person and who wasn’t in the kitchen of a five-star restaurant.

I’m not exaggerating when I say she makes some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Every meal is a delicacy at my in-laws’ and she takes home cooking to new heights. Luckily she passed along her trade to Mr. FW, which accounts for his similarly delectable prowess in the kitchen. He’s already planning to teach Babywoods the family business.

Our free waterbottle at the airport
Our free waterbottle chilling at the airport

Spending time with family is one of those things that’s absolutely worth the expense–we’d never miss a gathering like this just to save money. There’d be no point in having money at all! That said, we of course frugalized every aspect of our trip—from using free Uber credits for our ride to the airport to bringing our own snacks and water for the plane to not checking any bags.

It’s shocking how ridiculously expensive those seemingly small aspects of a vacation can become. You can check out my calculations on how much these frugal travel actions save us here. Best to plan ahead, use creativity when packing your used threads, and avoid the siren call of the airport Cinnabon (I think Babywoods is trying to lure me into eating all the sugar on earth right now. Don’t worry, I’m staying strong… at least until the graduation cake arrives tomorrow).

Our preparation for this trip was of an equally frugal nature. I gave Mr. Frugalwoods a haircut, he gave me a haircut, we trimmed Frugal Hound claws (not wise to have long claws when heading off to romp with other hounds), I gave myself a manicure and pedicure, and–of course–we packed our second-hand duds.

While we’re here in NC, we’ve been prepping for my sister-in-law’s graduation party, which promises to be quite the shindig. There’s pulled pork slow-roasting in the oven, homemade pimiento cheese on the prowl, handmade bon-bons chilling in the fridge, and myriad other southern delicacies floating about. Since we all know I’m a subpar cook, Mr. FW, his mother and brother (the three chefs) are heading up the culinary efforts while my father-in-law, sister-in-law, and I are in charge of general cleaning, organizing, and decorating. My specialities!

Being away from home for a few days is a refreshing reset for the brain and its been nice to break out of our regular routine (of course it doesn’t hurt that we’re not at work either… ). Setting aside time for relaxation isn’t a forte of mine–I tend to hop from project to project when I’m at home, leaving little opportunity for doing the proverbial “nothing.” I think part of that stems from how truncated my free time is courtesy of my full-time job, but I also think it has to do with my relentless desire for productivity. It’s prudent for me to take some time off from being me every once in awhile.

Me playing tourist at the airport


Unfortunately, I do bring you a Grumble in the truest sense this week. Mr. Frugalwoods was in a bike accident late last week. He’s fine, though still extremely sore. He was biking home from work (as he does every weekday of the year) when a car in the travel lane opened their passenger door into him as he biked past. Not good.

My mother-in-law making bon-bons
My mother-in-law making bon-bons

The thrust of the door battered and flung him into a parked car, which he bounced off of, thanks to his judicious use of a helmet every time he rides. Fortunately, the driver of the car didn’t try to flee and waited for the police to show up and file a report. Hence, we have their insurance information and they’ll hopefully cover the costs of a new helmet, a doctor’s visit, a prescription, and repairs to his bike. The doctor confirmed Mr. FW is free of concussion, broken bones, and kidney damage, but that he’s very, very bruised. I’ve actually never seen a bruise as bad as the one he’s sporting on his upper arm right now.

Traumatic as this incident was, we’re very fortunate it wasn’t far worse. The fact that he was able to walk away from the scene is incredible and I can’t tell you how thankful we are.

People have asked if he’ll continue biking to work everyday and the answer is, of course he will! In eight years of bike commuting, this is his first serious accident and, we don’t let fear dictate our lives. Plus, he’s probably just as safe biking as he would be driving–Boston drivers are notoriously wretched to other Boston drivers.

Finished bon-bons
Finished bon-bons

That being said, this certainly does make us reflect on the unexpected nature of life and the importance of finding a purpose and working towards it. Slogging through each day without a true destination doesn’t make for a fulfilling existence. And this accident further reinforces our desire to retire early and live our dreams now, as opposed to when we’re 65.

I honestly can’t imagine that anyone on their deathbed has ever wished they’d bought more stuff, owned a bigger house, gotten a newer car, or spent more money on frivolities. I bet they wish they’d pursued their passions and found a way to live the life they were meant to live.

How do you travel on the cheap? Have you ever been in a bike accident? What causes you to reflect on your mortality and future?

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  1. Sorry to hear about Mr FW’s bike accident! I’ve been in two, myself (both completely my fault!). As a kid I fell off my bike and broke my wrist, and back in grad school I fell off my bike and got an epic bruise (the dr called it a contusion) and needed to get ultrasounds to make sure it hadn’t created blood clots or something like that. But I still bike! And truth be told, the injuries I sustained from being rear-ended by a minivan while patiently waiting at a red light in our car are (present tense because they are still with me 4 years later) much worse than anything I’ve ever had happen on a bike. =/

    1. Glad you were OK after your bike accidents! And, I’m sorry to hear about your car-related injuries. Commuting truly does have its risks either way.

  2. I’m sorry to hear about the bike accident! I just started riding my bicycle for daily transportation and I’m definitely pretty fearful of getting into an altercation with a car – those things are big and fast! Hope he feels better.

    1. Thanks–he’s definitely doing better and on the upswing! That’s great that you’re biking! And, don’t fear it too much, in 8 years, this is his first accident. Helmets, lights, and following the rules of the road will ensure that you’re pretty safe.

  3. Nice hearing from you (though the accident part was not that nice, oww).
    Have a good time at the party 🙂

  4. Ouch, sounds like a much needed break for Mr. FW after the bike accident. I’m sure mom’s home cooking will help in the healing processes. 🙂 Congrats to sister-in-law on her graduation! We often barter rides too and from the airport and fly on off peak days for the cheapest airfares.

    1. I think this wonderful cooking is definitely aiding in his recovery ;). Flying off-peak is a great point too–absolutely a good way to reduce costs.

  5. Sorry to hear of the accident, but I’m glad he’s okay! I love that you said you won’t let fear dictate your lives. It drives me crazy when people act like they can avoid danger completely (okay, sometimes I think like this too). Of course we shouldn’t be wreckless but riding a bike is hardly that! Anyway, that perspective will take you far in parenting as well as frugality. Enjoy your weekend trip!

    1. I’m glad he’s OK too :)! And, agreed that it’s just not possible to avoid all dangers. We try and keep a level head about the things we can control and the things we can’t. I tend to be more of a worrier than Mr. FW, but it’s a good lesson for me to learn.

  6. My condolences to Mr. FW on his painful experience. Did they open the car door intending to hurt him? I hope not!

    How did you get your food and water thru the security checks? And how did Frugal dog fly? Did he have to go into a cage with the luggage? Isn’t it below freezing under there? (Do I sound too much like a worrier???)

    1. Thank you for your condolences! They didn’t open the car door intending to injure him–it was just an accident. In terms of getting through security, we take an empty water bottle and then fill it up at the drinking fountain after security. And, our snacks don’t contain liquid and there’s no restriction on taking food through airport security. As I mentioned, Frugal Hound stayed at our friends’ house in Boston–she doesn’t travel with us. So, rest assured, she’s happily frolicking with other greyhounds right now :).

  7. Glad Mr FW wasn’t more injured! That’s super scary. I was almost hit by two cars last weekend after biking to town, but fortunately shouting got their attention. ::shudder::

    We are totally with you on letting our sense of mortality drive our increased desire to retire early as soon as possible. Hope you have a wonderful time with family in the south and have a safe trip home!

    1. That’s scary you had to shout to get their attention–but I’m glad that it worked! Our sense of mortality is definitely a driving factor in our early retirement goal, morbid as it might sound… 🙂

  8. I’m so glad Mr. FW is okay! That’s awful. People really don’t pay attention when opening their car door, or they just…leave it open while parked on the side of a very busy road. Ack.

    I hope you enjoy your time in NC! I do the same when flying – I bring just a carry on, and I pack snacks and an empty water bottle if I know it’s going to be a while (I think I have that same bottle, too!).

    1. I’m so glad he’s OK too! We are having a great time in NC, thanks for the good wishes 🙂

  9. Yikes, glad he’s OK. I’m traveling internationally for work next week and we just saw my wife graduate yesterday (JD/PhD – culmination of a 7 year program).

    The bike thing is funny to me (obviously not the accident itself). I can’t believe someone would use that to justify not riding a bike. Although, after being in Philly yesterday, it’s amazing how dangerous bike riding is in that area compared to others. You have to be so much more aware and it’s really hard to see people on bicycles sometimes. Someone once said that if you’re on a bike, you should assume that no one can see you!

    1. This is very true and has been my life for four years. Philly is definitely a bit dangerous, you just have to assume every car is trying to run you over. However, my general experience has been, 95% of the people you encounter are nice and aware of you, its just the other 5% that are scary. Also, there are many people who ride bikes very dangerously (against traffic, without lights, and in between cars).

      I hope Mr. FW is feeling better.

      1. We’re fortunate that Cambridge and Boston are both very bike-friendly and bike-aware. There are quite a few bike commuters, which makes for much more informed and conscious drivers. And, Mr. FW definitely follows all traffic laws when biking. Fortunately, this accident seems to be an aberration… and hopefully the only one!

        Huge congrats to your wife, Chris! That’s wonderful!

        Good luck on your bike, Mike!

  10. Glad Mr. FW is ok, and wasn’t hurt more, especially glad that they didn’t take off and allowed him to get their insurance information.

    We travel frugally as well and much like you do. Especially if it’s just Mrs. FR and I we bring a carry on and whatever snack we want. Having the kiddos all with us makes it a bit more difficult, but in that case we’re usually driving which allows us to control the costs as well.

    1. Yeah, it was really nice that they didn’t flee the scene–it’s great to know that his bills will be covered. I imagine traveling with kids adds a whole new dimension to the experience. We were commenting to each other that this’ll be our easiest trip for quite some time now… ;).

  11. Glad he escaped with nothing more than bumps and bruises! I’ve been in a few bike related incidences ( I caused them myself, so they’re not really accidents), mostly involving me flying over the handlebars. I tried to bike to work in my current town and was nearly hit on every ride, so I decided to pause until I move to my new place. Easy 1.5 mile downhill bike ride there!

    For traveling, I’ve recently started getting into churning. I put my rent on my credit card which gets me an extra 2000 pts a month. At the end of my 18 month lease, I’ll have an extra 40k pts! Plus normal spending all goes on the card and gets paid off in full every month. I got a roundtrip flight to Ecuador for $250 using my miles!

    1. That’s great you have a short downhill ride to work–sounds pretty ideal :)!

      Travel hacking is great! The points value redemption rate for this trip wasn’t worth redeeming points for since the flights were so cheap, but, its definitely a boon for us on some trips. Hope your trip to Ecuador is/was fun!

  12. I am glad Mr. FW is alright. Three days ago I tripped over a sprinkler while gardening and bumped my head on the house. I am sporting a beautiful black eye. This caused me to reflect on my mortality as I iced a huge bump on my head.

    You never know what will happen. I am so grateful for each day. I enjoy my family and friends. Life is good…enjoyed one day at a time. Most important to me is living frugally and not worrying about money.

    1. Ouch–I’m sorry to hear about your black eye! Sounds painful! It really is wonderful to go through life without worrying about money. Frugality for the win :)!

  13. Sincerely sorry to hear of your accident and glad you’re are ok, already on the mend I’m sure. Stuff happens (I cleaned that up for you!), and as you both say, it’s always good to be as in control of your life as possible. Any number of things could have happened that would have caused you to have pay out of your own pocket for medical expenses, and, if you had to, you’d be able to. All because you handle your money well. Biking is big in Vermont, and was something new to me. I will confess that I had an incident myself….but it really turned out that she ran into my vehicle, as I was inching into a parking space along a road, and she was riding on the sidewalk….not allowed in Vermont. You have to be on the road. She was fine and just kept right on going, never falling off her bike, but I called my husband hysterical. He said she was wrong for being on the sidewalk, and I had witnesses who all said the same thing. Nothing came of it, but it made me very afraid to drive in downtown Burlington. I love that people bike a lot here, but many do not obey the traffic laws they are obligated to as well. Just a different viewpoint. Glad you are ok, and enjoy your vacation.

    1. Yeah, you’re not supposed to bike on the sidewalk in MA either–it’s definitely a safety issue. Mr. FW always bikes in the road and follows all traffic laws. It’s just too dangerous not too! Glad to hear all was well for you!

  14. Oh no! What a grumble! Glad Mr. FW is okay. My last biking accident was 3 days before starting at a new school for 5th grade. I went over my handle bars and landed face first into a pine tree. I got a concussion and the privilege to start my new school with a scratched up pine face. It was not cute.
    Interesting that people asked if he’d stop biking. If he’s been biking for 8 years. this was a 1 in 2000 event. Sounds like pretty good odds to me. Some people are just scared to live their lives.
    Enjoy the graduation cake!!

  15. I’m glad to hear that Mr FW is alright; what an awful thing to happen! I hope you have a good time away – those bon bons look good!

  16. I live pretty close to work but I don’t bike for that very reason. Mr. Budgets was in a biking accident as well a few years ago. People in my area don’t watch for bikers and then there’s the fact that I’m a girl and we don’t live in the safest area.

    1. You’ve definitely got to do what you’re comfortable with–biking isn’t for everyone! Sorry to hear your husband was in an accident!

  17. Gah! Sorry to hear about Mr. Frugalwoods’ bike accident! I have been trying to extend my bike commute beyond just the bike trail by biking on the roads a bit, too. Today, just as I was in the middle of the lane preparing to turn left, some jerk went into the opposite lane just to pass me on the left. Probably the closest I’ve ever come to an accident, and it would’ve been extra bad since I stupidly listen to my iPod and don’t wear a helmet. 😛 I’m always scared of the car door thing. If I’m riding by some cars, I probably have my eyes more on what’s going on inside the car than on the road in front of me!

    1. Norm! You HAVE to wear a helmet!!!! Please!!! Mr. FW is always scanning car doors too–this one was especially weird since the car was in the travel lane and the passenger unexpectedly opened their door right into him.

  18. Fines for dooring a cyclist in the province of Ontario, where I live, have just increased from $60 to $300 to $300 to $1,000. I am not sure if that will make drivers more aware of cyclists.

    What makes the bon bons blue? Will you be posting the recipe?

    1. That’s wonderful that there are steep fines in your area for dooring!

      The bon-bons were made blue just with blue food coloring :). The recipe isn’t one that’s written down, so I probably won’t be posting it, but I imagine there are similar versions out there.

  19. Glad Mr. FW is okay after his bike accident! That always scares me about biking, a lot of people just don’t pay attention to poor bikers! Those bon bons look absolutely amazing…sounds like your in for a lot of delicious eating opportunities on your vacation visiting family 🙂 Enjoy!

    1. I’m so glad he’s OK too!! There are so many bikers in Cambridge and Boston that most drivers are pretty conscious of them, so this was definitely an aberration. And yes, there were many delicious eating opportunities… probably too many ;).

  20. I’ve been involved in two hit and run bike accidents. Both times the driver clipped my rear tire. Each time I continued to ride (after healing up from my bruises of course). Thankfully my bike survived both times with only nominal damage. Keep on wearing that helmet though (and of course plenty of bright clothes and lights if applicable).

    1. Ugh, sorry to hear you’ve been in two hit and runs, but glad you’re ok! I’m so thankful that Mr. FW wears his helmet every single time he rides.

  21. Getting doored by a car is awful. This is why I always take full lane if needed around parked cars. In fact, some bike lanes are close to useless, because you have to be all the way at the left-hand lane marker to avoid the door zone of parked cars. Heal up quickly!

    1. So awful. The weird part is, this was from the passenger-side door of a car in the travel lane. Mr. FW is always scanning parked cars, but this person decided to try and hop out of their car in the middle of traffic. Bizarre.

  22. Ouch! Sorry to hear about the accident. Hopefully that bruise heals up quickly and he feels better soon! I always try to remember that accidents are exactly that – an unintentional mistake – so, if possible, it shouldn’t cause us to stop doing something we love just because of the possibility that it could happen again. Sounds like you guys have the same attitude – not surprisingly. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

    1. Those are my feeling exactly on accidents–thank you for articulating it perfectly! He’s definitely feeling better now and will hopefully be 100% soon 🙂

  23. So glad Mr. FW is okay after that gnarly crash!

    Your cheap travel hacks sound just like us. 🙂 We packed an extra bag full of snacks and sandwiches so we wouldn’t have to buy crappy expensive food while on the bus or plane. Not that we were slumming it since we were eating awesome leftovers to clean out our fridge before our long trip. Artichoke dip sandwich, roasted honey ham (from a whole ham) sandwiches with horseradish sauce, cream cheese and guava paste pastries. We tossed everything in the fridge between slices of bread and the end result was freaking amazing.

    1. Your travel food sounds delicious! It’s always better to pack from home–so much cheaper and tastier.

  24. I am very sad for Mr FW and very sad I read this. I bike every day like he does, and getting “doored” by a car is my absolute worst nightmare, because in the places where I view it having the highest odds of happening are the places where I typically reach my highest speeds (~25mph). Im glad that he didnt sustain any serious injuries.

    Hope all is well

    1. It’s pretty gnarly for sure. Fortunately, he wasn’t at top speed when it happened. And, we’re so thankful he wasn’t seriously injured! Best of luck to you in your daily biking.

  25. I told my dear hubby he better hope I don’t get a craving for Krispy Kreme, Zaxbys, Taco Casa, I need to stop Since we moved to Bean Town. I just don’t drive anymore because I just can’t even drive up here. I am so scared a pedestrian will just walk out in front of me or a bicyclist will run a red light. I see so many traffic violations I just don’t even want to risk it. I hope that he heals well and I hope this encourages y’all to look into life insurance, especially with a little one.

    I love traveling on the cheap. Enjoy your trip.

    1. Traveling on the cheap is definitely the best! Driving up here certainly took some getting used to for us, but once you get the hang of it, it’s not too bad–I promise :).

  26. I was out running this week and a parked car had just left their door open. And it was parked on a steep hill! I almost pushed it closed as I struggled on by. So dangerous and thoughtless. I’m glad Mr. FW is ok! Also, frugal travel is the best. I’m planning a trip to celebrate my freedom from debt (I’m officially debt free now!!) and it’s a camping road trip. Lots of homemade or store bought food, sleeping outside and car dance moves are ahead!

    1. Huge congrats to you on your debt freedom!!!! Your drive and determination to pay down your debt so quickly is absolutely inspiring! I love the idea of a camping road trip to celebrate–fun and frugal. Enjoy!

  27. When I lived just north of Boston, I was on my way to a church function on a normal, not very crowded two-lane road. I was riding with a friend, in the passenger seat, and we had just passed a runner. I took special note of her, since I was a runner at the time and I was judging whether or not she was Boston marathon material. We slowed for a light (waited forever) and she passed us back. The car ahead of us flung open their door, in what seemed to me a deliberate attempt to hurt the runner. She dodged and continued on. I took their license plate down (I did not have a cell phone) and called the police at our destination. I was appalled.

    But I agree with you. The Boston traffic is much more dangerous than biking!

    1. Ugh, what an awful thing! Fortunately, these folks didn’t intentionally mean to hit Mr. FW. Driving up here is certainly an experience!

  28. Oh my goodness!!! I am SO sorry for Mr. FW!!! That accident sounds awful!!! I am glad to hear that he is on the mend, though, and able to celebrate his sister’s graduation! Pulled pork and pimento cheese sound SO yummy!! I wish I was partying with you guys. Congrats to your sister-in-law and I hope you enjoy the family time!

    1. Many thanks! The food was truly divine…. probably tooooo divine (back to salads this week!)

  29. Goodness! I’m happy to hear Mr. Frugalwoods is okay. That had to be startling. It’s so nice your family has a place for you to stay when you visit. We are heading to see family this summer but are unable to stay with them due to my husband’s allergies. Shedding pets and smokers are not his friends. Needless to say, it won’t be a cheap trip. Enjoy your stay in North Carolina!

    1. Oh that’s too bad you can’t stay with family! I wouldn’t be able to handle smokers either, so I totally understand that.

  30. Glad to hear Mr. Frugalwoods is doing okay!

    My parents fear for my safety because I bike on the roads here in Atlanta. In my 1487 miles of biking I have not had an accident (knock on wood) but I’ve definitely had some close calls.

    As for cheap travel…. I am sitting on 62k United miles, 63k Southwest points, and 72k AA miles, all obtained from credit card churning (I paid about $40 in fees to manufacture the spend for those cards). I have $118 in Southwest vouchers, $18 obtained from booking the same flight at a lower price when the price dropped, and $100 from a voluntary concession from Southwest when we had to deplane and got delayed for four hours. I also have a $100 Southwest gift card that I got for free courtesy of my Amex Premier Rewards Gold card.

    I’ll be doing a post soon on my Korea and Japan trip (which was actually in April, but I’ve just gotten back into the blogging routine). I kept the expenses pretty low with miles and staying in capsule hotels (I really wish other countries such as the US had them).

    1. Nicely done on the rewards miles!! We learned that for this trip, the points value redemption rate wasn’t worth redeeming points for since the flights were so cheap, but, its definitely a boon for us on some trips. Hope your trip to Korea and Japan was fabulous!

  31. Ouch! Sorry to hear about the bike accident. I have had a few tumbles here and there… normally due to ice or rocks or some other obstacle, thankfully not from cars… However, I have a big fear of car doors… my friend had a door of a parked car opened right as he riding by and he slammed in to it and now has a nasty scar on his knee where the door cut open his knee… not something easily walked away from… He’s fine now, but it has left some fear in me.

    1. Car doors are pretty bad–those things are durable! Glad to hear your friend is OK and that your biking has been mostly accident-free!

  32. Very happy to hear that Mr. FW isn’t injured too badly, those types of accidents can end up with hospitalizations or even worse. Being in Seattle, bike commuting is much easier than other cities, but we still have to look out for parked cars and doors flying open. I just attended a defensive riding class, and one of the best advice I got was to ride at least 5 feet away from parked cars – even if that means you are in the middle of the right hand lane, you as a biker have every right to protect yourself and ride along with cars if it’s unsafe for you to move to the side. Hopefully he recovers quickly & gets some rest on your trip!

    1. That class sounds awesome! We’re really fortunate that Cambridge is also very bike-friendly and drivers are usually very cognizant of bikers since there are so many of them. This was such an odd accident because a moving car in the traffic lane opened their passenger door into him as he biked past. Definitely not the direction from which you’d expect a door!

  33. I know I’ve mentioned this before but if I am travelling and staying in one place for more than a few days I rent a vacation apartment instead of hotel. Having a kitchen and fridge saves hundreds of dollars as I don’t eat out at restaurants. You can still get local delicacies from grocery stores or markets to bring home.

    1. That’s a great strategy! We’ve been really happy with the AirBnB places we’ve stayed at with kitchens–saves so much money.

  34. FWs,

    Sorry to hear about Mr. FW. Glad he’s not seriously injured, though. I long ago decided to use the bus/walking combo for my transportation needs. Biking is probably just as safe, but there are too many drivers not looking out for bikers, especially down here in Florida.

    That conclusion lines up with exactly how I feel. I remember when I was featured on Today, the “financial expert” that was supposed to be the foil mentioned one of the biggest gripes about my early retirement/FI plan as something like how I could get by a bus tomorrow. And my response to that is “EXACTLY!” That’s exactly why I want to live my life how I want and achieve freedom so quickly. I couldn’t imagine any bigger regret than slogging away at the 9-5 until 65 only to then get hit by the proverbial bus. Yikes.

    Keep it up!

    Best regards.

  35. I’m glad Mr. FW is ok! That could have ended badly! You’re right about the things most people look back on at the end of their lives. It’s not money and material things, it’s time and experiences. I had a lot of situations in the military that reminded me how short life is and that a long life is a luxury and not a guarantee. That helps keep things in perspective for me.

    1. I agree with you–it’s time and experiences for sure! Material stuff doesn’t even come close. I imagine serving in the military must’ve given you an incredible perspective on this. Thank you for sharing!

  36. I travel on the cheap. My favorite thing is a car, my husband who drives, no stops except for gas and a road. No hotels, you can sleep in the car. We made it from Omaha to Washington DC in 28 hours. (don’t do this).
    I am a bicyclist and I have been in a bike wreck fairly recently. I was riding in a peleton (a group of bikers) and the woman in front of me stopped very abruptly and I hit her. Her bike was irreparably damaged, my bike came out great. But I had great big abrasions on my right hip and both knees and right shoulder. And my right elbow was in shreds. Tegaderm ( a clear plastic dressing) is great stuff. I patched myself up with the tegaderm on my elbow with a guaze and decided my legs weren’t bleeding too badly. So I got back on my bike and finished the twenty five mile training ride (we had been at mile 8). I washed myself up at the end at the local REI (they were horrified when I came in with blood streaming down my legs), rebandaged my elbow when I got home where I had access to better supplies. I should have gotten stitches but who has time for that. If I had gotten stitches that would have precluded me from the triathlon the next week.

    1. Oh wow–you are hardcore! That accident sounds pretty painful! I’m impressed you kept right on riding! Glad you’re ok and were able to do your triathlon (again, I’m impressed!).

  37. Yikes! So sorry to hear about the bike accident. My sister also recently suffered a fall from her bike – after colliding with another cyclist! “I’m a good advertisement for helmets,” she said. A good warning for me. I took my first bike ride of the season with no helmet. I will not take my second until I have one. Cheap travel for me means camping. Is that something you do? I promise that little Miss FW will love it : )

    1. I’m glad your sister is OK! How scary! And yes, I wholeheartedly agree with her–always wear a helmet :)! Camping is wonderful and we’re definitely looking forward to introducing Babywoods to it. We’re hoping to camp later this summer and I’m hoping my pregnant self will be OK on the ground–I think I’ll be fine, right ;)?

  38. So glad Mr. FW is ok despite soreness and bruising! Yeah for judicious helmet-wearing!
    Visiting family is great- enjoy the great company and wonderful food.

    My last bike accident was in elementary school- lol!

    1. Helmet-wearing is so important!! And, we certainly did enjoy the company and the vittles–very, very tasty :). Glad to hear you haven’t had a bike accident since then!

  39. Healing prayers for Mr. FW! 🙂 Thank God he’s okay! 🙂 I had a goofy bike accident once when I was a teenager. I came around a corner and my front wheel went into a storm grate . Right into it. I flew over the handlebars right next to a school bus stopped at a stop sign. Oh the peals of laughter from the lovely little children at this cartoonish sight they beheld. The embarrassment was way worse than the injuries. 😛

    1. Gotta watch out for those storm grates! Thankfully the city we live in has fully converted to bike-safe models. They’re bumpy, but not an actual hazard anymore.

    1. Thanks! I’ve actually contributed to this map, and it’s a great resource for folks trying to determine a bike-friendly route!

  40. Just wanted to chime in on the vacation aspect… I totally agree that spending time with loved ones never brings up a conflict with money for us. You never know what will happen today or tomorrow… Family is one thing that I would always prioritize over money. Also, you’re dead on when talking about expenditures for even the most minor trips. We usually spend some change when we travel out of the country, but a few years ago we visited my parents in Florida. We got to stay with them, borrow their car, and yet we still managed to spend a few grand between plane tickets, minor airport expenses, food in Florida, gas (for the car we borrowed), and other random things. It really is difficult not to spend money on a vacation, so I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    1. Yep, it’s pricey but worth it. And that’s the great thing about prioritizing our spending. Being so frugal normally, allows us to spend a bit more on vacations without stress. We’re all about spending on things that are meaningful.

  41. Glad to hear Mr. FW is okay -Thank goodness for helmets! Mr. FI getting in some kind of wreck on his bike involving a car is one of my biggest worries on the mornings he rides to work. I make him email me the moment he gets to work OR ELSE. 😉 Our city isn’t as big on biking as many others are, so there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes bike safety in our area. Most of the roads he rides on do not have bike lanes because many of our roads still lack them and he is often forced to go down residential streets in some cases to avoid the bigger/busier streets that have little room for bikes. I hope that people will continue to see him on his way to work and that Mr. FW has no more encounters with car doors!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Mrs. FW is similarly interested in a chat message every morning to make sure I got to work OK. 🙂

  42. What a relief that it was a relatively minor accident, and the driver stuck around!

    I hope you had a wonderful visit and enjoyed enough bon bons for you AND Baby Frugalwoods. 🙂

  43. So sorry to hear of the bike accident. That’s extremely scary. Hubs was in a bad bike accident when I was in college. He was in a bike lane in a busy intersection and a car just totally didn’t see him. He swerved to miss the car and went clear over the handlebars onto the pavement. He broke his nose and now sports a fake front tooth. The car didn’t stop though. He crushed his helmet, and I’m SO glad he always wore it. I never understand why people don’t wear helmets when they ride bikes.

    1. Oh man, that’s scary! I’m a religious helmet wearer. No sense in risking your brain. Plus it’s another opportunity for a high-viz color to help you stand out. My old one was brilliant white, but my new one is neon orange. It’s an old joke that you can tell the cyclists who have been hit by a car by the amount of reflective gear they wear. Probably true.

  44. Glad to hear Mr. Frugalwoods is okay, minus bruising. You’ll need to keep some Arnica pills (we get them in Germany (Arnica D12), but you can also find them online or at Whole Foods). It’s amazing- I have fallen off a horse, and hit/sliced my leg open on a trailer on the way down and had nasty swelling and bruising right away. I took Arnica and the next day barely had a bruise- the trick is to start taking the Arnica as soon as possible. It’s also sold as a cream/gel, but I’ve never tried that.

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