Monday, October 28, 2013

Mini Vacations

Years and years ago I got a bit lost driving home across town (whatever town I was living in at the time; we've moved a lot!). When I arrived at my destination, only a few minutes later than planned, I realized that I felt as though I had really traveled. It only takes a modicum of new sights for me to feel I've gone somewhere, and on that day our practice of ‘mini vacations’ was born.

Probably one of the things I love about garaging is the mini-vacation aspect. Nearly every weekend I drive down some street I've never been on before, and I certainly talk to people I've never met. And what do many of us do on vacation but shop for souvenirs? My souvenirs are frugal and bring back wonderful memories.

We’re heading into that time of year when the sales are dwindling. We managed to find three or four, and I picked up a pot that is a smaller version of one I got a few weeks ago
and a couple of Vera napkins. Any meal will be more cheerful when we use these babies!
But this only took us to about 10:15, so Judy said, “Hey, let me take you to my favorite thrift store.” Which turned out to be the one run by the local humane society; how could I say no to that? I admit to liking sales on driveways best, but this was a fun little thrift store. And since I’d never been there before I got that mini vacation feeling. We roamed around for over an hour. Some of us tried on hats.

Some of us bought that hat (and another) after bravely negotiating a 50% discount. She’s getting awfully good at bargaining!

My souvenirs from that mini vacation included something that may have been a souvenir from someone else’s travels. I can’t help wondering if this originally came from Colonial Williamsburg or some other historic site’s gift shop.
I've never embroidered with silk thread before, so this will be fun…and those motifs look like acorns to me! I also picked up these two round boxes made of thin, flexible wood for packaging Christmas gifts
but my favorite find was this single midcentury candle holder of dark wood. We hunted and hunted for a mate, but alas there was only one.
Possibly Danish. Possibly walnut. Possibly will be used as a classy stand for my little acorn thimble case.
On Saturday we had decided to go to an event with our dogs. Judy loaded her Buddy in the car with my Zoe and we started off. You won’t be surprised to know that we left way early and had a list of sales to stop by on the way! I found another item on my look-for list
and some pretty candles for a fall table.
All told I spent $6 this week. I told you mini vacations are frugal!

The event we were heading for was a lure coursing practice. Some of you are scratching your heads and looking quizzical. Lure coursing is a dog sport, usually practiced by sighthounds like borzoi and ridgebacks and whippets. There’s a club down in Albany, and for their practices any kind of dog can attend and try it out. Basically a line pulled by a motor is set up, a regular old plastic grocery bag is attached to the end as the lure, and the dogs take turns chasing it. Most dogs really love to run, and if they have much of a prey drive, chasing something really revs them up. We had no idea how Buddy and Zoe would do, but it sounded interesting.

It was about an hour drive; our destination was a beautiful farm in rolling hills. We were lucky that another participant arrived at the same time we did, because we couldn't see where things were set up from the road, and had to follow her across a field (not too muddy, thank heavens) and around a bend. There were about a dozen dogs in all; mostly various sighthound breeds, and a few herding dogs, and Buddy the Springer.

And Zoe.
 The only dog smaller than her was the Italian greyhound (and that little sucker could run!). In the midst of all those Afghans and borzoi and wolfhounds, Zoe looked like a little scrap of a dog. When it was our first turn, we grabbed the lure and walked way across the field, set it down, removed her leash. Then I flung up my hand to indicate ‘go’ and the bag started away – and so did she. She was totally jazzed when the bag stopped and she got to grab it and give it a good shake. Buddy did great too. You could tell they were having a ball.

All told, each dog ran three times. Watching those big hounds run full out was amazing. The ground literally shook at times. If you love dogs, keep an eye out for lure coursing in your area. You’ll get to stand around in a damp field, huddled into your sweater when the wind comes up, and cheer every dog as they run the way they were meant to.

We managed to get some video of our dogs. When I edited Zoe’s, I could hear that someone near Judy (who was filming) really got into my dog’s run and was yelling, “Go! Go go go go go!” And it wasn’t even me.


At the end of the afternoon we piled back into the Civic and headed across the field to the road. Both dogs went to sleep immediately, and Judy gave a big sigh.

“Now that,” she said, “was a mini vacation!”


  1. Thanks for sharing your mini vacation. I absolutely feel the same way about those kind of days, and needless to say, the same way about garage sales and thrift shops.

    1. I'll probably never be much of a traveler, but I do know how to mini-vacation!

  2. I particularly noticed you not only took pictures of the hat but it went home with you as well! I knitted a lot of hats like these and felted them. They all became gifts that people asked for! So much fun to make!

    1. Ooooh, Judy would be thrilled if we found a hand knitted felted hat! We've decided that hats are her signature.


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

Pin It button on image hover