Being unemployed has made us look even harder at how we do things around here and one place that has been lacking has been our family outing time. In the past, it always involved some cost to us as we enjoyed movies, or shopping or eating out together and that was our first pick for family night. When things got hard, we just stopped doing anything and that really isn't the answer. Why I couldn't just become more frugal in this one area probably boils down to the fact that it would require more work on my part. So can I call it sheer laziness?
This past week my husband mentioned it would be nice to do something after church as a family. I knew this was my opportunity to plan something and make it happen, but once again I was thinking about how I would have to work at it to make it free, which is the only affordable there is these days. I admit I did try to weasel out again by mentioning that gas was going up, but I was quickly trumped by the fact that there was plenty to do right near our house. So I started thinking about it.
After getting a "yes" vote on a hike, we picked Mt Pisgah as our outing. We decided to go Sunday afternoon, after church and a quick lunch at home(leftovers). We packed a backpack with a snack(apples in the apple bin) and water bottles(filled at home) and took off. The drive was quiet and beautiful and we arrived eager to start our ascent to an elevation of over 5,500 ft. We reached our destination an hour later having talked and laughed all the way to the top. We took pictures,
ate our snack and rested for a while and then scurried back down the hill for a pretty drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are several tunnels on that part of the parkway and we were forced to play a favorite family game...roll down all the windows and scream at the top of your lungs as you go through the tunnel. My youngest son has the highest pitch, longest lasting scream in the family and wins for giggles. I made a ringtone(free) out of my husband's scream, which will now send us all into fits of laughter when we get a phone call for months to come.
I figure this outing cost all of $3 in gas...maybe...and gave us a lifetime of memories. Not a bad investment in this economy.