Archive for the ‘Date on a Dime’ Category
A fun, almost free sentimental date to help Grinches like me get over themselves & into the Christmas spirit, is a Christmas lights tour around the houses of those who REALLY buy in to the Christmas theme of things.
A Christmas date isn’t complete of course, without Christmas music… so I’m told. Step up Pandora. A veritable feast of Christmas tunes, absolutely free. If you have a smart phone, apologize to it, then go ahead & play Pandora’s Christmas Music station. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can still enjoy this festive tradition of auditory abuse on your local radio station.
As you are probably more than aware, we are in that season of giving thanks. Though there was an attempt to not “go with the flow”, and to come up with something that wasn’t completely season-dependent, the attempt fell short and we gave in to the overwhelming desire to join in with the thankful festivities. Besides, there’s nothing better to kindle that flame than to sit down together on a cold day with a cup of hot cocoa, and reminisce on all the things we’re thankful for. And as a bonus, we made our “Thankful List” a beautifully adorned one. We first went in search for the best leaves in the neighborhood and, since it was a little rainy, enjoyed a walking cuddle under our umbrella. Once our selection was made we started the process of flattening our leaves, placing them inside a large book and using a few extra as weight. Then commenced our sipping and thanking. When our list was complete… our leaves were not yet flat!! There would be no laminating tonight. =/ We laughed and figured that we’ll have to have another short date in the near future to add our adornments, and complete our beautiful creation.
Recently, with a scratching record sound effect, the idea struck my wife and I that there’s one day going to be a little one and her doey eyed look questioning what life was like just 11 years from the turn of the millennium. In a whirl of activity to try and push the other consequences of this idea aside, we decided to make a time capsule together, with a mix of things which we treasure and some information about things at this current time in history. (Now, should those beseeching eyes start looking our way, we can simply hand them a shovel & a treasure map, and teach them the valuable lesson of digging out their own answers.)
This Date on a Dime is a little unique. Since it’s fall, and we just got back from California, we definitely have the adventure bug. We thought it would be fun to give you some basic tips from our “expert campers”, The Parrs, and a few tricks we’ve learned along the way. Keep in mind, these are not hoity toity camping rules, these are for the few and the proud that would dare to venture out into the wildnerness with nothing more than a thin plastic lining separating them from bears, raccoons, hail, falling tree limbs and any other kind of disaster nature might throw your way.
Sounds pretty romantic if you ask me! Ok, Ok… honestly, I’m a little weird when it comes to “romance” cause as much as I love the snuggles and flowers, I also LOVE adventure. I don’t know what it is but there is something that just trips my trigger when I see our truck all loaded down with camping gear! Or when Cale get’s back from a weekend of camping with the guys (which he’s going on THIS weekend) and he’s all dirty and manly. I don’t know what it is but I like it!
So, here’s to roughin it together, snuggling up to a warm fire and reconnecting to nature and your mate even if that is out of fear from the sounds of creepy animals in the middle of the night!
STEP 1: Location:
Developed Tent Camping: $10-$25.00 a night depending on location and other amenities. The more primitive camp sites are the cheapest and less touristy. They usually do not have running water or showers but are typically toward the $10.00 per night range. Sites like KOA’s and other private camp grounds will charge you closer to $25.00 a night for showers, laundry, etc.
Dispersed Camping: If you are near a National Forest Land (not park) you can camp for FREE! This is very rugged camping since you basically are camping in the forest at your leisure. Unlike developed sites there are not designated camp sites, toilets or water. Simply put you walk into the forest and pick a place to stake your tent as long as it is a certain distance from the road, water source, and/or developed campground. Rules for this change per forest so make sure you check on your location specifics.
See what parks and campsites are near you by looking up your destination:
- National Forests & Campgrounds
- Oklahoma Camping & State Parks
- Top 10 Oklahoma State Parks
- Rand McNally Atlas - Find any National Forest/Park in green.
STEP 2: Shelter:
Tents: You can purchase great tents from anywhere between $35.00-$300. The cheaper ones are very basic but they are a great starter tent and allow you to find out what type of tent you want before you go a out and buy something really expensive. I’d also look for tents on Craig’s list or just borrow one from a friend if you are not an avid camper. A lot of local college student unions will allow you to rent camping equipment super cheap so check with your recreation center as another option instead of purchasing your own.
Hammocks: For comfort and minimal packing space a hammock is a great solution. Fold the sides over your body and you’ll be as snug as a cocoon. For only $10.00 a person you can find these at any local Wal-Mart or outdoor store. Just make sure you plan to camp around trees and that you bring plenty of warm clothes/blankets since you’ll be hanging free!
Go on, throw that pizza dough! Considering that neither one of us is an Italian pizza pro, our homemade dinner-in adventure was an entertaining release of creativity. Each having our own canvas of dough, we pulled out from the fridge/freezer anything we had that might make a tasty topping, and we were off! Though we searched for some romantic Italiano music for atmosphere, we settled for something we had on hand we both liked. Once our creations were in the oven we built our relationship through the age-old method of laboring side by side… with the added bonus that there would be no mess at the end of our night! And since many hands make light work, we had plenty of time to segue into a most important time of relationship building… communication! The topic: what is it that we would love to do? You see, we’ve recently started getting paid to save the world by bringing our recyclables to a hungry machine that, in return, spits out a receipt good for cash (it takes more time and effort than just dumping them in a big blue bin for someone else to deal with, but our efforts will soon pay off). So with all these pennies and dimes flowing in, we saw an opportunity to make a dream happen. We talked about stuff varying from going to a show (Les Miserables or Wicked), Disney World (for when kids inevitably arrive as a result from our date nights), and a Netflix subscription, to hang gliding, parasailing, and an Alaska adventure tour. We won’t spoil it by telling you what we decided our recycling paybacks would achieve for us… you’ll have to come up with your own. And before you know it, while you’re dreaming and scheming of fun times ahead, your yummy dinner will be ready for consumption. So dish it up and settle yourselves in for a cuddle and a movie (we picked one from that everlasting list of “I’ve always wanted to see that”).
Our date of choice this month covered several romantic points all in one evening:
1. Homemade pizza party
2. Those who clean together stay together
3. Saving the world
4. Connecting and Scheming/Dreaming
5. Romantic dinner in: eat, watch and be merry
Throughout history, wars have brought nations together to fight a common enemy.
We’re not condoning or condemning war here. But this month’s date on a dime brings that philosophy into the relationship.
Not just competing for the nicest house or car, or best behaved kids – but a competition which stimulates the creative juices & brings a couple together to work as one.
Introducing melon carving.
So we’re off!! Off on another great adventure of love, romance, nature and… COMPETITION! Hopefully you and the love of your life fit somewhere comfortably between “competitive” and “laid-back”… up for a little gaming action, but not so serious about winning that you can’t enjoy a small loss.
We decided to start off this date as a team, spurring each other on in the beautiful surrounds of early summer. A nice bike ride down the local trail inspired us on the beauty of life and gave us a time to unwind from a busy week. Not to be overlooked in this set of events, is the infamous “stop to smell the roses”. Or in our case, the California Poppies. There really is just something about breaking in the middle of a mission to stop and take in the bountiful beauty around us. We continued on to our special destination… a picnic table. Not only did this table provide a nice place to eat our packed lunch, but it provided our entertainment of choice: Checkers!
Bike ride = free
If you don’t own bikes and have nobody to borrow them from, a stroll along a trail or through a park should give you a similar experience.
Packed Lunch = $5
(Apples and cheese, nuts, PB&Js and plenty of water!)
Unless you’re a snowman, or an icicle dependent on frigid temperatures for survival, spring time is pretty much universally accepted as a sweet time of year, and a nice time for dating sweetly.
As the day was just beginning to retire, but the air was still warm & the sky not quite pink yet, I asked my lovely lady if she’d care to join me for a stroll around the neighborhood – to get landscaping ideas for when we eventually buy a house together. As the words tumble from my mouth, an immediate sense of team & intimacy was conjured. Beginners luck.
What could be better than sharing a starry night with the one you love? Or cuddling up in front of a cozy fire? Maybe the best is sipping some exotic beverage together? No… even better… Nothing can beat sorting through the mail and destroying the stuff containing personal info in order to keep it from meddling hands who like your identity better than their own. Priceless. Since they’re all good choices, we decided to pool them together to enjoy the night of a lifetime. Worlds collide, magic unfolds.
Meet Tim & Anna
Our latest guest blogging couple and dear friends are currently somewhere between Virginia and California (We’re not really sure when they will get to whichever one they are going to). They love to have fun and they love being in love…almost as much as we do. So we thought they would be the perfect pair to head up our ‘Love on a Dime’ series which deals with keeping the romance alive, when you don’t have much more than a couple of quarters and you’re on your last gallon of gas.
So, without further ado, we hope you enjoy them and their antics… Cheers and here’s to love!
What can a man do to woo his woman, and what can a woman spring on her man which says, “I know you’re busy & we’re broke, but I still love you & wanted to do something a little special just to break the routine of you breaking wind on the couch while I talk to my girlfriend on the phone.”
Here’s an option. Why not go back in time, to the awkwardness of teenage years & make yourself feel better that while you now may no longer have the highest source of disposable income as teens are claimed to have, you at least have grown out of your gangly walk, don’t have to laugh at everything the other person says or worry that your pants will become an instant tent if she touches you, and you can both see one another’s complexion without a layer of zits blocking the view.
A teen date not only refreshes the zing in a relationship, but also helps you see how far you’ve developed in the years you’ve been together.