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I know I haven’t been posting regularly… I think I have a pretty good excuse. A few weeks ago, my husband came home from work on Friday night and told me that he was going to Prague the following Friday for some meetings. Prague! This same trip almost happened 6 months ago, but never solidified. This time, his airline ticket was already purchased.

Looking toward "New Town" from Charles Bridge

Looking toward “New Town” from Charles Bridge

I have about a 48 hour conversation/battle in my head about the trip. Should I go? Is it even a good idea if I go? I mean, I still can’t walk very far or very fast. By Monday morning, I was searching for airfare and had booked my ticket.

"Old Town" Square

“Old Town” Square

We were only there 5 full days and saw as much as we could. I managed to come down with a terrible cold half-way through the trip, so half of it is sort of a blur. But it was worth it.  Everywhere you look you see something old and beautiful. 015Have you been to the Prague?

Sincerely, Emily

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Revisiting F

This last week I was up in Wisconsin visiting my brother and his family. My travel timing was perfect and I met the first storm and deep-freeze temps of the season as it arrived in the area. 063I have not lived in snow for 16 years and when I watched the rain come down and the temperature drop as I waited for my mom’s plane to arrive I considered making a big sign for the back window of our rental car. Something like, “BACK OFF! I’m from Texas, and I haven’t driven in snow for 16 years!” Hoping that would explain my super slow (but safe) driving! ha

The driving really went well. The roads were slick, but I took things slow, and cautious. In fact one night when my mom, niece and I were coming back from a holiday party up at the cabin I had fun with some fishtailing on the side roads. We were all laughing pretty hard, especially after a nice fishtail where I overshot the driveway and bounced up and over the curb. The three of us couldn’t get into the house and to the bathrooms fast enough we were laughing so hard that there was a threat or two of wetting our pants. I know we will all remember that one.

062I do not miss the maintenance of winter and I do not miss that bone chilling freezing cold feeling when the temp is sitting at 0F before you even factor in the windchill (-27F.) But I am very happy; to have decorated a 14′ tree full of 5 generations worth of family ornaments, had wonderful friends over for lunch, had the opportunity to go to a few holiday parties and see many friends, have dinner with more family members up near the cabin and more!

I didn’t really have to spend any time outside. Watching the snow come down and leave a beautiful white blanket over everything was beautiful and normally I would have rushed out to shovel off the driveway and sidewalks (because it would have been fun to do – a novelty of sorts and that snow was really light and fluffy), but I knew I would get two shovels-worth done and I knew the novelty would wear off in 2 seconds when I was out of breath and huffing and puffing… so I “let” my brother do it. When I saw him get the blower out to do the driveway one day I realized that I could have done that (probably!)044

So revisiting F was kind of fun… freezing temps, family, friends, and falling snow.

Sincerely, Emily

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A few days ago, we focused our Sunday Photos on travel and getting away.

Elder in bloom

Elder in bloom

Recently we went to Erie, PA for a family reunion. The lush green was almost too much for the eyes after being used to seeing crispy brown and dry in our area. 067 The trip to Pennsylvania was very hard for me because it took a lot of my energy and the humidity drained the rest. I have had quite a large set back in my recovery. I am back to walking super slow and have a hard time breathing. I have once again stopped walking and talking at the same time and I have cancelled all of my physical therapy appointments for now. That trip did not re-charge me, it just seemed to drain my reserve. Our dockAnother trip to Minnesota and Wisconsin was a wonderful treat. Cooler and so much easier to breathe. I wasn’t able to do the things that I would normally do there (help my parents in the yard and gardens), and that was hard, but it was a nice break to get out of the heat. Over the past few months I have jokingly told my husband that I was looking for rental property in Northern Alaska because it would be a lot cooler there and a lot easier to me to get around and heal. Being up here in Minnesota and Wisconsin proved my point, I felt a lot better in the cooler temperatures….. I might have to go back and stay until it cools down in South Texas (I can dream.)

On the other end, there is always a price to pay when you are away. I came back to several plants that didn’t get watered well enough and are too dry and crispy to revive. I also know It will take quite a while to get re-adjusted back to the heat. Was the trip to MN & WI worth it? Yes!

I know at some point we would like to get more land and a few animals. I also know that taking a trip when you have those responsibilities is much harder. Right now, it is semi-manageable. It just takes planning to make sure someone will water and someone will take care of the cats.

Do you have to do a lot of planning so things are taken care of when you leave town?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

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It is nice to get away and be able to get a break from daily life every now and then. Whether it is a day trip or a full-on vacation, it helps refresh and re-energize yourself.

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I (Sincerely, Emily) used to travel a lot and I loved it. Now, I love to stay home. That doesn’t mean I don’t travel, I just love to be home and doing things around here. 146It has been a tough year and up until recently I haven’t been able to travel. A few weeks ago we went to a family Reunion near Erie, PA.It was more than I should have done, but it was a lot of fun.

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Have you been able to get away and re-energize?

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Traveling Cheaply

Mr Chiots and I just got back from week in New England and we had a great time. Mr Chiots and I are frugal people, so we try to save money when we travel. I grew up in a frugal traveling family, we spent our vacation traveling the country visiting National Parks and camping along the way. Naturally, Mr Chiots and I do this as well. We enjoy the simplicity of camping and have a great time doing it. We save a lot of money on hotels, although camping is much more expensive than it was when I was young. Some places we checked campsites were $50. Generally sticking to the state and national parks helps keep these costs down.

We also take a lot of our own food because we like to eat Real Food and that’s not often available when you’re traveling (although it’s much easier to find in New England than in our neck of the woods). Not to mention taking your own food can save you a lot of money on vacation and make sure you feel great the entire time. We enjoyed home canned tomato soup with cheese sandwiches and a lot of veggie or BLT sandwiches a long the way.


On this vacation we ate out a little more than normal because we found a lot of wonderful farm to table restaurants. We also enjoyed buying local veggies from little farms and chatting with the farmers about their climate and the local food scene. And we wanted to make sure we enjoyed a lot of fresh seafood since we were in the area for it!

Are you a frugal vacationer? How do you save money while traveling?

I can also be found at Chiot’s Run where I blog daily about gardening, cooking, local eating, beekeeping, and all kinds of stuff. You can also find me at Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-op, and you can follow me on Twitter.

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