A Week Off – Conquering Fear, Saving Money & Starting a New Year

August 14, 2022

Setting out on the Tree Trek Zip Line & Obstacle Course

I took the week off. I’ve had it planned for months since it was the week before Louie starts middle school. We wanted time together to prepare and for orientation and family time before the busy routine. I also have some changes at work, so it turned out to be a much needed break for me, as well. This is a travel weekend, but we are headed to a spot we’ve been to before and know–Orlando. We wanted to be someplace familiar while we get used to new routines, but not necessarily at our home base. We have one more stop after that, then home for appointments and projects before planning our Fall/Winter travels. A lot is hinging on my oldest son since he is finishing a training program and moving to a new city, so we will work around that so we can plan a visit. We also want to see what our new school year routine will look like.

FAMILY CORNER For about a month now, we have been working on locating a new RV. We love this one, but wanted just a little more space and a few more amenities. We found a great floor plan, but our local dealer’s model was in rough shape, so we checked one out in St. Augustine while we were here.  A 4-hour round trip tour, but they had one in great condition. We got pre-approval for a loan, but just couldn’t get a decent amount for our trade in, so weren’t able to make it a reality.  So, plans for a phase 2 renovation while at home base next month are underway!

TEACHER CORNER With a new version of our course rolling out, I will have 2 preps for a bit while my current students finish their course. Multiple preps isn’t an unusual thing for teachers these days, but there’s a few tricks I use to help keep my sanity and not get lost in bouncing back and forth. First, I block off time for each prep specifically for both grading and planning. This allows me to focus on that subject. It will depend on the course as to how much time you need to set aside, and it may adjust with each week, so be flexible. When I was in person teaching, I had separate bins for turn in, so I just clipped things together. I also found that color coding helped—color paper for graded work and lessons plans and color binder clips for work to grade—to keep things sorted. Online, it is naturally sorted by the classes they turn in, so that helps, but I also have a feature to sort by like assignments so I can grade all the same thing at one time. If you’ll need to make copies, simply print and place a label, then stack with that color paper in your ‘to be copied’ corner, then you only have to make one weekly trip to the copier but it’s ready to go!

TRAVEL CORNER We strategically planned our week to be in a favorite area of ours—the Space Coast. We have always loved day trips and weekend getaways, so two weeks in this area was a treat. Luckily, there was a campground in our Thousand Trails membership, Space Coast RV Resort in Rockledge. This has been a great location, nice and quiet, friendly people, and conveniently located. Lots of sidewalks and places for our daily walks and runs, and local restaurants and shops nearby. We visited a few local breweries in Cocoa Village, as well as a great gelato shop and a pizza and pasta shop right near the entrance. The highlight has been the “touristy” stuff we splurged on—Brevard Zoo, Kennedy Space Center, and the Warbird Museum.  The Zoo is one of the best we have been to, and courtesy of our Tampa Zoo membership, we were able to get in at half price.  By eating breakfast at home and packing snacks and a picnic lunch, what we saved on food paid for our entrance!  We were excited to see they also had a Treetop Trek zipline and obstacle course. Earlier this year, I decided to tackle some fears, one of which is of heights, so this was a bucket list item I wanted for my birthday. Louie decided he wanted to do it since I was, and we had a great time! Several dozen obstacles and zip lines were on the course, but once we completed the 80 foot tower about 1/3 through, it got easier.  We also splurged on Kennedy Space Center, but instead of cramming it all into one long day, we splurged on passes. BJ and I took advantage of their FREE educator pass with our teaching certificates, so we only had to purchase Louie’s annual pass. We spent 3 days doing two or three activities at a leisurely pace, then headed home—which the dogs really appreciated. What we spent on Louie’s annual pass was what we’d pay for all 3 one day admissions, and once again, we brought a picnic lunch and were able to save on food, which was how we were able to treat ourselves to the treetop trek!  We also spent a few hours enjoying the Warbird Museum, seeing restored aircraft and war memorabilia, and hearing great stories from volunteers and veterans. It may be small, but what they have on display is on par with the smaller Smithsonian Museums. We look forward to returning in March to see their Airshow.  With strategic planning and research, we were able to do all of these activities for under $400, and we made up for much of that by not dining out.

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at BarnesOnMove.com, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

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