Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you all had a happy (and hopefully relaxing) holiday weekend. Chris & I took our lot to the mountains for a little getaway in Frisco, Colorado. We had only been there once before when we stopped for breakfast on our way back from Beaver Creek two summers ago, and I made a mental note back then that we would have to come back and stay for longer. Plus, spending one of the final summer weekends in the mountains seemed like a good way to top off a summer of adventures.
Even though we only spent about two hours in Frisco the last time we were there, it was just as charming as I remembered, and exactly what I was looking for in our final summer getaway. Even though it was Labor Day weekend the town was fairly quiet, which was lovely, and there was plenty for the kids to do to keep busy. We stayed in an Airbnb that was walking distance to the marina and town center, which was perfect, and the hike that we went on and the overlook where we had a picnic afterwards were within 15 minutes of our spot, as well.
Before getting into the pictures which, let’s be honest, is why you’re all really here ;), I want to introduce a little something new to the blog. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to meld my two passions — travel and personal finance — here, and I want to try something out to see if it’s helpful. (In other words, this money tag just isn’t cutting it for me, anymore, although it was a valiant effort!) So without further ado, please welcome The Money Rundown, where I chronicle exactly what we spent on the big aspects of our trip. I’m hoping this recap of the financial side of our travels might help people realize one of two things:
- Seeing exactly how much a family of four spends on a particular trip will possibly help you determine whether or not something similar is feasible for your own family, or
- Seeing exactly how much a family of four spends on a particular trip will potentially give you a better idea of how much a trip like that — whether it’s international, to the beach, to a National Park, to a mountain, etc. — costs, and you’ll be better able to save up for some similar destination you’ve been eyeing.
This being an inaugural appearance for The Money Rundown, I’m open to suggestions on what else you’d like to know in terms of money and traveling, what I’ve missed and should include, or any other thoughts about this whole idea in general. In other words — drop me a comment — I’d love your opinion!
But for now, here’s what we spent on this particular trip:
The Money Rundown: Frisco, Colorado
- Accommodation: $709.69 for 3 nights in this 3 bed/2.5 bath townhouse in the heart of Frisco. (Note: The address is listed as Breckenridge, and the listing says it’s Breckenridge, but if you’re really looking for a Breckenridge place to stay for skiing purposes, I wouldn’t stay here. For Frisco, however, it’s perfect.)
- Food: $168.64 at Whole Foods for groceries and approximately $80 for dinner out on Saturday, including tip, drinks and food at the Foote’s Rest Eatery. To be honest, we probably could have saved some cash here, and we ended up bringing a ton of stuff back with us, but we didn’t want to forget anything and have to head back to the store. We loaded up on snacks and milk and stuff to make sandwiches and fruit and coffee and creamer … we basically did a weeks’ worth of shopping while on vacation for two full days.
- Transportation: Since we were so close, we walked everywhere we needed to when we wanted to do stuff right in town. To drive to and from Frisco and to and from our hikes, we probably spent about $40 on gas.
- Entertainment: N/A. Since our main source of entertainment on this trip was good ole’ nature, we really saved in this area.
We have been doing small trips to the mountains a couple of times a year since we moved to Denver, and I do recognize that even a three-day trip like this can really add up. We feel so lucky that we’re able to take these adventures with the girls. We’re able to balance our travel spending throughout the year since, luckily, our other main source of travel — back to New York, mostly, to see family — often comes with free accommodation, since we stay with friends and family while we’re there. Saving on other trips definitely helps when it comes to to splurging on trips like these at other times.
Anyway, back to it — this trip, while somewhat pricey, was worth it, in my mind, because the memories we are making … you know what’s coming … are priceless 😉
If you’re still with me after all that, here are 5,000 photos as a reward – bis bald, friends!
^^ Our Airbnb came with a one-car garage located in front of the townhouse, and then behind the garage was this wooden, tree-covered trail that was just a really nice touch. Plus the townhouse came with a pack and play (so nice that we only had to bring one!), a high chair, a running stroller and a bike attachment for kids. In other words, it was very family friendly!
^^ These girls sure do love exploring new places. And while I love that for them, it can be a bit difficult to travel with kids this little. Every uncovered plug, set of stairs and balcony gives me a fresh wave of anxiety — am I alone in that?! Where my travelin’ mamas at?!
^^ They approved!
^^ This was the view from the balcony outside of our living room. Not too bad! The bush highway could get a bit noisy at times, but really, the location was pretty amazing.
^^ There is an amazing little playground right next to the Marina parking lot, with swings and sand and slides and other fun, interesting play things. The girls could have stayed here all day … if we let them 😉
^^ You can rent canoes and paddle boards and kayaks to take out into the lake, as well. We didn’t, but it was fun to watch other people.
^^ We had lunch in the picnic/outdoor area of the Frisco History Park & Museum, which is worth checking out, even if you don’t go inside. There are old log cabins and statues and a gorgeous gazebo and other historic aspects of the town.
^^ Did we buy one of these on our way out to go with the one that’s already standing guard on our front porch? Why yes, yes we did 😉
On Sunday, Chris found two awesome spots for us to take in the views — the first was a short hike on the Old Dillon Reservoir Trail. At 1.7 miles and fairly flat (rocky, though), this trail was pretty easy for the payoff at the end, even considering the fact that I was carrying Grace in the Ergo and Chris had Lotte in the book bag. It really was one of the most gorgeous hikes we’ve been on, and I feel like that’s a lot to say, when it comes to Colorado hikes.
^^ This face about says it all — G was not thrilled to be back in the Ergo, and to be honest, I can’t remember the last time she was in it. I think we’re about getting to the point where we’re either going to have to get a second backpack for her for hikes (that I guess I will have to carry … yikes!), or we’ll have to just find some paved, stroller-friendly hikes for the next few foreseeable years. It’s all about finding what works, people.
^^ I meannnnn … holy big payoff for a short amount of energy expended! So few things in life are this easy, people — do this hike!
^^ Only got this cute photo through trickery and bribery. I am not above either, apparently.
The second place we stopped was for lunch at the Sapphire Point Overlook. This was a super short, very easy hike (although not great for any people with a fear of heights, since you’re fairly close to the side of the cliff the entire time), and it’s so gorgeous, there were two weddings taking place there that Sunday. The overlook where the weddings took place were beautiful, but if you keep walking a little bit past the first overlook, you’ll come up three or four picnic benches that are perfect for stopping for a rest and/or snack. In fact, a couple had just gotten engaged at that exact spot right before we arrived.
So basically, if you’re looking for a romantic spot, this is apparently the place to be 😉
^^ This was the perfect spot to plop down our blanket and have lunch. Lucky for us the girls eat pretty early — we were here pretty much at 11 to stop — because otherwise I’m sure all the tables would have been taken. It was a fairly popular area to be.
After the girls napped Sunday afternoon we headed back into the town of Frisco for our last night. We let the girls run around in the water again (it was much busier in the afternoon – when we were there in the morning on Saturday it was pretty much dead. It’s a good thing to keep in mind …) and we bought our moose to keep Frisco company. Then we headed back to “our mountain house,” as Lotte liked to call it, to cook up our frozen pizza, play some games, watch the sunset from our deck and call it a night.
And that was our trip in a nutshell, friends. We took it slow on Monday, just letting the girls run around while we packed up and made breakfast. Our check-out was 10 a.m. and we wanted to avoid any Labor Day traffic later in the day, so we were out the door a little after 9 and home by 11. It’s so nice being back a bit early — especially when you have to work the very next day. We are completely unpacked and the laundry is going as I type this, which always makes me feel good after a trip.
Anyway, bis bald friends — thanks for joining along on our adventure, and I hope you all had fun weekends, as well!