The cost of taking a vacation this year just wasn't in our budget with trying to get the house finished by late fall. Of course the kids don't understand priorities and when on school vacation they just want to have lots of fun. Winters here are brutal and we are cooped up for months with usually game night and movie night but not much for fun trips so when summer comes we like to plan several fun trips for the kids but this year we decided it would have to be simple & cheap. So I packed a picnic, grabbed my camera, put $20 in the gas tank and off we went to celebrate the 4th of July. We payed some respect to our fallen troops and had a nice picnic and then we spent the rest of the day exploring and treasure hunting doing a lot of geocaching. The kids had a blast~! While looking for a geocach we came across The Blacksmith Museum and decided to stop and check it out. The cost was by donations with a steel drop box inside. Which I thought that was wonderful because that way everyone no matter what their financial situation could enjoy the museum. We all signed the book and the kids started exploring the museum.It was educational for them to because I had to explain what the tools were for and how they used them and they were able to handle all the tools and make pretend they were blacksmith's. These pictures were of the Blacksmith Bellows and they had it set up so when you cranked the Bellow the air would blow colored tinsel to imitate fire and that the air would make the fire grow larger and hotter. The kids really liked trying this out. One would crank the Bellow while another put their face over the air shaft to feel the air rush up. They did this several times laughing at each others faces they made. This was just one of many tools that were at the Museum. We spent about an hour exploring all the tools in the Museum and the whole times the kids pretended they were working as Blacksmith's in the shop. It really was a good time for all of us. I didn't know how well the pictures would come out because there was no light in the building and it was kind of dark in there but they came out pretty good considering. Can you tell they had a good time lol They tried on hats and gloves and used all the tools before we left. Finally we decided it was time to finish looking for the hiding treasure so we left a $10 donation in the drop box and off we went to explore some more. On the last treasure hunt we had a little mis-hap which made me laugh so hard I cried. Because we want it to be fair and give everyone a chance to find the geocach we take turns and go in pairs each sharing the handheld GPS . It was the last geocach hunt of the day and it was the youngest turn to try and find it and the two boys ran off to find it while us girls stayed at the car waiting to see if they could find it. Then they came running back with the geocach box in hand all excited and laughing really hard.
When I discovered what they were laughing about I also broke out in laughter. I guess what happened is they were racing to see who could get to the location first when the younger one ran straight threw a pile of poop slipping, fell and slide threw it. He was covered from knees down with the mess. Well I said your not getting in my car like that~!!! We ended up stripping his pants, socks and shoes off and tied them in a plastic bag and put them in the trunk to wash when we got home. I'm sure the go-byers on busy Rt 150 was wondering why this little fellow was stripping off his clothes on the side of the road lol (a few blew the horn and waved) and he road home in his little boxers. I think next time maybe we will take a change of clothes and some baby wipes just in case. When I asked how and where did the um poop came from they said some one had left a bunch of diapers just off the highway at the edge of the woods (grrrrrrrr that really annoys me) and they were running so fast they didn't see it in time for him to stop. He tried to stop and that's what made him slip and slide straight threw it~!!! Needless to say we laughed all the way home. The only thing that upset me was some individual was crude and rude enough to litter and leave such a mess. Maine is a beautiful state and we enjoy keeping it clean so when some idiot does this it really makes us mad. If you don't know much about geocaching the reason most people go is because it will take you to some of the most beautiful sites the state has to offer because most people hide them in their favorite spots. That's why you always want to take a camera. Geocachers also care about the environment and they hold what they call "CICO" which stands for Cash In Carry Out. When they have a CICO everyone takes a trash bag and ties it to their belt loop and they look for the geocach treasure on the way in and after they find it they clean any trash they see on the ground on the way out. (Thank You fellow geocachers) The total cost of our staycation was $30 total. I donated $10 for the Museum and I put $20 in for gas and we had as much fun as any vacation day that has cost us over $500. By saving on our staycation we will be able to do this 4 more times this summer and spend about $100 total. 5 day trips at $500 equals $2500 and 5 staycation cost us $100 saving us a grand total of $2400 and we will still have as much fun. I'm already planning our next staycation that we will be taking in two weeks. Total cost for it should be $25.-$35 stay tuned for staycation #2.