Hey everyone! Happy Monday. This past weekend was nice and relaxing, but the weather was all over the place. It was 16 degrees on Thursday or Friday, and then on Sunday it was a warm 80 degrees. Makes no sense!
Here are some pictures from our trip to Gulf Shores.
For some reason, I thought I already did a recap on our trip, but I can’t find anything! We had a great time in Gulf Shores, but it was like a ghost town.
We stayed in a beach house, and there was not a single person staying in ANY of the houses around us. The restaurants were also completely empty.
For example, many of you said that we should go to The Hangout, and when we went there was literally only one other group there besides us, so that can show you how much of a ghost town it was.
It was nice though, and we knew we were visiting during the off-season. It was very calming and relaxing. We laid on the beach a few times but it was just a little too chilly to even think about getting in the water.
We took our dogs with us, and sadly this was our first road trip with our dogs. It went very well! We converted the back of our Jeep (took out the seats) into a full dog bed so I’m sure they couldn’t have been any happier. Just the life of a crazy dog-momma.
One bad thing that happened on the trip? I dropped my iPhone getting out of the car to go to the bathroom and completely shattered the screen. Boy was that an expensive bathroom break!
Rental house ($650) – We rented a beach house for 4 nights/5 days. The total for this including all taxes, cleaning, pet fees and so on was around $650. We could have saved money if we weren’t so close to the beach and we didn’t have dogs, but that’s not we wanted.
Gas ($200) – We thought we were going to spend a lot more on gas, according to my calculations. I must have way over estimated because somehow we managed to do much better! The Jeep usually gets around 15 to 18 miles per gallon, but a lot of the time we were able to get 22 or 23.
Food ($250) – On some days we splurged on food and other days we just bought groceries and cooked at the house.
We didn’t really buy anything else besides that! It was a fairly cheap vacation, and it was mainly a working vacation. It was just a nice little change in scenery 🙂
We are doing okay with spending. We spent around $500 on carpet for one room in our house (got a great deal because we kept holding out!). We are getting around $400 off so we are really happy with that.
We also spent around $500 on hiring someone to fix some leaks in our house and while they were here we just had to install some new faucets and sinks (all for that $500 price). Some of the valves for our water pipes were dripping like crazy. Yes, we could have just done it ourselves but we have had some pretty bad luck with trying to fix water problems ourselves so we did not want to risk it again.
Water + House = my nightmare pretty much.
The only thing that we really need to do now is to replace the garage door. I can’t wait until that’s done because our house will be PERFECT after that.
Self-employment is still going great. November has been a very busy month and I have added a few new clients so far this month already. Even though November has been busy, I still have had a lot of free time and it’s been really nice.
Since we plan on going on a two to three month trip, I do need to start figuring out a way to schedule some of my work ahead of time. I don’t want to eliminate any of my jobs, and I of course don’t want to risk the quality of my work. Luckily I can schedule a lot of my writing ahead of time so that will be a lifesaver.
If anyone needs any help, check out my Hire Me page and let me know what services you are interested in. Lately, a few other website owners have asked me to help run their website while they are gone for just a month or two, so this is a new service that I am also offering. If you are starting a new job, about to have a baby, want to do some long-term travel or something else, please let me know.
Posts from Making Sense of Cents:
- Where should we travel to? – We are still trying to decide where we should travel to. There are just so many choices! If you have any ideas or any tips, please head on over to this post and help me out.
- How to become a full-time freelancer – I’ve been freelancing for a full years and just recently left my day job to do this full-time.
- Our Wedding Plans – There are so many things to do!
- When Being Frugal Isn’t Enough – What would you need to do to if you needed to find an extra $500 in your budget?
My sister has been reading my weekly updates (oh hey Lexy!) and she thinks I have been too positive about my progress in my “being healthy” section. Haha and she is right. I have been doing so bad! I really need to buckle down and start focusing on working out more. And eating healthier…
I have actually done quite a lot of wedding planning in the past few weeks. I have looked into caterers, DJs, florists, and rental companies. I just need to finalize the agreements soon and sign the contracts.
Have you been doing well with your extra income, spending and being healthy?
Clarisse @MakeMoney Your Way says
Oh I really love looking at the white sand beach! I’m trying to get fit too, I exercise daily and trying to eat healthy foods. Last weekend we went to the church to volunteer for the repacking of the foods and other stuffs for the victims of Haiyan.
Yes, the beach was beautiful there!
My Money Design says
Great photos! Those scenes are basically how I picture my entire retirement – sun, gentle clouds, beach, walking the dog, etc.
Yes, same here 🙂
I would do about anything right now to experience some 80 degree weather.. Getting too cold here!
Haha well it was only for one day!
Matt Becker says
My mother in law lives in Orange Beach, which is right near where you guys were. My father in law is in Pensacola, so between the two of them I’ve spent a decent amount of time down there. It really is beautiful and it’s especially nice to go down there around there when it’s cold up here and still nice enough to enjoy some of the beaches.
That is awesome! We drove to Orange Beach just to drive around and it was pretty 🙂
I’ve been going to Gulf Shores since I was little and I absolutely LOVE it~ We usually stay on the Orange Beach side and my favorite place to eat is the Original Oyster House. I’m so jealous of your trip! We are hoping to head back there in May.
Thank you Holly!
Dee @ Color Me Frugal says
Congrats on doing so well on your business income! That is awesome! And about the working out- a very wise person once told me that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So if you can get yourself working out for three weeks it should become a habit and get easier after that!! This is personally true for me as well- if I get out of the habit of working out, in order to start doing it again I have to really force myself for a few weeks- but then it gets easier!
Thank you Dee!
Debt and the Girl says
Ah! I am so jealous. Those pics are so pretty. It looks like you had fun.
DC @ Young Adult Money says
Looks like a relaxing trip! I went to Corpus Christi with my wife, father-in-law, and brother-in-law a couple years ago (we met my sister-in-law who was at Fort Hood(? – some fort down there) and got a week off before going to Iraq). It was a ghost town as well! Not to the extent you experienced but it was surprising how “dead” it felt compared to what you’d imagine a beach town to be like.
John S @ Frugal Rules says
Our weather has been crazy as well. It was in the teens at the beginning of last week with snow and it was 70 yesterday – welcome to Fall in the Midwest! Looks like you had a great time in Gulf Shores.
Oh Midwest weather, why are you so confusing?
Connie @ Savvy With Saving says
Beautiful pictures! Would love to visit there. I’m so glad you’re making your dreams happen and traveling!
Thank you Connie!
Budet and the Beach says
Looks like a nice, relaxing trip! Glad the freelancing is going great!
FI Pilgrim says
Great looking vacation spot, kind of reminds me of the North Carolina beaches that my in-laws like to visit, especially after school starts and the beaches are empty!
Yes, it was so pretty!
Love that you are doing more traveling. Two to three months sounds like a great idea. The wifey and I are planning to do a lot more traveling come 2014 first trip is hopefully Europe with the kids. Having a schedule definitely helps.
Yes, I can’t wait! Europe sounds wonderful 🙂
Mo' Money Mo' Houses says
I’ve actually be doing pretty well for extra income. Nothing close to you but it’s exciting see the number grow each year!
That’s exactly how The Hangout was when we went at the end of August. I kinda liked just being able to walk right in and get great service! Sounds like you all had a great trip and so glad your doggies enjoyed it too!
Yes, it was nice that no one else was there, it was weird though!
Jason B says
Those are some great pictures. Looks like a very nice place.
I’m glad I’m not alone. Seriously, it scares me! Water can just do so much damage so I prefer to not have to deal with it.
Nice pictures! Your dogs are so cute. Sometimes I would rather vacation areas be deserted, as it’s more relaxing and quiet. A change of scenery is always rejuvenating, too. I don’t blame you for not wanting to play around with the water issues in the house, I wouldn’t want to either!
That’s funny that it was a ghost town for you also! So weird!
looks like a fun trip! your dogs are too cute. mine love car rides so they would love snoozing in the backseat on a roadtrip too. 🙂
Thank you Jackie!
I think I would enjoy taking an off season vacation. You’d still get to enjoy a beautiful place and not have to fight the crowds. I hate fighting the crowds!
I have been a little bit more healthy these past few weeks! I stocked up on some healthy snacks last time I went to Sams Club so now I am not reaching for a candy bar or cookie every time I get hungry. I do need to work on exercise more. And, surprisingly enough I have been eating less since I’ve been working at home. I really thought this would go the other way around.
Yes, I hate fighting the crowds also!
That’s similar to one of our problems as well. UGH!
Sounds like a great relaxing trip. Did the dogs like the beach? Dying to take ours, just don’t know how thy will respond! They love to play, but they are border collies and they are a bit skittish around loud noises so the waves may scare them!
One dog liked it and the other didn’t really care either way (she just likes to be outside 24/7).
Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says
If you don’t mind me asking, how did you find that vacation rental? I’d really like to do that next year after Labor Day as I love the beach but love it more when all the college students are gone. 🙂
We used VRBO! We emailed each house owner privately and asked if they would give us a discount, and almost ALL of them said yes to giving us extra days for free. 🙂
Thank you Anna!
Practical Cents says
Looks and sounds very peaceful in the Gulf Shores. That’s my kind of vacation. I just had some issues with my water heater and we discovered some pipes leaking as well. Plumbing is something we have no clue about either. I rather call a pro.
Yup, I’d rather call a professional instead of creating an even bigger mess.
Gorgeous pics, Michelle! Glad you had a good time 🙂
Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
I’m having a lot of trouble with the “being healthy” post marathon. Now that I don’t have this big goal ahead and it’s cold, I have so little motivation to get out and work out.
Yup, same here! I need to stop making excuses.
looks like you had a great getaway!!
How beautiful!! I’ve never heard of this place until you wrote about it. I have to visit-off season!
You should definitely go 🙂
I love visiting places in the off season. When we went to Italy, it was December. A bit cold, but nothing was crowded. Somehow, I’ve never been to Gulf Shores, even though it’s probably only 5 or 6 hours from where I grew up. Glad you enjoyed your trip.
Yes, I’m all about off season traveling as well. So much better!
Love gulf shores! Looks like it was a fun time. 🙂
It definitely was 🙂
KK @ Student Debt Survivor says
I’m a crazy dog mama too, so I totally “get it”. Looks like you guys had a blast. Sorry to hear about your phone 🙁
Sounds like so much fun and low key. Place we could visit when we don’t want to go somewhere outside of the US.
Yes, the exact place!
Where did you stay in Gulf shores for only 650? We had a 3night 4 day stay and we paid a little over 1000. We would like to go back and liked the house rental but if we can find one that costs less I’m sure hubby will be more impressed with my vacation rental planning. We did not stay directly on the beach with but just a street away. But it was memorial day weekend and the streets were
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner says
I honestly can’t remember since it was so many years ago. It was the off season, though, so prices were cheap.