Jul 30th, 2012 by Jennifer Lynn
Thursday evening, M. and I spontaneously decided we wanted to celebrate our daughter’s first birthday while camping by the ocean. We compiled a rough budget, and by four-thirty a.m. on Saturday morning, our rusty-orange Caliber was stuffed with gear and we were cruising five hundred miles to Cape Ann, Massachusetts.
Our Anticipated Budget For Our Road Trip: $960.00
Starting Mileage: 37,224
Ending Mileage: 38,300
Total Distance Traveled: 1,076 miles
Day 1 -
Saturday, July 21, 2012.
The first day consisted mainly of driving for over ten hours and then staking a claim to our land upon arrival, followed by camp set-up.
Lexi and I in our humble dwelling for the week
Final Cost : $49.32 gas / $2.65 large coffee / $16.65 tolls / $128.00 Cape Ann camping, four days = $196.57
Day 2 -
Sunday, July 22, 2012.
We drove to Good Harbor beach during the morning, and then visited Wingaersheek Beach for some evening clamming during low tide. Lexi was delighted to watch Papa sift through and dig wayyy down into the sand with his bare hands, to harvest some fresh Atlantic clams.
Final Cost: $6.99 brandy / $33.43 groceries / $7.00 ice & tent stakes = $47.42
Day 3 -
Monday, July 23, 2012.
We explored the Cape Ann and Ipswich area further, and browsed some antique shops in Essex. For dinner, we stopped by the docks and bought four live lobsters straight off the boat, and brought the wriggling, thrashing beasts back to camp for a scrumptious lobster feast over our campfire.
Our campfire lobster feast.
Lexi has the claws duke it out.
Final Cost: $20 four fresh lobster, straight off the boat / $47.50 beer, ice, lemon & asparagus, salad, and other groceries = $67.50
Day 4 -
Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Lexi’s first birthday!
It was my butter bean’s first birthday and we spent the afternoon swishing through the streets of Salem and visiting the haunting, eerie sites from the witch trial hysteria of 1692.
(I was less than bewitched, however, to discover a Salem parking ticket tacked to the windshield.)
Then it was off to the Cape Ann harbor for a festive dinner at the Gloucester House. I ordered some steamers and succulent seafood ravioli, and M. and I polished the birthday celebration off with a slice of triple-layer chocolate cake, with one unlit peppermint candle plopped among the buttery ripples.
We sang happy birthday to Lexi (who was absolutely tickled to be up past her bedtime) and, while she was absorbed with cooing and waving at the waitresses, Mommy slyly wolfed down the delectable chocolate treat.
Happy first birthday, Lexi!
Final Cost: $64 camp reservations, two more nights / $2 ice / $44.21 gas / $16 Salem Dungeon entrance fee / $12 Salem Witch Museum entrance fee / $22 Urban Oasis for lunch / $15 parking ticket in Salem / $100.00 dinner at the Gloucester House in Cape Ann = $275.21
Day 5 -
Wednesday, July 25, 2012.
Wednesday morning was gorgeous so we returned to Wingaersheek Beach during low-tide so Lexi could wade into the water and scout for sea shells and sand dollars. My precious girl was soo captivated by the beach and got a kick out of observing other children splashing around and playing in the ocean.
Spotted: clams, crabs, loads of fish, and sand dollars.
Final Cost: $18.00 ice, water, propane & other groceries / $10.00 Wingaersheek beach parking pass / $11.81 beer / $4.00 ice & a Snickers ice cream bar / $20.00 groceries = $63.81
Thursday, July 26, 2012.
Stick figure built to ward against any lingering bad mojo from Salem. Seconds later, Lexi decapitated the poor chap.
The Cape Ann weather forecast was ominously warning about possible severe storms and hail, so we decided to break camp a day early and head to Boston before returning home.
We had a comical incident where I was gnawed on by a tick and consequently burned, and then it was off to the Boston Aquarium for the morning. We left Boston right before rush-hour traffic started to jam up the highways, and were homeward-bound by 3 p.m.
Final Cost: $35.00 Boston parking garage / $45.90 Boston Aquarium Admission / $35.46 gas / $3.80 Boston toll / $4.00 Massachusetts Pike toll / $40.54 lunch @ Applebee’s / $5 two coffees / $11.95 toll = $181.65
The original pre-planned budget was roughly $960.00.
Unexpected Expenses: $15.00 Parking ticket in Salem, Massachusetts
Cape Ann & Boston, Final Vacation Cost: $832.16
Now that our vacation is over, it’s back to the writing hole, so expect regular updates once again.