This weekend we headed up to Nevada City, California for a wedding. Any chance I have to get out of Los Angeles is a bonus for me, as this place gets really tiresome after a while. It was so nice to get up to the Sierra Foothills for some clean air, good food, a slow pace and some good friends. We left on Thursday and just got back and while I am exhausted, I could not have asked for a better weekend. On top of the wonderful time we had, we also did not spend a ton of money, proving that it is possible to have a nice little vacation and not spend a ton.
Yep, the back of my melon…
First off, the place that we stayed was a little bed and breakfast with 12 (I think) cottages. One would think that this would be expensive, but outside of Los Angeles people do not charge you an arm and a leg for things. Our room was $99 per night, which included breakfast delivered to the room every morning. Since breakfast out would have cost us at least $15 every morning, having that included in the price of the room helped a lot.
Once we were done with breakfast, we headed outside for some hiking. (Free, of course!) It’s strange though, because down here in L.A. they charge you money to both park at and use some of the recreation areas, and up there they do not charge you anything. I guess it is another example of life outside L.A.. Either way, we were happy to spend the day outside, not spending any money, enjoying some quality time with nature. We found some great swimming holes where the water was so clear that you could see the bottom…another not-so-common sight in L.A..
When we came back to the cottage, we made some food for ourselves. When we made the reservation at the place, we made sure that we had a kitchenette so that we could save money on not eating out. So we had stopped at the store to buy some essentials, saving us a lot on dining costs. Eating out 3 times a day can be very expensive on vacation, so we wanted to minimize this expense. Besides we were getting a pre-wedding dinner for free and then the wedding day dinner for free, so eating in the rest of the time really was not all that bad.
It’s the knick-knacks that kill you. Although we loved the town and all the little mom and pop shops, the trinket stores were everywhere. Luckily my wife and I are not the kind of people that pick up little things everywhere we go, so this saves a lot of money too. We saw people carrying bags of stuff they had bought…stuff they probably would not have bought if they were shopping in their own neighborhood. Do you really need to buy crap when you are on vacation? Take a few pictures, go for a hike…that should be enough to remember your trip by.
Overall, I think we spent about $500 for a 4 day trip, including the hotel, gas for the Mini, and food. Of course, we did have to buy a wedding gift, but I don’t really consider that part of the expenses for the weekend as we would have done that even if it was right down the street. But $500 for a weekend getaway to a beautiful place like Nevada City is not bad at all.