Tag Archives: Wplongform

Frugoal Night Out: A Quiet Dinner And Quite A Show

Date night on a budget…ugh, what is it about the word “budget” that takes all of the romance, whimsy and fun out of life?  Well, in order for P and I to get out of that pesky debt we have buried ourselves in, we have to now incorporate a budget into everything now, even a night out on the town.  Gone are the days when our dates revolved around being flirty and frisky. Now our dates have to center around another F word… fiscal.  Being a grown up really sucks sometimes.

Before I begin telling you about our night in the big city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, I must preface by saying that P and I were given two “gifts of thrift” by ways of a $40.00 gift card to Angelo’s Ristorante (a quaint Italian joint) and P also acquired two free tickets through his work to Lake City Playhouse’s production of Into The Woods.  We already had a huge head start to this classy night on the town being well within budget.

Angelo’s was up first.  Small, intimate and music from The Godfather enveloping the restaurant, the atmosphere was set for a nice evening, and Angelo, well he gave us an offer we couldn’t refuse (first of many bad jokes folks).  Angelo’s has a deal where $55.00 can buy you dinner for two and a bottle of wine.  Yes please!  P and I decided to go this route, though it must be mentioned that deal comes with a more limited menu, but still plenty to choose from.  I ordered the spaghetti al pesto (best pesto I have ever had), and P ordered the penne al positano (which considering he had the meat sweats going, was also very yum).  The bottle of wine, well not sure which one we went with, but it was red and gone by the time we left the restaurant.  If you are interested in taking your date out and getting in on this deal visit http://www.angelosristorante.net

Now happily fed, we headed outside and into the woods.

Lake City Playhouse.  Small, intimate and the chatter of the audience enveloping the room, this little playhouse that could, would and did was the perfect atmosphere for a great show.  The set was very impressive and very…Steampunk?  Steampunk and Sondheim?  Odd combination at first, but twenty minutes into the show, it worked.  This won’t be a typical review.  I hate reviews.  I get why they exist because a good one will get people in seats but most reviews consist of a synopsis which then goes into the good, the bad, the spectacular and the ugly of the production, I just want this review to get you to go Into The Woods.  I hate having any preconceived ideas about a play before I even sit my derriere in my seat.  Since most of my readers are from the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area, and most of these aforementioned readers have the opportunity to see this show…my review is this…GO!  GO NOW! Well, you need to go during an actual showtime and get tickets, but then GO!  The amount of talent in my hometown is amazing.  Each performer (with the exception of one who I will write about later) sells their songs and owns that stage!  If you don’t live in the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area, saddle up and ride to your local playhouse and giddy up for a great time!  Live theatre is magical and romantic.  A single space that the actors and the audience share for just one night and just one show.  The actors are feeding the audience, and the audience is feeding the actors right on back.  Okay, I will get off my soapbox now and just give you a small taste, an amuse-bouche if you will, of Lake City Playhouse’s Into The Woods:

  • The Baker (played by Andrew Ware Lewis) and Baker’s Wife (played by Emily Cleveland) know how to bake and bake they do.  However, The Baker and his bride, can’t seem to make a little Baker Junior.  Enter:  The Witch (portrayed by Abbey Crawford).  The Witch insinuates it could be The Baker who can’t seem to get a bun in his Wife’s oven. Or does the issue lie with the Baker’s Wife, perhaps being unable to get pregnant due to too many “yeast” infections?
  • The Witch and Rapunzel (Christine Mullaly).  What does one say about their storyline? Sweet, endearing, co-dependent, heartbreaking and very reminiscent of Big Edie and Little Edie in Grey Gardens.  Their mother/daughter dynamic was a highlight.
  • The direction, the set, the music, the costumes, the lighting…well…just GO and see the show already.

Though it is never good to conclude with a low note, I must get back to the one performer who was lackluster at best.  This unfortunate honor goes to that of “Milky-White” (played by The Cow).  He looks the part, I would have cast him too, but he was static and rigid.  Much props goes to the entire cast for carrying him on stage though (especially Brendan Brady who plays Jack).   All of you made “Milky-White” bearable to watch, and “Milky-White”, if you are reading this please know that it was not all a loss.  Your red eyes were hypnotic at times and in the middle of Act One, when you exited the stage backwards, it was impressive.  Anyone can appreciate a good “moo”n walk!

Into The Woods plays through June 29.

For tickets (have I mentioned yet to go see this show):

Call  (208) 667-1323 or hop online (oh you already are online, how convenient) and go to http://www.lakecityplayhouse.org

Also it should be mentioned (since this is a blog about trying to spend less money) you can volunteer and be an usher, work concessions, or house manage and see the show for FREE. Now that is a price that is within anyone’s budget!


Cabo Part Dos: The Conclusion

After hemming  and hawing about how to start part dos of this blog, two options arose:

  1. I just tell you to read “Cabo Part 1:   MexiCans vs. MexiCan’ts” or
  2. Start with a recap, much like a primetime drama would do when they have a two part episode.

Option 1 is a great read (so please go read it if you haven’t yet), but option 2 is also amazing and is as follows (in italics of course):

Previously on frugoal “Cabo Part 1:  MexiCans vs. MexiCant’s”:  The brother of our heroine (Steve) proposed to his love of 4 years (Kelsey)…destination:  Cabo.  The heroine (the chick who is writing this blog) and “P” her bitter half…errrr…I mean better half,  only have mere months to save up for this destination wedding.  They painstakingly save up for a one week stay at the all inclusive Hola Grand Faro Los Cabos Resort.  Fast forward: the wedding week has finally arrived, our heroine and P take flight and arrive at the resort.  The purple bracelet is bestowed upon them once they check in.  The bracelet that gets you all you can drink and eat and then drink some more.  The bracelet that only works at the resort, and loses power as soon as you leave the resort. However, the pure elation our heroine feels upon arrival and receiving the bracelet soon turns into despair.  Our heroine only took a certain amount of spending cash as it is an ALL INCLUSIVE resort, but “P” wants to do more, so much more.  Our heroine keeps reminding him that they are poor, so very poor.  

Will our heroine talk “P” out of spending cash they don’t have?  Will “P” get what he wants and buy a few T-shirts, some new shades, and a yacht?  

Now Cabo Part Dos:  The Conclusion:

May 7, 2013 (Day 2):  Yesterday we arrived at the resort,  took a dip into the infinity pool,  drank some great drinks and ate some amazeballs food at the buffet (the Albatros).  Life is good!  Woke up and the pool was calling my name…scratch that…the pool bar was SCREAMING my name!  I can definitely see us staying here all week and never leaving the resort which means we will be saving money.  Who knows, maybe we will return stateside with plenty of cash left over to use on things like, I don’t know, bills?!  P seems content for the time being, but oh no, around 3:00 p.m. he starts getting restless.  He talks about venturing out to see the city.  “Noooooooooooooooo”,  I scream, not out loud just inside my head…after all we were surrounded by my future sis-in-laws family that doesn’t know me that well yet.  I need to stick the crazy away for a little while.  I encourage P to keep drinking, he does, it weakens him.  He tires and goes to the room to take a nap.  Victory…for now.  I continue to drink, which then weakens me, I tire and go to the room (actually the wrong room at first, but eventually I figured it out) and join him in the nap taking.  Day 2 and only spending tip money.  We are doing so grea….zzzzzzz.

A few hours later a bang bang bang on the door.  We couldn’t hear him.  So he knocked a little louder.  Then a Bang Bang Bang on the door.  We still couldn’t hear him.  BANG BANG…alright enough of that, we hear it this time and it was Steve saying a cab was waiting and to see if we wanted to go into town (cha-ching) for dinner (cha-ching cha-ching).  P’s eyes lit up, mine…uhhh…did the opposite of light up (darked up?).  He wanted to go, I wanted to stay.  Damn you Steve, how can we say no to you when it is your wedding week?  We couldn’t say no, so we went.

It turned out to be a good night, which I will break down for you like a 1997 MasterCard commercial:

Cab ride to downtown San Jose Del Cabo (both ways for 14 people): Nothing (Kelsey’s parents paid which was super sweet)!

Dinner at a cute local place whose name I can’t remember:  $50.00 (that we chipped in towards the bill).

Encountering a cop who let a few of us in the group ride on his Segway:  Priceless.

May 8, 2013 (Day 3):  More of the same at the resort and having a great time.  Cheap day!

May 9, 2013 (Day 4):  A fishing trip has been talked about and then booked for Friday.  P is going, this girl is not.  Its $125.00 for each person, and being on a small boat for that much money just doesn’t sound appealing to this gal.  Our plan to go dune buggying stalled as soon as P found out he couldn’t do jumps.  I was not-so-secretly grinning.

Meet and greet at the resort’s  Sky Sports Bar.  Beautiful!  Got tipsy on champagne which normally not a fan of but tasted amazing there!  Night was followed by some karaoke at the lounge.  Great night filled with tons of fun and laughs!  No money woes!

May 10, 2013 (Day 5):  P is out to catch a fish, and I am out to drink like one…seriously went off the rails this vacation.  But that dang dirty monkey drink at the pool bar had me “oo ooh” ing and “aa aah”ing like one.

Rehearsal dinner and this gal is still feeling good about how little cash (besides tips the dinner and fishing trip for P) we have spent outside the resort.  The rehearsal dinner is a grand ol time and great food…again (the rehearsal dinner took place at the La Gondola Italian Restaurant), but then…the horror.    Vendors!  So many vendors outside the restaurant with pretty and shiny objects.  NOOOOOOOOOO!  There is a perfect necklace that goes with my eyes and my maxi dress!  P is now tipsy, the vendor places it around my neck and I am in love!  P buys it for me (that is how I know he was tipsy).  The vendor quotes us at around $100.00 for the necklace and a few other small things. We haggle the price down to $60.00.  More money spent but it introduced me to a new love…haggling (more on that later)!

May 11, 2013 (Day 6/Wedding Day!):  Steve and Kelsey are married!!!  I know that this is a blog about spending less and trying to live below my means but the wedding was so beautiful!  They had so many people make the trip to see them get married including us, and it was so worth every penny.  The nuptials were amazing, which led into cocktail hour, which led into the reception, which led into fireworks on the beach…pretty much like a real life Mariah Carey music video!  The best word to describe the day was that it was ethereal!

Sorry just had to get all girly for a minute, now back to money.

May 12, 2013 (Day 7):  Mother’s Day has arrived and Kelsey has arranged for a Mother’s Day brunch at the Las Olas Beachfront Restaurant.  Lovely, just lovely.  Then, well read on if you dare.

19 of us (“us” being the Steve and Kelsey wedding posse) booked a sunset cruise ($65.00 a person) which included going to a silver shop, flea market, tequila tasting and ending with the sunset cruise to see the arches.  All of us filled up two vans and headed to the silver shop.  I was so eager to become reacquainted with my new love…haggle, who we will call “Haggie” for short.  At the silver shop I found a cute silver pendant and asked how much.  The answer I received from the guy: $250.00 American dollars.  Oh hell no!  Me and Haggie are going to excuse ourselves and makeout somewhere else.  That somewhere else was looking to be the Flea Market down the road.  One problem…P wanted to come with us (third wheel alert)…ugggh.

So myself, Haggie…and P go down to the flea market.  One guy catches this girls attention with his proclamation of “I have the best junk in town”.  I like him, and Haggie likes him too.  This is our guy, he has a sense of humor and seems really into Haggie.  I find a magnet I like, P finds a shirt and sunglasses, and Haggie likes everything.  Our salesman quotes us at $60.00.  Haggie and I have a plan, we are only willing to pay $30.00 (after all our salesman is the one who said his stuff was “junk”).  We get our salesman to come down to $45.00.  Haggie and I are staying strong at $30.00.  I start to take the cash out of my wallet so I can let him see that I mean business, and this $30.00 is his if he just plays nice with Haggie and I.  He comes down to $35.00, Haggie and I stay strong at $30.00.  He says “No deal”, but in a way cool accent.  Haggie is done with him, and I shrug my shoulders and turn to walk away.  The salesman starts to get nervous, then stops me and says…well I don’t know what he would have said because ol third wheel P came in with “I have $5.00”.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Haggie and I were so close to sealing the deal.  Three people entered the flea market that day…Haggie, P and me.  Only two people left and those two people are $5.00 poorer than they should have been.

P.S. The sunset cruise was exquisite.

May 13, 2013 (Day 8/Leaving Cabo):  At the airport and P is hungry.  We are flying home with my folks and see that there is a sit down restaurant called Wings.  We decide to pay for lunch and my parents will pay for dinner, since we won’t be home for another 8 hours.  Our bill was a little under $90.00, but I look in my wallet and horror of horrors..not enough cash. Oh no, this can’t be.  We have to put lunch on the …credit card (see definition of “evil”).  We do, we do.  We get home safe and sound, but spend $86.00 more than we allotted for.

Ironically, I wrote the check out for the credit card bill today.  Yes, we spent more than we should have, which was a downer.  The upper was we have pictures and trinkets and memories to last forever and it was so worth it (where is one of those air sickness bags when you need one).

P and I did better on this trip to Mexico than we did on our last.  Small steps…baby steps.