Friday Gratitude: Frugal Travel with Friends (and The Jim Collins Lounge Lizard Tour!)

The best (and most unexpected) part of blogging is all of the great friends that we’ve made from interesting parts of the world. Some are fellow bloggers while others are just nice people I’ve run into at meetups or chatted with over email.

I recently mentioned that we’re going on a big trip to Maine, Vermont, NYC and Scotland. However, I didn’t mention that this trip mostly revolves around people. Instead of running around to see stuff, our priority this time will be hanging out with friends.

On our last trip, we spent time with the Physician on FIRE family and found that we enjoyed visiting with friends more than the site-seeing. And who am I kidding, I don’t like blowing money, so free room and board doesn’t hurt!


Frugal Travel with Frugal Friends

On this trip, we’ll be going to a bunch of places we’ve never been before including Maine, Vermont, New York City and Scotland.

In Maine, we’re visiting my friend who goes by A. Noonan Moose and blogs over at Frugal Fringe. Moose is a local friend from Colorado who spends his summers in the Northeast. Jim Collins, New Hampshire’s most famous resident, may also join us:

Bonus fact: Not many know that Jim was a Vegas lounge singer before his career as a professional blogger took off. He recently came out of retirement for a brief tour of the Northeastern seaboard that coincides with our travels. We plan to catch every performance during our time there:


Next up is Vermont where we’ll be spending time in the woods with the Frugalwoods. My children know that the Ben and Jerry’s factory is nearby and coincidentally, they have been asking this question every 3 seconds:

Dad, can we have some ice cream?

My reply is this:

If you can beat Frugal Hound in a foot/paw race, you may have ice cream every night for dinner for the rest of the year. Frugal Hound, you better not blow this one.


NYC will be a little different. It will be just the family, NY pizza, Shake Shack and the Charging Bull:

And don’t make me pick one! If we’re on the Staten Island Ferry and the family, a pizza and a shake all fall into the water and I can only rescue one…


I hope to meet some of you readers on Wednesday evening (8/2). We’ll be staying close to Columbus Circle in the Upper West Side and our hotel has a rooftop deck:


Finally, Mrs. 1500 and I go to Scotland where we’ll have Mad times with the Mad FIentist! That is, if Mrs. 1500 doesn’t fall into the ocean along with my shake. Then, it may just be me…

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38 Responses to Friday Gratitude: Frugal Travel with Friends (and The Jim Collins Lounge Lizard Tour!)

  1. We look forward to pictures of dinosaurs riding a frugalhound, dinosaurs taking on the brass bull, and dinosaurs peeking under kilts.

    Have a wonderful trip!

  2. What a trip! Hearing your story make me more “FIRE-ed” up 😉 Thank you for sharing!

    ps- Please tell me PoF introduced you to some tasty Michigan microbrews while you were in the area…
    Mrs. Adventure Rich recently posted…We Found Our House on CraigslistMy Profile

  3. Bahaha! I love this! Can’t wait to hear about all the frugal fun that will be had. 🙂 I can’t imagine winning a race against Frugalhound, so hopefully you’re in the clear there. 😉

  4. Jeff from Jersey says:

    August the 2nd…NYC – locked and loaded.
    Have a great time though New England and make sure the “Chairman of the Board” takes you for a Lobster roll or two while in NH/Maine. Visiting Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury won’t be a massive inconvenience. It is only a wee 10 miles from the Alchemist. I am sure you will plan accordingly. Enjoy.

  5. Mr. PIE says:

    Haha! A fun, warming read on an unseasonably cold day here in New England.

    When in my home country. Scotland, do as the they do. Fish and chips or haggis and chips. Aka fish or haggis supper, as they call it over there. And chips are fries. Confusing? Yes. That’s if you can understand the actual dialect. Its a little easier to understand over Edinburgh way but head to Glasgow or further north and you will be quickly perplexed….all good – especially conversation over a pint or a dram or two.

    Speaking of a dram, a visit to a distillery never hurts either. Unfortunately they don’t sell ice cream flavored varieties of whisky. If you are near Glasgow, Auchentoshan is a fine one. If you venture over to the stunning West Coast and the Isle of Skye or Islay, you will not go wrong with Talisker or Lagavulin. Two favorites of Mr. and Mrs. PIE.

    Safe travels and enjoy!
    Mr. PIE recently posted…Planning for Succcess: Drawdown versus Wealth Preservation in Early RetirementMy Profile

  6. Team CF says:

    Gosh, life is good eh? Have fun you guys!
    Team CF recently posted…Blog Traffic UpdateMy Profile

  7. Danny says:

    That photo of Jim and Sinatra….hahaha! Now I have Jim’s voice in my head singing My Way…

    Have a great time on your travels through the Northeast. As with Jeff from Jersey, I’m also in on the 2nd. Looking forward to meeting everyone who comes to the NYC meetup!

  8. Church says:


    How YOU Doin!!!

    Church recently posted…Money Challenge: Unlink Your Checking and SavingsMy Profile

    • Please translate.

      Now I fear communication problems with the locals…

      • Church says:

        “NYC” – translation: New York City, aka The Big Apple, Gotham, Metropolis, The City that Never Sleeps (Frank Sinatra)

        “How YOU Doin’! – translation: Hello, Sir, and good day to you. What fine weather we are having today and a great day for a stroll in the park, wouldn’t you agree?

        “Fuhgettaboutit!” – if you hear that, you don’t want to be sticking around to find out it’s meaning. Just turn and run…
        Church recently posted…Money Challenge: Unlink Your Checking and SavingsMy Profile

  9. Hope you have a good time. If you end up in Northern VT anytime during the trip, close to Jay Peak and Montgomery center, stop into the Phineas Swan B&B and say hi to my brother & sister in law.

    Great place to stay, especially during SKI season. Very Pet friendly for Mr Frugalhound

  10. Mrs PoP says:

    Ha! Sadly, our NYC trip will be about a month too late to overlap with you there. Hope you guys have a wonderful time! =)
    Mrs PoP recently posted…Happy Friday – Bunny Not MouseMy Profile

  11. MrWow says:

    Enjoy your trip! Can’t wait to hear all about it! And remember the shortbread in Edinburgh!!! Unfortunately, we’ll miss you guys in CO next week. But, if you end up with SoCal, be sure to hit us up, especially with the 919.

    It’s funny, with all the traveling we have done, the part we enjoy the most is meeting the people. We just sit in a coffee shop or bar and people watch and talk to folks that happen to be there. The sites are nice, but it’s really the people and the culture that make it interesting.

    • Oh yeah, I’ve already started planning for the 919 trip. I need to install some kind of luggage, cruise control and possibly a wind screen. It probably won’t happen until Spring of 2018, but it’s never to early to start dreaming.

      And I have the shortbread place bookmarked!

  12. Wow good to see you guys teaming up in real life. Great to see! -TW

  13. TinaP says:

    Sounds like a great trip! I think you have a safe bet on Frugal Hound as long as he gets to wear his hound horn for the head dip at the finish line.

    I just got back from my first visit to NYC and through many touristy sights, I would recommend to anyone to look up a little diner called Stardust. It’s on Broadway and 50th-ish area. The food isn’t great and it isn’t cheap (I paid about $25 including tip for coffee and a dry omelet) but the wait staff are all aspiring Broadway singer/actors and they take turns performing little show tunes while you eat throughout the diner. Many of them also interact with customers as it fits the song (think – a male singer wooing a female customer while singing “Sandy” from Grease) so it can be quite entertain The wonderful part of all this is you are witnessing these kids (ok, adults, but “kids” still) going after their dreams – it is really seeing them live out the beginning of “I’m going to move to New York and be famous.”

  14. Divnomics says:

    Sounds like some real quality time. It’s great to have such good friends you can call it a holiday when you are around them 😉

    Have fun!

  15. When is the Maine trip? I’m flying up there via Boston in a few weeks.

  16. Mrs. BITA says:

    For your sake I hope you’ve closed all possible loopholes in the race challenge. With what is on the line your daughters are going to be inspired to be….ahem…enterprising.

    Sounds like a good time is going to be had by all.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…Ten FIRE Games to Pass the TimeMy Profile

  17. Awesome vacation planned, even a random trip across the pond! Way to enjoy your well earned freedoms. Hopefully you won’t be serving ice cream the rest of the year. Happy vacationing!

  18. Mr. Tako says:

    Sounds like a wonderful summer trip schedule. We simply NEED to see pictures of dinosaurs on top of the Wall Street bull! 🙂

    Enjoy your travels!
    Mr. Tako recently posted…Farmers, Hunters, And Investing For Financial IndependenceMy Profile

  19. Mrs. Kiwi says:

    I definitely agree that visiting friends leads to a more fun vacation than just looking for the “sights.” And hey, the free room and board is a nice perk.

  20. There is nothing the matter with frugal travel. I am all about the discounts and staying where it is free too.

    If you can get your friends to buy dinner, a bonus!!

  21. We recently went to France for 2 weeks and stayed at a friends for 3 nights. That was definitely the best part of the trip!
    It’s very good to have friends all over the world, apart from making the trips cheaper,
    you get to live more like a local than a tourist, and obviously catching up with friends as well is the main thing.

    Remember to try the deep fried Mars bars in Scotland, not very healthy but sure one won’t hurt too much 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing you on the London part of the trip!

  22. Jennifer myka says:

    I’m a follower of you, Frugal, and MMM, living in central Vt. I’d love a chance to meet you and share ideas. If you have time while you’re here, let me know!

  23. Len Bron says:

    So what time and where exactly is the NYC meetup happening tomorrow evening? Would love to stop by and say hi!

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