Well, more like pushing a big square button! Haha… (I had no idea that’s how it was done, did you?) And actually I wont’ be doing the pushing either, I just got invited to come participate when my new friends found out I was a HUGE finance nerd and philanthropy lover! :)
They day belongs to Cooking With The Troops, a non-profit that supports our U.S. and Allied troops (and families), and provides comfort, nutrition, and hope through four major programs of theirs. They’ll be putting on a whole day’s worth of foodie fun in honor of Veteran’s Day, and it culminates in said “ringing of the bell.” I’m SUPER excited to experience, and honored to get to be a part of it! (Make sure to look for me at 4pm EST on Nerd TV, haha…)
Now, the only NON-cool part was figuring out HOW to get all the way up (and back) to NYC from DC in the same day! We’re heading back home on Saturday to go visit our family, so I had to do some massive research to figure how efficient (or not) I can pull it off… in both time AND money. Here were the 3 main options I came up with:
- Drive my caddy there and back ($175) — Pros: I’m in total control and can leave and come back at any time I want. Cons: It’s a LOT of driving in one day – 9 hrs worth! (And that’s probably *not* with traffic). Also, parking can suck a$$ in New York – though I’ll probably park it near a friend’s place who knows the “secrets.” I wouldn’t be able to do any blog work either going there or back. (The total cost includes 3 fill-ups of gas + tolls)
- Take the bus! ($60) — Pros: All I have to do is sit there :) And I can do work/read/sleep all the way to town! Also, it’s cheap as hell. Cons: You’re sometimes squished w/ a lot of others and the odds someone smells and/or aggravates you are high. At least in my experience. Also, it’s still 9 hours worth of being on the road and praying you miss a lot of that same traffic (Plus: I’d need to ride the metro there and back to GET to the bus station)
- Take the train! ($250) — Pros: Cuts my total travel by 2-3 hours!, and I can still work and read/etc while sitting down more comfortably. Also – LESS chance of traffic, and the trains seem to leave every 30-60 minutes till late night (and if I take a late night one home, I get $50 off). Cons: HELLA EXPENSIVE!! And that rate up there is WITH the discounts :( If I were to take the super fast Acela train instead, it would cost an additional $125-$150 round trip – though it would cut the total time to about 5 and 1/2 hours than the 9 in option #1 up there… also, the metro trip to the train station and back is still in play too, bleh.
Wanna guess which one I ended up going with? Before reading on? ;) Well, at first I was TOTALLY going with option #1 – the driving part. But after getting through the other options and REALLY thinking about it, I realized that it would probably be the most UNSAFE, as well as most ANNOYING, plan on the table. So I scrapped that one fast. Plus, it’s really not *that* cheap anyways – it’s right smack in the middle as far as all the other costs.
So that left us with either the bus or the train (dun dun dunnnn). Now, more often than not I’d normally take the bus hands down, based on pure cost alone, but seeing as how I have to be at certain places at certain times, and all in the span of ONE day, I decided to opt for the most convenient/un-aggitative (word?) option of them all: The train. Yeah it’s balls expensive and not the “frugal” thing to do, but the whole point of money is to be able to spend it on the things we hold important, right? So if I wanna spend an extra $200 for a sexy-ass trip outta town for a day, so be it. It’s my money ;) That’s part of the “Freedom” we always talk about with smart management! The ability to jump on things w/out having to worry if you’re gonna go in debt or not be able to pay the bills! The more money you have, the more options you have available. So that’s my reasoning behind it all, anyways…
How about you? Which option would you have chose? Or would you have not even gone to begin with? Haha… I know it’s not *as* exciting as some of us feel it would be, so in that case just pretend you’re going to visit a hot girl/guy instead. Which route would you choose then?
(Happy Veteran’s Day!!)
PS: Another pro of taking the train? You can drink beer! Haha… both before-hand, and while ;) Not that it skews my judgement, of course.
(Photo by Think London, slightly tweaked by J$ ;))