Well that's a lot of pictures......haha I am sure you were thinking that:) It was hard to narrow down from the hundred I took...I'm totally not lying people. I was snap crazy when we were at the zoo for our final excursion in LA. Sunday was the kid's pick and thy decided unanimously on the LA Zoo. Did you know they had a zoo? Before we left, we would tell people what we were planning to do in LA and for some reason very few people knew LA had a zoo....so I am here to tell you they do have a zoo and a pretty awesome one at that!
It was a great pick by those red heads. We spent all Sunday morning there and part of the afternoon too. The place is so large that we couldn't even see all the animals. We let the kids lead the show and made sure we were able to see at least a few their picks. One of our favorites were the orangutans. Those animals are soo dang funny. We got to see them interact with each other and that had us in stitches. There was a mommy and baby who were so cute together. It was also neat when the mama was nursing her baby. It was a great little intro to a quick little lesson. I am always looking for those teaching moments and that was a really cool one.
To save money, we brought our own lunch and water bottles. The zoo had plenty of water fountains, so we were able to constantly refill our bottles. Other than buying tickets, we didn't spend anything extra on food...oh except the magnet I brought back for my mama. She has a thing for magnets from other places, so I always try to snag her a fun one if we go on vacation :)
Aunt Shelly and Uncle Rei weren't able to come with us to the zoo (my brotherinlaw is very allergic to animals), but they wanted to be able to spoil their niece and nephew (they are the sweetest!), so they gave them each $20 to spend in the gift shop. Libby picked out a pink elephant to add to her stuffed animal collection and Keagan found a really cool shirt. LA Zoo knew what they were doing when they combined their animals and star wars for graphic tees. Keagan has been wearing this shirt non stop!
After our fun day at the zoo, we drove home...and by we...I mean Hubby. :) It's about a five hour drive (with plenty of bathroom stops). We got into town around dinner time, so we ended our trip with a stop at Taco Bell. Overall we only ate out once a day when we were on vacation. Bringing a lot of snacks and meals from home saved us hundreds of dollars. This helped us keep our vacation budget to a minimum. We chose places that didn't break the bank, but we also splurged a bit as well on the art museum and the zoo.
We paid cash for EVERYTHING on this trip. EVERYTHING. We did not charge one single thing. Every ounce of gas, every meal bought, or magnet purchased was paid with cash. Paying with cash is huge.! We saved the money before hand and set a budget. We stayed within that budget. We didn't come home feeling like we were super poor. We came home feeling great! That is the key to vacationing. Stay within your means at all times. You can still be budget conscious and have a blast on vacation. Setting a budget allowed us to do a lot of fun things because we knew we had the money for it. There is a sense of peace and freedom when you know for sure that you have everything all budgeted and planned.
So now our vacation category of our savings account is depleted, but guess what? We are starting to save again for our next trip. That's how this budgeting thing works. Once you have depleted a category, you start saving again.
Our next plan is to celebrate the end of this school year (we finish August 28) with a trip to Disneyland for Mickey's Halloween party. We did it two years ago and it was a blast! I'm excited to start planning and saving. It is going to be a surprise so shhh! Don't tell the red heads:)