Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy perfect weekend

On Saturday, Torsten and I (and Montana) drove out to Breckenridge, home of Torsten's favorite brewery, and Dillon, home of a gorgeous lake. (Full set here.)


Montana thoroughly enjoyed being included in our excursions after her brief toenail-related hiatus last week, and we spent more time doing what we do a lot of these days--marveling at how close we live to so many beautiful things.



In fact, it made us wonder if maybe we should both reconsider our feelings on camping--which is that yes, nice idea, but not so comfortable and why not stay in a hotel? We are both thinking that maybe with the right air mattress, it would be fun to camp out near some of the beautiful places that we've been checking out recently. But on the other hand, camping equipment is quite expensive, and we don't know if we would like it, so I'm not quite sure how we can find out if it would be a worthwhile investment for us.

Regardless of the day trip status of the excursion, it was lovely, and made us feel totally justified in having no plans whatsoever yesterday. And in fact, we made good use of our lazy morning when our vacuum cleaner crapped out on us and we started researching a new one. Our current vacuum is actually perfectly functional, but it can't quite keep up with the dog hair, and is no longer able to do a good job on rugs and carpets. Plus, it needs to be emptied after every room, which is a pain in the ass. So maybe we can sell it on Craigslist to someone who doesn't own a dog?

Our research showed that the Dyson Ball Animal is pretty much the best vacuum cleaner for what we need, but it retails for a whopping $550. We thought about buying it at Sears, where it was on sale for $465 and where we have a gift card that would have helped defray the cost, but it still would have been $400, which is pretty outrageous.

Then Torsten remembered that we have $250 in gift cards to Macy's, gotten as a lease signing bonus in our last apartment. So we checked, and the website showed the vacuum cleaner on sale for $500. So we called to find out if they had it in any stores. They didn't, but we were able to order it over the phone in order to avoid paying shipping--AND the in-store sale price was $400 instead of $500. PLUS we had some credit on our Macy's card from an earlier return.

So, after tax and gift cards and everything else, we ended up getting the vacuum cleaner for a grand total of $165. I still can't get over what a good deal it was. AND, as a bonus? It's PURPLE.


I KNOW. I can't get over it either. I'm still slightly suspicious that the vacuum cleaner that shows up at our door in a few days will not be the right one, because it is pretty much impossible to find this vacuum cleaner for under $450.

But the most amazing part is that this incredible steal didn't even turn out to be the best part of the day! Because guess who sent an email saying that she was going to be in town last-minute and did we want to meet up? Artemisia! She is one of the first blogs I ever read, and I absolutely love her. And of course, to nobody's surprise, she is even MORE awesome in person. Seriously, so fun and smart and sweet and interesting. And the same goes for A. Seriously, both SO nice. I feel lucky to live near them, if two hours away qualifies as "near," and am already campaigning to get them to move to Denver so that this whole "near" thing will be for real. (Plus, the two of them are both gorgeous.)

So, yeah. One of those weekends that just kept getting better and better, and definitely saved the best for last. PLUS, despite everything else that was going on, we managed to get to the gym this weekend, TWICE. It's like we're superheroes or something.

26 comments:

  1. There are ways to do camping light where you might only need to buy a tent (they range from super cheap to very expensive - you can probably find a used one on craigslist). And maybe some other light supplies (flashlights, cooler, etc.). Go to a campground that has restroom facilities and plan on only staying overnight (limits the food supplies you need to bring). Then, if you decide you like it, you can begin building your camping supply closet. You might also want to check to see if local stores rent supplies and/or if you can borrow supplies from friends before investing in your own!

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  2. I don't know what kind of camping equipment stores you have in the area, but I *think* that some of them rent equipment, which might be a good way of seeing what you do/don't like about camping. And some of the stuff you wouldn't rent is handy to have even if you don't camp (a cooler, flashlights, even sleeping bags (which could be stored for far-future children, or sold if you really don't think you'll ever use them)).

    Anyway, that might be worth checking out. I would recommend going somewhere that you can do "drive up" camping for your first try out. State parks are usually good for this (at least in MN). It doesn't require nearly as much equipment, and you don't have to haul it all anywhere.

    ps. I'm so jealous you are getting a Dyson (and what a fantastic deal!). We don't even have any pets (yet), but I have friends that have Dysons and they pick up so much stuff!

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  3. Re camping: find somewhere with little cabins you can rent for a night. Probably less expensive than a hotel, and half way between hotel and camping.

    Re dyson: I wanted to get one, but all the reviews of the Animal said it was identical to the regular one but with an extra attachment that was too weak to be useful. I was going to get it anyway, but when I went to the store and actually got it down and compared it to other brands' vortex versions, it felt so cheap like it was going to fall apart or break at any moment compared to the others, but it cost 3x as much. Still, for $165 I might have been convinced. But as it is, I'm planning to get one of the many other vortex, bagless vacs from other major brands that will only charge me $150 regular retail. I'll be interested to know how you like it. When I test drove one, the only thing that really stood out was the great manuverability from the ball thing, but I didn't feel like that was worth $350 extra!

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  4. We love camping. We only use half inch thick inflatable mats under our sleeping bags, and we only have two, so we give one to our son, and hubby and I take turns. I don't mind NOT having a mat.

    Camping is our only vacation this year, and you can't beat the price (or the food - camping breakfast is one of my favorite parts!)

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  5. You will love the Dyson! I have the older Dyson Animal (non-ball), and it's awesome. Totally tackled long-arse Golden Retriever hair, and the hair of my other dog. Just remember there is a sponge-y filter thing in the vacuum that does need to be cleaned/rinsed every now and again. I had no idea until my sis told me!

    - Mon

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  6. My fiance just spent 5 days in Denver and adored it. He said he would move there in a heartbeat. And that's coming from a Canadian!

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  7. I love the family portrait in front of the beautiful scenery! Also, please let me know how you like the Dyson. Jon and I have always wanted one but couldn't justify spending that much for a vacuum. But it it works as well as it's supposed to, the price is totally worth it to me!

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  8. Ok, you found the topic that will end my lurking! J and I started out with a three-person tent from Wal-Mart for 'car camping' where we could just drive up to the tent site. It cost about $30 and has been going strong for 2 years now. We use the self-inflating mattresses that 3carnations mentioned but were just on a camping trip with friends who had a full-sized, battery-pump-inflated air mattress that they loved. If you decide you want to invest in lighter equipment that you can carry to remote campsites, we've had great experiences with the knowledgeable staff at both EMS and REI. Annual gear guides like the one from Backpacker magazine are a good way to get an overview of more technical equipment, too.

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  9. This might be a stretch but does your gym have outdoor equipment you can rent? I know mine does...but then I belong to a college gym. Or, ask neighbors if they have a tent you can borrow for a weekend? I have such fond memories of camping when I was a kid and my parents pretty much had it down to an art by then from camping so much before my sister and I were born.

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  10. Your weekend sounded lovely!
    A Dyson is my dream vacuum! They are amazing and that purple one is so cute!

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  11. Oh, you should totally start camping! You could do a few trials with car camping (the kind where you drive to a campsite, and there's already a fire pit and picnic benches, and toilets are in a central location) so all you'd need are sleeping bags, a tent, and some basic fire skills. Then you can move up to multi-day trips where you need cook stoves, and hiking camping where you need packs and lightweight pots and freeze dried food and stuff. But start with the car camping variety. Very fun!

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  12. I'm salivating over that vacuum. I am A FREAK about vacuuming pet hair. Um, like I do it every other day...WITH a piece o' crap vacuum....sigh....

    And I am FULL of camping advice :) We know lots of great places to go for the kind of camping you want to do. And REI rents EVERYTHING.

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  13. Your photos are gorgeous! And I covet your new vacuum cleaner.

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  14. Go camping! It can be fun! It took me a couple years to get over the idea of not being able to take a shower immediately, but after that- fun!

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  15. I tend to not be into camping for the very reason that I am a raging bitch if I get a poor night's sleep and me + sleeping on ground = cranky. But I bet with the right air mattress the whole thing could be downright enjoyable. I like the "idea" of camping.

    Your weekend sounds lovely!

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  16. You guys are total superheroes! I can't believe all the goodness that just surrounds you. I don't think you'll ever be bored living there!

    Also, your new Dyson is LOVELY.

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  17. Breckenridge and Dillon are so fabulous!!

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  18. Beautiful photos!

    I saw a commercial for that vacuum for the first time this weekend. I can't wait to read how it works!

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  19. Camping in CO and the surrounding states is AMAZING. You will see so many things that you wouldn't be able to see staying in a hotel (and it's MUCH cheaper). I would HIGHLY recommend it.

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  20. Hands down best vacuum on planet.

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  21. Your photos are so lovely! I also love the vaccuum cleaner. My parents have the same one and they love it too :)

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  22. We got a Dyson a couple years ago when Woot.com had an amazing deal on one. My husband is more about vacuuming than I am and he loves it. LOVES. IT. We were both sort of wishing at the time that they'd had the animal version, but I guess now that we don't have cats anymore, we're fine with the one we have. I just need to be using it more these days....

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