August 17, 2010

The Relevant 2010 Family Field Trip of the Year

*post updated on 9/2/10...

Well, it's two months less than 7 weeks from the Relevant 2010 Conference in Pennsylvania and my time is running short to save the funds so that our family can go. I thought I would give you a little update on the saga - because I have trimmed and trimmed away on my budget and I think I've got it as low as I can go.

Thankfully, a full $1200-1500 dollars was cut when GM Texas offered to give us a FREE Chevy lease for the trip! We also found out that a good blog friend (who also is an author over at the Homeschool Post) actually lives 25 minutes from the conference hotel! That will save us an additional $300 or so in hotel fees if we stay in her house (even though she keeps telling me it is really tiny). Sleeping bags are worth saving $300 and getting to travel to PA and stop over in DC with the family. Right, Beth?

So.... Here are the nitty gritty trip details:

*FIVE people - (husband, pregnant mama, tweeny boy and girl, crazy Viking toddler)

*10 days

*Driving from Austin to Harrisburg, PA by way of DC and back again (26 hours one way/1645 miles - so we are stopping over here and there on the way up and back at hotels and maybe at a friend's house?)

*Thankfully, I already have a Relevant ticket. Some of you had asked, so I just wanted to make it clear that all I'm saving for is gas/food/hotel at this point. The ticket and business cards are already bought and the lease vehicle is free! THANK YOU GM/CHEVY!

*We'll be traveling through Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and a plethora of small cities in VA on the way to DC. Somewhere near the George Washington National Forest I'll be spending the night before we get to DC. Hopefully I can find some good hotel rates along the way because our hotel budget is very slim.

*We're hoping to spend a bit touring DC and maybe even a night there with friends or at a hotel so we have enough time to show the kids around. This part of the trip we have not gotten planned because we have never been there and don't really know anyone well that lives in the area. I'm assuming we'll be in a hotel two nights near there (one the day we arrive, one the day we sight-see). I have heard that you need at least 3 days to tour DC, but we'll be spending one full day and a tiny bit of the first night and the departing morning. I guess that makes 2 full days? I have no idea how to cram DC in to that space of time, but I'm hoping you have some suggestions on what is the most important to see and do - and tips to make it smooth and easy! Keep them coming, please!

*The conference starts Thursday and ends Saturday, and thankfully, my friend Beth will be going with me (leaving the men and children to goof off at her house and sight-see around her town).

Here's the Money Breakdown:
Gasoline: 1,200 (using AAA gas trip calculator for a Chevy Suburban - not sure if that's what I'll be in yet)
Hotel: 500 (some nights we are staying with friends along the way)
Food: 550 (for 10 days, includes 180 for groceries and eating out some meals, my meals at conf. covered)

DC Sight-Seeing: 150 (misc. and transportation fees, I hear most of the museums are free)

So... do you think it is impossible to raise $2050 dollars in the next 60 days? Every tiny penny counts. Seems pretty difficult, but I'm trusting that God will pull us through. I can't wait to see how He will work it out.

UPDATE: As of 9/2/10, we are only needing 1155$. We've added another two sponsors - soon to appear on my sidebar and at the bottom of this post, and I've added all the ad money I've made from my blogging and whatever extra we've had come in from affiliate sales (not much, but every penny counts). A few generous friends have made donations to the pot, too (THANKS!). I keep a ticker on my sidebar all the time updating the fund-raising we have done and have left to do - so if you aren't checking back here, you can see it easily up on my sidebar under my box ads. I'll make another updated Relevant Post in mid-September to update our status even further.

Thank you to my Sponsors for Relevant:

Amy Loves It!

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

Join Pix-O-Sphere Now! - Family Friendly Photo Community

Relational Living at The HomeSpun Life

Interested in helping me get to DC and Hershey? Want to 'sponsor' a cup of Starbucks or a few of the 3,290 miles on our long journey? You can click my donate button on the sidebar and drop some coins in the tip can... 

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My Previous Relevant Posts:
Really Expensive Rambling Road to Relevant
Some Crazy Good Things (about Chevy's offer to lease us the vehicle)


Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

We live in the DC area so if you need lodging and are willing to camp out with our family, just let me know. See you at Relevant!

Amico Dio said...

You so have to be there. :)

love you, girlie!

Sheri said...

Hope you make it Heath!

MommyLydia said...

In the DC area, you will need money for the Metro. But all the Museums are free. I'd take your one day to go down to the Mall and see as many museums as you want to/can and then get going the next day.

Amber@ClassicHousewife said...

Wow! This is so exciting!

You ARE making plans to meet up with bloggers you "know" along the way, right?

Oh, I've never really had a GOOD road trip! (We've traveled but Hubs is a point a to point b kind of guy!) ;) Have fun!

Unknown said...

...and I cannot even imagine going withOUT you, so it just has to work out, HAS to! lol *prayerfully hoping*

Melissa N. said...

Heather, hope you make it. I will see you there if so! Rock on can do it...

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Praying, praying, praying! I can't wait to HUG YOUR NECK!

Is there anything I can do to help?

I just love you, girl...

All's grace,



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