Moscow Mules and Swimming Pools: What Wasn’t So Good

This is a follow-up to my previous post about everything that went right during our latest trip down to the Austin area. While I would have loved to have taken the perfect trip (haha, like that’s ever gonna happen!), there were definitely some things that could have went better.

Choosing the room

This is a bit of a misnomer because we didn’t exactly get to choose our room ourselves. We just ended up taking the only one with a baby crib. Makes sense, right?

Well, we quickly realized that is was the closest room in the entire house to the living room where everyone was making noise. Strike one.

Then we realized the bottom of the door had about a two inch clearance, so sound just poured through. Strike two.

Finally, the floor was some cheap wood laminate that made the loudest sound possible and somehow got even louder when the baby would sleep. You’re outta here!

Having the crib was really nice, I’ll give it that, but because we had also a pack-n-play there was no reason to stay locked in that room. What we should have done is tried to switch with my sister, who only has fur babies currently (I’m sure she would have agreed no problem).

I have no doubt that this one thing would have helped greatly with more consistent naps for FTJr, but hey, you live and learn. That was pretty much the only real bad miss we had, but there were a couple of things we could have been better about.

Leaving mid-afternoon

So, in order to meet up with an old friend of mine, I used my lunch break to drive to North Austin. We did this mostly to beat traffic and because he graciously let us borrow his house to finish work (which we were supremely appreciative of), but the morning packing and hectic schedule really made the day seem so much more stressful that it should have.

I don’t think we really had any better options besides just not meeting up, but they also hadn’t met the baby yet, so I’m glad we did it – just wish it had been a little easier.

Not leaving soon enough

Another addendum to the meeting up with friends. Mrs. FIRE Travels and I have GOT to get better about keeping our schedule when driving places. We had a good time at dinner, but got on the road MUCH later that we hoped for. Getting in past midnight might have been OK before, but apparently we much more lame as parents.

Eating on the road

We’ve struggled with this since, well, forever. It’s so much easier to stop off and get some fried chicken, fried okra, and sweet tea than it is to plan out healthy snacks and sandwiches. The summer heat doesn’t help because it makes it harder to sit outside at a rest area, but that’s really not the issue. The issue is nothing more than we’re just lazy about it.

“Yeah, we could make lunch, but let’s just stop somewhere.”

See? See how easy that is? Boom. 10 seconds and we’re done. However, that’s not very easy on the wallet – those stops add up on longer trips. My goal for all our drives would be to make the big meals ourselves and picnic while we eat them. Then I’ll feel better when we eventually end up stopping for a soft drink or ice cream like we always do anyway.


Overall, the weekend was a resounding success! We’ve now taken four trips to see family (two since starting cloth diapers) and we’re starting to dial in on what we need for each trip. As a bonus, the grandparents are doing great with the cloth diapers! We haven’t even dipped into our emergency stash of disposables yet.

There’s some things that we need to work on, but just like our journey towards financial independence: it takes time.

Going Forward

First of all, we’re really excited to have a travel break for Labor Day. We’ve had back-to-back-to-back travel weekends, so a few days to recharge is a very welcome relief so we can be ready for our trip to Santa Fe.

That will be an interesting one because it’s the first of what I’m currently deeming “mini-vacations”. Mrs. FIRETravels and I still have to work during the week, but the goal is to get our work done and be able to explore the city a bit. It will be our first extended stay away from home without grandparent help, though, so here’s hoping everything goes smoothly!

See you next time!

Mr. FIRE Travels

Question of the Day:

What’s your favorite meal plan or strategy for eating while on the road?


Moscow Mules and Swimming Pools

Trip Overview

Last weekend we went down near Austin to celebrate my brother’s 21st birthday. Normally we’d do something at my parents house, but he’s all grown up now with responsibilities like going to work and actually attending his college classes (unlike his older brother). My parents rented a really nice house, and it was nice being able to settle in for once (versus getting a hotel or crashing a friend’s house).

We had a great time being with everyone. Mostly it was just relaxing and hanging around, but we did get outside a lot for various activities like swimming in the pool or playing ladder golf. FTJr did really great throughout the weekend. Even though his schedule ended up way off from where we try to keep it, the trip down was well worth the effort.

Also, Moscow Mules are amazing. I had wanted to fix my brother at least one classic drink because he’s actually been good and never really drank alcohol until now. I decided on the Moscow Mule, so his official present was a set of two copper mugs from Copper Kings. Not long after receiving his gift we opened it and I made him and I a drink each. The ginger beer adds a very peculiar, but very tasty zing. I definitely recommend trying it if you’ve never had it before.

Anyways, I digress… onto the good stuff!

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