A couple nights ago the Dude and I went to the Rosewater for our Groupon and had a lovely five-course meal. Oh, to be able to eat like that all the time. Though it'd probably be a curse because very soon most food wouldn't meet your standards. But once a month would be a heavenly treat.
We got the chef's choice: asparagus soup with a seared scallop, tuna tartar, grilled salmon and shrimp with risotto, strip loin steak and garlic mashed potatoes, and a berry/chocolate concoction. Nom nom nom...
I have been thinking a lot about what I'd like this summer to be, what I want to do. It's my last summer in my 20s and next year we'll likely be planning for a family. This summer must count. And really, if I don't set goals for these months I tend to let them fly by with nothing special to show for it, no memories worth keeping.
1. Go to Canada's Wonderland at least once.
2. Try to make at least two trips to my hometown, one of which involving taking friends.
3. Go strawberry picking and can strawberry jam.
4. Make homemade ice cream at least once.
5. See two plays.
6. Finish writing my book (Though I expect editing it will take longer. I'm currently on chapter 18)
7. Have $2,000 saved up from June through September.
8. Host two dinner parties.
Simple, achievable and fun.
Now, the savings specifically relates to the fact the Dude and I want to see Paris. We've never been and we intend to see it in February on the week of his 32nd birthday and Valentine's day, just like our honeymoon. It's cheaper that time of year, with less tourists, and the weather is on average warmer than Ontario so I am sure we can hack it. The $2,000 will cover our airfare, giving me several more months to save accommodations/food/museums/ground travel costs. We plan to rent an apartment for the week, which is also cheaper than a hotel.
The Dude wanted to see Ireland as much as he wanted to see Paris, but I've already been and there's something romantic and exciting about exploring Paris together for the first time. It can also be somewhat of a buzz kill (Annoying) when your travel partner is reliving the previous trip they took without you ("Last time I was here..." "Oh, on my trip I liked to...") And I don't think people can help doing that, so I think I need more distance from Ireland as I saw it in 2007 and we have a whole life to live and we can visit it down the road.
We also wanted Italy, but it costs an arm and a leg. We're going to wait till we're older and have enough money to enjoy it properly. I want to go to Iceland, but the Dude is less keen on it. Ah, compromise. But really, who can be upset about Paris?
And it'll be a last hurrah of sorts before family plans get underway and all future savings will be diverted to future maternity leave and daycare costs. Crazy thinking this far ahead. The past 10 years I've been thinking in terms of the coming months or up to a year. Now I'm thinking ahead five years. Hell, I started saving for retirement several years ago so in an abstract way I started thinking way into the future then, I guess.
A part of me sometimes looks at 21-year-olds and feels envy for all the choices they haven't made yet and still get to sort out, all the freedom from responsibility, all the selfishness they're entitled to act on. But then I think about how it feels to be 21 and those thoughts quickly disappear. Being 29 feels amazing.