Monday, February 27, 2012

New hobbies

We took a long weekend/short vacation last week to northern Minnesota and let me tell you, friends, that I always pick the expensive hobbies.

First it was dance (classes, costumes) then it was quilting (fabric!), now it's skiing. Oh, yes. Because why not? Everyone told me when I moved to the upper midwest that I would need to develop a winter hobby and there's really nothing winterier than downhill skiing, I guess. And nothing much more expensive if you go all out.

The weekend was around $1,000 for the two of us, for three days of skiing, four nights in a chalet, and food and transportation. We'll get a little bit back from the friend who stayed on the couch in our suite, but Peanut at least is now interested in buying used ski equipment, and I'm considering it. I'm not what you'd consider good at skiing by any means - I spent more time trying to get back up to standing than actually flying down the mountain - but I had a lot of fun and probably the best and cheapest way to learn is to get my own used equipment and practice at slopes much closer to home.

All told, though, I'm glad we took the trip. I hadn't realized how much I was looking forward to a break and I really haven't been anywhere else in the region since we moved here. I'm now totally in love with this state, the nature, the unironic and authentic nature of the people we met, the friendliness of everyone, basically everything. I think of myself as GRITS first (Girl Raised In The South), New Yorker second, but I think given some time I might renounce it all and become a tried and true Minnesotan, doncha know? You betcha!

Oh, another hobby that Peanut and I have picked up: estate sales. We're looking for cheap ways to acquire some furniture (a guest room set, eventually a living room set) and estate sales are good for that. We also just like seeing the insides of other houses - something we didn't get tired of in our quick home search. So far, however, we've bought a bunch of stuff we didn't have on our list - funny coffee mugs, throw pillows, a pitcher. They're all super cheap, but it all adds up, you know?

I think I need to look for some hobbies like making art out of dryer lint or toenail clippings - anything to stop spending money like water the way we have been lately!


  1. Skiing is my most expensive hobby too -- although I live so far away from legitimate skiing that I don't get to do it frequently. The good thing about buying your own equipment, is skis, boots and poles can last forever. (if you buy boots, make sure they're comfortable and fit properly, or you'll regret that purchase over and over). Lift tickets and lodging still add up though.

    1. That's what I was thinking - I'm unlikely to grow much taller, so this is gear I can keep for a really long time. There's not much to do about the cost of lift tickets, but there are at least two mountains within a 45 minute drive so we can avoid paying for lodging unless we actually want to go away for a vacation.

      I don't think "ski boots" and "comfortable" belong in the same sentence but I get what you mean!

  2. I would buy new boots but used skis. Also, look for a swap at the ski shows that are generally held in November. People (and stores) sell their old equipment for a song. Also, lessons, while $$$ are a good investment and will help your enjoyment level immensely. And, if you go on a crowded weekend, being in the ski school gives you access to a special lift line (so no waiting!).

  3. It is great to see Peanut and yourself getting out into nature and enjoying yourselves. The husband and I are going to a lake for a getaway with friends for the weekend and luckily it is a freinds' family lake house so it is free! Practising your skiing close to home sounds like a practical idea and then another trip once you've improved?

    Best of luck.

  4. I don't think that I've ever met anybody from the southern half of Minnesota that actually said, "Don'tcha Know." However, if you travel about 4 hours north where the Norwegian heritage is really strong, people do talk like that.


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