Archive for Travel

I “Won” a “Free” Vacation!

free vacation

“Free Vacation!!!”

Last Saturday, a few of us went to MetLife Stadium for a Monster Jam event.  I had never been to a monster truck event so I was looking forward to watching huge trucks do jumps and flips and a lot of awesome stuff.

After we scanned our tickets and went through the gates, there were a few people handing out forms for a raffle to win a pick-up truck or $50,000.  The raffle was free, all I had to do was write down my name and phone number so of course I was in.

We then went into the show and had a great time.  We saw a couple of back flips, and a first ever front flip!  Overall, good times.

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3rd Annual Ski Trip

Ski Trip

Top of the Mountain!

The events portrayed in the following post occurred from March 27th to March 30th.  The reason I’m only posting now is because I’ve been lazy to write any blog posts… Don’t judge, this is something I’m working on.

Spring is here and to me it means one thing… Spring Skiing!

I like to ski, but I don’t like skiing when it is -1,000 degrees outside.  Having to wear 77 layers and having frozen toes – and frozen snot – is not an enjoyable time for me.  That’s why we like to go skiing in March.

We live in New Jersey, which means we don’t really have any mountains worth skiing.  Whenever we want to go skiing we go to Pennsylvania, but even there the skiing is just meh.  Our best option in the East Coast is Vermont, and that’s why we decided to make an annual ski trip to Vermont.

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Back From Family Vacation

Family Vacation

Family Vacation

I’ve been away so long that I feel the need to say ‘Hello everyone!’  It really hasn’t been that long, only two weeks, but it really feels like a long time.

For those of you who don’t know, I just returned from a family vacation to Italy. This was the first vacation I’ve taken with my entire family in over 15 years and it was pretty awesome.

My brother, my sister, and I – along with our significant others – decided to take my mom to Italy.  My mom has always wanted to go to Europe, but never had the opportunity to go.  So when I saw a Groupon for a trip to Italy, I knew this could be her opportunity.

I mentioned the deal to my brother and sister to see if they wanted to join Kate and I on this trip, and also to see if they wanted to split the cost of our mom’s ticket.  Everybody said that they would go, but my sister said she couldn’t really contribute for my mom’s trip because she’s planning a wedding and she’s already over-budget… Yet another reason why I don’t understand big weddings, but that’s a different discussion.

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Can’t Go To Philly and Not Run Up The Rocky Steps

Rocky Statue

Yo, Adrian. I did it!

As I mentioned in Part Two of our trip to Philly, we ended the night eating delicious food while watching a free showing of an opera in front of Independence Hall.  I’m sure we weren’t allowed to sleep on the lawn so we headed over to our hotel.

Usually we use AirBnB for our accommodations, but we couldn’t really find anything that would suit our needs.  We were three heads so we needed two beds and I wasn’t going to pay $200 for one of us to sleep on a sofa bed.  This forced us to go to a hotel and the cheapest room we found – with good reviews – was $124 for two double beds and breakfast.  Not bad, since that came to about $41 a person.

The room was nice, but nothing fancy.  You know, it was a hotel room.  The breakfast? The same hotel breakfast you get everywhere.

We checked out after breakfast and made our way to Ultimo Coffee Bar because we heard it was the best coffee in town.  Kate and I didn’t drink coffee because that’s not my thing and Kate was full from breakfast, but our friend KJM had a soy vanilla latte and she said it was delicious.

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Our Trip To Philly – Part Two

Statue - Philly

People are Fancy in Philly

Monday, I started telling you about our trip to Philadelphia and about how much fun we had there.  We were only there for two days, but there’s so much to see and do that I couldn’t fit it all in one post.  I guess I could have, but nobody likes to read long posts… I sure don’t.

If you haven’t yet, please read Part One of our trip and then come back here, or you could go check it out after you read this.  You do what you want, I’m not the boss of you.

Anyhow, let me give you a quick recap on Part One.

  • Got free tickets to Independence Hall.
  • Saw the Liberty Bell (through a window).
  • Went to the Second Bank of The United States.
  • Went to the Benjamin Franklin Museum.
  • Ate a Cheesesteak… yum!

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Our Trip To Philly – Part One

Love Sculpture - Philly

Love Everywhere

As I mentioned Friday, this weekend we went to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The City of Brotherly Love also known as Philly.  I was very excited to go because I had never been there and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.

Since we were there for only a couple of days, we were forced to do the touristy things and didn’t really have time to just hang out and feel like a local.  That was okay though because the tourist attractions are pretty cool.

There’s so much American history in Philly that you’ll leave with a better understanding of how America was founded – I know I did.

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The Friday Five – City of Brotherly Love

city of brotherly love

Philadelphia, PA

Sep 19th – Sep 25th

Welcome to another edition of The Friday Five. This is where I share what I consider the week’s top-five money related articles from around the web.  There are a lot of great personal finance websites publishing amazing content daily and I feel that I must share them with you.  I hope you enjoy my five favorite articles of the week.

If you haven’t, please read this week’s posts on Frugal Dates: NYC High Line and on The Surprise Cost of A Visit to The Doctor.  Please don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Google+, and like Million Dollar Ninja on Facebook.

In no particular order here are The Friday Five

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Frugal Dates: NYC High Line

High Line

NYC’s High Line

We’re all trying to save money and cut down on expenses to pay down debt, save up for a house, or reach early retirement.  But that doesn’t mean that we should cut all the fun from our lives and stay home all day like hermits.  We should go outside and enjoy the weather before it gets too cold and at least walk around to get some fresh air.

We try to go outside every weekend even if it just for a little while.  Sometimes we go to the park, or hiking, or even just take a walk around town.  Other times we like to go to New York City.

Many people automatically assume that New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and that’s true in many aspects, but there are a lot of things you can do in New York without having to spend too much money.  One of these things is walk the New York City High Line.

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9 Signs You Need A Vacation

need a vacation

Just Go!

As a person who is trying to be debt free and reach financial independence someday, I’m always looking for ways to cut expenses and save money.  I’m okay with sacrificing cable and switching my cell phone to a virtually unknown company.  I’m also okay with telling coworkers, “sorry, I can’t go out to lunch today.”  I’m okay doing a lot of things differently to save money, but the one thing that I cannot do is NOT go on vacation.

I understand vacations could get expensive and if you are deeply into debt, I highly recommend you put vacations on hold for a little bit.  However, if you are making headway into paying off your debt and haven’t taken a break in a while, maybe it is time to take a vacation.

If you are not sure whether you should take a break or not, here are some signs that you need a break.

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Our Trip to Boston

State House - Boston

Massachusetts State House

Kate and I have been working pretty hard at work lately – okay maybe Kate has been working hard – so we decided to take a much needed mini vacation.  Our destination:  Boston, MA.

Boston is renowned for its champion sports teams, world-class educational institutions and for its involvement in the American Revolution. It is also one of the oldest cities in the United States and it was the scene of major events of the American Revolution – Boston Tea Party, Battle of Bunker Hill, and Boston Massacre.  Lonely Planet listed Boston as a Top 10 US Travel Destination because of its rich history.

Boston also has one of the highest cost of living in the United States, which means everything is expensive.

We wanted to enjoy a three-day weekend in Boston without having to spend a crazy amount of money – I guess we wanted to Visit Boston on A Budget.  And I would say that we were quite successful at accomplishing this feat. Read more