1 The Extended Trip | The Billfold

The Extended Trip

Logan Sachon: Hey Mike, have you ever kept extending a weekend trip so that it lasted two weeks?

Mike Dang: No, up until I was working for myself this year, I never had the luxury of extending any trips—just cutting them down because of work.

LS: So you’ve taken a two-week trip and shortened it to a weekend?

MD: Yes!

LS: :(

MD: When are you flying back again?

LS: Sunday!

MD: Clear skies ahead! (Finally.)

LS: This has been a good trip for me. I’ve reconnected with my cousins. Made some new friends. Seen a new city.

MD: Yeah, you spent like half a month there!

LS: Ha well the main reason I kept extending my ticket—”main reason”—is that every time it’s been time for me to fly back, I think of having to get home from LGA. And it’ll either take me two hours or cost me a million dollars. So when the cousins are like, “Just stay longer,” I’m like, “Okay.”

MD: Ha. It’ll cost you $65 max. Just do what you did when you first came to stay with me in the city. Pay $13 to get on the express bus to Penn Station. And then take the subway from there.

LS: Haha, I have zero recollection of ever doing that. But that is so many steps!

MD: “So many steps”—Two steps! Girl, this is how you save money.

LS: So first I have to get cash. And then I have to find the bus. And then I have to pay. And then I have to find a seat. It’s a lot of steps.

MD: Haha, I’m sure you’ll be able to find $13 in Minnesota.

LS: Okay, so real talk, OBVIOUSLY I know I am capable of getting home from the airport and figuring it out. I’ve done it before, will do it again! It’s just … the THOUGHT of it that exhausts me. It’s like taxes! Not that bad when you do them! HORRIBLE when you THINK about doing them! So when I’m sitting here on this couch in Minnesota and it’s like, well, I guess I better pack up all my stuff and get on a plane and a bus and train, it feels stressful.

MD: Which is why you’ve turned your initial weekend trip to Minneapolis into a two-week trip! You managed to escape the city while it was (and still is) in turmoil from Sandy. Tell me what life is like there and how it compares to living here.

LS: WELL. My cousins who got married (they weren’t both my cousins when they got married, only one of them was my cousin, and now I’m just calling them my cousins because that’s easier than my cousin and her husband or my cousin and cousin-in-law) live here. And I’m staying with them with my other cousin. And also three big dogs. And so I’ve really just been hanging out in this cozy house with cousins and dogs and the house is kind of on a little hill and you can see a lake, because there are lakes everywhere, and it’s really fun! And eating meat. So much meat. It’s a really good thing I stopped being a vegetarian because if I still was one I would either starve or require a separate meal every meal.

My cousin grew up on a farm, and this is Minnesota so there are a lot of farms? And so they do that thing where they buy like, half a cow or and a pig and get it butchered and put it in a deep freezer. It’s laughable how much meat they eat.

And it’s not just like, “Oh, this pasta sauce has ground beef in it,” it’s like, “This ground beef has some pasta sauce in it.” Last night I made dinner—sauted kale and then this bean and squash thing–and my cuz was like, “Oh, an appetizer.” ALL MEAT ALL THE TIME.

MD: Haha. Is food cheaper when you live near a farming community? Or is it cheaper because your cousins seem to be buying in bulk?

LS: I think it’s because they buy in bulk, and they have the opportunity to do that because there are farmers here? I mean that’s actually something you can do anywhere. I’M SURE there are folks who do that in NYC. I had friends who did it in Portland. COW SHARE instead of veggie share.

MD: Right, except it less likely that we have giant freezers here to store half a cow.

But you mentioned that haircuts are also a lot cheaper in Minneapolis. Have you noticed other stuff like that? Whenever I leave New York and go back to visit my folks, or go anywhere that’s basically not a big expensive city, I see these tiny differences. When I was in Dallas last month, I noticed that the coffee I bought at a Starbucks was cheaper because of the lower local sales tax there.

LS: Yes, Starbucks is def cheaper. I’m in one now actually and my hilarious SALTED CARAMEL MOCHA (grande) was $4.55. I think in New York it’d be $10.

MD: But, you’re coming back to the city this weekend (maybe? You’ve been changing the dates on my every time I ask you). What will you miss about Minneapolis?

‪LS: ‬Sunday. SUNDAY. I’ll miss the fireplace and the dogs. And the company, OF COURSE. Someone making me dinner even if it is real meaty. But today I was walking down the street, and I remembered I live in New York, and kind of smiled and did a little dance and really embarrassed myself … in front of myself. That’ll last about until I land. And get on a bus, is that what we decided? A bus to a train. Or a car to a house. One of the two.



17 Comments / Post A Comment

Megano! (#124)

In my family it’s cheaper because the meat actually comes from their farm half the time. I cannot partakes though because I do not have a massive freezer.

Fig. 1 (#632)

2 weeks is a bit much, even for “Minnesota Nice”. Come home, Logan!
-someone from the Canadian equivalent of Minnesota

highjump (#39)

How did you not mention the cheap drinks? Dear god the cheap drinks! I never ever had a three digit bar tab in Minneapolis. Even when I hosted a bachelorette party for 6 people at a karaoke bar. Everything is cheaper and cleaner in Minnesota.

LizB (#2,701)

Ah! My fair city, the Mill City, City of Lakes, city of cleanliness, educated people, and live music galore. I was going to say something about how it sounds like you missed out on what Minneapolis has to offer, but nevermind. As I like to say, we keep the riffraff out. Safe travels!!

Stephanie (#2,702)

So I’m sitting here, in Minneapolis, Meatsville USA, this tiny little prairie town with hand-cranked intern–wait, what? It’s a real live city? With millions of people? Not just a farm town with roads paved with sides of beef? Oh wait, my bad. :) Come on, guys! ATMs did finally make it to the midwest, so you’ll definitely find $13 in cash.

Re: airport travel, even here in Minneapolis I’d be hard-pressed to take a cab home for less than $45 and I live just a 15 minute drive away. You can either have time, or money, but not both. All you have to do to save $50 is not require instant gratification. That’s like a weekend’s worth of mindless little purchases (sandwiches! ice cream! magazines!) so just think of all the fun things you can do with it.

Stephanie (#2,702)

Oh, ALSO. Logan. Before you go back to a town that actually sells a $100 hamburger, go to Matt’s Bar on Cedar Ave. in Minneapolis and get a Jucy Lucy. It’s like $6 and the best cheeseburger I have ever put in my mouth. Just don’t go right at noon or 6 because you’ll have to wait for a table while you smell the best smells that air has ever carried you way and that is torture.

Stephanie (#2,702)

@highjump–a “three digit bar tab”? That sounds horrifying.

ThatJenn (#916)

@Stephanie I know, I actually gasped out loud at that.

(I did once have a $120 bar tab. It was for about 20 people over multiple hours. That doesn’t count.)

cmoney (#2,344)

Aren’t you paying change fees each time you push your date back? Also, if LGA is really the problem, most airlines will let you change to a different NYC airport for the same price as changing the LGA flight. Since it’s MSP and I’m assuming you are flying Delta, they have flights to all 3 NYC airports. Change to JFK and your transpo problems are solved.

Another alternative is trying to get on a JFK-bound flight standby once you get to the airport. So long as you aren’t checking bags, just get to MSP early and see if you can standby on a JFK bound flight instead of your own. You might even get lucky and your flight to LGA will be overbooked and then you can get bumped and ask to be rebooked on a JFK flight + get the voucher to be used on future flights.

SOUTHWEST. no change fees!!!

mishaps (#65)

I’ve done a meat-share thing in New York, where a group of us got together to buy basically a half of a cow, and we split it up into I think eighths? Even then, that was too much meat for me, sadly.

lizard (#2,615)

if they just got married, dont you think they might want some time alone?

zou bisou (#1,637)

Guests, like fish, begin to smell after 3 days…

Also, Logan’s “teehee I’m totally drowning in debt but am super lazy so I’ll just keep spending money unjustifiably” shtick is really effing annoying. Pull yourself together woman!

lizard (#2,615)

@zou bisou its a car crash…..cant look away

DON (#706)

@zou bisou Hey! Everybody be nice to Logan!

readyornot (#816)

@DON don’t worry, no one takes zou bisou seriously after s/he (I suspect she) went off on how making clothes that fit people appropriately encourages obesity acceptance and is a “drain on society.” Or when she defended the super-precise low tipper.

raisa (#2,720)

@zou bisou I don’t see how going to a family member’s wedding is spending money unjustifiably. Also, Logan hasn’t been on vacation. She has been doing her job from another place, which is possible because of the kind of job she has. (You can blog from anywhere! True Fact.) Logan has been honest about her financial situation (which, despite the fact that the comments section of this website does not skew that way, is the financial situation of many, many people in his country). That has opened up a really good conversation about financial habits and financial decisions, both on this website, and, I would bet, many people’s lives. We don’t talk about how much money we make or how we spend it in a healthy or honest way, in general. I think this website is changing that, and that Logan’s honesty about the poor decisions she’s made and the ways in which she’s trying to do better has been crucial in that change. I guess the price we have to pay for that (on the Internet especially) is unthinking comments like these that serve only to undermine that conversation (and make the commenter feel better about having never, ever, ever made an unwise purchase in his or her life, I’m sure).

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