After we walked around Green Lake yesterday, we headed to REA’s Flagship store in Seattle. I took a couple of pictures there because it’s such an impressive store. The pictures aren’t good though, sorry!
The staff here is just wonderful. They don’t work on commission and so they don’t try to shove equipment at you, instead, they educate and educate and educate. They LOVE to talk about outdoor activities and if they don’t know something, they’ll look it up for you.
Yesterday we bought some of the equipment we’re going to need for our first trip to the Grand Canyon in May. We bought a small 2 man tent, Jeff’s sleeping bag, hiking hats for us both, more hiking socks and hiking poles (yay!). It was quite fun because we had 2 gift cards, Jeff’s a member of REI so he had a rebate coming to him from last years purchases, plus he got a 20% discount on one item and yesterday *I* became a member!!! I’m so excited about that. I have my own REI membership now and this thrills me 🙂 I got a 20% discount too, as a new member. Overall, we got so much in the way of discounts and gift cards, that we got our $179 tent for free! Not bad, huh???
We spent $400 on the rest of the gear, which sounds pretty bad but as we were driving home I was doing some calculating in my noggin. I gave up my horrible addiction to diet soda in December…a lifelong monkey on my back. I easily spent about $600 or more per year on diet sodas! I realized that just by virtue of having given up buying sodas for this year, we essentially got all of that gear for free. I realized in that moment, that living a good, healthy lifestyle, pays you back in so many ways and I don’t think I’ve begun to see all of those ways yet.
We’ll be using that equipment for the next 20 years. Can you believe that in 20 years time we’ll save an additional $12,000 dollars because I gave up drinking Diet Cokes? That’s insane! Wow. It’s sort of awe inspiring in a sick way. That doesn’t take into account what money we’re saving by not eating out, not buying Doritos or donuts or bagels. It’s shocking. You can actually take your money and buy something USEFUL with it, something health-and-happiness-inducing that will last for years. Eat your money or spend it on something great? Such an interesting realization. I don’t feel one bit bad for spending money on good, quality fitness gear now!
Oh, as a new member, I also got a free coupon to do the huge rock wall. I’m not sure if I’m going to do it but I’m not sure I’m NOT going to do it. It never expires, so I’m going to hold onto it and think about whether or not I’d like to add it to my list of goals.
As promised, I’m going to share some pictures from our Saturday hike in Green Water, WA. It was way back into the boondocks so it took about 40 minutes to drive there, but it was probably the best, most beautiful hike I’ve ever been on in my life. It was challenging but not gut-wrenching. Hills and dales in abundance, but not killer hills. Six miles of pure beauty:
I took so many photos, it’s impossible to share them all here. If you’d like to see more, check out my Flickr widget in the sidebar to the right. I uploaded more than 60 photos there, this morning.
Here’s to a great week ahead!!