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Seniors Tiny Travel - for craft workshops and fun, don't miss the Sheep & Goat Fair in Tunbridge VT

Come to the Sheep and Goat Fair - see the warm and wooly gifts to keep you warm this winter!
Come to the Sheep and Goat Fair - see the warm and wooly gifts to keep you warm this winter!
"Photo by Michael Maggs, Wikimedia Commons"

Don't knock sheep and goats! Winter's coming and you may wish you'd had a better understanding of these fine animals whose wool keeps you warm and dry. This Fair will tell all, with workshops to learn how to turn fleece into blankets, sweaters, hats, and bags. Instructors will teach the fancy stitches that make your work stand out.

Why is this Tiny Travel? Because if you live within 50 miles of Tunbridge, Vermont you can get there and back within a day, although it would be more relaxing to spend a night, leaving you more energy to enjoy the Fair.

For many seniors living on a fixed income, travel is one of the pleasures that has become an unreachable luxury. There is a way to squeeze a few small pleasures out of the 'non-discretionary' budget without causing too much disarray.

There are some prerequisites though. First, you and yours must agree on several points.

  • How long or short a trip do you want to take?
  • How much do you want to spend?
  • When is your preferred time to take it?

Answering those questions sets the framework for how much money you have to save each day, week, or month. Let's agree on an educational trip to the The Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds, Tunbridge, VT. It takes place on October 2 & 3, 2010 - or a little over a month away. We'll use five weeks as our window to save up the money.

Before we get into the details, take a look at the Fair's website. It's not just for raising sheep and goats; it's all about wool, making blankets, knitting, making 'boiled wool' - very popular, chic material for hats, bags, etc. And it's not just for women. Men, especially those retired, are becoming increasingly fascinated and adept at what were once considered women's skills. And when it come to actually shearing the sheep, they own that talent, almost exclusively.

The Fair has workshops on both days. The Association has several Travel Rite RV rentals for those wishing to spend the night. Learn all about the Fair on their colorful site: The 22nd Annual Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival

Using Google Maps, we learn that the trip from Burlington to Tunbridge is 77+ miles and takes 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Assume this is a Tiny Trip just for the two of you, a mini-vacation if you will,

  • Round trip drive to Tunbridge from Burlington: gas - !60 miles @ 20 mpg = 8 gallons +/- $25-$30
  • Entrance to the Fair: 2 Seniors @ $5.00 = $10.00
  • Many vendors are having hands-on workshops: price varies, but most lessons run from $25 to around $60
  • Spinning is also taught. Learn to spin wool from all kinds of hair (your Golden Retriever sheds a lot?

Base cost is $40.00 - the rest depends on your choice: pack a picnic? food at the Fair? stop at a nice restaurant en route? For a really pleasant day, $100.00 should be enough to have a special outing.

Now, we have to squeeze that $100 out of an already stretched budget within a five week time frame. That's $20 a week. Here is where priorities count. Are you a smoker? How about cutting out every other cigarette until the Fair? Maybe pass up every other Bud Light for five weeks? Food budget? There's probably some cutting here. Remember, this is just for a definite period of time...not forever!

If you really want to will find a way. And if you had a great time, you may make Tiny Trips a regular item in your budget.

Recommendation: if you can't fully agree on a place to go, try alternating choices.

And a last point - a small get-away like this is amazing relaxation therapy! It could change your outlook on life, or start you on a knitting spree making goodies for the grandkids, or shearling slippers for yourself.

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  • Dennis J 4 years ago

    Interesting article, and I like sheep, but I'm allergic to wool!

  • Profile picture of Patty Davis
    Patty Davis 4 years ago

    Educational outings are not just for the Seniors. If the Seniors have grandkids nearby you can drag them along and force a bit of knowledge down their little throats!

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