Bananas, botany, and balloon animals were all part of the day when my wife Beth, our daughters Eleanor (8) and Abigail (7), and I set out to experience Rochester on a $30 budget.
Beth cooked our backyard hens’ eggs for breakfast. Then, we headed to the Farmers Market. Armed with umbrellas, we explored the market and tipped The Young & Old Timers, a string band featuring clog dancing, $1.
After marveling at a mimosa sensitive plant’s ability to move its leaves away from danger, we spent $4 on a quart of organic green beans, and Abigail tipped Andrew Klein $1 for her blue balloon moose.
Next, we headed to the Rochester Public Library. Abigail stocked up on fairy books, Eleanor found a short novel called The Elephant’s Tale, and Beth found encaustic art books.
After biking to Kwik Trip, we bought two $1 scratch-off tickets and excitedly won $6, making a profit of $4. We stopped at Forager with our winnings. Eleanor chose hot chocolate, Abigail ordered a raspberry Italian soda, and Beth and I sipped the complementary tea and coffee Forager gives bicyclists. The girls’ drinks cost $4.75; we tipped our barista Neysa a quarter (Sorry Neysa!). We enjoyed Chinese checkers before biking home, and Beth found a penny as we left.
At home, we ransacked our fridge for cold cuts and cutie oranges before heading to the Fiber Art Fair at Salem Glen Winery where the girls got a spinning lesson from fiber artist Amarama
Vercnocke, we enjoyed the gently bleating baby alpacas and the fluffy angora rabbits, we fit in a quick game of bean bags, and Beth scoped out skeins for a future yarn bombing project.
From there, we headed to the Rochester Greek Festival where we toured golden icons in the Orthodox Church and watched whirling folk dancers. After two free festivals, we still had $23.01 to burn.
At the Slatterly Park Music & A Movie event, we splurged on hotdogs, popcorn, two glow necklaces, and a raffle ticket for a total of $14. We enjoyed Phil Calkins’ rendition of “Piano Man” while we ate, and the girls played on the jungle gym.
With $9.01 in hand, we went to see Claire “CB Lemon” Hilton and Winston Howard play at Café Steam. We cashed in loyalty punch cards for Beth and me to enjoy teas. The girls ordered lemonade. With $1 tip, we spent $5.50. We played Apples to Apples listening to a live performance of a Dylan song.
Walking to the People’s Co-op, we had $3.51. The girls used explorer cards for free bananas, and we bought Annie’s Berry Fruit Tape, on sale for $3.
We headed back to Slatterly Park for the free Lego Movie. Who doesn’t like a movie including Gandalf and Lando Calrissian that undermines corporate conformity? A few mosquitoes itchier, we had a jingling 51 cents while we walked over Bear Creek humming “Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team.” Thanks for an incredible day Rochester!