I think I’ve probably told it enough that many people know why I’m going to the comps in the first place, or at least what helped me decide to go, but with all the good comes some bad. Let’s start with the good, shall we?! The good is this will be fun and I can get out and about and meet folks I’ve been chatting with on-line now for years, in the beard (so to speak). It will help lend credence to my site to those who still balk at it as a ‘real beard’ site. It will also help spread the word about the site. Word of Mouth is always the best, most trusted advertising I think. I’ve since decided to enter the competition in the Full Beard Natural category; always the largest and most competitive of them. So I”m going ‘all in!’ I’ll also get to actually ‘see’ New Orleans’ French Quarter. I know of it’s great history and pirates too. 😀 yay! lol Living on Florida’s East Coast keeps one abreast of Pirate lore and treasure, even if you’re not trying to be. Living just south of The United States oldest continually inhabited city, St Augustine (1565), doesn’t help either! lol It has a long and wonderful history and is so charming. I love to go there to ‘rejuvenate’ as I love being around ‘history,’ as it seems to calm my soul. Sorry, I digress so back to NOLA.
So that’s some of the good that’s going to come of this journey of mine. (My last road trip that i was gone more then one day, was Thanksgiving 2004) so I deserve to get the hell out Dodge, as they say.
The downside to this expedition is the financial side. Most who know me know I’m on disability income. (Car Accident 1991, upstate NY) It barely covers my bills as it is and I never have money to do ‘fun’ things unless I opt to pay bank fees on money I’ve ‘borrowed.’ Creative financing a good buddy refers to it as. So through one of my sites sponsors, the hotel is covered, thankfully. That is at $110 a night and I’ll check in the 5th and out the 8th. Now comes transportation as I don’t own my own vehicle. (It’s just too costly for me to to do so). The rental car is priced at $282 for Thursday through Sunday. Entering the competition was $54, and of course there’s gas for the nearly 1400 miles (roundtrip), 10.75 hour (each way) long journey. There’s also food, drinks, souvenirs, and any incidentals that may pop up. Well $300 is 1/4th of my Monthly income so I’m already in trouble. My phone bill is slated to come out of that too. Now I still haven’t paid my rent, my electric, internet, my doctor bill, the montly cost of the site, or groceries yet for September. (I’m sure there are some other bills that are just eluding me at this point of the night) The parking at the Sheraton of New Orleans is $40 a day! Oh my fucking God! The Orlando International Airport charges $17 a day max and we all think that’s pricey! lol Wow. Their site also tells that there is little parking around or near it, so you pretty much have to use their parking lot.
When you’re on such a tight budget, doing things like this really screws me up and I do it often, though not with trips, usually with simple things like buying clothes, or shoes will throw my budget so far out of whack, it takes me months to catch up. I’m not trying nor intending to throw a ‘pity party’ for myself, but this is simply the way it is. I’ve lived like this since 1991, never having enough money to meet my needs even as far as just paying bills.
So with the Happy comes some Pain and I will endure, because this journey I feel is a must for me to take.
Gary W Norman