Sunday, May 16, 2010

My attempt at stimulating the economy...

So for years now, I've been wanting to get a DSLR camera. Photography has always been an interest of mine, but I could never swallow the cost of the initial purchase. Buying a DSLR camera, and slowly adding on various lenses, is more than just retail therapy. It's an investment. I always said that once we have kids, THEN I'll give in and get one. I figured I had more of an excuse. I could use it to take higher quality pictures of our kids, rather than paying someone else to do it, etc. I realize that a fancy camera will not produce amazing pictures on its own, but I would love to learn the ins and outs and really get into photography as a hobby...and what better practice than using a cute infant as the model?

So yeah...that day never came. After losing Jake, I quickly put off the idea. Fast forward several years, and I started researching them again while pregnant with Liv. I figured we had made it to that point after years of interest and delay. I could finally justify such a purchase. Well, the shock of Liv's death initially buried the idea again. However, come late January, I decided to say screw it and get it anyways. I mean, why not? At this point, I might be waiting for a time that never will come. If it's something that has always lingered as an interest, I may as well give in and do it now...especially with our vacation coming up. If I got one and taught myself the basics now, maybe we could reap the benefits sooner than later.

Of course, just my the time I finally decided on which one to get, it was sold out. It has been several months now and it's STILL sold out. Seriously. I can't get a break. I almost decided to just get a lower end model due to impatience, but James encouraged me to wait it out and get the one that I wanted. Sweet, sweet Jamie.

Well, after checking Canon's website for the current promotions, I learned that this particular camera was under a new instant rebate. Anyone that knows me, knows that a sale is the ultimate high in my book. I was very happy to see that I could save a nice chunk of change if I purchased it right now. Of course, it's still sold out, so an instant rebate isn't going to do me any good. BUT, much to my surprise, good ol' AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Service) allows you to purchase items on back order. So unlike all the other stores that I tried, who just say "Out of Stock" and that's that, I can at least put an order in. Did I mention they were also offering a 15% off coupon to anything on their website (thanks to Armed Forces Day)? Yeah, I sure couldn't pass that up. So thanks to AAFES, I at least made the first step in attempting to purchase this crazy thing. They claim to be receiving some in early July so maybe, just MAYBE, I'll receive it in the mail before our vacation!

Speaking of our vacation...that's the other aspect of our mini stimulus. I received some more definite dates from James regarding our redeployment block leave. With those dates in mind, I finally got serious about booking our cruise and am now just one step away from having it set in stone.

I must say...for someone that has never been on a cruise before, it's a bit overwhelming. I mean, there are so many cruise lines, ships, options, styles of cruising, etc. What to pick? Who to go with? I even went to a cruise critic website to see what people had to say about various cruise lines. I can't remember which line it was, but one of them, I guess, is notorious for being popular among the 55 and older crowd. I was half tempted to book our trip with them! What better way to guarantee a week where there won't be any small kids around? I know we'd be out of place though, so that's a no go. The next best thing was the Norwegian Cruise Line "Freestyle Cruising" option. They pride themselves on offering everything when you want it and however you want to do it. So instead of having to put on a suit for dinner at 6pm, joining people you don't know at the same table every night, you can do as you please without any requirements. I figured after the year we've had, flexibility would be nice. So NCL it is!

After I figured out what would fit our interests the best, I contacted NCL directly, as well as a few travel agencies. I figured I'd call around to see who had the best deal. Much to my surprise, using Discover Card's travel agency knocks the rest out of the water! We now have our cruise reservations on hold at the absolute lowest price I could find. I'm just waiting for the final okay from James regarding the dates. Once I get it, I will make it official. I'm still so paranoid about paying for tickets and something changing. I mean, it is the Army we're talking about. If there's one thing you can count on, it's that things can and WILL change. So we'll see...

After the crazy spending going on right now, I think we're going to have to put ourselves on lock down come September. Okay...maybe not. It's probably not a bad idea though...


  1. yay to the cruise. p.s. they don't allow babies younger than 5-6 months on cruise ships, fyi.

  2. Yeah. They don't allow preggos that are further than 24 weeks along, as well as kids younger than 6 months old...