by brenton crozier

you’re probably whining about the economy, so . . .
While the term depression is continually bandied about and the official report that the sky is indeed falling was just filed, you are probably wondering where that leaves you. Well, I have no idea. I hope you didn’t sign an ill-advised mortgage or bet your entire savings on Lehman Brothers. I’m wondering, does this situation vindicate the often chastised hillbillies (the “get off my land” types) that swore off financial institutions some time ago and kept the cash in the mattress?
The varying indicators and a whole slew of numbers are discussed on nearly every newscast, along with the ad nauseam presidential election coverage. Seriously, all the information is there, it’s just being regurgitated by the smart people reading the teleprompters. So, while you are considering how to cut back, whether it’s going from two energy drinks a day to one, waiting a few more months on that sweet new iPhone or shopping at the Gap instead of Banana Republic, be sure to take a break from it all.
Take a break from the old and often depressing talking heads on the news, take a break from the downbeat forecasts and take a break from wishing you could take a break. Gas prices are way down, so take advantage while it’s less than $3 a gallon and check out some of these super cheap daytrip ideas and free attractions and activities.
Do you ever feel like getting out of Jacksonville for the day or weekend but have trouble thinking up interesting destinations that are not Orlando or St. Augustine? Roadtrip America has assembled some fantastic day trips that range from a 45 minute to 2 hour drive. These trips focus on both Georgia and Florida’s interiors offering varying landscapes with rivers, creeks, lakes and swamps. Bring your camera, pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the gorgeous weather when you go on your day-long adventure. Additionally, all of the suggested trips are budget friendly!

This site is by no means aesthetically pleasing or comprehensive. However, it does provide some great ideas on how you can spend a day for the best price of all: FREE. Have you visited the Fort Caroline National Memorial, perused the fascinating artifacts at the Jacksonville Fire Museum or taken a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery? The site doesn’t go into great detail, but offers some fantastic suggestions making it a great starting point for weekend planning. But don’t forget that the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is free on Tuesdays and JMOCA is also free for families on Sundays.
Let’s keep the free train, or in this case, trolley going. In this user-submitted article you are provided with six more free activities in Jacksonville. Did you know that there was a free trolley from the Jacksonville Transportation Authority? Three trolley lines pass by interesting sites like the Ritz Theatre and La Villa Museum. There are also musical and outdoor activities suggested. Take part and enjoy these things so that they don’t go away!
Now is a better time than ever to embrace the organic activities that were always so much fun, got kids off their rears and seem to have etched their way into permanent memory as good times. So, get your family together and go to the beach and make sandcastles, visit an aforementioned museum, cook dinner together, maybe even do some volunteer work together or, in the interest of perpetuating my internet-themed article, start a blog together. Whatever your personal economic situation, it is always good for the soul to take a break from it all and return to the things that make you feel human. Enjoy life and do it on the cheap.