First Toll Roads, and now Walking Tolls?

Before the Mast, Dana Point

I don’t know how it is for other parts of the United States, but MANNNN, children’s field trips in Orange County, CA are so freakin’ expensive and even the cheaper trips add up.  Just this last month alone (not entire school year)- my 5th grader approached us:

“Hey, mom, we’re going to Trabuco Field studies” (here need to return this)

 The paperwork states $25.00, for two different days.  It’s a local charter school in the next city, surrounded by fields and they go  hiking and there’s an awesome computer lab) Apparently, this is to pay for the bus fuel, driver, and insurance.  And bring a sack lunch.

“Hey, mom, we’re hosting Colonial Days at our school, and we need to bring something.”

The paperwork states to bring something(s), plural!  They can’t participate if they don’t wear attire from that era.  (that cost $15.00 for black pants, thankfully the white collared shirt and knee-high socks were borrowed.  He was a rebel with his blue tennis shoes and not black shoes.)  Also, bring fruit enough for 10 people, plus $2.00 to contribute to chicken and bring a pie tin.

“Hey, mom, as part of our Colonial Days study, we are staying overnight on a ship.”

The ship is the “Before-the-Mast program” in Dana Point, and the paperwork states $110.00, plus particular attire.  I’m still filling out this thick stack of paper pertaining to that outing (and wincing while writing the check that is a very cool idea, but still a little over-priced) when my daughter hands her latest 3rd grade field trip slip to her dad.

“Hey, dad, we are going to Heritage Park, need to return this tomorrow.”

“Why does it cost $2.00 to walk across the street from the school?  What will you be doing?  It doesn’t cost to get in…you can donate, but it’s free entrance. “

A tiny voice explodes, most exasperated:

“(sigh)…Cuz, we have to pay to WALK, dad!  Just sign it.  I have to turn it in tomorrow!”

Old School house, Heritage Park







8 thoughts on “First Toll Roads, and now Walking Tolls?

    1. See, that’s why my husband and I are actually truly considering moving out of state. It’s just too expensive and the over-crowding in schools is insane. (because there’s no budget- they are closing schools and existing schools have to take the kids) classroom sizes are 35 kids. and they have no room sitting elbow-to-elbow. A bunch of 11-year-old boys? Teachers now “lecture,” like college, they don’t teach my 5th grader how to really do the math. The fields trips, the constant gift baskets and fundraisers. Sports expenses, it’s ridiculously over-the-top. So, we are heading to Oregon this summer to check it out.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Awesome, yes, as nice as the cost of living is here in Georgia, we do have some of the worst academically achieving schools in the country. We were in California over spring break and it’s beautiful, but yes I cant imagine the expenses that go with it 😦


    3. Well, the thing about schools is you can teach your kids at home if there’s something they need more of a challenge on… you can read for the simple fun of it…for the sake of just wanting more knowledge about a particular subject that interests them… learning for the sake of learning…without killing yourself to produce whatever report, mounds of homework that go along with it that the school poors on… it takes the joy out of learning. Now, when we tell the kids to read their cool magazine subsription, they are like “noooo.” So when done with work, we let them watch t.v. or play electronics. I can’t blame them. 😦 I think it’s backfiring.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ok check this out, my boy who turns 11 on Sunday is right now off on a 3 day, 2 night trip at a camp with the entire 4th and 5th grade classes of his public school here in Salem. They are staying at a camp about 20 miles from here. I packed his clothes and sleeping bag, one sack lunch and… drumroll please… it cost $20. YEAH LIFE IN OREGON ROCKS!


    1. OMG- that’s awesome for you (my son is 11 in 5th grade)- but totally pisses me off more about our situation. $110.00 bucks for them to get to Dana point about 1pm (with their sack lunch) and then they stay over night and I have to pick him up at 9am the next morning. (all cranky- because they have to man the ship- stay up most of the night) -so the teachers don’t want to deal with them the following day- so now I have to take a day off work (because my husband is traveling) to pick up my cranky child and be home with him while the rest of the grades are at school. Awesome. But, it is a SHIP, so the cool factor is kind of there. I never got to do that growing up… part of the Colonial days study.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Pricey for sure! He will get quite an experience out of it at least. It sucks that you have to take the day off work, it seems like they didn’t plan that out very well at the school. My son is also a 5th grader. If you are seriously considering Oregon as a new place to call home, I can give you some places to check out for fun and for free when you are out here! It is also way more possible to live on one income here unlike California.


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