Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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capitalhockey
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Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by capitalhockey »

We have spent the last 20 years grinding at work and saving away. I am about to enter my 40s and wanted to loosen the purse strings a bit to make fun memories with the wife and kids. We are still maxing out our 401k savings and contributing to savings in taxable account but want to do some intentional spending along the way. I dont want us to look back with a huge bank balance but have regrets things that we missed out on.

Despite being frugal, we usually spend a lot on travel (domestic and international). I was hoping to get more ideas from people on what toys/experiences they have purchased that has brought the most joys (besides buying more VTI funds or hiring lawn care, etc).

Below are some ideas we brainstormed:

-Kayaks to explore lakes/rivers
-Fishing poles
-Charter boats
-African safari
-Extended stay on an Italian villa
-Cooking classes
-National Parks
-Dude Ranch

Please share your ideas and let us know which one you enjoyed the most. Thanks.
Last edited by capitalhockey on Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ponyboy
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by ponyboy »

National parks. Out of all the things we ever purchased, we never talk about a tv I purchased 10 years ago, or a vehicle we purchased 10 years ago. We still talk about experiences we had seeing natures beauty.
OldBallCoach
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by OldBallCoach »

Yellowstone...summer and you MUST go once in the winter....no words to explain it...just simply amazing.
FinancialSnowboarder
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by FinancialSnowboarder »

I listened to a recent podcast about making a list of 100 places you'd like to visit or experiences you'd like to try. It forces you to really get creative and think of things you normally wouldn't try.

Some of the things I've enjoyed are:

- Domestic and international travel
- Bicycle tours in new cities when traveling internationally. I usually do it in the first 1-2 days to get a better feel of the city.
- Long term ski lease in Mammoth Lakes.
- Glacier hiking in New Zealand
- Riding a helicopter
- Scuba diving and getting certified
- Paying for camps and coaching to get better at favorite hobbies
- Treating out my parents, friends, and friends to a nice dinner
- Horseback riding
- Concerts and events to see my favorite musicians or artists
- Theragun, or something equivalent (it's amazing!)
- Making a list of different ethnic or cultural foods to try, and eating at a restaurant that specializes in that food.
- Bungee jumping in New Zealand (surprisingly I felt very safe, and it was commercialized in New Zealand)
- Snowboarding in Japan
- Taking a dip in the natural hot springs in California and Japan
- Taking a random workout class you would never take. My friend and I took a cycling workout class and never sweated so much in our lives. We still laugh about that experience to this day
Last edited by FinancialSnowboarder on Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
backpacker61
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by backpacker61 »

What I remember with greatest pleasure from my years growing up is the simple outdoor experiences I had with my immediate family. This could be at National Parks, National Forests, State Parks, Corps of Engineers campgrounds, BLM land, etc.

I would suggest keeping it simple; a tent or two, camp stove, ice chest, sleeping bags, a set of day packs and hiking footwear for everyone for hiking trips, etc. The idea is to get away from diversions and enjoy the wonderful outdoor experiences this country has to offer with the people that are most important to you.
“Now shall I walk or shall I ride? | 'Ride,' Pleasure said; | 'Walk,' Joy replied.” | | ― W.H. Davies
mceagle555
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by mceagle555 »

- National Parks
- Berry Picking, Apple Picking, Local Farm Tours (Great memories, cheap food)
- Cooking classes (Fun times and educational for kiddos)
- Cheap international travel (Look at deals on Flyertalk, the travel equivalent forum of BH. For example, I went a week to the Maldives in an overwater bungalow + business class flights for $3k total. Normally that would have been an $18k trip)
- Peloton (Fitness is important for staying active when exploring with kiddos)
- A good camera Phone (iPhone 12 Pro is amazing for documenting all of the above)
- A good computer (Think of how much time you spend online. Get one that works well & is quick. The time/efficiency gain is worth it.)
vested1
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by vested1 »

The most rewarding experiences revolved around kayak fishing on mountain lakes for trout and camping around those lakes. Bear encounters occurred often, which are burned into our memories. Most trips were to the Sierra Nevada mountains in California or in the mountains of Oregon and Washington states.

Also very memorable were rafting trips with a guide down the North Umpqua River in Oregon with the guide providing history of the region including native culture. Honorable mention to catching huge trout on the Yellowstone River.

Vacations to the Big Island of Hawaii, snorkeling two step, swimming with Manta Rays and dolphins in the open ocean, walking across the smoking Kilauea Iki caldera for several miles wondering if we were insane, snorkeling at Kapoho tide pools (now covered with lava from the latest eruption). Renting kayaks at Kealakekua Bay (Captain Cooks) and experiencing the spinner dolphins surrounding the kayak. Cresting 5 foot waves in a double kayak on the way out and the way back in. Listening to my wife's screams of terror as we did so.

Driving our new travel trailer (Casita) back from Texas for 3 weeks, stopping and camping at Palo Duro State Park near Amarillo, and numerous lakes on the way back home to California. Stopping at Williams in Arizona with the Casita and taking the train to the Grand Canyon for the day, then visiting Bearizona wildlife park near Williams where bison, black bears, mountain sheep, and timber wolves are housed in realistic animal friendly enclosures. Driving through the bear enclosure with black bears right outside your window.

The new 8' pool table in our walkout basement.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by JoeRetire »

capitalhockey wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:28 pmI was hoping to get more ideas from people on what toys/experiences they have purchased that has brought the most joys (besides buying more VTI funds or hiring lawn care, etc).

Please share your ideas and let us know which one you enjoyed the most. Thanks.
For me personally, pickleball equipment, a computer, a Kindle, and an iPod.
For my wife and I, kayaks and bicycles.
For the grandkids, kayaks.

For the family when our children were young, an inground swimming pool.

For all of us, our purchase of a beach community house.
Just remember: it's not a lie if you believe it.
GmanJeff
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by GmanJeff »

Various guitars, but most particularly my Gibson ES-335 and Les Paul Custom, plugged in to a Mesa Boogie Mark IV while performing with a band. When a tune comes together and the guitar tone is all one could want, the experience is transcendent.
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climber2020
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by climber2020 »

capitalhockey wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:28 pm Despite being frugal, we usually spend a lot on travel (domestic and international). I was hoping to get more ideas from people on what toys/experiences they have purchased that has brought the most joys (besides buying more VTI funds or hiring lawn care, etc).
A small, nice camera to document all the travels and other stuff you listed. Lets you look back 10 years from now and re-live the memories.

Lately I've been using my phone most of the time, but there's still no real substitute for a camera with a big sensor and a well made lens.
kleiner
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by kleiner »

My hobby is model trains - for less than $4000 per year, I get innumerable hours of enjoyment from building and operating my model trains.
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

Simple stuff:
swimming in the ocean
playing cards with friends
good conversation
a good night’s sleep
cookies

Deluxe stuff:
vacations, especially involving looking at wildlife
gadgets
home improvements
concerts
steak
quantAndHold
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by quantAndHold »

African Safari. We’ve been all over the world. The African Safari was the best, followed closely by a driving trip in New Zealand.

Also, our house. I know people on BH like to dis home ownership, but the consistency over the years, and the feeling of HOME when I’m there with my family, brings me joy.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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nisiprius
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by nisiprius »

For me the key is that the experiences have to be moderately "work-like" or "hobby-like" and involve the cumulative building of some kind of skill or know-how. Truly passive, packaged experiences, like even the best amusement-park rides, or driving the loop road in a national park and getting out at all the stops, are like buying "things." I won't knock it, not at all, but it is a quick high that fades. It doesn't really count as an "experience" in my opinion. It's more like "stuff" than "an experience." It's for that reason that I found The Bucket List unsatisfying.

Participating for two decades in a barbershop chorus (don't ask) was nourishing. So have perhaps ten appearances in community theatre.

If I have to pick one thing, I would probably say that for me it has been photography. At a very rough guess I've owned... Baby Brownie Special, Brownie Reflex, what WAS the 2¾" twin-lens reflex with f/stops and shutter speeds, Kodak Pony 135 (35 mm), Ricoh 519 (rangefinder) Miranda DR and Miranda G (SLRs with interchangeable lenses), Olympus XA (pocket-sized 35 mm rangefinder), Canon Digital Elph (2 and 4 megapixels), Sony Cybershot pocket-size (on my third). A couple of Polaroids in there, too. So the point is, even including the interchangeable lenses and such from the SLR days, my lifetime total expenses for gear have probably been 12 x $300 = $3,600 year-2021 dollars. Film and processing... figure twenty rolls per year at $5/roll for film, $10/roll for processing and snapshot prints, and perhaps $100/year on enlargements and such... $400/year. More in recent years as I now use an online service to create photo books rather than just putting little photos in an album.

Either that, or my actual work (paid $60/day, got called about 12-20 days a year, got a W2) as an occasional substitute teacher, or the volunteer tutoring I'm doing now.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
eggraid101
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by eggraid101 »

- a nice acoustic guitar
- an electric bike

are the two toys I can think of within the past 5 years or so.
jebmke
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by jebmke »

Binoculars and Spotting Scope

edit: and corkscrew
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nisiprius
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by nisiprius »

Nobody has yet said "Speculative investments in my 'funny money' account." I wonder if someone will?
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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MrBobcat
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by MrBobcat »

Camping
Hunting (with friends and family of course)
Hiking (in the middle of nowhere with no other people around than those I went with)
Books

Less generic, more personal.
Birth of my kids.
My daughters wedding last weekend... Had way, way more fun than I ever thought I would.
Attending all of my kids college graduations.
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MrBobcat
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by MrBobcat »

OldBallCoach wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 12:40 pm Yellowstone...summer and you MUST go once in the winter....no words to explain it...just simply amazing.
I've been to Yellowstone so many times over years I can't even count them but have never been there in the Winter, it's definitely on my bucket list.
MoonOrb
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by MoonOrb »

Travel, easily, and in particular:

-National Parks
-2 week trip to Paris renting an AirBnb
-Japan

Singular experiences:

-completing a marathon
-skydiving

Smaller things:

-gym membership
-clothes that fit well
-Vitamix blender
-Bose noise canceling headphones
-Kindle
helloeveryone
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by helloeveryone »

nisiprius wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:07 pm For me the key is that the experiences have to be moderately "work-like" or "hobby-like" and involve the cumulative building of some kind of skill or know-how. Truly passive, packaged experiences, like even the best amusement-park rides, or driving the loop road in a national park and getting out at all the stops, are like buying "things." I won't knock it, not at all, but it is a quick high that fades. It doesn't really count as an "experience" in my opinion. It's more like "stuff" than "an experience." It's for that reason that I found The Bucket List unsatisfying.

Participating for two decades in a barbershop chorus (don't ask) was nourishing. So have perhaps ten appearances in community theatre.

If I have to pick one thing, I would probably say that for me it has been photography. At a very rough guess I've owned... Baby Brownie Special, Brownie Reflex, what WAS the 2¾" twin-lens reflex with f/stops and shutter speeds, Kodak Pony 135 (35 mm), Ricoh 519 (rangefinder) Miranda DR and Miranda G (SLRs with interchangeable lenses), Olympus XA (pocket-sized 35 mm rangefinder), Canon Digital Elph (2 and 4 megapixels), Sony Cybershot pocket-size (on my third). A couple of Polaroids in there, too. So the point is, even including the interchangeable lenses and such from the SLR days, my lifetime total expenses for gear have probably been 12 x $300 = $3,600 year-2021 dollars. Film and processing... figure twenty rolls per year at $5/roll for film, $10/roll for processing and snapshot prints, and perhaps $100/year on enlargements and such... $400/year. More in recent years as I now use an online service to create photo books rather than just putting little photos in an album.

Either that, or my actual work (paid $60/day, got called about 12-20 days a year, got a W2) as an occasional substitute teacher, or the volunteer tutoring I'm doing now.
cool stuff.
what would you say is your favorite point and shoot camera? (fixed lens)

in 2014 I bought a nikon DSLR DX format and love it, have 3 lenses - doesn't get used too much due to bulk
I love my olympus tg 5 which i bought for rugged things

I'm thinking I'm ready to get a fixed lens compact camera as my third "good" camera. ~$1000 range I'd be fine with (+/- couple hundred if that was needed for an awesome camera)
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vectorizer
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by vectorizer »

An old television station news production van that I've been outfitting and using for amateur radio for the past 4 years. Had some adventures, good and bad, and gained a whole lot of confidence by designing and building electronic systems. A fun hands-on hobby after a career in software.

Kind of a niche suggestion though. :-)
BalancedJCB19
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by BalancedJCB19 »

Great post. We are in our late 50s and we really got into Disney when my daughter was younger and then it became a tradition. Those vacations don't come cheap, but we did that every year for about 7 years.

Now that my daughter is a professional adult, it is time to take other types of vacations, but I think vacations are so important and glad to spend money on them.

I also am a big fan of hobbies and collecting. I recently got into collecting watches (all kinds, not just luxury watches) and am really enjoying the hobby and I must admit it feels kind of like an addiction, but again if it gives your life a bit of purpose and puts a smile on your face it is worth the money.

And lastly, buying my Martin guitar makes playing so much nicer and the sound is like no other, worth the extra money.
Also, my collection of investing books which bought me to this carefree place in my life where I no longer worry about having enough.
rich126
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by rich126 »

I'm pretty simple and easy.

I've thoroughly enjoyed my ski trips in my 30s with friends. Great mountain scenery and snow.
I've enjoyed my trips to Europe, especially the Christmas markets.

In terms of possessions these may seem strange but at the time they simply made things better for me:
1. Cable internet. Lived in an area where we had early access to cable internet which clearly blew away dial up modems.
2. HDTV: The difference in quality from standard tv was huge to me. I haven't tried 4K and usually don't chase the latest but this was great.
3. I don't splurge on cars but will admit to buying a Toyota MR2 after getting my first engineering job. It was a blast. Had it for 10 yrs until
electrical problems got too costly. Even was stolen once and recovered later that night.
4. iphone/ipod/tablets: I don't sleep on flights, even international ones so having a device where I can watch movies and play games was a huge
positive thing to pass time.
5. Waze/Carplay: While Waze has a huge issue with road closures, it does a great job in my locations at finding routes that I would never put together and help avoid traffic jams. Now combined with Carplay I can use Waze + either listen to baseball games on MLB audio or using radio.com listen to my favorite sports channels while commuting.
6. Streaming: Access to old shows I've missed, avoiding ads, watching on demand.
7. DVR: This is obsolete now due to streaming but I hated VCRs since they were slow, hard to rewind, setup, etc. but getting my first tivo made a huge difference.
8. FF miles/points: Have taken all of my trips via business/first class flights using points/miles to pay for them. Flights I would have never paid for but have enjoyed the personal space (not really interested in the alcohol, or the food) and being treated like a real person. I've done long coach flights in my younger days and they were painful and long.
9. iMac: Grew up before Microsoft, then lived through DOS/Windows and still use them often but Macs just work for home use, great displays, no real issues. Costly but if you can afford it, do it.
10. Microwave: Not really but I needed a 10th, and at one time I used it often. Maybe I should replace this with a broiler. Only took me until my 50s to find how useful that is to cook burgers and steaks.
jt90505
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by jt90505 »

Something I'm getting more joy from than anticipated...Getting a good flatbed scanner and scanning in all the family images we have, dating back over 100 years. Use them for computer background and regularly switch. Scanning took a couple of of retirement months and still using Photoshop Elements to address faded/damaged/red eye/etc.
Lynx310650
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by Lynx310650 »

Highly subjective. But whether it's a material good or experience, I've gotten the most joy when it was the first time of something.

Bit of a BH meme I know, but I actually like and collect wristwatches. No subsequent Rolex has brought me anywhere near the joy of my first one.

Same thing with vacations, restaurants, trying out a new attraction, etc.

So I always try to strive to buy or do something new over old and repetitive. Even if we do vacation in the same spot, we try to do something different or new during that trip everytime.
William4589
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by William4589 »

Experiences
- cup of coffee with my dad when he was still alive (I miss him)
- my frequent dinners with my mom after all the health scares she's battled through
- 2019 solo trip to Japan
Love to travel to Japan off-peak Jan-Feb and grab a guide for evening exploring. It's such a safe and beautiful country. Their trains are amazing too. Have rescheduled my second trip there in 2020 and 2021 due to covid and hope to finally solo it again there in 2022.

Toys
- 2010 4Runner (it's a tank)
hi_there
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by hi_there »

Hi, OP. The one trip I really feel compelled to do at the moment is to do a Galapagos Islands nature cruise. Those tortoises are not going to be around forever. If you like nature, I would also encourage you to visit Great Barrier Reef or similar snorkel/dive destinations. Yes, I am aware that burning jet fuel to go to Australia hastens the demise of corals and sealife... but hopefully, if people start to appreciate this fragile nature more, it will lead to net positive conservation.

Other than that, I like to take pictures of birds and stuff like that. Thousands of dollars of camera equipment and looking like a douchebag with a 500mm lens has not been a waste.

Otherwise, nowadays, I think I only buy toys for baby. No matter how much you will enjoy Rolex, sports car, etc., it will not even be 10% of the joy experienced by kids getting new stuff at a fraction of the price of adults' toys.
diasurfer
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by diasurfer »

Sailboat, and doing weekend cruises on it with the wife and kids. Not an economical toy howeve.r
quantAndHold
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by quantAndHold »

nisiprius wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:16 pm Nobody has yet said "Speculative investments in my 'funny money' account." I wonder if someone will?
I’m really, truly surprised that nobody has said VTSAX yet. I mean, this is Bogleheads, right?

As far as cameras, I share your affliction. My absolute favorites, though, are a bright pink Holga, and a 4x6” large format camera, the kind where the guy is hiding under a black cloth to take the picture.

The plastic fantastic Holga takes terrible pictures, but the joy of walking around the street taking bad pictures of complete strangers with a neon pink camera cannot be overstated. Taking the picture almost always starts a conversation. And the 4x6 requires slowing down, and treating photography as a craft, one carefully crafted shot at a time, but produces results that can’t really be had any other way. And yes, if I start using it on the street, I end up with a crowd of people who are curious about the process and want their picture taken. With a regular camera, people are always trying to run away from me.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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fizxman
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by fizxman »

Snowmobiling hands down. It's so peaceful to be zipping through snowcovered trails in the woods. You get to a spot, pull over, and just enjoy being in the quiet woods looking at the pretty snowcovered trees. I'm lucky that my wife, who is not a fan of the cold, also really enjoys it. We enjoy it so much, we've talked about getting a house in the area that we normally go to so we can go more often. I doubt that will happen anytime soon but it's nice to think about it. If you're okay with the cold and enjoy going fast, I highly recommend giving it a try. There are plenty of places to rent snowmobiles for a few days.
PoppyA
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by PoppyA »

I don’t know how old the kids are, but stilts were a favorite of mine. It is good for confidence too!
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climber2020
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by climber2020 »

quantAndHold wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 4:48 pm The plastic fantastic Holga takes terrible pictures, but the joy of walking around the street taking bad pictures of complete strangers with a neon pink camera cannot be overstated. Taking the picture almost always starts a conversation.
I've shot some of my favorite pictures on a Holga. Film is getting more expensive though, and you can't even get Velvia in the US anymore (though slide film probably isn't the greatest choice for a Holga).

Where do you get your film developed? I've had decent success with Dwaynes in Kansas.
ASpenderInRecovery
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by ASpenderInRecovery »

A week long trip to Grand Cayman. Snorkeling right off Seven Mile Beach every day. Treating ourselves to a 5-star hotel for the first time. Eating incredible dinners every night. We’ve been dying for the island to reopen since it shutdown for Covid. Tourists are finally allowed back in October. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
quantAndHold
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by quantAndHold »

climber2020 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:05 pm
quantAndHold wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 4:48 pm The plastic fantastic Holga takes terrible pictures, but the joy of walking around the street taking bad pictures of complete strangers with a neon pink camera cannot be overstated. Taking the picture almost always starts a conversation.
I've shot some of my favorite pictures on a Holga. Film is getting more expensive though, and you can't even get Velvia in the US anymore (though slide film probably isn't the greatest choice for a Holga).

Where do you get your film developed? I've had decent success with Dwaynes in Kansas.
I shoot black and white, and develop it myself in my basement. I just develop and scan, so it doesn’t take a lot of equipment or chemicals. I don’t have room for an enlarger, so wet printing is a bridge too far at the moment.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
Jeepergeo
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by Jeepergeo »

It's hard to pick the top trips, so here are a few ideas.

Best solo vacations: Two weeks driving and camping the back roads of the Parashant Area of the Arizona Strip (North side of the Grand Canyon), and month hiking the John Muir Trail.

Best trips with my DS: Two weeks hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico, at the BSA run Philmont.

Best trip with DW, DS, and DGS (Grandson): Week fishing in Vancouver and a week long trip into the Sierras on horseback with a guide, cook, wrangler and pack train.

Best trip with DW: Two different trips to Kauai and staying in Waimea, the quiet side of the island, floating the sugar cane canals, walking the beaches, laying low. Maui with DW and DS was a great trip too.

Best trip with DW and DD: a week or so camping in Northern California at Prairie Creek State Park.

Best trip with DGD (Granddaughters): Week trip of fun going to Sea World, Knotts Berry Farm, Lego Land, and San Diego Wild Animal Park.

Best trip with DW, DD, and DS: trip to the central California Coast to Hearst Castle, the various beaches and coves, and Monterrey Bay Aquarium.

Best trip with DW, DS, DD, DSIL, DGS: Disney World for a week.
dboeger1
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by dboeger1 »

In terms of sheer value for money, I'd say my guitars. Really any instrument you're passionate about will do. I agree with a previous poster that playing in a band and getting the sound just right is a transcendent experience. Getting decent enough for my own pleasure at guitar and playing alone for many years was already great, but it wasn't until years later in college that a few of us got together and played some pop covers at our dorm. Most of the performances were pretty sloppy due to rotation membership and competing obligations, but there was one in particular I will never forget. We were playing Heaven by Bryan Adams, and I absolutely nailed the tone on one of those short guitar licks, but what really sealed the deal was like a 2 or 3 note little bass line the bassist played to fill the space after my line. Everything was pitch perfect. If I described what it felt like, I'd get banned from this site. Up until that point, I was really into the crazy heavy metal shred solos and all that, which is exciting and all, but that particular performance of that particular song was what really solidified in my mind an appreciation of just the right amount of space, the right melody, the right tone, the right emotion, and synergy between all parts of the band. It's what made me realize there's more to great music than just showing off one's mechanical talent. There really is no way to convey how perfect the feeling of a well-played note in a live band performance is. For me, it was the culmination of my years of practice, and probably will forever be that since I have no intention of actually trying to play professionally. If you would have told me as a younger kid trying to learn all the shred solos and write my own songs that my most treasured moment playing guitar would be some easy notes in a slow Bryan Adams song, I would have called you crazy.

National parks are of course incredibly valuable and affordable experiences. I'm kind of ashamed that it took getting married to a spouse who had to drag me outside at first for me to start appreciating them. I totally get the appeal of them now, and we regularly plan entire vacations around visiting natural destinations. I was not that type of person at all growing up.

It's sad, but some of my best experiences have been spending time with people shortly before they passed away. I kind of dragged out a layoff into an extended unemployment so I could play online video games with a friend who was dying of cancer. It was in my 20s, horrible for my career and marriage, and I don't regret it one bit, lol. I really hope my friendship helped him pass peacefully, and deep down, I hope someone will do something similar for me in my old age. It's obvious that family members should spend time with their elderly, but I think it's not nearly as common for older people to die with the kind of friendships they had when they were younger. My grandparents are quite up there in age and live in a senior community, and they have mentioned many times that while they appreciate having friends of their age in the park, it's a different kind of friendship where they just greet each other in passing and wait to see who will be the next to pass. I think it'd be neat if every older person had a younger friend who kept them engaged in hobbies and whatnot.

As for actual high dollar toys, I think a cool one would be a computer setup specifically for digital media production. In my case, I had an interest in 3D modeling once, mostly in the context of video games, but I kind of realized at one point that just because I cam run the software on my programming rig doesn't mean the tools and workflows of digital artists are the same as those for programmers. I was first and foremost a programmer, so I just carried on programming after trying to model with a cheap mouse on a small mousepad and deciding it wasn't for me. I've seen workstations of digital artists in media companies, and they invest heavily in wide open tables, large high-end touch tablets, beautiful color-accurate monitors on highly adjustable swivel bases, etc. Of course, the simple reality is that those professionals are first and foremost artists, and probably honed their skills with pen and paper or other physical media long before working with 3D modeling and other creative software. I, on the other hand, suck at art. But if I was looking to just burn money I didn't need on yet another skill, that would be one I'd be interested in trying out. There are probably a number of similar things that would fall into this category, like a music production studio, a woodworking shop, etc.
Bajadoc
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by Bajadoc »

Learn to do your own home maintenance, repair and yard work. Planting, landscaping, outdoor beautification, plumbing, painting and electrical. Learn to do most of your car maintenance and repair. These "experiances" can be very intellectually and physically challenging, rewarding, money saving, and set a good example for family members and children. Once you learn these things there is no end to the help you can give to friends, neighbors and family. The pursuit of these skills has been a life-long challenge for me and has provided very much joy.
Last edited by Bajadoc on Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
PhoebeCoco
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by PhoebeCoco »

Running Bay to Breakers with my running partners

Bicycling (a lifetime of joy!)

Visiting Hawaii whenever I want
If you're not working on yourself, you're not working.
Edify
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by Edify »

A warm summer day in the shade with a good hammock, a tall boy Bud and a few tattered MAD magazines from my childhood collection.
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rob
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by rob »

nisiprius wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 2:07 pmBaby Brownie Special
Made me smile... My first camera as a kid was a Brownie 127 which I still have (same film but slightly larger body)..... Have a lot of old working film cameras but I especially love a Yashica RF (sentimental reasons) and a 4x5 Grafflex (iconic newspaper camera). I have a lot of modern stuff with lenses & strobes and on and on and they are all technically light years ahead... but those two cameras just make you smile using them - the fine mechanics of the Yashica is just stunning.

To the OP question.....
- Photography obviously
- Long term travel - I can do a week somewhere but I far prefer spending 6 months or more somewhere. As I get older, I enjoy the plane trip less and less but still love been somewhere new to me
- Prefer stuff that is not on the top x places to see in y location (I mentioned in a post somewhat recently about rollerblading in Paris streets)
- Having enough saved to not jump on the next job - each layoff I tend to take a few months off and go somewhere in the world
- Music - recently bought a tube amplifier and hey records are popular again which is great since I never threw away mine from the first time around :-)
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien
Lynette
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by Lynette »

For many years I enjoyed traveling to many parts of the world but what I enjoyed the most was research into the history of the country and sometimes the language.

When I retired I took a class to become a Master Gardener. This has opened a whole new world to me.

I also took a class on photography and Photoshop at a community college.

During Covid restrictions, I had great fun volunteering at a University farm. I work in the vegetable garden and we donate the vegetables to a food bank.

I take photographs of activities in our vegetable garden that I send to the group and sometimes are used by the farm manager in his publications.
Last edited by Lynette on Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
lurkman
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by lurkman »

1. Raising kids. Such a tough job, and the job is never over. But probably #1 in joy produced.

2. Driving. Probably not on most people’s list but for me, after decades of driving, I never tire of it. Ok, I don’t enjoy stop-and-go traffic but under all other conditions of driving, I’m quite sure my blood pressure is lowered and I’m in a state of being alert without being taxed (in ‘flow’ as it were). I have driven 14-15 hours at a stretch without even turning on the radio.

Memorable drives: Trail Ridge Road (Colorado Rockies), English countryside (London to Bath on a sunny day, Cambridge/Ely Cathedral), through a blinding thunderstorm and heavy rain in Kansas with lightning bolts hitting the ground all around us.

3. Discovering piano-playing and dog ownership in my late 40s (why did I wait so long and by the way, why is there no Bogleheads’ Dogs thread?)

4. Toys that gave me most enjoyment: my very first Sony Walkman and the first two tapes I bought to listen to on it (Dire Straits/Communique and Best of Jethro Tull).
Last edited by lurkman on Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
rrt
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by rrt »

Couple of things we really enjoyed:

Three weeks staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam.
Pamplona for the San Fermin festival.
Two weeks touring the islands and staying on them with a private guide in the Galapagos.
Diving and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef.
Machu Pichu and Peru.
Montreal Comedy Festival
Japan
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firebirdparts
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by firebirdparts »

My wife and I are avid ballroom dancers. That’s almost a free hobby. It’s been the most significant shared experience we’ve had. We are pretty incompatible so the things we’d share on a bucket list are going to be few. I like to hit the museums, but then I also collect cars and scuba dive and sing barbershop quartet music. I have too many irons in the fire. My wife is really only interested in health, so at least I benefit from that. Being healthy opens a lot of doors to have experiences. But she is really interested only in the self-care rituals themselves. It’s not a means to an end for her.
A fool and your money are soon partners
hi_there
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by hi_there »

lurkman wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:40 pm
3. Discovering piano-playing and dog ownership in my late 40s (why did I wait so long and by the way, why is there no Bogleheads’ Dogs thread?)
I read this first as "piano-playing dog ownership" and thought, this guy must really be onto something...
lurkman
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by lurkman »

hi_there wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 8:56 pm
lurkman wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:40 pm
3. Discovering piano-playing and dog ownership in my late 40s (why did I wait so long and by the way, why is there no Bogleheads’ Dogs thread?)
I read this first as "piano-playing dog ownership" and thought, this guy must really be onto something...
Well, the dog does want to play tag whenever someone is at the piano and paws for attention, so practicing with a dog hanging on your arm is now a thing. You heard it here first.
WyomingFIRE
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by WyomingFIRE »

A fly fishing guide on the North Platte: total cost, plus tip, $300/person, give or take. Full day trip. Drift boat. Green Drake hatch.
Last edited by WyomingFIRE on Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
av111
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by av111 »

rrt wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:44 pm Couple of things we really enjoyed:

Three weeks staying on a houseboat in Amsterdam.
Pamplona for the San Fermin festival.
Two weeks touring the islands and staying on them with a private guide in the Galapagos.
Diving and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef.
Machu Pichu and Peru.
Montreal Comedy Festival
Japan
👏👏 This sounds expensive and fun
AV111
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snackdog
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Re: Which Toys/Experiences Have Brought You The Most Joy?

Post by snackdog »

Dog brings the most daily joy and cost quite modest.
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