ADVENTURES OF THE FRU-GAL: Getting out and about on a thin dime for the Break

City Times

Soon, you’ll get a week off from classes, you have little or no money and you’re wondering what kind of spring break you’re going to have. Several of us, myself included, don’t have the luxury of flying somewhere for a week’s bliss.

But no matter, I’m going to give you some ideas that will feel like a vacation and literally take you away, even if it’s just a day or two, on even the tiniest of budgets.

Many of us tune into places we visit, but seldom take as much interest in where we live. If you’re staying home during the break, here are some things to discover right here in town, very worth your time.

First, the weather is going to be gorgeous and our beaches are just the right mental get away; you can pretend you’re in Tahiti or your dream destination. Remember, daydreaming is free and a wonderful way to relax.

The ferry to Coronado departs from the Broadway pier every hour from 9a.m. to 5p.m everyday, transporting you roundtrip for $6 and dropping off at Ferry Landing Marketplace, in the heart of the shopping hustle. Walking along the beach with a friend or a lover, collecting sand dollars, wandering around the Hotel Del Coronado, and window shopping don’t cost a thing and are “priceless.”

Located at 1100 Orange Ave. the Museum of History and Art is a nice stop on your fantasy getaway. For only $4 you can view the new exhibit, “Talismans of the Turkoman-Tradition’s of a Warrior Tribe,” a private collection displaying art and ornate jewelry of the 5th century Medieval Turkoman tribes of Central Asia and the booty captured from the Byzantine Empire. Boats, beaches, museums; not bad so far, but you must be getting hungry.

Coupons and junk mail are a treasure trove of 2 for 1 restaurant deals; publications, like the Community Magazine’s DOWNTOWN, made up of places all over San Diego to eat.

Places like Coronado Brewing Company who have a deal right now, “buy one lunch or dinner and get one free, with two drinks, Sun.-Thurs. They have great burgers and a student friendly menu, so take a friend or loved one. Enjoy a meal split by two, and try to make it off the lunch menu, it’s cheaper. To get an in home mailer sent to your home in time for Spring Break, go to

The ferry’s hourly departure makes it hassle free to board. Take the last one and watch the sunset as you return from your island paradise; with beautiful shells, visions of a different time, a full belly, your mind satisfied, and you’ve only spent at most $20. Not bad for a mini vacation.

As part of a public service, every Tues. in Balboa Park museums on a rotating schedule are FREE from 9:30a.m. – 4:40 p.m. And on the 18th of Mar. (a Tues.) students can gain admittance to The Japanese Friendship Garden, Mingei International Museum, San Diego Art Museum, Museum of Man, and the museum of Art. Without spending a dime. It’s a great way to spend a whole day with friends or yourself. For a calendar of events go to

As for me; I’m going to take that trip, by boat to an island of riches, soak up the beautiful landscape, sightsee and explore. I’ll dine at local restaurants for half the cost, visit Historic Balboa Park, and appreciate all the things millions of vacationers who come here already do; only it will cost much less. I hope everybody finds an adventure or two; remember the best things are free, or at least ‘buy one, get one free’. Enjoy the coming break, be safe and spend smart.

** Heidi Stenquist is a City Times staff writer

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ADVENTURES OF THE FRU-GAL: Getting out and about on a thin dime for the Break