Posted at 1:01 PM on July 6, 2011
by Catharine Richert
For Philip Schaffner and his wife, the government shutdown is affording them the opportunity to get to know the Twin Cities all over again.
Armed with the latest Chinook Book , a cache of coupons for restaurants, bars, stores and events throughout the Twin Cities, the duo have spent the last six days trying new things.
The highlight so far: their trip to Sea Life at the Mall of America.
Schaffner is a planner with the Department of Transportation. Along with roughly 22,000 state employees, he was laid off on July 1 after state lawmakers were unable to reach a budget agreement.
Schaffner is chronicling his adventures - and scoops on great deals - here.
He and his wife started prepping for the shutdown back in June. The two had wanted to take a vacation, but decided that it would be too expensive. Instead, they opted for a "staycation."
"But if we are going to stay, we said, 'let's give ourselves some sort of task or theme or else we'll end up sitting in our backyard,'" he said.
That task was to have fun using deals and discounts. He's also been taking advantage of special offers being given to laid off state employees, including half-off at Heidi's restaurant.
Despite the fun he and his wife have been having, Schaffner doesn't downplay the negative affects of the shutdown, saying that the situation is "incredibly frustrating."
Love this. When life gives you lemons...
Thanks for the gift of re-imagining the days in front of you and then sharing the riches....