Monday, January 05, 2009

The best thing about a tanking economy is that eventually the powers that be freak out and try to fix things....and that includes lowering interest rates. Which means that the Amersons are, once again, forced to refinance our mortgage. Woohoo! My most favorite thing about refinancing is taking that month off from payments...

We are going from 5.625% down to an APR of 4.5%. Over the life of the loan, this saves us like $40k. Very exciting. I CANNOT believe rates have gotten this low. Definitely the time to refinance. Our loan guy is awesome--he is actually getting us a 14 year loan (we had a 15 year), so we don't add any time onto the end of the mortgage, and still pay it off when we were originally scheduled to. This means that our payments don't drop as much as they could have if we went with an actual 15 year, but we still save like $140 a month.

Anyway. Financial goodness.

In other news, it snowed last night. About 3 inches here. And yes, you WILL hear about it every time we get snow. This city is so backwards we are still reeling from the LAST snowstorm we had (around Christmas). We had to wait over 3 weeks to get our garbage picked up!! And we got stuck in the snow and slush!! Several times!! And Ethan was out on his crutches in the ice trying to help me put chains on the car!! So not cool. Luckily, this time it mostly melted off and is now just an inch or so and totally manageable. And the city finally paid attention and has now decided to join the rest of the planet and use salt to help melt the ice. They refused to before, saying it is bad for the environment. But studies show that all the sand is worse, and this city was quite literally at a standstill for several days. Hills + ice/snow = not a good idea. And Seattle is ALL hills.

Not much else going on in the world of the Amersons....Ethan is half-way through with his time on crutches (only about 3 weeks to go), has just started driving again. We are trying to organize a tropical vacation with Justin and Kim for March or April, but that is all still up in the air. Lah dee dah.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Pearl Harbor as seen on our one full day on O'ahu

Pearl Harbor. And, yes, I DO know it is "turrets", not 'turrents', but I did not use spellchecker, and it is quite thoroughly glued down and not easily remedied.

Yes, I DO realize that it is 'date' not 'day', but I had a brain freeze upon application of the letters and have not yet bothered to go back and scratch off the Y and replace it with TE.

The Dole pineapple plantation, and a card that tucks behind the main pictures showing the koi in the massive koi pond that we fed.

The town of La'ie as seen from La'ie point, on the north shore of O'ahu

Cool rock arch at La'ie point

The breathtaking view from the Pali lookout on O'ahu, as seen on our North Shore tour.

The sunset Mai'tai cruise we did off Waikiki on our second and last night on O'ahu

Our room in Maui

Our resort in Maui.

Still a work in progress as I figure out a title for this one. I love the water on the camera casing, and the shadowing of the casing in the corners of the main picture. Ethan is playing in the waves on the beach at our resort in Maui