Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Am getting very excited about the upcoming holiday season.

We are planning to go on an Argosy Christmas ship cruise with Justin and Kim and company--always a fun time. I think the ship we are doing is the 11th or 12th or something like that. A few hours of fun and carols and hot beverages. Good times.

We are also going to go see the Nutcracker ballet. I am excited!! I have never been to the ballet. Also going with Justin and Kim. Seems to be a theme here....but glad we are tagging along.

Before the December Christmasy things we also have our upcoming Coast Christmas gathering, which should be a ton of fun. Clamming, lighthouse exploration, beachcombing and tasty cooking are all on the docket this year. Maybe even a Harry Potter movie trip, if I can convince enough people to do it.....

What else, what else....

Oh, we have changed our Florida plans a bit. Still seeing the shuttle launch (weather cooperation dependent), but we will head out a week early and go on a cruise. We are looking at the Holland America Line's Eurodam, which does a western Caribbean route. There are a couple other cruises we looked at and liked as well....but Kim may be able to get us a 'friends and family' discount, so I think we will stick with Holland America. Plus, the ship is less than 2 years old. And Justin and Kim took this exact same cruise on the exact same ship last year, and had a blast. Should be fun times. We are thinking of splurging a bit and going with a veranda rather than the cheapie no window room we would book otherwise. Woohoo!!

Anyway. That is the Amerson update for today.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Back on the blog again

I really need to quit facebook. I would totally post more on my blog if I did. It is just so darn easy to add pictures there, and write little snippets.

But...back to the blog.

New and exciting news for us involves our cats using the toilet instead of the litterbox. It is still a work in progress, but I am confident we shall prevail. Boo is 100%, but Shadow is still an asshole, so we will continue to threaten him into compliance.

Also new and exciting? We are refinancing our mortgage. Again. Yes, we have refinanced a lot (I think 3 times in the condo, and this is our third in the house??), but we have crunched the numbers, and since we are staying in this house for at least another decade, we will save oodles of money in the long run. Our APR is going down to 3.68% which is unheard of. You should refinance, too!! (not really....please run your numbers or consult a professional...) We will save about $400 a month in mortgage payments, and have already allocated that money.

I have posted before about smartypig.com We love it. We have funds for vacation, home upgrades, new car, baby(maybe), general savings, Coast Christmas, car insurance (we pay twice yearly), and season tickets. Money is taken out every month from our bank account automatically, and the whole thing really adds up quickly. We are putting the extra money straight into the home and vacation funds, since those are the ones that bit us in the behind this year. Face it--whether we have the money or not, we are going on vacation. Makes sense to have the money pre-set-aside so we don't come home to credit card bills. Same with the house--I am very glad we got our leafguard gutters....but didn't like having that on the credit cards for 3 months. Glad it is paid of now. Hopefully we won't fall into that hole again.

Suze Orman would still deny us if we asked her about our upcoming vacation, but we are doing it anyway. We are headed to Florida in February to go on a cruise, then settle on the shoreline and head to Cape Canaveral to watch the final shuttle launch. We are hoping to score tickets to be right on the jetty, and I will totally update everwhere if I am successful. Won't know until December, when tickets become available.

Anyway. We are looking at two cruises--a 7 night one, and a 6 night one. Good reasons for both of them, and may have a friend who works for the cruise lines be able to help us get a deal on the 7 night one. Otherwise, we will take the 6 night cruise. Heads to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, among other places. We will totally do Dunn's River Falls again (went there for our honeymoon) if we do go. Should be lots of fun!

We will have 4ish days after the cruise to enjoy the launch then head back to Seattle. Really looking forward to this one!

Our big vacation after this one I am hoping will be AUstralia/New Zealand. Maybe just Australia. We will see. I am targetting January 2012 for a 2-week trek. Sydney, Cairns, and the Great Barrier Reef at a minimum.

I am sure there will be other travels before this one, and we are TOTALLY going back to Europe. Many, many times. And I wanna see O in Vegas. And New York City. And Victoria with mom. And the Smithsonian. So many places, so little vacation time!!