Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer is Slipping Away!

How quickly time flies when you are having fun!  Five weeks from today school resumes - it seems like school just released for the summer. 

While I don't get any extra time off, I do enjoy the relaxed pace. No ridiculous early wake-up -- whose idea was it to start middle school at 7:20a!  The bus stops are scheduled as early as 6:20.  I hang-up my hat as homework police - it's not a job I enjoy but it's necessary to monitor at our house. 

Summer has been a bit different this year.  My in-laws have been forced to downsize due to health reasons.  While we had hoped they would move into assisted type living, they chose a small 2 bedroom condo. It was necessary & past time to make a move. Unfortunately, we've been blessed with the task of trying to empty their house of contents. We've spent 5 Saturdays in the garage alone. It's overwhelming to say the least.  I pray they will find a buyer who would like a true fixer-upper, so they don't have to worry with it anymore. 

How's your summer? 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Beach on a Budget

For the past few years, vacation funds have been very tight.  Last year, we opted for a "staycation".  It was great, but we really wanted to get back to the beach this year.  I know these options will not work for everyone, but I wanted to share what has worked for us. 

Accommodations: This will most likely be the most expensive part of your vacation.  If you know someone who has a timeshare, ask them if they have weeks they would like to sell.  You may not get your first choice destination, but if they have weeks they may lose - they will most likely take a reasonable offer from you.  Also, check craigslist vacation rentals in the area you would like to visit. If you find one, ask for references. 

Food:  We always look for a condo/hotel room with a kitchenette. We arrived last Sunday evening & left today. We ate dinner out once (the night we arrived) & breakfast out once (this AM). I realize the thought of cooking on vacation is appalling to some people, so do what works for you. It's worth it for us to save money!   
Breakfast ideas: bagels, cinnamon rolls, cereal, sausage biscuits
Lunch: always sandwich & chips for us
Dinner: BBQ, chicken pie, pasta bake, spaghetti, chicken legs, leftovers!

Attractions: We like the beach & we like to enjoy it. Between the ocean & the pool, we are content. I know some folks like to go-go-go!  Look for local attraction books, early bird specials, state parks, military discounts. 

Planning: Start a vacation savings club for next year. Contributing as little as $10 a week will give you over $500 next year!

Again, these are my opinions & what works for my family. I realize they may not work for all. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hello Arthur!

If you haven't heard the coast of NC & SC had a visitor today, Hurricane Arthur. The picture was taken early this AM before the winds were gusty & the rain was pouring. You can tell by the white caps that the ocean was getting rough. Fortunately, the storm has moved further up the coast & we are expecting sunny skies tomorrow.  We are sending prayers to those on the OBX where the eye is expected to make landfall tonight.