Hey Everyone, I’m calling in sick today… This is ridiculous, how did I catch a cold in the middle of summer? We just got back from visiting Mrs. RB40’s family in the Southern California desert. I felt fine for a couple of days, but started to have a scratchy throat and stuffy nose. At first, I thought it was my seasonal allergies, but when I woke up with an aching body I knew it was a cold. Ugh! I must have picked up something from the flight to Portland. Fortunately, this feels like a minor cold and I should get over it in a few days. It’s tough for me to write when I’m sick, though. So, I’m calling in sick today and I’ll share some pictures from our vacation, and a quick update on our duplex.
Summer isn’t exactly the best time to visit the southern California desert. It was nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit every day. Mrs. RB40 had a 25th high school reunion and some family obligations to attend to so that’s why we visited in the summer. She didn’t make it to the 20th reunion because we just had a baby. All the people there were amazingly nice! It’s very cool to meet some of Mrs. RB40’s high school friends. Okay, here are some pictures from our trip.
Our first stop was lunch at an In-N-Out, our favorite burger chains. I had a double double with grilled onions, delicious! We usually get an In-N-Out burger every time we visit California, but only go there once per trip. Going there twice in one trip devalues the burgers. The first one is awesome, but another in a few days just doesn’t taste as great.
The Living Desert
Mrs. RB40 had a half day meeting so RB40Jr and I went to visit The Living Desert, a very cool zoo in Palm Desert. We got there before 9 am and it was already getting hot. I liked The Living Desert, but RB40Jr kept complaining that it was too hot. We saw giraffes, cheetahs, a leopard, desert tortoises, zebras, and more. It was a great zoo, but we only saw about a third of the entire park. It was way too hot in the sun. Most local people only come here in the winter and spring. I’m finally getting less tight because I shelled out $5 to feed the giraffe for the first time ever.
Originally, we were going to visit the Joshua Tree National Park, but we had enough of the heat after a few days. We decided to go to the beach instead. This is Huntington Beach. None of us have been there before and we had a great time. It was overcast and the temperature was just right, around 75 degrees. The beach was full of people. It was neat to see because we never see this many people at the beach in Oregon. Usually, I prefer the beach when it is less crowded, but it was okay for one day. This is now RB40Jr’s default pose mode. He sticks his tongue out and acts silly. We can’t take a normal smiling picture anymore. The parking cost $15 at the beach. California probably makes millions of thousands of dollars every day just on beach parking. There were so many visitors.
The Cabazon Dinosaurs are a roadside attraction near Mrs. RB40’s hometown. Mrs. RB40 has taken photos outside the dinos before, but was too cheap to pay the entrance fee to get into the park itself before this trip. It costs $12 to walk through, kind of expensive for what you get. The main attraction is a big T. Rex that visitors can go inside and look out of its mouth. Pretty awesome. The gift shop is inside a huge Apatosaurus. It was cool to visit once.
I went by our duplex to clean the roof and gutter after we got back to Portland. Last year, the debris built up along the top of the skylight and some water leaked inside during a big rainstorm. The roof is steep (nearly 45 degrees) and I don’t like being up there. Anyway, I blew out the leaves and pollen that collected up on the roof and skylights, so we shouldn’t have any trouble with water this year.
The sidewalk in front of the duplex is in terrible shape. It wasn’t great before, but now it’s a serious tripping hazard. I called a few concrete contractors, but they are all booked out for the year. I guess that’s the problem with a construction boom. You can’t get any help. I’m not sure what to do at this point. Let me know if you have any tips. Should I try to fill this myself?
The long term plan is to sell the rentals off before we both retire full time. That way we can travel more and don’t have to deal with tenants. We’ll invest more in REIT and real estate crowdfunding because they are so much easier. My investment at Realty Shares is doing pretty well so far. Full retirement is about 12 years away, though.
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I spent a lot of time napping over the weekend and I’m starting to feel better already. I’ll get back to the sidewalk repair this week. The blog should be back to normal personal finance topics as well. Check out my Around The World Trip plan if you’d like to read more about traveling.
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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