The 2017 summer break is almost over. The Portland public school starts next week and we need to get ready for it. Mrs. RB40 has been picking up school supplies, but we still need to get a new lunch box and a few new long pants. I also need to meet with RB40Jr’s teacher to go over his hearing loss. It’s going to be a busy few days for us. RB40Jr isn’t looking forward to school at all. He loves summer and really enjoys the freedom from school. Summer is the best season here in Portland. The weather has been just about perfect this year. Yes, we had some sizzling days, but we just go enjoy the pool when it gets too hot.
Summer was a ton of fun, but there was a price to be paid too. It’s been quite difficult to blog about personal finance. We’ve had too much fun and switching mode to PF has been problematic. I also don’t have much time to focus on blogging. RB40Jr went to half day summer camp every other week. That’s just 3 hours on the days he went to camp and it’s not nearly enough time to blog on serious topics. You might have noticed that Retire by 40 had been on the lighter side this summer. (This post for instance…) It will be easier to concentrate when the rain starts.
Another issue is exercise. I tried to keep up with my exercise program during the summer break, but it just didn’t work out. I spent more time outdoor, but haven’t been able to get to the gym much. Next year, I’ll just take the summer off from exercise and concentrate on eating less instead. Once school starts, I’ll get back to regularly working out again. I did it last September so I’m sure I can do it again.
Anyway, it’s been a one of the best summers ever. We’ve had a ton of fun and here is some of what we did.
I hope you saw the eclipse on Monday. The totality was a spectacular sight and we were one of the first people to see it in the US. We usually go camping at the beach once every summer and I made sure it coincides with the eclipse this year. I booked a tent camping site in December and it was one of the last sites available in the path of the eclipse. Whew, that was lucky.
We packed a ton of food this time because I heard that small towns will be overwhelmed with tourists. The coast was a bit busier than usual, but it really wasn’t that bad. I think Central Oregon was much more crowded because that’s the prime eclipse viewing area. The coast can be a bit iffy with morning fog.
The morning of the anticipated day arrived with some trepidation. It was a foggy morning and we went with a hastily drawn plan B – drive east until the sky clears up. Fortunately, we didn’t have to go very far. I drove north from our tent site for only 10 minutes and the sun came out. We stopped at Newport Beach and joined the crowd there.
The eclipse was fantastic. The totality was so much better in person than any picture. I’m really glad we took the time off to go see it. If we stayed home, we’d see 99% eclipses and missed the totality. 99% is cool, but 100% is so much better. It’s not comparable at all. Taking the eclipse glasses off during totality made a huge impact on everyone there. It was an amazing sight we’ll remember it fondly for the rest of our lives.
Lava tube hiking
We hike/climbed the Ape Cave, a 1.5 miles lava tube on Mt. St. Helens. I went with RB40Jr when he was 4, but Mrs. RB40 missed that last one. This time she came with us and we all had a good time. My ankles were really sore after this hike, though. This might be the last trip to the Ape Cave for me.
We visited Mrs. RB40’s family in southern California. It was really hot down there, but we were able to visit Huntington Beach one day. It was such a big contrast to Oregon beaches. It was much warmer in California and the crowd was huge. Oregon beaches are cold and you have a lot more personal space. Personally, I don’t like crowd so I enjoy the beaches in our home state more even if we have to wear a jacket in the middle of August.
Concerts and other free events
We only went to a few free concerts this summer. There are so many construction projects going on and it made access much more difficult. Pioneer Square, our main venue for free concerts is under renovation so we saw less live music than normal.
Luckily, the park next to our condo has stepped up their events. We saw free concerts and an outdoor movie – The Eagle Huntress. RB40Jr loved watching the movie outside and we let him stay up late until the film was done at 10 pm. Our Parks & Recreation is so awesome.
Summer is almost over
Sadly, all good things come to an end and this summer is no exception. There are only a few more of these long sweet summer days left. We’ll enjoy this weekend and try out a SUP at the river. Then, RB40Jr will have to get ready for school. Hopefully, first grade will be better than kindergarten. I’m also looking forward to having more time to myself and getting back to serious blogging and exercise.
How about you? Did you have a great summer? What were some of the fun things you did this year?
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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