Summer 2021!!!

Are you ready for the summer?! It’s Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of summer. Oh man, I am so ready to relax and chill out for a while. We got our second Covid vaccine shot two weeks ago so we are fully vaccinated. Woohoo!! I am so excited to go out, travel, and see friends and families again. In fact, an old friend just came to town for a visit and we hung out without social distancing. It was great. I am a big introvert, but even I miss interacting with friends in real life. 

End of school year

The Memorial weekend also means the end of the school year for many students. Congratulations to all the graduates out there! Don’t miss my best advice to new college grads. For younger students, it’s time to relax and enjoy the nice weather.  We are still a bit careful this summer so I’m sending our son for any camps. He’s not big on them anyway. I asked if he’d rather go to day camp or buy stuff and learn on his own. He said the day camps are too much like school and he prefers to get some new toys. Hence, we’ll go get a new skateboard and some other fun toys soon. I’ll sign him up for soccer in the fall. By then, a lot more people will be vaccinated so I’ll feel safer.

Fun toys

Oh, do you know any good outdoor toys for a 10-12 year-old boy? Here is my list. Let me know what else can we buy. Might as well spend some of that stimulus money, right? I guess indoor toys would be okay too.  I’d rather he played outdoors, though. He already spent so much time indoors this past year.

  • Skateboard
  • Pickleball set
  • RC truck
  • Drone
  • A baseball bat and a new glove
  • ???


Another thing we really miss is traveling. Last summer, we took a couple of short road trips. It was fun, but we’re itching to explore further afield. We have two road trips planned this summer.

Beach trip

My brother and his family are coming to visit in June. We’ll show them around Portland then go to the beach for a few days. RB40Jr is looking forward to seeing his cousins again. They’re similar in age so they should have a lot of fun together. We meant to go see them last summer, but Covid spiked in California so we called it off. All of us feel much better about traveling now that we are vaccinated.


I reserved a campsite for a full week in Yellowstone! Our son is in 4th grade and he got a free annual pass as part of the Every Kid Outdoors program. We’ll drive to Yellowstone and make a few stops along the way. This should be a great road trip.


We might visit Yosemite if we can schedule it somehow, maybe in August. I wanted to go last summer, but you know…

Any plans this summer?

What about you? Do you have any big plans this summer? International travel is still a bit iffy. Many countries are struggling with Covid. I went to see my parents in Thailand earlier this year and I was in quarantine for 2 weeks. It was not fun. Most people can’t spare 2 weeks for quarantine when they go on a vacation. I think 2021 is a good year to visit sites in your own country.

Also, are you planning to send the kids to camps? If not, what is your plan for the munchkins?

Image credit: Mateo Giraud

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20 thoughts on “Summer 2021!!!”

  1. That sounds so wonderful Joe! You sound happy and upbeat. We are going to glacier national park and staying at a cabin a friend las by the park, and will do some hiking! We are going to becoe part-time farmers and bought a vacation property in your neck of the woods (a little further south). We are really excited. So will go up to our farm and play farmer.

  2. Joe,

    I’m trying to lose the dad body…..

    My goal is to do 12 consecutive pull ups by summers end….

    I used to do 8-10 pre pandemic, but I haven’t touched a weight or bar for the past 12 months….

  3. We plan to get back to our regularly scheduled beach trip this summer (we couldn’t go last year), along with some other short-ish road trips. Your summer sounds like it will be full of fun!

    Does your son like model rockets? Might be cool to combine that with a drone and get some neat launch videos.

  4. My 12 year old son loves his tetherball – it’s just a metal pipe in an old tire with concrete, and a ball I bought on Amazon. He has a rubber/plastic sword, and practices his sword skills for hours on the tetherball in our backyard. I love seeing kids that age still living in a fantasy world.

  5. We’ll probably just stick to travelling nearby in BC for this summer since the vaccination program is slower here in BC. Certainly no plans to travel outside of Canada right now.

    Yellowstone and Yosemite are really nice, you’ll enjoy them. If you can, I’d drop by Grand Teton as well.

  6. Looks like a fun summer planned! And I think you nailed some good outdoor toys for RB40Jr. Maybe a Slip and Slide might be a fun one too to set up with his friends or cousins.

    We’re making our way back to the US for a little over a month this summer. Other than getting vaccinated, we’re planning to do a couple of camping weekends with friends and family. We’re going to make a trip to Kelleys Island and possibly Cedar Point as well. I’m sure we’ll be beat down by the time we’re done but it should make for a great summer regardless. 🙂

  7. We have most of the same outdoor kid toys it seems. I was thinking about getting an archery set. My older kid liked that and hasn’t been able to do it.

    We have so many specialty camps here. One kid likes Legos and maker stuff, so he’s in that. He also has an art camp. Another kid likes more sports stuff, so he’s going to a more traditional camp. Oh, he is also going to a cooking camp, which I guess is just what the last year has been anyway.

    We aren’t worried about camps. I read some stats and COVID for kids is about as dangerous as the flu (maybe just in terms of deaths, not long-term conditions) and outside with masks further reduces the risks. My wife got the kids N95 masks to add another layer of filter protection. The bigger concern is that they are very expensive. We saved a lot of money last not sending the kids to camp.

    For travel, we’re going to Block Island again which is as socially distant as you can get. It’s all outside too, so a little like your national park trip plans. We’re also going to do Hershey Park. That’s got some risk, I guess, but like camp, it’s outside. That’s later in the summer and cases are getting low now, so in 2-3 months hopefully, there will be very limited COVID.

    • An archery set sounds cool. But my son is so clumsy. I’m not sure sharp pointy objects are a good idea for him.
      We have plenty of specialty camps too. I’d like him to go to a scouting camp, but he’s not into it at all.
      We’ll skip this summer.
      Have a good trip to Block Island.

  8. I vote for the baseball bat and glove or the skateboard, I’m always a fan of things that keep ya moving 😉

    And if you’ve never been to Yellowstone or Yosemite you’re in for such a treat. They are (arguably) the two best national parks in the system, they definitely have the most lore. I’ve been to both numerous times and will be going back many more in the future. They’re unbelievable!

    • My family went to Yosemite a few times when I was young. But Mrs. RB40 and Jr haven’t visited yet.
      I heard it was really nice last summer, much fewer people than normal.

  9. I live in Canada and there are still quite a few restrictions. In Edmonton where I live, there is not even patio dining allowed until next Tuesday. Who knows when in door dining will be allowed? So I am flying to Vancouver on June 15 for a week where both patio dining and in door dining are allowed. June 18 is my birthday so I want to be able to celebrate it with an expensive meal in a fine restaurant where I can spend some real money. Keep in mind that June 18 is also “National Splurge Day.”

    I have been spending quite a bit of time planning trips not only for the rest of the year but for next year. Here is what I have booked so far or am in the process of booking.

    1. The Rocky Mountaineer 2-day train ride from Banff to Vancouver in the 3rd week of September – not cheap at around $3,600 Canadian – and a flight back to Edmonton.
    2. An International Business Class (really First Class) flight to London, England from October 12 to October 19.
    3. An International Business Class (really First Class) flight to Honolulu from January 11 to January 19.
    5. An International Business Class flight to Honolulu from February 15 to February 22.
    7. A regular Business Class flight (didn’t have enough Aeroplan miles for First Class) to Honolulu from March 15 to March 22.
    8 An International Business Class flight to London, England from May 10 to May 17.

    Of course, there will be several flights to Vancouver and at least one to Toronto during that period, not to mention quick get-a-ways to Las Vegas and Phoenix in the winter months. These have to be done on regular fares and the possibility of being upgraded to Business Class with epoints and a low fee since I am running out of Aeroplan miles.

    Just a note that I wish we had as many opportunities for travel hacking in Canada as you Americans have in the U.S. Here we are quite limited in the number of credit cards we can apply for.

    • Your trips sound great. Hawaii should be opened by then. We also love London. It’s a great city to explore.
      Hopefully, we’ll get back there soon.
      Great idea to get out of Edmonton in the winter. I plan to go see my parents for 3 months in December.
      Hopefully, Thailand will have most people vaccinated by then. I have enough points for a business class ticket. Maybe I’ll book with that.

  10. I’m ready to do nothing! June 15, my re-retirement date can’t come soon enough.

    I’m thinking of bringing the family to Hawaii once they open up. Might be in July. Hope there aren’t too many people with the same idea. But there probably will be.

    Beach trips are always fun. Enjoy!



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