We are in Colorado Springs!
Mom, nephew, SB and I hit the road Saturday morning. We hit Las Vegas in the early evening and checked into our clean-but-no-frills motel a few miles from The Strip. At $120 per room, it was the most reasonable deal we could find in Vegas on a Saturday night. We had dinner at a Claim Jumper restaurant and took in some sights on The Strip.
Sunday we visited Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Zion National Park, and then stopped for the night in a little place called Carmel Junction just outside of Zion. The motel was much nicer and thus was a bit pricey at $189 per room. (I know it is all relative, but that is more than I usually like to pay). They had a little restaurant which was a bit overpriced but the food was quite good, including their own fresh baked bread. Also, they had a beautiful pool and hot tub area, with beautiful views.
Monday morning we visited the north rim of the Grand Canyon, which is less visited than the south rim, and we did see why. It is beautiful, but definitely less grand. Here's a pic:
Afterwards, we set off for Mesa Verde National Park. Monday evening, we stopped for the night in Towaoc, Colorado at an Ute Indian casino. It is very new and cushy, and we stayed for $89 per room! We had a nice relaxing evening enjoying the amenities. I gambled for maybe 15 minutes. I started with a $20 (all I am willing to spend on gambling), chose a machine, and fed in my $20. I played it for 10 minutes or so, cashing out $19.75. I chose another machine, played it 3 times, and cashed out $76.55. I was done at that point. SB stayed in the casino, but I went back to the room and changed for the pool and hot tub. Later, SB came back to our room $48 richer. So the casino paid for our room for the night. Thanks, casino!
Tuesday morning we got up and drove to Mesa Verde. We visited the park, saw the cliff dwellings, and then hit the road. We made it to Alamosa and decided that was far enough. We got rooms in a Fairfield Inn paying about $150 each. There was not much to see and we were all tired so we grabbed dinner at a Wendy's and called it a night.
Wednesday morning we had breakfast at the hotel then hit the road for another 3 hours and finally arrived in Colorado Springs. And here we are! We will be here for a week, hanging out with Mr and Mrs M180 and taking in the local sights.
We ended up renting a house on VRBO for $1500 for the week. Since we need 2 rooms per night, this works out so much better. We have a whole house to enjoy, complete with laundry room. We visited a supermarket and have fixings for meals here. It is a lovely house very tastefully appointed, and we can see Garden of the Gods from our living room window!
Interestingly, the owners of the house have said they are "just a few minutes away" in their cabin, and we can call if we need anything. I think what they are doing is offering both places for rent on VRBO and moving back and forth to accomodate their renters. Maybe they are using the income for living expenses, or to pay off their mortgage, or to pad their nest egg. How creative! Colorado Springs is home to a University of Colorado campus, an Air Force Academy, an Air Force base, an Army base, and a National Guard base. Plus, it has a great deal of natural beauty. I'll bet there are a lot of people wanting to come and visit for a week or so.
I am so happy to be here for a week with my daughter and other loved ones. Life is so good.
Archive for June, 2017
We are in Colorado Springs!
Last night as I was getting ready to leave work, I saw that SB had texted me. He offered to take me to dinner and warned that he may or may not have ulterior motives. I said I would love to go to dinner, so he met me at my office. He was driving a new to him car.
He bought a 2007 Acura MDX with 122k on the odometer. Not high mileage for a 10 year old car. He got a really good deal on it, and of course paid cash. The MDX is an SUV with 3 rows of seats. The third row can lay down flat, giving you a large cargo area.
So, we will be taking this car on our road trip later this month. I will cancel the mini-van rental we had reserved.
The MDX is also an all wheel drive, which is highly desirable living in a mountain town with twisty, turny roads in every direction. I have considered trading cars myself but I'm not going to do it right now. My to do list is currently long enough without adding "look for a car". I'm going to get settled first and then see.
So we had a nice dinner at a Mexican restaurant in town we discovered a few months ago. Very reasonable prices and the food is delicious. After dinner, he says "Well, my ulterior motive is I left my truck parked near where I bought this car, so I need help getting the cars home." What a disappointing ulterior motive!
The MDX rides very nice, so I give this purchase a thumbs up.
So I have shared before about the allergy problems I have in my current location. With J now married and on the verge of becoming independent, I have decided the time is right.
I have a lot of stuff to get rid of and some things to get done to prepare my house for sale. SB and I will be moving to his timber property.
I'm not positive of my exact timeline, but it is soon. Definitely this calendar year.
I have given them a heads up at work so they can replace me. That might not have been in my best interest since they may replace me before I am ready. But, it felt right. They have been so good to me, I would not have felt right about leaving them on short notice with no plan in place.
I'm not certain exactly what I will be doing for work. We are moving to a rural area and job opportunities are limited. There is an opening in my line of work for the county (my future county) which would be awesome. I sure wouldn't mind having a pension, even a small one. (Way too late for me to earn enough service credits for a large pension). I have submitted an application, but who knows when or if anything will come of that.
I am fortunate in that my cost of living will be very low, so I can be flexible in the type of job I accept.
My plans will become more solid over the coming weeks and months, but at the moment, I just don't know much.
I wish that I had more cash in the bank. It may be that I am unemployed before I am out from under my mortgage. If I have to, I can take a Heloc draw. I hope it won't come that. I opened a new Wells Fargo American Express card last month in order to take advantage of a sign-up bonus. The card has a promotional rate of 0% for the first 12 months. I intend to begin using it for expenses, making only minimum payments, and saving the cash. When the house sells, I will pay it in full. It may be that I will need that extra cash to make mortgage payments. If I don't, then no harm done.
So, it's exciting and frightening all at the same time. Wish me luck!
Today was a sad, sad day.
Buster's tumors have grown and spread and he had stopped enjoying life so much. During the past week, he would refuse to move and instead bark when he wanted to go inside or outside or to another room. Yesterday, he would not eat.
I called the vet this morning, and SB, J, Mrs. J and I took him to his final vet visit.
Buster was so homely and not very bright. But he had more personality than any dog I have ever had the pleasure to know. How I loved that ridiculous little dog. I will miss him so very much.
Edit: In 2005, the year before my ex-husband and I split, ex-husband took 9 year old J to our local animal shelter to choose a dog. Of all the dogs J might have chosen, J came home with Buster. I took one look at Buster and asked ex-husband what he had been thinking. He just shrugged and said J picked him. The shelter estimated that Buster was 4 - 5 years old. Buster was J's shadow for years and was a great comfort to him during the divorce. I will forever be grateful for that.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $6.46. My new balance is $161,375.00.
Chips to date: $2,180.47
Interest savings this month: $8.36
Interest savings to date: $264.15
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,607.34, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.