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Sunday, June 28

Sleepy Summer Sunday

It's summer here in Tampa Bay and the heat is on.  Lately the middle part of the day has been too hot and humid - temperatures in the mid-90s - to be outside.  There's so much uncertainty these days that I've been spending the indoors time thinking about our future.


I want to keep reducing debt.  The focus this year has been on the last rental property mortgage.  Earlier this month I withdrew $10,000 from a savings account to make a large payment on the mortgage.  The balance is now under $40,000.  When I took out the mortgage in 2009, a 5% rate wasn't so bad.  Rates are around 3% today.  What makes it even worse is that savings rates are almost zero.

I've kept higher cash balances because of all the uncertainty, but I'm seriously thinking about paying off the mortgage soon.  It's a little scary since the meeting industry remains shut down, but then again, our income has remained high.  The Airbnb is doing as well if not better than this time last year.   I needed the security blanket that was a hefty cash balance, but am feeling better about things.  Paying off the mortgage would feel amazing!


Earlier this month we went on a quick 4 night getaway to Las Vegas.  It was so much fun.  Having been stuck at home for so long, we needed to go somewhere.  We visited Mt. Charleston for the first time and went on a 3 hour hike.  It was a great escape from the heat.  

My Second-Ever Royal Flush
Of course we did a fair amount of gambling.  I hit my second-ever Royal Flush!  The $1.25 bet turned into $1,000, which virtually paid for the trip.  

Las Vegas post-COVID-19 is a different place.  With little to do besides gamble, I think the casinos are returning to a more value-focused proposition:  parking is free once again basically everywhere.  Hotel rates were low (our 4 nights were free thanks to my Boyd B-Connected membership).  When I was booking I almost booked a room at the Bellagio.  Rates were $54/night, but with a $45 resort fee I was turned off and stuck to totally free.

New Car

Last week I bought a gently used Hyundai Elantra from Hertz.  If you haven't heard, Hertz went bankrupt recently.  Now is a great time to buy a used car!  The timing couldn't have been better:  I had planned to sell the Sonata at Carmax (Hertz only offered $1,000 for the trade).  The next day, the check engine light came on and it started driving poorly.  I thought I had it fixed, but yesterday it stopped running and I had to be towed.  In retrospect it would have been better to just sell it to Hertz!


  1. Nice score with the royal flush. I've never managed to hit one in video poker. I feel like I'm due. It's good that you were able to travel a little. I'm ready to start traveling again myself.

    1. Thanks, Andy. I have a tough time sitting still. It's like I was born to travel and when I go too long, things just aren't right.