back from camping

Happy Monday friends.

Around dinner time on Sunday and I’m home alone listening to some music. We got back from a weekend spent camping today around noon, and after unpacking, washing up, and making and eating a sandwich, I curled up on the small two-cushion-long couch (gave the three-cushion-long to Sharaun) and took a sound nap. I’m still attempting to shake the last of the cobwebs from my head even now – naps can be solid things you know, like I was knocked out.

Camping, getting back to things, was great. The weather welcomed us, and showed up warm and beautiful. The food was the usual small-army variety that car camping so seems to inspire, being more than enough for our little group of weekenders for twice the time we stayed, and tasty to boot. There were five two year olds on this camping trip – making it clear that the physics of the activity have forever changed. Not in a bad way, it’s just a new twist. Keaton seemed to have a great time, running around covered in dirt head to toe, taking naps in the tent in the afternoon, and curling up with mom and dad on the air mattress in the evening (yes, air mattress – car camping, remember?).

Switching gears a bit, money and stuff.

Last week, I was talking with my buddy Jeff about the pending large-payout Sharaun and I are making as a death-blow to our lingering college loans. I have written before about how I hate debt, and explained how our loans, while not bad in terms of the interest they accrue, are like a burning coal in my shorts. I just can’t stand to have them on our dockets, just sitting there, looming all large and menacing. So, I vowed this year to pay them off. Anyway, as I often do, I was trying to scheme a way to get airline miles from the large expenditure. Anytime we decide to drop a large amount of scratch, I’m always looking for a no-hooks way to get free flights out of it.

Jeff suggested I get Sharaun and I both a certain United Visa card which lets you earn miles on those “convenience check” things. Last year, Sharaun and I each signed up for a different breed of United Visa card because they were offering 20k bonus miles just for opening an account. As a result, we ended up with a completely free trip to Florida for the both of us – not a bad deal. Turns out, the Visa that allows you to earn miles also offers the same 20k signup bonus.

So… in the end, we both got the new Visa, I’ll end up rolling the old Visas into the new one (we don’t carry a balance on any cards, so it’s just open-ended accounts), we’ll both get 20k bonus for signup, and I’ll earn mega miles paying off the student loans. That’s two free continental-US flights (or perhaps a return to Oktoberfest… ?) all for paying off a debt (well, and, technically, a $99 fee for using the balance-transfer checks) – and I call that a good deal Thanks Jeff, don’t expect a consulting fee or anything. Free stuff is the best.

Well now, seems like we’re drawing to a close for Monday. Sorry it wasn’t anything super impressive. I’ll try and get a proper set of pictures from camping up later in the week. Goodnight.

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