Hot, hot, hot!

Well we are done with Palm Springs, thankfully! As much as I love Palm Springs and its environs in the winter, summer is another story.  There is much to appreciate in the Coachella Valley with its desert landscapes, mid-century architecture and wonderful resorts but as much as you try, the heat is just oppressive and there is only so much of being in the pool (which is the only place that makes being outside bearable).  I have had a hard time not being outside, we are very spoiled here in Southern California! 

We have had fun though and have tried to make the most of the heat.  Palm Springs was the best place for us as we try to stay on budget. We do have a pretty big trip planned for the next 6  months so we  needed a place where it was easy on the bank account.

While in Palm Springs we have been lucky to be able to see lots of friends and family, plan a few more stops for our European adventure, get the girls in some French classes and swim classes, watch lots of the Olympics (loved it!) visited the Palm Springs Art Museum and began our online homeschooling.  This was especially good on the really hot days when there was not much else to do anyway…
Don’t tell anyone but both girls learned how to drive a golf cart and a golf ball (you can tell people that part) but not the driving the golf cart part, not sure exactly the “rules” for that one. They enjoyed driving the golf carts much more than the golf balls but still did amazingly well, they get it from their dad! Not an easy sport. Takes a lot to get that little ball all the way to that little hole!

Trying to come up with fun indoor activities, we headed to the bowling alley, they have got to do something about the slimy finger holes in the balls and the shoes! Just saying…yikes!
Now we are in Idyllwild, it is 20 degrees cooler and very nice to see some greenery. Idyllwild is a sweet little town in the mountains with lots of art galleries and great hiking trails. I am excited to be able to be outside without sweating. Next, we head to San Diego to spend our last weeks in the States before heading abroad. Looking forward to seeing family and friends!

Here is my very handsome husband in Idyllwild.  It is so nice and beautiful, such a nice change from the desert!

The girls love it here and are out searching for forest faeries as we speak, so sweet!  It is strange with everyone getting ready for back to school and we are well, not…  So excited for our traveling adventures to begin!

Setting a Budget for our European Adventure

Well, this is always the hard part for me but it definitely needs to be done in order to prevent coming home to my own personal major debt crisis.  Thankfully, we have some savings and some investments that we will most likely have to sell in order to do this but we are coming back to jobs already lined up, and our mortgage is being paid, as we have rented our home.  I think we are doing okay and not being completely irresponsible, okay maybe only a little, but to be able to experience this with our kids when we are still relatively young just seems to make sense.  Yes, we are going to have to be careful but I am hoping to be so inspired that my design business will flourish once we return. I do not think one can put a price on the time that we will be able to spend together, priceless I think!

So now to the details, our plan is to spend approximately $4,000 a month. This money will have to cover housing, food, cell phones, gas and special events (museums, soccer games, festivals, The French Open, tours).  No, sadly, this is not going to be a shopping trip but I think I can get over that.  Some countries will be more expensive than others so we are looking into staying in the less expensive countries for the majority of the time while going on special trips to the more expensive countries.  We also have costs not included in our $4000 budget which are our flights, leasing a car in Europe and all of our expenses back home storage costs, car loans (which can be deferred for two months) health care costs and insurance costs.

So with this in mind it is time to begin planning the itinerary.  I am sure adjustments will be made and there are always those unexpected costs that can really throw things off but at least this is a start.  Okay, now that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed…just keep swimming, that is all I can do!