Review of Intercontinental Presidente Cancun
The first hotel we stayed at in Mexico was the Intercontinental Presidente. Staying at an a la carte hotel vs. an all-inclusive provided a nice basis for comparison. The Hotel Zone in Cancun is vibrant and full of great restaurants. There are many all inclusive resorts, but it is one place where you certainly have... Read More
The Vines visit Mexico: Yucatan Peninsula vacation overview
As I’ve mentioned previously, Mr. Vine and I like to travel over our wedding anniversary. Usually we prefer to travel to a new-to-us destination. Depending on how we define “new”, this trip qualified. We visited three different resorts on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. We’ve never been to the Hotel Zone in Cancun before, nor... Read More
May 2018 Progress Update
In May 2018, our nest egg finished at 35% of goal. Our goal is a conservative 33x our current expenses, less a 0% interest car loan that will be paid off in January 2019. This goal anticipates a 3% withdrawal rate, as opposed the 4% rate cited in the Trinity Study. Our mortgage is currently... Read More
Is a timeshare or vacation club right for you?
We’re back home after a lovely, relaxing vacation to Cancun and Isla Mujeres, Mexico! I had good intentions to schedule posts ahead, but packing and preparation took too much time. Then I had good intentions to write while we were on vacation, but I had some regular day job deadlines to meet. So we took... Read More
Free Money: Redefining “maxing out” and debunking retirement savings myths
First, to clear up a common misconception. “Maxing out” does not mean contributing enough to get the maximum company match. That’s a good start. But maxing out means contributing the maximum amount the IRS will allow for certain tax-advantaged retirement accounts. This article will focus on three types of accounts: 401k, Roth IRA, and Health... Read More
Avoid Baggage Fees: 6 rules for packing light
We have a vacation coming up and I can’t wait! We enjoy the anticipation of a trip, which is one of the reasons we book travel far in advance. Other reasons for our advance planning include ease of budgeting vacation time and travel expenses annually. I enjoy researching restaurants and things to do, as well... Read More
Farm to fork: How The Vines buy groceries
It is almost my favorite time of year--CSA season! To celebrate, in this post, I'm talking about how we buy most of our food directly from the farm. I've already shared our experience with buying meat this way. Our connection to local farmers actually started years before we bought bulk pork. I grew up in... Read More
Review of 2004 La Rioja Alta Rioja Vina Ardanza Reserva
As I've mentioned, I occasionally buy wine via online auctions. Most often, I do this to add to our stockpile of anniversary wines. When we open one of these special bottles, I'll write a review to post. I'll do the same for other, non anniversary wines that might otherwise be notable. I bought this 2004... Read More
Ignoring Conventional Wisdom: The Vines buy new cars
We've added a subscription link to receive an email when there is a new post. If you're viewing the full site (i.e. not mobile), click to the left of our title to see the widgets menu and complete the requested fields. Thanks for reading! Conventional wisdom among the financially savvy says “buy used cars, pay... Read More
Hog Heaven: The Vines order bulk pork
We decided to take the plunge and ordered a half pork from a local farmer early this year. It has been an incredible--and delicious--experience. One of the primary reasons I wanted pork specifically is that it is much gentler on the environment than beef. Neither of us was raised on pork, so we had concerns... Read More