Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Real Estate and Opening of new Smithsonian Museum

My FI and I are weighing up whether to buy a second home in San Diego or Lake Tahoe. He's moving toward the latter because of the clear blue lake, the Alpine setting and the beautiful house we've set our eyes on. I love Tahoe as well, but I wonder if we'd be too isolated.

Here in Washington, I go to a good number of plays, movies and concerts with friends. That's important, and I wouldn't be able to do that in Tahoe. The two nearest cities are Reno (1 hour away) and Sacramento (2 to 2 1/2 hours away). We'd both have to set up home offices, and there are at least a few days each year when we'd be snowbound.

And if I keep my job and telecommute, I would still have to travel, and living at least an hour away from an airport in a place that snows 300 to 500 inches (!) each winter isn't optimal. Also, there are more job and social opportunities in San Diego. This city south of Los Angeles is also beautiful. Except it's incredibly difficult to buy a nice house within a few miles from the ocean under $1 million, and the traffic is bad.

Decisions, decisions. One thing I know we'd buy if we purchase a home in Tahoe: a sailboat. No motorboats or jetskis for us. I can't justify the environmental damage they wreak on the lake. We want to keep the lake, which is still 99 percent pure and the second-deepest in the United States, pristine.

On another note, there's been a lot of hoopla here in Washington over the grand opening of the latest Smithsonian museum: The National Museum of the American Indian. It's about damn time this was created.

Yesterday, there was a colorful and emotional procession down Pennsylvania Avenue of more than 25,000 Native Americans towards the Capitol and the new museum, which is gorgee-ous. There will be celebrations all week. I intend to spend my Saturday taking in all of the festivities on the Mall.


  1. I know exactly how you feel about jetskis and boats and the environment. I felt and feel the exact same way. However, because my husband had to have one, we went out and purchased a cleaner running model. You can buy models which are much better to the environment. They have come a long, long, long way over the years -- most specifically in the past 5 years.

    But in either case, a sailboat would be lovely. Tahoe sounds like it would be really isolated :) What if you lost your jobs -- could you easily find work there? I think that is key...

  2. Even less-polluting Jetskis and other motor craft are still EXTREMELY damaging to the environment and wildlife4. Jetskis are also extremely loud and contribute to noise pollution. Most jetskis are powered by two-stroke engines, which which dump 25-30 percent of their fuel unburned into the water.

    A mere two-hour ride on a jetski can discharge up to four gallons of gas and oil into the water. At Lake Mead in Nevada, the Park Service estimates that on a busy weekend jetskis release 27,000 gallons of gas and oil into the park's waters. Unlike motor boats, jetskis are designed to maneuver into remote, shallow areas where a variety fragile plants and animals live.

    Studies have shown that jetskis harass waterfowl in their nesting areas, as well as marine mammals such as dolphins, seals, humpback whales, and manatees

  3. Bex -- You wouldn't know this, but I am the biggest defender of all of wildlife in my area. I am very much into the environment. I know the statistics and I push hard for people to learn about it. People do not want to know the facts. I am an outcast for being an outspoken environmental in my area. I have been trying to save trees for seven years.

    There are four-stroke engine jetskis out there today -- a huge improvement! Honda makes one I think and the new jetskis are much, much quieter.

    I totally understand where you are coming from...I appreciate everything you are saying. I just wish I could stop the world...but I can't.

  4. I'm glad that there are jetskis that are somewhat improved. I know I can't stop everyone from using these environmentally-damaging machines. But I've made the choice not to purchase nor ride one, and I encourage folks to do the same.