One more week.....

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We are nestled all snug into Stu's oldest daughter's yard in southern Delaware, enjoying our time with family before heading south to Tennessee for the summer. We had a quiet holiday weekend with nice weather. Today has turned cooler and rainy, same forecast for tomorrow so for now the motorcycles will stay in the garage. We have a few more meetings with friends this week, then we'll hit the road (what day depends on when our last mail arrives).

When we get to our property, Stu will start preparing for his three week (+/-) guy ride to South Dakota. He needs to mount the trailer hitch on the new Tri-Glide before leaving. He plans to take our camping gear (bought for our Route 66 trip) and test it out. Should be interesting.... ;-)

Not much else is new with us. While he is gone I hope to try a new way to jump-start my metabolism. Harvey Pasternak wrote this article and that got me intrigued enough to buy his book, The Body Reset Diet: Power Your Metabolism, Blast Fat, and Shed Pounds in Just 15 Days. I have the blender, just need the time and motivation.

For those that are wondering, Sadie is adjusting back to life in an RV. Having the run of several acres of property, a good sized house with a doggie door and the company of another dog - things have changed. ;-) She is relearning manners - to NOT jump up and to NOT put her mouth on others in play. Fortunately she's still an amazingly smart pup and she learns quickly. But if the weather is nice at night, she still doesn't want to come inside for bed. LOL!

One last little note - we saw the trailer for Despicable Me 2 and got a real charge out of the new fireman minion (I've loved the minions since the first movie). Guess what? Toys R Us has them for sale...just had to order one!

Some AMAZING news!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

June is almost here, last time I looked it was March. What happened? LOL! It's been a busy time since then, first our trip to Ecuador and then we had no sooner gotten home and I flew off to Kansas for my grandson's graduation. Whirlwind trip but it was great to see him as well as my son and daughter and their spouses.

So now for our AMAZING news....we are moving to Ecuador! Really...no joke. We're serious. Our month there convinced us that we can save significantly while there and still maintain a good quality of life. So what does Ecuador offer?
  • Great climate
  • Delicious, fresh foods
  • Low cost of living
  • Wonderful people (Ecuadorians and expats)
  • Currency is the US dollar
  • Great medical care (many US trained doctors)
  • ...and many more

I'm sure some of you have a lot of questions. We plan to move on a pensioner's Visa (minimum of $800/month income plus $100 for each dependent). We plan to live there for 5-6 years which will allow us to save enough money to pay cash for our future log cabin. We will come back to the US to see family at least once a year. We can still use Skype to keep up with family the rest of the year. We will keep our RV for the first year, then if all is still going well we will sell it. We will keep Stu's trike, I plan to sell my Sporty after Route 66 this fall (yes, we are still doing that). We plan to make the move after our cruise that is booked on December 1st - same cruise as last winter, lots of scuba opportunities for Stu.

Interested in learning more? Check our other blog (best to start from the beginning and work to current day). Be sure to bookmark it, too!

Back home in the USA

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Just a short post to check in (for those of you who don't follow us on Facebook). We left Apartmentos Otorongo around 2:15 PM on Tuesday the 14th. We finally arrived at the Best Weston in Alexandria, VA at 7 PM on Wednesday the 15th. Why so long?
  • Our original return flight was due to leave Guayaquil at 11:35 PM, a 3 hour layover in Miami for our customs and immigration, then on to JFK with another 3-4 hr layover before arriving in DC around 4:30 PM.
  • Our flight out of Guayaquil was delayed until 3:15 AM and the rebooked us direct from Miami to DC so we spent the night in the airport.
  • Our flight out of Guayaquil didn't leave the airport until 5:45 AM.
  • Long lines at customs and immigration meant we missed our new flight (direct to DC). In fact we were just getting into the first line at the time the plane left.
  • After two long lines, making it through everything, we finally got directed to where we could rebook our ticket. We had a little over an hour to get through security (again) and grab some lunch before the flight to DC.

But all ended well with our arrival around 7 PM at our HUGE hotel room at the Best Western in Alexandria, VA - HOT shower, KING bed, COMFY king bed, ordered out for Chinese (and it was great). Tomorrow we head to pickup our truck and rig.

We're not happy with what we have heard thus far on the insurance repairs for the RV. They've had it a month, Stu asked for weekly email updates and heard nothing until he remembered to email them about week three. The response was the KZ was no longer manufacturing our model so they couldn't supply the sheet metal. Next response was the materials arrived damaged and had to be returned. The latest was they can't get the necessary parts. Nope, not happy....

On Saturday I fly out of the other DC airport, heading to Wichita, KS to attend my grandson's high school graduation. Looking forward to seeing him and my daughter and her hubby. NOT looking to flying again so soon. LOL!

Happy Mother's Day from Ecuador

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sending out a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY from here in Cuenca, Ecuador. Here are a few photos to enjoy...















Final tip of the day - check out this new company, FurCode.com, offering QR Code Pet Taga starting at $7.99 and no fees. What a great idea!



Oh no! It can't be time to leave already....

Friday, May 10, 2013

But it is...and the next few days are just as packed as the last three weeks. We've walked every day, enjoyed the several mercado's multiple times, picked up a few nice souvenirs in local artisan shops, met more new friends, and just generally had a wonderful time.

The highlight of the day was picking up our custom, one of a kind, hand made, sterling silver wedding bands. We have been frequenting the Magnolia Caffe restaurant since our first week here and have become friends with the owner, Simon Cordero. He is an amazing silversmith and jewelry designer and we fell in love with his work the first time we visited. We showed him our gold wedding bands and asked him if he could do something similar in sterling silver. That was less than three weeks ago; we picked them up tonight and absolutely love them. (I wish the photos were better, will try again tomorrow in daylight).

Here is the only photo I currently have of our gold rings:


Here is the photo we took tonight when we picked up our sterling silver rings:


This is Simon Cordero with Stu....


We've had some heavy night time rains the last few evenings, leaving a heavy dew in the morning. Here are a few shots of the sky at night and the plants in the morning as well as some interesting cloud cover moving in tonight as we walked to Magnolia Caffe.


Everyone has been telling us to take the double-decker red bus tour and we finally did. Best $5 (ea) we have spent and we'll do it again! Here are a few random photos. As always you can see all our photos from our time here in Ecuador on SmugMug.


Tomorrow night we are having dinner at a friend's house and they're going to show us the nightlife in El Centro. Sunday is Mother's Day (happy day to all the mothers out there) and we have reservations at Rustico Restaurant. For $15 we get minestrone soup, bolognese style meat lasagna or grilled Mahi Mahi, homemade tiramisu and a glass of house wine.

Monday we'll say most of our final farewells to all new friends, Tuesday morning we pack and that afternoon we take a van to the Guayaquil airport for our red-eye flight. (Ugh!) We will be staying in a hotel the first night and then we'll find out the status on our rig repair. Emails thus far aren't promising. (more later as we know more)

The days are running together....

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I have to look at the calendar to see what day of the week it is - this is real retirement! The days just keep running into each other - I have to check Google calendar so we know what we have planned for the day (if anything). Today was a nothing planned day. Yesterday was an evening out at a charity event to help fund the painting of 100 ft of murals for the children's hospital.

We continue to meet new folks, wander the city on foot and even try riding the bus system. A bus ride anywhere is 25 cents (and if you're over 65, it's 12.5 cents - you use a bus pass). Stu continues to lose weight with all our walking but the eating out is my downfall. We'll see at the end of our month here when we get home and weigh ourselves.

Here are some photos from the charity event:


Here are some general pics taken recently (the drinks are Iced Tea and Lemonade):

 

Here are some from walking around today, Labor Day, including peaceful demonstration walks through the downtown area (much of which was closed off to cars):


And finally, some of the new market area we discovered today: