Almost cruise time!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

We've had a great time with friends, enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. We all ate too much, watched some good TV and just chatted about everything and nothing.


We don't do Black Friday shopping but I needed to pick up a prescription at the local Walmart and wanted to try to get the new Garth Brooks CD/DVD set, "Blame It All On My Roots". We also needed to visit a bank and the post office. So around 1 pm on Friday we headed out...well, I guess here in "seniorland" everyone was napping because there were no crowds. We got all our errands done and back to the house without a hitch. Oh yeah, got my Garth set - they had plenty. (Stu is happily ripping them to his computer now.)

Now we're getting ready to head out on our cruise tomorrow. We won't be checking in so things will be quiet until a week from Sun/Mon. On our return, we then travel to the east coast to visit family for a few days before renting a large SUV and heading to Miami for our flight to Ecuador.

EXCITED!!!!!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving
to all our family & friends!!



Doing the happy dance! On the road...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Well, we are finally on the road...moving towards our goal of living in Ecuador. The day was busy with winterizing the RV and general clean-up of the rig. We wanted to leave everything clean and shiny inside but also had to leave it with all the slides pulled in. No major hassles, just time...

The truck is loaded to the gills - all the footlockers are in the back, protected from the elements with a tarp. The back seat has all the regular luggage and the a few bags filled with last minute items. No seeing out the back window!

We finally pulled out of our driveway a little after three PM when a couple miles down the road I remembered that I hadn't cleaned out some of the food stuff in cabinets. Gulp....well, better than being in Georgia or Florida when I remembered. So we quickly turned around, opened the slides enough to get to the cabinets and pulled out the crackers, nuts, sugar, peanut butter and rice mix. Most went to our neighbors who were also the recipients of everything in our freezer.

So, back on the road at 3:30, the weather forecast was calling for rain and sleet tonight. No matter whether we drove to Chattanooga, Cookeville or Crossville - the weather was determined to accompany us. We opted to head to Crossville where we would grab a late lunch-early dinner at Cracker Barrel and grab a room at the Best Western close by.

Good thing...before we got to Crossville it was raining, then sleeting, then as we pulled into Cracker Barrel - IT WAS SNOWING! It had turned back into freezing rain by the time we pulled out and we were doubly glad we'd gotten a room for the night when we drove over I-40, headlights for as far as you could see. Obviously an accident or maybe just treacherous roads to the west.

So now we're all snugged into our hotel room, heat on high, coffee at the ready and the only issue is the fact that, even after bringing in two different bags for me, I still don't have the one with my toiletries. Yup, in a third bag. LOL! Oh well, we'll sort it all out tomorrow night.

PS> For those of you following this blog AND our Ecuador blog, sorry for the repeat. Have to save time where I can. LOL!

Our grand adventure starts tomorrow!


Finally, everything is packed...but I'm not sure where everything is. LOL! We had to pack for 1) the drive to FL & staying with friends until Sunday, 2) our 7 day cruise and 3) 3 days of visiting family before 4) we fly to EC. The only thing either of us is sure of is having our cruise stuff packed and at the ready. Needless to say, once we get to the last 3 days, we'll be doing some unpacking/repacking to square things away.

Are we excited? Absolutely - both for the cruise and the move. But to be perfectly honest, I'm most excited about getting my new iPad Mini on Wednesday when we arrive at our friend's house. WOOT! So the truck is loaded to the gills, the refrigerator is empty and Monday we'll do our final things - last minute cleaning and checking for missed items, putting out mouse bait and winterizing the RV. We'll move our Freightliner truck under the pavilion with the RV, close our gate and head south. Good thing, they're forecasting sleet and snow later tomorrow!

In other news, we have managed to find a great deal on a couple more used items for our apartment:
  1. refrigerator
  2. 40" HD TV with custom table
  3. microwave/toaster/vacuum
Life is good! We won't be blogging much in the next two weeks so bear with us

It's almost time!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Our To Do lists are shrinking...we've seen a local attorney and gotten our wills updated, filled out and had our Five Wishes notarized (Don't know what that is? You should, everyone should!) All the vehicles are ready to store, insurance has been notified, etc, etc, etc.....

We're 90% packed, down to Stu's getting the last of his clothes out (after the last load of laundry). We're at one bag over our original estimate but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't cut things down any further. LOL! We will still have a lot of things to buy when we move into our apartment.

Tonight we went into Cookeville and a great farewell dinner with our good friend, Joanne. I worked with her in 2007 before I went full-time RVing and she was our realtor when we bought our property here. We love seeing her and sharing laughs together.

It was a drizzly day today, dreary and dull but we both got a lot done. Tomorrow another cold front moves through leaving us with a high in the mid 40's and lows dipping down to 21...worse is Sunday with a high in the mid 30's. Glad we're moving south on Monday...LOL!

We're both excited about our cruise, seeing family & friends and, oh yeah, moving to Ecuador!

Visit to Atlanta....SUCCESSFUL

Sunday, November 17, 2013

We headed out Thursday for Atlanta where we had an appointment to pick up our new Pensioner's Resident Visas at the Ecuadorian Consulate. We left plenty of time, having booked a reservation (free, thanks to points) at a Best Western less then an hour from where we needed to go. We did a little shopping along the way, had lunch & dinner courtesy of Subway.

The sunset coming into Chattanooga was gorgeous and I took a bunch of photos with my phone. Hope you enjoy some of them...


Our trip down to the Consulate on Friday morning was hectic, it is Atlanta after all, but not unbearable. We easily got parked in the parking garage and wandered into their office about 30 minutes early. We filled out a basic information form, handed over our documentation letters and passports, then our payment for the Visas and less than 90 minutes later we walked out! Painless...mostly thanks to our wonderful facilitator, Maite Duran.

From there we grabbed some lunch at Longhorn Steakhouse and then went to see the movie, "Thor", which we thoroughly enjoyed. Oh, if you go to see it - do NOT leave before the credit end. Honest!

From there we drove to my youngest daughter's house and the next 48 hours are a blur of grandkids and dogs. Some of the highlights....
  • playing balloon volleyball with my middle granddaughter, Amanda
  • meeting Boone the Mastiff and Samson the Great Dane, both rescue dogs
  • watched Stu lean over to pet Boone and have the chair break underneath him
  • watching "Pitch Perfect" and "Man of Steel" with the family
  • getting my FIRST EVER pedicure with my daughter, a little enjoyment time


On our way home Sunday we decided we wanted to get iPads before going to Ecuador. Stu wanted the new iPad Air and I wanted the new Retina Mini. Well, after several false starts at the Sam's Club in Chattanooga (power off, waited almost an hour to get in to find out they had none even though online it showed that they did), Walmart in Chattanooga (waited 20 minutes for someone to wait on us, gave up) - we lucked out at our local Sam's Club in Cookeville and Stu walked away with not only his 32GB iPad Air but a great cover with a Bluetooth keyboard from Kensington.

Once home, before the bad Sunday storms rolled into our area, we unloaded and I went online to order my iPad Mini from the Apple Store (the only place it seems to be available right now) and am getting it shipped to our friends in Florida.

Tomorrow we visit a local attorney to get our wills redone here in Tennessee and start on the now growing TO DO lists. We will get it all done...we have to! We leave here on Monday! Yipes!!!

Almost a week....

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's been almost a week since we last blogged but it feels longer. Why? Because we've been so busy! While we've gotten a lot done, there is still a lot to do before we leave town. But I am sure we'll get it done...the good thing is we do have a couple of days leeway. We hope to be with friends for Thanksgiving but if something holds us up, our cruise doesn't start until Sunday.

BIG news! The second book in the Klondike Mystery Series, "Barely a Spark", is now available in print as well as electronic. Check it out on Amazon. Great Christmas gift!


Friday we visit the Ecuadorian Consulate in Atlanta to pick up our Ecuadorian Visas...we're both excited! The biggest hurdle now is fitting everything into the trunks...really think we're going to have to scale some stuff back. Oh well, it all will work out!

A cold front is moving into the area tonight and tomorrow. Rain changing into snow flurries tomorrow with a high of 38 and a low of 21 (and we're usually 4-5 degrees colder for the lows). Brrrr.....


So what are we up to?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Our daily life is pretty much full of things on our To Do Lists....many getting crossed off and a few more getting added. The weather is cool as winter approaches here in north central Tennessee.

Stu is working hard to get all the vehicles ready for winterization and storage. I'm working on another long list of legal and financial issues. But we're working our way through it and hopefully everything will pull together soon. Timing is key to getting out of here and down to Florida for our cruise and then seeing Florida families before our flight to Ecuador.

We're really excited about the apartment we've rented down there, albeit unfurnished. We'll slowly get the basics and we have a month to do that since we've already rented a full furnished temporary apartment for our first month.

Want more details? Visit our other blog, http://retiredincuenca.com, and follow us there so you don't miss any new posts!

I am waiting for the paperback proof of "Barely a Spark", and will post when it's available. Still getting good reviews for it and the first Klondike mystery, "Not a Whisper". They'll make great Christmas gifts and my children's book, "What Do I Count", is perfect for the grandkids under age five. The print version has added pages to help reinforce the number learning. You can see all my books on my Amazon author page. Thanks! Oh, and tell your friends....giggle!