John and I have always loved going to estate sales, yard sales and farmer’s markets. There’s something about buying from local community members that is special and we have always made it an adventurous treasure hunt each time we take a “market” excursion.
Before we succumbed to our travel addiction and hit the road permanently, we used to make Fridays “date day” and would go to as many estate sales and markets that we could cram in before it got dark.
We love ‘em!
This past year we survived hurricanes Irma and Maria on Vieques, Puerto Rico. Maria wiped out the electrical, water and communication infrastructures on the island so that we were without power, running water, cell, and Internet for almost two months.
Grocery store shelves were bare, ice was scarce and the three gasoline stations were closed more often than they were open.
Finding the basics (food, gas, water and ice) was a daily quest. Somedays we got lucky, and other days not. On the “not” days our conversations went something like this.
Just south of Guadalajara, sister cities, Chapala and Ajijic sit on Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Chapala. Both cities have unique charm, temperate climates and amenities galore, which have made this area a mecca for retirees and ex-pats.
You might think that for a community focused on so many retirees, that activities would be sedate, laid-back and mundane. Oh contraire! Boredom is not allowed. In fact, even mediocre is not permitted! We had heard horror stories about safety in parts of Mexico, but found this area to be one of the safest places we’ve ever been. I ran on the highways to and from town and felt perfectly safe. So after spending a few days here, we decided that all the tales of retirement blah and fear are made up to scare “un”fun people away from this lovely area and the fun side of the wall!
November 17, 2017 Dallas, Texas Our next house sit is in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. Before jumping into a new culture and country, we decided that it would be best to go to the U.S. for a week to wash our salvageable clothes, take hot showers, replace trashed clothes, and most importantly visit with family that […]
The first Sunday of our big adventure started with so much promise because we had a plan. We were up bright and early and enjoyed the Holiday Inn breakfast and a quick dip in the hotel pool. It was time to do something about Pinkie, my humongous hot pink rolling duffel that had made my life miserable the past few days.
Our plans have been to wander, as tourists, around San Juan before traveling to Fajardo then catch the ferry to Vieques. John booked us two nights in the Courtyard by Marriott – San Juan Miramar and then two nights at the Holiday Inn – San Jose.
The hotel switch happened today and was a bit traumatic. The events of the day sealed the doom for Pinkie.
Here’s what happened.
This was John’s second trip to Old San Juan, my first. I was amazed at how beautiful and clean it was. Full of statues, history, friendly people and old world charm. There was something cool around every corner, so, we wandered.
The highlights of our day included:
CATEDRAL METROPOLITANA BASÍLICA DE SAN JUAN BAUTISTA.
When you know that you have to be at a certain place, at a certain time early in the morning, it’s hard to sleep the night before. Such was our case when June 1st finally arrived.
We had known for months that the day we had to say our final goodbyes to my family was going to be tough. Because our plane was scheduled to take off at 7am the next morning we decided to get a hotel room close to the airport for the night before we were to leave. Afternoon tears are always easier to cope with than morning ones.
Since we decided to do the ultimate downsize, become house sitters and true road warriors John had preached to me how I needed to pare down my “things” to the bare essentials, and be able to fit those essentials into two bags to be checked, and two carry-ons.