Blog to end all Blogs!

We have been back in the USA for 14 months. We are having our 1 year Jupiter anniversary shortly. Jupiter is a great place especially living so close to the beach. It has been a somewhat busy year with a few adventures, most mentioned in previous posts. A leisure life continues to be an adjustment. One of the big reasons we left Panama was that we got bored a lot. There were many reasons for that boredom but some was self imposed. I have been asked if I would go back to Panama. I certainly would but I would also do things differently this time to hopefully overcome some of the reasons we left. There really was nothing like living right on a tropical beach.

Being back in the states boredom is still a challenge. We all get in our routines. Our tastes change. Denise is trying to get back into her mosaic artwork which is quite time consuming. We still do a lot together. We go to the pool for about 1.5 hours 4-5 days a week, we play tennis every great once in a while, and we go to the beach for a couple mile walk 4-6 days a week and/or sit for a few hours and read and/or sit and have a picnic dinner on the beach. At times, I go to the beach myself as Denise is busy. We also do our Tiki Bar/Happy Hour efforts 3-4 times a week.

Denise keeps telling me I need to go and make some friends as our interest at times drift apart and she said I need something to occupy my time so she can have hers. I have met some folks down at the beach but Denise scolded me and said that she meant friends more my age and they should be guys. I guess I will keep trying but I am not to good with the people stuff.

Oh, in case anyone cared, yes we made it through Hurricane Irma. Our area was beat up a bit as they are currently patching the condo roofs with plastic covering and there is still lots of trees and branches down. Some folks were without power for almost a week. The good part is that my favorite bars, grocery stores and gas stations were back on line in a matter of just a day or two. Seems like if you have a generator you are open for business. A lot of folks did suffer a lot though but still nowhere near what those in the islands and Keys did. I am really glad we got a trip to the Keys in earlier this year.

The blog title says ‘blog to end all blogs’. What is that about? Well I think I am going to hang up my blogging keyboard so this is probably it. Denise has said ‘what makes you think anyone is interested in what you are doing anyway?’ She is probably right but I wrote more for me than for anyone reading this anyway.¬†In the long run it is more effort than I think I want to put into it. Actually the pictures is what takes the effort. Also I am planning to scale back my social media presence. I expect to be completely off Facebook no later than 2018. I plan on suspending my account BUT Messenger will still work so you can message, call or video me that way. Why Facebook? Well in my leisure it is so easy for it to become a ‘time suck’ and I am concerned that the Russians are influencing my postings (pun intended for you liberal crazies). I am also concerned with how FB is using and pushing information on us. It is easier to just get out of it and get back lost time. I would like to dump Twitter (@rbillock) also but I have over 15,500 followers and have this retentive guilt if I were to just bail on them. Gosh what an ego! well, I will wait and see.

So you may ask, what do I want to do then? If things were perfect I would travel, a lot. I always wanted to travel and did so starting when I was quite young. My fantasy would be to go and live some place for +/- a year and do that every year for the next 30 years. I think by the time I was 90 I may be ready to slow down. This of course is not reality so I guess I will be in Jupiter for the foreseeable future. If you ever want to come to south Florida to visit you are welcome to come by.

Oh before I leave you I want to pass along my new favorite drink. I temper my intake due to sugar intake since rum is made from cane sugar and sugar is legal poison to our bodies. I recommend Blue Chair Bay Key Lime Creme rum. I pour it over ice in a tumbler and sip away. You can add some other stuff but it is delic buy itself…enjoy!

As always your comments or questions are welcome.

Bon Voyage from probably the final beach:oclock blog post!

See you at the beach…friend!

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Giving Denise ‘the finger’ after getting beat again!
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Out for an evening of Reggae at Guanabanas on the intercoastal.
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Sunset from our balcony.
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Typical morning on the beach.
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Newly hatched Loggerhead making its way to the ocean.
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Some of what Irma left for us.
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Square Grouper re-opened after leaving a warning ‘Not Here Irma’. #besttikibar
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It’s Tuesday, must be time for a vacation?

We decided to leave our paradise a little while ago for a vacation. This time we choose to go and visit Lisa in Virginia. I had never seen her there and neither of us had seen her latest apartment. Well we tossed a few things into our backpacks and food we didn’t want to throw away into a cooler and headed north. Since Charleston is about 1/2 way we said that is the area where we will stop for the night. The bonus was that our friend Norma lives there. We made arrangements to visit on our layover. It was going to be great to see Norma and catch up. We met Norma in Panama. She was a friend of a friend who became a friend. Cool how that whole friend thing works. Well just before we left to head north Norma contacted us and had to cancel getting together ūüė¶ . I assured her that I did start to regularly bathe once we arrived back in the USA but she said she doubts that but had to cancel due to other reasons and we definitely need to plan another get together. “Norma, Oh Norma, where did our Norma go?” Hopefully we will see you soon.

We stayed in Charleston anyway and then drove on through to Virginia the next day. Besides getting to see and spend time with Lisa we had a laundry list of other things we wanted to do. It had been at least 30 years since I had spent any leisure time in the DC area. We had a number of old friends and a number of old places we wanted to see. After getting to Lisa’s place and the customary hugs, getting settled in her very nice apartment, meeting her roommate and the mother/daughter gap-fest we next got to go to the iconic Ned’s Irish Pub across the highway from her complex. I think Lisa goes to Ned’s for more than just Seahawks games. With just a slight nod as we came through the door the bar-keep began pouring her favorite brew. It was kind of like Cheers but Irish. The regulars new Lisa. During our trip I went back to Ned’s multiple times.

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The infamous Ned’s
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Crooked Run Brewery and Se√Īor Ramons

Since someone had to pay rent, Lisa went to work and Denise and I found things to do. Denise brought material to finish up a mosaic wine table for Lisa that she did not get done before we left. After she finished this up we took a day and went into DC. Lisa had a meeting in town so she dropped us off in the monument area. We saw all the old stuff – Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson but also got to see others that were newer like the Vietnam War Memorial, the monument to women in the military, the massive WWII monument, and the impressive Korean War Memorial. We walked to the Whitehouse for a quick greeting ceremony in the Rose Garden and then headed to the Air and Space museum on the green.

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Better hurry…they are waiting for us in the Rose Garden
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WWII Memorial
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Korean War Memorial
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Korean War Memorial
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Korean War Memorial, very impressive
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Abe’s House
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Women’s War memorial
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Vietnam War Memorial
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George is in the house!
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No matter how often you see, it is never old.

Things have really changed. It is a major production to get into the museums. There were long hot lines outside with each person being let in one at a time to go through the metal detectors and wands. We were beat from all the walking and hopped on the Metro Silverline at the Smithsonian Station to head back to Lisa’s for dinner.

Other great activities were that we were able to spend an afternoon with Denise’s brother Joe, wife Trisha and family at their place and then again a final dinner with them before we left. It was great to see them. I myself probably hadn’t seen them in 20+ years. The boys were probably just out of diapers then but now are men working on making it on their own. It was a wonderful visit.

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Tricia and Joe (Denise’s brother)
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Lisa, Matthew, Michael
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Tricia, who is going to eat all that wonderful food!
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Joe doing the manly chores.

I also caught up with an old old friend from College days. Chris drove out to meet me at Ned’s and we spent a couple hours picking up right where we left off – drinking and giving each other a hard time. Times do change. Last time I saw him the only women he knew had restraining orders against him and now he is married. Go figure! It was wonderful to get together.

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Chris ‘Mad Nueman’ Mitcham

We also met up with an old boss, mentor, friend and his family. I met Lloyd at grad-school when I was in the Army and was soon working for him on North Fort Lewis at ‘Testing and Experimentation Command Board’….don’t ask. He and his lovely wife had two very little boys – at that time. Well Lloyd went on to retire from the Army an 0-5 (he was/is certainly more of a masochist than I was), is now a high level civilian muckity-muck still doing work for the military, the two boys are…well…not boys, and his wife, Chom, is still as lovely as ever. They live way off the beaten path south of DC on a bluff overlooking the Potomac. Their own lil’ Mt. Vernon.

While on our trip they had us come out and go for a cruise on the Potomac with the family. It rained on us for a while which was great because it gave us lots of time to have some drinks and catch up while sitting below on the cruiser. When it cleared we went down river and anchored near Rick’s riverside bar where the water taxi came and picked us up for more drinks and food on shore. It was a great day.

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The Cruise
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Pole dancing or a SUP paddle?
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Rick’s on the River
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Definitely not soul train
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They landed at Rick’s
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At Rick’s waiting for the taxi back to the boat.

It just so happened that two days before we were going to head back home Lloyd was having a 60th birthday celebration at their house with lots of folks, a keg of beer, an awesome pig roast and smoked chicken, some wonderful sushi, great kimchi, and all kinds of other food and deserts. Did I say beer? It was another great day with them and I left with my stomach 3 sizes larger than it has been in a long long time. Again it was so wonderful to catch up and we hope to see them in Florida for a beach vacation soon.

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Lloyd, birthday boy
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I like pig butt I can not lie!
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The Sushi Queen
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It has been a long time!
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Lots of hot air left to blow those out.
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The Chef-ette treated us like royalty.

It had been well over a week and Lisa probably was sick of us and was ready to toss us out so we headed home to the beach.

We stopped off in Raleigh, NC to see an ole friend from Panama – Buz. We met Buz on our very first full day in Coronado as he walked into the local fonda for breakfast wearing his USC Gamecocks t-shirt. We became fast friends. Over more than a year we spent many many hours by the roof-top pool well into the night killing unselect brain cells. Buz was one of our close circle of friends we had in Panama. Buz introduced us to the earlier mentioned Carla – Friend of a friend, now a friend…. Buz keeps threatening to come to the beach for a visit and we are expecting him to fulfill that threat.

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We have returned from our trip and have gotten back into our routine of ¬†daily beach walks and swims in the pool, Friday’s at the Dive Bar, Monday’s at the Square Grouper, a minor league ball game, and a selection of other Tiki Bar Happy Hours. Remember, we are doing all this so you don’t have to. Keep working because we expect to collect our share of social security some day. Also beware, maybe our next spur of the moment vacation will be to your city and you will be expected to party and have fun!

As always, feel free to share or send a comment or question or hide from your children.

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Dancin fool!

Trip to the end of the world: Mile 0

It has been sometime since I have sat and pounded on the Blog keyboard. So what has been going on? Well we made it through our first South Florida winter. What do I think? Well I am sure it is way better than what most have but…. I am thinking I want to be a ‘snowbird’ in the winter and go where it is actually warm. Maybe Mexico, Columbia, Panama, etc… Maybe it is just a good time for us to go off and do our international travels. We had gotten spoiled in Panama where by 7AM it was already 84′ and would go up into the 90’s EVERY day. We had some nice days here but I do not like when it is below 70′ at 6:30-7AM. We want WARM and Reliable weather. As in Panama, I also did not at all like the onslaught of snowbirds coming in and taking over as if they own the place, even though they probably do. You might as well rename South Florida to South New England at least January through April. Oh well, we still found ourselves at the beach and happy hours many times a week so I guess I will quite ‘wine-ing’ and just make plans for next winter.

Excitement? We just returned from a vacation. We spent 2.5 days in Miami/South Beach and then 3.5 days in The Keys. A great friend of ours, Carla, from Panama was traveling home to Canada and stopped over in Miami so we met her and spent many hours together walking, eating, and drinking our way through South Beach.

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Carla

We walked and saw lots of the Art Deco facades. The design and color were great in the day and at night the lit up neon was very cool.

We also went to the area often referred to as Little Havana/Cuba.

And then finally, of course, South Beach itself. If you have not been there it is worth a trip but beware it is not cheap. South Beach has a nice boardwalk/beach walk area that goes quite a distance. There are outdoor exercise areas where folks gather and do some serious workouts and weight lifting. Kind of Miami’s version of muscle beach. Denise and Carla enjoyed watching all the buff & oiled guys pumping iron, well until they noticed all their boy friends around the perimeter also admiring. Heck I think they still enjoyed it!

After a couple days of good Cuban food, rum, beer and mojitos and especially wonderful company, Denise and I said a reluctant good bye to Carla and headed south to The Keys. We took the route less traveled via Card Sound Road to North Key Largo in order to stop off at Alabama Jacks just as you are leaving the mainland and hit the bridge. We heard that some folks head for Key West and once they hit Alabama Jacks early on in the trip they stop and never make it any further!

After our Alabama Jack adventure we headed into Largo and continued to Islamorada where we stayed our first night. Word of advice…NEVER NEVER stay at the Sunset Inn. We saw it on a Youtube video by some guy and his wife who stayed there and had good things to say. Let’s just say their definition of good is not the same as ours. On a positive note, we spent the evening at Lorelei’s (loreleicabanabar.com)¬†for dinner, drinks, and a nice sunset. We highly recommend this place. Very very relaxing sitting at tables out in the sand.

The next day we made our way through Marathon and over the 7 mile bridge. To have built Hwy 1 all the way through the Keys is truly an engineering marvel. We stopped at Bahia Honda State Park which has very nice beach and picnic areas of both the Atlantic and Golf from the same place.

We next passed the NAS (Naval Air Station) and headed into Stock Island where we stayed for a few days on a boat (AirBnb) in the Marina just outside of Key West. This was an adventure within an adventure. Staying on the boat was lots of fun.

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Home for a few days

Key West was lots of fun. A couple points though. It is very very expensive to stay in that area. Rents are very high. Also parking is very limited and expensive. Biking is a great way to get around. Even though Key West was great it seems to have become just another big cruise ship port. There is Margaritaville, Hard Rock, Sloppy Joes, Wet Willies, etc… We tried to stay away from the large commercialization and enjoy the real Key West. We really enjoyed stopping at the Light House, Truman’s Southern White House, Our Lady of the Sea Church, The Southern Most Point, and the water front. We watched them clean the catch of the day and throw the scraps into ¬†the feeding Tarpon. Wow the Tarpon are big fish! We ate and had drinks at some of the more local places which was fun – Alnonzo’s, Caroline’s, Hogfish Bar and Grill.

Finally we went for a tour at Key West First Legal Rum Distillery. This was great fun, great samples, and great souvenirs.

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We checked off our boat the next morning, did some last minute tourism and headed back north. We stopped again at Lorelei’s on the way home for lunch and then headed home. It was a great but tiring trip.

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Other events to note of past and hopefully future: Ann Marie, Carl, and Brook stopped by for a visit before they headed out on a cruise. It was very nice to catch up, get to know Carl better, and see the nice young lady Brooke is becoming. Good luck at school dudette! We went to ANOTHER Jimmy Buffet concert last week. It was great fun getting to sit out on the lawn where things can get crazy and the tabacky a little wacky.

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We leave tomorrow for a trip to visit Lisa. We plan to drive with a night stop in Charleston where we hope to see some friends. We have not spent time in the D.C. area in a long time so along with seeing Lisa it will be good to catch up with Abe, George, and Thom. I am already tired from all the walking I imagine we will be doing.

That is it for now. As always comments or questions are welcome. Feel free to share our adventure with others.

RB

Make plans & God laughs, plan anyway!

img_3939   Refections in my mind

Some may call it karma, sh_t happens, fate…whatever…but I believe God has a plan for each of us. If He does, why make plans and set goals? I believe God sets out a big picture plan but gives us latitude in our day to day fumbling. Well if you are like me I have and do fumble a lot and sometimes the big Guy steps in when a correction is needed to get back on course. In charge or not, I still plan, still set goals…cause who knows.

So it is 2017. What is the plan/goals? I guess I should at least set some high level plans and then see how much God laughs as I work through them. We have now been in our new place over 3.5 months and I still don’t feel settled and in a routine. It seemed as soon as we got in the place and started a routine then Thanksgiving hit, Christmas hit, guests came and went, etc…It is very difficult to stay on a routing, stay active, not over eat and drink when visitors are around and you gather for holiday dinners, sugar is around in one form or another everywhere and finally you are blahhhh. 1st plan or goal is to get back on routine, get more regularly active, and reduce much of the blah.

I would really like to travel a little this year. Travel is not cheap though. Actually the traveling part is not bad but the cost once you get there..ouch! Lodging, food, transportation, … you know the drill. I would love to get a trip back to the Seattle area where Katie and Sean live so we can see them and visit old friends. I would love to get a trip to Virginia where Lisa lives to visit her and also do the DC circuit. I would love to take a trip to the Keys, the Caribbean islands, maybe Mexico. Finally I would really like to take a lengthy trip to Spain and Portugal. As you can see this is all just a wish list for now with no plan. I guess I should be happy if I can at least get 1-3 of these accomplished this year.

What about activities? I want to play more tennis and as always get on the beach almost everyday. A little more time in the pool would be nice also. It all sounds great but there are still times where one is board. There is a good chance I will start actively consulting this year. Also I have been asked to & encouraged to write a book. Both the consulting and writing would be somewhat challenging. It is one thing to sit and write a blog post and it may not look like much but it takes a bit of thought and a bit of time. Writing a book is much different though. I am not sure if I have the focus and concentration to stay on topic for the time it would take to put a book together. I get board and distracted easily and quickly. I have the suggested topic so maybe I will see if I can at least get a draft outline. What do you think?

One thing I know is that I truly value my time. I hesitate to do anything to have my time dictated or controlled. If I do an activity it would need to be very very worthwhile. Oh and then there is that God plan thing. I guess in the end it is not my time but His time He is giving me to use. I better allow time for His plan. It would be great if we could get those plans in sync!

2017 may end up very active and busy or maybe kicked back and relaxed. Once I get more clarity on my plans and get them approved by Denise ūüôā then the execution begins. If I am still banging on the keyboard you may hear about some of them. Experiences are more fun when shared, even after the fact.

Do you have plans? Goals? Set some, make them BIG, strive to make them real and then step back and listen for someone laughing. It is most likely the Big Guy enjoying the comedy. Good luck, we can all use it!

As always comments or questions are welcome. I hope you enjoy the attached pictures.

RB

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View from our patio. Can anything ever rival such a sunset?

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Well the sunrise from the beach isn’t so bad either!

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The water is so beautifully blue.
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Come and sit on mama’s lap!
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Arlene and Dean came visiting/drinking
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Happy hour @ Square Grouper Tiki Bar!
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Who farted?
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What happens in Jupiter, stays in Jupiter.
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Home home on the range!

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Palm Beach Fair Pig Racesimg_20170125_164010
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Where in the world is….
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Yacht based out of Yakima in our Marina.
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Our new wall art.
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Juno Beach pier, just a short walk from our place.
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Arlene and Dean favored Coconut Rum in their cups!
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Studying for the ‘bar’.
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Dude, shovel what….?

We are lucky it wasn’t an EMERGENCY!

Life is about having experiences not things. Well those experiences keep coming!

Around the middle of December, Denise started having some problems with her right eye. We ended up going to the Minute Clinic at CVS drug just before Christmas. She had an infection so the Nurse Practitioner prescribed some drops and things started to get better. After Christmas though it was worse again. Back to the clinic on the 28th, a change of drops and an antibiotic. The Nurse said Denise may need to see an Ophthalmologist if there was no improvement in a day or two and she would call Saturday (New Years Eve) to see how she was doing.

The Nurse was great and followed up by phone on Saturday afternoon. Due to the eye discomfort and worsening condition the nurse told her to go to the emergency room early Sunday (Jan 1) in order to see an Ophthalmologist ASAP. We had a brand new insurance plan that started that morning (1/1/17) so I made sure our nearest hospital was on the plan. We headed to a large regional hospital around 7:30AM. Soon after 8AM they bring us back to an ER room. They administered all the basic initial poking and prodding for weight/height, temp, pressure, family history, Roman history, Chung Dynasty history and finally around 8:20am we were told the doctor would be with us shortly.

Outside at 8AM it may have been 74 degrees but these rooms could double as a morgue, brr…. We sat and sat and finally the Doc came in and did more specific poking and prodding. He said Denise has¬†a Corneal Ulcer (infection) and needs to see an Ophthalmologist ASAP. He said ‘it is a holiday so he will need some time to get someone’. It was just past 9:30AM¬†when the Doctor finally came back in and said they needed to ‘transfer’ us to St. Mary’s Hospital down in Palm Beach because he couldn’t find an Ophthalmologist on staff and St. Mary’s had an Ophthalmology department. He said we needed to see an Ophthalmologist ASAP. He was on the phone speaking directly to the lead ER Doctor at St. Mary’s at around 9:45AM and told him we would arrive at their ER¬†in 45 minutes. The place was a 25-30 minute ride. I said I would bring her down but the doctor said I can’t do that. They have to ‘transport’ her. I guess some kind of liability issue??? So we were told to wait a minute. We waited and waited and waited it was now after 11am and we were frozen so¬†we went to go chase the nurse when all the sudden 2 EMTs show up with a big ambulance gurney. Now remember this was her eye, not a hip, a leg, an ankle or even a big toe. They strapped her in and Denise was off for her very first ambulance ride and I was in the chase car. I couldn’t even ride shotgun ūüė¶ .

We arrived at St. Mary’s ER around noon and went through all the basic normal poking and prodding again. I guess they need to verify the previous results. We were told to await in the ER room for the doctor, at least it wasn’t an ice box. Finally the doctor from the phone comes in. He double checks all the other doctor’s poking and prodding and says “you need to see an Ophthalmologist ASAP. No Ophthalmologist is here today so first thing Monday morning (1/2/17) call this Ophthalmologist” and he gave us a referral paper… AHGGGGG!!!!!! By now it is around 2PM so we have now wasted 7:30AM to 2PM on New Years day/morning and massive insurance costs just to find out exactly what the Nurse told us at the Minute Clinic. WE NEED TO SEE AN OPHTHALMOLOGIST ASAP!

We left the ER tired and hungry and laughing so we wouldn’t cry. The ER gave Denise a couple more prescriptions for more ¬†& different drops. We have a Walgreen’s close to our home so stopped there only to find out that all the Walgreen’s pharmacies are closed for the Holiday (it is now New Years Day) except one and we would need to go there. Our insurance dictates only Walgreens. We drive all the way there and drop of the script and they said it will take 1.5-2 hours. This was fine as we need to get something to eat. We go back 1.5 hours later and Denise goes in to get the drugs only to be told that they do not carry it in stock. We tried Walmart, CVS, etc…no one carries this drug but it can be ordered with a 2 day wait. We also had called the ‘referred’ Ophthalmologist on Sunday (New Years Day) and left a message in order to get a call back for an appointment as early as possible on Monday morning. Monday came and we waited, but no call back. We called the Ophthalmologist again only to find out that NO ONE is open on Jan 2, Monday, due to the holiday on a weekend and we needed to wait another day.

During this time I tried to call the new insurance company (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) just to make sure we are doing everything right. Well all calls are answered by a call center that is not in the USA (I asked due to the accent). They said we could not go to see the¬†Ophthalmologist without a referral from our primary care doctor (PCP) not the emergency DR.. We have no clue who the PCP is and never saw them since this is day 2 of the policy. They said ‘dems da rules’ and if we went to the specialist without the PCP referral we would have to pay 100%.

On Tuesday morning, Jan 3,¬†we called the number of the ‘referred’ Ophthalmologist and they said they would squeeze her in at 1:15 and asked for our referral number. We said we will call back soon with one. Blue Cross had automatically assigned us a PCP and it was not near where we lived. We called the PCP, told them we had been to ER and needed a referral# to go to an Ophthalmologist that the ER doctor said we needed to see ASAP. They said we could¬†come in at 11AM to get the referral as the doctor needs to see us in order to give one. We called the Ophthalmologist back and said we should be able to make it at 1:15 since we see the PCP at 11AM to get the referral and would bring it with us. The Ophthalmologist nurse asked us to call a number she gave us and they would also give us a number which they need. Our insurance was adamant that we had to get the referral from the PCP or they won’t cover the visit to the specialist. Our PCP¬†office is pretty far south of us so we take off. We get there around 10:45 (early for our appointment). The place was packed with people, we checked in and were told our number would be called shortly. It wasn’t until around noon that we were called back into where the doctor sees people. Guess what, yes, more poking and prodding by the nurse and again we are told to wait for the doctor. Our Ophthalmologist appointment is 1:15. Well at about 12:50 we call the¬†Ophthalmologist to say we are about 15 minutes away but are waiting for our PCP to get a referral and probably will be a little late.

The¬†Ophthalmologist office said they already had the referral from the number they had us call. WHAT!, Shit!, we have been waiting for hours again for???? We get up to walk out of the doctors office when the PCP doctor finally walks in. We explain the story and she said as long as we are there she may as well give us her referral but no we hadn’t needed to wait previously. She did ask us to come back right after the Ophthalmologist so she could process Denise as a patient. We raced out of there at 1:09PM and get to the¬†Ophthalmologist at 1:24 and finally get in. Long story short, okay long story long, The specialist checked her eye, gave her some drugs that now seem to be relieving the discomfort.

So Happy New Year to anyone who read this far. We now have a new ‘new years’ experience to remember. Here also are a few pictures from Christmas.

As always feel free to share the blog, ask any questions, or provide any remarks.

RB.

Table with a View

It has been a while since I have sat down to focus on collecting my thoughts. Maybe because my thoughts have been so scattered lately. But damn, when you start receiving messages wondering if we are Ok, or where are we, just because I haven’t sent a blog posting lately, sheesh, the pressure, and the stress. Well we have been busy.

Our short-term temporary stay in The Villages, Florida came to an end. This was mainly meant as a transition back into the USA from Panama. We were able to visit, get a car, re-establish things like licenses and insurances (Obamacare$$$ is enough to make us leave the country again ‚Äď what crap!) as well as go through a few items we had in storage. We really hoped to go through more storage stuff but it ended up being impractical at the time.

After a lot of research and searching we ended up finding a longer-term residence at the beach in Jupiter, Florida. Jupiter is a great area. We looked further south in areas such as Boca Raton and Delray Beach but could not find anything at the beach to our liking. Also those areas were quite busy and crowded. They were like cities that, oh by the way had a beach whereas Jupiter feels very much like a beach town. I lived here for most of a year back in 2011 and really enjoyed the miles of beaches and the wonderful Tiki bars i.e. Square Grouper

A new adventure started for us as we prepared to leave The Villages. We rented a big old honkin 26′ truck and loaded up our storage unit. We were in a race. A Race, you ask? Yes a race with Mother Nature. Hurricane Matthew was about to hit right in the Jupiter area. We needed to drive 4 hours south, attend a condo orientation in order to get our keys, and then scramble to empty our truck before the storm hit in 48 hours. We were frickin exhausted but made it. We live on the 3rd floor so it was a bit of an effort making all those trips up and down the small elevator. On day two in Jupiter we were able to return the truck and get a few provisions as we followed the storm track. We were still inside the ‘cone of uncertainty’ for landfall/direct-hit but indications were trending that it would push a little north, and it did.

Hurricane night was pretty fascinating. The rain wasn’t all that bad but the wind was impressive. We felt pretty safe. We were just outside of the mandatory evacuation zone. Our building is 30 years old, 5 floors and pretty solid. It was interesting to watch the wind incrementally increase as the hours went by. Around 10pm, when we lost power, the wind started topping 70+ mph and that was not gusts but continuous. Around 1-2am we were having 100-115mph winds. I expected doors and windows to rattle. They didn’t but the howling was impressive. By the next morning we were back to 40-70mph wind with rain and power came back on. We did not see much damage other than tree branches. Another adventure for the travel logs!

During the weeks that we have been in our new place we have been trying to get set up. We had lots of boxes to empty, things to arrange, and efforts to make us feel at home. Denise had the bulk of the work unfortunately. As any empty unfurnished place, it needed a really good DEEP cleaning before we would feel comfortable. As many guys know that usually falls to the spouse. I am not being sexist, it just usually does. I emptied a lot of boxes and have been assisting Denise in her decorating and arranging tasks. Things like hang drapes, wall hangings, bed skirts (what’s a¬†bed skirt¬†for?), etc…

During my¬†down time, I of course ended up sitting with the Mac for hours until I was ‘needed’. On the positive side, my twitter account, @rbillock, reached over 10K followers and continues to grow. You are invited to follow. On the negative side, I ended up getting caught up on politics on Facebook. I was most likely ‘unfollowed’ by everyone due to the incessant political bullshit shoved in my face and of course my responses.¬†If I were you I would have ‘unfollowed’ me also. Now that that crap is over and we are all possibly socialist commies feel free to re-follow and I will try to be good.

We are starting to enjoy our new home. We really like the location and setup. We have had numerous wonderful beach walks and many nice days/evenings at waterside beach bars. We even found a real nice Irish Pub as well as a very local coffee shop within walking distance. Our tennis game has started back up. We still play AT tennis meaning just back and forth, not keeping score, exercise. Maybe soon we will start to actually play. Even though we have not been keeping track I am sure when we start to keep score Denise, having already tracked our progress, will claim to have won 7 of the last 10 sets!

One of the great things over the last two months besides the weather and beach is that we have gotten to visit with Lisa twice. We met her at Disney Orlando for a few days when she was there for a conference. We was also staying at the Breakers Palm Beach last month so we picked her up and she was the first visitor to stay at our new place. We had a great time at the beach and Tiki Bars. It was so great to see her.

Our new place has a wonderful large balcony that overlooks a swimming pool, pond, and large protected marina. The yachts coming and going are amazing. Panama was a beautiful paradise but Jupiter and our new place is also a wonder of its own. The ‘table with a view’, well it is our patio table I am sitting at right now, drinking my mimosas, and looking out at our new beautiful view.

Here are some new pictures you might enjoy and as always comments, questions, or suggestions are welcome.

BTW…I re-did my blog site. Did you notice? Better? Worse? Do you care?

RB

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Denise found this in Jupiter. This was our main and favorite coffee in Panama! Good stuff.
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Our storage unit was packed front/back and top/bottom.
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Watch out for the bears, 10-4 good buddy, looks like we got us a convoy! Yes dating myself.
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The calm before the hurricane storm. I am beat but the truck is empty. Yes that is perspiration on that shirt!
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Great day, got to spend it with Lisa!
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The Breakers, Palm Beach where Lisa was staying. $$$$$
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A couple propeller heads. As close as I got to a ride.
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Lunch with Lisa at Guanabanas, Jupiter
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That hat looks familiar
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Table with a view – from our patio
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Hmm..23?
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Same table different view.
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And again a view
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Looks like fish for dinner!
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Kite surfing
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Great inter-coastal restaurant and bar. we visited with Lisa.
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The three stooges! Wait where is Katie?
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The Angel Dance!
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A typical morning
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An upside down morning
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Ho Hum, typical view
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Anyone for soup?
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Table with a view. From our patio table.
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Table with a view. From our patio table.
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Mom made her first apple pie in a long time and I got to sample it!!!
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Our new place, The Marina at the Bluffs.
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Our beach
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Damn clear water.
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A walk on the marina
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Under the boardwalk…Juno Beach Pier
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Our beach
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A great walk
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We found a very good Mexican restaurant.
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Today is the day and results are not in. I had to get a final ‘poke the bear’ remark in.
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I know this guy!

2014-2016 Blurred Lines

Facebook keeps popping up blasts from the past and wanting me to re-share them. I look at these and say, ‚Äėthat couldn‚Äôt have been only a year ago, only two years ago‚Äô! Wow, I guess more happened from 2014-16 then I could have imagined. So since this blog is really a stream of my conscience and sometime unconscious thinking I thought I would attempt to recall a list of these events.

Some time in the Spring of 2014 I went from the abnormal corporate dungeons to all the sudden being free with nothing to do and nowhere to go. I could have continued with the devil that I knew and jumped back into another 8-6 seven-day a week stressors or I could try to feel my way through this newfound freedom. After a short time of not working I was actually getting a bit anxious, nervous, even scared. Once I formally decided to not go back to a full-time corporate job I worked at slowly easing into a leisurely role. The attempt at ‚Äėeasing‚Äô continues to this day. In many ways I still feel disconcerted by it all and on other days it is superb. Where did 2014¬†start?

  • January 2014 Denise travels to S. Carolina to stay with Lisa due to an illness and help her through her last semester of school. She graduated in 3 years with a 4.0GPA regardless. Amazing!
  • Spring 2014 I stopped ‚Äėworking‚Äô which ended up being a jolt to both my and Denise‚Äôs emotional state and plans.
  • June 2014 we went to S. Caroline for Lisa‚Äôs graduation and to assist in moving her back to Washington.
  • Lisa secures a good job in Bellevue, staying at home while getting situated.
  • Katie & Sean prepare for their wedding.
  • August 2016 we have Katie and Sean‚Äôs wedding. K&S did awesome planning. We held the rehearsal dinner at the house, the wedding was at St. Anthony‚Äôs, and the reception was at Fairwood G&CC. All were exquisite.
  • During this time Denise and I are wondering ‚Äėwhat the hell are we now going to do going forward?‚Äô True empty nesters‚Ķ.
  • We had always talked of living at the beach, moving to the SE coast of Florida, etc‚Ķbut what do we do now.
  • After the wedding was over, Lisa was settled, and we were able to take a few deep breaths we said ‚Äėlet‚Äôs go to Hawaii!‚Äô We always think clearer at the beach.
  • So the fall of 2014 we spent 10-14 days in Hawaii trying to figure out what we were going to do when we grew up. The beach was calling!
  • We returned to Fairwood and started to prepare to sell the house and just about everything in it.
  • We celebrated our last Christmas at home, put the house on the market, and prepared to move.
  • Since we were leaving and the house was going, Lisa took a new cool job In Virginia and on the eve of a giant blizzard she and Denise drove her little car and all her worldly goods east. They were 1-2 days behind the blizzard all the way. Like Lewis and Clark but backwards?
  • The house sold in the March of 2015. Boom‚Ķhomeless!
  • Since I was only 56 and too young to call it retirement we declared we would make a grand adventure out of the next couple of years. We decided we would go ‚Äėon recess‚Äô vs ‚Äėretirement‚Äô since, well, you never know‚Ķ
  • Our grand adventure was that we would send what ever we had left from the house to a storage unit in Florida as we saw that as our sometime in the future ‚Äėhome base‚Äô. We would then drive down the ocean roads of the west coast to San Diego and then head east across the very southern USA eventually arriving in Florida. The country is unceasing in its beauty.
  • From there we were going to embark on the biggest adventure yet. We were going to make dreams come true and live right on a tropical beach. We decide on the beautiful beach of Coronado, Panama. We had never been there, didn‚Äôt know anyone, didn‚Äôt speak Spanish, etc‚Ķbut choose Panama for many reasons and after lots of research. We said we would stay for 1-3 years since there were other places we wanted to also go.
  • We lived on the Pacific beach overlooking the eastern sky and ocean. Every single sunrise was unbelievable and we made life long friends.
  • We travelled to Medellin, Colombia, a truly amazing place
  • We made a couple of trips back to Florida, the Carolinas seeing Lisa at Christmas.
  • Katie and Sean came to Coronado and stayed with us for a short while.
  • We spent some time in Cozumel, Mexico
  • After over a year we arrived back in Florida.
  • After a short couple of months in The Villages, Fl, we became re-established, were able to spend some time with our parents, bought a car, got a Florida license, registered to vote, and had to deal with this atrocious thing called Obamacare.
  • Other note-able events: I got my CCW permit (concealed carry) before that right is infringed. I also surpassed 9500 twitter followers. If anyone is interested they can follow me at @rbillock.
  • Now after a detailed selection process we are setting up that home base I mentioned in Jupiter, Fl where we will live walking distance to the beach, at a marina on the inter-coastal with pools and tennis courts. Lots to keep us busy ‚Äď for now. Who knows what might come up around the corner.

So many things happened along the way of 2014-16. On an adventure like this I think you either end up divorced or even more inseparable. I have to say that the time in Panama strengthened our marriage like nothing ever before and I say that in the nicest best way possible. So many experiences, so many memories! 2014-2016 truly has been a blur! We packed more in two years then some do in a lifetime. We are so so thankful. On the flip side don’t think everything was and is peaches and cream or even peachy keen. There have been some very very trying events and days along with all this good. Without the bad we would never know how good the good actually is.

So funny story…once back in Florida we decided we needed to sell our Weber Natural Gas grill we had in storage. So we posted the grill for sale. After about 60 days and many calls that fell through, we are contacted by a couple that want the grill. We meet them at the storage unit and they say they are just getting resettled after being out of the country. Wow, deja vue! So we ask from where and these folks just came back from living in Panama. She was actually a Zonie (born in the canal zone) and he came down to work years ago. Well they bought the grill and she called me later to tell me that the same day they were in line at the post office and someone behind her tapped her shoulder and it was someone who did business with her in Panama years ago and they hadn’t seen each other since. Was this whole interaction a coincidence or what! Ok, it was funny to us…blah!

What is even more exciting is we are just getting started!

As always I hope you enjoy the pictures. Feel free to comment or ask questions.

RB

Here is our new beach (Juno/Jupiter Beach) Water is very clear and clean, some small shells but not a lot, and great distances to walk. This is minutes from our new place so we can walk or bike. The A1A runs just N/S just off the beach and there is a great park across the A1A.

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A pontoon party boat on the inter-coastal
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Under the pier at Juno Beach
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We will be living in a condo at a Marina
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A view off the side of our balcony. Can’t wait to move in in October.
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The stage at my favorite Tiki Bar. Live nightly music. Music video for ‘It’s 5oclock Somewhere’ was made here.
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Denise celebrated ‘Topless’ Day!
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Selling our golf cart in The Villages. Any takers?
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Having dinner/drinks during a very frequent Villages downpour. It has been a very wet summer!
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Nice bar at U-Tiki.
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‘I am the Walrus’, Goo goo g’ joob (if ya don’t know the reference don’t ask)

 

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Denise’s mom and dad on their 56th anniversary at Eaton’s Beach.
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Everyone keeps asking why I can’t ‘be normal’? Well ‘honey’ I flap to my own tune!

Looking for the Beach!

We have now been back in the USA for 2.5 months. We have been in a short term rental in a place called The Villages, FL. It is very near Ocala in the north center of the state. Denise’s parents and my mom live here. It is a 55+ community with currently about 115,000 people and¬†540¬†holes of golf and still growing. There are only approximately 3% of the population in our age group according to demographics from 2014. If you advance about 15+ years older than us then the percentage goes WAY up. Yes, lots of Silver and bald heads but regardless there is lots a person can do.

Denise and I have been trying to get a routine going. We are not feeling as ‘healthy’ or active as we were before getting here. Since we left¬†the beach the tan has toned down a little and my clothes are not fitting as well. I have even greatly reduced my¬†alcohol intake as well as¬†continuing to eat pretty good. There is just something about being at and walking on the beach that just keeps me in much better health/shape. We will be back to the beach soon – more to follow.

We have started playing AT tennis 2-3 times a week. I say ‘AT’ since we are not yet at a stage I would call actually playing the game. It is good exercise though. Especially the part where you have to run outside the fence and chase the ball as well as the constant bending down to pick them up off the ground. We definitely can see an improvement from when we started playing but we don’t keep score, though I wonder if secretly Denise is doing so. She is so competitive. After tennis, Denise and I have been going and sitting on the patio at Dunkin Donuts and having a morning coffee (just coffee) – relaxing and cooling down.

We try to ‘work-out’¬†2-3 times a week. There is a park with a rubberized path that we walk ¬†to and in a certain area there is outdoor resistance equipment that uses your own weight as a counter-balance. It is not a lot but it is something. Most residents just use this and almost all other areas as a dog walk. I think it is mandatory that every resident have at least 1-3 dogs.

We try and get to the pool 2-3 times a week. We try to go for at least 1 hour and we take our noodles and float/kick around in the deeper end, 5-8 feet usually. In Panama we never saw a pool that was deeper than 4.5 feet. Most folks are a little shorter there :). You can actually get good exercise doing this. In Panama we were doing this anywhere from 5-7 days a week and sometimes 2X a day. We find that hard to do here. Not just because we need to take the golf cart to get to the pool vs in Panama we just walked up one floor to the roof pool but we find the weather here is being a real detriment to activity. For at least the time we have been here, the weather has been very HOT and very WET. Panama was hot all the time but central Florida does not have the ocean breeze and the humidity can be stifling during the morning/afternoon. I do not think I have ever seen so much rain – EVER. In June it was¬†raining every mid-afternoon so you needed to do things just in the morning and evening. Next it continued having storms in the late afternoon and evening so our evening swimming was interrupted. Why does rain interrupt swimming? This is not just rain but rolling and rumbling continuous thunder and lots of lightening and very heavy cloud bursts. Can’t be in the pool or even out in that stuff. Maybe the season will begin to fade?

Other than that we have been pretty much relegated to being in doors in the A/C. We did go to a lakeside bar called Gator Joes and also saw the old Ma Barker’s hangout where they got taken out by the FBI. Kind of the original Waco. We have also been over to Denise’s folks place a number of times and I also have seen my mom a couple times. It is nice to catch up. We played Shuffleboard with Denise’s parents. The women smoked us guys. We hope to start playing some golf in the evening if the rain allows. We have heard it is the rainy season and we heard this season is more wet than normal but it also seems that we get more rain where we live vs other areas of The Villages. Guess it is just my dark cloud following me.

Denise and I took our first trip down the south east coast to look for an area to live long term while also celebrating our 31st anniversary. We have narrowed our search to Delray Beach and Jupiter/Juno Beach areas. We were able to stop in at the Square Grouper Tiki Bar (my old haunt) and a great Irish bar in Palm Beach. We will go again in a few days to do more in-depth analysis of the areas and maybe find a long term rental home. There is a lot less rain down there.  Our requirements are that the development has a pool(s), tennis court(s), fitness center, a place Denise can work on her mosaics, AND walking or at least biking distance to the beach. We also wanted to be within reasonable distance of a major airport, the cruise terminal, and easy access to the Keys. Thus our focus on the SE coast vs the gulf. Shopping conveniences are important as well as the population mix. We like a diverse mix but we would prefer to be the older ones vs the other way around. We have a lot of in-person research coming up. Our chosen areas looks promising.

It will be great to get settled in a more permanent place especially for Denise. We have a 10×15 storage unit full of what we moved from Washington so we have to move that stuff. She will be happy to get her hands on her own things again. Once we get settled we can then plan for our next adventure and/or maybe entertain guests. All of those that are invited have already received your invitations. Denise personally selected and sent them out to make sure it got done.

Just kidding, nothing was sent out – yet! Well that is it for now. Tennis, pool, park, coffee, blah, blah, blah…I know tuff life. Actually pretty boring for what we had been previously experiencing but hey, somebody has to do crazy and leisurely stuff.

As always, enjoy the pictures and let me know if you have any comments or questions. BTW – what’s with a trampoline event as an olympic sport. The world has gotten so soft!

RB

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Competition is fierce
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Our playground
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Torture Toys
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Cool Down at Dunkin.
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American curling?

 

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We had a little wine and cheese party at the park
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Selecting tunes on the iPhone for our party.
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Not a wierd bridge just a neat reflection.
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Rain, rain, and more rain.
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Celebrating Our 31st Anniversary
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#1 Tiki Bar in my book – Jupiter, FL
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Draw bridge in Jupiter, FL
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Found a beautiful bird in this tree.
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In Palm Beach
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Getting goosed at Mellow Mushroom Pizza
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Nuff Said
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Denise said “what a work of art”! Nice of her to¬†complement me.
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Pool at a potential condo site
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Getting closer to being at the beach again!
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Season is near. Showing the colors.

Decided to go back twerk

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, off twerk I go. OK after spending the last 1-2 years in deep thought I decided to end ‘recess’ and go back twerk. During this period of contemplation I tried to decide what I would do with my life. I really didn’t want the 8-5 so I thought I would be better off owning my own business. I believe I have come up with a number of good and profitable ideas that also would serve humanity. I believe I can even franchise the business opportunity to others with similar drive and ambition and even take it internationally. I really wanted to do something meaningful and that people would find of great value. Making some extra cocktail change was also a consideration. As I embark on this new endeavor I would really appreciate your patronage to my business(es).

The¬†idea that took top honors stemmed from the fact that over the last 1-2 years living at or near the beach, I almost exclusively did not wear shoes. We were in a perpetual Flip Flop Zone! Flip Flops can be found most anywhere and any decent ones are not terribly cheap. It takes a bit of time to break in a new Flip Flop pair. Once broken in you never want to be without them. Like an old pair of jeans, they become part of you. They may look bad, may smell at times, but they are yours. Denise has said on multiple occasions, ‘those are disgusting, why don’t you throw them away’? NO WAY, until that devastating day when you are walking down a gravel road and BAMM! You have a Flip Flop blow out. Of course Denise says, ‘I told you to get rid of those’! ¬†I then had to walk very painfully in gravel with my Flip Flop dragging behind. I am sure many of you have experienced this tragic event, a good and old friend on Flip Flop life support. This spawned my idea for a great business opportunity.

My business will be a Flip Flop repair shop. It can be an e-business as well as brick and mortar. My business will, for a nominal price, receive your hurting ‘old friends’. We will make them all better (repair), dust them off, treat with disinfectant, and then return them to you for many more days¬†of wear. My company is called ‘Booty And The Beach’. To generate initial interest and business we will run a daily special of ‘free beer tomorrow’. It is a can’t lose opportunity. There are tons of Flip Flops for sale which tells you there must be Flip Flop blow outs happening hundreds and maybe thousands of times a day all over the world. For franchise information and applications visit http://www.bootyandthebeach.com. I am also accepting outside investors for the low entry price of $25K so get in while the getting is good. Contact us with all you Blow Out needs.

Another equally great idea, but hey I can only do so much at one time, is a water and chemical extraction process. I haven’t yet perfected the process yet (patent pending) but the general idea is to extract certain residual chemicals from drinking and waste water where they are free and then re-introduce those chemicals, concentrated, into new and sought after products. A few examples: in Florida, I would extract Oxycodone from the water. This should be an easy process since there are so many users with the population down here. I would then market new products like OxyTee or maybe a sports drink. Who needs that nasty tasting¬†chamomile tee to calm them when they can have some low cost instant concentrated OxyTee. Also, with it in a sports drink, the athlete will feel less pain from their strenuous weekend activities.

In the Pacific Northwest, I would extract all kinds of good chemicals especially starting with caffeine. Who needs a $4-6 cup of coffee when this can be re-introduced very inexpensively in consumable products that people will love. The PNW also has lots of other great chemicals in their lakes and streams. How do you think they can put up with living in a cloud for 9 months of the year? The opportunities are endless. This idea takes a bit more development and engineering so I have decided to focus on the Flip Flop repair business. Overhead is much lower since duct tape, string, gorilla glue, and lysol are much less capital intensive. Get those Flip Flops repaired now! For add on sales I plan to offer Bikini repair services. This is a mobile service and the repair can be done right on the beach or at the pool at the time of need. Just download the Booty and the Beach mobile App from your favorite App store.

So really now, we have been back in the USA from Panama for just over a month. We are living for 3 more months in The Villages tormenting our parents. Later this year we plan on heading down the southeastern seaboard to find a long-term rental. So far our qualifications are walking distance to the beach, close to a major airport, close to major cruise terminal, easy access to the Keys and other Caribbean Islands. We continue to try and turn old dreams into today’s realities. That area will also be a great location for Booty and the Beast Flip Flop and Bikini repairs! Once settled, some of you are welcome to come and visit.

As always words, phrases, opinions, and comments are mine and mine only. Feel free to send a thought or comment and I will feel free to respond or ignore. Bye – headed to the pool!

RB

A few pictures to share

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Just kickin back and waitin for bitsnes ta poor in! Not all at once now ya hear.
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Pool is open until 11. An evening swim is great for sleeping.
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Pool side in the evening.
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I tried it and I liked it, especially with a wedge of lime.

I

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Another one of the pools we go to.
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We met these two ladies in Panama. One is staying in The Villages until December and the other is passing through. Nice to catch up with Rehel and Susan.
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Denise and I out for a happy hour on the square.

This is my beach hat. I have had more comments about this hat than anything I can ever remember. Over the years this hat went through two different Dude Ranch Trips, many trips to the beach, a year at the ocean in Panama, etc… It is well over 10 years old and has traveled many miles. Mostly people say – cool hat, nice hat, I like your hat AND most say where did you get that hat? Well it is hand woven and made from paper. If anyone asks I will tell them that it was handmade by a native on an island in the Caribbean. That’s as close to an answer that folks will get. I like my hat and wear it everyday.

Nomad, Wanderer, Vagabond -Que?

I have always enjoyed adventures, traveling, seeing and experiencing new things, places, food, and people. Well, sometimes maybe not all the people but at least enough to keep it¬†interesting. I seem to get board and an itch for change if I am stationary for too long of a time. I have also come to avoid people if in groups of over about 8. No it is not a magic number but if there are more folks than that you are¬†almost guaranteed that the interaction will be superficial at best, noisy with multiple conversations at once, and no one really paying attention. To me life is too short for these interactions. Ya, just me….

I have, of late, had people toss different labels out saying are you this… are you that…? Everyone always wants to put everyone in a box. Lately I had been labeled a Gringo and an Ex-Pat. One is just slang in Spanish/Latin countries for just about anyone, especially an American, who is not Hispanic or Latino. The other is short for Expatriate that is nothing more than¬†a person who lives outside their native country. I have been guilty on both counts. I guess these labels fit.

On a more grand scale terms like Nomad, Wanderer, and Vagabond have surfaced. Hey just quit calling me names! You must be Racist! ūüôā Sticks and Stones… I guess the good side is these names¬†do have more than 4 letters. I have been called worse. Well I began to wonder, do some of these labels describe me?

A¬†nomad¬†is always a part of a larger group that keeps traveling in search of stuff, mainly¬†food¬†and¬†shelter. So, they have an¬†aim¬†in mind when they travel. Nah, I don’t see me as part of a larger group with a specific aim. A¬†wanderer¬†is someone who will travel¬†without any motive¬†to fulfill. Hmm…this shoe may come closer to fitting. I just like travel, adventure, and change.¬†A¬†vagabond¬†is a person who travels without any destination or time period in mind. No, not me. I almost always have some broad plan and timetable. I do like some structure.

So doesn’t everyone like vacation and travel? These labels refer to more than just the travel of an average Joe (no offense meant Joe). Also vacationing and living somewhere are two very different things. Well for¬†us, we have been quite¬†different than average. I always thought of myself as ‘above’ average but others may have a different opinion. So where am I going with this? It might be good to first know where I (we) came from to know where I am going with this.

We both are originally from Ohio. I always felt Ohio was a good place to be ‘from’. It seems like; many people in Ohio never leave their hometown or have a desire to do so. I believe many Ohioans think they needed a passport to enter¬†the next county (no r). It seemed in Ohio, if you really wanted a job you could eventually find something¬†but the pay was usually¬†just enough to get by on but never enough to leave. This ‘same old..same old..’ environment was quite¬†stifling to me. During that time in Ohio, when old enough, I left for periods of time. I backpacked¬†two different summers through Northern Europe, would often drive to DC and/or Florida just because and frequently¬†would go to Cleveland or Pittsburg Airport and watch the big planes coming and going. Yes there were actually accessible observation decks to watch from. I proved that¬†you don’t need much money to travel. I was just a farm boy saving nickels, dimes, and quarters.

We, yes now it is a ‘we’,¬†left Ohio to live in Virginia for a while. From there we located to¬†Georgia. After experiencing the humidity, mosquitoes and poison ivy we collected up our cotton and peaches and pushed on to Oklahoma (yes I sang the movie song to spell that). Being an Okie was a unique experience but it didn’t take long to get bored of buffalo and prairie dogs. Denise would say, the ‘Sooner’ we leave Oklahoma the better and the best view of Oklahoma is in the rearview mirror. Washington State was the next destination. These moves were largely due to work. Join the Army, travel to exotic¬†lands, meet different and unusual people, and kill them. In those days when Uncle Sam spoke we listened, but there was a bit of choice involved also.

After 10 years in the Army we returned to Ohio. Our families were largely still there. We were gone for quite some time so it was good to become re-acquainted. Well after a couple years the time came and we were on the road again. Utah was next on the list. We spent a couple of years there and after a couple failed conversion attempts we returned to Washington State where we stayed for the longest period of time Р25 years. While in Washington I was able to go to Europe many times for work but also travel around the EU. We also, whenever we possibly could, headed to a beach. This was at times Hawaii as well as Florida. The beach always had a magical draw. That is where my heart feels at home.

After those years in Washington and as the nest began to empty we put our desires together. We always wanted to be at the beach, warm, and have adventure. After research and planning we put things in motion and ended up living right on a tropical beach in Panama. It is hard to explain what we experienced – amazing beauty, object poverty, wonderful simplicity, extreme satisfaction and extreme boredom, a few wonderful folks, and peace. Third world and First world clashes. To steal some words from a fellow traveller, who actually wrote about Costa Rica, this somewhat sums it up for me:

“I love Panama¬†because shoes are always optional. Sunrises and sunsets set my sleep schedule. My neighbors are surfers and sloths (these are animals not individuals). I love Panama¬†because I can drink chocolate for breakfast and call it healthy…It’s totally acceptable to live in a swimsuit, bikini or yoga pants. I love Panama¬†because nature comes first and takes over if I forget. Days move slowly and transformation happens rapidly. Life expresses itself vibrantly. I love Panama because it’s normal to be weird. We can all be different and still live in harmony. I feel safe to be authentically me…Adios for now Panama, you’re forever in my heart.”

We are back in the USA, for now. We are in Florida. Our plans are to set up a ‘home-base’ most likely at the beach somewhere on the SE coast. We want quick and easy access to a major airport. From there we will plan and launch our next adventures. So what (que) am I (are we)? I guess ‘Wanderers’ fit best but remember ‘sticks and stones’!

Enjoy the few pictures and feel free to send questions, comments, or criticisms.

RB

After over a year without a car we had to get one.

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No this isn’t what we got but it looks cool.
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We did buy this but it is not our car. We do use it for probably 70% of our transportation.
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This is it! This Toyota ragtop has an awesome comfortable drive. I hope to take it down to Key West on multiple trips.
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Dinner at Denise’s parents¬†place. We don’t have a BBQ¬†where we are staying so Denise couldn’t wait for this meal.
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Denise and Dad
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My mom’s 84th B-day. Denise, my mom, and I went to Big Bob’s for a pre-cake dinner.
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Denise’s 29th birthday cake…er pie!

 

Missing Panama!!

Our original plan was to stay in Panama for 1-3 years and then go to southern Florida and set up a home-base as a springboard for further travels. There are so many places we want to go. Well after one year in Panama we decided it was time to make the transition and have some new experiences. There were many variables into that decision and it would be to long of a blog to explain them. One thing we do know is that we will miss Panama. Maybe to be more exact, we will really miss some things in Panama AND we will really not miss some other things in Panama but you find this everywhere. For sure we will miss our friends, the amazing every single day sunrises, and the ability to be on the beach or in the pool in 5 minutes. While in Panama I was very disappointed to learn that sampling the seemingly endless varieties of Rum really doesn’t qualify as an active sport and daily happy hour does eventually come with a level of boredom.

We have been in Florida now for a week, specifically ‘The Villages’, where we rented a villa for 4 months. When we transitioned from Seattle, we sold (downsized) almost all our things but what we couldn’t yet part with we put in a storage unit (10′ x 15′) near our parents in ‘The Villages’. Over the next 4 months one of our chores is to go back through that storage unit and pare down more items we now know we will not need. We will also need to get a car, see about medical insurance, and basically transition back to the noisy and more stressed US lifestyle. Stress? Constant in your face minute by minute advertising, the drama of a Stepford Wife-National Enquirer never ending political race, the always on-line stare at your phone lifestyle, etc…yes it is more stressful in the USA.

So where do we go from here? Immediately, a car, play some friendly tennis, some golf, hit the pool, and purge the storage unit. In a couple of months, find an initial home-base in southern Florida just off the beach most likely in the Boca-Lauderdale area and plan for some near term travels hopefully to see Lisa (Virginia)  and Katie/Sean (Seattle). Longer term our current desires are to go and spend some extended time in the Caribbean, Portugal, Spain. It is hard to look forward too far as I know today is here and I feel pretty cocky that tomorrow will come but, hey, next month, all bets are off.

I have enclosed a few pictures of our last week in Panama and a few from¬†our initial arrival in ‘The Villages’. Hope you enjoy em. As always if you have any comments or questions then send them on. Anything you want to know about our experience regarding ex-pat living let me know. I understand some folks have been forwarding and passing around my blog, our experiences. Feel free to do so and I hope you have gotten a break from your daily boredom from it. The last blog was read by someone in France, Poland, Panama, Italy, Mexico, Colombia, Bahamas, USA, Canada, and others. Come on people get a life!

I hope to share some more interesting stories soon from our experiences in ‘The Villages’. How could there not be – herds of cougars, highest rate of STDs, and cheap alcohol. These are bound to make for good stories. Almost makes me feel back home in Coronado, Panama!

RB

Our last sunrise at the Panama beach.

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Our next door neighbors and friends – Ann, Jason, and Avigail. Currently in witness protection program.
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Great friends Bruce and Judy. They are currently on an extended USA visit from Panama since the statute of limitations finally expired in 2015.
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Our last night in Coronado at our favorite restaurant, Luna Rosa
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Mangos are in season and grow everywhere. 20+ varieties, all sweet and healthy.
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Our local Bomberos (Firemen). I imagine this is what the USA was like in 1950s.
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Colombian Pesos, Mexican Pesos and a lucky poker chip. Pretty money…but isn’t it all?
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We left our pets in Panama.
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She trained them to sit on her shoulders.

Last morning on the beach.

 

These pictures are from our last night in Panama at the Riande Aeropuerto Hotel and Casino.

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This drink is called ‘Sex on the Beach’. Pool side
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Pool side, beautiful grounds
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Very enjoyable for a final night
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Swim up bar.

 

Pictures from being in Florida.

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Some of Denise’s super awesome homemade Avocado salsa!
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This pool is about 100 yards up the street from where we are now staying (but we can’t use it w/o a special membership)
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Macaroon Martini – 1 part Double Chocolate and 1 part Coconut vodka over ice. The White Zin is easily on par with Beringers but is only $2.97/btl at Walmart – Patio wine!!!
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In over 12 months I have only wore shoes 3 times. Golf shoes, boat shoes, and now tennis. I still prefer Flip Flops! We found we need lots of tennis practice.
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Just a plug…we will be selling our Weber Genesis natural gas grill. Great shape, 3 years old. Anyone?

Happy Panamaversary!

Well today is the day, our anniversary. It was one year ago today that we arrived in Panama. A year in the tropics, a year living right on the beach. It has been amazing but believe me not everything has been peaches and cream Рjust like anywhere. The not-so-amazing are not things I care to dwell on.

Reflecting back on some of the amazing things that struck me (us) over the last year, these come to mind. We have lived on the 23rd (top) floor of this beach front building. We look out the windows of our balcony, main room, and bedroom and see right down the beach and over the water, as well as out across the Gorgona Bay with some mountains in the background. The amazing thing has been the daily views. The sunrises have been nothing short of breathtaking. This has led us to almost always be up shortly after 5AM while it is still dark to see it get light. We are high enough so that everything looks absolutely beautiful. Remember, things close up can be quite different then from afar. The light from the sunsets shining down on the mountains and beach is unbelievable also. And while we are discussing celestial views, the night sky is usually amazing Рthe full moons shining on the water, clear views of various planets, tracking the space shuttle as it goes overhead. These are all memories we will always cherish.

The other most amazing thing is more personal. When we arrived in Panama we didn’t speak Spanish, we chose to not have a car and only use public transport and taxis, and didn’t really know anyone. In a lot of ways this was tuff and limited us. Throughout the year Denise and I have spent basically 7 x 24 x 365 together. We went everywhere together, shopping, swimming, beach, happy hours, eating, sleeping….. We both had challenging days as you do get home sick, you do get board, you do get lonely and hot and sticky, etc…. We have had only¬†few days where one of us may have been less then communicable with the other but I am amazed how truly well we did together. Knowing me, I thought there would have been times when my life insurance would have looked attractive but I must say that during this time we have grown closer and never been deeper in love for each other. Our patience has increased, our acceptance and consideration for each other has grown. This time alone has made this year more valuable than we could have ever imagined.

There are other amazing things but I think now is the time to say that after a full year in Panama, we have decided to leave (for now at least). We plan to go to Florida for at least 4 months. The storage unit of our remaining items that we kept needs to be gone through and pared down a good bit more if possible. This will take some time. We have a number of events coming up that we may participate in and we also very much would like to spend time with Lisa, Katie, and Sean. After these four months the current plan is to set up a ‘home base’ somewhere on¬†the coast in Southern Florida and use it as a launch point to other places. Where to and what next? Who knows. No shortage of ideas and options. One great thing about what we are doing is it can change any time or with any opportunity.

Lots to do, never a dull moment. ‘I would rather die while I am living then live while I am dead’…J. Buffett

As always….these are my rambling thoughts and opinions. You can ask questions or comment but you just might get a response so be careful.

Happy Anniversary and enjoy the few pictures.

RB

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The big things are called Guanabana fruit. Supposedly a miracle fruit that can cure lots of ills. The long thing is a fruit or veggie that is like a bean pod with these big white fuzzy type of beans. You take them and can suck them off of the internal seed. Very tasty and good for you.

 

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Guanabana fruit – there is also a Tiki Bar by the same name in Jupiter, Florida
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These are either local avocados or Frankenstein neck knubs? 
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Panama has an excellent reputation for its coffee. This is our daily brew.
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Sunrise I mentioned…..
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Sunset
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This is a bathroom door. Something must be lost in the translation since a ‘push’ is not a ‘pull’ especially in Panama. A Push is something very different.
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Lisa is arriving home from Paris today after a vacation visiting our friend Victoire and her family.
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This was the Blue Moon the other night and the little light to the right of it a few inches is Mars. With binoculars it is very red.
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Denise enjoying our roof top pool! See the beach below?
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These are friends of ours, Tammy and Al from Canadia. We celebrated their 25 wedding anniversary the other day.

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Denise is always cookin up something good!
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A giant choco chip n oatmeal cookie. All mine…get back…I bite!

 

To Church or To The Gym?

While living at the beach this choice has been a stressful one for me. Both are good options but the problem is I feel I am going to the gym way more often then going to church. I really desire the church but I know we also need to do the gym thing. I also know Denise prefers the gym but she at times also really embraces the church.

OK, if you have read this far you are probably saying; what the ‘hell’ and isn’t this a bit ‘unorthodox’ for Ron (church¬†puns intended)? Well, these are¬†actually some of my rambling thoughts that are more directed towards beach walks. Now, I am sure you are really confused. Good, because so am I. Let me explain.

We have well over 1 mile of open uninterrupted wide sandy beach that we can walk on. Every single day we go about 1 mile down the beach and one mile back, sometimes further. If you have ever walked with Denise you know this is not just a walk. For Denise this is her trip to the gym. She takes off and sets the pace. I am always 1/2 to 1.5 steps behind. I almost have to double time to keep up. I feel like a 4 year old running behind mom trying to keep up. Sometimes she will slow a bit for me to¬†catch up, then vroom vroom, she picks up the pace again. IMHO this how she walks everywhere, not just the beach. Whenever she has the opportunity to incorporate something into an exercise she does. I am sure this is one way she keeps her great figure and I admit I need the exercise also but….my preference is to go to church.

What? Well, to me, being on a beach is a religious experience, a daily spiritual renewal, a healing peace. I walk at a nice calm pace. I watch and listen to the waves. I breath in the air. I watch the gulls dive for food, watch the fisherman pull their nets. I look at all the different colored shells, get my feet wet. And yes often pray. I find it very hard to be renewed and to pray while at the gym. To me this is the main reason for the beach. Denise’s main use of the beach is a ‘gym’.

Our challenge is that we do these walks together and one type of walk is not easily compatible with the other. I am not saying Denise does not also at times like the¬†‘church’ walk.¬†We have had a number of church walks together but we are at the gym 9 times out of 10. My best times in Panama, hands down, has been when we have been at ‘church’ on the beach.

I guess and I admit we need to continue going to our ‘gym’ most days and if I want to go to ‘church’ more often I either need to do additional walks or head out on my own. I also agree this was one weird analogy. It has been rumbling around in my head for weeks now as I tried¬†to rationalize why I felt disconnected and frustrated¬†while at my favorite place in the world – the beach.

Again all thoughts are my personal ramblings. Your comments or questions are welcome. Included below are a bunch of pictures. If you have read this far you are either interested or need to get a life. Enjoy!

RB

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Going to church!
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Behind the wall is an Tiki Bar overlooking the beach behind me.
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Going to church!
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We call this the Jumanji house. For some reason it reminds me of the house in that movie where all the vines grow through. The center area that drops down a little from floor 2 is the wall of an Infinity pool. How do you like Denise’s wind swept look?
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Miles of pretty empty beach going west from our place.
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Miles of empty beach heading east from our balcony.
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From our Balcony. Can never have enough film for the sunrises!
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From our Balcony. Storm moving in. Makes me think of the pic of Bali Hai in the movie South Pacific.
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Sunrise from our Balcony
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Sunrise again. Guess from where?
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Sunrise over Bali Hai from our balcony.
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This is a sunset from the roof top social area.
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Our building from the beach.
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Believe it or not, Denise painted the pictures. Way cool ‘and I helped’!
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Partial snap of our condo.
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Denise made this also! Way cool.
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The Dude! Notice I don’t tan the bottoms of my feet.
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A Panama pedicure. $12.50 each, as good as back home and you can bring your own drink if you want.

Montezuma’s Revenge

This Monte guy, I guess he gets his revenge one way or another. More on that later….

If you read my last blog you knew we had some traveling coming up. It came just in the nick of time. Panama has been under a severe drought. Over the last year, El Nino, has taken its toll. There were cattle dying in some areas and dire rationing going on. Here at the beach we pretty much only heard 3rd person stories or read some unknown FaceBook post about it. Well it finally caught up to us. We were without water of 4 full days and then were on a scheduled ration. Yep, I was walking up one floor to the pool roof and getting buckets of pool water to flush the toilets. The administration finally was able to arrange tankers of water to be delivered and we were able to survive on 5 hours of water a day still used sparingly. Well, Denise and I were anxious to go on our scheduled trip. If not already arranged we would have left sooner.

Denise’s trip was to fly to Charleston, SC where she would meet up with some girl friends from Seattle. They would then head to Savanah. All this was to celebrate someone’s birthday/bucket list. I think it was a long way to go and a lot of money to spend just to eat and drink an awful lot – Oh the stories Denise has told. I am surprised¬†I didn’t have to send money for bail. Due to flights, Denise arrived in Charleston 4 days early and stayed with our friend Norma (Norma this is your 5 seconds of infamy). She had a great time before the¬†drunks cougars¬†girls showed up. Fortunately Denise’s¬†group only had to stay one night in ‘the big house’ where they slept it off and then were released to leave town. Denise then headed south to Jacksonville for Rob and Jenn’s beach wedding – cool! After these two weeks of unbridled partying, the day after the wedding Denise left town flying to Cozumel ¬†meet me.

Me, well I left Panama the same day as Denise but I headed to Cancun. My first goal was met – flushing toilets – but oh, don’t drink the water. I made my way over to Cozumel, my ultimate destination. I had never been there and was looking forward to seeing what all the excitement was about. I met up with Mark Tyler of Tyler Investment (very successfully handles our retirement funds). Mark has been living on Cozumel for a while now and truly enjoys it. I spent about two weeks hanging with Mark before Denise arrived. Mark showed me all the very good local restaurants and bars. Wow, was the food good. We don’t get Mexican food in Panama, at least good Mexican food. We also frequented an English Pub and spent multiple nights/meals at a great Cuban place – best Mojitos and Pork Tacos.

We spent many days sitting under a Bahia on the waterfront drinking beer, reading, and abusing the Wifi. Mark was a great friend and gave lots of his time. If you go there you should look him up, if your IRA sucks you should look him up. Denise arrived in Cozumel where her and I revisited the best places since she only had 5 days. We went snorkeling for our first time Рway cool. It was a very relaxing time.

Ok now back to Montezuma (my friend Monte). I do think he gets you either coming or going. So I didn’t have to pray to the porcelain god but on my 3rd day in Cozumel, during a pretty good downpour, my flip flop caught something on a sidewalk and I took a pretty nasty fall. My knee was missing lots of skin, my elbow was scraped bad – yes blood everywhere – and I really really jammed my wrists. I walked into the English Pub and they thought I had gotten jumped. Well I got cleaned up and they gave me some ice and LOT of beer. My knee is healing nicely now but after Xrays and some drugs my wrist still hurts like hell – Mexico is great for drugs. Also on our last night, the A/C in our room decided to go crazy, wouldn’t turn off or down, and started spitting moisture. Well the last time the A/C was cleaned was well, NEVER! So I am sure it was spewing molds and mildews so of course I ended up with a bad head cold for the last day. Oh well more drugs. Well I am on the mend but since I am such a nice guy I decided to share it with Denise – my cold, not the drugs. So I guess Monte won again!

We got back to Panama after 2.5 weeks to find the water back on BUT still a severe drought and fearful that at any time I may be back to the bucket brigade. The rains supposedly are right around the corner but it will take quiet a lot to solve this shortage for the country. They are even limiting ship size through the Panama Canal. You would think we were in California!

So some Cozumel observations. The weather we had was great. The food and drink is very good and very cheap compared to Panama and the USA. The west side of the island (populated side) doesn’t really have beach but has shoreline. There are¬†lots of rock and coral which is one of the reasons it is such a tremendous snorkeling and diving mecca.The east side or rugged side has very active waves and a lot more sandy beaches. There are a handful of beach bars that are along the east stretch. It is worth the trip. Cozumel has nice streets and nice sidewalks (compared to Panama, which isn’t hard to do). It is clean and the folks are a bit more progressive than Panama. It has lots of tourists and cruises coming through. On the main land, Playa Del Carmen looked very nice with wonderful beaches but seems to be a pure party town. If you have ever been to the Caribbean, I don’t need to mention how amazing the water is. If you haven’t, it really can’t be adequately described so put it on your bucket list. The colors and clarity are truly amazing.

Well we are home in Panama now and getting back into routine – get up, read mail/Facebook, Coffee, walk the beach, breakfast, go float in the pool, lunch, siesta, go float in the pool, dinner, happy hour, read and/or TV, then bed. Damn I am tired just thinking of such a busy schedule!

Enjoy the pics and as always let me know if you have a question or want me to expound on anything relevant. All comments and opinions are my own – so there!

RB

Girls drinkin
Denise’s ‘friends’, all the way from Seattle to Charleston….to drink?
Sue drinkin
Of course you need another drink Sue! Brain Juice?
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Denise likes to get familiar with the locals.
Denise n Norma
Denise and our friend Norma.
Play carmen
Playa del Carmen
sacrafice virgin
I was selected as the Mayan sacrificial virgin. Hey there is a fire in there!
Ron n pina colado
“If you like Pina Coladas…”
Eastside hammocks
At a Tiki Bar on the East side of the island.
Ron Dancin
At least I didn’t step on her toes.
Cactus tree
What a prick!
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Cozumel waterfront.
Maryjuana
Just another ‘joint’ in Cozumel.
Ron n Toki Tok
The locals are happy to share.
Ron n Pirate
Arg!!! Dude
Ron n Mark
My friend Mark Tyler.
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The Caribbean is a stunning place.
Denise on Ferry
On the ferry from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen.
Denise snorkel
Denise found a unique way to disembark the cruise!
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‘Beautiful’ landscape everywhere
Playa Carmen
Playa del Carmen and Senior Frogs.
Ron n Frog
She must be from France?
Denise and cruise
Mickey Mouse was in town! That’s Denise in the front.
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12s come in all places and styles!
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It was like this every single evening.
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View from Cafe Del Mare.
Denise in C
Do you remember Romper Room? “I C¬†Denise….”
Denise at Bungelow
Our favorite breakfast spot The Bungalow.
Denise at beach
Windy on the East side.
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Not a bad way to spend an afternoon

Ron n Denise w flag

 

PB and J-elly Fish & Travel

Tis the season…. Friends of ours, Megan n Mike, who lived¬†here for a couple of months stopped back in Coronado, Panama from their travels in Colombia. They are on to further adventures thru David to Bocas del Toro. While they were here we went on a couple of beach walks and we came across some animals that truly made it an adventure. This is the season for Jelly Fish. Depending on the tides the Jellies can seem few and far in-between or unlike the other day there could be many. We pretty much stay out of the ocean this time of the year but the Jellies we found this day were up on the beach. There were lots of small and very small ones but there were also some humongous creatures. One of the pictures shows a size 12 foot next to it and it dwarfs this foot (is that a politically correct term – dwarf? To bad!).

It was very interesting to see these up close. They seemed to have these bubble humps across the top. We wondered if they were pregnant and these were new Jellies to be or maybe they were the brains and these big ones were just very smart Jellies – except for getting stranded on the beach. Well we never found out. I even searched Google Images – nada! Here are some pictures of what we found. Also read further down as there is more below these pictures.

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Megan and Mike (Chicago) and their new pet.
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12+ Plus size. Humongous!
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Don’t know what the modules are. Babies? Brains?

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A picture of some tail is always nice.
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Fascinating but gross.

Travel

After spending time with Mike and Megan we are even more anxious to return to Medellin, Colombia as well as visit Cartagena. If you read previous posts you may have seen our tremendous experience in Medellin. Cartagena sounds equally intriguing with the addition of having a very old and historical part of the city. We also want to go to Bocas del Toro in Panama. Bocas is on the Caribbean side of the country near the border with Costa Rica. Bocas is more of a bohemian surfer/diving/partying type of place. Lots of short term vacationers go for what looks to be a memorable experience.Well these trips will have to wait.

Our next adventure starts in a few weeks. Denise will head for Charleston, SC and Savanah, GA. She is meeting some girl friends from Seattle who are flying all that way to go to Spring Break and also celebrate one of their birthdays’. Sounds like lots of trouble brewing! Lock up those Chip-n-Dales!

I leave at the same time and head for Cozumel, Mexico. Denise will join me around 10 days later and stay an additional 5-6 days before heading back to Panama. We have never been to Cozumel and I read wonderful things about it and its beaches. Among the things we want to do while there is of course enjoy the beaches and city, we will be meeting up with our Financial Advisor while there, do some snorkeling, and hopefully go to some Mayan ruins on the mainland. OK here is a cheap plug for our Financial Advisor.

We have been using the services of Mark Tyler for a number of years now to grow our portfolio. I have to say that if it wasn’t for Mark we would not be living on a tropical beach at this time.¬†+1 206-450-9411,¬†+1 858-436-6242, Tyler Investment, Inc. You can find him on FaceBook or I can hook you up if interested. OK, no more cheap advertisements!

We have a number of people waiting to hear our assessment and pictures of Cozumel so watch for a future posting toward the end of April. We will celebrate Easter at the beach in Panama. We will be out looking for the Sand Bunny and his Mango shaped eggs.

Our Valentine’s day celebration started off pretty shaky (my fault I am sure) but ended up with a bang with Denise seeing¬†fireworks¬†out on the beach at night. Honest, I even included PG rated pictures below. We continue to enjoy every sunrise, most sunsets, the wonderful beach and pools¬†along with¬†reading about your rain, snow, ice, and wind – rub, rub, rub…..

Enjoy the rest of the pictures and as usual all comments are mine and directly from our personal experience so …..comments and requests are always accepted though sometimes not welcome. Happy February, happy Lent, happy President’s Day……

RB

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The other day, for some reason I was thinking a lot of my dad. I miss being able to talk with him. Someday we will be able to again.
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So far in 2016, 100% of our days have been sunny and with a low over 70 degrees!
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Just a picture of the closest night spot to our condo, Picassos. We play trivia (poorly) there on Thursdays.
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I thought this a cool pic. We live on the 23rd floor. This is looking down an opening between pisos.
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Ended up a great day
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I told ya Denise saw fireworks on the beach!
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These were launched on the beach directly in front of our complex.
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The  Pirateers! My friends Matt and Deb are to the right.
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Some folks in this impoverished country can’t afford a car so our neighbor uses his helicopter.
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Every sunrise is spectacular.
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Denise is at full capacity for her H2O water aerobics noodle class on Wednesday mornings. She has been asked numerous times if she does this professionally.
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Never get tired of this view
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Me and my little casita behind me – ya right. There is a LOT of wealth here! Just down the beach from our condo.