Excitement over future US plans…An unexpected oops in the villa…Fabulous food photos

Yes, I ate this entire plate of spicy Balinese chicken atop a bed of stir-fried vegetables along with a salad. This is one of our favorite meals. Yes, this is an entirely sugar-free, grain-free, starch-free, gluten-free meal with under 10 grams of carbs (carbs coming from vegetables only). See Tom’s plate below.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

This group of cute Balinese kids stopped for a photo with their white horse who also wanted to get in the photo.

We’re thrilled to have worked out the details for our upcoming stay in the US in 11 months. As mentioned in a previous post, we ditched the RV plan for a hotel and have since negotiated the particulars with Country Inn and Suites in Plymouth, Minnesota from May 26 to July 7, 2017 for a 42 night stay.

Our link for Hotels.com here on our site led us to their corporate division for “group rates” when we entered the information for the extended stay. Although we’re hardly a group, the longer stay put us into the group pricing category enabling us to save almost US $100, IDR $1,333,750 per night.

A few mornings ago when Tom was opening the accordion doors as he does each mornings, suddenly wood and plaster fell to the floor.  Constant humidity certainly attributed to this occurrence in the four-year-old villa.

Over a period of the past week, the corporate site rep sent us numerous possibilities that would accept a corporate discount. We’d hoped to stay close to Highways 100 and 394 in Minneapolis that would accept a corporate discount. But the options were few, resulting in costs of at least 50% higher than other areas.

Also, an aspect we found especially exciting was the fact that we negotiated a price to include three children in our reservation. With our six grandchildren, if any would like to stay overnight, swim in the two huge pools while hanging out with us, there will be no questions asked.

Within an hour Ribud was on a ladder making temporary repairs allowing the doors to be fully operational until the plaster repair can transpire, most likely after we leave.

The hotel offers the following services and amenities:

  • 24-hour business center
  • 24-hour coffee, cookies and candy (complimentary)
  • Adjacent to Grizzly’s Grill & Bar (room service also provided)
  • Airport shuttle services for individuals and groups from SuperShuttle, based at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport Transportation Level (fees apply)
  • Dry cleaning
  • Electronic room locks
  • Fax, copier and computer services
  • Fitness center
  • Forgotten items service
  • Free high-speed Internet access
  • Free weekday newspaper
  • Group rates available
  • Hot Be Our Guest Breakfast (complimentary)
  • On-site parking (complimentary)
  • Read It & Return Lending LibrarySM
  • TourStop® amenities for groups
  • Two laundry rooms, located in the hotel
  • Two indoor pools and whirlpool tubs
  • Weekday local area shuttle service within a five-mile radius (complimentary)
  • Weekend contracted shuttle services to designated venues; reserve with the Sales Department

When Country Inn and Suites offered us an upgraded King Suite with a living room, mini kitchen, and free wifi, all of which included a free hot breakfast for five, any given morning, and much more, it was hard to resist. 

In no time at all, Ribud had the door folding properly for our continued use during our remaining nine days in the villa.

Prices are high to stay in the US for six weeks. Rental cars, city and state taxes, dining out and groceries are much higher than we’re used to paying throughout the world. Currently, we’re researching the remainder of the other expenses although it’s
a little too soon to book our flight from Seattle to Minneapolis.

Within a few weeks, we’ll fall into the 330-day advance flight booking window. An interesting aspect of a long-term hotel stay we hadn’t considered earlier is that in the State of Minnesota, any hotel stays over 31 days are considered tax-exempt for a long-term rental/leased property.

Our meals are always hot, fresh, and delicious.

The corporate account manager at Country Inn & Suites explained in an email that we’ll be credited the full amount of the sales tax at the end of our stay to include the entire 42 nights at a savings of over 7.25% per day. For the purposes of illustration, we won’t include the sales tax in today’s total of US $4,494, IDR 59,938,725 for the 42 nights plus the cost of

Adding the ancillary costs for flights, rental car, fuel, meals (groceries and dining out), entertainment (activities with kids and grandkids), and whatever miscellaneous costs we may incur, we’re anticipating the total cost for the six weeks will be in the range of US $12,000, IDR 160,050,000.

Had we stuck with the original RV rental plan, we’d easily have incurred almost twice the above amount. Gee…we don’t like it always to have to be about money but, living this lifestyle or any lifestyle for that matter, requires one
to consider all the potential costs.

Tom seems to be able to tolerate eating white rice a few times per week while continuing to maintain his newly acquired 20 pound, 9 kg weight loss (since our arrival in Bali.

Since we pay off (in full) all of our credit cards every month, incurring no short or long-term debt, being frugal and sensible is the only way this life is possible.  If we “used up” all of our “available credit” on our cards, we’d be in deep trouble.

If we used all of our available credit on our cards how would we pay for the next three months for a vacation home or an upcoming cruise or flight?  We’ve found such tight budgetary diligence has made our travels as stress-free as possible barring any unforeseen events over which we have no control.

Over the past few days, it rained all afternoon forcing us indoors due to thunder and lightning.  Today, the sky is clear, the sea is blue, there’s the expected heat and humidity and…of course, there’s tons of flies and ants which seem to thrive after heavy rains. But, we’re as content as we can be, especially with these new US plans in place.

We hope your day brings you contentment as well.

Photo from one year ago today, June 18, 2015:

Our second kangaroo sighting of the day at a nearby field in Trinity Beach. The first, we saw in a flash while walking in the rain forest, unable to take a photo in time.  It was exciting to finally see kangaroos in the wild.  For more, please click here.

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