Packing, planning and pool…Favorite photos begin…Could we ever settle in Costa Rica?…Two days and counting….

Beautiful scene from the veranda.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

This is a Rufous-naped Wren sitting atop the African Tulip Tree, captured from the veranda.

Two mornings from today, we’ll be on our way to the airport to fly to Miami to board our cruise the following day, Thanksgiving Day.  This morning, I packed all of my clothes, leaving out a swimsuit, tee shirt dress, and underwear for the next few days. 

Frog visitor on the bumper of the rental car while at Supermercado Coopeatenas.

A few minutes ago Tom and I weighed my packed suitcase and it weighs 48 pounds, (22kg) well within the maximum allowed by American Airlines of 50 pounds (23 kg).  It seemed so heavy and I’m thrilled it all worked out well.

Ulysses working in the yardno lawn mowerweed whacker instead.

Last night, we watched the final two episodes of the final season of Mad Men.  It was a peculiar thought-provoking finale which could be interpreted in many ways.  We opted for a more optimistic perspective.   If you haven’t watched this series, we highly recommend it.

Giant iguana at Zoo Ave.
Green lizard in the courtyard.
Today, we’re using all of the remaining food in the fridge for a mishmash two-night dinner; tuna salad, salmon salad (using the remaining eggs); sausages, bacon, salad and steamed veggies.  Soon, I’ll start chopping and dicing.
Stunning blooms, Pine Cone Ginger.

Boiled eggs are hard to peel here.  I don’t know why.  I’ve tried every trick I’ve found online and yet I still ruin half of each egg trying to remove the thin shells.  That will keep me busy for awhile.

Closer view of Atenas from the veranda.

In reviewing our photos for favorites, I struggled a little.  With thousands of photos, it could take me all day to go through them which I’d prefer not to do.  Instead, I uploaded a handful to post today. 

Butcher at the Friday Farmer’s Market.

Tomorrow, we’ll write a detailed review of this lovely vacation home with photos and on Wednesday, the final day, we’ll include the final expenses and favorite bird photos.  That will wrap up our final posts from Costa Rica.

An Owl Butterfly we spotted in the courtyard with what appears to be a large eye to scare off predators.

How are we feeling about leaving?  We’ve loved it here.  The house, the people, the grounds, the wildlife, and the scenery has been over-the-top.  Will we return someday?  It’s highly unlikely.  As I always say, there’s so much more world to see and let’s face it, the clock is ticking.

Graffiti on a wall in Atenas.

We’ve asked ourselves “Could we ever settle in Costa Rica?”  For us, due to a lack of desire to “settle” the answer is “no.” Costa Rica is a relatively affordable place to live and possesses lovely people, scenery, and wildlife, appealing to many expats from all over the world but we can’t see ourselves settling anywhere at this point. 

Juan Ramon showing us around at the museum.

The expat lifestyle isn’t for us.  Buying or renting a permanent home, buying furniture and household items and a car is so far removed from our radar, we can hardly even imagine the possibility. 

Old railroad bridge after a long walk from the railway station.

Sure, at some point, we won’t be able to continue.  We accept this reality.  At one point long ago, we mentioned here that we’d begun to peruse real estate options in various countries in order to get an idea of where we may live when that time comes.

Roasting coffee beans at the El Toledo Coffee Tour.

But, the longer we’ve continued on, we’ve totally lost interest in pursuing such a premise and have little interest in looking at houses for sale in any country unless we’re doing a story for a property owner/landlord, helping them to promote their property or out of curiosity to share details here.

Inside the antique cafe at the El Toledo Coffee Tour.

This morning it dawned on us that in six days, we’ll be going through the Panama Canal for the second time. Tom reminded me that we’re currently “living in the moment” and shouldn’t “think that far ahead.”  Good grief!  Six days isn’t too far ahead, is it? 

 A bubbling brook in the mountains.

And yes, we are living in the moment.  As soon as I upload today’s post, Tom proofreads it for errors, I’ll peel eggs, finish making dinner and we’ll head out to the pool for yet another fabulous sunny afternoon in Costa Rica.

Mom and calf in the neighborhood.

May you have a fabulous sunny day wherever you may be!

Topiary at Zarcera Topiary Garden
Elephant at the topiary garden in Zarcera.
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Photo from one year ago today, November 20, 2016:

It was a bright and sunny day as we exited the ship one year ago today in Adelaide, Australia to walk through this port building  For more details, please click here.

Not yet!…Kind of frustrating…The wait continues…

Almost every day our new “Birdie” stops by for bits of meat he’ll eat from my hand.  Already, he responds to my voice.  It was fun to capture him sitting atop this small stature.

No, the computer hasn’t arrive which according to Fed Ex tracking was due to arrive yesterday by 6 pm.  We’d anticipated a customs check but didn’t expect it to totally stop movement of the package.

When we spotted this notice on the tracking website, we moaned in frustration over yet another wait.  The website states, “Clearance Delay.  No scheduled delivery date available at this time.”

This magpie wanted in on the action.

Soon, we’ll call the Mantraville Fed Ex processing center located about 17 km from Sydney to ask the status of our shipment.  According to online customs information, there are no customs fees collected if the value of the item itself is under AU $1000, US $760.74.

The cost for the laptop without tax was under AU $920, US $700 so this shouldn’t be an issue.  If we do have to pay customs fees, we may qualify to have them returned to us once we leave the country.  We’ll see how it rolls out today.


With his mouth open, he welcomes a bite to eat.

Even if we discover the package is back in motion, most likely we won’t receive it until tomorrow or later.  Tom’s holding up well without a computer which surprises me. 

He entertains himself with his smart phone, reading and responded to the zillions of email messages he receives daily, Facebook posts and can access Ancestry.com and Cruise Critic, two sites he particularly enjoys.

The second package is due to arrive today.  Based on the fact it was shipped from Tasmania which is an island in Australia, we’re hoping we don’t experience any customs issues.  Most likely that package’s contents were examined somewhere along the way.

Kookaburras are carnivorous thus we feed them tiny raw pieces of meat.

Tomorrow, I have a doctor appointment to get a prescription for the four-week post antibiotic regiment for Helicobactor Pylori test to determine if its been eradicated by the two rounds of two antibiotics I took last month. 

In Australia, a patient cannot order their own tests making a doctor visit mandatory as is typical in most countries.  I have no desire to see a doctor but its imperative to have this completed now, hoping to discover the infection is truly gone.


Plumeria are often used to make leis in Hawaii.

I’m still not feeling 100% but have read it can take months for this particular condition to fully heal, long after treatment has ended.  I’ll report the results once I know.  In the interim, I may request a few more tests to determine if along the way, I may have contracted any other intestinal bugs contributing to the slow recovery.

Gee…it sounds as if we’re “whinging.”  That’s not my intention.  In our continuing efforts to be real and open we share our experiences exactly as they occur. 

Pretty pink flower.

On occasion, situations transpire over which we have little or no control.  Its during those times that we may feel frustrated.  Surely, our readers could easily lose interest in our posts if we were always upbeat, cheerful and “overly bubbly.”  We all know “that person” who is way too cheerful at all times. Their demeanor may eventually become boring and monotonous.


Rainbow at dusk during storm from Cyclone Debbie.

I stopped while preparing this post, long enough to call Fed Ex.  Our package was at a complete standstill, waiting for us to call.  They didn’t read the included invoice which stated the purchase price of the laptop was under AU $920, US $700. 

The rep advised me to send the actual invoice which I prepared as a PDF and sent promptly to her email.  Now, back to the waiting game as she determines based on receipt of our invoice that we do not owe any Australia custom taxes or fees.

Cloudy day at the beach.

Back to our obsessive checking of the Fed Ex tracking page to see when its on the move once again.  As for the second package, that is supposed to arrive today according to this morning’s Austalia post tracking page.

A few determined surfers on a rainy day at the beach.

We shall see what transpires…We wait.

Hopefully, you don’t have to wait impatiently for products or services today!

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Photo from one year ago today, April 4, 2016:

Tom got a kick out of how many chickens and roosters began to follow us during our visit to Taranake Pioneer Village in New Zealand, one year ago.  Please click here for more photos.