Monday, February 17, 2014

Sad, My Heart is So Sad! Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Before I can even begin to talk about our week I have to talk a bit about a dear friend of mine, Susan Heer. After not hearing from her for about a month, which was so not like her, I inquired to other friends in the expat community of Bahia de Caraques, Ecuador, where Susan lived with her wonderful husband of 43 years, Karl.

The news back to me on Saturday confirmed my worst fears. Susan had had a heart attack and passed away on January 20th. She had gone for a bike ride with Karl and started having symptoms at the end of the ride. All of the valiant efforts of the doctors and hospital staff couldn't save her. 

Susan and I were Facebook friends long before we went to Bahia August, 2013. But, on my first morning in Bahia, as I was looking out our porch windows while having my coffee, there she was. She was on her morning ritual walk along the beach road. I yelled down "hey Susan! It's Tricia!" And from that moment on, we were good friends!

Susan and Karl were on their dream retirement journey and getting fit was one of their goals. They both had made such wonderful strides and Susan had lost 60 lbs in the 9 months they had been there. But both had previous heart conditions, which we talked about because of the lack of sophisticated hospital care in that area. They knew the risks and were more than willing to reach for their dream there. 

Again, I make no judgement on anyone's choice as long as it's an educated choice. And, theirs was. But, good medical care covering many fields of study, are a high priority to me and Mike. And, we don't have any health issues!  We're not on any medications either. In fact, at our age, we are definitely the exception to the rule. However, that doesn't mean that that couldn't change in the blink of an eye. 

This is a great segway into our week, as we started off by going to the annual Medical Conference at the Marriott in the marina Monday afternoon. It was a great way to meet and talk to many staff at all the different private hospitals in the area - 5 excellent ones to be exact. Also, to talk to some of the insurance agents that I had made contact with in early January. I also got a free facial treatment that's supposed to stimulate collagen growth.  All I know is that it felt wonderful!

The Marriott Hotel grounds.

Marriott pool.

Marriott beach area.
We still haven't made a decision on how we're going to deal with the insurance issue as we still have many many questions. I did learn though that a mammogram at the closest private hospital to us costs $780 pesos or $59. That's a huge savings right there just paying out of pocket over the cost in that states. And, one of the best parts about going to,the conference was that we each got a 20% off card for every procedure at that hospital. Wow!

Since we were already at the marina, we decided to take a walk along the water and browse some of the shops that we never get to see.  The one thing we know for sure is that the marina area prices are almost double of what we can find right in Old Town.  Rents might be a bit less but you pay a higher price for being in that area.

The Lighthouse.

A boat names "Blau", which is blue in German.  We loved the water reflection on its undercarriage and we REALLY liked the boat!!

The Whale statute marking the entry into the marina area.

An eclectic home furnishings shop that we loved browsing through.

Oh yes, we want one in our home!


Tuesday evening was our first Social Hour at the IFC (International Friendship Club) and a general meeting. Haven't really met anyone that we've clicked with yet but I'm sure we will. Just a matter of time. 

The evenings have been spent at home watching as much of the Olympics as possible. We do enjoy the beauty, competition, and skill. But on Wednesday, we decided to try charity Bingo at Nacho Daddy's. Bingo is a big thing here for raising money for charities. Actually, there is at least one if not multiple charity fundraisers every week here. You could go broke trying to attend them all. 

We played 3 cards and bought some raffle tickets for the really great prizes. But, alas, we didn't win anything. The lady behind us won 3 huge prizes and everyone else at her table won one. I scream fixed! No, it's just the way it goes sometimes. 

We also still get out for our walks and the sunsets on the beach. Although we've been having some interesting clouds roll in several evenings causing the sun to just disappear with no real setting or beauty. Just bloop and it's gone!

Friday being Valentine's Day, Mike and I decided to go low key. We'd been wanting to eat the 2 x 1 BBQ ribs at Torito's but you have to eat between 2-4pm. So I met Mike after his volunteer shift at the PCC (Paradise Community Center) where he's selling tickets for the Oscar Awards movie week. They were delicious and we had enough left over for another whole meal at home. 

From there we had to go retrieve my bracelet from the vendor who had sold it to me. Seems when I put my bracelet in silver cleaner, it didn't clean like silver should. Hmmm...but he made good on it. I now have a real sterling silver bracelet and he knows I'll be back if it does it again. Living here does have it's advantages.

Back home for a break but back out for the evening with drinks at the Sea Monkey and then for the event we had been waiting for...Jazz on the Park! After about an hour of watching Mexican dancers from all the different states of Mexico, 3 different Jazz bands of high school students from Utah and Illinois came onto the stage.  A free event that was fabulous!!

Videos of music:


On Saturday we went back to the IFC to watch the documentary film "Inequality for All" by Robert Reich. I'm not going to get into politics because I don't discuss them or religion. But, regardless of where you stand politically, everyone should see this movie. It's not about right or left or even middle, it's about what's factually happened and is happening economically in the US and why. Irrefutable facts that will blow your socks off if you just keep an open mind!

Sunday we met with our agent after having given Notice that we were breaking our lease. I knew it would go over like a fart in church. But, he surprised me and didn't try and talk us out of it or threaten us that we had to honor the lease and pay for the months we had agreed to. I was so glad because I had done allot of research and Mexican law is pro tenant. It would not be cost effective at all for him to take us to court and he knew it. So we will be moving out on March 19th to move into our new home for the next year. It can't come too soon!

To unwind after a bit of stress, we went for a walk on the beach and ended up at a new place for sunset and Happy Hour, Coco Tropicana.  A most beautiful sunset with a beautiful clear evening!

I continue to struggle with coming to grips with my friend's death, so I'm not my usual "up" and happy self. But, new friendships are being forged and we're loving our new home. 

Thanks for following along, again!  As another month has come to an end, I will next be posting our monthly budget analysis. 

Oh yes, that's what else happened this week!! I received notice through my alerts on Google that the Costa Rica Star had written an article and used my blog and all of my statistics to quote. I'm honored!  But, do wish you'd given me a heads up or at maybe asked first? 

So, Hasta Luego until next time, mi amigos!!

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