Sunday, September 2, 2012


September 2, 2012

Mercy!  This week has just been wonderful! We've accomplished so many things on our "to do" list in preparation of our leaving the country in November.  But, we've also spent time relaxing, exploring Carlsbad and surrounding areas, having quality time with our family here instead of just an in and out visit, and time for "us"!

We've eaten in some fun and interesting places - Mike's till trying to get to all of the Breweries and doing a great job! Yesterday was Mike's 64th birthday and we had dinner with family, Donny and Nancy, and Alex at the Karl Strauss Brewery just around the corner from where we are in Carlsbad. Next on the list is Stone!!





We've walked on the beach and seen the Blue Moon at night with huge waves crashing at high tide. Stunning!

The San Diego Botanical Gardens are also just a stones throw from here and so we spent a lovely afternoon on Friday enjoying the diversity of the gardens they have there. And, was able to see a wedding in the walled garden!

Tomorrow Mike and I will be going up into the mountains to visit Alex's Broken Oak Ranch and I will leave Mike behind to spend the night and help with chores up there.  It's about 70 miles from here and we're looking forward to the drive out into the country.  We're beginning to miss the lushness, solitude and quiet of our place back in WA, so this excursion will be good for both of us.

We're also falling madly in love with Bear!! His 4.5 lbs of kisses and play have sucked us in! He sleeps at our feet and doesn't stir until we're ready to get up. So thoughtful!  When we take him to town, he's greeted by everyone with oohs and ahhhs. We even took him to Karaoke night at the local pub and sat of the patio having drinks. Since he fit into his doggy "purse", he was able to enjoy it right along with us and didn't make a sound so no one knew he was even there!!  That made us all happy!

The other BIG accomplishment we made was that we booked our first rental in Panama!!!! That was not an easy decision to make. But, we'll be staying in Gorgona only 1 hour from Panama City for one month. We were able to negotiate the monthly rate from $700/month to $600/month with all utilities included.  It's a 1br/1ba with 150 degree views of the Pacific Ocean and the beach only minutes away.  Here is the link to the unit if you'd like to see what we get for our money there. Our landlord is a couple from the US now living in Panama and Kathy has been great to work with via internet. Our first home!!

 I've started corresponding with an expat in Boquete where we want to spend a month also.  He's been extremely helpful and will probably be finding us our "home" there!  Most of the rentals are not on the internet and are found only by word of mouth. So, we're being very trustful at the moment. We'll see if it all turns out as well as it all seems right now.

The other area of Panama that we've kind of focused on is Las Tablas.  We had found a nice 2br Casita on the beach about a 10 minute drive from here and the owner is actually in San Diego. We had quite a good email exchange with him and he was willing to negotiate the monthly rate down to the level we wanted but we decided against it because he wanted a 2 month minimum.  We're still going to check it out once we're boots on the ground there and can "see" for ourselves. to pick up my new prescription sunglasses!!  And, to get food for the BBQ tonight!  Ahhh, ain't life grand??!!!

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