Sunday, April 19, 2015

There's Always Something To Do - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

It amazes me how quickly my days and weeks go by. I think to myself, how is what I do everyday interesting to others?

Mike's and my life has settled into a comfortable routine. Sleep until the construction next door makes it no longer enjoyable to linger in bed in a semi awake state; make coffee for me while Mike makes his juice concoction; we both sit on the sofa while being able to gaze out at the Bay sometimes witnessing a cruise ship entering the port; we both pick up our iPads and begin to catch up with our cyber world, reading the local and world news; Mike doing his every morning excercise routine; and, voila it's time for lunch!

Most of the time, we do all of our errands after lunch, which may take us all over town either by walking or taking a bus. Sometimes it's only Mike while I stay behind to do errands at home.

Or, if no errands, we work on doing research for our upcoming travels. A dip in the pool might even make it in. We seem to rarely go to the beach even though we only live a half block away. OMG, what sacrilege!

Our evening routine depends on who's in town, what our other friends are doing, whether we feel like going out or do we want to just spend an evening at home watching TV and eating popcorn.

But then I look at our pictures over the last couple of weeks and I realize what an active life we really do live.

Meeting up with people who are following the blog wanting to pick our brain on why we like it here in PV and what our life is like.
Mike & Janice Griffin

Shannon Wallace & James Heintz. I worked with James back in WA state. Mike & our good friend, Jack.

Randy, Clara, Me, Mike, Merrikay & Rob

Lucretia & Thad

Meeting up with friends to just enjoy Happy Hour and the sunset at a few of our different venues. Or dinner at a new restaurant that opened, or enjoying a 50% off special dinner promotion with friends.

And, then there are the really nice unexpected surprises. Meeting up with friends, Shauna & Rob, and they bring along a friend of theirs, Andre, whose on vacation and we decide to make a day trip jaunt over to Yelapa.


Shauna, Rob, Andre & Mike

The waterfall in town. An easy meandering up.

Don't miss the beautiful butterfly on the flip flop!

A view of the Cove from up above in town.

The beautiful beach of Yelapa.

Paragliders being pulled out to the Bay. He will be released once he reaches a certain height.

The Paraglider gracefully landing on the beach. The river that cuts through Yelapa is on the right side of the beach.

Friends, Jim & Tessa Armstead, inviting us to join them for a private tour of the USS-Lake Champlain missile cruiser moored out in the Bay for several days.

Attending a fabulous one man show on the life and times of Woody Guthrie performed by Randy Noojin. An incredible show! You might enjoy the review article I wrote for one of the local online newspapers.

Randy Noojin

And, in between, I wrote an article for International Living and we were interviewed for another article that will be published in July. As each is published, I will share.

This keeps me very busy, as I try not to let things go sideways or get hijacked. It can happen in the blink of an eye and seems to always happen when I'm involved with something else. No complaints though. I brought this on myself by creating them.

Then there are the mundane daily things like having to go by bus out to the TelMex office to get our internet turned back on. We didn't receive the hand delivered invoice here at the condo this month, so they turned it off. Once that happens, you can't just go down to the local convenience store (Oxxo) to pay it.

Or, running out of propane on a Saturday morning. Seems like it didn't last as long this time before it needed refilling. Fortunately, they were here within an hour from calling.

Or, finding out as you're ready to go to bed that the plastic accordion piping under the sink had somehow come out of the wall pipe, so all the drain water from the sink was running into the cabinet while brushing your teeth. Mike got to deal with this one since I was already asleep.

Or, you're ready to head out for the evening and you discover termites have been having a field day in your bathroom cabinets! Mike to the rescue! Termites are quite a common element here and you have to be vigilant about them. Usually, they leave evidence. This time they didn't, so it wasn't caught as quickly.

But, hey, shit happens no matter where you live including paradise! Lol

So keep enjoying your life's journey, as will we. Hasta Luego!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

BUDGET UPDATE - March, 2015

In 2014, we showed that you could live a very good life style for $25,000/year, if you weren't lavish and chose where you eat and drink out.  We took advantage of Cupocity discounts on meals, tours, massages, etc. We also determined where we get the best bang for our buck, which allows us to eat and drink out with our friends. We are social people and gathering with friends is very important to us. (See Year End Budget posted in mid December, 2014 located in Archives)

As we also knew would happen, our family and friends would start visiting us and the winter months would see us eating out and going on excursions more with them. My daughter and her family were here for 16 days in January, and several friends came to town to spend time with us. It definitely shows in our expenditures for these 2 month!

We also had the opportunity to meet up with friends from Nicaragua in Mexico City for a week in February and while we were already up in the "highlands" of Mexico, we decided to come back by bus and visit San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, and Leon. A beautiful part of this wonderful country!

The month of January also brought us the expenditures of washing machine repair ($232), camera repairs ($10), more of Mike's dental woes (a new crown & a tooth pulled $742), and Mike needing to visit a chiropractor twice for adjustments that couldn't be dealt with in a massage ($73). We also took a 3 day side excursion to Yelapa with family and incurred hotel expenses and a more expensive water taxi ride plus all meals out.

But, we are extremely happy that everyone wants to come see us!!  This was part of our decision to live here. We knew it was easier and more alluring for them to come here to PV than any other location we considered. So it is what it is and we make no apologies for enjoying our family and friends.

In March, our expenditures went back to normal. EXCEPT we had decided back in December, 2014 to purchase excellent seat tickets ($300) to the Santana/Journey concert in Guadalajara for March 26. The total of the expenditures including the tickets, tours of Guadalajara, meals out, our stay in a B&B, gas, taxes, busses, etc. are all accounted for.

I'm continually asked how can we do all we do on what we actually show in our posted budget. I must admit, that the times when we meet up with people who I've helped through my blog, they have been very gracious in treating us as their guests for meals and drinks in appreciation for our time and sharing of our experiences. We do this gladly without expectation of this!!

Living Expenses: January February March
Rent w/util  $    1,000  $      1,000  $      1,000
Electric  $          24  $               -  $            23
Cell Phone  $          42  $            40  $            39
Groceries  $       227  $          219  $          249
Meals Out  $       448  $          292  $          240
Drinks Only  $       161  $          154  $            95
Entertainment  $          60  $            57  $          105
Massages  $       101  $            20  $            40
Bus/Taxi  $          64  $            55  $            15
Dental Cleaning  $          33  $            80
Incidentals  $          25  $            18  $            82
TOTAL  $    2,185  $      1,935  $      1,888

TOTAL W/O RENT  $    1,185  $          935  $          888

Discr Spending:

Visas/Legal  $             -  $               -
Clothes/Shoes/Gifts  $          13  $            32  $            27
Medical/Life Ins.  $       211  $          211  $          211
Tours  $          87  $            60
Home Improve  $       420  $          171  $            57
Medical  $       237

Dental  $       742

Air Travel

Trips/Vacations  $       180  $      2,459  $          684
Car Rental/Gas

Spanish Lessons

TOTAL Discr.  $    1,890  $      2,933  $          979

TOTAL ALL  $    4,075  $      4,868  $      2,867

*Drinks Only (in PV only): January 11x; February 9x; March 7x
*Meals Out (in PV only): January 12x; February 10x; March 9x
*Our Rent includes 1br/1ba; dipping pool; view of Bay; fully furnished with everything you need; cable TV, internet, water; excludes electric.
*I do not include health insurance as a Living Expense because many expats choose not to have insurance. It was our choice to have it.