Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Loose Ends

Just popping in to say we're still alive!  It seems that this blog has been neglected lately, but no fear ... it's not going away.  Now that my Mom is doing better and our daughter is in her new house we should now have lots of free time for the boat, right?  Well, not so fast.

While we're getting close to focusing on the boat, we're still busy tying up loose ends.  Last week I spent a couple of days helping our daughter landscape her new house.  It came out great, and I was able to re-visit a passion of mine ,.. working in the dirt.  I love gardening and taught myself a lot over the years about plants ... perennials, annuals, native plants of Louisiana, shade lovers and sun lovers. When we had a house on the bayou, I spent many years creating our backyard into a tropical oasis.

Our daughter's house now looks like a home, and it was quality time with her ... we worked our butts off in the 100+ degree sun and sweated what seemed like gallons.  For this "almost 50" year old, it was great exercise.  Hopefully it was a good start to a quick shape-up before our trip to the Dominican Republic soon!  If only it were that easy.

Here's a couple of pictures from our house, but not much color the time of year that I took these.  No pics of our daughter's house or the landscaping yet ... gotta wait till she's shared her house first.

Although the kids are moved in their house, Ken's not quite done with their house yet.  In his spare time from work, he's still gotta help build a fence and do a few touch-ups.  He also stopped by the house last week in between jobs with his helper to give my daughter and I a hand with the landscaping and moving a ton of dirt ... whew!

I've also been busy with my own job, but unfortunately not for money ... but hopefully good karma.  A fellow real estate agent went to Mexico for a week and I offered to cover for her while she was gone.  Um .. let's just say I had no idea how busy I'd be last week while also committed to landscaping.  Maybe I'll get real busy just before I go on vacation?  I can hope.

Oh, and of course it's about that time again for a vacant rental.  We had finally found some great tenants for one of our houses last year, but when the lease was up we lost him to the "big city".  His girlfriend wanted to move back to New Orleans.  So, I'm now advertising again and we had a couple of interviews over the weekend.  Don't ya just love it when you get stood up?  Anyway, the good news is that our former tenant left the house in pretty good shape.  We'll be spending time on the house this month, but it's not near as bad as we've experienced in the past and we're thankful for that!

Needless to say, we're not gonna have the boat outta the yard this month.  To be honest, Ken's dreading starting such a project this time of year when the heat index is around 108 degrees.  I'm not a slave driver and I do love my guy, so I'm feeling pretty bad for him.  Yeah, I'll be there in the boatyard to help any way I can, but the responsibility is on him.  He's the one with the knowledge.  Knowledge ... that's another thing.  While he knows how to do a lot of things, boat work is always something new .. and therefore stressful.  I've told Ken that we can wait till cooler weather if he wants.  We've waited this long, so what's a few months?   He's reluctant to put things off, so we'll see what happens.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.

I'm sooo ready for the Dominican Republic ... the beach, waterfalls, a motorcycle ride, the people, and some pina coladas at the resort!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude!

After a really busy year .. or should I say years, we're overdue for another vacation.  Last year's trip to Mexico seems a lifetime ago!  While our attitudes aren't all that bad, we're needing a mental break.  So, we've cashed in our credit card miles again and later this Summer we're going to a latitude South of Louisiana!

Ken and I wanted to go somewhere tropical that we've never been to yet so Mexico, Virgin Islands, Hawaii & Jamaica were out of the picture.  We also wanted a place with hills, so the Bahamas was scratched off the list.  Heck, we hope to sail to the Bahamas shortly after we start cruising so it wasn't really a consideration anyway.  We also wanted to go somewhere that had an all-inclusive resort.  I know ... those resorts don't really show the beauty & culture of an island!  But, we like the fact that there are lots of folks around to meet ... and lots of food & alcohol that have already been included in our price (which was paid by credit card miles, so it's a great deal for us).  We've spent a majority of our time off the resort during past vacations, and this time will be no different.  When we need a day of relaxation in between outings,  there's nothing like a day on the beach with cocktails brought to our lounge area!

After some research, I once again booked our vacation with Cheapcaribbean.com.  They always seem to have the best deal, and we haven't been disappointed yet.  So, where are we going?  The Dominican Republic .. woo hoo!  We considered Punta Cana, but learned that this area is isolated and surrounded by other resorts.  With our plans to explore the North coast of the island, we decided that Puerto Plata made more sense.  We'll be visiting Luperon, Caberete and the 27 Waterfalls during our week stay, and we're planning a motorcycle ride too!  The ride will start at a bar in Luperon named Putula's, which is owned by Juan (a local) and his new bride, Kathay, from British Columbia.  Kathay sailed her boat to the Dominican Republic several years ago and never left!  The bar is geared towards the cruising community, so we're looking forward to meeting Juan, Kathay, a few locals .. and hopefully a few sailors too!

We're excited about our "attitude adjustment", and to make things better ... our daughter & son-in-law are coming with us.  We haven't been on a tropical getaway with our daughter since she was a pre-teen, so we're looking forward to exploring the island with her & her husband.  They're a lot of fun!

Needless to say, we can't get to the Dominican Republic soon enough!  In the meantime, we have lots to keep us busy .. including boat work in the boatyard.  Do I dare say that we hope to have Nirvana back in the water before we leave?  That's the plan.

While our week "in paradise" will go way too fast, we'd love to hear any suggestions you may have.

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Our Future Boat?!

Hideaway if for sale!

When Ryan & Tasha from Turf to Surf mentioned they were going to sell their boat, they got our attention!  While we love our Catalina 30, we couldn't help but think how great it would be to own a Catalina 34 that already has a dodger, bad-ass anchor, solar panel, Honda generator, chart plotter, LED lighting, a main sail that furls into the mast (awesome), a dinghy & motor, kitchen appliances and all sorts of other stuff to make our dream of cruising much easier ... and it's already in St. Maarten!

Yesterday, it became official ... Hideaway if for sale!  Once we saw Tasha's post and the price ... our heads started spinning.  This is a great boat for a really fair price.  Could we make this work?  Could we buy Hideaway and finally paint our boat, get her outta the boatyard and sell her for a decent price?  Did we have time to get to St. Maarten and buy a boat in the immediate future?!  Would Hideaway really cost that much more than the dollars we've already spent on boat paint, the labor we need to spend in the heat (not fun), the anchor, LED lighting, solar panels, generator, etc that we still need to buy?  Maybe we could make this work.  The thought of flying to St. Maarten, boarding our new boat and immediately starting our cruising life "in paradise" is perfect ... except when it isn't.

Ken and I had a serious discussion last night, reviewing our schedule and going through scenarios in our head on how to make this work.  But, the sad truth is that the timing is just a bit too soon.  While we can't wait to "Just Do It!", the facts are that we have to honor our lease until October, work on getting Nirvana out of the boatyard, and work on closing our businesses while still making money to pay the rent and the bills that come with it and our businesses.  Add the fact that the boat is so far away (perfect location if timing were right) and we'd have to also pay to store it until at least October .. it just isn't possible yet.  So close, yet so far .. it kills me!

Anyway, as much as I'd like to "save" Hideaway for us and keep her sale a secret, I'm gonna go ahead and share Tasha's post in hopes that she finds a buyer soon. She & Ryan have a new (and amazing) catamaran in Europe that they need to pick up in August, and I know they'd like to find Hideaway a new home before then.  So, if you want a great boat (we love our Catalina) that's already sitting in paradise and ready to cruise ... check out Tasha's post.

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

HOME ...

H O M E ... it's an odd word if you look at it too long.  Those four letters hold such a strong meaning to so many folks ... us included.  HOME may mean a house, a trailer, a boat, or even a van.  Although the word has various meanings, HOME often brings thoughts of warmth, security and love.  

If you read my last post, you know that Ken and I have been especially busy the past couple of weeks with getting two special ladies HOME ... my mom and our daughter.  I'm happy to say that as of today they are both HOME!!  We are filled with joy, relief and hope for their bright futures.

While our daughter's journey to her new home was an exciting time, my mom's was not.  It's such a relief to know that they are both now where they want to be.  My mom was released from the hospital this past weekend, and she seems to be recovering well.  We visited Mom on Sunday, and other than her lying on the sofa instead of sitting ... we talked like nothing had happened.  She's relaxing at home, eating, and will be receiving physical therapy at home 3 times a week to get her back on her feet.  She's able to get around slowly with a walker and she's got some back pain from the spinal tap, but I think she's on the right track.  It's going to be a slow process, but I believe that with patience she'll be okay.  

Just yesterday, Ken received the "Certificate of Occupancy" for our daughter & son-in-law's very first home ... woo hoo!  All four of us (Ken, myself, and our two "kids") spent Saturday cleaning and finishing the final touches on the house for Monday's inspection. This morning I'm taking off work to help our daughter move small items in our cars, and tonight the four of us are moving the big items.   This is such an exciting time!

"There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort"  -  Jane Austen

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!
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