Friday, November 30, 2012

READY TO MOVE TO ECUADOR - 'twas the night before leaving..........

It's really happening now!  We've spent the entire day packing, packing, and more packing.  There is so much left to do before we leave tomorrow afternoon.  I feel so overwhelmed and wonder if we will get it all done.  Bo reminds me, "we always do, Hon!"  Just what I needed to hear.  It's pouring down rain.  My prayer is that tomorrow we will have a break in this wet weather because we have to get up early and empty this room - haul the furniture to our back shed-storage area. It's not fun moving in rain.

I'm proud that we were able to get everything we want to take to Ecuador in 4 check-in bags, and 4 carry-ons.  Considering we're moving to another country, I think we're traveling reasonably light.  Because we had packed our bathroom scale, I can't weigh the bags, but I'm hoping they will not exceed the 50 pound limit.  So many rules with the airlines.  If we make the weight limits for each bag, it will cost us $120  to check in our bags.  I'm glad they don't have a weight limit on the carry-ons (United that is), because my camera gear is HEAVY!  Bo has the Vitamix and Omega Juicer in his carry-on - and I'm laughing as I think about how heavy that one is.  they took up the entire bag!  No way was I checking through my juicer.  We could pack it tonight because I already juiced away today so I'd have my infusion for tomorrow.

I'm thrilled to be going to Cuenca just for their produce.  The day I walk into one of their open markets, I'll know I've truly arrived!!  The ex-pat bloggers that have shared photos of the vendors selling their fruits and vegetables have given me a reason to bring that heavy juicer and Vitamix.  The colors, the abundance, the variety, and the amazing prices.  It's one of the first things I want to do when we arrive - go produce shopping!  I've read that you can either pay gringo prices or local prices.  We're going to learn to shop there and use our Spanish to get the local prices.  I'm sure we'll find our favorite vendors after some time there.  I'm hoping we will meet some wonderful Ecuadorians and ex-pats who will show us how to shop.

We'll be rising early tomorrow, ready to wrap up things here in Oregon and begin the next leg of this journey.  Our dear Cannoy family is coming over in the afternoon to whisk us off to the airport.  They said they want to give us a proper send off.  Sweet!  We love them so much.  So, at around 3:30 pm we're on our way.  We'll have an overnight flight and end up in Tampa, Florida tomorrow morning at 10 am.  By Tuesday, we'll be on our way from Tampa to Guayuquil.  We'll arrive in Cuenca on Wednesday, December 5th, exactly two months from the day we were originally to leave back in October.  It's been a long long wait!

As for the house, it's in the hands of our property managers.  What will be will be!  We're walking by faith and not by sight.  I love the quote from William James that says, ""Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that assures the successful outcome of any venture."  With all the unexpected changes since we began this journey, it certainly has been an amazing and at times doubtful undertaking.  There have been a couple of times when I wanted to turn around and go back to our comfortable predictable life here, but I'm glad we've persevered and didn't give in to the disappointments and closed doors.  We focus on all the doors that have opened instead....

The most difficult part of today was going to see mom and kissing her goodbye.  She doesn't know we won't be back for some time, but I do.  I cried all the way home.  It hit me harder than I thought it would, even though I know she's in the best care facility for the stage of her health and dementia.  Pam, one of her caregivers who loves mom so much, hugged me at the door and we cried together.  She promised me she'd take good care of mom until I'm back to see her.  My heart hurts just writing this.  If mom were healthy and able, she'd be on that plane with us.     

My Beautiful Mom in her younger years (1944).  I'll miss my precious mom!

Thank you dear friends and family for all your prayers, e-mails, and phone calls. Your words of encouragement and excitement for us means so much.  Bo and I are truly blessed and we'll miss each and everyone of you.  For those of you whom we didn't get to see and hug goodbye, know that we'll be blogging our adventure and life in Ecuador so you can join us in our journey.
Mucho amor y abrazos,
Linda and Bo

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

RETIRING TO ECUADOR - I know I can, I know I can.......

I'm not happy!  Actually, I started the day very happy.  When that FedEx van pulled up at 11 a.m. today, I ran to grab the envelope from the FedEx guy.  I think I scared him!  I'm sure he wondered, "Who gets that enthusiastic about a Fed Ex delivery?"  Thanks to Jim in NY (whom we hope to meet and thank personally when he arrives in Cuenca end of December ), we now have all of our necessary documents apostilled and ready for our move to Cuenca.  the NYC birth certificate ordeal is over.  Yes!

So, Bo and I immediately got on our computers to begin to make our plane reservations, FINALLY!  What a task, trying to find a reasonably priced flight from Oregon to Guayaquil with somewhat decent connections.  Nothing!  We were hoping to be in Guayaquil on Monday night.  Then Bo suggested we leave Thursday.  I said, "Pleeeeeze, I can't sanely wait until next Thursday!"  I knew by then I'd have slit my wrists.  Well, he meant two days from now.  Yikes!  No way!  I mean, I can move with purpose when I have to, but that was moving beyond what I was capable of, and I knew it.  If I could have, I would have, since I'm ready to run from here.  However, I would have been a wreck, and I don't function when I become a wreck (who does?????).  So, we continued to peruse the cheap flight sites.

Then the phone rang.  The property manager called and informed me that the soon-to-move-in renters had changed their minds because of an unexpected personal situation.  NOooooooooo!!!  This can't be happening.  I acted (total pretense) really cool and replied, "Oh, well.  Thanks for letting us know."  She continues to try and make me feel better by letting me know there are others interested parties and she will be contacting them.  Right!  I'm sure there are lots of people clambering to rent our house and wanting to move right before Christmas.  Okay.  I'm a bit pessimistic now, but this rental roller coaster ride is starting to wear on me.  So, now I'm not happy!

I have got to believe that everything will work out.  It always does when I look back, but for now, I'm not happy!  Bo and I finally realized that it was not working out trying to find a reasonable flight connection to Guayaquil for the specific dates we wanted to leave on, so we decided to use some of our frequent flyer miles and book an overnight flight for Saturday night that will get us to Tampa, Florida on Sunday morning.  We both need a few days to relax and refocus before booking our flight to Cuenca.  Our dear friend, Patty, called us tonight, and we let her know "We're coming."  Of course, she's thrilled.  She loves us!  So, more DELAYS.  More DETOURS.  More SUDDENLIES.  Bo tells me not to lose heart.  He's my rock and my encourager when I'm weak and ready to give up.  The way things have been going, I sometimes wonder, "Will we ever get to Cuenca?"

For the next 3 days we will finalize emptying and cleaning the house, and I will be packing and repacking our bags until we have the least amount of suitcases possible.  We're planning on two check in bags each.  If it doesn't fit, we'll leave it behind (except for my Omega Juicer and Vitamix - no way I'm leaving those.  I'm a juicing addict!!!).  We'll be on a plane out of Eugene by 5:30 p.m. Saturday.  Once we're on that plane, I will be more enthusiastic and ready for what lies ahead.  I must admit, this has been one of the most difficult life changing journeys I have ever experienced.  I keep telling myself, "I know I can, I know I can....."

Saturday, November 24, 2012

RETIRING TO ECUADOR - Thanksgiving Weekend in Oregon!

On Thursday, we had a great Thanksgiving day celebration visiting my mom, and then we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with our friends, feasting on a fabulously delicious spread.  We're making more memories with family and friends during our wait to leave the country.

On Friday, we received our overnight Fed Ex return from NYC.  My Birth Certificates were returned without the apostille seal because I hadn't sent them to the County Clerk in NY first!  I was not happy!!!  I had no idea that there was a step before the Secretary of State - go figure!  My NYC documents are turning into a real pain and expense!  I immediately called the NY County Clerk, and a fast-talking impatient New Yorker gave me all the details to accomplish this, and then she added that it was taking 5 to 7 weeks for processing.  No way!  A sinking feeling overtook me.  How can this be?  She proceeded to tell me that if a third party delivered them to both the County Clerk and the Secretary of State, they could process them the same day. 

Thanks to GringoTree and the connections I've made reading forums and ex-pat blogs, I remembered a gentleman in NY whom I had corresponded with last month because he was going through the same process of acquiring his documents for his move to Cuenca end of December.  I decided to call Jim and ask him if he could help me.  What a guy!  He offered to pick up my Fed Ex overnight documents on Saturday, and then he would take them to both places on Monday and immediately overnight them back to me.  I could kiss his feet.  Bo and I quickly drove down to Fed Ex and got the envelope off - and today, Jim called me and told me that he had my documents in hand and would deal with it on Monday.  WooHoo! I'M SCREAMING WITH DELIGHT!!!

Without Jim's help, Bo and I would be in quite a conundrum about when to leave, and how to get those documents forwarded to us so we would receive them in Cuenca.  We have no clue yet how mail delivery works in Ecuador, and we don't even have an address there.  So, thank you Jim!  I told Jim we were going to buy him a fabulous dinner once he arrives in Cuenca, and I so look forward to finally meeting him and thanking him in person.  I understand now why some people choose to hire an attorney or a relocating service.  This really is a costly undertaking and one that takes much patience.  there will always be the unexpected glitches and delays.  I continue to remind myself we are in training now so when we finally are in Ecuador, we will have more patience and tolerance for what's ahead when we begin the process of applying for our visas.  I also still know that gathering these documents ourselves has saved us a considerable amount of money instead of hiring an attorney.  I've learned so much about the process, I hope I can pay it forward and help someone else out who is planning to move to Ecuador.

Today is the Duck VS Oregon State "Civil War" game.  In the last 3 years, I've become a devoted Duck football addict. I still have to bug Bo and ask him "So, why did they just do that.....What does that mean.....?"  But I'm loving learning the game, and I'm understanding it more and more.  Because we have Direct TV, we are unable to watch the game today.  Bo asked me if I'd join him at a sports bar, but I declined.  A crowded noisy bar is not my idea of a fun time - I'd rather sit here in peace and listen to it on the radio (which I'm doing!!!), though it's not as exciting as watching it.  Bo just called me!  He left an overly crowded sports bar in Springfield and was heading to find a better place in Eugene.  I hope he lands where he can enjoy the game.  He's really not the rah rah high five type, and he doesn't even wear a ball cap, nor does he "Duck Attire" himself - he just wants to watch the game!!!!

It's another rainy wet day in Bluegene.  I think I'll curl up and watch a movie,
and later I plan to begin going through my clothes and repacking my bags.

Bo and I visited mom for Thanksgiving dinner.  She'll be 87 in January, and I'm thankful we still have precious visits together.  We LOVE our mom!!

Can it be that in one more week we may be exiting Oregon?  Until we have those documents in hand and definite plane reservations, we're still just doing life here a day at a time.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

MOVING TO ECUADOR - Demolition & Last Minute Details

It seems that there have been more last minute details to take care of while we are waiting to finally leave our home and Oregon. Not only last minute details, but more "suddenlies" to deal with. A few days ago, I looked at the wall around our shower and noticed it was soggy and bulging a bit, and I also saw a puddle of water around the floor and tub area. Lo and behold, we had a leak! So Bo spent the next few days tearing out the wall and locating the leak. In the midst of this, we were informed by our property manager that there were two house showing appointments scheduled on Friday!!

Friday, November 16, 2012


We had quite a response to our first BLOG posting about our move to Cuenca.  One of our friends wrote and asked the following,  "I truly look forward to following your journey, and am equally curious to know how this all transpired to begin with.  What has you leaving it all behind with sights on Cuenca?".  I realize that some of you don't even know how Bo and I got here, so here goes......

Saturday, November 10, 2012


It's been 5 weeks since we were scheduled to leave Oregon on Oct 5th and drive cross-country hauling our newly purchased Cargo Trailer and Valkyrie Motorcycle. Our plan was to visit friends and family along the way, motorcycle the colorful Fall season of the New England states, and to have another "Bo and Linda USA Adventure" before leaving the country.  Our journey would land us in Clearwater, Florida to stay with family before flying to Cuenca - our final destination.  But, STUFF HAPPENS!!