Thursday, April 29, 2010


As our time here diminishes, we each have our agendas. Mine seems to be a wait and see attitude, Randys is more, slow and steady... he has dedicated part of his days of leisure to picking at the bits we have left an determining what to pack. It looks like he has one suitcase somewhat full. Of what I do not know. Hopefully its not all cigars and stereo parts.

Every day at work is such a fun time... honest, people stop by and say "how many days Karen?" Today the answer was "22 working days.."  really its pretty cool at this point, I am the oddity, that they all stop to talk to, and comment about, the one who is breaking out of the mold, giving hope to those who are still just "wishing" they could do the same.

We have really been trying to ramp up our visiting with friends, and get in these last few times with them. I am constantly amazed at the spectrum of ages and types of friends we have. We have such a nice network here, that I am sorry to leave them, but have hopes that we can develop a new one in our new home, and welcome our Norte Americano friends to our new home in Ecuador.

Randy has determined that we still need some apostiling of our Birth Certificates. So he has sent off our Birth Certificates to Seattle to get apostle'd. Then we will get some more passport size pictures for other items we might need. Other than that, I think we are are set for the paperwork needs.

We are so excited about tomorrow. We get to meet a lady who has been on one of our Expat sites. She has volunteered for the last school year in Loja Ecuador, and has come home for the summer. She lives just two hours away, so we are going over to have breakfast with her. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet her in person and hopefully make a new friend!

Randy and been celebrating since he retired, wisely using his days to laze away and practice for his new future..but now his mood has moved to jealousy. Yes, the dreaded sin.. he is jealous of our friends who have gone before in Cuenca. The Watson's... he is jealous of Puff Puff, the pretty red dragon car that is chauffeuring them around Ecuador!   I tell him to be patient, that when we get to Ecuador we will get our own Puff Puff... but I am sure it will be more of a Ruff Ruff...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Today I played hookey... it was fun. Well of course I did the responsible thing and got permission so I guess it wasn't really hookey..but it felt like it. Randy, our friend Glenda and I took the Columbia Sternwheeler up the Columbia River and into the Snake. It was a 6 hour ride, the ticket price included a great buffet breakfast and lunch. There was even a nice bar on each level so those who wanted could imbibe in the spirit of choice
Here are Randy and Glenda, relaxing on the deck as we cruise upriver.
This next picture is our destination.. Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River

Now here is the inside of the locks!
The Captain was excellent. We never bumped the side. It was fun to see how they flung the rope onto the floats on the side of the walls so we would stay put as the water level was raised so we could get out.
This next photo is of the gate locking us in so they could fill it up like a bath tub!
to give you a feeling of how much of a change in elevation we were going to undertake, here is a photo of the locked gate from the bow of the sternwheeler.
Now we are all filled up and ready to go out...
And here is the great Captain who maneuvered us up and down the river safely all the while keeping up a wonderful commentary on Lewis & Clark, Wheat, Gold and Fur trade.

I have never been on a Sternwheeler before, so I think this is a wonderful start to our adventures in Cuenca, Ecuador!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Karen has been after me to enter a blog update so here goes.
I am doing my part to get ready for our departure on June 30th. I have purchased our Ecuador phones, a new netbook, new camera and a bunch of other stuff. I am on my second week of retirement and still liking it. It is true, I do not miss going to work every day or getting middle of the night phone calls.

 I have also been getting together my essentials for travel; 120 gigabyte Zune with over a 1000 CD's loaded into it. new Grado headphones, new Benchmade folding knife (I'm a guy, it is essential), new pair of Birkenstocks, new cargo shorts (our Ecuador friends tell me no one wears shorts in Cuenca), and most important is my travel bag. I have had  many changes made to it by our local seamstress and it is ready for the ultimate survival conditions. It will hold cigars, flask of rum, my Zune and Kindle ebook reader. I think it will insure my survival in the harshest conditions. Also ordered several boxes of cigars, new cigar cutter and lighter.

 I had the lasik thing done to my eyes so I went crazy and bought three pairs of Ray Ban sunglasses, they are so cool. What more could we possibly need?

I am leaving it up to Karen to find us a place to live, travel arrangements, documents needed for residency, etc. When I was younger I was in the Peace Corps in the Phillipines. What I learned most during that experience is that less plans means less to go wrong. Living in the moment day to day created the most happiness. I am fortunate to have Karen in my life. She is more responsible than me and she loves me enough to put up with all my quirks. I am very excited to have her as my travel partner. It is going to be a fun adventure!!!!