12 July 2017

Happy 6th Retirement Anniversary to us!

Hard to believe that today is the sixth anniversary of our retirement and relocation to Costa Rica. Wow, looking back so much has happened in these 6 years. We are busier now than we have ever been. Our social life is so much fuller here than it ever could be in Texas. All through our working careers we were too busy to develop many relationships. Don't get me wrong, we have some amazing friends in the States that will always be there for us, as we will for them.

Then we have our beautiful family with 7 children, plus their spouses, 13 grandchildren, and one great granddaughter, plus all of our brothers and sisters. They are spread out among California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia. We love them all and miss them, but living in Costa Rica means that most of them are not much further from us than when we lived in Texas.

Looking back, this is a recap of just the highlights of the past 6 years.

We moved into our 300 square foot casita (vacation cottage) and quickly adopted our street dog, Gustavo as a companion for our Jack Russell Terrorist, Randy. Gus is a mini-pin/terrier mix and just a little love machine.
We built our Rancho to give us some outdoor living space and quickly followed with the construction of the main house.

My Costa Rican “Permanent Residency” was re-instated on September 19, 2011 and John immediately dove-tailed in behind me to get his. He was approved in June, 2012.

We moved into our new casa grande, about 60 meters from the casita, on May 30, 2012.

On September 3rd, 2012, we experienced our first major earthquake since our relocation from the States. It measured 7.6 on the Richter scales, with the epicenter about 70 miles from us. The entire house swayed, but we didn't find a single crack in the new construction. It's a testament to the building codes here in Costa Rica.

After we moved to Casa Wegner, we made our Casita Limón available to family and friends. We found there were too many months that the casita sat empty gathering dust and dead bugs. So, in April, 2013, we started offering it as a vacation rental. Since then we have had over 100 guests stay with us. In addition to family and friends, we have met folks from all over the world. Some have become dear friends, and you know who you are.

We have become involved in the community and social media. We manage a couple of Facebook groups for our town, Atenas. One FB group is for general info, and the other is for the local classifieds. We have also helped with fund raising for the local animal rescue group, Animales Atenas. Through them we found another street dog, Yoli, and she became an addition to our fur-family.

I started teaching an informal Spanish language learning class for a limited number of friends about a year ago. It has been fun watching their language skills progress, especially John's. I had to suspend classes in June when John broke his ankle, but I'll probably start them up again after our next big trip.

We have been stashing pennies for about 3 years now for our dream trip to Spain this October. We have arranged for friends to stay at Casa Wegner to care for our fur-kids while we are away. The plan is to meet our close friends, David and Norma Jean, in Madrid, rent a vehicle, and then travel around Spain for a couple of weeks. When we get to Barcelona, we'll take in the sights and cuisine, and then our friends will take a train back to Madrid to fly back home to the States. A couple of days later we will catch a transatlantic ocean cruise to Ft. Lauderdale. The ship stops in Cadiz, Tenerife, and one other stop in the Canary Island. We'll have a few relaxing days at sea and be back home in early November. We've talked about doing this for years and we're not getting any younger, so we just have to do it now, while we have the energy to get up and go.

Happy 6th Retirement Anniversary to us and to this "Pura Vida" lifestyle.

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