Willing to let go?...Minnesota Vikings Football season...A must for Tom to see..


Starfruit only has 6 carbs per fruit.  A little slice of this might be nice in my water.
"Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica"
This morning while we lounged in bed at 6:00 am, the sounds of the early day were music to our ears; cows mooing, roosters crowing, birds singing and church bells chiming.  Magical.
There's no doubt that traveling the world without-an-end-in-sight has given us both a degree of happiness we never anticipated at this point in life and a purpose far beyond our wildest dreams.

However, life is an amalgam of trade-offs and to accomplish this dream we-never-knew-we-had-until-it-happened...we gave up so much. The opportunity to live this nomadic lifestyle was astounding; on our own terms; in our own time; at this special time of our lives; as retired senior citizens with the financial means (in a relatively frugal manner with a strict budget).
Gnarly tree in the yard.
In the process, each of us had to decide what aspects of our old lives we were willing to forfeit (beyond being with beloved family and friends), as impractical, costly or inconvenient.  Incorporating those items we refused to forgo became a continuing challenge in one way or another.

Years ago, a reader wrote a private email to me suggesting I cut my hair, stop doing my nails and pedicures and dispense with wearing makeup.  Wouldn't that make traveling easier, they suggested? 
Starfruit that has fallen from the tree to the ground.
I laughed.  Good grief, I gave up having a home, my family and friends, my worldly possessions and a plethora of conveniences to live this life.  Why would I give up who I am and have always been?  I've always prepared myself for the day by my standards, on my own terms. 

Why would traveling dictate that I suddenly change my way of putting myself together?  It would be as preposterous as someone who's never used mascara or lipstick and happily so, to suddenly start doing so just because they're traveling.  We are who we are and we have the right to be so.
The view of the Central Valley is always changing based on weather conditions.
So what, if every few weeks I do my nails with products I buy from the US and have shipped in our usual box of supplies once or twice a year?  Who cares if I shop at the local market for the cosmetics I now use instead of a department store as I did in my old life?  No one.  Literally, no one cares.

As for Tom, he too, gave up "things" he enjoyed...reading the physical copy of the daily and Sunday newspaper, owning a car, putzing around in the yard, stopping at Super America in the morning for a delicious Super Mom's doughnut, and most of all...watching Minnesota Vikings football games and following all the hoopla that surrounds it.
A side view of the villa. The outdoor kitchen is located below the veranda.
During our first Vikings season of world travels Tom signed up at NFL Game Pass with a bit of frustration over its inconsistency and nuances yet to be corrected by the service.   We'd written an earlier post on this topic four years ago on August 8, 2013, (coincidentally, almost to today's date) which can be found here

Over these past years, we've written about this topic to some degree each and every year, as Tom deliberates whether or not he'll sign up again.  The original pricing for the season for only the one team (excluding possible playoff and Super Bowl games) was US $169, (CRC 97,388).
We've heard their hilarious clicking sounds and seen plenty of gecko poop but this was the first I'd seen.  Earlier that day Tom spotted the colorful Gold Dust Day Gecko, our favorite as shown in this photo below that we took in Maui in 2014.  
This is a Gold Dust Day Gecko that we found on the wall in the lanai during a storm. He looked at up me as I shot this photo.  Hopefully, we'll find such a colorful species here in Costa Rica.
Last year NFL Game Pass gave him a special deal when they no longer offered the "one team only package."  They gave him all the NFL teams package for the previous year's price of $169, (CRC 97,388).

This year as he prepared to sign up again, he noticed the price had increased to US $199, (CRC 114,676) and he hesitated to sign up. However, he had it set up in their system to perform an automatic renewal.  When he tried after several attempts to cancel the automatic renewal, it wouldn't allow him to do so.

Finally, he had to contact them to cancel his automatic renewal.  They instructed him to follow the steps he'd already completed to no avail.  Again, he sent them an email, asking he be removed entirely which they did.  Frustration set in.  Was this worth it?
We've seen these flowering trees in most tropical climates.  My friend Colleen wrote and reminded me that this is the Africa Flame Tree.  Thanks. dear friend!
On Friday night, I signed up, under my name for US $124, (CRC 71,456) and now he'll be able to watch all the teams if he so chooses.  Most likely, the price will increase next year under my name, but for now, this is fine. 

(By the way, this service only works outside North America.  We have to turn off our VPN showing we're in the USA in order for the app to work for us).

Th first preseason game will be on August 10th, this Thursday evening.  We'll watch it on the 80 inch, (203 cm) flat screen TV in the screening room by plugging in our HDMI cord from his laptop.  With only a one or two-hour time difference from locations where the games will be played, we'll be able to watch the games live.
Another view of low lying clouds in the early morning.
When we spent from 2015 to 2017 in the South Pacific, the time differences were not only different by hours but also by one day due to the International Dateline.  For example, Tom would often begin watching a game around 10:00 am, Australia time, on a Monday as opposed to when it may have been playing in the US on a Sunday.

In any case, he's good to go this Thursday.  In November, he'll miss several games when we're on a 30-day back-to-back cruise in South America.  However, he'll be able to watch the games on the app after they've played, once the cruise ends in Buenos Aires on December 23rd (coincidentally, Tom's 65th birthday).

Today, we're planning to head out by taxi around noon.  It appears there's a Walmart store not too far from here.  My flat iron broke (it lasted five years) and that would be the most logical place to replace it (yep, one of my "necessary devices" even though I travel the world) and hopefully, if they have a grocery department, we can find some whole cream for the coffee.

Enjoy your cup of coffee or tea with us today or next time you have a chance to stop by and read our snippets of daily life "in the world."
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Photo from one year ago today, August 7, 2016:
After narrow two lanes roads in Bali, these wider roads in Phuket are easier to maneuver, especially with less traffic than in Bali.  Phuket wasn't quite like I remembered it when I traveled there for three weeks, 30 years ago (before Tom).  For more photos, please click here.

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