Shopping done... Not always easy from afar... The big balance is now due for the Antarctica cruise...Ouch!

*Please see our comments below as to these included photos.
Puente Ferrocarril Rio Grande Museum in Atenas.
"Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica"
This pudgy blue and gray bird was the first sighting for us.  This may be a Blue-Gray Tanager. 
The online shopping hasn't been easy.  Some items weren't available in correct colors and sizes. Tom ordered an item and received an email stating it had been shipped and only moments later, received a second email stating it wasn't available in his preferred color.  We contacted Amazon requesting further information.

I ordered a few items and received a message stating the package was lost in the mail and I had to reorder elsewhere. The multiple items don't arrive in one package.  Often there are many packages arriving over a series of days.
Railway photos from decades past.
One has to be careful items aren't shipped from China or other international locations which may take weeks, if not months, to arrive.  Shopping online requires checking and re-checking.  We've each ordered at least a dozen items.  It can be tricky.

We're hoping everything will arrive before November 12th when we'll have the package shipped to the hotel in Fort Lauderdale.  Timing is everything in this case. 

If any item is missing, we'd have to purchase it in Buenos Aires during our one month stay prior to the cruise.  We don't want this hanging over our heads during a time we'll prefer to be sightseeing and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of this big city.
Various paper money over the years.
Yesterday, I made our doctor appointments for complete physical exams by November 2nd, a few days after we return from Nicaragua.  Ponant, the cruise line, requires several medical forms be completed and sent to them between 45 and 90 days prior to the cruise. 

This is to ensure passengers are in sufficiently good health to embark upon this expedition cruise.  There will be a doctor-on-board but based on the location, deep in Antarctica, emergency evacuation isn't possible.  Of course, having such an exam is by no means a guaranty a passenger won't have a medical emergency, as we so well know. 
Telegraph machine.
Apparently, the local doctor we chose speaks English so we'll be readily able to explain what we need and provide a medical history as required with her signature.  Doctor Candy is highly regarded in Atenas and we anticipate this process will go smoothly.

Speaking of this cruise, the final payment is due on Monday, October 16th.  This morning I wrote to our rep at Vacations to Go as to which credit card to use for the balance of US $13,875 (CRC 7,964,736). 

We're relieved we'd already paid US $20,625 (CRC 11839472) over this past year toward the grand total of US $34,500 (CRC 19,804,208) fare for the two of us.  We've never paid so much for any cruise or venue of any type.  This is a huge chunk out of our budget.
Old photos of the train station.
This was one of those items on our preferred locations list to visit as we travel the world.  This seemed to be one of those items one must accomplish "sooner, rather than later" when medical issues might prohibit such an expedition, especially in getting off the ship onto the Zodiak boats to spend two to three hours standing outdoors in the cold on an island or ice floe.  This may not be possible for the average 80-year-old.

One additional motivator (among many others) in deciding to return to Africa after this cruise is to "lick our wounds" to recover this huge expense when the cost of living is much less in Africa than in many other parts of the world.  Then again, there are those amazing animals, those amazing friends we left behind and an endless array of unique experiences awaiting us.
The train was a big point of interest for the community.
During our remaining time in Costa Rica, as we've done so far, is to maintain as tight a budget as possible.  No more rental cars, no more tours or outings requiring an outlay of cash. 

Its only with this careful planning and budgeting that we can and will continue on these adventures which ultimately require some sacrifices along the way.  It's not as if we can stay "home" and save for a big trip.  We have to do it as we go wherever we may be at any given time. 

Going forward over these next 41 days, until we finally leave Costa Rica, our belts are tightened.  As a result, we won't be getting out much over these next weeks, other than the round trip to Managua Nicaragua on October 28th staying for two nights.  Of course, we'll continue to make weekly trips to Atenas for shopping and taking photos.
Juan Ramon was thrilled to show us old photos.
*Subsequently, over these next six weeks we'll be posting photos we've already taken (no repeats, although they may be similar to photos we'd posted earlier) from our various sightseeing outings up to this point.  We apologize for this and hope you'll continue on with us until once again we're on our way to yet another cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires over 30-nights. 

We'll be getting off the ship at every port and much to our delight going through the Panama Canal one more time.  Talk about new photos!  When the cruise ends in Buenos Aires we'll be staying there for another 31-nights while awaiting the 16-night Antarctica cruise.  Surely, Buenos Aires will inspire many new photos of the fabulous city.

Please stay tuned.  There's so much more on the horizon!  Happy day to all!
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Photo from one year ago today, October 12, 2016:
It was easy to spend lazy afternoons lounging on the cabana in Bali, one year ago.  For more photos, please click here.

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