The countdown has begun...Seven days and counting...


A local grower wheeling his bananas on the road near the bus stop.
"Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica"

Three in one...Green Parrots...Tom's photo.  Love it!
In only one week, on November 22nd, we'll be on our way once again. This wind-down week has begun as we wander through the house reminding ourselves of what we have to pack that have been scattered about; the camera battery charger plugged into an outlet in the kitchen; the tripod standing in a corner in the living room; a few kitchen utensils and special spices in the cabinets.

We have a reminder list on my laptop but it seems to change at each vacation home we've occupied.  We make a concerted effort to never leave anything behind. 

But a few years ago we left my comfy neck pillow on a ship and an adapter in Penguin, Tasmania which our friend/landlord Terry sent to us in the Huon Valley, Tasmania, our next move from there.

One of a few liquor stores in Atenas.
Each time as we pack, we attempt to lighten our load donating or tossing worn clothing or items we never seem to wear.  Our motto;  If we haven't worn it in a year, let it go.  Since most items we purchase are done so online from time to time we aren't happy with the fit or appearance of an item.

We purchased plenty of clothing while in Minnesota this past summer which should last until we return to the US in 2019.  After leaving Bali on October 30, 2016, I'd gained 12 pounds while trying to eat more frequently (and most likely eating too many carbs) with my gastrointestinal issues. 

Since we arrived in Costa Rica, I've lost 10 pounds and am almost back to my usual weight with my clothes fitting more comfortably.  The next few pounds will easily fall off in the next few weeks even while on the cruise where I never gain an ounce eating the bland food I'm often served such as a piece of salmon, some broccoli, and a salad.

An unidentified old building in the village.
Since Tom stopped eating fruit, he's lost seven pounds.  Wow!  What a message that is about the sugar and carbs in fruit!  Instead, we both eat lots of non-starchy vegetables.

It's imperative, not only for health reasons to maintain our weight but also in considering the fit of our clothing.  It's not as if we can run to the mall to our favorite store to purchase the next-size-up.  This fact certainly is a good motivator to keep us on track.

This morning, before completing today's post, we called the taxi to take us to town for our final shopping and visit to an ATM.  We needed to get enough cash for taxi fare to the airport and tips for the villa's staff.  Once we get to Fort Lauderdale we'll visit another ATM to get US dollars, enough for miscellaneous tips for the upcoming cruises.

A clothing store claiming to sell American products.
With a necessary stop at the pharmacia (far-ma-see-a) and another for our final groceries for the remaining meals, we'll be set to go.  Clothes are washed and ironed, all receipts are scanned and we have sufficient toiletries for the upcoming 30-night cruise. 

Most cruise ships have travel-sized items for sale but they are often two to three times the cost we'd pay at a market.  Before our final shopping trip prior to packing, we always check our inventory of toiletries to see what we'll need to fill in, especially for cruises.  We avoid carrying items we may easily find at a market in the new country.

Other than a small inventory of cosmetics I keep in a few Ziplock sandwich bags, we carry one normal sized shampoo, conditioner, gel and hairspray, toothbrushes and toothpaste, shavers and blades, and a variety of items for emergency medical issues that may arise. 

Swimming pool supplies store.
We attempt to keep it "light" but based on never going to a "home" to restock and repack, we have no choice but to carry everything we own with us.  On cruise ships, they confiscate our "power boards" (surge protectors) returning them to us when we disembark.  They always provide us with alternative devices they deem safe aboard ship to handle our many plug-ins for recharging our equipment.

Today, we're making low carb pizza, our favorite meal, for the last time in the upcoming 80 nights when we won't be preparing any meals.  We'll make enough to last for three nights and then begin chipping away at the items we purposely froze for the remaining four nights.  We like the ease we plan for these final days and nights, keeping stress and rushing at a minimum.

The busiest petrol station in town next to the ATM we've used during these three and a half months.
A week from now, we'll be at the San Jose Santamaria Airport awaiting our flight to Miami, Florida for a one night stay at a hotel near the port, boarding our ship the next day.  We're excited!

Have a pleasant day filled with sunshine!
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Photo from one year ago today, November 15, 2016:
The supermoon over the sea. For more cruise photos, including people we met, please click here.

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