Sunday, August 30, 2015

Amazing Exchange Rates

It's a rainy day here in the Pacific Northwest.  And we really need the rain so it is a good thing.  We didn't leave the motorhome yesterday, just read and listened to the Seahawks pull out their first victory.

In my boredom I checked on the value of the peso to dollar exchange.  The US dollar has climbed to its' highest exchange rate in history.  We have always enjoyed the value of the exchange rate when we are in Mexico.  The dollar has always gone a long way and living there is an economic advantage.

Last year we were amazed when the exchange rate topped 15 to 1.  For us it was like getting a 25% increase in our retirement income.  This year it looks even more amazing.  The exchange rate has gone to over 17 to 1 for the first time in history.

The increase in the last five years is over 50%.  For an old retired person this means: more tacos per dollar, more shrimp per dollar and if I drank beer it would mean more Pacifico per dollar.  Life is good for us Americans living South of the border.

You should come visit us this year.  We have cheap beer waiting for you.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Admission to an Omission of a Bad Transmission

I usually only write about good things that happen to us.  I'm a devout optimist and I prefer to ignore the bad stuff that happens.  If ignorance is bliss, then optimism is even better.

So it's time to tell the sad story of the transmission in opposition to it's mission.  In order for the motorhome to be useful in travel it must go both forward and backwards.  It failed in its' reverse position.

Sad but true, a few days before we left on our Maui trip in July the RV stopped shifting into reverse.  The optimist in me said, "Perfect timing."  What better time to have a breakdown than just before we were not going to need our motorhome for two weeks.

It was perfect!

I drove the RV to the transmission shop in Tacoma and two weeks later it was ready to pick up.  It needed a complete transmission rebuild and the bill came back at a tidy $4,970.60.


But think how much worse it would have been if we were in the middle of nowhere and we didn't have a place to stay for those two weeks.  We were busy enjoying our time in Hawaii.

So the optimist in me is right.  Life is good.

It could only go forward. So I parked in the center of the campground in Gorst at Kitsap Square Dance Center.
Not a problem.  We were the only ones there.
Pick a spot, any spot.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lazy Summer Days

Life has been going at a slower pace this last few weeks.  A little bit of work on projects, fun with the grandkids, some square dancing and a lot of laziness has been on our agenda.  We've got this retirement thing down to a science.

We spent a few days at Manchester State Park with Roseta and Jake.  They enjoyed the beach and the hikes around the park on Rich Passage between Bremerton and Seattle.  It is a nice chunk of old growth forest that was a military site at the turn of the century.  The campground is one of those jewels that was laid out with enough forest between campsites that you can't see your neighbors.

Blackberries.... pick em and eat em.
Nice pose grandma.
Beach walking at low tide.
Right now we plan on being in this area until the middle of September.  The Pacific Northwest is having an amazing Summer and we see no reason to leave perfect weather.

Life is very good.

Eva the wonderdog is enjoying her Summer
in a foreign country.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Back to the Simple Life

We're back stateside.  That is to say we are back in Washington state.  As soon as we got back I got started on finishing up the flooring projects in the motorhome.  The carpet had finally arrived while we were in Maui, but I had to wait a few days for it to be delivered to Tacoma.

I am down to a few final small pieces to install.  It's like building a jigsaw puzzle.

Eva tests the new carpeting and flooring.

Lilly our former greyhound came over for a short visit.  Eva looks like a mini Lilly.  Lilly is now 12 years old and is moving slowly.

I hopped on a Bremerton to Seattle ferry today.  Youngest daughter "Charity" met me at the pig in Pike Place Market.  We had a good visit.

We're now out in Gorst for a couple of days.  We have a few more projects to finish up.

Life is good.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Maui Good Times

It's been good the last few days with the exception of one small error.  I walked into the ocean with my digital camera in my pocket.  Electronics don't like to be submerged in salt water.  So we have a slight gap in the photos for the last few days.

Terri's iPhone is our camera for a few days.
I did buy a new Sony camera so I am back in business.  There are certain problems that come with being old, such as wet cameras.

We drove around the north end of Maui yesterday.  The guide book said that it was a challenging one lane road in many spots.  Dangerous and frightening could have been used in the description also.  For the first hour we did not meet anyone coming from the other way.  They recommend driving clockwise so that you can be on the inside lane when there are two lanes.

Looking over the edge of the road.
We stopped and walked down a peninsula to have a better view of a blow hole.  The waves roll in and the geyser goes up.  Cool stuff.

It was great scenery along the way followed by lunch at a food truck in the jungle.  El Drunken Taco was pretty good.  I had a torta, Terri and Jamie had tacos and Dave had a quesadilla.  Mexican in Maui.

Another fine day.... life is good.

Eva is doing fine at the dog sitters.