Hi everybody, it’s been a busy two months or so. The good news is that we are leaving Thursday to start our next Ecuador adventure! Timón and I are driving to Miami on Thursday, doing the stay 1 night and park free for a week at the Crown Plaza by the airport! We are staying the night and leaving Friday on Avianca Airlines. This is an Ecuadorian airline and I look forward to trying out their program of flights. They are a member of Star Alliance like United Airlines and others so I can transfer my United Miles for a future trip. I’m paying for this trip as I got a good rate. $650 round trip. Also you can check 2 bags free. And it flys directly into Manta after 2 stops! The Poseidon Condo and Hotel Resort has a shuttle and my place is only about 10 minutes from the airport! Super convenient.
I won’t be staying in the 2 bedroom 2 bath condo I’m buying there as the deal has not closed and it is currently rented. But Timón and I will be staying at the hotel portion of the Poseidon for the entire stay!
I’m meeting with my realtor over the weekend who will take me in the unit so I can start planning this new journey in my life. I’m pretty much going to have to buy all the furniture as it comes unfurnished and so far it doesn’t look feasible to ship my “stuff” over after all. But I’m ok with that. It will be like starting over completely with all new things and less stuff! I can take it slow and buy things as I need them. I really only need a bed, a couch, a refrigerator, microwave, washer dryer and a chair to sit on my patio so I can feel the breeze on the 14th floor facing southwest towards the Pacific and the mountains. AND I just talked to my new expat friends in Crucita(met last trip) who tell me it is now the beginning of whale season and I should see some whales!! They are coming up to see me Saturday afternoon. They are originally from Atlanta and are the sweetest people. I understand there is a social gathering of Expats on the beach on Saturday at 1 for lunch and then on Sunday there is a different breakfast gathering further down the beach at a different location!
Exciting posts to follow. I will post pictures on FB and also here. The internet is great in Manta at the Poseidon so that will NOT be an issue!
I’m looking at the option of Ecuador for many reasons, not just a desire to get away from US politics. I’ve been intrigued with South America since I took Spanish in 8th grade. My teacher was from South America. Since living in Florida I must admit I initially moved here to be near the beach. After living in Sarasota and living with the fears of hurricanes, I moved to the Orlando area. The decision was mostly business driven. After 37 years of living in FL I’ve seen the overall cost of living increase and also the summers are just so very hot these days. Also having worked with Latinos I have come to appreciate their carefree lifestyle and their bond with each other. Now after visiting Ecuador, I saw much of the countryside traveling through the Andes. Once I reached the beaches I found the terrain to be very beautiful with the cliffs near the ocean. I also learned first hand how much lower the cost of living is. Since I retired at 62, my income is not really enough to live the way I would like and I’m sick of traffic. Also everything is fresh in Ecuador, vegetables, fruit, seafood, and chickens. There are no GMO’s nor hormones in meats and no pesticides on vegetables or fruit. And I found the perfect condo building for me on the beach. It’s a safe town, with a large expat population but my desire is to learn the Ecuadorian culture and begin to speak fluid Spanish.
So I want everyone to know, this is a 5 year experiment for me, if it all comes together. The first 2 years I will be required to be in Ecuador 9 full months of the first 2 years. I will return in August to be with family in KY. I will return to Champions Gate to play golf Feb and March. After those two years I will qualify for an Ecuadorian resident visa. Then I’m going to get an Ecuadorian passport. Many people carry two passports from 2 different countries. The next 3 years I would be in KY August and September. Then in FL, Jan-April to golf. I will have a two bedroom condo on the beach with beach views. I plan to rent it the months I am back in the states for extra revenue. I hope when this all takes place some of you will visit. I would love to show you Ecuador!
My favorite spot in Ecuador! Manta! I was in Ecuador 8 days. I traveled hundreds of miles, through the Andes and the Pacific coast. The trip was cut short but my goals were accomplished. I met the people, saw the beautiful country and the crops they grow. I saw three of the largest cities and some awesome coastal fishing villages. I stayed in one, Crucita! In Ecuador they produce everything and all decontaminated, no pesticides on the produce or fruits. They have cattle, pigs, chickens and of course seafood!! So not to worry, due to the passing of a dear family member, I feel blessed I accomplished my goals and made it back to be here in KY during this time. Now for a few days of R&R here and then back home to Florida Thursday. I will post pictures later, promise!
Wow, what the heck? The last couple of days have been a whirlwind. So I left Crucita in the afternoon around 5 for my flight that left at supposedly around 11PM from Guayaquil. It’s a 3.5 hour drive with a driver so had plenty of time. It was raining in the mountains so took about 4 hours. Once outside the city I got an alert from American the flight was delayed. No set time for departure. Once I got there and in line for the ticketing etc, I found out it was delayed until 1AM. Then got an alert it was delayed until 2AM, then 2:30AM then 2:10AM. They gave us a voucher for food at airport that was nice. Last time time Timon went potty was 9:PM at this point.
So we board the plane. Great flight 767 full of Ecuadorians and a few gringos. That’s what they call us North Americans. It’s cute, I like it, they love us, and it’s an affectionate expression. Then guess what, full service dinner meal, Ecuadorian style on the plane. I ate that and slept about 2 hours. Timon was sleeping, ate some snacks, he was a trooper. While standing in line at airport American sent me a text, they had rebooked my Miami connection to Orlando automatically to accommodate me missing the 7:00 AM flight I was on which would get me to Miami at 8AM, plenty of time to get to Sanford for the 12:30 departure on Allegiant out of Miami. My dress suit and shoes for the service was gotten out of my closet by a friend and shipped to Lexington via UPS in advance to arrive Friday. So they rebooked me for a 9:30AM flight getting me in OIA at 10:30 airport. Enough time to get bags and get driver to take me to Sanford for 12:30 flight if we drove like hell. Tight but doable barring delays. Well as you know, when I landed I zipped through customs in Miami with new automated systems they now have and so cool. But because of Timon had to be inspected for proper paperwork for him and answer questions about him. You also have to retrieve your baggage at customs for inspection, procedure, and then for reconnecting flight. Then you go through security again, thankful for TSA PreChec✔️. It now is like 8AM. Timon has still not relieved himself, being a trooper. I rush up to gate, flight delayed until 10AM. Land 10:30AM. No way I would make Sanford Allegiant flight unless it too were delayed for issues of some type. Timon finally gets outside while I’m waiting for bags to relieve himself.
I rebook the only Allegiant flight to area on Saturday, and I checked Owensboro and Evansville as well. They only fly to Lexington on Saturday it leaves at 1:30. As you know the service is at noon.
Now FYI my flight on American was booked using frequent flyer miles back in late January. It could be changed one time on insurance I purchased for flight. However changing destinations would have cost thousands. Allegiant was $400. I had booked it when she died at last minute. Tuesday I had changed with American to Thursday not knowing when she would pass. I booked Allegiant Wed AM upon learning she had passed.
So that’s the story folks. I will be there in time to visit with most of Dot’s family who she loved so much, 5 children, imagine that. She lived a long life, she was a good woman, good to my dad until his dying day and she died of a broken heart. So I will be there to share memories and celebrate her life tomorrow late afternoon. Bye for now. I will be in KY until April 6, then back home to Champions Gate. Did somebody say golf???? Love my blog family for loving me through this. ❤ I will keep blogging as I have much to write about my Ecuadorian adventure yet, pictures to share. So keep checking back. Follow us, much more to come.
Good morning from Ecuador. I have some sad news to share. My stepmother who was married to my father when they were in their late 50’s passed away early this morning at the age of 90. Her heart gave out and her heart has been broken since he passed at the age of 88 in November 2016.
I will be leaving here late tomorrow night and will get to Lexington, KY late Friday afternoon. It is my understanding the service will be Saturday but I do not have the details. I will be going to Owensboro with my sister in law, Sandy Lee and maybe my niece,Mary Ann as well if she can get away from her law studies.
Dorothy Coons was wonderful to me and treated me like her own daughter. She is now with my dad, Bill Coons, in heaven. Dot has 5 children of her own and they are all sad to see her pass but know she is with Dad and in a good place in heaven.
I will miss her terribly and her big heart.
We are enjoying our stay in Crucita, Ecuador. We love the sound of the ocean all day long. The condo we are staying in awesome, but there is a small road between us and the beach. So there is some light traffic during the afternoons and around sunset times. Timon does not care for the sound of the vehicles. Doesn’t bother me. The condominium project most of you have seen pictures will not have a road between the condos and the beach. It is right on the beach and set far away from the road in the rear. I will see the project tomorrow and will be updating regarding it’s progress.
I have very nice neighbors in my condo building. There is a nice couple from Alberta, Canada who have lived here 8 months now. The own a unit in this building and have also committed to buy one in the new building of Crucita de Mar. They will rent one and live in the other. They will be here full time in their retirement years. Also upstairs is a nice couple with a small dog, Madison, who Timon loves. They are from Atlanta, Georgia and they too have retired full time and will be living here year round. It is really cool “the closeness” of the group of expats I have met so far.
Today they are taking me to nice restaurant up the road on the ocean in San Clemente, it is apparently where many of the local expats gather on Sunday for Sunday brunch. So I have been told I will meet at least 20 or more couples and there are some singles in the area as well.
So all, in all, it has been a good trip. We are glad to be settled here now and look forward to lots of rest. The only issue I have here in this condo unit, is the internet. It is sketchy at best. The owners have not upgraded the internet service to the new faster service that is available in the area. So needless to say that has been frustrating for me. :-0
So we will update again soon. And as long as I have good internet for the moment, will attempt to load more pictures.
Hello world! We have had a good trip. I slept 9 hours last night, needed that. After the airport my next stop was Cuenca. Due to some rains here the internet was down last night. So updating this morning. Anyway today we head to the beach! Will stop at grocery nearby and pickup things for the condo Im renting for the stay. Once there will have internet and can update from there with more pics etc.
Cuenca is the 3rd largest city in Ecuador and this is home to many Expats. Many reasons for this include climate, night life and culture. For me it will be a great place to visit a week or so but that would be it.
I love it here. And I’ve never felt this safe when traveling somewhere where I do not speak the language. Been to Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean Islands, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Aruba. These people are all gentle and kind in Ecuador. It’s just amazing.
Next update is from Crucita, Ecuador at the beach!! The video is of a river running through the heart of Cuenca, steps away from the hotel where we stayed.
I will post pictures later from the beach issues with internet in Cuenca.
So we are going to be in Ecuador in 5 hours. Yes as I will explain later we had s big layover in Miami. Dad is smiling now. He’s excited about my adventure. So are all my angels. They are; my dad, my grandmother Horrell who raised me from the age of one, my mom, my bro who adored me but had a short life who died too young at 56 and my Aunt Jimmie, my mom’s sister. They are all there cheering me on. Accompanying them is Doris Byrd, one inspirational lady I met in 1998 around October. Her spirit of adventure through cross country motorcycling is what really did it for me. And she also loved golf. All I know is, I found myself and I am keeping myself. That’s all I have to say about that per Forrest Gump. ?
We have made it through the airport smooth as silk! We had an Uber driver, Will, who I have known from my Reunion days get us there right on time! Arrived 2 hours ahead as required for international travel. Timón just loves to travel. He has been excited for two days. So when the suitcases came out, he was beside himself. He said, “Mom so we will finally see Ecuador in first person (dog) and walk on the beach every day! What a life! Anyway we have to stop in Miami and it’s a bit of a layover. But not to worry, we are going to a great seafood restaurant downtown to entertain ourselves and then we fly out tonight. So next stop Miami!