Patty Z


Retirement is just around the corner with April 1, 2015 set as my target date. Our Chandler, AZ house is on the market, and we've purchased a 45' Toy Hauler, that will haul our motorcycles, golf equipment, scuba gear, bicycles, us and our sweet little Australian Shepherd, Abby. We've also purchased a lake home in MN so we can at least say we have a permanent address as well as a deluxe storage locker!
If your thinking of retiring let me offer you a piece of advice. Start planning NOW, don't wait until a year before your planned date and think you'll be able to accomplish everything in 12 months time. It's a long difficult road with more decisions than you'll ever want to make in a lifetime.
Purge, purge, purge!! Get rid of anything you haven't worn, used or touched in the past 6 months. We tried the garage sale route, too much work for too small rewards. We donated to charitable organizations and went for the tax write off.
If you have a home to sell, find a good Realtor who is familiar with trends in the area, economic highs and lows and who will offer you expert advice on getting your home ready for sale.
Talk to your financial adviser if you have one, and if not get one. You may be able to retire sooner than you think, or you may need to be stuffing more into your 401k.
And don't stop traveling just because you plan to retire!

I hate this part...................the end of a trip, so I'll recount the last couple of days and maybe have one more post after tonight's sunset cruise. One of the best parts of any trip are the people you meet from around the world who just like you, have decided to enjoy life by visiting other countries and sampling other cultures. This trip was no exception. Let me start with the people of Placencia Village. They are kind, helpful and very grateful you chose their village to visit. The vendors we have met and traded with on the beach are courteous and friendly, and are not that person in the U.S. you try not to look at when you pull up to a stop sign or stop light holding a sign asking you if you can spare ... read more
Tipsy Tuna Bar and Grill
Jim on the paddle board
Beach where we tried paddle boarding

It's been a few days so I have some catching up to do! I think the last time I posted, it was last Wednesday after our fishing/snorkeling tour and then our boat dive on Tuesday. Wednesday we took the day off and relaxed by the pool. It was somewhat cloudy and the locals said their was a "cool front" coming through from up north, so we stayed close to home. Thursday was another day of rest and lounging by the pool. Friday we decided to try our hand at being our own inland tour guides and to visit a chocolate factory and a spice farm. These tours are normally about $85 per person when using the local tour guides but since we have access to a vehicle we decided to try the tour on our own. ... read more
William Walton Originals
The Not So Famous Yet William Walton
Lion Fish

It's been a busy couple of days! Tuesday we went on a dive trip (two tank) with Splash Dive Shop, and I cannot say enough good things about the dive operation. The boat was a 52' cabin cruiser set up for divers, with several crew members. We had about a 2:1 dive master to diver ratio which is unheard of! They did everything for us including setting up our BC's on our tanks, to helping put our fins on (nice but not necessary), assisted us in and out of the water, and took our fins off before we climbed back in the boat. We went to South Silk Caye which looked similar to something you would see on a postcard that says "Wish You Were Here". The entire island was maybe an acre with a few ... read more
Diving with Splash Dive
Middle Silk Caye
Jim catching a yellow tail jack.

Today was a quiet day, one more day to shake the jet lag, and adjust to the heat and humidity. We drove to Splash Dive Shop today and set up our first dive trip for tomorrow, 2 tank boat dive, lunch and a snorkeling out on the Barrier Reef. We are all looking forward to the trip, me with trepidation because I don't like boats and our trip will start with a 40 - 60 minute boat ride to the reef. I've already started eating ginger pills to ward of sea sickness. I hope they work not only for my sake but for everyone else on the boat. We did do a little snorkeling today on our way back from the dive shop as it was hot and there is no air conditioning in the vehicle ... read more
Dave and Donna enjoying sunset.
Lagoon Side of Condo

We arrived in Placencia yesterday at 5:00 after a 2 hour wait on the tarmac in Houston, thank you United Airlines. It seems the oxygen bottle for the flight crew was empty, and we waited for maintenance to bring the new bottle for an hour and a half, and another half hour for them to install. United Airlines pilot repeatedly came on and apologized for this seemingly ridiculous oversight, with phrases such as "we are very sorry for the delay, and we are highly embarrassed", which did nothing for the mood of the passengers. Even worse was the announcement for "the flight attendants please take your seats" when after another 1/2 hour we still hadn't pulled away from the gate. When we arrived in Placencia, at 3:45 p.m. it was a totally different story. We were ... read more
Dave and Donna Rink
Dave and Donna Rink

Central America Caribbean November 15th 2013

Luckily Thursday morning dawned bright and beautiful as we had an appointment with a "Hooker", the Hilma Hooker. The “Hooker” is a 240' sunken freighter settled on its starboard side at a depth of 97'.The port side is a diver's first point of access at 60', and where thedive boat moors. The story is that back in the 80's the freighter came into the Bonaire port loaded with 25,000# of marijuana. It was boarded and seizedby the government but no one ever stepped forward to claim the"booty" or the ship. So after a few years of sitting in the harbor rotting away, the government asked one of the dive operations to pull it out to sea and sink it to make an artificial reef. They completed gutted the ship out and began towing it out to ... read more

Central America Caribbean November 14th 2013

Another 2 days in paradise has sadly has come and gone. I don't think I could ever adequately put into words what it is like to visit Bonaire. The best word I can come up with is simple. There is no dress code; there are no schedules, only relaxation, smiles and great attitudes. I'm always asked the question, "Could you live there"? Yes, I could but never for more than 3-4 months out of a year. Why only 3-4 month? Because I always want Bonaire to be the "special place" it is and I'm afraid I would take it for granted if I lived here longer than 3-4 months at a time. Bonaire is a lush tropical paradise on a desert island. It has cactus and palm trees living side by side, and the bluest oceans ... read more

Central America Caribbean November 12th 2013

Great day today! First let me say congratulations to our friends Dave and Donna, today they passed their Nitrox certification training and are now certified Nitrox divers!!! Using Nitrox vs- air allows for longer bottom times and shorter surface intervals, and Jim and I both think the Nitrox helps us recover quicker and we are not so tired at the end of the day. So way to go Dave and Donna! Our first dive today was an easy out and a tough swim back in. A couple of divers that were just coming in as we were going out said they had struggled coming in from their dive swimming south, and said they were diving against the current coming back. So we started our first dive against the current (like your suppose to) and headed in ... read more
Queen Angel
Midnight Parrot Fish

Central America Caribbean November 11th 2013

We made it!!! We arrived in Bonaire, yesterday morning at 6:30 a.m., after a midnight flight out of Houston. This is our fifth trip to this beautiful island known for it's great diving. Our good friends Dave and Donna Rink are with us on this trip, after missing a planned trip back in 2011, so we're really excited to show them all the dive sites on the island. Yesterday was a tough day, as we flew all night and some of us (like me) didn't sleep at all. To make things worse the villa at Captain Don's Resort where we are staying wasn't ready until 1:00 Saturday afternoon, so we were in our traveling clothes with no sleep all day until we finally talked the maid into letting us in to unload our luggage and get ... read more
Pink Beach
Captain Don's Habitat
Sidewalk to our Beach Front Villa

Central America Caribbean » Panama » Veraguas March 17th 2013

Santa Catalina – Panama Days 9-11 The drive from Bocas to Santa Catalina took longer than expected due to the bad weather I mentioned in my earlier post. It was still raining the morning we left Boca Town and continued raining all the way through the mountains. About ½ hour into the trip we were stopped in a line of traffic due to a tree down in the road, caused by high winds from the night before. No one could tell us how long we would be there, so we hunkered down not knowing what to expect. A few crossword puzzles later ( hour and a half), the road was cleared and we were on our way. The rain continued until we crossed the last mountain range and started driving toward the Pacific. Located on the ... read more
View Coming Out of the Mountains
Waterfall along Highway
Scuba Coiba Dive Cener

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