Patty Z


Still working on that retirement plan, have reduced my hours to 24 a week, so I'm getting closer. Jim and I sold our Chandler house, and moved to our lake home in MN last April. We love living on the lake, love the peace and quiet of country living, fishing the beautiful MN lakes, gardening and meeting new friends. When will I pull the plug the completely? Right now I'm not ready to commit to a date, as life changes every day, and 24 hours a week is easy to do.
However, my previous advice stands, if your thinking of retiring 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. 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.
If you are still working, take every opportunity to travel and discover new places. Go places you haven't gone before and try them on for size. We decided to spend this winter in the Gulf Shores, Alabama region and LOVE IT!

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Akumal January 14th 2016

We left Cozumel Monday for the ferry ride back across the channel to Akumal. To my total and utter dismay it was raining and very windy which of course tranlasted to extremely rough seas. It was a tough 40 minutes, I sat in the middle of the ferry state room with a "blue bag" in one hand a kleenix in the other. Luckily I didn't have to use the "blue bag", but it was close, very close. We arrived in Playa del Carmen with 4 dive lockers and 4 backpacks, so had two pedicabs take our bags and we followed them on foot to the Hertz rental center. Two hours later and very frustrated, we finally had our rental car, and only then because the manager of the rental car center happened to come back into ... read more
Beach in front of our Condo, La Bahia
Inside of condo
Sunrise over Half Moon Bay

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Cozumel January 10th 2016

We completed our last two dives today, but I will go back to where I left off and write about the high points over the last three days. Before I start, I'm sure it is evident that I haven't blogged about anything but diving. That's because this portion of the trip is only diving. Get up at 7:00, eat a light breakfast and gear up. On the boat by 8:30 or it leaves the dock without you, and it's an hour trip to almost ever dive site. Complete a dive (45-60 minutes) depending on air consumption, back on the boat to gas off, and in for the second dive. Another 45-60 minute dive and back on the boat for the hour ride back to shore. That's the first six hours of every day. We get back ... read more
Blug Tang
Large Turtle

North America » Mexico January 7th 2016

I'm Back!!! The weather finally improved Wednesday morning so we did a check out dive from shore to see what was working and what wasn't working, equipment wise. Unfortunately for me, my new fins I just bought were one of the things not working, they wouldn't stay clipped so I had to borrow a pair of fins from my friend for my check out dive and then go buy a pair. Other than having to add a little more weight to my new BCD, (vest that holds your tank on) things seemed pretty good. I ran across the street to the dive shop and bought a new pair of fins for the dive, boarded the boat and we left the dock at 1:30. We arrived at our first dive site about 2:30, geared up and jumped ... read more
Dave ready to take the plunge!
Beautiful Aquamarine Waters of the Gulf.
Riding out to the dive site.

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Cozumel January 5th 2016

Here we are, third day on the road, and we still haven't put anything but our feet in the water!!! We arrived safe and sound in Cancun, on Sunday, January 3rd. Somehow =) and I'm not sure how, I managed to book myself in first class, while Jim was in Row 24!!! I flew on miles and we purchased Jim's ticket. I wasn't assigned a seat at the time we booked but found out the day before we left the airline assigned me a seat in first class!!! If I could fly first class every trip, I would fly every week. But for once United Airlines didn't disappoint us and we and our luggage arrived safely and on time to our destination. We met our friends Dave and Donna at the Comfort Inn, spent the night ... read more
Sunset Monday Night
Chapel at El Cherol
The ONLY Time We've Been In the Water!

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

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