Sunday, December 31, 2006

Day 1

December 29, 2006: it is -16 degrees Celsius in Drummondville, Quebec as we squeezed all we could (including the two dogs) into our Nissan sedan. We headed south, crossed into the US (35 minutes to cross the border, no charges, no paperwork, just flash the passports). At the end of the first day we covered 550 easy miles and arrived at Chris and Laura's house. We will celebrate New Years with them and Daniel and friends.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

December 15, 2006

These two guys, Scotty and Davy, are coming with us to Costa Rica. Getting them there is going to be one of our biggest problems. We have to cross 7 borders with them one way and every border crossing requires us to check them in and check them out to say nothing of paying various fees.

They each got an inspection and vaccinations from our vet (Ginette's brother, Pierre). Each dog got two papers; we took those four documents to the Montreal office of Agriculture, Animal Export Control where they stamped and signed the 4 papers (at a cost of 80 $ ! ). Now we are attempting to have these papers "authenticated" (read "pay for more stamping) by the consuls of the various countries involved. Even with these papers in hand we understand that each border crossing will require more stamping and paying.

When asked why we are taking these dogs on the trip, Michael and Ginette can only shake their heads. "They are going to love chasing chickens."

November 2006

We decided that flying to Costa Rica would be too simple; driving looked more interesting. So we purchased maps, a GPS, and an assortment of travel guides. The web was very useful in researching the trip.

We started packing up again, threatening our kids and Michael's sister in Houston with a stop-over, and putting together the documentation required.

We will drive from Quebec, Canada, through the USA, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua to Costa Rica. Because road conditions are not all that good in many parts of Central America, we do not know how long it will take us to get there. Something like 3 weeks we guess.

Summer 2006

After purchasing the house in Coco, we put our home of 23 years in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on the market. As soon as it sold we packed up, said "see you soon" to many friends and family particularly those at Sacred Heart Church, tossed the two dogs into the car and went up to Ginette's home town, Drummondville, Quebec to live with family for a few months. Ginette went to work at her first hospital, Montreal General.

Friday, December 15, 2006

March 2006

After several annual trips to Costa Rica we decided we really liked the place and should settle there. It was the Pacific coast, the northwestern corner of Costa Rica that we liked. In March 2006 we found this house in Coco. It is about a mile inland from the beach.

The last time we looked, Coco had one bank, one supermarket, one hardware store and countless chickens, dogs, and monkeys. But Coco is growing. Gringos from all over the world are coming in. Construction (for better and worse) has been going on 7 days a week for sometime now.

If you use Google Earth you can see the house and the rest of Coco. Our house is at 10 degrees, 32 minutes, 11.4 seconds North and 85 degrees, 41 seconds, 19.2 West.