Kremlin

Rounding the turn, headed for our new home: Belize

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San Pedro Town  is just on the horizon! We have a place to stay as we seek a new home -- anyone know of a nice single or two-bedroom rental on or very near the beach? Seeking a minimum six months to start!
San Pedro Town is just on the horizon! We have a place to stay as we seek a new home — anyone know of a nice single or two-bedroom rental on or very near the beach? Seeking a minimum six months to start!

We left the house in Fairfield, California, for the last time on Friday, around 2 p.m.

Rose caught a ride with her girlfriend Robin to Julie’s house while I loaded up the SUV with our bags and then in a final sweeping act of domesticity I … well … I swept.

I swept out the garage.

The garage had been our final staging area for the past few days. All the random bits and pieces that hadn’t been sold or given away or trashed found their way into the garage where they were assembled into piles, reassembled into other piles, merged, resorted and reassigned into still more piles.

One of the last items to go, to an auction for a non-profit art group, were two baseball caps –signed by Brooks Robinson, Bob Gibson and Rollie Fingers — Hall of Famers all. I’d been carrying these around since the 1990’s. One is autographed by “Baseball” documentary film-maker Ken Burns, too!

Breakfast on Saturday with my pal Walter Cook at Buck's on Woodside -- a great comfort food cafe with a quirky collection of memorabilia  hanging everywhere. Great food, great company and really weird stuff.
Breakfast on Saturday with my pal Walter Cook at Buck’s in Woodside — a great comfort food cafe with a quirky collection of memorabilia hanging everywhere. Great food, great company and really weird stuff.

Oddly enough, through all this sorting, things found their way into bags to be taken with us to Belize, bags to be left behind, bags of trash and bags for friends or nonprofits. Eventually everything had a bag and every bag had a destination.

The three bags we’d so proudly packed for Belize more than a week ago? We discovered that they conformed nicely to American Airlines flying requirements, each bag pressing right up against the 50 pounds maximum.

Then we discovered that the Belizean air taxis have a 33-pound bag maximum.

This required opening up a fourth bag and redistributing the contents to lighten the load in each. It worked, and magically, we now have four smaller and lighter bags than when we started out.

I see this as progress! Even though I am no longer sure what is in any one bag.

Had to post this photo of a young Steve Jobs hanging on a wall in Buck's restaurant in Woodside, California, just down the coast from San Francisco. Walter Cook and I ate breakfast there on Saturday.
Had to post this photo of a young Steve Jobs hanging on a wall in Buck’s restaurant in Woodside, California, just down the coast from San Francisco. Walter Cook and I ate breakfast there on Saturday.

Since Friday we have been vagabonds, spending time  with our friends in the San Francisco area – a Friday afternoon visit with my favorite sister-in-law Kara in Marin, the mutual friend who introduced Rose and me to each other (and married us two years ago in Mexico); Friday night and Saturday were spent with gracious hosts and pals Pat and Walter in Woodside; Saturday night and Sunday in the city with Brian and Susan trying to power through the second season of “House of Cards”; Sunday night is saved for dinner in North Beach with my sons Ryan and Chris and daughter-in-law Katie.

Tonight, our last in the states, will be at the San Francisco Suites on Powell Street, dozing off fretfully to the melodic clank of the trolley passing out front. At 3 a.m. a taxi will drive us to San Francisco International Airport for a 5:55 a.m. flight. Our guiding angel on the wings, Julie, has already registered us for the flight, to Dallas, and we are at the top of the standby list.

The newly built home of John and Rose East, just north of the bridge in Pan Pedro. They have generously offered their first floor apartment to us for a few days as we settle in.
The newly built home of John and Rose East, just north of the bridge in Pan Pedro. They have generously offered their first floor apartment to us for a few days as we settle in.

Meanwhile, our angels in San Pedro, John and Rose East, have most generously offered up their first floor apartment for our first few days in San Pedro, as we seek a long-term condo/apartment/house rental of our own.

John rightly surmised that the uncertainty of our flight schedule left us pretty much uncovered at our destination. It is hard to book a room when you are uncertain when you are arriving. We could get bumped in SF, Dallas or even Belize. This is, after all, high season, the busiest time of year for tourism.

Just the same, we’re excited to begin our “House Hunters International” phase. I wonder if Rose and I can actually get the job done by looking at three properties, tossing out one and picking from the remaining two before embracing in a hug and kiss and strolling down the beach hand-in-hand?

Well, knowing we’ll have a place to stay, whenever we arrive, has lifted a huge weight from these shoulders! John, you guys have a week’s worth of breakfasts at Estel’s coming, on me! And I am so looking forward to helping you finish painting the fence!

I feel like we’ve turned the last big corner and are rounding toward home.

Our new home.

On the island of Ambergris Caye. In our new country, Belize.

Hope you can read this letter from Buck's restaurant's owner to the Kremlin expressing interest in buying Lenin's body so he could put it on display with all the other quirky stuff in his restaurant! On the right is a response from a Kremlin spokesman, asking the author to clarify his "six figure" offer and noting that there are many other artifacts for sale ...
Hope you can read this letter from Buck’s restaurant’s owner to the Kremlin expressing interest in buying Lenin’s body so he could put it on display with all the other quirky stuff in his restaurant! On the right is a response from a Kremlin spokesman, asking the author to clarify his “six figure” offer and noting that there are many other artifacts for sale …