Saturday, October 7, 2017

What We Did In Our Six Years Not Working



    Fall beauty has gone yet we still have nice temps. Those heavy rains and 40 mph winds cleaned most trees this week. These pics taken before the two storms.



  Have not been up to much this week, many rainy days do that to me.



 We have not worked at a job since 2011. We retired a few months apart due to me wanting to finish a project at work. A new company had bought the great company I worked for and things were going downhill anyway. They kept me on call for tech support until last January and that was nice for me to back out of work slowly, I am thankful for that. Going full bore to Lazyboy would have been hard.

 Since I have always run my life on a government year, I chose 1 October to be our official retirement date. My jokester old boss confirmed I quit working on 1 October and played until 11-11-11 Armistice Day to retire anyway. My wife retired in September and has never looked back. Being in education she was more used to Summers off and changing schools etc.

 Year one was a flight to our Cabana on the day after I retired and that helped the transition a lot also. The first year was about visiting family and exploring the North East coast. Then several weeks in Tucson with day trips to places bloggers rave about. I enjoyed it a lot. Summer was sealife viewing boat trips, hikes, explore Alaska and starting to master the fun little Robinson R-22 helicopter. The week of the 4th of July was spent in Denver area.

 Year two was fly to Boston to pick up our car we left there and explore Maine and Canada coastlines and explore Nova Scotia then chase the leaves back to Florida. That was mega fun and I would like to do it again. Once again we spent three weeks in Tucson and surrounding area. This was the Winter I had a Gout issue and then pneumonia and suspected it was the end of me. Then Kathy found a specialist got me the help I needed. The PT then whipped me back into shape, still do the exercises twice a week to this day. The Summer was basically the same except I mastered that silly R-22 and I find Alaska a nice place to spend a Summer. The week of the 4th of July was spent in Denver area. Our old home is big for two people and a kitty and that is nice.

 Year three was Disney a lot and Tucson twice and a Gate 1 Travel trip to Peru to see the Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and other old Aztec ruins. It was a great trip that we may do again someday. Summer in Alaska with our 4th of July in Denver Colorado area.

 Year four was a fun trip in our old 1994 Winnebago Adventurer. We started in Tucson and then Coronado California and then all the way up to Northern California. After heading South with plans to finish in Tucson, we met a couple that was going to give up their military storage site. I went with them and found like I already knew, no sites available and first come first serve. The man said he would give up his site if I could have it. It would meet the first come first served requirement. So after some hoops were jumped we had a spot to store our camper near the beach on base. We use it once or twice a year since then to stay on the beach. It is in the desert and 14 miles from the beach with a 35 mph base speed limit, propane, commissary, PX, Class VI booze store and fuel en route to the beach. Hope it runs a few more years as it makes a nice beach tiki shack for us. Summer about the same with helicopter flights and boat tours and hikes. The week of the 4th of July was spent in Denver area.

 Year five was Disney pass and lots of visits and a Gate 1 Travel trip to the Gallipolis which was fantastic and I would do again if possible. Then a flight in a T-6 Texan airplane to prove I could fly and then a flight in a TF-51D which surpassed a childhood dream. Taxi, takeoff, formation flying and then stalls and slow flight before running through the acrobatics and return to land nice in a 15 Knot crosswind and taxi back to park. That made my life goal. Then more Disney and shows and Time in Oceanside on the beach and back to Florida to get ready to fly home. Back in Alaska a ten night trip to Hawaii which was great! Then helicopter rides and the 4th of July in Steamboat Springs Colorado, we had a great time.  That was a Summer of a lot of physical exercises and a lot of hikes. That August I had a (widow maker heart attack) and was lucky to be at the right time and place and the stars aligned and I am still here. Mucho physical therapy got me back stronger and more fit than I had been in years. Kathy helped me a lot.

 Year six was Halloween Horror at Universal Studios with nephew Dave. Then we flew to MOAB Utah to spent three weeks exploring the parks and mines with 4 X 4 master driver Dave. My PT really had me in shape to out hike both of them. It is a beautiful country out there. Back at the Cabana three trips to Disney each week to walk my buns off to get and keep myself in shape. Thanksgiving with family in Tampa, then after Christmas off to the Camper in California for a three-week stay and an unlimited aerobatic airplane ride for me. SCA is awesome. Then a simple life back at the Cabana with 3 helicopter rides before we flew back to Alaska. Again we spent ten nights in Hawaii until it warmed up a bit in Alaska. We stayed on a low budget here with trips to Fairbanks and Seward and lots of chilling at home. Then my big trip to see the Total Eclipse of the Sun in Rexburg Idaho, a mind-bending experience one must see in their life. I had a most awesome aerobatic ride with an airshow pilot and experienced things I never knew a T-6 could do. Then another trip to Fairbanks and Denali Park and two more trips to Seward on Sunny days. I hiked above the treeline this summer which I had not done since I was in my 30's. It was a goal I set last summer. This has been a very rainy summer and I have spent a lot of time indoors reading, surfing the net and watching movies. 

 So that is what we did in our first six years, hope we get another six just as fun and without any health issues this time. We managed to stay within our budget most years and this has been a lot of fun. Our spending for the 72 months comes to $ 5562 a month.  Kathy made most of this possible with her travel agent mind and coupon / Groupon ways and trips on the shoulder season when it is half price and not crowded. I am a lucky Guy indeed. Our common goal to not have any house payments or car payments also made this possible.

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