I am really not feeling the Fourth of July this year, and not just because we’re outside of the U.S. I feel like the person on Twitter who said that this year it feels like we’re celebrating someone’s birthday while they’re in hospice. The last two weeks of Supreme Court decisions have felt almost personal as they ran roughshod over previously settled decisions, ones several of these justices swore under oath they had no intention of overriding, with the majority’s logic flipping from decision to decision (we have to do this because of history but no, history can’t be a factor with this one), etc. The more I continue to learn as well about what happened on January 6, 2021, has also been deeply unsettling. I have no idea what’s going to happen in the coming months and years, but I feel great despair about the direction our country is going and how we are already losing freedoms many fought and died for, and that we have been blessed with for so many years.
On a brighter note, we rented an apartment in Nashville and will move in the second week of August! Our daughter-in-law sent us a link early in the week indicating the available apartments at hers and our primary location choice, and we noticed that one of the one-bedroom units was not only in our price range but available for occupancy the day after we arrived in Nashville! So, we applied online, were accepted a few days later, and will now only have to stay in a hotel one night before moving in. Our idea is to unload our boxes from Massachusetts into the apartment on move-in day in the morning, then head to Costco and buy a mattress and a few other supplies so we can sleep there that night. The next day we’ll start unpacking the boxes and do some grocery and supply shopping, and then the day after that we’ll drive to Memphis and pick up our IKEA furniture and start getting that set up (Brett weirdly enjoys assembling IKEA stuff). Fingers crossed everything goes as planned, but our arrival week is going to be crazy (our DIL will also be moving into her apartment the same week). We only hope buying a car will go smoothly once we get there. We got our financing approved this past week, but so far we’ve either been quoted prices w-a-y over the MSRP or the car(s) we’re interested in are “in transit” or sold before we can complete anything and we’ve been told there could be anywhere from a 90- to 120-day wait for the next batch of cars to arrive. Sigh. We may end up buying a car when we’re in Massachusetts and bringing it down with us to Tennessee as Nashville dealers have all been a complete bust but we hope we don’t have to do that.
Some of our IKEA furniture choices.
I can’t honestly say I’ve been miserable since we arrived in SMA in May, but whether it’s been the altitude, the heat, the dry air, a lack of sleep (it can be very noisy around here during the night), occasional vertigo, or the current constant noise throughout the day (neighbors have been having their rooftop patio renovated the past three weeks and it’s been constant sawing and tile cutting going on the entire day, every day, starting at 8:00 a.m.), I just never have had my usual energy and feeling of well-being. I think I may also be/have been suffering from allergies caused by one or more of the plants in our compound. I felt bad enough one day last week (run down, sore throat, cough, and sinuses) that I took a Covid test but it came back negative so who knows what’s going on?
This morning I am thinking about:
- What we accomplished: 1) Getting our apartment lined up in Nashville was the big accomplishment this past week. The one we’ve rented is the same square footage as the crazy-landlord house we lived in on Kaua’i, but costs so much less each month, actually a full $1000 less a month than what he’s currently charging for rent, and the apartment comes with a washer and dryer and a dishwasher (can you guess what I’m excited about?). 2) Getting our car financing set up this past week was easy, and it’s great that whenever we finally find a car we’ll be ready to go.
- Looking forward to next week: I am looking forward to feeling better and hopefully getting a handle on what’s been bothering me – that’s my focus now. We didn’t do the San Miguel de Allende historical tour this past week so maybe that will happen this week.
- The ways we saved: 1) We spent very little on food this week, around $75 for fruit at the frutería – mangoes, cantaloupe, peaches, plums, figs, and raspberries – and a few items from City Market following our brunch on Friday. It will all get us through the next couple of weeks except for maybe one or two more stop at the frutería. 3) We will be paying more initially but but decided we will save overall by buying a car versus leasing. We currently don’t know what we’ll be doing when we leave Nashville, and felt it would overall be better financially to own a newer car at that point rather than having to start over after finishing up a lease. The car payment will be higher than the lease payment would have been, but we plan to pay off the loan in two years. It’s sort of weird to think this is probably the last car we’ll ever buy. 4) Our son and daughter-in-law booked and paid for our hotel room in Nashville as a small treat for us – we appreciate the savings!
- Good things that happened: 1) The kennel sent a video of our puppy this past week and Kai looks healthy, happy, and fluffy, and we love how his little tail never stops wagging. We are very excited about meeting him in August! He will be almost six months old at that point, and the kennel is going to take care of having him neutered before we pick him up. One of our first tasks once he’s back in Nashville will be to get him groomed as he’s going to be very shaggy at that point! 2) Brett and I enjoyed a tasty lunch date at Raices on Wednesday afternoon. I had the Amor Amarillo (“love yellow”): chicken, beans, and cheese inside a fresh, handmade tortilla with yellow mole sauce. A pepper leaf was grilled to the outside of the tortilla to add extra flavor – yum! I should have ordered two of them, it was so good. Brett had the enchiladas verdes I had the first time we ate there and we both repeated our previous tea and lemonade drinks. We’re already planning our next visit. 3) We also had a delicious brunch on Friday at Turk Mediterranean Street Food, another nearby restaurant. I had a beef and lamb wrap and Brett had a falafel wrap, and he got a second wrap for free because unknown to us it was “Falafel Friday” (we brought it home and shared it for dinner). We had a lovely, long chat with the owner (originally from the U.S.) while we were there and he helped us think in a different and more positive way about possibly living in San Miguel de Allende in the future. The BIG (and fun) surprise though was during our conversation the owner and I figured out we grew up about three blocks from each other! Seriously! Talk about a small world. 4) The emergency J6 hearing on Tuesday was very compelling. 5) Our daughter-in-law was sworn in this past week as an official Consul for the nation of Japan. She will receive her diplomatic passport later this month to begin her position in Nashville. We’re so proud of her!
We enjoyed some good eating last week at Raices and TURK. The culinary scene in SMA is one thing I can’t complain about – so much creative, delicious food at affordable prices. The beautiful mosaic was part of the floor at TURK.
I am going to take a few weeks away from the blog again, although I will continue to post on the Occasional Nomads Instagram page and keep up my reading list. It feels a bit like we are now marking time in San Miguel de Allende with our focus more on getting to Nashville and getting settled there for the next two years. I also feel like the direction of the blog needs to change and adapt a bit and want to think about that for a while as well, with the focus of the blog less about travel, travel, travel, and more about creating an alternative (retirement) lifestyle and making it work. Although we plan to continue traveling while we’re in Nashville (visiting Mammoth Caves & Great Smoky Mountains National Parks – with some misgivings as visitors are now allowed to bring loaded guns into National Parks – and a couple of Civil War battlefields; touring Washington, D.C. with our granddaughter and DIL; visiting Asheville, N.C.; and doing a big family reunion at Walt Disney World in 2023) Brett and I will mostly be enjoying our time with family in Nashville and setting up where we’ll be going and what we’ll be doing next. I’d like the blog to focus more about that and keep track of our steps as it will be one of the most significant changes we’ll make in our lives.
Although I might not be feeling the holiday spirit this year, I hope others are and I wish all a happy Fourth of July, and a fun but thoughtful time with family and friends. I’ll be back in a few weeks.