Sunday Morning 7/17/2022: Back At It

Thank you for indulging me with a couple of weeks off from writing. I’ve enjoyed the break, used my time wisely, and am looking forward to picking things up again. Going forward I’ll be moving the blog in a slightly different direction, with travel still playing a role but with more about retirement and figuring out the future, all along with the ups and downs of settling into a new location and what that entails.

Out and about in Centro last Friday

We only have two weeks left in San Miguel de Allende! Our attitudes about the city have been changing and we’re feeling somewhat sad about leaving while at the same time eager to see our family and get on with our lives. The hot, hot weather and altitude adjustment when we arrived as well as our apartment’s location had a strong influence on our feelings about this place, but we finally figured out we didn’t have to let those get in in the way, and are very happy we came to San Miguel de Allende.

Hyndai Tucson SEL FWD

We bought a car! The timing around our move is such that we need to pick up a car as soon as we arrive in Nashville, but we were having an absolutely awful time trying to find an available type of car we wanted (compact SUV). Dealers throughout Tennessee (and surrounding states) had few, if any, of what we wanted in stock, and what they did have were models we weren’t interested in, or ones that were out of our price range. Everything we wanted seemed to be “in transit,” with no one having any idea when new stock would arrive. Used car prices were nearly equal to those of new cars and those options were severely limited as well. The Hyundai Tucson has been one of our top choices, and week before last I checked with a dealer located near to where we’ll be living it and they were receiving a delivery of new cars this coming week! We were able to reserve the model and color we wanted, at the price we wanted as well and, unlike many of the other dealers we’d corresponded or talked with, the whole process with the Hyundai dealership was superb from start to finish. All Hyundai cars come with three years of free mechanical service (oil changes, tire rotations, etc.) and a lifetime warranty, and the Tucson is currently rated in the top in its class for compact SUVs so we’re feeling very good about this purchase.

We also got all of our furniture ordered from IKEA and it will all be delivered the two days after we take possession of our apartment. We were going to have to travel to Memphis to pick up the sofa and dining table we wanted because they were not available for delivery, but we changed those to items that could be delivered. The trip to Memphis would have been a three-hour drive each way from Nashville, a long day for us, but the cost for delivery was less than the two extra days of van rental we would have had to pay for as well as the cost of gas to get back and forth from Memphis. The delivery people will also carry everything up to our apartment, another savings in a way as IKEA packs can be very heavy and Brett was dreading having only me to help. There are still things we need to get (like a rug for the living room and lamps) but those will have to wait until the rest of our move shakes out and we see what our budget can handle and when.

This morning I am thinking about:

  • The things we accomplished: Besides the car and furniture purchases 1) I also placed a BIG order with Amazon and everything arrived at WenYu’s place in less than a week – so quick compared to how it was getting things delivered in Hawaii! The order had things like a shower curtain, cookware, a coffee maker, etc. that will help us settle in more quickly. We also bought a small soft-side cooler to bring with us on our drive down to Tennessee from Massachusetts as we plan to carry sandwiches every day for both lunch and dinner in order to save. The cooler will also be useful when we start exploring the area with our daughter-in-law and granddaughter. 3) I booked our van transportation over to the airport in Queretaro for our departure on August 2. I felt a bit sad as I made the reservation which surprised me, but it was another realization that we’ve grown somewhat fond of SMA.
  • What we’re looking forward to: 1) We don’t have a lot on our calendar these next two weeks. We’ll be going out to lunch on Wednesday, brunch on Friday, and food shopping at City Market, all things we look forward to but otherwise our days are ours to fill. 2) We’re determined to stop for tacos one day this week at the stand down the road from us. There’s almost always a crowd there so we’re thinking they’ll be pretty good.
We bought four of these glasses at less than half of what they would have cost back in the U.S.

The ways we saved: 1) Our weekly spending for food still has not topped $75 USD, and even going out to eat twice a week or picking up goodies at the bakery hasn’t broken our monthly food budget. We’ll be slowing down food purchases this next couple of weeks though to focus on using up what we have. Left over cooking oil, vinegar, and other staples will be donated to our neighbors. 2) We bought four blue-rimmed handblown glasses for 280 pesos ($13.63); the same glasses from World Market are $28. 3) We received a $500 rebate on our car purchase because of Brett’s military service. 4) By changing the sofa and dining table in our IKEA order we saved $400, and by having those items delivered we potentially saved at least another $250 (van rental extra days and gas to and from Memphis). 5) I decided not to buy the pair of silver earrings in the window of the silversmith’s down the street – I don’t need them and it’s money saved for the future. Same for another Mexican blouse I’d had my eye on.

Brunch at Cafe de la Parroquilla in Centro on 7/8 . . .

Good things that happened: 1) For our Wednesday lunch date week before last we went back to Luna de Queso (I wanted the Reuben sandwich again!), and for Friday brunch that week we visited Cafe de la Parroquilla, located in Centro. It was a great find and the food, service, and setting wonderful. This past week we tried a nearby Japanese-style restaurant, Mikka, for our Wednesday lunch date. The food was more Japanese-Mexican fusion rather than authentic Japanese but it was still very, very good. For Friday brunch we tried another new-to-us place in Centro, the Bagel Cafe. I had steak fajitas and Brett had huevos rancheros and while the food was simply prepared it was delicious and filling. We were also the only non-Mexicans in the cafe, a nice change from several of the other restaurants we’ve visited recently. 2) The weather has been much nicer these past two weeks, cool in the mornings (sometimes outright cold) but warm or even hot in the afternoon although usually never broiling like it was during our first month here (last Monday afternoon though it was back up to near 90 degrees). Thunder arrives almost every afternoon these days but not much rain accompanies it. Every little bit that falls though is welcome!

. . . and 7/15 at the Bagel Cafe (they had bagels for sale but we were too full to buy any)

I have been up and down the past couple of weeks with both good and bad days, thankfully more good than bad. This past Friday, for example, Brett and I walked all over Centro and I felt great, but the day before I could barely get myself off the sofa, let alone get dressed, with no energy and vertigo coming and going all day. I have no idea why other than I slept very poorly on Wednesday night. Thursday night though I slept soundly again (even after taking an hour-long nap in the evening) and woke up feeling like a million bucks. I can’t begin to express how much I am looking forward to sleeping on a really good mattress again once we get to Tennessee (the one here is only so-so) in an air-conditioned environment.

That’s a wrap for these past two weeks! They provided a good but productive rest, we got a lot accomplished, and we’re now very ready for our move to Nashville in just a couple more weeks (our daughter-in-law arrives this week). I hope everyone enjoyed a great couple of weeks as well and that you’re looking forward to the week coming up. Here’s to good things happening for all!

26 thoughts on “Sunday Morning 7/17/2022: Back At It

  1. So glad you got your vehicle and furniture! As always, the food sounds fabulous!

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    1. Finding a car was turning into a nightmare so we are so, so grateful to have found one on our list in the color we wanted, etc. Hopefully we will arrive in Nashville early enough to pick it up the day we arrive.

      We are going to miss being able to dine out like we have here. The variety of restaurants and the food we have eaten at them has been the best part of our visit to SMA.

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  2. I like that your blog evolves with you! And I really am planning to swing through Nashville on my way home in December. It will be great to see you both!!

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    1. The blog just gets to the point where it either evolves or dies, and since I enjoy the writing process, evolution it is! Not sure right now how it’s going to go, but it will work itself out . . . hope people stick around.

      I already have my fingers crossed for December. Your trip sounds amazing!

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  3. I’m glad you’re back and I hope you feel better and more like yourself. I enjoy reading about your days and how you intentionally spend your money and live your days. You describe so well the pangs of leaving a place you are fond of and the excitement of a new beginning too. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Thanks, Kimberly – I’m still struggling with good days and bad days, but I now believe it’s all tied to sleep here. Some nights I sleep well, other nights not and I pay for it the entire next day. Sleep issues are tied to a not-so-great mattress and lots of noise in the neighborhood. Wish I could sleep like Brett does – his head hits the pillow and he’s out, and he can sleep through anything (learned during his time in the navy, when jets were landing on the flight deck overhead all day/night long).

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  4. Wow! Exciting things have happened. Glad you got the car you wanted. They sure are hard to come by. And it’s fun to get things lined up for a new place!

    Smart move to have the IKEA delivered. When we finished off the basement in our previous house, we rented a van and drove to our closest IKEA (2-1/2 hours away) to buy the furniture we wanted. It was quite an adventure, Yes, the furniture was heavy, and I’m not sure we would do that again now. We loaded all the heavy flat packed furniture (including several glass doors, etc), then went to climb back in the van. Somehow DH had moved his seat up really close to the steering wheel to get the stuff in and couldn’t wedge himself back into the seat to drive it was so tight. We had to UNLOAD everything back onto the dock, move the seat, and RELOAD it. It’s funny now, but it sure wasn’t then. We did love the furniture when we got it all assembled though, and moved it with us and still love it. 😊

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    1. Things have fallen into place so fingers crossed all goes well when we get there. Can’t believe our son and family arrive this week, and that she moves into her apartment this coming Saturday!

      We were absolutely dreading the trip to Memphis and back, so I am so glad we were able to find pieces at IKEA we liked that could be delivered. I can’t begin to tell you how many trips we have made that end up like your story above. Like you, we can laugh now but not so much at the time.

      I’m most excited about the bed we got – the Yttervag. We saw it at the IKEA in Philadelphia when we took YaYu there and fell in love. It may kill Brett (or our marriage) to put it together though.

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  5. Glad you’re back and looking forward to hearing about your last couple of weeks there and then the moving adventure!

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    1. We’re doing lots of repeats these last two weeks, visiting favorite restaurants again and so forth. I also saw a woman wearing a Mexican blouse yesterday that I now want badly so I’ll be looking for that as well, although I won’t be putting a lot of effort into it. The week of our move and the week after will be crazy – sort of exciting but we’re sort of dreading it as well as we know it will be exhausting.

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  6. I feel for you having to buy so much to set up housekeeping again after moving to the mainland with only a dozen boxes. It’s not only the money, but also the effort and planning involved for so many small things most people don’t even think about. I still have a few things on my list (more hooks, another set of towels, a small bookshelf, a silk plant), but we are finally feeling settled after moving into our house 3 months ago. We also bought a small SUV – a 2 year old low mileage Honda HR-V at Carmax. Wishing you the best.

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    1. We would have loved to have brought some of our Hawaii furniture (sofa and bed) back with us, especially since we had to pay top dollar for it when we arrived in 2020. We actually shipped 32 boxes back to the mainland so we did keep quite a bit, but there’s still a lot that needs replacing. We’ll probably hang on to things this time when we leave Nashville, either take it with us or store it.

      Lucky you to find the HR-V. The used ones we looked at online either cost more or the same as a new one! And, they disappeared offline the day after we saw them, even with Carmax, so when we spotted the Tucson we lunged for it. I think my DIL is buying a used car when she gets to Nashville . . . I hope that goes OK for her.

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      1. Let your DIL know that If she sees a car she likes online at CarMax she can schedule a test drive and they’ll hold the car a couple of days until she can get there to see it. They will also transfer from another regional dealer at no or low cost (which effectively puts a hold on it for several days while in transit).

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    1. We wanted the glasses before we arrived. After we got here we decided we maybe didn’t need them after all, and the figured out a couple of weeks ago that we will have no glassware when we arrive! The glasses are handblown – we found a little shop here than had an amazing collection of glassware for sale all at very low prices. I’ll be hand carrying them on to the plane!

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  7. I’m going to miss your photos and descriptions of the art, food, and festive atmosphere of SMA, but glad you’re in the homestretch to begin your new adventures!

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    1. San Miguel de Allende is a fabulous city, but for some reason it never clicked with us as it does for so many others. There are a variety of reasons for that. However, we have fallen in love with Mexico, if that makes sense, and are already considering a return after we finish our time in Nashville.

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  8. Looking forward to hearing about your new adventures. The new direction of your blog sounds interesting, as we are going through similar decision making. Enjoy the rest of your time in SMA.

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    1. Nashville is a game changer for us, and goes to show that no matter how well you plan, things can change on a dime for a variety of reasons. It’s getting harder for us to do these days – we’re flexible, but not as much as we were when we were younger, and it’s harder to get ourselves out of something than it was in the past. I have a post coming up this week about our thoughts about what will happen post-Nashville.

      We’re going to make the most of our last two weeks here, and will be dining at our favorite places.

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  9. I don’t know how you do it! To have to keep replacing stuff I have bought multiple times would put me over the edge! LOL. I can’t remember now how you said that you found your apartment. How big is it and how is the rent? We have been looking at rents back in Massachusetts and they are astronomical for a 2 bed, 2 bath. We are focusing on the Amherst area to be near friends and family but it is really hard to find anything in our price range. I am curious as to what your rent is if you don’t mind my asking. Nashville cannot be cheap right?

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    1. We are getting pretty tired of replacing things as well, so that may factor into what we do and where we go after Nashville. We’re fortunate we have a place to store things if necessary, and pass things on to the girls. But, we’re sort of hoping this last go round of purchasing is it for a while – we’re fortunate that what we got returned from cancelling our previous plans has covered the costs.

      Apartments in Nashville are expensive. We’re paying around $100 more a month than we were in Hawaii, but have a bigger space. We will also be paying utilities in Nashville which we didn’t have in Hawaii. We’re also paying a monthly pet fee (only $25, but still). Not sure if the apartment amenities are any better though, although it’s all newer than our Hawaii apartment was, and having a dishwasher is a big one for me. There’s a pool too, and a gym where we can use the treadmills when the weather is bad. The complex we’ll be living at is large, but the location is great, with lots of the stores we regularly use (Costco, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, etc. nearby). Our DIL chose these apartments though because she wants our grandchild to go to a particular elementary school (where other consulate kids go), and she could get a two-bedroom apartment there and we could get a smaller one close by.

      Massachusetts is astronomical. WenYu lives in a house with her partner, but I can’t believe what Meiling is paying for her apartment in Cambridge. We couldn’t afford anything in the Boston area and the rest of MA isn’t much better.

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  10. Sounds like things are coming together for your move! I admire your ability to plan and persist. The weather here in the South this year has been all over the place. We’ve had a lot of hotter than usual weather and then in July it started to dry out a bit too. But lately, the temps have been more typical and the rain has returned. No way to know what it’ll be like in a couple of weeks. I’ll be driving through Nashville in a couple of days, so I’ll see what it looks like there.
    I speak a bit of Swedish, so a trip to Ikea is full of chuckles for me. The names of the items range from hilarious to weird to straightforward. Your bed is “outer wave”. Lucky you didn’t choose the Malm, which means rock or ore!

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    1. We’ve been watching the weather closely and think our first couple of months there are going to be miserable, weather wise. I remember what it was like in Memphis that time of year and it’s probably only gotten worse!

      Have to laugh about the Swedish names. “Outer Wave” isn’t too bad, but Malm? Someone there must have a good time coming up with them.

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