Aging with Attitude ~

It’s not your age.  It’s your attitude.  Isn’t that what they say?

Well, I’ve got plenty of attitude and some days its not the attitude of gratitude I’ve been striving for.  Some days I just feel old.  And tired.  And really tired of working for a living.  I’m the last of my peers to still be chained to a desk and while most of the time I am extremely grateful for the job and the paycheck, sometimes I think I’ll never get out of the retirement starting gate.  The grass looks greener where my friends are playing, and gardening, and traveling and starting happy hour at 3 o’clock instead of our usual 5:30 meet-up time back in days when we all snuck out of work a little early for attitude adjustment hour.  I’ve got short-timer’s disease for sure and the time feels very long indeed.

But here’s the thing.  While I am ready to give up the desk jockey job, I am not ready to give up some kind of meaningful work.  Whatever work might look like.  So, I’ve been trying on all kinds of hats to see what fits and what feels kinda groovy.  At least for a while.  travel writer – blogger – world explorer – pet and house sitter – walking enthusiast – photographer.  So many hats!  So little time.  And I still don’t know what I want to be when I finally get the chance for my second or third or forth acts.

It's fun trying on new hats!

It’s fun trying on new hats!

Some people seem to float from act to act with ease.  I admire these folks.  And, I love hearing their stories and learning from their adventures.

Meet Barbara Beskind ~


photo courtesy of IDEO/Senior Planet

Barbara is somewhere around her 6th Act.  She is a role model extraordinaire.  Barbara just celebrated her 90th birthday – with her co-workers at IDEO, a Silicon Valley innovation company, where she recently started her latest gig as one of their designers.  A job she won when she competed in the firm’s design challenge for products for older adults.  Every Thursday Ms. Beskind travels by train from her retirement community in San Mateo, CA to the IDEO offices in San Jose.  She’s not an engineer, but she certainly is a real life adviser.   Read more of Barbara’s inspiring story on Senior Planet.

Rock-on older ladies, indeed!

So, my dears, here’s the question of the day. What does aging with attitude mean to you?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.




Weird Weekend Encounter ~ Oregon Style

Keep Portland Weird!

Drive down any street in Portland and you will see these words proudly displayed on the bumpers of passing cars.  Being weird ain’t easy.  You have to work at it as hubs and I learned this weekend.

We only dress this way on the weekend.

We only dress this way on the weekend.

We weren’t in Portland, but had driven out to one of my favorite small farm country towns, McMinnville.  Nonetheless, weird was proudly on display.  Mac, as the locals call it, has the perfect mix of wine country aficionados, old school suspender wearing farmers, bright-eyed college students and wandering semi-tourists like us.  It’s a hub for tasty food, local wine, art, farmer’s markets and unique street events that bring out huge crowds.  These events have just the right mix of hipster cool and homespun tackiness.

Nothing gets to my brain

Nothing gets to my brain

When we heard that McMinnville’s ode to all things extraterrestrial – The 15th Annual U F O Festival was this weekend, you know we had to go.  This four day long event included research heavy hitters, radio hosts, a themed scavenger hunt, lots of curiously named food and drink and, of course, a parade.  Way back in May of 1950, farm wife Evelyn Trent went out back one evening to feed the rabbits when she noticed a strange object hovering in the sky.  She called her husband.  He took photos.  The rest is history.  And one more reason to throw a street party.  We went for the parade but had way more fun just people watching.

We were seriously under-dressed and believe me, we won’t make that mistake again next year.  Metal colanders are at the ready!  Aluminum foil is our Plan B.

Of course, I took LOTS of photos.  There was so much crazy fun going on that it’s hard to select just a few.  I’ll post them all on the Just a Backpack Facebook Page so click on over and check them out.  I’d love it if you gave us a LIKE while you’re there.

They drained the pasta in these last night

They drained the pasta in these last night


Girls gone bad and their other-worldly spawn

Girls gone bad and their other-worldly spawn

Of course there were bands

Of course there were bands!

See you on the road.



Two For the Road ~ 5 traits that make a great travel partner

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you ~

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you ~

 Let the Adventure Begin.

The photo above accompanied by the caption “Let the Adventure Begin” was how hubs and I chose to announce our marriage in 2003.  I thought the couple in this photo looked like a perfect team – happy partners in crime and in life.

Whether you are a duo on the Road to Zanzibar or the Road of Life, traveling with a partner can be tricky business.  One of the things I love about my hubby is that we travel well together.  As we get closer to heading out on our own Two For the Road adventures I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what makes a really good team.  For me it comes down to a few very important traits.

Here are the top five on my list ~

Every great team needs…

1.  A Yes Man, a partner who says Hell Yes or Why Not to whatever crazy idea you come up with.  Someone who is all in for a good time or an adventure and doesn’t sweat the details.  When you say “Just shut up and get in the car.”  That’s exactly what they do.  They might even roll down the window and hang their head out to feel the breeze.  Oh, wait.  That’s the dog.

2.  A partner who is calm during your storm.  Like the time a few years ago when Amtrak cancelled our train with no warning – just taped up a hand printed paper sign “No Train Today”.  No train?  Really?  I’m on a five day vacation!  I need the train TODAY!   That’s when you need a partner who stands back calmly while you throw an earth-shattering-all out-but-still-lady-like-bitch fit after the Amtrak service person says, “Ok. So, do you want to cancel now or do you want to come back tomorrow?”  and, then said partner calmly steps up, takes your arm, and says “Let’s go find a Happy Hour and come back in the morning”.  Happy Hour?  Ok.  I love Happy Hour.

3.  The guy in the rose colored glasses.  On those days when one of you is less than your shining best – let’s just call it major-ass cranky-pants and your partner looks over and says  “Have I told you today how crazy I am about you?”  Whoa!  Hello Dolly! Just the right words at the right time.  Well, rightbackattcha Big Boy.

4.  A comedian and a straight man.  You know, like George and Gracie, Lucy and Ricky, Will and Grace.  Every great comedy duo has an instigator, the comedian with the cockeyed point of view and the straight man who makes it all seem funny.  They are a finely oiled machine.  They play off each other.  They give as good as they get.  They make each other laugh.

5.  And, finally, you’ve each gotta be a switch hitter.  A great partnership works when you can switch roles easily and as often as required.  When you’re at the end of your rope – he’s just getting his strength.  When he’s too pooped to participate, you slow your frantic pace and stop to smell the roses.  It’s a balancing act and it works best when each person is tuned in to the other, to the moment, to the goal at hand, and to the bigger picture.

And so, ten years later, I say – Let The Adventure Continue.  We’re two for the road and I cannot wait to see where the road will lead us.

“If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something we must always remember.  We are braver than we believe, stronger than we seem and smarter than we think.  But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… we’ll always be together.”  Christopher Robin

I originally published a version of this post back in 2012.  It seemed like a perfect post for Valentine’s Day so I dusted it off, prettied it up a bit and thought I’d share it again.



A Hearty High-Five for Volkssport Walking

Sometimes we walk alone…

Selfie at the Volkswalk

Selfie at the Volkswalk

And that’s what I did this weekend. While hubs was winging his way to sunny Florida, I was invited to participate in an AVA sponsored 10k walk. The sun was bright and it was a balmy 45 degrees so I joined a group of 100+ hearty souls for the Pre-Super Bowl Walk sponsored by the Columbia River Volkssport walking club. This walk was very easy and rated 1A. There is a rating system that goes all the way to 5. This event was well organized, the volunteers were friendly and helpful.  I wasn’t looking for credit stamps so I walked for free.  I haven’t investigated how the whole IVV/AVA system works yet, but there are clubs and walks all over the the world.  Members have books and get stamped for each walk they compete.  I think it’s $3.00 if you are going for stamps and I’m here to tell you that there was lots of stamping going on. Most people came with a walking buddy or two, but there were lots of single walkers too. It was an easy-going, friendly group. The average age was somewhere mid-50’s.  Lots of gray hair, but these folks were fit and energetic and many well into their 70’s were passing me on the street.

I’ve been thinking about doing one of these walks for a long time and I am so glad I finally found one that fit my schedule.  Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. doesn’t work if you are still chained to the office.   I wonder how long it will take after I finally retire to not think I have to cram all my fun activities into the weekend.

Hubs doesn’t know it yet, but I’ve already signed us up for another Volkswalk.  This one is on February 15.  It’s called The Heartbreaker Walk. And the route is sure to get the old heart muscle pumping.  It’s 11km and rated a 3C – for the hills and stairs.

I also picked up a flyer for the Columbia River Gorge Biennial Classic – 13 walks and 1 bike – June 19-22, 2014.  Walks range from 5km to 25km, rated 1A to 4C (straight up?).  What a great way to enjoy a weekend in the beauty of the gorge.  In addition to all of the walking, this is also a social weekend with picnics, potlucks, a buffet dinner and a cruise on the Sternwheeler.  And, it’s hub’s birthday weekend. Happy Birthday, honey! bg-splash

Sound interesting?  Click here to find out more about the IVV (International Volkssport) and the AVA (American Volkssport) associations, their walks and all of the other non-competitive events they sponsor worldwide.

Then lace up your shoes and get going.  If you want to walk in the Portland area and need a walking buddy, call me.

See you on the road (or the trail),


Retirement Reality Check

I wrote this in my very first blog post…

The backpack and rollie is really a good metaphor for life and all the baggage we accumulate, both the real stuff and the emotional stuff we carry around. What’s really important goes into the rollie bag and all the old unnecessary crap… just let it go. I know, so much easier said than done. However, I’ve decided to jump on the bus to wherever and embrace the possibilities of being a citizen of the world and all that might mean.

What would I keep? How much stuff can you fit into a couple of carry on bags anyway? I’m about to find out. This blog is my exploration of my experience in letting go of the old, and at a time when it appears I’m becoming “old” myself, letting go in search of finding new joyful adventures. Green lights and full speed ahead!

That first post was written on March 3, 2012.  Nearly two years ago.  So much has happened since I put words to those thoughts.  I’d certainly like to think the writing has improved, but that’s just ego getting in the way (again and still).  We’ve sold stuff on ebay, made many trips to Goodwill, sat through garage sale hell, and here we are, still swimming in stuff.   Still making the big house payment.  Still waiting to win the Lottery so we can cash in the chips.  In short, we’re in limbo.  We’ve slipped back  into our old, comfortable groove and it’s starting to wear on me.  It doesn’t fit like it used to.

There’s an old saying about progress being two steps forward and one step back and there is a lot of truth there.   Hubs and I have spent the last few months on auto pilot.  I won’t bore you with the excuses.   I won’t even bore myself with the excuses (often disguised as very good reasons).   They aren’t important really.  Truth is, it’s time for action and that isn’t always easy or comfortable.   In that post two years ago I said I was “jumping on the bus to wherever, green lights and full speed ahead”, but it feels more like being trapped in a rush hour traffic jam.  Nobody’s moving.

My Leap Date looms.  It’s marked on my calendar and it’s starting to flash like a beacon.

We’re rounding the turn and heading for the home stretch.  So set the countdown clock. It’s time to:  Find a way.  Make the plan.  Get off the pot.  Sell the stuff.  Rent the house.  Pack the bags.  Send the cat to live with his Auntie Ann.  Quit the job or figure out how to do it on the road.  In short, it’s  just do it or shut the hell up time.

It’s time to get on the bus to wherever before it leaves the station without me.

A lot of people I know choose a word at the beginning of the year to set their intention and focus their priorities around.  My word for 2014 is BELIEVE.  As in believe that I/we really can do this.  This I know is true:  If your fear of the unknown is stronger that your belief in your abilities to achieve your dream, you’re going to get stuck in the traffic and sit there spinning your wheels, wasting fuel, getting frustrated, doubting yourself.  Fear:  I’m not sure either hubs or I would have called it that out loud, but I’m pretty sure that’s where we’ve been stuck these past few months.  Call it busy.  Call it fear.  Call it the inability to truly believe.  Call it carting around some unnecessary baggage that’s weighing heavy in my backpack.  I’m done being stuck.  I choose to believe we can do this.  Hell, I know we will do this.  So let’s just do it then.  And, sooner rather than later.  My travel feet are getting itchy.


Now, I believe it’s cocktail time…somewhere.  And I’ve got work to do.







5 Tips for Becoming Successful House Sitters

Perhaps you’ve noticed…

I’ve become more than a wee bit obsessed with the idea of becoming traveling house sitters.  I saw this one yesterday.

4 year dog, Marzipan and 30’s era house need sitting Jan 24 to Feb 3

We are retired couple who like travel but our sweet 26 pound Corgi, Marzi, would rather stay home. She is well trained and very friendly.  Marzi needs walk in the park facing house housesit2 every day. Longer walks are appreciated every few days. Keep the house secure when you are gone. Water a few house plants. Keep the fur off the rugs with a Roomba.

House has high-speed wireless. We are walking distance to DC metro and surrounded by premier shopping, restaurants and services. Our house sits in civil war era neighborhood,very safe,facing community park and 45 mile paved trail for walking and bicycling. Ideal site for outdoor types, you can drive to countryside in 30 minutes to mountain trails and rivers. Ideal for city types, 15 minutes on metro to theaters, free museums like Smithsonian and city festivals, ethnic neighborhoods.


At this point, hubs is quietly humoring me, but experience says he’ll climb enthusiastically on board, once I’ve done the homework and put a plan in place.   I’m working on it.  Here’s the plan so far.

How to Become a Successful House Sitter in 5 Easy (or not) Steps ~

1.  Do Your Research.  –   Hang out on the online sites like Trusted Housesitters, HouseCarers and Caretaker Gazette.  Read the House Sitter blogs.   A fellow-essayist in Mark Chimsky’s book 65 Things To Do When You Retire: Travel, is a house-sitting expert.  Teresa Roberts wrote a very informative book, Finding the Gypsy in Me – Tales of an International House Sitter.  I’ve read it twice and learned a great deal.

2.  Set Your Parameters. –  What are your must haves for a great house sitting destination?   France, England, Portugal, Italy, Ecuador, Argentina, Spain and Uruguay are at the top of my list.  I would be interested in both big cities and rural small towns as long as there is something fun, unique and interesting going on.  When we travel, hubs and I are looking for cultural events and activities, friendly people, good food, history and places to take great log walks.  Conveniently located to public transportation and airport/train station is a plus.  Weather?  Well, if life were perfect, I would always find house sits in warm destinations with brilliant blue skies and temps in the high 70’s, but I’ll flex on that one.

3.  Know Your Limitations. –  Everyone is different in their skills, experience and willingness to get their hands dirty.  Maybe a horse or two would be your dream, but you are allergic to cats.  Are you handy or do you need a written diagram to work the lights?  Hubs and I fall somewhere in the middle.  We’d be comfortable with cats and a dog or two.  Yes, even chickens.  Horses, cows, pigs, goats?  Not so much.  So the postings I’ve seen for “small holdings” probably aren’t for us.  And, trust me, nobody in this duo is going to be climbing on the roof or under the house if things go wrong.  We need homeowners who provide phone numbers and a who to call list.  Water the garden?  No problem!  Trim the trees or mow the back 40?  No way!

3.  Polish Your Profile. –  Once you have signed up with one (or more) of the house sitting sights, the first order of business is creating a killer profile.

Your online profile is your ticket to house sitting success.  There are lots of energetic, experienced 60-something retirees out there who want your perfect house sitting job too. Spend the time to create a profile that jumps off the screen, highlights your skills, experience, trustworthiness, and  Once again, it all comes down to marketing.  Check out the competition.  How are others selling themselves?  Check all the boxes – get the police clearance, provide lots of references, make the video, use your personal experience as a homeowner, successful business person, pet lover, parent and community activist.  They all count.   If you are serious, set up your own house sitting business website and link it to your profile.  That’s what Teresa did.  Check out her website housesit-pro for ideas.

4.  Be persistent.  Be Honest.  Be Flexible. –  Respond quickly.  It is a numbers game and it pays to be at the front of the line.  Sell yourself, your skills and why you are the best choice to walk Charley the Bulldog or Suzy the Smoodle.  People want to know (honestly) that you will love and care for their beloved pet almost as much as they do.  Anybody can bring in the mail.  And finally, be as flexible as possible.  You’ve always wanted to see Paris in the Springtime, but why not consider a two week house sit over Christmas?   The house sitting veterans will tell you that usually finding the first sit is the hardest, but hang in there.

What about you?  Does house sitting sound interesting?  Have you done any house sitting and have experiences to share?  Are you looking for a house sitter?  If so, I’d love to connect and share ideas.

See you on the road!  I just might be the one walking to two Great Danes with the big smile on my face.



The Mother of All Garage Sales ~

 It looks like everybody’s downsizing and simplifying these days.

This Spring, eager to keep up our downsizing efforts, hubs and I participated in our community garage sale.  We rolled up our sleeves and jumped in with wild dreams of passing along gently loved goods to loving new homes and, in return, gleefully holding a big pile of cash at the end of the day.

We pulled out long forgotten treasures from deep, dark and dusty corners.  Polished each item to a shiny perfection.  Carefully researched, priced and tagged every precious piece.  And had more than one hearty laugh.  Hubs pulled out a big box of instant food items that he’d been saving for 30-odd years.  Even in the event of a nuclear holocaust, I’m pretty sure I would not have eaten this stuff, but he was just as sure it was “still good” and somebody would be thrilled to have it.  It wasn’t.  They weren’t.  This digging, sorting, and reminiscing process took weeks.  Treasures were piled everywhere.  Finally, the big day arrived.  When the garage door rolled up at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, we were armed and ready to make our millions.


To put it mildly, our garage sale efforts were not handsomely rewarded.  So much great stuff.  So little money at the end of the day.  “Will you take a Dollar for that?”  was the question I heard most.  “Um, No!” became my battle cry.  I got more than a little testy.  It was a very long day.  And one that will not be repeated anytime soon.

Which leads me to why it is still so very good to be Oprah.  Yes, Oprah recently had a garage sale.  And, as you can see in the video, Oprah’s garage sale experience was world’s away from the Les and Nancy experience.  Of course it was!

By the end of her garage sale day, Oprah had netted over $600,000.  Which she donated to charity.  Pretty much like us.  We did keep the $350 we made in cash and then hubs (bless his heart) took four carloads of priceless possessions to the Goodwill.  Our donation.

On another note, it’s good to hear that we’re not the only ones downsizing and simplifying our lives.  Way to go Oprah.



Virgin Atlantic ~ Fly Away With Me

Did you miss me?

No, I haven’t been traveling or partying like it’s 1999 (where did that come from?),  I’ve been busy writing another essay on retirement travel for a new book that will be published in 2014.  It’s almost complete and I’ll have more Backpack and Rollie adventures coming soon.

In the meantime, here’s a fun video from those crazy folks at Virgin Atlantic that’s guaranteed to make you sit up and pay attention.  And smile.


Take that Southwest…



What About Retiring in Uruguay?

The party’s over!  

I’ve been traveling and playing all summer, but now it is time to get back in the saddle and back to my “other” job…exploring the options throughout South and Central America to see where a couple of vagabond retirees might comfortably hang their hats for a few months or a few years.

What’s up next?  How about Uruguay ~
Colonia del Sacramento Photos
This photo of Colonia del Sacramento is courtesy of TripAdvisor

I didn’t know very much about this tiny country (South America’s second smallest), but  one of my friends who is much more well-travelled than I, visited a while back and fell in love with the beautiful old world town of Colonia.  So, with her enthusiastic encouragement and a few gorgeous photos she sent for enticement, I decided to take a closer look.

This post is only a quick peak into what Uruguay has to offer, but it’s definitely enough to spark my interest for more in-depth study which, hopefully, will include a visit when we embark on our South American Tour.

Located in Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil, this pint sized country has been popping up on “best places to retire” lists for a few years now.   Slightly smaller than the state of Washington, with a population of less than 3,500,000 people, Uruguay is famous for it’s beautiful beaches that run the entire length of the coast.  The Costa de Oro (Golden Coast) is a 30 mile stretch of golden sands where many expats from Canada, Europe and the U.S. settle comfortably into a laid back beach lifestyle.

Like many of it’s neighbors, Uruguay has had a somewhat turbulent past.  At various times it has been part of Spain, Portugal, and Brazil.  It still has a decidedly European flavor.  These days, it is enjoying a stable (if left-leaning) democracy.  The current president, Jose Murica, is a very interesting guy.  He has been called the poorest president in the world because he donates 90% of his earnings to charity and lives on a modest income from his small farm.  Under his presidency, however, the economy has flourished and unemployment is at an all time low.  Uruguay has a good infrastructure, great roads, warm and friendly citizens.  There are just enough expats  who have blazed the trail and smoothed over some of the rough spots.  It’s safe (and I understand that wherever you travel these days that safe is a relative term).  No place is totally safe, but according to a US News/MONEY and Retirement report on Uruguay “The rule of law prevails here and the country enjoys the lowest level of corruptions in Latin America.”  And Uruguay will soon completely legalize marijuana.  I’m not sure what that means to me, but I thought it was interesting.

While the cost of living is definitely not as cheap as some other South American countries like Ecuador, several articles reported that a retired couple could live in many areas for less than $3,000 a month.  Far less in some cases.
Montevideo Photos
This photo of Montevideo is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The capital, Montevideo, is a large, sophisticated and bustling city filled with old world charm, shady parks, tree lined streets, sidewalk cafes and artisan markets.  On the other hand, Punta del Este is a high end seaside resort with first class accommodations and casinos.  It is where the elite of Brazil and Argentina come to play.  And then there’s Colonia del Sacramento – my friend’s favorite.  Located just 28 miles by boat from Buenos Aires, this beautifully restored colonial settlement attracts lots of tourists and for a good reason – sycamore shaded cobblestone streets, lovely shops, art galleries, outstanding restaurants and parrilladas (steakhouses).  A recent check showed a two year old, 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment with 1,183 square feet of living space and a water view in a great location on the market for $180,000.  Cheap?  Maybe, but that’s still more than I’m hoping to pay if/when we decide to settle down.   The Costa de Oro, anchored by the towns of Atlántida and La Foresta, may offer some of the best real estate options with houses still selling in the low $100,000’s.

Everyone in Uruguay is entitled to quality medical care through the national health care system.  This includes foreign residents.  In the public system, the free clinics can be slow and crowded, but every town has clinic access and they do a good job.  There is also a private health care system that is efficient, well-equipped and inexpensive.  This insurance runs from $50 to $150 a month.  Some caution here though, as it appears that when you reach 65 or 70, you may not be eligible for the private insurance.  More investigation is definitely required on this one.

What’s the weather like?  Well, it depends on who you talk to.  Basically, it has four mild seasons.  The average high in summer is about 82 degrees with lows in the mid 60’s.   A high temperature in winter is more like 60 degrees.  Frost is rare and it never snows.  But it rains.  The annual rainfall which occurs throughout the year (no rainy season) is 41 inches.   It can be humid and windy too.

I usually start my research by ordering the specific country reports from International Living.  Then I spend some time online with Kathleen Pedicord and Escape Artist.  These sites are mostly set up to encourage people to retire abroad.   They can provide a good overview, but the the view is definitely through rose colored glasses.  After I have the basics, its time to start digging for the pros and cons.  I look for personal blogs by folks who are living there.  It doesn’t take long to see that one person’s paradise is definitely another person’s “what the hell was I thinking when I moved here?”   That’s why connecting with people who already have their flip-flops on the ground and the lay of the land is essential.  You want to hear the good, the bad and the Yikes!  Sometimes a place is great for a vacation at the perfect time of year, but hang around for six months and it can be another story entirely.

So far my limited research puts Uruguay squarely on the “maybe” side of the retirement map.   It sounds like a warm, relaxed and hospitable atmosphere with beautiful cities, beaches and countryside.  There are good services (internet, electric, telephone etc.) and a stable economy.  You can drink the water.  Health care is good and residency is easy.  They don’t tax your out-of-country income.  The cost of living is reasonable but not cheap.  But, on the other hand, it is a 9 hour overnight flight from Miami and you seldom find a bargain airfare.  This makes visiting family back home a challenge and you might have few visitors.  Also, although the weather is considered mild, if it’s really humid, that won’t work for hubs and I.  We like it cool and dry.  Sun is good too.  I think Portland averages less than 40″ of rainfall and I’m looking for less, not more.

Want more?  Here are a few good links to check out.

Expat Exchange – 10 Tips For Living in Uruguay

Huffington Post –  How Much Does It Cost to Live in Uruguay?

Future Expats – What to Bring to Uruguay.  Note: Apparently it’s dried cranberries.

and finally, a great blog from a guy who’s been there, done that Wally in Uruguay  

What do you think?  Have you been to Uruguay?  Would you live there?  Did you live there?  We’d love to hear from you.

Hasta luego,







It wasn’t all just fun and games…

But some of it was…

There were amazing performers on every corner and in every plaza ~

Feats of magic

Levitation magic

Which one is the statue?

Which one is the statue?

Ghandi statue in Santiago de Compostella

Early morning chat with Gandhi

There were bulls ~


That’s a lot of bull!


Yes. They were heading straight for me.

There were mouthwatering displays ~ (or not!)

Madridfoodpollo caminopigshead Madridfoodpulpo There was the Mueso de Jamon ~ MadridTapasCrawlJamon And, there was a saxophone playing Santa Smurf! caminosmurf

And this was BEFORE the vino blanco started flowing freely!