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Mormons, mormons everywhere

I promise, once we find our house and get settled we’ll get some design work done on this site and make it a little prettier to the eye. But until then, you’ll have to buck up and take it.

As it turns out, our hotel is only 10 minutes away from the Mormon temple, which became our first stop this morning. We were just walking up to it from the parking lot when we passed by a senior missionary couple on their way out. After quick hellos and the “where are you from’s,” the Elder mentioned that they’re mission is nearing its end and they will be heading home (Lovell, Wyoming) shortly. He literally couldn’t finish his sentence because he got so choked up describing how beautiful this country is and how much he’s loved his experience here. His wife had to step in and take over. This is their fourth mission, all of them in Latin America, but special experiences happened here that have touched them both deeply.

Turns out their home was just on the other side of the wall from the temple parking lot. They invited us over so he could give us the address to the mission office. Their place was one of the tiniest apartments I’ve ever seen, no more than eight feet wide, a straight shot front to back. With all the space they have back home in Wyoming, they were heart broken to leave this tiny apartment and the mission work here in Costa Rica, which they have to do because the business they run at home needs their attention again. But for that devil called money they’d be staying right here to keep on working.

They were an amazing example of service and dedication. Their love of missionary work and the Costa Rican people beamed from their ceaseless smiles. They gave us hope of finding more meaning to our travels than mere self-indulgent adventures. No coincidences.

Later, we did a walk through of a house in a city called Grecia, billed as the cleanest city in Latin America. It’s not clean. Raise the bar, Ticos. Raise the bar. Beach house hunting tomorrow.

[First bit of trivia for you. If you don’t know what a Tico is, google it.]


Paradise? Coming right up

We’re finally on our way. Last night we had dinner with Kelli’s parents at India House, one of our favorite restaurants in Utah and one of the best Indian places I’ve been to. I think that was the third time in three weeks that those two have taken us out for a nice dinner. In fact, we’ve been amazed by everyone’s generosity and sincere best wishes for our future adventures. I don’t think Kelli and I have paid for a meal since we told people we were leaving.

After a day of frantic tying up of loose ends and final decisions as to what to take, store, or toss, we finally laid down around 1am this morning. Lights out, head on the pillow, I was ready to pass out when Kelli stated, “This is our last nigt in this house.” Though this truth has been apparent for a long time, it never sunk in until she said it out loud. It was dark but I’m prety sure Kelli shed a tear as we both thought about the memories associated with that house where we’ve spent the bulk of our three and a half years of marriage. The feeling was surreal after so much of the packing felt just like all of the other vacation trips we’ve been on. Now it’s real. I think I may have slept for a few hours, waking up a few times to check the clock, before the alarm went off at 5am.

Everything Brad and Kelli Own

That's it. That is everything Kelli and I own. Suitcases and backpacks coming with, everything else staying behind.

So here we are at the Salt Lake airport waiting for our first flight. We woke up to cold, rain, and snow. My dad, early as usual, came to take us to the airport in a brand new Chrysler minivan. He was worried that we wouldn’t have enough room in his car so he actually went out and rented a van for us. I tell you what, that guy’s amazing and never leaves us in doubt as to his love and concern for us.

snow in salt lake city

Snow behind us, beaches and sunshine ahead

Breakfast at the Original Pancake House in Salt Lake. Good grub. Suitcases checked, two each, and made it through security just fine, though they did search my bag and scratched their head wondering why I had a blender in my backpack. (Many people who know us know that we can’t go more than a day without making up a super food smoothie in our Blendtec, a great gift from Kelli’s parents. Love that thing.) Looking out the windows at snow on the mountains, jacket packed, down to my t-shirt, smiling from ear to ear in anticipation of falling asleep tonight in a tropical paradise.


Winter is coming…and we’re going

Late yesterday afternoon a winter storm warning was issued for Northern Utah that is supposed to stay in effect until tomorrow evening. The meteorologists are expecting up to two feet of snow in the mountains. And yet when people ask me why we’re moving to Costa Rica and I tell them it’s because winter is coming, they still think I’m joking.

I’ll take hurricanes (where we’re going wasn’t affected), mudslides (they’ll have the roads back open in a couple weeks), and border disputes (thanks, Google Maps and Nicaragua) in a third world country over winter in Utah any time.


Now it’s serious

The last few days have sealed the deal. We don’t have a choice anymore. Now we have to leave.

On Tuesday morning we put our bed up for sale for a price three times higher than I thought it would eventually sell for. Five hours later I was helping a guy load it in his truck. (I’m not complaining about the selling price, don’t get me wrong.) Also on Tuesday I lowered the price on our Maxima, thinking it would still take a few days to sell. A young guy came by that afternoon to test drive it. He didn’t seem so impressed at the time, but then yesterday morning he called to ask if I could meet him at the bank to complete the purchase.

So just like that, we’ve gone from sleeping on a $3000 king-size gel mattress  king size gel bed

to sleeping on a $20 Coleman air mattress (thanks Dad for letting us borrow it), kelli sleeping on our air mattress

and from driving a six-cylinder, all leather, decked out MaximaNissan Maxima

to a hamster-powered Hyundai that looks they forgot to give it a trunk.  (It’s been a long time since I’ve had to manually roll down the windows and go around to each door to unlock it. : ) 

There’s a bag of mixed emotions selling everything you own. I can’t even explain how excited I am to fly to Costa Rica on Tuesday and start a new chapter of our lives. But watching our car drive away, the best car either of us have ever owned, attached to so many good memories, now in the hands of a college kid definitely gave a little emotional tug of something. I don’t know what the word is. Missing? That might be it. Missing the car, knowing I’ll never see it again. Missing the bed, the bed we’ve had for the majority of our marriage, now in the hands of a smoker who didn’t even mind putting his sneakers on the bed when he way lying on it. And they were the gross, worn everywhere for five years kind of sneakers. (I didn’t want to sleep on it again after that. I was glad when we said he’d take it.)

So maybe there’s a bit of angst in there as well, wondering if those things are going to be as well taken care of and appreciated in the hands of their new owners. Somebody else is going to be drooling on our bed. Somebody else is going to make out in our car, and not doing it nearly as well. Then to complete it, the best car they had at the rental shop was a feather weight Hyundai that goes from 0 to 60 in 12 days.  But in the end, the excitement wins out. What do I care about the car and the bed? We’ve got the cash from selling them and we’re moving to a tropical paradise in five days! Advantage, Kelli and Brad.