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We Got Our Visas!

Jerry and I returned from the United States of America

- which I miss more than ever - 

last Monday after two weeks of buzzing around the state of Florida.

We had to go back to get our Visas so we could live legally in Colombia. 

The consulate does NOT make it easy, but with the help of my wonderful son-in-law, Pedro, a FANtastic business called Docurapid and Monica - who is most excellent at her job, we were issued our Visas the same day we applied!

We were told it could take 3-5 days but after waiting three weeks last year, and not being able to find much information ahead of time, we didn't really know how long to expect it to take to get the Visas, so I booked our flights for us to stay 2 weeks. 

And then did a lot of praying.

We flew out of Cartagena on Monday, which is about an hour and a half from the house, but much cheaper flights - so - worth the drive.

Our 'bus' driver was efficient and courteous and safe and we had a nice ride with two nuns in the seat in front of us. It was kind of cute to see them both take off their glasses before I snapped their pictures.

We talked to them the whole way - off and on - but neither spoke the others language so I didn't learn much about them.

I was scrapbooking (but that's another post) for the first time in my life, sort of, and just enjoyed the ride.

Jerry's like...is that camera in my face again...

We drove along the beautiful coastline - along the Caribbean - where I took just a couple pix...

This is the other side of the road - mountains in the background...

 These houses

Were next door to these condos

But, that's Cartagena.

And here's part of Cartagena from the air...

I think we're seeing Bocagrande in these pix...

So anyway, we flew in on Monday 

Jerry waiting for his bags to be searched (for the third time) (in Colombia).

and were greeted in the States - as always - with one of my favorite signs...

We visited the Consulate on Tuesday -

I took these pix from the upstairs balcony.
which is located in gorgeous downtown Coral Gables...

and were headed out of Miami that very same afternoon. 

Thank you Monica!

I noticed this trip that what people say about Miami is true. I didn't feel like I was out of Colombia until we left Coral Gables. 

We hit up the WalMart the first night we arrived for toothpaste and stuff (mainly Hershey nuggets) and everyone was speaking Spanish...even the cashiers. Same in the restaurants, somewhat in the hotel, gas stations, signs, billboards. It was amazing.

With no plan in mind for the next two days we headed over to the West coast...where we lived for those ten glorious years...and stayed on Fort Myers Beach for a couple nights. 

It was impromptu because we really thought we'd still be in Miami but we drove across - confident that we'd find a place to sleep.

We didn't know that the high schools were on Spring Break 

and every hotel on the beach that we stopped at said they only had one room left and it was gonna be $200 for the night. 

After five tries, we found the Shipwreck Motel across the street from the beach at the foot of the bridge.

 It doesn't look like much from the view above...

but tucked away behind the store...what an AWEsome place! 

excuse the mess please
I was delighted with our room - which included a kitchenette. (We didn't want it or need it, but it was nice to have).

It was clean, decorated with that beachy theme and oh so cute!

The staff was friendly, the pool pristine and I highly recommend it.

The next morning we walked on the beach before the crowd woke up...

I've never seen Times Square empty!

After lounging on the dock out back of the motel

we took a ride on the beach trolley and hopped off at the library to use the computer.

No phone, no computer with us.


After walking most of the way back and visiting this really cool gift shop...

we got to see - and have dinner (yum yum Greek salad) with - our friend, Joni,

who has a booming business on the beach where she sells her awesome painted creations. 

I'm SO happy to see you doing SO well Joni! 

I think it's totally cool that I was one of the first people who saw Joni's work back when she first started. She, Karen, Joan and I used to get together to paint. I always knew she had a great gift and it's proving to be just that.

After another restful, happy night, we headed to Fort Myers to meet friends but that's another post.


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