Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Many of our friends have asked questions about how we’re taking our cats with us. Here’s what I’ve found out:

It is fairly simple; you’ll need a rabies certificate and a health certificate from your vet. These are time sensitive. Check to be sure how long they’re good for. Costa Rica doesn’t require quarantine. Do not tranquilize your pet to travel, it can be very dangerous.
The airlines have their own rules regarding pets. We’re flying on American Airlines; on international flights, pets are not allowed in the cabin, they need to travel in baggage in an airline approved pet kennel (for each pet), and the pets need to have their own reservation; we’re paying $100 for each cat. (OUCH)
This is not meant to be a how-to guide. If you plan to take pets, check with your airline.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Janet emailed me today to let me know that Mario, our attorney, has finished setting up our corporation; it is now registered in the National Register. In Costa Rica, for tax and liability purposes, it is wise to hold real estate in a corporation. We’re thrilled. Mario took care of it in record time!
The name that we selected for the corporation is Klickitat S.A.
For those of you who are wondering where THAT came from, the word “Klickitat” goes back a long time for us. We lived in a house in Portland, OR on Klickitat Street in the late ‘70s. In 1981 we moved aboard our sailboat “Klickitat”, and when we moved to Washington State in 1986, I registered my business as “Klickitat Woodworking”

For inquiring minds:
There is a Pacific Northwest Native American tribe named the Klickitat. In Washington, there’s Klickitat County, the City of Klickitat, the Klickitat River, and M/V Klickitat, a state ferry.

It's Happening!

Well, it is happening! Since deciding in September 2007 to retire to Costa Rica everything is coming together.

We spent the next three months completing a myriad of tasks to get our house ready for sale, lining up workmen to repaint the interior and spruce up the yard; having a building inspector prepare a report of recommended repairs, meeting with Realtors, and movers.

Our goal was to have the house ready to put on the market in January, right after the holidays.

The biggest job was emptying my 1700 sq ft shop building. Not only did I need to liquidate cabinet shop machinery, but also deal with “stuff” we’d accumulated over the last 40 years. Thanks to Craigslist, Goodwill, and the transfer station (dump) it’s almost empty.

We also sold quite a bit of furniture that we just didn’t love enough to haul down to Costa Rica. Many folks say dump it all, and start over. But we’ve already done that once when we moved onto our sailboat in 1981, and don’t want to do it again. So we’re shipping our furniture, household goods, and a few tools in a 40 foot container.

On Thursday, January 3rd, our Realtor, Ellin brought her entire office through the house for a preview and to get their input to help us realistically price the house.
We signed the listing agreement that weekend, and flew back to Costa Rica for ten days of scouting properties and areas with several agents, and submitting fingerprints and paperwork for our Pensionado residency application.

On our third day there, Ellin emailed to tell us that we had a firm, full price sale on the house. The scouting trip suddenly became a possible buying trip!

After three more days of looking at various areas, Janet and Steven showed us a piece of property and we both immediately knew that this was it.

Their website describes it perfectly:

These ocean view lots are located on a mountaintop at one of the highest points
in San Ramon at an elevation of 4,700 feet. The dramatic views overlook rolling
hills of shaded coffee farms and spans from the Central Pacific beaches to the
Nicoya Peninsula. Surrounded by primary forest, the land attracts many birds and
animals. The sites retain their natural beauty and are ready for immediate
construction with electric service, water and telephone at the public road.
These are among the best lots and sites available in the entire Central
Location: Located under 15 minutes (12 KM) from the center of San
Ramon on an excellent paved road. A mountain village with stores to serve basic
services is nearby.

We didn’t hesitate, we signed an option the next day.

We've met briefly with an architect and we'll probably talk with at least one more when we return on February 22nd. We'll be renting a house until the new one is completed, probably in about a year. We know what we want, and since I'm intimately familiar with construction, the design stage should go pretty quickly. As everything is coming together, we will definitely bring our cats with us. It'll be a logistical challenge, but we've already taken care of some of the things we need to arrange for them.
Collie has given her notice at work, and her last day will be February 7th.