Kayaking is inexpensive…or not

I thought kayaking was pretty inexpensive. After all, once you have the boat, it’s free to launch and paddle around. Well it didn’t turn out like that for us. Here’s the story.

Last year:

Me: What would you like for your birthday?

Hubby: A kayak.

Me: Okay!

He’s hard to buy for. I’m not. My list of wants is always 10 pages long, LOL! But for him, it is very hard to figure out a gift, so this clear-cut request is great! But…flash forward…little did I know it would change our lives completely.

We talked about kayaking before, and I had given him some kayaking adventures for other birthdays, a guided one on Lake Tahoe, an overnight camping trip on Tomales Bay. And now he wants his own.

It makes sense, but the thing we hadn’t been able to figure out was where to store them or how to transport them. But the birthday request is easy. He does the research, and I order it and float it on the pool with a bow for the big party.

Here’s where it starts getting more expensive. Hubby doesn’t want to kayak alone of course, so I need a kayak. My birthday is the following month and I get one.

Now we need a kayak rack. The car is really old though, and kayak racks are specific, so we accelerate our new car purchase plans by six months. And then we buy the kayak rack, a good one, so it’s not too hard to put them on there.

For a year we haul the kayaks around, there aren’t a lot of good places in the Bay Area, so we go up to Lake Tahoe, we haul them to Redwood City, and we take a camping trip on Lake Almanor, but despite the excellent rack, getting them on and off the car is still kind of hard. The worst part is securing them with straps and taking those off then putting them on at the site and repeating all that for the return home. Ugh.

Over Christmas, while visiting our son in San Diego, we decided to take a trip down to Coronado. This is an island, (technically a peninsula, but it is thought of as an island), near downtown San Diego. We’ve been wanting to live by the beach for about a decade, and have spent a lot of time looking at houses. We could never afford to be that close to the beach though, and we were never excited enough about what was available to move our whole lives. However, while there at Christmas, hubby receives a link from Zillow about a condo in Coronado with a killer view. What if we could actually squeeze ourselves into a small place like that? Then we could really be on the beach.

So, we take Lyft down there and look at the outside of one of these high rises that has the condo for sale, then have lunch, then wander by a real estate office. A friendly realtor spots us perusing their brochures, and soon we are looking at the condo on the inside, but it’s a high rise and there’s nowhere to store your kayaks and it’s a bit hard to cross the main road to launch them in the bay. He says he knows exactly where we need to be and takes us to the Coronado Cays, the best-kept secret of San Diego.

Wow. You can literally launch from your back yard.

So now we are moving to Coronado. In fact, we did the moving there part first and we’re doing the sell everything in the Bay Area second, LOL! This is our life now:

We also kayak during the day, and my phone has been the camera. It is encased in a waterproof plastic thing, so the images can be a bit blurry, but I am working on upgrading my photo situation.

In summary, kayaking turned out not to be so inexpensive. Actually, it will be quite cost effective once we’re down to one home, and we are so excited. We both really love it. I love birds who are abundant thanks to a wildlife sanctuary, the quiet, the physical challenge of paddling, and the sensation of floating.

At least now you’ll know why I’m posting so many kayaking pictures! I’ll also post one of my new writing space soon. I really like it and am close to finishing another novel. I swear it’s because I moved. It energized me, and I like my new work space a lot.

Decluttering without dumping

Hello from the trenches of our big move. It doesn’t need to be said that moving from a house where you’ve lived for 20+ years is a challenge, LOL! One challenge is to find homes for things you aren’t keeping or recycling them when that’s not possible. The process puts the mantra Reduce, Reuse, Recycle into big focus. I’ve learned even more about what our waste service can and cannot recycle.

I get excited when we successfully give something away let alone sell things. Selling is very nice like for our huge relatively new home fitness item. That hasn’t happened yet, but hopefully it will. And note to self, if I ever feel I need something like that again, get it used!

We did however find a home for a 70 year old piano I inherited. Yay! It won’t go to landfill. We’ve scoured the local area to find it a home. A piano is just too big a thing to take to the dump and it would be horrible, it still works!

The thing is I am bad at playing the piano and my husband has perfect pitch and timing so hearing me play is actually painful for him, LOL. If I want to do it in the future, I’ll get an electronic keyboard that has a headset (used).

We have not been exceeding our recycle and garbage allotment each week, so that’s good.

These days it’s all about reuse. I love giving away items at thrift stores and then getting “new” items there which I will keep for awhile then trade back in. It’s a new (used) way to live.

8 questions for reducing a book collection

I’m shocked that I’m suddenly willing to reduce my library. I had hundreds of books, many inherited. But I’m ready. We decided to keep two large and one small book case. Books are still important to us but we are only going to keep a third of them.

I asked these questions as I went through the collection and it helped me make choices that I think in the long run will help me enjoy my books more because I won’t have any I don’t love and/or need. Or maybe I did love it but I won’t reread it. My husband made his choices similarly but a little differently.

  1. Will I read it or re-read it this year?
  2. Will I refer to it within the next year?
  3. Can I borrow it from the library?
  4. Is it a seminal book in a field like psychology, anthropology, history or philosophy? (This was my husband’s choice to keep because for me these didn’t pass 1, 2, & 3.)
  5. Is it an important novel (that I also like)?
  6. Is it one of my favorite books?
  7. Is it a duplicate?
  8. If I could keep just one book by an author or about a topic, which would it be?
  9. Bonus: Did I write it?
The book diet

5 thoughts on downsizing & moving

I thought I’d never sell our house. We live in a great place and have put in a lot of sweat equity to make it the way we like it. But we are moving to San Diego so we can kayak every day. We stayed there for a month in April and loved it, even including living in tight quarters.img_20190411_215137_7171373860904659720119.jpg

I almost can’t believe I’m doing it, but it has been a process of exploring this idea. To my surprise I’ve come to the point that I’m not only willing but excited to move. Here are five reasons that weighed in favor of making this move.

  1. A house is a lot to take care of and that maintenance time instead could be going into fun activities we enjoy together.
  2. Less maintenance, more time writing.
  3. A community with a lot of retirees where it’s easy to make friends.
  4. We’ll be closer to our son and daughter-in-law.
  5. Lots of outdoor activity, better health and hopefully a longer life!

How about you? Have you moved after retirement or do you plan to? Know any friends who’ve  moved?