The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost

the 1 less traveled by

A move to Nicaragua

Browsing Author:

Jenna Reid


Lap Infant – The Most Expensive Traveler

We decided not to buy return tickets when we booked our flight.  We heard conflicting information about whether this would be a problem, but enough people had gotten to Nica without a return ticket so we decided we’d go that route.  Tickets are took expensive to change after booking and we didn’t want to plan on a date we had to come back.

This turned out fine for all of us except Titus.  The lady at the United Check-In desk explained that Nicaragua would fine United if they allowed a Lap Infant to travel only one way unless they had residency or a visa.  After much negotiation we purchased a ticket via Kharron’s cell phone right there at the desk.  The ticket had to be through United since it needed to be manually tied to our existing reservation.  If we had done this prior via one of the flight booking websites (Kayak, Orbitz, Priceline) the reservations would have already been tied together and we could have used a cheaper airline.  We booked my $1,500 one-way ticket only to Houston since that’s where United’s hub is and thought that would be the least expensive option.

*Since this experience we learned that we should have purchased a refundable flight and cancelled the next day.  Unfortunately we were exhausted after our repacking adventure, it was late, and we were managing 2 kids and didn’t think quickly enough to save ourselves this painful lesson.

*I’ve now heard that the best way to get out of this is to book a Tica Bus ticket to Costa Rica within 90 days of entering Nicaragua and print a copy to show the agent. Not sure if this would have worked in our situation, but not a bad idea and a small investment to make.

We Have Baggage

We had a red eye leaving at 12:45am and got to the airport at 8:30pm, allowing ourselves plenty of time.  A few of our suitcases were over the 50lb limit which would have cost us an extra $200 per bag and a couple were over 70lb which was going to be a lot more. The lady at the “Overweight luggage counter” pointed us to a “Repacking” area equipped with a scale…guess we’re not the first ones to have this issue.

As we redistributed our belongings it became clear that the bags were not going to ever get under 50lbs. I remembered on a flight we once took our luggage broke and they gave us suitcase to use instead.  Must be one that sat in the Lost in Found too long.  Kharron went on a hunt to baggage claim and after a long time came back with a large (free) suitcase.  So our extra cost was only $150 for the extra bag, rather than probably $700 for the extra weight on our existing luggage. Yeah!



Saying Goodbye

I’ve never been good at this, preferring to say “See you later” even when I know I won’t. So all the goodbyes leading up to our departure were very hard for me.

The first big goodbye was to the non profit group I’ve been apart of for the last 5 1/2 years.  At our January meeting I brought our new son, since he’s easier with me than with Daddy.  I was pacing the halls trying to get him not to cry and disrupt the group while listening to the agenda, when I heard our President say my name.  She announced to the room of 40 women that I was moving and thanked me for all I had done. After the meeting was over members gave me sad faced hugs.  It was heart wrenching.

It was even hard saying goodbye to our house cleaner who we started using the second month we moved into our home.  She’s seen us go from no kids to two and has always been so sweet and trustworthy.

The final days were by far the hardest. At a friend’s annual Academy Award Party they paused the TV and made a speech about how much we’ll be missed. My female friends (dubbed “The Cats”) pulled me aside and had each gotten me a charm. They went around a circle telling me why they had chosen that particular charm.  It was beautiful & perfect!

Palm Tree to remind me of home, Tree represents strength and planting my roots in this new experience, Wish Bone to wish me success & happiness on this journey, 1 because I’m taking the 1 Less Traveled, Key because I hold the key to some of her deepest secrets and she sells houses, The anchor to represent my role in her life, California to remember where I came from, Star because I am a glowing beautiful person, talented, loving and strong… people look up to me, and the owl because she is always asking me advise about life and raising a baby.


Everyone has promised to visit and I believe that they do intend to. But I know that life can take over and suddenly years have gone by.  I would love for everyone of my friends to come and see us, but I know sadly that will not be the case.


Storage – A Game of Tetris

We rented a 20 x 20 storage unit about 50 miles away from our home for the better rate and luckily decided to get it a couple months before we left so we could do several phases of trips.  The first weekend Kharron did 3 trips and used a man at the Uhaul office to help lift everything.  Having a baby has made it very difficult for me to help out in these types of tasks. We got rid of things we didn’t need for the next couple months like my daughter’s bunk bed that she’s too young for, the extra chairs for our dining room table, ….  We also unfortunately moved items we did need; the nail gun, the staple gun, hammer, drill.
Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 4.21.01 PM

Another weekend after Azalea’s 3rd birthday we moved some large items like our patio furniture and the electronics cabinet for under the TV.

Then a couple of days before we left we did the big move of the rest of our house.  Kharron’s brother luckily helped out and my friend Katelyn did us a big favor and watched Azalea for most of the day while I supervised the Tetris session.  Kharron said several times, “Its not all going to fit.” so I was on high alert that we were going to stack high and make this happen.  After a long game, it did all fit and I did a happy dance to have that part of the process completed.




A Box to Nica

A friend of ours who lives in Nicaragua told us you can mail a 30″ x 30″ flat rate box for $250.  This fact went semi ignored at first mention, but now that I’m packing and feeling the weight of each object I’m thinking this might be the way to go.  There’s several items I’m contemplating bringing and this would mean that I could pack those and much more.  Although you can find all the appliances in Nica, we hear the quality and cost doesn’t compare to The States.  We could bring our coffee maker, Nutrabullet, Azalea’s scooter, books for the kids…

I decided to call the company to see if it truly was a 30×30 and what hours they were open.  I was surprised when the person who answered spoke no English and neither did anyone else at the company. A little taste of what’s to come.  Luckily my neighbor speaks great Spanish so I had him call.  Turns out its true, to the door of our home in San Juan del Sur it will cost $275

The box got so heavy that I had to pack it in the back of the truck because I wouldn’t be able to lift it after it was full.  The company is located in Los Angeles so the week before we left I drove up there and luckily was greeted with a partially English speaker.  He did all the paper work. I brought our lease agreement for our home so I could show him the address since part of it is an explanation that it is located “100 meters from the entrance”. It supposed to take 6 weeks to get to our home.  Fingers are crossed that it makes it!!!

If you’re interested in using this company, the information is: Central de Envios / 213-383-9300 /


Pet Health Certificate

Two dogs, a baby, and a borrowed Accord

Its been a little tough to figure out exactly what we need to do to prepare our dogs for the move.  Some websites say we need to get our dogs micro-chipped, although it doesn’t sound like very many places have the scanner.  Some people say you need to get the Health Check Certification stamped by the USDA (which the closest one to us is located in Los Angeles), while other people say they got their dogs in fine without it.  I guess we’ll find out if we did everything correct once we get there.

Luckily I called our vet yesterday to schedule an appointment for the Health Check.  Everything I’ve read is consistent that the dogs need to get certified within 10 days of entering Nicaragua.  When I called the vet to make an appointment at the end of the month, they told me that Nicaragua requires that the dogs get rabies vaccinated no less than 30 days before departure…that’s today!  So I loaded our two dogs and Titus into my mother-in-law’s Honda Accord this morning and drove to get their Rabies, Canine Distemper. Parvovirus and Hepatitis vaccines.  Next step is the Health Check Cert at the end of the month.  I have until then to decide whether I’m driving that document up to LA.

This is the website the vet used to see what is needed:


The Little Things


I’ve been wanting to make feet impressions of Azalea for quite sometime now.  I saw the idea on Pintrest ( and I thought it would be a cute idea for our future steps to the garden area.  Now that we’re leaving for 2 years the pressure was really on.  I needed to get those tiny fit in some cement quick, before we go and I loose out on the tiniest feet.

I used the plastic trays for catching water under plant pots, sprayed a coat of PAM on each one and quick dry cement.  It was easier than expected and turned out great!  I fudged the date slightly so I’d have something from 2014. : )

Previously I purchased quick dry concrete and the large gravel makes it impossible to get a clean impression, so if you decide to do this, make sure you buy cement.


I <3 Bubble Wrap

Pictures & mirrors all packed

I have a new found love in bubble wrap!  This stuff is amazing! It sticks to itself, protects all my fragile items and comes in HUGE rolls!


Toddler Tales

Last night I succumbed to my daughter’s request to “lay with me for a couple minutes”.  I had read this article about laying in bed with your toddler the previous day while daddy was away at work and had promised the next night when daddy was home that I would lie with her. I had posted the article on Facebook and the comments were very inspiring, talking about how when my friends take the time to lie in bed with their kids, that’s when they have the best conversations.  So after daddy read books I passed Titus off to Kharron and snuggled up close to Azalea in her toddler bed.  I asked her about her day and we discussed how the next day we were going to take a load to storage.  Looking up, I couldn’t help but think of the task of having to dismantle her never-been-used loft bed that was currently her room’s monkey bars.  I told her about how when we move back from Nicaragua that she will be so big, she won’t fit in her bed anymore and that Mommy is going to buy a mattress for the bed above us.  I pointed out the ladder I had draped over the unused wood mattress panels and how she would get to climb into bed at night and Mommy could climb up there too.  She could fit even more stuffed animals on that bed!  I explained how tomorrow we would have to take it apart and put it in storage so it could wait for us to come back. She seemed to take it well and today before pulling it apart, I let her take her maiden voyage up the ladder.


Sad De-party-tures – Azalea’s 3rd & Our Last Party

This day was such a blast, our home filled up with friends & love so thick it was palatable.  I found myself continuously getting caught up in the moment. Moments that were so sweet and so spontaneous that I couldn’t help but feel the intense smile spread across my face and the glow radiate out of me. But on this day, this smile was proceeded by an uncontrollable sting, like a cancor soar you forgot about. Even as my neighbors entered our house with big hugs and bigger smiles I could hear a voice whisper, “You’re leaving soon.” As I watched a friend mimic my directions of where to put the gifts, “You’re leaving soon.” Watching the God Mother of my kids know just where our wine key is kept, or my husband’s best friend’s wife fill my wine glass & make a new batch of margaritas, “You’re leaving soon.” My mother-in-law’s friends we haven’t seen since our wedding coming in baring gifts, hugs, and a sincere heartfelt smiles. My dad, ever the obedient guest, cutting taco meat, refilling chips, rice, & beans, “You’re leaving soon.” Watching the “littles” play in the baby area I set up – Avery already big enough to go down the slide, but I’ll probably miss her first steps. Is it possible I’ll miss Ben’s first week of walking too? I looked across the party and a table was full of the only nanny Azalea has ever known, her husband, daughter, baby son, and even her parents. Love, love everywhere. You could have painted the house with it, thick like glue…stuck to everything, every plate, fork, laugh, every step thick with love. A twinkle in every guest’s eye, like a tear might be forming below the surface.

The kids put on a singing show and my parents, teary-eyed had front row. I know what they were thinking because its the same recording that was playing in my head…”Soak it in, they are about to leave, no more moments like these for two years.” I was seated across the yard at a table with the neighbors and nursing their grandson, the guilt and love equally enveloping me.

Once in bed, I could still hear the muted sounds of my husband & a neighbor out in our bar, The Drunken Chicken.  Still laughing. Are we really leaving all of this? Two years…will it really only be two years?  Where will life take us?