You will read this from the 27th of December through the first of the New Year.But I write this to beat a noon deadline on the 21st of December, the end of the Mayan calendar.
I’m sitting on a balcony seven stories up over the Bay of Banderas in Puerto Vallarta watching summertime activities like swimming, sunbathing, para-sailing, and jet skis abounding along with the many mini sailboats dotting the water’s surface.
I went into town earlier this morning to take care of some errands including hitting the Max 25 pesos store.
That is where I took all that I could which would fit into a huge Christmas bag and filled it with all the goodies I could that would go to those in need. I then took it to the Calvary Church here so that they could distribute the goodies to the kids at the Mission orphanage outside of town. Sometimes just one gift on Christmas will bring memories and happiness to those with so little. My churches at home, North Coast Calvary in Carlsbad and The Anchor in Solana Beach do something similar by filling shoeboxes with little toys and toiletries for those in need.
I hope that there has been a giving heart in all those who have enjoyed the season.
I chose the best of time to come down here and spend a Christmas and New Year away from family and friends — that’s me and a whole lot of other people, too.
Most visitors right now kissed their loved ones, left some gifts behind and boarded planes from almost all of Canada along with Americans from the upper West and East Coast.
They’ve chosen not to freeze their rear ends off at Christmas this year. I did the same with my grown up family who have departed to places with their significant others to enjoy Christmas with the other sides of their lives, which gave me the opportunity to do something different.
What I did was to come here for seven weeks, have double knee surgery and a bunch of dental work done.
I had double arthroscopic knee surgery for 50,000 pesos (about $3,900 American dollars). My surgeon’s name is Dr. Marron-McKnight who practices at the local AmeriMed center here in Puerto Vallarta.
The new AmeriMed Center is sparkling and spanking new.
Everything is chrome and stainless steel. The center was opened in 2011, moving from a smaller facility in the Marina district. Dr. McKnight was excellent. My left knee feels like it did when I was 19.
Going in it felt like a 75-year-old knee even though I’m 63. My right knee was really in bad shape being a craggy bone of the knee on cartilage free tibia. My surgeon went in and smoothed out and cut back the craggy cartilage of the knee bone and then went in and, using my own blood, injected stem cells into the tibia in order to allow my body to grow back its own cartilage. Since this is roughly a 6-week healing process, I obviously chose the best time to come and relax throughout the healing process right here in my own little paradise (along with thousands of other sun worshipers.)
I would have gone stir crazy at home having to lay low for six weeks, yet when here, it’s been a total breeze. Coupled with the dental work I am having done, I’ve calculated that I have saved over $20,000.
Since I am going to be one of those Obamacare targets since I do not wish to pay exorbitant insurance rates and choose to pay cash. I have chosen free enterprise medical over restricted insurance, and soon national mandated coverage of my health care. That is my choice and it works for me.
So recapping, I am without family but loving life in 68 to 84 degree, humidity free Puerto Vallarta (great sleeping weather with windows wide open).
But in exchange I had $6,000 worth of dental work done for about $900.
I had $25,000 knee surgery done for about $4,000 and I feel absolutely great going into the New Year.
I’ll be back in Encinitas mid-January so that my condo can be rented out the next few months in order to pay the overhead for the entire year so I can come back and live for free as I choose the rest of the year.
I just rented it for January, February and March of 2014. Life is good.
America is great, but there are other places that are great as well. I wish everyone a belated Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and a new and exciting New Year filled with adventure, love and peace.