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I have been blessed to accrue a large amount of leave time as a director.  Sometimes when you are responsible to provide leadership support for a large department, it is very difficult to take all of the leave time you accrue.  Part of my final compensation will be a cash out for some of those hours.

I’ve been thinking about what to do with the money I’ll receive from the hours I didn’t have time to take while working.  Should I put it in my deferred compensation, save it or spend it on my kids and grandkids?  It really is a blessing to me and there is no bad option for us.

My plan is to use some of the money and take my two children and their spouses and my four grandchildren to Costa Rica.  There would be ten of us.  I would love to split time between a beach experience and the jungle.  I hope to  take them to Manuel Antonio National Park to explore the park and enjoy seeing all of the wildlife.  https://manuelantoniopark.com

Staying once again at The Tulemar Resort ( https://www.tulemarresort.com) in what are essentially tree houses among the monkeys and the sloth would be an amazing experience for my four grandkids.  They are the perfect ages, 8, 7, 7 and 4 to learn about nature and actually see the birds, animals and crocodiles they have only looked at in picture books.  

Seven year’s ago, when our girl’s trip took us to Costa Rica, we loved that the Tulemar Bungalows were essentially a cage for the humans.  The windows were open but covered in wire.  Every morning we could hear the jungle birds and then all kinds of monkeys would be screeching from a distance and we could hear them coming toward our bungalow.  They would pass by every morning looking at the humans inside the cage, it was an incredible experience that I want to share with my family. I have known I wanted to bring my family back there if we could. 

We are fortunate to enjoy a close family relationship and the kids and the cousins love to be together.  In my generation, we didn’t do very much in terms of travel anyway, but we very rarely went anywhere with our parents, especially  once we were adults.  Being the parents of millennials is a completely different experience.  Our kids have included us in their proposals to their future spouse and even let us help them with planning their honeymoons.  Of course we paid for a part of their honeymoons so maybe that was why!

Every year we take at least one tropical vacation to Mexico together during the wet Pacific Northwest winters and we try to find a place to rent on a river or a lake in either Washington or Oregon in the summertime.  Our kids and grandkids and even sometimes our dogs love to take vacations together.  We have recognized that life is short and making memories is so important that we all make it a priority.

While I recognize that we are truly blessed, I’m still a little sad and disappointed as I look forward to my retirement date.  I had imagined that we would be taking this long awaited trip to Costa Rica   A trip like this requires planning usually a year in advance and with the pandemic raging across the United States it is unclear when we can actually start planning again.  For now, it is on my bucket list and for this year at least, Costa Rica will have to wait.

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