Subject: Re: Vacation homes
Ah, Lucy:

I dream of my "home away from home" often while I'm not there, so even tho I don't spend as much real time at my retreat, my virtual time there is extensive.

My family is very close & we vacation together; we love the rain forest, living in the wonderful temperate rain forest of Oregon as we do. We also love the coast, diving, snorkeling & beachcombing. My son, darling d-i-l & I have traveled to tropical rainforest areas, including Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador & of course, Australia. After 11 trips to Oz, it became apparent that the lure of rainforest & reef in Tropical North Queensland was too strong to resist.

A new block of condos was being developed on the north side of Cairns, right next to a wonderful eco reserve & botanical garden. It was just before Australia implemented an 8% GST tax, the exchange rate was favorable & we loved the developers' concept. We're far from rich, but we scrambled together the money to buy the property outright.

There were very few barriers to jump. All the paperwork flew back & forth by Fedex & we got our Australian tax ID numbers on one of our trips downunder. We file taxes there, since we rent the unit, but the tax filing is only tedious, not impossible.

So we commute to Oz, hating the long ride but loving the arrival. Kylie, my granddaughter, has been down there 7 times in her 6 years. It's helped make her comfortable in faraway places; she's been able to attend a private school when she's been there. We probably spend all told 2 months there every year, not enough! My "retirement" plan has called for me to spend more time in Cairns, but so far I'm too busy with other jobs that have come my way. Soon, tho. The winters in Oregon are pretty grey & gloomy!

Gail In Eugene but never for long