Often Asked Questions

What do you miss the most? The first question visitors ask when they discover I am an American who has chosen to retire in Dubrovnik.   Not surprising is the statement from locals, similar yet different.  Why would you live here rather then the USA?  It was food for thought.

With no hesitation I will admit it is my family which I miss the most. Perhaps, like many families, marginally quirky,  but they are mine and I love all of them even though I believe we are nuts sometimes.

Yesterday, down at the Cavtat Riva I savored the view as I sipped my small espresso and began to make a list of what I miss.  In order of importance to me they are:

  1. Clothes dryer                                              
  2. Organic creamy peanut butter
  3. All Arm & Hammer products
  4. Pure vanilla extract
My clothes dryer

My clothes dryer

Another list which came to mind, what do I NOT miss

  1. The annual drive to Lake Tahoe, hyperventilating the entire trip up Highway 50 because of my fear of heights with Paula searching for the barf bag
  2. Teri driving me across the BayBridge with my feet pushing out the floorboard, reminding her STAY IN THE MIDDLE LANE (really do not like bridges)
  3. People asking me “Why are you leaving the United States of America”


The past five years I have made many adjustments to my lifestyle, numerous which I have embraced easily. How I enjoy the first part of my morning when I walk down to the corner store to pick up freshly baked bread.  I love the aroma of bread just out of the oven!  We do not have preservatives in our breads, thus all the two day old leftovers is turned into homemade breadcrumbs.  My mornings are spent puttering around the kitchen creating my variation of many traditional dishes. I love that lunch is our main meal of the day, often beginning with soup.  Dinner often is a plate of seasonal vegetables with a dash of first pressed homemade olive oil, which by the way can be slightly murky in color.

Olive Oil

Learning to live without my own car became effortless with my free senior bus pass while living in Dubrovnik.  When I learned our store would deliver my purchases right to my door, the hassle of grocery shopping without a car was quickly eliminated.  No car also meant my legs are getting stronger as I am now walking more, down to the corner store as well as to the bus stop when going into Dubrovnik.  Of course my preferred is the leisurely stroll down to the Cavtat Riva, often stopping to admire the view.

Views on the walk down to Cavtat Riva

Views on the walk down to Cavtat Riva

No question the incomparable part of living here is the sea view from my terrace. The scene of ships as they glide southward to Greece still gives me chills of delight.  I enjoy the sound of the wind blowing and the white foam of the sea as it hits the rocky shoreline.   Watching the magnificent golden sun drop below the outline of nearby islands Bobara and Mrkan is a frequently a daily pleasure.  Simple enjoyment, when I take Abby for her walk up to the top of our hillside.  Our first stop is at the small point where she adds to the dry rocky ledge and I count the small wooden fishing boats. More often than not upon returning to the small apartment, my arms are filled with bunches of freshly harvested kupus (similar to kale), a gift from my neighbors.



If you are planning on visiting Dubrovnik this year and  want to know what to bring me, consider  this.  Since a clothes dryer will not fit into carry-on luggage, my answer is always   the same – pure vanilla and/or organic peanut butter.  That  will complete my paradise.


21 thoughts on “Often Asked Questions

  1. I gladly bring you the peanut butte and vanilla upon my return to Dubrovnik in mid April. I so admire your writing style and would love to meet you if you have time sometime in the beginning of May. Let me know if you want me to bring you the “stuff”. Christiane

    • Oh yes, please bring the goodies, I will dream about that first big spoon of PB. Contact me via email after you are settled and we can meet on the Riva, my favorite cafe is the Delpin. If I remember correctly you are in NYC, hope the storm is making havoc with your lives.

  2. I really loved this posting Carol… and not because you mentioned our annual drive to SFO! Do let’s clarify- it’s ‘the drive’ you do not miss! I can only hope and pray that one day- I too even get to retire! Sadly- this government does not provide for people who have decided to work for themselves! So I may never get that bliss that you enjoy today You are a lucky girl!

    • Of course you will attain your dream to retire in your paradise. It will happen, you must just believe! I still have nightmares about the damn bridge, I really do not like it!

  3. I looked at jars of peanut butter today at the grocery store and will have to search for an organic one in a plastic container to send sometime. *G*

  4. It gets hard living without peanut butter – I know – it happened to me in the past, but the beauty of Dubrovnik and the life made up for it quite quickly 🙂

    • Dubrovnik is a work of art and I still see the beauty of the old town. It is still my hope that I might inspire some of the short time arrivals to experience the spirit. They come, see nothing but check it off their list. I still have hope and will continue to write about the Pearl of the Adriatic.

  5. Wow–you must be baking yourself crazy!!! You’ve gone through the two bottles of vanilla extract we brought you in September??
    What delicacies are you making?


    • Made a ton of holiday goodies, gifts for neighbors and friends. Ivo has just discovered carrot cake and I use it in everything. Still have one of your bottles in my cupboard, but it will be gone by summer. I sure do miss talking to you, write me soon.

  6. well carol, if I were going to Mexico I would gladly bring you some vanilla, but alas I amd still here in Suffer Creek. I haven’t even made it to the Bay Area in over a year. Love your pictures it looks so charming…some changes in my life…nothing major will compose a letter one of these days…lizzie

  7. I loved what you wrote here, apart from missing a family, all other missing pieces seems to have been rather easily replaced with delights of Dubrovnik! And I am happy to send you NZ organic peanut butter if you like -:)!

    • It would be better if you hand carried it. I would love to see you here again, time to visit the homeland.

      • Oh how would I love that … and believe me I will come and knock on your door! But alas … not yet … my only child is here, and has just started University, my work is here .. but one day I will return even if it will be the last thing I do in this life!

        Be Well and thank you for brining me views over beloved land via your blog!

  8. As much as I love the USA, I do envy your new found home. It sounds absolutely perfect. I really do hope that one day I may get to visit you and would be thrilled to be able to deliver PURE vanilla and organic creamy peanut butter. Until then I will have to live vicariously through your posts.

    Gina, Dale, Allen and I are off to Ireland this Sept. We are really looking forward to the trip. Thank you for your wonderful stories. I always look forward to reading them

    • Thanks Merrilee, I love hearing from you since Gina is too lazy to write. You should start planning your trip here for next year, it is an amazing country. Our Dalmatian coast is breathtaking, unique and the sea water is crystal clear and so clean. Come visit, I will be waiting.

  9. I’m an American living in Germany without Arm & Hammer products, a dryer, or vanilla. However, I’ve gotten used to the crunchy towels and I’ve learned how to make my own vanilla extract (and brown sugar) and I kind of like my own better.

  10. Carol, I wish I had “met” you before I visited Dubrovnik last year. I would have brought PB and vanilla for you in exchange for your travel recommendations! If I visit the area again, I will contact you. 😉

  11. Enjoyed reading this. I have a small apartment in Cavtat and spend 2 or 3 months a year there now that I’ve retired. Would enjoy hearing from you, and chatting when I’m there in Sept-Oct.
    Vancouver Wa/San Diego CA

    • Thank you for following my blog, it has become a labor of love for me. Please feel free to contact me when you are in Cavtat, I am always available for a coffee on the Riva.

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