First time posted safari photos… Dinner on the town…Plus we’re going on “vacation” in three days… Details coming…

This mom had a baby on her opposite side.  We waited, hoping the baby would appear. The mom, seemed aware of us, never allowed the baby to make an appearance.
Although this croc looks small in this photo, Anderson our guide, speculated he was no less than 15 feet long. Although less than 20 feet from us, we cautiously stood on a steep embankment, impossible for him to climb with his size and girth.
Another hippo is swimming in the river while this one was sniffing for breakfast.
Anderson chuckled when we zoomed in to get this shot of an impala during our first few minutes in the Land Cruiser after he’d picked us up at the airport.  He said we’d see so many of these and other animals in the antelope family, we’d soon lose interest in taking their photos.  How right he was, although these graceful animals are enchanting to watch.
Young lions lounging under a tree on a beautiful morning.

Mom keeping out a watchful eye while her brood lounges. From time to time, she nodded off, quickly startling herself awake.

Grunt.  Life is hard for a “Retired General.” This one may have been newly banished as he’d yet to meet up with other such males. He looked forlorn and miserable. 
We took at least 10 shots of this exquisite male lion looking satisfied and sleepy with the remains of his zebra meal behind him. Anderson said that most likely a female killed it and he took it from her. The male’s MO is to watch females hunt in order to steal their catch, although when desperate, they’ll hunt for their own meals.

When shooting multiple shots of one scene, many shots may look similar or at times almost identical. Luckily, I have access to a link where I can review all of the photos I’ve already posted to ensure I don’t post lots of duplicates since each photo has its own unique number. Although on occasion, as mentioned in the past, I may make an error or simply want to repost a shot.

While on safari, we kept took over 600 photos, keeping approximately 500. We posted many of those 500 over a 13 day period at about 20 per day, leaving us almost half of them that our reader hasn’t seen, mainly due to the appearance of many being duplicates. From time to time, we’ll post a few of these as we’ve done today.

Dinner on the town…

The elegant lobby at the Diani Reef Resort and Spa.
The elegant offerings at Diani Reef Resort and Spa were breathtaking.
A coy pond and glass floor in the reception area were only a few of the highlights at the
Diani Reef Resort and Spa.
Our intent had been to arrive in daylight for the benefit of better photos.  Perhaps, we’ll return during the day to partake in the several additional restaurants, the offered pool lounging, and the free WiFi.
Dining out three times a week has made a world of difference to us. Yes, it’s a pain to getting ready to go out each time;  the heat, the repellent, plus trying to figure out what to wear. But, we’ve found that once we’re on our way in the taxi, we’re always happy to be on our way. 
Tom standing in front of the popular local Baobab trees located in the lobby area of the resort. That’s my purse, not his, although on occasion he does carry it for me.

In our old lives, we seldom dined out. Many of our friends lived in our neighborhood making staying in dining with them easy and fulfilling. Plus, we’d had our fill of nearby restaurants, preferring to dine at home.

Although this appears to be an exterior photo, it was actually taken from inside the massive courtyard in the lobby area.

Now, with a multitude of amazing resorts with phenomenal restaurants within a 20 minutes drive costing no more than KES $1500, US $17.69 for the round trip drive including tips, dining out certainly has its appeal.

As we approached the bar area where we had drinks and excellent service. 

With many highly rated standalone restaurants nearby, we’ve been tempted to try them. The problem has been my restrictive diet. The standalone restaurants mainly have “cooks” managing the preparation of the meals. But the fancier resorts have trained “chefs” who totally “get it” when I say: no starch, no gluten, no grain, no sugar. 

A view down the hall as we sat on the bar stools. There is one fabulous seating area after another offering privacy or socialization with easy access to MiFi.  Although appearing empty,  the huge property had many guests enjoying the facility’s wide array of areas.

Still, with most of the professional “chefs,” I must explain the fact of “no rice, no corn, no corn thickeners, no potatoes, no potato thickeners” which is often difficult for them to understand when most gluten-free diets do include corn, potatoes, beans, rice, and gluten-free grains, none of which I am able to consume due to the high carb content.

At 7:30, the hostess arrived at the bar to alert us that our dinner reservation was ready, carrying our drinks on a tray as she escorted to Sake, the Japanese restaurant

Some may say, “Gee, take a break. Enjoy a few bites here and there.” I appreciate this mentality. But, 26 months ago, I was a near invalid in constant debilitating pain. At that time, I would never have considered traveling the world, let alone going on a day’s outing.

This was Tom’s dinner, tempura pork loin with a Japanese seasoned side salad.

Now pain-free after over two years of eating this way, I can sit in a bumpy safari vehicle for eight hours a day with nary a moment’s thought of pain, or walk many miles for hours on the uneven pavement to see Petra in Jordan, walking up and down steep cobblestone walkways in Mikonos, Greece and on and on. 

The rice, miso soup, and sauce was included in Tom’s meal. We shared a delicious appetizer before dinner but were so hungry we forgot to take a photo before devouring it!

Need I say more?  No type of food is worth the pain returning and never will be. Thus, the fancier restaurants, although more costly, are worth it to us. 

Most likely, the restaurant/resort we visited on Thursday night was the most expensive thus far. The total for dinner, drinks, and tips at Diani Reef Resort and Spa at Sake Restaurant, was KES $7566.70, US $89.23 which included some cocktails for Tom at KES $763.20, US $9.00 each. As is the case in most of the resorts, the cost of cocktails is high with soda and beer less so. 

My dinner.  Yea, I know that my ongoing calamari meals look repetitious but there’s nowhere in the world we’ve visited thus far that offer this un-battered tender calamari.  I can’t seem to get enough!  It’s caught locally served fresh the same day.  How can I resist?  I’d rather have it than lobster although, the fresh locally caught lobster is firm and flavorful from the Indian Ocean.

Tom worked for 42 years to earn this retirement. He can have all the cocktails he wants, although overall, he’s a lightweight drinker. I don’t drink any alcohol. Instead, I order bubbly water with lemon or lime.

The moment we entered the gorgeous resort, we anticipated an enjoyable evening and we were never disappointed for a moment. From the welcome reception we received upon entering, to being greeted and chatting with Susan, the assistant GM, and Mohammad, the GM when departing, we were enthralled with the quality of service.
 Our table after our entrees were served created an eye-catching presentation. I requested a sauce made without gluten or sugar and this sugary sauce was removed.

The ambiance was over the top, one of the most beautiful resorts we’ve yet to see.  The design and the décor were developed and embellished to the utmost of creativity, with a theme of a warm elegance unsurpassed in the resort industry. 

After an exquisite dinner in the Japanese restaurant Sake, Susan and Mohammad invited us to return for a full day’s enjoyment at their pool where they’ll reserve a padded lounge chair for us. We’ll be able to use their free WiFi and dine in another of their several restaurants at our leisure. We look forward to taking them up on their offer soon. 

Yes, folks, we’re going on another three-night “vacation” starting on Tuesday, October 29th, returning on Friday, November 1st. Some might call it a “vacation within a vacation” but for us, it is the perfect way to celebrate on October 31st, the anniversary of our first full year of travel after leaving Minnesota on Halloween, October 31, 2012.

Tomorrow, we’ll share our plans and of course, next week amid our “vacation” we’ll we writing and posting stories as they occur. 

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