Fun day for each of us, separately, that is…Do we go camping?…

While touring Madeira, we encountered this waterfall that landed on the car. How unusual.

Last night, we had a great time. We went out for happy hour and dinner at Pizza Luce, close to our hotel. We were surprised by how few patrons were there when we entered but figured it was due to the upcoming 4th of July holiday and people being busy preparing for the long holiday weekend or having already left town for the festivities.

We had a great dinner of their gluten-free meatballs with sugar-free pasta sauce, topped with shaved mozzarella without added pasta. I had two small glasses of red wine, and Tom had two bottles of beer, each for $5.00. Our total bill with taxes and tips was $41.79, which isn’t much more than buying groceries for one night’s dinner.

With grocery inflation, we can easily spend $280 a week if we cook every night. Thus, eating out for around $41.79 wasn’t much more. However, that was the exception, not the rule. We often spend about $70 to dine out at a mid range restaurant. Most weeks, we dine out at least two times, maybe three.

Even fast food is expensive. Tom spent $25 at McDonald’s when he stopped for a meal, only for himself. I don’t eat at Mcdonald’s or most fast food establishments, except Chipotle, or rarely at Jimmy Johns for an “unwich,” which we now avoid when the cost for two sandwiches is over $40. Unbelievable!

At this point, we still don’t have any plans for the holiday, but we’re fine staying at the hotel if that’s how it rolls out. We’re used to spending holidays on our own while traveling worldwide, often barely noticing that it’s a specific US-celebrated holiday.

In South Africa, we’ve spent Christmas and New Year with friends, but here in the US, we’ve received few invitations from family or friends to partake in their planned activities. We prefer not to invite ourselves. Often, our kids and grandkids are out of town camping or planning to watch fireworks displays.

We aren’t much for camping, but that’s not to say we wouldn’t go. Buying a tent and all the necessary equipment makes no sense when we have nowhere to store it and may never use it again. When our kids were young, we camped occasionally and had everything we needed. But not now. Plus, I don’t think we would sleep well on the ground.

Today, we’re each going out separately. Tom heads to Mary and Eugene’s house in Andover at noon to play Buck Euchre. His nephew Kevin is in town from Florida. The card game is for four players, but there will be five players there without me, requiring one to sit out every few games.

Since they have enough players without me, I am not joining them since I’d already committed to lunch at the Asia Mall with my son Greg and grandson Miles today at 12:30. I didn’t want to cancel on Greg and Miles to do something else. Plus, I enjoy getting together with them whenever possible and would never cancel unless I was sick.

Most likely, I’ll be back at the hotel by 2:30 and spend the rest of the day chatting with friends and watching a few movies. When Tom plays Buck euchre with his family, they rarely get done until 1:00 or 2:00 am. Also, I have trouble staying up that late.

In any case, it will be a good day for each of us, and we’ll be happy to see each other after a short break when we are together all the time.

That’s it for today.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 2, 2014:

An outdoor lawn ornament store in Campanario, Madeira, Portugal. For more, please click here.

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