One day and counting…Packing day…Exciting windfall described at the end of today’s post!…

    The new watch face on my Fitbit Sense. How appropriate is that? I didn’t walk much yesterday when I took this photo, and we were too busy with other tasks.

Yesterday, after we returned from picking up Tom’s suit and a few items for me at Target, I began to pack. Much to my delight, the four fancy dresses I’d purchased on Amazon, sight unseen, fit me well. The wrinkle-proof dresses fit into my small carry-on Samsonite bag and my camera and costume jewelry.

Although I purchased quite a few new items, including four pairs of jeans, I managed to fit everything else into my one large bag. The only issue will be the weight, which we’ll figure out at the end of the second cruise when we fly from New York to Minneapolis on May 1. As always, it will all work out.

At least I’ll be returning to Marloth Park with enough clothes, underwear, and shoes to get me through the following year in South Africa and for any side trips that we’ll need to make in the process for visa stamps. Mostly, I purchased comfy easy-wash-and-wear tee shirts, a few pairs of versatile black pants, and a few dressier tops for special nights out, such as for my 75th birthday party at Jabula, a mere ten months from now.

I purchased one pair of Skechers walking shoes and will buy one more pair when we get to Minneapolis, where there’s no tax on clothes and shoes, which will save 7.5% plus a 20% coupon I got online. I didn’t need to bring another pair of shoes on the two cruises when right now I have one black sandal, one tan sandal, one silvery flat shoe, one pair of walking shoes, and two pairs of Keds leather slip-on for a total of six pairs of shoes, the most I’ve had in over eight years. How exciting!

I still don’t have an official handbag, but Tom will carry my lipstick in his pockets on the cruises. Instead of handbags, I usually travel with one large South African cloth bag, which holds more than any handbag. I purchased these at the shop at the Mugg and Bean at Lower Sabie in Kruger National Park. I am now using my second bag. Before we left, I machine washed my first of the two fully lined bags, which came out brand new after air drying. I left it behind and am currently using the newer second bag.

However, carrying a big cloth bag from South Africa is unsuitable for nights out on a cruise, especially when wearing dressy clothes. Tom always says he’s my “pack mule.”  As for Tom, other than the suit, shirts, two ties, a pocket scarf, and a pair of black Cole Haan shoes, he didn’t need a thing. His casual button-down shirts for dinners on the cruise and dining out in Marloth Park are in perfect condition. He rotates about a dozen of the quality wash-and-wear shirts and an equal number of tee shirts.

Today is about getting organized and wrapping up our packing. Last night we had delicious homemade pizza left from the prior night’s dinner. The past three nights, I wore a long-sleeved shirt and compression stockings when we sat outside on the veranda by the edge of the pool having sundowners, and I only got one bite. That was excellent, resulting in a good night’s sleep.

Yesterday, I was also working on getting my Fitbit Sense to pair with the Bluetooth on my new phone. It wouldn’t pair after numerous attempts and workarounds. Finally, I had to do a factory reset on the Fitbit, and now I’m waiting to see if it worked as the software was reinstalled. There are always a few issues with a new phone, aren’t there?

OK, the Fitbit is now working and paired with my new phone’s Bluetooth with my new watch face. Check out the above main photo!

As for the windfall, as mentioned earlier…wait until you hear this! On Tuesday, when Tom was re-checking current cruise pricing on our remaining booked cruises, he discovered a huge price drop on our 42 night three back-to-back cruises from Athens to Cape Town.

There was a price drop on the final leg of over US $3100!!! Immediately, he contacted Costco Travel, and we were given the new price drop, saving us this considerable sum of money. We couldn’t be more thrilled and surprised. What an exciting discovery that wouldn’t have been possible without Tom’s diligence!

We’ll be back tomorrow with a short post before we embark on the four-hour drive to the port in Fort Lauderdale to the ship after Tom drops off the rental car at the nearby airport.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, April 7, 2021:

This lovely giraffe on the side of the road stood at attention. For more photos, please click here.

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