One week from today, we’re off to Sydney, then Fiji…Final preparations…A mixed bag of emotions and activities…

Walkway along the pond in Trinity Beach area. There doesn’t appear to be as many vacation homes in this particular area as we’ve seen in other beach areas.

The final week before departing for a new location is a mixed bag of emotions and activities. Excitement over the upcoming new environment, a bit of apprehension over the quality of our seen-online-only-accommodations, and the hope and expectation that travel day will be seamless.

In the upcoming travel to the second largest island in the Fiji archipelago, we decided to break up the travel into two days when we were unable to arrange flights at reasonable hours. 

As it is, we’ll have to be up at 4 am next Tuesday morning, September 8th, to board the 6:30 am flight from Sydney to Savusavu, Vanua Levu. The alternative would have been to spend the night at the airport, simply not our style in our efforts to avoid stress and exhaustion when possible.

A manmade pond at a condo complex in Trinity Beach.

Today, we’re off to the Trinity Beach post office to purchase a large box in order to pack necessary food supplies to ship to Fiji where they do not carry these particular items. Once we bring the box back home to be packed and weighed, we’ll bring it back to the same post office for shipping.

We’re sending another box to ourselves to remain at our mailing service in Las Vegas, Nevada filled with tax receipts we must save, paper copies of our medical reports, and my Africa boots. When the time comes that we’ll need the boots, we’ll ask the mailing service to ship them to us wherever we may be at the time. 

We haven’t determined a “typical” style of houses in this area. Some are gated, such as in this photo but most are not.

Sending this box to the mailing service saves us around 3.6 kilos, 8 pounds, in excess baggage weight over these upcoming many flights. Sure, there will be an expense to ship this box but with five upcoming flights between now and January, we’d have paid over and over again for the same items.

I must admit, I failed to scan every receipt we needed to save, as I’d originally planned. At the beginning of our travels, I was all over this. But, as time marched on I began making a pile of receipts to be scanned never getting around to the time-consuming task. 

View or Yorkey’s Knob Beach and area.

Our portable scanner, which works well, requires multiple receipts to be placed inside a clear double sheet of plastic scanning numerous receipts at once. This became time consuming and bothersome.  Failing to stay on top of this task occasionally nagged at me. Normally, I’m all over this stuff. And the receipts piled up.

Finally, I let go of it nagging me and decided in the realm of things, it’s no big deal. All of the receipts, not organized by year, would only be necessary if, God forbid, we were audited. 

If not, we have all the records of purchases on our spreadsheet with copies on multiple clouds and on our external hard drive. Over these past years, I became tired of hauling around three years of receipts in our luggage. It looks like I either have to get on the ball and start scanning new receipts or accumulating them once again. We shall see. I haven’t decided yet.

The view of Double Island and Scout Island is a pleasant beginning to any day in Trinity Beach. 

After accessing the food we have left for meals for the next week, one more trip to the grocery store is necessary. We wanted to make easy meals as we always do during the last week before departing for a new location. We always plan to prepare easy meals for which there will be leftovers for two nights for a total of three nights.

For this upcoming week, we decided on pizza with a green salad for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and tuna salad, mushroom, onion, bacon burger patties with a green salad on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We often make meals to last for two or three nights. It not only saves money but also saves considerable time in the kitchen. 

Often, when making meals for leftovers with all the chopping and dicing done in advance, we do the cooking separately each night to ensure it’s most fresh. In the case of pizza and the above tuna salad, we’ll make these all at once, cooking the mushrooms, onions, and bacon burgers and salads fresh each night.

Large house on the shore of the pond in Trinity Beach. 

Many vacation rentals have tiny kitchens and the less time spent in the kitchen the better as in this house which has minimal counter space in a relatively large kitchen. 

The same scenario will be the case in Fiji, a tiny galley kitchen. It was only in the fabulous house in Madeira, Portugal that we had a lot of counter space, making cooking enjoyable and easy.

The almost 90 days we’ve spent in Trinity Beach has been pleasant and in part task-related in getting our medical and dental exams and tests completed with good results. 

A car rental shop is located in the heart of Trinity Beach which may not be busy with the car rental shops at the nearby airport in Cairns, a 25-minute drive from this location.  Should a visitor rent a car from here, they’d have to arrange transportation back to the airport. However, if a tourist is staying in a nearby hotel on the beach, a few day rental may be perfect from this location.

We’ve found this amount of time (under 90 days) are perfect for familiarizing ourselves with an area, its people, and its culture. We’ve seen considerable sites and have literally visited every beach in the area. 

We’ve been to the closest bigger city, Cairns, many times, visiting many of its most popular tourist attractions.  We visited the popular Port Douglas and meandered many of its tourist attractions.

We’ve come to know the people at Woolie’s, the pharmacy, the farm stand, and the butcher on a first name basis. We’ve frequently seen interesting birds and learned to tune out the noisy curlews at night, now able to leave the narrow window with a screen open for fresh air while we sleep.

Red Cross Road leads to the hospital and medical facilities in Cairns with many restaurants nearby including this Flying Monkey located on Highway 1 which travels through the city.

Now, we’re on a fast path of becoming organized with careful packing to keep the baggage costs under control and packing a separate carry on bag for the overnight in Sydney to avoid opening the three larger checked bags.

It’s all good. We’re content, not anxious. That’s not to say that Tom won’t become “overly grumpy” on travel day as I continue in my annoying “overly bubbly” state of mind.

Happy Sunday or Monday to all of you!

                                                  Photo from one year ago today, August 31, 2014:

No photos were posted on this date one year ago as we made our way via a private car to the port in Harwich, England to the pier to board our ship to Boston, Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas for a 14-day cruise.  Instead, we posted the ship’s itinerary which is shown below. We’d intended to post later in the day but time got away from us not posting again until the next morning. For details from the day of departure, please click here.

Sun Aug 31 London (Harwich), England 5:00 pm
Mon Sep 1 Paris (Le Havre), France 7:00 am 9:00 pm
Tue Sep 2 Portland, England 7:00 am 4:00 pm
Wed Sep 3 Cork (Cobh), Ireland 10:00 am 4:30 pm
Thu Sep 4 At Sea
Fri Sep 5 Klaksvik, Faroe Islands 9:00 am 6:00 pm
Sat Sep 6 At Sea
Sun Sep 7 Reykjavik, Iceland Noon
Mon Sep 8 Reykjavik, Iceland 5:00 pm
Tue Sep 9 At Sea
Wed Sep 10 At Sea
Thu Sep 11 At Sea
Fri Sep 12 At Sea
Sat Sep 13 At Sea
Sun Sep 14 Boston, MA 6:00 am

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