Part 3…Exciting birthday plans revealed…This is the fifth time my birthday was spent in the bush!…

Us at the bar at Jabula on the night of my 74th birthday.

This morning, we’re off to Komati for groceries, a stop at the pharmacy, and a shoe repair shop suggested by friend Janet at my birthday dinner at Jabula on Sunday night. Tom has a favorite pair of Cole Haan loafers he’d like to have repaired since that style is no longer available.

Last night we were busy at the house. Tom noticed some price changes for future Azamara cruises, and by calling waiting on hold for almost an hour, he was able to save us another US $1500, ZAR 22809. But, instead of lowering the prices of the cruises, they have us US $500, ZAR 7603, additional cabin credit on three of the cruises.

Dawn had set up the table with decorations and lovely place settings for our dinner for ten. One couple couldn’t come due to the husband being in hospital.

What benefit is there with additional cabin credit? Since we wanted to get the best possible price, we booked the cruise without perks, such as free drinks and WiFi. Overall, we were ahead by removing these and going with the lower pricing. With these cabin credits, which will now be US $1400, ZAR 21265, to US $1500, ZAR 22809, we can use the cabin credit for WiFi and drink packages if we choose.

Since neither of us drinks alcohol during the day, generally, it doesn’t pay to use a drink package when some drinks are allowed at certain times and events, such as wine during meals on the Azamara cruises. But Tom doesn’t drink wine, so figure that out once we’re on board and see the drink prices.

Danie, Louise, Rita, Steve, Janet, Mick, Lynne, Tom, me, and Gerhard from the left. What a fine group of people!!

Our upcoming cruise is on a Celebrity ship. We won’t know if they will re-start the priority club cocktail hour each evening, which had been suspended due to the pandemic. Today, we heard that most cruise lines are doing away with masking requirements. Perhaps in the next six weeks, more Covid related restrictions will be eased.

We wanted to share the photos and events from my birthday party on Sunday night. First off, Dawn did a fantastic job of ensuring everything was perfect, which is always the case whenever we are there. The decorations, the table setting, the service, and the food were exemplary.

Tom’s usual plate of ribs with white rice and creamed spinach.

There was never a dull moment. David,  Jabula‘s new assistant manager, replacing Lyn, who moved on to other ventures, showed up during sundowner time, bringing me a beautiful gift of body product! Dawn, the owner, had another gorgeous collection of bath products. Louise and Danie went over the top with the elephant interaction and a bottle of my favorite wine.

Rita and Gerhard lavished me with local African jewelry, which I love,  and a new external hard drive (which we desperately needed) loaded with dozens of recent movies! How thoughtful was all of that!

Lynne’s espetada, barbecued meat served on a tall skewer.

I’d told the group “no gifts,” but that request isn’t always observed. I was grateful to have the eight guests at our table. All I wanted from Tom was to host the dinner for ten, including drinks, bottles of wine, and other beverages, meals, and tips. Dawn served complimentary shooters after dinner. The entire bill with everything included was US $291.64, ZAR 4418!!! There is nowhere in the world that we could host ten people for this reasonable cost with exceptional food, drinks, service, and ambiance.

The restaurant usually closes at 8:30 pm, 2030 hrs, on Sundays. After a delightful evening of lively conversation and endless laughter, we all didn’t leave until 10:00 pm, 2200 hrs. It couldn’t have been more fun!

Even while dining out, wildlife comes to visit. In this case, it was a giant grasshopper on the salt shaker.

Back at the house, we both couldn’t stop reeling over the fun day and evening. I couldn’t wait to start preparing posts with the photos from such a memorable birthday. Thank you to our friends who shared this day with me, with us, and so many of our readers who wrote to extend their birthday greetings. Wow! How lucky am I???

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, February 22, 2021:

Fred and Ethel. Fred is lying down. Notice warts on his face, and Ethel is standing behind him. She had no facial warts, typical for females. For more photos, please click here.

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