Guess what?…Nine days and counting…But, right now, life is good…Reading books?…

Our photo was taken in December 2014, when our kids and grandkids came to visit us on the Big Island in Hawaii, at the observation point while Mount Kilauea was erupting. What an adventure!

We wouldn’t have complained if everything at the beginning of our visit to Mirador San Jose had been like it is now. We’ve had power for 36 hours. We have plenty of food to get us through until we depart in nine days when the little store stocked up on meat, and yesterday, we made enough purchases to round out what we need.

I feel like myself again now that I’m back on two pills a day of the antiarrhythmic drug Flecainide again. I know I will be able to get a prescription to hold me over until my ProgressiveRX order arrives at the end of the month. Yesterday, I called a CVS Pharmacy Minute Clinic. Their medical professionals will prescribe the above drug to fill the gap I was concerned about. Finally, I can stop thinking of this.

Based on the two visits I had to a highly qualified cardiologist in the past month, who continues to check on me on WhatsApp and who says surgery is not required immediately, I will wait until we get to South Africa so I can see my cardiologist there, whom I trust, and have another ultrasound to see if my situation is worsening. If it’s not, I’ll have a scan every six months. If it is, I’ll have to decide if I want to go through another open heart surgery.

But I am not worrying about that anymore. I let it go to continue enjoying our lives now that I feel so well again. The only side effect I’m experiencing from the drug is a little sleepiness about four hours after taking each of the two doses. I can live with this. This helps me sleep better at night, and after the morning dose, a nap is all that’s needed during the day—no big deal.

Today is an easy day. All I have to do is chop and dice for tonight’s dinner and make our little mid-day lunch of sliced ham and cheese rollups. Tom has watermelon with his snack, and I may have cooked broccoli on the side with mine. I haven’t been hungry for breakfast lately, but Tom continues to enjoy his buttered toast with strawberry jam, so we have our little lunch around 11:00. This holds us until dinner.

I continue to stay on my diet, motivated to help with my condition, and so far, I’ve lost 15 pounds and started noticing how better my clothes are beginning to fit. I still have ten more pounds to return to where I was when we first started traveling. These next ten pounds will be the most noticeable. But, as most know, losing the last ten pounds is challenging. Right now, my weight loss is at a snail’s pace, only at about one pound a week, if I’m lucky.

Overall, I am not hungry since I continue to keep my carbs at bay, although I’ve had to up them from 20 grams a day to about 40 grams a day to ensure I get full with lots of vegetables and strawberries. Calories do count whether we like it or not, regardless of how and what we eat. Based on my lowered level of exercise at this point, as I slowly improve my heart health, which is ultimately most important for me, the weekly loss is minimal to keep the Afib under control.

But I will persevere. If I only lose ½  pound a week for the next 20 weeks, I will reach my goal by April 24, 2024. As quickly as time flies, it won’t be long before I get there. Once I achieve my goal, I will adjust my intake to maintain what I’ve lost. Health concerns have been a massive motivator for me when I had little motivation in the past to keep me on track. My clothes fitting better and appearing less chunky didn’t help motivate me to reduce my food intake. Now, it’s somewhat easy.

We enjoy listening to various podcasts while working on our computers during the day, and when there’s a lull, we both get a kick out of playing fun games on our phones. Since neither of us reads many books these days after binge-reading in the early days of our world travels. I can’t seem to focus enough to get lost in a fiction book, although I will occasionally read a non-fiction book, most of which I received for free from Amazon Prime on the Kindle app on my phone.

When lost in a fiction book, the time passes way too quickly for my liking, and at this point in life, I’d prefer to eke out every possible moment of my day being present instead of being lost in a book. In the first three or four years of our world travels, I read over 300 books that are still on my Kindle App.

That’s it for today, dear readers.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, December 5, 2013:

We encountered these two wildebeest as we rounded the corner from our house. Enormous, it was taller than a horse, much larger than any of the wildebeest we’d seen at the tail end of the Great Migration at the border of Kenya and Tanzania. For more photos, please click here.

Visit to a dentist in South Africa…More excitement at “home”…Remembering a friend in the “Photo from one yea ago”…

From left to right, at the reception desk are Dr. Luzaan, assistants Daleen, and Melanie. They can be reached at 061 608 9323 for appointments.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Male impalas who rarely visit our yard stopped by last night for a few pellets. They’re timid, and any sudden movement will make them dash off in a hurry. During the mating season, they bark when claiming their territory among other males. It’s a sound like no different sound we’ve heard in the bush.

As we drove through Kruger National Park two days ago, I felt a sharp pain in my right bottom molar several times over three or fours hours. It was over three months ago, while we were on the Antarctica cruise, that a temporary filling I’d had in Costa Rica finally fell out.

When we’d gone to the dentist in Costa Rica (click here for details), for some reason, I didn’t feel right having the dentist entirely replace the chipped filling. Instead, I asked for a temporary filling, knowing that something else would have to be done in time.  

The spotless waiting room in Dr. Luzaan Du Preez’s dental office is located two doors from Wimpy’s in the Spar Shopping Centre in Komatipoort.

Once the temporary filling was in place, I didn’t give it another thought until it fell out during dinner while on the cruise. Since there was no pain or discomfort, just a gaping hole in the tooth, I’d figured that in time I’d get it repaired. 

The well-equipped modern treatment room was the most sophisticated we’d seen in years with the latest and most professional equipment.

Oh, good grief. I don’t like medical stuff. But, if we still lived in the US, from time to time, we’d go to a dentist, a doctor, an ophthalmologist, or others for a wide variety of aches, pains, and illnesses that occur to us at any age. No one is exempt from these issues.

Many zebras were hanging around the yard when we returned from the dentist appointment and grocery shopping in Komatipoort. Of course, we gave them pellets, apples, and carrots.

Unfortunately, living outside our home country and unsure of the quality of medical care in many countries, taking care of medical issues is fraught with a certain degree of fear and apprehension. 

Warthogs are always lurking in the bush, waiting for other animals to stop by so they can partake in the pellet offerings. No wonder they are called wart “hogs.” Five zebras were munching.

Are things sterile?  Will we “catch” something in the doctor’s office? Is the doctor educated sufficiently to handle our concerns, or do they do “cookie-cutter” treatment for all their patients? One never knows. 

As we’ve worked with Dr. Theo Stronkhorst in Komatipoort for our vaccination boosters and my gastro issues, we’ve felt confident in his care. His knowledge and attention to detail are impeccable.

Then, there were seven zebras.

Yesterday’s appointment with Dr. Luzaan made us both feel the same way, resulting in our booking appointments to have our teeth cleaned on May 3rd. What an exceptional dentist! Plus, the entire bill, including x-rays, was only ZAR 625 (US $50.28)!

She took x-rays of my tooth to discover it has a crack, most likely from grinding my teeth at night, which I’ve done all of my life. She explained that the filling she replaced might not last forever, mainly if I eat anything hard to chew on that side. In essence, the tooth may eventually need a root canal and crown. I was in no mood for that right now or at any time soon.

Zebras tend to stay close to one another due to their distinctive stripes acting as a point of confusion to predators. However, in Marloth Park, generally, there are no predators. Although, recently, lions have been sighted.

She gently repaired the filling without anesthetic (to which I jumped only a few times), and we were off to the grocery store, meat market, and biltong store for the foodstuffs we need over the next week.

Another holiday is on the horizon, and once again, Marloth Park will be packed with tourists. We won’t be returning to Kruger until the holiday is over after the weekend. We hear it’s the “May Day” holiday which wasn’t mainly celebrated in the US in our old lives.  Instead, we celebrated “Labor Day” on the first Monday in September.

They stayed around for quite a while, occasionally tossing a kick toward a warthog who honed in on their treats.

By 3:00 pm, we were back home, put away all the groceries, and settled in on the veranda to a busy night in the bush. We used the gas grill to make pork chops for Tom and lamb for me, along with bacony green beans and homemade low-carb almond flour muffins, a real treat when warmed and topped with butter. 

Several times during dinner, we had to jump up to accommodate visitors. But, we don’t mind. A cold plate of food is just fine as long as we can spend time with the animals who stop by day and night, always making us smile.

Enjoy your day and evening! 

Photo from one year ago today, April 25, 2017:

One year ago today, we posted a story and this photo (not ours) about our friend and loyal reader Glenn, who passed away a few days earlier. It’s with love, respect, and reverence that we recall his memory and post this photo once again as we think of Glenn and his lovely wife Staci, with whom we’ve stayed in close touch. For the full story, please click here.

Our research for the future continues…Saddened by news from the US…

Late yesterday afternoon during an uncommonly heavy rainstorm, I went out to the freezer in the garage to get some ice. I saw this long black thing, referred to as an omangomang in Balinese, moving along the garage floor. I called out to Tom to come see it. He grabbed the camera and came running. Creepy.  Was that an eye looking out at us?  
“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”
A perfect sunny day at low tide.

Is there ever a time we can sit back and not be concerned about the “next” location in our world travels? Its not likely at this point in our lives.

As we discuss short term goals (over the next few years) and potential long term goals (who knows where and when?) we realize that our travels are not only determined by cost and desirability but also the general safety of each location.

Suddenly, legs came out of the long black shell and the crustacean began dragging itself along the garage floor.  The two Ketuts explained this is an omangomang which may not be eaten.

Yesterday, Tom spotted this article about the “25 Safest Countries in the World.”  Click here for details.

Over these past several days, we’ve watched online news retelling the horrific story of the mass shootings in Orlando, Florida. Our hearts go out to all the families of victims of this devastation and pray for healing and peace for our nation and nations throughout the world.

An ocean view while the van was moving through traffic.

In the realm of things, our personal travels become small and insignificant amid such sad news. But, as we all know, we must each carry on with our lives with the hope and intent of doing so with love and harmony as our primary goals.

As we reach toward our future, we not only research places “we’d like to see” but also where we can feel relatively at ease if we walk through an open market or stop at a café. 

We have no delusions that anywhere in the world is 100% safe. However, we can improve our odds of remaining safe by considering each future location after considerable deliberation and research.

Gede, our kind, helpful and thoughtful house man, built this house some years ago. He’s been heavily involved with construction and renovation over the years although he’s under 40 years old and quite resourceful and capable.

Another factor we must eventually consider more seriously is proximity to quality medical care. Here in this remote area of Bali, far from any world-class medical facilities, we’d be in serious trouble if we had a life-threatening medical emergency. 

The neighbor next door to our villa passed away a few years ago from a heart attack when he wasn’t able to get proper medical care in a timely fashion. He’d been taken to the hospital in Negara and the “doctor wasn’t in yet and not due to arrive for several hours.” Yikes. The man died while waiting.

On the left a restaurant and a data (SIM) card store on the right.

We’re not getting any younger. In less than 20 months, I’ll turn 70 years old (good grief!) with Tom lagging five years behind me. Regardless of how hard we may try to stay healthy, things can happen beyond our control.

Every so often, one of us feels a sharp pain or sense of discomfort that usually dissipates after awhile. Most likely, this occurs for most seniors (and those younger) from time to time. When we’re far from medical care, an added sense of concern washes over us, wondering what we’d do if one of us needed immediate treatment.

Motorbike drivers stop at the beaches along the highway for a lunch break or to purchase products from roadside stands.

Our health insurance provides for air ambulance to the closest world-class hospital paying 100% of major medical costs which gives us peace of mind to an extent although not entirely. It’s the getting there expeditiously that becomes the greater source of concern.

A few stretches of the highway can be less busy although shortly ahead at this location we encountered considerable traffic.

What? Me, worry? Sure, overall, maintaining good health is our primary source of concern. Do we fuss over it all the time? No. We only worry when there’s  a reason to, such as when there’s a lingering sharp pain or a sense of not feeling quite right. 

In the future, we’ve already booked a few more remote-type locations for extended stays and most likely we’ll continue to book a few more remote locations in the future. Many of our upcoming cruises including Antarctica in January, 2018 are considered remote. 

Commercial building along the highway.

The world is a big place. We’ve hardly explored the “tip of the iceberg” (but soon will!). Safety and well being will always be of our utmost concern and never will we take that safety for granted.

May your day provide you with a sense of well being and safety.

Photo from one year ago today, June 15, 2015:

The rainy view of what is aptly named, Double Island, as seen from our veranda one year ago in Trinity Beach, Australia where we lived for three months. For more photos, please click here.

We’re “off to the races” with exciting photos tomorrow…Routines we all love…Final photos of the Pulaki Temple…

Butu, our driver and guide, is in the left of this photo, looking out to the ocean across the road.

Yesterday, Gede stopped by with our passports. Our visa extensions have been accomplished with appropriate stamps inside each of our two passports. Of course, we’re relieved this is accomplished and thank Gede for making Trip 3 on our behalf. We’d written a letter on my laptop authorizing Gede to pick up our passports, printing it on the villa’s printer. The immigration officer had explained this letter would be acceptable for Trip 3 only.

The hard part has been the concept of going through this same scenario all over again when we return to Bali in September. With this in mind, I contacted the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore by email asking if we could apply for the 60-day visa while we’re there in a month. They sent back a long list of requirements but it looks like we can get this done while we’re there between June 28th and July 5th. In addition, while in Singapore, we’ll apply for visas for Vietnam and for Thailand, each of which is required in advance. We’ll be in Singapore for only one week with five business days necessary to accomplish all three of these visas. 

It appears the nature of our week in Singapore has now been determined, although we’ll make every effort to go sightseeing and enjoy the city as much as possible.  Surely, we’ll have some time in between waiting in line and applying for visas.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

This funny-looking creature was scurrying across the sand.

This morning at 7:00 am, we took “off for the races,” not expecting to return until long after our usual posting time. As a result, I prepared this final Pulaki Temple post, hoping we don’t bore our readers with this three-day story.

The sign posted at the entrance to the temple.  f you’d like to read it, please zoom in.

If we’ve bored you with this lengthy representation, please check back tomorrow. Our morning outing will surely be of interest to many of our worldwide readers as we embark on an unusual experience so early in the day. 

There are few activities that inspire us to be out the door so early in the day, although we are both early risers.  You know. We each have our little morning routine that brings us a certain sense of familiarity and contentment. Deviating from that routine can be unsettling.

Monkey hanging onto a pole watching the action below.

Oh sure, we attempt to be flexible and varied in our activities as we travel the world. But, without having a home to call our own, we find ourselves especially appreciating some of the routines we embraced in our “old lives” including the showering and getting dressed for the day, the two cups each of perfectly brewed coffee with “real” full fat cream and the settling into comfy seating to begin the day with idle conversation, coffee mugs in hand.

One of several enclosed areas for monks to work to avoid being pestered by the monkeys.

It’s an easy routine, one requiring little planning. That’s the whole idea about routines, not much forethought required to put them into action. As we sit here most days watching the activity on the beach in Bali, we easily see the routine the dozens of stray and owned dogs implemented in their daily lives.  We’re not a lot different as humans.

As we easily recall living in Marloth Park, South Africa for three months with wild animals roaming about the house each and every day, we reveled in observing the routines of wild animals. No, they don’t shower, dress, and make coffee but they do fall into a routine of investigating their surroundings for the most likely sources of nourishment and pleasure. No, it wasn’t always about food.

Tangled family…mom, dad, and babies?

Isn’t that what we do? Check out our surroundings upon awakening for some sort of oral gratification (via coffee or breakfast) and settle into our surroundings for that which provides us with the most comfort, whether it be taking responsibility in getting to work on time or for retired folks, determining the tone of our day.

It’s not always exciting and rarely mind-blowing. Most often, it’s simple activities gleaned from our personal choices and desires that find us with a smile on our faces, ready to tackle the day’s challenges, tasks, and accomplishments.

This cat, who didn’t seem to mind, was getting a lot of personalized attention from these three monkeys if you see what I mean.

Even for those less goal orientated, we all begin the day anew with hope and expectation of finding purpose and meaning to what’s ahead whether it be a favorite TV show at noon, the continuation of a book we’ve been reading, or a visit with a friend over a cup of tea. It all matters.

At the entrance gate to the temple.

I suppose for all of us, it’s about embracing whatever we chose to do to spend our time which has the ability to bring us some degree of pleasure, familiarity, and contentment. 

Monkey statue at the entrance to the temple.

Who’s to judge what others do?  How easily one can fall into a trap of giving well-intentioned advice to others on what they should do: get out more, make new friends, stop eating cake for breakfast, or whatever one may find to be less than ideal per their own standards.

Unless an individual is suffering from a severe emotional or physical illness, how they choose to spend their time is up to them. Many write to us suggesting we get out more, see more sights, go scuba diving, snorkeling, and to stop living in remote isolated locations. 

View of the beach across the road.

Why? Why would we change what we love when we’re happy? If we don’t share enough experiences and photos each day, please tell us. We’d love to hear from you. But, in doing so, most likely we won’t change a thing. How does an idea from others inspire one to divert from contentment and happiness? 

It’s this very concept that became the crux of why we’re traveling the world as we are…doing exactly what we feel like doing with the intent of fulfilling our personal dreams of experiences and gaining knowledge. In that realm is the pure pleasure of the routines we’ve established in our lives that only add to the joy.

Another scene of the beach across the street from the Pulaki Temple.

So today, we’re off at 7:00 am. Why? Because we can. Because we chose to and most of all, because we can’t wait to share it with all of you!

Photo from one year ago today, May 29, 2015:

While on RC Legend of the Seas, there was a ceremony to celebrate crossing the Equator with King Neptune as the star of the event. Actually, it was quite hilarious. It’s hard to believe that was a year ago! For more photos and details, please click here.

More Cairns Botanic Garden photos…Quiet day on the home front…Lots of steps?

A beautiful bouquet already made by nature.

After yesterday’s workout and finally completing the post around 1:15 pm my day had gone haywire. Most days I’m done by noon and we can go about our day of either shopping, sightseeing, or hanging out at home.

Lipstick bamboo.

With the late start, I found myself running around like a Tasmanian Devil (hope to see more of these someday soon) in ten different directions at once. With laundry to do, dinner to make, Tom’s blood test results (they were perfect) to scan, and tidbits of organizing here and there, my day was full.

These must be a treat for the many birds in the Cairns Botanic Gardens.

Tom had a hankering for our bread-less sandwich. But none of that for me here in Australia. All the meats are processed as opposed to sliced real meat we’ve been able to buy in some countries. Also, all the meats were filled with gluten and sugar. 

Orange puffs.

Tom doesn’t care if he eats small amounts of sugar or gluten nor does he react to the perils of gluten and sugar in lunch meats so I opted for a salad with bacon, avo (Aussie slang), cheese, celery, lots of cos (romaine) lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and chicken chunks, my favorite salad.

We saw these Sausage Trees in Kruger National Park in South Africa.  These pods are huge.

Based on the fact that I was making two totally different dinners, I spent a considerable time chopping, dicing, and slicing for both of our meals. Plus, I got this crazy desire to make a new recipe for Low Carb Blueberry Coconut Muffins with less than two carb grams each.

Some creek beds were dry.

Although I don’t eat fruit due to the high sugar content, berries are relatively low in carbs in small portions and I can easily handle the five berries in a single muffin. It was the first time I’d made the recipe and they were moist and delicious. 

Moments later we saw this waterfall.

If you’d like the recipe please email me. It is written and prepared to go. If you want to replace the sweetener with real sugar, feel free to do so, but the carbs will increase exponentially making it an entirely different muffin, although it will still be moist and delicious.

According to a friend/reader, this is a Prickly Pear. 

By the time I was done in the kitchen, the laundry was done and put away, the muffins were cooling undercover (lots of flies here) and we were able to sit down and play cards until dinner.

Gecko on a rock at the Cairns Botanic Gardens.

Each day I wear a FitBit which keeps track of my steps and other pertinent health information. I’m only interested in the number of steps I do each day. When we’re staying home, I can’t seem to top 5000 steps in a day. 

Tom was busy inspecting this huge tree.

This place isn’t big enough with no steps to run up and down and, it’s impossible to go for a walk when the driveway is too steep to get down on foot. With no parking allowed on the road and the fact that we can’t block the driveway for the owner’s comings and goings, walking in the neighborhood isn’t practical.

Pink beauty.

Instead, we amp up the walking and subsequent steps when we’re out and about. No matter what they say, managing 10,000 steps at home in a day is outrageous unless one goes for long walks. 

Even the smallest flowers are lovely.

We only manage to do this three or so times a week when we visit a good location suitable for walking. Add in my HIIT workout and Tom patiently waits for me in the car while reading a book, that’s about as good as it gets for us.

The Flecker Garden was laid out in a manner that aided in seeing everything possible with ease.

In a way, I think walking is overrated as a means of fitness. Getting up and moving around seems to be more important for us than sitting all day. Doing the resistance and burst training seems to work well for me, adding greatly to my strength and stamina. 

We see tons of people walking who don’t appear to be very fit, especially on cruises. That’s not to say that we’re highly fit. We’d probably both flunk fitness tests.  With our bad shoulders, neither of us can do a single pull-up or push-up.

Easy to navigate walkways and occasional steps led to a different level in the gardens.

By the time we had dinner, I was ready to wind down. We like to watch a fun show during dinner each night. I know. “They,” whoever they are, say one shouldn’t eat and watch a show. Who cares what “they,” say? We’re discovering “they” were wrong on many points regarding our health and well being. 

We enjoy dining and watching a show. It’s almost comparable to having popcorn at the movie theatre which we don’t do anymore (not because of the movie, but, due to the fact that we don’t eat popcorn) watching an entertaining show makes the meal seem as if it’s a social event. We do talk and make comments to one another. It’s kind of like a fun date.

This was one of my favorites.

Over the past several months, we watched all seven seasons of Sons of Anarchy, disappointed when it ended.  Now, we’re doing Breaking Bad, well into season three, another show filled with gore that may not be appropriate for dining. Tom always cringes when they show a character puking while we’re eating. He’s gagged a few times. It makes me laugh. He keeps watching.

We watch one episode a night and without commercials, it only lasts for about 45 minutes, perfect timing for dinner. Once we’re done, he does the dishes and then the remainder of our relaxing evening continues. 

In reality, our lives are simple and uncomplicated except for managing bookings, financial details, and travel days. The remainder of our days are spent just like yours except for the excessive amount of sightseeing we may do at times.  We didn’t do much of that in our old lives. Do you?

                                               Photo from one year ago today, July 26, 2014:

The quaint village of Campanarios was preparing for the annual “Festa do Santíssimo Sagramento,” a religious celebration during which most of the village participated.  For details and more photos, please click here.

Turning the corner?…Time to get busy…New photos…One year ago, a photo of our fabulous final meal in Marrakech…

The chicks were born in early February and will fledge in the next month or so. It’s been amazing to watch their fluff fall away as their feathers suitable for flying grow in.

It’s only a subtle change after 10 days of being ill. I didn’t lay in bed often during the day over this period doing so for only short stints. I showered and dressed every morning, doing laundry as needed, and preparing our meals. It felt good to move about rather than lounging all day long.

Never hesitating to post I scrambled for good new photos to share. I never dreaded posting during this period. The words may not have flowed as easily as on better days but, they came nonetheless, and as long as I could roust up new photos, I was content. Bear with me over the lack of creativity during this time.

An un-banded Albatross out for a walk. It’s impossible to determine the albatross’s gender without a DNA test. There are no obvious markings or physical definitions. Since both parents equally share in sitting on the nest and the care and feeding of the chick, perhaps nature has made them visibly indistinguishable. 

Now, on day three of the second round of antibiotics, yesterday I noticed a slight improvement, enough to inspire me to get out. Needing more probiotics and anxious to see how the Laysan Albatross chicks were progressing, I asked Tom to drive me to the nearby neighborhood to see them, take photos and then head to the grocery store for the six items on the grocery app on my Windows phone.

All of the chicks now have both fluffy and new feathers, as shown in this napping chick.

As soon as we got into the car, it started to rain. In the two minutes it took to drive to the albatross, most of them were tucked inside their own proliferating new feathers as shelter from the downpour. We were able to get these few shots although it was difficult to do so with their heads tucked away.

Tom is absolutely the most patient photo spotter on the planet. He backs up six inches, moves forward nine inches, and repeatedly backs up to provide me with the perfect angle for a shot. Never complaining. Never once. Without his patience and perseverance, we’d miss so much. 

This banded albatross appeared to be a parent when she or he was hovering near a chick.

As the sun began to wane with a decent sunset appearing on the horizon, at 6:30 pm, we wandered across the street to gather with the crowds at the overlook that both walk and drive to this location to take photos and gawk at the impending beauty.

This chick has been a favorite of ours with his nest fairly close to the road and her/him often checking out the scenery.

As it turned out the sunset wasn’t as profound as we’d expected. We returned home at 7:10 for a quiet restful evening. Again today, the improvement is still small but enough to give me hope that I’ll be feeling better soon.

Our plan for today was for both of us to head to Lihue to return the rental car and pick up another car we’d reserved. Originally, we’d intended to leave Kauai on the 15th to spend the remaining nine nights until the cruise in Honolulu. After our unimpressive 11 nights in Waikiki, once we got settled in Kauai we decided to stay here until the 23rd, spending only one night in Honolulu.

Here are two chicks approximately six feet apart although they look closer in this photo. Here again, they are tucked away napping during the wind and rain. The parents lay one egg and thus these two are not related or, perhaps in some way, they are.

As a result, when we were unable to extend the remaining nine days over the phone and a trip to Lihue was necessary today on the 15th.

Tom will return the car without me with no necessity for me to be sitting in the car for two hours for the round trip to the airport and back. Tom loaded his favorite podcasts on his phone for the drive and the time will fly quickly for him.

By the time we left the area, the sun was shining and we spotted this typical lawn mowing scenario. A Cattle Egret hovers near the mower hoping for morsels the process may unsettle. This always makes us laugh.

With a little catching up on departure tasks such as paying in advance for our luggage on the upcoming flight to Honolulu and logging a few receipts on our spreadsheet, I’ll make good use of the time.

Yesterday, we took enough photos to share over the weekend. Hopefully, by Monday, we can escalate our activity level and visit a few remaining sites before departing Kauai. Have a wonderful Friday and upcoming weekend!

                                               Photo from one year ago today, May 15, 2014:

A year ago, Madame Zahra had lovingly made our last meal at Dar Aicha, the lovely riad in which we lived for the prior two and a half months. With utmost respect, we didn’t take photos of the household staff.  Saying goodbye to Madame was tearful and emotional for her and me. With a total language barrier somehow we managed to communicate with one another during the entire period.  For details of that final day, please click here.

Yesterday, on the road to take photos, shop and have fun, fun, fun…Easy food tips and photo…Good health, the ultimate objective…

Tom walked to the shore to check out the views at the beach in town in Kapaa.

“Fun, fun, fun, my till her daddy takes the t-bird away,” another line from an oldie from our long-ago past released in 1964. Click here for the Beach Boys music video.

It doesn’t take much for us to have fun. Although we’ll have to return to the airport in Lihue to pick up a different rental car and could have shopped at that time, we decided to get out yesterday. 

We visited this beach by taking a road off the main road in Kapaa, close to the business district.

Our original departure date from Kauai on May 15th is the scheduled return date for the Dollar Car Rental. They refused to extend it for the extra eight days we’re staying over the phone (we tried). As a result, we’re returning to Lihue on the 15th to rent a different car (a better deal).

We could have waited to shop, but it felt good to get into the car and head down the Kuhio Highway on a sunny day to Long’s Drug (owned by CVS) for a few toiletry items we needed to take on the upcoming cruise. The cost on cruises for a tube of toothpaste is often two or three times more than a drugstore.

Prices at Long Drugs were lower than at the grocery store in Princeville and of course, the selection was considerably better. We only spent $35 but the trip was well worth the scenery along the way.

We noticed a pole sticking out of the water at a distance, most likely some type of markers on the coral reef to protect boats and surfers.

While I was in Long’s Drugs (Tom stayed in the car reading a book) I was reminded of the day in December when part of our family was with us on the Big Island and Long’s Drugs was closing early that day due to the lava from Mount Kilauea heading to the shopping center. They had a huge sale, but with limited space in our luggage, we only purchased what we could use at the time.

At the time, it was sad to speak to the employees about the loss of their jobs at the local stores. Luckily, the lava never made it to the shopping center, grocery store, gas station, and drugstore. Subsequently, each has since reopened.

Bear with us, you may have seen similar photos in our past posts when we’ve headed south. These we’re showing today and over the next several days were all taken on yesterday’s outing. 

The coconut trees along the shoreline always create a pretty scene.

Making one more stop at the health food store for macadamia nut oil for making our homemade mayonnaise (please comment or send an email to request the recipe if you’d like it) and we were back on our way.

We stopped at every scenic overlook, every beach, and each viewing spot where there was space to park. In the past, when we’ve made this trip it was often cloudy and rainy. Today, the rain is pelting and the air is cool. 

Several times last night, we were awakened by the sound of the rain. We’ve never heard thunder during our lengthy stay in Hawaii nor have we noticed any lightning, which most likely occurs during hurricanes and tropical storms. In the off-season, the cooling and soaking rain further brighten the already lush green terrain.

From one shoreline to another, views at a distance.
Today will be a laid back quiet day. We’ll work on obtaining our visas for Australia online, do some laundry, and prepare another good meal. Tonight, we’ll each have a different entrée which is a common occurrence. Tonight, Tom will have pork chops (there’s no free-range pork available on the island), green beans, muffin, and salad.  I’ll have wild-caught yellowfin tuna, shrimp, mussels, green beans, muffin, and salad.

It has always been easy for me to make two different dinners when the only extra item to make is one extra entrée item when we share the sides. We use two tin foil pans we reuse over and over, covered in tin foil. In one pan I’ll place Tom’s pork chops and the other which will contain my various seafood items on a bed of organic spinach seasoned well with spices and coconut oil. 

We cook many such entrees under the broiler (no grill here), his first and then mine, during the last five minutes.

This beach park provided covered pavilions where we noticed locals and tourists having lunch.

After cooking both entrees we toss the foil, rinse the pans and they’re ready to be reused for the next meal. We could use regular metal pans in this same manner but none is available here in the correct sizes.  

Using the foil, we avoid the necessity of scrubbing pans, pointless and frustrating waste of time. We use parchment paper when baking if the temperature is under 400 degrees (parchment burns at temperatures over 400 degrees) although doing so doesn’t eliminate the need to wash the pan.

Tom, butterflied giant pork chop, and my pan of delectable seafood. Since we eat no starchy side dishes, only salad and veggies, we usually have a good-sized portion of protein. I keep my daily protein consumption under 80 grams, carbs under 20 grams, and fat grams around 125 grams, easily maintaining the strict requirements of my way of eating to avoid inflammation, pain, and resulting illnesses precipitated by chronic inflammation. At home, Tom and I both follow this way of eating. When out, he indulges, especially on the cruises.

Reynolds makes a fabulous non-stick foil. However, using coconut oil on top of the cheaper foil prevents anything from sticking. Reynolds non-stick foil is $7.95 for 25 feet here in Hawaii whereby regular foil is $2.95 for 25 feet. 

You may wonder why we always use coconut and macadamia nut oil (readily available here in Hawaii). Actually, we also use olive oil, walnut, almond hazelnut, and other nut oils. 

Coconut trees along the beach had been trimmed to avoid risk of injury from falling coconuts.

We no longer use any vegetable oils or store-bought mayonnaise which contain dangerous Omega 6’s, soy, seed oils, chemicals, and processing. Click here for more information. There are 100’s of reputable sources of research and information available online. We share this information that we’ve chosen for our health and, if interested, we encourage you to research if you’d like to know more. 

Our goal is to stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible in order to ensure our ability to continue to travel well into our 70’s, 80’s or more. Along the way, we’ve met travelers in their 90’s who are fit and healthy.  Here in Hawaii, we’ve seen dozens of people who may easily 20 years older than us, walking at a good clip looking wonderful and joyful. 

At first, when I spotted the trees, I thought woodpeckers may have pecked at the trees. Tom reminded me that the park maintenance staff had used spikes to climb the trees to remove the coconuts. That made more sense!

There’s so much world ahead of us. We’ll continue to strive to be safe from injury and free from disease. Of course, we’re certainly not exempt from an occasional achy joint, cough, cold, or virus. With cruises coming up, we’ll take extra precautions to avoid catching an illness from other passengers. In reality, at times, it’s unavoidable and we do fall prey to illness as we have in the past, taking necessary measures to regain health as quickly as possible.

Living on the move is not unlike living in one location. The daily chores, responsibilities, and trials along the way motivate us to be as creative and proactive as we possibly can to ensure the best possible outcome…for us, the joy of continuing on in our travels and in life…

Have a great day!

Photos from one year ago today, May 5, 2014:

There was a short step when exiting the master bedroom in the riad in Marrakech. Upon exiting the bedroom there was this low railing. One could slip on the step or the long hanging drapes that covered the doorway and topple over the railing. We both reminded each other frequently to exercise caution in making our way around the house to avoid injury. For more details, please click here.

A fun interlude with “kapuna” with bingo and games…One year ago, raining in the house…

The unassuming exterior of the Princeville Community Center located near the Princeville Shopping Center, across the street from the Princeville Library.

As senior citizens, we’ve certainly taken advantage of discounts and a variety of opportunities afforded only to the aging population throughout the world. 

By the time we arrived exactly at 10:45, most of the seats were already filled. We’d better get into the groove of the “arriving early syndrome” so popular with seniors.

It may be in the form of discount movie tickets, 5% off on some cruise fares with an AARP card (which we have), 5% off groceries on Thursdays here in Kauai at the local Foodland store, or as many seniors are aware, discounts at various dining establishments at certain times or days of the week.

Many had their plates full of the goodies prepared by the volunteers and some guests.

As a matter of fact, Hawaii has numerous discounts and benefits for seniors, perhaps in consideration of the higher cost of living than on the mainland. Also, we’ve found, that with the high population of seniors living in Hawaii many activities for seniors are organized and well-executed. (For demographics on seniors living in the Hawaiian Islands, please click here).

The party room is air-conditioned and comfortable.

Kapuna is the Hawaiian word for grandparents or elders who are revered and held in high esteem by the Hawaiian people.

As we’ve aged these past few years we’ve tended to become friends with many who are much younger than us, by circumstance rather than preferences. But, here in Princeville, almost every part-time or permanent resident is over 60 years old. 

It was obvious that a lot of work had gone into the preparation of the pu pu’s.

The only younger people we’ve met are friends or relatives of the older population and tourists passing through for the myriad adventures Kauai has to offer, many high risk and dangerous for many seniors as we’ve recently discovered on some serious hikes we’ve taken, none of which are inspiring us to return.

The three plates of quiche were quite a hit. 

Yesterday morning at 10:45, we attended a free senior St. Patrick’s Day party at the Princeville at Hanalei Community Center which was introduced to us by friend Richard who’d saved a local newspaper article for us announcing the details of the event. Thanks again, Richard, our personal social director.

Me and my three bingo cards. Toward the end of the various bingo games, after I’d won, Tom took over one of my cards when he noticed I wasn’t properly tending to them due to my short attention span.

Anticipating that the majority of the attendees would be considerably older than our 67 and 62 respectively, we were surprised when at least half were our ages or a few years younger. 

“Do I have B 11?”

We brought along our pu pu to share and were pleased to see a table filled with beautifully prepared entrees and desserts. Tom tried some of the desserts and won several peppermint patty type candies which he devoured with gusto. I didn’t eat a thing instead, busying myself taking photos and visiting with our table mate, Barbara, a lovely woman from Germany who’s lived in the islands for years.

“How about an O 72?”

I won bingo once when I used three (free) cards winning a much-needed Pier One green plastic wine glass which my sister will use when she visits in a few days. The other guests were exceedingly friendly as were the volunteers and hostess Cristina and of course, the bingo caller whose name I never heard among the loud roar of the crowd of about 40 participants.

“Ah, I didn’t win but my wife did.  I’m happy!”

Less than a two-hour event, we departed shortly after 12:00 pm, with a handout of the next party for spring that occurs on April 14th at the same time and location. Without a doubt, we’ll surely attend the next party not so much for the food and games but for the opportunity to meet people and to feel a part of a community for the remaining period we’re on the island.

My winning card, the letter “H.”

For local seniors and visitors who find themselves feeling a desire to mingle, make new friends, and discover an easy, no cost means of inclusion in the community, involvement in these events is ideal. 

I was thrilled to win this wineglass from Pier One when there’s a shortage at our condo which will come in handy when Julie arrives tomorrow night. 

Also, if you know of a senior who may benefit from “getting out” and socializing, feel free to bring them to an event. The center asks that participants call or email that they plan to attend. 

When we weren’t certain we’d be done posting in time to attend, we hadn’t reserved our spots and were welcomed with open arms. Bringing a pu pu to share is not required since volunteers prepare most of the food while others like us brought a dish to share.

The party was winding down after the last game.  Tom helped with the folding of the tables and chairs while I chatted with other participants.

The community center has numerous other activities appealing to all ages which can be found on their website under the calendar posted. Their phone number is: (808) 826-6687 or inquiries may be made by email:

Have a happy hump day for those of you still working. See, you too can look forward to retirement for more than one reason.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, March 11, 2014:

It rained inside the riad in Marrakech with the open central courtyard. When we maneuvered from room to room we walked along the edges to avoid getting wet. For details on that date, please click here.

Golfing in Maui…Heavenly activity for many tourists…

Lovely drive into the Kahili Golf Course.

Playing golf in Hawaii is a favorite recreational activity for locals and visitors. Although neither of us plays golf, we appreciate the beautifully sculpted courses, meticulously maintained and often challenging for the most adept or amateur golfers.

The greenery of Hawaiian vegetation is available year-round, making Hawaii an ideal spot for golfers.

Unfortunately, neither of us falls into either category. Firstly, neither of us has found ourselves to be particularly adept at hitting that little ball nor have we had any interest in learning.

The view of both the mountains and the ocean is a highlight of many Maui golf courses.

Golf became especially less appealing after we’d both injured our right shoulders 10 years ago, playing aggressive and excessive amounts of Wii golf, Wii tennis, and other Wii games. We were extremely competitive, to say the least

The drive through the roads of the Kahili Golf Course was a statement of the commitment to preserving the local vegetation.

Our doctor in Minnesota explained that many baby boomers suffered from “Wiinjuries” (Wii injuries) after beating ourselves to a pulp in playing Wii games. I must say, we loved Wii golf, although we never enjoyed the “real deal.”

Although there was a road sign warning of “crossing by the Nene birds (Hawaiian geese), only these Cattle Egrets ran back and forth across the road.

Most likely our aversion to golf has been due to a lack of natural ability if there is such a thing in golf as “natural ability.” You know how that goes. Some people just pick it up more easily than others, after trying on multiple occasions. Neither of us ever became competent enough to warrant further efforts

The lush lawns are similar to the type of grass at our condo.

Nor, did we cherish the idea of being bad at something and yet continuing to do it. It was more embarrassing than fun. What do “they,” say? “If you keep doing the same thing over and over again and it’s not working…stop doing the same thing.” We get that philosophy.

A gazebo and foot bridge on the course with the ocean at a distance.

In any case, we certainly like the idea of golf enough that recently we visited a local Maui golf course, Kahili Golf Course, located in Wailuku, Maui. While driving through its appealing grounds, we frequently stopped for photos and as shown, occasionally stopping for wildlife walking across the road

A manmade pond on the course created a pretty scene.

Although, when we noticed this sign for a buffet, it was tempting to give it a try, we’ve found that most buffets especially in Hawaii have few dishes that work for me with most items containing starch, grains, or sugar, making the expenditure not worthwhile.

We were tempted to try either of these buffets offered at the Kahili Golf Course. But, as usual, buffets in the US seem to offer less acceptable options for my way of eating.

We’d found a great buffet while in Honolulu and all Tom ate bothered to eat was the prime rib and mashed potatoes. I had no choice but to order off of the menu when nothing on the buffet worked for me, other than a lettuce salad.  Even the peel-and-eat shrimp had a starchy and sugary sauce. We had some luck with buffets in Africa but not in the US thus far.

Another Cattle Egret on the lookout.

We took several photos as shown at the beautiful Kahili Golf Course. Here’s a list of all of the golf courses in Maui and their fees at this link. It doesn’t appear that prices are much higher than they were 26 years ago when I was last in Maui when 18 holes ran over $200 per person.

Note the pond and ocean in this scenic view.

It appears that one can golf for as little as $49. The problem that enters the equation for the traveler is the additional cost for preferred tee times, golf cart rentals, equipment rentals, tips, taxes, and fees which could, even at the lowest starting prices, be upwards of $400 per person.

This lush greenery outlined the entrance to the golf tunnel. What a beautiful way to mask an otherwise less appealing entrance and exit!

For the avid golfer, these expenses result in “chump change” and they don’t flinch to pay it. Then again, the avid golfer would have brought along their own golf clubs, paying excess baggage fees when flying to the islands.

As we ended our visit to the golf course, one more panoramic view was in order.

For us, we got a kick out of visiting the course, stopping to enjoy the scenery, birds, and vegetation which for us is simply, “par for the course.”

Have a happy Sunday. Later today, Tom will watch football on the NFL Game Pass app on his computer. Go Vikings! Ha. Green Bay. Ouch.

                                           Photo from one year ago today, November 23, 2013:
As we wound down our time in Kenya, we assessed what leftover items we find necessary to discard or give away. No photos were posted on that date. Please click here for the story.

Household hazards…Treading carefully in vacation homes…Mindfulness is the key,,,

Standing at the low railing outside the master bedroom illustrates how one could fall over this railing to the brick floor or fountain below. Frightening!

Over the past year, we’ll have spent five and a half months living in houses 100 years old or more as here in
Marrakech and last summer in Italy, a 300-year-old property.
In each of these cases, we’ve experienced a similar situation, dangerous steps, and uneven stairways. What frequently causes steps to be dangerous, in their unexpected placement and unevenness in both height and depth in a stairway.

While living in Boveglio, Italy last summer, we’d posted photos of uneven stairways, but also of unexpected steps along a long hallway, a dangerous tripping hazard. Add the fact that if one fell they could easily bang their head on the stone or brick walls or floor adding to the risk of serious or fatal injuries. For photos and details of the tripping hazards in the old house in Italy, please click here.
When booking Dar Aicha, the riad in Marrakech, we anticipated that there would be many steps throughout the
riad, some uneven, others unexpected. We were right. They are everywhere.

The extra-long draperies kept closed to keep the sandflies out also creates a potential tripping hazard if one isn’t mindful when exiting.

From our perspective, unexpected steps are more hazardous than uneven stairways. Why? When going up and down stairways, aware of the risks, we tend to be more careful in general, holding onto a railing or wall if no railing is available while stepping gingerly.

Simply leaving one room to walk into another is often done without thought, resulting in tripping. The ultimate key to avoid tripping lies in a single word: mindfulness.

This has been a learning experience for me, the proverbial “bull in a China shop.” For Tom, having walked on uneven areas while working on the railroad for over 42 years, he has ingrained mindfulness. 

This is the stairwell from the main floor to the second floor. Although not easy to detect in this photo, the stone steps are high and shallow not fully fitting one’s shoe as each step is taken.

Luckily, I’ve had Tom at my side to “educate” me since the onset of our travels. When we walk, he always says, “step,” “two steps,” etc. ensuring I’m noticing what’s upcoming. With my camera in hand when we’re out, I’m often oblivious to uneven walkways, steps, and stairways.

In the process, I’ve become more mindful, able to easily maneuver throughout the riad, constantly aware of the possibility of tripping. Of course, this is not to say a fall is impossible or unlikely. 

One area of major concern while living in Dar Aicha has been when stepping outside of the master bedroom onto the second level balcony. The heavy drapes covering the doorway, necessary to be closed at all times to keep sandflies out, have two feet of excess material at the bottom, in itself a tripping hazard. 

There are two shallow steps to maneuver into and out of the master bedroom. 

With the two steps to navigate with a wide landing in between, required to get from the bedroom to the hallway, it’s an accident waiting to happen. From the photos we’ve posted here today, it may be difficult to determine how easily one could trip while coming out of the bedroom, either on the drapes or on either of the two steps resulting in being flung over the railing to the brick floor below in the open courtyard. Yikes! This possibility has scared us. 

Falls are the leading cause of household deaths worldwide. When adding the injuries incurred inside and outdoors one’s home from tripping and falling, it proves that even in one’s familiar surroundings the hazards are rampant. We’ve all seen the possible debilitation of a senior citizen’s health when breaking a hip from a fall, a common occurrence. 

As we’ve mentioned in the past, “Fear is a powerful motivator.” Maintaining the fear may be responsible for maintaining mindfulness.  Each time either of us steps outsides the bedroom door, we do so with the utmost of care. 

In this photo, the short distance from the two steps necessary to exit the master bedroom is evident which has prompted us both to be extremely careful.

With ten days remaining until we leave Marrakesh, we remind ourselves not to become careless by taking our newfound familiarity with the layout of the riad for granted. 

Another area of concern is when walking in the souks and in restaurants. There are dangerous steps and uneven stairways in almost every restaurant we’ve visited. Here again, we both tend to mention “step” to one another everywhere we may go, continuing to do so as we continue in our worldwide travels.

The final step is in the lower portion of this photo a short distance from the doorway, too close to the short railing.

Having the experience of being injured when the steps collapsed under our feet in Belize on the night of our anniversary on March 7, 2013, no fault of our own, we’ve upped our mindfulness. Please click here for the link to the story and photos from that date.

Please share this post with your family members and friends as a reminder to be mindful wherever they may walk and perhaps together we may prevent an injury or worse. 

Photo from one year ago today, May 5, 2013:
No photos were posted on this particular date.  In this short period as we progress further into our travels, we won’t have many dates without photos taken, as we’ve become more and more diligent in taking new photos for our daily postings. 

Yesterday, we didn’t include a photo from one year ago which we’ve included below when we’d instead posted a tribute to a dear friend that we sadly lost.

Photo from one year ago today, May 5, 2013:

The Palais Longchamp in Marseilles, France which we visited on May 4, 2013.

For the link of the story and more photos when we visited Marseilles, France on May 4, 2013, please click here.

For the link of the story from May 5, 2013, please click here.