How will we post while in Antarctica with the sketchy and slow signal?…

My guy, looking fit, slim and happy after taking good care of his health.

We’ve been contemplating how we’ll upload posts and photos once we begin the Antarctica cruise in 11 days.  We read numerous accounts online as to the difficulty of receiving and sending an email let alone publishing a post laden with photos and text.

Previously, I used the app Live Writer which allows the blogger to write the post with photos while offline and uploading when there’s a signal, even if for a short period.

The waiting area outside of La Cabrera for the early bird diners which begins at 6:30 pm and ends at 8:00 pm with a 40% discount on the bill.

Unfortunately, Windows is no longer supporting this app and it no longer works.  Instead, a few days ago, I purchased an app called Blogjet for US $39.95 (ARS 747) with a 30-day money-back guaranty from a reliable company I’ve used in the past, hoping it would solve the problem.

Unfortunately, for some odd reason, my blogger/google username and password won’t be accepted to allow the prepared post to upload when I instruct it to do so.  I verified my username and password with google and there was no issue. They are correct.

Complimentary olives and a delicious tuna pate are served before the meal.  All of today’s photos are new although they may look familiar from a prior meal at La Cabrera.

To get this issue resolved would require an enormous amount of technical work and cost if I pursued a resolution.  It’s not as if you can “call” google and get technical service for issues like this. 

There are thousands of forums entries that address this issue and it sounds as if my problem has been experienced by others with many suggested solutions I’ve tried, to no avail.  It’s a hopeless cause. 

More complimentary items served moment prior to the arrival of the main course which includes roast garlic (in the forefront), applesauce, mashed potatoes and mashed pumpkin. Tom took the mashed potatoes and applesauce while I had the garlic and pumpkin.  Delicious!

I can get my email, perform other google related tasks and continue to post in the blog, but I was fearful, if I made any major changes, it could cause a problem preventing me from doing either.  No way would I risk this.

I contacted the company from which I purchased the software and they were no help, nor did I expect them to be. But, it was worth asking if they’d had such an issue with other customers.  No response.  So it goes.

Tom was served an egg salad along with his monstrous steak.

So, I asked myself how could I prepare posts offline to later be uploaded when we get a signal on the ship?  Apparently, when there is a signal its comparable to that of a dial-up connection of 25 years ago. 

It’s not the problem of the ship’s satellite.  It’s Mother Nature’s fault for her majestic mountains and glaciers in the very remote location.  Who’s to argue with Her?  Not us.

Tom’s medium rare, perfectly prepared steak, was accompanied with three sauces.  Not a sauce kind-of-guy, he ate the steak and mashed potatoes along with a few tastes of my roasted garlic.

When writing a post, one cannot use a typical word processing document such as Word, in its original format.  Not only will it not upload properly but the formatted elements of Word and other such apps speak a different “language” than that of the Internet.  Many outrageous errors and formatting issues would be uploaded.

In a hopeful state of mind, I perused Word on my laptop to discover there is such an appropriate document available for use while blogging.  Yesterday,  I tested the capability of my writing a post, copying and pasting it and uploading it to our blog while online.  It worked without errors.

Chef Ramsey would be proud of this perfectly cooked medium rare 800 gram  (28 ounce) sirloin steak.  The rib eyes looked good but have more fat and Tom prefers less fat on his meat.

Some of our readers may have noticed a new post pop up yesterday that read “test” and suddenly disappear after I was satisfied it would work.  Usually, one can’t easily copy and paste from other non-web related documents.  (There are some exceptions).

Then, I busied myself for awhile preparing the working documents in “blog” format using Word, naming each one of the succeeding days on the cruise as Day 1 Antarctica
Day 2 Antarctica
Day 3 Antarctica
and so on…until Day 17 Antarctica, the final day of the cruise.

Each day, after we return from our Zodiac boat expeditions (twice a day in good weather), I’ll proceed to prepare the post as usual and wait for a time slot when there’s a good signal.  This may be in the middle of the night when fewer passengers are online.  Even with a slow signal, it should be able to upload a story and a few photos.

Once again, I couldn’t resist the Caesar salad but this time I didn‘t request the add-on avocado since last time they included an entire huge avocado cut into big chunks.  I couldn’t eat that much especially when Tom placed a big slice on his steak on my plate.

The cruise consists of 7 sea days (out of 17 days total) where we won’t be getting off the ship and it will be during those days that I’ll be fine tuning the upcoming posts for eventual download.

Now, let’s supposed the worst possible scenario…we’re unable to post anything with the poor signal which is a possibility.  In that case, I want all of our readers to know not to worry about our safety. 

Please know that as soon as we’re back in Buenos Aires for a quick two days, we’ll upload a few of the posts and continue uploading them after we get to Africa and get a night’s sleep after the long trip.  In that case, we’ll probably do two posts a day, one about our arrival in Marloth Park and it’s adventures and the other, the awaiting post from Antarctica.

At the end of the meal, a giraffe containing lollipops was delivered to each table.
Our entire bill including a full-sized bottle of Malbec, (the balance of which we took with us) and Tom’s large bottle of beer was a grand total of US $56.75 (ARS 1,063) including tax and a generous cash tip.  Wow!  The 30-minute wait outside until the doors open was worth it!

I’ll make it clear at that time.  No worries.  On the post prior to our departure to Ushuaia to board the ship, we’ll repost the link for this post as a reminder.

Now, I can relax a little during our remaining time in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Next week, we’ll begin the daunting task of packing what we’re taking with us and packing what we’re leaving behind in cardboard boxes since we’ll be taking our two large suitcases with us (23 kg), 50-pound limit each). 

The hotel will store the items we leave behind which will be 70% of the clothing we originally carried in our bags consisting of mostly warm weather clothing.  It will all work out well.

Last night, we savored a second visit to La Cabrera and couldn’t resist sharing some of those photos after an exceptional meal.  Today, I’ll be working with our web person to make updates on our site, including once and for all, writing a piece for the “About Us” tab at the top of the page.  We’ll let you know when that’s ready.

That’s it for today, folks.  May you have a fabulous end of the week and look forward to a delightful weekend.  As always, we’ll be thinking about YOU!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 12, 2017:

We visited Brett, a citizen of Penguin, Tasmania who has spent the past 40 years building his beer memorabilia collection.  It was fun to see this exceptional collection.  For more details and photos, please click here.

How to post a blog every single day of the year without angst, writer’s block or dread….How does this happen?

Beautiful statues mostly of Buddhist influence are found in many locations.

Many readers have asked over these years how we, (and I mean “we” when it requires the diligent attention of both of us each morning) feel motivated, interested and committed to posting 365 days a year, give or take a day here and there.
Flippantly, I always respond with a genuine, “Oh, we love doing it! Its easy to do something you love.”
 
Although, its much more complex than that, albeit true, lighthearted response.  It truly goes to the core of who we are as people, aside from who we are as world travelers, as we become more and more “seasoned” as time marches on.

In part, we’re not the typical world travelers.  As our long term readers are well aware, we aren’t always about visiting the popular tourist locations, although at times we do so with considerable pleasure and gratefulness for the experiences. 

The placement of hands, Mudras, as gestures in Buddhism is explained here.

More so, our world travel centers around living in various locations, blending into society, as best as we can.  We strive to mingle among the locals learning how they live, as best as we can while living within the realm of our financial means, within the constraints of aging and certain age related precautions and limitations. 

Above all, our personal interests are a driving force, as opposed to what may be expected from us as world travelers.  Fortunately, our personal interests not necessarily totally aligned, are superseded by our innate desires to please one another to ensure we are not only happy as a couple but also individually happy living life to the fullest considering our hopes, dreams and expectations.

As a couple, its relatively easy, even though we are so different from one another in many ways. Tom’s head strong fuel driven personality with my more laid back conflict-avoidance-at-all-costs persona has proven to be somewhat of a complementary element.

In a way its almost a fluke.  Did we know this going in, when we left Minnesota on October 31, 2012, driving to Scottsdale, Arizona to prepare for living outside the US for years?  We had an inkling when in the rigors of the fast paced life we lived in Minnesota, kept us close and connected with a few rare exceptions.

Beautiful embrace.

And even now, on a rare occasion we butt heads, only when I don’t have the stamina to leave the room and let him fight with himself.  No one ever continues fighting when there’s no one in the room to fight with. 

I’m always willing to talk it out, when Tom can diffuse in minutes with a few choice swear words to become cheerful and loving moments later.  Go figure.  I’ve learned to tune it out although I’m not exempt from reminding him later what a jerk he was for the 30 seconds.  He’s not beyond apologizing.

Its this foundation, this relationship with each other and…traveling the world, that is the primary reason we’re able to post each day.  If it was always about tourist destinations and sightseeing, we’d easily run our of stories. 

Do any of you go sightseeing everyday with a story you could share each morning, 365 days a year?  After awhile, you’d feel stressed and pressured to get out to see one more thing.

The talent of artists in Thailand in creating such detailed artwork is breathtaking.

If you were to search for days you’ll find few bloggers posting daily stories with photos. Only through our willingness and perhaps craziness, are we able to share the mundane and sometimes boring events of daily life along with the exciting stuff. 

Its just so happens we do share the mundane news as we move from country to country, sightseeing on occasion, observing nuances of living in lands different from our home country, different from the lives we each lived for over 60 years.

Apparently, even our mundane periods of time still keeps our readers in touch, which often surprises us and for which we’re always grateful.  How did that ever happen?

Do we keep a running log of future stories?  Only when we’re involved in a multi day venue where stories and photos continue to back up.  Otherwise, most mornings, as soon as I’m showered and dressed for the day, cup of coffee at my side do I open up the Blogger app without a single thought in mind.

A pine tree with branches pointing upwards.

On occasion, Tom and I discuss possible topics.  I check the local and international news which may inspire a topic when often there’s nary a blurb I’d care to share. 

An event may have occurred that precipitates a topic such as dropping my phone in the toilet a few days ago.  Or, like today, nothing and I mean nothing occurred in the past 24 hours worthy of mention.

Instead, I let my mind wander to comments and email messages from our loyal readers of these past years that inspired today’s mention of the how and why we do what we do. 

And, it all of YOU that continue to inspire us, since without you, comparable to my leaving the room when Tom wants to carry on, without an audience, its pointless.

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Photo from one year ago today, August 23, 2015:
Not the most flattering photo of us on a very hot day without AC.  But, we couldn’t resist including a photo of us tasting the Mimolette cheese we’ve written about on this date one year ago, know for its “mites’ that live on the outside of the cheese as it ferments.  For more details on this story, please click here.

Its never easy…Then again, nothing worthwhile ever is…One year ago, a precious photo from a friend…

Last night’s waning moon with clouds.

Every morning as I prepare for my day, I begin the process of thinking of the post I’ll soon sit down to write. I have no angst around these thoughts. They’re just thoughts.

Clouds obscuring a pie slice of last night’s moon.

I check the camera for the previous day’s photos looking for inspiration often finding an answer on the viewfinder. After downloading the photos, inspiration comes, however small, however simple and I’m at peace that the words will come.

Now, the opposite side is blocked by clouds.

Honestly, it’s particularly challenging as we near the end of a stay in each location after writing many posts, day after day. I never tire of sitting down with my cup of coffee or tea (either will do), placing a pillow under my right elbow to support the bad shoulder, as the words flow from the tips of my fingers as they type, more in a physical than mental manner. 

Every morning this view takes our breath away.

Sure, we have stats to indicate how many readers, we have which we’ll share here in the next several days as we reach a milestone. But even so, I often wonder if some of our readers simply check out the photos as opposed to the words.

If they do, it still makes me happy. Knowing that even one person finds a moment of pleasure in our posts, makes it all worthwhile. Besides, with our six grandchildren here over the holidays, it reminded us of the legacy we leave for our grandchildren, their grandchildren, and generations to come when they can look back at years of posts of their kooky ancestors who traveled the world in their old age. 

After looking through hundreds of photos, I’ve yet to find the name of this tree in our neighborhood. Its leaves appear to be velvet.  Any ideas?

Oh, would that we’d have loved to be able to reference the travels, the thoughts, the photos, and the experiences of our ancestors on such a medium as the worldwide web. My grandmother Ethel, lived an amazing life. What I’d give to read her story, page by page, photo by photo, over a period of years of her life.

As the numbers of our readership grow day by day, year by year, we find great comfort in the driving force writing here provides.

The name of this street in our neighborhood makes us chuckle. Many Hawaiian names and words are difficult to pronounce, but this one seems relatedly easy.

More than anything, it makes us take notice of our surroundings more than either of us had ever done in the past; a sunrise, a sunset, a rising moon, a breaching whale, a blooming flower, or the simplicity of water running gently along a creek. We notice it all. For this, we are grateful. 

And…for our readers, we are grateful. Without your readership, comments, questions, and support, it would be hard to continue writing each day.

The Tsunami and hurricane warning horns, and various signs at the local park.

Some time ago we heard from Jody, a reader in Minnesota, explaining how she rides the metro to work in downtown Minneapolis each day. On the way, she reads our story of the day on her tablet, lessening the boring long ride.

The local park without signs hindering the view.

If on a rare occasion, I feel like “taking a day off” for lack of adequate fodder, I think of her and her disappointment to find the same post from the prior day with nary an inkling of any new material. With that thought, my laptop lid flies open and I begin again, determined to nudge my fingers into action once more.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, January 7, 2013:

I wasn’t the only person in Marloth Park that was in love with warthogs. Ken (wife, Linda) shared this photo with us to post one year ago today. Thanks, Ken! For details from that day’s post, please click here.

At a loss for words…

These two palm trees fell into the ocean overnight, due to erosion, rough surf, and wind. Notice the vendors in the background preparing their handmade crafts for sale.

Since our first post in March 2012, I’ve never been at a loss for a topic until today. Each morning, while checking the stats for this blog, marveling in the number of readers from all over the world, something pops into my head. My fingers fly across the keyboard with a mind of their own, as if my hands contain the thoughts as opposed to my brain. 

This morning, after responding to email from two people I adore, my inspiring cousin Phyllis and my new equally inspiring friend Nancy, whom I met in Belize, I stared at my keyboard with nary a thought of what to write.

Originally, I wrote every other day, leaving time for events to occur as fodder for writing. Alas, once we left the US, the desire to “take pen to paper” escalated to everyday posts.  I don’t think I’ve missed a day, but I’m open to correction.

Why write a blog?  The plan was to offer it as a means of keeping family and friends privy to where we were, what we were doing, and our current state of safety in our travels. Lo and behold, since we left the US, the stats began showing tens of thousands of visits to our blog, from all over the world. 

Suddenly, I felt compelled to write, not in a feeling-pressure kind of way, but in a joyful-can’t-wait-to-write kind of way.  So, here I am, writing anyway, with the hope that those who drink their coffee and read, as I drink mine and write, will not upset their routine and, I will not upset mine.

Mr. Iguana stopped to say hello to me as I walked along the path to the little workout room. He actually stopped dead in his tracks to peer at me. Thank you, Mr. Iguana!

All I have to offer today, feeling somewhat drained from a poor night’s sleep, is my own “mindless drivel,” not unlike the endless books that I’ve been consuming on a regular basis. 

Yesterday, I expanded my reading horizons and downloaded a book from Amazon to both my no-contract phone and my laptop from Oprah’s Book Club, hoping to fire my brain in a more “artsy” way with a fine piece of literature. 

Reading, “She’s Come Undone” by Wally Lamb, I became entrenched in the characters reminding me of my less than ideal childhood, growing up in the ’50s, so very long ago. 

Little did I know that my “golden years” would be spent in any manner other than sitting in a chair by the window, growing old, reliving memories of a life long past, as I had witnessed in my youth, as my relatives entered old age.

Little did I anticipate, that I’d be sitting here on a Sunday morning, in a pink flowery bathing suit, overlooking the majesty of the ocean, next to the man of my dreams, and writing a “blog” about traveling the world for the next so many years. 

My dear cousin lovingly writes “don’t be worried” after reading yesterday’s post. But I, like many of us, sometimes worry. Sometimes, worry inspires us to be cautious, treading gently in dangerous waters. The important part, for most of us, is the ability to let the worry go once the worrisome event has passed. That’s me. I do that. I let it go. 

This was my view, this morning as I sat on a step at Robert’s Grove putting on my workout shoes for my last workout session in Belize. The lines are streams of water falling into the pool.

So, in two days, when our zillion bags (soon to be half a zillion) are secured in our mini-suite balcony cabin aboard the Carnival Liberty (click here for reviews), I will let the worry go, feeling once again, that we have landed firmly on our feet from yet another transition. Will sewage be floating down the halls? Will we be eating onion sandwiches? 

I hope not. For now, I won’t worry about that.

It’s our blog’s one year anniversary…Thanks readers!

January 21, 2013 as we prepared to board our second cruise.  Yep, we’re unloading three of the large bags when we dock in Miami for 10 hours on April 13, 2013.

Originally, when we started writing this blog last March, as we (I write and research. Tom, now retired, does most of the research and fact-checking) muddled our way through the endless details of planning our worldwide travels, the intention was to allow our family and friends to easily see where we are and what we’re doing.

As the detailed research continued, we started sharing some of the valuable links that aided us in finding our choice of locations, vacation home rentals, cruises, and potential hazards and obstacles along the way. 

If in the process of writing this blog, we inspire one reader to further their own research for their travels, whether, for a week or a lifetime, we’d be delighted.

Little did we know that a year later we’d have readers from all over the world in the 10’s of thousands.  What?  How did they find us? 

Every blog post and web page have a number of keywords associated with a particular entry.  Hang on, this is more complicated than you’d want to read here.  Here’s a link further explaining KEYWORDS, in case you’re interested and aren’t familiar with the word in reference to the web.  Keywords, may in fact have been how many readers have stumbled across us.

Another way is “word of mouth.” While on the cruise through the Panama Canal we met a lovely couple from Malaysia.  At that point, the blog stats (which I can review at any time) hadn’t indicated any readers from Malaysia.  Lo and behold, three days after the cruise ended, I observed two readers from Malaysia.  A few days later, there were 78 readers in Malaysia.  It grew exponentially from there to over 700 readers in Malaysia thus far.

Imagine, that your senior parent is considering an extended vacation and we’ve discussed how we are handling our prescriptions abroad.  You forward the link to that post to them.  They read it, forwarding it to their neighbor who is also considering travel.  It goes on and on.

For this, we are grateful.  Why does it matter to us that it grows?  It’s exciting!  It’s with the same enthusiasm one feels when sharing a photo or comment on Facebook. We feel “connected.”  Those of us Facebook fans, such as ourselves, enjoy the chatter, the laughter, the insight, the photos, and the opinions of others.  Seeing the smiling faces of our grandchildren, other family members and friends keep us from feeling so far away.

A few have asked, “Why do you have advertisers on your blog?  And, what do you get from that?”  Advertisers may, in time, offset some of the costs associated with maintaining a blog:  web hosting, domain name fees, and blog designer fees, all of which expenses we must maintain.  However, it takes considerable time and many more readers than we have at present to actually generate an income. 

Yesterday, March 14th was the actual one year anniversary.  I had planned to write about it yesterday but got sidetracked with our “Jell-O” searching story. Ah, the joys of retirement combined with world travel.  The only timetables we must meet are those when moving to a new location predicated by flight times, cruise times, train times, ferry times, and cab times. 

Oh, there’s one more. Every Friday night we take our once-a-week Malaria pill with dinner. Life is good. 

Thanks for sharing this journey with us. Keep hanging out with us.  Lots more to follow and, in 26 days we’re off to our next adventure, two Carnival cruises back to back!