Happy birthday to my dear husband, lover, and travel companion…

This photo was taken on “White Night” while on Azamara Journey as we sailed through the Norway fiords in August, only four months ago.

Today is Tom’s birthday. Being so close to Christmas has always been tricky, but I’ve always tried to make it a special day for him. Today will be no different when we celebrate with Richard and head to Lindo Michoacan, Tom’s favorite Mexican restaurant in Henderson, Nevada.

We’ve tried other Mexican restaurants when we’ve been in the US, but Tom only likes frothy blended Margaritas, and this particular restaurant makes a great Margarite to his liking. Plus, he enjoys their taco salads, the only item he orders in a Mexican restaurant. Who am I to say this when I also love taco salads, minus the corn tortilla shell or chips on the side?

It will be our first dinner out since we arrived eight days ago since we’ve been enjoying the vast array of groceries we’ve been able to buy here, a far cry from what was available in Ecuador. We hadn’t cooked our meals (other than in Ecuador) since the end of July when we left Florida for our two cruises.

In a while, we’ll head downstairs to the Village, which I recently discovered is called the MonteLago Village, to get a few items from the Seasons Grocery, only a few steps from the stairway. We are staying in for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, making special meals each occasion.

Tomorrow night, we’ll have bacon-wrapped filet mignon and lobster tails. On Thursday, we returned to Costco for a few items we needed. While there, we spotted a huge pack of 6 oz lobster tails and didn’t hesitate to buy them. We’ll each have one or two of the tails with our steaks for a fun dinner on Christmas Eve, leaving plenty for future meals.

Tom is not a massive fan of some seafood, but he likes lobster and crab but not shrimp. For many years, we enjoyed steak and lobster on Christmas Eve when, in our old lives, the kids and grandkids did their own thing that night. Instead, we’d see them on Christmas Day. Since we’ve been traveling, we haven’t spent Christmas in Minnesota since we’ve often been too far away.

Plus, we’ve avoided traveling during the holidays when flights are often canceled or delayed, and the commotion at the airport is intolerable. We’ve traveled close to the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, which aren’t as chaotic as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I have a dumb gift for Tom for his birthday. Since we have no room for anything of additional weight in our bags, I purchased four “Space Bags’ for his luggage. Since we’ve been traveling, he’s liked using those oversized bags that he can squeeze out the air to condense the size of his clothes in the suitcase. Then, when we don’t unpack at some locations, he reaches into the bags to get out his sorted clothes.

Doing this never appealed to me, but he prefers the bags to my neatly stacked clothes. Buying him this gift is like a husband buying his wife an iron for her birthday. Tom, the practical guy he is, will appreciate this impersonal gift, which I will give him shortly. There is no wrapping paper or bow, nor is there a card. So he’ll open the Amazon package, including a bottle of Tylenol I purchased simultaneously.

We gave up giving each other gifts at Christmas, anniversaries, and birthdays when we began traveling. It made no sense to add to the weight of our luggage. Honestly, I haven’t missed receiving gifts. In a way, it has caused us both to focus more on the meaning of the occasion than the significance of giving and receiving gifts from one another.

We even stopped giving gifts to our adult children and asked them to stop buying for us. We send gifts to the grandkids, but that’s it. That has worked well for us. I suppose it would be different if we had a home, a Christmas tree, and all that goes with celebrating the holiday season. I doubt we’ll ever go back to that means of celebrating.

That’s it for today, folks. I will wrap this up (no pun intended) and give Tom his Amazon gift, and then we’ll head out to the Village.

P.S. When I handed Tom the Amazon box, explaining it was his birthday gift, he said, “I hope it isn’t something that has to fit in my suitcase.” I chuckled to myself. He loves it.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, December 23, 2013:

In our travels, we’ve found that two heads are better than one. These rhinos were so close to us that we didn’t require Zoom to take this photo. For more, please click here.