Tom’s evening photos…Fine tuning future bookings…One year ago today….Multiple photos from Mykonos, Greece…Wow!

Tom’s getting good at taking these sunset photos.

Shopping for food is more productive when by myself than with Tom pushing the cart. No offense intended for my DH who’s intentions are always thoughtful and supportive.

Sun and shadows, typical of the island of Madeira.

I prefer to push the cart myself in my less than a methodical pattern of flitting from one spot in the store to another in a somewhat haphazard pattern only I can understand. Yesterday, I asked Tom to bring his phone in order to read his Kindle book while waiting in the car for 40 minutes while I shopped. He made no objection. He hates to shop. 

A distant view of our house which is to the left of the white house next door to us, both of which are owned by Gina’s brother Carlos.

I slipped the half Euro coin into the slot to release the red plastic shopping cart and off I went. Having learned where most items are in the medium-sized grocery store, my cart was full by the time Tom found me 40 minutes later. With only a few items left to add as shown in the grocery shopping app on my phone, we were done in no time.

White hydrangeas.

Two hours from the time we’d left the house, the groceries were put away, the vegetables were washed (in bottled water) and drying on paper towels. I had put a dent in the chopping and dicing for dinner and finally, we could get to work on the future bookings that had been nagging at us these past few weeks.

The following items were on the “to do” list:
1.  Book tickets on the Eurostar, formerly known as the Chunnel, the under-the-English-Channel-train from France to the UK. (Apparently, it’s tacky to continue to call the train, the Chunnel). On August 16th we’ll be leaving Paris after a two-week stay to then make our way via the Eurostar to London for yet another two weeks. Are we really going to be in Paris in a little over two months?
2.  Arrange a driver from London on August 31st for a two and a half-hour drive to the pier in Harwich, UK for our next cruise, UK to Boston, USA. It’s hard to believe that we’ll be cruising again in a little over two and a half months.
3.  Rent another car online for our upcoming next 30 days in Madeira. On Saturday, we’ll return the current car and if possible, extend this particular car’s rental once we arrive at the airport in Funchal, which is easy to find.  (I apologize if this sounds confusing but, we must book the next 30-day car rental online first for the better rates). If we do it this way, we save 25 to 30% as opposed to extending the booking online or phoning. This is as a result of the long term booking.

It changes so quickly, it’s easy to take several photos.

Simultaneously, we went to work researching online in the above order, booking one after the other. With Tom’s experience in reading reviews on Cruise Critic, he found a suggestion on how to save on the price of tickets on the Eurostar at this link. We ended up paying US $210.89, EU $155.56 as opposed to US $300, EU $222, a savings of 30%.

Tom enjoys taking photos of the changing sky at sunset.

Several months ago, Tom also found a suggestion at Cruise Critic for a reputable company to drive us to Harwich, UK to the cruise pier. This was a bit pricey at US $252.21, GBP $150, EU $185.65 but was our only option unless we shared with others. We’d have gladly done that had it not been difficult to find passengers coming from the same general area in London.   

Next, we got to work on the link on our site to Expedia to book a rental from June 14 to July 15th. I handled this booking and totally screwed up the booking, making the dates from June 14th to August 15th, when we’ll be long gone from Madeira. 

At the end of the day, the ever-changing sky.

Good thing I caught my error (after the fact) and was able to cancel it in order to rebook it for the correct dates. Luckily, we weren’t charged in advance for the car rental making the cancellation seamless. I clearly knew the correct dates but I’d hit the wrong key.

He captured a puff of pink from the setting sun behind us.

The only other must-do booking in the next few weeks is our flight from Madeira to Paris on August 1st which is only a little over seven weeks away. It’s amazing to see how fast the time flies, especially when we’re loving Madeira.

By the time we finished these three tasks, it was time to finish making dinner, take a Skype call from my sister in Nevada, USA. 

Easter lilies growing nearby.

After dinner, I received another Skype call from my other sister living in California, a TV producer who was recently nominated for an Emmy Award (already a past winner).  Congrats, Julie!  Win or lose, you’re a winner in our book!

The evening zoomed by. By 11:00 pm, I was ready for bed while Tom stayed up until midnight as usual.

Colorful.  What are these?

Today, is another busy day with household tasks, laundry, and cooking, all of which I’m finding pleasant these days, more based on the expenditure of energy than the accomplishment of getting things done.

No complaints here. Not a one.

Photos from one year ago today, June 10, 2013:

Mykonos was so amazing, we couldn’t resist posting multiple photos.
We walked through narrow paths like this for a few hours in a maze-like fashion, enthralled with the beauty of this island.
Mykonos was beyond our expectations. For more photos and details from that date, please click here.