Day #264 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Will we take the COVID-19 vaccine?…

We knew we had to be very cautious not only for our safety but for his as well when this adorable zebra climbed the slippery steps to see what we had for him. If we startled him or told him to get down, he could have broken a leg on the slippery tiles of the stairs to the veranda. Instead, we tossed pellets on the ground near the bottom of the steps.

Today’s photos are from this date in 2018 while living in Marloth Park, South Africa. We realize these photos may be redundant, but we couldn’t resist sharing these fun photos. For more, please click here.

Yesterday and again this morning, I had some work to do with one of our website’s advertisers and ran into a glitch on their site which kept me in a tizzy for two hours. I’ve contacted our web people to help but they aren’t available this weekend. It will have to wait until Monday. It’s the nature of the beast.

We were busy working on our laptops and didn’t realize what was happening until we saw this zebra climbing up the veranda steps.

Speaking of beasts, I was definitely in the mood for some more “feel good” hormones as mentioned in yesterday’s post here, smiling and laughing over old photos from Marloth Park in 2018. Yes, I’ve thought quite a bit about the possible redundancy of all the upcoming future photos when, again, we’ll be living in the bush among the wildlife.

Lately, while walking the corridors, I’ve been thinking of ways in which we can add more exciting photos of that which we encounter living in the bush. It’s the unusual shots such as today’s repeated photos, that add to the uniqueness and innovation. Regardless of how hot and “buggie” it is outdoors on the veranda at our new location, we plan to spend our days and nights outdoors, searching for photo ops such as those included today.

Just like that, he was on the veranda. The only reason we think this happened is due to the fact that many residents feed the zebras on their ground-level verandas. 

It’s those special occasions that add so much to our experiences. Then again, for us, the simple, less interesting visits by wildlife add to our experiences on a daily basis. Of course, we’ll be venturing into Kruger National Park at least once a week when again, we’ll purchase an annual entrance pass, taking many photos of the “Big Five” and more.

Also, from time to time we’ll head to the village of Komatipoort to shop but will avoid going more often than is absolutely necessary, due to COVID-19, which is more prevalent in the town than where we’ll live, which is 25 minutes away in the bush.

We gave him time to fulfill his curiosity, talking softly, and with confidence.

As of now, we’ve booked our required COVID-19 PCR test with a local lab that will come to our hotel on January 10, 2021, between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. We’ll have the results in our email within eight hours, which we’ll have the hotel print and we’ll bring to the airport as required by Emirates Airlines and South Africa for entry without quarantine.

Several of our readers have written asking if we will be taking the COVID-19 vaccine. We are considering it, especially, if it’s going to be required in order for us to continue to travel. It won’t be available in India by the time we leave in January but, we expect we’ll be able to get it at some point in South Africa, either at Dr. Theo’s office or the pharmacy in Komatipoort. We’ll see how that rolls out.

It was definitely a shock to see him on the veranda, but we appreciated the photo op!

This plan will give us time to see if the vaccine is safe for our ages and my health conditions that include allergies, which, based on some news (true or not) that stated that those with allergies may not be good candidates. At least we’ll have time to figure it out when we observe what’s happening to recipients of the vaccines in the US and worldwide.

Yes, if it proves to be safe and effective, I’d enjoy the peace of mind after having the vaccine. After all, we’ve had numerous vaccines protecting us in our travels. One more won’t be much different if it is safe. However, it’s not an easy decision for any of us when many have opinions about the efficacy and safety of vaccines in general. Each of us can only choose a decision based on our own opinions and health, along with the opinions of our personal medical professionals.

He let out a loud whinny and took off for the pellets we tendered at the bottom of the steps. It was quite a nice visit, one we’ll always remember.

Tom awoke this morning and said, “Good morning, Sweetie. Guess what? It’s the weekend!” Duh?

Thirty-two days and counting.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, December 12, 2019:

It was fun to sit by the firepit with Tom’s sisters, spouses, and other residents in the RV park in Apache Junction, Arizona. For more, please click here.
Day #162 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…

Day #162 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…

On this date in 2014, we were traveling to Normandy, France on a private small-group tour from the ship. Tom was especially interested and passionate about visiting this historic site. At the time, I was less interested in touring Normandy than Tom. However, once we arrived at the location, everything changed and I found it impossible not to be captured by the powerful message and presence of this important cemetery and part of history.

Photos posted today are from this date in 2014 from this link.

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Our small group of 12, riding in a van from the port, were less friendly than most small group tours in which we’d participated in the past. As a result, we mostly toured the vast site on our own, later meeting with the group. The tour lasted over several hours, as we walked from area to area, emotionally moved by everything we saw.

Tomorrow, we’ll share several more photos from the Normandy tour but on this particular date on September 1, 2014, we’d posted only a few photos, for whatever reason, as shown.

With hotel rates increasing with more and more business people arriving from throughout the country, we’re currently booking for shorter periods when it seems we can’t book for weeks at a time. It appears the rates are much higher for long periods, as opposed to short periods, as much as US $25, INR 1820 per night, We keep checking daily in an attempt to lock in better rates.

The region of Normandy is rich in history and charming for its appealing French architecture of the century’s past.

Of course, it would be great if we could negotiate a better rate with the hotel. But, after attempting to do so, their prices weren’t as good as we could get through on our site, after factoring in the “one free night with every 10 nights” they provide. We did the math and we’re ahead using the website. However, the hotel provides us with a 30% discount on meals which helps.

Also, we receive a small commission when booking through our own links on our site. We appeal to all of our readers to use the links on our site for your Amazon and travel needs. The pricing for you, using our site,  is exactly the same as you’d receive if you go to these sites on your own and we’re provided a small commission to offset a few of our website expenses. This is so much appreciated.

We’ve received a number of inquiries from readers mentioning they have not been receiving the automated email each day with our new daily post. It appears you will have to sign up again for our new site. We apologize for the inconvenience. There is a link entitled, “Sign Up to Our Newsletter” at the top right of the main page, where you can enter your email address and will automatically receive the most recent post in your inbox. It takes a day or two to activate this so please check our link in the interim:

The fog rolled into the Normandy region as shown in our early morning two-hour drive

Otherwise, everything seems to be working well on our site. Our developers continue to work in the background on a few issues that don’t impact your reading the new daily post. I have a lot to learn about using WordPress while I spend at least an hour a day going back through the 3,000 old posts, making corrections.

There are a few items I can’t correct which are images of particular items we’d purchased from time to time. We’d copied the ads from Amazon or another site to illustrate what we’d purchased. Now, those images are gone on the retail site and I can’t seem to delete them from past posts. You may notice these from time to time. Please move past them, knowing there isn’t anything we can do to resolve this issue.

As in many other areas of Europe, many of the homes and buildings are attached, each with its own definitive front.

Mainly, these images were posted in the first few years of our world travels, in 2012 and 2013. It’s unfortunate that Blogger had so many issues over the years that require me to go back over every post. As mentioned, this process will take many months, doing a batch each day. In the interim, you can still read old posts without interruption.

I’m behind today due to a few tasks that kept me busy; paying off the credit cards which we do the first of each month; heading downstairs to the reception desk to pay the current bill which took more time than it should have, and working on the corrections. I should have been done with today’s post an hour ago.

The area is filled with tourists from all over the world.

Have a safe and fruitful day! (I’m reminded of the word “fruitful” when last night when I couldn’t sleep, I used this word when playing Scrabble with other online players). I won the game with this word!

Be well.


Photo from one year ago today, September 1, 2019:

The greenery, the cliffs, and the white sand beach create a stunning scene at Swanpool. For more photos, please click here.