Day #265 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Bollywood dancing in Fiji…

The couples were in sync while dancing the traditional Bollywood type performance.

Today’s photos are from a post on this date in 2015 while out to dinner at a resort in Viti Levu, Fiji, where performers were dancing Bollywood style. Please click here for more details.

With 37.5% of Fijians of Indian descent, it wasn’t unusual to see Bollywood dancing at a resort we visited for dinner on this date five years ago. Ironically, Tom and I discussed the event yesterday, and here it pops up today as our highlighted photos.  It was a lovely evening at the beach with good food and entertainment.

The Bollywood dancers prepared for their performance.

Gosh, that seems so far away from our current reality at this point when the only meals we’ve had for months have been repeated in our room, day after day, night after night. I don’t know when I’ll ever feel like eating a piece of salmon or grilled chicken breasts which I alternate every other day.

I’ve never been a fan of chicken breasts. Due to lack of fat and flavor, I’ve always preferred dark meat. I don’t think we’ll give up eating “flatties” (a whole chicken cut to lie flat) on the braai (grill) once we get to South Africa, although it may not be right away.

The locals perform their routine on Saturday nights.

When Tom and I share an entire flattie, he eats the white meat while I have the dark. My mouth kind of waters at the thought of a juicy leg and thigh on the bone, something I haven’t been able to get here in India at this hotel. They de-bone all the chicken here, which often results in a dry piece of grilled meat.

Not surprisingly, I’ve already made a grocery list for our arrival in South Africa. Perhaps, doing so is a bit lofty at this point, but since Louise has generously offered to shop for us while awaiting our arrival, this will allow us to stay put the first few days without venturing out.

Many of the guests joined in the dancing. It’s never us on the stage! Neither of us likes to participate “on stage” during performances of any type.

We’ll need such items as pellets, coffee, cream, block cheese, eggs, bacon, butter, and meats for the first few nights’ dinners and, of course, some wine for me and brandy for Tom. Typically, in South Africa, I only drank Four Cousin Skinny Red Wine which has zero carbs and low alcohol.

This lighter wine was ideal for me then and will be excellent once again since I won’t have had any wine since February 20th, on my birthday in Khajuraho, India. In reviewing our past posts, we realized I didn’t drink any alcohol until the cruise 33-night back-to-back that circumnavigated the continent of Australia.

Another view of the astounding sunset on Saturday night at the Uprising Beach Resort.

It had been over 20 years since I’d drank alcohol in a feeble attempt to be healthier. Not doing so, in moderation, wasn’t particularly beneficial. I suppose the key is moderation when imbibing any alcoholic beverages, regardless of what they are. We both are very capable of only having “a few,” especially when it’s been relatively easy for us during this lengthy lockdown.

Again, my mouth waters over the concept of the first feel of the room temperature red wine crossing my lips for the first time, accompanied with a hearty chunk of beef of one cut or another. Tom, feels the same way, although he’s not a wine drinker, instead preferring Courvoiosier, brandy, or beer.

There was a post-blocking part of our view, but I didn’t want to obstruct anyone else’s view by standing.

These simple pleasures also will signify our freedom at long last, although we’ll still be predicated by lockdown rules in South Africa which we’ll diligently follow.

Speaking of birthdays, as mentioned above, Tom’s birthday is in 10 days. I’d love to do something special for him, but he insists he wants nothing at all; no cake, no drinks, no special meal (duh, what would that be?). I’d considered buying him a gift from Amazon India, but we’ll be unloading weight in our luggage before we leave, not adding to it.

So there it will be, another uneventful birthday, Christmas and New Year’, not only for us but for most of you throughout the world. We have made tremendous sacrifices during the pandemic, and we still have a long way to go. At least we have tentative peace of mind with the prospect of leaving India to fly to South Africa in the next 31 days. Please stay tuned.

Happy day to all!

Photo from one year ago today, December 13, 2019:

At a farmers market in Apache Junction, Arizona, we purchased five yellow and orange peppers for $1.99. The red peppers, as usual, are priced higher at $.79 each, still an excellent price. For more photos, please click here.

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!…A new year, a new decade, a new beginning…

On this date in 2013, this foot-long insect on the wall by the bathroom door in the master bedroom made us cringe.  Sleep didn’t come easy the remainder of that night, fearing that the rains of the previous few days may have brought more of these ugly things indoors. Tom, as always, disposed of it outdoors, but of course, didn’t kill it.  For more photos from that date, please click here.

Many times in the past seven years, we’ve chronicled our year in review on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. In tomorrow’s post, we’ll list where we traveled in 2019 with snippets of what transpired during those travels. 

As our readers know so well, this has been a tough year for us when on February 12th, I had triple coronary bypass surgery with many complications. We won’t get into all of that. 

We’ve said enough and appreciate the patience of our readers who saw us through that difficult time and stayed with us, continuing to read our daily posts. That month I only uploaded 16 posts when I could not prepare posts during the first two weeks after surgery. 

In tomorrow’s post, we‘ll breeze by that period when in May we were “on the move” once again, albeit with a certain amount of trepidation and fear.

Instead, now, we look to the future with hope and optimism that we’ll be able to continue for years to come. But, we’ve both decided over the past few months that we cannot and will not dwell on fear or apprehension of what could happen. 

We could all get caught up in this state of mind, even those in great health. None of us know what the future holds and we can only do our best to maintain good health and a good attitude which ultimately may be instrumental in our quality of life and longevity.

Most of us can look back at our prior year and recall various circumstances causing us to worry and be concerned for ourselves, our loved ones, our circumstances. No one is exempt.

And, most of us choose to move forward, learn from our experiences, good and bad, and continue on the path we’ve chosen for our lives or in some cases choose a new path as we had done over seven years ago. It changed everything.

Rather than New Year’s resolutions, we find it helpful to look back over the past year to determine what we have learned, changes we have made and the changes we need to make going forward. 

It’s highly individual and we cannot imply or suggest that any of our readers/friends follow such a path. But, we find a sense of comfort moving into the New Year knowing we are doing the best we can to maintain a quality of life that brings us both joy and contentment. 

That being said, we wish each and every one of our readers a meaningful and purposeful New Year that fulfills your needs and wishes and brings you joy and contentment as well.

Happy New Year!

Photo from one year ago, December 31, 2019:

Adorable giraffe at rest in Marloth Park. For more photos, please click here 

A fun video on “silent disco” night!…The unreality of life on a cruise…Routines become all encompassing…

 This was a “silent disco” so you won’t hear much
in the way of sound.
Living aboard a ship is comparable to living in a world far removed from day-to-day reality, not unlike that for other passengers who have left their homes to travel on a ship for weeks or more.

Having spent 198 days cruising since the onset of our travels, beginning on October 31, 2012, it served us well to roll into the comfortable routine. Moreover, doing so provides us with a sense of a home during these extended periods.

The ease with which we move from activity to activity, area to area, and a variety of dining and drinking venues become somewhat of a routine for other passengers and us as well.

Christina hung out with us on disco night along with many other new friends we’d met aboard the ship.

This becomes particularly evident when we visit areas we tend to frequent each day or evening at certain times. As a result, our daily routine looks like this:

6:30 am – One of us gets out of bed to shower and dress, with the other immediately following behind. 

7:30 am (8:00 am on sea days) – Arrive in Epernay dining room for served breakfast at a shared table from six to 10 passengers.

The lighting was not conducive to taking photos, but it’s evident that not everyone listened to the same channel.

9:00 – 9:30 am – Return to the cabin to collect laptops and head to Cafe Al Bacio to begin posting. Often, I’ll go directly to the cafe to secure a seat at one of our favorite of three tables situated along the railing overlooking the centrum while Tom dashes to the cabin to get the laptops and the camera.

12:00 – 12:30 pm – Return laptops to the cabin to recharge. If one of us didn’t eat breakfast (I’ve had smoothies most mornings), we might wander to the 14th deck to the Oceanview Cafe, a buffet, where each item offered lists the following, if applicable:  gluten free, sugar-free, vegetarian, lactose-free. This only helps me choose items to a degree since nothing is notated for “low carb” or “starches,” neither of which fit into my diet.

Sorry for the blur; I couldn’t resist including this dancing photo!

1:30 – 2:00 pm – On sea days:  Return to the cabin, collect laptops, and return to Cafe Al Bacio to work on the next day’s photos and post, respond to email and of course, chat with an endless array of friendly passengers.  Some passengers have giggled with us when labeling our seats in the cafe as our “office.” So true. On port of call days: It’s during this period, we may walk off the ship (or take a tender) to explore the port we’re visiting.

4:00 pm – Return to the cabin to relax a bit, later dressing for the upcoming evening’s activities. Most nights are “smart casual,” with no dressy clothing required. However, when “chic” is listed, people tend to wear dressier clothing, although it’s not required.

5:00 – 5:30 pm – Wander to the Sky Lounge for “Elite (or higher) members free happy hour during which we always sit with other passengers shooting the breeze while we share our collective travel experiences as lovely appetizers are servers by wait staff along with cocktails and beverages of our choice.

Our adorable new friend Christina (of Harold and Christina) also “rocked the night away.”

6:30 – 7:00 pm – Happy hour in the Sky Lounge ends at 7:00 pm, after which we wait in what is usually a short line to be seated for dinner. Since we enjoy dining at a shared table, arriving later than 7:00 may prevent the opportunity to dine with others since most passengers dine early to make one of the two shows presented at 7:00 and 9:00 pm. We rarely attend the shows when variety-type shows hold little appeal to either of us.

9:00 – 9:30 pm -Leave the dining room we make our way to one of the many bars where we’ll listen to music, chat amongst ourselves and others to relax and enjoy the remainder of our evening.

The “Ice Bar” is just that, covered in ice. I couldn’t resist making this heart shape as a remnder of our 22nd anniversary the following day.

11:00 pm to ???? – Head to our cabin for the evening hoping for a good night’s sleep, only to begin the same highly enjoyable routine all over again the next morning. 

A few nights ago, a disco event was listed on the program, referred to as a “silent disco.” This is the point when each passenger dons a lighted headset with three channels, each colored coordinated for three types of music being broadcast.

With all the party-goers wearing their headsets, those not wearing them didn’t hear a sound. This is a hoot, especially when a good song is playing and we all go nuts encouraging each other to change the channel for the better dance song via the use of a little button on the side of the headset.

More new friends from Australia, Corinna, and Beau, with whom we’ve had a great time.

As it turned out, at times, Tom and I were dancing together with each of us listening to a different song. This was hysterical. And proved to be more fun than we can describe. 

Tom danced for two hours non-stop, standing next to me at the “Ice Bar” while I joined him in dancing as often as I was reenergized, later sitting for a short recovery period only to begin again. (After all, I’d been sick for the past three months and hadn’t yet had quite enough time to recover after months of lounging. Now, vigorously walking through the ship each day, I’m beginning to feel a slow return to my old self).

We both had messy hair from taking the headsets on and off throughout the night. Tom’s was especially messy from sweating. His shirt was soaked by the end of the evening.

Gosh, we had so much fun. We were reminded of our “hay days” of carrying on in our younger days dancing in a variety of bars and discos. Wow! What a fun activity, especially when we were with friends we’ve made aboard during the entire evening.

Today, the ship is docked in Suva, Fiji. Having spent four months in Fiji over a year ago, plus considerings its where I contracted the infection, neither of us has any desire to get off the ship. 

Eventually, Tom had to remove his glasses. He was sweating so much!  I love this photo!

No offense intended for Fiji. We had a good experience on both the islands of Vanua Levu (Savusavu) and Viti Levu (Pacific Harbour) during the extended period. Today we’re content to stay on board in air-conditioned comfort, continuing to revel in our highly pleasing routine and visiting with the wonderful people we’ve met along the way.

Have a pleasing day, hopefully, spent in the presence of YOUR wonderful people!

Photo from one year ago today, March 8, 2017:

The sun was peeking through the clouds casting this glow at the beach in New Zealand. But, of course, the scene would have been more impressive had it not been so late in the evening. For more photos, please click here.