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The Medina, The Big Square in Marrakesh, Morocco, at night. Quite a sight to see!

As it turned out, the cost for the Uber round-trip from our condo in Lake Las Vegas to the cardiology clinic in the center of Henderson, a 25-minute trip, was less than I’d anticipated. The total was $62, including the tips. One day for a rental car would have been more than that.

For the first time, I rode in a Tesla. I observed many different features in the car, including a weird difficulty opening the door to enter the vehicle. Maybe it was me, but that type of door handle was confusing and unnecessary. Certain things, the old way, were just fine and efficient.

I arrived 45 minutes before the scheduled appointment. I filled out many pages of forms, including health information and HIPAA (privacy forms), which I’ve never filled out in other countries. Of course, with my awful handwriting, I struggled to write in the blanks, doing my best. I figured they’d tell me if they couldn’t decipher my writing.

When done, with 30 minutes before my appointment, I played with my phone for a few minutes until they called my name. The nurse weighed me and took me into a room to check my blood pressure, which is always high, at the doctor’s office (“White Coat Syndrome”) and performed an ECG.

Shortly after, the doctor entered the room. Dr. Adeel was very thorough and oddly interested in our world travels when I explained why I had my last cardiology appointment in Ecuador and last April in South Africa.

I brought the test results from the last ultrasound from South Africa, performed 11 months ago in South Africa, for him to see. After reviewing it, he couldn’t assess until I had a new ultrasound, which is now scheduled for March 27, a full three weeks from now—more waiting time.

The receptionist had difficulty finding an appointment for me when the doctor would be available. They have several locations, and next time, I will go to a different location, a little further away. I didn’t want to have the ultrasound and then have to schedule another appointment with the doctor on another day. That made no sense.

That’s why I ended up with the March 27th appointment. I wasn’t thrilled with the 8:15 am appointment time since I tend to sleep late and get up late, but I’ll manage to accomplish it. After all, once on the move again, plenty of early morning flights and travel days require us to start early in the day.

I was back at the condo by 2:30. Around 3:30, I received a phone message stating that my Aflac Plan G policy was no longer in effect. I missed the call when it came in, and when I heard the message, I freaked out. I just had a $1000 medical appointment and another $3000 appointment on March 27.

Immediately, I returned the call, but their offices were already closed since they are on the East Coast. I called my agent, but she couldn’t reach anyone that late in the day either. Thus, I spent the evening and the night, wondering if I was insured and what had happened to my policy.

As soon as I was up and ready for the day, I received another call, which ended in a conference call with the agency and Aflac, only to discover nothing was wrong. I am fully insure. Apparently, there was “human error.” I thought I’d have trouble sleeping with this on my mind. Much to my surprise, I slept through the night, awakening at 8:00, bolting out of bed to hurry and get the call made to hopefully ease my mind. What a relief to discover all was fine.

Today, as always, I’ll do my exercises. I’ve already wrapped up everything needed for tonight’s dinner. Soon, Tom and I will work on the rental car for the end of this month so we can begin packing and loading the vehicle for our drive to Arizona, where we’ll drop off the car and take an Uber to the resort, where we’ll stay for about six weeks.

Tomorrow is our 29th wedding anniversary, and we plan to go out to dinner after all instead of over the weekend.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today,  March 6, 2014:

This was the view as we dined in an outdoor café on Tuesday in the Medina in Marrakesh, Morocco. For more photos, please click here.

Sorry, no regular post today!…

Tom and I are patiently waiting for my turn. Tomorrow will be a new and brighter day, and we’ll post the outcome of today’s findings.

Astounding! We are so lucky to have all of you rooting for us! Again, .thanks for all the prayers and well wishes!
Back to you no later than 24 hours from now.
Be well.

Working on it!…One and a half days and counting….Wrapping up payments due…Tonight’s the big football night!…

Mini-mart next door to a small apartment.

Over the past few days, after taking a lousy stumble and injuring my knee on the uneven sidewalk in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires, as we began winding down our last few days until leaving for Ushuaia. 

The Argentine people love color, especially on the exterior of their buildings.

Tom’s packing is almost completed, and by tomorrow, we’ll be able to bring down the bags and boxes we’ll store at the hotel during our time away on the cruise.

I’ve been obsessively following the R-I-C-E protocol; rest, ice, compression, and elevate, which is recommended during the first 72 hours of an injury, switching to heat if needed, and forgoing the ACE bandage. 

The hotel along the boulevard.

From the time we’ve made our way down to the hotel lobby in the past two mornings to work on the day’s post until bedtime, I’ve faithfully iced my knee for 20 minutes once an hour, except for the few hours we were out to dinner last night at Rave Restaurant.

I was fine while walking, albeit gingerly, the three long blocks to the restaurant and back. While there, sitting on a banquette with no one else in the restaurant, I was able to elevate my leg during our leisurely dinner. It’s improving with this diligent protocol.

An apartment building with shops o ground level.

Last night, back at the hotel, we moseyed down to the bar to lounge in the big comfy booth with more ice on my knee while we sipped on wine for me and beer for Tom. We’re trying to use the last vestiges of the beer and wine we have on hand.

Pigeons are everywhere here, on the street, standing on outdoor dining tables and chairs, hoping for a dropped crumbs or food residue on tables.

It seems that each night as we’ve dined in restaurants, I wasn’t able to finish my half bottle of Malbec. We’d cork the bottle and bring it back to the hotel to drink at a later time. Invariably, these partial bottles accumulated, and I have more wine than I can drink. 

A restaurant served barbecue, referred to as Parrilla, in Argentina.

When we first arrived, we purchased one bottle of wine from the mini-mart, a decent Malbec for US $6 (ARS 114) we’ve yet to open. Tom bought two-liter bottles of the local beer for US $5.90 (ARS 112). 

The big “E” stands for “entrada,” which translates to the entrance in English. 

Prices on alcohol both in markets and restaurants in Buenos Aires are very inexpensive. One can order a good glass of red wine in a restaurant for around  US $3.95 (ARS 75) and a liter bottle of beer (with an ice bucket) for not much more.

Lion statue adorning the entrance to a home.

After so many years as a non-drinker, it’s been enjoyable having a glass of wine with dinner every so often.  But, tonight, with the big Minnesota Viking game, we plan to drink only water with dinner since we’d like to have wine and beer during the game, attempting to put a dent in what we have left.  

Tattered cloth signs falling over the building.

Since the game doesn’t start here until 8:40 pm and, neither of us drinks more than a few glasses, we decided to wait to celebrate until we’re situated in the bar with Tom’s laptop fired up to the game. We’re hopeful for a great outcome, but as all Minnesota Viking fans so well know, we shall see how it goes.

Yesterday, we paid our hotel bill in full since we’re leaving very early Tuesday morning (3:15 am) and wanted to have this out of the way. Also, as we prepare the final expenses for our 31-nights in Buenos Aires to be posted on Tuesday, we wanted the total handled and out of the way the day we fly away.

It costs slightly over US $10 (ARS 190) for an ATM transaction of any amount. Plus, there are machine limits of a maximum of US $158 (ARS 3,000).  During weekends, it’s not unusual to find the ATMs out of cash.

Also, two weeks before arriving in Marloth Park, it’s necessary to pay the second half of the three-month rental for the vacation home, a total of US $2,465.08 (ZAR 30,000, ARS 46,791). We spent the 50% deposit a few weeks ago.

Realizing we may not have a sufficient Wi-Fi signal during the cruise to handle the transaction online, it made sense to pay it yesterday and have it out of the way and never have to give it a thought. 

The railroad tracks near our hotel.

Yesterday’s outlay was almost US $5,000 (ARS 94,908). Still, now our only significant upcoming expenses for the next few months will be the car rental (which we’ll pay in full at the Mpumalanga/Nelspruit airport on February 11th when we pick up the car), groceries and dining out, Kruger Park entrance fees and fuel for the rental car.

There are several tree-lined streets such as this.

Of course, during those three months, we’ll be booking other adventures in Africa as we make plans for traveling to other countries. We’ll work with dear friend/property manager Louise to book other houses in South Africa (which we’re using as our “base”) as we go in and out over the one year on the continent.

Most streets in Palermo Soho are one way.

Well, folks, I must take a moment to address our Minnesota Vikings fans…our fingers are crossed, for them, for all of us. We’ll be live online on Facebook during the game on my laptop. Please stop by to comment, grumble or cheer. We’ll be right there with you!

Enjoy the day!

Photo from one year ago today, January 21, 2017:

One year ago in the Huon Valley in Tasmania, Anne, our property owner, explained that the whirring helicopter blades dry the netting to save the cherries from spoiling after the rain.  Who knew?  For more details, please click here.

Medical issue kept under wraps until today…Time to come clean…More Singapore shopping photos…

Live crab.

It was only as a result of an extraordinary amount of pain relief from an anti inflammatory diet over these past five years that allowed us to begin to travel the world.

Chronic pain would make traveling to this degree unbearable and impractical. Over these past five years I haven’t had back or neck pain since the steps collapsed under our feet in Belize on the night of our anniversary in March 2013 and I banged my delicate spine and neck on the broken wood. Here’s the link to awful event.

It was a full two months until I began to feel pain free again as the injuries finally healed. From there, my strict adherence to living an anti inflammation lifestyle served me well until…

The grocery store has both local and western type foods.

About three weeks ago, while living in Bali and working out in the pool, I slipped and banged my neck and spine on the stone lip and edge of the steps leading in and out of the pool. 

At the time, I experienced a horrible pain in my spine, but didn’t say a word to Tom to keep him from worrying. But, I couldn’t keep my secret long when I began icing using our traveling ice pack. In telling Tom about the injury I dismissed the severity of the pain which escalated over a period of days.

OMG, I thought. Will this be our undoing? When will the pain subside? After a few days of rest, I decided to continue gently walking in the pool, albeit more carefully, and walking about the house for five minutes every half hour in order to stay mobile.

Lots of fresh fish reasonably priced.

I deliberated over walking on the tile floors knowing stone floors are hard on the back, but I had little interest in walking on the road or beach more than a few times a week to take more photos.  As for sightseeing, it wasn’t a remote possibility.  

I tried everything I knew from years of experience to relieve severe back and neck pain from making a homemade heat pack using a plastic bag with a damp heated-in-the-microwave cloth on the inside, to a series of very gentle stretches. Nothing has seemed to help.

It all boiled down to time…enough time passing for the injury to heal with the hope I’ll return to my usual pain free existence. Have we considered medical care? We have. 

A vegetable cutting tool presentation at the market.

Although, certainly not in Bali with less than stellar medical care. Also, knowing that major surgery is the only real long term option if the pain continues indefinitely, there’s no point in pursuing this option.What would they do anyway?   

Need I say that the harrowing five hour drive from West Bali to Denpasar was quite a challenge?  Ouch.

We’ve certainly had to curtail our activities in Singapore. I’m grateful we’ve already handled two of the three visas we needed. With our upcoming long flight to Hanoi in two days, I’m a bit apprehensive about sitting on the plane so long but I made it through the one hour shorter flight from Bali to Singapore and I’ll do the same for the upcoming flight. 

Tom was in line paying for cheese and nuts.

We get out as much as I feel I can and continue to take photos to share. I’m saddened over the fact that we aren’t able to do some of the sightseeing we’d hoped in Singapore. When one doesn’t have a home and lives in the “world,” recuperating from any medical issue is required wherever we may be at any given time, thus we may miss out on some opportunities.

Why didn’t we bring this up sooner? I suppose it was my attempt to “tough it out” to avoid complaining. I suppose any of us retirees have bad periods where we’re under the weather in one way or another. Even the younger generation becomes ill from time to time. Its a part of life.

With the sharing of our daily lives of travel we attempt to stay upbeat and positive in our posts.  Although, I must admit its been tricky over these past weeks. 

The mall aisles weren’t crowded since most visitors were eating.

We’re forging ahead with all of our plans over these next few months. Its comforting to know we’ll have a six week restful hiatus at the house in Phuket beginning on July 22nd. Hopefully, by then my recovery will be much further progressed.

That’s the scoop folks. This morning, Sunday, once again we went out to breakfast and walked through Chinatown without the usual weekday crowds. The walk was good and now we’re back at our hotel to rest until dinner.

We’ll be back tomorrow as we wind down to less than two days before departing Singapore to head to Hanoi.

Photo from one year ago today, July 3, 2015:

It was fun to take photos of wild cockatoos in Trinity Beach, Australia. For more details, please click here.

Sitting too much?…How about walking in the mall on a rainy day?…More photos from exploring…

We spotted this beautiful cove at the end of the boulevard in Trinity Beach.

Tom says he never planned to include walking as a part of his retirement. What did he plan to do? Sit in a chair waiting to grow old for the anticipated eventuality? That’s what some retirees choose to do when health-wise when they could be more mobile. 

Unfortunately, many seniors have health conditions, making mobility unlikely if not impossible and my heart breaks for them. Having the ability to freely move about has a tremendous bearing on our general good health and state of mind. We commend the many people we know and love who aren’t able to be mobile and yet maintain a positive attitude.

Sitting puts a fast end to our mobility and our mortality. The maximum amount of sitting I allow myself most days is during the time it takes for me to write and post here each day and to handle the necessary aspects of our travels online.  For the remainder of the daylight hours, I try to stay on the move as much as possible. 

A long stretch of unoccupied sandy beach.

Although after dinner, during which we sit, we do gravitate toward the sofa to watch a recorded program or two on my laptop using the HDMI hooked to the flat-screen TV. I can’t imagine having the inclination to be running about the house each evening after dinner. After watching for two hours, we lay down in bed for seven or eight more hours.

Ouch! Writing this down makes me realize how much time we actually do spend not on our feet. Long ago, I read that standing and moving around once an hour is helpful which I desperately try to do. But, even then, it’s easy to get lost in the distraction of the moment while seated.

Harvard Medical School issued this report on the dangers of sitting for people of all ages including those in the workplace. Oh, that I recall sitting at a desk most of my working life, sitting in the car, sitting watching a movie. 

This dome-type vacation rental reminded us of dome homes from decades ago. 

Aside from a large faction of the working population that busted their “you-know-whats” engaged in a career of hard working manual labor, most of us sat in a chair at work or spent the better part of each day gravitating back to a spot where there was a place to sit.

If we look back at early man/woman, they seldom sat, instead, spending most of their time on their feet working for shelter, warmth, safety, food, and water. Perhaps humans weren’t intended to sit other than around the fire at night for dining and warmth.

A lone explorer on the secluded beach.

However, when we see animals in the wild most of them sit from time to time, to relax, nap, and scour their surroundings. So, let’s assume that sitting to some degree must be acceptable for the health and well-being of humans as well. As we’ve observed wildlife these past years of travel, we’ve seen that they are like us in many ways or…we’re like them. They were here before us.

After all, most of us have an adequate built-in cushion for sitting which seems to shrink as we age for some odd reason. Who knows? Maybe it shrinks as a reminder that we need to get up and move around instead of sitting in an attempt to maintain a certain degree of health and fitness.

I’m no expert. All I know is that when I’m active I feel better, my muscles move more freely, my sense of health and well-being escalates and my spirits rise beyond my usual “overly bubbly,” if that’s at all possible.

The beaches are seldom populated this time of year with the risk of stingers and crocs.

Tom, on the other hand, loves sitting. He always says he spent enough time outside moving about in 20 degrees below zero to last a lifetime. I’m not so sure about that.

Yesterday, after two weeks of clouds and rain, we needed to walk some more, although in the past week we’ve done quite a bit of walking at beaches and parks in the area. But, being moderately active one day doesn’t necessarily carry over to the next day.

The Lime Tree restaurant in Trinity Beach is rated as #2 or 16 restaurants on TripAdvisor. Soon, we’ll make a reservation and give it a try.

As much as I know Tom doesn’t like to go for walks, I suggested that we return to the local Smithfield Mall for a few items to supplement our grocery shopping of a few days ago. We needed to buy lettuce and coffee and, I wanted to try the low carb, sugar-free, goat’s milk yogurt I heard was readily available in the market (which, by the way, is fabulous!)

Instead of telling Tom, we should walk in the mall, he gladly agreed to take me to the store for the few grocery items and to stop at a vitamin store for some B1 which is known to help some against getting sandfly bites. (Oh, we won’t get into that. No complaining on my part over the 50 bites on my knees for which no natural non-DEET repellent works. Why they bit my knees, I’ll never know).

Kangaroos are accepted as a part of everyday life in Australia, not unlike our former reaction to squirrels and geese when we lived in Minnesota.

To accomplish both of these tasks, it made sense to walk through the very long mall which when walking up and back requires a good 30 minutes of brisk walking. Tom brought along his phone with his Kindle books so he could “sit” while I meandered a few shops along the way. 

Walking in our new neighborhood is unlikely. The hugely steep driveway is impossible to safely navigate on foot for anyone over 30 years old. It’s a knee injury waiting to happen. 

Tom is highly adept at driving a stick shift with his left hand and yet he surprises me each time we go up and down as he easily maneuvers the underpowered little red car that chugs along especially going up the hill. 

Even active kangaroos take time to sit in the shade when the sun peeked out for a few hours.

The hill is so steep, I’d have hesitated to drive it even with an automatic transmission if I’d had to.  (With no parking allowed on the street at the end of the driveway, we’ve had to drive to take walks, which we’ve done each day this week).

“Good on you, Tom Lyman,” I say, using a common Australian expression that we hear everywhere we go, which apparently means “good for you!” Easily, I could repeat this adorable expression for his willingness to walk with me as we wander about the world, attempting to get off our butts as often as possible, hopefully lengthening our time on this planet with a certain level of good health and fitness.

Photo from one year ago today,  June 25, 2014:

This worm on the organic lettuce in Madeira, Portugal practically picked up his head to look at me before I tossed the leaf over the veranda into the vegetation below. For more details, please click here.