What does the solar eclipse have to do with world travel?…

This was a menu at a restaurant in the Medina in Marrakesh.

We’d considered writing about the solar eclipse today, but after all the news hitting the airwaves, we figured all our readers had seen enough about it, and writing here would be redundant. However, we asked ourselves, “What does the solar eclipse have to do with world travel?”

It has plenty to do with it. After all, we are “world travelers,” which consists of exploring land and water on our wonderful planet. Yes, regardless of what is transpiring in the world and fear-mongering, we still believe this is a beautiful planet and health-providing down the road; we still plan to scour it with wonder and hope in our hearts (no pun intended).

For us, the past 11½ years that we’ve traveled the world has been magical, even during those less-than-desirable stays in locations we found less pleasant than others. We learned something interesting about every country, town, and village we visited during this extended period. We’re grateful for all the experiences.

Some of our friends and family members have asked us if we plan to stay in the US for the long term. As we’ve mentioned many times, at this point, the only thing keeping us here is health and the upcoming family visits. Once I recover from the surgery, we plan to continue to travel.

Most likely, we’ll return to the US more frequently than we did in the past, mainly for health checks and to see family. It’s all up in the air right now, and I do not know what’s next until I’m notified in the next few weeks.

Are there a lot of countries we’re longing to visit? Not necessarily, but there are specific locations we’d like to see and some locations we’ve visited in the past. Tom’s favorite place is Penguin, Tasmania, and I also loved it. It’s a long distance from wherever we may be, but we can get there in stages or by cruise, which would be especially enjoyable. There again, it all depends on health.

Last night, after an early light dinner, we made our way to Margie’s home, and again, we played cards. The game we play, Buck Euchre, is best played with four players. I’d played for a few hours with Tom, Margie, and Eugene, and when Colleen arrived around 7:30 after we’d finished a round, I decided to head back over to our place to give her a chance to play and after many late nights, a restful evening was in order. Tom stayed and continued to play cards.

Back at our place, I scoured our streaming services but could not find a good movie or series. I started three movies but couldn’t get into them after watching each for 20 minutes. Finally, I ended up playing games on my phone. Around 11:00 pm, Tom returned. We chatted for a while and then headed off to bed. By then, it was midnight. Awakening at 6:00 am, I didn’t sleep enough and am dragging a bit today.

We’re currently waiting for a grocery order, which should arrive within an hour. Around noon, we’re all off to the local VFW for Taco Tuesday every Monday. Go figure. Since I don’t eat taco shells, I’ll have mine as a taco salad without taco chips or a bowl-shaped shell.

Most likely, Tom will eat enough that he won’t want to have dinner tonight. If I’m hungry, I can make something for myself. No big deal. Most likely, we’ll play cards again later in the day with the sisters and Eugene. It’s pretty fun! I love playing that game. It’s easy to learn (and remember), and the games are exciting yet challenging. Tom and I have always enjoyed playing cards.

Tom’s new laptop arrives today, so if I quit playing cards early enough, I will work on setting up his new device. Since he doesn’t have many apps and files, it will be easy, taking no more than an hour.

That’s it for today, folks. If you can see the eclipse, please do so with caution, wearing appropriate eyewear, and avoid looking into a viewfinder with a camera or other device. Also, I read that cameras, including those on smartphones, can be damaged when taking photos of an eclipse.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 8, 2014:

With smaller portions of meat typically served in Morocco at each meal, side dishes are a huge factor in rounding out a meal. Unable to have bread, potatoes, couscous, rice, or other grains, Madame Zarah made a variety of vegetables to ensure I got enough to eat. Without prompting, she discovered that egg dipping slices of aubergine (eggplant) and cauliflower sauteed in olive oil help round out an otherwise less filling meal. For more photos, please click here.

Today, the vernal equinox for the Northern Hemisphere….Super moon and solar eclipse to boot! How weather and seasons determine our itinerary…

I took this photo a few minutes ago from our lanai. It’s been raining overnight and the waterfalls on the mountains are clearly visible. What a beautiful site!

Weather and seasons hold a tremendous significance for us in our world travels. Today, the first official day of spring is described as follows from the famous “Farmers Almanac” a reliable source of information used for the past over 200 years after its onset in 1792:

“Astronomically speaking, the March equinox occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north along the ecliptic.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox is known as the vernal, or spring, equinox, and marks the start of the spring season.

In the Southern Hemisphere, this equinox is known as the autumnal, or fall, equinox and marks the start of the fall season; the vernal equinox for the Southern Hemisphere occurs in September.
The March equinox happens at the same moment across the world, but is converted to local time. In 2015, it falls on March 20 at 6:45 P.M. EDT, 5:45 P.M. CDT, 4:45 P.M. MDT, and 3:45 P.M. PDT, for example.

Meteorologically speaking, however, in the Northern Hemisphere the official spring season always begins on March 1 and continues through May 31. Summer begins on June 1; autumn, September 1; and winter, December 1.

Weather scientists divide the year into quarters this way to make it easier to compare seasonal and monthly statistics from one year to the next. The meteorological seasons are based on annual temperature cycles rather than on the position of Earth in relation to the Sun, and they more closely follow the Gregorian calendar. Using the dates of the astronomical equinoxes and solstices for the seasons would present a statistical problem because these dates can vary slightly each year.”

On top of the vernal equinox is tonight’s super moon, as quoted from this website containing more information, EarthSky at this link:

“On March 20 – the same date as the 2015 March equinox – the moon turns new only 14 hours after reaching lunar perigee – moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. Thus, this moon is a supermoon – at the new phase – not visible in our sky, but having a larger-than-average effect on Earth’s oceans. Plus, this new supermoon swings right in front of the equinox sun on March 20, so that the moon’s shadow falls on parts of Earth. Follow the links below to learn more.”

Total eclipse of the sun on November 11, 2012. Image via NASA
Eclipse photo courtesy of NASA.

As we peruse upcoming options for various gaps in our schedule, seasons and their weather patterns are a tremendous factor in where we decide to go. With our upcoming two years, most of which is currently scheduled, we’ve begun to contemplate how we’ll fill a 67-day gap from June 26 to September 1, 2016.

As we inch closer to this gap which seemed so long away just a short time ago, we begin to start reviewing our options. This is the gap between our two bookings in Bali, Indonesia for the house we wanted for four months total, in two increments of two months each, the maximum allowable time for a visa in that country.

This morning as the sun was attempting to peek out between the cloud cover.

Looking at a map as to where we could easily and quickly fly from Bali, there are numerous options at affordable fares. However, the weather is a factor. If we go back to Australia, we’d have to stay in the northern part of the continent to avoid the colder south with temperatures in the near-freezing range, not appealing to us.

As much as we’d like to return to New Zealand to the south island, the weather is definitely a consideration, when it tends to be cooler there most of the time based on its southern proximity. 

All of these factors weigh heavily as we contemplate our next bookings. Any suggestions from our readers would be greatly appreciated, keeping in mind wherever we go we’d like to stay in one property and, prefer warm weather. Feel free to email or post a comment or suggestion at the end of today’s post. 
Julie had the triple crab cake sandwiches on sweet Hawaiian bread.

Julie leaves tonight. We’ve so enjoyed the time together for the three of us and for she and I alone, sisters sharing great memories, private thoughts and hopes, and dreams, as sisters often do. I’m truly blessed to have my two sisters. As the one in the middle, Julie eight years younger than I, and Susan, four years older, we’ve always stayed in close touch and have been there for one another.

Yesterday, Julie and I had a delicious lunch at the Princeville Westin. This was my bacon burger which included a small side salad.

Tom and I will settle back into our easy pleasant lifestyle filled with social activities (more tomorrow night), sightseeing, visits to the club, and hanging out frequently with our dear friend Richard, our personal social director.

We still have many photos yet to share of my tours with Julie over these past eight days. Please check back for more.

Have a rewarding weekend beginning on this first day of spring.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, March 20, 2014:

We still laugh over our faux pas. On our way out to lunch, we approached the guard at this interesting building asking if we could look inside. The guards said, “No Madam, this is the palace of the king.” For details from this date, please click here.