Final expenses for 82 days in the USA!…We’re off for India today!…

At lunch that day, two years ago, one of the chefs on our Antarctica cruise, on Ponant Le’Boreal, was preparing a beef and vegetable stir-fry outdoors.  We all partook of the delicious offering but decided to dine indoors.  It was a little too cold to eat outside for our liking. For more photos, please click here.


Last night, we played our final round of buck euchre with Gene and Eugene. As always it was quite enjoyable. Tom and I speculated over how fun it would be to find players in our future travels.


However, that’s highly unlikely. That particular card game is popular in the Midwest and is seldom played in other parts of the world. When we return to the US in about two years, we’ll play cards with his family once again.


Tom’s sisters and brothers-in-law only spend their winters in Apache Junction, Arizona and the balance of the year in Minnesota. Most likely, next time we visit Minnesota, it won’t be during the cold winter months and we’ll see his family and our kids and grandchildren in Minnesota, once again.


This morning, as I sit here preparing today’s post, I’m feeling at ease. Most of our packing is complete and all I have left to do is restock my 28-day pill case and empty the food in the refrigerator. 


We’re bringing all the remaining non-perishables and perishables over to the sisters to see if there is anything they can use. If not, their friend Margie (another Margie) will bring everything to the local Food Shelf where she volunteers. 

We’ve weighed all of our bags except for the supplies bag which is always questionable in meeting the weight restrictions in this case 50 pounds (23 kg) per bag .


Assuming we won’t have easy access to a pharmacy for toiletries, I’ve had to pack enough to last for three months; two months in India and 29-days on the following cruise from Mumbai to London. Once we arrive in the UK, and then Europe, we’ll easily find the products we use.


Last night’s my six hours of sleep was filled with crazy dreams and frequent periods of wakefulness. Tom experienced the same. But this morning upon awakening I felt fine and ready to tackle the remaining tasks for the day.


Our new friend Jodi, kindly volunteered to take us to the airport. This is so appreciated, especially since we must leave during rush hour at 5:30 pm. With the traffic we should arrive by 6:15 pm with our first flight departing at 8:40 PM.


We’ll fly all night for 10 hours, and as mentioned, we’ll spend 8 of the daytime hours at busy Heathrow Airport. We’ll attempt to find a place to plug-in our equipment and busy ourselves online.


Here are our combined final expenses for our 82 days in the USA, beginning on November 8, 2019 and ending today:

Final Expenses USA  US Dollar 
Vacation Home  AZ   $ 3,626.00
Gifts & Misc.   $    325.00
Airfare    $    872.00
Rental Car  $    996.78
Groceries  $ 4,100.32
Dining Out   $ 2,082.00
Supplies & Pharmacy   $ 1,674.05
Total Cost (82 days)   $13,675.83
Average Daily Cost (82 days)   $    166.78



We did not include the cost of new digital equipment and clothing, but we did include the cost of supplies we purchased for the next three months.


Also, we paid no rent while staying with friends Karen and Rich for three weeks  in Minnesota nor did we pay rent during the 11 nights we spent with son Richard in Nevada. Of course, we hosted a number of dinners out, in sincere thanks for their hospitality.


Here in Arizona, we paid the above mentioned rent from 12/09/2019 to 1/31/2020. The property manager gave us a discount to compensate for our early departure, today on January 29th.


Most likely, we’ll upload a post tomorrow during out 8-hour layover, providing we have access to wifi and a place to plug in our equipment. If not, sit tight. As soon as get settled in the hotel in a few days, we’ll prepare a new post.


Thanks for all the warm wishes from many of our loyal readers/friends. We so appreciate your kindness and words of encouragement.


We’ll be back at you soon! Take care and be well!

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Photos from one year ago today, January 29, 2019:

We could only guess why this particular lioness hadn’t been hunting and eating. For more photos, please click here.

Final expenses, Baltic cruise…Final sailing day…Stockholm, Sweden photos…

Please see our final cruise expenses at the end of today’s text. With the poor WiFi connection, I wasn’t able to move the expenses box to be contained within the text or load captions due to the poor signal.  Please excuse the inconvenience.


The cruise is winding down.  Tomorrow morning we disembark in Amsterdam to take a taxi to the airport and fly to Exeter, England where we’ll pick up a car and drive for approximately two hours until we arrive at our next holiday rental in Falmouth, England.


It’s wonderful knowing this cruise is ending only to result in our starting our next adventure for two months in England, staying in what appears to be four unique and exciting country cottages.




Once we began our travels I had a vision of living in a stone cottage in the English countryside and now this dream will be fulfilled.  For us, it’s always the “simple life” that brings the greatest pleasure and purpose of our world travels.




Today is our last full day at sea and the ship is a flurry of activity with passengers booking new cruises, meeting up with others they’ve met along the way and reminiscing about the experiences of the past almost 12 days and nights.





Last night, once again we had dinner with our favorite little group including American partners Fred and Larry and British mother Deborah and adult son James. The conversation and laughter are neverending with this six-person group and thus we booked a special table with our favorite waiter for tonight’s final dinner at 7:45.





Last night we stayed up late once again watching passengers dancing to a variety of “oldies” in the Centrum.  It was the first time in my life, I couldn’t participate in the lively dancing.  Tom and I love dancing together, especially to “oldies” of the right beat (to us anyway).







Trying not to feel sorry for myself I couldn’t help but wonder if I’ll ever be able to dance again.  Right now, it doesn’t feel as if I could.  But, hopeful that I am, I’m now dreaming of the day when I’ll have my strength back and be on steady legs.  Right now, my legs feel as if they’re made of jello and it takes everything I have to keep from falling flat on my face.





I believe this is a result of the medications and the weaning process, tentative walking being listed as a major side effect while on the drugs and also while attempting to wean off of them, possibly lasting for many months.  





If I knew for sure that an end to the discomfort was in sight, it would be a lot easier.  But, like life itself, nothing is certain.  All we know is the moment we’re living and how important it is to treasure it as it occurs.  It’s challenging not to project into the future.





This morning I reduced the dose of the Bisoprolol in one more increment.  I’m now down about 70%.  I’ll wait another four or five days until I attempt to reduce it again.





The most common side effects of the withdrawal of this beta blocker are increased heart rate and blood pressure, breathing issues, at times to dangerous levels and also coughing and painful walking.  I am monitoring these closely.  Once the body adjusts, for most people, the rates return to more “normal” levels and the pain eventually dissipates.





Before I started weaning off this drug, my pulse was in the 40s and 50s causing me to feel exhausted and short-winded.  Now, as I’ve reduced the dose, it’s running between the 60s and 90s. My blood pressure is low.  We’ll see how it goes.





Oh, I am sorry to go on and on about my health but, let’s face it, it has a huge impact on our travels.  If we were living in a condo somewhere in a warm climate, I could easily have fallen into the trap of being the “perpetual patient” going back and forth to doctors to answer every question that comes to mind.





Now, I lean on reputable scientific research to guide me through this process.  I’ve read in many cases how many cardiologists have suggested their patients stop these drugs “cold turkey” while others warn patients to be hospitalized during the weaning process.  Go figure.


Medical information is misleading and doctors can have varying “opinions” on how to treat their patients, especially cardiologists.  I’ve chosen to go to the “middle ground” and try to work this out on my own.  



Of course, if anything untoward were to occur, we’d immediately seek medical attention.  Also, if my pulse or blood pressure rise too much, I always have the option to increase the dose short-term to get me through a bad spell and then try again a few days later.  Right now, I’m holding my own.


As the day quickly sails by (no pun intended), we find it hard to believe this cruise in over. We’ve already packed our bags, leaving out clothes to wear tonight and tomorrow.  Since our bags will be whisked away at 10:00 pm tonight, most likely, we’ll wear the same outfits tomorrow that we’ve worn tonight.


Today’s photos are those we took while in Stockholm, Sweden riding on the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus that we decided to try one more time.  With no rain this time, the photos were better.  


We were able to ride on the top deck without windows providing us with a clear view. It’s not easy taking photos from a fast-moving bus, but we did our best and are delighted to share these with you today.


Most likely, we won’t be able to prepare a full post tomorrow but we’ll let you know we’ve arrived at our new holiday rental in the late afternoon. We’ll be busy unpacking and washing clothes.  Hopefully, we’ll have a few new photos to share!


Be well.  Be healthy.  Be happy.

Expense US Dollar Euro
Cruise Fare  $          4,313.84                      3,894.36
Airfare –   $             385.00                    347.56
Hotel & Meals Amsterdam- $              440.00                    397.21      
Taxi   $             102.00                      92.08
Cabin Credit  $              (150.00)                  (135.41)
Wi-Fi on ship  $                227.40                     205.29
Gratuities  $                520.00                     469.44  
Miscellaneous  $                   82.00                       74.03
Tours  $                 930.00                     839.57   
Total  $             6850.24                   6184.12
Avg Daily Cost – 12 nights  $              570.85                     515.24



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Photo from one year ago today, August 22, 2018:
While on safari in Chobe National Park in Botswana, we were excited to get a view of the leopard’s face after waiting for a considerable period while Samson, our guide kept moving the vehicle for better shots.  Upon careful inspection of this photo, you can see the pads of the feet of her kill in the tree near her head.   For more photos, please click here.

Remaining all new photos of Penguin…Today, on our way to Huonville…Final expenses for Penguin, Tasmania…

The high iron content in the rocks created this colorful scene.

We’re anxious to get on the road today.  As a result today’s post will be to the point.  Also, Terry has more guests moving in later today so the sooner we’re gone, the sooner he’ll be able to prep for their arrival.

The surf has been impressive on many days.  Surfing is popular in Tasmania.

We rushed about the house gathering last minute items, attempting to leave the house as tidy as possible.  I’d packed my clothing on Saturday, leaving out a few items for Sunday and today’s road trip.

Since we don’t have to have our luggage weighed, it was the easiest packing ever, taking only 10 minutes to put the clothing in my one suitcase.  This morning I packed our third bag with supplies, shoes and toiletries which takes a little longer than the clothing bags, especially when we don’t want any liquids to spill.

Check out this surf!

It takes time putting the following expenses together from the various sheets in our Excel spreadsheet in an attempt to ensure the final numbers we post here match with the numbers on the entries in the various spreadsheets. 

Views in Binalong Bay in Tasmania.

We keep miscellaneous expenses on a separate sheet in the workbook and also the food which numbers are transferred to the main sheet at the end of a stay in a vacation home, with separate line items for cruises.  Its hard to explain without seeing it but its working well for us.

In this particular case, we’re able to bring leftover food items with us so we packed our remaining over-sized tinfoil pans with items for the cupboard in the next house with a few perishable items (cheese, butter, etc). packed in a cooler bag packed with ice.

Wildflowers growing along the beach.

Below are the total expenses for the six week period we spent in Penguin, Tasmania.  This includes airfare from Sydney (where our 33 night cruise ended).  Also, the expense for the rental car includes fuel for the trip from Hobart to Penguin and that which we used while here. 

Neatly planted fruit trees.

The cost for the rental car was considerably more than we’ve paid in many other locations, greatly impacting the total figures.  Also, groceries were higher than usual, especially when we’d purchased expensive cheese we had shipped to us from a Tasmanian dairy farm. 

Over the holidays, we purchased some pricier foods as special treats including filet Mignon, jumbo prawns and scallops, all throwing off the usual lower costs. We didn’t eat out much due to the difficulty in ordering meals befitting my dietary restrictions which has always been a little tougher to accomplish in Australia. 

Not only are there gorgeous white sand beaches in Tasmania, there are many rocky shorelines.

The “tips and miscellaneous” category included some clothing we purchased, toiletries and a variety of products from the pharmacy.  As shown, there was no cost for the excellent Wi-Fi Terry provided with the availability of 200 gigs of data usage per month. 

In total, we’re not disappointed by these totals.  Australia is more expensive than some other parts of the world but its a tradeoff with the quality of the experiences, its wildlife, its scenery and most of all, its people, some of the warmest and friendliest on the planet.









































































Expense US Dollar Australian
Dollar
Vacation Rental  $   3,143.80  $  4,228.38
Airfare   $      241.68  $     325.06
Hotel (St. Helens)  $      133.33  $     180.00
Taxi  $      100.72  $     135.47
Rental Car  $   2,642.77  $  3,554.50
Wi-Fi  $           0  $          0
Groceries  $   1,470.65  $   1,978.01
Dining Out  $         84.21  $      113.26
Tours  $         34.17  $        45.96
Tips & Miscellaneous  $       523.45  $      704.03
Total  $   8,374.78  $ 11,264.67
Average
Monthly Cost
 $   5,789.38  $   7,786.66
Avg. Daily
Cost – 44 days
 $      190.36  $       256.02



Usually, when we’re leaving a location, we’ll post favorite photos.  However, based on this short period in Penguin, we’ll save those for our final post when we leave Tasmania which will include the Huon Valley favorites as well.

Statue we passed on the drive from Hobart to Penguin.

Instead today, we’re posting photos we’d yet to share from our original road trip from Hobart to Penguin and more photos we’d taken while in Penguin.  There were too many photos to share as we posted each day with the continual flow of new stories and adventures we encountered in this wonderful area.

White sand beaches are commonly found in Tasmania.

Will we return to Penguin someday?  No doubt, we’d love to.  But, as always, the reality remains that we still have a lot of world to see.  Its a stretch that we’re returning to Marloth Park next year coupled with the serious intent of traveling to other African countries to observe more exciting wildlife and scenery.

A special thanks to Terry for his conscientious attention to every detail to ensure a phenomenal experience we’ll always treasure.  We’ve “friended” one another in Facebook and look forward to staying in touch for many years to come, as we have with most of our past landlords/property owners.


Cove view taken in Burnie, Tasmania.

If you’re looking for a fabulous place to stay in Penguin Tasmania, please click here to reach Terry.  We have no doubt, he’ll be happy to provide you with the same amazing experience.

Entering the city limits of Penguin.

Goodbye, Penguin.  Hello Huon Valley!  We’ll be back tomorrow from our new home located on the banks of the Huon River!

Thanks to all of our new and long time readers for sharing this special six weeks with us.

The charm of this town celebrating its fairy penguins is whimsical.

Happy day!

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Photo from one year ago today, January 16, 2016:

The men’s Nautica store on the ship had nothing that appealed to Tom although he liked this brand name in our old lives.  For more cruise photos, please click here.