Day #223 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Flowers in Hawaii…A bad dining experience…

Plumeria is often used in making leis in Hawaii.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2014 while living in Maalaea Beach, Maui, Hawaii where we celebrated our two-year word travel anniversary at an Italian restaurant, sorely disappointed over the meal. See the link here.

No, I won’t get into the disappointment we felt over our second-year travel anniversary dinner in an Italian restaurant. Feel free to read the details in the above-mentioned link. In actuality, we’ve forgotten all about it, probably a few days after the event. Dining in TripAdvisor recommended restaurants worldwide is no guarantee the food will meet any diner’s particular needs like ours; me, with my dietary restrictions; and Tom, with his picky taste buds.

Kimi Pink Ginger.

The bottom line, if I can get a decent-sized serving of some type of animal protein, fish, or seafood along with a few vegetables, and if Tom can get beef, pork, or chicken with some type of potatoes or white rice, you’d think this would be an easy bill to fill. You’d be surprised how difficult this is to accomplish in many restaurants we’ve visited throughout the world.

Overall, we’ve had from good to excellent experiences. Every now and then, we’ve been disappointed, most often by the small portion of my protein, often only four ounces, .11 kg, simply not enough when I only eat once or twice a day. With prices so high at most locations, it makes no sense to place a double order for me when I can’t eat most of the accompanying side dishes.

I searched through no less than 500 photos of Hawaiian flowers, unable to find some of the names of those we’ve shown here today.

Instead, I’ll often eat Tom’s vegetables and I’ll give him my potatoes. When we return to our holiday home, I can always have a piece of cheese to tide me over until the next day. Most often, as we all know, “eat a small amount and 20-minutes later, you may be comfortably full.” This is often true.

We enjoy seeing a hearty portion on our plates when we prepare our own meals. I often refer to us as “piglets.” However, when cooking low carb/keto meals we can enjoy a portion sufficient to fill us to satiety, keeping in mind, we may only eat once or twice a day and generally don’t snack, unless we haven’t had breakfast. In those cases, by 3:00 pm, we both may have a piece of cheese to hold us over until dinner. We rarely eat anything after dinner.

A wilted variety of Plumeria, perhaps.

When we’ve been on cruises, we tilt our heads in wonder, observing most other passengers eating breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner, drinks, and dessert. We would blow up like balloons if we ate so much food. Based on stats, the average cruise passenger gains 1 pound, .45 kg a day.

After 27 cruises the past eight years, we’d have a big problem on our hands if we’d gained on all these cruises, much more than the challenge we’re facing now, dropping enough weight to fit in the clothes in our luggage. In my old life, I had the flexibility of different sized clothes in the attic to accommodate an occasional weight gain or loss.

This must have been pretty before it began to fade away.

But, that’s not the case now. We’d better fit in those jeans when we leave here, whenever that may go. I haven’t fit in those jeans since August 2019 after gaining back all the weight I’d lost from the open-heart surgery (in February 2019) when the drugs I was on made me sleepy, lethargic, and hungry all the time.

This becomes particularly important now when I recall checking out a few women’s clothing stores in Komatipoort, near Marloth Park. They either had large sizes or tiny, tiny, short length jeans suitable for whom, I couldn’t figure out. With my height and overly long legs, the only jeans I can wear are available in the US.

More Plumeria.

Since we won’t be ordering any clothing from the US to be shipped to us in the future, after our recent package fiasco, I’d better fit into the items I have on hand now. I have two pairs of jeans and two pairs of shorts that almost fit. Tom’s elastic waist shorts fit, but his jeans are still tight. By the time we leave here, we both should be able to fit into the clothing in our bags.

Tom too is losing weight along with me, now that he only eats a big breakfast and no dinner, having given up the chicken pasta and roasted potatoes. I am eating a small breakfast of one boiled egg and one slice of bacon, and dinner is a good-sized chicken burger patty, topped with Emmental cheese, an egg, and bacon with mustard on the side. This is working for both of us right now.

Maui goose.

Every time I write about food, my mouth waters, not so much as a result of trying to lose weight, but from missing out on many items we’d love to savor which aren’t available here. Sorry, to so frequently mention food in our posts. It’s hard not to think about it during these peculiar circumstances.

Have a tasty day, enjoying something you love!

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

Clouds over the skyline in New York as we reached the USA. For more photos, please click here.

Day #114 in lockdown Mumbai, India hotel…In a darkened room, hiding away…No sunshine here…

Bananas were growing everywhere on the island of Madeira, many farmed for resale while others were available for personal use.

Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word, “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

Today’s photos are from July 15, 2014, while in Campanario, Madeira, Portugal. See the link here for more details.



We both are advocates of the value of getting Vitamin D from direct sunlight for 20 minutes a day. With all outdoor areas closed to guests in the hotel, there is nowhere we can go to get some sun directly on our skin.


Besides, its the monsoon season in India now and it rains almost every day and night, often in torrents. As hard as this is to admit, based on our year’s long advocacy of the value of direct sunlight for setting bio-rhythms to produce better sleep and general health benefits, we now sit in a darkened room (with lamps on), 24 hours a day.

Some flowers are continuing to bloom through the summer season as is the case in the Alstroemeria.

It happened during the first month. One sunny day, we closed the drapes on the full wall of glass due to the glare on our laptops and to keep the room cool. The view isn’t pleasant and we had no interest in seeing outdoors, especially when our chairs back up to the windows.


Over the next few cloudy days, we opened the drapes, but again found the glare annoying and felt no benefit from keeping the drapes open. Finally, over a period of a week, we gradually kept the drapes closed entirely. 


And now, over 100 days later, we spend each day in the darkened room with lamps on, while providing somewhat of a cozy feeling that we’ve both embraced. Now, if the cleaner leaves the drapes open after cleaning, we immediately close them in order for the room to return to its familiar ambiance.

What were these red things growing on a tree in our yard?  

The fact is that it may be more beneficial with the drapes open right now as we continue in lockdown month after month. However, right now, our general comfort seems to be of the utmost importance to us.


We walk daily and Tom adds in numerous flights of stairs to his walks in the corridors. I’m up to no less than three miles, almost five km, per day at a good pace, although I break it up into several segments to avoid sitting for any length of time. Tom does his exercises while our room is being cleaned.


Are we hiding away in a darkened room during these trying times? Is it impacting our moods? We aren’t hiding away but feel right now that avoiding the glare and the less-than-desirable view has a more positive impact on our ability to stay positive, contrary to what “they” may say.

These berries were growing on a palm type tree in the garden.

During these challenging times, we each have to find ways to console and comfort ourselves, while easing the stress of confinement. Our dear friends Kathy and Don, who are currently living in Oahu, Hawaii (when not at their home in Marloth Park to which they aren’t allowed to travel at this point), are able to walk outdoors and get together with friends at outdoor restaurants while maintaining social distancing.


Enjoying a glass of wine or a drink with friends (or even with each other) would be such a treat along with the opportunity to walk outdoors in the sunshine. Our level of appreciation in times to come will surely be over-the-top. Although, it’s not as if we didn’t appreciate it in times past.


We hope you are safely able to be outdoors in bright sunlight and perhaps enjoy snippets of time with friends and family at safe distances.


Be well.

______________________________________

Photo from one year ago today, July 15, 2019:

With great reviews on TripAdvisor, it’s no wonder many visitors stopped by the unique eatery, The Misunderstood Heron in Connemara, Ireland with its stunning scenery. We didn’t order any food when all of it included wheat and high carbs. For more photos, please click here.

Making it through a “powerless” day…

It appears that breadfruit trees continue to produce fruit all year long.

If we had a home of our own and, if the power was out for eight hours, we could easily busy ourselves if we didn’t have a generator (which we did in our old lives). We could go to a movie, out for lunch or visit family or friends. We could go for a walk in the neighborhood. 

We could wash windows, clean the gutters, or mow the lawn. We could make a trip to Home Depot, Walgreens, and the mall to purchase the items on the list we’d been accumulating. This time of year, we could have gone Christmas shopping and by the time we returned home, the power could be back on.

But here in Fiji, we can’t go for a walk on the impossibly steep, deeply rutted dirt road or, work around the house or, go to a movie. There’s no movie theatre here. Plus, the power was down in the entire town. There was nothing to do. 

We began the day OK. I finished and uploaded the post before the power had gone out, just to be safe. Good thing. The dongle wouldn’t work with the power out in the village when Vodafone had also been shut down. We had no Internet connection.

We hadn’t seen these pretty flowers until this morning.

I couldn’t cook as I often do when it made no sense to open the fridge. As a matter of fact, we never opened the refrigerator or freezer once during the outage after placing a huge bag of ice in a bowl in the refrigerated section to keep the items cold. It worked. Everything was still cold eight hours later, including the items in the freezer all of which were still frozen.

We’d used two insulated bags, one within the other, to keep ice handy for our iced tea and kept our iced tea pitcher on the counter all day. It was a good plan.

We’d arranged for Rasnesh to pick us up for a drive but it rained and we weren’t able to see across the bay. It wasn’t a good day for photos. We canceled by 10:00 am to free him for other customers. 

Luckily, it wasn’t quite as hot as it had been over the past week. We did fine without the two fans. By late afternoon, the heat escalated and we sighed with relief as the power returned.

The ferry passing this morning.

For some odd reason, neither of us was in the mood for reading books on our phones. Getting up so early to ensure we could post before the outage, by 10 am, it felt as if it was midday. We decided to watch two movies on my laptop which has a good battery that can last through three full length movies without a charge.

With many windows in the house and the need to keep the curtains opened for a possible breeze, it was hard to see the screen on the laptop especially since I’d turned down the brightness level down to less than 40% to save on battery life. 

We managed to watch Transporter Refueled (mediocre), Edge (also mediocre), and an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.  Using approximately four hours of battery life, I was surprised to find 50% power remaining after watching the shows. 

Once it hit 2 pm, we began to play games on our phones, play Gin (Tom won but I’m ahead one game in the Fiji tally) and the time moved more quickly.  At 4:33 pm the power returned as we quickly plugged everything back in. 

These colorful plants continue to thrive.

Tom busily prepared to watch the Minnesota Vikings football game on his laptop while I began to put together the various dishes for dinner. With everyone in the area online as soon as the power returned, the signal was poor taking him extra time to get through the game. 

By 7:15 we sat down to dinner which would have been earlier but we couldn’t get the portable oven to work.  Tom worked on the plugs for a while and finally, it fired up. He wasn’t finished watching the game but, had decided to wait until I went to bed to read at 9:30 pm, to finished the last quarter. They lost. He was disappointed.

Surprisingly, for a very inactive day, we slept well. Cooling strong winds and rains washed over the area all night and sleeping was easier than ever. Both of us up and ready to start the day by 6:00 am this morning, again, we’ll stay in on another rainy day. 

Happy to have power again and with all of the kitchen appliances working well, we’re good. Hope all of you are the same as those of our readers in the US prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Photo from one year ago today, November 24, 2014:

Golfing is a huge sport for tourists in the Hawaii Islands with many award-winning golf courses available on the four largest islands; Oahu, Maui, Big Island (Hawai’i), and Kauai. For more golf course photos in Maui, please click here.

Wrapping up the Cairns Botanic Garden…What shall we share next?..A long ago host and hostess…

We’d seen these gorgeous orchids in our neighborhood in Kauai, Hawaii, and found them equally breathtaking in Australia. Many of the plants, trees, and flowers are similar in both areas due to the tropical climate.

We’re always amazed by the number of readers that visit us each day. Who are you? How did you find us? We don’t do a lot of outside advertising and promotion other than an occasional blurb or story on another site that may also have a fair share of readers.

We’re hoping that the technical names of all of these flowers weren’t as important as seeing their beauty in our photos. Our slow and costly wifi connection doesn’t allow for intense data hogging searches.

We both wondered if the readers of the past 24 hours, a 25% increase was due to our multi-day story about the Cairns Botanic Gardens which may have attracted a few more readers our way. But after typing a search in Google we didn’t pop up on the first page.

Tom loves to read signs wherever we may visit.

Who knows what brings all of you here? In reality 1118 in 24 hours is nothing compared to millions that view an entertaining video in one day. Then again, we’re not a one-shot wonder. We’re the steady, dependable blog writers who appear each day, rain or shine, in sickness and in health, and even on the often painstaking travel days.

Roundabouts are popular on the roads here in Australia. We didn’t expect to find one in the Cairns Botanic Gardens.

All we can say is that we appreciate the consistent readership, comments, and email, all of which makes the what-could-be a lonely trail of traveling without our thousands and thousands of readers from all over the world traveling with us each and every year, especially now as we’ll soon enter our fourth year on the move. 

Many areas in the gardens were wild and seeming to be unattended, letting nature take its course.  This creek bed was dry.

If Tom and I were bored with one another, which we’re not (emphatically), the audience would be a desperate means of communication with the outside world. The fact that we adore each other’s companionship only adds to the joy of our daily experiences from the adventurous to the mundane. 

We’ve yet to see a Cassowary in the wild.  But, when we do, we now feel more educated based on reading this sign, which Tom drew to my attention.

It feels as if we’re having one fabulous dinner party minus all the cooking and cleanup. The expense, on the other hand, we bear with what we hope is aplomb. 

Our self-tour ended at the visitors center, which was an interesting architectural design series of buildings with a gift shop, various displays, and a restaurant.

In our old lives, for those of you who aren’t aware, we were the proverbial host and hostess, often having “company” for dinners, brunches, and barbecues on the lawn. Those days are long behind us now, but we remember them fondly for all the fun and laughter.

The buildings were designed with lots of glass creating an unusual look.

After all of our guests went home, we both stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, washing and drying every last dish and glass we couldn’t fit into the two dishwashers which even those, we emptied before heading to bed. We washed the floors and often started a load of laundry filled with linen napkins and tablecloths. No, we didn’t stay up to dry and later iron the napkins.

As we entered the visitors center we spotted this python under glass.

To make a point, we were somewhat focused on being the efficient and yet playful host and hostess having a good time from the first slice of shallot to begin the cooking, to the moment we finally wandered off to bed, smiles on our faces for an enjoyable time seemingly had by all.

Close up of grouchy looking python face.

Do we miss that life? Of course, we miss the people, the family gatherings, and the multitude of friends from many walks of life that magically seemed to get along marvelously when we entertained the larger groups. 

Pretty in pink.

In the same way, one may have an amazing memory of a wild roller coaster ride, one doesn’t long to ride a roller coaster every day. It’s the multitude of memories we hold close to our hearts. But, that doesn’t mean we’re hankering for 100 people to come for dinner…or for the more difficult, dinner party at the holidays for 12 guests which inspired us to a more complex menu and table setting.

This brown and yellow flower caught our eye once again as we neared the exit. This is an Acanthaceae from Central America. We don’t recall seeing these in Central America. 

Life is full of trade-offs. We traded one life for this life. Is this a better life? For both of us, it is. We certainly don’t miss working every day (duh!) or the many responsibilities of the life we lived, that most people live, many happy and fulfilled. And, it’s not to say we weren’t happy and fulfilled. We were like most of you…somedays? yes…somedays? no. That how life is. 

Sure, we miss the people. That’s the only price we’ve paid. But they, like us, have adjusted to our being gone and hopefully, love us anyway. People retire and move away. 

What an interesting and comprehensive experience at the Cairns Botanic Gardens.  It was well worth the visit with a surprising free admission.

Other retirees that have moved from the frozen tundra of Minnesota moved to a warmer climate may see their families once a year. We see them every two years. We are readily available by phone and Skype (free for them, mostly free for us) and love speaking to them and seeing their faces. We chat with them via Facebook and email. Communication is not lost by distance. It’s only lost by the heart.

Here we are. It’s Monday near noon in Trinity Beach, Australia. It’s about 80F, 27C, the humidity is 68%. The sun is shining. We’re healthy. Our house is clean. We have a fabulous dinner planned. And later today, we’ll head out for more photos ops to share here with all of you, our readers, our friends.

Thank you. Thank you so much for traveling along with us. You mean the world to us!

                                              Photo from one year ago today, July 27, 2014:

This was my entire pile of clothes to be packed one year ago which remains about )the same size today. Although I’ve purchased a number of items this past year, I tossed all the old worn clothing to replace the weight of the new items. For details as we prepared to depart the island of Madeira, Portugal, please click here.