Dinner out with family at a fun restaurant…Food photos…Cooking for family today…

Tom enjoyed his Reuben sandwich with onion rings.

It was a lovely afternoon. The family wanted to leave for Fat Willie’s for dinner at 3:00 pm. That was a little early for us, but Tom hadn’t eaten anything all day, and I’d only had Greek yogurt with berries early in the morning, so it all worked out well. Plus, it was “happy hour,” and drinks were mostly $5 or less. Tom ordered a beer, and I had one small glass of Pinot Grigio.

We were surprised when our bill was only $56.78 with tax and tip (the service was excellent). That was the lowest bill we’ve had dining out since we arrived in the US in December. We will return to Fat Willie’s at least once more before leaving Apache Junction in ten days.

My steak salad at Fat Willy’s. It was delicious!

When we returned to the park model, we relaxed for a while, then decided to stay in for the remainder of the evening. We watched a good show, A Gentleman in Moscow (on Showtime), which entertained us throughout the evening. Finally, I headed to bed around 10:00 pm. The night’s sleep was excellent, and I awoke feeling rested and ready to start the day.

I deliberated over what food to bring to Collen’s late this afternoon and decided on making a recipe I found online, Keto Tuna Melt Patties. If the recipe is good, I’ll post it tomorrow. It was easy to make. I put together all of the ingredients in a bowl with a lid and place it in the refrigerator. Before we head over, I’ll bake the patties in the oven and toss the already-prepped salad with homemade dressing. While the patties are baking, I’ll make a mustard dipping sauce.

Colleen and Margie each ordered the Berry Chicken Salad. They both loved it.

Later today, Tom will head to Colleen’s home to pick up uncooked ground beef that he’ll cook on the gas grill, another item for the afternoon meal. As Colleen and Margie approach their departure date, they try using their frozen and perishable food. We are doing the same with many ingredients still in the refrigerator. We’ll only grocery shop for a few needed items here and there as time approaches for our departure.

As for the rest of today, we don’t have any plans until we leave for Colleen’s around 3:30. Tom is working on his new laptop, content with the set-up and the new device. We’ve already watched CBS Sunday morning, and I am halfway through my daily walking.

Rita ordered this “small” pizza, comparable to a medium pizza.

In about an hour, I’ll do the yoga exercise I’ve done daily for almost two months while also walking. On the days I wasn’t feeling well, I still did the exercises, not wanting to miss a beat. The walking hasn’t improved much, but I’m noticing some added strength in my arms and legs.

Yesterday, I got an email from my sister Julie. She’s been able to coordinate a “cousins reunion” for our last day before departure in Los Angeles. We’re meeting at their favorite restaurant in Los Alamitos for lunch on May 3. It will be exciting to see my cousins after so many years. As mentioned, I am the matriarch of that side of the family. When I think of matriarchs, I can’t help but think of elephants we’ve often enjoyed, seeing the matriarchs in Kruger National Park helping their herd cross the road.

Brother-in-law Tom ordered potato skins, taking three in a doggie bag.

Of course, I am disappointed we won’t be going to South Africa in June. At this point, I have no idea when we’ll get there, but hopefully, no later than next April, May, or June 2025. It all depends on when I have the surgery in Cleveland.

That’s it for today, folks. Have a lovely Sunday!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, April 21, 2014:

That’s our laundry on the clothesline, which Madame Zahra washed every few days. For more photos, please click here.

The long term commitment…

Tom’s dinner at a restaurant in Morocco in 2014. I can’t recall the meat, but there sure were a lot of chips (as fries are called in other countries).

If someone asked me if I could commit to writing an essay every day of the year, my answer would be, “No way.” The daily constraints of taking the time and attempting to be creative would be far beyond my level of consistency and dedication to such a repetitive event.

Well, here we are, in three days, on March 15, having done these posts daily, except for the first year, posting for the past 12 years. We began in 2012, before we started our travels, to share the experiences we had even before we embarked on our years-long journey.

We initially thought we might last a few years, maybe even five years, but we never anticipated we’d be in 2024 and still be homeless and traveling most of the time. The exception has been, lately, the necessary time we’ve been spending in the US to do paperwork and medical appointments.

Now, as that time in the US is creeping toward an end, with only about three months to wrap up this time, visiting family and these important other objectives.

When we recently discovered there would be a “Jubilee Celebration” for Tom’s sister, Sister Beth’s 70th year as a nun, we’d have been on our way to South Africa on June 15. Instead, we may leave a day or two later, not arriving in Marloth Park until June 18th.

This morning, Louise and I chatted back and forth on WhatsApp when I asked her if we could change our arrival and departure dates, assuming we’d get there by June 18th, give or take a day. Of course, Louise was happy to accommodate this change. So we can relax, not be concerned about our late arrival, and attend Sister Beth’s event.

But, soon enough, we’ll be moving on and, at that time, have more exciting posts to share with all of you. Many of our readers have written about how much they enjoy wildlife photos, and when we get there, we will be on a mission to share as many photos as possible, along with pictures of social events and local food.

As far as what we’ll do at the end of the 88 days in Marloth Park, at this point, we don’t have a clue. We’re waiting to find out the results of my cardiac ultrasound on March 27 to decide where we’ll go after we’re done in Africa. We’ll be very excited to make new plans if all goes well with the test.

Today, Tom will leave for an appointment at our bank to get several documents notarized and in the mail. He’ll take an Uber for the five-mile trip and should return a few hours later.

With the pizza gone, we’re making one of our favorite dinners, keto “unwiches,” which we haven’t had in a few months. We typically go through the litany of favorite meals, cycling through every two months, occasionally trying something new. I think most home cooks do the same, repeating the same favorite meals over and over again.

Have a fantastic Tuesday. See you tomorrow!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, March 12, 2014:

This photo was taken from a third-floor rooftop of a restaurant where we dined in the past week. For more photos, please click here.

A special dinner with my granddaughter Maisie…

My sweet granddaughter, Maisie, is heading to school in Wisconsin. Last night was a special time for us to get together before she had to leave today. We had a fantastic time.

When we knew we were coming here, we were aware that Maisie would be attending school in Wisconsin, and we wanted to spend as much time with her before she left. We planned last night as a special time for just the two of us to chat and commiserate as granddaughters and grandmas often do.

The time passed quickly as we chatted and ate our dinners while situated in a comfy booth at the familiar restaurant we often visit when we stay in Eden Prairie. Tom had perused the menu before I left and picked out his “dinner to go,” which I ordered for him during the last 20 minutes in the restaurant.

When son Greg dropped me off at the hotel with Tom’s dinner, he hugged Maisie and wished her well on her new experience. Gosh, our grandkids are growing up fast. Fortunately, we’ve returned to Minnesota many times over the years to see them and see how much they’ve grown and matured.

Maisie enjoyed her pasta but couldn’t eat all of it and gave her dad the leftovers when he came to pick us up.

Back in our room for the remainder of the evening, we streamed the last episode of The Lincoln Lawyer, a great show, and began watching a series recommended by our friends Marylin and Gary, who visited us in Henderson, Nevada, about a week ago. The show is on Netflix entitled Formula One, a docu-series with five seasons to watch. We got into the show right away and look forward to many other episodes.

Thanks, Marylin and Gary! I apologize for spelling your name wrong in past posts. I recalled something unique about the spelling of Marylin’s name, but I looked up a past email to see if I’d been spelling it wrong. Sorry about that, dear friend. I will get it right in the future!

Speaking of dear friends, in a few minutes, my friend Chere will arrive at the hotel for us to visit. We saw each other about a year ago when we were here, and it will be fun to see her again now. We’ve been friends for about 25 years, and conversations with her are exciting and delightful.

Later today, Tom and I will head to Costco, just around the corner from the hotel, to use some of the gift cards we received from booking one of our last cruises through their travel department. Plus, he had a few other Costco credits from buying gas using the Costco credit card and another bonus we received. Overall, we have about $500 in Costco gift cards.

My Cobb salad from Champps was good but not great. The chicken should have been cut into small pieces and tossed into the salad. Otherwise, it was good.

We’re going to Greg’s home tonight to watch the Minnesota Vikings game at 7:00 pm. We’ll bring some ready-made food from Costco, so we don’t have to cook and make a mess.

After a wonderful get-together with my friend Chere, I just returned to the room. As usual, she and I sat at a table in the hotel lobby area and enjoyed chatting. Hopefully, she and I will figure out other times to meet again before our month in Minnesota ends.

On Friday, at 1:00 pm, we’re meeting Tom’s old friend Charlie and his wife Pat for lunch in Albertville. He and Charlie were pals for decades while working on the railroad. It will be fun to see them both once again.

That’s it for today, dear readers.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 14, 2013:

Ten years ago today, we booked our first safari adventure at Sanctuary Retreat, Olonana, in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, one of the most fantastic safari locations in the world. For more, please click here.