Unusual photos….Six days and counting…A full moon and Summer Solstice coincide after many decades in the Northern Hemisphere only…

These photos could have been used for “Sightings on the Beach in Bali” but we preferred to show the progression when we spotted this unusual display.

“Sightings on the Beach in Bali”

After watching this local citizen for awhile with his plastic bags on the beach we couldn’t quite determine what he was doing.

Time to depart Bali has seemingly cropped up suddenly. Usually, we comment one week before departure which is a week from today when we’ll fly to Singapore. 

However, in six days we’ll leave the villa at 10 am for the four-hour harrowing drive to Denpasar where we’ll spend the night in a hotel. Unable to book a flight to coincide with the long drive with a reasonable flight time, again we chose the hotel option, to keep stress and rushing at a minimum.

Zooming in, this contraption appeared to be holding some sort of vegetation.

We’re hoping the drive won’t be quite as harrowing as when we arrived almost two months ago now that we’re more familiar with the roads and drivers in Bali and also that we’ll be more rested than we were upon arrival.

Yesterday, when Gede stopped by, we asked if we could leave the duffle bag at the villa in order to lighten our load during the two months until we return on September 1st. 

“No problem!” Gede enthusiastically stated, “We have a storage room to hold it for you.” 

One of our cooks went outside to greet the vendor and made a purchase.

We’re thrilled to lighten our load by at least 20 pounds, 9 kg, for all the flights we’ve booked over the next two months resulting in fewer excess baggage fees. We’ve already filled the duffle bag with heavy clothing, jackets, jeans, cruisewear, and slightly warmer clothing that we won’t need in Southeast Asia. 

It’s only casual attire on the upcoming Mekong River cruise with no formal nights. We’re each bringing one pair of jeans and a couple of pairs of long pants just in case it’s extra cool in the dining room for dinners on the ship. 

Up close the peculiar display looked smaller than it appeared from afar.

Based on the nature of this river cruise, we’ll only spend seven nights on the boat with the remainder in hotels as we continue on the cruise/tour to Vietnam and Cambodia, many evenings dining in restaurants off the ship. 

With lots of mosquitoes in these countries and many restaurants outdoors, we’ll be happy to have brought along our BugsAway clothing with long pants and long-sleeved shirts. We already have plenty of repellent with us.

As our travel and subsequent packing experience has escalated over these past years, I’ve now come to realize if I had to I could pack in 20 minutes. This results in my spending less time thinking about packing, although we still prefer to be packed a few days ahead of departure to weigh our bags and pay the fees in advance online resulting in a discount from most airlines. 

Ketut purchased these raw peanuts which would have to be roasted prior to consumption.

Our handy under .5 kg travel scale continues to serve us well for weighing our luggage and ourselves from time to time. It’s especially been useful recently when we both lost considerable weight while living in Bali. More on that in tomorrow’s post.

As for the full moon and the Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, an odd pairing over the past many decades, here’s a bit of info we discovered at this website explaining it more succinctly than I could have:

“Watch for a full-looking moon on the eve of the June solstice (June 19, 2016) and a full moon on the solstice itself (June 20). From what we’ve been able to gather, this is the first full moon to fall on the June solstice since the year 1967, which some recall as the year of the Summer of Love, a social phenomenon centered on San Francisco, London, and other places around the globe.

There was nothing in his display that was befitting our way of eating. He took off for other opportunities seeming content with his peanut sale.

There’ve been a number of near-misses of full moons on June solstices, however. And we are indeed talking about the June solstice, not solstices in general. In fact, there was a full moon eclipse on the December solstice in 2010.
Reliably, the phases of the moon recur on or near the same calendar dates every 19 years.

It’s the “or near” that causes the full moon to miss the solstice on that 19th year, sometimes. Nineteen years from this year’s solstice – on June 20, 2035 – the full moon will not fall on the same date as the June solstice. It’ll be another near miss, with the full moon falling on June 20, 2035, and the solstice arriving one day later.

It appears as if the full moon and June solstice won’t fall on the same calendar date again until June 21, 2062.”

A young male buffalo neighbor.

Although we won’t have been able to observe this occurrence here in Bali (besides, its already a day later here), it’s interesting to read about this phenomenon in the Northern Hemisphere. 

If you’re able to take any good photos of the supposed “strawberry moon,” please send them our way via the email link on our homepage and we’ll be happy to share them with our readers with your permission and your name if you’d like. (Please specify if you’d prefer anonymity).

Shortly, Tom is off with Gede to the ATM. With generous tips we’ll be leaving for the wonderful staff, we’ll need millions of IDRs. I’ll stay behind to complete today’s post and to work on a few necessary pre-departure tasks.

Each evening during dinner, a pair of geckos appear which we hadn’t seen all day.  Once we uncover our food, zillions of flies bombard our plates.  We’ve actually watched the two geckos catch some of the flies.  Conclusion:  geckos smell our food and come “out of the woodwork” hoping to catch some of the flies attracted to our meal.  Nature…amazing!

It’s funny, how different this stay in Bali has been as opposed to many others knowing we’ll be returning in two months. Based on our itinerary it was a logical decision while we needed a place to park ourselves in-between cruises especially when we’re already in this part of the world. 

As always, we’ll be back tomorrow with our weight loss story, one we never expected or intended while in Bali. 

We hope all the dads out there in those countries observing Father’s Day had a very special day with their loved ones.

Photo from one year ago today, June 21, 2015:

Tom’s homemade dinner while in Trinity Beach included one pork chop, three gluten-free cheese sausages, one gluten-free knockwurst on a bed of sautéed onions and mushrooms, a side salad, and a muffin with New Zealand grass-fed organic butter. Was there something I was doing wrong in my cooking that prevented him from losing weight which has changed here in Bali? More on that tomorrow.  Click here for this past post.

Two family members remain…A visit to a resort with animals…A year ago…80 what in the yard???

This charming sheep posed for this photo without hesitation, obviously comfortable around people.

As time winds down for the extra days that daughter-in-law Camille and granddaughter Madighan are staying in the islands, we’re enjoying our remaining time together. They return to Minnesota on Friday.

The resident turtle at the resort.

With Madighan’s crazy rash under control since they relocated, we’re certain that something in the house or on the grounds may have caused the reaction. Now completely well, she’s able to spend a little time here with us with no consequences.

These chickens came running toward us with enthusiasm.

Yesterday, I visited them at their new place, a cozy resort no more than 15 minutes from our house, yet still considered to be in the Puna district, located in the city of Pahoa.

Camille and Madighan had a chance to pet one of the chickens. 

Seeing Madighan giggle over the chickens, sheep and giant turtle at the resort was a joy as shown in these photos. Ah, come on, it thrilled me as well.  I was desperately needing a little “animal fix” which I grasped when seeing these farm animals up close and personal.

A beam of light streaked across the sky from the lens of my camera.

We ended the day back at our house for dinner as we make every effort to use the frozen and fresh food we have left. Last night it was coconut chicken, oven-baked fries (none for me), roasted veggies, and salad. 

This freaky beam of light appears to be lightning was only a result of my playing with various settings on the came as I attempt to learn to get good moon shots.

Tonight, it will be burgers and marinated chicken tenders on the grill, more roasted veggies, tin foil wrapped grilled potatoes (with onions, butter, and bacon on non-stick foil on the dull side), and more salad.

Clouds gathering in front of our view of the moon.

Watching the weather today will determine what activities the day holds. If the weather is cloudy, we may decide to go to Mount Kilauea or if sunny, hang out at the pool at Camille and Madighan’s resort. With the unpredictable weather in the islands, it can change on a dime, making a fast turnaround in a day’s plans.

We were in awe of the reddish tints surrounding our view of the moon last night.

Last night’s full moon brought us outdoors to take a few photos which we share with you today. It was odd to see the new renters that have moved in yesterday our “old” house next door. Looking at them, I felt a pang of “what are you doing in my yard?” 

On our way to the resort traveling on the 20 MPH Railroad Road which opened in the event the lava crossing Highway 130, we spotted this sign.

The feeling quickly dissipated when the moon caught our attention and we were once again, swept away in a romantic moment of the wonder of our world.

Pool or volcano or what? Tomorrow, we’ll share the details.

Have a marvelous Monday!

                                             Photo from one year ago today, January 5, 2014:

Eighty impalas visited us in the yard in Marloth Park, one year ago today. If we so much as moved, they’d all run off. Sitting at the table on the veranda, I remained motionless taking the photos and videos as shown at our link. Please click here.

Mesmerized by the sea from the patio…The sounds, the spray, the waves….Family is loving it! We’re loving them being here!

This greenery is prevalent in the yard rather than grass. Apparently, these plants withstand the saltwater, flourishing in their constant moisture.

Living this close to the ocean is an event in itself. Although the house is small and is as well-stocked as many of our past vacation homes, we’re managing to make it work for all of us.

Here’s our visiting family of four from left to right, Jayden 9, Nik 14, TJ, and Sarah.  We couldn’t stop laughing when we took this shot at a local stop in Pahoa. 

When the others arrive on the 21st, we’re confident it will work out well for all of us especially when a few of us will be at the house next door.

It’s easy to just sit outside watching the waves hit the lava rock shoreline. Yesterday, I took this photo from a sitting position in a chaise lounge.

Yesterday afternoon we visited the village of Pahoa to take the kids shopping only to discover the shops in the downtown area were closed on Sunday. Pahoa is not necessarily a huge tourist area although there may more lookiloos (sic) here now due to the lava flow.

A more distant view of the above.

As a result, this sleepy, often referred to as “hippie” town rolls up the sidewalks at night except for a few restaurants and pubs. We never mind that aspect of living away from the typical tourist spots after all.

Last night’s full moon as it ascended into the sky with only a few clouds in its wake.

That’s not to say prices are less here in Pahoa than in the heavy tourist areas. Unlike Maui, the prices on groceries on the Big Island are very high, higher than we’ve seen in any of our travels throughout the world.  Literally, outrageous! A family of four eating three meals a day and snacks will easily spend $600 per week.

A few dark clouds impeded the lower view of the moon last night.

Tom and I eat only one meal a day with no processed snacks, we can manage for about $250 a week, buying only fresh meat, produce, and a small amount of dairy and nuts. Since our only beverage of choice is iced tea we avoid the high cost of soda and other beverages, chips, and crackers

After a break in the clouds.

After our short trip to town, we returned for our second taco night in a row and some amazing photo-taking time when the moon made its appearance around 7:15 pm. 

Here’s our moon in its full glory.

We hope our readers don’t tire of our moon photos. Learning to take good shots at night has been a huge learning curve for me. Seldom reading directions, I have chosen to learn by trial and error. Finally, I’m beginning to utilize the proper camera settings to lessen the difficulty of this process.

TJ was wearing a hat with dreadlocks attached. We couldn’t stop laughing!

Last night was one of the first moonlit nights I felt more at ease taking photos. Of course, the moon over the Pacific Ocean on a relatively clear night certainly added to the experience.

Guess who?

Today, we’re off sightseeing today with hopefully some amazing new photos tomorrow. Tonight, out to dinner to a local Chinese Barbecue restaurant with reports on our first foray into dining out in Pahoa.

Whether the tide is high or low the waves spraying on the rocks is awe-inspiring.

Have a fabulous Monday. We love that the days of the week each offer the same blissful opportunities to enjoy life to the fullest.

                                            Photo from one year ago today, December 8, 2013:

This was the first time we saw “Clive” a local wild ostrich when we went for a walk in the neighborhood in Marloth Park. He was busy checking himself out in the glass of this vehicle but later turned to look at us. At a later date, he came to visit us at our house for which photos will follow soon. For more photos, please click here.

The progression of a moonlit night over Madeira…Scroll down to listen to a humorous Minnesota podcast where Tom’s is mentioned…A year ago trip to Ephesus, Turkey and a fashion show…

Last night’s view of the moon and the lights from our veranda over Campanario, Madeira. 

I often walk up the steep hill that begins outside our door, snapping photos along the way, puffing and panting less and less each time. The lack of activity in Morocco greatly reduced my level of fitness, now returning with painstaking effort. 

The moon making an appearance on Wednesday which ended up clouded over after dark.

I needed to do this hard work. With no health club nearby once again I’m left to my own resources in an effort to stay fit which is easier now that we do our own day-to-day housework, laundry, and cooking. Tom, prefers not to exercise at all, except for necessary walks.

Last night, the moon began its ascent over the top of the mountain.

His exercise (besides household tasks) consists of standing up several times a day, walking to the kitchen to get two more Oreo cookies, walking back to the sofa, sitting down, and eating them. Oh, how happy I’d be if he’d give up the gluten and sugar. 

It rose so quickly, we could hardly look away for a moment.

I only want him to be healthy in order to continue this journey for years to come. He’s betting on his good genes. Recently, I read that good genes only attribute to 10% of one’s health and longevity. The rest is based on lifestyle choices. Our meals are healthy but, I can’t control what he puts in his mouth in between. We don’t argue about this nor do I nag him. He knows.

Only a minute later, we had a full view.

Yesterday, after posting here, we busied ourselves checking airfares from Funchal, Madeira to Paris, France on July 31st, a mere 48 days from today. The quickest flight left us with only a 45 minutes layover between Funchal and Lisbon, not enough time to go through customs. 

Tom insisted I point the camera in the opposite direction over the sea to capture the colors in the sky as the sun set and the moon arose.

Instead, we booked the safer bet, the flight with a two-hour layover in Lisbon, arriving in Paris at 5:15. By the time we’ll get to our hotel, it may be 7:30 pm or later, after another long day of travel. Then, we’ll quickly shower and change, heading out for our first dinner in Paris. How exciting!

The sky began to darken as a puff of clouds swept into the moon’s view.

Many travel days are ahead of us over several months after we leave Madeira on July 31st, not settling into another “home” until October 5th when we disembark the cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to Oahu, Hawaii.

Again, Tom remembered to catch one last shot of the sunset on the opposite side of the island.

Again, we won’t be cooking our meals for a combined total of 66 days while dining in restaurants during a month of cruising and several weeks in hotels in Paris, London, Boston, and Vancouver.  

As the sky cleared we knew that soon the moon would too high to get any good shots.

In the interim, we’re loving life in Madeira, especially after last night’s full moon which will be reaching its peak tonight when we’ll be dining out at a higher elevation. Hopefully, another relatively cloudless sky will bring the moon into its full glory into our sight once again.

Our last shot of the evening as it made it way to the heavens.

A full moon on Friday the 13th may bring out the superstition in some. But, for us, it’s another opportunity to revel in the beauty of the world surrounding us as we remain grateful for each and every day.

Here’s the link to the humorous podcast from Minnesota from June 12, 2014, where Tom is mentioned. 

His mention comes up in the first five minutes of the first hour in the podcast, making it unnecessary to listen to the entire podcast.

Very funny!  

Photo from one year ago today, June 13, 2013:

Spending part of the day in Ephesus, Turkey was not as interesting as we’d hoped. Seeing ruins after ruins had finally begun to wear thin. After we left Ephesus, we were taken to a runway fashion show. What???? For details of that story, photos of Ephesus, and the fashion show, please click here.

Moonlight becomes you…

The late afternoon moon.

This old Johnny Mathis song wound through my brain last night as we watched the moon progress from the afternoon into dark. Yes, I know. That song sure dates me! 

Here’s the link on YouTube to this song that for old timers, like me, will bring back memories.  Listen here:


The moon at 9:00 pm.

Moonlight seems to appeal to everyone, young or old, as we marvel at the wonder of space, our world, the moon and the sun.  As I sit here on the veranda, the sun in my eyes, my laptop monitor hard to see on yet another hot sunny morning, I prepare to post the photos we took last night.

Back in Minnesota, on a full moon night whether on a warm summer’s eve or in the brisk cold of winter, we always stepped outside on those nights to languish in the bright beam of light cast upon the lake, even when frozen, reflecting a magical feeling of awe and surprise.

The moon from our veranda.

Here in another land, we find that we all share in the romantic commonality of reveling in the moon’s beacon of light reflecting so graciously upon the sea. Last night was no exception, as we noticed our few neighbors also on their verandas necks stretched to the heavens.

Thank you, moon.  Thank you, sun.  Thank you, God, for making our world and it heavens only but a glimpse of what is yet to come.