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.

 

 

Playful night in Belize despite “24/7″…



 Tom and I enjoyed the balmy evening, sitting on the beach in front of our villa.

I’ve never cared for the expression, “24/7,” thinking it sounded as if it were a lazy way of saying, “all the time,” “around the clock,” or “every minute of the day.”
 

The words “24/7” never crossed my lips until a few days ago while lounging at the pool, chatting with a guest at Laru Beya, it fell out of my mouth when she asked me, “Now that you both are retired, how does it feel to be together all of the time?”

Without hesitation, I blurted, “Being together 24/7 has worked well for us.  We don’t whine, snip or pick on each other. It works!”  I let out a little gasp, shocked at myself for having said the dreadful expression.  24/7?  Yep, that’s us. 24/7?  Yep, that’s most retired people. 

A few hours later, while again lounging, this time in the comfy chaise on our veranda, I allowed my mind to wander to the conversation with the woman.  After 22 years of being together with busy work schedules and personal lives, we’re finally together.


We shot this coconut tree photo in the dark on the beach in front of our veranda. 

How do couples make it work?  Over the years we observed many couples on their way to, and eventually into retirement.  Some made it work.  Some didn’t. 

Early on in our relationship and in many years to come, Tom and I surrounded ourselves with a role model couple we adored, Sue and Chip, our dear friends and neighbors four doors from us with whom we spent many enjoyable hours. 

Entrenched in lively conversations on countless occasions we discussed every possible topic, over fabulous food and drink, during holidays, special events, as well as on Chip and Tom’s shared birthdays on December 23rd. 


Hold it steady, Honey.  Its a little blurry!

As a couple, Sue and Chip personified the ideal of retirement.  Chip, retired as an orthopedic surgeon, used the finite hand skills he’d acquired as a surgeon to fulfill his artistic bent busying himself as a sculptor, artist and singer.  Sue, a charming hostess and friend to many, played tennis and entertained guests, surrounding herself with meaningful social and academic adventures.

Well rounded as individuals, they came together fulfilled and content, lovingly and unselfishly reveling in each other’s interests and activities.  Observing them during our countless times spent together, we knew we needed to follow suit into our own retirement with caveats we learned from Sue and Chip (never spoken but observed):

1.  No nagging, no complaining, no snipping and no negative tone of voice when asking or responding to anything at all.
2.  Expand on or develop new interests to fill a portion of your time in gratifying endeavors, sharing what you’ve learned with your spouse opening new avenues for conversation.
3.  Spend time with friends and family building relationships of your own.
4.  Socialize together always speaking well of one another with a twinkle in your eye.  Never complain about your partner’s bad habits (which seem to worsen as we age) to others, including family.
5.  Share financial status with one another on an ongoing basis especially if one handles the money more than the other.
6.  Discuss life’s concerns in a productive manner, inspiring solutions and resolutions together as a couple.
7.  Compliment each other, always seeking new ways to express your interest and attraction to many aspects of your partner, not merely complimenting their outfit for the evening (which in itself always earns brownie points!). 
8. Always give one another credit for accomplishments even if only one of you did most of the work.  After all, it is a partnership.
9.  Have fun!  (This can be achieved in many ways, if you know what I mean!)
10. Have more fun!

This is what we learned from Sue and Chip.  This is what we strive to achieve every single day.  It’s a choice, isn’t it?  It’s not a matter of circumstance one falls into via good or bad luck.  Do we accomplish it “24/7?”  No, but like any good habit, its easier to fall back into the goodness, if one so chooses.

We lost our dear Chip the end of May last year (see blog post in archives for June 1, 2012).  We miss him.  We’ll always miss him.  But, in us (and in Sue and many others who knew him and easily loved him) his legacy of love, laughter and passion for life continues on,  along with the fine example of a happy and fulfilling retirement as an individual and as a couple.

Last night we had fun, as we so often do, prompting our silly pictures posted on Facebook and again here in this blog today.  May it serve as a reminder that this, dear friends, is what retirement means to us, not traveling the world on one adventure after another but, being together living our lives to the fullest, living in the moment, with a “twinkle in our eyes” of what is yet to come.

Be well.