Fun time last night…Busy Sunday cooking, football and working out…

Selfie…the two of us at The Pub last night in Lake Las Vegas.

A patron at The Pub spoke to us only when he wasn’t paying attention and bumped into me to apologize when we were looking for a table. We arrived at 5:15 pm, and the place was packed. If we’d arrived 30 minutes later, we wouldn’t have been able to get a table.

If we prefer to have a drink at this bar before dinner, we’ll have to arrive by 4:00 or 4:30 or come on a different day of the week, not Saturday night. Many TV screens broadcast football games, but no one seemed to pay attention. The loud voices made us chuckle. This certainly is a busy pub, aptly named. No doubt, we’ll go there again in the future.

This guy was standing in a little area with two bar stools, but they weren’t at the bar.

The drinks were priced for happy hour at $6 each. Tom had two beers, and I had two small glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon. Tom had a Reuben sandwich with fries included, and I had a grilled buffalo chicken salad with blue cheese dressing.

After ordering our drinks, we were content and engaged in lively chatter between us. It was nice to get out of the house and be in different surroundings, as much as we love the condo.

There was no room at the bar, so we selected a table. Minutes after our arrival, the place was packed.

We slept late this morning, and I didn’t start prepping tonight’s dinner until 10:00 am with a cup of coffee. It is a complicated recipe, and I spent almost two hours in the kitchen. I sat down to prepare today’s post only a short time ago and have yet to make my second cup of coffee.

Once I am done here, Tom can use my laptop to broadcast today’s football games. I’m only interested in the second game, with Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, which is on until 3:30 pm. That gives me plenty of time to make the salad to go with dinner and work out in the fitness center. Now, as I write here, it’s only 1:00 pm.

This was my buffalo grilled chicken salad with blue cheese and dressing.

If I’d got up earlier, I’d have more time to get everything done by 3:30, but since we began traveling the world, we don’t feel compelled to get up at any particular time unless we have specific plans. Tom is always up before me, but I am always awake before him. I read the news on my phone in the mornings or reply to emails and texts from family, friends, and readers, never feeling any pressure to accomplish this.

We love the leisurely pace of our lives right now. So little is required besides the basic daily housekeeping and cooking tasks. I do most of it, except Tom takes care of the dishes and trash and helps with the weekly cleaning day, which we decided is Friday.

Tom’s Reuben sandwich with fries.

We’ll also do the cleaning when we get to Arizona on April 1st for about six weeks. But when we get to Minnesota, we’ll be in a hotel with a living room and kitchen, which will be cleaned for us. I love not having to clean! Of course, once we get to Marloth Park in mid-June, once again, we’ll have our dear Zef and Vusi, who clean daily when there is so much dust from the wildlife, stopping by.

That’s it for today, folks. Now, I need to relinquish my laptop for the football games since Tom’s computer won’t work with the HDMI, regardless of what we try to do to fix it. Soon, he needs a replacement laptop, and perhaps next time, we’ll buy him one with an HDMI outlet.

Our bill with the 18% tip was $70.79, about $20 less than we paid last Saturday at Luna Rossa, which was a better meal. I ordered two glasses of wine when the first glass was only about 3oz. I asked for a stemmed glass since I don’t care to drink wine in a water glass, and the waitperson brought me a champagne glass, which was fine.

Have a fantastic day, and be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, January 21, 2014

Wow! Bourke’s Luck Potholes in South Africa was our favorite. For more photos, please click here.

Yesterday afternoon, Tom had to go to urgent care…

Today’s three photos we posted one year ago in Kruger National Park on a self-driven game drive.

With Tom’s flight to Chicago next Wednesday at 1:00 am, the fact that he was coughing so much and tired all the time made me get pushy about him going to Urgent Care yesterday afternoon. If he became more ill and was unable to go for his long-awaited appointment with the pulmonologist appointed by the law firm, it could be months before he’d get another appointment. He agreed, and we went to the closest Urgent Care shown online and on MAPS.

As soon as we arrived at the location, we noticed a sign that stated, “Coming Soon.” We had to find another location further away. We registered at the reception desk, and within 15 minutes, he was taken back, with me in attendance, to a treatment room.

After a nurse checked his vitals and asked questions, a doctor entered and examined him. On most occasions, Tom refused to go to Urgent Care this early in his illness. He was diagnosed with bronchitis, not pneumonia, which we feared he had with all the outrageous coughing and his need to nap several times a day.

Nature takes its course when lions and other predators feed on other wildlife in the bush. It can be shocking at times, but after we’ve spent so much time in the bush, we’ve come to accept it as part of life.

The doctor gave him a prescription for Z-pack and cough pills (not a liquid) and suggested he take over-the-counter Zyrtak for the sinus congestion. Off we went to the CVS pharmacy at the nearby Target store. Tom waited in the car while I went inside for the 25-minute wait until the prescriptions were ready.

Back at the condo, I noticed a message on my phone that Amazon couldn’t get into the building to drop off my order of Hall’s sugar-free cough drops. Whoever handles the reception desk during the day wasn’t available when the driver tried to gain access to the building. This morning at 8:00,  the package was outside the door.

Last night, I was coughing every hour or so, but I feel fine otherwise. Most likely, I’ve caught the bug that Tom started with before he got really sick. Once I got up and out of bed, my coughing stopped when using the cough drops. Hopefully, my symptoms won’t worsen over the next few days.

When we “catch” something, Tom is usually sicker than I am. I always feel compelled to keep up with household duties and cooking even when I feel unwell. I am optimistic we’ll both recover soon and continue to enjoy our time in Lake Las Vegas.

As for today, we’ll stay in and be cozy with our two blankets and stream some shows to distract us while we work on improving. All I have left to do today is finish this post, fold and put away the dried laundry on the rack, toss the salad, and cook our two pizzas. That’s an easy day, by my standards.

Sharing dinner with another female.

I paid our deposit for the Ratel house in Marloth Park this morning. It gave me a wonderful sense of peace and excitement at the same time. It’s hard to believe that in a little over five months, we’ll return to my favorite place in the world, outside the USA. Soon, we’ll get busy booking the place in Apache Junction, Arizona, where we’ll head after we leave here at the end of March.

Then, we’ll book the month we’ll spend in Minnesota to see our kids, grandkids, and friends. From there, we’ll begin the two-day journey to Marloth Park, South Africa.

Despite this recent setback, life is good, and we look forward to the future.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, January 3, 2014:

Not all wildlife requires a daily supply of water, but the zebra does, never staying further away than ten meters from a safe water supply, Picky drinkers, they taste the chlorinated pool water, only taking a sip, detecting the chemicals. When cleaning the pools in Marloth Park, the staff uses very little chlorine due to the fact that the animals drink from the pools. For more photos, please click here.

Part 3…What an exciting location…Weight loss update…

The bar at Luna Rossa, where drinks and dinners are served. This looks fun!

Tom reminded me to mention that the boulevard outside our building is not the same as, or associated with, the Villages in Florida. Instead, The Village in Lake Las Vegas is located outside our unit in this beautiful building, Viera, that we can easily access only steps away.

It’s not so far that it’s hard for me to walk to explore all the shops and restaurants. We walked to the UPS store five minutes from the building this morning. The longest walk was down the long hallway to the elevator to the main entrance, one level up, and then to the store. This morning, I had to mail an envelope, and it was a piece of cake when we didn’t have a stamp or envelope. Less than $2.00 later, the letter was on its way.

This is the interior of Luna Rossa, one of many restaurants in The Village.

Tomorrow, I’ll explain what I was mailing and how it impacts me in the future, which may provide some valuable information for other travelers like us. More and more seniors are choosing to live a lifestyle similar to ours by selling all their belongings and making the necessary changes to live a home-free life.

It has been great with Tom back here after his one-day trip to Minneapolis to attend the annual Railroad Union Christmas party. Much to my surprise, when he returned from his 26-hour time away, he only napped on the sofa for about 20 minutes, while I made a special effort to be quiet and not disturb him. Otherwise, he was his usual upbeat self, and we had a lovely afternoon and evening.

The patio at Luns Rossa which is surely frequented by locals in the warmer months.

Gosh, we love it here. It has everything we could need or want. We can order our groceries online with the order being delivered directly to our door; we can shop for essentials by walking out the door to this building; we can dine out at any of about ten restaurants only steps away, and we can handle anything we may need without using the car.

Today, we will look at the possibility of canceling the upcoming rental cars, after which we’ll Uber to any other locations we may need to visit while we’re here. We already paid for the next month using points accumulated on a credit card. So we’ll keep those reservations since getting the rewards points back is tricky, and we’ll make a point of using the car as much as possible.

It appears this company was no longer in business. We are surprised so many of the shops and restaurants are still in business after the pandemic.

Had we known how easy life is living here, we’d never have rented cars when they are so expensive in Nevada, especially during the holiday season. Since we don’t gamble, we won’t be going to the Las Vegas strip unless we plan anything special.

There are no words I can use to explain how different life is here at this fabulous location than it was only a little over a week ago when we were in Ecuador. We are both cheerful and upbeat, practically giddy, especially during the holiday season. We’ve both caught up on sleep. I now have my refill prescription, and the two meds I am taking for Afib are working well. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

In the past several days, I have been heading to the fitness center down the corridor and doing a short workout to improve my strength and stamina gradually. I do a little more each day and hope to regain my fitness level after failing to do much over the past few years.

This establishment looks fantastic, with a wonderful menu. We’ll try this place soon.

As for losing weight to improve my health, as of this morning, I am down 20 pounds with only five more pounds to go. It’s slow going, but if I can lose one pound a week, that’s fine with me. All I did was cut my portions of low-carb foods down by about 40%. Other than around meal times, at 11:00 am and 6:00; I am not hungry and don’t think about food.

I don’t snack during the day, but shortly after a somewhat light dinner, I have one cup of Greek yogurt mixed with ½ cup cultured cottage cheese and about ½ cup of unsweetened mixed berries. What a treat this is and a perfect way to end the day! I am doing everything I can to improve my health, and the results are already providing benefits.

Of course, good sleep and the low-stress lifestyle we enjoy now are factors in achieving my goals. I bet many of our readers are busy getting ready for the holiday season. Although we don’t decorate the house with a tree and other decorations or bake Christmas cookies and treats, the Christmas season is in our hearts, and we revel in this particular time of year.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, December 21, 2013:

On the way to Nelspruit with our driver, Okee Dokee, she stopped to buy lychee nuts from this adorable girl, who was selling them on the side of the road with her mom. For more photos, please click here.

Part 1…What an exciting location!…Tom is on his way to Minneapolis…

Looking over our veranda one floor down to ground level, we can see shops and restaurants. It is referred to as “The Village” in Lake Las Vegas.

When the owner was here a few days ago,  Zoltan explained that our condo is located one floor above what is referred to as The Village, a series of roads (no cars allowed) with restaurants, shops, and various businesses. All we have to do is exit a nearby door to an outdoor stairway to take us down to The Village.

A bar and restaurant are directly below our unit, and rows of various other restaurants and establishments make this an ideal location for us. Tom was concerned it would be too hard of a walk for me to navigate. Yesterday afternoon, after returning from the mailing service, we decided to try it.

We’d expected restaurants but had no idea there would be clothing stores and other shops on the boulevard.

The smooth, even streets were easy for me, and I made it all around the area without thinking I couldn’t easily walk. The only tricky part was after we were done checking everything out, we walked up a very steep hill to make our way to the main entrance of our building.

After speaking to the reception desk staff member, we discovered an easily accessible door to reenter the building using a code on the keypad of an exterior door. This way, we could avoid the steep hill most people our age would struggle to navigate without getting out of breath.

It was an easy walk on the paved roads (no cars allowed) in The Village.

Over the next week, we’ll dine at one of the restaurants and have dinner. We’ll retake new photos at that time when the area is beautifully decorated with pretty lights and Christmas music playing in the background. We looked over our veranda at night to see the lights and hear the music. Lovely.

Although it is cold here now, requiring warm clothes both during the day and at night, we’ll each bundle up with the clothes we have on hand. Many don’t realize that the weather in the winter in Las Vegas is rather chilly. On a few occasions, it has snowed here, but it melted right away.

There were even some offices, a salon, and a spa along the boulevard.

As I write today’s post, I’m a little tired. I’d set the alarm on my phone to awaken Tom at 5:30 am. Tom’s hearing loss prevents him from hearing a phone’s alarm. I put the phone on my nightstand, thinking it would surely wake me in time to wake him—no such luck. At 3:30 am, we were both wide awake and got up for the day.

Neither of us slept much, but it will be much harder for Tom, who has to wait all night at the airport after he leaves the Christmas party around 1:00 am, waiting for his. I can always take a nap this afternoon. He won’t be so fortunate. Perhaps he’ll nod off a little on the outgoing and returning flights. It’s hard to nap while waiting at the airport. He’s flying in and out at Sun Country Airlines, a smaller, quieter airport a few miles from the main Minneapolis/St. Paul airport.

A beauty center is located in The Village.

As for me today, there’s not much on the agenda. I am working on health insurance stuff and other paperwork. I spent most of the morning ordering Christmas gifts online for the grandchildren and have completed that task.

It’s odd for me that Tom is gone. I will not pester him with texts or phone calls, leaving him to think only about his day and evening with his old friends from his railroad days and adult children.

We were surprised to see so many restaurants. We checked out the menus and will visit some soon.

That’s all for today, dear readers. I’ll be back with more news and photos of the beautiful Village here in Lake Las Vegas. We’re delighted we chose to stay in this lovely location.

This restaurant is located directly below us. We need only to take a stairway down to The Village.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, December 19, 2013:

Of nine members of this warthog family, there are two moms; one has four babies, and the other has three. From watching this family almost daily over 18 days, we believe the mom shown above is the mom of the three babies, who are all nursing if you look closely. (It’s hard to see the third). Thus, the baby on whose chin she rests belongs to the other nearby mom, who seems comfortable with this situation. We couldn’t have laughed more when the fourth baby, whether hers or not, provided this chin-resting spot. For more photos, please click here.

Yeah!…We’ve had power for the past 36 hours!…Ten days and counting…

Our dear friends, seated, Danie and Louise, and standing, Rita and Gerhard. We are looking forward to when we can all get together again.

It’s incredible how a good night’s sleep, feeling well, and electricity can make us so happy. Today is a new day, and we will make the best of our remaining ten days in Ecuador. No doubt, the power will be out again, hopefully not for 12 hours. We have enough food to get through these next nine days (we leave on the 10th day) by adding a few packs of meat from the little store. Raphael fills in the rest with fresh, organic vegetables, watermelon for Tom, and freshly picked strawberries for me.

Last night, I slept through the night, and Tom also had a refreshing sleep. Now, he’s watching football on his laptop with the NFL Game Pass, now called DZN, and is quite content. I have a busy day with laundry, meal prep, travel record keeping, and perhaps a little organizing upstairs to prepare for packing in one week.

Feeling well and energetic, I am putting all my negativism in the past and forging ahead. I am looking forward to moving into the upcoming main floor condo in Lake Las Vegas, where we feel confident we’ll be comfortable and at ease.

I have always enjoyed being in Nevada, our home state. With the opportunity to see family and a few friends who live there, we’ll enjoy dining out each week and having easy access to everything we could possibly need or want. Our expenses are always higher in the US than when traveling in other countries, but we’re prepared for that. We’ve done this before.

We’re not expecting $40 dinners with drinks and tips, as we experience in South Africa. Nor are we anticipating $150 weekly grocery bills, buying quality groceries as we have there as well. Easily, we’ll spend $250 or more weekly for a trip to Smith’s or Albertsons. There’s a Whole Foods store nearby, but the prices are outrageous, as we’ve found to be the case in other parts of the US.

Plus, dinners out will easily be $100 for two. Since I am not drinking wine right now, the bill will be a little less when a glass of wine can cost upwards of $15, and I am only drinking plain water. Tap water is safe to drink in Las Vegas and Henderson. In most countries we’ve visited, we’ve had to buy bottled water, except in South Africa, where it’s included in our rent.

Gosh, the more I write, the more reasons I see why we love Marloth Park so much. Not only are prices so much more reasonable, even with inflation, but humans and animals provide a constant source of entertainment. As our regular readers know, I can’t wait to return.

I heard from Rita and Gerhard as they were about to leave Marloth Park after a few months’ stay, living in the same house called the Ratel House (most houses in Africa have a name). Last night, they sent me a photo of their last dinner out with Louise and Danie on WhatsApp, as shown above in the main photo. We are always so happy to see friends enjoying time together who have all come into our lives due to our blog.

It reminds us of how important it is to have good friends throughout the world. Research has been done (not that I believe all research) that having a social life contributes to a longer life and better health. If that’s the case, we should live to be 100. Each day, we connect with our friends worldwide, either on social media or by phone on WhatsApp. Each time we have an opportunity to hear their voices, we are reeling with delight, even after the call.

Today, we are cooking bunless burgers topped with purple onion, fresh tomatoes, sliced cheddar cheese, sauteed mushrooms, homemade ketchup, homemade coleslaw, and sides of green beans and broccoli, a healthy meal for both of us. I use large cabbage leaves to wrap my burger so it can be hand-held. Delicious!

Have a wonderful Monday, and be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, December 4, 2013:

This morning as we sat on the veranda by the pool, this group of 9 warthogs, seven babies and two moms, walked up the driveway toward us, happy to visit and looking for pellets. For more photos, please click here.

Last night’s stunning sunset…12 days and counting…

Sunsets don’t need an explanation.

The power just came back on after two hours. The sun is shining today, and it’s a little less humid.  The high will be 79F, 26C, a perfect weather day. But, at this point, we have no desire to use the pool. We tested the water, which was very cold and too cold for us. I have stopped using ice in my room-temperature water and have given up drinking anything but water throughout the day.

The Afib improved when I stopped guzzling ice-cold drinks all day. I’m not taking any chances plunging into an ice-cold pool. Apparently, the vagus nerve is instrumental in setting off bouts of Afib, and for some, including me, it’s considered a “trigger.”  Long ago, a doctor of Chinese Medicine who worked for me said drinking ice-cold beverages is bad for overall health. I never understood that until now.

For the past few days, I’ve been feeling really well. Taking one pill a day, as opposed to two, which is time-released, works for me. Besides occasionally getting sleepy, the side effects are diminishing each day. I can do this! Using the FDA-approved ECG on my Fitbit, my results have been perfect over the past few days. I simply perform the test on my Fitbit, refresh my program, and the results roll over to a free app I use from Stanford University’s Cardiology Department. From there, the result is analyzed by the app.

The app is called Qaly and can be downloaded to most devices. A more comprehensive use of the app includes a monthly fee of $30, whereby technicians at Stanford further read the results, providing a report. I tried the one-week free trial and then canceled it, since my results have been so good, I don’t require further analysis. If you are interested in more details on this, please write to the staff in the “contact details,” and they will provide more comprehensive details. This is useful for those with Afib.

The prevalence of Afib in the US is estimated to range from 2.7 to 6.1 million. I am not unique in having this issue. Many people never have surgery to correct it and can manage it with antiarrhythmic drugs and blood thinners, both of which I am taking. Untreated Afib can cause strokes if meds aren’t used.

Nonetheless, I look forward to our time in Nevada, leaving in only 12 days. I won’t be thinking about packing until a few days before we leave since we hardly unpacked our bags and with only a few trips back and forth to the two extra bedrooms where our suitcases are lying open, ready to receive the few items in the closets and cupboard. If we had to, we could pack in only a few hours, but as typical, we won’t be waiting until the last minute.

Also, I can’t wait to get a new laptop and finish with this fiasco I am having to use right now. We decided to go to Costco and buy the laptop rather than pay for shipping. We get in after midnight on December 15, when we’ll get some sleep, and then head to Costco in the morning for the laptop, food, and supplies, perhaps stopping for breakfast since we won’t have any food at the condo.

All we’ll bring with us for the morning is regular and decaf coffee and some powdered creamer in Ziplock bags (which we don’t usually use since real cream is better and healthier). We’ll be fine if we can have our coffee in the morning.

I am making roasted chicken breast for me and pork chops for Tom tonight. We are counting down the days that are left to figure out how long our food supply will last. Fortunately, the little store finally restocked their meat, fish, and chicken supply due to increased visitors to this area, and with that and Raphael, we’ll make it through easily.

We’ll give anything we have left to our lovely cleaner, Maria. She’s been so kind and helpful. She cleans for three hours each week for $20 and the tip we give her.

Enjoy your Saturday, wherever you may be, and know we are always thinking of all of you.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, December 2, 2013:

Today, ten years ago, we awoke in Marloth Park for the first time. We didn’t realize, until we arrived in Marloth Park, that baby zebras have fluffy hair and short bodies until seeing one up close and personal. Too cute! For more photos, please click here.

We’re off again!…Minnesota, here we come!…Photo of dear friends!…

This photo of our booked house in Ecuador is the only one we’re posting today. With limited time today, since we’re leaving soon, we didn’t have adequate time for the entire story with photos. Please check back in the next few days for more photos, pricing, and details.

Note: The main photo shown on our main webpage of all posts is different from what is shown above here. Based on a lack of time, I wasn’t able to get the above photo to post due to its unusual format, which won’t upload on our website. The owner will be sending me the photos in a format I can use.

The nine nights in Henderson, Nevada, flew by in a blur of good times, good food, and, above all, good people. It was our most fun visit to Nevada that we can recall. Now, we’re off to Minnesota for more of the same. No doubt, it will be wonderful to see more family members, and this time, with this extended stay, getting together with more friends than ever.

Last night, we had an excellent evening with my son and his girlfriend. After a good quick dinner at Red Rock Casino in Summerlin at the Yard House restaurant, we walked through the casino to the movie theatre and watched Denzel Washington in the latest movie, Equalizer 3. It was entertaining, albeit a bit gory, but we’ve watched plenty of gory films over the years.

The half-hour drive to Summerlin flew by in a flash as we all engaged in lively conversation. By 9:30 pm, we were back at our hotel and ready for a good night’s sleep, which we both easily achieved without awakening during the night. We languished until 8:00 am and finally bolted out of bed to begin the busy travel day.

At the moment, at 11:00 am, our bags are packed, weighed, and waiting by the door for the bellman to pick them up close to noon when we have to check out. We couldn’t get a late checkout due to how busy the resort is. So, at noon, we’ll head to the airport and wait for our 3:45 pm flight rather than stay in the lobby here.

This way, we won’t be rushed at all, and once we’ve checked our bags and found our boarding gate. We’ll most likely have at least a two-hour wait until we board the Southwest flight to Minneapolis. We are used to long waits at airports, so this is nothing new to us.

We’ll easily entertain ourselves by playing with our phones and people-watching. I hope to upload today’s post before we leave for the airport. This way, we won’t have to take out laptops again after going through security.

Lovely photos of our friends Marilyn and Gary, who visited us here in Henderson on Thursday. It was great to see them both! We will see them again in Marloth Park in July.

I intended to post photos of our newly arranged holiday rental in Ecuador, but it takes a while to upload photos from VRBO, and we didn’t have much time today. Also, uploading many photos using the airport WiFi is not easy, so we’ll post them in a few days at the latest.

As for tomorrow, we have arranged plans with the family beginning at 10:00 am and ending well into the evening, leaving little time for much of a post tomorrow. Most likely, we’ll post that we’ve arrived and do the best we can with the limited time in the morning before we head out from the hotel. By Monday, we’ll have more time to post the photos and information about the house in Ecuador that we’re excited to share.

It’s a massive relief that we could find a house at this short notice, with only about six weeks until we finish the Galapagos cruise and hotel stays associated with the cruise. Not only did we find a lovely modern property on the beach with a pool, but we could book it at a great price. This above photo reminds us of the villa in Bali in 2016. Quite lovely.

That’s it for today, folks. We’ll be back with more tomorrow. Have a fantastic weekend.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 9, 2013:

This fantastic array of seafood was all grilled and seasoned to perfection at dinner in Diani Beach, Kenya. It contained lobster, prawns, octopus, squid, snapper, and a few chewy, wormy-looking items I didn’t recognize but ate anyway. Need I say that I cleaned this plate as well? For more photos, please click here.

Day 9…Henderson, Nevada.. Posting photos from “White Night” on Azamara Journey…One day and counting…

We won’t post more photos from our Norway cruise going forward other than today’s posting from the fabulous “White Night” aboard Azamara Journey, as shown on this post, not in a separate post. I appreciate your patience while we shared photos from our first cruise when the WiFi signal was too weak to post photos. We excluded a few ports of call for expediency.

The decor by the pool was decorative and festive for the occasion of “White Night.”

Day 11…Norway Cruise…Last night’s fantastic “White Night”…Today…Alta, Norway…

We were looking forward to posting the photos from the Azamara “White Night” but had decided to post them after we’d posted them from the ports of call on the Norway cruise. Now that it is completed, I can relax and return to preparing one post each day.

This was my delicious plate! It was amazing that there were many items I could eat.

We hope you enjoy the photos from that night, which we consider our favorite event on the two cruises. It wasn’t so much about the socialization, which was great, but more about the festive atmosphere on a night that put the Azamara staff to work on many aspects of the event.

There was plenty of seating for the ship’s 578 passengers.

Officers were serving food, and it appeared most of the staff was in attendance, ensuring it was a memorable night for each one of its passengers. It was flawless, with every aspect prepared and executed to the most finite detail. We couldn’t have asked for more.

The food was not only delicious but also presented beautifully.

We’ve had a busy morning. We slept until around 8:00, and by 9:00 am, we were comfortably seated in a booth in the restaurant for our usual delicious breakfast. There’s only one more breakfast, and we’ve both loved our delightful meal. Over the years, it has been a real highlight for us when we’ve stayed at the Green Valley Ranch Spa Resort and Casino in Henderson, Nevada.

There were more options than I had room for.

Once we finished breakfast, we headed back to our room to put together a pile of clothing to donate to the Goodwill store close to the DMV, where we went on Tuesday to renew our driver’s licenses. The licenses will be sent to our mailing service in a few weeks, and we’ll have them forwarded to us at the hotel in Minnesota where we’ll be staying for the next month.

We didn’t eat any of these items.

Next, we headed to Richard’s office to scan a pile of documents left from the mailing service pickup a few days ago, none of which we needed to keep hard copies. We don’t carry “papers” with us, adding to the weight of our bags. After we left Richard’s office, we drove to the Goodwill store, a 15-minute drive. Then, we filled the rental car with petrol and returned to the hotel.

Neither of us selected cheese with so many other exciting options.

Once back in our room, I completed communication with the owners of a house we’re renting in Ecuador, beginning on October 24, after the Galapagos cruise. Negotiating a reasonable price, details we’ll share with photos tomorrow. We’re excited about this new place where we’ll live until January 8, 2024.

Mouth-watering offerings.

From there, we have nothing booked at this time. However, in Ecuador, we’ll decide on future plans in South America or wherever we may travel. It’s all up for grabs. Since the pandemic, we feel comfortable not booking too far into the future, based on the hassles we experienced when we had to cancel many trips, flights, cruises, rental cars, and holiday homes.

The white theme was visually appealing to everyone.

I picked up a copy of our hotel bill so far and found an error this morning. They hadn’t credited us the 50% off we got on the resort fee when we first checked in. A few minutes ago, I received a call from the VIP reception staff, and she’s since made the corrections that will show up on our bill when we check out tomorrow at noon.

As we looked around, we realized how many wonderful people we’d met, all of whom were having a great time. Six sat at our table for more lively conversation.

Late this afternoon at 4:30, my son and his girlfriend will pick us up at the entrance to the resort to head to Summerlin for dinner and a movie. It’s been fun hanging out with them several times since our arrival. This has been a fantastic stay in Nevada, with quality time with family and friends. I am getting a few things done and enjoying this lovely resort.

There were many items I didn’t try when I didn’t want to bother the staff enquiring about ingredients.

Tomorrow, we fly to Minnesota and will attempt to get a new post uploaded before we fly away at 3:45 pm. Thanks for “traveling along with us” on these past journeys. We look forward to more in the future.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 8, 2013:

Our new vegetable stand in Diani Beach, Kenya, is a short walk from our holiday home. Notice the motorcycle. The produce is delivered by motorcycle each day! For more photos, please click here.

Day 8…Henderson, Nevada.. Posting photos from Trondheim, Norway continues today…Two days and counting…

Not our photo, but what a great shot of the Northern Lights in Norway in the winter when they can be seen.

Yesterday afternoon, we watched another movie at the movie theatre in the resort, one Tom didn’t like, Meg 2, The Trench. I’m less picky about these types of movies, and although it wasn’t worthy of many stars, I was moderately entertained. I looked at him several times and hoped he was napping since I knew he was struggling. Finally, it ended, and we were returning to our room to make plans for the evening.

On our walk through the casino, we stopped and made a reservation at Borracha, the Mexican restaurant in the hotel. With our VIP coupon of 20% off all meals (not drinks) at any restaurants in the resort, we thought this would be a good choice. Once we returned to our room, we got a message from my son and his girlfriend that they had made a reservation at Borracha for 6:30 for the four of us. What a coincidence!

I texted the hostess to let her know we’d be canceling our 6:00 pm reservation since we were already included in a 6:30 reservation. Before dinner, while still in our room, I worked on setting up my new Fitbit, which we’d picked up from the mailing service. I charged it and installed a new band I’d purchased with it, a decorative stainless steel band instead of its usual ugly black band.

Since I’d dropped my old Fitbit, breaking the face, I was anxious to get it replaced. With my heart condition, I need to track my heart rate and perform occasional ECGs, provided accurately using the watch with an FDA approval feature. Since we arrived in Nevada a week ago, I haven’t had a single bout of Afib, which makes me hopeful after many episodes in the past month on the two cruises.

Focusing on getting plenty of sleep, which I think was a trigger when staying up too late too many nights, I may have discovered an additional important factor in preventing this awful irregular, fast heartbeat, often lasting for hours. I’ll continue to focus on sleep and lots of walking, which seem to help so much.

In this hotel, it’s a long walk from our room to the restaurants, and we leave the room several times daily. No, my legs can’t walk 10,000 steps a day, but for now, I am managing to get 5,000-6,000 steps per day, quite an improvement from when we were in Florida. Gosh, that seems like a long time ago.

Anyway,  by 6:30 pm, the four of us were situated at the comfy booth in the restaurant and had another fantastic time together. The food was mediocre, and Tom was disappointed he couldn’t get a blended Margarita in a Mexican restaurant. He doesn’t care for the non-blended versions. I had trouble finding something to eat and ended up ordering the equivalent of a taco salad, without the shell, topped with a small sliced flank steak. It was good but not great.

In two days, on Saturday, we’ll fly to Minnesota in the afternoon, arriving at 8:45 pm. It certainly has been fun being here. Couple that with feeling better and visits from our friends; our time here in Nevada has been delightful.

Speaking of visits from friends…around 11:00 am, our friends Marilyn and Gary from Utah will arrive to have lunch with us. We didn’t go to breakfast this morning since we’ll be having lunch before too long. We’ll probably have a late dinner tonight since, after eating lunch, we won’t be hungry for quite a while.

The only task we have left to accomplish while here is to go to Richard’s office tomorrow to shred a stack of papers from the mail we picked up yesterday at the mailing service, most with some confidential information. We don’t have a lot of tasks to do in Minnesota other than to go to a Minute Clinic to get a prescription for an altitude sickness medication, acetazolamide, for our arrival in Quito, Ecuador, in a little over a month. It’s 2859 meters (9350 feet) above sea level.

The last time I was at that high an altitude was skiing in Colorado in the 1980s. Tom hasn’t ever been that high. This drug is supposed to prevent the symptoms of altitude sickness. At this point, we don’t want to take any chances with our health.

That’s it for today, folks. We’ll be back with more tomorrow, including a photo from today’s get-together with Marilyn and Gary.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 7, 2013:

Today, we met Nancy, one of the daytime support staff, at our guarded gate in Diani Beach, Kenya. She was so sweet, holding my hand the entire time we chatted. We love being able to talk to the locals. For more photos, please click here.

In reviewing the photos we hadn’t been able to post, it appears it will be very time-consuming and complicated to return to each post and add the photos we couldn’t post. As a result, we are posting some of the photos under the heading of each town over days, which can be found after each new day, listed as Part 1, Part 2 Norway, for example.

The new post with the photos is located below:

Part 6…Unpublished photos from the Azamara cruise to Trondheim, Norway…

Day 6…Henderson, Nevada…Posting photos from Svolvaer Norway continues today…Fantastic dinner with family…

The Venetian Las Vegas.

Yesterday afternoon, we stopped at a liquor store for wine and beer on the way to Richard’s home for dinner. I found a low-carb, low-alcohol wine for me and a bottle of William Hill Merlot for them, along with some beer. We arrived promptly at 4:00 pm and had a lovely evening, chatting, laughing, and later enjoying a delicious chicken dinner with mashed cauliflower, salad, and au gratin potatoes for Tom.

We’d brought three loads of laundry and got all of them done and folded in no time. It was a relief to have clean clothes once again. We’ll wait until we arrive in Minnesota on the 9th to do laundry again when they have self-service at the hotel. Easy peasy.

More and more structures line the strip each year.

After dinner, we watched a movie, but I slept through half of it, nuzzled up with a comfy blanket on the recliner sofa chair. I couldn’t have been more relaxed and couldn’t help drifting off for a while. I always get teased when I do this, but a movie must be engaging to stay awake after a big meal and glass of wine.

Back at our hotel by 10:00 pm, we put the laundry away and headed to bed, knowing today was the day we had to renew our driver’s licenses at the DMV in Henderson. We have an 11:00 am appointment for both of us. It’s a chaotic place and necessary to have appointments; otherwise, one could wait in a queue for a few hours.

Casino Royale Resort.

We just returned from the Henderson DMV after our 11:00 am appointments. The DMV is a bustling place, and we were relieved we’d made appointments instead of waiting for hours as we had last time we renewed the licenses in 2019. It appears that we can apply online next time rather than have to appear in person.

In all, the process went smoothly. We filled out the forms and waited for our assigned numbers to be called. We both were processed in less than ten minutes of one another and after our eye tests and photos were taken, we were on our way out the door. It was a relatively painless process.

The Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas.

Tomorrow, we’ll head to our mailing service and pick up whatever mail we have there, including a new Fitbit I purchased a few days ago when the face cracked after dropping it on the asphalt when we were exploring at a port of call during the first cruise in Norway. It was almost three years old, and I’ve found they don’t seem to last any longer than that anyway. I purchased a newer version of the Sense model, a Sense 2. I am anxious to see the new features, if any.

Now, back in our hotel room, I aim to finish today’s post and post photos from the next city on our itinerary in Norway on the Azamara cruise. I hope many of our readers have had a chance to review the added posts for the next town on the Norway itinerary.

The Wynn Las Vegas has 2,716 hotel rooms.

We realize many photos were exciting, but these small fishing villages didn’t necessarily present the best photo ops. If we’d gone out on excursions, surely we would have seen a lot more, but at a typical cost of about $400 per day for such outings and with so many ports of calls on that cruise, we could easily have spent another $5000 which wasn’t in our budget.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed the cruises to Norway and the second cruise to Greenland, which gave us an entirely new perspective of what life may be like in these oceanfront villages in these remote locations. We didn’t find that the winter weather would be any worse than what we experienced living in Minnesota for Tom, all of his life, and for me, over 40 years.

Every corner is an opportunity to advertise and promote the many venues in Las Vegas.

After considerable research, it appears the winter weather in both Norway and Greenland was warmer and with less snow than in Minnesota. It’s no wonder we chose to move away.

That’s it for today, folks! We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 5, 2013:

The gate from our veranda in Kenya, our only living room, looks out to the yard. There were no screens, so we were constantly dealing with insects. For more, please click here.

In reviewing the photos we hadn’t been able to post, it appears it will be very time-consuming and complicated to return to each post and add the photos we couldn’t post. As a result, we are posting some of the photos under the heading of each town over days, which can be found after each new day, listed as Part 1, Part 2 Norway, for example.

The new post with the photos is located below: