Both football teams, Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, are staying in our neighborhood for the Super Bowl…

The Hilton Lake Las Vegas, one of the two hotels where one of the teams will stay during Super Bowl week, is very close to our location.

As it turns out, the two teams playing in the Super Bowl, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, will be staying in hotels in Lake Las Vegas, the Westin Lake Las Vegas, and the Hilton Lake Las Vegas, only .6 miles from us. The NFL doesn’t want the players gambling in the casinos on the Lake Vegas Strip. These two hotels don’t have casinos.

According to reports, they’ll likely stay in Lake Las Vegas for Super Bowl week as they practice and prepare for the upcoming game on February 11. I doubt we’ll see any team members unless they decide to walk through and shop in the Village, down one flight of stairs from us. Of course, while they are here, we’ll head down there to see if we can see any team members and take some photos without being too intrusive.

We won’t be heading to either of the hotels since they will be heavily guarded and careful about who they let in. It wouldn’t be us. But the excitement in this area is palpable. Many restaurant and shop owners hope for increased sales during the week.

When we decided to stay in Lake Las Vegas, we chose this location because it is quiet and remote from the strip, where we seldom go when visiting the area. On occasion, in past years, we’ve seen a few shows, but many of those same shows are still playing. Prices for entertainment have increased tremendously over the years, and we’re not interested in spending $500 or more for a night out.

The Westin (Marriott) Lake Las Vegas is one of the two hotels where one of the teams will stay during Super Bowl week.

Richard is making fun plans for my birthday later this month. We’ll share details later.

As for today, we’re doing laundry, prepping for a nice dinner, and hanging out as usual. I’ve already done the banking and credit card pay-offs for the month.

I haven’t heard anything about my enrollment for Part B Medicare. Finally, I received a return response from the Railroad Retirement Board that my application was received on January 3, 2024. I won’t be processed for six to eight weeks, which could take me to the end of the month with my benefits to start on March 1 since today is already February 1. I’d hope this would all be processed by February 1, but it’s taking much longer than anticipated.

Here’s a recommendation for a fantastic Netflix show, especially for history buffs…”Alexander, The Making of a God.” It’s a docu-drama since it requires explaining what transpired when there’s too much information to be included in a regular drama. It’s a limited series of six episodes. Usually, we don’t care for the docu-drama format, but it’s been exciting and entertaining in this case.

We only watch shows in the evenings after dinner but go through many series when binge-watching movies and series we find interesting.

That’s it for today, folks. We hope you have an excellent day and evening doing what you enjoy!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, February 1, 2014:

At Khaya Umdani, this was the first outdoor grilled dinner since leaving the US. None of our past vacation/holiday homes had outdoor grills that we’ve found suitable. This was a rare treat. The chicken gizzards and livers are wrapped in foil on the side grate, which I’ll eat with tonight’s repeat dinner. Tom only eats white meat, and I like dark meat, making a whole chicken perfect for us. Zeff cleaned it this morning! For more photos, please click here.

Flying away tonight…Can’t wait to get down to sea level…Final photos from Galapagos Islands…

Blue-footed booby on a walk, although they are excellent flyers.

Note: Our naturalist, Orlando, took today’s photos, which he sent me daily via WhatsApp. Thanks, Orlando!

Shockingly, I haven’t suffered with Afib while we’ve spent five days total at an altitude of 9350″, as I’ve mentioned repeatedly since we arrived in Quito on October 11, 12 days ago. During the five nights we’ve spent at the JW Marriott in Quito, Ecuador, we’ve both felt the effects of the altitude in many ways, more for me than for Tom.

Tom gets out of breath during exertion, and my heart races when I walk or move about the hotel room. Fortunately, once I rest, it goes back down to normal. However, when we got off the boat on Saturday, my heart rate hovered between 85 and 100 all night, high for me. Last night, for the first time in 12 nights, we both slept well.

Salted lagoon, Floreana Island.

For the first of the five nights in Quito, my heart rate was normal, which allowed me to sleep. My Fitbit says I slept for a much-needed eight hours. But now, at noon, almost two full days since we returned from the boat and its frequent seasickness, I must admit, I am looking forward to getting down to sea level and situated in our new holiday home on the sea.

The smell of the fresh ocean air and the use of the infinity pool will be such a welcome relief which I hope to do daily, weather permitting, for exercising my legs, hoping for some improvement in walking. All of my whining is related to having had open heart surgery in 2019 and the lingering effects that have impacted my (our) lifestyle to a great degree. If I walk too much, I get Afib. If I don’t walk enough, you know what I mean.

Gorgeous scenery at Floreana Island, a millions-of-years-old volcano.

I apologize for whining. Once we get settled, I will be a new person. In 24 hours, we will go to Mirador San Jose, Manabi Province in Ecuador, a gated community with a beautiful property. Many photos will follow. It will be delightful to grocery shop at the nearby supermarket (supermercado) after we’ve seen how much space there is in the refrigerator and freezer.

Often, refrigerators in holiday homes are small. But, if so, we will manage and simply shop more frequently—no big deal. Also, there is often a lack of storage space for non-perishable food items, but here again, we’ll make do. We’ve hired a three-hour cleaning person every Tuesday morning at 8:00 for $20 per week. In the US a year ago, we paid $25 an hour, as we did when we had the cleaner once a month when we stayed in The Villages in Florida three months ago.

 A Galapagos flycatcher. Adorable.

Gee, I haven’t cooked a meal since then, and I look forward to making a special home-cooked meal at least five nights a week after we investigate to determine if dining out is a good option in that area. If so, we’ll dine out every Friday and Saturday night, which might allow us to socialize with locals and tourists.

It’s funny how I remember several Spanish words we learned when we spent four months in Costa Rica. I can easily read a menu and road signs and understand short sentences. I can’t necessarily speak it well in sentences, but with the help of Google Translate on my phone, we’ll be fine.

Speaking of my phone, I couldn’t get into our Google Fi account to access WiFi once we left the hotel after using their WiFi for five days, which was very good. I tried everything I could to get it to work, to no avail. I had no choice but to call Google Fi, which quickly responded, but when we were halfway through the troubleshooting process, the call dropped. I called back and again, and a rep responded quickly.

A wave albatross flying back to Espanola Island, the oldest island in The Galapagos.

We resolved the issue quickly when I had to select an arbitrary network Google Fi uses in Ecuador, Claro. I’d never have known this if I hadn’t called. Good thing I called, or we’d had a nightmare on our hands tonight when driving in the dark to the hotel and tomorrow, driving to the house without the ability to use Maps. Any time we’ve tried to use “Maps” in many countries without being able to connect to Google Fi,  depending on satellite conditions, we often hear “her’ say, “Make a U-turn,” over and over again. This drives us crazy.

Well, enough about all of that. In less than seven hours, we’ll be on the plane, pressurized for easy breathing, and God willing, all will be well. It’s only a 50-minute flight. We’ll most likely miss dinner again tonight since last night, I wasn’t feeling well enough to go to the restaurant and couldn’t find anything on the room service menu. It will be close to 10 00 pm by the time we get to the hotel in Manta. So, well miss two dinners, two nights in a row. That’s no big deal, either.

After grocery shopping and unpacking a bit tomorrow afternoon, we’ll be back with a new post with some photos of our new home. Stay tuned for more.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, October 23, 2013:

A bushbaby with a banana was next to us last night as we dined outdoors at the Leopard Beach Resort in Diani Beach, Kenya. A small platform was set up for the bushbabies, loaded with bananas to encourage them to visit the guests while dining. For more photos, please click here.

Day 2…Henderson, Nevada…Posting photos from Norway starts today….Comfortably situated in the fabulous Green Valley Ranch Resort…

Tom’s Rueben sandwich and chips, a favorite dinner, last night at Lucky Penny in Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson, Nevada.

No words can express how relaxed and at ease we are now that we’ve arrived at the beautiful Green Valley Ranch Spa, Resort and Casino in Henderson, Nevada. Last night, I slept for about 11 hours. I fell asleep at about 7:00 pm and awoke a few times during the night but for short times only. Gosh, that feels good today!

Tom is doing great, and he, too, is happy to be at this beautiful resort with fun get-togethers planned over the next nine days until we depart on Saturday, September 9, to fly to Minnesota for one month. The time is flying by quickly, but we are savoring every moment in front of us.

Delicious Cobb salad is one of my favorite dinners.

Last night and again this morning, we ate at the Lucky Penny Restaurant located in the resort. We love their food, and as Expedia VIP members, we get 20% off on food in the resort’s restaurants. Plus, we are entitled to early check-in and late check-out.

I managed to get the resort to reduce their nightly resort fee of $50 to $25 a night, which puts a dent in the cost of meals we eat in their restaurants. We’ll have breakfast here each morning but most likely dine out several nights with Richard and our friends in Henderson. It will all be quite enjoyable.

Sample of colorful cakes the resort will make for special occasions.

It’s great to catch up after all the late nights out on a month of cruises. We often didn’t get to bed until 1:00 or 2:00 am, getting up early for coffee and breakfast. I only ate lunch and dinner since the breakfast options on the cruises were limited for my way of eating. Lunch had many excellent options I enjoyed, but I often ate a little too much and wasn’t hungry for dinner.

Fortunately, neither of us ever gained an ounce on the cruises, which we strive to accomplish each time we cruise. It would feel awful to gain ten pounds cruising and then trying to fit into our clothes. For us, with our limited wardrobes, that could be a serious problem.

Fresh bakery items are offered in the restaurant each day.

In a few days, after Labor Day weekend ends, we’ll head to a local laundromat to wash our clothes. We won’t do it again until we get to Minnesota, where we’ll have access to coin-operated laundry facilities at the Hyatt Hotel in Eden Prairie, where we’ll stay once again.

Today, when the housekeeper comes to clean our room, we’ll head out to our bank to get cash and change and then make our way to a pharmacy for a few items we need before we head to Minnesota. We won’t buy much since our luggage is already overweight and we don’t want to add to the weight. We’ll reduce our load by taking some items to Goodwill while we’re here.

More pricey but delicious-looking baked goods, averaging about $5.50 each.

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 a period of 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 here:

Part 1…Unpublished photos from the Azamara cruise to Alesund, Norway…

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 1, 2013:

The dissipating smoke from the fireworks set off for a wedding. Both sets of bells in the bell tower rang simultaneously. Tom timed the bell ringing at 20 minutes! We giggled when saying that the bells were ringing as a goodbye to us! For more photos, please click here.

Botswana…The African Quadripoint…Chobe Safari Lodge…An exquisite environment..

“The African Quadripoint. Are there any 4 way borders? Around the world, there are more than 150 different tripoints—borders where three nations meet—but only one international “quadripoint.” This is a spot in the middle of the Zambezi River, in southern Africa, where Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana all touch.”

This is the fourth time we’ve traveled to Zambia and then Botswana. Two Chris Tours drivers, Gordon and O’Brien, were waiting for us at the Harry Mwanga Nkumbula Airport in Livingstone. They loaded up our two bags and two carry-on bags and we were on our way for the one-hour drive to the Botswana border, where a tour representative and her driver would take us to Chobe Safari Lodge, another 30-minute drive.

Two drivers, Gordon on the left and O’Brien on the right, who works for Chris Tours.

The immigration process was entirely different than on the past three occasions when we crossed the border between Zambia and Bostwana, where four countries meet as described here as the African Quadripoint:

“THERE ARE A NUMBER OF instances where the borders of two or three nations touch, but the rare confluence of a total four nations coming together on one spot only exists in Africa where the corners of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia meet.

Unlike the touristy spots where states come together in America, which are usually decked out with monuments and bronze medallions, the African quadripoint sits in the middle of a river that cuts between the countries. It has been theorized that the point is not a true quadripoint but instead a pair of tri-points separated by thin strips of real estate. Regardless of the quibbling, the obvious jurisdictional headache of having four countries so close to one another has resulted in some conflict.”

What an interesting tidbit!

When we arrived at the border, it was very different than in the past, where cars and trucks were everywhere, as well as people, and there was chaos in getting onto a small boat with our luggage to cross the Zambezi River to Botswana. The bumpy ride in the rickety boat reminded us of many such boat rides during our world travels in various countries. Now, the new bridge is completed, as shown in our photo and described as follows:

Crossing the new Kazungula Bridge in Botswana.

“Kazungula Bridge is a road and rail bridge over the Zambezi river between the countries of Zambia and Botswana at Kazungula. The Kazungula Bridge under construction over the Zambezi, at the quasi-quadripoint between Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The bridge was opened for traffic on 10 May 2021.”

In the past, we crossed the river, where we were picked up by another driver and taken to the even more chaotic immigration office, where it took about 30 minutes while we stood in line in the heat. This time there is a slick new air-conditioned immigration building. Yesterday, we moved in and out of there in five or six minutes. There were no lines.

We had to walk onto a chemical pad to clean the bottom of the shoes before we were approved for entry. That wasn’t so odd since we’d done this in the past here in Botswana and Antarctica. But in this case, we were told to open our luggage and take out all of our shoes to do the same thing. We’d never been asked to do this before anywhere in the world.

Our lovely room is on the ground level with a river view. See the next photo for views from our private veranda.

Soon, we were on our way again, directly to Kasane to the Chobe Safari Lodge, and once again, we weren’t disappointed with our room and the surroundings. It was as pretty as ever.

There are two chairs on our private veranda and these views of the Chobe River.

In no time at all, we were checking into the hotel at 3:00 pm, 1500 hrs. Our day started when we left Marloth Park at 8:30 am and arrived at the hotel. By our standards, it took six and a half hours, an easy travel day.

By 5:15 pm; 1750 hrs., we were seated on the veranda for sundowners. I had trouble finding a wine I liked, so I ordered a full bottle of white wine that should last for three nights. There are roughly five glasses in 750 ml wine bottles. Since none of the wine here is low-alcohol, I will drink only two small glasses each night from the bottle they saved for me at the restaurant up the hill, at the A’la Carte,  which we loved last time we were, and we loved again last night.

Last night’s sunset. We were so busy talking, we were late in taking the sunset photos!

There’s a buffet here for breakfast and dinner, but we’ll likely eat at the A’la Carte since at least I can order more easily. I never know what I’m getting at buffets and the ingredients included therein. That’s a bit risky for me. Here are a few photos from last night’s dinner.

We’ll be back with much more. Tomorrow morning, we will go on a game drive, and the new post with photos will be uploaded a few hours later than usual.

We don’t usually take photos of monkeys since they are so pushy and destructive, but this one was kind of cute.

Have a fantastic Sunday!

Photo from one year ago today, August 21, 2021:

A young giraffe and a few zebras blocked the road on our way to Jabula on a Friday night. For more photos, please click here.

New itinerary…We’re booked almost through the end of May!!!…What a task!!!…Hot today, 100F, 38C!!!

A lone waterbuck on the bank of the Crocodile River at sunset.

We spent most of the day between my walking and posting yesterday, booking everything we needed to get us through May 22. That doesn’t seem far away. But here’s our basic itinerary and what we’d already had booked, including what we booked on Sunday.

  1. March 24 – Arrive in Florida, staying with friends Karen and Rich – Booked: Rental car.
  2. April 8 – Transatlantic cruise, 13 nights, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Southampton, UK
  3. April 21 – 24 – Hotel for three nights in Southampton, UK (no car)
  4. April 24 – Transatlantic cruise, 7 nights, from Southampton to New York – Cunard Queen Mary 2
  5. May 1 – Booked flight from New York to Minneapolis, Minnesota
  6. May 1 – Booked rental car and hotel for 14 nights (staying in Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
  7. May 15 – Booked flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas
  8. May 15 – Booked rental car and hotel in Henderson, Nevada (staying in Henderson, Nevada)
  9. May 22 – Check out the hotel in Henderson – We don’t know where we’re going from there!!

    Tail-less Mom with a muddy face.

All of this is fine and good. But, we still don’t know about the cruise sailing from Istanbul, Turkey, on June 29. We have no doubt; we will know sometime next month how this former itinerary to Ukraine will be rerouted. We will decide from there what we’ll do after May 22.

In prior years, such uncertainty would have been concerning. But now, after two years of uncertainty due to the pandemic and now this war in Ukraine, we take it in our stride.

Two “Go-Away” birds, enjoying the birdbath in our garden.

Yesterday’s booking process was painstaking. Prices for the same cars, hotels, and flights were all over the place. Of course, we sought to find the best possible prices, and we feel comfortable with our decisions. I won’t take the time to go into each one now, except to mention a few for illustrative purposes.

For Minnesota, we booked the same hotel in a central location to our family member’s homes, in Eden Prairie, near a huge shopping mall and dozens of eating establishments. It has self-service laundry, a kitchen with range, oven, microwave, and a full-sized refrigerator, free WiFi, and “to go type’ breakfast included.

Broken Horn and two female kudu sharing pellets.

For Nevada, we were enthused. When checking online for the fabulous hotel where we stayed last July, Green Valley Ranch, and Casino, it appeared the rates had gone up considerably. We ended up booking our flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas for a better rate than what we paid last July at the link to Expedia on our site. We were thrilled to stay in that beautiful resort once again, which we thoroughly enjoyed last time.

It’s a huge relief to have all of this done. All we have to do is pack up this house, leave a few plastic bins with items for Louise to store for us when we return in December, buy clothing in Florida for the Cunard cruise, and apply for the renewal of our passports while in Florida.

Bright sunset at the Crocodile River.

As for today, on this ultra-hot day, we’re laying low. I will do some online research to see if I can find any dresses suitable for the upcoming Cunard cruise. In the past, I’ve had a lot of luck buying dresses online, so we’ll see how it goes. Of course, Tom will have to be fitted for a suit. Buying “off the rack” never seems to work for men.

We hope you have a pleasant day and evening!

Photo from one year ago today, March 14, 2021:

The mating hornbills continue to return, but no babies yet. For more photos, please click here.

Day #259 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Tom’s Irish Cream recipe…Do we miss the holidays?…

Tom and I and Lisa and Barry, our new friends. They visited us in Ireland in 2019, and we are close in touch.

Today’s photos are from a South American cruise in 2017 where we met friends Lisa and Barry, as shown in the above photo. Today’s also included is Tom’s Irish Cream Recipe which we’d posted on this date, with the holidays on the horizon. For more, please click here.

As the holiday season approaches, we thought it would make sense to post Tom’s Irish Cream recipe today rather than wait until closer to Christmas, allowing plenty of time for those who may consider giving this as a gift for co-workers, family members, and friends.

Here are our comments and the recipe from that 2017 post, although we’d posted this recipe on posts from other years.

“Each year at Christmas time, we receive many requests for Tom’s Irish Cream recipe, which is comparable to Bailey’s Irish Cream, without all the chemicals and artificial ingredients used in commercial production. 

For those who may want to give bottles of this delicious concoction, glass bottles of this holiday beverage make perfect gifts, generally costing around US $12, INR 921, per bottle. 

Bottles with corks can be purchased at any winemaking store or home good stores at TJ Maxx, where they usually carry very decorative glass bottles.  Tom made about 150 bottles each year that we gave to friends and family, including a non-alcoholic version.

Boat in the harbor in Arica, Chile.

Some years we saved wine bottles as we used them, washing them in the dishwasher and storing them in bottle boxes from any liquor store. This avoided the cost of the bottles.  In those cases, we only had to buy the corks.

Now that some wineries use screw-top caps, avid wine drinkers of those varieties can save those bottles and caps for future use as long as they’re sterilized in the dishwasher or hot water before filling them with the mix.

Also, using our home printer’s label-making feature, we made labels to ensure all recipients were made aware that the product needed to be refrigerated and kept only for 30 days.

The stick-on label would read something like this often with a decorative photo of your choice, which could be a photo of you and your family.

Image result for holly jpg
 Lyman’s Irish Cream
From our home to yours…
Have a happy holiday season!
Please keep this product
refrigerated and stored for
no more than 30 days.

Tom Lyman’s Irish Cream (Comparable to Bailey’s Irish Cream)1 can sweeten condensed milk

1 pint half & half or natural whipping cream

Three pasteurized eggs (important for safety)

1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

One tablespoon chocolate syrup

1 cup Irish Whiskey or other bourbon or whiskey

Blend all ingredients in a blender for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup whiskey, measuring into the empty can of sweetened condensed milk to remove every last drop of the creamy sweetened condensed milk.

Blend for another 30 seconds. Pour into a glass bottle using a funnel with a tight-fitting cork.

Keeps refrigerated for 30 days.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding the preparation of this recipe. We’re happy to assist! Enjoy!

After many years of making these bottles, we stopped making them in 2011, our last Christmas in Minnesota. The cost for such large and continuing-to-grow numbers of recipients became prohibitive.

Although neither of us drank it, we always kept several bottles to share with guests visiting during the holiday season. It was always a welcomed addition to a cup of fresh French pressed coffee.”

Each year we made dozens of bottles to distribute to family and friends in the weeks before Christmas. Tom handled the blender and filled the bottles while I made the labels, rinsed and dried the bottles’ exterior, and placed the labels when dry. Fortunately, we had an extra refrigerator in our basement where we kept them fresh as we distributed them.

It was one of many traditions we had over the holidays, many with family members and friends. Do we miss all of that? It would be impossible not to miss the memorable events with family and friends. But, when we decided to travel the world in 2012, we left that all behind and embraced our new life.

Dinner for one of our tablemates on the cruise, who ordered the roasted duck.

Again, comparable to the Christmas and New Year’s we spent in a hotel in Buenos Aires in 2018, awaiting our upcoming cruise to Antarctica, Tom’s birthday on December 23, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day will be spent in this hotel room, uneventful, without ceremony, while we watch the days tick down to departing India on January 12, 2021.

That will be in 37 days.

Be safe, be healthy, and begin enjoying the holiday season (for those who celebrate), although it will be different this year for all of us worldwide.

Photo from one year ago today, December 7, 2019:

Photo from 2016. Penguin statues were everywhere in the adorable town of Penguin, Tasmania. For more about the year-ago post, please click here.

Day #250 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Our 2013 hotel criteria…Has it changed?…

Out for a drive in Maui, we stopped to walk along the beach.

Today’s photos are from the post on this date in 2014 while we stayed at Maalaea Beach, Maui. For more photos and details, please click here.

As the long days and nights continue in this long-term confinement, we tend to dream about places we’ve visited in the past and places we’d like to see in the future. Have our criteria changed much over the years? From this post on November 11, 2013, we had outlined our measures for staying in hotel rooms throughout the world.

Maui has one beautiful beach after another.

Now, on day #250 of living in a hotel room, we thought it would be interesting to see if our criteria have changed in the past seven years since we originally uploaded this post. Here they are:

  • Free WiFi
  • Laundry options in the room or the building
  • A sofa in the room (it’s tough to sit on the bed typing on my laptop for hours posting photos and writing)
  • Convenient location: to our next destination (when possible), for sightseeing (if time allows), and for local modes of transportation for dining out, grocery shopping, etc. (Not applicable now).
  • Kitchenette or full kitchen for more extended stays (Not applicable now)
  • Reasonable cost (in most cities, a decent hotel room will run from US $175, INR 12941, to US $200, 14790, per night or more with city taxes and fees. (Prices have increased in the past seven years from this original amount as mentioned)
  • Air conditioning (we seldom, if ever, will travel in cold climates)
  • A safe in the room
  • Good view. For us, this is important. If we’re to pay US $200 a night, we want a good, if not great view. (Not applicable now)
  • Great reviews from recent guests for a 4.0 rating or higher. Tom will read from 30 to 50 recent reviews to satisfy our objectives.
    Many beaches are left in a natural state, with vegetation growing along the shoreline.

Newly added to this list based on our past and recent experiences include:

  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Complimentary coffee and tea
  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Comfortable bed
  • Sufficient plug-ins for our equipment
    The colors in these hills look more like a painting than real life.

At this point, we feel we’ve had enough hotel experience to last us a lifetime but, not knowing when we can depart Mumbai, staying put in this hotel provides us with the fulfillment of most of the above criteria. In the future, if and when we’re able to travel in the future freely, these same criteria will be applicable and to our standards.

For the time being, we had booked this hotel room until January 3, 2021, when by luck, we checked for future pricing and found, on our site at to discover this hotel was selling rooms for US $50, INR 3698 per night for the bulk of December and US $57, INR 4215 per night for the balance of December, all the way to January 3, 2021. We couldn’t get these prices booked quickly enough.

In a matter of minutes, the clouds began to disperse for a better view of the mountaintop. Notice the buildings at the top of the mountain.

Now, we continue to watch prices to extend our reservations further as needed as we wait this out. As always, especially lately, we’ll play it by ear.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, November 28, 2019:

Upon arriving in Mombasa on Thanksgiving Day in 2013, we took this photo from the ferry as another ferry took off. Notice the crowds. For more photos from that day in 2013,  please click here. For more of the year-ago post, please click here.

Day #177 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…Two spaces or one at the end of sentence?…

Hans invited us up to his third-level veranda in Kenya for “happy hour” and to watch the sunset. As we enjoyed the view from up high, we all noticed this animal’s butt sitting inside a window of a thatched roof. Not a monkey with this type of tail, we anxiously waited for it to turn around. By the time it was dark, it hadn’t moved, leaving us all without a clue as to what type of animal it had been.

Today’s photos are from the post in 2013, while we lived in Diani Beach, Kenya, for three months. For more details from that post, please click here.

The sunset is beautiful everywhere. From the third floor of Hans’ house, we were thrilled to take photos of the progression of the sun’s setting on the horizon.

As I muddle through our almost 3,000 archived posts to make corrections, I continue to stumble across a dilemma. Do I remove two spaces after each sentence/paragraph and change it to one space or leave it as is, at two spaces? For us old-timers who learned to type on an old-fashioned typewriter, two spaces were the correct procedure.

Today, with the advent of digital means of typing, this simple dilemma may have changed. Subsequently, as I labor through post after post, barely able to get through 20 posts a day, I realize that the bulk of the corrections I am making in tightening up the space between two sentences.

Hans made Tom one of his unique local concoctions while I sipped on my usual ice tea while chatting with Hans’ lovely wife, Jerie.

Of course, I searched online for the answer, hoping to find a definitive solution. But, like many topics, the variations in opinions are overwhelming. Some dictionary sites say “one space,” and others say “two-spaces,” making the text easier to read. Oh, good grief. I’ve already spent hours correcting thousands of these.

At sunset, the lush greenery appeared brighter than during the day’s sun.

Here’s some information I found on this topic:

“Why should you or shouldn’t put two spaces after a period?
Hence the adoption of the twospace rule—on a typewriter, an extra space after a sentence makes text easier to read. … Because we’ve all switched to modern fonts, adding two spaces after a period no longer enhances readability, typographers say. It diminishes it.”

“There was a time when every period, question mark, or exclamation point was followed by two spaces. These days, depending on what you’re reading, you can find either one or two spaces between the end of one sentence and the beginning of another.”

Look at these lush ferns, abundant in Kenya’s humid weather.

After reading further, I concluded that in today’s world, one space after a sentence should be one, not two. I’ve opted for one space, thus doubling its time to correct errors on each page. So, how does this impact my corrections on almost 3,000 posts in the future?

And, what types of other errors am I encountering?

  1. Spelling: (I am using Grammarly and Ginger for assistance)
  2. Font size: Which I’ve decided to leave as is since it takes so long to correct.
  3. Punctuation
  4. Grammar: Many comma placement errors and sentence structure (I am using Grammarly and Ginger, two apps, for assistance)
  5. Paragraph and line spacing
  6. Missing or inadequate links
  7. Verbiage errors, restructuring sentences, etc.
  8. Photo placement/positioning
  9. Caption errors on all of the above
  10. Issues with headings
  11. Repetitive words reduction
    The haze, a result of both humidity and fires burning, leaves an eerie view over the horizon.

Well, as you can see, making these corrections is a lot more complicated than one might expect. Why am I doing this when most of our readers don’t care one way or another? (Thanks for that!). Many of our posts were completed under time constraints or days when I wasn’t as attentive as I should have been. Many other posts were achieved when the WiFi signal was poor. Making corrections was nearly impossible, let alone typing the text.

From high up on the veranda, these coconuts caught my eye. They are everywhere!

Excuses aside. Human nature. We make errors, especially me when 365 days a year I write the equivalent of an essay from 700 to 1000 words, mostly with photos which is a breeding ground for human error.

Now, as I go back through each post, one by one, I am certainly missing some corrections or making new errors in the process. Also, I am making new errors in the new posts I am doing now. It’s not perfect, nor am I, nor is Tom’s daily proofreading. But, we continue to strive every day to get this message to our loyal readers/friends/family to let you know what we’re doing, feeling, and thinking.

Soon, the sun would set, and darkness would fall as the sounds of the nocturnal wildlife rang through the air throughout the night.

Hopefully, shortly, we’ll have more to discuss than mere “dots.”

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, September 16, 2019:

As we approached St, Michaels and All Angels, Church of England in Michaelstone, Cornwall, we were in awe of its beauty. For more photos, please click here.
Day #160 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…The frightening reality…

Day #160 in lockdown in Mumbai, India hotel…The frightening reality…

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Today’s photos are from this date in 2014 while wrapping up our final day in South Kensington, London, England. You’ll find our total expenses for the 15-nights in a hotel below:

Here are our expenses for the 15 nights in London:

Hotel:              US $3,312.26, 1,995.40 pounds
Transportation:          455.29,    274.28
Tours:                        451.81     272.18
Groceries:                 240.34     144.79
Restaurants:              850.46    512.34

Grand Total:     US $5,310.16, 3,198.99 pounds
Daily Rate:         US $354.01, 213.27 pounds

Yesterday, we walked down this road toward Bobo’s Bubbles to do our final two loads of laundry.

Each hour, while walking, I listen to podcasts on my phone. At this point in time, I am not interested in much other than those podcasts that are educational and informational, often a variety of videos from immunologists from all over the world. I do so in an attempt to determine which countries we may possibly visit when we’re able to leave India.

Of course, leaving India is entirely predicated on how India is doing with COVID-19, their infection and death rates which at this point are increasing like a raging fire. Yesterday, by happenstance, I stumbled across this India generated video with a immunologist from Harvard, born in India and interviewed by an Indian news/podcaster.

Occasionally, we spotted a brick building mixed among the white buildings.

This video, found here at this link, This is not a conspiracy theory-type podcasts but a well researched and highly informative report on the statistics for COVID-19 for India and the projections by this highly qualified medical professional. The prospects for us leaving are not looking good.

In essence he’s stating that the reported cases in India, with a population of 1.3 billion, is only reporting 15% of the actual cases when many get the virus, don’t test, and subsequently don’t report their case. In reality, based on statistics gleaned from countries and researchers throughout the world, this could mean there are currently 200,000,000 to 500,000,000 cases in India.

This was the shortest (height) car either of us has ever seen. I can only imagine that getting out of it would require rolling out the door onto the street and then standing up.

This threw me for a loop. I can see why our hotel doesn’t want us to go outside. There is a very high percentage of contagion in Delhi and Mumbai, the two largest metropolises in the country. Opening the airports for international flights is highly unlikely anytime in the near future.

One might think, “Why would they be so cautious for flights leaving India?” The answer is logical. The international airlines are not about to send empty planes to India. To warrant the resumption of international flights it must be a two-way process. India is not about to allow international travelers into the country. It certainly makes sense when worldwide, so much of the virus has been brought into countries via flights from highly infected countries.

South Kensington consists of one pretty street after another with parking always at a premium.

Citizens of the US, regardless of where they’ve been, are on “no fly” lists all over the world and will continue to be so for an indefinite period. The prospect of us leaving India anytime soon is grim.

We accept the fact that if at any point, we cannot stand being here another week or month, most likely we can find a way to get on one of the repatriation flights for US citizens to return from India back to the US. Finding an affordable holiday home in a nice area in the US at this time is impractical and costly, far more than we’re paying here. Also, we’d need a rental car which is outrageously priced in the US for extended periods.

In London, there are no large trash bins for residents in which to place their garbage.  Instead, they place the bags on the sidewalk or street where they’re picked up a few times a week from what we’ve seen.

The alternative would be to find a hotel comparable to this hotel in the US which most likely will be more costly than here. Plus, the travel required to get to a location we’d prefer could result in numerous flights at numerous airports with added risk of contracting the virus. We’d simply be trading one confined location for another. The US is still in the #1 position of most cases of the virus in the world. We don’t want to go to the US due to my high risk status.

At least, here and now, we are as safe as we can possibly be. There hasn’t been a single case of the virus in this hotel. We don’t go out to grocery stores, pharmacies and other shopping. We can get most of what we need from Amazon India which items are sprayed with disinfectant when they arrive and are delivered to our room. We wait a few days to open any package.

Wildwood had a comfortable ambiance, but the food and service was mediocre. See the post here for food photos and prices.

Breakfast is included in our room rate and our dinners are never more than US $20, INR 1463, per night. There is nowhere in the world we’d be able to eat for this low cost. Besides, during these lockdown conditions throughout the world, we can’t justify paying more than what we’re paying now.

Complaining? No. Observing. Reality. Safe. Healthy. We’d OK


Photo from one year ago today, August 30, 2019:

Look at the numbers of sailboats moored in this bay! For more photos, please click here.

Holding our breath..One day at a time…

The scene we traveled on the Toy Train.

In the past several weeks, each time we’ve been required to venture out of the safe cocoon of a hotel room, we can’t help but wonder if we’ve been exposed. At this point, we only leave the sanctity of our space when it’s time for breakfast or dinner.

All of the employees at this beautiful hotel live on-site and aren’t allowed to leave the premises. The staff is minimal, and food supplies are dwindling. This morning, the restaurant manager explained meal options are rapidly declining when they can’t get deliveries.

Sunset in Bandhavgarh National Park.

As we mentioned, there is no laundry service, and we’ve begun washing our clothes in the shower or the bathroom sink and then hanging them on the window ledge to dry. We decided to wear the same clothes repeatedly for as long as possible to avoid having a big pile of laundry accumulate. 

We’re hand washing our underwear daily and will hand wash shirts and pants when we swap out those we’ve been wearing. Blue jeans are tough to squeeze dry, but we’ll figure it out.

Memorial for fallen soldiers in Delhi.

Thank goodness we have air-con and WiFi. India is fast-moving into its hottest season, and we notice temperatures rising each day. If the power goes out, we’re in big trouble. So far, nothing indicates that the infrastructure will fail.

Mahatma Gandhi’s burial site and memorial in New Delhi.

Today, the mandatory 21-day lockdown began in the entire country of India. As seen in this article, people will be arrested if found outside of their activities aren’t covered by exemptions. So far, the government is not requiring all hotels to close, only those who choose to complete as stated in the above link:

” Exemptions: Hotels, Homestays, lodges, and motels which are accommodating tourists and persons stranded due to lockdown, medical and emergency staff, air and sea crew.”

A herd of sheep on the road.

This notice came out this morning and gives us a degree of comfort, but many hotels continue to close due to low occupancy and subsequent loss of revenue. If this hotel closes and as long as we have a hotel to move into, we will be fine. It’s the prospect of not having anywhere to stay that is terrifying, as we had feared after yesterday morning’s incidents.

None of the dozen or so holiday homeowners I’ve contacted online have yet to respond to our inquiries except one, who stated they aren’t renting their property during this crucial period.

A sambar deer sighting.

Most likely, this will be the case for most holiday property owners and managers. They don’t want to be exposed to any travelers who may be infected, nor do they want their properties to be a “hotbed” of germs they’ll eventually have to clean.

This morning at breakfast, an Englishman approached our table (at a distance of several meters). He said he recognized us from Madurai, where we stayed in isolation for four days before our last flight to Mumbai a week ago today. His group of three is in the same spot we’re in. They are unable to leave Mumbai due to closed airports and India’s total lockdown.

She was crossing a river in Kanha National Park.

They are hoping to return to their home in the UK with over 8000 cases as of today. Here again, Heathrow Airport would potentially be another dangerous airport. Our plan continues to wait it out until we’re able to enter South Africa, which currently has 554 cases. Tomorrow, they are also implementing a total countrywide lockdown.

The wait could be extended, especially when South Africa has confirmed they won’t accept any foreign nationals entering the country until after May 31st. If we get lucky, and this hotel stays open, we’ll be fine here until then. Time will tell.

The restaurant at Tuli Tiger Resort in Kanha.

None of us knows what will transpire over these next weeks or months. We’re all in this together, regardless of our circumstances. We must stand together as a unit in our commitment to “social distancing,” ensuring we are continuing to avoid passing this dreadful virus onto others.

Stay safe. Order groceries online. Stop shopping at warehouse facilities. Stop getting together with relatives, friends, and neighbors. Wash your hands. Cover your cough or sneeze. Stay home, world, please…

Photo from one year ago today, March 25, 2019:

Such a handsome kudu bull. For more photos, please click here.