Busy first day in Minnesota…Here’s how it went…Remembering 22 years ago…

The entertainment at the venue in Tromso was undoubtedly a great representation of Norwegian customs.

I thought I was done with all the Norway cruise photos, but when I encountered the above photos, I thought it would be good to share this story again for those who may have missed it. It was a special night; details may be found at the above link to the post from the following day.

The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind of activities. First, at 10:30 am, Greg and the kids picked me up at the hotel. I didn’t know they wanted to go out to breakfast, so I had breakfast at the hotel. Instead, I joined Greg and the three kids at the restaurant while they ate, and I drank decaf coffee.

Afterward, we drove to Greg’s new place, which he moved to several months ago after his divorce and he moved out of the family home. He has the three kids at his place every other week, and I was thrilled to see them before they left for their other home at 4:00 pm.

On “Aza-mazing Night,” all the participating passengers loaded into buses, and we headed to a theatre for a live performance in Tromso, Norway.

We watched the disappointing Minnesota Vikings football. On and off during the game, my three teenage grandchildren checked in every so often. Greg’s girlfriend, Heather, who arrived around 1:00, was a delight. I’d never met her before and found her a perfect match for him. We all chatted endlessly.

Earlier in the day, Tom drove to TJ’s house, and they, too, watched the disappointing Vikings game. After the game, he met up with Tammy and Tracy to play trivia at a brewery in Robbinsdale.

We’d scheduled to meet Tom at the Brick and Bourbon restaurant at 5:30, and it all worked out. The kids were back at the other house, and Greg, Heather, and I headed out. We enjoyed the food and ambiance; of course, the flowing conversation was easily had among the four of us.

Upon returning to the hotel around 8:45 pm, Tom fell under the weather and crawled under the covers, shivering. He’d been coughing a lot since getting sick on the last cruise and still hadn’t recovered. My symptoms disappeared in a few days, but his lingered. It was a rough night, and neither of us slept much.

This morning, he was feeling slightly better but still not 100%. After breakfast at the hotel, we drove to the local Cub market for some items for dinner. He waited in the car while I went in to shop and got change for laundry. This hotel, Hyatt Place, doesn’t have laundry facilities, but arrangements had been made with a hotel across the parking lot for guests to use their self-serve laundry for $2 each for washing and drying.

Day 10…Norway Cruise…More from Tromso…Last night’s fantastic evening in Tromso…

We walked over each time, but when we went to pick up the dry clothes, they weren’t dry after all, and we had to do another drying cycle. After a while, we walked over there again to pick up the clothes, after which I folded everything and put it away. From there, the rest of my day is free. A nap might be ideal for both of us around 2:00 pm.

For dinner, I bought Tom his favorite soup, Chicken Wild Rice from Panera, with roasted chicken, guacamole, and raw veggies for me. Tonight, we’ll stay in and recover a little. It’s been a hectic period since we left Florida on July 28, and a day and night’s rest is definitely on the agenda.

Today, on September 11, we are reminded of the horrors of 2001 when the terrorist act killed thousands of lives. We send our love and prayers to those who lost loved ones. And…we also send love and prayers for all who have lost loved ones in the horrors of the pandemic and other causes over the years.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 11, 2012:

Tom engaged in power lounging in Diani Beach, Kenya, in our outdoor screen-less living room while searching for future cruises. Tom’s not naked. He’s wearing shorts. For more photos, please click here.

Leaving Las Vegas…Our trip to Minnesota…All is going great!!..

Our last view of the pool at the Green Valley Ranch Spa Casino Resort.
With today’s busy schedule, I wrote the text for the post while flying from Las Vegas to Minneapolis. There were only 60 passengers on the Southwest non-stop flight, and we were asked to choose our seats when we boarded rather than in advance.

That was unusual for us, although we’ve had a similar scenario when we have flown on small planes. But this plane has a capacity for about 175 passengers, so it was weird that so few were flying to MSP. We chose seats across the aisle from one another.

There were no entertainment screens on the flight, so I could play non-WiFi games on my phone, which I did for the first 45 minutes and got bored. At that point, I decided to write the post based on how little time we have tomorrow with one family event after another.

Leaving the hotel was seamless, and since we had to check out by noon, we decided to head directly to the airport. It’s a good thing we did. Tom dropped me and the three bags off at the airport at curbside check-in and drove off to return the rental car. We picked a spot where I’d wait for him. I waited and waited, and no Tom.

After a while, I became concerned when he didn’t show up—an hour had passed. Las Vegas airport is undoubtedly chaotic, but he should have returned sooner. I wasn’t sure if he’d turned on his phone after putting it on Do Not Disturb last night, but I called him on WhatsApp hoping he’d answer, but he did not.

I didn’t panic. Sooner or later, he would arrive. I needed to be patient. Finally, he appeared, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see him.

As it turned out, he’d accidentally left the computer bag in the rental car when he dropped it off. It had our passports, laptops, and essential documents. Also, it included his wallet with cash and credit cards. Oh, good grief. This could have been a major fiasco. Fortunately, the bus driver drove him back to the rental car return and the bag was still in the vehicle. Whew. He dodged a bullet.

He had to find his way back and forth on multiple bus rides to get the bag and make his way to the terminal to find me. I can only imagine how stressful that was for him. He surprised me by how calm he was when he finally arrived.

In no time, we made our way to the gate, where we waited for over 90 minutes to board our flight. Good thing we arrived so early.

As I wrote, when we were surprisingly comfortably situated on the plane, we appeared to be arriving in Minneapolis in no time at all. The flight was less than three hours long.

We got the rental car and headed to our hotel in Eden Prairie, where we will stay for the next month until we depart for South America.  All is good.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 10, 2013:
There was no post on this date ten years ago.

Comment section activated again…Tom is improving…Two days and counting…

Rapids on the Sabe River in Kruger National Park.

.Our “comments” section at the end of each post is working again. We disabled it almost a year ago due to an excessive amount of pornographic spam we received each day. If this happens again, there are “plug-ins” our web people can implement on our site to avoid spam, and your comments will come through.

This feature is set, allowing me to see each comment before posting it. This does allow me to moderate any reader comments that we’d prefer not to post, such as unsuitable language, hater comments, and politically incorrect or racist comments. Thus, none of the spam will be published.

We won’t hesitate to post comments from our readers that may not agree with our point of view, and most certainly, we will respond. However, comments intended to denigrate, ridicule, or harass us in any manner will be passed by. Life is hard enough for all of us to be subject to hateful comments in these trying times.

Several days ago, before we went to Urgent Care for Tom, when we were sneezing a lot with tremendous nasal congestion, we started over-the-counter Flonase. This nasal allergy spray has dramatically improved those symptoms. (Please see your medical professional for any medications you may use for the treatment of Covid). As for today, although Tom is still coughing a lot, he is feeling a little better and less exhausted, with fewer headaches and nasal congestion.

Tom has stopped using liquid cough medicine and cough drops based on the prescribed gel caps, which seem to help. I’d anticipated he may have trouble sleeping after taking the first dose of Cortisone yesterday, which is used to treat the inflammation in his lungs, but he slept well last night.

As for my symptoms, I still feel sluggish, out-of-sorts, and tire easily. I have a few short periods of headaches off and on throughout the day and a fair amount of coughing with congestion. But, the dry cough is gone. It’s been 23 days since we both tested positive and developed symptoms. Fortunately, neither of us continues to test positive.

Tomorrow afternoon at 4:30, we will drive to son Greg and DIL Camille’s home to say hi to them and three of our grandchildren. We won’t be getting out of the car or hugging anyone. Grandson Miles is still testing positive. We can’t take any chances. The hard part will be not being able to hug anyone. We saw them last July, ten months ago, but a hug would have been nice.

We’ll do the same with Tom’s family and are setting that up today…a drive-by hello and goodbye. Gee, what is this world coming to? This pandemic has changed all of our lives in so many ways.

In two days, we’ll be flying out of Minneapolis to Las Vegas, arriving in the evening, hoping Tom is feeling well enough by then that we can see Richard. By then, next Monday, we shouldn’t be contagious anymore. But, we’ll leave it up to Richard if he is comfortable being around us. Here again, we can only play it by ear.

As for today, it’s another low-key day, mainly working on getting well. We’re eating healthy food and have enough on hand to last us until we check out this hotel on Sunday to head to the airport. We’ll be asking for a late checkout since our flight isn’t until 3:39 pm.

We won’t be required to produce a negative Covid-19 test since the flight is domestic, and none is required. While in Henderson, Nevada, we’ll need to get a negative test before we depart for South Africa, which hopefully won’t be a problem.

That’s it for today, folks. Take care and be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 13, 2021:

On the return drive from Kruger, we encountered this intentional fire in the sugar cane fields. For more photos, please click here.

One day and counting…Tom is on the mend…Maybe seeing family today…

Last July out to dinner on Camille’s birthday with my son Greg, wife Camille, and three grandchildren, Madighan, Miles, and Maisie. I wish we could have done something like this while we were here this time.

Tomorrow afternoon at 3:45, our flight from Minneapolis to Las Vegas takes off. Hauling all of our bags at the confusing and overly busy airport in Las Vegas is daunting. It’s not as simple as deboarding the plane and making our way to baggage claim.

We have to take a train with our bags to a waiting area to take a shuttle to the car rental area. The last time we arrived in Las Vegas, we had to stand in line for almost an hour to board the shuttle to get to the rental car area and then wait another 30 minutes to get the car.

At this point in our Covid-19 recovery, I can’t imagine either of us standing for so long, especially while handing the bags without a trolley which isn’t allowed in the queue. Yesterday, we discussed the possibility of leaving me at the pickup level with all of the bags while Tom does this part on his own.

I wish I could do this for him, but the rental car is in his name as the only driver, and they’d never turn the car over to me. It’s the nature of the beast. But, it will be a whole lot easier for him without the bags in tow. Once he gets the car, he’ll drive to the area where I’ll be waiting for him. He’ll call me when he arrives. I’ll have the bags with me on the trolley.

Once we load the bags, we’ll be on our way to the Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson, about a 20-minute drive from the airport. Then, we’ll begin to focus on our recovery. We haven’t made plans with Richard yet, but we probably won’t see him and his girlfriend until Monday night for dinner.

There are numerous restaurants in the resort. We are never happy with room service food, preferring to have more control over what we’ll have for dinner. On Monday morning, for the first time in almost four weeks, we’ll have breakfast in a restaurant, the lovely Lucky Penny restaurant in the casino. It will be easy for us to do another night of takeaway, which we’ll have in our room.

Tom is feeling well enough he doesn’t see any benefit to returning to Urgent Care. Once we return to Marloth Park in 10 days, we’ll book appointments with Dr. Theo to be checked for any residual symptoms we may be experiencing at that time. We’re hoping by that time, we’ll be fully recovered but based on how slow improvement has been,

I’m not entirely sure we’ll be free of symptoms. We will be very grateful if we are free of the annoying and uncomfortable symptoms that have lingered for 3½ weeks since we initially tested positive on April 20 while still on the ship.

This morning, I am doing our final loads of laundry. It’s taking everything I have in me to manage these two loads of laundry. This may be the last time we’ll do laundry until we arrive in South Africa on May 24. Everything we do is in slow motion right now.

This afternoon, we plan to drive over to Greg and Camille’s house and see everyone from the car. No kissing. No hugging. Just quick hellos and goodbyes from the vehicle with our masks on. With us still coughing, it’s too risky for them to be too close to us, and with Miles’ recent positive tests, any of them could be asymptomatic, carrying a variant different from our recent infection.

Too much is still unknown about Covid. With conflicting opinions online on the length of contagion while still experiencing active symptoms, it’s vague about the potential of us infecting anyone else. We are most likely safe, but we are also concerned about getting reinfected by others.

So there it is folks. We are very grateful that getting Covid wasn’t worse than it was, requiring hospitalization. Our two weeks in Minnesota were spent in isolation in a hotel room once again.  We are anxious to get on with our lives, hopefully soon.

Be well.

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

Three wildebeests were lying in the driveway shortly before Dawn and Leon arrived for sundowners. For more photos, please click here.

WoW! WoW! WoW! The response has been terrific!!!. Thanks, Everyone!!!…Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!!!…

Not only was the excitement of the interview at KSTP studios on Friday with the cast of Garage Logic fulfilling and energizing, but the response from current readers and new readers sent us swooning with delight. The endless stream of email messages and texts made the experience more meaningful and profound.

We have no doubt that our readership catapulted after Friday’s airing of the podcast with Joe Soucheray, Chris Reevers, and Kenny Olson. With their following of over 2,000,000 listeners, it’s not surprising we’d hear from a few of them. But, along with our reader’s wonderful comments, the comments from those who have never seen our site were an added joy to the experience.

We spent the better part of the afternoon replying to messages and again this morning. I didn’t even get a chance to start the post until 11:00 am.

This morning, I started another two loads of laundry. Since we haven’t been out to see family, dine out and socialize, we’ve only worn the most basic clothes; tee shirts, leggings, pants, and sweatshirts. Thank goodness we brought along very casual items as well as all those dressy clothes we never got to wear when we had to cancel the Queen Mary 2 cruise, due to Covid. We didn’t know we’d be sick, lying around in casual attire for the past 18 days and nights.

It feels as if I am “out-of-the woods” from Covid. My cough doesn’t warrant cough medicine, except at night. The sore throat and tired feeling are gone, although I am a bit weak, have a headache off and on, and need to move around more. Last night, I slept almost nine hours without waking up during the night. Sleep has such amazing healing powers.

On the other hand, Tom is as sick as he was initially. If he isn’t better by tomorrow morning, we are going to Urgent Care again to which he had finally agreed. We went this morning but their x-ray tech didn’t show up for work so we have to return tomorrow morning. There’s no point in him seeing a doctor without an x-ray at this point.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that he’s agreed to return tomorrow. I’m assuming having Covid has resulted in bronchitis or pneumonia. He may need antibiotics and stronger cough medicine, perhaps with codeine, which seems to have worked well for him in the past. We’ll have to pay out-of-pocket since we have no US health insurance. But, that is a non-issue when it comes to our health.

I can’t believe how well he did on Friday during the interview. Other than the sound of his voice, there was no way to tell he was feeling so awful. He didn’t cough once during the interview, but we had each loaded up on cough medicine and cough drops before leaving the hotel.

But, now we are having another sick day in this hotel room. It is 2:30 pm on Mother’s Day, and my ill hubby is sound asleep under the covers, trying to find some relief. My heart goes out to him, and of course, I am very worried.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, we send the warmest wishes to all moms worldwide who celebrate this notable day of recognition. We hope your loved ones make it extra special in many ways.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 8, 2021:

Our friend Patty Pan in Marloth Park had a python under her car’s hood. Not our photo. For more photos, please click here.

Fantastic interview at Garage Logic’s studio…

Please click on the above video for a shortened version of our Garage Logic interview. See below for the full interview.

5/6 We finally get to meet the traveling Lymans, Tom and Jessica, who were so spellbinding that they became today's episode

Please click on the above bold type to access the audio version of our interview with Joe Soucheray of Garage Logic.

After a difficult night for both of us, coughing and sneezing, we wondered how we got ready to head to St. Paul to the KSTP studio for our interview with Joe Soucheray and his co-hosts Chris Reuvers and Kenny Olson.

The idea of the 30-minute drive in traffic was daunting in itself, let alone being able to sit in the studio and tell our story as questions were posed to us. Once, we were greeted in the lobby by co-host Chris, who walked us down a long hallway to the Garage Logic studio.

Once we entered the studio, we forgot about our lingering coughs, and magic happened. Joe is an exceptional interviewer, and his two co-hosts frequently jumped in with thouhgt provoking comments and questions. Our interview was planned for 15 minutes, and it ended up taking up the entire show. We had so much fun it could easily have gone longer.

We’d both taken 12-hour doses of cough medicine a few hours before the event, hoping we’d make it through. Tom did well, although listening to the podcast later, it was easy to determine he was very stuffed up. I had to hold back a coughing jag on one instance. Also, the sound of my voice was unfamiliar when later listening to the podcast.

Our answers flowed with ease, along with Tom interspersing tidbits of humor, which he often does in general conversation. We all laughed with gusto on many occasions.

Over the past 9½ years of traveling the world, we’ve easily developed a way of sharing morsels of our experiences where we each take turns adding highlights of our experiences. Joe, Chris, and Kenny easily made this familiar banter flow with all the more fluidity than ever.

We couldn’t stop smiling throughout the entire interview. Telling our story only reminds us of how fortunate we are to live this unique lifestyle, be together as this well-matched couple during these experiences, and have developed a financial plan that allows us to continue traveling indefinitely.

Sometimes, it takes a scenario like this to remind us how grateful we are, especially after suffering from Covid-19 since April 20, when we first tested positive aboard the transatlantic cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Southampton, England. Due to our positive diagnosis, we had to cancel our scheduled Queen Mary 2 cruise, sailing on April 24, arriving in New York on May 1, when we’d planned to fly to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to see family.

Not only were we too sick to go on the return cruise, but we continued to test positive until April 28, 29, and 30th, when we felt safe booking the flight from Gatwick Airport in London to Minneapolis for May 1, our original date of arrival after the Queen Mary 2 cruise.

Unfortunately, we purchased dressy clothes for the upscale cruise, which we won’t be able to wear when until we can use the full-fare credit for a future cruise on Cunard. We’ve had to haul those clothes with us this past month.

We couldn’t get a refund based on canceling last minute due to Covid. Hopefully, by the end of 2024, when the future cruise credit expires, we can book another cruise with this cruise line and use the credit. If not, it becomes another loss we’ve incurred due to the worldwide pandemic. Our losses over the past two years are in the $1000s.

Once we said our goodbyes to our hosts and thanked them for inviting us to the show, we headed back to our hotel. In the interim, we had a fantastic break from our current situation to revel in being guests of the Garage Logic show/podcast. We felt temporarily rejuvenated, but the reality remained that we had a way to go to recover from this dreadful virus.

With their over 2,000,000 listeners, we’ve received countless email messages, warm greetings, and hits on our website after the podcast aired yesterday afternoon. Thank you, everyone!  What a boost for us!

Thanks to Joe, Chris, and Kenny for inviting us to this special experience, one we’ll never forget.

Photo from one year ago today, May 7, 2021:

We later named this young male bushbuck, Spikey. For more photos, please click here.

Last night’s worst Covid symptoms yet!…It going in the wrong direction!…For both of us!..

Today, we’re being interviewed by Garage Logic at their studio in St. Paul. How fun this would be if we were feeling better!

We can’t believe what’s happened. Just when we thought we were beginning to improve from having Omicron, I joined Tom in excessive coughing yesterday. He spent the day in bed sleeping and coughing off and on while I was feeling so well in the morning that I considered restarting my daily walking routine.

But, by 1:00 pm, I started coughing. I’d still had a tickle kind of cough that had diminished over this past week. Then, just like that, I started hacking and hacking and hacking. Immediately, I took a dose of the 12-hour daytime cough medicine we bought in the morning at the pharmacy.

It didn’t seem to help much. I kept coughing, and so did Tom, every time he awoke from his day-long nap. He needed sleep. He’d been awake, coughing all night for the past several days. On top of it, we both were sneezing and suffering from awful congestion. This virus is worse than any cold we ever had!

We tested positive on the ship on April 20. Today it’s been 16 days since that test. Of course, we tested three more times before we left England on May 1, all of which tests were negative. We used the most recent test on April 30 for flying from Gatwick to Minneapolis. At that point, we felt like we were on the mend. We handled the two long flights very well.

No, we don’t have a fever, don’t have body aches, and I am not experiencing exhaustion like Tom. Last night, after Tom turned over to sleep at about 11:00 pm, I thought I’d try to do the same. But the coughing was so bad I could not lay down. I propped up three pillows on the bed and sat up. I’d already taken the cough medicine at 7:00 pm and couldn’t take another dose until morning.

I sucked on sugar-free cough drops, one after another, finding a few minutes of relief in my throat. Finally, at around 2:30 am, I dozed off, awakening several times from coughing. This morning my Fitbit indicated I’d slept for 4 hours and 28 minutes, more than I’d expected to get.

This morning, Tom brought me two decaf coffees and two hard-boiled eggs from the breakfast buffet (mainly a continental breakfast). I chopped up the peeled eggs and added some salt and guacamole I had left over in the fridge. This will hold me until dinner.

Of all things, today is the day we’re scheduled to head to St. Paul at noon for our on-the-air interview for Garage Logic, Tom’s favorite Minnesota-based daily (weekday) podcast. The”boys” have been talking about our arrival in the studio for days. We feel we cannot cancel.

The interview will only last for 15 minutes. We can do this as long as we don’t start coughing while talking. We plan to cover for each other. The drive to the studio will be the most challenging part, but it’s only 25 minutes from our current location. After a quick stop to pick up something for dinner, we will be back at the hotel by 1:30 or 2:00 pm, so we won’t have to go back out again.

We’d hoped to spend Mother’s Day with our kids, but that’s not happening. We have canceled all plans we had made previously, telling everyone that we must play it by ear. We can’t imagine it makes sense to be around family when we’re coughing so much.

It’s hard to believe we came to the US to see family, have been here for five days, and haven’t seen anyone yet. This darned virus continues to impact our lives, one way or another. Tomorrow, we’ll share details of today’s interview and post the video once it’s available online.

Again, thank you for all the well-wishes we’ve received from many of our readers worldwide. It means so much to us!

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 6, 2021:

Egyptian geese on the bank of the Crocodile River. For more photos, please click here.

On the mend?…Recovery is slow…

Aerial View of Minneapolis and the Mississippi River in summer

Yesterday was a restful day. The only tasks we tackled were two loads of laundry and heading out to the nearby Chipotle to get takeaway dinner. I’ve always been a big Chipotle fan since the bowls with lettuce, meat, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole work great for my way of eating.

On the other hand, Tom is less interested in Chipotle, but for convenience’s sake, he ordered four soft tacos and a bag of tortilla chips. He doesn’t care for guacamole. We will see what transpires tonight for dinner and if we’ll be getting together with family, which we hope to do.

Tom is recovering from Covid-19 slowly. At this point, his cough is much worse than mine, which is improving each day. Last night, he coughed off and on with only a few hours of relief from Nyquil. I was so tired I slept through most of his coughing, which as a light sleeper, is unusual for me. For the first time in two weeks, I awoke today feeling pretty good,

My Fitbit logged almost eight hours of sleep, and after not needing a nap yesterday, I am confident I am on the mend. But Tom, on the other hand, is coughing a lot, although otherwise is feeling better. The heavy feeling of exhaustion is finally leaving both of us.

The media is ranting about new variants coming out of South Africa. However, when researching statistics on Worldometer here, it is clear it’s not the case. Yesterday, in the US, there were 40,784 new cases of the virus, but in South Africa, yesterday, there were a total of 2,650 new cases.

Sure, the population in the US versus South Africa’s population is seven times greater. But doing the math doesn’t indicate that the virus is more prevalent in South Africa than in the US. The US continues to be in the top position in the number of cases over anywhere else in the world.

There is no doubt that accuracy in the number of cases is still questionable since the onset of the pandemic. Accurately recording cases can vary substantially based on poor systems in place to document testing results.

Nonetheless, we will proceed with caution while here in the US, as we do in any country we visit in our world travels. After having Covid-19, we don’t take for granted that we have added immunity that will protect us in the future. In reality, the protection we’ve gleaned from having the virus may be very short-lived based on our research thus far.

We were safe for the 14 months we spent in Marloth Park, and we hope to maintain that same level of safety when we return in 19 days. However, we are concerned about the several future cruises we have booked. We can only wait and see how things roll out.

Fortunately, all of our future cruises are on the small ships of the Azamara Cruise Line, which typically hold about 600 passengers. With most cruises running at about 60% occupancy since the onset of the pandemic, most likely, there will be less than 400 passengers onboard as opposed to the 1288 passengers there were on the Celebrity Silhouette, where we tested positive the last few days.

We are waiting to hear from family as to plans to get together. We understand if there is hesitancy in seeing us based on our recent infection. We will see how it all rolls out.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 3, 2021:

There were nine zebras in the garden, staying for over an hour. For more photos, please click here.

We’re on the move…USA, here we come…

A children’s play area in the Azores during the cruise.

Whew! It’s been a tough last ten days since we first tested positive for Covid-19. It’s been quite an ordeal. After testing negative two days in a row, we’re ready to be on our way. We are still experiencing symptoms of the virus with severe coughing and my red, bloodshot eyes, but we are hopeful that we will continue to improve as each day passes.

We didn’t intend to whine so much in our posts, but we’ve always promised to “tell it like it is” rather than paint a fluffy picture with an exaggerated version of optimism. Sure, it could have been worse. But, as they say, “everything is relative” to our situation at any given time.

Certainly, this hasn’t been the worst health challenge we’ve faced in the past 9½ years. But, it plays a close second considering the uncertainty of where this dreadful virus would take us. We could barely get out of bed for a few days with worsening symptoms. But by the seventh day, we became hopeful, as the worst of it felt as if it was over.

The added symptom of my grossly irritated eyes was a setback. But today, it’s better, and I am confident this symptom will dissipate before too long. Tomorrow morning, we’ll be able to go to a pharmacy in Minnesota to get Nyquil cough medicine, cough drops, and eye drops, all of which should help us feel better.

We can’t wait to get situated in the hotel in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, close to many restaurants and markets with items we need and want. Hopefully, the two weeks we’ll spend there will allow us to fully recover before we head to Nevada two weeks from today.

Before we headed to breakfast in the hotel, we packed everything, weighed our bags, and prepped for the shuttle leaving for Gatwick Airport at 9:52 am, a half-hour from now.  Thus, today’s post is short and to the point.

We only have 11 hours of travel time to arrive in the US, which is nothing compared to other fights we experience from time to time. By the time we arrive, it will be midnight for us but only 6:30 pm Minnesota time. In our usual attempt to maintain a schedule commensurate with our location at the time, most likely, we’ll check in to the hotel, drop off our bags and head out to dinner if we’re hungry.

We’ll be back with you tomorrow! Thanks for all the supportive comments from so many readers, including Janet, who wrote with assurances about Icelandair. We’re good to go.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 1, 2021:

This female arrived in the bush in our garden, sitting a short distance away, an example of a subtle and gentle approach to the rutting season. For more photos, please click here.

We’re being interviewed today by local newspaper…Story will follow soon…Sorry for the late posting…

Look at all that luggage we had back in January 2013 as we prepared to board our second cruise in Fort Lauderdale. We still can’t believe we had 17 pieces and are now down to three checked bags and two carry-ons. Thank goodness we lightened our load!  Tom still has that shirt which after all our recent purchases is headed into the pile we’re accumulating for Goodwill. That shirt and those capris wore out a few years ago and in the past few weeks, I tossed those sandals, that had finally “bit the dust.”

It’s hard to believe that the newspaper article about our world travels was published on January 3, 2013, four and a half years ago. As we re-read through this article, we’re reminded of how much we’ve learned and grown these past years of traveling the world. 

Please click this link for the story published in the Southwest News Media, which publishes many local suburban newspapers.

When the story was published on the above date, we had boarded our first cruise from San Diego, California, through the Panama Canal, ending in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where after two nights, we were on our way to our first vacation/holiday home awaiting us in Placencia Belize, our first home outside the US.

When we left Minnesota on October 31, 2012, we headed to Scottsdale, Arizona, for an off-and-on two-month stay in a vacation condo, thoroughly equipped for our needs. During this period, we traveled back and forth to Nevada, visiting family and taking “care of business” we’d yet to complete.

When we look back, we realize it would have made more sense to stay in Nevada during the two months of final preparations. However, at the time, we wanted to see if Scottsdale Arizona was a place we might eventually settle when our traveling ended.  

Arizona was lovely in many ways but not our cup of tea. As we’ve continued in our travels, we’ve now dismissed the concept of “living anywhere” when this nomadic lifestyle is everything we need.

Tom’s sisters have second homes in Apache Junction Arizona and we relished in the idea of being nearby to visit them at our leisure during this period. With eldest son Richard living in Henderson Nevada and my eldest sister residing in Las Vegas, we found ourselves driving back and forth to Nevada on several occasions to ensure we’d see everyone before departing the USA.

As it turned out, we rented an additional vacation home in Henderson for a week during Christmas when three of Tom’s sisters and two husbands stayed with us during the holiday. During this period, we also had an opportunity to see my cousin from Boston and her two adult daughters who also happened to be in Las Vegas for Christmas. 

We purchased new laptops, unlocked phones, and other digital equipment for our upcoming travels back in Arizona. We handled financial matters, setting up appropriate accounts that would facilitate our travels. We finalized details for international health insurance. 

We created an entirely online lifestyle that didn’t include receiving much snail mail through our already established mailing service in Nevada. By the time we wrapped up our time in Arizona and Nevada, we made our final US road trip to San Diego to board the Celebrity Century. On January 3, 2013, we sailed away.

We’d spent 11 months preparing for our world travel adventure, at the time anticipating it would last for five or 10 years at most. We’d done everything we could to prepare, which proved to be a daunting task, one that never ends with the ongoing planning to continue for years to come.

Today, we met with the same reporter, Unsie Zuege with whom we communicated for the Minnesota news article almost five years ago. During these years, with our accumulating rich and fulfilling experiences, so much has changed for us.

Today, when Unsie arrived at our hotel at 9:00 am to interview us, we were surprised to know that she, too, like many worldwide readers have followed along with us over these years. How fortunate we are to build these unique relationships with people we meet along the way and those we joyfully gather in our travels.

After an action-packed three hours with Unsie, we sadly ended our time together. She took photos and a video while gathering tons of pertinent facts from us while fast and furiously documenting our answers to her seemingly endless flow of thought-provoking questions. We couldn’t have enjoyed her more and the opportunity to reach even more readers after the story is published in a few weeks.

Once the story is online and in print, we’ll post it, along with the photos and videos suitable for all of our readers.  Please check back.

Now, close to 1:00 pm, I’m late posting today’s story. Soon, I’m leaving for afternoon tea with friend Chere at a restaurant in nearby Edina. No doubt, this will be the continuation of a pleasant and relaxing afternoon to supplement this already delightful day.

Tom and I can’t stop smiling over the opportunity we had this morning to consolidate our years of world travel into one fell swoop, sharing it with Unsie. It reminded us of how grateful and appreciative we both are for the range of experiences we’ve had so far, along with that which is yet to come.

One week from today we’ll be leaving Minnesota and on to our next leg in the US visit..three weeks in Henderson/Las Vegas Nevada. Perhaps, we’ll get into a little of the touristy type stuff to share with you here!

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, June 30, 2016:

Tom ate a few of these “wienie wraps” in Singapore. These are SGD $1, US $.74. He’d expected them to taste similar to the US version of a wienie wrap but said they weren’t quite the same. For more photos, please click here.