Food and shopping in the USA…

Photo from the Big Island in Hawaii in December 2014 as the sun came up.

We don’t have food photos to share. When we’ve been dining out, the last thought on our minds is to take photos since most of which we’ve ordered is not considered “fine dining” as we’ve opted for standard American fare, not necessarily photo-inspiring meals.

I must admit that being here in the US sets my mind away from the search for good photos and no doubt has had an impact on my creativity when posting each day. Right now, I don’t feel like a world traveler. I feel like a mom, a grandmother, a mother-in-law, a sister-in-law, a stepmom, and a friend.

With no interest in cooking, although we have a fully equipped kitchen in our resident-type hotel room, we’ve eaten most meals sitting in a restaurant, eating takeaway in our room, or on a few occasions, in the homes of family members. I am confident this will continue for the remainder of our time in Minnesota, now only over the next five days when we head to Wisconsin.

From there, we’ll be dining out for all meals or perhaps ordering a few carry-out meals. In Milwaukee and Nevada, we won’t have a kitchen as we do here, which ultimately proved to be less important to us other than for chilling our iced tea, making ice, and keeping cheese for snacks.

Later that morning from the lanai.

While in the US, I’ve lightened up a little on my eating less protein and consuming lots of salads. It doesn’t seem to have impacted me one way or another. But, once we return to South Africa, we’ll both resume our usual way of eating.

Tom has been enjoying many of his old favorites, and I’ve kept my mouth shut. He eats doughnuts, candy, fried foods, and bread. He’s gone through bags of jelly candies (not gummy) and many plastic containers of old-fashioned cake donuts, his favorites which are never available in Africa or in many locations we’ve traveled.

Yes, he’ll gain a few pounds (kg) but will undoubtedly lose it once we return to Marloth Park. I have gained a few pounds just from eating out every day, not certain about the ingredients in the meals I’m consuming. I’m none the worse for the wear and will also lose it once we get back to our lives in the bush.

We’re certainly not as active as we’d been in the bush, jumping up and down every few minutes to feed the wildlife and doing a variety of tasks around the house each day. Here, we sit on the bed or small sofa in our hotel room, our only task being laundry every few days and walking here and there.

We are located in a bustling area with lots of traffic. Walking is not appealing to us in this location. With the post to do each day, planning and scheduling get-togethers with family and friends, neither of us feel motivated to do much else. I can’t believe how lazy I feel here.

The much-anticipated whale fluke, as seen from the lanai.

We’ve done quite a bit of shopping, more online than in stores. Although, it’s been fun to go to Target, Walgreens, and the Eden Prairie Mall across the street from our hotel. We even went to Best Buy to purchase a much-needed new cord for Tom’s laptop. It’s been just like old times, going out shopping and dining.

Today, at 5:15, I will meet up with Camille, Maisie, and Madighan at the pier on Lake Minnetonka. We are going out on Al & Alma’s dinner cruise, which I haven’t done since the 1970s. That will certainly bring back many memories of a life long ago when my two boys were young and I was in my 20s.

Tom is meeting up with daughter Tammy for dinner, which I would have attended. But, tickets were purchased and set for the dinner cruise on the lake at the same time. We had no choice but to split up and spend the evening with our respective family members. I hope to finally see Tammy at some point over the next week before we depart for Wisconsin on Friday.

Tonight, President Cyril Ramphosa will conduct another “family meeting” about Covid-19 and its impact on South Africa. We are concerned about our ability to re-enter South Africa on our flights as planned, departing two weeks from yesterday on July 24th.

May your Sunday be restful and fulfilling.

Photo from one year ago today, July 11, 2020:

The natural bond between mom koala bears and their offspring is always precious to observe, as we did in Australia in 2015. We were allowed inside the pen for an up-close and personal experience. For more photos posted one year ago, please click here.