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.

We’re back in Quito…Good to be back on land, but again we’re high in altitude…Whew!…Wrapping up The Galapagos photos…

Giant tortoises at Isabela Island Breeding Center.

Note: our naturalist, Orlando, took all of today’s photos, which he sent to me each day via WhatsApp. Thanks, Orlando, for thinking of me!

The two-hour flight from Baltra, The Galapagos Islands, was almost a full-day journey. We disembarked the ship at 11:30 am and didn’t arrive at the JW Marriott Hotel in Quito until after 5:30 pm. We collected our stored luggage from the bellman and headed to a different room than we’d had over a week ago when we stayed here two nights before the cruise.

Tom was looking into the mailbox at Post Office Bay, where he found a postcard left by a visitor from South Africa, which he took, and we’ll ensure they receive it once we return to Marloth Park.

The only flight we could get to Manta was on Monday, so this time, we’ll spend another two nights at this high altitude. So far today, 18 hours after our arrival, we’re holding up OK in the 9350′ altitude. Our legs feel like lead when we walk, and my heart rate is 10 to 15 beats faster per minute than at sea level. The heart compensates for lack of oxygen at high elevations, and thus, one’s heart rate may increase until adapted two to three days after arrival. We will only be here for two days and won’t be adapted by then.

Tortoise heading out to sea.

But, in one way, the altitude right now is more tolerable than the seasickness we suffered on the ship, a 98′ long catamaran with eight passenger cabins for 16 guests. Feeling nauseous is worse than feeling out of breath and tired. I look forward to returning to sea level by tomorrow night after our 50-minute flight to Manta, leaving Quito at 7:25 pm.

Another green tortoise was heading out to sea.

Once in our room, we unpacked what we needed for the night and this morning and didn’t bother to unpack anything more. We never unpacked while on the cruise, making packing much easier when it was time to go, as will be the case here. When we were in lockdown in India in the Marriott Hotel for ten months, we never unpacked there either. We pulled out the three outfits we wore repeatedly and never touched anything.

A sea lion at the beach.

While staying in Nevada and Minnesota in the past few months, we never unpacked in either hotel. With 11 years of travel experience, we’ve gotten pretty good at “living out of a suitcase.” However, when we arrive in Ecuador for 79 days, we’ll unpack and wash everything since we’ll have a washer and a dryer. How unusual!

Sea turtles mating.

After we got situated in our room, we rested for a few minutes, never napping. At 7:30, we headed downstairs for dinner in the Botanica Restaurant, which cost was included in our cruise, along with this morning’s and tomorrow morning’s breakfast. Our hotel for the two nights was also included. But we’re on our own for dinner tonight.

A blue heron.

Most likely, after having a big breakfast, Tom won’t be hungry by dinner, so we’ll head down to Fogo De Chao, where, once again, I’ll have their salad bar with a vast array of foods I can eat. There’s no way I could eat the classic meats served tableside that they are known for. It’s just too much food.

A blue-footed booby and an iguana.

We have no plans for the next day and a half. We’ll have to sit in the lobby tomorrow afternoon when checkout is noon. But it’s more comfortable to sit in the lobby than get comfortable in the room. We could get a late checkout as VIP members with Expedia on our site here. But those few extra hours in the room make no difference to us.

Hood or espanola mockingbird, the largest on the island.

In 48 hours, we’ll be at our holiday home in Mirador, San Jose. I found a nearby market online, so we can bring our bags into the house and head to the market to shop. That’s quite fun for us since we love being able to check out local foods befitting our way of eating. Plus, we’ll need to stock up on bottled water since the tap water in Ecuador is not potable.

Floreana daisy.

That’s it for today, dear readers. We hope you’ve enjoyed our Galapagos photos and Tom’s adventures. No doubt it would have been a lot more fun for him if we’d been able to experience the excursions together. In the future, we’ll keep this new adaptation in mind when we are booking plans for the future.

A yellow warbler.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, October 22, 2013:

Due to a WiFi issue, we cannot post a photo from ten years ago. For the story, please click here.

Day 8…Celebrity Xploration…The Galapagos Islands…Disembarking day…Back up to Quito for two more nights!…

A pair of iguanas sharing a little love.

Note: our naturalist, Orlando, took all of today’s photos, which he sent to me each day via WhatsApp. Thanks, Orlando, for thinking of me!

In one hour, we are heading out on the Zodiac boat (the panga) to return to the pier in The Galapagos Islands. Our cruise has ended, and by 2:00 pm this afternoon, we’ll be on the return flight to Quito, where we’ll spend two more nights, and then fly to Manta, where we’ll spend one night to avoid driving in the dark.

From there, as mentioned, we’ll drive to the holiday home in Mirador, San Jose, in Manabi Province, on Tuesday. We’ll stop for groceries on the way, considering how much room we have in the rental car. By early afternoon on Tuesday, we’ll enter the gated community to make our way to the holiday home.

Black naked stil at Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz Island.

As much as we’ve enjoyed this spectacular cruise, even considering my limitations, we’re looking forward to the next step in our journey, spending 76 nights at the oceanfront property with a large pool and modern property. It even has a washer and dryer, which we desperately need to use at this point, after two weeks away from laundry facilities.

At the moment, all of us, 14 passengers, are waiting in the lounge after watching the fantastic video naturalists Juan Carlos and Orlanda made for us, handing out flash drives for all of us to keep as a memory. It may be too large to post on our site, but I will try to create a link we can use for those interested in watching it.

A great blue heron at Dragon Hill, Santa Cruz Island.

We still have photos from this journey and will post them over several days. With little time until we depart for the airport, we only upload a few photos today.

Although our flight back to Quito is only two hours long, we likely won’t get back to the hotel in Quito until about 5:30 tonight. Tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s breakfast are included in our cruise package, along with the one night in the hotel, and the following night, we’re on our own for dinner and breakfast the next day.

Fur seal at Rabida Island.

Our fight to Manta isn’t until Tuesday at 7:24 pm. We will make arrangements with the hotel for a late checkout, a benefit of being an Expedia VIP member, and then spend the remaining time in the hotel lobby awaiting our ride to the airport, arranged through the cruise line.

Last night was extraordinary when the 12 staff members arranged a special toast and presentation before our final dinner of giant prawns with many side dishes with wine flowing as it always has each evening since we boarded this ship a week ago. But, last night, when the seas got rough again, I headed off to bed, never finishing my glass of wine when the rocking and rolling made me queasy.

Baby flamingo at Rabida Island.

Most nights, I suffered from seasickness, which neither of us had ever had after 34 cruises until this one. We can only attribute it to the fact that a catamaran is known to cause seasickness in the most sturdy of sailors unused to this means of sailing in the ocean.

I’m looking forward to being on dry land, but hopefully, I won’t face much upset with the high altitude again. It hit me when we were there a week ago, improving after the second day. Surely, we’ll look forward to returning to sea level again by Tuesday night. Whew! Some of the ups and downs required on this cruise may not be suitable for some. I barely squeaked by.

Lava heron waiting for a little fish.

That’s it for today, dear readers. Thank you for your thoughtful and supportive comments, most recently and always. You all mean the world to us.

Be well.

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

No, this was not a creature we found in our bathroom at night. It was my delectable entrée, delicately grilled calamari with an octopus topper at dinner a week ago Saturday at the divine The Sands at Nomad in Diani Beach, Kenya. For more photos, please click here.

Looking forward to sea level tomorrow…Tom went on the Quito city tour…I could not…

There are many unique lizards on the islands we look forward to seeing. Not our photo.

I am suffering from mild altitude sickness and am looking forward to flying to sea level tomorrow morning. My symptoms are typical; difficulty breathing, legs and arms feel like lead due to lack of oxygen, and dizziness when standing or walking. My pulse is slightly faster than usual but is not Afib, for which I am grateful.

Tomorrow at 9:30 am, our group heads to the airport, where we’ll fly to Baltra, Ecuador. It’s less than a two-hour flight, and in 24 hours, we’ll be at sea level. I can’t wait. Right now, I am having quite a problem walking, much worse than usual. I can only hope I can go out to the various islands to see the fantastic wildlife awaiting us.

Determined to see everything, I will try with every bit of determination. This trip has meant a lot to us, seeing this stunning place known for its wide array of wildlife, some even prehistoric.

Had we known I’d be having Afib issues and difficulty walking, we most likely wouldn’t have booked this trip, especially with this high altitude in Quito, Ecuador, at 9350 feet, 2850 meters high. I didn’t have the first Afib episode until April this year, and my ability to walk has worsened since we had Covid-19 in April 2022.

Oh, well, as they say, “It’s hell to get old.” If we were living somewhere permanently, I suppose these disabilities of mine would be easier to tolerate. I’d be close to medical care if needed, so much walking wouldn’t be required. We’re now considering places we can visit that won’t require strenuous walking.

The Islands | Galápagos Conservancy
Map of the Galapagos Islands.

But we aren’t ready to end our journey. There are many countries we can visit where we tour the areas by car, although neither of us is a big fan of long road trips. Although, if the scenery is impressive, we don’t mind. We shall see what the future holds. We love cruising on small ships, especially now with the return of Covid-19.

However, on cruises, there are countless excursions off of the ships, often requiring walking for hours. If we can accept this reality on the premise that we lose the days at sea, we can reserve such tours for hiring a driver to drive us around the area at various ports of call. This is a good plan.

I do fine walking about the ship, around a hotel, or at a vacation home, cooking meals, and tidying up and doing laundry. That leaves us with many options.

If we discover I can handle the terrain on the various islands we’ll visit on the cruise in the Galapagos Islands; Tom will go with the camera and take many photos for me and all of you to see. It won’t be anywhere as meaningful not seeing everything first-hand, but I must prepare myself for this reality. The islands consist of volcanic rock. This may be the problem as opposed to level smooth surfaces.

I am now waiting for Tom to take photos on the tour, which will automatically appear in my Google Photos app. So far, I haven’t seen any, which may result in this post’s late uploading.

At this point, I should mention that the WiFi may not be good on the ship in this remote area. If you don’t see a post from us, please know that is the reason we weren’t able to prepare and upload any posts. I can write the text on another app and will save the stories to which we’ll add the photos once the cruise ends, not unlike how we did it when we had a poor signal on the Norway cruise.

If possible, I assure you, we will attempt to do a new post each day. So, please stay tuned for our next post, which may or may not be tomorrow since it’s a morning flight and then the trip to the boat, which could take the bulk of the day. We’ll be busy unpacking and getting ready for dinner once we board the small ship (16 passengers). Please check back daily.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, October 13, 2013:

In the Maasai Mara, Kenya…How did we get so close, so lucky to get this shot? I must be dreaming! For more photos, please click here.

We made it to Quito!…Time to adapt…

JW Marriott in Quito, Ecuador, is a beautiful and elegant hotel.

The two flights were easy and uneventful. We barely ate the meal served on the second flight from Houston to Quito. That was no big deal since our expectations are low for airline food.

Once we collected our bags, we headed to the entrance, and there, at 11:45 pm, was a man holding a sign reading “Celebrity Cruises.” The kind greeter welcomed us and escorted us to the minivan, where our bags were loaded

He spent the first 15 minutes of the drive while we asked a few questions. By almost 1:00 am, we were situated in our beautiful spacious room with every possible amenity. In no time, we got ready for bed and hunkered down on the comfy bed. Sleep didn’t come easily; overall, I didn’t sleep more than 4 hours, awakening every hour or so.

Breakfast in one of the restaurants in the hotel. Nice decor, lovely food.

I had no apparent signs of altitude sickness when we went to bed. But when I got out of bed this morning, I could feel it. I was breathless while showering and getting ready for the day and noticed my pulse increase.

It hit me hard at breakfast, about 11 hours after we landed, and I struggled to eat my omelet and grilled veggies. I left food on the plate. We returned to our room, where I couldn’t lie down quickly enough. Of course. Tom, as usual, was fine with no symptoms at all. Go figure.

Water is supposed to reduce symptoms of altitude sickness, and I keep gulping it down. It’s provided in our room, four bottles a day. There’s a purified water machine in the lobby to refill water bottles.

Our view from our breakfast table is one of the many outdoor areas of the hotel.

I took two extended-release Tylenol and am lying in bed typing this on my phone. It’s hard to type on my laptop in a prone position, although I will need to use it to finish off some features and the only two photos I have taken so far. Sorry about that.

Mostly, I am thrilled the altitude didn’t result in an Afib event. It’s been a week since my last event, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed to avoid it on the cruise. We shall see how it rolls out.

Tonight at 5:00 pm, we have to go check in for the cruise in the hotel lobby. Hopefully, by then, I will feel better and be able to go, during which we will meet some of the other 14 passengers. The cruise was sold out for the 16 passengers.

To our family and friends in Minnesota, sorry about the Twins losing in the playoffs and are now out of contention. It was quite a disappointment.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, October 12, 2013:

Anderson set a beautiful breakfast for us in the early morning in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. With room for four at the small table, some of us sat nearby, eating breakfast on our laps. There were croissants, cold cereal, pancakes, eggs, sausage, and a wide array of fruit. Although I could only eat the eggs and sausage, I was content. For more photos, please click here.

We’re off to South America today!…An unexpected surprise from an old friend…

Tom’s old friend Jerry, from his railroad days, stopped by to celebrate our departure, bearing gifts and good humor. Thanks, Jerry! How thoughtful you are!

We’re packed and ready to go. We just returned from breakfast, each eating a little more to hold us until we can eat again. I may not eat again for 24 hours when airplane food never works for me, and there’s too little time between the two flights to stop for a meal.

We have a 1-hour, 9-minute layover in Houston after the four-hour flight from Minneapolis and then another 5-hour flight to Quito, Ecuador, much shorter than most of our flights. We don’t arrive until 11:35 pm, the same time zone as Minnesota. The cruise line has arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport to take us to our hotel, JW Marriott. Hopefully, we’ll handle the altitude relatively easily and get a good night’s sleep.

We’ve already started drinking a lot of water, which is recommended to reduce altitude sickness at Quito’s 9350 ft. We have no idea how we’ll react to this, but time will tell.

Me and Tom are in the hotel lobby celebrating with Jerry.

Yesterday early evening, after the dreadful Minnesota Twins playoff baseball game loss, we ordered takeaway from Pizza Luce since we no longer have a rental car, which we returned on October 9, when the 30-day contract ended. When we were getting ready to pick up the food, our hotel room phone rang, and it was Tom’s old friend from the railroad, Jerry.

Our room was too messy to invite Jerry, so we met him downstairs in the lobby. We were shocked and in awe of everything Jerry had brought for us to celebrate our departure under the guise of our mutual “un-birthdays.” He had hilarious stuffed animals, decorations, a plate of delicious bars, zip drives with books, a cap for Tom, an adorable card, and more.

We couldn’t believe his thoughtfulness and generosity to come all this way to make us both feel so special before departing for South America. We kept the bars, the zip drives, and the cap and suggested Jerry keep the decorations for his next celebration for another recipient.

When it was time for all of us to go, we hugged Jerry goodbye, thanking him repeatedly for thinking of us and being so kind and generous. He’s been a regular reader of our site for years and seems to know everywhere we’ve been and everything we’ve done. It’s always fun to meet with people who’ve been following us for some time.

Jerry’s partner, Dot, made these delicious brownies and caramel bars. Tom said they were delicious. We wrapped up the balance and brought them with us so Tom could snack on the journey to Quito.

So, soon, in about an hour, we’ll take off for the airport. We’ll get the cart to bring our bags down to the lobby and then call Uber to take us to the Airport. Tom always likes to go much earlier than we need to, but I go along to avoid him feeling stressed. Yes, we should arrive two hours earlier for international flights, when we must go through immigration and the lengthy line at US security.

It takes much longer to go through security at US airports than in other countries, but we follow the flow and keep a good attitude. There’s no point in making a fuss about waiting in a queue. Thank goodness I am over 75 years old and no longer have to take my shoes off when going through security. Duh, a small perk for being this old.

That’s it for today, dear readers. We will be back tomorrow, hopefully feeling well and adapting to the altitude in the same manner as we adapt to most travel situations. We shall see.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, October 11, 2013:

Early in the morning in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, we spotted this mother warthog nudging her babies along. We squealed with delight along with them as they scurried along. Anderson stopped the vehicle so we could watch as we noted a few lions in wait in the direction of the little pigs, hoping they’d be lunch. For the full story, please click here.

Three days and counting…South America, here we come!…

Like all animals in the wild, this female lion is constantly looking for the next meal to feed her cubs. This photo is from ten years ago today, while on safari in the Maasai Mara, Kenya.

In a few days, we’ll start packing, which won’t take much time. We’ve replaced many of our old clothes with new clothes. We donated our old clothes in good condition to Goodwill. All we have now are the folded items in the few drawers in our room and hanging in the closet. If we had to, we could pack in a couple of hours.

On Tuesday, we’ll start the process and be done by the end of the day. We’ve made no plans for Monday and Tuesday other than dinner and trivia at Pizza Luce with Tammy, Tracy, and Vincent, our final time together. And TJ will stop by here tomorrow afternoon to say goodbye. Today, we’re visiting Greg and the kids to watch the Minnesota Vikings football game.

Madighan and I will most likely work on our crocheting project during the game. After the game ends, Greg and his lovely girlfriend Heather, and grandchildren Madighan, and Miles will join us for dinner, most likely at a nearby Mexican restaurant they all like.

We don’t have a lot of expectations about the Vikings game. They’ve only won one game out of four. But it’s always fun to watch with hopefulness and enthusiasm that perhaps they may win. That’s how sports viewing works, anyway. It’s almost like fishing…the anticipation is nearly as exciting as the potential win.

Yesterday afternoon, we watched the Minnesota Twins playoff game, but sadly, they lost. However, they still have more games to play to see if they can progress in the playoffs for the remote possibility of making it to the World Series. It isn’t very likely, but it is worth dreaming about.

This morning, we bolted out of bed after a good night’s sleep, showered and dressed for the day, and headed downstairs to breakfast. We put together our plates of eggs and sausage and poured our coffee, hauling it back to our room on the fourth floor. We wanted to watch CBS’s Sunday Morning show one last time.

We’ve spent 4½ of the past six months in the US, including the three months we spent in Florida, and now, when we leave for South America, it could be quite a while before we return, especially when we’re heading back to Africa in eight months, for an undetermined amount of time. It’s one of those “play it by ear” situations.

We hope to stay in South Africa for at least six months, leaving after 90 days for a new 90-day visa stamp to perhaps head back to the Maasai Mara, Kenya, which we’d like to do again over ten years later. We have such unforgettable memories of that time in 2013. Maybe it won’t be quite as exciting after all the safaris we’ve done, but we expect that we’ll very much enjoy it.

Besides the above, we don’t have any plans as we prepare to leave on Wednesday. Our flight to Quito begins at 2:02 pm. We’ll most likely arrive at the airport around 11:30 am to drop off the rental car and begin waiting to board the United Airlines flight.

We’ll arrive in Quito at 11:35 pm. Celebrity Cruise Line has arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport and bring us to the hotel, all a part of our Galapagos cruise package. Hopefully, we won’t have any issues with the altitude and can get settled in our hotel room for a good night’s sleep.

There are some walking tours of Quito arranged during the days at the hotel, but our participation will be determined by how we’re doing with the altitude and if I can walk the distances. Again, we can only “play it by ear.”

That’s it for today, dear readers. We hope all of you are enjoying your weekend.

Be well.

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

Tom nudged me in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, to turn around when I had the camera pointed in the opposite direction. I gasped when I saw this, a gift from the heavens. Thank you, Kenya. For more photos, please click here.

Booked flight and hotel for Quito, Ecuador…Spending time with our grandson today…

Here’s a map of the route of our flight from Minneapolis (MSP) to Quito (UIO), not that far away compared to many of our other flights over the years.

We waited to book our flight to Quito, Ecuador, departing on October 11, until we were here in the US, watching prices drop. With costs dropping only a small amount, we booked the flight and one night in the hotel JW Marriott in Quito, arriving one day early for our cruise/tour to begin.

Celebrity Cruise Line contacted us a few days ago for our passport numbers and expiration dates, flight information, and hotel information. Since we booked an extra night at JW Marriott, they wanted to tie it to the portion of our cruise/tour that includes two nights on each end for five nights, including our extra-booked night. They wanted to ensure we wouldn’t have to move to another room, which we appreciated.

Between the two booked nights for the hotel on either end of the cruise/tour, we’ll be flying to The Galapagos for a seven-night tour on the 16-passenger ship, basically a yacht, as opposed to a traditional huge cruise ship. It should be interesting. We’ll be flying from MSP on United Airlines. The cost of the flight for both of us is $1283.40.

As for the cost for the hotel, JW Marriott, for our one night, not included in the cruise fare, was $150.28, including taxes and fees.

The JW Marriott in Quito, Ecuador.

The next flight we’ll book in the next few weeks is the flight from Quito to our new holiday home in Manabi, Ecuador, about a one-hour flight, around $120 for the two of us, plus baggage fees. Our holiday home will be waiting for us, and we look forward to that part of our time in Ecuador as well as the cruise/tour. We’ll share more details later.

I’m a little concerned about the altitude in Quito at 9,350 feet above sea level, but hopefully, we’ll both be fine. I used to ski in the Colorado mountains in my younger years (before I met Tom) and never had a problem with elevations over 10,000 feet. I’m hoping it will be the same now. Tom has never experienced such a high altitude.

While we were at urgent care for Tom a few days ago, we got a prescription for Diamox (acetazolamide) to be used in advance for potential altitude sickness. With many possible side effects, we’ll wait and see how we do before taking the drug.

Later today, at 3:30, we’ll pick up grandson Vincent for skeet shooting and then for dinner. It will be great to spend time with him. He’s almost 18 years old, intelligent, and quite a conversationalist. No doubt, we’ll have a wonderful time with him.

Last night, we stayed in watching a few episodes of Formula One on Netflix and one episode of The Good Doctor, a delightful series we’ve watched intermittently, enjoying each episode. By 11:00 pm, we were both fast asleep and awoke feeling refreshed in the morning. Tom is taking his medications regularly and has started to see a slight improvement. Hopefully, soon, he’ll feel much better.

That’s it for today, folks. We hope you have a good Sunday.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 16, 2013:

No photo was posted here ten years ago. To read the text for that post, please click here.