Updating website issues…We are having problems with connecting to our site…Short post today…

The leaves are beginning to change in Minnesota during the impendng fall season.

For some odd reason, it seems every time we come to the US, we have problems with our site. There is no reason this should happen since our site is hosted out of the US, and nothing is blocking it. Thus, this morning, we couldn’t get into our site to begin the post, and now we’re having problems off and on.

Instead, we headed out on a few errands, including our bank and Target. I didn’t want to walk around Target, but I needed a few items unavailable on Amazon and grossly overpriced at the pharmacy. At Target, I was shocked when some essential items were out of stock or unavailable. I guess I’ll have to pay the higher prices at a pharmacy for the odd things.

It’s raining today, and we don’t have anything on the agenda today other than going out to dinner with Tom’s nephew Kevin, his wife Kristi, and their adult son, Austin, whom we haven’t seen in years. Kristi and Kevin visited us in Florida, staying at The Villages. As it turned out, they were our first visitors, and it was pretty fun to go to dinner with them then.

We cannot complete today’s post due to whatever problems are preventing us from using the regular features necessary to complete a post. Hopefully, this issue will be resolved by tomorrow.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, September 25, 2013:

“Oh, please. I’m sick of tourists taking pictures of me!” He actually did look annoyed when we shot this. To his left is another larger monkey lying on his back, stretched out. For more photos, please click here.

Day 7…Greenland Cruise…Currently in the Labrador Sea, heading to St. John’s Newfoundland…

Labrador Sea - Wikipedia
Here is a map of our upcoming destination.

Labrador Sea

The Labrador Sea is an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between the Labrador Peninsula and Greenland. The sea is flanked by continental shelves to the southwest, northwest, and northeast. It connects to the north with Baffin Bay through the Davis Strait. It is a marginal sea of the Atlantic. Wikipedia
Area324,712 mi²
Mean depth6,227′
Coordinates61°N 56°W / 61°N 56°W
Depthabout 3,400 m
Max. widthc. 900 km (559 mi)

We are at sea today and tomorrow, heading toward the island of St. John, shown in the above map at the bottom right of the mainland. Once we arrive on the island, we’ll add more information about it. If the weather is decent, we’ll get off the ship and take some photos.


Last night, once again, we dined at a shared table for eight in the Cosmopolitan dining room, enjoying conversation among the tablemates that went well into the evening. Afterward, we headed to the Rendezvous Bar and then to the Sky Lounge for another night of Silent Disco.

We were both tired after staying up late many nights and ended up heading off to our cabin by around 10:30, both looking forward to a good night’s sleep, which we accomplished, feeling much more alert and energetic today. We love cruising and socializing so much that we stay up late on cruises, often not returning to our cabin until after midnight.


Are we enjoying this Celebrity cruise as much as the previous Azamara? Socially, yes, but there are a few issues on this cruise that we have discussed among ourselves several times. One, the food isn’t as good as it was in Azamara. The menu options in the dining room, where we prefer to dine each night, are limited.

Last night, Tom noticed only one meat option for dinner: coq au vin, which he doesn’t care for. He picked at his plate, eating only small bites. The other three options were all vegetarian. By no means are we vegetarians. Also, my special order didn’t go as planned.

More Greenland…

I have to order the next night’s dinner in advance on this and other ships due to my special diet of meat and vegetables without starchy sides and sauces. You’d think this was easy to accomplish, but it is not. All I am looking for is food in its natural state without vegetable oils but flavored with some spices to avoid being bland and unappetizing. This has been tough to accomplish on this cruise.

On the Azamara cruise, the food was much better. With fewer passengers on Azamara Journey at 587, compared to over 2000 on this ship Celebrity Summit, it was easier for the chefs to prepare special meals that were delicious. Here, it doesn’t seem very easy for them to get it right.

More Greenland…very desolate but interesting nonetheless.

The first several nights, my meal was swimming in butter. When I asked for less butter and more spices, they over-spiced it, and last night, it was so salty I couldn’t eat it. I quietly let the head waiter, who attends to special orders, know the food wasn’t good, but only quietly when we were leaving the restaurant. I am not one to make a fuss in public.

Graciously, I explained the dilemma, and he promised it would be better tonight. If I’d mentioned it during dinner, he would have pressed me to order something else, and after a big lunch, I didn’t care about getting an entirely new dish while everyone at the table waited for me to eat before ordering their dessert. It just doesn’t matter that much to me to make a spectacle.

That’s all I have for today, folks. We are continuing to revel in the delightful scenery and socialization aboard the ship. The cruise ends in Botson in six days on August 30.

Be well.

Photo ten years ago today, August 24, 2013:

There was no post on this date ten years ago. The internet was down.

Day 14…Norway Cruise…Trondheim, Norway..Final port of call…Another great evening of conversation and entertainment…

Not our photo. Trondheim, Norway, is our final port of call until we reach Amsterdam in a few days.

Note: I cannot add more photos today, other than the above, due to the poor WiFi signal aboard the ship. Once we arrive in Nevada in early September, we can post our photos from Edinburgh and this cruise. Of course, we’ll continue to try to add photos each day! We are sorry for the inconvenience. Perhaps, when this cruise ends, we can start posting photos while on the upcoming Celebrity cruise in 4 days. We’ll continue taking photos and writing text daily, if possible.

Today, our ship will dock in Trondheim, Norway, as a result of me not feeling up to it, we didn’t get off the ship in Trondheim, although we continued with the daily activities aboard the ship.

After trivia, at 5:00, we headed to our cabin, dressed for the evening, and were ready to partake in the events of the evening with one entertainment venue after another; it was pretty enjoyable.

Each evening at dinner in Discoveries Restaurant on Deck 5, we’ve sat at a sharing table, often with others we’ve shared with on other evenings and, like last night, with mostly new people we hadn’t met in the past. With only 567 passengers on this cruise, it’s easy to repeatedly run into the same passengers.

After dinner, we headed to the Spirits Bar in The Den, chatted and listened to live music, and then to a live show in the Cabaret. The performer was a comedian/magician who proved to be quite entertaining. At 10:30, we returned to the Spirits Bar for another fun round of general knowledge trivia, which we once again lost.

Neither of us is great at trivia, although we usually get many answers correct. Some passengers play in larger groups, which significantly improves their odds. But, more often, we play alone, giggling over our missed answers and lack of ability to recall music and pop culture from the 70s and 80s. With both of us being parents at a young age, with the accompanying responsibilities, we didn’t pay much attention to what was happening in the world. But, we often surprise ourselves with some answers.

Win or lose, it’s fun to play, and we’ll continue to do so on the remaining days and nights on this cruise and our upcoming cruise beginning on August 18.

Tomorrow, we will write about our visit to Trondheim and again try to post a photo or two. We’re not expecting much luck on that front, but the nine days in Henderson, Nevada, is coming up quickly, and we’ll be able to get caught up at that time. Following is the information from Azarmara’s brochure about Trondheim:

“Trondheim, situated in Norway, is a historic city known for its rich culture, strong architecture, and picturesque landscapes. It serves as a hub of education and research, with the renowned Norwegian University of Science and Technology located here. Trondheim’s charming blend of modernity and tradition, along with its vibrant arts and music scene, makes it a captivating destination for both residents and visitors..”

As typically happens at this point on a cruise, passengers start coming down with colds and flu. This has often happened to us. So far, so good, but fingers crossed we don’t get anything on this or the next cruise. We avoid close contact with others and frequently wash our hands. There’s only been one case of Covid-19 so far, and we continue to hope and pray there is no more.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 14, 2013:

No photos were posted on this date ten years ago today. For the text, please click here.

Day 13…Norway Cruise…Bodo, Norway…Car rental in Nevada?…

Bodo, Norway
Not our photo. The town of Bodo has many modern buildings against its snow-covered mountains.

Note: I cannot add more photos today, other than the above, due to the poor WiFi signal aboard the ship. Once we arrive in Nevada in early September, we can post our photos from Edinburgh and this cruise. Of course, we’ll continue to try to add photos each day! We are sorry for the inconvenience. Perhaps, when this cruise ends, we can start posting photos while on the upcoming Celebrity cruise in 6 days. We’ll continue taking photos and writing text daily, if possible.

This cruise ends in four days. Have we loved it so far? The food, the people, the ambiance, and the entertainment have been excellent but not necessarily better than we experienced on other cruises. Would we sail on Azamara again? Yes, but only after they improve their WiFi.

My frustration over being unable to upload photos to our daily post has been annoying. It will require me to spend a lot of time when we get to Nevada on September 1, editing and uploading the many photos we’ve yet to post. Although the only things we’ll want to do in Nevada are collect mail at our mailing service, renew our driver’s licenses at the busy DMV in Henderson (we have appointments), and spend time with Richard and a few friends in Las Vegas.

After that, we’ll be able to relax. I aim to get the photos uploaded in the first few days, leaving my mind free to relax and enjoy the time spent in our state of residency. Yesterday, we rented a car in Las Vegas, which we hadn’t planned to do, instead using Uber for our few appointments. But prices had dropped since we last checked several weeks ago.

We were surprised by the lower car rental prices when we arrive on Thursday, August 31, Labor Day weekend. But we were all over it when we could rent a car for nine days for under $400. Formerly, prices were running around $100 daily, which was quite an improvement.

Now, as this cruise winds down, we feel more like relaxing and winding down for our next adventure, the cruise to Greenland. Today, we’re doing laundry in the provided washers and dryers down the corridor from our cabin. They even provide laundry pods, all at no charge, which is an excellent perk for us instead of paying for laundry.

On the upcoming Celebrity cruise, with our Captain’s Club rewards, we are entitled to two laundry bags during the entire cruise. We’ll likely have clothes to wash once we arrive in Nevada, but we’ll figure that out. For us, laundry is always a concern when we don’t have a home we’re returning to at the end of any cruise or tour. Of course, a washer is a priority at all of our holiday homes, although a dryer is not.

Today, our ship is docked in the village of Bodo, described as follows from Azamara’s brochure:

“Bodo, nestled on Norway’s northern coast, offers a captivating blend of natural wonders and modern charm. Embrace the midnight sun during summer and witness, witness the Northern Lights in winter, and explore scenic landscapes. With a rich maritime history, vibrant arts scene, and access to Lofoten Islands, Bodo is a gateway to Arctic adventures and a destination of captivating allure.”

Last night, we had a fun evening in the Den (Spirits Bar) when the cruise director and his assistant provided delightful entertainment. However, we drifted off to our cabin by 10:00 pm to watch a movie and relax, ending in a great night’s sleep.

Be well.

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

I read this book when it came out, which made me acutely aware of not sitting too much during our world travels. For the story, please click here.

Day 12…Norway Cruise…Harstad, Norway..

Note: I cannot add a single photo today due to the poor WiFi signal aboard the ship. Once we arrive in Nevada in early September, we can post our photos from Edinburgh and this cruise. Of course, we’ll continue to try to add photos each day! We are sorry for the inconvenience. Perhaps, when this cruise ends, we can start posting photos while on the upcoming Celebrity cruise in 6 days. We’ll continue taking photos and writing text daily, if possible.

The past 24 hours were relatively uneventful. We had delightful conversations with other passengers, wandered about the area and the ship, and enjoyed a few excellent meals, as always. We attended a few live entertainment venues, one, a fantastic comedian in the Cabaret on Deck 5, and live music in the Living Room and Spirits Bar.

The entertainment aboard ships is generally quite good, and we partake, especially when we hear from other passengers that a particular show is worth watching. Typically, we don’t attend every night’s entertainment in the Cabaret, but so far, when we have, it’s been good. We prefer listening to live bands at night in the various venues and even the songs played by the DJ in between sets.

Today, we are in Harstad, Norway, and will venture out later in the day once we get today’s post uploaded and after I’ve had lunch in the buffet around noon. For several days, Tom has been having breakfast while I have lunch. There seem to be more options for me at lunchtime than at breakfast. Tom goes to breakfast alone while I am getting ready for the day but joins me at lunch in the buffet, even if he’s not eating anything.

Today our ship is docked in the town of Harstad, Norway, which is described as follows in the ship’s brochure:

“Nestled in northern Norway, Harstad is a coastal town renowned for its stunning fjords, cultural richness, and outdoor activities. Explore historic sites like Trodenes Church and Museum, indulge in local cuisine, and take in picturesque landscapes. With a blend of history and natural beauty, Hardstad offers an enchanting Artic experience that captures the heart of Norway’s north.”

Almost every afternoon at 4:00 pm, we head to the Living Room for two trivia games, one at 4:00 and the other 30 minutes later. Each day’s topics are different and unrelated. Since we’ve been away for so long and missed so much of pop culture and music, we’re not as good as we were as a team 20 or 30 years ago. Plus, I suppose as we’ve aged, we’re not as good as we may have been years ago.

It’s not as if either of us have any signs of dementia. We don’t.  Actually, our memories are excellent of what we’ve been doing over the past almost 11 years since we began traveling. But, prior to that, it is a little less clear. Perhaps, with all the stimulation and new information we’ve absorbed all these years of travel, the past has become less at the forefront of our minds.

Although we’ve yet to win a game among the many passengers who playing in large groups, we still enjoy playing and do a lot of laughing between us when reviewing our wrong answers, let alone our shock when we answer many correctly. In any case, its fun to play, and we will continue to do so until the end of the cruise.

Today is Saturday, and we disembark the ship next Thursday when we fly to Reykjavik the same day, sailing away on Celebrity Summit the following day. No doubt the fun will continue as it has over the past two weeks since we boarded Azamara Journey for the Norway cruise.

Soon, we’ll head to Window’s Cafe on Deck 9 for my lunch. Tom doesn’t usually eat again but is happy to sit with me, which I appreciate very much.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 12, 2023:

We’re reminded that fall is near in Tuscany by the pumpkins and gourds in our yard. For more photos, please click here.

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

Note: I cannot add a single photo today due to the poor WiFi signal aboard the ship. Once we arrive in Nevada in early September, we can post our photos from Edinburgh and this cruise. Of course, we’ll continue to try to add photos each day! We are sorry for the inconvenience. Perhaps, when this cruise ends, we can start posting photos while on the upcoming Celebrity cruise in 7 days. We’ll continue taking photos and writing text daily, if possible.

Ah, if only I could load last night’s photos of White Night! It was spectacular, most likely the most decorative, well-planned food, drink, and music event we’ve ever attended on a cruise ship. It truly was indescribable! It was incredible!

The evening began at 6:00 pm when the most extraordinary buffet was set up on Deck 9 poolside. It was amazing how the staff rearranged the entire pool area, removing all the chaise lounges and other poolside equipment to create a festive and decorative environment in white with balloons, lights and white tablecloths, and formal place settings on each of the many tables.

The area could easily accommodate all 567 passengers with plenty of space for the fantastic band, singers, and dancers and a sizeable dance floor. As soon as we arrived, dressed in our all-white outfits, we found many sharing tables already filled with passengers. We found an empty table for six, plunked ourselves down with drinks in hand, and prepared for the exciting night ahead.

In no time at all, our table filled up with two more couples, both of whom we’d met along the way, and lively conversation and laughter ensued through the remainder of the evening while we all dined on the epicurean delights and danced to our favorite tunes.

Nothing was spared in presenting a beautiful evening. The food was over-the-top, the most varied and delicious buffet we’d ever experienced, with tons of seafood, meats, and exotic dishes from many cultures. The vegetables and fruit were aplenty, and any way of eating could easily be accommodated.

At one point, early on in the evening., I approached the many stations of the buffet, happily taking many photos we’ll share in the future when we’re able to upload photos again.

After the festive outdoor party ended, during perfect warm weather, many of us gravitated to Deck 10’s  Living Room, where the party continued with live music and again enthusiastic dancing on the dance floor.

We approached the North Cape of Norway close to midnight, where we all witnessed the extraordinary “Land of the Midnight Sun,” where we couldn’t stop smiling while taking photos of this fantastic phenomenon of the light sky at midnight. It’s hard to believe how light the sky is at midnight in this part of the world.

BY 12:30 am, we wandered back to our cabin on Deck 7, giggling over our fun night, hoping we wouldn’t have trouble falling asleep with the excitement of the evening still flooding our minds. But, an hour later, we dozed off, not awakening until 9:00 am, ready to begin another new day.

With little to see in Alta, Norway, we decided to stay on the ship and feel less rushed in completing today’s post’s text. We have almost a week until this cruise ends, and surely, we’ll continue to enjoy every moment.

Be well.

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

There was no post on this date ten years ago.

Day 3…Norway Cruise…Stavanger, Norway…

Note: Due to the poor WiFi signal aboard the ship, again, I cannot add a single photo. Once we arrive in Nevada in early September, we can post our photos from  Edinburgh and this cruise. Of course, we’ll continue to try to add photos each day! We are sorry for the inconvenience. Perhaps, when this cruise ends, we can start posting photos while on the upcoming Celebrity cruise in 15 days. We’ll continue taking photos and writing text daily, if possible.

No doubt, it’s a dilemma that we aren’t able to post any of our photos since this cruise began on August 1. The ship’s poor WiFi signal has made it impossible even to upload one photo. We doubt this situation will change in the next two weeks. We’ll be on this ship,  Azamara Journey. It’s frustrating, to say the least.

After careful consideration, we’ve decided to upload the photos when we do have a signal, which most likely won’t be until we get to Nevada, as mentioned above. Most likely, on the next cruise on Celebrity Summit, beginning in 15 days, we’ll be able to post the photos from those ports of call as they occur. As a result, the Azamara “catch-up” will happen as we spend the nine nights in Henderson, Nevada.

We’ve decided we’ll return to each post that’s missing its appropriate photos and upload the photos on the existing posts so all the photos will coincide with the text. Then, we’ll provide links on the next day’s post for a one-click to return to the post with its photos. This may sound unclear, but I assure you, we’ll explain it easily as we go, and our dear readers won’t miss a thing.

I am making separate folders for each port of call and its matching photos, making it easy for me to do this later on. Also, while in Nevada, we’ll post one main photo each day to indicate what we’ve been up to during those nine days and nights. We were so excited to post new photos, and here we cannot do so.

But, in the realm of things, it’s a minor glitch, and we’re still enjoying every moment on and off this ship. This morning our ship docked in Stavanger, Norway, with the program stating the following, which I couldn’t have described better:

“Stavanger, Norway, a coastal gem, enchants visitors with its stunning fjords (which we’ll sail through soon), picturesque landscapes, and rich maritime heritage. Home to the iconic Pulpit Rock and surrounded by its awe-inspiring Lysefjord, it offers breathtaking outdoor adventures. Explore its charming city center (which we did this morning), filled with historic buildings, vibrant markets, and a thriving art scene.

Known for its delicious seafood, invites travelers to savor the authentic flavors of Norway. A captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural delights, Stavanger promises an unforgettable Nordic experience.”

When one thinks of Norway, even in the summer, we think of cold weather, but today’s high is a perfect 68F, 20C. Right now, as I write here, we are seated outdoors and are comfortable in a single layer of clothing. It couldn’t be more delightful.

This morning we walked from the ship to the center of town, stopping for me to rest my legs for a minute or less. I was thrilled to have been able to walk as far as I did, giving me peace of mind knowing I’ll be ok for the upcoming ports of call of the next cruises. Also, my head and face continue to be pain-free, which after 15 months since Omicron, makes me more cheerful than I have been in a long time.

Yesterday was fun, with considerable time spent commiserating with other passengers from The Netherlands, Australia,  Canada, and America. What great stories we all shared. Of course, most people are shocked we’ve been traveling for so long, and as interested as many may be in our story, few are interested in doing the same. We get this. Even we can’t believe we’ll soon celebrate our 11th travel anniversary on October 31.

We’ll be back with more tomorrow as we explore yet another port of call in Norway. This is fun. Thanks for hanging in there with us.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 3, 2013:

No photos were posted on this date in 2013. For the story, please click here.

Questions from a long time reader…

Old-fashioned community washing pool, where locals gathered to do their laundry in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. The larger pool is for washing. The smaller sink is for rinsing. Of course, they’d bring their laundry home to dry outside their windows. For more photos, please click here.

Today’s photo is from our three-month stay in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy. See the post here.

Yesterday, I received the following message from a long-time reader, Pam,  as follows:

“Dear Jess & Tom,

My husband and I are 70, and I’m beginning to think that cruising may be our best travel option as our mobility is becoming more limited. The research and planning are also mostly done by me, which can be a bit exhausting. We flew to Vegas in April and rented a car for an 8-day road trip to Bryce, Zion, Monument Valley, and Grand Canyon. We saw some amazingly beautiful sights, but walking even short distances was very difficult for me, especially in the higher altitudes. We spent much time just touring from the car and the tour buses. So I think that cruising may be easier for us. We have only cruised twice. The first time was 1999 (eek!!! Really that long ago?) Western Caribbean, which we aren’t interested in doing again. The second was in 2012 (wow, time flies!) to Alaska, which was wonderful. Both on NCL. We aren’t fancy and kind of like their freestyle cruising.

I know that you have recommended Vacations To Go in the past, so just wondering if you still do. Also would welcome your thoughts on Costco Travel, United Cruises, or just booking directly with the cruise line. I also recall that Tom has a website that alerts him when prices go down, but I can’t remember which one. Could you kindly remind me? We would love to cruise the Med, but I read a comment on a YouTube video that said if you have any mobility issues, it may be difficult.

Just wondered if you would be willing to share your thoughts. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Happy sailing!


Thank you, Pam, for writing! It’s lovely to hear from you, and we’re thrilled to hear you are considering cruising again. I am relisting your questions below (for ease of reading), and we will answer them individually.

  1. I know that you have recommended Vacations To Go in the past, so just wondering if you still do. Also would welcome your thoughts on Costco Travel, United Cruises, or just booking directly with the cruise line.

Answer: We prefer using Costco to book cruises and car rentals. (Annual membership is required). Their prices and perks for cruises are the same as most other cruise booking agencies. However, through Costco, you will receive gift cards (shop cards) each time you book a cruise, which motivated us to use them. Unfortunately, reaching them by phone to book a cruise or ask questions subsequently is awful. You can wait on the phone for an hour or more; contacting them by email is sketchy at best. This fact alone prompted us to return to Vacations to Go, which we’ve used for years. Our rep is Heather. She can be reached here:

“Heather Thompson
Master Cruise Counselor, Luxury and Multi-Cabin Specialist
Vacations To Go (16 Years)
My office hours: Mon-Fri: 11 am-8 pm (US Central Time)
US and Canada: 1-800-338-4962 ext. 7317
For toll-free numbers from other countries, click here.”

With us booking cruises while out of the country with huge time zone differences at times, having easy access to our booking company is important to us. Heather is very responsive and quickly responds to emails and phone calls. Please tell her we sent you. We don’t receive any remuneration for referring you to her, but we love sharing good service with our readers.

We’ve never used United Cruises and rarely have booked directly through a cruise line. They are also hard to reach and don’t have better pricing or service.

2. I also recall that Tom has a website that alerts him when prices go down, but I can’t remember which one. Could you kindly remind me?

Answer: Mainly, Tom has used Cruisecritic.com at this link that takes you directly to their cruise roll call, where you can enter the cruise you’ll be taking and see if there have been price drops. If there is a price drop (only applicable to passengers from the US and Canada), only prior to the final payment, you can find the information there and then contact your cruise booking company and ask them to lower your price. This has saved us thousands of dollars over the years. But you must carefully analyze if the price drop is beneficial for you since you may lose some perks if you take the price drop. Your booking agent will provide you with this information

(You must sign up for a free account at Cruise Critic here to see the roll call for each cruise. It’s straightforward to do so).

3. .We would love to cruise the Med, but I read a comment on a YouTube video that said if you have any mobility issues, it may be difficult.

Answer: We sailed in the Mediterranean on three occasions. At many ports of call, walking can be long and up and down hills at times. However, many easy-access “Hop On Hop Off” buses are available at the various ports, taxis, and vans you can arrange to take you to see the highlights. It’s essential to negotiate a price for taxis before you embark on such private means of transportation. “Hop On, Hop Off” buses have a fixed price for passengers, which is usually reasonable. In these cases, you can decide if you want to get off the bus or taxi and walk around or not. You will still see plenty.

We hope these answers help you decide what may work for you. Please feel free to contact us at any time with more questions. We’re always happy to help!

Be well.

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

The flowers of Tuscany never ceased to amaze us. The colors, the smells, and the varied designs make them appear more artistically rendered than real life itself. For more photos, please click here.

It’s all good…

When I walked to the produce truck in Boveglio, it was surrounded by no less than ten local residents, anxious to buy their weekly supply of fruits and veggies. How convenient!

Today’s photos are from this date in 2013 while living in Boveglio Tuscany, Italy, for three months. Please see this link for details.

Just think. In 11 days from now, we’ll arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland, and be able to start posting new photos. Most likely, after getting some sleep after the red-eye flight, we’ll have recovered sufficiently to do some sightseeing. We are checking out some options now since we’ll have a few days until boarding the ship.

It’s exciting to finally be traveling again. We spent so much time in Africa after we left India from being in lockdown for ten months in a hotel in Mumbai we hadn’t traveled much. During those 2½ years, while we based ourselves in South Africa, we traveled once to Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, and five times to the US (six times for Tom for his brother Jerome’s funeral).

We had several other trips booked that were canceled due to Covid-19, including 12 cruises in total that were also canceled due to Covid-19. It’s not that we didn’t try to travel; we continually ran into cancellations preventing us from moving on with our plans.

As a result of the frustrations over all the cancellations, we didn’t keep booking many future travels until the past year when Covid-19 became less of an issue. We had a fantastic time in Marloth Park and were grateful we spent our less active period in such a wonderful place.

It felt awkward taking photos, so I did so descretely. Unquestionably, I was the only tourist in the bunch as I heard the locals chatting endlessly in Italian. I did my usual head nodding, hiding my camera under my shirt.

Not surprisingly, we look forward to what’s ahead next year, including our eventual return to Marloth Park next June and any new plans we’ll make after another shorter stay in Marloth Park. At this point, if all goes well on our upcoming cruises, we’re thinking we’ll book more cruises in the future. It’s a wonderful way to see many parts of the world we may never get to since not every country is suitable for a two or three-month stay.

We’ve had a good time in The Villages and may return for a short stay in the distant future, especially since we enjoyed seeing many of our friends and making new friends. We’d hoped to see more of our readers who wrote to us, but time got away with us.

Plus, as I continued to suffer from the head and facial pain, there were times I was grateful we didn’t have more social plans. However, there was never an occasion that we canceled any plans with friends, readers, or family, nor did we stay in on Friday and Saturday nights due to my discomfort. I’d decided to continue with my life, accepting this pain as a reality until somehow it would resolve.

Today, I am pain-free, but yesterday wasn’t so good. At least now, with the acupressure self-treatment I started on July 5, many days are pain-free as opposed to none before beginning these procedures. Perhaps in time, I will be pain-free. Any drugs I had taken or could take for this only mask the symptoms.

With more fruit than vegetables, I could not restock our usual supply of cauliflower.

What I am doing now can possibly eliminate the source of the issue by releasing the painful nerve. I am hopeful as I continually do the “exercises” several times a day or at least, each morning and evening. If I have trouble during the day, I perform the process again. It was terrible last night after dinner, but I added a few more pressure point procedures and got some relief, enough to ensure a good night’s sleep. Today is a new day!

Soon, our final Kroger grocery order will be delivered as we continue to use the food we have on hand and our newly delivered items. We needed some meat and salad ingredients to get through the next several days until we departed.

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for hanging in there with us during this quiet time.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 18, 2013:

Here’s what I purchased today from the vegetable truck that stopped in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy, for a total of Euro $4.09, US $5.33. Prices were lower at the grocery store, but the freshness and convenience made it worth paying more. For more photos, please click here.

Fantastic evening with friends…Tonight, back on the town…

This photo, from five years ago today, at a fair in Marloth Park, is of Barend Bloem, nicknamed Slangman (snake man in Afrikaans). We’d have loved to be able to “wear” this Yellow Burmese Python for a photo, but it wasn’t possible when children were waiting for a chance to touch it. See the post here.

Gosh, we’ve had a good time while here in The Villages. As the days wind down, we’re reminded of how many friends have come to visit and how much fun we’ve had on each occasion. Now, we look forward to a few more nights “out on the town,” and then off we go to our next adventure.

We’re excited about the future and can’t believe we’ll be cruising again in a few weeks. From past calculations, this upcoming journey will be our 30th cruise since we began traveling almost 11 years ago. Of course, we have bad memories of our last cruise in April 2022, when we both got Omicron and suffered dearly for months.

Plus, getting Covid-19 on that first of two cruises in 2022 necessitated canceling the next cruise when we were too sick to travel and still tested positive. We’d looked forward to sailing on the Queen Mary 2, when we’d purchased dressy clothes of no value to us now, for the upscale transatlantic cruise. Also, we lost the cruise fare when they only gave us a short period to rebook it using the credit they gave us.

We had other plans we couldn’t change and would have incurred additional costs to take advantage of the nine months they allowed us to use the cruise credit. We were disappointed but had no other options. Life went on…recovery was more important.

But, like so many of us, we all incurred losses and frustrations over the pandemic impacting income, canceled plans, medical expenses, and the emotional stress of the awful scenario that lasted so long. Like many of you, the pandemic cost us months of good health and lots of money.

Now, we continue with our dreams of ongoing world travel. No, it won’t always be easy. It never was, but we are grateful when we think about how fortunate we are to live this life, the freedom we enjoy, and an endless stream of unique experiences.

And we’re grateful for all of our readers, who follow along with us, providing support and appreciation for our travels and our continuing posts, day after day. No doubt, some days when it’s quiet and nothing special is happening; we wonder how our readers are interested in what we’re doing and have to say about those mundane days and nights.

But our worldwide readers continue to hang in there with us during these quiet times. We are very grateful for this, especially now, as our activity level is more geared toward getting ready to leave than initiating new experiences.

Also, I’ve focused a lot of time on healing this pain in my face and head and continue to diligently do the exercises and acupressure that will aid in my full recovery. It’s not over yet, but with these new improvements, I am more hopeful than ever, although several times a day, I am reminded that it is still there when the pain comes and goes.

Today, we’ll hang around the house until around 5:00 pm, when we’ll head out in the golf cart and make the pleasant drive to Brownwood Paddock Square for socializing and dinner.

Thank you, dear readers…be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 15, 2013:

No photo was posted on this date ten years ago. For the story, please click here.