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.

“White Night” on the upcoming cruise…More photos from Tuscany…

The bell tower in Colognora is almost identical to our everyday view.

Today’s photos are from a post ten years ago today, while we were living in Boveglio, Tuscany, Italy, found at this link.

    Hundreds of years later, Stone endures to provide excellent insulated housing for generations of homeowners.

This morning, it dawned on me that I didn’t have anything to wear for the upcoming “White Night” on the Azamara cruise beginning three weeks from today. I went through my neatly hung clothing in the closet, fully aware of what I had and didn’t have, and couldn’t find a single possibility.

I’m not really a dress person. I prefer to wear pants, especially these days with all the scars on my legs from the heart surgery. If pantihose were still fashionable, I could wear the opaque style, but I don’t want to look like an old lady wearing nylons (no offense intended to anyone of any age who still wears nylons). They could hide a multitude of flaws. (Only women will get this).

Many old houses show water damage and wear due to heavy precipitation and humidity in the Tuscan regions.

No, I haven’t lost all the weight I’d intended to while we’re in Florida. All I can say is it’s been hard to do while I’ve still had this dumb facial and head pain. It seems impossible right now to focus on losing weight when I’m trying everything possible to eliminate this chronic pain since I had Covid-19 15 months ago.

We were looking back from Bagni di Lucca to Colognora as we continued our journey to Pescia to load up on groceries and find a Barbieri (barbershop) for Tom. He hadn’t had a haircut since March in Belize.

Of course, I am a little apprehensive about getting Covid again going on these two cruises, but I am comforted by the fact that we hear less and less from our cruising readers that they’ve become ill with that virus. Passengers get other viruses on cruises, but now that we’re obsessed with hand washing and close contact, maybe we’ll be ok. It’s a risk we take to continue on with our lives of world travel.

This looks almost identical to the above photo of Colognora, but it’s the bell tower at Villa Basicillica, another village we visited today.

Anyway, back to the White Night issue. We want to participate, and Tom has white clothes that work for him. So this morning, I looked at the tags on two pairs of jeans that fit me well and tried to find the exact jeans in white online. It wasn’t as easy as I thought, but I finally succeeded, placed the order, and a pair of white jeans will arrive within five days.

Once they get here, I try them with one white shirt I have that may work, and if all is well, I’m good to go. If the shirt isn’t good, I’ll buy something on Amazon to arrive in a few days. Problem solved. I hope.

Old, abandoned property that most likely burned many ago. In the US, most burned-out structures would be torn down.

This morning, again, II slept late and feel better today. It seems that my head pain is less on the days I sleep more. I wish I could find another way to get some relief, but for now, I will accept this for whatever reason it helps. Once we get on the ship, I won’t sleep so late since we’ll want to go to breakfast in the dining room and begin our day aboard the ship, which is always fun for us.

It’s pouring rain again today. I’d hoped to go to Walgreen for a few things, but we’ll wait and go another day. We can’t believe how much it rains here. Neither of us had ever spent so much time in Florida in the summer months and had no idea as to the number of storms that roll through, day after day. We haven’t gone on our walk for a few days due to the weather but hopefully can resume soon.

Many years ago, the creek running through the village created an enticing backdrop for the many homes along its banks.

Today, again, we’ll stay in. We are never disappointed to stay in. We so enjoy our days and evenings whatever we do. We love the stimulation and adventure of traveling, but soon, we’ll be doing plenty of that. We’re also looking forward to seeing my cousin in Boston in September, my son in Nevada, and our three adult children and grandchildren in Minnesota. Since we began our travels, we’ve never stayed in Minnesota for a month. We’ll have plenty of time to spend with family and friends before we start our long journey to South America.

Be well.

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

The red paint slashed across the town’s name indicates leaving the village limits. We’d purchased a half-a-cart full of the freshest organic vegetables, grass-fed meats, locally made exquisite cheeses, and free-range eggs, enough to feed us for 14 days and nights. Why is it so much less than what we paid in the US, never less than $200 per week, using coupons and scrambling to get the most current specials? Who knows? For more photos, please click here.