Day 2…Norway Cruise…Bad WiFi…Sorry for late post…

Note: Due to the poor WiFi signal aboard the ship, I am unable to add a single photo today. Once we arrive in Nevada in early September. we’ll be able to 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’ll be able to start posting photos while on the upcoming Celebrity cruise in 16 days. We’ll continue to take photos and write text each day, if possible.

We felt bad we couldn’t post when we boarded the ship yesterday afternoon, although we’d signed up for the $319 unlimited internet package for one device. We usually can get a package for two devices, but on this particular cruise line, they didn’t have more reasonably priced packages for two, and we didn’t want to spend another $319 for a second device.

Besides, the signal is so weak that spending more on another device makes no sense. As a result, we’re switching back and forth between our laptops and phones as needed. This morning was the first time I got a sufficient signal to get online on my laptop when I couldn’t get into the editing site for our blog on my phone.

As a result of these difficulties, I may not be able to post when we arrive at some ports of call when the signal is always at its worst. If you don’t see a post, please do not be alarmed. It simply means we aren’t able to post. Please know we will post as soon as we are able.

Once, we left the Bay Hotel in Burntisland with our excellent driver Mo, accompanied by his lovely wife, Shaziia Hassen, our tour guide. At the same time, MO manuevered many narrow and winding roads in the center of Edinburgh; we felt excited to finally see some of the highlights of the stunning city of Edinburgh, rich in history and culture.

Mo proved to be a fantastic driver, thoughtful of our wishes as to what we wanted to see, and, along with Shazia, made our few-hour experience a pure delight. If and when you ever come to Edinburgh, we highly recommend him. He can be reached at, phone: 00447931772188.

Mo stated he’d be happy to arrange regular transportation and, if desired, tours of the fantastic city of Edinburgh and its surrounding areas. He explained how he has embarked on a few day-long trips with tourists who wanted to travel far from Edinburgh.

The conversation flowed easily with Mo and Shazia, and by the time we were at the pier, they invited us to stay with them at their home in Edinburgh the next time we came to Scotland. Also, they have a home in Pakistan, and they offered this to us as well. What wonderful people. Who knew we’d connect so well with our Uber driver and his lovely wife?

Our dear friend Don in Hawaii, whom we met along with his beloved wife and my precious friend Kathy in Marloth Park in 2013, has been ill for some time. Don had mentioned he attended Fettes College in his youth, located in the heart of Edinburgh, and we thought it would be fun to drive by there and send photos to him.

Unfortunately, the college was closed, and we weren’t able to enter the gates, but we took a few exterior photos and sent them to him and Kathy yesterday afternoon when we had a signal for a few minutes. Also, they suggested we visit Edinburgh Castle, but we never ventured into the castle. We had a schedule to follow to get to the port of Leith on time to board the ship at our designated time.

Also, the venues in Edinburgh were packed with tourists since there were two festivals upcoming in the next few days, and Edinburgh was more packed than ever with worldwide tourists and visitors from throughout the UK. The quaint and narrow streets were filled with people shopping, browsing, eating, and drinking at endless shops, restaurants, and pubs. What a delight to behold!

We could see a lot more from the car than we would have had been on foot. Also, with my difficulty walking long distances, this was a perfect solution for us with limited time to get to the pier. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Once we arrived at the port of Leith, we exchanged warm hugs and goodbyes with Mo and Shazia. Moments later, our bags were whisked away, and we could check-in for the cruise in minutes. We were handed two glasses of sparking wine, which we never drank when it was too sweet for me, and Tom doesn’t like anyway.

In a matter of less than an hour, our bags were at our cabin. We had a few drinks by the pool and ran into the lovely couple we met at the hotel, Cheryl and John, and ultimately had an enjoyable dinner with them last night in the main dining room.

Finally, by about 10:00 pm, we returned to our cabin. We’d unpacked earlier in the day and were thrilled to be all set and organized. The cabin is small, with the tiniest bathroom and shower we’ve ever seen, but we are okay. I will take photos of the ship and share them here in the next few days. Today and tomorrow, we’ll focus on posting the photos from our time in Edinburgh.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, August 2, 2013:

Concerned about maintaining good dental health, we have always used these Brushpicks, which have been instrumental in reducing tooth decay and gum disease. They can be purchased at some pharmacies and also on Amazon. For more, please click here.

Day 2 in Scotland…Sightseeing and sail away tomorrow…

Tom’s Sunday Roast of roast pork loin, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, carrots, and au jus. He said it was delicious.

We haven’t gone sightseeing since we arrived in Scotland less than 48 hours ago. We got caught up on sleep, including a few naps, and feel great. Tomorrow our trusty Uber driver Mo will pick us up in the morning, and we will go sightseeing in Edinburgh until our scheduled time to board the ship at 1:30 pm at the port of Leith.

I had asked for the dressing on the side, so they took my plate away and returned with the plain prawns with the sauce on the side.

Since our hotel is over an hour from Edinburgh, it made sense to go sightseeing this way. Plus, the round trip cost to the hotel using an Uber is over US $260 with tips. This way, if we go sightseeing before boarding the ship, we save hundreds of dollars and hours of driving time.

Sure, we could have booked a hotel in Edinburgh, but we hadn’t budgeted over $1500 for the waiting time before the cruise, which was very expensive. Living this life on a budget has limitations, and we must make practical decisions along the way.

I gave Tom my chips, but he didn’t have room for them after eating Sunday Roast.

Always booking our preferred balcony cabins with perks on both cruises (as always) was more important to us. Besides, after almost 11 years of world travel, we have seen more historic castles and buildings than we ever imagined possible, especially in The UK and Europe.

But tomorrow, we’ll see the highlight with Mo driving us through Edinburgh. We will post those photos on the first few days of the cruise and then start posting cruise photos from there on.

Horizons restaurant in the Bay Hotel.

At the end of the first cruise, 16 days later, we will fly from Amsterdam to Reykjavik, Iceland, to embark on the next two weeks’ cruise with one overnight stay required. We’d already done an extensive tour in Reykjavik several years ago, thus we won’t be sightseeing there. A month from now, we’ll be disembarking in Boston, where we will stay one night to see my cousin, Phyllis.

Then we fly to Nevada for nine nights and then to Minnesota for one month before leaving for Ecuador. It’s just the right amount of being busy for us, especially having fun times with family members and friends in both locations.

An antique double-decker bus in Burntisland.

I have managed to keep my computer running on its battery reserve by not using it much to prepare the post, instead doing most of it on my phone. If I observe it carefully, I can get through today.

But tomorrow, I won’t post until after we get on the ship, and I can charge it for a while. It only takes about an hour to fully charge it. That will give us plenty of time to get unpacked and settled.

The side of the double-decker bus.

So, hang tight, dear readers. We will have plenty of photos coming up in the next few days and after that.

Today is rainy and overcast, which is not unusual for Scotland. We’re actually glad we don’t have plans today. But tomorrow, rain or shine, we’ll be on the move. It’s exciting, and also we are enjoying our time at this lovely hotel and simply being together.

Sign on the side of the historic double-decker bus.

Still…no headache, no face pain. Thrilled beyond belief!!!

Be well!

Photo from ten years ago today, July 31, 2013:

The opposite side of the archway in a historic building in Lucca, Tuscany, above as we entered the Piazza Napoleone square that housed government offices in these unique structures. For more photos, please click here.

We made it to Scotland!…A few issues but we’re good!!!…

Please keep in mind this was us after no sleep since Thursday night. We were feeling a bit raggedy, but overall, OK. I couldn’t open my eyes wide enough for the photo, as shown.

Today’s photos were taken Yesterday at The Bay Hotel in Burntisland, Scotland, where we are staying until Tuesday morning.

It’s summer here, and the flowers bloom in the cool weather.

We didn’t care when booking the Bay Hotel in the suburb of Burntisland about how far it was from the airport. Instead, we focused on availability and pricing, which were tricky, with several festivals occurring while we were here. We didn’t want to spend $400 a night for a hotel, so as we often do, we booked a package for air and hotel through Expedia, which saved us about $1200.

The view of the ocean from the hotel veranda.

Yes, it was far from the airport, but the drive was pleasant, with lovely scenery along the way and our friendly Uber driver. The flight from Orlando was a little over seven hours, and compared to our often 17-hour flight from Joburg to the US, it was a breeze. Tom slept for about an hour. I dozed for 20 minutes.

Lovely view of the sea at low tide.

We surprised ourselves and felt fine, rolling into the local time once we arrived and having dinner around 6 pm. We managed to stay awake until 10:30 last night, and both slept until around 7:00 am. We feel fine today, getting up in time for our 8:30 breakfast reservation.

Cruise ships at a distance. That’s where we’ll go to board the ship on Tuesday.

It was fun seeing the setup for last night’s wedding, inspiring us to take photos which we have included today. The Master of Ceremonies encouraged us to take photos of the setup. He was so proud of their handiwork, and we enjoyed it with him when he showed us everything before the guests arrived.

This is the “LOVE” sign we stood before for the main photo.

Last night in bed, we could hear the vibration from the music from the wedding, but we didn’t mind a bit. We were pretty tired, and it didn’t matter. The main problem we are experiencing now is the fact that Tom packed all the converters and adapters in the extra suitcase we shipped to Minnesota. They were needed here. Now we can’t charge our laptops.

Wedding cake…very pretty!

My battery will run out by tomorrow. Although I am writing the post on my phone now, it’s nearly impossible to load photos for the post using my phone. So we will have another post tomorrow but won’t write again until after we get settled on the ship on Tuesday afternoon. So you will see a late post that day.

The tables were set up so beautifully for the wedding at the hotel.

Also the WiFi is also very tricky here. We are only allowed two devices at a time, and it takes 10 to 15 minutes to get back online each time. That’s frustrating. We won’t be streaming at night here because we lack the ability to plug in our laptop. Tom can recharge his laptop with the low voltage plugs we have. But mine won’t work that way. Once my battery runs out, that’s it. I can’t use Tom’s laptop to do the posts since his keyboard is much smaller than mine, and I can’t type on it.

What a lovely setting for a wedding!

My head has been a lot better since we left Florida. It’s not 100%, but it’s 75%, and I am hopeful it was due to allergy inflammation in both South Africa and Florida, where pollen count was through the roof, especially ragweed, which is my worst allergy. I am very hopeful.

The food in the hotel’s gorgeous restaurant is fantastic here. Most likely, we will have all of our meals here. Breakfast is included, and we only have two dinners left.

Gorgeous wedding flowers.

Today is High Tea at 3:30, and dinner won’t be served until 7:30, so we will wait until then to eat, which is fine. We don’t do High Tea since we don’t eat all those sweet treats. And if we could, we’d be too full for dinner later. I don’t know how people do both.

That’s it for today, folks. Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, July 30. 2013:

In the pouring rain, we drove around the walled city of Lucca in Tuscany, Italy, looking for a parking spot. For more photos, please click here.