Mother Nature’s bountiful offerings never fail to amaze us…It may not be what you think…

An exquisite pink rose on the grounds of the vacation home.

In a world filled with war, strife, terrorism, turbulence and heartbreaking news, we’ve found it important to take plenty of time away from often what’s transpiring worldwide to revel in Mother Nature’s endless offerings surrounding us.

More perfectly shaped  pink roses.

One may imagine that living in Australia results in a continual viewing of kangaroos, wallabies and koala bears but it’s just not the case. Although we’ve spent many months in Australia, mostly the only kangaroos we’ve seen, sadly, has been road kill.

A single dahlia.

Eighteen months ago, while living in Trinity Beach (near Cairns), we frequently visited a open vacant field inhabited by many kangaroos and wallabies. Please see this link for more photos. On a few other occasions we’ve visited rehab facilities where we were able to interact with them.

Our second kangaroo sighting at a nearby field in Trinity Beach, Australia in 2015. The first, we’d seen, dashed through a rainforest, unable to take a photo in time.

Arriving in Tasmania on December 3rd, we finally had an opportunity to meet the notorious Tasmanian Devils when we visited Wing’s Wildlife Park and rehab center in Gunns Plains, outside of Penguin on January 6th. Please see this link for more of our photos one of which is shown below.

This Tasmania Devil posed for our photo while at Wild Wings Wildlife Farm in Gunns Plains, Tasmania, the first we’d seen.

It’s funny how we all have perceptions of what we’ll see and experience in various countries throughout the world. Typically, it’s very different than we imagined. We must admit that we’d expected to see indigenous wildlife running around in the remote areas in which we’ve lived in Australia over this extended period.

These flowers grow from the fluffy looking blooms shown here and in the photo below.  Thanks to reader Annie is Florida, this flower is a Clematis.  Thanks, Annie!

Also, surprising at times, is the similar vegetation we’ve seen from country to country. There are flowers growing in Tasmania that were also growing in Hawaii, Kenya, Europe, the US and more, all which countries have entirely unique climates.

Now in Tasmania for a total of 53 days, we’re reveling in being situated directly on the Huon River where each day we observe a wide array of birds pecking at the green grass on the grounds of this lovely property. No kangaroos. No wallabies. No Tasmanian Devils. No koalas hanging onto a tree.

This will eventually become the above flower as shown.  Isn’t nature amazing?

Tasmanian Devils are only seen as road kill during daylight hours based on their nocturnal feeding preferences as indicated here:

“A nocturnal scavenger and sometime hunter, the Tasmanian devil can travel long distances while looking for food. It will eat whatever is available, usually carrion (dead animals), sometimes eating spoiled or rotting meat. It will also eat fur and bones, which it crushes in its powerful jaws.”

Based on its habits, it’s no wonder we often see them as road kill when most of the narrow highways aren’t well lit at night making it difficult for cars and trucks to stop in time to avoid hitting them and other wildlife.

These pods will soon bloom to become the flower shown (near the center).

Tomorrow is Australia Day which we’ll explain further in tomorrow’s post. Once we’ve uploaded that post, we’ll be heading the town of Franklin where a huge annual celebration is planned.

Of course, we’ll be back with many photos from the event in two days. Please check back!

Have a lovely day! 

Photo from one year ago today, January 24, 2016:

This pregnant alpaca with an adorable unusual white marking on her face on the day prior to giving birth. We were living in New Plymouth, New Zealand, one year ago. For more photos, please click here.

Final expenses for Australia…Leaving Trinity Beach today!…Last favorite photos…

Pond view at the Cattana Wetlands.

It’s 7:45 am as I begin here today. I have the final load of laundry going, I’m showered and dressed back into my nightshirt while the clothes I’ll wear for the next 48 hours spin in the washer.  

A huge croc was found here in Deadman’s Gully last year which was later found and moved to another less populated location.

Packing the duffel bag for the overnight in Sydney is challenging when it already contains all of our jeans, both shorts, and heavy long pants in order to lighten the weight of the checked bags. We always carry-on the duffel bag. With two pairs of blue jeans each, plus three pairs of jean shorts each, it’s a heavy load.

Another of Tom’s sunrise photos.

Also, I’ve packed my large Costco beach bag, which is a temporary-for-travel-days-only handbag with a few toiletries we’ll need in the hotel:  toothbrushes and toothpaste, shavers, contact lens case filled with solution for tonight only, antiperspirant, and my small black cosmetic bag. No fluff. No creams, lotions, or potions for us.

An eye-catching orchid found at Rusty’s Farmers Market.

The three bags to be checked need to be arranged and weighed one last time to fit what we’re currently wearing and any last-minute items. Tom’s busy in the kitchen washing our iced tea pitcher which we’ll pack with clothes and place in a bag. I just packed the half-full large grinder from Costco containing Himalayan salt.

It was cloudy and rained almost every day during our first month in Australia. Once it cleared, the weather was nearly perfect day after day.

Sleep was fleeting last night as it always is before leaving. Tonight won’t be much better when we have to awaken at 4 am and be out the door of the hotel at 4:30 am. We’ve timed ourselves and when necessary, both of us can manage our entire time in the bathroom in the morning to less than 20 minutes. No dawdling here.  Efficiency is the name of this game.

A final visit to Trinity Beach on a sunny day.

Today, we plan to be out the door at 3:30 pm for our three hours 5:20 pm flight to Sydney. Based on what we have left to do, getting out the door won’t be rushed or stressed.

As for the expenses, there aren’t any surprises. We were very close to the amounts we’d budgeted, except for the medical exams and tests which we hadn’t originally included.

Last week’s full moon over the bay.

Here are our expenses for the past almost three months:

Rent:                  USD $7,058  AUD $10,207
Car Rental:          USD $2,628  AUD $3,512 (fuel costs included)
Airfare:               USD $   477  AUD $   690
Entertainment:    USD $   553  AUD $   800
Groceries:           USD $2,854  AUD $4,128
Dining Out:                        $0
Misc.*                 USD $5128   AUD $7,413
Total:             USD $18,698   AUD $27,032

*The above mentioned miscellaneous is a category we’ll add to the future final expenses posts as we’ve done today. In this case, it included all of our medical expenses,  medical tests, prescriptions, the cost for SIM data, clothing and supplies we had shipped to us from the US, shipping fees, various toiletries we purchased at the local pharmacy, clothing at a local store, etc. 

Standing on the pier at Green Island, the expanse of this tiny portion of the Great Barrier Reef was breathtaking.

We’ve always kept track of these non-rental related expenses but haven’t included them in the totals we’ve posted in the past.

Peeking through the trees to Double Island on a cloudy day.  Sunny or cloudy, we took many photos while in Trinity Beach

Bottom line, the above totals are every last cent we spent while living in Australia. Of course, these totals do not include deposits and payments we’ve paid for future rentals and cruises while living in Australia. 

Kangaroo family resting under a tree on a hot day.

For example, we did not include the final payments for the rental in Fiji or for the paid in full cruise to Vietnam.  Those figures will be reflected at the end of each of those experiences as we’ve listed these today.

Feel free to inquire if any of you have questions regarding any of these expenses. We’ll always happy to answer any of our readers’ questions in regards to costs.

Local Bluewater Marina.

Also, please note that we haven’t dined out while living in Trinity Beach, not once in an entire 88 days. This is a first and it’s unlikely this will occur again. As mentioned in a prior post, we’d been unable to find suitable restaurants for my way of eating. We could have found a few options but with the beautiful organic vegetables, free-range chicken and eggs, grass-fed meats, and fresh fish, we had little interest in dining out.

There are warning signs at each of the beaches regarding crocs and stingers when an encounter can be life-threatening.

Also, with an enormous outlay for future venues, we tightened our belts and ate meals at home. We could easily add another USD $1500, AUD $2169 to the above totals and with the outlay of funds, we felt it was a good time to cut back.

Each of the many beaches in the area had its own unique appeal.

With Fiji on the horizon and many expenses behind us, we can look forward to dining out each week if we’d like, using the driver to take us back and forth. From what we’ve heard the cost of the driver several times a week will be considerably less than what we’ve paid for rental cars. We shall see.

Many homeowners become annoyed by cockatoos who can be noisy and destructive. Many afternoons they arrived in the yard in huge flocks. The noise is deafening but it was always fun to see them.

One odd item, we decided to try while here: Could we get by entirely using credit cards only, never stopping at an ATM? We did! The only cash we have is a refund given to us by Woolies for bacon we’d purchased that was slimy. Not only did they replace the bacon with fresh bacon at no charge, but they also gave us back the entire amount for the cost of the bacon. 

Exquisite Holloways Beach view from atop a steep hill.

At first, I refused the AUD $12, stating they’d already replaced the bad bacon at no charge and I didn’t require more. But, the store manager insisted I take the ziplock bag of cash, explaining it was their policy to not only replace the item at no charge but also, give the customer back the money. Only in Australia!  Now, we have some cash for tips at the airport.

That’s it for now, folks. Back to wrapping things up, finishing the laundry, packing the odds and ends scattered about the house, and cleaning the house as much as time allows. Sylvie insisted we do not worry about cleaning but, we always like to leave the property somewhat clean and definitely free of trash and debris.

Kookaburra stopped by the yard to sit atop the fence, next to the rain gauge.

Thanks to Sylvie and Andy, our wonderful hosts. If the Cairns area is on your mind for a future visit, you too could enjoy spending time in this lovely property. Click here for details.

Soon, we’re off to the airport to pay for our excess baggage and await our flight to Sydney. If time and WiFi allow we’ll do a quick post with photos.  f not, we’ll be back in 48 hours from our new home in Fiji.

Thanks, again to all of our loyal readers for staying with us during crazy, exciting, and also mundane times as we slowly make our way around the world.

Photo from one year ago today, September 7, 2014:

Standing on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, one year ago. We were in awe of having the opportunity to visit this profoundly emotional historical site.  For more photos and details, please click here.

Reflections on a life on the move…Leaving Trinity Beach tomorrow afternoon…Total expenses posted tomorrow…Favorite photos…

A dingo, a wild dog, is representative of the Australian Outback.

It’s impossible not to compare one location to another. Moving every three months or less, with only a single exception most recently in Kauai, Hawaii, where we happily lived for four months, leads us to the inevitable:  How does each location compare to another?

Love, companionship, and comfort are evident in the most unexpected species.

If it were based entirely, on the beauty of a location, our opinions would be very different. Some of the least attractive locations could be included in the most fulfilling. Were it based on the people we met and the memorable occasions associated with making new friends, it would be entirely different.

Mother koala in a tree with a view of her joey in the pouch.

As it turns out, not surprisingly, many factors enter into the equation of what proves to be the most pleasurable places we’ve experienced on earth thus far. With so more much to see, we’re premature in listing them by preference. 

Mom and Joey…precious.

If we were to say that “convenience” would be a factor in determining the quality of our experiences, we’d be kidding ourselves. Some of the most inconvenient, lackluster locations proved to be the most meaningful.

In no time at all, joeys become adept at hanging on to eucalyptus trees.

In a way, it’s similar to having a preference in the “type” of person we want as a partner. Often in life, as in mine and Tom’s case, we end up happy with the polar opposite of what either of us would’ve expected in a mate.

What a gorgeous pelican.

No more than we can control whom we fall in love with, falling in love with a location almost becomes a matter of chance provided it has the basic necessities we require in our travels: access to a grocery store, running water, electricity, an indoor working toilet, and shower, fresh air, comfortable clean property with a lounge or living room, a good bed, a kitchen, somewhat of a view, warm weather, a reasonable means of transportation and wireless Internet or the ability to buy SIM cards. On the wish list? Screens on doors and windows, a pool, an ocean view. We no longer require air conditioning even in hot climates.

Most beaches in Australia are pristine sand. Even the few locations with a rocky shore are beautiful.

Once we find we’ve accomplished the above in a new location, we settle in making adjustments and adapting as needed to best enhance the experience. Anything beyond these basic comforts is a bonus: pleasing sites to visit, great views, friendly people, convenience for shopping and entertainment, and an easy means of local transportation. 

Australia is not only abundant in unique wildlife but also in unusual vegetation. 

With all of these factors in play in varying degrees, it’s not easy to classify one location as better than another.  It all boils down to one single fact: did we have a good experience? If so, we’re content.

One of Tom’s many sunrise photos.

In Trinity Beach, we had a good experience. We saw the sites we wanted to see; we had all the “creature comforts” we needed; we had a great view and surroundings with some access to wildlife; and the people were as warm and friendly as they could be, although we never had a chance to socialize to any degree.

A flower with a face.

Would we come back to this area?  In reality, we’ll return to Cairns on a future Australian cruise next year during which we may stay aboard the ship. Why pay for a tour when we’ve already spent three months in the area? With so much world left to see, repeats aren’t on our radar right now (except for South Africa for me, for which I’m chomping at the bit to return).

Shade is common along the many beaches from many varieties of trees.

Easily, we leave Trinity Beach with a sense of comfort and accomplishment, grateful for the experience which only enhanced our love of this country which over the next 20 months we’ll further explore with six more cruises circumventing the continent. 

A huge banyan tree in Port Douglas.

By the time we’ll sail away from Australia in April 2017 to head back to the US for a short visit, we can feel confident we’ve seen as much as we wanted of this huge continent and the South Pacific, content to continue on to visit new continents, new worlds we’ve yet to explore.

Today, we share some of our favorite photos of this area, and tomorrow, the final expenses with the balance of the favorite photos.

Thanks to all of our worldwide readers for sharing our first Australian experience as we continue on to the vast South Pacific for more.

Photo from one year ago today, September 5, 2014:

We visited the final port of call visited by the Titanic in the town of Cobh, Ireland. As a tribute to the Titanic, each cruise ship that enters and departs the port is greeted by these ladies dressed in the era of the Titanic. For more photos of the Blarney Castle, the villages of Cork and Cobh, Ireland, and fun times out with friends we made aboard ship, please click here.

Beauty is subjective…We’ve changed our perspective…

Midday sunlight filtering through the trees.

Kenya was dark in its mystery, its eerie sounds, its dry, dusty plains, and its sudden pelting rains. At night, we’d hear a freaky indescribable sound, comparable to the tones in the movie, “Close Encounters of a Third Kind,” a sound that impacted the way we felt about it, a little frightened, a lot in awe. 

The full moon rising as it made its way through the clouds above Yorkeys Knob.

In many ways, Kenya was far removed from our familiar, as familiar as one can feel traveling the world with the certain ungainly expectations we’ve adopted as we’ve continued on. Nothing was the same from that point on.  We’ve changed.

We aren’t as afraid. We learned to live outdoors for 16 hours a day with no living room or lounge area inside the house, no screens on our outdoor living room, a spacious veranda with a wide array of venomous insects always in attendance. I was stung on the thigh early on and a year later it still hurt when I touched the spot. We’ve changed. 

The moon offers up quite a show.

Now, as we prepare to move to Vanua Levu, Fiji, where we won’t be able to rent a car when only a 4×4 is able to manage the steep and rocky roads near our vacation rental, too expensive to rent on this remote island. 

Compared to most of the remaining nine months we spent in Africa, we’ll have a driver, not as convenient as having a car, but manageable for our needs, shopping, dining out, and touring the area.

The esplanade in Trinity beach doesn’t disappoint with easy facilities for visitors of all ages.

One may ask, “Why make ourselves uncomfortable?” It’s not our intent to be uncomfortable. It’s simply a part of the experience as a way of life, not what one would want or expect from a two-week vacation or holiday. 

In our old lives, if we’d taken a two-week trip and had no AC, no screens, no place to be indoors if desired, with insects scampering about the floor, we’d want our money back. 

Signs were posted with the history of the area.

It’s different now. This is no two-week vacation or fluffy holiday. This is taking things as they come as we saunter about the world with expectations in check striving for the “experience.” Some of the best experiences we’ve had are when we’ve “toughed it out” which ultimately changed who we are, who we’ve become.

The beauty? It’s subjective. Kenya is its own right was beautiful; the Indian Ocean a short walk from our home in Diani Beach, the most pristine beaches we’ve ever seen; the plains; the Masai Mara; the Mara River; the acacia trees, flat on the top, an exquisite sight in the horizon; the wildlife; a gurgling hippo in the early dawn…it all was beautiful.

Few cars drive along the esplanade when most of the visitors are on foot, currently staying in resorts along Trinity Beach.

I use Kenya as an example. It would be easy to go on and on when many other countries hover in our minds contributing to the changes in who we’ve become. What about Jordan, UAE, Italy, Egypt, Iceland, and more?  But, that’s not our intent today. 

Today, I think of beauty…again, words from an old favorite song, “Love the one you’re with.” Those words convey so much to us;  love the moment, live in the moment, cherish our surroundings, cherish each other. We do this.

Hotels, resorts, and vacation homes line the esplanade along with several restaurants.

And, when we were on the boat from Green Island last week after visiting the Great Barrier Reef and we spoke to a few tourist couples, an Australian woman from the Gold Coast said, “Oh, we don’t like Cairns.” 

A few cars were parked in the convenient beachside car park.

Suddenly, I felt protective and blurted out in defense of our perceptions of beauty, “Cairns is lovely. We’ve loved every moment.”

There were plenty of shady spots for those preferring to stay out of the sun.

We have loved the beauty of the area in which we’ve lived for nearly three months; the tall fields with sugar cane growing along the roads, the endless sandy beaches, the cockatoos squawking overhead, the quaint shops along the various esplanades, the ever-changing skies, the Hawaii-like vegetation and of course, the relatively predictable weather, sunny and warm almost every single

The annoyances that may frustrate a “vacation/holiday” traveler have been in essence insignificant to us; living without screens, the insects, the noisy curlews all night long; the steep driveway requiring an athletic event to take out the trash. We’ve easily managed it all here and comparably, in other countries.

The sand looks lumpy in this photo when in fact is fine and soft underfoot.

As we grow to admire the pleasing perspective of the beauty of those we love, both of us find the same ethereal beauty in our surroundings. Whether it’s a flower, a hummingbird, a koala, a sunrise, or an expanse of sea, it all matters, it all fits into our realm of beauty.

Now, as we wind down our stay in Queensland, Australia, we have no regrets. We saw everything we wanted to see. We did everything we wanted to do and we leave here fulfilled and appreciative for this beautiful place and its equally beautiful people.

It was quiet at Trinity Beach with only a few more visitors than we’ve noticed in the past.

The next step in our year’s long journey takes us to a remote island with bumpy roads, open markets, no TV with the news of the outside world, friendly people, and a lack of many of the conveniences we’ve enjoyed in Australia. Without fear, without apprehension, we continue on with open hearts, open minds, and an eye for beauty. Without a doubt, we’ve changed.

Photo from one year ago today, September 2, 2014:

It was one year ago today that we had the profoundly moving experience of visiting The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France.  The photos and stories continued over a few days.  Please click here to begin.

Cruising…Lost in the minutia while out to sea…Late posting tomorrow due to morning tour in Moorea…

View of the sea before the seas became rough.

Today’s our fifth day at sea. It’s been easy to get lost in a pleasant routine of building relationships, eating reasonably good food, watching seminars, movies, and presentations, and lounging poolside for short stints.

The past few nights we’ve added the 9 pm live shows to our routine and have thoroughly enjoyed each of them.  By 11 pm, we’re ready to retire to our cabin for a hopefully good night’s sleep to begin again the next day.

We’re never bored or antsy. We spend little time in the cabin other than to sleep, shower, and change clothes for the evening. Since neither of us is able to nap, we never stop to lay down or snooze as some cruisers do.

Rough seas have precipitated the closing of the swimming pool.  Walking about the ship has been tricky the past 24 hours as the rough seas have increased.  Of course, neither of us suffers from any seasickness.

Overall, the majority of the passengers are over 50 and Australian, as I mentioned earlier, some of the most lively and animated people we’ve met anywhere. We’ve also spent time with equally fun Americans, we’ve met of the 200 onboard.

The overall Australian theme aboard the ship has been an excellent intro for us into Australian life and lingo.  Tom, who’s had a blast at the men’s club, the “Shed” will attend again today after missing yesterday when we attended a movie with our new friends, Pat and Charles.

After finally watching the highly acclaimed, “The Imitation Game,” we highly recommend seeing this superb movie, which particularly appealed to both of us, me for the technological aspects and Tom for its World War II era. 

The casino, which we continue to ignore preferring not to lose any money.

By the time the movie was over, we wandered about the ship, eventually heading back to our cabin to dress for the party we were invited to for all Crown and Anchor members, a priority points club comparable to “frequent flyers.” Oddly, the party was held in the theatre, not necessarily a good venue for a party. 

A smaller ship such as this, Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas, with a capacity of 2076 passengers is in the category we prefer. With fewer people, it’s actually easier to make and maintains friendships when it possible to find each other again, as opposed to the much larger ships where it’s easy to get lost in the crowd.

Again last night, we had dinner at a 10 seat-sharing table sitting next to older travelers with much more experience than us. Hearing their stories encourages us to consider locations we may have dismissed in the past. How brave many of them are who are well into their 80’s and 90’s, giving us hope that we may be able to carry on for years to come.

View from an upper-level balcony overlooking the Centrum, the center area of the ship.

After dinner, we watched a fabulous comedian at the theatre. It was interesting to hear so much of the humor geared toward the Australians and how quickly we are picking up their humor. 

Although I prefer not to stereotype people, in general, the Australians are one fine bunch of people. Their sense of humor leaves us roaring with laughter and easily getting in on the fun with our own quips.

Tomorrow, we’re going on a fabulous tour on the island of Moorea with a marine biologist. After reading many reviews on TripAdvisor for suggested activities on this small island, this seemed most appropriate for us.  Many comments we read suggested we chose tours offered by the ship for safety reasons. Although we prefer small tours arranged on our own or with others, in this case, we feel this was a better decision.

Returning to our cabin, this pin was awaiting us.  We are now officially Platinum members with a long way to go on Royal Caribbean to reach a tier with many benefits.

As a result, we won’t be posting until after we return from the tour. Please be aware that tomorrow’s post won’t be available online until later in the day than usual. Good signal providing, we’ll be back with exciting photos and stories of our tour.

Also, if you do not see a post on a specific day, it is due to the fact that the ship’s Internet is down which we’ve been warned could but may not, transpire at some point between now and June 11th when we arrive in Sydney.

These mechanical devices are used for the aerial acrobats.

Thanks to all of our readers for following along with us on cruises. We realize our photos are not as exciting while out to sea as at other times, but as we come to several great ports of call over the next several days, we hope to amp up the adventure.

Happy Friday!

                                             Photo from one year ago today, May 29, 2014:

Ironically, one year ago today we posted information on this cruise we are on at the present while we were living in Madeira, Portugal. For details from that post, please click here.

Noisy night…Company’s coming…House or condo…Which do we prefer?…

I’m excited to see many more flowers blooming as spring nears.

At 4:30 am, the next-door neighbors, renting for only four nights, moved out. They must have had 20 pieces of luggage taking one out to their car at a time with doors slamming and heavy footsteps.

The front steps, about eight, are in the process of being renovated. I imagine the renters were being careful going down them, taking only a few items at a time, although they seemed sturdy to us. 

Not enough time today to identify this flower. Does anyone know what this is? Notice the black tips.

We easily recall the steps that collapsed under our feet (at the time nothing indicated there was an issue with those steps) on our anniversary two years ago, injuring me in such a way that it took many months to fully recuperate.

We both were awake when the renters were moving out and for long afterward. Worried I’d be an exhausted mess if I didn’t go back to sleep after trying for an hour, I took a Tylenol PM which I do on occasion, read a book on my phone, and 15 minutes later I fell back to sleep. Tom dozed off shortly before me.

Hopefully soon, the cloudy days will end and blue skies will return.
Still a little groggy from the Tylenol and grateful that the PM part (Diphenhydramine, an over the counter allergy med) had helped reduce my recent sneezing from the high pollen count, I didn’t get out of bed until 8:00 am.  In no time I was awake and alert ready to tackle the day.

With Julie arriving tonight, today we’ll do our weekly comprehensive cleaning as opposed to the dusting and sweeping we usually do every three or four days. This condo, although lovely and well-appointed is relatively easy to clean. When a property is in good repair, it always seems easier to clean, doesn’t it?

As far as condos go, we definitely prefer to rent a house over a condo, mainly due to the likelihood of it being quiet as opposed to the sound of doors banging, toilets flushing and people coming and going.

Swimmers on the beach below the steep cliffs.

In most locations in Hawaii, if one doesn’t want to spend over $10,000 a month, a condo is the only option especially in upscale areas such as Princeville. The only stand-alone houses we rented in Hawaii was on the Big Island when our family came for Christmas, the two houses coincidentally next door to one another, one considerably more expensive than the other.

In other countries, we’ve been fortunate to find affordable private houses. The only places we’ve lived in a condo have been in Belize which was a condo in a resort; in Dubai, UAE on the 38th floor of a 95 story building and in Vancouver while we awaiting our cruise to Hawaii, all of which had full kitchens.

The waves and the rocks below the cliffs.

We’ve had a number of short and long-term hotel stays, most only one night except for Paris and London, which we spent two weeks each without a kitchen, dining out for all meals.

Generally, stand-alone vacation houses cost more than condos, depending on the location. In Madeira, (see our archives from May 15, 2014, to July 31, 2014) for that stunning house overlooking the sea which was only $1350 a month. 

There are many varieties of beautiful grass that easily grows with the rain and humidity in the Hawaiian Islands.

The fact that we often stay for two to three months (our four months here in Kauai is the rare exception) most property owners see fit to provide us with somewhat of a discount, which makes sense. Plus with our substantial worldwide readership, the owners may benefit from our mention of their properties with links, such as here in Princeville, Kauai.

Unquestionably, we’ll be able to provide a great review for this condo. The fact that remodeling is in progress for the unit below us and the resulting noise, won’t have a bearing on our review. Condo living has these issues, of which most renters are aware before signing the agreement.

Going forward to the next two-plus years to the South Pacific (with only one 75 day gap which we’ll soon fill), every property we’re renting is a either private house or a stand-alone house in a resort, as is the case in Fiji for 89 days.

There’s rarely a day when the mountains aren’t shrouded in “vog,” clouds of humidity.

In Trinity Beach, Australia, our next vacation rental beginning on June 11th, the property we’ve rented is a ground floor lower level of the owner’s main house. The reason we chose this type of property is the high cost of rentals in Australia in general, comparable to the costs here in Princeville. 

The owners with whom we’ve communicated often, seem very kind and friendly. We anticipate that we’ll all spend many good times together. After all, Australians are known for being “overly friendly” not unlike the people of Kauai and South Africa, the most friendly environments we’ve visited in the past 29 months of travel. 

I suppose the fact that other languages are spoken in many of the countries in which we’ve lived has had a huge bearing on our perception of friendliness. Developing friendships with whom one can’t converse with, is tricky.

More amazing view of the sea near our condo.

Now, we’re off the pool and fitness center at the Makai Club where I’ll work out while Tom takes the car to fill it with gas for mine and Julie’s upcoming sightseeing outings, beginning after she’s rested.

Off we go to get a few things done. We’ll be back tomorrow with more. Soon, we’ll have many more new photos to share. As always, all photos we’ve posted today are new, except the one-year-ago as posted below.

Have a happy day!

                                           Photo from one year ago today, March 12, 2014:

A view of the Medina from the rooftop of our vacation rental which was a private home, although attached to neighboring houses. There are no stand-alone holiday houses in the Medina and few in Morocco in general. For more details, please click here.