New hotel differences with photos…

Breakfast here was better than at the Hyatt, with bacon and cheese served with eggs and other items.

This morning, I intended to take photos of this hotel using my new phone’s camera. It turned out that it was raining hard when we walked across the parking lot to the cafe, and I didn’t bring my phone to avoid getting it wet. Instead, I went online looking for images I could use and had trouble uploading them since they weren’t in the proper format, and I couldn’t format them for posting on our site, except for the three photos we’re showing today.

Instead, we had breakfast in the cafe, which was better than the breakfast at the Hyatt, a hotel we prefer in many other ways. This extended stay won’t be as hard as during the lockdown in Mumbai, India, for ten months since we can get out, dine out, shop, and do our laundry with machines instead of hand washing clothes in the shower, as we did then.

We are grateful for all of this. The bed is only a queen, but we did fine last night, and both slept pretty well. The bathroom is enormous, much bigger than it needs to be, but there are no drawers for our clothes, only a tiny closet with ample hangers. The kitchen is good. Having a full kitchen is nice, but since I don’t feel like cooking, it may not be essential for us.

This kitchen is great for our needs, with a full-sized stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, and microwave.

Cheryl, one of our dear readers, sent a thoughtful email with numerous suggestions for leisurely meals, which I greatly appreciate. However, these suggestions would require me to do some planning. Thank you, Cheryl, for thinking of us. After Tom and I discussed meal options, the most leisurely meals for me to prepare include a big salad, rice for Tom (he makes that), and some meat such as steak, pork, burgers, chicken with seafood, and fish for me. We can do this.

Since we are heading to Billy’s for dinner with some family members tonight, we won’t be grocery shopping until tomorrow so that we will make our first meal in the new kitchen for tomorrow night’s dinner. We’ve eaten out many nights this past week, and a home-cooked meal would be nice.

Last night, we went to dinner with Greg, Heather, Maisie, Miles, Madighan, and her boyfriend Aiden at an excellent Mexican restaurant in Chanhassen, Rey Azteca. After dinner, we headed to Chanhassen High School to attend Madighan’s choir performance. It was sweet to see and hear her and her classmates perform a litany of songs conducted by their music teacher, who had a lively personality.

This is the layout of our first-floor hotel room.

After it was over, I was anxious to return to the hotel and put my feet up. As my condition progresses, I am experiencing some symptoms I hadn’t had a few months ago. I can only hope it doesn’t worsen over the next few months. I am doing everything I can to stay as healthy as possible.

This hotel has guest laundry facilities, which, in this case, are coin-operated. After breakfast this morning, we did a week’s laundry, folded it, and returned it to the suitcase we are sharing. The remainder of our “stuff,” including more clothes, are still in the car in other pieces of luggage. At this point, there’s no need to get into the other suitcases. We repeatedly wash the same clothes to avoid digging into the different bags.

Once settled in Cleveland, we’ll open all the bags and try to put everything away, if possible. I won’t need many clothes since I mostly wear pajama bottoms and tee shirts once I am out of the hospital. At some point, I’ll purchase the items I’ll need.

We’re staying put until it’s time to leave for Billy’s at 2:45. Only a few sisters will be there tonight since Patty and Colleen are both sick.

Have a pleasant and safe Memorial weekend for our family and friends in the US. We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 24, 2014:

The pink clouds over the ocean in Madeira were quite a vision. For more photos, please click here.

Moving day…All packed and ready to go…Family dinner and concert tonight…

It gets very foggy in the hills of Madeira, as shown in this photo of the veranda of our holiday home in Campanario.

It was easy to pack for today’s move since we’re only moving to another nearby hotel with a kitchen. This hotel, Hyatt Place, only has a small refrigerator but not a microwave. If we want to heat something, we must take it down to the main floor and use the microwave in the breakfast kitchen.

Lately, we haven’t been eating the included breakfast when the food is unhealthy, with premade processed eggs and greasy sausages appealing to neither of us. I have kept some protein bars, yogurt, and cottage cheese in the refrigerator in our room, which serve as meals when I am in a pinch.

Tom eats the donut holes he gets in the morning when he goes downstairs to get coffee before 9:00 am when the included breakfast ends. Lately, we’ve been going out to dinner most evenings. We’ll see if having a kitchen will inspire me to cook some meals. But I don’t feel like cooking right now.

Many people in our situation would eat some frozen items from the supermarket, but none of them are suitable for my way of eating, and Tom’s not a fan of frozen dinners. When we considered ordering “unwich” sandwiches from Jimmy John’s, we found the total cost for one breadless sandwich for each of us was over $40. When Tom had Wendy’s last week, he spent $20, as mentioned in a prior post.

A few nights ago, I took Maisie to dinner at Maynard’s and accidentally left a credit card behind. Yesterday, when I realized I didn’t have that card, I called to find out they had it. Tom and I decided to go there to get it and stay for dinner. I picked up my card, and he and I had a great dinner for $50.75, including tax and tip. With this, it doesn’t pay to get carry-out food, which isn’t as healthy and costs over $40.

Tom had grilled walleye and soup, and I had a fantastic seafood salad. It was well worth it. We’ll certainly return there once again. On Sunday night, my grandson Miles, 16, and I are going out to dinner. I offered that we could go to a movie, but he was content to dine with his grandma. I enjoy individual time with my grandchildren and spending quality time together.

On another note, we’re checking out of this hotel at 2:00 pm, with a late check-out provided by the general manager, Wade. Then, we’ll head over to the other nearby hotel. I’m sure, within a day, we’ll decide if we want to move back here when we finish booking at Residence Inn by Marriott. We managed to get an excellent price at $84 a night. Our booking there ends on June 13.

I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll return here to the Hyatt at that point. Here, we have a king-sized bed, and there, only a queen. However, I will ask for an upgrade to a king bed when we check in later today. We shall see how it goes.

Last night, when we returned to the hotel, we watched the basketball game when the Minnesota Timberwolves were playing the Dallas Mavericks, the first of a new series in the playoffs. Sadly, Minnesota lost, but it was an exciting game, nonetheless. The next game is tomorrow night, Friday, at 7:30. We should be returning from Billy’s by the time the game starts.

The family had planned to play dice at Patty’s house after the dinner at Billy’s, but she’s been sick with the flu, and we won’t go if she still has symptoms. There’s no way we can risk getting sick at this point.

Tonight, at 6:00, we’re meeting Greg and the kids for dinner at Rey Azteca in Chanhassen, and at 8:00, we’re all heading to Chanhassen High School, where Madighan will be performing in a choir event. It will be another enjoyable evening for all of us.

That’s it for today, folks. Next time we post, it will be from our new location with comments about how we feel about the new hotel.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 23, 2014:

The old stone tunnel in Madeira was used until the newer, longer tunnel was built in recent years. For more photos, please click here.

New phones and plans….

Beautiful flowers with a busy bee in Madeira, Portugal.

The next few days will be hectic. At 11:00 am today, we’re returning to the T. Mobile store to set up the two new Google Pixel 8 Pro phones, both of which are included with our new 55+ plan with unlimited talk, text, and data in the US for $110 a month (24-month commitment) and special pricing on international service for the future.

We’d considered replacing the phones, both of which are now having problems after three years, but without a plan, those phones cost over $1000 each. We’re getting the two Google Pixel 8 Pro phones for free, which are included in the two-year contract for both of us. The two-year contract with the phones and unlimited data, text, and calling, while in the US, will cost a total of $2640 over the two years.

It’s a no-brainer for us, especially since we’ll be in the US for about 12 months. Why do we speculate we’ll be here so long? I won’t have the medical tests at the Cleveland Clinic until the end of August. At the latest, there may be a two-month lag from the test results until the surgery and a many months-long recovery period.

Plus, we don’t want to arrive in Marloth Park, South Africa, during the heat of the summer months. In June, winter begins, and it cools down considerably. That would be a perfect time for us to arrive. Of course, all of this depends on how well I’m recovering. If I recover much sooner, we may go to another country(s) while we wait for June. It’s all up in the air and will be so for quite some time.

No, getting phone plans doesn’t mean we’ll quit our world travel journey. We still have the Samsung phone, which we can use with online Global SIM cards wherever we may be at any given time. The T-Mobile plan won’t limit us in any manner. There’s no way a phone plan will restrict our future travels.

Yesterday, we visited Verizon and a T-Mobile store to see their plans. The T-Mobile plan was, without a doubt, the better option for both of us. When they didn’t have the two Google phones in stock, we made an appointment to return this morning at 11:00 am to start the plan.

To transfer our phone numbers from Google Fi, our current carrier, to T-Mobile, I had to acquire an account number and unique pin that we’ll give to T-Mobile this morning so they can make the transfer. It may take a few hours to complete the process. But, hopefully, by early afternoon, we’ll walk out the door with our two new phones and plan.

We are moving to another nearby hotel tomorrow to see which we’d prefer for the next three months. As mentioned, we tried to find a vacation/holiday home for rent in a good neighborhood, but nothing was even slightly affordable for such an extended period.

We’ll ask for a late checkout here and hopefully get situated in the new hotel by 2:00 pm. Since we’re staying three weeks, most likely, they’ll allow a one-hour early check-in.

Last night, we went to dinner with Tammy, Tracy, and Vincent and had a good time. It’s always enjoyable to hang out with our family members, and we hope to see them all as often as possible during the next three months. This is the longest period we’ll be in the US since we began traveling almost 12 years ago.

Without a doubt, we’re enjoying our time here, catching up with family and friends. The upcoming week is Memorial Day (next Monday), which is a long weekend. We don’t have any plans now, but we’ll see what comes up with our kids and grandkids.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 22, 2014:

Tom, standing outside the Pharmacia in Madeira, where I’d purchased a few OTC items. I listed all the items in Portuguese on my phone. Several patrons were in the store, a few of whom spoke a little English while I  fumbled with Portuguese and who welcomed us to Campanario. Wow, friendly! For more photos, please click here.

We need new phones and a possible new plan…Delightful dinner out with my granddaughter, at a favorite old location on Lake Minnetonka…

This is the Catholic Church of São Brás do Campanário, from which many traditions in this quaint area are instituted.

Today, I am rushing to get the post done and uploaded. Soon, we’ll be heading out to Verizon and T-Mobile phone stores to investigate possible phone plans and acquire new phones when both of our phones are over three years old and have started to have problems.

My phone camera is shot, and Tom has trouble keeping Google Fi connected when out and about. We have tried every possible fix and based on the fact that cell phones don’t last for very long with heavy use, it may be time to upgrade. Before we head out, I will put together all of our expenses for Google Fi for the past few years to compare our current cost and the cost for a plan with new unlocked Google phones.

It may make sense to change based on how much we determine we’re paying with Google Fi for data while we’re in the US over the next many months. Otherwise, we may purchase two new Google Pixel phones, the latest 8a models, and keep Google Fi as our provider with its current pay-as-you-go plan.

While outside the US, we use data and rarely make phone calls unless we’re using WhatsApp, which requires an internet connection. We’ll carefully investigate the options from both stores and then decide. I’ve been limited in taking photos lately and haven’t been using our stand-alone camera when the photo quality is lower than that of a phone.

I may feel differently about only using a phone for photos down the road when we return to Africa, but that is a while from now, based on my upcoming open heart surgery in the next several months. I haven’t missed using our camera, which is on its last leg anyway, due to damage from constant humidity in countries we’ve visited in the past several years.

Last evening, I went to dinner with my eldest granddaughter, Maisie, at a favorite restaurant near our old home, Maynards, on Lake Minnetonka. In July 1977, as a single mom, I purchased my first boat, which I kept docked at St. Albans Bay for the summer.

On the 4th of July 1977, I took my two sons, then ten and eight years old, out on Lake Minnetonka when I’d never driven a boat. When we first took off, I drove the boat over to Maynard’s, then called T. Butcherblock, docking the boat in their slips, and the boys and I fed the ducks bread we got from the restaurant.

Later, when we continued to my friend Lynda’s home on Black Lake, I hit bottom and tore up the prop. I managed to make it to Lynda’s many hours later with the bad prop and her then-husband Jim helped me out. He removed the prop, took it to a repair place and then I was good to go the following day.

Many years followed when I had bigger and bigger boats on Lake Minnetonka, and I never hitt bottom again, destroying a prop. My sons still remember that day.

Thus, last evening, my dinner with Maisie, which was delightful, reminded me of that 4th of July 47 years ago, which is as fresh in my mind as if it was only a few summers ago. Wow!

Maisie, 17, and I chatted enthusiastically while seated in a booth at Maynard’s, sharing stories of our past and current lives. It was such fun! The food was good, the ambiance was perfect, and the conversation flowed with ease. After dinner, she drove me back to the hotel. It was the first time I had ridden with her since she got her driver’s license. She’s a good driver, and I am very proud of her in many ways.

Soon, I’ll head down to the fitness center to work out on the bike while Increasing the time a little each day. It feels great to be doing this. We’ll move to the next hotel in two days, and I’m hoping they will have an equally good fitness center. They have laundry facilities, which is a big plus for us. Neither of us is interested in sitting in a laundromat again.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 21, 2014:

This little house on a cliff created a picturesque scene in Ribeira Brava, Madeira. For more photos, please click here.

New booking for June…Are we still nomads since we’re staying in the US for so long?…

The beautiful terraced gardens on the island of Madeira, Portugal where we stayed for almost three months, beginning in May, 2014.

Tom’s sister Betty, a retired nun living in a retirement facility for nuns in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will be celebrating her 70-year “Jubilee” since joining the sisterhood when she was 18 years old. At that time, Tom was only 18 months old. Of course, he doesn’t remember that time other than knowing that his elder sister was a nun as he grew up.

The family is invited to attend this special celebration in Milwaukee on June 15. Thus, we’ll make the less-than-six-hour drive to Milwaukee, staying in a nearby hotel to attend a special mass and a dinner. As it turns out, we’ll have to stay in Milwaukee for two nights.

Since hotel prices are high in the area, we thought we’d use some of our accumulated rewards points from one of our credit cards to cover the $617 for the two nights. We booked the same Fairfield Inn where we stayed last time we visited Sister Beth in 2021 while we were in the US for a family visit.

We don’t know yet if any of Tom’s siblings or other family members will attend the event since there are two grandchildren’s weddings they’d planned to attend on the same date, making the trip to Milwaukee impossible.

We will enjoy spending time with Sister Beth and her friends, as several other nuns also celebrate this special date with their family members.

On another note, lately, we wondered if any of our readers may assume we are no longer “nomads” when now, and over the next six months or so, we will be staying in the US. Is our travel site a misrepresentation of who we are at this time? In conducting research as to what constitutes a “nomad,” I found the following:

“A nomad is someone who prefers to travel and move around rather than settle down in one place. The word “nomad” comes from a Greek word that means “roaming about for pasture.”Traditionally, nomads were tribes of people who moved in search of food, water, and shelter. They would often travel seasonally or annually and traditionally used animals, canoes, or walked. Today, some nomads travel by car, air, train, or ship.

Fantastic evening with old friends…More shocking prices…

We were out to lunch in Ribeira Brava, Madeira. Looks like Tom needed a haircut! We had a lovely lunch in this oceanfront restaurant.

Last night couldn’t have been more fun, having dinner with Mary Kay and Frank at the Cheesecake Factory, who both worked with Tom on the railroad and whom we hadn’t seen since we left Minnesota in 2012. We had a lot of catching up to do. Three hours later, we finally said our goodbyes with warm hugs and plans to get together again while we will still be in Minnesota.

Back at the hotel, still reeling from the wonderful time, we settled in for the remainder of the evening, streaming and finishing a good series on Netflix, Godless, a riveting western we both enjoyed. Finding a good new series on streaming services has been challenging due to the pandemic and last year’s writer’s strike.

Tom’s club sandwich with fries, which he said was very good. (I need a new phone since my camera is shot, but I don’t feel like buying one right now).

If any of you have suggestions for newer series on Netflix, Hulu, and Prime, please let us know. We’ve watched many of the older series made before 2020. Tom doesn’t care for science fiction, and neither of us enjoys fantasy, super hero-type shows. Another limitation is that neither of us cares to watch “dubbed” or subtitled shows.

This morning, we didn’t bother to go downstairs for the hotel’s breakfast. We both were tired of the lack of options and the less-than-healthy choices.

We don’t have any big plans for today. I’m waiting for my granddaughter Maisie’s reply to see if she’d like to go for “girls’ lunch” today. Tom and I will pick her up and he’ll drop us off at the restaurant we choose and then pick us up after we’re done. If Maisie and I go out to lunch, I will bring something back for Tom for dinner.

My chopped salad, minus croutons, corn, and beans. It was excellent, nonetheless.

As mentioned, I don’t feel comfortable driving right now. My reflexes aren’t as good as they were a few years ago, and with my heart condition, I don’t want to risk something happening while I am driving.

A few nights ago, Tom stopped at Wendy’s for a bite to eat when I still had something in the fridge in our room. He ordered a chicken sandwich and a plain single hamburger with fries and a Coke. The total was $20. For that much, I can order dinner to go for him. We can’t believe the prices of fast food.

Mary Kay and Frank each ordered this chicken dish, which they said was delicious.

Last week, I picked up a Chipotle Bowl, minus corn and rice, which was a small portion for $13. Plus, it didn’t taste as good as I remembered years ago. Maybe our expectations are too high. Last night, Mary Kay and Frank insisted on picking up the bill at Cheesecake Factory, which was over $250 with very few included drinks. When we insisted on at least paying half, they suggested we pay the tip.

Tom tipped the excellent server 20%, which is expected in the US, which was $50. Our bill for dinner, drinks, and tips at Jabula in Marloth Park was never over $50. Things are different here. We are trying to adapt to these higher prices and have plenty of time to do so while we spend so much time here.

We’ll be back with more tomorrow.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 19, 2014:

This morning’s view from the kitchen window in Campanario, Madeira. Washing dishes is not so bad with a view such as this. For more photos, please click here.

I stayed in…Tom went out with his family…Reaching out to old friends…

A few chickens were walking around a restaurant in Ribeira Brava, Madeira, Portugal, while we dined.

Yesterday, as the day progressed, I decided I didn’t want to go to Billy’s Bar & Grill to meet up with Tom’s siblings. It wasn’t specifically that I wasn’t feeling well. It was a matter of simply not feeling like going out and possibly being up very late. Tom offered to stay with me, but I encouraged him to go. He left at about 2:45 to arrive by the planned 3:30.

After Billy’s, where they ate popcorn and had drinks and dinner, they all decided to go to Mary and Eugene’s home to play cards. I would have enjoyed playing cards, but as it turned out, Tom didn’t return to the hotel until around 2:00 am, making me realize I’d never been able to stay up that late. His family usually stays up very late when they get together.

While Tom was gone, I had a light dinner of Greek yogurt and raspberries and scoured through our streaming services, looking for something to stream. I must have started 20 movies and stopped them after ten minutes when the concepts were unappealing. I don’t like superheroes or fantasy movies. Most of the movie themes were preposterous, and I prefer a film with some reality to hold my attention. Finally, I went to bed and watched videos on YouTube.

At this point in my life, I feel a need to wrap up my evening by 11:00 pm and be asleep by midnight. As an early riser, getting to bed at 2:00 am would leave me exhausted during the day, especially in my weakened condition. I am doing everything I can to stay as healthy as possible while waiting for the August appointments at the Cleveland Clinic…good food, adequate sleep, exercise, and low stress.

When he returned at 2:00 am, I was wide awake. There was thunder and lightning all evening, and I’d been concerned about him returning safely late at night with all the crazy drivers on the road. When I heard him entering the room, I was relieved and happy to hear his voice. We chatted a bit, and then it took a while to get to sleep.

I’d anticipated we’d sleep later, but we were up early and headed to breakfast in the hotel by 8:30, showered, and dressed for the day.

Tonight, we’re going out to dinner with railroad friends Mary Kay and Frank, whom we haven’t seen since Tom’s retirement party at the end of October 2012. They’ve been reading our posts and saw we will be in Minnesota for some time. It will be wonderful to see them.

Planning dinner with Mary Kay and Franks reminds us that it’s important for us to reach out to old friends. Often, old friends assume we are so busy with family that we don’t have time to spend with friends. But that’s not the case. Our kids and grandkids have busy lives, and we see them when it works well for them. We don’t expect them to change their schedules and routines for us, especially this time when we’ll be here for so long.

Yesterday, I was able to do the exercise bike for 12 minutes. Hopefully, today, I can do it for 13 minutes or more. My heart rate makes me stop biking, not that I’m tired or my legs give out.

Tonight, we’re going to the Cheesecake Factory in Edina, about ten minutes from here. Much of their food is very high carb, but I can have any of a few “skinnylicious” salads. Tom can always find something he likes at that restaurant.

Have a fantastic weekend, and be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 18, 2014:

Our new home, a photo taken by Gina, for highlighting the house advertised on what is now called VRBO, which formerly was HomeAway. For more photos, please click here.

Back to Billy’s Bar and Grill today for a family get together…Getting prescriptions filled…

Cactus plant in Campanario, Madeira, in 2014.

As mentioned a few days ago, when I couldn’t get my two blood pressure medications filled at CVS Clinic since there were no records or tests for medical care for me in Minnesota’s health records system. I left empty-handed, wondering what to do. As mentioned in that post, I knew if I went to another cardiologist or primary care doctor, they’d put me through a litany of tests, all of which I’ll be having in August when we go to the Cleveland Clinic.

Sure, my Medicare plan and supplement would cover the cost of those tests, but there was no way I wanted Medicare to be billed for tests that would be redundant in a few months. Also, I had a cardiac ultrasound at a cardiologist’s office in Las Vegas on March 27, when I needed to confirm the report from the cardiologist in Ecuador. The results were the same.

I contacted ProgressiveRX, sending them a not-so-clear copy I had of the prescriptions Doc Theo had written for me 13 months ago before we left South Africa. Once ProgressiveRX, located in Singapore, received the copy, they explained it wasn’t clear enough for them to read. Could I get a clearer copy?

This morning after breakfast, I asked the hotel general manager, Wade, whom we’ve come to know quite well based on the number of times we’ve stayed here, if he could produce a clearer copy on his printer. He did a perfect job. A short time later, I received a clearer copy from Wade in my email, which was perfect.

Immediately, I forwarded it to Vimala at ProgressiveRX, receiving a confirmation only moments later that the new clearer copy worked perfectly for their needs. My meds will go out today, and I will receive them in about three weeks. After scouring through the “pill bag,” I stumbled across enough of the two meds to last until I received the new batch. I had put them in a small ziplock bag as an emergency supply. Good thing. Now, I can relax knowing I’ll have enough meds to get me to the CC in 3½ months since ProgressiveRX is sending me 184 pills, plenty for my current needs. Whew! What a relief!

This morning, we headed downstairs (we’re on the 6th floor) for breakfast. There was nothing there I could eat except the hard-boiled eggs. I’ve tried to find the ingredients in those processed scrambled eggs they serve, but the results were all over the place. Thus, I’ve decided not to eat them, knowing full well there would be lots of preservatives.

After breakfast, I went to the fitness center to do the workout on the bike. A few days ago, I started at five minutes; today, I could do 12 minutes for two miles. I will continue at this pace until I get to a full 30 minutes; then, I will increase the difficulty level while maintaining the same period of time.

I check my pulse while biking to avoid getting too high. However, based on the Afib drug I am on, it prevents my heart rate from going too high, but I still need to monitor it throughout the process. Gosh, I am hoping to maintain my current state of being to last the next 3½ months without getting too many new symptoms requiring emergency medical care.

Friday is Happy Hour for Tom’s family, starting at 3:30 at Billy’s Bar & Grill in Anoka, a 45-minute drive from here. We never know who will be there, but most often, it’s four of Tom’s sisters, BIL Eugene, and occasionally some nieces and nephews. Last week, Tom’s daughter Tammy, partner Tracy, and grandson Vincent joined us, which was great. We’ll see who will join today.

That’s it for today, folks. We’ll be back tomorrow with more.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 17, 2014:

We love the house in Madeira, Portugal, with granite countertops, a microwave, a dishwasher, a great gas stove and oven, and views of the mountains and the ocean when washing dishes. Once the haze lifts, we’ll include more photos of views inside the house. For more photos, please click here.

We’re off to breakfast…And other things…

It was often cloudy in the hills in Campanario, Madeira, Portugal, in May 2014.

The “free” breakfast at the hotel is marginal at best. The processed scrambled eggs (which I don’t eat) come from a plastic bag, and the sausages are typical Jimmy Dean or cheap Polish sausage slices floating in grease that look unappetizing. My only option is boiled eggs; I eat three topped with individually packaged sour cream since they are small. This doesn’t fill me up sufficiently to last more than a few hours at best.

There are “frozen” waffles and syrup, toast, donut holes, bagels, none of which I eat, and some syrupy-looking fruit. It’s not appetizing. Thus, today, we decided to go to the Original Pancake House for breakfast, where I can get a “real egg” omelet.

After our $42 breakfast with tax and tip, we headed to Chanhassen to a laundromat, which we hadn’t done in ten years since we were in South Kensington, London, in 2014. Most holiday homes have at least a washer, which works fine for us. Unlike the apps we used in other locations, it was nice that the washers and dryers accepted credit cards.

Tom’s breakfast of ham and eggs and three buttermilk pancakes.

The washing was done in 28 minutes, and the clothes were dry another 35 minutes later. It was much easier than running back and forth to the hotel across the parking lot where they have an agreement with this hotel for its patrons. This time next week, we’ll be moving to a Residence Inn within a few blocks of this Hyatt, which has in-house laundry facilities. Plus, we’ll have a full kitchen, which will be more beneficial.

The Residence Inn will also have a complimentary breakfast, but we’ll decide once we check it out if we’ll start cooking our breakfasts. We’re booked into that hotel until June 11, before which we’ll determine where to stay after that. At that point, we’ll decide where to go for the remaining 2½ months until my first appointment at Cleveland Clinic. We may stay in Minnesota or head elsewhere during the remaining waiting period.

Today, we don’t have much on the agenda. At 5:00 pm, Tom will make the one-hour drive (each way) to watch Vincent skeet shoot while I stay behind, finding ways to keep myself busy. All I have to do after finishing today’s post is head to the fitness center to do my workout.

Living in a holiday home makes it easy for me to stay busy most of the day. The days pass quickly between posting, taking photos, responding to reader’s messages, and prepping food for dinner. Here, without any household tasks, the hours crawl by. No, I do not wish time to pass quickly. I treasure every moment I have left in this world. But, at this time, I am impatient knowing what is ahead, and I don’t mind if that time comes sooner than later.

Our meals looked boring for the $42 we spent without coffee or added beverages. (I gave up coffee a few months ago, and Tom drinks his three cups at the hotel).

There are 3½ months until we need to be at Cleveland Clinic. I am impatient and acknowledge that this is to be expected, knowing what is ahead of me. On the other hand, Tom is a solid source of encouragement and support while I twiddle my thumbs.

All the laundry is folded and put away, and we won’t have to return to the laundromat again. With our clothes on hand, we can go one week without doing laundry. By the 23rd, we’ll be moved into our new hotel and can do it then.

That’s it for today. Thanks, dear readers, for reading our posts when we have so little going on. Fortunately, we have plans for Friday and Saturday evenings and report back with those activities.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 16, 2014:

Tom and Samir, our houseman, wheeled our bags to the Marrakech Airport as we headed to Madeira, Portugal. For more photos, please click here.

There’s a price to pay for living outside the US…Disappointing day…

The view from the veranda at the holiday home we rented in Madeira ten years ago.

Yesterday, I was enthused about the physical therapy appointment at Wellspring Wellness Center. With exercise physiologists on staff, I felt confident they could help me improve my mobility while awaiting my future appointments at the end of August and subsequent open heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

How little did I know that I’d be turned away? Based on the fact they had no record of me having treatment and tests in Minnesota, after consulting with their medical director, they all agreed it was too risky to treat me. They feared my heart condition would make such treatment too high risk and, let’s face it, the potential of liability if something went wrong during such a course of treatment.

I walked out of the facility disheartened and frustrated. They suggested I see a cardiologist (I’ve already seen three in the past year) for the type of treatment that would be suitable for me. With countless tests upcoming in August, I wasn’t about to go through the uncomfortable and time-consuming process of going through a litany of tests here in Minnesota, especially when Cleveland Clinic does its own tests.

The risk of a lawsuit is driving influence in medical care in the US. This is not the case in most other countries where medical malpractice lawsuits aren’t nearly as common as in the US.

But this was only the beginning of the day’s frustrations. I’d made an appointment at CVS Minute Clinic, which I called and assured me I could get prescriptions for my high blood pressure meds, which I am running out of. Remember, I got 13 months of prescriptions from Doc Theo in South Africa before we left at the end of April last year. Now they are running out and I have to figure out how to get them. They won’t accept written prescriptions from South Africa.

When CVS stated they’d write prescriptions for tourists running out of medication, I quickly made the appointment for yesterday at 5:00 pm, figuring at least this would be out of the way.

Alas, when we drove to the CVS for my appointment, and after waiting several minutes for my appointment upon prompt arrival, after filling out forms and signing privacy documents, I discovered, once again, that they couldn’t help me. They couldn’t find any record of any doctor prescribing any medications for me, nor was there a record of any tests or medical appointments to substantiate the necessity of my taking such medicines.

The PA agreed to give me a one-month emergency prescription as a tourist, but one month didn’t do me any good. I am not going to CC until the end of August, a full 3½ months from now.

I walked out empty-handed, frustrated and wondering what I would do. My only option, so I thought, was to book an appointment with a cardiologist or, in the worst case, a primary care physician and see if they’d write the prescriptions without having a litany of tests. I could run into the same scenario, and if I refused to take tests, I could walk out empty-handed again.

Deciding I’d think about this for a day or two since I had enough pills left to get me through two weeks. When I awoke in the middle of the night, I checked my old account at ProgressiveRX and found an old prescription in their records that could supply me with the meds I need. I had looked earlier, but I looked under the US names of the meds when, in fact, they are named differently in India, where most of the world’s drugs are produced anyway. They have everything I need.

Today, after posting, I will order the meds and have them in three weeks at the latest. After digging through my pill bag, I found the same unopened pills that could get me through until the shipment arrives at our mailing service, which in turn will mail them to me. What a relief!

This explains why living outside the US for the past almost 12 years has left us with no medical records to rely upon for future medical care in the US. We are left without medical records when we have had no US health insurance all these years, only carrying health insurance suitable for people outside the US. It’s another fact of life for world travelers. Any medical care we’ve needed all these years, we’ve sought outside the US, mostly paying out of pocket.

Thus, I’ll be able to get the meds I need, and yesterday, after all of this, I started working out, once again, in the upscale fitness center in this hotel. I will carefully monitor my heart rate and perform ECGs on my Fitbit each time I work out, being as careful as possible. Despite my current condition, all three cardiologists I visited explained that exercising is good for the heart muscle.

In less than an hour, my friend Chere is stopping by for a visit. We’ll hang out in the lobby and catch up.

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, May 15, 2014:

No photos were posted on this date due to a travel day.