Day 4…Henderson, Nevada…Posting photos from Norway continues today…Friends from Washington coming for dinner today!…

Slot machines in one area of the casino at Green Valley Ranch Spa Resort and Casino in Henderson, Nevada.

Yesterday afternoon, we purchased tickets online to see the movie “Oppenheimer,” which was playing at the Regal Theatre attached to our resort. We were able to get Tom a free small popcorn for signing up for the Regal app, which he used toward the purchase of a giant tub of popcorn that he consumed before the movie began.

The matinee for seniors was $12.50 each, which we thought was reasonable. His popcorn and large Coke came to a total of $8.75, less than what we expected. We hadn’t been to a movie in a long time, so we had no idea what to expect. We picked out our seats in advance and had a good time.

Since there was nothing for me to eat at the theatre suitable for my diet, I didn’t order anything or taste his popcorn. It would be hard to stop at one bite, so I abstained, as I always do. When the three-hour movie ended at 6:36 pm, he wasn’t hungry for dinner, which we expected.

When he was too full for dinner, I’d planned to order a salad-to-go to take to our room, but when the movie ended, I wasn’t hungry and decided not to eat. I didn’t eat again until breakfast this morning, 24 hours later, and felt fine doing so. Tom ordered his usual breakfast of ham and eggs but couldn’t finish it all. He’s still full today from that massive bucket of popcorn.

If you haven’t seen the movie, “Oppenheimer,” we won’t provide any spoilers but can suggest it as a good movie worth sitting still for three hours. We were never bored during the long movie and savored every moment since we seldom go to a movie unless we are in the US for a visit.

This morning, I felt good after my “mini fast” and perhaps may make a regular habit of fasting for 24 hours from time to time, which gives the body a rest from digesting a big meal.

We were able to reserve a comfortable booth in the Lucky Penny, where we’ll have dinner with Rita and Gerhard this evening. They don’t usually take reservations, but I asked the manager if he could reserve the booth so we’d have plenty of room to eat, relax, and catch up without feeling rushed.

We haven’t seen Rita and Gerhard together since 2022, except when Gerhard came alone to Marloth Park to sell the vehicle they’d purchased to use for their time in Marloth Park. They are heading back for a six-week visit next month and will rent a car as we always do. Gerhard had dinner at our place that evening and then took off the next day to return to Bali, in the same villa where we’d stayed years ao.

We are undoubtedly excited about them coming to Las Vegas for less than one day to have the afternoon and evening with us. Before retiring, Gerhard worked in management for an airline, and he and Rita can travel on stand-by when seats are available. They decided Sunday would be a good day to fly here since holidaymakers in Las Vegas are here for the long holiday weekend, ending this Monday after Labor Day. Few would be traveling today.

They’d like to see our hotel room in case they ever decide to stay here, so this morning, we tidied up and are now waiting for the housekeeper to come to clean. The flight they’re hoping to board arrives at 1:00 pm. They will text us when they know they can board, and we’ll be waiting for them at “arrivals” when we know their flight is in. They won’t have any bags since they fly back tonight when we return them to the airport.

How fun! We’re certainly looking forward to a special day with our friends.

Sorry, we don’t have any major photos to share today. We were preoccupied with the movie and going about a typical day at the resort.

Be well.

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

Goats, a typical local food source, littered the highway as we zoomed past from Mombasa, Kenya, to Diani Beach. For more photos, please click here.

In reviewing the photos we hadn’t been able to post, it appears it will be very time-consuming and complicated to return to each post and add the photos we couldn’t post. As a result, we are posting some of the photos under the heading of each town over days, which can be found after each new day, listed as Part 1, Part 2 Norway, for example.

The new post with the photos is located below:

Part 3…Unpublished photos from the Azamara cruise to Olden, Norway…

It’s a new day and a new dawn…

Wildebeests in the driveway. They eventually headed to the back garden for pellets,

To awaken this morning with considerably less pain in my mouth, I texted Kathy and said I could go with her and Rita to coffee at Stoep Cafe and later shop at Spar Supermarket. Last night, in awful pain, I’d written to her saying I doubted I’d be able to go since today when we needed to head back to Malalane to see Dr. Singh. Last night, the pain in the socket was awful.

As soon as I awoke this morning, I was excited when the Advil and Tylenol (Paracetamol) I’d taken before bed had worn off, and I was in minimal pain this morning. I jumped out of bed, letting Kathy know I would go with them after all. I showered and dressed for the day and tidied up the house, folded the laundry from the rack, and settled down with my laptop to start today’s post. I took one Tylenol to get me through the morning with the “girls,” which once it kicks in, I am almost pain-free for a few hours.

A photo from a few months ago when everything was green and giraffes were walking along the paved road in Marloth Park. My photo-taking appeared in the rearview mirror.

It helps to start the post before heading out, so when I return and put away all the groceries, it won’t take me too long to finish and work on the corrections. I am now down to 42 pages of 20 posts, attempting to do one page per day. There’s no way I’ll be done by the time we leave in one month. But I’ll only have about 10 or 12 pages of 20 posts left when we arrive in Arizona, taking less than two weeks to complete.

Once completed, I’ll take a short break and then begin doing the three significant stories for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), something I have to do once a year going forward. I’ll do one a week and then be done, after which my afternoons will be free at last. What a great feeling that will be, after over a year of corrections on over 3400 posts and the time I’d spent in India working on the new site!

Torn Ear is such an adorable boy, even with his healed left ear injury.

With only one month left until we depart for the US, it’s time to start thinking about packing. We will go one big plastic tote with clothes we won’t need until we return 14 months later. In reality, since I need so many new items, it may not make sense to leave much behind. Once we start packing, we will know.

I just returned from the trip to Komatipoort with Kathy and Rita. We had a great time at Stoep Cafe while they had breakfast, and I had decaf coffee with the “crema” and real cream. What a treat! I didn’t eat for two reasons; one, I wasn’t hungry, and I always strive to avoid eating when not hungry: and two, there was no way I could rinse out my mouth after eating, which I do now, to clear any food particles from the sore tooth socket. I know, TMI, but it’s essential to do when recovering from an extraction.

Although the nearby birdbath was a better option with clean water, Tom adds daily. A mongoose was drinking from the pool. There’s not a lot of chlorine in the splash pools in the park since animals often drink from them. We never use the pool.

With two weeks of groceries needed, Tom suggested he’d come to Komati to pick me up after shopping so Kathy and Rita wouldn’t have to wait for me. This only made sense since Rita didn’t need any groceries and Kathy only needed a few items. I felt rushed and concerned about them waiting for me when it usually takes about 40 minutes to shop for two weeks. It proved to be a perfect plan.

Only minutes after I left the market with my trolley filled to the brim, Tom was there and loaded the boot of the little car with our bounty, and off we went back to Marloth Park. We had everything put away in no time at all, and I could get back to today’s post and hopefully get it uploaded before too long.

A mongoose was contemplating her next move, taken a few months ago when the grass was green.

When we returned, several bushbucks were waiting for us as well as no less than 20 mongooses peering into the veranda door, wondering where we’d gone. We had some treats for them, resulting in a funny story we’ll share with photos in tomorrow’s post.

I cleaned three bunches of celery, saving all the ends and leaves for the bushbucks. They love the crispy and moist celery tops and will enthusiastically devour the batches we’ll toss out every few hours or so. When we clean vegetables, we share the miscellaneous stems and pieces with the animals providing them with much-needed nutrients. Of course, we always check to ensure nothing we toss is toxic for them and that the veggie scraps are cut to size and are easily digestible for them.

Tonight, we’ll stay in. We have several fun social gatherings planned for the upcoming week and weekend, which we’ll share as they occur. May you have a lovely week!

Photo from one year ago today, September 20, 2020:

Ironically, after Friday’s story on our first visit by a giraffe since we arrived here in January 2021, this photo popped up from the post one year ago, while in lockdown in a hotel in Mumbai, India, on day #180, On a Thursday morning in Marloth Park in 2013, as I stepped outside onto the veranda, camera in hand, this was the first thing I saw. Quietly alerting Tom, who was still inside the house, he rushed out to witness this same sight. And then, in minutes, they were everywhere, a dozen total. No words can describe our joy. For more, click here.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride…A leopard in the palace…

The locals are doing their laundry in Lake Pichola, but no laundry soap is allowed. Nor are fishing and private boats permitted on the lake.

It would be possible to upload 20 posts with the information and photos available after yesterday’s fantastic tour in Udaipur, India. We visited places, rode in wild congested traffic in fast, expertly driven tuk-tuks (two motorized passenger rickshaws) to get Shiv Niwas Palace to dine in a fabulous nearby restaurant with exceptional food and service.

A structure on the grounds of Shiv Niwas Palace also known as the City Palace.

But before going further, we must provide an overview of what transpired yesterday to explain a change in the arranged itinerary (through the Maharajas Express train).

Tom listened to our tour guide and provided headsets with the five-star Taj Lake Palace in the background.

After a lovely breakfast on the train by 10:00 am, we wandered to our company-owned, assigned bus #2, of two, that follows the route of the train always to be available for passenger tours to various arranged venues from the several train stations where we stop along the route from Mumbai to Delhi.

The Maharajas Express provided us with many gifts, including scarves and hats.

In air-conditioned comfort in the luxury buses, the ride to the first venue of the day in Udaipur was pleasant and uneventful. We pulled into the guarded gates of the City Palace, also known as Shiv Niwas Palace. We headed to a veranda overlooking the famous artificial (1362) Lake Pichola for photo-taking and detailed storytelling by our guide.

Side view of the City Palace as our boat wafted past.

We’re posting several of those photos today with more following as time allows. About 40 minutes later, the 70 train passengers boarded a flat bottomed boat wearing mandatory life jackets for what proved to be about an hour-long boat tour of Lake Pichola.

Descendants of royalty still live in the Shiv Niwas Palace 

When the first segment of the boat ride ended, our guide explained the much-anticipated lunch venue in the City Palace would have to be moved to another restaurant. The reason?

The palace began being built in 1559 and is always under construction and renovation yet today.

A leopard had entered the palace overnight and had been seen in an area close to the original restaurant in an area that had been cordoned off to protect visitors as well as the leopard.

In recent times, the lake was bone dry during periods of little rain, as shown by watermarks.

Rangers had been called with hopes of tranquilizing and relocating the leopard back to the nearby mountain from whence it had come. Unfortunately, we never had an opportunity to see the leopard, nor did we hear if they had been safely relocated.

A shrine was built between the walls of the palace.

Subsequently, very last minute, the lunch venue was changed to another restaurant on the opposite side of the palace, which was way too far to walk, nor would buses be able to maneuver in the congested, traffic-laden area.

Lake Pichola was man-made in 1362.

After the boat ride, we all meandered to a nearby street within the confines of the palace to be driven by tuk-tuks for what ultimately proved to be an adventurous, heart-pounding 20-minute ride through the worst traffic one can imagine.

As is tradition, a bride and groom have photos taken before their wedding.

My favorite ride as a kid was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, most like long gone from the park but memorable for those of us who remember this ride. Nonetheless, it was the wild ride of our lives. We both giggled over the excitement of it all, which reminded me of my childhood living in California and visiting Disneyland quite often.

Another stunning palace overlooking the lake.

The sights, the sounds, and the smells as we whipped through the city streets were a senses overload. The cows wandering through the streets, the smile on the faces of the adorable children as they waved to us, the shops, the street food, the endless array of motorbikes, the tiny tuk-tuk type trucks, and the people, all was a part of this glorious experience.

Jag Mandir Palace.

Tom couldn’t wipe the smile off his face as our driver rapidly darted in and out of traffic and tight spaces, unlike any ride we’ve ever experienced. We felt like little kids having the time of our lives.

We spotted a few green parrots on the grounds of Jag Mandir.

The lunch as the fantastic restaurant was an indescribable buffet of Indian foods like none other with many items I could eat. The head chef walked me through the buffet line, pointing to the safe things for my way of eating. Once back at our table of eight, I was in pure heaven eating the spicy and flavorful foods.

The tuk-tuks were lined up and ready to take us to the opposite side of the palace, which required a 20-minute wild ride through narrow streets and outrageous traffic.

On the other hand, Tom only had a few bites, claiming he was saving room for another great dinner on the train. But I knew him better. He politely tasted a few items, but these spicy items were not his “cup of tea.”

A cow and her calf were scavaging for food on the city street.

And, later on, we did have a fabulous dinner with Chef John Stone, preparing yet another memorable meal for me, often stopping at our table, hands pressed together in a gracious Hindu bow, seeking the knowledge that I was pleased.  I was.

Colorful shops lined the streets, many offering a variety of textiles and Pashmina scarves.

Tom even ate lamb last night, the first time I’d ever seen him do so, finishing every last bite. This morning I only had a bowl of plain yogurt since I was still full from yesterday’s eating frenzy.

Busy streets on which we scooted through traffic.

Tomorrow’s post will share some historical facts about the palaces and the fort we visited. There isn’t enough time to go through all of that today since soon lunch will be served, after which we’re heading out on another extensive tour which will include “dinner on the town.”

We were awaiting the name of the restaurant where we dined on delicious Indian food. We’ll add it later.

Need I say? Yep, we’re enjoying every moment of this marvelous adventure, and, undoubtedly, we’re loving India. We’ll be back with more…

Be well

Photo from one year ago today, February 4, 2019:

A hippo and a cattle egret have symbiosis in their relationship. For more photos, please click here.