Our friends have left…Doing exactly what we prefer to do…The golf cart included with our rental…

This is the Yamaha golf cart that’s included in our rent.

Late yesterday afternoon, Karen and Rich headed to her mom’s home, a 15-minute drive from here. I have known Donna for many years as Karen’s loving mom, and we plan to visit her in the next few weeks. On Tuesday, we’re taking Karen and Rich to the Orlando Airport as they take off for Karen’ts son Jack’s wedding in Minnesota.

They offered to leave their car with us during the two weeks they are away rather than leave the car in the parking lot at the airport. This works well for us. On Tuesday afternoon, they’ll return and pick us up while we drop them off at the airport, an hour’s drive from here. When they return at the end of the month, we’ll pick them up, and they’ll drop us back at our house. Geographically, this all works out well.

We plan to see Karen and Rich during our remaining time in Florida. They’ve offered to pick us up on another date to spend a few night’s at their fabulous new home in Bradenton, another two-hour drive. Otherwise, they may return and spend a few more days with us here, whichever works well logistically with everyone’s schedule.

The longer we are in The Villages, the more research we do to determine what appeals to us the most. We’ve gone through the list of daily activities, and many don’t appeal to us. We don’t play tennis or pickleball, and although that sounds fun, my weak legs prevent either of these sports from being possible.

This is the only storage area in the golf cart, leaving little room for groceries other than a few bags.

Many of the activities are those that are commonly found on cruise ships. If you like to see what’s available today, click here for the long list of activities. After sharing this list with Tom, he didn’t seem interested in any of the activities, and we accepted the reality that such activities don’t necessarily appeal to us after all.

Sure, we’d like to meet new people and hope to do so when we attend events in the various town squares and dine out each week. But we have a massive list of people here that would like to get together, which alone could keep us busy the entire time we are here.

Let’s face it; our interests have changed over the years of world travel. Also, we spend half of each day working on our posts, future travel plans, and communication with family, friends, and readers. After our walk in the morning, cooking and eating breakfast, doing household chores, and prepping dinner, the day flies by. We enjoy all these activities at the house and never feel bored or lonely. By late afternoon, we feel prepared to socialize, alone or with others.

These two bikes are in the garage, but I don’t think I can safely ride a bike anymore.

Many would say, “Get out! Try something new! Don’t be stuck in the mud!”

But our lives consist of always “trying something new,” and we never feel “stuck in the mud.” If it weren’t for this blog, no one would know what we do and don’t do. And we decided long ago that we can’t live our lives for the blog. The blog represents our chosen life and activities, not driven by it. That would be impossible with a new post uploaded daily. It would be too much pressure.

Our lives are about low stress, as much as possible, and choosing to do what appeals to us the most. Before we went into lockdown in India in 2020, we had embarked on about 20 safaris at three national parks. We never hesitated to do this. We never hesitated to interact with the people or the animals while in Africa. We rarely turn down an opportunity for social interaction.

Helmets are included with the bikes.

We never hesitated to embark on 10-person rubber Zodiac boats to explore icebergs and wildlife in Antarctica. We never hesitated to explore the souks in Marrakesh, Morocco, walk the hilly roads in Boveglio, Italy, or even attend a party where no one spoke English. We never hesitated to stand in the pouring rain, soaked to the gills for over an hour, to see the Gardens of Versailles in France.

We never hesitated to live on farms, learn about farm life, and spend time with farm animals and farmers. We never hesitated to embark on almost 30 cruises in the past ten years to see more of the world than any flights could ever offer us and so much more, the content of which is documented in over 3900 posts.

We’ve continued on when many others may have quit. Since that, too, was precisely what we wanted to do. And that will be the same for us while in The Villages. We are relishing the comfort and amenities of living in this lovely house and will enjoy many social events we plan for our time here. We are having dinner guests on Wednesday, people we’ve never met, and friends Carol and Mark are coming next Saturday for three nights.

Doing precisely what we like to do…

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, May 13, 2013:

Due to our 10-hour expeditions to Petra, Jordan, we couldn’t prepare a post on this date. Stop back tomorrow for the fantastic photos.

Oops…forgot to upload yesterday’s post…Tom returns today!…11 year anniversary of our posts!…

A kudu mom and her young son who will eventually become a Big Daddy.

Gee…  late last night, I started getting messages that there was no post yesterday. Then it dawned on me that I hadn’t uploaded it since I was waiting to hear from Tom since he always proofread the posts within minutes of it being uploaded so we can correct any errors.

The time slipped away when he was on the plane for 16 hours. And I became so distracted by hearing his voice when he arrived that I forgot entirely about uploading the post. Neither of us thought of it when all that was on our minds was him getting back to me in the bush. Gosh, it’s been a long ten days.

Once he got situated in his hotel room in Joburg after we’d talked, he noticed I hadn’t uploaded the post and sent me a message. By then, I was under the covers and thinking about dozing off. It had to wait until this morning. If I got up and turned my laptop back on, I’d lose the sleepiness I was feeling.

Zebras wander over to the railing for pellets.

First thing this morning, I uploaded yesterday’s post, and now I am busy doing today’s, which I will remember to upload. I am still in one piece, counting the hours until Tom returns. I can’t tell you how many readers wrote to me wondering if a lion had eaten me.

A few minutes ago, I got a message from Tom that his Airlink flight from Joburg to Nelspruit had been delayed, a rare occurrence for that airline. They are always on time, from our experience. Oh, dear, so close and yet so far away. Now, I am waiting to hear from him as to when his expected arrival will be. He still has a long drive from Nelspruit to Marloth Park, with lots of traffic and endless trucks traveling on the N4 highway during the week.

I just heard from Tom. He’s on the plane. He should be landing in about 40 minutes. Then, he’ll get his bag and the rental car to begin the drive.

Zebras continue to stop by daily.

This morning I started working on tonight’s special dinner. I’m planning to make Chateau Briand with a fine piece of beef tenderloin with a lovely red wine mushroom sauce with roasted carrots and onions. But we may decide to have fillet mignon steaks with the mushroom sauce since we both like a different degree of doneness…he prefers medium-rare, and I like rare, which is tough to do when making Chateau Briand. It’s got to be one or the other. Plus, there’s load shedding from 5:00 pm, 1700 hrs., to 7:30 pm, 1930 hrs., and we won’t be able to use the oven. This dish is best prepared in an oven as opposed to a grill.

So we shall see. He’ll have rice, and both of us will have salad which I already prepared this morning, adding the homemade dressing at the end. It’s an easy dinner to prepare, leaving us plenty of time to catch up and enjoy the remainder of the day and the evening on the veranda.

We often find ourselves rereading specific posts, often many we’ve forgotten we ever wrote. It was 11 years ago today that we uploaded our first post, which may be found here. Maybe we will reread that post together this evening during sundowners on the veranda. It’s such fun to review our lives in such detail whenever it appeals to us.

Hoppie’s Mom and piglets can’t resist breaking through the fence to get into the garden.

Also, seeing old photos is a special treat. We didn’t post many photos in the first year, but after our readership grew in leaps and bounds, we realized adding photos was a must, along with uploading a new post daily. Initially, we thought we were doing the posts to keep the family updated. Little did we know it would eventually grow in leaps and bounds to reach readers worldwide. We are very grateful to all of our readers.

Soon Vusi will be here. He’ll fill the water dispenser with water so I can make Tom a huge batch of his favorite iced tea. Then, he’ll refill the pellet bucket so Tom won’t have to do it when he arrives. Plus, Vusi will fill the birdbath with fresh water and the birdseed containers with seeds. I’ve made lots of ice using our ice cube trays, so Tom won’t have to do that either. I want his first few days back to be free of household chores so he can relax and do what he loves.

Thanks for all the love and support from so many while I’ve been alone in the bush these past ten days and nights. It’s meant so much to me that I never really felt alone.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, March 15, 2022:

Warthogs often photobomb! For more photos, please click here.