Taking advantage of every moment we can spend with family…Snowstorm in the area…

It was hard to believe we were experiencing winter weather.

Today, we’re staying at the hotel when it’s a very snowy day and dangerous on the roads. This unexpected visit somehow ended up being better timing for our kids to spend time with us, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We are delighted to be spending such quality time with our family members.

The clothing situation continues to be of concern. We went for a quick trip to the pharmacy for a few odds and ends to replace items we needed to use here that were in our lost duffle bags. Here’s the dilemma…if our bags are truly lost, and we never get them back, we need to replace the lost items.

The bags contained almost every one of our hot weather items. Also included were swimwear, shoes, underwear, casual and dressy tops for me, and every pair of pants we currently wear while in South Africa. I’d recently had a couple of old jeans cut off and hemmed by seamstress Tracy at Daisy’s Den into a pair of shorts I was looking forward to wearing in hot weather.

After considerable discussion, we decided to purchase new clothing with the idea that we won’t be getting back our bags. Why not wait and see? Simple reason by our standards…neither can find any clothing we like while in South Africa. Most women aren’t as tall as me, so buying pants is nearly impossible outside the US. Tom has similar issues buying clothes and prefers certain brands he knows they fit him well and last for a long time.

This morning, I started searching through Amazon.com and putting items into our cart that I knew Amazon could deliver to this hotel in time for our December 8th departure. I actually enjoyed online shopping, especially when I knew the prices are excellent on Amazon and I could predict the quality of anything I bought based on experience.

We hadn’t purchased jackets, only sweatshirts, and hoodies, so it was cold when Tom brushed the snow off the car.

It felt good to get this task accomplished on this snowy day. Meanwhile, we contacted our travel insurance company about the missing luggage. We can file a claim for missing baggage. The claim is to cover some of the cost of the replacement clothing and miscellaneous items we needed to replace for almost two weeks in Minnesota. We don’t have to wait for the bags to be found.

Then we got to work calling about how we could renew our passports. Our ten-year passport ran out a year ago, which we replaced with a four-year passport when we were here a few years ago. Now that passport will run out in January 2024. That seems like it’s long enough away not to worry.

However, our upcoming cruises require that we have no less than six months remaining on our passports to sail. This is becoming a common requirement for many travel venues. As it turns out, we cannot apply for a passport renewal while we’re here in the US since doing so requires we mail our existing passports during the application process. We can’t take the risk that the passports won’t get to us in time for travel in nine days.

Our only alternative is to go to a US Embassy while we are in South Africa in either Johannesburg or Cape Town. That’s what we’ll have to do sometime in the next five months…one more trip on our agenda. However, this will allow us to visit Cape Town, which we’ve wanted to do for quite a while. But we’ve been so content in Marloth Park, we haven’t traveled much to other parts of the country.

The rest of this week is busy. Yesterday afternoon, Tom spent time with his son TJ which we’ll do again before we leave next week. Tomorrow, we’ll head out with daughter Tammy and grandson Vincent to visit Tom’s sister Patty and elder brother Jerome who recently turned 94 along with Tom’s sister Colleen who will join all of us. Thursday evening we’re going to dinner with Greg’s family.

We’re pretty much planning to spend most days or evenings with our kids and grandkids. We are excited about every event with our family members. We would love to have time to see our friends here but time is short and since we didn’t have an opportunity to see anyone due to our being sick with Omicron in May. We’re certainly making up for lost time now.

Tonight, we have leftover food we purchased at the grocery store for last night’s dinner and we will stay in, rather than venture out for dinner in the snowy weather. All is good here.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, November 29, 2021:

Two elephants flapped their ears as we passed. For more photos, please click here.