Ten days and counting…Phones…contemplating technology for the USA…A kindly and thoughtful expression…

We loved this area of the Manly Scenic Walk.

This morning, we created our grocery list for meals for the remaining days until we depart on April 22nd. Unfortunately, I’d uploaded a suitable grocery app on my Android phone when I could not find the same apps I’d used in years past.

Pelican in North Harbour Reef Bay.

After the new phone arrived in the “missing” box a week ago, I’ve spent considerable time setting up apps I like to use. My last phone was a Windows device which overall I prefer over Android. 

When I ordered the new unlocked phone online, I was willing to sacrifice Windows over Android when prices for purchasing an unlocked phone were high, primarily when they’re not associated with a service contract. 
Exciting trees and vegetation line the walkway to the park.
Having paid around AU 173, US $130 for the unlocked smartphone with options for two SIM cards and suitable storage for my needs without a contract, I didn’t complain.
When it first arrived, and I began loading my “stuff,” I was concerned I’d be dissatisfied with the operating system. Now a week later, with all my preferred apps loaded, I’m pretty content. I’m one of those geeky types that obsess over learning every aspect of a device by monkeying with it for days.
The playground at the park is often busy.

The only part I’ve yet to learn is making phone calls. Ha! That’s ironic…we have phones and don’t make calls.  However, once we arrive in Minnesota on May 25th, one of the first things we’ll do is purchase US SIM cards for each of our phones to be in touch with family and each other as we plan activities with family members and friends. That’s a must!

Boats are moored throughout the inlets of North Harbour Reef Bay.
Tom’s new laptop is set up, and he’s learning the nuances of Windows 10 over the previous Windows 8.1.  The differences are many, but he’s figuring it all out. I’m impressed by how little he’s asked for assistance over this past week. Perhaps, he’s becoming computer savvy after all this time.
Kookaburras are found everywhere. 
Yesterday, we paid the balance for the hotel in Minnesota, AU 4,818.60, US $3,615.88, after we’d already paid a 25% deposit almost a year ago. So the total for the six weeks is AU 6,424.25, US $4,820.76, not bad for a lovely hotel in a convenient and safe area that includes two pools, free WiFi, daily breakfast, and a free shuttle to specific regions.

It’s hard to believe how quickly the time has flown since we began planning the family visits to Minnesota and Nevada. We’ll arrive in Minnesota in 43 days and Nevada in 87 days.
The lush green lawn in the park.
In the interim, we’re continuing to thoroughly enjoy our time in this beautiful area, greatly enhanced by our kindly and thoughtful landlord Bob. He wrote an email to us in the past few days, which we’ve posted below.
Homes, apartments, and condos are tightly packed into hillsides to take advantage of exquisite views.
It appears that most of our readers prefer to avoid using the sign-up feature on our web page to receive a daily email containing each day’s posts (no spam, no solicitation, no ads of any type when signing up). 
All public areas we’ve visited in Australia are meticulously maintained.
As was the case with Bob when he started to post a comment at the end of a post but found he preferred to write directly to us, although we see him in person several times a day.

Please feel free to email us directly if you’d prefer not to post a comment on the site. If we post your email message in a future post, we’ll ask your permission before we do so and exclude your email address and name (if you’d prefer). However, posting a comment is easy.  We love hearing from our readers!

Locals take advantage of the sunny day.
Bob wrote the following, which he was happy to share here today:
“I am overwhelmed by your excellent website as you travel all over the world to the most fantastic destinations that most of us only dream about visiting.

The daily updates on where you are presently residing, and the exciting photos give us readers an insight into places that we can only dream of visiting one day.
Reading back over your daily blog since you first started your worldwide journey inspires us to see the place you have already visited from a much bigger perspective.

As you travel the world, may you continue to keep all those who loyally follow you informed of where you are, and may good health be your companion along the way?

Kindest regards

Bob Reed – Fairlight NSW Australia”
An exciting plant we found at the park.  Last time we saw one of these was in Kenya in 2013.
Thank you, Bob…for your kind words, for all your diligent attention in ensuring we have an exceptional experience in your property, your charming town, and the many beautiful areas of Fairlight, Manly, and Sydney.  

No doubt, it’s been more memorable than we ever expected based on the generosity and love you’ve shared with us every day. We’ll certainly miss you!

Happy day to all!
Photo from one year ago today, April 12, 2016:
Ah, bull in the road. We stayed in the car while I took the photo through the windshield. For more photos, please click here.

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