The Minnesota visit continues…Photos from our journey…

Roomy seats in Business Class that entirely lay down. I have no idea what he was looking at.

We expected to be busier here than we’ve been, but with Covid-19 and most of our friends worried about being around us with us coming from South Africa, we haven’t had our calendar as complete as in past visits. We certainly understand their hesitancy. After all, as of today, it’s only been seven days since we were vaccinated. We have another seven days to go to ensure the two-week period for maximum safety after vaccination.

It was such a relief to be in Business Class, away from other passengers other than one another. My clothes were all bunched up while I was wearing several layers. We wore two masks on the plane.

We’re a little surprised by how careless people are here. Few, if any, wear face masks, and social distancing is not happening out and about, in stores or public locations. We have no idea if people are washing or sanitizing their hands, but we don’t see anyone using the provided sanitation stations available at the entrance to most shops.

But, when checking stats, we can certainly understand why Minnesotans aren’t interested or motivated in following Covid protocols.

Roomier Business Class area on the huge plane.

Stats for Minnesota, which is in the 19th position on Worldometer. Click here for details:

(Total cases, new cases, total deaths. There were no new cases or deaths as yesterday).

And yet, when we look at South Africa, which is in the 18th position worldwide, up from 20th a month ago.

With 21,427 new cases as of yesterday, of course, President Cyril Ramaphosa has ordered a recent ramped-up lockdown, including an alcohol ban. (Total cases, new cases, total deaths. 411 new deaths).

Tom was preparing to put on his compression socks for our upcoming 20 hours of flying time on the two longest legs of our journey to the USA. I had put mine on earlier in the day.

Thank goodness, when we’ll return to South Africa in 18 days, fully vaccinated but will remain cautious. The vaccine is no guarantee of total safety from the virus. However, we’ve read that 30 days after the jab, the protection from the vaccine increases exponentially. That’s a relief.

Besides, most of our local South African friends will not have been vaccinated by the time we return. Of course, we’re concerned for their safety when there are now over 35 active cases in Marloth Park, based on what we’ve heard so far, which may or may not be accurate.

We’ve been able to get the bulk of our shopping done while in the USA. Tom has some new clothes and shoes. I have ordered a few clothing items but still need a few pairs of jeans which, most likely, I’ll order online and have shipped to our mailing service in Nevada.

Tom’s takeaway (room service) meal at the hotel in Johannesburg when a new lockdown required all restaurants to be closed. (Reminiscent of our time in India, huh?)

Yesterday, I ordered a new camera, a newer model of the camera we had. My familiarity with that model made the most sense, especially since it has a few new features I’ll enjoy using. Also, from Amazon, I ordered two more pairs of shoes that I knew will fit without issue. More on that later.

We visited a DSW shoe warehouse while out and about, but I didn’t see anything that fit my criteria of being ultra-comfortable and washable. After all, shoes get very dirty in South Africa. At US Amazon, I had no trouble finding what I liked in my size.

This afternoon, we’re heading to Tom’s sister Mary’s house in Andover for a family barbecue. We stopped at Cub Foods and picked up a salad for me, brats for the grill with buns for Tom. This weekly barbecue was an event we attended when we were here in 2017 during the summer months. We hope to see even more members of his family.

My room service meal in Johannesburg. I gave Tom my rice but ate the chicken and veg.

If time allows for Greg, Camille, and family, we’ll visit them tomorrow morning and then head to Tom’s family’s weekly happy hour and dinner get-together at Billy’s Bar in Anoka.

Well, dear readers, that’s the only update I have for today. Please know that we’re very aware of our lack of photos. Some readers have asked for photos of family members. But, please keep in mind, not everyone wants their image posted online for “the world” to see. We get this and must respect their privacy.

Have a pleasant day! Stay safe wherever you may be.

Photo from one year ago today, July 8, 2020:

These common Yellow Allamanda were growing like crazy in the garden of our holiday home in Fairlight, Australia, in 2017. For more photos, please click here.

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