Tom’s new laptop order in process…News on lost package…

Surf board shop in Manly Beach.

Whew!  We’re on a roll!  “Safari luck” has kicked in!  Immigration issues are solved, we found Tom a new computer which will be shipped today and much to our surprise, our package missing after a February 11th shipping date from Nevada, has arrived at the post office in Geeveston, Tasmania as of this morning. 

Anne, our former landlord in the Huon Valley, Tasmania will forward it to us tomorrow.  It should arrive within five days.  We couldn’t be more thrilled and relieved.

We walked through the uncrowded outdoor Corco in Manly, a pleasant area to visit.

This past Sunday, if you’d have asked us how we’re doing, we’d have said we were a little worried over all of the above.  Then when we had a awful experience trying to purchase a new laptop online for Tom, an unfamiliar feeling of stress escalated. 

It wasn’t as simple as finding the right product and having it shipped to Australia.  We contacted most of the major digital equipment suppliers in Australia and were unable to find the make, model and specs for the laptop he preferred; an Acer 15.6″ touch screen with backlit keyboard and one terabyte of storage, hopefully with Windows 10.  As for other specs he had some flexibility. 

On Saturday, numerous booths lined the walkway through the Corso mall.

Adding to the difficulty in searching online was the fact that we only had one computer to use for the search, taking twice as long as usual.  Considering the fact that certain aspects of Australian products have variances from our more familiar US made products, buying locally wasn’t all that appealing.  No offence intended for Australia.  This is true in every country.

When I dropped my laptop in Marloth Park, South Africa in 2013, breaking the screen I had no choice but to purchase an HP, the only touch screen we could find locally only to discover the “new” model was missing many familiar aspects vital to my use and had trouble with a letter on the keyboard which drove me nuts.  I only kept it until we got to Hawaii in 2014 when I replaced it for an Acer model with similar specs as indicated above for Tom.

Rather than shopping, many spent time at the beach for the volleyball competitions, which we’d visited earlier in the day.  That day, walking 10,000 steps came easily.

Let’s face it…we all like what we know and find familiar.  It will be tough enough for Tom, not an especially savvy user, to adjust to the newer Windows 10 operating system. 

But, it made no sense to purchase an aged new-in-the-box model with Windows 8.1, now an outdated operating system which I still have until we get to the US when I, too, will make a new purchase.  My laptop’s functionality is rapidly declining.  Hopefully, it will last for another 60 days.

Many types of handmade crafts are on display each Saturdays.

Since the onset of our travels we replaced our laptops about every 18 months.  The constant traveling has taken its toll and no doubt, the constant use has a bearing on the life of these products.  Plus, with the reasonable cost of laptops over the years, its makes no sense to adopt workarounds from issues that develop over time.

In Tom’s recent situation when only a few days ago on Saturday morning, his laptop died.  As mentioned in a prior post, we took it to a repair shop only to discover there was literally nothing that could be done to repair it.

Monument in Manly.

After we exhausted the prospect of making a purchase in Australia (plus, prices in Australia were about twice as much as in the US, even considering shipping costs), we decided to make a purchase in the US and have it shipped to us here in Fairlight/Manly.

We strolled through an outdoor market in the Corso shopping area in Manly.

This wasn’t as easy as one would think.  Most suppliers in the US don’t ship internationally and if they do, they only offer the economy rate which would be unlikely to arrive in time before we leave on April 22nd.  Also, we wanted Tom to have a laptop in hand within a week or two, if at all possible.

Right now, he’s using his phone with the house’s Wi-Fi connection and is able to access his email, Facebook and his usual favorite sites.  When I’m not posting or doing some type of work for our travels, he uses my laptop.  Not ideal, its our only option at the moment.

This display caught Tom’s eye and we stopped to check it out.

Finally, late Monday afternoon, after deciding we’d use Amazon for the purchase from the link on our site, we found what we were looking for, spec-wise, not shipping-wise.  Even Amazon, which is a global shipper, couldn’t get it to us quickly enough.

Tom insisted on buying me this silver necklace (in the event he becomes forgetful in his old age). I thought it would be perfect to wear on cruises when its hard to remember names when meeting so many people.  I’m often called “Jennifer” instead of “Jessica.”  This cute necklace should help.

Subsequently, we ordered the laptop with our Prime membership’s free shipping feature to be sent to our mailing service in Nevada, expected to arrive tomorrow.  Eric, our mailing service rep will turn it around and ship it to us using insured express 3 to 5 day international shipping.  That cost will be high but at this point, we feel this is our best option.

Sure, we could have waited until we arrived in the US in 60 days but Tom without a laptop with the upcoming 24 night cruise and the nine night Alaskan cruise, this would not have been appealing to him, especially since we’d have to purchase VOOM Wi-Fi for the 24 night cruise for my use anyway.

Casino and bar in the Corso.

Yesterday, when Royal Caribbean was offering a 30% discount on VOOM Wi-Fi, we purchased the high speed service for two devices at a cost of AU $691, US $527.76.  If we waited to get on the ship to make the purchase we’d have paid 30% more.

Tom before yesterday’s haircut in Manly.

This particular sailing from Sydney to Seattle is a “repositioning” cruise which offers numerous discounts when the cruise line has to move a ship from one location of the world to another.  All services and events remain the same.  The cruise fare is considerably less than the usual fare but such extras as free Wi-Fi, free gratuities, free beverage packages and large cabin credits may not be included. 

Yesterday, Bob took us grocery shopping and for Tom to get what proved to be a great haircut. Ironically, as indicated below in the one-year-ago-photo, he had a haircut at the same chain salon, Just Cuts, on exactly the same date in New Plymouth, New Zealand.  Go figure.  Coincidences do happen.

Tom, this morning, after yesterday’s haircut.

But, safari luck…huuummm…we’re grateful and flying high with how so much can change in a few short days. 

Be well.  Be happy.


Photo from one year ago today, March 29, 2016:

Tom’s hair had grown unruly since his last haircut in Savusavu, Fiji in early November, almost five months earlier.  This haircut took place at Just Cuts in New Plymouth, New Zealand on March 29, 2016. Coincidentally, Tom had a haircut on March 29, 2017, at Just Cuts Salon in Manly  which we’re posting today. Ha!  For more details, please click here.

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