|Various fern like marine life.|
We’re done sightseeing in London. With the crowds, the daily rain, the waiting in queues (“lines” per British speak), we’ve basically made a decision to stop. Yes, we’re here and yes, we could easily get to other points of interest.
However, as we’ve often mentioned, we do exactly that which “trips our trigger” and fits our budget, as opposed to doing that which might be “expected” of a traveler in a big city. That’s the nature of our lives. That’s why we’re happily living life as we choose.
|Man made replica.|
There’s a price to pay for living life on our terms. We gladly pay it. We pay it in the knowledge that others may be annoyed or disgruntled by our choices. Where are the photos of Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and on and on? We never intend to disappoint.
But, the difference in our travel writing as opposed to what others may write, is simple, we tell it like it is. This life we live is no honeymoon or two week vacation. This is our day to day lives and the greatest joy we find is when we’re living it on our terms.
With two cruises and several small group (8 to 10 travelers) tours scheduled, we’ll have many exciting photos to share in the next few weeks on the first cruise, including Normandy, Stonehenge, Cork, Ireland (Blarney Castle), Klaksvik, Faroe Islands, and Reykjavik, Iceland. Our readers will be bombarded with photos. Sit tight, dear followers. More will come.
|We’d seen a few of these snakes on the road in Africa and one on our veranda in South Africa, the Mozambique Spitting Cobra.|
As for London, we’re done spending money other than for the three remaining dinners and the long drive to Harwich to the pier. The cost of everything is at least 70% more than one would expect to pay. With our family coming to Hawaii for Christmas (14 arriving in December), the cost of two houses, airfare, food and incidentals we need to continue to carefully monitor our budget.
|A prehistoric Amphibian.|
Months ago, we paid for all of the above upcoming tours, the cruises, the hotel in Boston, the flight and hotel in Vancouver. We’ve prepaid in full, the first two months in Hawaii, on Oahu and Maui and also the four months on the island of Kauai.
|Fish from lakes and streams.|
Soon, we’ll pay the balances on the two houses on the Big Island and the more substantial chunks will be out of the way though May 15, 2015. But, the small stuff when traveling can cut deep into one’s planned budget if not careful.
|This is referred to as a Football Fish.|
Are we hypocrites when we don’t like crowds and yet we love cruising? I suppose we may appear to be. Sunday’s upcoming cruise holds 2501 passengers.
|More fish from rivers, lakes and streams.|
How do we tolerate those crowds? We avoid lines. We find cozy quiet spots where we feel as if we’re in our own little world. If the theatre at night is booked at the 8 pm show, we’ll choose the 10 pm show.
|Fish found in the ocean.|
After eight cruises in the past 2o months, we feel we have it fairly well figured out. We love the sea, the making new friends dinners for eight, the gentle rocking of the ship. We even found the storm at sea on the Norwegian Epic commencing on April 20, 2013, to be an adventure.
|More ocean fish.|
We wandered about the ship for those three stormy days with nary a moment of seasickness with swells as high as 50 feet, 15.24 meters, when many passengers and crew were hunkered down in their cabins for days. We loved it all.
|A Lizard that puffs up the frill around the neck to scare off predators. This could be intimidating to say the least.|
In essence, we may contradict ourselves at times. We can avoid a 300 person deep line at a venue and then stand in line 300 deep line to get off the ship for a tour. All of us love what we love whether its the award winning rose in full bloom or the lowly dandelion spewing pollen into the air. One may not be connected to the other.
Yesterday, we embarked on our final sightseeing stint by visiting London’s Natural History Museum. Having avoided hour(s) long queues both mornings or midday, we chose to enter around 4 pm. There was no line at all although fairly crowded inside.
|Komodo Dragons are found on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca and Flores. We’ll be spending four months in Bali, Indonesia in 2016, where tourists have spotted Komodo Dragons on occasion. Komodo Dragons are of the species of Monitor Lizards, two of which lived in our yard in Marloth Park, South Africa. Please see this link to see our photos when they made a rare appearance by the pool.|
Little did we think how odd it would be for us to see animals in either a state of taxidermy or man-made to look lifelike. Having seen most of today’s live animals while on safari in Kenya or surrounding our home in Marloth Park, seeing them in these lifelike forms held little interest to us, except when we spotted a Warthog.
|More marine life.|
We took many photos focusing on the thousands of replications of the live animals that we’ve yet to encounter in our travels. For those that may never see a live lion other than in a zoo, this museum and those like it are an alternative.
After our two hour tour of the museum, we wandered off to try a new restaurant, the popular Polish restaurant, Daquise. My portion of meat consisted of five tiny bites with a side of green beans and a few boiled vegetables.
|We saw a smaller version of similar crabs at the beach in Kenya which is on the eastern coast in Africa. They moved so quickly, we couldn’t get a photo.|
Tom’s dinner of veal schnitzel with mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and bread was satisfactory for him. Had I been able to have starch and gluten, I would have enjoyed the food.
|Many of us lobster enthusiasts would appreciate a lobster of this size on a platter.|
The staffed was stumped as to what would work for me so I chose the meal they suggested based on a recommendation by their chef. We’ll write a positive review on TripAdvisor later today. Our dinner with tax and gratuity, without beverages, sides or desserts was a total of US $66, 40 pounds.
|After many visits by Zebras in our yard in South Africa, seeing this lifelike rendition made me miss them. Click this link to see Zebras that visited us in South Africa.|
Today, we’ll be working on financial matters, booking vehicles for Hawaii and taking a walk later in the day if its not raining.
|Some of the displays of Rhino were taxidermy. There was a sign stating that the horns had been removed and replaced with man made materials. We saw Rhinos in the wild in Kenya. Please click here for a few of our Rhino photos from Kenya.|
Tomorrow, we’ll share the balance of the museum photos and take the long hike to do our final loads of laundry.
|This is actual fossil of the boar as shown.|
On Saturday, we’ll wrap up our total expenses for London sharing the details and breakdown of the costs for the 15 nights we spent in this fine area of South Kensington, London.
|We weren’t certain if this is actual fossils or a man made representation.|
On Sunday, departure day, we’ll post later in the day after we arrive on the ship sharing photos from our 2 1/2 hour drive through the English countryside along with the ship’s boarding process including photos of the ship and our cabin.
|These Elephant tusks are the real deal.|
Each time we board a ship early in the day, most often the cabins aren’t immediately available. Usually, there’s a few hour wait. As is the case with most passengers waiting to gain access to their cabin, everyone heads to the restaurant for a late lunch, the first inclusive meal.
|Ah, my heart did a flip flop when Tom spotted this warthog. The first time either of us had ever seen a warthog was last October in the Masai Mara, Kenya while on safari. Of course, later in South Africa, we joyfully saw them each day. Click here for the first time we saw a live warthog (scroll down the page).|
It is during this period, that I’ll upload and prepare Saturday’s post with photos (barring any WiFi issues), which most likely will be available approximately five hours later than usual.
|The view from our table last night at Daquise.|
|The pleasant place setting at Daquise.|
|Tom’s Veal Schnitzel topped with an egg, mashed potatoes and glazed carrots. he didn’t eat the egg. He doesn’t eat egg and meat together unless its bacon or sausage. He has lots of “food rules.”|
|Those thin pieces of beef hardly filled me up. The cream sauce was made without flour.|
Have a happy day!
Photo from one year ago today, August 28, 2013:
On this date a year ago, as we busily prepared to further lighten our load, we packed and made a pizza for ease of eating leftovers on the remaining nights, which we now find easy to do at the end of a two or three month stay in a vacation home. Also, I wrote about the benefits of eating nuts in moderation. While in Paris and London, with the small portions at restaurants, nuts have been a much needed life saver for me when I’ve been hungry after a tiny meal.
No photos were posted on that date. Instead I posted this nutritional chart on various types of nuts. For more on the story, please click here.
Carbohydrates and Fats in Nuts and Seeds (1 Ounce Unshelled)
|Cal||Tot. Carb||Fiber||Net Carb||Sat. Fat||Mono Fat||ω-3 Fat||ω-6 Fat|