Winding down...packing day...Recap of Madeira in photos...Tomorrow, we leave for Paris...


We reveled in a full moon over the hills of Madeira or a clear night.
Yesterday, we defrosted the freezer and cleaned the refrigerator.  Frost free is a thing of our long ago past.  And, although owners don't expect us to do major cleaning as we prepare to embark to our next location, we choose to leave the property as clean and a tidy as possible.

Tom recalls our time in Madeira as a memorable experience.


Always windy, but I loved every day in Madeira.
With most of our packing completed today, we'll be set to go first thing tomorrow morning, departing for the airport at 7 am.  With everything done in advance, we'll only need to awake by 6 am, in time to shower and dress. Unfortunately, neither of us sleep well the night before departure, more as a result of the necessity of arising early, than any anxiety about leaving. 

A typical partial day road trip resulted in driving through dozens of tunnels.
Although we'll only be in the air for only a total of four hours, our trip is an all day affair with a 2 1/2 hour layover in Lisbon and a one hour time change.  The flights arrives at Orly Airport in Paris at 5:15 pm. 

We always enjoyed when the low lying clouds and fog rolled in.
Then, we'll pick up our bags, wade through the usual long lines at immigration, and grab a cab to our hotel.  We don't expect to arrive at our hotel until 7:30 pm. 

Early on, we purchased this tuna, caught that morning, from the musical fish truck.
If time allows during our long layover in Lisbon, we may decide to eat at the airport when the last time we were there, we had a decent meal.  Getting the food out of the way will leave us time to wander about Paris for a few hours after we check in and unpack, perhaps stopping for a light meal or snack later in the evening, if we so choose.

We arrived in Madeira mid May when the flowers were in full bloom.  They were the most beautiful flowers we've seen anywhere.
We've both learned to temper our enthusiasm when heading to a new location until we actually arrive.  Traveling to Paris was for more for me than for Tom so I may be the only one of us tempering enthusiasm. But, we shall see.  I have no doubt he'll enjoy it as well.

The goats and two kids next door were a constant source of enjoyment.  Although too far to get good photos, they were close enough to always respond with a hearty "baah" whenever we sent a "baah" their way. 
As soon as I post this today, I'm heading upstairs to place all of my clothes in the Space Bags to be ready for Tom to suck out the air using the little vacuum.  Then, I'll pack the one remaining smaller suitcase with the medical supplies, toiletries and cosmetic bag, top off my large bag with odds and ends and then I'm set.

We purchased fresh organic produce from the musical truck every week during our time in Madeira.
Hopefully, our goal to be free of at least one carry on will prove to be achieved.  Tom insisted we keep my laptop bag until after we packed to ensure we didn't need it.  I think we'll be OK without using it.

Beautiful untraditional colors of vegetation.


We never ceased to enjoy the terraced gardens so typical on the island.
Our portable printer died and we tossed it.  What a piece of junk after all.  It was nothing but a hassle from the first time we used it.  Getting rid of it and its supplies rid us of a few more pounds/kilos.  We'll figure out life without a printer. 

A surprising close up of what appeared to be a blue stalk from afar.


We were amazed by the green fuzzy buds on this colorful flower.
I groaned over the necessity of having to use a piece of paper when digital is the way to go.  Certainly a copy of anything on one's smart phone should be all that anyone needs to show for any service or event.  Since we left the US, we've found less and less of a need for the requisite piece of paper required for some venues and reservations. 

We were delighted when these orchids were growing on our patio.


We squealed when we drove under a waterfall in order to continue on the road.
We'll be back tomorrow with our final post from Madeira until Friday, when we post directly from Paris.  Wow!  I love the way that sounds!
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Photo from one year ago today, July 30, 2013: 

There was no post on this date one year ago when the Internet was down for the day.  Here is a photo from our trip to the walled city of Lucca, Tuscany, Italy.
In the walled city of Lucca, there were numerous interesting historic buildings most remaining in excellent condition.

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