1000th post today! How did we ever come to this? A fabulous video to share! Please check it out!

It took considerable time to get this video.  Finally, Tom suggested I kept the camera opened and ready when we realized if I stood up to take the video, he'd stop singing.  As a result, part of this video is through the screen door to the lanai, my view from where I was sitting at the time.  Enjoy this simple video with us for the magnificence of Mother Nature and for the world around us, whether its a little bird or a goliath rhino.  It all matters.
Today we're posting for the 1000th time.  How did this happen so fast? Where did the time go?  When we look back at prior posts we realize that so much has transpired, that we've had so many diverse experiences.
Often we noticed digitally enhanced photos of roses with raindrops.  This photo is exactly as we took it when we walked after a rain shower a few days ago.
Its hard to believe  that on March 14, 2012, I sat down in my comfy chair in my old life and wrote the very first post found here?  In the early days, I wrote sporadically as is the case for most bloggers. 

There are numerous varieties of anthurium these included.
At that time, I seldom included photos for which I used my less-than-ideal smart phone camera, with little knowledge on how to adequately use the digital camera we had. 

It was only after we left the US on our first cruise that we purchased the first of three digital cameras we've since owned, each a little more sophisticated than the other.  Finally, I began to learn to take photos and include photos in the posts which has proven to be an ongoing learning experience but a pure labor of love.

Apparently, this is a Giant Sunflower, the first we've seen in our neighborhood.
There was a gap in time from leaving Minnesota until we first left the US, from October 31 to January 3, 2013, slightly over two months.  Originally, when we were completing our paperwork to leave the US, we decided to rent a vacation rental in Scottsdale, Arizona for a few months.

This way, we'd be close to eldest son Richard in Henderson, Nevada, my sister in Los Angeles and Tom's sisters who spent the Minnesota winters in Apache Junction, Arizona each year. 

Often ambitious gardeners plant these parasitic type pods to palm tree in order to grow more orchids. 
With plans to get together for the holidays of 2012 with all of the above family members, and more we also rented a vacation home in Henderson, Nevada for a week, leaving behind the rented condo in Scottsdale which had no room for overnight guests.  We had a blast to say the least.

During the remainder of our time in Scottsdale, we kept busy taking care of "paperwork" and other tasks associated with leaving the US; taxes, banking investments, lowest ATM fees and exchange rate credit cards, new computers, phones and digital equipment and on and on.

Close up of the orchids growing on the above parasitic pod is eye catching.
We were busy almost everyday of those two months in Scottsdale working on all of the above, talking walks in the neighborhood, going out to breakfast at a favorite local restaurant, US Egg, and fine tuning our scheduled bookings for the upcoming two years. 

Packing in those days was a nightmare.  We had 17 pieces of luggage. Now we're down to two large, one medium, one computer bag and purse, for a total of five items.  Big difference.  Now, we can pack in 30 minutes.  Then, it took days.

A new little palm tree had sprouted at the base of this tree.
After the holidays and saying goodbye, we left Henderson to return to the Scottsdale condo on December 27, 2012 for the few remaining days until we were ready to leave for San Diego, California for our first ever upcoming cruise which was scheduled to sail on January 3, 2013. 

We loaded everything into Tom's car and on January 1, 2013, we drove to San Diego to stay with my niece and her husband for two nights.  On January 3rd, we drove to the pier in San Diego, spotted our ship, the Celebrity Century and for the first time the excitement kicked in. 

It looks like these are impatiens a popular shady area flower we often planted in Minnesota.
My sister Julie, her partner and Richard met us in San Diego at the pier.  Julie wanted to say goodbye and Richard came to say goodbye and to take the car off of our hands, later to sell it.  Wow!  How this all worked out so well still baffles us.

The excitement, the trepidation, the uncertainty and a bit of fear washed over both of us.  As the ship sailed away from the pier we looked at one another as we stood on the deck of the ship and Tom said, "Can you believe we did this?"

We were baffled when we spotted these buds unsure of what they'd become.
I shook my head as I looked deep into his blue eyes, "No, I can't believe we did this."

In time, the fear wafted away to be replaced by an innate sense of adventure and excitement which remains firmly in place today, 1000 posts later.  In 26 days the adventure will continue as we board yet another ship on cruise #11 since that date in January, 2013. 

And then, we walked a little further to spot these and we had our answer, more exquisite orchids.
In eighteen days at sea we'll be in Australia, living close to the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback, the ocean, the jungle and wildlife galore, Funnel Web Spiders, Tiger Snakes, and crocs.  Now, we're talking adventure!

Thanks to all of our readers all over the world who have followed us, written to us, challenged us.  Thanks to all the contributors to our site.  Thanks to all the wonderful people we've met in our travels, on cruises, on beaches, at vacation homes, who invited us to social events and to all of the people who assisted us in one way or another. 

A different arrangement of orchid buds.  We're looking forward to when these all bloom, hopefully in the next 25 days while we're still in Kauai.
We are humbled.  We are grateful and most of all, we're in awe of the world around us.  Let's see what happens over the next 1000 posts!  Whatever it is, you'll find it here, each day when you turn on your laptop, desktop, iPad, iPhone or other smart phone to see what's happening...in the life...

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Photo from one year ago today, April 28, 2014:

Houseman Samir warned us about purchasing spices from open containers such as these which were often stale or contaminated.  Since Madame Zahra did all of our cooking, we had no use for spices during our period in Morocco.  For more details, please click here.

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down...Not really...How much time do we have left?...Reading list...Tom adds a story!

This Marigold was the most beautiful we've seen. 
Here's the song from 1971 by the Carpenters that popped into my head first thing this morning when I noticed the cloudy day and the Monday morning.  Sorry about the ad which you can push past.  Sure brings us back to reality that this song was popular 44 years ago.  Gee...didn't I just turn 44?  Ha! Where did the time go?

The days, the weeks, the months are flying by so quickly now, there's hardly time to stop and reflect upon days passed.  The weekend wafted by in a flurried mix of long walks, good movies, good food and speaking to friends on Skype. 

Pink Orchids, common to the Hawaiian Islands.
"They" (whomever "they" are) say as we age and eventually retire, time flies more quickly.  Perhaps, as we age its not about time flying faster and more about the fact that we are more resilient and less stressed with the daily activities around working, raising a family (or not) and trying to "make it."

Once we retire, we let the dreams go of fame, wealth and prosperity (for those of us who haven't achieved those levels) and we comfortably settle into a life of reality.  Here's who I am.  Here's those who love me.  Here's how much I can spend to live.  Here's what I can realistically accomplish in the years I have left to live.

The vibrant hot pink in these orchids was breathtaking.
Have you ever counted the years you may have left on this earth using your expected longevity based on your health and heritage?  I do every so often, realizing that at 67, my life may end in 20 years.  Then I recall back to 20 years ago, trying to get a frame of reference as to how much time I may actually have left.  

Twenty years ago, I married Tom.  I was as happy as I could be.  Now, these 20 years later, most of which were happy, some of which were wrought with worry and strife, as life often is, I realize that I do have enough time to complete my mission, health and safety providing.

The color of these tiny flowers is almost florescent.  We've yet to find the name.  With the help of reader, Annie, these are Pentas.  Thanks, Annie!
And aren't we kind of like a company needing our own mission statement to decide what we want to accomplish and how we'll go about achieving it?  Many of us go through life waiting for the "next best thing" to happen to determine our path.

For many years I did this along with a thought that quality of life was based on how hard you worked, how hard you loved and how kind you were, all of which were thrown into a bucket waiting for "luck" to be thrown into the mix.  I've learned it doesn't work that way.  It took a long time.

When I turned 50 years old, one day I woke up and got it.  I wasn't going to make the billions I dreamed of and life the life commensurate with those billions. 

Golden tipped Anthurium.
I wasn't going to be standing at a podium in front of an applauding audience extoling the virtues of hard work and dedication, along with a magic potion of all the insightful morsels of every motivational speaker I'd ever heard.

Nope, this is it.  This is the life I chose and the person I chose to live it with.  Now 17 years after my revelation, I'm happy.  (We've been together for 24 years, married for 20).  Oh, its not jumping up and down happy, although at times we both feel that way.  Instead, as I awake each day I hear these words in my head, "Yeah, another day I can have a whack at it!"  I'm grateful, to say the least.  He is too.

This is Poinsettia in its off season.  Still lovely.
This life has nothing to do with luck.  Happiness has nothing to do with luck. For both of us it has everything to do with sacrifice, letting go, stepping outside the box, being fearless, strict adherence to health and well being and above all, a determined choice to get along with one another and allow ourselves the privilege of being happy.

So many couples (bear with me, single people) waste years of their lives together in disharmony. How many times have we heard from the one left behind how they wished they'd have been more tolerant, more patient, more loving?  Not us, we decided to do that now.  If I want to curse him or vise versa, we can save it for when the other is gone in 20 years, 30 years or who knows?

What a peculiar growing thing!
Ah, enough pontificating.  On with the reading list which will not be belabored by any means.

Here's Tom most recent reading material:
1.  Railroad War by Leon Speroff
2.  Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin
3.  Dial M, The Murder of Carol Thompson by William Swanson
4.  Stolen from the Garden by William Swanson
5.  Vince Flynn, Minnesota author who's since passed away, having written about a dozen books, all of which Tom's read since we left.
6.  Why Coolidge Matters by Charles C. Johnson
7.  Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robisson
8.  Preposterous Papa by Lewis Meyer (This book was written by friend Richard's uncle about the life of his grandfather). 

Tiny puffs, miniature Bottle Brush flowers.
 Here's what I'm reading:
1.  Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman
2.  Wheat Belly Total Health by Dr. William Davis
3.  Altered Genes, Twisted Truth by Steven M. Druker
4.  The Big Fat Surprise by Nin Teicholz
5.  The Paleo Manifesto by John Durant

You can copy and paste any of these titles into the amazon link on the right side of the page for more details or email us for assistance or with questions.


Today's post reminded Tom of a story he wanted to share.  Here it is:

"A successful man was giving a speech about how he achieved his success.
He told the story of losing all his money gambling in Las Vegas and he didn't have the 10 cents required in those days to use the toilet.

He explained his predicament to the first guy he sees outside the restroom  door asking if he'd give him a dime for the toilet.  The guy pulled a dime out of his pocket and handed it to him.
As he entered the restroom he notices the last person had left the toilet door open.  So he used the toilet.

After exiting the restroom he put the dime into a slot machine and hit $100.00 jackpot.  He took the $100 to play blackjack winning $1000.
He then played craps and won $10,000.

He used this money to invest in stocks on Wall St. and made tens of millions.

In closing his speech he said if he could find the man who helped him he would give him half of his worldly goods.

A man stood up in the audience and said, "I'm the guy who gave you the dime in Vegas!"
The speaker replied, "Not you, sir. It was the guy who left the toilet door open."

 Thanks for sharing, Honey!

Have a magnificent Monday, rainy day or not.

This wasn't our photo that we posted it one year ago.  The shop keepers wouldn't allow photos of their clothing on display. On this date, we discussed gender roles as we perceived them in Marrakech.  For more details, please click here.

When all the sightseeing is said and done...What do we do for entertainment?... All new photos...

Every Friday night, we see Norwegian's Pride of America ship after leaving the port in Nawiliwili, Kauai.  It sails along the Napali Coast and then turns back toward Honolulu where the seven day cruises end on Saturday morning at 7 am to depart again on a new cruise that evening at 7:00 pm.
We've fairly well exhausted most of the possible sightseeing adventures in Kauai that appeals to our senses, level of fitness and interests.

With no house to maintain, no garden to tend, no grass to cut, no weeds to pull, no barbecue parties to host in the yard and no family functions to attend, what could we possibly do to entertain ourselves during our 27 remaining days on the island of Kauai?

New photo of one of our favorite views in Kauai, the mountains and sea at Hanalei Bay.
Our average day consists of doing the requisite loads of laundry, cleaning the small condo, washing windows, preparing meals and grocery shopping every five days or so and on occasion making a trip to the Healthy Hut in Kilauea. 

At night we dine and watch a few favorite downloaded TV shows or even a few shows that are on the TV, such as tonight's AD The Bible and tomorrow evening's Dancing with the Stars.  In some ways our lives are not unlike that of many other retirees worldwide who live in condos or apartments.

Colorful orchid bloom.
But, in many ways we have more free time based on the above mentioned items and more.  With a rental car, we don't even have the occasional obligation of having the oil changed or performing general maintenance.  We never have a doctor, dentist or eye doctor appointment.

Tom's says he doesn't have to chase the geese off the lawn.  Instead, he spends the better portion of each day chasing the pigeons off the lanai railing to make way for the feeding nuts to our favorite birds who visit several times each day.  In a funny way our preoccupation with the same familiar birds stopping by occupies a portion of our time, calling them, watching them and laughing at their antics.

Beautiful overlook.
I no longer spend endless hours in the kitchen chopping, cooking and baking for us, for family and friends, foods that no longer suits our way of eating, for those who are no longer a short distance away, spending the better part of the day stopping by with a delivery of some delectable plate or pan of something that I'd made to share.  Those days are long gone.

Instead, I spend each morning from the time I'm up showered and dressed for the day, hair fixed with makeup on, ready to tackle the world, sitting at my computer writing, editing and posting.  Usually, I begin by 7:00 or 7:30 and end anywhere from 10:30 to noon. 

Sunset last night. 
During this period, Tom assists me by researching past posts for links and other information I may be posting that particular day.  When done assisting me, he perused his favorite websites such as Facebook, news, financial markets and of course, his passion, Ancestry.com.

As soon as the post is uploaded we often head to the Makai Golf Course which is listed as one of the world's five most scenic golf courses.  We head to the pool and fitness center where we'll usually find Richard and Larry. 

The overlook at the Hanalei Wildlife Refuse where one can see the world's largest taro fields.
As mentioned in past posts, we never spend more than 45 minutes in the sun  all the while chatting with our friends as we acquire a good dose of Vitamin D.  Doing so for 20 minutes a day without the use of sunscreen may prevent the necessity of taking Vitamin D supplements, a necessity for bone health for seniors.  This avoids the necessity of hauling several more bottles of vitamins in our already heavy luggage. (Its important to gradually work up to the 20 minutes by tanning 10 minutes on each side to avoid a sunburn).

Several times each week after the pool we stop to visit the albatross, the grocery store or visit a local farmer's market.  At other times, we drive for awhile looking for new photo ops, later to return home to change back into our clothes and head out for a walk.  By the time we return from the walk,  its often 2:30 pm as the day quickly moves along. 

One of Kauai's most popular overlooks.
Had we been retired and living our old lives, on occasion we'd have made a trip to Home Depot, a local nursery or Costco.  Returning home, we'd have had "stuff" to put away, projects to start, a garden to tend or a meal to prepare for arriving family or friends. The day would have easily become filled with activities.

We're never disappointed when we stop for photos at this amazing spot.
A few evenings a week, we have social plans.  We stay home the remainder of the, watching for a brilliant sunset and enjoying our evenings as if every night is a playful Saturday night.  Add in a good meal and at times, a movie and what more could we want?  Never bored, we relish each moment as new and interesting.

Red Lipstick Tree branches.
Often on a daily basis there's tons of email to reply to, banking and finances to handle and plans for the future to investigate  We've found ourselves tackling what may have felt like as a task in the past, as now being a pleasant experience.  Perhaps, the lack of hustle and bustle in our lives makes paying bills online kind of fun.

On top of our simple daily lives, we both enjoy reading; me, an occasional novel but, mostly scientific studies, health, nutrition and medicine and Tom, international intrigue and espionage novels and biographies of people he's admired and respected over the years.

Cattle Egret are commonly found near excavation areas, golf course, lawn moving and gardening areas.  They hang around this specific areas in hopes of worms and bugs being brought to the surface.  We always laugh over seeing dozens of these birds at excavation sites.
Tomorrow, we'll share our current reading list.  We'd love to hear from any of our readers who may have suggestions for reading material they've found interesting that may appeal to us.  How fun would that be!

May your Sunday be relaxing and fulfilling whatever you decide to do!

Photo from one year ago today, April 26, 2014:

It wasn't uncommon to find orange trees growing in restaurants in Marrakech when most restaurants were built, similar to our riad, with an open air center courtyard. For details from that date as our time in Morocco was winding down, please click here.

An email that sent us over the moon...A special person we met in our lives of travel...

Anderson, standing at the marker for the border between Kenya and Tanzania.
Yesterday morning, I discovered an email in my inbox from Anderson, our guide while on safari in the Masai Mara.  The email in his words:

"Jambo from masai-mara,Kenya.
Hi jessica and tom,how are you doing my friends?.long time since we meet at masai-mara at sanctuary olonana camp,where are you now?..since you told me that,you were travelling all over the world!..am sorry that i did not  have time to visit you at mombasa-ukunda.
Concerning my employment,i resigned from olonana few months ago,and i bought a new safari land-cruiser to start my own safari business within kenya,tanzania and uganda.so please if happen that you want to do a safari, am always there for you,..and please recomment me to your friends for me. Thanks my friends, Best regards from Anderson ole Pemba."

In October 2013, over 18 months ago, we went on safari in the Masai Mara (aka Maasai Mara), situated in southwest Kenya as one of Africa's most magnificent wildlife reserve.  Connected to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania it is the world's most popular safari game viewing environment.

We stress the fact that our expedition was game viewing, not hunting.  We would never engage in the self serving slaughter of exquisite animals in the wild as their numbers dwindle based on the intervention of humans. 

How we got so lucky to have Anderson as our guide falls into the same "safari luck" category that seeing the Big 5 in our first 10 hours on safari seemed to fall into, all accomplished only due to Anderson's expert skills and keen eye.  No one on the planet can drive across rough terrain with his expertise nor can spot a lion sleeping in a tree all the way across the plains.

Tom and Anderson really hit it off.  This was within moments of arrival at the dirt runway airport in the Masai Mara.
Not only was his warm, thoughtful and engaging personal a factor but his sense of adventure, willingness to literally "go the extra mile (kilometer) and his vast knowledge left us with a memory that will truly last a lifetime. 

An amateur photographer such as I with a less than ideal camera was able to take photos that will always stay in our hearts and minds and into infinity, located here on the Internet for generations to come.

Anderson's efforts made this lifelong dream of mine become a reality.  As a child I dreamed of Africa, the Africa we experienced in the Masai Mara, and Anderson helped make it a reality we'll both always treasure.

When the short three day period as guests at Camp Olonana by Sanctuary Retreats came to a close my heart ached over having to say goodbye.  Would we ever return to the Masai Mara in Kenya with so much political unrest in the country and when there's still so much world to see? 

I knew we were in good hands the moment we met Anderson. 
Yes, someday we'll return to Africa to see Victoria Falls in both Zambia and Zimbabwe and to see the gorillas in Uganda or Rwanda, although there are other locations where they are to be found.  Plus, my heart longs to return to Marloth Park for a period of time as well.  Someday.

Although we spent only three days with Anderson, for as much as eight hours each day, the time was never enough.  Realistically, three days in the Masai Mara is enough time during which with a great guide, one can see and take photos of many of the treasures in this extraordinary location.

Not only did he ensure we could see all that we longed to see, he left an indelible mark on our hearts not only with his skills but, with his delightful demeanor, sense of humor and passion to please regardless of the size of the group in his vehicle, at most six tourists. 

When we arrived at the dirt runway airport in the Masai Mara, Anderson was waiting for us immediately taking me into the circle of his strong arms for a bear hug.  At that moment, I knew we were in good hands.  He'd take good care of us, ensure our safety and equally ensure we had the time of our lives.

Anderson had arranged a breakfast in the bush with the chefs preparing foods I could eat along with standards for the others. 
At the airport we had to wait for another couple's plane arriving in an hour and a half.  Instead of standing around waiting in the hot sun, Anderson suggested he take us out to see what we could find in that short period of time. 

And find, we did, as shown in the many photos in this post which we uploaded that first evening when we were exhausted after a quick meal having arrived too late from an sunset safari to shower and change for dinner. 

With dust all over our clothes and with no Internet access in our tent, after dinner we sat on the sofa in the lodge with a wifi poor connection attempting to upload multiple photos and story, knowing our readers were waiting to hear from us. 

With wild animals all around us, we dined on a perfect breakfast without a moment of fear.  We always felt safe with him even if we were only 15 feet from a hungry lion.
The posts were a mess with poor formatting and typos but, we knew once we returned to Diani Beach, Kenya, we'd have plenty of time to go back and make any necessary edits. 

At 7 am the next morning we were ready to go again although the gurgling sound of the hippos in the Mara River outside of our tent awoke us at 4 am.  I feel back to sleep with a smile on my face relishing every aspect of this amazing experience.

Our first day out, Anderson explained that if we needed to pee to simple say, "I need to check the tire pressure."  Within a matter of minutes, he'd find a rock or a bush appropriate for providing a modicum of privacy. 

That's not to say that the trek to the rock or bush wasn't fraught with a bit of trepidation for what may be lurking in the tall grass.  Those breaks were vital to our experience as the daytime heat kept us sipping on bottles of beverages he kept on ice in a cooler in the front seat.

I took this photo of our group on safari that morning.  Its cool in the Masai Mara in the mornings, heating up considerably as the day worn on.  That large rock to the right was the spot where we'd "check the tire pressure."
I could go on and on.  Instead, I'll let our interested readers click back to the posts to read the remainder that continued over a period of over two weeks.  The stories and photos seemed never ending, as did the memories with Anderson.

Yesterday, when we received the above email we were thrilled to hear from him.  At the time, we'd given him our card knowing it was unlikely we'd hear back with lack of Internet access in the area.  We'd invited him to stay with us in Ukunda (Diani Beach) when he'd hoped to make a trip to Mombasa although he was unable to come. 

If any of our readers knows of anyone interested in a safari in Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda, feel free to contact Anderson here at this link.  We noticed that he's working in Uganda.  We only hope by the time we're ready to see the gorillas, that we can be with him once again.

Notice my BugsAway hat wrapped around my lower face while we were in Tanzania in an effort to keep the flies out of my mouth.
Speaking of Tanzania, when Anderson was concerned that I was greatly disappointed that we'd missed the Great Migration by one week, on the last day, he drove us over some mighty rough terrain to the border of Tanzania.

There, we were able to see the tail end of the migration while batting off zillions of flies as a result of the dung from 2,000,000 wildebeest and other animals crossing the Mara River numerous times as it winds through the Serengeti, on this annual trek.  Only he would try to please to that degree for which we're eternally grateful.

Thank you, Anderson, for an experience of a lifetime, that in many ways changed our lives and in many ways enhanced our desire to experience more of the wild and its treasures that we've yet to behold.

Photo from one year ago today, April 25, 2014:

A huge pile of yarn was lying on the ground in the souk, ready to be woven into an article to be sold.  Notice the black cat cuddled up on the yard.  At this point one year ago, we were three weeks from departing Marrakech, Morocco and we were ready to go.  For details please click here.

Tom loves cruising...I like cruising...Is that a problem for us? My food list...Homemade mayo recipe...

A view of the Hanelei Wildlife Refuse from a hard to find overlook in Princeville. 
The tiny cabin is not an issue  balcony cabins they're often as small as 171 square feet (15.89 square meters) or as big as 194 square feet (18.02 square meters).  Oddly, we adapt to it very well.  The fact that we're both tidy by not leaving out our clothing, shoes and miscellaneous lying about, definitely helps.

Maneuvering around each other while dressing isn't a issue either.  After 10 cruises in the past 30 months, we've got it figured out.  I go first in the morning, showering and dressing for the day and he goes first in the afternoon, doing the same, allowing me time to get ready to go out for the evening. 

Another view from the obscure overlook.
With few clothing options dressing for dinner is easy for us on cruises.  Wear this.  Wear that.  That's it.  Since recently disposing of many worn out clothing, soon I'll head to a women's clothing store in the Princeville Mall to buy a few items for the upcoming cruise.  They seem to have affordable and useful items that may work for me. 

Tom has a white dress shirt waiting to be mailed soon with our other supplies accumulating at our mailing service in Nevada.  He'll wear the shirt with black pants on dress up nights.  We'll post photos at the time.

Its relatively easy to find excellent scenic spots from most areas of Kauai.
With the size of the cabin being acceptable to me, what is my hesitation keeping me from loving it as opposed to my current "liking it?"  Here are my two reasons:

1.  The poor wifi connection makes it difficult for me to write and upload each day causing me considerable time and frustration.
2.  The food is challenging in both selection and taste.  Our cruise representative at Vacations to Go has forwarded my food list to the upcoming cruise line, Royal Caribbean, to let them know what I can and can't have. 

Crossing the one lane bridge over the Hanalei River.
I don't believe I've ever posted this list.  For those interested here it is:

No to the following in any form:
  • Wheat or any type of flour, bread, buns, crepes, pancakes, pastries, bagels, 
  • Grains:  rice, corn, quinoa, lentils, oatmeal
  • Fruit or fruit juice 
  • Starch: potatoes, potato starch, winter squash, beans (green beans OK), pasta 
  • Sugar, honey, agave or sugar alternatives 
  • Chemicals:  MSG, food starch, additives 
  • Vegetable oils of any type except olive oil and nut oils
  • Soy sauce or any soy products
  • Gluten in any form 
  • Pre-made egg mix 
  • Yogurt, milk or milk products (cheese OK) 
  • Dessert, even if gluten and sugar free 
  • No foods labeled LOW FAT 
  • Bottled salad dressing or mayonnaise
Yes to these:
  • Beef, pork, poultry, wild caught fish and shellfish, nitrate free bacon or sausages made without gluten, starch or sugar
  • Escargot, made without gluten, starch or sugar 
  • Fois gras, made without gluten, starch or sugar   
  • Non starchy vegetables: such as aubergine (eggplant), peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, kale, spinach, cabbage, carrots (in moderation) cauliflower, etc. 
  • Fresh eggs 
  • Cheeses – non processed (good as a dessert without fruit or crackers on plate) 
  • Full fat cream 
  • Full fat sour cream
  • Full fat cream cheese
  • Home made mayonnaise 
  • Full fat cream and butter reduction sauce made without thickener 
  • Olive oil, coconut oil, butter, homemade GF hollandaise sauce
When cooking at home, I tighten up this list, using only grass fed meat, organic free range poultry and eggs, organic dairy, organic grass fed butter and organic produce.  On a cruise, I'm unable to get this buttoned up list.  For the upcoming 18 day cruise, I'll manage.
View from an obscure overlook we found in Princeville.
On past cruises, I suffered no ill effects, eating in moderation; bacon, eggs and veggies for breakfast; protein source, veggies and salad (salad dressing is an issue) for dinner.  Some chefs would make homemade mayo or hollandaise sauce for me which has worked well.  All bottled mayo is made with soybean oil which I won't eat, along with any other soy foods.

At home, I make mayonnaise using the following recipe:
Walnut Oil Mayonnaise
2 large egg yolks (I use pasteurized eggs for safety)
4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoons powdered mustard powder
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 1/2 cup toasted walnut oil or other nut oil (other oils such as olive oil or coconut oil impart a strong taste whereby walnut oil or macadamia nut oil impart a subtle taste)
In a medium bowl combine egg yolk, lemon juice, mustard powder and sale.  Whisk until well combined for 30 seconds.  Whisking constantly, add walnut oil a few drops at a time using a 1/4 teaspoon measure. Keep whisking and adding slowly until you’ve added about 1/4 cup of the walnut oil and mixture is noticeably lighter in colour. Very slowly, add the remaining 1/2 cup oil in a thin stream until mayonnaise is thick and a creamy light yellow.  If available, a blender may be used following the slow adding of the oil while blending at a low speed. Cover and keep chilled using within 2 weeks.  Shake or stir before using.  I store it in a glass jar with lid.

Adding a few drop of sweetener or seasonings of your choice when serving adds a nice touch to the flavor when used as a salad dressing.

Makes approximately 2 cups. 

Its highly unlikely the cruise line chef will make this recipe for me nor do I expect them to prepare any special dressings or sauces.  At times, they bring me the list of ingredients on a bottled item to see if it works for me.  It's seldom acceptable.

A  gnarly old tree on a secluded beach at Anina Beach.
Otherwise, a meal of plain seasoned protein, non starchy vegetables and a few slices of a hard cheese will fill me for a meal.  To ensure I get enough fat, I can easily add butter and/or olive oil.

Overlook view on a cloudy day.
As for Tom's dietary habits on a cruise, he eats whatever appeals to him, often gaining two or three pounds on each cruise.  Surprisingly, he doesn't load up on a lot of sweets during the day, other than a few small cinnamon rolls at breakfast and a small dessert at dinner. 

Fences such as this are often used by property owners in an attempt to keep the wild pigs out. 
His taste buds control what he eats and often he finds pastries and desserts generally unappetizing after years of eating homemade desserts that I'd made in our old lives.

Overall, we both enjoy cruising, baring these few issues.  Ultimately, we have a fabulous time especially meeting other cruisers, often making new friends and gaining many more new reader.
We never tire of this view, continuing to take new photos each time we're nearby.
Recently, a cruise ship heading to Sydney ran into a bad storm at sea and was unable to dock at the port.  Here's the story.  This news doesn't concern us a bit.  We've already experienced 50 foot swells at sea.  Anything less than that, we can handle.

We continue to visit the Laysan Albatross chicks every few days.  At this point this chick is almost as large as the parents.  When she lifts a wing we can see pure white feathers beginning to fill in.  Notice her feet as she settles her butt into the ground.  We continue to share photos as they grow.
Have a fabulous spring weekend preparing your homes and yards for the upcoming summer.  For those in the southern hemisphere where it's currently the fall season, we'll see you soon!

Photo from one year ago today, April 24, 2014:

A view of the souk from an upper level.  For details of that date, please click here.