An inside peek on the joy of meeting people along the way...Smiling and blushing at the same time...

 
Bob explained this single red bloom, a type of lily, is growing out of season.  Photo taken on cloudy day.
There's no doubt our hearts are filled with appreciation and joy from the kindness and love we receive from people we meet along the way whether its in a town, a quaint village, or on a cruise.
 
The curiosity and interest for our lifestyle is often coupled with an abundance of warmth and friendship we can hardly believe comes our way with such ease.  We often ask one another, "How did we get so lucky to meet so many fine people?"
 
Now 11 days since the last cruise ended we continue to receive email from passengers we met during the 12 days at sea.  We were asked for our web address prompting us to hand our business cards, more times on this shorter cruise than when we sailed on the 33 night cruise when we'd attached ourselves to the same two fine couples for happy hour and dinner every night. 
 
We had a lot of fun with Lois and Tom and Cheryl and Stan, remaining in touch since the cruises ended on December 3rd via Facebook.  It was a memorable experience during the lengthy cruise which circumvented the entire Australian continent which we'll always remember fondly.

With the steep drop in the yard of the holiday home, there's a protective fence as shown with this pretty succlulent leaning against it.
However, we learned a valuable lesson...mingle.  The depth of the meaning of our world travels is enhanced by having a wide array of experiences; meeting people from all walks of life, meeting people from many parts of the world, while hearing their often interesting and unique experiences of not only travel, but of life itself.
 
Mingling with many peeople provides us with the added opportunity to learn even more about human nature, a process that hopefully will continue through the balance of our lives regardless of where we may be at any given time. 
 
We'll never delude ourselves in stating, "We've seen and done it all."  In many ways, we've just begun with so much more of the world to see ahead of us.  If we continued to travel for 10 to 20 years or more, we'll barely have touched the surface of what this world has to offer. 
 
We remind ourselves daily to remain humble and in awe of the world and our opportunity to live this life, often through challenging and difficult times which to date have not deterred our enthusiasm in any manner.

Tom took this photo of the center of the above succulent.  Simple beauty with dew drops.
When we receive an email such as the message we've included below, we share it not to "toot our own horn" or to "brag" about people "liking us."  That's not us, as those of you who have followed our candid and vulnerable story for any length of time, are most assuredly aware.
 
We share this email with our readers to join us in the pleasure we glean from meeting wonderful people along the way.  After all, our loyal readers seem to empathize with our trials and tribulations as well as in the memorable happy events we encounter day by day.
 
While aboard the recent 12 night cruise ending on March 13th we met a lovely couple, Christina and Harold, (whom we'd mentioned on a few prior posts) on the third day of the cruise during Cruise Critic's "cabin crawl," an event where various members volunteer to show their cabins in other categories.

In this particular case, Christina and Harold kindly hosted a lovely event with food and drinks in their penthouse cabin, which even we'd never seen after 17 cruises in the past four plus years.  
Coleus, a good shady area plant.
Little did we know we'd hit it off so well with this special newly engaged couple, considerably younger than us (by about 25 years), world travelers in their own right, with Harold having visited many of the exciting countries we've visited in our travels.
 
It wasn't just the commonality of our experience that connected us.  It was the warmth and kindness we all exuded in one another's company.  
 
Yesterday, we received this beautiful message from Christina that warmed our hearts prompting us to ask if they'd mind if we share it here today.  Christina wrote back promptly saying they love for us to share it and thus, here it is, presented with a bit of modesty and surely a blush on our faces:  
 
"Hello from sunny Florida!!!

Harold and I went to, Christchurch, Auckland, Vegas and Houston prior to my return home to Tampa last night - It's been an amazing adventure!! 

You were the most memorable couple we had the pleasure of meeting - We looked for you in your designated spot on the last day, went to the lounge, called your room a few times and didn't get you - you were like beautiful angels who had now disappeared. 

Harold is a world traveler (I'm brand new to his adventures) He has never met anyone who traveled for pleasure more than he did until he met you and he's been raving about you ever since - We're honored to have met you!!!! 

We want to say THANK YOU for being so kind and open, telling us about your lives, giving the great life lessons and advice you gave (we kept looking at each other in shock, because you were truly speaking to us) your travels, your healthy eating lifestyle (as I'm trying to convince Harold that that's the way to go.lol) and inviting us to meet you someday out on your adventures - We have truly been impacted by these amazing chapters of your life!! 

I finally got a chance to look at your website and the fun memories you share!! We absolutely love what you're doing in your retirement and look forward to seeing you again someday, hopefully sooner than later. 

We will keep you in our prayers for safe travels and great health throughout and we'll be watching with admiration and love!!

It's back to reality here on the home front - work, work, work - However, now the plan is to fund a perfect retirement, vacation more, and enjoy life!! 

You're our heroes!!!!

With love,
Christina"


Unknown variety of red berries.


We wrote back expressing the appreciation we feel for having met them, the time we spent together (including dinner served by butlers in their suite) and at various times throughout the ship and, the hope that our paths will cross again someday. Thank you, Christina and Harold for sharing a part of your lives with us and for your heartfelt meaningful message.
 
Its not only a breathtaking scene, an exquisite animal in the wild or a blissfully colorful flower we encounter in our travels that fills us with appreciation for this magical world...its the people we meet who open their hearts to welcome us for a moment, for a day or for a lifetime...
 

P.S.  I couldn't resist including contact information for Christina's real estate business in Tampa, Florida, USA.  We have no doubt she is a highly competent real estate professional.  Please contact Christina at this link
 

Thanks, dear readers and friends for sharing another day in our lives!
__________________________________________________
 
Photo from one year ago today, March 23, 2016:
When seeing these fish prices in New Zealand one year ago we felt they were quite reasonable.  For example, one of TV guru Gordon Ramsey's favorite is the John Dorey and red snapper (which we purchased).  At the NZ price of $37.50, US $25.33 for a kilo which is 2.2 pounds!  What a great price!  For more details of our visit to the seafood market, please click here.


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