Yesterday's trip to a big shopping mall...12 days and counting... No, we're not staying in the US after the upcoming family visit...

Sign on beach walkway called the Marine Parade from Manly Beach to Shelly Beach.
Our intention had been to visit the huge Westfield Warringah Mall today instead of yesterday but when we heard it could storm today, we decided to go on Sunday. As it turned out, it stormed last night with the first thunder and lightening we'd seen since our arrival.  Today, it's cool and windy.
Gorgeous beach scenes on a sunny day.
Bob was visiting a friend at a nursing home suggesting he drop us off at the mall since it was on his way.  We left at about 11:30 am after I'd finished and uploaded the post for the day.  It was a warm sunny day perfect for yet another outing.

Although we haven't had a rental car during this period, with Bob's kindly assistance and generosity and, the ease of using local transportation, it's worked out quite well.
Shelly Beach at a distance.
Having loaded plenty of money on two Opal cards (prepaid public transportation cards which we swipe when getting on and off buses and once upon boarding the ferry) using public transportation has been a breeze.  
It was a warm sunny day.  Sunbathers and swimmers lounged on the pristine beach.
Only on a few occasions, a long walk was required to get to and from a bus stop but we haven't minded.  We've seldom had to wait more than 10 or 15 minutes for the next bus or ferry.  It a relatively flawless system.

The huge mall was a combination of outdoor and indoor shops one of which was the first large Target store we've seen since Hawaii in 2014.  We wandered through the aisles in awe of all the merchandise.  
Succulents grow prolifically in many parts of Australia.
Will we experience culture shock when we return to Minnesota in 46 days where an "abundance of everything" is rampant in stores, restaurants, and other public points of interest?    By the time we arrive,  we'll have been gone 1668 days. We anticipate it will be different than we recall.
Australians waste no time taking advantage of sunny days at the beach.
Why did we go to a mall?  We both needed some shirts for the upcoming 33 nights of cruising (with a two-day gap between our arrival in Seattle and boarding the cruise to Alaska when we'll stay in a hotel in Vancouver).

Recently we'd checked out a number of shops in Manly but were unable to find a single item under AU $125, US $93.79.  It made no sense for us to spend that kind of money on shirts when we've found that more expensive items don't seem to last any longer than the less costly items after repeated washings.

Havana, a restaurant in Manly Beach.
After wandering through many shops, I was able to find several tops while Tom only purchased three short sleeved shirts.  He's not keen on the new style of men's shirts with roll-up sleeves.  Why?  I don't know.  But, he wears what he likes not what I like.  When all is said and done, he looks great when we go out to dinner and on cruises.

Great people watching and strolling along the outdoor mall, the Corso in Manly, a walk we've enjoyed several times.  However, we'd never been able to find any clothes at reasonable prices in this popular tourist area.
While in the US we'll review all of our clothing and decide what we'll need to add before leaving, shopping at our former favorite stores.  (If they're still there).

Speaking of the US visit, we've been asked many times if we plan to stay after the nine-week family visit.  No, we do not.  We're booked well into 2019 with future plans to book well beyond that year. 

A P&O ship, a popular British cruise line, leaving Sydney.
It's not possible to book holidays homes, flights and cruises further than two years out.  As a result, we continue to add to our itinerary as opportunities become available coupled with our desires as what countries we'd like to visit in years to come. 

Lots of activity near one the Manly ferry boats that head back and forth to Circular Quay in Sydney many times per day.
The world's a big place.  We'll never run out of ideas.  We'll only run out of good health and the required "oomph" to continue on at some point.  In the interim, the love of this life and our enthusiasm has yet to wane in any manner.  Even with the health setbacks I've had this past year, we're still confident and excited for the future.

Be well and take care of YOU!
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Photo from one year ago today, April 10, 2016:
One year ago while living in New Zealand we encountered these cattle crossing the road.  The farmer offered to stop the flow to let us drive by but we insisted they carry on, enjoying the view.  For more photos, please click here.

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