Final expenses for 25 days in Nevada...Back out "to the world tomorrow!"....A new normal...


Mountain view on a rare cloudy day.
This morning I packed my one suitcase of clothing and collected items for our supplies bag.  My bag weighs well under the 50 lb maximum (23 kg).  Surely today, I'll find odds and ends to get me up to the 23 kg maximum allowed by the airlines.


In a way, it's bittersweet, packing and leaving the US once again for the next two years when once again we'll return to visit family.  Next time, we won't stay quite as long, most likely for a total of one month between Minnesota and Nevada giving us plenty of time to be with family and friends.

Here are our total expenses for the 25 nights in Henderson Nevada:
 Expense   US Dollar 
Housing (Richard's home)   $                       -  
 Gifts & Misc.   $                  299.00
 Airfare    $               1,137.00
 Rental Car & Fuel  $                  926.00
 Groceries   $               1,245.30
 Dining Out   $                  402.52
 Supplies & Pharmacy   $                  609.32
 Entertainment   $                  310.25
 Total   $               4,929.39
 Avg Daily Cost 25 days   $                  197.18
Now, as we pack and make the necessary preparations to continue our world journey, we've further discovered that this nomadic life we live is definitely our "new normal." 

There's no way we can envision living in one place, renting a condo somewhere and returning to a life of owning "stuff," shopping among the crowds, waiting in traffic, and considering times to go out based on when "rush hour" ends.  That's no longer who we are.

We ask ourselves, "Was that ever us anyway?"

Two Mallards sharing a rock in the pond at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve.
As we've melded into life in convenient Henderson Nevada over these past 25 days, we realize how far removed this easy life is from our reality.  Living in constant temperature controlled comfort, with nary an insect in sight, with little wildlife and nature surrounding us, we're literally starving to be living in a challenging environment.

To be surrounded by nature, including the good and not so good, and the occasional discomforts that remind us of our humanness and vulnerability, is where we long to be.

One of eight ponds in the preserve.
That's not to say that living in a luxury villa in Costa Rica will be tough.It will be easy in most ways.  But, we'll be surrounded by expansive views, varying temperatures and climate and some of the finest wildlife in the world. 

Costa Rica is a country rich in unique and colorful inhabitants, both human and animal.  Yes, modern conveniences will be enjoyed and appreciated but never taken for granted.  Our goals will still be to focus on that which always appeals to us the most.

Is this a weather ball I shot from a distance?
We have a plethora of tasks to complete while in Costa Rica including tax stuff, visa extensions,  trips to a dentist (we've both lost a few fillings), other financial "paperwork" and beginning the process of preparing for the Antarctica cruise which requires medical certifications and tons of forms to complete.

We hope to get as much of this "work" completed shortly after we arrive to leave us ample time to focus on our interests in culture and in taking photos of the extraordinary scenery and wildlife that Costa Rica offers in abundance.

Today, we'll complete the packing, make a quick trip to the market to replace any paper products and supplies we used while living in Richard's home (he doesn't expect this but, that's just us) and fill the little white car with fuel. 

Mountains surround the Las Vegas valley.
Tonight, we'll all dine on the leftover pizza which I made yesterday with a new salad I'll make today.  Overall, with as much as we've already completed, the day won't be much busier than most.  Thanks, Richard, for an excellent stay in your beautiful home!

Tomorrow, we'll post from the airport while we await our flight.  We're leaving for the airport at 8:30 am although our flight isn't until 11:25 am.  Returning the rental car is far from the airport and requires a 10 minute or more ride in a shuttle to return to the airport where I'll be waiting for Tom.

Tom feels more comfortable leaving for the airport earlier rather than later.  I'm fine with that since it is an international flight after all and I'll have more time to upload a new post while we're waiting.

We'll be back tomorrow with some favorite Nevada photos and our goodbyes once again to the USA as we continue on our "new normal."  We can't stop smiling.

May your day bring many smiles!
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Photo from one year ago today, July 31, 2016:
One of two long piers in Chalong Bay.  At that time I was still recovering from the spine injury in Bali occurring on June 1, 2016, and I wasn't able to make the long walk on the pier. Now, I wouldn't have thought about it twice.  For more photos, please click here.

Last night at the Las Vegas Strip...Dinner and movie...Two days and counting...

Tom, walking toward the entrance of the Palms, one of the less exciting casinos in Las Vegas located off the Strip near the Rio.
Last night, we joined Richard and friends for one last night at the Las Vegas Strip.  Since most likely we won't have access to English speaking movies in theatres for some time, we all decided to see the popular war epic, Dunkirk would be a good choice.

Choosing to see it an IMAX theater may not have been the perfect decision.  The sound was ear splitting and although we sat a distance from the massive screen, it felt as if we were too close.

We walked through the casino after dinner to the IMAX Theatre to see Dunkirk.
As for the movie itself, I probably liked it the most.  Tom's not a fan of movies that 'jump around" from one segment to another and this movie, although visually stunning in many ways, did exactly that. 

None the less, Dunkirk was worth seeing and was for us, most likely, the last movie we'd see in a theatre until we return to the US in 2019 for another visit.  With Costa Rica, Argentina and Africa on the horizon over the next few years, going to movie theatres won't be on our agenda.

The Sports Book at the Palms.
Of course, we often watch movies on Amazon Prime and those we download using Graboid, (monthly payment of $19.99) that we've continued to use over these past many years of world travel.  By use of this app and others, we're able to see most US and British TV shows and movies.

The IMAX theatre is located in The Palms, a lower priced resort, hotel, and casino located off the Strip near the Rio.  We were disappointed by the dining options available prior to the movie but its didn't make sense to go to another casino for dinner.  As a result, we dined in the casual and somewhat mediocre spot not far from the theatre.

McDonald's bright lights in the food court.
In any case, we had an enjoyable evening, our last time out and about in Las Vegas.  Yesterday, during the day, I visited with my dear sister Susan for the majority of the day, saying our final emotional and tearful goodbyes.  The many times we spent together over these past 23 days will remain in my heart until I see her again during our next visit to Nevada.

Using Skype, Susan and I speak often and we never feel quite so far away.  Once we're settled in Costa Rica, I'll call her and once again, we'll catch up as we always have which means so much to both of us.

The large oval bar found upon entering the Palms.
Today, we're staying in, packing a few odds and ends.  But tomorrow will be our packing day when we'll organize, fold and put together our "stuff" before leaving early on Tuesday morning.
Also, today, we'll make one more round of our favorite pizza.  Once we leave the US, it's never quite the same, when we can't find authentic spicy Italian sausage.  We've asked in every country we've visited and even in Italy, it wasn't comparable to the sausage we've used in the US.  We'll still continue to make our favorite low carb, grain/starch/sugar-free pizza using whatever sausage we're able to find.

Tom's Reuben sandwich with fries.
With only two days remaining until we leave the USA once again, we're grateful for the quality time we've been able to spend with family and friends but, we're especially excited to return to our nomadic lives of world travel. 

Enjoy your Sunday...or Monday, if you're on the other side of the International Dateline, where we'd spent almost the last two years prior to returning to the US.

The bright light from the Luxor Sky Beam with 42.3 billion candelas, as we entered Highway I215 to return to Richard's home after the evening ended.  The light is visible by aircraft from a cruising altitude 275 miles (443 km).
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Photo from one year ago today, July 30, 2016:
Although we were in Phuket, one year ago today, we continued to share photos from our Vietnam/Cambodia river cruise.  Kong, our tour guide, encouraged kissing in front of the Huynh Thuy Le Ancient House where the movie, The Lover, was filmed in Sa Dec, Vietnam in 1992.  We had no trouble cooperating!  Please click here for more photos.

Our cell phone's SIM cards ran out...No more phone calls, maps or data on our phones...Three days and counting...

 
See below for details on this cactus.  I shot all of today's photos at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve including the blooms on this cactus.
 As it turned out, the T-Mobile SIM cards for our phones with calling and data ended a few days ago.  At that point with only four days remaining until we leave the US, we saw no reason to add more calling or data at a cost of $80 for one more month.

As a result, we were subject to using our Skype account to make the multiple calls we needed to handle yesterday.  With no charge using our Nevada phone number on Skype ($5 a month) we were able to make all the calls on my computer at no additional charge based on the fact that all the calls were to toll-free numbers.
Opuntia pinkavae, common name Bulrush Canyon Prickly-pear is a species of cactus which originated in northern Arizona and southern Utah.
When making calls to non-toll-free numbers we pay a minimal charge of $.023 per minute and are able to call any phone number, cell phone or business anywhere in the world. 

If we talk for 60 minutes, the entire cost is $1.38, fees for which are subtracted from funds we prepay into the account as needed.  If we run out of funds, Skype reminds us to add more money to the account.  Thus, we don't get a "bill" in the usual sense.
 
Of course, if we call another Skype account, there's no per-minute charge.  All Skype to Skype calls are free from anywhere in the world.  It's only the calls directly to cell phone numbers or land lines of that result in the $.023 per minute rate.  (As an aside...if Skype is installed as an app on a smart phone, free calls may be sent and received on the phone using the app if both parties are using Skype).
What a lovely spot to stop and enjoy the views.
Without a working SIM card in our phones, we no longer have "maps" or any type of driving navigation when we're away from Richard's home.  While inside the house, we are able to use the house's Wi-Fi on our phones for a connection.  It's only when we leave that we no longer have a connection.

This may seem complicated for some world travelers who insist on having a cell phone contract.  Our rational?  Why pay $100 to $200 per month or more for US phone contracts for both of our phones and data when we can purchase SIM cards in any country never paying more than about $20 a month?
There are mountains surrounding the entire Las Vegas valley.
In reality, who do we need to call?  When we don't have a rental car, we need SIM cards to contact our driver to pick us up and deliver us back to our vacation home or to other locations.  It's not as if we're calling Domino's for "pizza to go" or calling family and friends talking for extended periods.  We save those conversations for free Skype-to-Skype calls or when using our $5 a month Skype phone number to call phones at $1.38 an hour.

If Tom and I separate for a few hours while one of us is shopping or runs an errand, we can call one another on our respective phones using the appropriate SIM cards installed. 
There's nothing quite as stunning as water and mountains to create an astounding scene.
Also, we've found that using SIM cards prevents us from potentially spending huge sums when calling friends and family members from our phones while utilizing a cell phone contract or using data on our phones.  It causes us to be mindful of how we use our SIM cards and how easily we can chat with anyone from our computers.

In most cases, we have a decent Wi-Fi signal that allows for a very clear conversation.  In most cases, we find the person to whom we're speaking having signal issues when they're out of range, not us. 
Who knew the desert so close to Las Vegas could be so beautiful?
As an example, I tried to speak to my friend Chere last night using our Skype number to her cell number.  She and her husband were driving to Wisconsin and the signal was so poor on her end we had to cut the call short until such a time as she'd be able to get a good signal.  Even in the US, cell service is yet to be perfect.

Yesterday, having postponed my visit to sister Susan until today once I upload this post, I took off on a few errands, one to pick up VSL3 Probiotics (in pill form) when a kindly pharmacist at a Smith's Market agreed to special order them for me. 

I prefer the powdered product which has a much larger number of bacteria at 450 billion but he was unable to get this high dose in the US (on this over-the-counter product) compared to the pills at a paltry 120 billion.  Based on this dose, I'll take a minimum of two pills per day. 
These two Mallards found rocks on which to stand in close proximity to each other.
With my current supply, I have enough pills in my possession to last for the next four months.  Once we're settled in Costa Rica, I'll check and see if I can find more for when we head to Africa in less than seven months.  Certain products simply aren't available in some countries.

That's it for today, folks.  We'll be back tomorrow with more.  Today, I'll say goodbye to my dear sister Susan which no doubt will be emotional.  Tonight, we're heading out to a movie and dinner on the Las Vegas Strip with Richard and friends, our final night out on "the town." 

Enjoy your evening wherever you may be!  We'll be thinking of you!
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Photo from one year ago today, July 28, 2016:

Check out the size of the fish and steak portions from the groceries we purchased in Phuket, Thailand at a warehouse type market. The brats in the bottom right of the photo are gluten, grain and sugar-free.   Using this app to convert the Thai baht (THB) $3,803.25, we discovered we'd only spent US $109.38 for all this!  In the US, this much food would have been at least twice as much.  For more details, please click here.

Figuring out the numbers...Outrageous outlay of cash over these next months...Four days and counting...

This pond in the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve was filled with a variety of birds.
Yesterday, after we uploaded the post we decided it was time to review our expenses through January 2018.  With several cruises upcoming including the pricey Antarctica cruise which begins on January 23, 2018, and ends on February 8th we've had to be extra frugal this past year.

Once the Antarctica cruise ends and, after we pay approximately $4600 for our two airline tickets from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Mpumalanga Nelspruit, South Africa (with a layover in Johannesburg), we can breathe a sigh of relief that several huge expenses are behind us.
The border of trees along the edge of this pond provides additional habitat for the birds.
Fortunately, living in Africa, which is less costly than many other parts of the world, we'll have plenty of time to regroup and "lick our wounds" over the outrageous expenses of the prior 12 months or more. 

Also, our final months in Australia were costly followed by two cruises including the 24-night cruise back to the US, followed by the Alaskan cruise and then, the nine weeks we spent in the USA, six of which we stayed in a hotel, dining out for most meals.  Also, during the six weeks in Minnesota we replenished our wardrobes (no sales tax on clothing in MN) along with many of our dwindling supplies.
This pretty duck was paddling at full speed when I took this photo.
We've paid down the pricey Antarctica cruise which started at $34,500 (for two) and is now down to a balance of $13,875 which is due in full by October 16th, 80 days from today.

By September 18th we have to pay off the back-to-back South America cruises beginning on November 23rd (Thanksgiving Day in the US) totaling $7,988 on which we'll embark prior to the Antarctica sailing on January 23, 2018.
One of the smaller of the eight ponds.
In addition to the above, we have yet to book the one-month gap in Buenos Aires between December 23, 2017, to January 23, 2018, which we'll put together once we're settled in Costa Rica in the next few weeks. 

On top of all of these, we'll have monthly living expenses including a few one-night hotel stays, transportation, groceries, tours and miscellaneous.  When we add all of these expenses it's a daunting number.

By figuring out all of these totals we've determined this is all doable over these next six months if we really continue to tighten our belts.  We must add all of these numbers to our anticipated living costs over the next six months, most of which we're paying in advance.
No doubt, the cloudy day had an impact on the quality of our photos.

When living in a permanent home as opposed to our constant lives of world travel, typically one doesn't pay their mortgage payment, rent or many other expenses six months or longer in advance. 

Typically, the only pay-as-we-go expenses are groceries, tours, and local transportation (if we aren't using a rental car which always requires advance payment in full, often for three months or more upon picking up the vehicle).

In each case when renting a vacation home, we must pay good-sized deposits well in advance. In order to book cruises, deposits are required even if they're booked two years in advance.  However, over this past almost five years of world travel, we've become more comfortable waiting to book certain situations.
These two birds were too busy preening to look up as we passed their habitat in the utility vehicle.
When we're often asked as to how we manage money, it's always through careful frequent analysis and planning to determine we're staying within the range of our overall annual budget. 

What's thrown us off this year has been the Antarctica cruise which once completed leaves us with no outrageously expensive plans for the future, certainly not to this magnitude. 

Why did we stretch ourselves for this cruise? This cruise may not be suitable for some as they age.  It requires a medical certification months in advance (which we'll handle in Costa Rica) and a certain degree of physical stamina and endurance.  We have no guaranty as hard as we may try that we'll be in such a position in the next five to ten years. 
I saw a number of Grebes during my tour of the facility.
This particular cruise is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially for us with our strict budget and obviously advancing age.  For us, it may be a now-or-never situation.  We chose to take it on to further enhance our world travel experiences.

When we began our travels, we'd made a list of a few special experiences we wanted to ensure we'd experience;  the Panama Canal (done, with another transit upcoming in November); Africa (done, with more coming beginning in February, 2018) and of course, Antarctica (where we'll be getting off the ship onto the Zodiac boats to step foot on ice floes and glaciers with thousands of Emperor Penguins and more).

I'd planned to visit Susan today but as it turns out, we have several calls to make to complete some necessary tasks before leaving the US in four days, all of which require weekday calls.  Today is the only logical day to complete these tasks.  As a result, I'll visit Susan tomorrow, Saturday, for the last time before we leave on Tuesday.

We'll be back with more tomorrow as we wind down these last few days in the USA.  Please check back!  Have a fabulous weekend wherever you may be!
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Photo from one year ago today, July 27, 2016:
We rented this car from the property owner.  It was a little rough but served our purposes over the remaining days until we left Thailand.  For more details, please click here.

An unexpected oasis in the desert with wildlife...Five days and counting...

Impressive clouds over the mountains while I toured the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve.
With both of us having visited Nevada many times in our old lives, we had already been to many of the popular sightseeing venues throughout the state.  With many tasks to accomplish before leaving the US until our next family visit in a few years, we had much to do with little interest in traveling around the state in the outrageous heat.
The entrance to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve is secure to avoid trespassers entering during hours the facility is closed.
At this point, we've almost completed everything we needed to do. Today, we'll make the final visit to our mailing service to pick up the last of our mail and drop off a few items we'll store in our oversized mailbox for future shipment.

Also, we'll make a quick stop at the pharmacy and Smith's Market which will see us through until we leave for the airport on Tuesday morning to fly to Costa Rica for the upcoming three and a half month stay.
Too distant for close up photos, we spotted these two Cormorant sitting on a rock in a pond.
Two days ago, when I decided to head out on my own, leaving Tom behind to have some time to himself, I headed to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve with few expectations, hoping to see a few birds.
There is a total of eight distinct ponds within the facility.
On many occasions, we'd attempted to take photos of the few birds we'd seen here and there, including some in the yard by the pool.  In most cases, they've flown away before I could grab the camera.  While out and about we've seen a few birds and virtually no wildlife.
Each pond had a distinct look with a variety of birds and vegetation.
As our long time readers know, wildlife is the single most exciting aspect of our travels.  Without the opportunity to see Mother Nature's treasures, we try to focus on culture, scenery, and vegetation. 

Unfortunately, where we've been located in Henderson with a population slightly under 300,000, (bordering Las Vegas which has a population of over 632,000), there have been few opportunities to see desert wildlife in the metropolitan area. 
In the summer there are fewer birds at the facility but I was surprised to see as many as I had.
Even if we'd ventured deep into the desert (as we've done in the past), it would be unlikely we'd see much in the way of wildlife.  The heat and the sun keep most animals under cover during daylight hours.

Arriving at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve at 11:10 am, I had no idea the facility closes at noon during the summer months.  A kindly staff member explained they'd be closing soon and the gates would be locked. 
Duck on a rock.
When I explained about our website and the fact I'd hoped to prepare a story on the facility, I was not only welcomed with open arms but was offered a private tour through the entire facility on their utility vehicle I couldn't have been more appreciative. 

Oddly, the typically sunny sky this time of year was overcast and not ideal for taking photos but the unseasonable cool temperature at 75F (24C) was perfect weather for the tour.  I was determined to do my best and take as many photos as possible to share here with our worldwide readers.  It proved to be a perfect tour.
This bird is a vulture.
As for the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, here are a few facts from their site:

"Description
The Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve (HBVP) is one of the best places in southern Nevada to watch birds and dragonflies. Marsh and stream-side habitat in the nearby Las Vegas Wash, combined with open ponds and trees in the HBVP ponds, attracts birds of all kinds to water in this otherwise parched land. Desert species, waterbirds, wading birds, migrant songbirds, and shorebirds can be abundant here. Paved (fully accessible) and dirt (mostly accessible) walkways run on dikes that divide the area into nine brush-lined ponds and provide many vantage points. An elevated platform gives good views over much of the area. Access to the area is free, but it closes early, especially during summer.
The HBVP began as part of the Henderson city sewage treatment system, but with changes in the treatment process, the HBVP now uses reclaimed water and the odor is gone. Even so, the staff still ask people to remain on the trails and stay out of the mud and water."

More information may be found on their site, including year round hours of operation and the amazing fact that there are no fees required to visit this exceptional spot. 

Please keep in mind a liability waiver must be signed upon entrance into the facility via the visitors center.  However, staying on the trails is safe for people of all ages although the roads are rough in spots and may not suitable for those with disabilities.  
In the usual heat of the desert, certain plants bloom pretty and colorful flowers.

The walk through the facility may take several hours and it's imperative to dress for the weather and bring plenty of water.  Cooler days definitely would be more suitable for those interested in walking the entire distance.  Binoculars and/or a camera are a must. 
 
Shortly after Barbara, who'd volunteered to give me the tour, we were joined on the utility vehicle by Anthony, a biologist, who plays a big role in overseeing the wildlife in the preserve. 

During and after the tour, I had an opportunity to speak to Anthony at length as we shared wonderful stories of nature and wildlife.  He, too, was originally from the Midwest with an innate passion for nature so much so that it had become his dedicated lifelong career.
Las Vegas/Henderson is located in a valley surrounded by mountains.

Over the next several days, we'll continue sharing more photos from my visit to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve although the stories included may not necessarily be relevant to the photos.

So, folks, we're winding down our visit to the USA.  On August 1st, "travel day," we'll include all of our expenses and a recap of our favorite photos from the 24 days we'll have spent in Nevada.

Have a pleasant day filled with wonderful surprises!
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Photo from one year ago today, July 27, 2016:
One year ago...the second bedroom in the Phuket house which we never used which included an en suite bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub.  For more photos, please click here.

Safari luck prevails once again...A visit to the unique Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve....

 
Ducks and other varieties of bird in one of the many ponds in Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve.  I visited the preserve on a cool cloudy day but the scenery was still beautiful.
Over the next several days, we'll be posting many photos from the awe inspiring Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve located about 15 minutes from our current location in Green Valley Ranch.

In the interim, I had to share what turned out to be a solution for my unfortunate fender bender which occurred on Monday while I was visiting a possible assisted living facility for my sister located in North Las Vegas, beyond the Summerlin area.
Visiting this venue provided me with an entirely different perspective of the Henderson area.
As shared in Monday's post (click here for details) I bumped into a square post in the parking lot of the facility, leaving a dreadful situation in the left front of the white rental car that could easily have cost us hundreds of dollars in expenses with Avis handling the repairs, subsequent to returning the vehicle on August 1st.

With considerable angst, I showed Tom what had transpired in the parking lot.  With only a week remaining until we leave Nevada, we decided to wait and see how it would roll out when we return the vehicle next Tuesday before our flight to Costa Rica.
Two Mallards sitting on rocks in one of the eight ponds in the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve.
Yesterday morning after visiting the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve which I'd done on a whim when on my way to the grocery store (more on that shortly), the most peculiar thing happened.

After buying the groceries to make last night's dinner, loading the groceries into the trunk in the insulated bags I had with me, I was approached by two men who commented about the situation on the left front bumper.  They explained they could fix it right there in the parking lot for $100 if I had 10 to 15 minutes to spare while they worked. 
Car before we wiped off the residue this morning.


Here's the white rental car after repairs were made in Smith's Market parking lot.  A tiny spot remains but is barely visible.  We're satisfied with the work.  Below is the before photo.
At first, I hesitated.  Was this some type of scam?  The two men in their 30's seemed OK.  They had a nice pickup truck, were dressed in clean white tee shirts and jeans and didn't appear to be anything other than two guys trying to make some extra cash doing small body work jobs from Smith's parking lot.

They assured me I didn't have to pay until they completed the work to my satisfaction.  They explained I'd need to let the paint dry overnight and could wipe off the residue in the morning with a damp towel.  Another car owner was standing nearby listening to the conversation.  He, too, was considering that they work on his car also.
The little white rental car before the repairs done in Smith's parking lot.
What did I have to lose?  The only risk would be if they exacerbated the damage by working on it.  For $100, it seemed worth taking the risk.  I told them I'd walk over to Wells Fargo ATM across the parking lot to get the rest of the cash when I didn't have $100 in cash on me. 

I locked the car and walked to the ATM while they worked on the car.  The bystander watched with intense curiosity and decided that he, too, would go for their "deal" and could work on his car as soon as they were done with mine. 

In no time at all, I was satisfied with the work they were doing and told them I'd give them a mention in today's post for a reasonably priced job well done.  How handy could this be?
This bird is a Grebe as described here:  "Grebes are a widely distributed order of freshwater diving birds, some of which visit the sea when migrating and in winter. This order contains only a single family, the Podicipedidae, containing 22 species in 6 extant genera."
This morning Tom and I  wiped off the car to find it in considerably improved condition, most likely not detectable by the rental car company.  The 2016 model with 30,000 miles on the odometer had a number of similar small spots when we took the car, which is normal for rental cars over a year old.

If you live in the Las Vegas/Henderson area, they'll come to your home or place of business or any other designated location to repair dings such as mine.  Of course, the price is subject to the extensive nature of your "dings" or dents.  You can reach Sean at 702-972-2495.

Today, I'm off to see Susan.  With today and Friday's upcoming visit this may be the last of the two times I see my dear sister.  These past weeks I visited her every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. With this next upcoming Monday designated as packing day, I may not make the long drive that day and say goodbye on Friday.

In tomorrow's post, I'll share the details of my amazing visit to the breathtaking Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve with many more stunning and surprising photos.

Please check back then!
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Photo from one year ago today, July 26, 2016:
The pouring rain in Phuket continued for many days during our six-week stay.  For more photos, please click here.