Christmas season upon us?..A good trip into Kruger National Park...The suffocating heat continues...

A tired old elephant resting his trunk on his tusk.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
The four little piglets keep returning (with mom, of course) for more fun in the garden.
It's a little after 11:00 am and I'm finally wrapping up today's post.  As mentioned in prior posts, I don't always get it done first thing in the morning as I'd done in years past.
Elephant family on their way back up the hill from the Sabie River.  "The Sabie River is a river in South Africa that forms part of the Komati River System. The catchment area of the Sabie-Sand system is 6,320 km2 in extent. The Sabie is one of the most biologically diverse rivers in South Africa, with generally good water quality."
Oftentimes, I'll prep for dinner, wash clothes or work on other tasks lined up for the day in order to get them all behind me so my mind is free when I sit down to begin the day's story.
Waterbuck on the Sabie River.
This morning, I began working on purchasing some of the six grandchildren's Christmas gifts with more to do in a few weeks.  Some want specific items we order from Amazon and others prefer Visa gift cards in order to choose their own items.  Either way is fine for us.

This morning I ordered the gifts for my son Greg's three children each of whom had specific items in mind.  With the big holiday rush in the US and often special items becoming sold out, I decided to get a handle on it today.
Enormous cape buffalo on the shore of the Sabie River.
Our other three grandchildren prefer the Visa gift cards so we order those from Amazon about two weeks in advance of Christmas with no worries about them arriving on time.
A face only a mother could love, seem at the Sunset Dam in Kruger.
Tom and I don't buy gifts for one another, nor do we exchange gifts with our adult children (wouldn't that be a fiasco with South Africa's mail service with a backlog of 7.5 million undelivered packages)?  This made sense a long time ago when we left the US - no gifts, please.
We often wait for that big mouth open photo but it didn't happen.
It's hard to believe that the Christmas season is upon us once again.  We've already noticed Christmas decor (which isn't an issue here in SA) on display in the shops we frequent. 
Another adorable hippo face at the Sunset Dam.
Over these years we've become less and less interested in the hoopla surrounding the holiday season.  It doesn't fit into this life of world travel.  This doesn't mean we don't observe and respect the spiritual significance of Christmas.  It simply means it makes no sense to purchase gifts for one another (no room in our luggage), Christmas trees or decorations.

Nor, do I bake cookies and the confections I'd done in years past.  We both continue to monitor our low carb, keto-based diet, attempting to maintain good health during the holiday season as well as throughout the year.
A tower of giraffes crossing the paved road in Kruger.
In reality, it certainly is easier this way.  And, considering the awful heat lately which will continue through the summer, I can't imagine standing in the kitchen baking and cooking for the holidays.  
A parade of elephants traveling along the river's edge.
The recent pie-baking-day-from-hell confirmed this fact when it was 40C, (104F) while I made eight pumpkin pies.  However, we loved serving our Thanksgiving dinner table for 12 and all the food and pies ultimately came out well, sending everyone home with leftovers and a full-sized individual pie.
Handsome...
Social plans become the highlight of the holiday season in Marloth Park.  We already have plans set for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.
Now I'll get to work on deciding what to do for Tom's upcoming birthday on December 23rd, not the most convenient time of the year to celebrate a birthday.  But, celebrate we will, in one way or another, as we always do.


Hot temperature reading in red car...40C equals 104F.  It will be hotter today, perhaps 42C, (107.6F).  We spend the days and evenings in the heat but use aircon in the bedroom at night.
Today's photos are a few of many we captured in Kruger National Park yesterday when the power was out.  We'll have more to share in tomorrow's post.  As for today, most likely, we'll make our usual drive through Marloth Park and to the fence at the Crocodile River to see what we can find.  Doing so is a great respite from the heat of the afternoon when temps are at their highest and the cooling air in the red car is a huge relief.
An oxpecker working on a giraffe's leg.
The rest of this week is socially active with plans for tomorrow night, Thursday night and Saturday night.  We'll report details as they occur.

May your midweek bring you many wonderful surprises!
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Photo from one year ago today, November 27, 2017:
On Saturday, one year ago, we had lunch at Morgan's Seafood Restaurant in Cayman Island with new friends Susan and Blair. For more photos, please click here.

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