Part 1...2018, "Year in Review" with favorite photos...


It was fun to hold up our US flag on the ice floe in Antarctica. See the link here for more.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Perhaps the holidaymaker's are beginning to leave the park when yesterday we had no less than 20 kudus stop by throughout the day, including this adorable young male.
This has been one of the best years of my life.  The adventures were many the challenges endless, and the opportunity to see parts of the world we only dreamt of.
A one or two-year-old Rock Hopper Penguin on New Island in the Falkland Islands yet to grow his full plumage.  See this link for more.
Tom always says, "The best year of my life is yet to come."  OK, I'll go along with that premise as well.  
  Closer view of King Penguin with a chick.  See this link here for more.
But, how in the world can we possibly top this past year visiting Argentina, Antarctica, spending a year in Marloth Park, and twice traveling to Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe...Chobe River, Chobe National Park, Victoria Falls and cruising on the Zambezi River?  (More photos will follow in Part 2 tomorrow).
Tom certainly got it right when he captured this Black Browed Albatross chick with what appears
to be a smile. See this link here for more.
Today, included in our photos is a focus on our Antarctica cruise, surely one of the highlights of both of our lives.  We left Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 23, 2018, to head to Ushuaia, Argentina, the most southerly city in the world, to board the ship, the Ponant Le Soleal.
It was stunning to see all these Albatross atop these pods in their massive nesting grounds.
When the cruise ended on February 8, 2019, we returned to Palermo for two more days before we flew to Marloth Park on February 11, 2018, to begin this year-long stay, ending on February 14, 2019, in a mere 44 days.
This elephant seal on Steeple Jason Island didn't care for our photo taking antics.  See the link here for more.
Going from the cold and ice of Antarctica to the heat and dust of Africa was quite an experience in itself.  But, in no time at all, we adapted to our new life for the year to come.  And, its been a grand year we'll always treasure.
This is unreal...the Black Browed Albatross on Steeple Jason Island, remove tall grass from these massive "pod-like" structures, adding mud and vegetation to make it a free-standing pod on which they can nest. Here's a young chick making a little noise while atop her/his elevated nest.  That's amazing!  See the link here for more..
By far, that cruise was the most expensive cruise or venue we've experienced in our six-plus years of world travel.  We doubt we'll embark on such a costly expedition in years to come.  It proved to be well worth the expense and we have no regrets.

Standing among the King Penguins was an experience we'll always remember.  See this link here for more.

Last night we brought in the New Year at Royal Kruger Lodge, a four-star safari resort and spa here in Marloth Park.  Our host, Flo, and JJ did an exceptional job at making us feel welcomed. We been to several social events with Flo and JJ over the past year and found them to be a very special couple, with three children, teenage daughter, and a son and, a college-age daughter, all of whom attended the party.
This has got to be one of our favorite Antarctic photos, a Chinstrap Penguin lying on the rocks for a short rest with what looks like a winsome smile on his face.  See this link here for more.
Louise and Danie, longtime close friends of theirs ensured we had an invitation, along with Rita and Gerhard.  We couldn't have had a more enjoyable New Year's Eve.
We had to keep our distance from this delicate structure which would be a disaster for us in the small boat, where it to collapse near us.  See this link here for more.
Also, we knew a number of other guests in attendance of the party of 30 to 40 guests, staged poolside, at their stunning property, surely one of the most beautiful resorts/game lodges in Marloth Park.
There we were, sitting on a Zodiac boat in Pleneau Bay sipping on French champagne.  Was that ever fun!  See this link here for more.
We returned to the house at 1:00 am but didn't fall asleep until after 2:00 am.  Fortunately, we both managed to get some sleep even without working aircon which hopefully will be repaired in days to come.  Also, we were thrilled to find we had power and could at least use the portable fan.
Both of us raising a glass in celebration of this special occasion.  The ships staff created an ice bar on a small ice floe.  We used the Zodiac boat to arrive at the floe, all set for French champagne.  See the link here for more.
Today, we'll lay low and have a nice dinner on the veranda, hoping we'll see as many visitors as we did yesterday before we left for the party close to 1900 hours, (7:00 pm).  
Both of us holding the "I crossed the Polar Circle" sign.  See this link here for more.
We had no less than 20 kudus stop by; Little and his best friend; warthog friends Mike and Joe;  numerous bushbucks, and both female and male duikers.  Even Frank and the Mrs. made an appearance.  We hadn't seen either of them in over a week.  I suppose holiday traffic has an impact on francolins (birds).
A face only a mother could love.  See this link here for more of our favorite photos from the  Antarctica cruise.
We're wishing every one of our worldwide readers has an exceptional New Year, filled with the riches of life that even money can't buy...the joys of nature and our surroundings, free for the taking, fulfilling in many ways.

Happy New Year to each of YOU!
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Photo from one year ago today, January 1, 2018:
Us, one year ago at the boutique hotel in Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina where we awaited the Antarctica cruise beginning on January 23, 2018.  For more details, please click here.

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