Making decisions while in lockdown...Photos from a tropical garden, five years ago in Kauai, Hawaii...

This video of Laysan Albatross antic in Kauai, Hawaii always makes us laugh. They are such delightful and charming birds. See the link here for the date we posted this video.
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A few days ago, I inquired at the reception desk if there was a possibility of an upgrade to a larger room in the hotel. I did so on a whim, hoping like some hotels in the past, they've given us a complimentary upgrade.

Last night, shortly before we headed the dinner the friendly staff person called our room, suggesting a price for an upgrade to the suite next door to us. It was more than we wanted to pay, but we decided to take a look at it anyway.
Five years ago today, the drive on the way to the Princeville Botanical Gardens is in itself a breathtaking experience.

It was comparable to an apartment with a living room, two flat-screen TVs, a formal dining room, a large bedroom with a huge en suite bath and a second bath near the living area. It was pleasantly and simply decorated. 

When we did the math, converting from rupees to US dollars, it was too much considering how long we may be here. After a bit of negotiation back and forth, the best they could do was charge us an extra IDR 76,177, US $1,000 more per month over and above the IDR 226,626, US $2,975 per month, we're currently paying.
Everywhere we walked, the scenery was outstanding. Unlike many botanical gardens, the owners chose to leave some areas open with expansive green lawns, adding to its beauty.

My first reaction was that for that amount for such a substantial upgrade, this was a reasonable amount, especially since I was feeling a bit of "cabin fever." But Tom, in his usual sensible and frugal way, convinced me it wasn't worth it, even under these trying circumstances.

I rationalized it in my mind that along with food and tips, our total monthly expenses would still be less than we usually pay while living in a nice holiday home with a rental car, groceries, and dining out. 
Although Hawaii may not be the perfect climate for cactus to proliferate, many varieties of cactus seem to thrive as this has that I spotted on the tour.
As the family "numbers cruncher" I tend to think in terms of totals rather than individual expenses as long as we stay within budget. But Tom, the more practical of the two of us reminded me that based on our current circumstances, under so many unknowns, such a "frivolous expense" wasn't necessary.

Sure, I grumbled a little under my breath, but overnight realized he was right. After watching the news this morning and reading yesterday's speech by President Ramaphosa of South Africa, it's conceivable we won't get into South Africa for four months or more.
This red fruit caught my eye, although I was uncertain as to its identity.
As we mentioned, if the airport here in Mumbai reopens to outgoing international flights, we have some ideas as to where we can go to stay, perhaps an island in the Indian Ocean, not too far from Africa while we wait for South Africa to open its borders.

It would be a lot easier to live in a beach house overlooking the sea while we wait, as opposed to sitting in a hotel room for many more months to come. Then, of course, we'll have the added expenses of flying to one of these islands, paying for a rental car and housing and all the ancillary costs associated with such a location.
Lipstick bamboo.  Look at these colors!
We're better off to save our funds for that trip than moving from one hotel room to another right now. I got over it. I'm fine. I can get sidetracked at times. Tom always steers me in the right direction.

This restaurant continues to add a few items from their regular menu and tonight, I'm having salmon for the first time since we arrived here. This is quite a treat after eating two small chicken breasts every night for the past almost three weeks. 

Tonight, I'll also pass on the paneer mahkni and just have a huge plate of steamed veggies. The chef came by and offered Tom Pasta Carbonara, which will be a nice change for him.
Shrimp plant also known as Yellow Candles.
It's funny how during this lockdown meals have become more important to us than ever in the past. By 4:00 pm each day, I start chomping at the bit, getting hungry and anxious to go to dinner at 7:00 pm. 

Boredom? Perhaps. I've read online that many are eating more during the lockdown. We aren't eating more since we have no access to food other than the two meals a day, breakfast and dinner. But, we surely enjoy mealtimes which many of you may be experiencing now as well.

When we're safe and have basic conveniences, it's our thoughts that do a number on us. Keeping those in check, when possible, will help all of us get through these trying times.

Be safe. Be well.
Photo from one year ago today, April 11, 2019:
Little and a mongoose getting along.  Mongooses don't eat pellets so no competition for food. For more photos, please click here.


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