March. 4, 2018 Sunday at Arroyo Verde, Argentina

This is the outside of our building. The entrance to our suite is under the overhang. Back in the day this part of the building held the tack room and some stables. There are other rooms in the building for family and also for the guides to stay in. We are a good ways from civilization so the guides stay here instead of going back to their families. Being a guide is tough on families. You work during the season, any time you have off means no income and no tips from the clients. Winter is time to be with the family, or have a different job.

There was a beautiful tree on our walk to the main building for breakfast. I have no idea what is was. The nice part of traveling to the Southern Hemisphere during our winter was seeing all the flowers, the warmer temperatures, and the longer period of daylight. My favorite day of the year used to be the day the clocks were turned so that I could get more sleep. Now it is the winter solstice as I know the days will stop getting shorter. At breakfast there was a gorgeous sterling silver bee caddy for honey. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was going to appear in my blog!

I went for the scrambled eggs and bacon our first morning. Charlie, one of the guests, here ordered three fried eggs with one piece of toast. The kitchen staff couldn’t understand the order and he always got three pieces of toast. We would all have a laugh in the morning wondering if he was going to get his three eggs and three pieces of toast. He always did, no matter how many times he said three eggs and one piece of toast!

Breakfast was at 8:30, and after that Steve would meet Fernando and they would go off fishing. I would stay back at the Estancia and read, blog or walk around. Here is a beautiful rose bush on property. The Estancia was well known for its gardens, and in the past garden clubs would come to tour the grounds for the day.

Here you can see a traditional garden bed planting of lower plants in the front, higher plants in the middle, and bushes in the back. I never saw anyone weeding. I think the plants are so well established that they only have to do minor weeding.

There was a man made pond near the main house, with an Henri Bouchard stature of a young girl with a fawn. What a great view!

Here is one of the Estancia’s dogs, joining me on my tour of the gardens. I think there were nine dogs in all!

This is the view of the back of the Estancia. There were four bedrooms on the right, the left part of this picture shows the sun room with the white chairs. On the patio outside were different groupings to sit on; couches, chairs, semi recliners, and mesh chairs. I think there might have been a hammock also.

This was the other side of the building where Steve and I stayed. On the left was an office for Martina, and other apartments for family and staff upstairs and to the right.

I probably wasn’t supposed to peak in, but I couldn’t resist! This is Martina’s office.

I liked the compass in the patio. When we first moved into our current house in Poughkeepsie we had a sundial stamped into the concrete. I was quite excited about it until I realized that the metal guide had been broken off. I think it was too dangerous, and people were tripping on the metal guide!

It took me a while to figure out what this picture is of. (It’s been two and a half weeks since we left Arroyo Verde!) This is the view of the front of the Estancia. The bedrooms are on the left, and the fluffy brown dog in in the center of the picture. The family originally stayed here, now guests are in the four bedrooms.

I took a couple of walks the first day, getting the lay of the Estancia. This is as far as I got on this walk. This road leads back to the main road, some 15 kilometers to the main gate. Cattle and horse don’t like to cross the cattle guards. If someone is going riding, they will go through the gate on the right.

While in our room, Steve and I would hear a humming at times. This was caused by the generator on property. You did know that a well documented blog includes a visit to all available places, didn’t you?

This is the dog kennel. I was happy that I wasn’t a visiting dog.

This is where some of the horses hung out. This is not all of them, I forgot how many Katrina said the Estancia had. There was a very old mild mannered mare that was going to be my horse to ride. I said “Maybe next year!”. Katrina said “She may not be alive next year!”

No, this picture is not about my manicure, or how wrinkled my hands are! Steve was having problems with his hands getting cold, and was afraid that he would lose his wedding ring. I told him instead of putting it in the suitcase, I would add it to my ring collection. The big honker of a diamond is my fake travel diamond that I got at Home Goods. I lost one of the trilliants on the side at some point on our excellent adventure. Looks like I’ll have to get another ring before our next vacation. This center stone is 3 carats. I think I’ll try for a 5 carat next time!

Soon it was time for lunch. We had canapés on the patio.

Tomatoes with mozzarella balls. I think this is such a great canapé to make. Just cut your grape tomato in half and skewer it to a mozzarella ball. Sprinkle with parsley to make it festive. Voila, you appear to be quite the hostess!

Charlie asked for a cold beer. I think this mug was kept in the freezer. I don’t drink much beer, but this one looked particularly attractive! There was only one mug. I think one of the guests needs to gift the Estancia. Do you think I could get a free week if I bought some next time? I don’t think so.

We had a lovely salad for lunch.

The entree was rice with some kind of meat. I can’t figure out if this is chicken or pork!

Dessert was fried dough dusted with confectioners sugar.

This was so tasty, it gets its own close-up!

After lunch I took another walk. These busy bees were gettin pollen from this flower.

The road kept going, but I headed back to the Estancia. Somewhere ahead lies the stream and across the way Ted Turner’s La Primavera and the mean guard. Steve and Fernando had stepped foot on La Primavera, and the guard told them to get back onto the correct side of the stream! This was a panoramic view of the valley that I took.

This part of the picture is on the mid left part of the picture above. You can see how wide the valley is.

Steve came back about 8:30 and it was soon time to shower and change for dinner.

Tonight we had the brown china at dinner.

We had a different arrangement of flowers at dinner. You can see the candle reflections on the table also!I loved the way the napkin looked like a rose. Katrina said the staff would give me napkin folding lessons. I thought about it. I knew it would be great for my next candlelit dinner party, but thought I would forget how to do them. I was on vacation after all, no lessons of any kind for me!

Dinner started with a vegetable soup. Almost as good as Stella’s soups!

Our entree was spatzle and pork cutlets. There was lots of paprika on the side for those who liked to add more spice to their food.

Salad was iceberg with sliced red beets.

Dessert was a berry mouse. It was nice and light. Katrina was in a bit of a tizzy at dinner. Tomorrow a bunch of Argentinians were coming to stay for a bit. She said they were a crazy bunch. Hmmm, I couldn’t wait to meet them!

March 3, 2018 Hola Arroyo Verde!

I am way behind in my postings, and I have decided if I don’t catch up I may lose some of my dear followers. Or even worse, I might not gain new ones!

So before getting up on our last morning at Casa Luma de Montana, I took a long last look at the beautiful ceiling. This hotel would not have been out of place in Italy. I loved the frescos on the ceiling.

This was the room where we stayed in Bevagna, Italy on my 60th birthday trip. We had a one bedroom suite with living room. The hotel was an old Palazzo. I’m hoping the angel fresco was above the bed and not the fighting guys. That would have led to a lot of bad dreams!

Now that I am comparing Casa Luma, it would have been more fitting in a rustic Italian villa book. Perhaps this one! Or on the cover of a magazine, like this one!We had our last breakfast and said good by to the beautiful view of Villa la Angostura. We met Fernando who would be our driver to Arroyo Verde. When we go to the parking lot we saw a beautiful drift boat. Steve thought “My, what a nice boat!”. This was Fernando’s boat, and he had towed it from whereever he last was all the way to Casa Luma, towed it down the hill to the first parking lot, backed it in and was going to hitch back up to it and drive it to Arroyo Verde. As anyone who has towed a boat, and backed it up can appreciate, this was quite a formidable task. But Fernando had a very powerful truck, and was able to maneuver quite easily. If it’s your business, you learn quickly!

We said goodbye to Elizabeth and were off. Like me, Fernando had a beautiful hat. The hats were kept on the back seat next to me. This is the stone and concrete driveway that led to the main road. It was quite steep. Fernando handled it so easily. I thought for sure we wouldn’t make it up the hill! Silly me. We drove through town, this is the fishing store that Steve and I visited the night before. You can see the “Simms” sign over the front door. “Simms” doesn’t mean fishing in Spanish, it is a name brand.

This was going to be today’s truck ride. We left Villa La Angostura, drove on Route 40 to intersect with Route 237, traveled north along the Limay River and then turned left at Confluencia and traveled along the Rio Traful to Arroyo Verde. I think it took us a good three hours.The road traveled along the Rio Limay. It was very picturesque. Steve was planning on taking an all day drift boat ride in Fernando’s boat, one of the days of our stay. I would have the option to join them. Would I go, or would I stay? This area was called Valle Encantado, or the Enchanted Valley. This rock formation was called Dedo de deus, or”God’s Finger”.

There was lots of road construction on this part of the road, so I took lots of pictures of the rock formations. I won’t bore you with them!

Well, maybe just one more. This looked like a great place to stop and stare. We finally arrived at the main gate. The road to the estancia is about 15 kilometers, and it’s a dirt road. I think I’ll leave off now. Stay tuned for the next installment.

Friday March 2, 2018. Breakfast at Luma Casa De Montana

We woke up and looked outside our Juliet balcony, ready to start our day.

We descended the stairs to the main level to see the breakfast buffet. The sun was so strong, it was difficult to take a good picture. No worries for me, my picture taking ability is not the main draw of my blog’s dear readers!

Steve spied a table by the windows, and we sat there. Here Steve is, ready to give our order for breakfast!Here is where the orange juice, coffee, hot milk and water waited for our selection.

The silverware was very dainty. Steve and I each ordered scrambled eggs. I got one, and Steve got two.

The previous afternoon we were met by Nico, the captain of the boat we were going to be taking a cruise on today. He told us one of the options on the cruise was to go hiking for a bit on Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi and then kayaking. The hike was to be only an hour, so I was game for that. The kayaking not so much. We had gone sea kayaking when we were in the Galapagos last year and we hated it. Nico, was thrilled that we had said no kayaking, as the water was quite cool, and we were sure to get wet. Instead offered us the option of some tapas, with wine pairings, presented by his friend Paulo. Then Steve would be able to troll for salmon after our hike. “Perfecto!”, I said.

We were picked up by Paulo and a taxi driver and driven through town.

Here are some of the shops in town, and the roses in the median of the road.We say goodbye to our taxi driver and are off to the pier. Nico’s boat is the Cardinal Sur. We climb aboard the boat and are ready to take off!

Internet seems to be working a little better. I had to rename the post due to the fact that the post was all about breakfast!

Ciao! Ciao!

Tuesday February 27, 2018 Tipiliuke Adventures Continue

Breakfast was a fried egg and bacon for me. No pictures of Steve’s breakfast as he ate earlier. I thought he was only going to get coffee and then come back to get me. Instead, he ate breakfast by himself. Silly Steve!This picture of staff full of smiles is of Adrian, Steve’s fishing guide and Maru and Monica. Monica would love a someone special also. He doesn’t need to live in the mountains full time as Maru’s prospective husband does. Monica will relocate to the city when the estancia is closed. Adrian has a family and children so he is off limits ladies! Adrian was a wonderful guide. He will be on the Argentinian Fly Fishing Team in the World Cup of Fishing. This is a picture of the kitchen at Tipiliuke, this is where all the delicious food comes from. I had some free time before a massage I was scheduled for. Harry took me along with him to see the property. Not sure what this is, but the roses are lovely. There is a chapel on site, but if you would love to have an intimate wedding in Patagonia, this is the place. Remember the web site is tipiliuke.com

The chapel is made of local stone, like all the buildings at Tipiliuke. Harry has found the key and is opening the door for me. We are looking at the front of the chapel here. This is the view of the bride and groom as they exit the chapel. Martin and Sybille were trying to get Maya and Jeraldo to marry here. Maybe next visit!

Here are more beautiful gardens!More rose gardens! We have a busy bee here. This was the room for the massage. My massage by Irene was wonderful. She is camera shy, so no pictures of her! The sauna was just off the masssage room. There is no swimming pool here, but it can be arranged to bring you to a private beach where you can wade and sun. I am too buy blogging to wade and sun!

Steve caught 15 fish again in the morning. Lunch was going to be an asado! That is barbecue. Here we see the meat had just been put on the grill. An hour later and the meat is almost ready!

Lunch was again outside under the pergola. Here we have the setup of the salad fixings. Doesn’t the table look lovely? The pine cones are amazing!This was my salad. First meat course was sausages!

Got to run! I am going out with Steve tonight to fish!

Monday February 26, 2018. Tipiliuke!

Breakfast time! The buffet table is beautifully spread out with Coffee, cereal, meat and cheese. There are lots of spreads to put on your toast, many jams, and of course Dulce de Leche! Look at this little saucer for your tea bag. Isn’t that adorable? I had a fried egg with bacon. Steve had his eggs scrambled. Here is Steve chatting with Annie and Paul, they are from Wyoming. I think they are exchanging fishing tales. What else would you do at a fishing lodge? Here is Steve all geared up and ready to go. His guide Adrian is photo bombing! I took the picture with my iPad, so try to ignore all the stuff on the side. Look at Steve in that vest! He is prepared for everything! This vista shows the volcano Lanin, and on the right is Tipiliuke. While Steve was off fishing I went off riding with Fiona, who is from England and one of the interns, Mike. Why do those power lines always seem to be in the way of the view? (Mary M, I am thinking about you!) Mike is from the UK and one of his relatives is a DUKE! You know I got quite excited about that, didn’t you! Here is Mike giving me a hug. I look pretty calm experiencing my almost royal hug. Maybe I should have packed my tiara!

Jack, Harry and Mike are all from the UK. They are interning here at Tipiliuke. They are having a great time learning Spanish, riding horses, and the hospitality industry. Soon hunting season will start and they will go with the gauchos, translating for the guests. If you know someone who would like to do an internship here just shoot Tipiluike an email . It will be an experience of a lifetime!Here we are on our ride. It was supposed to be an hour. How long will it be?

On our ride we passed by some anglers in a drift boat, fishing the Chimehuin River.

Everywhere you can see is part of the Estancia. Almost 50,000 acres! Just think of the property taxes! I was told that this is not the largest estancia in the area, there are ones down the road of over 100,000 acres!

I spy a guanaco! Do you see his white legs?Here is a picture of Julio. He is our gaucho that is leading us on the ride. He has very sharp eyes. At one point he came back to my horse and grabbed a piece of metal that was on the ground.

Our ride was over two hours and fifteen minutes. My hips were so sore I was almost crying the last fifteen minutes. I decided that one hour to the gaucho meant one hour there, turn around and one hour back. Back at the lodge, snacks awaited us. I think the cheese was a big hit, but I loved the salami!Not sure if I showed you one of the outdoor seating areas. There was a fireplace that was lit after dinner. Lunch time! As you recall, lunch is the big meal, and dinner is much lighter. Lunch was served in a beautiful pergola. It was shady enough that we didn’t get too hot. Temperatures were in the 80’s here. Tipiliuke had charming touches everywhere. Here is the signature brand on the napkin ring, and a little flower sprig in the cloth napkin. First course was a delightful salad. The vegetarians had a much larger salad. The pork was cooked perfecto! I loved the apples on the side. Steve doesn’t like apples so I got to have his also. Dessert was a mango mousse. While I was out riding Steve was out fishing. Yes! He did catch his February fish! Congratulations! Isn’t this one a beauty! I am not sure how many he caught. We’ll find that out later. Ciao, Ciao!

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The Point, Saranac Lake NY August 6, 2010

Steve and I are not on my Excellent Adventures all the time, so I think I am going to have to go back to my vault of memories for other adventures that we have gone on. I don’t want to risk losing any of my 40 followers, do I?

I had heard of the Point in Saranac Lake for years. It was listed as a five star property in the Mobil Travel Guide as one of the top properties in the United States to travel to. It had been outside of our price point, but as Steve moved up the corporate ladder, I insisted on a treat for our 31st anniversary. He had made the mistakes of telling me to make plans…so I decided to see if there were any openings. Yay, there were!

So we loaded up the car and were off. The Point is a little over four and a half hours from our house. The majority of the trip is on the Thruway and the Northway. The last bit on secondary roads, seemed to take forever. The Point is a former Great Camp of William Avery Rockefeller II. It was completed in 1933, and was named Wonundra meaning “big rock” an Australian Aborigine word. In 2007 a group of investors bought the property and turned it into a resort that could host 22 guests at a time.

I was really excited about going, Steve not so much. The dress code was black tie on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Steve does not like to wear black tie at all. I love a formal look, especially my man at the end of the evening with his bow tie untied.

After following the expert directions we arrived at the call box where we announced ourselves. The gates were opened and we entered the grounds. The year before we arrived strong storms had hit the area causing a loss of old trees. The trees were replanted but Steve thought the grounds were especially spoilt. I not so much.

We were met and right away we were given a glass of champagne. What a way to start your stay! We given a tour of the grounds. It was a pretty expansive tour and by the time we were brought to our small cottage “Lookout” all our bags had been unpacked! Talk about service! The room was lovely. It had a king size bed, fireplace and great seating to look out at the lake.

The door to the left hid the bathroom and the door to the right was for the closet. I love a bed with lots of pillows, especially if I don’t have to make it, or get it ready for the evening!

We were informed that an unusual guest would be staying at The Point that weekend. The name of the guest was M. One name. M. was unusual in that during the day M.dressed as a man, and from cocktail time on as a woman. Okay, this was going to be interesting! We were told about M. as one time a guest remarked to M.at lunch that they had met his sister the prior night at dinner. After that guests were given a heads up!

Later that evening we all gathered for cocktails around a pool table and mingled, “Where are you from? Have you ever been here before? Etc. etc. I noticed a small woman with dark hair and and a white sheer organza blouse with a black bra underneath. Was this the famous M? I didn’t get a chance to talk as she disappeared before I got a closer look.

We were then called in to the great room for dinner. Two big round tables were set up, and you could sit where ever you desired. Now this picture shows the Black tie crowd. I probably dressed nicely, but definitely not black tie for Friday night. Steve and I chatted with each other and then I saw a woman in a pink confection similar to an outfit that as a child I would have had my Barbie doll wear. Sparkly, skirt poofed out to there with lots of crinoline, it was a five year old’s dream dress!

“That dress is gorgeous” I related to Steve! “I’m going to go talk to her!”

“No, you may not!” Steve was definitely unsettled. Although he knew that he was fighting a losing battle. There would be no stopping Linda on a mission! I considered his remarks, and swiftly turned away from Steve and went off to confront Ms. Pink Frou Frou.

“Hi, I’m Linda, that has got to be the most amazing dress I have ever seen! Is it couture?

“I’m M., no it’s not couture, but I did have it designed for me”, and so the chatting begun.

“Where are you from?”

“Japan.”

(That’s a long way to travel.)

“How many times have you been here?”

“Seven this year.”

(Oh my. That’s a really long trip, and with that frequency. There must be a back story somewhere!)

“Well are you an actress or something? How can you afford to come from Japan that often?”

“A very wealthy woman adopted me.’

“Oh.”

And so it went on. Steve gradually approached and joined in the conversation.

Of course I arranged that we ended up sitting next to M. at dinner. Poor Steve, I don’t think that I ended up talking much to him all dinner. The conversation with M. was fascinating and varied, although I got annoyed when M. thought the US military were stationed in too many places. I think he thought “Yankee go home!The next morning we had our breakfast, and M. saw me and said “Good Morning!” It was difficult to reconcile the gentleman with short hair, a turtleneck, scarf and sunglasses as the woman I chatted with all night long! I am afraid I was a little bit curt, I had problems reconciling that M. as a male was still M. as a female!The Point had beautiful electric wooden boats that you could be given a tour of the lake. We did that and it was lots of fun. The location was really gorgeous and very quiet.

Lunch was held al fresco, but in an elegantly casual way.

There were bars everywhere. You stay included all your meals and all that you would wish to drink. Here is the bar by the fire pit. We were told the story that one night a group got a little too tipsy around the roaring fire. One of the guests was a male hand model. He got up from his Adirondack chair, tripped and fell into the fire. Lucky for him, he landed on his back and his hands were not singed. His NorthFace jacked was unfortunately destroyed. The next morning a new jacket was left for him at his door! Amazing service by staff! The event seemed to me a little bit too much like a Seinfeld episode!

Near the fire pit was a lean to. Here we have a bunch of happy winter hikers. During the summer you could sleep outside if you wanted to. One of the couples there that weekend did so. Piled high with cosy furs, pillows and blankets, it looked really decadent. I’m not to sure where the nearest bathroom was however!

During our stay I took some pictures, but unfortunately all my personal pictures from our stay have disappeared. I am going to make a public service announcement and remind people to print out some of your cell phone pictures before they get lost in the storage cloud!

One of the most popular rooms to stay in was “The Boathouse”. This was also the most expensive. Often it was booked a year in advance. It has been winterized, previously it was only available seasonally.

Here is another view. If we were to ever return, this is where I would want to stay.

By now it was Saturday night and it was time to dress up. It looks like this group is having a rollicking good time. I had mentioned that all my pictures have disappeared. These pictures are all form the website of The Point. If you want to make a reservation you can go to their website here. ThePointSaranac.com

Unfortunately we had two investment bankers and their spouses staying Saturday night. They did not know each other, but there did seem to be a case of “whose dick is bigger?”Conversations settled on number of Super Bowls attended, along with World Series attendance and whose box was closer to the field. One of the guys, although he had been a guest at The Point several times prior, refused to dress for dinner. In fact he remarked that he was thinking about wearing his scuba gear at dinner instead of the shorts and t-shirt he was wearing! The other gentleman was married to a woman that I thought was a professional in her prior life. Nails out to here, and bosoms fully inflated, she was a sight.

After the first course at dinner, we heard lots of scratching and yelping. Investment Banker One’s dogs had escaped and were circling madly in the dining room. I was horrified! This is just not right! The dogs were corralled by staff and locked in their rooms again. Second course, and the dogs escaped again!

It was unfortunately a bad evening. I abhor rudeness, and these guys had it in spades, between the oneupmanship and the out of control dogs. The ex-hooker wife would have been interesting, but she was the silent type. M. wasn’t sitting next to me, and Steve was silent as he hates investment bankers, so I didn’t get a chance to chat much.

After dinner we returned to the fire pit where we snuggled under blankets in our Adirondack chairs and had truffle popcorn. We had a delightful conversation around the fire – thankfully the investment bakers were the only rude people around and they hadn’t joined the group at the fire pit.We made sure to get out of our chairs carefully at the end of the evening.Life was looking a little bit better.

The next morning we had breakfast on our deck and got ready to leave. Our bags were loaded into the car, with a box lunch and a beautiful tapestry pillow to remind us of our weekend.

The next day we got a phone call from the management inquiring about our stay. I mentioned how out of control the dinner was with the dogs running wild. I also asked if sometimes they told guests that they were all booked, so unruly guests wouldn’t return. Unfortunately, you can’t run a business that way, you need to accept all your guests. We ended up getting a letter a few days later offering us a complimentary future night’s stay. Unfortunately for me, Steve doesn’t want to go back. Too far, too much money, black tie on Saturday night, etc.etc.etc!

Was their any fishing you ask? No, Steve didn’t not bring any equipment with him. This was to be a Linda centered vacation. Since then, all of our vacations have tried to include fishing for Steve. I am not stupid.

Since our stay, The Point went into financial difficulty. The financial group that ran the property defaulted on their multi million dollar loans. The Point was purchased by a couple with deep pockets who had been guests numerous times and loved the place. From their website, it looks much the same as when we were there. Perhaps Steve will have a weak moment and agree to have us return for a stay. Here’s hoping that the new owners will accept my one night’s stay for free coupon!

Como Maalisfushi Wednesday January 17, 2018 Heading Home

Today was our last day in The Maldives, and it was going to be a long one!

We woke up to our last beautiful sunrise from our Villa. Then it was off to breakfast at Madi. I had the chocolate waffle again, and Steve had an omelette.

I tried to take a picture of the pool area just like the professional ones. With this angle you would think that I had one too many Mimosa’s! That was one thing that Como didn’t have that Gili did, champagne at breakfast. I have noticed in my travels that the further north you travel the earlier the drinking starts. When my darling daughter and I went to Scandinavia with her dance group I took detailed notes on the drinking. In Denmark I observed drinking at lunch. In Iceland the drinking was at breakfast!

Here is Steve giving me a worried look. He knows that I have plotting and scheming on my mind. I had noticed this couple at the resort. She was the most beautiful guest there. He was interesting. I had already told her that I thought she was quite beautiful. She reminded me of Megan Markle, but I knew that was impossible as he was no Prince Harry. Steve remarked to me “Are you pretending to take my picture?”

Well yes, I was. He reminded me of a movie star, I couldn’t remember who. Bradley something or other? I texted my girlfriends back home. They snorted back NO!

Scruffy beard was correct as was head angle. However ears stuck out too much. Oh well, maybe we’ll run into a movie star on our next vacation. We did run into Anthony Daniels who played C3PO from Star Wars in South America, however he was gone before I realized who he was!

After breakfast we went to the gym and then back to our villa for the final packing.

Goodbye fancier villas that we didn’t stay in .

Goodbye fish swimming near our jetty.

Packing all done, and final lounging under our sala we returned to Thia for lunch. This time I got the breadsticks without Steve’s fingers in the picture. Steve had the burger and fries. He told me to “Hurry up and take the picture” as he hates cold fries. As a result the picture was a little shaky.

I requested the Caesar salad with grilled fish and traditional dressing. I got the Green Goddess Avocado instead.

Now that almost looks like a professional picture!Now after lunch we went to pay our bill. Here is Reception totaling the damage. Ouch!

Steve admired the wall decorations. They were wood.

I don’t think that I showed you the 360 view from our deck. It was pretty awesome!

Here is Steve asking if I am done yet. “It’s time to go!”

Steve was ready to leave. Here he is pacing. Did you know that he can measure with his pacing? It’s a family trait.

Here we are with S and A. One last picture before we go home. The two of them were very lucky it was our last day together. I didn’t get a chance to ask all my questions.

1. Do the men’s head wear in the sheikh robes have any significance?

2. When do men wear the traditional robes or western street wear?

3. Which is better Emirates or Etihad first class?

4. Can I house sit your house in Malibu?

5. Oh my God! Is that a Hermes Birkin bag?

Well, of course I did ask the last question.

Here I am on the speed boat, holding the Birkin! S didn’t even ask me to wash my hands first! It took her 5 years on the list to get one! Lucky S!

Here is the staff waving us goodbye! Please come back again and spend your money with us!

We meet the boat and prepare to board the plane. You can tell who the pilot is can’t your? He is the one with no sandals on!

I grabbed the front seat. I wanted to see everything!

Here we all are on the plane. Steve looking happy, first leg of trip to commence. A is going me that look, “See if you can behave!”

Let’s take off shall we? Whee!

This map gives you an idea where The Maldives are located. Tourism is a big industry here! All the resorts have to have at least 50% of their employees as Maldivians.

We reached the airport and prepared for landing.

Maldivian Airlines Seaplanes at the dock. Unfortunately or fortunately for S and A their flight on Emirates was to depart before ours. After hugs goodbye, and a stern “Behave” from A, Steve and I waited in the lounge.

After two hours of waiting we got in the shuttle to head to the main airport.

I found it amazing how close the airport was to the ocean. This is on the access road.

Goodbye Male! That white building on the right is a cruise ship, not a building!

That must be A and S’s airplane! I am sure they are sitting in first class!

Here we are in the scrum waiting to go through the luggage x-ray. That must be a surfboard in the orange and black bag.

Now that’s what I call no line!

This was the lounge for business and first class. I only had a bottle of water. No reason to try some food and get ill on the way home. Smart I am!

Finally our flight was called for boarding!

A refreshing lemony mint drink with cool towel before lift off!

This would be the flight path for our trip to Qatar. We would leave around 8:20 and arrive in Male at 11:40 local time (really 1:40 Male time. I don’t even want to think what time it was Como time, that was an hour different from Male time.

Here is one of the flight attendants in one of their four wardrobe changes. I noticed their suitcases in JFK, they were really big!

These are only a few of the named atolls in The Maldives!

I had a glass of tea with my warm nuts.

I wanted to eat lightly during this long trip. I had the lentil soup.

The Arab Mezze plate.

Followed by the pasta. I only ate one. Too gloppy for me!

I even only had two bites of the dessert!

Almost there! A and S are probably in their own beds in Dubai, after going through their mail!

Steve noted this about the flight map. It would show the direction of Mecca, for those who wanted to pray.

We finally landed in Doha. This airport was hopping, even at 1 in the morning!

We boarded the flight at 1 something and waited for everyone else to board. Nothing like watching some champagne bubbles! My plan was to stay awake until 5 in the morning and then sleep as much as I could. The flight was to be 13 hours long and we would be landing at JFK at 7am local time. I wanted to adjust myself as soon as I could to east coast time. Something that is always hard to do.

Not sure what this was. Ah yes, breakfast. Scrambled eggs with chives. After a 10 hours flying you really don’t know what is going on.

Almost home! Look at all that ice on the JFK approach!

After an exceptionally long drive (never land at JFK during morning rush hour), we finally made it home. This is our side yard.

I will have one last post about the trip, giving Steve’s fishing accomplishments the coverage that they deserve!