Showing posts with label Travelnwrite. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travelnwrite. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Kalo Mina! ~ July in Greece

 Kalo Mina, we call out in greeting, Good (New) Month! 

A summer sunset in Greece

July has arrived in Greece. The cicadas are filling the air with their surround-sound sizzling summer song. The sound they make reminds us of those huge oscillating irrigation sprinklers used to water thirsty fields in Washington State or the sound of electricity running through high voltage wires leading from the Columbia River on a hot summer's day.

The cicadas song is definitely the sound of summer in our slice of Greece but it also serves to remind us of the sounds we knew in our 'other world'. This is our fifth summer spent as American expats living in the rural part of the Peloponnese; transplants from the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

Stoupa Beach - summertime!

Temperatures in Greece are soaring - with the thermometer climbing to 90F /32C. Humidity is just under 70%.  This is the type of weather that gets us up early so that outdoor olive grove and garden chores are completed by mid-morning, and errands are completed before noon. 

Afternoons - at least for locals - are spent indoors trying to stay cool. Tourists on foot, bike and in rental cars, head to the beaches to bake themselves into various shades of red and brown.

Last summer's fire got a bit close to us

Sadly, summer has become a time of wild fires, warnings and alerts have been coming fast and furiously in recent days. Now, reports of fires.  They remind us via social media that the level of heat and a brisk breeze is a dire combination. Greece has taken a proactive approach to firefighting this summer.  Firefighters from neighboring European Union countries have already arrived in Greece and are stationed throughout the country on the ready to fight any outbreaks that happen over the weekend.

Summer's Mid-Day Nap

With the heat and humidity climbing  and our ambition correspondingly dropping, summer here is a time to perfect the mid-day nap. This Greek equivalent of a siesta usually takes place between 2 pm and 5 pm. 

The Summer Nap - our cats love it!

Called  'these ores ths laikis isikhias' in Greek, its literal translation is, 'the hours of popular quiet'. It is taken so seriously that police can cite those who violate the quiet. It is a time for a mid-day meal, rest and quiet. Prompted by the intense heat, often times the mid-day meal is eaten as late as 4 p.m. and the nap times can extend to 6:30pm. 

Laborers stop work and resume in the cooler evening hours.  Many retail outlets close during  nap hours, opening in the evening and staying open as late as 11 p.m. or midnight.  Restaurant diners don't arrive for meals until  8 p.m. or later.

The Summer After Covid 

We have a fine dining restaurant in the village now

I will admit we worried about a number of our friends and their businesses as the year-long Covid lock-down pretty much stretched into a two year lockdown, but I am happy to report that not only have all of our retail stores and restaurants in this part of the Mani re-opened, but we have also added new businesses to the line up as well.

Medikon opens in Ag. Nikolaos. Photo: Medikon

In our village of Agios Nikolaos, we've had a fine dining/cocktail lounge open at the harbor in place of a long-time traditional Greek eatery. While we miss that menu and the folks who ran that place, the new restaurant has ratcheted up our dining options.  I might add, it is also run by a couple from Athens whose family is here and run a traditional beach taverna just down the road.

Gelato in Agios Dimitrios

And in Agios Dimitrios, the small hamlet literally at the foot of 'our' hill, a cafe has opened. This is BIG news as it is the only eatery or retail business in the village! A mom-and-two-daughter team from Kalamata has quickly turned it into a popular drink and snack destination.

Laid Back Locals

An early morning coffee klatch on the beach!

We were officially called 'locals' this week when a village businessman we often see having coffee at the same places we go to, labeled us as such. He said because we see each other enough to recognize each other - and he was born and raised here - then, we are considered, locals.  So being 'locals' our summer mornings are spent as locals do -having a coffee at one of the many tavernas and cafes in the village.  A group of lady friends met for coffee a few weeks ago and you can tell from the photo we are locals: as we are hovering in the shade and there so early the tourists haven't taken over the beach chairs in the background. 

Although 'meeting for coffee and conversation' here is much like anywhere, we expats always take a moment to marvel at our surroundings. 'Can you believe we are meeting for coffee on a beach, walking distance from home and can run our feet through the sand while visiting?' one of us will invariably ask of the other.

Summer Travels

It is a joy to once again be able to travel this summer - with limited required mask wearing and no need to show Covid vaccination cards.  It almost feels like 'normal'. We just returned from a 10-day outing which began in Athens and then involved island hopping.  We were reminded again by the languages we heard spoken, of Greece's world-wide appeal as a tourist destination.

Tourists, 'selfies' and Athens sights from our hotel

Despite airport chaos -- cancelled flights, delayed flights, lost luggage, enormous lines -- in major airports across the European Union and England, travelers keep on traveling.  

In the cool of the night - temperatures drop to the 70's

We are still waiting for those residency permits of ours to be renewed - now in month three of our countdown -- so we are required to stay within Greece for our travels this summer. Road trips (gasoline is just under $10 a gallon) and ferry trips are making this 'renewal lockdown' really quite tolerable.  We plan a return to the States in August/September.  At least the flights are booked, but with the continuing and increasing aviation chaos, we are braced for our flights to be cancelled -- hopefully soon enough to come up with a Plan B.

EasyJet, RyanAir, and British Air employees are all planning a series of strikes during the next two months.  Each strikes on a different set of days to make it real nasty and confusing. We are booked on British Air - they are to notify travelers by 14 days prior to departure. We will deal with that when we need to. In the meantime, we will enjoy the summer, naps, coffees and an occasional road trip.

TravelnWrite is on the Gold List!

We were most pleased to be notified this week of having made the Gold List of Boomer Travel blogs for 2022 by the folks at Getting on Travel. Check out some of the blogs on this list - it will be great for armchair getaways and might even prompt you to pack your bags!

Safe travels to you and yours~ hope to see you back here soon!

Linking this week with:

 Through My Lens

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Lost in Space

Somewhere between 'tossing toilet paper' and 'writing Greek wills' -- both topics on which I wrote this fall -- it appears our Travelnwrite became lost in space.

Lost in space, blogosphere-style, that is.

Lost in space - or the blogosphere

While I've been sitting in Greece writing blogs and pondering a recent drop in readership, apparently many of you were wondering if I had quit writing because the posts weren't arriving in your inbox as they had been.

Lost in space - blogosphere-style.

Space the final frontier or it is the blogosphere

I have to admit that it took until this week for the lightbulb to go off in this old boomer brain and realize something was seriously amiss. Those of you receiving the blog posts by email hadn't received any for weeks.  I'd been busy having fun with October houseguests, completing olive harvest and then jetting off to Hungary. . .so, I wasn't paying attention as I should have been to stats and other things that blog writers monitor.

Let me stop here for a moment to say, that one of the best parts of writing a blog is having so many friends as readers.  On the flip side, over the years many who began as readers of the blog have, over the years, become good friends.

And after having three reader/friends in a short period of time write us to ask about our well being as they hadn't gotten blog posts, I finally figured out there was a major malfunction going on. Thanks to those who wrote ~ you know who you are!

As a result you are now reading a 'test post'' as I've done some troubleshooting to see if I can fix the 'feed' (blog lingo for the distribution of emails to those who signed up to get them as emails).

Getting lost in space

Stop! Something is wrong - the light bulb went off

Looking back, our disappearance from the inboxes seems to eerily coincide with an unreal few but frustrating weeks when I found myself unable to get into the inner workings of my blog. In order to pay the annual fee I pay for use of the title, Travelnwrite, I had to get into my Google account.  If you don't pay by the deadline you lose your rights to your title and access to your blog.

You ever tried to reach a human at Google?

Through some miracle, I stumbled upon a real human named Matey.  All I had to do was to convince him that I really was me, author of Travelnwrite for the last decade. He and I talked on the phone and wrote numerous emails to each other on nearly a daily basis for several weeks.

But I couldn't find the documentation I needed to prove I was me. In the end I had to complete a security test - it took three tries before I provided what they were looking for (I won't bore you with details but let's say it was right up there with applying for a Greek residency permit on the high blood pressure barometer.)

Lost in space 

Finally just days before the title was set to expire, I convinced Matey and the Google Security Team (who'd become involved along the way) that I was me.
I got into my account.
I paid.
The domain Travelnwrite renewed.
I sighed with relief.
I began writing posts again. . .

They just didn't get emailed.

Today we will see if the distribution is working.

Hoping the lost in space has been found

In addition to emailing posts, we have some who follow the blog in their readers and I post them on my FB page as well as the Travelnwrite FB page.  So for those who've already read these, please bear with me while I provide links to those who didn't get them. Click the highlighted link for the article.

Heading to the olive press - another harvest in the history book

In November I told you about this year's olive harvest at The Stone House on the Hill.

Then I wrote about being Hungary for adventure and heading to Budapest.

Yes! Me at a Christmas Market - Budapest

And of the joy in finally getting to visit a 
European Christmas Market

Budapest Noir - the city's darker side

Last week I looked at the dark side of that wonderful city in
Budapest Noir

I am signing off this post with a huge thanks to all of you who take the time to read Travelnwrite. Your time and interest means a lot! Let us hear from you if you have found this one in your inbox.

As always wishes for safe travels to you and yours ~

Monday, December 4, 2017

Egypt: Where Enchanting and Exotic Meet

There is something about the plane landing after dark in Egypt where the vast stretches of darkened desert provide a backdrop to the exotic feel of the adventure. It has a lonely sort of mysterious feel about it; there's no doubt you are leaving your comfort zone behind.

Our plane taxied to a stop some distance from the terminal - even though it appeared to be the only on that had landed in some time - and we traveled the last few hundred meters on a bus.

We were definitely excited but were feeling bit disorientated and vulnerable as we made our way through the empty arrivals area -- following a man we'd just met -- to collect our bags and have them checked through customs. He was also the one who would get us to our hotel.

Boats on the Nile in the evening's light - Aswan
Such was our arrival in Aswan, Egypt.

(And I have to admit we’d arranged transportation with our hotel so that man we were following was their representative. Well worth the $45US we spent for that service as it was a bit more complex than we'd been led to expect.)

Sunset on The Nile - Aswan, Egypt
He led us to a van parked some distance from the terminal building and then joined us and the van's driver for the trip to the hotel. After we'd traveled some distance along more darkened expansive desert we noticed traffic slowing to a stop for armed guards ahead of us. They were looking into vehicles and opening trunks. He explained this was being done because our route into town led us across the Nile River and we were about to cross the old Aswan Dam.

A darkened desert. . .armed guards. . .Aswan Dam! Nile River! It all added to the mystery and the out-of-the-ordinary feel of this travel adventure. We were definitely back in Egypt, one of our favorite travel destinations.

This time though we were spreading our wings beyond Cairo’s 'comfort zone.'  This trip we are spending most of our time in Aswan, Egypt’s southernmost city. . .in the land of the Nubians.

Image result for map of egypt

Land of the Nubians

The Nubian region stretches from southern Egypt into Sudan. It is believed the first Nubian civilization was in this area now known as Aswan as long as 5000 years B.C. With so much history here, there are plenty of museums and archeological sites to keep us busy. Not to mention two islands to visit, the Nile upon which we plan to spend some time and of course, who could come to Egypt and not shop in their enchanting souks?

Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan, Egypt
One thing that drew us to this city was our desire to stay in the Old Cataract Hotel. It had a large role in Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile.  Built in 1899 by Thomas Cook, the old hotel as well as its ‘new wing’ built in 1961 underwent a major renovation in 2008 and reopened in 2011. We are in one of the 76 rooms (along with 45 suites) that are in what was the original hotel, now called the Palace Wing.

Lobby area Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan, Egypt
I’ve struggled to describe this place as the words, 'old world charm', 'exotic', 'elegant' and 'magical' are so cliché sounding but sometimes those are the only words that work to describe a place like this. It is simply enchanting and staff members dote on guests. It's as though we've re-entered that golden age of travel for which Cook originally built the place.

PicMonkey Collage
Our room - Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan, Egypt
We splurged a bit booking a room with a view of the Nile River, although the garden view rooms have beautiful views as well.  But when in Egypt, and staying at this hotel in particular, it seemed we really should be viewing the Nile River. . .and do we ever!

Our room with a view - Old Cataract Hotel - Aswan, Egypt
We lucked out and also are directly across the Ruins of Abu on Elephantine Island. That settlement dates back some 3,000 years BC.

Ruins of Abu - Elephantine Island Aswan, Egypt
While it is difficult to pull ourselves off our deck and the amazing show created by the every-day activities on the river, we have visited the souk (or should I say, 'run the gauntlet' of the souk) and have been out on The Nile. Today we had an adventure when we set off to explore the Nubian villages on Elephantine Island on our own and ended up on a guided tour led by the self-proclaimed mayor of the village. A memorable experience but one we agreed most of our friends would not have enjoyed.

I'd hoped to have some Agatha Christie mojo rub off on me but with so much I want to tell you about this place, I am feeling more like Scheherazade  – so be prepared. I don't have 1,001 tales for you but I've got many more coming from this enchanting Land of the Nubians.

Old Cataract Hotel Gardens and entry - Aswan, Egypt
Following last week's post, a number of you've sent wishes for a safe trip and others flat out expressed concerns for our safety in Egypt. And we thank you who took the time to write or comment for caring about us. What saddens us is that a group of terrorists can so negatively impact tourism in this country and keep so many travelers away.

We have been traveling on our own and have wondered through Aswan’s souks, along its main roads, and through Nubian villages -- and never once have we felt unsafe or threatened. In fact, just the opposite - we've been warmly welcomed. We’ve been thanked for visiting. People are geniunely flattered that we like their city. 

We've barely touched the surface - and we'll definitely be back!

That’s it for this week from Egypt.  Safe travels to you and yours and thanks for being with us. We hope you'll be back next week  ~

Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday – 
Photo Friday
Weekend Travel InspirationBest of Weekend

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Greek Stone House on the Hill ~ One Year Later

Here we are in our Stone House on the Hill, this week  celebrating our first year as part time ex pats in Greece.

With most of our major projects completed, we’ve slowed our pace and indulged in blissful, idle hours ~ most of which we’ve spent gazing out over our small terraced olive grove and the view we have up the Mani coastline just beyond it; our own little slice of Greece’s Peloponesse peninsula

Dusk at The Stone House on the Hill

Many of you have followed along or been a part of the journey that brought us to this Stone House and you’ve stuck with us as we’ve turned it into our own. Some through the blog and others in real life, real time. Your companionship, encouragement and enthusiasm have been most appreciated.

‘You are never to old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.’

    - C.S. Lewis

It was back in 2014 when we got serious about focusing that somewhat fleeting daydreaming of ours into an action plan. We - this 60-something duo – decided it was time for a ‘final fling’, a ‘new challenge’, a ‘project’, before we got too old to have one. We’d accumulated many daydreams during our travels but kept coming back to the idea of. . .

Growing Olives Instead of Old

Last December 15th as we sat with the sellers, an array of others, (three attorneys, our realtor and the Notary) in the Notary’s cramped second-floor office in the nearby village, we moved that daydream into reality.
As vivid as if it were yesterday, we recall those pages and pages of documents being read aloud (a legal requirement here) in Greek and translated to English. Then payments (both for the home purchase and costs associated with it) were made and handshakes offered.

The purchase process that had taken months to get in order, was over in less than an hour. . .

. . .then, ‘but, of course’ as they say here, we all – buyers, sellers, realtor and attorney - went to the cafe next door for a drink!

Celebrating the sale

Finally, that Grecian stone and concrete temptress was ours – ten days before Christmas.  We’d  nailed that daydream  - the one that had slipped between our fingers earlier in the year -- and made it reality.

The Stone House on the Hill

Recalling those first few days, we’ve laughed at what a stark reality we’d purchased. It was rather a bleak stone house, both literally and figuratively. Cold (we ran out of fuel for several days that first stay – both central heat oil and wood), empty (we gave away most of the old well-used furniture and the new hadn’t yet been delivered) and rooms with gray stone accents around white ceiling, walls and floor that didn’t make for a warm and fuzzy feeling. With no television or internet – it also felt a bit lonely. That didn’t deter us from the vision we had for this place. . .

December 2014 - The Stone House on the Hill

As the days became weeks, and weeks stretched into months the The Stone House on the Hill has evolved into our Stone Home on the Hill. New furniture, paint and decorating touches and a bit of hard labor, by us and others (not to mention two cats who adopted us) made for some remarkable changes even with this part-time life we’ve had here.
One Year Later - Stone House on the Hill

Changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes

Just as the house has changed, so have we.  This Greek adventure has moved us from our world, filled with family, friends and the familiar in the United States’ Pacific Northwest, into a dual existence – living two decidedly different lifestyles on opposite sides of the globe.

‘Let’s be honest. Retirement abroad is not for everyone. A totally new environment. Distance from relatives and long-time friends. Culture clashes. Health care issues. Language barriers. But it’s also possible to enjoy a higher standard of living at a lower cost in foreign locations of natural beauty, appealing culture and great charm.’

A neighbors night out 

By living part of the year ‘there’ and part ‘here’ we’ve enriched our lives with new friends; both Greek and other ex pats (from a variety of countries) and have neighbors who are friends as well at both of our homes.

During the months we’ve been in Greece, we’ve developed new daily routines and honed new and forgotten skills. We’ve gotten back in touch with the basics of our childhoods– stringing a clothesline, drying clothes on the line, washing dishes by hand, living without television, putting together the miniscule pieces that come in a box and turning it into shelves or coat racks or other items.

We learned to harvest olives - it is hard work!
Little successes are noted with pride; like learning bits and pieces of the Greek language. . .I know the days of the week and can count to six. We can both order wine and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Vocabulary victories occur daily!

Two sets of friends from the Pacific Northwest visited us this fall. We explored areas and eateries, sharing quality, unrushed time together; proving as the old saying goes, that ‘the road to a friend’s house is never long’. . . okay, so the flight is rather long, but you get the idea!

As for ‘distance from long time friends and family’, as Forbes cautioned. . .well, technology has made that simply, nonsense.  Thanks to internet, Skype, Facebook and email, we are able to stay in touch with friends and family. My early 2016 calendar ‘back home’ is filling with social engagements and appointments that have been arranged while I am here in Greece as easily as if I’d been at the computer back there.

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
- Flora Whittemore
Opening any new chapter in life often means ending or modifying others. Our increased time in Greece required that I resign from a board of directors for a non-profit educational agency on which I had served for 15 years. That was tough.  It also sidelined my freelance writing for a time.
The Scout, who used to focus on the logistics of life (investments and finances among them) as well as finding travel deals from Seattle has had to expand his calculations to international finances, thinking both in dollars and euros. And I’ve written previously of how this base in Europe has given him a whole new candy-shop of travel options to research.

Dusk in the Village of Stoupa
We’ve discovered the joys of village life with its laid-back pace. As we get to know people in the area trips to town take longer as we must stop and visit, or give a quick hello to someone we know. We refer to businesses by the owners name, “Let’s go to Yiannis’ and Eleni’s tonight” . . . “Let’s see if Ellie has fresh calamari” . . .’'We need to stop at Dimitri’s for nails’.

Slow travel in The Mani

Our pace has slowed here – a stark contrast with life back in the states.

Our olive crop waits for the press
Little did we know when we purchased this home and its 15-tree olive grove how attached we’d become to this agricultural lifestyle. Harvesting our first crop of olives was an unforgettable experience. We are already looking forward to next year’s crop.

Dwell in Possibility.

         -- Emily Dickinson

We are looking forward to new adventures in Greece during our second year here and hope you’ll be back regularly to share them with us. We are off to Cairo this coming weekend so will have tales to tell from there as well as more stories from Greece in future weeks. Until then, safe travels to you and yours~
Some of you who’ve signed up to receive these posts in your email seem not to have gotten some of the recent ones, if you could take a minute and reply to this post, saying, “got it” we would appreciate it greatly.
Linking up this week:
Photo Friday
Travel Photo Thursday
Wordless Wednesday
Our World Tuesday
Mosaic Monday
Through My Lens


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oh there’s no place like “_________” for the Holidays!

The sky is gray more often than not in Washington State’s Puget Sound these days. It’s a sure sign that summer is a fleeting memory and that – for us -  travel season is just around the corner. 

Seattle skyline - October 2014
While for many, these dark, dreary days are the prelude to upcoming holiday decorating and dinners – for us, it is the promise of new adventures.

PicMonkey Collage
J.W. Marriott - San Antonio, Texas, 2013
The ‘holiday season’ in the United States has a dual kick-off in October as December’s Christmas decorations (some actually appear in stores in July) are competing with Halloween for shelf space. Thanksgiving is simply scrunched in between the two at the end of November.

Coincidentally, travel season at our house is on the same schedule. . .we start talking winter travel in July and by October are ready to pack suitcases instead of unpacking decoration boxes.

PicMonkey Collage
San Antonio, Texas, 2013
This Traveling Twosome won’t be decking any halls this year. We’ll more likely be hanging hand-washed travel clothes than mistletoe and holly. 

As I’ve pointed out before, a travel lifestyle – sometimes requires the old traditions, like Christmas, give way to new adventures.

So our ‘season’ begins with an 'almost Thanksgiving' tradition – an old familiar favorite - a road trip to Arizona for a stay at our timeshare ‘desert home’.

The Mani - Greece
But after we return that’s when we’ll begin preparing for a real adventure and shake up our holiday routines but good! You might say we are practicing what we preach in this blog: we are traveling out of our tried-and-true destination comfort zones, stretching ourselves a bit and heading to a place. . .well, a place that three months ago wasn’t on our radar. Not. At. All.

The Mani - Greece
“How about ________________ for Christmas and New Year’s?” The Scout asked a few weeks ago.  He’d been researching and happened upon this destination. Chuckling a bit, we agreed that it would certainly be different – then we gave ourselves a couple days to think it over.  We finally used our age-old reasoning, “Why not?” And booked it!

Sunset - the South Pacific
As we’ve begun telling friends of our plans we’ve had two distinct reactions (there haven’t been any gray areas with this one): the first is an involuntary jerk of their heads and then a noticeable pause before asking either, “Why?” or “Where?” (perhaps hoping they hadn’t heard us correctly the first time).  Only a few have said, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to go there!”

The South Pacific

I’ve used a mix of photos in this post – they are all from previous trips as obviously I don’t have any to use to give you a hint of this new destination. And by now, you’ve probably realized I am not telling you our destination until next week. . . I’ve got to round up something suitable to use to illustrate that post. 

In the meantime, where would you go if you were to stretch yourself and go somewhere different? A stretch. . .some place that might have your friends asking, “Where!?!?”  

Welcome to our new followers and subscribers this week and thanks to all of you for your time ~ Happy Travels!

Linking Up this week at:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route 
Travel Photo Monday – Travel Photo Discovery 
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Istanbul Arrival: What a blast!

We were reminded yesterday that travel is always filled with surprises.  Some a bit startling. 

greece2014 001 

Having left Seattle some 20 hours prior to our arrival in Istanbul (the overnight stop in our trip to Greece) we were enjoying the fresh air outside the Istanbul airport and watching the hypnotizing traffic: taxi horns honking, buses jostling to edge near the curb, drivers weaving between them.

greece2014 003
Arriving Istanbul
Mesmerizing to our jet-lagged brains as we waited for the Marriott Courtyard shuttle van to pick us up. We also noted a police car, lights flashing that seemed to be chasing waiting taxis from the curb. Parking violations, we reasoned.

Then it occurred to us the street had cleared: no vehicles were arriving, large groups of waiting travelers were at curbside. Traffic was stopped some distance away.

A fellow traveler joined our waiting group and said, “'It’s a security issue,” he explained. “They are holding traffic for a half hour or so.”

And so we waited. Then. . .

KA-BOOM! from the far end of the Terminal.

Yep, a security issue alright.  Something suspicious was blown up.
Traffic resumed.
Our shuttle arrived. 
You might say our arrival here was a real blast.

More from Greece. . .when we get there!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hawaii: When Travel Writer Meets Travel Reader

The note, sent in response to the post I’d written about Ko Olina, O’ahu, was short:

“We are also at KO.
I would like to meet you.
(signed) Louise”

honu2014 003One thing I’ve learned about blogging is that we don’t really know who – if anyone -- reads the posts we’ve written - unless they make a comment or send an email.

At times it is kind of like feeling as if you might be talking to yourself.

Some bloggers live by ‘stats’ but even those numbers don’t tell us if what we write is really being read.

We also know the numbers of ‘subscribers’ - those who sign up to receive the posts as emails  – and if we dig deep enough,we also know their email addresses. (Rest assured, I seldom do that.)

In the case of TravelnWrite subscribers, the majority are people we don’t know. People like Louise. So to say I was thrilled that 1) someone was reading the blog and 2) wanted to meet me, sent me ‘over the moon’.

KO2014 010In this case – the weird part is --Louise and I had already been together earlier in the week at a Ko Olina owners’ “Meet and Greet” that she had organized.

In fact, I’d  taken photos and written about the event on the owners’ Facebook page.

But ‘that Louise’ and I didn’t have an opportunity to chat . . . so I was guessing, when I wrote her back asking if she might be the same person. She was one and the same!

KOowners14 004A few hours after exchanging emails, we met at poolside; chatting as if we had known each other for a long time.  We talked travel, and Hawaii and timeshares. . .and about the blog, of course.

She isn’t quite sure who recommended it to her, but she’s been a TravelnWrite reader since last September and had ‘come along ’via the blog on our South Pacific adventure.

Louise (pictured left) and her husband left Ko Olina for their California home a couple weeks before us, as they have another trip coming up.  But Louise and I have stayed in touch and will continue to do so until our paths again cross ‘same time next year’ at Ko Olina.  

KOBFuji2014 025Mahalo Louise, for sending that note!  And a big  mahalo to who ever recommended our blog to her!

We love meeting members of the TravelnWrite community, so let us know if we turn up somewhere near you.  Just drop us a note:

If you've not subscribed and want to do so, just fill in your email address in the box to the right of this post, then reply when Feedburner sends a confirmation email to your email address. It is free and as simple as that!

And recommend us to a friend of yours. . .just look at what might happen if you do!  Thanks for the time you spent here today – we’ll be back soon with more Tales from Somewhere in the Pacific.

(In case you are wondering, I have Louise’s permission to use her photo and tell you the tale of how we met.)


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