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Everything Else Fabulous

    Everything Else Fabulous

    Things I’m Looking Forward to in the USA

    On Our Way

    Location: Royal Caribbean

    Today we board Voyager of the Seas, a beautiful Royal Carribean ship for the 8500 mile journey from Sydney to Seattle. This will be the longest cruise we have ever taken – 23 days. Plenty of time to think about the things I’m looking forward to in the USA.

    I am looking forward to a slow decompression and a slow and easy re-entry to the culture of the United States.

    No matter how long you are out of the United States I now realize there are some things you just long for.  It’s not a big list for me, but it’s made up

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Time together as a family

    of the things I find comforting;

    The numbwr one things I’m looking forward to in the USA is My Kids – my grown children are my pride and joy and I really look forward to a lot of time together this summer.  We also look forward to seeing all the rest of our family as well.  Many things have happened in 18 months and we all have a lot of catching up to do.

    Tacos – Good ole American Tacos.  I need one right now.  I’ve been on the search for tacos everywhere we travel and it is definitely one of the things I’m looking forward to in the USA.

    French press – the world is ruled by Nescafé

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Fish Tacos

     

    instant coffee and I miss my morning French Press.

    Cycling – one of the simplest and best exercise routines I’ve ever had – riding my bike several times a week and I just can’t wait to be back on my bike.

    Having all food orders arrive at the table at the

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Cycling

    same time – last night I finished my dinner before Arne’s even arrived. This is common in many countries, but almost unheard of in the states and definitely one of the things now I’m looking forward to in the USA.

    Washer and Dryer – I think American’s take these appliances for granted more than any other and I certainly look forward to that convenience again for a while.

    Not needing to carry a roll of toilet paper in my

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Driving

    purse- ‘nuff said.

    Going to the Movie – I have only seen a movie a couple of times on an airplane in the past 18 months and I have not watched TV at all.  I do enjoy a movie on the big screen and I’m looking forward to that.

    Driving- I’ve only driven once in the past 18 months.  It will be great being behind the wheel and driving with relatively sane drivers again.

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Crab!

    Alaskan Salmon and Dungeness Crab – growing up on these foods my mouth waters at the thought of them.  I NEVER order salmon anywhere because I know it is likely farmed and crab isn’t crab unless it’s Dungeness in my book so I can’t wait to taste these favs again – I’ve been spoiled by Pacific Northwest seafood and it is certainly one of the things I’m looking forward to in the USA.

    My Book Club, My Cooking Club, My High School Girls, The Martini Mamas and all my other friends – I look forward to those moments of loud joyful

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    Friends

     

    laughter, funny stories, reminiscing and sharing.  And although I will only have a few opportunities to catch up this summer it is something I’m excited to do.

    Safeway – I miss my favorite grocery store and my tried and true staple items and ingredients.  It will be great fun to have a fully stocked American kitchen and I can’t wait to cook for my family just like the old days.

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    More crab

    Ten varieties of lettuce, a dozen varieties of apples, eight different kinds of potatoes – I look forward to the gluttony of produce we have at our fingertips in the USA.

    My Hairdresser and my Manicurist – although I have had pretty good luck with both haircuts and manicures out here in the big wide world, it will be wonderful being back with my very own who I know and trust.

    Things I’m looking forward to in the USA

    My hairdresser and friend Michael

    Fourth of July – growing up this day was as anticipated as Christmas and I’m looking forward to a good ole summer family Fourth of July American BBQ – even if I have to plan it myself!  How American is that?  A patriot at heart and one of the summertime things I’m looking forward to in the USA.

    Arne is looking forward to running everyday on familiar territory as well as baseball and good craft beer!

    So get ready USA we are on my way!!

    NOTE – WiFi will be infrequent if at all on the cruise. I hope to post when I can.

    Everything Else Fabulous  --  Fab Asia Travel

    500 Days of Summer

    A Sunny Travel Life

    Location: Lombok Indonesia

    Today marks 500 days on the road – and our grand adventure living 500 days of summer.  Coming from the often grey and misty state of Washington in the Pacific Northwest, 500 Days of Summer was the goal.

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Australia

    When we started planning our grand adventure, we set an itinerary

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Tunisia

    that kept us away from cold and rainy places.  And not just because we love the sun – but also because it’s easier to pack for these climates.

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Guam

    And so it has gone along this way now, for 500 days.  Waking each morning and opening my eyes and saying “hey, it’s still summer.”  Nice.

    Now we can’t say we haven’t seen some cool, even cold days.  We were in New Zealand as

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Morocco

    summer turned to fall and we had some pretty chilly nights.  Even in North Vietnam the nights were cool and in Halong Bay the mist hung low and we never saw the sun. In Morocco the wind was brisk and our night in the Sahara Desert camp was downright nippy. Here in Indonesia, our time in the

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Maldives

    mountains brought thankfully cooler temps, but certainly not cold.

    500 days of aummer

    Sunny Portugal

    But mostly it’s been warm to hot to REALLY hot as we have navigated this summer life.  More than 16 months on the road and I’m on my third (and a half) swimsuit and needing a fourth.  I’m on my

    500 days of summer

    Sunny New Zealand

    third sun hat, second pair of sunglasses, second set of beach towels  and second pair of flip-flops. I’m on my third selfie stick, my tenth bottle of sunscreen and my fifth water bottle – misplacing

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Bulgaria

    four somewhere along the way. My sundresses are tired and faded from sun and sweat and constant washing.  I will retire all of these soon and go on a big shopping trip for fresh and new when

    500 days of summer

    Sunny India

    we get back to the states.

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Namibia

    Because after our visit to the USA (May 14-Aug 7),where we hope it will be summer, we head off on the next phase of the grand adventure, at least

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Spain

    another 500 days of summer.

    But until then, summer continues here in Indonesia.

     

    500 days of summer

    Sunny Seychelles

    And life is sunny and fabulous!

     

    This post contains affiliate links and we may be compensated if you make a purchase.  All money earned goes back to the cost of maintaining this blog.  Thank you.

     

     

     


    Everything Else Fabulous  --  Fab Asia Travel

    Silver Jewelry Making Class in Ubud

    In the heart of the Bali Art Scene

    Location: Ubud Bali Indonesia

    I’ve purchased a charm in every country I’ve been to except one. There is no charm on my bracelet from Bangladesh. But here in Bali Indonesia there are lots of options to buy silver jewelry. But for the first time I decided to try something new – I signed up to take a silver jewelry making class in the heart of the Bali Art Scene, Ubud at the Craft Workshop.

    Silver Jewelry Making class

    We began by drawing on a piece of silver

    I spent three hours and less than $30 to create my own one of a kind charm. To be honest, it might be a little too big for the charm bracelet. But I like it anyway and I had a fascinating experience learning this craft.

    Silver jewelry making class

    Cutting the shape

    With eight other students I learned how to cut and shape the silver, file it and imprint it and clean it. I learned how to solder and mold and buff and shine. Most students attempted more difficult projects than mine, with varying degrees of success. Two women actually brought gemstones to class to have set in rings. Those were my favorite pieces of the day. More elaborate than. what I attempted.

    Silver jewelry making class

    Adding a second layer of silver

    Mine is very simple, and a bit amateurish. But I am, clearly an amateur. So no matter. I really enjoyed the experience, in an artisans studio, in the middle of a rice field. My little silver lotus blossom charm will be a happy memory of my

    Silver jewelry making class

    Polishing and shining

    time in Ubud.

    At the end of the class our jewelry instructor presented me with a little silver band.  He had seen me admiring the ring one of the other women made.  So he quickly formed a pinky ring for me.  Thoughtful.  A perfect memory

    Silver jewelry making class

    Gem stone rings

    too.

    Next time you are in Ubud go in search of the old school artisans, hidden amongst the hustle and bustle that now is Ubud.  But you can still find the artists.  They are

    Silver jewelry making class

    With our instuctor

    there, still working like the old days.  You’ll enjoy an afternoon if you pursue silver jewelry making class in Ubud – in the heart of the Bali art scene.

    Silver jewelry making

    My new lotus blossom charm

    Everything Else Fabulous

    Best and Worst Airports of the World

    The Blur of Airports in my Head

    Location: Best and Worst Airports

    It’s already late March.  Where does the time go?  The grand adventure has been underway for 16 months now and the flights and airports all blur together in my head.  But there are a few memorable ones, for both good and bad reasons, so we thought it was time to write about the Best and Worst Airports of the World – according to My Fab Fifties Life.

    Best and Worst Airports

    Seattle on the day we left the USA

    My favorite airport used to be Schiphol in Amsterdam.  And I still love it.  It’s like a small city and can keep you entertained for days (hopefully you don’t spend days there).  On our world tour we have encountered some similar airports, mainly the hub airports that are so spectacular in Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Qatar.  In these beautifully designed airports you can enjoy

    Best and Worst airports

    Napping

    fantastic works of art, delicious dining, designer and convenience shopping as well as usually a fine hotel.  You can also find spas and salons, quiet zones, kids zones, smoking zones, charging zones and sleeping zones and often showers.

    Almost all the comforts of home.

    The Dubai Airport, a giant megatropolis is about to be closed because another even bigger one is

    Best and Worst Airports

    Coming in to Praslin

    slated to open very soon.  From a distance it looks like something from the future.  Huge, artistic and from another world. When finished it will be largest airport in the world. Can’t wait to see it.  I was told they will just tear down the other one…weird.

    We have had some good experiences in some small airports too.  Cape Town, South Africa was the quickest and easiest airport we ever went through.  Dhaka, Bangladesh, though rundown and old, was one of the friendliest airports with helpful police who escorted us around the passport control so we could get some local currency to pay for our visa on entry.

    Best and Worst airports

    Sunrise flight out of Perth

    Small airports have a big advantage in that you can be off the plane and in your taxi in 15 or 20 minutes.  No long lines, no walking miles to get to baggage claim.  Arrival in Alice Springs and Cairns Australia was so quick.  Maldives airport was beautiful and easy to maneuver.  The teeny Praslin Island airport in the Seychelles was more like a bus station.  Off the plane and on our way. Just botta bing botta bang and you are out the door.  Nice.

    Best and Worst Airports

    Boarding in Marrakesh

    In Koh Samui Thailand the tiny airport had a beautiful area for waiting for departure and it included free popcorn, chips, coffee and juice.  I’ve never seen that anywhere else. However the approach by car to Koh Samui was poor – winding in a van through one lane residential streets weaving in and out of kids and dogs and bikes.  Yikes.

    In Praslin Seychelles there are so few flights a day there is a traffic light to hold traffic when a plane is landing.  The plane’s approach is over the road.  But usually it doesn’t matter.  There is very little car traffic either.

    Many smaller and medium size airports look very much the same.  It’s difficult to distinguish

    Best and Worst Airports

    On board we always try to have aisle seats across from each other

    between them.  Dubrovnik, Madrid, Santiago, Cape Town – all the same.

    We landed in Guam at 3:40 in the morning.  In a daze we maneuvered to the car rental area, happy to find them open and waiting for us.  Hallelujah!

    Less impressive experiences were in Manila, where the waiting area on the concourse was so tiny and crowded we had to sit on the floor.  There was no ATM machine and the unimpressive food kiosks only took local currency.  In Casablanca, the airport was fine but the baggage handling with Air Maroc was the worst.  Our bags on our short flight from Marrakesh disappeared and no one could find them.  When they were found, it was because I went and searched every luggage carousel in the airport and found them myself.

    Passport control was horrible in Tunisia and Siem Reap, Cambodia where we stood in line for more than hour for no reason other than one passport control guy wanting to be an ass and seem important.

    In Sofia Bulgaria, the small but new and nice

    Best and Worst Airports

    On the tarmac

    airport was marred by the unfriendly and unhelpful tourist information desk and the fact that there was not a single ATM at the airport.

    In Ho Chi Minh City the airport was okay but it was the dishonest taxi driver who put a bad taste in our mouth.  Trying to trick us and drive us in circles and tell us a 100 bill was a 10.

    On departing Delhi India the service at the check in counter was so slow that even though we allowed three hours we barely made our flight.  And we went through security intending to find a cash

    Best and Worst Airports

    Seychelles

    machine on the concourse only to be told ATM’s were only in the check-in area. What?

    Best and Worst Airports

    Our beautiful hotel in the Singapore airport

    Sometimes when we have really long-haul flights we will break the up with overnight (and sometimes a day) at an airport hotel.  SInce we aren’t pressed for time we find this a great way to avoid jet-lag.  We have done this in Dubai, Qatar, Bangkok and Singapore.

    We only have a few flights left before we board a cruise ship for our final leg back to the USA.  We have learned a lot – how to pack and plan, prepare and endure all these flights.  We’ve also learned to just relax because most of the time it’s all out of our hands.

    Flight # 52 today to Sydney Australia! Away!

     

    Everything Else Fabulous  --  Fab Asia Travel

    Traveling with Low Expectations Brings Happier Rewards

    Location: Maldive Islands

    Maybe it’s different if you are on a two-week vacation.  You likely want every minute of your two weeks perfect.  I suspect this is why I see frustrated tourists on occasion.  Visitors with high expectations dashed.

    I’m more and more aware that a life of full-time travel will eventually bring you to a place where you approach each new destination with low expectations, and where you are usually rewarded with happier results.

    Life is easier if you don’t put the pressure of high expectations on every moment.  I used to live a life of high expectations.  No more. Now we know traveling with low expectations brings happier rewards.

    I was thinking about this today, during my morning yoga practice on the beach in the beautiful Maldives.  I was thinking about this because there is a couple here at the resort we are at, who clearly came here with high expectations.  Too high.  They are leaving and going somewhere else.

    Unfortunately I expect they won’t find what they are looking for at the next place either.

    The resort we are at is simple.  Nothing fancy.  But it is inexpensive, comfortable, relaxed and the service is great.  We did our research before coming here – and our expectations matched exactly the reality (such as, in this Muslim country, no alcohol and only one beach where western swimwear is allowed). Too bad the couple I referred to didn’t do their research – or perhaps they just live a high expectation, high maintenance life, waiting for others to make them happy.

    Traveling with low expectations is a blessing really.  We do a lot of research before we go somewhere, both on the destination and on the lodgings we choose.  We approach each new place with a giddy sense of wonder and fear…but never with high expectations.  This has given us the most joy in our travels, little disappointment and frequent euphoria.

    Accepting each country and each destination’s quirks and faults, bonuses and perks makes for great memories and experiences.  Not dragging any preconceived notions, American needs or desires or high expectations into the adventure is how we have fun.  Learning along the way that the grand adventure is what we make it – how we take it – low expectations and happy rewards.

    A fabulous life indeed.

    Everything Else Fabulous

    My Fab Fifties Life Travel Awards

    And the Winner Is…

    Location: Travel Awards

    And the Winner Is…

    Oscar nominations this week!  A big week if you are a movie fan – which of course I am but since I have not stepped foot in the United States in more than 14 months I haven’t seen any of this year’s big films.  But instead I have seen a world of real life drama, fantasy, comedy, mystery and animation.  Enough to last a life time.  So in keeping with the announcement of this year’s Oscar Nominations, I give to you our picks for World Travel Awards, Best and Worst of 2017 and 2018 – My Fab Fifties Life.

    And the winner is…

    World Travel Awards 2017 2018

    Hoi An Vietnam

    DESTINATIONS

    Favorite City – Hoi An Vietnam

    By far our favorite destination in Vietnam with it’s colorful old town, beaches, rice fields and fabulous food.  We loved this place and the airbnb we stayed in here.

    Most Surprising – Namibia

    We came to Namibia practically blind, allowing our tour guide from Wild Wind Safaris to hold our hand and we were not disappointed.  A spectacular destination I think everyone should visit.

     

    Best Value Destination – Bulgaria

    We loved our month in the friendly, beautiful and historic country of Bulgaria where we didn’t

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Bulgaria

    meet any Americans.  Put this inexpensive and great country on your bucket list and go!

    Best Overall Scenery – New Zealand

    Jaw dropping scenery no matter where you go or which way you look, New Zealand is an

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Abel Tasman New Zealand

    outdoor enthusiast dream  and is stunningly beautiful.

    Most Crowded City – Hanoi

    The scooters alone make this wild city that never sleeps total chaos.  Then add the cars, trucks, carts, pedestrians, vendors and well – its pretty wild.

    Most Beautiful City – Split Croatia

    Whether you are perusing the mega yachts in the

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Diocletian’s Palace, Split

    harbor or wandering through Diocletian’s Palace, Split is a magical place and my favorite Croatian city.

    Most Interesting City – Fez Morocco

    Around every corner as you get lost in Fez there is something interesting and amazing and I enjoyed this maze of a city

     

     

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Fez Morocco

    Most Disappointing City – Tangier Morocco

    Getting lost in Tangier is easier but nowhere near as fun as getting lost in Fez.  We found Tangier a bit of a disappointment.

    ACCOMMODATIONS

    Best Airbnb for Service – Asilah Morocco

    We adored our “mom” Latifah during our ten days

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Latifah unveiling the Tajine

    in Asilah and wanted to put her in our suitcase and take her with us.  The food and care she gave us was unparalleled.

    Best Airbnb Overall – Koh Samui Thailand

    We had a lot of discussion over this one.  We have been, frankly, so lucky with our airbnb’s.  And even this one had a few quirks.  But we loved it for the view, the private pool and the car that came with it.  It was however, also our most expensive Airbnb. https://myfabfiftieslife.com/sweet-samui/

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    We loved our private pool in Koh Samui

     

    Most Authentic Airbnb – Siem Reap Cambodia

    Staying in an authentic Khmer home in Siem Reap was a treat in itself, but then adding the wonderful breakfasts and services our host provided us made this place one of our all time favs.

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Cambodian Khmer House

     

     

    Most Unusual AirbnbMotueka New Zealand

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Funky Truck

    We spent two nights in a funky old truck/camper with an outhouse and it was a hoot.

    Most Rustic AirbnbHikkaduwa Sri Lanka

    We nicknamed this place Castaway Cottage and it was like living on Gilligan’s Island – complete with lots of critters including rats, snakes, mongoose, monitor lizards, gecko and BUGS!

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    View from our Sozopol Airbnb

    Best Value Airbnb – Sozopol Bulgaria

    We loved this top floor unit with a huge deck and amazing view.  We think we might return to this place some day, only $55 a night.

    Best HotelLuang Prabang Laos

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Luang Prabang Laos

    We spent three nights in the beautiful Maison Dalabua hotel in this darling and historic city on the Mekong River and it was one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in.  From the comfortable and spacious room, the food, the pool, the flowers and the service, everything about it was first class on a budget.

    FOOD

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Because noodles always put a smile on your face.

    Favorite Overall Cuisine – Thailand

    This is the best food in the world.  Simple, healthy and so flavorful I can’t get enough of Thai Cuisine.

    Best Restaurant Meal – Ceverjaria Ramiro Lisbon Portugal, Honorable Mention to Ladja Podlanica in Piran Slovenia

    I’ll never forget the dinner we had at Cervejaria Ramiro with our son Erik and his friend

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Lisbon Portugal

    Salvador who lives in Lisbon.  It was a gluttonous evening and I loved every bite.  Someday I will go back.  In Piran Slovenia with our friends Raymond and Marbi we gorged ourself on the most amazing anchovies in oil followed by spectacular spaghetti

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Ladja Padlanika Restaurant in Piran

    con vongole.  We loved it so very much we went twice.

    Worst Food Overall – Camino de Santiago

    When we really needed the sustenance the most, our 41 days on the Camino de Santiago provided the least inspiring of food.

    Best Cooking Class –  Chiang Mai Thailand with Honorable Mention to Cape Town South Africa

    I try to take a cooking class in most of the countries we visit, and I do it as much for the cuisine

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    My favorite Chiang Mai Noodles

    and culture as to meet local people who love their food and want to share it.  My classes in Chiang Mai (two full days) and my evening class in the home of our instructor in Cape Town South Africa fulfilled what I am always looking for.

    Best Beer – Cape Town South Africa and Honorable Mention Piran Slovenia

    Capetown because they had a vibrant micro brew scene and good non-lager beers available in most stores and restaurants, and Piran because here my husband had the single best beer he has had since leaving the USA.  Don’t know what brand it was but it was a spectacular Slovenian IPA.

    Worst Grocery Availability – Seychelles

    Hands down the most difficult place to find decent produce and healthy ingredients for day-to-day cooking, we learned to eat a lot of rice, lentils and beans during our month in the

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Hmong Village Laos

    Seychelles Islands.

    CULTURE, NATURE AND EXPERIENCES

    Best Authentic Cultural Experience – It’s a tie between Hmong Village Laos and Himba Village Namibia

    Seeing these two places will stay with me all my life – when you think about opening your mind to understand cultural

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Himba Women and Children

    differences, embrace and learn from living hand to mouth and become more tolerant of other cultures – visiting these two places had all that and more.

    Best Beach for Scenery – La Digue Seychelles

    No wonder Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition has shot here several times.  This place with it’s unique rock formations, sparkling white sand and out of this world blue water is about as spectacular as they come.

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    La Digue Seychelles

     

    Best Beach for Spending the Day – Meia Praia, Lagos Portugal

    It helped that our condo was a short walk to the beach, where we went everyday during our three weeks in Lagos.  Golden sand, lots of room to spread out and easy and safe swimming made this our favorite.

    Best Day Hike – Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand

    An experience I will never forget, climbing the mountain, seeing the volcanic crater and lakes and just accomplishing this feat will always hold a special place for me.

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Tongariro Crossing

    Most Difficult Day Hike – Climbing Down Table Mountain, Cape Town South Africa

    We thought down would be easier.  It wasn’t.  There were times where I literally didn’t think I was going to make it.  My body gave it all I had, and it was

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Table Mountain Hike

    more than a week before I didn’t hurt.

    Best Outdoor Experience – Able Tasman New Zealand

    Our three-day Glamping Tour on the Able Tasman was one of the highlights of our time in that country.  We were blessed with spectacular weather, met new friends and were introduced to the wonders of New Zealand.

    Best Historic Sight – Angor Wat, Siem Reap Cambodia

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Angor Wat Cambodia

    It was a lifelong dream for me to see Angor Wat and it was not disappointing.  The fascinating ancient story that unfolds in these ruins set amidst the friendly and persevering Cambodia people is not something I will ever forget.

    Fewest Tourist at a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Dougga Tunisia

    Nothing like having an entire UNESCO site to

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Tunisia

    yourself, and that is exactly what we enjoyed at the beautiful Dougga Roman Ruins in Tunisia.  Not many tourists in Tunisia, but slowly they are returning, and we loved our time in this ancient country, cradle of civilization as we know it today.

    Best Tour – Namibia

    Our ten-day tour with our amazing guide “Seven” introduced us to this unknown country so full of natural wonders and spectacular animals.  I love Namibia..

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Etosha National Park Namibia

     

    Worst Tour – Three day bus tour of the Mekong Delta Vietnam

    This tour was cheap but it wasn’t worth it still.  Terrible traffic, over pitched and very touristy.  Sorry we went.

    Most Unique experience – Camino de Santiago Spain

    Even though the food was bad, the experience is now branded on my soul. It changed me and I loved it.

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    On the Camino

    Best Live Performance – Tie Violin Concert Piran Slovenia and Carmina Burana outdoors in Dubrovnik; Honorable Mention to Kandy Cultural Show, Kandy Sri Lanka

    Front row seats in a tiny historic theater in beautiful Piran Slovenia made for a special night as we enjoyed a beautiful violinist accompanied by a guitarist.  It was just so pleasant.  Just as mazing the spectacle that was hearing Carmina Burana performed outdoors in historic Dubrovnik

    Carmina Burana performed outdoors in Dubrovnik

    town center.  Spectacular!

    Kudos also to the very authentic Sri Lankan dance, music and firewalker show we enjoyed (also front row seats) in Kandy Sri Lanka.

    Best Nature and Animal Experience – Etosha National Park Namibia

    I’ve said it before – this country was such a surprise and this National Park was the bomb.

    Best Free Experience – Free Walking Tours 

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Our Free Walking tour guide in Sofia Bulgaria

    In nearly every major city  you can take what is known as “Free” guided walking tours.  These are awesome and we love them because it is always a local guide, someone young and enthusiastic.  You tip them at the end – so its not really Free – but it is worth it and we have done this at least ten times.  A great value.

    Friendliest People – Sri Lanka

    Hands down the kindest and friendliest people we

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Monk in Sri Lanka

    have met – despite all the hardships they have been through; colonialism, monarch assassination , civil war and tsunami.  Still they smile.  Love them.

    Worst Drivers – Vietnam

    There are several runners-up here, including Sri Lanka (and we haven’t gotten to India or Bangladesh yet), but still Vietnam takes the prize for the craziest drivers, most dishonest cabbies, scooter

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Scooters in vietnam

    mania and absolute lack of any pedestrian rights.

    Worst Experience – Dog Bite Koh Samui Thailand

    Hands down the worst day has been the day Arne was bit by a dog in Koh Samui.  The one saving grace is it could have been much worse.  But still it makes me angry and the overall feral dog situation in Thailand makes me question whether I will ever visit again.

    Experience I liked More Than I thought I would – Camel Ride, Erg Cheba, Sahara Morocco

    The colors and the light of the desert at dusk, the animals, the other guest from around the

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    On the camel trek in Morocco

    world and having this experience with our friends Sarah and Steve all added up to a very fun two days and one night camel trek in the desert.

    Least English Spoken – Spain

    Only in the last decade has English been taught in schools, so few adults are fluent.  Especially in the small towns and villages on the Camino we did a lot of pointing and hand charades to communicate.  It was fun!

    WEATHER

    Hottest – Seychelle’s and Honorable Mention Doha, Qatar

    We saw some rain in the Seychelles but it was never

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Seychelle Islands, Praslin

    under 85 degrees and the water was like a bathtub.  We only spent one night in Doha Qatar, but it marked the hottest one day on the

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Doha Qatar

    trip at 113 F.

    Coldest – New Zealand

    We were in New Zealand in the fall and we had a few nights were the temperature dropped in the 30’s.  Living in the Kiwi Karavan we wore hats and coats and wool socks to bed to stay

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    New Zealand

    warm.

    Worst Rain Storm – Tie between Hua Hin Thailand and Koh Samui Thailand

    After a two hour taxi ride turned into a five hour taxi ride in a monsoon we arrived in flooded Hua Hin Thailand not sure what we had gotten ourselves into.

    More than once the sky opened up in Koh Samui, accompanied by flashing lighting and booming thunder.

    Best Sunrise – It’s a tie between Napier New Zealand and Galicia Spain

    I’m a sucker for a good sunrise, and we have seen

    World Travel Awards 2017-2018

    Napier New Zealand

    some amazing ones but these two stand out above and beyond for the sheer majesty of the experience.

    Best Sunset – La Digue Seychelles (see cover photo)

    Mother’s Day Dinner in La Digue we watched the sunset from a beach restaurant and it was a religious experience.

     

     

    TRAVEL

    Favorite Airline – Emirates

    They know how to treat their passengers, even those of us in Coach

    Least Favorite Airline – Air Maroc

    The only airline (after 37 flights) to lose our luggage.  Eventually it was found.  Plus the smell of something (not cigarettes) burning during approach.  Ack.

    Best Airport – Hamad International Qatar

    A very user-friendly and beautifully designed airport.

    Teeniest Airplane – Air Seychelles 

    Eight seats.  ‘Nuff Said.

    Most Expensive Visa – India

    We haven’t even arrived in India yet, but it was hands down the most expensive Visa we have purchased and one of the most difficult online applications.  Hopefully when we arrive tomorrow everything will be in order!

    Easiest Airport Entry – Capetown South Africa

    We breezed through passport and customs so fast in Capetown we were totally surprised.

    Worst Airport Entry – tie between Siem Reap Cambodia and Carthage Tunisia

    In both cases we got in the wrong line.  The line with the guy who was arrogant and pompous and was going to make every passenger know he was the boss.  Any sign of dissatisfaction could get you pulled out of line and make your life hell.  And so we waited.

    Lucky Girl. Fabulous Life Award.

    So there you have it.  The winner of the Fab Fifties version of the Oscars for 2017-2018.  But you do know, the real winner is me.  Me and my husband.  The luckiest people on the planet. Who needs a little gold statue when you have a Fab Fifties Life?

    What a fabulous life it is.

    Everything Else Fabulous

    We are back – New and Improved

    Starting 2018 with Upgrades for the Blog

    Location: My Fab Fifties Life

    Over the past month we have been working hard on some upgrades to My Fab Fifties Life and now with the new year we are back fresh and new!

    Most of the changes, you as a reader will not be aware of, as the changes are technical and behind the scenes. But there is one important change you will notice.  My Fab Fifties Life now has all new categories/topics, creating a more user friendly blog.

    We have removed several categories that were no longer  relevant as My Fab Fifties Life has evolved.  But most importantly we have created new topics for all the travel blogs based on world regions.  A much simpler and easier to use system.

    If you are new to My Fab Fifties Life you can look at the topics and click on regions of interest such as Fab Africa Travel or Fab North America Travel. If you are a long time follower and now you are planning a trip, say to Croatia, you can click on Fab Europe Travel, put Croatia in the search bar and pull up everything we have written on that topic.

    And if you have been away from the blog for a spell (shame on you!) you can click on Fab Asia Travel and catch up on where we are right now!

    You’ll notice in addition to the travel categories there is still Fabulous Reading Wednesday (because I love to read) and Fab Food (because I love food!).  Also the My Fab Fifties Life junk drawer category (everyone needs a junk drawer) Everything Else Fabulous.

    To find our categories go to the TOPICS drop down box at the top of this page.  Or if you are on  a PC or laptop the topics are also listed on the right column.

    Easy and quick and more reader friendly.

    We’ve also made some upgrades to the photo library to help present the photos better in each blog.

    If you follow on Facebook you’ll notice some new videos related to the blogs and a new cover shot each time we visit a new country. If you are following our Instagram account you will see even more beautiful photos and videos daily.

    We want to keep you engaged and enjoying the work we do with My Fab Fifties Life.

    So we have a few favors to ask of you- our valued followers. First and most important are you receiving the blog in your email inbox?  Because if you are relying on Facebook only, then you are only seeing about a quarter of our blog posts. I encourage you (beg, plead) to sign up right now to get My Fab Fifties Life via email. It’s easy to do – if you are reading this on a mobile device there is a email sign up at the bottom of this post. If you are reading this on a PC or laptop there is an email sign up in the upper right hand corner.  I would be very grateful for your support via email.

    Are you on Pinterest? We are building our presence on that valuable search engine tool and expanding
    our reach through Pinterest is one of our new goals. Please pin and repin our blogs as often as you can which would help us a lot. Just hover on any photo in any My Fab Fifties Life blog and you will get the Pinit save button. Snap it’s done.

    We encourage you to coment inside the blog, rather than on the Facebook comment section. This is another way My Fab Fifties Life gets pushed to the top of the very crowded Google ladder.

    Next month My Fab Fifties life celebrates its 5th Birthday! My baby is growing up!  Thanks to all of you for your help and support. It takes a village and you are my village!  Fabulous!