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Bill & Mari's Journey To Kili

Fri 21 Jun 2013 - Sun 14 Jul 2013

Amazing trip to Mount Kilimanjaro

21 Jun 2013 - 22 Jun 2013

Mari's got bag duty!

June 21, 2013, 4:13 p.m.

Bill's job is to sneak the heavy bags on the plane - global services has its benefits:). Bill's wearing his "best t-shirt", Whatta catch - after 25 years it's the little things...

June 21, 2013, 5:19 p.m.

T-minus two hours till nighty nite.

June 21, 2013, 7:07 p.m.

Vegetarian gone wild

June 22, 2013, 4 a.m.

Yummy, nothing's changed for me

June 22, 2013, 4:30 a.m.

We arrived. Time to mediate these Istanbul riots - not sure what they're so angry about? It's a nice day

June 22, 2013, 11:30 a.m.

Taking a pic of Mari taking a pic. Beautiful view of Bosphorus from hotel

June 22, 2013, 2:06 p.m.

Twilight before the "super moon"

June 22, 2013, 8:11 p.m.

View from my favorite restaurant in the world. Istanbul 360

June 22, 2013, 9 p.m.

The moon is going to be huge tonight

June 22, 2013, 9:24 p.m.

Just got tear gassed and the entire roof top restaurant cleared - a great way to start our adventure. Off to Taksim square.

June 22, 2013, 10:13 p.m.

Back on the roof

June 22, 2013, 10:31 p.m.

Tear gas #2. Now they won't let us leave the restaurant for "safety". Sounds like a revenue maximization ploy.

June 22, 2013, 10:55 p.m.

Empty streets - tear gas is effective

June 22, 2013, 11:25 p.m.

Brothers in arms

June 22, 2013, 11:29 p.m.

Ready to head back to the hotel

June 22, 2013, 11:38 p.m.

23 Jun 2013

Back to civilization - we just washed the pepper spray off, ouch! I have some great video that makes you appreciate the freedoms we enjoy.

June 23, 2013, 1:09 a.m.

A beautiful start to the morning - not sure when people find time to work here. Mari is happy with the fruit & bread? The bacon's good also...

June 23, 2013, 10:48 a.m.

Not sure who he is but if Mari's sitting on his lap he must have money:)

June 23, 2013, 1:57 p.m.

Man made island on the sea

June 23, 2013, 2:25 p.m.

I've always read - do not eat sushi while traveling abroad. Living on the edge, next tabouli salad - gag!

June 23, 2013, 2:50 p.m.

Looks like Mari is enjoying herself

June 23, 2013, 2:58 p.m.

20mph winds

June 23, 2013, 3:26 p.m.

We.could get used to this

June 23, 2013, 3:26 p.m.

Bill's classic landscape shot

June 23, 2013, 5:57 p.m.

Some kind of fortress. Silly fools.

June 23, 2013, 6:01 p.m.

Staying away from the tear gas this evening. The moon looks like the sun

June 23, 2013, 9:06 p.m.

Fake TB's. Karilynn must be soooo jealous right now

June 23, 2013, 10:33 p.m.

24 Jun 2013

Chinese wish lantern - i wish this thing actually flies

June 24, 2013, 9:50 a.m.


June 24, 2013, 9:50 a.m.

Constantine column - the center of the world. Fitting for Bill to be in the frame:). With his new t-shirt

June 24, 2013, 11:49 a.m.

The "other" column of Constatine. The debate ensues about Bill's being the center of the universe

June 24, 2013, 12:05 p.m.

Obelisk of Theodosius. That's my last column photo for the day

June 24, 2013, 12:07 p.m.

The Blue Mosque, is not blue - go figure. And closes at 12:15 (note time of pic)

June 24, 2013, 12:12 p.m.

Grand Bazaar - worlds oldest shopping mall. Big smile on Mari's face. Good thing we're luggage limited into Tanzania

June 24, 2013, 12:31 p.m.

Shopping as far as the eye can see

June 24, 2013, 12:34 p.m.

Not sure we could squeeze in the Partyka spread on this hill

June 24, 2013, 2:37 p.m.

Traffic as bad as NYC. Half as bad as Ho Chi Min city

June 24, 2013, 8:02 p.m.

Dinner at Beerpoint - a must experience for wings lovers & vegetarians:). Mari made the mistake of letting me choose...

June 24, 2013, 8:30 p.m.

Mari made us leave my new favorite restaurant. She needs to become more "culturally" sensitive. By the way, what the hell is chicken ham?

June 24, 2013, 8:49 p.m.

Yes that's a monkey with a diaper. We've come a long way baby!

June 24, 2013, 11:04 p.m.

You should have seen the size of this thing before Mari got into it!

June 24, 2013, 11:09 p.m.

More fake TB's for Karilynn:)

June 24, 2013, 11:09 p.m.

Anonymous has found it's way to Istanbul

June 24, 2013, 11:12 p.m.

25 Jun 2013

Ready for action although I wish they would have trusted me with a few more HP's

June 25, 2013, 10:06 a.m.

Ran out of gas in our scooter but found the Black Sea (I thought these things were solar). A friendly inn-keeper drove into town to get us some petro. A little brekkie and we'll be back on the road.

June 25, 2013, 11:15 a.m.

Filling the machine was a 4 man job - looks like there's a lot of "supervision" going on here

June 25, 2013, 11:51 a.m.

How many Turks does it take to change a lightbulb? I can say that because when you experience the gov't beat down they call you a local

June 25, 2013, 11:52 a.m.

Gassed up and ready to rumble. Bill thinks the dew rag makes the Vespa look tougher

June 25, 2013, 12:11 p.m.

Mari just had to sneak down to a private beach

June 25, 2013, 12:20 p.m.

To dip her tootsies in the Black Sea - shark!

June 25, 2013, 12:21 p.m.

Speaking of being tough... He either got heat sickness or bad sushi. Not looking good in the middle of Istanbul.

Bill's comment. Why is Mari playing photo journalist rather than taking care of me?

June 25, 2013, 1:01 p.m.

Leaving Istanbul with a whimper. Tanzania or bust! Now if I can get this African dosed z-pack to neutralize the poison in my gut.

June 25, 2013, 7:29 p.m.

26 Jun 2013

Made it to Tanzania. Now even Mari is on the cypro - American stomachs are weak

June 26, 2013, 2:24 p.m.

Bill found his natural environment. Wifi, cold beer, S. Pellegrino

June 26, 2013, 2:46 p.m.

Room at our staging area. AC, hot water, full bar, pool, fast wifi - this is going to be easy...........

June 26, 2013, 2:50 p.m.

Mari made the mess - just sayin'

June 26, 2013, 3:02 p.m.

Where's the mountain? Sucks it's time to go home. I believe that clouds have a habit of bring rain and snow

June 26, 2013, 3:04 p.m.

Another pic of Mari taking a pic. If I could have raised my head yesterday we'd have three of these now

June 26, 2013, 3:06 p.m.

Ultimate geek toy - solar backpack

June 26, 2013, 4:02 p.m.

Ahhhh, nothing like WiFi an iPad and a cool drink - by the way I sent you an email Nell:)

June 26, 2013, 7:58 p.m.

Bill finally relaxes or the food poisoning got the best of him

June 26, 2013, 10:01 p.m.

27 Jun 2013

Heading to 9200ft

June 27, 2013, 10:41 a.m.

I've never been known for traveling lite

June 27, 2013, 10:42 a.m.

This is a lot taller than Mari told me. Houston we may have a problem

June 27, 2013, 11:41 a.m.

Day 2 just arrived Ndarakwai camp

June 27, 2013, 1:03 p.m.

Still running water and a soft bed - maybe this will be easier than I thought. All food goes in the "monkey box" in case they get in your tent

June 27, 2013, 1:16 p.m.

Bringing in the heavy artillery for our first trek

June 27, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

The impala's and baboons are mixing tonight

June 27, 2013, 8:59 p.m.

Zebras need to keep their eyes open or else

June 27, 2013, 10:29 p.m.

Tall & skinny Giraffe, just like Robbie D:)

June 27, 2013, 10:30 p.m.

Death defying maneuver

June 27, 2013, 10:32 p.m.

Treehouse bar, a sight for sore eyes

June 27, 2013, 10:33 p.m.

Kili says goodnight. WiFi is getting more sparse so out updates will also

June 27, 2013, 10:34 p.m.

28 Jun 2013

Rainforest check-in and baggage scale - absolute chaos

June 28, 2013, 11:24 a.m.

No more road. The adventure begins...

June 28, 2013, 12:35 p.m.

Getting ready for lunch

June 28, 2013, 12:38 p.m.

Lunch in the rAinforest 6300 ft yummy

June 28, 2013, 1:08 p.m.

Lush rainforest. Praise The Lord there's no rain today, at least I hope so

June 28, 2013, 3:09 p.m.

Reached camp after climbing to 9300ft - help me!

June 28, 2013, 6:12 p.m.

Signing in to make sure no one got lost - Mari looks like she's picking up another marathon medal

June 28, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

Still smiling, aching but smiling...

June 28, 2013, 7 p.m.

29 Jun 2013 - 30 Jun 2013

Black ant nest - nasty

June 29, 2013, 9:12 a.m.

Mari made it above the clouds - 11500 feet

June 29, 2013, 12:35 p.m.

Ahem, we both made it over the clouds - 75 degrees during the day 30 degrees at night, guess which I prefer

June 29, 2013, 12:37 p.m.

First view of Kili in 2 days as we've traversed the foot hills. 12000 feet. We have a long way to go

June 29, 2013, 1:48 p.m.

View from Shira camp - tomorrow we traipse thru the Shira desert to Kili base camp 2

June 29, 2013, 3:50 p.m.

Mari at the hair salon - she won't be happy that I took this, whoops?

June 29, 2013, 4:30 p.m.

Mari and I from the Cathedral - 12800 ft, beautiful views

June 30, 2013, 12:40 a.m.

Same view without us. See the clouds below?

June 30, 2013, 12:41 p.m.

Mari and her friend Kelvin - ladykiller

June 30, 2013, 2:43 p.m.

02 Jul 2013 - 03 Jul 2013

Getting psyched to take on Baranko wall - on our way to 15,000 feet

July 2, 2013, 10:10 a.m.

Baranko wall - yikes!

July 2, 2013, 10:13 a.m.

Mari's looking very confident with 700ft underway - a lot more to go!

July 2, 2013, 11:05 a.m.

Another perspective... This sucks!

July 2, 2013, 11:17 a.m.

a view from 15,300 ft. Our porters are very efficient in pushing all of our stuff up this godforsaken hill.

July 3, 2013, 7:07 a.m.

18,200 ft. Porters are beginning to grumble at Mari's pace - chop chop!

July 3, 2013, 3:12 p.m.

It's not the Shangri La but you'd amazed how Mari can decorate one of these baby's - just like home plus a dozen handwarmers.

July 3, 2013, 4:19 p.m.

Looking down at mount meru - literally

July 3, 2013, 5:32 p.m.

04 Jul 2013 - 06 Jul 2013

Getting ready to rumble - oh my head hurts! Next stop summitmania.

July 4, 2013, 7:10 a.m.

Arghh. There's a fake summit on this mountain. Two hours to go!

July 4, 2013, 1:13 p.m.

We made it! Mari led the pack and hit the summit first of course - 19,340 ft I think I'm going to barf. Happy Independence Day everyone!!!!!!

July 4, 2013, 3:26 p.m.

Mari and I with our personal attaché's

July 4, 2013, 3:34 p.m.

Oh yes, I was able to plan a small recommitment ceremony on the top of the world - you have no idea how much coordination it takes to get an ordained pastor to the top of Kili:). I believe Mari was surprised.

To another 25 years!

July 4, 2013, 3:43 p.m.

Post-climb celebration. It took 1 guide, 2 asst guides, 8 cooks & waitstaff, 36 porters and 2 personal porters (for Mari and I) just to get 7 people up the mountain - could not have done it without them!

July 5, 2013, 5:36 p.m.

Back to civilization. Hot water, flushing toilets and a big, fat ribeye (medium rare of course). Heading to ngorongoro crater for the next couple of days - this is the "vacation" part of the vacation.

July 6, 2013, 8:22 p.m.

I had to add a waypoint for Lynn Rosen - your favorite:)

July 6, 2013, 8:25 p.m.

07 Jul 2013 - 08 Jul 2013

A more familiar view of Bill in the morning. Coffee & iPad.

Off to the ngorongoro crater for a couple of days.

July 7, 2013, 7:33 a.m.

The "true" center of Africa - midpoint between Capetown & Cairo

July 7, 2013, 10:12 a.m.

It takes a close friend to pick off his buddies cooties. I now understand where the DiGregorio bloodline began.

July 7, 2013, 12:38 p.m.

A view into the ngorongoro crater - 610 meters below. What an awesome hotel.

July 7, 2013, 3:46 p.m.

Our 25h anniversary just "happens" to roll into Mari's b-day week this year (it's a long story). Here's the way we began the celebration of Mari's special week.

Does anyone else get a whole week to celebrate their birthday ?????

I think I've created a monster:)

July 7, 2013, 8 p.m.

The baboons protested my comparison with Rob D. These guys will serve as a suitable alternative.

July 8, 2013, 8:44 a.m.

Proud Leo after a kill

July 8, 2013, 9:53 a.m.

Nappy time for The Pride following a zebra lunch

July 8, 2013, 9:54 a.m.

These guys make me look good

July 8, 2013, 10:52 a.m.

09 Jul 2013 - 11 Jul 2013

Does he really think we can't see him? Heading to the Serengeti today.

July 9, 2013, 11:05 a.m.

Serengeti - flat plains that doesn't end. Yep, that's how I'd describe it also.

July 9, 2013, 5:48 p.m.

Just to make it official

July 9, 2013, 5:53 p.m.

I've been watching these things for nearly 30 minutes - not one of them has left the water to go to the bathroom. Something to think about when you jump into a public pool:)

July 10, 2013, 4:25 p.m.

The Serengeti finally took it's toll on Bill - 102 fever & upper respiratory infection. House call by Doc was left to our determination of what his service was worth - he was pleased with the $50 we gave him. Something to consider as we have to unravel Obamacare due to its poor construction.

July 10, 2013, 4:29 p.m.

Sitting at the Serengeti World Club waiting to get outta here - back to Arusha for a 4a flight into Istanbul

July 11, 2013, 3:49 p.m.

Mari said she'd never fly with me again ever since "the incident". Funny how things change when you want to get out of the desert:)

July 11, 2013, 6:06 p.m.

You have to climb it before you can drink it:). Satisfies the Tanzanian thirst.

Orris, best wishes to another successful frolics performance - Mari and I wish we could be there.

July 11, 2013, 8:40 p.m.

12 Jul 2013 - 14 Jul 2013

Mari went to the first fragrance shop she could find in Turkey today ... Not sure if it's for her or me? Should I or shouldn't I post this.... Too late.

July 12, 2013, 1:43 p.m.

Ahhhh. Home sweet home although the jet lag over the next couple of days will be tough. Mari and I put together a top 10 list that we'd share if any of you want to climb Kili - We certainly learned a ton about ourselves.

1) learn how to camp in advance - don't try to master this skill on the mountain as it will definitely test your patience
2) spend the money on a top quality company - we saw a number of groups with a guide/cook/porter all in one, most didn't make it to the top
3) be medically prepared - ibuprofen, diamox, cypro, anti diarrhea, anti constipation, anti nausea, cold/flu - you will need all of these meds at some point
4) practice going to the bathroom in a number of different situations - be creative as you will have to be, trust me
5) recognize that your body will try to stop your progress after 15k feet - it's up to you whether or not you keep going, mind over matter
6) trust your guide - he's seen plenty of lazy Americans / Euros and will set the pace that positions you for success - tip everyone well
7) when someone says they're going to barf, they're going to barf so get out of the way
8) get a personal porter - it sounds like a lame waste of money but will payoff down the road
9) schedule at least a 7 day climb - 60% of all climbers don't finish, 65% 7 day climbers finish and +90% 9 day climbers accomplish their goal due to acclimatization
10) make sure you attempt this with someone you like and/or love - climbing Kili will test the bounds of any relationship.

As we arrived back in the US it really struck us how good we truly have things and I know that I'll be more appreciative moving forward.

Thanks for your support and kind words,
Bill and Mari

July 14, 2013, 8:19 p.m.