My guardian angel didn’t look the way I expected. I had always imagined big wings and a halo of sorts. Instead she had a sharp Eastern European accent and told me to hurry up; she didn’t have all day. And yet, it was undeniably, her. She was the Delta airline representative who singlehandedly saved the airline’s reputation (at least for me) and saved me 32 unnecessary hours in the Atlanta airport. She’s the one – the only one- I met in my recent airport adventure who agreed me that there must be another way; that having to wait an extra three days because of one delayed flight (that caused me to miss my subsequent connecting flight) was ridiculous. She was even the one who recorded that my first flight was delayed due to mechanical problems, not the weather, so I could score a free hotel room for the night (*note to travelers: airlines offer no compensation if delays are caused by weather – go figure). She is the one who let me get away – away from sweltering heat Atlanta and back to lovely Cape Town.
By now you should know that I love wine. In fact friends and family are starting to call me a wino, but I’m sure that’s just a joke (?). Naturally I take no responsibility for my own actions. Rather, I blame Cape Town for this. After all it’s not my fault that I happen to live in the world’s best wine county. I mean, what else am I supposed to do – drink beer [laughs hysterically]? So it should be no surprise that I have spent many a weekend afternoon sipping away on one of the gorgeous wine farms in the area (it definitely beats exercising). And my favourite one? Well, glad you asked ‘cause it’s a beauty: Vrede en Lust.
Who knew Hout Bay was cool? Not me. I’ve always liked Hout Bay, Cape Town. But in more the sleepy fisherman’s hangout way. It has gorgeous scenery and the harbour is a cute place to spend the afternoon. But the idea of spending a night – a precious Friday night – in Sleepy Shipville seemed strange to me. Until I met Hout Bay’s hottest new arrival, Kitima.
As if the ocean, mountains and wine farms weren’t enough, here’s just one more reason to love Cape Town. While most cities have botanical gardens, they aren’t exactly like Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Instead of perfectly trimmed bushes and color coded flower beds, you get a massive park of indigenous plants growing as big and beautiful as they can at Kirstenbosch. Here trees, like this one, are free to go wild. Throw in a backdrop of mountains and a few strategic benches, and you’ve got yourself one great garden!
Two years in South Africa has turned me lazy. I can speak the language, drive around (even if it is on the wrong – I mean “other” – side of the road), recommend good restaurants to tourists and even fake a South African accent when absolutely necessary. I have a South African bank account, hair stylist and temporary residency. I’m all settled in.
But now as I embark on the next Big Adventure, complete with new language, food and continent, I am faced with an all-too-familiar challenge: getting the visa.
Hope you’re not sick of animal travel photots yet! ‘Cause I got plenty more where this came from.
In my recent trip to the Kruger Park (yes, I am gloating as I write this) I was crazy lucky enough to see animals in action. There were some hectic moments watching a lion kill, and three cheetahs stalk their prey. But I was also lucky enough to see animals in more relaxed situations. This elephant didn’t mind our car a few feet away. He just went about his business, doing what an elephant does.