Saturday, February 6, 2016

Autumn in New York (.....Spring in South Africa, and Christmas in the Northwest!)



 I'm way behind and I've missed this blog. To bring you up to date: the last 5 months in photos. This past fall we went on an epic trip to South Africa with good friends, spent a couple days in NYC on the way, and came home to a chilly holiday season. Exactly the way I was hoping to wrap up 2015! South Africa is special to us. The landscape is both breathtaking and heartbreaking, the people are wonderful, and it's at once exotic and comfortable. Deep in our hearts is a sense of adventure and this life we've been given allows us to explore that both in our dreams and every now and  then with our own eyes. We may never again cross borders in the Middle East, swim in the Strait of Hormuz, or climb the steps of a towering mosque. But we can revisit the place that stole our hearts, introduced us to biltong, brought back Chablis, and is home to some of the kindest people we know. To celebrate JSM's 50th year we wanted to experience it again and bring along people we love. And that's exactly what we did....


 St. Patrick's Cathedral


Lighting candles for Big Ed and Little Grandma


 Central Park

Fifth Avenue


At The Peninsula Hotel...so simple and so beautiful!

The real reason JSM wanted to go to SA....ha!


Our home while in Cape Town

 English and Afrikaans

 Noon day canon in Cape Town

 The food!

 Company's Garden

 Because.....it's a library!

 Camps Bay Beach



 We got to see Lauren Kriedemann again - so lovely!




We had missed this little dog so much! (And we love his humans, too!)

With the lovely NV (now Mrs. Bock!)


 Boulders Beach



 Hi!




From Cape Town we drove to Franschhoek, a delightful town in the Winelands with beautiful Dutch architecture, amazing scenery, and surprisingly good pizza!

 Fine art.....in the bathroom!












From Franschoek, we drove to Plettenburg Bay where we stayed at the most amazing lodge, visited an elephant sanctuary where injured elephants spend their days, and relaxed in the treetops!








It's a miracle that no one slipped on those floors! You could see your reflection in them. Seriously.






Then it was on to safari at Kruger National Park where we spent 4 days at Naledi Game Lodge. We practically had the place to ourselves and the most lovely staff took care of us. No words can really describe the amazing experience of being in the African bush. But, what I can say is that for someone who is constantly on the go (me!) it was the first time in years that I truly felt relaxed (after I adjusted to the idea of riding in an open top vehicle and staring down a real, live lion 5 feet away.) The African sky is big and hauntingly beautiful especially at dusk, but so are the animals any time of day. Wow!







Sipho! One of our fantastic guides...






JSM in his happy place....

Because you NEED Cheetos in the bush :)

 Love them! APK & KWK


 OK, that was a little unsettling. In the dark. No zoom lens required.



Those eyes!


The sunsets were unbelievable


 Morning game drive selfie with lion - ha!




 Getting a lesson from the magnificent Eric!




 Taking a break during an evening game drive. Must stop for wine.

 The always beautiful KWK.

A penny for your thoughts, APK!



Yikes!

 A beautiful table setting at one of our dinners

 The food was fabulous. This was breakfast!

 We witnessed the most amazing thing - two giraffes fighting over a female. It was terrifying to watch (and listen to!)

 The winner!

 A storm rolled in.....

Heading home.

 We got home just in time to put up our Christmas tree and got this in the mail from our little Stella. That handwriting melts my heart.

 KS and RJ came to visit!

 We had a special ornament added to our tree.

And a special gift that finally made our house a home. (But that kudu lamp in the background is pretty awesome, too. Straight from Johannesburg - a piece of Africa courtesy of West Elm.)

2015 is SO. LAST. YEAR. We are already having new adventures and Abigail the cat is making this house her home, too. In the way only she can. Seriously.  
Onward!
XOXO

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