Cape Town Exploration: Capes & More Capes

In the early Fall of 2013, I spent 2 1/2 weeks in South Africa.  My journey started via the 20+ hours of travel from JFK airport to Cape Town, where my friend Elliot and I checked in to the most glorious 2-bed/2-bath duplex loft hotel room that $228 a night could buy.  We were meeting up with my husband, Marc, who was on work assignment in Johannesburg for 3 months, but since his flight wasn’t scheduled to arrive for a few more hours, we decided to scope out the city.

Cape Town is a really wonderful place to visit.  It has everything from national parks and botanic gardens to wineries with rolling hills to beaches occupied by the most adorable penguins to the cheapest happy hour drinks and sweet sweet jazz.  From morning till the wee small hours of the morning, there’s plenty see and do in this lovely part of South Africa.  Did I hear cheap happy hour?

So in the hours we were waiting for Marc to land and get settled in our baller hotel room, Elliot and I got an overview of things on Long Street.  This aptly named long street is one of the main restaurant/bar/nightlife scenes in Cape Town.  Complete with traditional South African-style eats like Mama Africa, Irish pubs called “Irish Pub”, jazz spots, and ultra clubs, the Long Street area is definitely a great place for young-something travelers to park themselves during their stay in CT.  As we were just up the road from the action at the Protea Fire & Ice! Hotel, it wasn’t long before we stumbled upon a cozy bar with the promise of free wifi and cheap-ass booze.  Win win!

Our waiter was quite the enabler when it came to ordering another round of happy hour drinks, but hey, we were on vacation.  And what’s happy hour without getting a little happy?  Before we knew it, I got a Viber call from Marc that he was already in the room and ready to “shplor” the town with us.  Man, time flies when you’re having $2 rum and diets…

And thus was the start of a great weekend in Cape Town.  In order to ensure we took in all of the highlights, I hired a private driver from Cape Team Tours (Pieter is amazing and has the best laugh) to take us around.  We got an early start and took the route down to the most Southwestern point of Africa– The Cape of Good Hope.  Yes, you read that correctly– the most Southwestern point, not the most Southern point of Africa.  We were just as surprised as you are, but we didn’t let our shock take away from the awesomeness of standing at the famed cape.

PHOTO CREDIT: PIETER GERMISHUYS

From there, we rounded out the peninsula and Cape Point and went on to Boulder’s Beach to see the Jackass Penguins.  Marc and his black and white Adidas sneaks had some fun playing footsies with a curious penguin that very cutely mistook the shoe for another formal friend.  Poor guy.

The three of us closed out the night at a hookah bar on Long Street that never seemed to pick up as much as we would have liked.  It was just as well for we had a very stressful day ahead, heading out to the vineyards and drinking delicious wines and eating marvelous cheeses all day.

 

New Year, New Post

I think I’ll skip the bullshit about being disappointed in myself for not writing in this blog for more than 4 months– especially given all of the travel that has taken place in said time.  I know it and you know it…I’ve been an absentee blogger.  And you know what?  It’s downright embarrassing for someone who loves writing and traveling as much as I do to not utilize this perfect outlet to unload my greatest passions in life.

That being said,  it’s a new year, so who cares?  Clean slates all around!

But before we completely wash away the memories of 2013, I want to take a moment, or at least a few entries, to reflect on some of the awesome discoveries I’ve had the privilege of experiencing over these last few months.

So, I bid you a happy new year, happy traveling, and happy living.  Here we go…

Photo Credit: livedogrow.com

 

 

Napa

Maybe you heard it through the grapevine already, but Napa is a pretty wonderful place to visit.  I’ve had the pleasure of going to this glorious region three times and have not once been disappointed.  From the scenery– driving with windows rolled down on the windy back roads from downtown Napa to the heart of the vineyards feeling like what Don Henley described in “Boys of Summer”; to the culinary delicacies–justifying why it makes sense to eat more than 1 Bouchon Bakery macaroon before lunch and eating so much of the garlic oil parmesan spread at Bottega that you get why the chef calls it “crack dip”; to the friendly faces–sitting in a tasting room for hours meeting new people from all over the world and hearing their stories; and of course the wine– discovering a sweet reserve called “Nightingale” at a private tasting at Beringer and deciding you totally need a case of the stuff sent home.  Ahh, Napa.

PHOTO CREDIT: JAX COHEN

PHOTO CREDIT: JAX COHEN

PHOTO CREDIT: JAX COHEN

CREDIBILITY

When applying for a job, it’s a smart idea to have a strong resume and to be able to speak to your relevant experiences in great detail.  Blogging for a public audience is quite similar.  Just because I paid for a domain name and can navigate my way through a moderately simplistic WordPress dashboard doesn’t automatically make me an expert in anything.  Moreover, calling myself an expert in the subjects I choose to write about doesn’t prove a damn thing either.  So, let’s cut to the chase…what are my qualifications, you ask?  Please refer to the “Curriculum Vitae” link at the top of the blog for a regularly updated travel resume.  And if you have questions on any of these spots– feel free to e-mail me anytime at: info@wanderlusty.net.

And in the meantime, look at this water!  It’s the Aegean Sea around the island of Rhodes, Greece.  Swimming in this was one of the best days of my life.  Of course that was followed by sharing a carafe of local white wine and gorging on a tzatziki-smothered gyro with my best friend at a local cafe.  I think it’s safe to say that any day that includes tzatziki sauce and white wine is already off to a great start.  Yes, a crystal clear sea helps.

PHOTO CREDIT: JAX COHEN

The point of all this is that I have a lot of travel insight and passion to offer anyone who wants it.   I’m ready to dive in to the depths of my tzatziki-clouded memories whenever you need me.

HELLO, WORLD!

Not all who wander are lost. - J. R. R. Tolkien

PHOTO CREDIT: FODORS.COM

There are many people that say they “live to travel”.  As for me, I travel to live.  Is there a difference?  Yes.  For me, you can’t live without moving and that’s all that travel really is.  So, I travel, I move…and that’s what makes me feel alive.  It’s the rich experiences with family and friends, meeting and working with new people, finding opportunities and challenges, tasting exciting cultures, and most importantly, it’s enjoying love and genuine happiness wherever it exists.

And now, for an English lesson…

wan·der·lust

/ˈwändərˌləst/

Noun
A strong desire to travel:

So that’s what Merriam-Webster has to say about it.  But, for our purposes here, my dear friends, the personification of wanderlust is really the Oz behind the curtain of my mind.  It is the id– the pleasure principle that drives all of my needs, wants, and desires.  Simply stated, it is my way.

And for that reason, I decided to dust off my blogging pants and share my wanderlusty adventures with all of you.  I’ve chronicled non-fictional tales of debauchery, love games, play, work, and many other lighthearted topics in the past.  I have a lot of useless knowledge and stories to share (and if you are interested, just let me know), but I’ve traveled and experienced too many awe-inspiring places on this beautiful planet to keep it to myself.  It’s time to go public.