1 year later: Los Angeles

It was roughly a year ago that I fell off the blogging bandwagon, simply because I couldn’t adequately put something together that could do justice to our trip. And here I am a year later, and all I can think about each day is every moment of our trip. So while TimeHop is helping me, I thought I’d put something small together.

Wednesday-Thursday 11-12 June 2014

Freezing in Joburg. Flying for 9hrs. 8hr layover in Abu Dahbi. 14 hour flight to NYC. Arriving in NYC. Freshening up in the bathroom. Buying the wrong “ice coffee”. Breaking the wire from my braces as we land. 6 hour flight to LA. Free (kosher) food on Jet Blue. Finally reunited with old friends! Eggplant parmesan. Incredible hospitality. Snacks for days. Packing our own groceries. Ben & Jerry’s. BEDTIME.

Friday 13 June 2014

Jetlag. Universal studios. Minion photos. Simpsons ride. Studio tour. Jurassic Park dinosaurs. The Mummy. Orthodontists. Rest time – shabbat!

Saturday 14 June 2014

Sleeping late. Visiting the shul. Chabad next to aerobics studio. Lunch at the Machbubis. Planning for Disneyland. Afternoon naps. Third street promenade.  No indoor smoking. Slushy margaritas.

Sunday 15 June 2014

Hiking to the Hollywood sign. Avenue of the Stars. Shopping. Jeff’s Gourmet Burger. Magic Castle.

Monday 16 June 2014.

Disneyland. Indiana Jones. Almost losing our sunglasses. Thunder Mountain Railroad. Splash Mountain. The Haunted Mansion. Peter Pan’s flight. The Disneyland parade. Matterhorn. Roger Rabbit. Toon-Town. Disney Princesses. Mickey Mouse. Fast pass. All the snacks. Fireworks. Sound and lights show. Too many emotions.

Tuesday 17 June

Venice Beach. Vegan restaurants. Target. Outdoor malls. Takeout sushi. The dreaded red-eye flight…

And then… we headed to New York!

I’m up each night reminiscing about the details of this trip, yet when it comes to writing it down – words fail me. Going through pictures I feel I never took enough, as the scenes in my head I don’t have evidence of. It  was a busy week, and I can’t put into words the experiences we had and how eternally grateful I am to our friend Rocky who hosted us, fed us, drove us around, and was all round incredible to us.

We left a piece of our hearts there. LA – we’ll be back!

A long weekend in the winelands

These extravagant long weekends. I feel they’re definitely a uniquely South African thing. We love a good public holiday, and they really are absolutely joyous.

We decided to take an afternoon drive out the the Paarl winelands side. Have you ever thought how many wineland areas there are in Cape Town? Constantia, Durbanville, Paarl, Franschoek, Stellenbosch… not bad for a small stretch! We’d had a cheese fondue the night before so weren’t really into cheese tasting at Fairview, but we thought we’d try some wine tasting at Backsberg Estate – lucky for us – kosher wine.

We brought our usual picnic attire: food, blankets, books, and our latest addition – the selfie stick. We found a secluded spot (exactly where my friends got married, actually) – were we allowed to picnic there? We’re not sure, but we did anyway.

It’s been a while since we hung out somewhere just the two of us, and took a silly amount of photos. So we took full advantage, and selfied ourselves silly! We don’t always have a chance to get out much together these days, between Greg working in Stellenbosch every second weekend and his studies, I have to book afternoons out with him in advance. Which is fine, I guess it makes those planned outings more exciting.

Then we actually went to taste some wine – we’ve never been to a tasting before. It all seemed (and sounded) very fancy, even when a bloke of student age explained it all us (hey, he definitely knew more than we did!). I can’t say I remember all we learnt, other than the merlot and pinotage were particularly delicious. Oh, and that we look silly when smelling and holding wine correctly.

And in the spirit of yolo, and exploring our beautiful City  like a tourist, we hopped on over to Babylonstoren next door. I’ve heard so much of this place and it’s really so beautiful. It definitely is sucky not being able to eat at these places, but walking around the gardens were really beautiful enough. I wish we’d had more time, but we’ll definitely be back. I’d love to stay in one of their cottages, but a little google search told me I’m far from being able to afford a night there. I’ll settle for a Sunday drive.

2015-05-03 15.41.41 2015-05-03 15.53.16

I like a good day exploring, and the great thing is you don’t really need a long weekend for it – it’s close enough for a simple Sunday afternoon! Here’s to more adventures.

I’m still here. I surprise even myself.

I’ve been away for so long, and now I’m back so quickly. Want a general update? Well it’s really pretty great.

  • Work is fabulous. The one thing I am so proud of and so happy with is the level of job satisfaction I have. Sure it’s hard many times. Sometimes I even wonder if it’s normal to be this happy at work.
  • I work with the greatest bunch of people, and I’m constantly in awe at how much my immediate team has grown. I’m so happy working with them all. In general, I work with people who really do teach and inspire me every day, and that’s something special.
  • Greg is studying again this year. It has been very time consuming recently, but he’s working so hard and I’m very proud of him. It’s not easy working until 3 (often later), studying (a good few hours a day) and still being able to be a husband sometimes.
  • On top of his studies, he’s building on his magic career. I know I am 100% biased, but this guy is flpping talented. I know because, well, I know, but also I see people’s reactions. He’s got a regular gig performing at a restaurant in Stellenbosch – The Thirsty Scarecrow. He’s there every 2nd Sunday between 1 and 4, and he’s a real vibe. (Psst, he’s there this week.)
  • I never finished my 365 scarf project. I got to the round number of 300, and I think that is achievement enough in itself. Yes, it was 65 days from the end, but I wasn’t enjoying it so much, so I was ok with my decision.
  • You read about my wanderlust, and how it consumes my thoughts. I constantly fantasies about Israel, Paris (well, Euro Disney if we must be honest), Thailand, Las Vegas, Orlando, Japan, India… just a few on the bucket list.
  • One of the highlights of my week is the pilates class I go to at the gym. I literally wake up smiling at 5:45 every Wednesday. I suck, and it’s some form of “pilates fusion” or something, but it’s cool, works some muscles, and I think my balance is improving (but I still can’t touch my toes).

Until next time (hopefully).

Hello – are you still there?

It’s been a while, world. A long while. Do I even know how to do this anymore? I used to have fun with this, love it actually, but it just became to time consuming – and subconsciously, I think I started doing it for other people. After our America trip I was so consumed with writing the perfect blog posts… that I got overwhelmed and just never did it. And I haven’t been back.

But here I am. And today’s topic: Wanderlust.

It’s a real (first world) problem. Why is it the only thing I can think about? Why do I literally feel (almost) comfortable about emptying parts of my savings to travel parts of the world? I feel it’s become the norm these days. To travel, because yolo and all, and we’re still young and stuff. True, right?

But shouldn’t I be responsible and keep my money for things like a house, and children (eek – not quite ready for that yet!), and life insurance, and financial advisors, and, and… you know.

I haven’t seen my brother for a year and a half almost, and I really miss him. He lives in Israel and can’t visit South Africa much. I also miss my friends there (there are too many), and I actually miss the place. But it being so close to Europe is so hard… and the fact that in the next few years we’ll become grown ups and have a family and stuff and I just want to get all the travelling in.

I spent a bit of time today fantasy flight shopping, which I do on occasion. And I found my dream flight. Greg is reserved about it all. He’s studying this year and he only has 1 single week off, which is what we’re looking around. Anyway, my grander travel plans may or may not happen. I’ve planted a terrible seed in my own mind, and tend to obsess to work towards things when I know I can do it.

Hopefully writing all of it down, will get it out of my system so I can have a good night’s sleep, and not have me sitting on my phone looking at airline websites until my phone falls on my face.

On almost being halfway to 50.

So I’m on the brink of turning 25. On the one hand it comes across as pretty daunting – “quarter life crises”, being 1 step closer to 30 and being halfway to 50 and all. On the other, well, I still feel quite young. That counts, right?

And so I was pondering this whole “getting older” thing, and came to the conclusion that I don’t feel very old at all (this might change on birthday morning). I’m still chirped of being “so young” at work, so I guess that is ok. I started thinking what have I done in my life? Broad, and perhaps too retrospective, I know. I mean, did I even do anything mentionable in the last year? And where do you start. You could say how “unaccomplished” I am. I’m not a bustling business woman with a towering empire. But when you really put things in perspective, I’ve achieved a lot in 25 years and when you really think about it – no milestone is too small.

  • Learning to move, support your entire body, walk and talk. (Oh how we’ve progressed from being actual babies!)
  • Learning to count, read and tell the time (I can’t even remember not being able to do these)
  • I’ve literally learnt all the things I know. Which I assume is so much, I can’t even begin to quantify it.
  • Lived roughly 9125 days (give or take those leap years)
  • Getting through 12 whole years of school (that ranges from colouring in and learning to count, to working out scientific equations in matric!)
  • Traveling to Israel for 4 months in grade 10, my entire gap year and a honeymoon funded entirely by us.
  • Learning to drive.
  • Getting an entire University degree
  • Being an intern.
  • Getting my first job (and subsequent second job!)
  • Found a significant other, dated, gotten engaged and subsequently married.
  • Successfully transitioned from baby – toddler – child – teenager – adult. I think.

25 years sure has felt like a long time (and by long time, I mean my entire life). We thought school was a long time and that was “only” 12 years. So I guess there really is so much to look forward to. Who knows where I’ll be at 50? I like to think we’d had a family by then, have a pretty awesome career, or having worked on some cool things, worked with cool people, made new friends, learnt SO many things. I guess I need to celebrate all the achievements.

Maybe I’m being optimistic, but hey, I’m feeling good about turning 25.

26, well, that’s another story (and next year’s problem).


Realistic Illustrations of Disney Princesses

Exactly a month ago Greg and I were at Disneyland. It’s hard to believe. And I’m somewhat more in love with Disney than I was before. I haven’t yet put any posts together about our trip, but to commemorate the incredible day that was June 16th 2014 I thought I’d share these stunning illustrations of Disney Princesses by Jirka Väätäinen.

Jirka_Disney_Alice Jirka_Disney_Ariel Jirka_Disney_Belle Jirka_Disney_Cinderella Jirka_Disney_Esmerelda Jirka_Disney_Jasmine Jirka_Disney_Pocahontas Jirka_Disney_Rapunzel Jirka_Disney_SnowWhite Jirka_Disney_Tinkerbell