“They’re just things,” right? No.

We arrived back in South Africa on Friday after a whirlwind belated honeymoon, 2 weddings, and awesome trip to America. Our luggage however, did not.

We knew they couldn’t be lost. The chances of both our bags not arriving in Johannesburg was a little fishy. After a delay at JFK and a mad rush to our connecting flight in Germany (escorted by the airline’s flight attendant), we had a feeling we knew where our luggage might be. But that feeling that all your things are abandoned somewhere in a foreign country is terrifying. Not to mention the fact that we had just gone on an expensive trip and bought ourselves some expensive things. Also you know, clothes and toiletries and things from home (because you had to go overseas with something).

“Pack essentials in your hand luggage in case your suitcase goes missing!” they tell you. And I was so pedantic on this. To the point that Greg kept telling me I’m being neurotic. Not only did we pack essentials (pyjamas, change of clothes, underwear etc), but I even went so far as making sure we each packed half of our clothing in each suitcase, so even if one of our bags did go missing, we’d each still have clothing to wear.

This was on the way there. On the way back we were more worried about being overweight. Ironic, considering by the time we left Johannesburg after my friend’s wedding to come home to Cape Town, we didn’t even have luggage. Thank God we took Greg’s suit bag with his suit (surprise?) and my dress for my friend’s wedding out of the suitcase or we’d have to have run around finding that too.

They’re just things. It’s all about the memories. Right? If anyone had to tell me this I might have slapped them. Or rather responded with an “I know, but…!” and not really be able to describe it, knowing full well that at the end (well, the very, very) end of the day they might just be things. But no, don’t tell me that minutes after. (Don’t worry, no-one did, I’m just being defensive here.)

Yes, we have the memories in our mind and heart (awwww). We had taken photos and videos – which by the way, never feel like enough. But sometimes, you just want those physical memories and mementos too. At a handful of points, I literally just wanted to curl into a ball and cry. Some of my favourite headscarves were in that suitcase. Not to mention all my beautiful accessories, which I’ve literally invested so much in. And they all come from Israel. The new things I’d bought. Our Mickey Mouse key rings and “Just Married” badges from Disneyland. The new boardgame we bought. My awesome nail transfers. My maps of Disneyland and Universal Studios. My Minnie Mouse ears. My hungry caterpillar pencil case (that I’d already planned to use as my new make-up bag). So they might just be “things”, but they were my things. Most of them hadn’t even entered my little life yet, and some played such a big part.

Did I mention that I also stupidly left my unused wallet in one of these suitcases, with my bank card and sim card inside? No? Well, that happened. You see, it was an emotional 6 days.

We’re lucky that they found our luggage and couriered it straight to our door. (I won’t let you think about our biggest fear, was that they’d delivered the wrong bags. Don’t worry, they didn’t). I’m not going to tell you the entire sob story, or name and shame the airline or airport. It wasn’t one person, just a clear lack of communication which was terribly frustrating. But it’s been a learning experience in what is important (the answer is that your things are still important, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise even though at the end of the day, in the very back of your mind you know they’re just things and eventually you’d realise that. But still, they’re your things.), and so I leave you with these pearls of wisdom.

  1. Always take out travel insurance. Always.
  2. Pack smart, all the time.
  3. Pester airlines and airports until they make your case important.
  4. If you have an important meeting/event/wedding (i.e part of the purpose of your trip), don’t pack those in your suitcase.
  5. Be lucky enough to have friends as good as ours (I had to borrow clothes for Shabbat, as well as a scarf for my friend’s wedding).

I really hope that none of you ever have to go through the process of lost luggage, being that close was already too close for comfort!

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It’s official: We’re going on honeymoon!

A little late you might say, but as the old saying goes – better late than never.

Ever since we went to the USA a few years ago with a tour group, we’ve been dying to go back. We wanted to go last December, we thought we’d go this December, and then an opportunity came to do it early, in summer which really makes a whole big difference. And we’ll already be there… this time next month!

I’ll be honest with you. It was far from an easy choice. I have one of my best friends’ wedding in Australia this year, and as of this week, a friend in Israel’s wedding too around a similar time. My best friend is getting married in Joburg in June, and another best friend of ours in New York in the summer, which is kind of what egged us to bring this trip forward. So in one trip we’ll manage 2 weddings. It’s so hard when you have to choose and make decisions like this. It was a really tough decision, one that still plays on my mind sometimes, but thankfully, my friends are amazing, and well, we might be across the world from each other right now, but please God we will reunite someday. I mean, that is the plan ultimately.

Anyway, we are terribly excited. We have visas, Greg is waiting for his passport and we’re doing our final bit of money saving before getting foreign exchange organised. We’ll be visiting New York and LA to stay with and see friends, and just – go on adventures! Here are some of the things I’m looking forward to doing:

Los Angeles:

  • Reuniting with friends and seeing their lives
  • Disneyland
  • Universal studios
  • Visiting the Magic Castle, an exclusive club for magicians. This has been on Greg’s bucket list for years!
  • Kosher food!
  • Beaches
  • OK, we haven’t fully discussed our schedule with our friends, we know there are many more things she’ll be taking us to. But guys – DISNEYLAND!
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DISNEYYLAAANND! I even have Minnie Mouse ears ready.

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I keep forgetting these places are theme parks. Have I mentioned I’m so excited to go here, but terrified of roller coasters?

New York:

  • Seeing our friend, and being at his wedding
  • Walking the streets of Manhattan
  • China Town and Little Italy
  • Broadway! I am desperate to see Wicked, but my bank account says others. Otherwise, Daniel Radcliffe (from Harry Potter, don’t judge, this is my entire childhood!) is performing in a new play, which I am very tempted to see too.
  • Times square. Obviously. Which includes the M & M, Disney and Herscheys stores
  • america_times-square-day

    I can’t explain how wonderfully overwhelming this place is. We love it.

    america_wicked

    i’m dying to see this show. Like, really dying. And I think I may have even found some “reasonably” priced tickets – hurrah!

  • Perhaps a little shopping
  • More kosher food.
  • Walking the Highline. I’ve been told it’s amazing, it was an old railway track turned into a beautiful walkway.
  • Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Greg want’s to visit 770 in Brooklyn, the central headquarters of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch. I mean, it’s not really my scene, but we’ll check it out.
  • Take the Staten Island Ferry. We’ve been up the Statue of Liberty, so taking this free boat ride for the view is a good one.
  • Picnic and walks in Central Park. I found a tour online around the park relating to scenes from movies which sounded pretty cool.
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A friend told me about the Highline. I just love how it’s this beautiful park, elevated above the city.

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We’ve been up close and personal with Lady Liberty, so a free ferry ride to snap some photos should be sufficient.

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770 in Brooklyn. It’s really just an address.

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The Brooklyn Bridge! They say it’s a really great walk, and guys, I’m all about being a tourist here.

Central Park foliage photo-walk, Nov 2009 - 10

Ah, central park. I cannot wait to enjoy leisurely walks and picnics with you.

  • Perhaps the Lego museum exhibit, maybe Ripleys museum… I need to do more research on attracttions.
  • Museum of Natural History. I don’t think we’ll be going to galleries, I went to the MET last time, saw my Jackson Pollocks and had a photo outside the Guggenheim, so I think I’m good.
  • Grand Central Station, maybe even catch one of the tours.
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The very grand, grand central terminal.

  • The New York Public Library, if time allows.
  • An Improv Show. I found some places with some great sounding stuff. Links here (this one is in LA too, so maybe we’ll catch a show there), here (I love the sound of this one!) and here.
  • A free walking tour with Free Tours by Foot. They offer tours of Central Park, Grand Central, even photography and graffiti themed tours.
  • I found this thing called Accomplice New York. It’s a mix between a murder mystery (and if you didn’t know, I held an epic one for my birthday party last year), theatre and a walking tour. It’s a little pricey at $80, but if we have the time and money it’s something I wouldn’t mind trying! Actually, this is something Greg is really keen to do.

OK, the more I research and compile this list… the more I feel there’s no way we’re going to do all of this, so will probably have to visit again 🙂 (Which, I’m totally ok with).

The time has really creeped up on us. I mean, we’re leaving in 4 weeks today! I seriously just can’t wait for a little bit of travel, a lit bit of friends a whole LOT of adventure!

Project 365: Week 18 – 21

I’ve been super scarce around here, and I don’t really like it that much. Sometimes I feel this blog is becoming a 365 project, and it’s really not. I have a whole list of things written on my phone of things I want to blog about and share, but I just never get around to doing it. Because when I’ve spent so much time on the computer all day, I just want to live in the real world for the rest of the day.

Anyway, a scarf update!

Don’t forget to like my blog’s facebook page for updates directly to your facebook feed, or better yet – subscribe on the right side bar. You can also follow me on bloglovin’, instagram and check out my blog’s Facebook app. Have a great week.

Week 18

Week 19

Week 20

Week 21

Surreal photography of humans and animals

I’ll be honest, there’s really not much more to this post than wanting to share these beautiful photographs. I don’t know if it’s the soft lighting, exotic animals, enchanted forest, or those beautiful red-heads. Either way, these images by Katerina Plotnikova are just drool worthy.

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Follow this link to see more from the series.

 

 

Project 365: Week 14 – 17

I started out updating this every Sunday. Then it became every 2nd week, because I didn’t want to spam you all. Then, well, sometimes I lost track of the week, sometimes I ran out of time, and sometimes it just got too overwhelming sorting through all the pictures to put a post together, and here we are at a 4 week update!

There are some goodies in this one, with lots of new accessories (including gifts, my wedding tiara and a “clip on necklace” from a top I bought) and scarves.

Don’t forget to:

  • Like my blog’s facebook page on the side bar —>
  • Follow me on instagram here (I promise it’s more than just scarf selfies)
  • Check out nifty Facebook tab which houses all my Project 365 looks 🙂

Have you tried any of these looks?

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

Week 17

The hiiiiills are aliiiiiive…with The Sound of Music.

Soundofmusic01Guys, I’m a little late to the party, but I absolutely cannot help but gush. We saw the South of Music a couple of weeks ago (ok, almost a month ago) on our Hebrew anniversary (all the reasons to celebrate, right?) and I loved every second! I didn’t remember the story too well, I knew a bunch of the songs, knew that it had some war-time connotations, and knew it was going to be good. Greg knew that there was someone who was 16 and was turning 17 (and ultimately 18, 19, 20, 21). That’s it and even admitted that during the opening scene he thought it was going to be crap. Soundofmusic04 Soundofmusic05 But seriously – this show. The singing, the kids – it was so much fun! I actually didn’t realise how many of the songs I knew. I did know that it took place during the time of the war and stuff, but I won’t lie it was a little scary sitting there during a Nazi rally and being Jewish. Obviously, it was all part of the show, but when you don’t expect it, and there you are sitting in a crazy part of your history – it’s a little shocking. Soundofmusic03 Soundofmusic02 I’m sad to hear, but utterly not surprised either that the show has been fully booked out. I’m so glad I bought tickets ages ago for Greg and I, we really love these yearly productions. If unfortunately you didn’t get tickets, here’s a little montage of the show 🙂 IT seems like we saw the other cast to the one in the video, but they were great too 😉

I’ll admit it. I couldn’t even make pasta.

My friend who just got engaged recently messaged me after her engagement party:

“I got 3 cookbooks. You know what that means…”

I told her she’d be fine, naturally, as we all know where my cooking skills stood while I was engaged.

Let’s just say, there were none. My cooking life motto today is “you learn fast, or you go hungry,” and no-one wants to go hungry.

The kitchen was the place I ate dinner at home. I never joined in on cooking, and I don’t even recall my mom asking me to help, because she’d probably have gotten a big no. I could not boil pasta, I could not make rice, and I can’t explain the joy on our parents’ faces when we received not one, but four toasted cheese machines for our engagement! (don’t worry, we took two back). Everyone pitied Greg, who couldn’t cook anything either may I add, wondering what this grown boy would be eating for the rest of his life.

We never cooked for the first few weeks of being married. During the week of Sheva Brachot, the week commencing the wedding, we small dinner parties were hosted in our honour at different friends and family. They also gave us all the leftovers, so we were pretty sorted for a long, long time.

 

And when all the leftovers were finished, we needed to learn to cook. We actually went to a friend one night who taught us to cook fish and roast vegetables. Literally. How to roast freaking vegetables. I think I even struggled to cut the butternut. It’s really funny thinking back to those times. We’ve since been cooking fish and roast veggies like pros.

We barely cooked Shabbos supper for our first year of marriage because we were always invited out (ok, often we’d invite ourselves out too). Nowadays, we cook shabbos for 7 – 10 people like it’s no big deal (ok, it’s 10 purely because that’s how many we can fit around our table. Also, I think we only have 12 plates), and people at work always seem to think that I’m cooking crazy shabbos meals every week.

We’ve learnt to make some fancy, and even very simple foods. We make quiche without a base (because who has time to make all that pastry?), make our own delicious challah for shabbos, chicken a la king, risotto is a recent favourite, delicious fish, we’re having foreign friends over and making a South African bobotie.

I wouldn’t even quite go so far as saying I love cooking. I do like to eat though, and I like to try new things sometimes. More than cooking, I like entertaining, and cooking up nice things for guests. I even find baking a mission – even though I somehow got this reputation as a baker – all those measuring utensils, spoons, bowls etc that need to be cleaned? But I do love a good or impressive dessert. Greg on the other hand actually likes cooking. Guys, I kid you not when I tell you we were useless. The other week we even bought egg poacher pod things, and had poached eggs for the first time!

When I think about it, we’ve come a long way in our little food journey over the last few years. I’m telling you, I still surprise myself.

Do you remember the first few things you learnt to cook?