Friday, April 26, 2013

Neighbourgoods Market

I love markets. The Neighbourgood Market in South Africa is one amazing place! It was a rainy overcast Saturday morning and I had a grand idea to check out this local market. I didn't realize it was going to be full of gourment food and drink...I was thinking more along the lines of crafty things and fresh fruits.

Champagne glasses with pomegranate seeds just waiting for their Kir Royale!

Kir Royale at 9am only costs about 3 bucks! 
Ha Ha Ha!
Super amazing looking mini-tarts

Can you tell what this is? a bad picture, yes...but more importantly, crazy looking  decadent cupcakes!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bring Your Kid to Work Day!

Yesterday was we celebrated Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day (you know any excuse for a party in this neck of the woods!), I thought it was Bring Your Kid to Work Day but maybe that didn't sound fancy enough. Whatever the name, the Embassy went all out and organzied a lovely little afternoon for all children of the Embassy. I think there was something like 18 kids signed up. They visited several sections of the Embassy to learn what each one does:

Meet and Greet - with the Ambassador
Consular Section - they got a passport and an entry stamp
Public Diplomacy - how to speak in public (I can just guess how O did in this section)
Budget and Finance - they got one dollar and were shown how to deposit it in the bank
Health Unit - WOOT! We listened to hearts and looked in ears and talked about tooth brushing...they also each got their height and weight recorded. Orion weighed 42.1 pounds and was 44 inches tall!

The afternoon ended with snacks and certificates!

Meeting with the Ambassador

Checking out the Public Diplomacy Library

Certificate of Appreciation - notice the cut out of Obama in the background!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pillansberg National Forrest

We took an overnight side trip up to Pilanesberg Game Reserve to officially celebrate my 40th birthday. It was a fantastic way to spend the day and night and once we got there we wished we could spend longer. The park we stayed at was the Bakgatla Resort and while I would never call this place a was more like a was beautiful and amazing none the less.

We loved our little safari tent and the deck around it was perfect. This would be a great place to stay for a week or so and really get down and dirty while exploring this park. I had really wanted to go on an elephant safari but everyone has to be over 5 years old and with Orion we don’t make that cut yet. So we settled for a “sundowner with the elephants”. It was perfect for us. We got to go with a small group of people out into the edge of the game reserve to this “wallow” where all sorts of animals come to drink and roll around in the mud. The rehabilitated elephants and their handlers then told us their stories and we got to feed them their afternoon snack. The crazy looking pellet like things that were made of barley and honey and a bunch of other ingredients all rolled up into these little snacks pellets. The elephants loved them!

It was a great evening…we met some really fun people from Australia, drank a bottle of wine and got snotted on by a bunch of elephants.

Our Safari Tent

Great bedroom with fridge!

Our little bathroom in the tent
Our ride out to the sundowner
We were with about 15 people for the evening

It was a little intimadting at first...elephants are BIG!

Eric was not scared one bit! He just said "trunk up" and the elephant did what he said

I was squeamish...

that is one big nose with lots of snot and dirt and junk

this was a 9 month old elephant that loved Eric

Trying to use the self timer on the camera!

It was a beautiful sunset

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Do you know...Lipizzaner?

When we visit a new place we always have a rather random assortment of things we would like to do while there. Our list for Johannesburg was no different and looked like this:

Find a new coffee shop every morning and have coffee there
Check out a local drug store for new types of OTC medication and buy more wrinkle cream
Eat lots of salads and drink lots of wine
Go to the zoo
Try out the new Gautrain
Buy MB a birthday present
Eat Indian Food
See some elephants
Buy a kite

What was not on our list was go to a horse show but funny how things happen. I was googling "fun things to do with kids in South Africa" and this horse show came up. I thought Orion might like to check out the horses and it was offered on a Sunday morning - perfect for us. Eric looked at me as if I was crazy - a horse show...???!!! I explained to him that it was some fancy type of horses that are world famous. I didn't really know what I was talking about but whatever. So on a beautiful Sunday morning we made our way out to the country to this amazing place that trains and performs the only recognized Lippizzaner horses outside of Vienna! The South African should check them out!

The riding arena...we sat in the very front row
After the show you get to feed the horses! They are huge!

Pretty horses

Such perfect timing

Holy smokes batman! That's impressive

Monday, April 22, 2013

Johannesburg Botanical Gardens

These gardens were a sight for sore eyes. We wandered over there one day after O's nap and walked for what seemed like miles. I've seen nicer gardens - you know the ones that are seemingly perfectly layed out...but something about these gardens was good for my soul. Djibouti is hot and dry and very desert like - no so Joburg in the Fall. The leaves were changing colors, the sky was leaden and it rained every now and then. Maybe that's why a stroll through these gardens felt so right...just like Westcrest Dog Park on an April day in Seattle.

Easter Fun