Woo wee did we ever have a fun time celebrating Jordan and Wilber’s nuptials in the Dominican Republic. If their wedding is any indication of their life together, it’s going to be a whirlwind of everything. Pool parties, boat party, beach parties, dinner parties, a surprise party, hell even acrobatic pirates, a burlesque show and an unexpected night in Columbia became part of all the fun.
The best was all the love and laughter from friends and family who traveled from around the world to take part in solidifying their union. Those two have the coolest people as friends, and the wedding was beautiful. I really enjoyed getting to know Jordan and Wilber’s family, and I’m honoured that we got to share in all of their glory. Love should be unabashedly celebrated and highlighted like it was on this trip. It’s the best of what we humans have to offer.
I also cherished getting to spend some time with some of Jordan’s and my UAE peeps who we haven’t seen in a year. We became each other’s support and family over there, and I so missed our time together. I’m a lucky gal to have so many wonderful people in my life.
Joe and I also had a few moments of couple time enjoying a spa day, and strolling through the resort’s tropical landscape, beach and shhhh, even sneaking in a night-time swim in its amazing pool.
Our anniversary was on the 16th, so it was a nice way to remind us of our own love bond and life together. The plan was to enjoy our anniversary in Brazil with Jordan and Wilber (since we’re spending 10 days there with them in an adorable beach house in a town called the Port of Kings), BUT we had to have some drama thrown in.
Long story short our flight was delayed, which caused us to miss our connecting flight, so the airline put us all up for a night in Bogota, Columbia. At first we were like shit yeah, another country to add to the list, but then we walked up to the gate and saw folk bundled up in fur-lined parkas. Um, it’s winter in Columbia, and we were in tank tops, shorts and sandals because hello? it’s flipping humid and hot in Dominican Republic. But, the Team Jordy-Wilber crew persevered and made our way to Bogota. Luckily a Bogota winter translates to rain and temps in the 50s and 60s, so while chilly it certainly wasn’t arctic.
By the time we got to our rooms we were all exhausted, so no tour of the city the next day, but we enjoyed watching the Policia and their bomb/drug sniffing dogs work their beats near the hotel. Joe and I walked to the nearby mall, so that I could buy a sweater, and I have never seen so many working dogs before (and I so badly wanted to scratch their necks!). It’s a little jarring, but everyone we met was so friendly and accommodating despite the fact that we knew very little Spanish and they very little English. I doubt I’ll get the chance to come back, but I would like to tour more of Columbia —- despite the uglies that facilitate the need for all that security.
And Joe and I got to celebrate our anniversary at the hotel bar (God Bless bartenders who aren’t stingy with their gin!) We’ve made it another year sipping, feasting, and laughing our way around this lovely little planet of ours. And, now we get to cheer on our friends as they do the same!
Yes those are lions in the bush behind us…
Selfies by Michelle
First off let me say Kenya was ahhhmazing. We had an unbelievably awesome experience. This trip will go down as one of my absolute faves. I’ll dedicate the next post to our 4-day safari, which included a night in Tsalvo East, a night in the prettiest tent I’ve ever slept in at Amboeseli park, and a night at Salt Lick lodge at Taita hills. I’m still processing all that we saw during those four days.
This post will just show off some pics and remind folk of how adaptable you should become when traveling to an African country. Lights and water pressure will go out, bugs will be big, baboons will bully you, snakes might end up in your room (it was a really tiny baby one, but holy hell did it scare us), and sweat will become your second skin. You’ll see some shit, you’ll smell some shit (um sometimes literally), and you’ll taste and hear some shit, but me oh my if you can get past the stuff that you find ugly or unsettling you will be amazed by the grace and beauty that surrounds you. If you can remember to live by Hakuna Matata and have a good sense of humour about it all, you’ll have a blast and do things like brush your teeth with gin when you realise whoops no bottled water.
Our first night was at Bamburi Beach in a place called Ziwa Beach Hotel, and it was perfect. We slept in what felt like a tree house, which had an outdoor patio that included a swing and view of the beach and pool. I’m not sure of all that we consumed, but the mosquitos didn’t have a chance with our blood. Luckily we also feasted on delicious vegetarian dishes that preserved the rest of our bodies. Bright and early the next morning, our amazing driver Moses picked us up for our safari. Four days later he dropped us off at the end of a long, oh-my-god-it-felt-like-it’d-never-end road, where a well-worn boat took us to Chalet island. If you do nothing else in your life, by all means do try to find a way to spend a few days on Chalet island, around 60 kilometres from Mombassa. It is everything you imagined a tropical island to be. For those of you who remember Fantasy Island, I totally expected Tattoo to announce our arrival.
There is only one resort on the island, The Sands, but it’s a good one with three lovely pools (one of them right across from the mangrove forest), a stunning beach, bright and cheery African decor, A/C humdallah that works!, and friendly staff. The baboons not so much, and I’m still ticked at the one who almost peed on us, but, for the most part, they’re chased away. Monkey drama is all part of the fun. I totally plan on visiting again with Joe.
Pool in a mangrove forest…yes, please
A few tips before I blast you with more pics. Make sure you have a lot of 100 Kenya shilling or American dollar bills. The people at the island resort or any of the hotels we visited don’t pester you for tips, but you’ll want to tip them. It can get a little overwhelming every where you go because staff members are so helpful, and they deserve every shilling you give them. Also, bring some candy and school supplies for the kids. It totally slipped my mind to pack these things, and it drove me crazy that I couldn’t give them to the kids we met in rural areas. Tourists are approached quite a bit by people trying to sell one thing or another, but if you politely say no and let them know you’re adamant about that no, they’ll thank you and move on. Some will stay and chat and really just want to laugh with you —- whalla! Not a single Kenyan treated me poorly, including the many, many people I said no to.
Take for example “Mr. Coconut,” whose souvenirs I did not buy, but he still walked me to a cove to show off these unreal starfish.
And then there is the nature. My words are useless here..
Even seaweed looks good
Good Moring sun! Photo taken by Michelle
And there is so much more to show you! But, I’m still on vacation finishing off my final off day in Dubai. I’ll post more when I have time and better wifi. I’ve only a few thousand photos to choose from. Animal lovers there are a ton of wildlife photos waiting to say hi to you.
La La Salama until next time!
I see camels every day on my work commute, so you’d think I get tired of seeing them. Nope. Here they are sunning themselves on a Dubai beach.
Work is finally easy again, and I have a week and a few days before I’m on spring break, so woo hoo to that. It’s much needed after surviving inspection week, and then final marking, plus a night class and an online class I need to try and finish before Michelle arrives next week.
I’ve been keeping myself busy with the kind of stuff we do here. I’ve happy houred with friends, I’ve cooked yummy, healthy meals, lol and I’ve gone out and ate yummy non healthy meals, I’ve eaten dinner and watched movies/t.v. with friends, I’ve treated myself to an amazing spa day, and I’ve gone to Dubai and beached it, chilled with friends. Basically doing my version of the mundane, which will transition into another version of mundane in about 5 months. Good news is I love my routine, every day stuff because boring it aint.
Karak and roses the day after inspections ended. I will never tire of the girls giving me flowers. The tea cart coming around was a treat from our admin, and in case they’re reading — I’d never tire of receiving that every day either!
Free veggies from a stranger! I’ve discovered a cauliflower alfredo sauce that is to die for and made roasted beets and broccoli — yum, yum. Now, if only I could keep enjoying the veggies and stay away from the breads and pastries I might actually get rid of my buddha belly. But, alas, I’m a locust I eat everything in sight.
Oh Dubai … you’re so random. So, if you cross between the creek/marina area and Jumeirah beach you might find some interesting cross guards to help you out. Of course traffic wasn’t a problem this time of the morning, but thanks dudes for being willing to take one for the team in case a speeder decided not to stop!
Kicking up my feet and relaxing in Dubai. LOL um those are penguins on my feet — not the best nail art considering when you look down they look more like cartoonish burqas. Totally NOT my intent!
Oh Dubai you’re also oh so beautiful … just our view during a morning walk.
Me all clean and spiffy after a hammam, massage and facial!
Me before my spa day!
And that’s all I’ve got for you now, but lots of fun things planned the next few weeks, so hang in there I’m sure I’ll have more to post soon.