Thursday, July 31, 2008

WTF MTV...Don't Destroy Frank N Furter!!

MTV has made me angry. VERY Angry.

I read today that there will be a remake of The Rocky Horror Picture Show...MTV style.


Was the original not good enough? Why would someone choose to remake a cult classic. They have to know that there will be a backlash and that it could not possibly be as good as the original.

How could they be allowed to do this? This is a cult classic...a national treasure if you will.

Perhaps I'm over reacting. I do have "special feelings" for Tim Curry. He IS in my safe zone (My group of five men where if I meet them I am allowed to have sex with them no list includes: Bob Dylan, Tim Curry, Prince, Robert Downey Jr. and John Cusak).

Regardless, this may cause me to become a cutter...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thank you Lowes!!

So, it turns out that we bought the wrong side mount for our tub, so yesterday we went back to Lowe's to swap it out. I called ahead of time to see if they would just change it over for us since we hadn't picked it up yet. Well, come to find out, you can't do has to be a return and she couldn't look in the computer because they were doing inventory. Fine. So, we go over there after work. The plumbing department was VERY busy so we ended up waiting a while to talk with the guy there, Mike, who was a plumber. It wouldn't have taken so much time, but he was busy helping a woman who was making him measure the height of every toilet there, and then she was testing out the heights on the ones that were on display. She actually asked him what the difference between a wooden and a plastic toilet seat was. No, I'm not kidding.

So, she finally ends her laundry list of toilet seat questions and we have him all to ourselves. It turns out that they do have a left mount sink outback. So, he says he'll just switch out our tub for the left mount one, but we'll have to pay again since we had to return our original one. We head over to the cashier and it turns out that he hadn't put down that we were going to pick up later so for them to be able to do that they'll have to void our new purchase and rerun it. The problem is that it can take a while for the credit to come, so, with the other return of the old tub we did, we'd have a total of 2500 being put on the credit card for an $800 tub. So we told them that we'd just take it home instead of going that route. Good news for us though because the head cashier guy gave us 20% off our next purchase there. YEAH for us!! and THANK YOU LOWE'S!! We'll probably save at least $100 if we put all of the stuff we need to buy togather and get it all at once, which we plan on doing...

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's like peeing in a field!

This weekend was the weekend of demolition! Matt and my father built the floor that is going to extend into our hallway/staircase on Saturday. Then, Matt and I ripped out the bathroom and the wall between the bathroom and the old master bedroom.
The hole to the right was once a built in bookshelf/towel holder and the wall you see to the left is the one to the master bedroom.This is what our bathroom looks like now...minus the 2x4 in the middle...that is now gone! There is still more work to be done. The ceiling isn't completely out yet, Matt will be working on that tonight. Plus, the floors have to come out before the plumber gets here as well...and the new wall between the bedroom and the bathroom has to be built. The plumber will be here a week from tomorrow to get it all done. So, until then...or actually, until a couple of days after that...we'll have limited privacy in the bathroom!!

It's a MESSY job...but will be well worth it in the end!

Friday, July 25, 2008

What could I have possibly done in a former life??

The question of the day...How does one deal with an in your face, constantly in your shit mother-in-law??

Is the answer a conversation where you calmly and logically explain to her where your business begins and hers ends? Do you take it a step farther and say exactly what is on your mind and make her just deal with it? Or do you just ignore her completely and thank god that you live 2 hours away??

This was the very dilemma I faced this morning. After sending her a nice email explaining what is goign on in our lives and how busy we have and will be for the next couple of months, my (what should I call her...oh yes...Spawn of Satan who happened to birth my husband ... SOSBH for short....) decided that she wanted to respond to my cheery, albeit bland email by telling me that we need to make an effort to stop by and see his Memere while we are on our way to Massachusetts. She goes on to say that we shouldn't be mad at her for not attending our wedding and its only a couple of minutes off of the interstate and blah blah blah...

Now, several months ago she was told explicitly that she needs to stay out of our relationships with members of his family. In fact, they didn't see each other for nearly a year because of her meddling...

So, even putting the facts aside which would proclude us from even thinking about stopping to see his Memere on the way home (She is about an hour off of the interstate and because of the hours of the kenel where we have to board Charlotte, we have to leave Massachusetts around 12pm and we won't be able to leave for there until around 8am which will give us only 24 hours in the great state) it's just not something we want to do. It has nothing to do with the fact that she didn't come to our wedding...although it would have been nice if she could have been bothered to tell us she wasn't coming! And quite frankly...I'm tired of the SOSBH constantly bringing up the people who didn't attend our wedding. We had a fabulous day! I wouldn't change it. But it is hard to have happy memories when you ha someone constantly telling you that you shouldn't.

Getting back to my original question...what is the best thing to do??

My original instinct was to send her an email back telling her that her meddling was the exact reason she has a strained relationship with her son, and it can very easily head back that way if she continues with constantly getting in our business....(The original email I had drafted to her was much more forceful and quick witted)

I also could have calmly and logically explained to her that it would be impossible to see his Memere with the time we have available and maybe another day...I suspect however that this would lead to more talking about how she is sick...blah blah blah...

Or I could simply ignore her. This is the route I chose. I will not be responding to her email. I will not be initiating contact. I will be avoiding the woman at all costs.

Did I make the right decision?? Or by doing nothing am I just giving her the message that he actions are okay??

Is this an American thing? Are mother-in-laws in other countries much more respectful of their grown children?? Or is it universal??

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Making A Go of It - Grover Cleveland Style

I have recently had my Max Fischer moment and decided that just like Max (from the movie Rushmore) it is to my time to decide to be happy where I am, or just be miserable. I've decided the former.

My dilemma has been do I:

1. Stay in a well paying job with fabulous benefits but is an hour away and not overly challenging
2. Take a lesser paying job, by around 10,000, that is closer to home and more challenging

Could we survive on 10k less a year...yeah probably. It would, however, certainly cramp my style. No multiple vacations a year...certainly not to Africa! Traveling is one of the things I truly it worth giving up??

So, I've decided. I'm going to suck it up where I am, soak up all of the information I can while I'm there and take advantage of the extra money and vacation time and see the world.

Good Decision??

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Swift Progress!

More progress on the home front...We are now minus one ceiling in our hallway. This is in preparation for the framing that is going to happen this weekend. Still more work to be done, the floors will be coming out this week as well, but things are going quickly...which is very good news to me.

On another front...Matt signed up for two new media classes today. Very excited about that. He is now on his way to a BA in new media. SWEET!! I found out the books that I need to buy today as well and learned, which I already kinda knew before, that the University likes to gouge its students with book prices. I can buy my books on amazon for like $50 bucks or something like that. Guess we know where I'll be buying our books!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Renovation Has BEGUN!!

Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a part of your house that you hate slowly go away! This weekend we started the process of destroying the bathroom. My father came over and helped with the deconstruction. The wall abutting the bathroom has lost all of its plaster and we've figured out how the fixtures are going to sit in the room. Plus we now have a good idea of how we are going to have to attached the new floor. We were hoping that the beams went a different way than they did and we were going to extend the floors that way, but it never works as you had planned once you get things torn apart, so, we had to come up with an alternate plan, and I think that its going to work just fine...

I was a little unsure of how it would look in the hallway, and one of my favorite things about our house is the open staircase, but I know that I'll have to sacrifice something to have a decent bathroom. So, I guess I'm willing to give up the openness of the hallway. Plus, it looks like we may be able to make a closet out of some of the extra space, which would actually be really nice seeing as how I have NO storage in this house. But, we'll see. A closet would obscure the window in the hallway even more, and I want to keep it nice and light in there, so we'll see. That will probably be something that we'll tackle more when the bathroom is completely done.

The picture to the right shows what the hallway is going to look like after it is all finished. This weekend we hope to have the door all framed up and hopefully the plumber will be able to come over before my birthday on August 2nd. That would be a wonderful birthday present!!

Once the plumber gets here we'll be able to start with the tiling and everything. VERY exciting. I've been waiting five years for a decent bathroom. Until you've lived with a bathroom with a sink that has a seperate spout for hot and cold water (so you can never really get luke warm water) you couldn't understand. Not to mention the fact that the faucets drip. Our shower is new, however, it was never fully level so when I use my scrubbies to clean my face, they build up in the corner of the shower. And the aweful wallpaper with some warped paisley pattern...and the dust and general grossness of it all!! I can't even describe it!!

To your left is an actual representation of the bathroom. The door to the right of the room wil have to stay because it leads up to the attic, but we're thinking that we'll do another hidden door like we did in the kitchen (a built in book case that opens like a door). We have to keep that door there unless we wanted to use a bedroom to convert to the bath, but I don't want to loose a bedroom for resale value. We don't use the attic that much, so I'm good with having to go through the bathroom to get to it...kinda weird, I know. But you do what you've gotta do!! It will be well worth the wierdness price to have something useable.

On an unrealted note, Matt is still trying to get into one of his classes. His advisor is on vacation, but he talked to a woman in the New Media department who said that one of the classes that he was going to take in Belfast because it was at night, won't count. Which doesn'tmake sense to me because it comes up in the University of Maine's listings as a place he can take it. Sometimes I think that UMaine is just so warped and are just trying to make it difficult for people. We'll see what happen tomorrow though, he's supposed to talk to his advisor then. I suspect that this woman isn't quite sure what she's talking about....I signed up for my classes though and will be entering the world of graduate school. Now all I've got to do is pay for it. Thank you TJL for tuition reimbursement!! Now I just have to submit my tuition reimbursement paperwork!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Fun Part of Renovation!

Yesterday was the day!!

We went out after work and pick out the tiles to match our vanity and countertop. We had picked out the vanity last weekend but needed to talk to the plumber to make sure that it was going to fit and everything. So, with the approval of the plumber, Matt went and ordered it yesterday. It is still small, but I think that it will give us some extra storage since we are going to be loosing our linen shelves when we make the bathroom larger. I'm still not sure where everything is going to go (all of our bathroom stuff), we may have to do some weeding out of the junk (which would actually be a good thing)!

We bought the countertop at Hammond Lumber as well. I think that it is going to look really nice on the dark vanity. I absolutely love the color and I knew that I wanted that granite when I saw it! We also bought a faucet very similar to that except it is in brushed nickel. I think its going to look REALLY nice! I'm very excited. My only concern is that the vanity being dark, will be the ony dark piece in the bathroom and may look out of place. Granted, we will have a dark brown/black mirror/medicine cabinet but that will be right over the vanity so I'm not sure it will balance it out. We are going to do another built in bookcase door going up to the attic so we may paint the inside of it black instead of the while like the mouldings, but I'm not sure that would look right either. There may be an opportunity to have some dark shelves over the toilet or something like that as well. We'll see.

We went and looked at a bunch of tiles yesterday and although I really wanted marble on the floors, I'm no longer sure it is practical. My parents have marble in their bathroom, but I guess it scratches and I certainly don't want that. Plus given the fact that we have animals, it is pretty likely that may happen. Plus, when we went to the store, I couldn't find any marble I liked anyway. BUT, I did find some regular tiles that I really liked. So, I think that we've got the floor and shower surround tiles picked out.

The tiles in the back are going to be in the shower and the ones at the top are going to be an accent row in the shower. The middle one is the vanity top. The picture makes the shower tiles look a little bit washed out. They are actually a little bit darker than they look. I think that it will look nice all togather. I wanted something that would be neutral and in 5 to 10 years won't need to be redone because it looks dated. I don't want to have to do this again anytime soon!! I'm very, VERY excited to get this all in and done. We are hoping to have it all finished and usable by September 1. Cross your's going to be a lot of work!! Today begins the actual distruction of the floors in the hallway downstairs to add in some posts to hold the tub up. Pictures to come....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happy Days Are Here Again!!

Matt has talked with his advisor at the University and it looks like it will still take him 4 years, however, he will be able to take some classes at UMaine Augusta or Eastern Maine Community College. It looks like he's going to take a majority of his gen ed classes at one of those two places and they will transfer over. So, it looks like we could potentially save a good chunk of money by doing that, which makes me much more comfortable than spending all that money at UMaine, especially for the same class. Things are looking up at the Green-Hamann's, that's for sure!! Hip Hip...Hip Hip!!

Plus, we are only around 3 weeks away from going down to Massachusetts to see my aunt who is coming up from Florida. I haven't seen her since my wedding last October, and I haven't seen Mickey since I don't know, maybe since my grandfather died and that was maybe 7 years ago. So, it is going to be so great to see him again, especially since he's had a rough time of it with the cancer (hense the reason he wasn't at our wedding).

Additionally, we had another plumbing guy come over today and he gave us a quote of $1,000 to do the plumbing in the bathroom!!! This is fabulous news, considering the other guy wanted to charge us $4,500. Granted this new guy isn't going to take out the cast iron pipe (unless needed). Plus he also said that he only needs like a week's notice and he'd be able to come in and do the plumbing, which means that it is very possible that we might have the bathroom complete before we start school back up, which would take a load off of both of our shoulders! He also did some heating work at my parents house so he is a known quantity. Very, VERY exciting!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

PBR - Hold back your jelousy!!

So, in an effort to move past our issues, we decided to go to the slots with Pete and Michelle and see what all the buzz was about. So, they met us here at the house where we initiated them into the South African liquor club. Matt, Michelle and Pete all had a shot of the 50% alcohol with hot peppers in it. I on the other hand refrained from it. This is the liquor that we bought at a store on the side of the road. Side story, we get to this place and I'm looking around and they sell a lot of aloe there and other stuff. The store itself was quite odd, when you walk in it was like a convenience store, then you go back into the back of the building and to your right there was a place to sit down and have a snack or something to drink and to the left was a little cubby type place with some aloe products and some other gift shop type of stuff. In between the two was a shelf with some liquor on it. So, I'm looking around at the aloe (and I did end up getting some) and our tour guide Jonathan comes and tells me to come try something. I walk over and there are a bunch of people from our tour group there and they are doing shots. He tried to talk me into doing it but I know my limits. I'm not a shot girl, especially if I'm getting on a bus and driving god knows how much longer. So, I try it and decide that it is too hot for me. Matt however, comes back from the bathroom and does a shot. So, we decided that we needed to buy some.

Back to today. So, they all do a shot. Michelle first. She quickly found out how hot is was....

Matt and Pete fared much better....

So, after that we walk down to the slots....I swear I have never been carded so many times in my life! We end up going to the "Epic" buffet. Which if you ask me was a lot of money for something not so great. The food was alright but I thought it was cold and overpriced. But, we eat dinner there and then go and sign up for the players club...essentially the rewards club for the casino. There I learned that my license expired nearly a year ago (it will be a year August 2nd). I really had no idea! Who looks at their license to see when it expires!! I also got a teeshirt for signing up, who can argue with a free teeshirt! Plus, whenever we go in, we get free drinks, all except the booze.

So, we sign up and then hit the bar, where I get my PBR!! I'm not a beer snob by a long shot, so I really can't tell the difference, and lets face it, I've got a little bit of WT in me so it comes naturally! Oh yeah, and they also had live music which was fun, but they were singing country which I don't listen too, so I don't know the words which makes it less fun for me when I can't sing along. But we played the 5 cent slots, and the penny slots and the 10 cent slots. Pete and Michelle won I believe, a total of around 60 dollars or so. Matt and I on the other hand, lost it all!! I was however, up 15 at one point but I kept playing and I lost it. But it was a lot of fun and I had a good time. After a couple of PBR's though, I was a bit tipsy and ready to go home. So, we all made our way back to our house and watched some youtube. This probably sounds pretty sad, but it seems like this is usually the way things end up with us and it actually is fun.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Good News Turns Ugly

So, all of the good news that we got yesterday, IE Matt being accepted to the University of Maine has gone bad...

We find out today that NONE of his classes from his associates degree will transfer over to UMaine because the University says that it isn't a Regionally Accredited School. So, the two years that we had anticipated him being in school has now turned into four and will cost a total of $40,000!! Insaneness!! How people afford to go to college I don't know. It's so frustrating, he finally gets accepted and now I don't know how to pay for it.

Now we are faced with a dilema, do we spend the money and hope that it will lead to him getting a better job...or do we say screw it and not do the college thing at all.

On top of all this goodness, we get a sorta quote from a plumber who says that he wouldn't feel comfortable redoing our bathroom because he thinks that it would probably not make code. Lovely. Now that leads to another question, do we spend a lot of money and make the bathroom larger and add a tub, or, do we leave the layout of the bathroom as it is, a 3/4 bath and just update the fixtures. This would leave us with only the one bathroom and no tub in our house at all. Later we could always convert our porch into a bathroom, but that is going to require the big bucks...!! I'm not sure what the decision is going to be, but the whole school thing is definately going to come into play.

I want both...

Is it selfish of me to want it all and be angry that I can't? I don't have a horrible life. We both have decent paying jobs and have had the ability to travel. We lead decent lives, but yet I'm still not satisfied. I want a new bathroom with an actual bath tub, I want Matt to go back to school full time, and I want to be able to go on atleast one vacation where I leave the country a year. Is that too much to ask?? Really??

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Is it possible to be homesick for a country you spent only 2 1/2 weeks in??

I miss Thailand, specifically Bangkok. I miss the smells. I miss the people. I miss the food.

It feels crazy to feel this way after only spending a short period of time there....but there was a certain feeling you got from being there, and I haven't had that feeling since. Costa Rica was nice and I'd go back in a couple of years after I feel like I've seen the world, but I wouldn't want to live there. Not enough life would be sitting on a beach and hanging out, doing outdoorsy things. A week was enough of that! South Africa was beautiful, and I loved every minute of being there. I could probably live in Cape Town, but it was so much like this country. There wasn't enough flair...there wasn't enough of a feeling of excitement there. We would fit in there instantly....

Bangkok was different. We were different there. It was like our lives started fresh and we could just do whatever we wanted. The possibilities were endless. Maybe I'm sentimental because we were just married, or maybe it was because I got sick and ended up in the hospital. I'm not sure. But there was something about that city that makes me want to go back....and soon.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

South Africa - The Good and the Bad of our Final Days

Our last day with the tour we went wine tasting. It was actually really fun, even though I happen to absolutley HATE wine. But I was a trooper and tried anyway. The countryside was beautiful and we went to two vineyards. We had the afternoon free and then we went to the diamond store to see how diamonds are cut and all of that fun stuff. They had beautiful jewelry but there was a bit of sticker shock. One woman in our group looked at a pair of diamond earings (I think that they were a carat each) and they cost $23,000 ... that's U.S. A little out of my price range! But I've always wanted diamond earings and had been asking for them for my birthday and Christmas for years, so Matt bought me some genuine South African diamonds (NOT blood diamonds...they are certified as such) over at the waterfront. So they are an early birthday present. I try to get a piece of nice jewelry whenever I travel somewhere...something that is special to the area ( I have my gold cartuche (SP?) from Egypt and my saphire, get well soon, necklace from Thailand (and I don't think that Costa Rica had anything special there) this is my special South African diamonds.

So, after all of this, we went to our going away dinner. It was actually at The Gold Museum which was pretty cool. So, we had our tour of the museum...which was actually pretty stupid really...and we went outside and they had huge heaters set up for us and we had a great dinner. It was a hodge podge of different types of foods, lots of veggies and it was actually fairly spicy. By far the best food that we had while we were there. It was probably one of the best nights of the trip. The servers were dressed in the native African clothes and there were traditional dances in between the courses. At the very end, the servers all sang and danced for us as well...they also invited some of us to join the dancing and Foster (you may remember him from the first post where he had his "accident") joined in the dancing. He actually had a couple (3 or 4) shots before he did this...I'm sure he was a joy the next day at his 4 am flight to Zimbabwe!! It was a perfect night and so sad to leave some of the people in the group, especially Dave, our tour guide from Collette and Jonathan, our native South African tour guide. I will actually really miss them both! Then we were on our own!

South Africa had been so good to us weather wise for our WHOLE trip...even on the days when it didn't matter...but then, when we really needed the weather to pull through for all went to hell!

Tuesday, the day we had added on to specifically go shark diving turned out to rain. We were actually standing in the lobby waiting for the pick up and the company called and canceled because of the weather. Apparently if it is nasty on the mainland, then it is even worse out on the sea...So, we didn't get to go diving, which was a big disappointment, but there are worse things in life! It gives us a reason to go back!! So, we spent the day at the ocean front going through the shops and then we went to the aquarium to see the sharks sort of up close. But it was good to have a quiet day since we had marathon flights the next day.

We went to the airport at 11am yesterday so we could collect our VAT refund and got the tour of the Cape Town airport, which is undergoing major construction for the 2010 world cup which will be held in South Africa. So, as you can imagine, with construction comes chaos! We checked in domestic b/c we had to go to Jo'burg and then we had to go back outside and walk through a bunch of parking lots to find the international terminal to get the VAT refund. Then we had to find someone who could tell us where the refund terminal was...another issue! So, we get that done and our flight runs only a couple of minutes late and we board and get to Jo'burg in about 2 hours or so....Then all hell breaks loose in Jo'burg. It is complete chaos!! People everywhere going in every which the signs aren't so great, so we're trying to figure out where to go...we find the elevator to get us where we need to go, but for some reason it will just shut the door and act like its moving up a floor, but then it just opens up on the ground level did this 3 times before it actually worked. Then, when we did get to the correct level there were terminals as far as the eye could see ( did I mention that for some reason the girl in Cape Town wouldn't give us our boarding passes to go all the way through?? Don't ask why, I don't know..she did tag our luggage all the way through though...) So, we get in our line and stand there for a while and finally get up to the counter and get our boarding passes for all the way through...while we are in line though, a fight breaks out between these two girls...I think that one said the other cut in line or something like that, but I was pretty sure that some fists were going to fly!! Luckily security came by and quieted them down but they continued to exchange some choice words with each other!! So, we go through that line and have to stand in yet another line to go through security (quite a very long line I might add). So, we finally get through security and our 3 hour layover in Jo'burg actually ends up leaving us with only 30 minutes to wait for our flight. CRAZY!! We were hoping that we'd have good seats on this flight because it was a 9 hour flight to Paris, but as it turns out we were seated in the middle aisle in between two other people, so we were sandwiched in. Fine if your flying for 2 hours, but 9 hours is a bit long. It was actually an abolutley miserable flight. I couldn't even get sprite with my breakfast! We were pretty much given a sandwich for breakfast (and I know that it was breakfast because they called it that) but they wouldn't give me a damn sprite!! Damn AirFrance and french people everywhere. So, in Paris, we had to leave the secure area once again and ride the tram to our next terminal. So, yet again we had to stand in line to go through security. And this was quite a long line as well. But again we got throught it and had a chance to have some french pastry before we got on the plane. Everything was pretty uneventful except for the fact that the girl didn't like the boarding pass I was given in Jo'burg and wasn't sure she was going to let me on the plane...she talked with the girl who was letting Matt through and then decided to let me through. This flight I might add was much better...first of all, American food (and ice cream as a snack). Plus, the seats were much more comfortable and we had the only two seats on the left hand side (window!!). There was no video on demand like the flight to Paris, but it was worth it to have the extra space since this was yet again another 8 hour flight. Then, we get to JFK and we have to go through security once again. I think I got radiation poinsoning from all of the times I walked through the metal detector! Our flight was late, but it was only a little over an hour flight home, so it all worked out. I am so happy to be off of planes and out of airports!! We spent over 20 hours up in the air, and then figure in all of the layovers, and we spent well over a day and a half traveling, and if you saw us, you would have known!! Thankfully we both took tomorrow off, so no work for either of us until Monday.

So, we are home now and begining the process of uploading pictures!! I missed the house and the puppy, but I could easily pick up everything and move to Cape Town. No doubts!!

South Africa - Knysna on

We found out that we couldn't go to the township in Knysna because of the fighting going on there. Apparently people were setting fires and arond 600 people were homeless because of it. The company that would have brought us around offered to still do it, however we would have had to have a police escort. Our tour guide decided that we weren't going to go because of that. They also thought that bringing a tour bus in would have created more, we didn't get to do that, but that gave us some extra time to roam around the town.

The next day we drove to the Ostrich farm and we both got to ride an ostrich (video to come). We saw a bunch of ostriches including babies...!! We also were able to stand on one of their eggs which was pretty cool. We have some pictures of it.

Next we drove to Cape Town (quite a drive!!). We took the garden route which was very pretty with lots of cliffs and you could see the ocean. We got to Cape Town which is absolutely GINORMOUS!! Our hotel is beautiful and a short walk to the ocean front.

The weather wasn't that great, but we still got to table mountain. We took up a gondola (the scariest thing in the world!!). You couldn't even see teh bottom because of the clouds, so you just went up into nowhere!! Because of the clouds, we couldn't see all of Cape Town, but we still got a fabulous view!!

Yesterday we drove to cape point and were able to see the Southwestern most point in Africa which was pretty cool. We got our pictures taken with the sign and had lunch at a restaurant over looking the ocean. We also took a quick walk and a ride up the funicular to the top of a mountain where there was a light house. Of course we have pictures of that as well!! We also had a chance to visit Boulder Beach and see the penguins. We got some great video of it, which we'll put up on youtube.

Today we went to the winelands and did some wine tasting. Very fun. I'm not a fan of wine but the area was beautiful!! Tonight is our farewell dinner. We'll be going to a gold museum tonight and having dinner there. We'll be saying goodbye to our tour group tonight and we added on an additional day, so tomorrow we'll be getting up bright and early and going on a shark cage dive begining at 5:30 am!! Very exciting. We'll be taking pictures and will have video as well!!

South Africa - Days 3-6

We left Johannesburg and made the long drive to Kruger Park. It was nearly a 6 hour drive with stops. We stoped at God's Window and some a gourge and the "pot holes". Pictures to come, but they were incredible. Words can't describe any of it, so updates when the pictures are uploaded!

We arrived at the Kruger Gate Lodge in the early evening and had some dinner. The property was very nice and abuted Kruger National Park. It even had a viewing area where we saw an impala. The next morning we were up at 5:30 for an early morning game drive....think Jurassic Park but with South African Animals. We were in open air jeeps and to get out of our hotel area, you have to have a guard move the security fence that keeps the animals out of our hotel! One couple had a money get into their room and rough the place up (I think he spilled a glass of milk and moved stuff around).

At the first excursion we started off by seeing a rhino. Then we saw a male lion (mane and all) laying in the sun. We also saw elephants, more impala than you could ever imagine and a GIRAFFE!! We also saw Kudu's and Springbok's and some Waterbucks, Capebuffalo, Baboons, Warthogs, Hyenas and even a snake attacking a cameleon! Unfortunately it began to rain and the animals decided to hide for a while. It worked out alright because we were headed to lunch anyway. So, we had some hot chocolate and warmed up and then went back to our lodge. We walked around the property in the daylight, and then went on another game drive in the afternoon. We didn't see as many animals then as we did in the morning, but we did see a herd of elephants crossing the road and more giraffe's and a zebra (although from a far!). We went back to the hotel for dinner and then called it an early night since we were going to have a long day the next day!

The next day was a travel day for us. We were up around 6am to take the bus ride back to Johannesburg and then boarded the plane to Port Elizabeth and we ended up getting into Port Elizabeth around 7pm or so. We ordered room service for dinner and then went to sleep!

We woke up in Beautiful Port Elizabeth and had a nice breakfast and then ran across the street to step in the Indian Ocean. Then on to a city tour and back on the road again headed for Knysna. The drive was beautiful since we took the garden route to get there. On the way we stopped in Plattenberg Bay and had lunch at a BEAUTIFUL hotel there. We were eating on the deck which over looks the Indian Ocean and as we were sitting there we saw whales out in the distance (maybe 1/2 a mile away!). We walked on some of the rocks and took some pictures of the whales and then boarded the bus for the 10 minute drive to Knysna. So, here we are now, In Knysna. We walked through the town (very touristy) and now we're getting ready to head over to have dinner at a local restaurant with our group. Tomorrow we're heading to the featherbed reserve where we will go on a 4x4 safari and then do a nature walk. We'll also have a tour of a lagoon there as well. It should be a lot of fun!! Then we hit the road to Cape Town and hit the Ostrich farm where we will ride the Ostriche's!!!

Tales from the Road - South Africa Days 1 and 2

We have finally made it to South Africa after about 24 hours in the air. We got in yesterday at 6pm South African time (noon eastern). That gave us just enough time to take a quick shower (mind you neither of us was ablet to have one for over 24 hours!!) and then go down to the welcome meeting. We get down there and there are 30 of us or so, we are by far the youngest on the trip. The next youngest people would be in their 50's or so. So, our tour guide has everyone say their name and where they are from and then he starts talking about what we're going to be doing...While he is talking, one of our group members comes in and the first thing he says is how sorry he is for being late. He then goes on to say that he is embarassed to say this, but he had an "accident" and had to clean himself up, and that this could happen to anyone. (Which I actually really disagree with). He then goes on to tell us everything about himself, ranging from his age, occupation as an EEO person for the army (We do EEO reporting but it doens't take a full time person to do it!! ) and his email address. So, that was a fun way to start the trip!!

So, we have our dinner, which was very good, and then we go back to our room and go to sleep. Today we went to Soweto and saw the township and went to a museum (Hector Peterson) and had lunch at a local restaurant and Foster, our favorite oops I crapped my pants tourist decides that anyone who is a native South African needs to have their picture taken by him. In fact at the first museum there were school kids who were walking around. He actually asked them to all get togather in front of the fountain so he could take their they were wild animals. They obliged and let him take their picture...he tried to talk to them about his age and what he does for a living and possibly how he crapped his pants the night before, but they started talking to each other in another language and walked off (they clearly spoke english!!). We also went to the Apartheid museum which was fun, but nothing has been as exciting as Foster!! Can't wait to see what happens with him at Kruger!! To wrap up the night we ate dinner at the Nelson Mandela square and had some really good desert!!