Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Heading home

Right now we are sitting back in Zurich awaiting our flight to the states. We've not been able to update our blog because the Internet in Malawi was spotty, but we will do more with pictures when we return home. We've had the most amazing trip! I am so thankful for this wonderful experience. I LOVE Africa!!! I absolutely was not ready to come home... I could have stayed a few more weeks in Malawi. Will loved it, but is ready to get back to reality. We've been so fortunate to have two wonderful experiences over here; we got to do safari for a week and then truly discover one of the most beautiful and friendly countries, Malawi. We got to really see the country and learn more about their culture. I could not pick a favorite thing we did because everything was so unique....we did, although, stay at the coolest place Ive ever been. Mumbo Island on Lake Malawi, by far the most gorgeous place I've ever seen. It looked like something you would find in Fiji. We had an awesome time just relaxing on the beach, kayaking, hiking, and living with out any electricity. It was awesome. Visiting the orphanages and seeing how sweet the kids are, and how happy they are was completely amazing! We had the best time playing with them, holding them, and seeing where they live. Malawian children love to have their picture taken, so we had the best time having some photo shoots with the kids! Overall, I am so thankful for this incredible experience and cannot wait to return to Africa, Malawi especially. Stay tuned, we will post more pictures once we return to reality.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Rain and then finally cool...

So on our 3rd day here we moved from the hotel up to the game lodge. Meaning we are literally in the middle of no where up in the game reserve. It's awesome! As Im typing this it's 10:30 in the morning here, and the views are amazing. We are loving Africa . The view from the porch stretches so far, and all you see are mountains, and tons of green trees. It is gorgeous . The impala are grazing beside the porch, and it's so quiet. Our first day here the rains came. They had not had rain since January, so they were thankful. It rained the entire day and the winds were strong. So we stuffed ourselves with the delicious food, read books, and listened to a talk about the Zulu culture. We are in Zulu land, and it was so interesting to learn all about their culture and traditions. We learned how the propose marriage (down by the river, and with many cows), how they are very superstitious and pray to their ancestors, and just about their way of life. The next day we slept in and our friend Pen came to pick us up. He took us to the elephant interaction center, where we were able to feed and touch the elephants ...amazing! Then we drove to Mkuze falls game reserve and took a game ride there. More details to come about their driving over here and our day! Must head off to the local market and then another game drive in search of lions!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 2

Yesterday we had a great day. The morning started with a morning jeep ride that started with a viewing of our favorite cheetah walking along the fence of the reserve. Within about 10 minutes we found a herd of rhinos (4) walking through the tall grass. We got a great video...which we will try to share via Facebook...of the rhinos checking us out in the jeep, and then continuing on through the grass. I must admit, after the elephant incident, I thought they might charge at us. But they didn't and were truly amazing to see meander through the grass. We continued along, seeing more Nyala, giraffe, zebra, and impala. After breakfast at nine, we met up with our friend, Pen, who took us along with his son to the morning tour at the Cheetah Rehabilitation Center. We were able to interact with African Wild Cats, Caracal Cats, Serval Cats, and of course the Cheetah. Check Facebook for a picture of Allison with Moya, the cheetah. Being able to sit beside a cheetah and pet it has been one of the highlights of our trip so far! Pen then took us to St Lucia, where we took a boat ride to see hippos and crocodiles. Not only did we see both, but we had the rare chance to see some hippos almost fully out of the water during the day. They are absolutely huge! Our guide told us the males can be almost 4 tons in size...basically the size of a sedan. After our boat ride, we had a brief stop at the beach in St Lucia. Not only was the beach long and beautiful, but at the either end of the beach, there were these massive sand dunes that Pen said reached as high as 150 to 180 meters in huge! I don't think this is a normal occurrence but the wind was very strong and the surf was very high and looked like a strong rip current was out there. Allison did go in up to her calves but did not venture out past that. I of course did not even consider it because any smart person knows this is a hot spot for not only Tiger sharks but the infamous GREAT WHITE shark...who would risk it? We ended the day with a great meal and made plans for another trip with Pen to the Elephant Interaction Center and then on to Mkuze Falls, where Pen is a park ranger.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 1

We have survived our first day in Africa, and are amazed by its beauty. I constantly have to remind myself that this is real...we are in Africa! My dream come true. Today we went on 2 game drives, one at 6 am and then another in the late afternoon. They were fabulous! We saw elephants, zebras, impala, kudu, Nyala, rhino, hippos, buffalo, and a cheetah! It was absolutely gorgeous. The scenery was beautiful and the sky just goes on forever. Our resort is very nice! Everyone here in Africa is so friendly and willing to help. Our room is great, we have air conditioning and no mosquito net! Our room overlooks a beautiful, vast field. We had zebras right outside our door yesterday, and we have a crocodile pen about 50 feet from our room. Thankfully they are fenced in. The food here is amazing! We have five course dinners every night, and last night my choice of meat was impala, oxtail or fish. So Will ate all of it and I only ate the impala....not too bad, but tonight I stuck with chicken fingers and will ate something that was called turkey ( I don't think it was really turkey though). So today we had a really close encounter with an elephant. On our afternoon drive we had a great ranger, and followed 3 elephant around for awhile. One elephant eventually got mad at us and came within 2 feet of us! It was so scary, but our guide was super calm. It was a big female, and she flapped her ears and looked like she was going to charge or spray water. The elephant is no longer one of my favorite animals. I would much rather be closer to a cheetah! We have an awesome video, and are still trying to figure out how to upload photos and videos on the iPad. Check facebook, or we might do a shutterfly link. We will have more pics soon. Tomorrow we have another game drive at 6 am and then we are going with a friend of a friend to pet the beautiful cheetahs at the cheetah rehabilitation center and then go to st. Lucia for a boat ride to see hippos and dolphins. And we get to swim in the Indian ocean !!!! God is good!!! He created so much beauty here in africa, and we are so thankful to get to see it!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Halfway there!

We have almost made it to south Africa . Just another 10 hour plane ride, customs in Johannesburg , a 3 hour layover, a hour and half flight, and then a hour long ride to the resort! But it's all worth it! I was beginning to doubt it after our ordeal in the USA airport yesterday!
We had such a horrible experience in JFK was very discouraging, but once we got on the plane and slept for a little bit it was better.
Plus....will has a very distant cousin who lives outside of Zurich who was kind enough to pick us up and take us to her home ( we had a 12 hour layover in Zurich). I am so thankful for her kindness and hospitality. We seriously would be in a much worse state than we are now .
Her house was amazing and over looked Lake Lucerne. She let us swim in her pool, shower, have a traditional Swiss meal (complete with chocolate) and then we took a nap . Then it was off to the train station to get to the airport. I must say as frustrated as I was with Swiss air yesterday their country is beautiful.
We took a few pictures of her pool and view. We seriously debated about staying there for a week :)

We can't figure out how to post pictures so it might take us awhile.....pray for our safe flight!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Heading to Africa

Tomorrow morning we head on our trip to Africa. It'll take 3 days to get there, traveling through NYC and then Zurich, Switzerland to finally get to South Africa We'll be staying at the Zulu Nyala Game Reserve near Richards Bay ( After a week, we'll travel to Malawi to visit our friends Sandy and Kate Evans. We'll attempt to post pictures as we go along - pending internet access.

Here is a picture of where we are going:

We will be really close to Durban, staying in Richard's Bay. We get to swim in the Indian Ocean!!

We also get to see cute people like this in Malawi...

We are excited! So pray for our safe flight! We have a long trip together....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Winter Months...

We are still here and alive in Winston-Salem, we have just gotten slack about blogging! Here is an update in our lives...we have been renovating, painting, playing in the snow, and baking!

We spent Valentine's Day weekend at the lake with some friends...

Abby, Gracie, and friends!

And we played in the snow!

We just had to see how the bowling ball would like the snow...and Gracie had a blast with the pink ball!

We tried to build a snowman but Gracie thought we were making a giant snowball for her to play with!

She loved having snowballs thrown for her...

Will missed shoveling snow in Colorado...

And we have been redoing our are some before and after pictures...

The new kitchen!! Yay! floors, no dividing wall between the den and kitchen, new paint color for cabinets (painted by me!), new countertops, new island, and still in the works, new backsplash!

A close up of our new countertops!

Gracie modeling the new love seat, coffee table, carpet, chair, and paint waiting on new curtains!

More redecorating pictures are some baking pictures...

My new favorite things...cupcake pops...

I made Mom mini tote bag cakes for her birthday!!

More pictures to come when we completely finish our kitchen!