11 Jun 2016

Cape Town SA

The second week of our trip we spent it in Cape Town. On the drive to our hotel from the airport, I instantly fell in love with the city. As we were driving along, the iconic Table mountain was looming above us in the background  and it is much more magical than i would have even imagined.

We stayed at the President hotel in the Bantry Bay area of the city and were welcomed with some drinks in our beautiful 1 bed sea view apartment.







I have family that live in Cape Town that I haven't seen in 13 years so this trip was a good chance to get to see them.  My cousin Angie became our tour guide and suggested some touristy things to do.  

On our list was Table mountain, Franschhoek, Robben Island, Victoria and Alfred Waterfront & loads of tasting of the local cuisine.

Our first night we tried the hotel's winter special menu which was delicious






Our second day we got on one of the City Sightseeing hop on hop off buses. We took the red tour that took us to the Table Mountain Cableway going past the Aquarium, Camps Bay & the V&A Waterfront.  We too the Cableway up Table Mountain and walked around the mountain for about an hour. The views are just so breathtaking.


Camps bay views

V&A Waterfront

Sunset on Camps Bay Beach

Lions head view

We spent the next few days catching up with family and eating out a lot. One of the favourite places that we had some food was a Bakery/ Restaurant chain called Knead around Sea point. It was honestly one of the best places we ate and went there twice for lunch. They serve a selection of Pizzas, pies, salads and light meals like the one I had below.



I could write about Cape Town all day as we had such an amazing time. We didn't get a chance to do everything on our list or see all the places we had planned to but we plan on going back to Cape Town soon this time for longer. And again, I wish i had captured more pictures but the memories I had will forever be in my heart.

 The highlight of our trip was meeting some amazing people. I contacted  Matthew Carr Photography  when i was still in the UK as we wanted to get some honeymoon/baby on the way announcement pictures. Matthew and his wife Krystle were just so amazing and are glad they are a part of our memories. They were both so friendly and made my camera shy husband warm up to taking pictures and we got some stunning shots. I can't thank them enough for this.







Cape Town was so good to us. I can't wait to go back already!!












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4 Jun 2016

Honeymoon in South Africa

I am currently sitting under my duvet now back home a week after an amazing two week holiday across South Africa. It now feels like the holiday happened ages ago and being back to gloomy chilly UK has been a little sad considering that we are in the middle of spring but the sun doesn't want to shine.

I don't even know where to start with sharing this amazing trip that my husband and I shared. We got married in October 2015 and because of work holiday days restrictions we didn't get the opportunity to go on a honeymoon. Instead we went on a mini moon in the Cotswolds for a few days but knew we would want to go on a "proper" honeymoon in 2016. Early January of this year we finally started  thinking about our honeymoon and had so many choices of where we wanted to go. We had already previously spoken about our ideal destination being in Southern Africa as I'm originally from Zimbabwe and my husband wanted to get a chance to visit the region. In the end we had so many choices and just couldn't decide on the best country for us to go.

In order to narrow down the options, we decided to take turns to close our eyes and point at a big scratchable map that we have and pick one of the two countries that we land on as the place to go. My finger landed on Cape Verde & he picked South Africa so the choices were between those two.

We ended up going for SA as after a lot of research it seemed to be better suited for us as we wanted adventure, safari & beach and all the places we wanted to travel to could cater for all that. Now that we had FINALLY decided on a destination we immediately contacted our local Thomas Cook agent who sent us loads of different options and places to visit as SA is so big. We decided to go for  a package that took us across the Eastern region of the country and Swaziland for the first week and Cape Town for the 2nd week. The first week we joined a pre arranged tour with 2 other couples and this tour meant covering a lot of miles travelling each day & this was something we were up for in order to see a lot of places.


Our holiday itinerary for the first week is below and I could spent ages talking about each and every place we visited but I won't bore you, I will let some pictures do the talking.

Day 1 - 2 : Exploring and shopping in Johannesburg

Day 3:  Exploring Pretoria, Dullstroom & Lydenburg
Nelson Mandela outside Government buildings in Pretoria


Day 4: Panorama Route visiting God's window, Potholes & Blyde River Canyon

Three Rondavels Lookout

Blyde River Canyon

Bourke's Luck Potholes

Day 5: Sunrise Safari at Kruger National Park & exploring Lowveld

Kruger National Park Sunset

My favourite animal

Day 6: A day spent in Swaziland learning about the Swazi Culture

Dancing with Swazi women

Day 7: Afternoon Safari at Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve & Zululand




My hubby captured this awesome pic haha!





I just have to brag about how amazing our tour guide provided by Thompsons Africa was. His name is Siboni Ngidi and he is one of the most calm,well spoken and knowledgeable individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. If any of you would like to travel across SA, ask for the Kruger and the Kingdoms tour ( that's what we did above) and request Siboni. Our first week was very adventurous and included a lot of early mornings a lot of travelling but it was worth every minute. Do take time to look at all the links I have provided for all the places we visited to get an idea of what's on offer.

I will talk about the 2nd part of our trip in the next post

Ciao xx


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2 May 2016

Football & Sightseeing in Milan

Hey y'all! It's Been a while since I blogged. Main reason is because I wasn't travelling but I'm back at again trying to... Emphasis on the TRYING part to smash this challenge 

Over the bank holiday weekend, my hubby and I took a short trip to Milan. The main purpose of the trip was to watch the AC Milan vs Frosinone football game but also a chance to see the city and enjoy some good authentic Milanese cuisines. 

This trip has showed me that I'm not very good at blogging. I enjoy writing these posts but, I still have a lot to learn and still at the basics. Rule number 1 when blogging surely is, take a lot of pictures. I invested in a nice camera but came back with hardly any pictures because I kept on forgetting to take any. So now I have to get better at this and make sure I step up my game and take loads of pictures. 

The few of the pics I took are below 










All in all, I had a good time in Milan. However, I found there isn't that much to do if you are not into museums and shopping. The city is so beautiful and they are a lot of amazing shopping malls and loads of designer outlets that can break the bank so carry loads of mulla. If you are into Museums check out the below




I was not in the mood for either of those things when we took the trip so ended up spending a lot of time in restaurants enjoying loads of yummy food.

The football game was so much fun, we had good seats for less than half the price you would get a standard seat for here in the UK and the atmosphere made me a non football fan go a bit crazy withe excitement. On match days just outside the stadium at San Siro, there are over 20 food stalls around the stadium so another place to enjoy some Italian food.




Few tips 

** Learn a few Italian phrases, it could go a long way in helping f you get around. A lot of people can speak English but I found I got a lot of help if I asked a question in Italian or at least tried. 

** Do your research before you go. About where you are going, restaurants etc. I didn't do much research which is unlike me and I won't be making that mistake again.   There are a vast range of restaurants that have such differences in prices. You could go to 1 place that serves pizza for €12 and the one 3 doors away €5. You can save yourself a few bucks by doing a bit of research. 

** I found it much easier to travel around the centre of Milan on foot. The most touristy parts are all very close to each other and there is no need for metro in most cases. When you do get the metro, I found it cheaper to get the day pass for €4 this lasted for 24 hours.    

** Always keep your bag and wallet safe. Like in most big cities they are a lot of pick pocketers around Milan.  

See you on the next blog post hopefully it will be a bit more exciting than this one

Ciao xx
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14 Mar 2016

5 Ingredient Quick Dinner

Ever had one of those days when you are feeling so lazy and can't be bothered to cook? I was having one of these days today and was so tempted to order food in. I am trying to make healthier food choices so decided to make something instead. I created this chicken and rice stir fry in less than 20 minutes which is less than the time it would take for a takeaway to get to me and is also much healthier. The recipe is below:



Ingredients

  • Chicken (marinate in spices of your choice, I used cajun spices)
  • Steamed Rice (I used Tilda wholegrain rice pouch) 
  • ½ red pepper
  • 100g mushrooms
  •  Handful of spinach

Method

  1. Deseed the pepper and cut it into thin strips. Slice your chicken into pieces and roughly chop the mushrooms.
  2. Put the pieces of pepper, mushrooms and chicken into a pan to cook for 8 to 10 minutes until the chicken is golden and cooked through.
  3. Add the rice pack and stir fry for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and mix for a minute.

Now enjoy your bowl of yummy goodness and pat yourself on the back for resisting the temptation of ordering a takeaway. Let me know if you try this and how you get on.

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2 Feb 2016

Food

Like a lot of people, I love my food. I enjoy cooking and am always up for trying different things. There are not a lot of things that I don't like when it comes to food.. except rocket!  For those that are not familiar with rocket, it is a very 'English' leaf, that is usually used in salads. I can't stand it and try and avoid it at all costs! 

I will be posting all the food that I discover on my travels and while at home I will share my favourite recipes and food that I make. 
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29 Jan 2016

Exploring Boston

Looking back at my pictures, I have just realised that I spent most of my time in Boston shopping and walking around taking pictures of random buildings.

On my 2nd day in Boston after more retail therapy during the day, In the evening I had the pleasure of going to a dinner dance with my friend.


The next day it was back to more shopping and this time I decided to take a little trip out of the city centre and visited a shopping outlet Assembly Row which is located 5 miles northwest of Boston. There is about 30 outlet shops here and my favourites were the Adidas, Nike and Saks Fifth Avenue stores. They also have a Legoland Discovery Centre which is a good indoor attraction for those travelling with kiddies.



Boston is home to two of the Top Universities/Colleges in the world. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. I couldn’t leave the city without seeing at least one of them. I spent an hour or so walking around Harvard University on my last day in Boston. There wasn’t much to see which was a bit disappointing. Maybe in good weather there would be more to see.




All in all I enjoyed my short trip to Boston and would love to come back one day around spring or autumn for more sunsets and more shopping.


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23 Jan 2016

Boston USA Travel Tips


Shopping: Something I didn't know before I went to the US, all the prices you see in a shop or on a restaurant menu do not always include sales tax. In Europe Value-Added Tax (VAT) is included in the price of everything, so you know the total value of what you are buying before you go to the till. 

In the US it's different, The tax is not marked on the labels or the menus in the restaurant. The tax will normally be added to the price when you go to the till/cash register or added on the bill/receipt. The tax varies depending on what you are buying and the state you are in. In Massachusetts( MA) where I was, the tax is currently 6.25% . If you are travelling to the US its a good idea to know this information before you travel: US Sales Tax

It is also customary in many places of service to always tip/ pay gratuity; particularly at almost all sit-down restaurants with the average tip of 15% to 20% of the total meal cost. The percentages are usually calculated at the bottom of the bill for you to choose the option you want to go with.   


Travelling : In good weather, you can walk to a lot of places around Boston and the tourist areas in the center of the city. I travelled in winter and walking wasn't always the best option because of the freezing cold so I used taxi's and uber instead. 

Taxis are much more expensive vs getting an Uber. On average a 5 mile journey with a taxi cost me $12 + tip v.s $8 with an Uber and you don't have to tip plus you get a fare estimate before you book. If you are like me and enjoy meeting new people, car pooling in an uber is a great way of getting to do that and you save more money when you car pool. Don't be a freak though and try and spark conversations with people that are not interested. I met some amazing Bostonians when I car pooled on my trip. My only regret was not getting their contact details to keep in touch. 

Driving: I didn't drive when I travelled but I had a friend who took me around on one of the days I was there. From observation it seems like a fairly easy going city to drive around. However, the city has a lot of parking space problems. It is very hard to find parking in most places in the center of the city and around tourist attractions and it is very expensive. On average most parking spots would charge up to $9 for 20mins and $23 for 1hour. I thought that was very expensive so I would suggest using other means of transport.
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