I grew up in small-town Texas, about 40 miles North of Dallas. Potholes were an everyday occurrence in that small town. In fact, even though I haven’t lived at my parent’s home for 19 years, I still remember the path you had to drive to dodge every pothole, dip, and crater that presented itself in my parent’s neighborhood. Suffice it to say, I viewed potholes as evil little ploys to slow me down and ruin my car. Naturally, they were not a source of beauty.
When I moved to South Africa and heard of a tourist destination with the word “pothole” in it, I brushed it off. What could be so great about going to look at potholes? Well, there is something great, and let me tell you why visiting the Bourke’s Luck Potholes should be on your “things to see” list next time you’re in the Mpumulanga region of South Africa.
1. You can have a picnic. My family laughs at me for my love of picnics and picnic baskets, but seriously, isn’t there something that’s just so great about having a family picnic together with your favorite food and the fresh air?
2. The Bourke’s Luck Potholes are … >> find out more...
Wasatch Mountains, Utah
Hello friends, I’m so happy you’re here today! I really am. Because I want to introduce something new I’m going to try on Petit Elefant. I’m picking up the pieces of my life, and will be for a little while, but I want to stay connected to you and yours while I do it.
The best way I can think to do that is to post a photo with a little something about what you’re looking at. This way we can stay in touch and you’ll still get your daily dose of Petit Elefant with something pretty to look at. <—— (preposition)
Sound good? Anything in particular you’d like to see? Today’s photo is one I took last week during a brief detour from the elementary school carpool lane. The mountains near my house are absolutely stunning, always, but this time of year they’re spectacular with the changing leaves and low Fall sun. So pretty.
Have a wonderful Tuesday, friends. I hope life is treating you right today. xo
The Thousand Islands isn’t just a salad dressing after all. It’s a real, and really lovely, place well worth a visit. For our tenth wedding anniversary, my husband and I went to a cute little bed and breakfast in Gananoque, Ontario, Canada which hosts part of the 37 km stretch of the Thousand Islands Parkway. Along the American-Canadian border is a stretch of over 1800 islands in the St. Lawrence River as it emerges from Lake Ontario. 1800 islands!
We enjoyed a 2 1/2 hour boat ride along the Thousand Islands. It was easy to spot which side was the American side and which side was the Canadian side because of the flags being flown!
I loved seeing Boldt Castle, home to George C. Boldt who was general manager of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City. Looking at that castle, I think he did well for himself!
The boat tour was great for learning a little history. Did you know that Thousand Island salad dressing was named after this part of the world?
I think the most fun we had on our little getaway was biking the Thousand Island Parkway. While my husband and I both enjoy biking, we … >> find out more...
I live in a small town in South Africa. All kinds of outdoor fun make the “things to do list” in my neck of the woods. One of my favorite Saturday entertainment options is Kaapsehoop, a mere thirty minute drive from Nelspruit in the Mpumulanga province. You can cruise through the whole town in about sixty seconds, but you can easily spend a day exploring everything it has to offer.
This lovely town is best known for the wild horses that roam freely on its streets. They’re friendly enough to give a little rub on the nose even though their big size can feel a little intimidating. My nine-year-old was terrified at first but warmed up enough to name one of them Mr. Ed.
There are a couple of cafés where a prego roll or a pancake can be enjoyed, but it’s also a nice place to pack a picnic lunch to eat on the grass. Antique shops and stores with interesting loot are worth visiting, but my favorite activity is the hike to the spectacular view at the top.
The yellow footprints clearly mark the path that’s simple enough for kids to hike. Depending on your explorers, you can … >> find out more...
The “four” hour drive from Kampala to Gulu, Northern Uganda was more like eight due in part to dusty, potholed roads that had seen better days. The outside breeze rushing through the windows in the big, nasty, dirty bus barely offered any respite from the humid air that kept my back in a perpetual state of wet. Over the eight hour journey, my bright white top turned a new shade of earth that no amount of bleach could help. All I could do was smile. I loved it. Uganda. Africa.
We reached our cozy hotel that was to be home for the next week. An attempted shower to wash my dirt streaked face and make sense of my tangled hair was almost more than I could handle. This girl was exhausted. The bed shouted my name, and I gave in.
Dino was our destination the next morning, a two hour journey from Gulu town in Uganda. I don’t think any amount of sleep could have prepared me for what the day brought. Let me set the scene for you.
Mud huts with thatched roofs.
Green, green rows of corn stalks.
Kids wearing tattered clothing and looking at this mzungu like … >> find out more...
Ask anyone at our house, and they’ll tell you they’d rather be at Walt Disney World eating the ears off a Mickey ice cream bar right about now.
20 trips to our “second home” since 2007 have taught us a few things about making the most of each visit, and for this post, I focused on tips and insider secrets that will make spending a long weekend (Thursday-Sunday) at the parks that much more pixie dusted for your family.
The very best time to visit Walt Disney World is mid-week during the off-season. That’s basically the last two weeks in September through the first two weeks in October. Not only is it still warm and sunny, but the crowds are significantly smaller than in the middle of summer. Bonus: Amazing Halloween decorations.
There are 23 themed hotels on property at Walt Disney World, situated around the four main parks – Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Animal Kingdom. Staying at one of these hotels during your visit is a must in my book, since you get a lot more perks.
Obviously, it’s important to consider price and location, but Disney does offer attractive hotel/dining packages throughout the year. Hotels are categorized deluxe, … >> find out more...
France. It’s okay I guess. If you happen to like gorgeous countryside, cold sparkling water, French men (that’s a whole post in and of itself, short story: they’re hot), cheese, delicious bread and shopping of any variety. Oh, and the south of France is the WORST. So boring and perfectly sunny with warm wave-less ocean and blue skies forever.
Basically France and Spain were a wonderland. Plural. It’s a thing.
A few months ago I went on a whirlwind 2 week trip to France and Spain with one of my very best friends, (BEST IDEA EVER) and when I came back I was so exhausted from the amazing happiness of it all, I basically took the entire summer off to dream about it by the pool.
I did manage to post about what to do on the French Riviera should you ever find yourself in Antibes, Cannes or Nice and are out of ideas (you shouldn’t be).
The short version is that France and Spain are beautiful and fun and lovely in every possible way. The long version will be laid out in a whole bunch of future posts, starting with this one. So let’s get … >> find out more...
A handful of weeks ago I mentioned my family trip to Costa Rica where I enjoyed what can only be called a ‘spiritual experience’. If you need a dose of life affirmation in your life, a little yes-you should-be-on-the-planet-and-the-world-is-good, Costa Rica is your girl.
I think of countries as genders, don’t you? Germany is totally a dude.
Right after we showed up in San Jose (the nation’s capital) we were escorted by minibus to a tour of a coffee plantation in the rainforest.
I need a minute to process that statement.
A coffee plantation in the middle of the rainforest you guys. That business doesn’t happen to me every day. Or any day, actually. I live in Utah, one of the most arid states in the U.S. – it took some time for my little family to absorb all the green. The greeeeeeeen! And the humid (oh so humid) air in Costa Rica is like chewing gum, so thick you can roll it around on your tongue for awhile before you continue swimming. By the time we happened upon this little waterfall off the side of the road we were all pretty *moist*, which is the polite society … >> find out more...
You guys, major major Life List stuff has been happening around these parts recently. None of which feels real, because I’m not the sort of person whose life has been filled with exotic vacations up to this point. Growing up, my family’s version of vacation was tent camping next to the Harley gang at the KOA in Reno. Seriously, true story.
I don’t even have the vocabulary to express my gratitude to be in a time and place in my life where this kind of stuff is happening, but I’ll try to get it all out. Not today though. Today I’m so swollen I can barely open my eyes and have cankles/tree stumps where my feet used to be. I can’t get shoes on my feet today, so I’m going to rest up. I have a lot to tell you when I get back on my feet.
Between Costa Rica and my quick jaunt last week to the North Shore of Hawaii I feel like I’m in a medicated dream, albeit a really, really great one. Catch you on the flip side.