We spent last Christmas in Durban, because that’s what you do here in S. Africa. You spend Christmas at the beach. It’s hotter than hot that time of year, and the only respite you can find is in your toes touching that cool water. Durban resides along the Indian Ocean making it more popular in my book than Cape Town which borders the arctic waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
There’s loads of touristy things you can do in Zulu nation, but if I had my choice, I would take my tourist hat off and spend my time doing two things.
1. Going to the beach. In my opinion, the best beach spots are found just outside the city. Aptly named the Dolphin Coast, Ballito is the best with its beautiful beaches and cafés. It’s perfect for families, but even if you’re not in that season of life yet, Ballito offers a peace and tranquility that the big city lacks. Get up at sunrise and watch the dolphins ride the waves of the surfers. Who wouldn’t like that?
2. Eating a good curry, like all the time. I’ve heard it said that every person in India has a cousin either in … >> find out more...
Maui is my favorite Hawaiian island. Frankly my dear, I would not be opposed to retiring on the island of Maui. I already envision myself at sunset, strolling along the shore with my husband, with the water lapping at our toes. I glance around the area and smile as I see my daughters, with their children enjoying the last rays of the sun. I can feel the warm breeze, and hear the comforting crush of the waves, and I feel at peace.
When I saw that Trip Advisor had named Maui number two in the world, of the top 10 islands for 2015, I was pleased, but not surprised. I raised a shaka sign, and smiled.
In April, our family of four went home to Maui for about ten days. I say home, because as soon as my feet touch the ground in Hawaii, and I breathe in, I’m home. In all our travels, there isn’t another place that has felt like that to me.
Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands, and the third most populated, following O’ahu and the Big Island. For us the Big Island is wild, and arid. O’ahu is busy, … >> find out more...
Dublin! Have you ever been there? I have. For a day. Seriously. We were in Ireland visiting friends, and we had one day as a family to explore. Cliffs or Dublin? We chose Dublin, because the hazy, rainy day would have blocked any beautiful views of the cliffs. I guess we’ll have to go back someday.
First bit of helpful information you will receive today…how to get there. Since we were already in England, we opted to rent a car and take the ferry over to Dublin. It was such a fun experience for my kids! We took the StenaLine which was fantastic. There was plenty to keep the kids entertained.
I found Dublin to be a quaint little city. It lacked that hustle and bustle which was just fine with me. My husband was happy because there were so many people that looked like him…red hair, freckles, and fair skin!
When you only have a day, you have to plan wisely. Of course, we didn’t do everything we wanted (another reason to go back), but I’d say we covered a fair bit to etch a memory. Here’s what we did and my take on the experience.
1. Visited Trinity … >> find out more...
Just the name conjures up mysterious treasure, mythical stories, and mountains of adventure. The Atlantis resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas offers up all of that intrigue.
My husband and I visited Atlantis in October of 2008. It was a sales incentive trip through his company. It was an amazing trip, but I desperately missed our young daughters, who were just four and two years old at the time. We kept thinking, during that trip, of how lovely it would be to return with our girls, once they were older.
In February of 2013, we were able to do that. We were grateful that it was another sales incentive trip, so we only had to purchase flights for our daughters.I’m not going to sugar coat it, Atlantis for families, is an expensive vacation. Yes, the resort runs deals, and special offers throughout the year, and I do recommend you take advantage of them. Since everything has to be brought to the island, there’s no way around the high prices, even when someone else is footing the lodging bill. However, there are things you can do to try to save your budget.
Since we had been to the … >> find out more...
The end of last year I was homeschooling my kids when an opportunity for our whole family to go to Kenya came up. It was a chance to find education outside of a textbook and to do something for others. It was right, so we went. This is the first time I’ve sat down to write and reflect on the trip and the impact it had on my kids. I don’t know if I will ever fully know how what they witnessed with their eyes, traveled to their hearts, but perhaps telling the story of the day I met one amazing sho sho will help…
First stop…the market. While waiting to buy food parcels, the kids and adults gathered to see the song and dance show that we were performing to entertain the kids gawking at this small army of white skinned weirdos who obviously weren’t from around these parts. We failed miserably at trying to be inconspicuous to avoid mzungu prices. However, if the color of our skin affected the price, I wouldn’t have noticed. Seventy dollars to buy food parcels for 24 elderly families was a steal, and I would have gladly paid more.
By the time we arrived at the … >> find out more...
Frankly, my dears, I am not made for winter. Maybe it’s the low blood pressure, but I am always cold. My nose, my toes, my fingers, and my rear, sweet cheeks, are always a bit chilly. This is why in the winter, even in Northern California, my heart sings arias for tropical climates. Hawaii is hands down, my favorite place to visit when I crave ocean breezes, fresh flavors that make my mouth water, and a laid back, relaxed attitude towards life.
Hawaii is a perfect place to visit, and fantastic with kids, if you’re looking for easy. There aren’t any passports, language barriers, or currency exchanges to worry about. I’ve found that if you go off-season, you can usually find fabulous flight deals from Hawaiian Airlines.
Oahu is great for families, and is a great pick for the first island to visit. It’s the third largest Hawaiian island, and is the most populated of all the eight islands. About two-thirds of Hawaiians live on Oahu. With so much to do, or not to do, you won’t get bored on Oahu. Oahu is also ideal for discovering the flavor of what Hawaii is like, and from there pick the other … >> find out more...
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. With picturesque Table Mountain and the beauty of the ocean, it’s not a place that will disappoint. There are many things to do in Cape Town, but if you’re going for a visit, then there’s a few things that MUST be on your list of things to do.
1. Go to the beach! But of course, this would be on the list. Along with beach life comes excitement…whale watching in September (the best) and shark diving (no, thank you, but it’s an option if you dare). Be aware that the Atlantic Ocean surf is cold! That’s why the sharks like them so much.
2. Go up to Signal Hill and watch the sunset over the city. This probably ranks as one of my top things to do in Cape Town. The views are stunning and watching the sunset over the water and the hustle and bustle of the city are nothing short of fabulous. This is a must! And it’s free!
3. Go up Table Mountain. You can pretty much see Table Mountain from anywhere in the city. A trip to the top allows you … >> find out more...
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
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