Wednesday 14 August 2013

Its been a while

Its been so long since I posted here that I actually had to go back and look what the last post was about! And also to make sure I don't say what I already have.

This past month has been super busy!! It is STILL summer vacation-and I have and the girls for 10+ hours every single day-so by the time 7pm comes around, I'm so tired, my blog has been the last thing on my mind!  Well school goes back next week and I am going to have so much time, I'm not so sure I'm going to know what to do with myself!!

So what has happened in the last month...? Well work work and work-and a couple weekends in between in which some fun things have happened!

This past weekend I went up to Lake Tahoe with my small group for a little retreat.  It was a short trip-but really beautiful and refreshing! Tahoe is a huge fresh water lake on the boundary on CA and NV.  In the summer its awesome for boating, summer vacationing and BBQ'ing and in the winter it is amazing for skiing! So this weekend there were 10 of us, and we pretty much just ate, enjoyed each others company, ate some more, enjoyed some good fellowship, ate more, worshiped and ate even more! We did go on a tiny hike and had a bbq down by the water-but there's not too much to be said about the weekend besides that it was completely relaxing and a lot of fun!

 The water in Tahoe is really clear! Its so pretty just to look at and makes all the other colours around it look so much more vivid!! This lake is buzzing with people and boats and just has such a warm and friendly vibe to it! Definitely recommended!!! 

Action shot!!

On the way home, I was in a car with 3 other people-and the supposed to be 3 hour trip took us no shorted that 7!! We stopped over at soo many places-was a lot of fun!! One of the places was Fentons Creamery.  Fentons is like a typical 'diner' and has ice cream for Africa!! The sundaes, milkshakes and concoctions they make are awesome!!!  We stopped at farm stalls and took detours to find this amazing Filipino bread! (I cant remember the name) but the bakery was called Star Bakery. I tried tapioca tea or bubble tea for the first time as well!! click on the link and check it out!!

Was a super cool road trip home!!

Some other cool things iv been doing...

BBQ with friends, concerts in the park, shopping and planning a San Fran adventure with Kayleigh!! shes coming in 2 weeks!!!

We took the ferry across the bay to this little town called Sausalito.  Its tine, but really pretty as you can see San Francisco and the GG bridge.  We took the ferry over in the afternoon and had fish and chips for lunch. We then got what is supposed to be the greatest ice cream and we relaxed near a fountain in the sun.  Was such a chilled day, but was so much fun! We all felt so tired afterwards, even though we had done pretty much nothing!! Sausalito will definitely be visited a lot more during my year!!

GG Bridge from the ferry

 BBQ at Nicky's

Sorry about crazy photo positions, I tried!! :/

Friday 19 July 2013

**Birthday Festivities**

What a great weekend! :)

Birthdays for me are really unpredictable. Iv had some really good ones, as well as some upsetting ones-so I was not too sure how it was going to turn out this year.  I started organizing to do something with a group of friends until all the host families decided to take vacation the exact same weekend!!! All my plans were now non existent as all the girls were out of town :(
SO I was chatting to Lynn and she said we can do something as a family together, and we decided on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk!! 

SO back to the beginning-
I do have a new friend, Natalia, who shares a birthday with me:) So Saturday we ventured out into the city, and did another walking stint from around 10am to about 4pm. (Still loving this about the city!) We went to places we haven't seen yet, including some we had. Downtown, Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill, Lombard street and then we went down to the water and walked along all the piers.  The weather was AMAZING for a San Fran summer day, so we were taking full advantage!

That evening we decided to go out to celebrate that the next day was the 14th-both our birthdays!! We had a great time on Union Street! Union completely comes alive at night over the weekends, and its even better that you dont have to pay entrance to a lot of places! So you can hop from place to place instead of being stuck at one! (like many other places in the US ):  )

The next day I was woken bright an early by my sweet granny all the way in SA giving me a birthday call! Then the family made blueberry pancake and bacon for breakfast. We all enjoyed them and I opened my presents. They got me a gift, as well as ordering some South African food products for me!!!!

Lynn, the girls and I left for a fun day at the boardwalk! We went on rides, roller-coasters, played games, ate ice cream and had a blast! This place, in my opinion, is a typical American on-the-beach theme park that you would see in the movies!  We only got back to the house around 8pm where Brad had my favourite pizza waiting for us all! After pizza, they sang to me and we all had an AMAZING cake that Lynn baked for me-and by that time it was definitely time for bed!


The day before, my birthday package from Ross arrived, which made me SUPER happy, and a couple of days before that the one from my mom arrived as well, so I was feeling very loved!

It turned out to be a good year in my birthday opinion! BUT its not over yet ;) When all the girls are back from vacation-we will celebrate again!!

until then...

Wednesday 10 July 2013

4th July

Last time I was in the States, I did'int have the greatest 4th of July.I went with a group of girls into Boston and we ended up standing around in the heat for HOURS waiting for the fireworks, which ended so quickly and then we were stuck in the crowds for more hours trying to get home! But this year was way different, and soo much better :)

We were in Kiawah, and there was a party on the island at one of the beach clubs.  felt like a typical 'southern' party. There was a band and then different tents filled with all sorts of things ranging from food to kids games to smoothie bars and more!

The food was great! was a huge buffet of american burgers, hot dogs, corn bread and desserts of cookies, cupcakes etc.
There was a field filled with games for the kids and tents with popcorn, candy floss, face painting, kids cocktails and smoothies, crafts and party favours.

We had a great time walking around, playing games with the girls, eating and dancing to the band a bit and then the night ended with an amazing fireworks display.
I go to try photograph fireworks for the first time with my new camera, and some came out pretty well!

It was a great 4th July and Independence day. I couldn't have asked for anything better!

What a fun night!

Wednesday 3 July 2013


Kiawah Island is beautiful!
Its warm, humid and there is a lot of water! Its not an island as in all beach and tropical.  It is in the south so, like the south east American states, it is marshy, and full of canals, reeds and wetlands-it is really beautiful!

The closest city is Charleston. It is close enough that you don't feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, but far enough away that you truly feel like you are out in nature.  The Island does not have many commercial shops on it, just a simple grocery store etc, so it has been really great to get away from all the hustle and bustle of the city!

There are many beaches and they stretch on for miles and miles.  Its awesome as the water is warm enough to just walk in without feeling chilly (and if you know me, that is a huge bonus!) and he beaches are flat, which make for a great run!

Our days have been consumed of the beach, lounging at the beach club, the pool and boat rides on the river.
We were sitting outside the other morning, and there was a strange sound coming from the river, and someone jumps up and says-dolphins!  I was like, ya right, dolphins stay in the ocean! But right there before me, were 4 dolphins chilling in the river feeding.  Was super cool, we ran down to the dock, and they were within 2 meters of us!  So now every morning the girls go and wait to see if they will come back.  They do! Every morning, they go up the river, and come back down!

On Monday it was a little rainy, so we went into Charleston for the day. The city is full of civil war history which was awesome! We went on a tour to Fort Sumter. Its the little fort in the middle of the harbor where the first shot was fired that started the war.  It was really cool! We also went on bicycle drawn carriages around town and got to see some of the old houses around the city.  We ended the day with an awesome seafood meal on the water!

So apparently they celebrate the 4th July on the 3rd here in South Carolina.  So tonight we are off to a big celebration at one of the beach clubs.  There's going to be a buffet BBQ, fireworks and apparently a lot of entertainment-I'm excited!!! Iv got my red white and blue outfit ready!

Fort Sumter

Bike ride! FUN!!


 Kiawah Island

Monday 24 June 2013


I haven't posted anything in the past couple of weeks-honestly, because nothing overly exciting has happened :/ 
Iv been walking the streets, meeting new people, trying new cafes and surprisingly-my body's adjusted to the weather. OK, so maybe some things have been not, not so exciting-but I feel that I am totally ready for some real excitement! That being said-in 3 days we are off to the east coast to Kiawah Island in South Carolina!  Its kind of a golf estate come island vibe where the weather is super warm (bliss) the beaches are many and the lifestyle is relaxed! We will be going for 10 days and spending the 4th July there.  I was told to pack mainly sun dresses and bathing suits-this made me smile my biggest smile!! :) :) I am so ready to leave some of this fog behind for a bit and get my South African tan back!!!

Yesterday marked a HUGE day in the history of my life as I had waited at least 2 years for it to come! I purchased my very first, solely financed DSLR carmera, and added a super cool lens to it! Its my new gem and iv barely let it out my sight in 24 hours! So yesterday afternoon, I put on my walking shoes strapped my camera to my neck and took to the city streets snapping away!

 Fav pic so far-using my telephoto lens
 Having some fun with the girls and my camera

One thing that iv decided to do this year, is to search out all the San Franciscan Hearts.  The city has all these decorated hearts that they get artists to paint, and then are auctioned off and the proceeds go to charities.  They fun to look for because some are hidden in shop windows and restaurant porches, but the ones iv managed to find, have been really easy, and now that I have my camera I can go exploring for the rest! The five I have photos of are below.

I will definitely be posting from the East Coast!! Until then...


Monday 3 June 2013

Getting the hang of it!

Its been 7 weeks since I left home, and I can confidently say now that I'm getting the hang of things!  I pretty much know my way around the city using the car, as well as the public transport system (otherwise known as MUNI)  I'm meeting a lot of girls, going a lot of places and have found a really nice church that I have started going to:)

So, things I have been up to in the last 2 weeks...

Well last weekend was memorial day weekend, so I had Sat, Sun and Mon off.  Was so good to know I had nothing to do and could just wonder the city, sleep in, see friends, explore or simply do nothing!  I decided to a bit of all the above throughout the weekend, so I called Nicky (my friend from the Netherlands) and asked if she wanted to come stay over on Friday night.  We  met downtown and went to a piano bar that evening called John Folly's.  It was a lot different to what I expected, but was super fun! There are 2 piano players and they play any song you request them to.  SO we had some rap songs, such as Thrift shop being played all the way through to the good old favourites such as Journey's Don't stop believing! People dance to the piano's and it becomes kind of like a was different, but we had a lot of fun.
Sat morning, we went down to Le Boulange for breakfast.  Its a French cafe a block from my house.  They serve coffee in a bowl, and have THE best pastries!  We then decided it was a day to relax, so walked over to the Golden Gaet Park and spent the rest of the day there walking around, soaking up the sun and chatting.  

I visited Cornerstone Church on Sunday which is where iv been going and joined a small group on Monday nights.  This is HUGE for me that I'v finally found some Christian fellowship!  It kind of feels like I have a weight lifted off my shoulders, and every week I can not wait for Sunday to go hear what message there is.  The series they doing at the moment is called Moving Forward. I feel like its so relevant to where I am at the moment. Its all about moving forward with God and how amazing life can be with Him in the center.  Its been so encouraging and uplifting to hear every week a message confirming what has been on my heart, and that is that life is so so much sweeter with Him in it. Whether you're in your small home town surrounded with friends and family, or in a big city all by yourself far from home.  I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.Phil 4:13 <3

Monday I visited the Academy of Sciences. Its this awesome museum here in the city.  There's a planetarium, a rain forest (literally!) a huge aquarium and a whole lot more to see. I love visiting places like this, so it was a great day

Oh and I PASSED MY CA DRIVERS LISENCE!! WHHOOOOOPP!!  So now I have an American ID, and am 100% legal to drive anywhere in the USA! BRING ON ROAD TRIPS!!

This weekend has been a lot more chilled.  I met up with 4 other girls yesterday and we had brunch in the city and then walked around.  I calculated-we ended up walking about 10km in total-just wondering the SF streets.  I love the fact that you can do that here!!
So we walked past Lombard street (steepest street in the world) and down to Fisherman's Warf.  We did'int do too much, but the day was so quickly over it was frightening!  It just ended up being a day filled with friends, laughter and new memories.

Today I was on my way home from downtown.  I beeped my card through the subway and went down to wait for the right train. As I was waiting I had some papers and that to throw away so I did so.  I then got onto the train and as we started moving a police officer came up to me and asked to see my ticket.  I could not find it anywhere (and realized I most probably threw it away with my other trash). As I was looking she asked to see my ID and then started asking me all these questions as it was my SA drivers.  The train was coming to a stop and she said that I have to get off with her and she has to give me a citation. (WHAT IS THAT?????) so in front of a jam packed subway, I am highly embarrassed not knowing what is going on and being pulled off the train by a cop!!  We get onto the platform and she starts questioning me again and then whips out this book.....she was writing me a ticket, and said that it is highly serious that I dont have my ticket with me and she is fining me $103!!  (R1041.00 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) I was SOOO upset. I had shopping bags with me and started unpacking them praying that my card was in there. LUCKILY I found it! phewww! She gave me this stern lecture and told me to wait for the next train and then she walked off and that was that?

If you're in SF-ALWAYS remember to keep your train ticket with you!!

So its been an interesting week, but things have been good and have been getting better :)


Golden Gate Park

Japanese Tea Garden

 Stow Lake

White Alligator-Academy of Sciences

 Rain Forest

Brunch with the Ladies

Lombard Street