Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines Weekend

Hope everyone had a fantastic Valentines?
Its still early on Sunday morning but we had a great Saturday. We started off heading to Millenium Park to walk around and ended up... Shopping! There are loads of Presidents Day Sales. 70% off Benneton - how could we resist!
But we dis manage to get to the park and we even left our mark!

No matter how small...

It's another beautiful day in Chicago - I'll let you know how it goes!

PS. Check out Google Buzz - it's pretty cool

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wow - it's been a while...

Laziness... that's all I can say.

So I'm back into the swing of things here - it literally took a month to get over the wonderful holiday in SA. I was seriously depressed.
I also lost my camera so all the fantastic summer pictures are gone :( and I can only show pics from the blackberry. Oh well...

Prean and I went to the Aquarium, the Planetarium and the field museum since we've been back. The Aquarium's no uShaka but the other 2 were great. The field museum had an exhibit on East Africa - starting from life in eastern Africa and then showing how the western world forced Africans to be slaves. It's estimated 10-20 million Africans were taken to American and some to Europe. One contributor noted that Africa never developed well because of that period.

Here's a pic taken outside the Planetarium - the Chicago skyline looks much better in Summer (NB. to anyone wanting to visit in winter...) Whats also interesting is the lake - yes, underneath all that ice is actually a small piece of Lake Michigan!

I have to tell you walking out there near the lake with the wind blowing was painful...literally. It was so cold my face hurt!

Anyway, we made up for it by having a hot chocolate at Ghirardellis afterwards :-) Now this is a must visit place when you visit Chicago!

Till next time!

Missing you all as always!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


No tea party here…but we certainly had an enjoyable couple of hours in Boston (it rained all of Sunday…)

Boston is remarkably different from other US cities that we’ve been to so far. It has a very old world feel to it – very European – and this comes across immediately in the city’s architecture.


The many wharfs and marinas also give the city it’s charm and relaxed atmosphere.


I confess I did not even have time to do proper research for this trip so I don’t really have much of a history lesson here – just my thoughts on the place. So far I think it would be great to live an hour away from this city :-)



Famous bridge in Boston. Looks very modern compared to everything around it – still quite beautiful.


So apart from walking around in Downtown Boston and trying the New England Clam Chowder, on Sunday morning – we went on a Duck Tour of Boston. Even in the rain it was a whole lot of fun – the Duck is basically a type of military vehicle that was used in the 40’s – its amphibious – so they drive you around the city telling you about all the important spots and then about half way through – they drive straight into the Charles River! Apparently on a good (i.e. not rainy) day the view of the city from the river is spectacular – will have to take that trip again one day if we land up there. The pics below are from the duck.


One of the many beautiful churches in Boston, next to the New Hancock Center, which was designed to reflect all the beautiful buildings around it.


In the river!


Salt and Pepper Shakers on the Bridge between Boston and Charleston



Beautiful buildings – in the center of town – so you don’t want to know the property prices…

That’s it from Boston!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Portsmouth, New Hampshire


Downtown Portsmouth - Market Square

Downtown Portsmouth – Market Square

So if you look at Portsmouth, NH on the map – you’ll notice that it’s a really really small town – here’s a bird’s eye view.

Map picture

Portsmouth & Boston Trip

So why – I’m sure you’re wondering – am I blogging about this little dinky town? Well we’re actually thinking of moving there! So our bosses want us to go there – and we’re considering it. It’s an hour from Boston, which is nice and on the Pacific coast – so access to nice beaches and apparently there a good skiing/hiking mountains an hour away too. So overall for a little town – it seems like a pretty good location.

Here are some more pics – you can find the full album here --> Portsmouth & Boston Album.


All the streets look like this. There are quite a few unique stores around the town – The people there don’t particularly like big chain stores – they like family run shops that have been there for years. The buildings themselves are beautiful and although most have been renovated or restored – the original brick look and feel has been maintained and enforced by the town development council.


Portsmouth is on the mouth of the Piscataqua River, a short, wide river that divides New Hampshire and Maine. So that’s Maine in the picture. There are also loads of little water bodies scattered around the area – making for extremely beautiful settings for parks and some apartment complexes. The trick however is that beautiful little ponds bring with them pesky mosquitoes… Can’t have it all I guess!

IMGP0781 This is a place called the Friendly Toast – where we had breakfast on Saturday morning. As you can see the decor is really funky and …different… Food was great though!






I think this is the oldest church  - I can’t be sure though – but it is at the center of town. The white steeple is instantly recognizable from all over the town as it is the tallest structure. They have decided that no other building in Portsmouth will ever be taller than this church!






Little shops – I loved strolling around here – although – it doesn’t really take all that long to do!


One of those beautiful, pesky ponds….

New Hampshire also seems a lot greener and full of natural vegetation and trees than Michigan. It’s a very beautiful area.


I took this picture from the car as we left Portsmouth to spend the rest of the weekend in Boston. That’s for the next blog…

Friday, May 01, 2009

Spring in Michigan

spring blog

View Spring MI album

I have to admit – its getting quite lovely here these days… It’s hard to believe especially after the long cold winter that we experienced – people here told us that its been the worst winter they’ve had in years! I know – great time for us to decide to experience the snow.

Anyway, its finally Spring – later than usual but its here and as beautiful as you can imagine. I never really paid attention to Spring or Autumn in SA – probably because its just not that evident in SA like it is here. We just woke up one morning and heard birds chirping away. Then before we knew it a few trees turned colour completely – like the yellow one in the picture. I never even took a second glance at it before.

Last Friday was probably the first really good Spring day – it was 26deg! Unbelievable! And we went to a place called Royal Oak (a place like Melville) and it was so completely full of people we could hardly believe it. Its like everyone came out of hibernation. So if that day was anything to go by I’m sure Summer is definitely going to be a huge party over here.

So tonight we’re off to a pub crawl… our way of celebrating Worker’s Day. I really miss April in SA with all the public holidays. Our first official public holiday is this month – Memorial Day on the 25th – a day after Prean’s birthday – we’ve decided to spend it in Miami!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
We've discovered jelly beans - and I know what you're thinking - "so what?" But let me tell you you've never really discovered jelly beans until you had a jalopeno flavoured one!

So maybe I never really paid much attention to jelly beans in SA but Massi bought some for the office a few weeks ago and we nearly finished the whole container (the yucky purple, black & white ones were left)
Anyways, so those were ok, but we decided to go get a refill from a sweet shop yesterday and we discovered the Jelly Belly Jelly Beans! There are soooo many flavours - not just the standard red, blue, black etc. They have flavour selection... like Smoothie Blend and Soda Pop Shoppe. Who would have thunk it???
Check out the Jelly Belly Website
My favourites so far are toasted marshmellow (for obvious reasons), peach & cotton candy. 
The jalapeno was really ...surprising... lol

Then they have "recipes" on the bag - if you eat 2 buttered popcorn & 1 blueberry you get a blueberry muffin taste - so COOL!!

So hope you're have a jelly belly day!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

New York City

So it's true what they say about New York - "it's a city that never sleeps". We experienced that first hand when we arrived on Manhattan Island at around midnight on a Thursday night. The picture above is of Time Square at that time - absolutely no signs of sleep anywhere...

So as usual our flight from Detroit was a bit delayed - we were meant to get in at around 9pm - we were totally exhausted but the thrill of being in New York City was overwhelming! We checked in at our hotel and immediately walked down to Time Square. As we walked closer it seemed like we were walking into daylight - it just got brighter and brighter until we found ourselves in the midst of crazy Time Square (which by the way, is not really a square) The electronic billboards are huge, high definition adverts and it makes me wonder what advertising space costs around here... It's one of those places you just have to go see

We started out our really hectic 3 day trip early on Friday morning by taking the subway to the southern tip of the island, where we hopped on the Liberty Island ferry. Lady Liberty is truely majestic. I never really thought of the statue as beautiful when I saw it in pictures but she really is an amazing work of art. Made from pure copper, the statue hangs on a steel framework and is 93m tall (including the pedastal). 
The view of Manhattan island from here is also quite a good one. 
We also managed to visit Ellis Island before heading back to Manhattan, where we wondered around the financial district. Did you know Wall Street is named Wall Street because there actually was a wall there way back when...
The famous Brooklyn Bridge was our next stop - we walked across to get to Brooklyn. 

One of the most memorable moments was the view of Manhattan from the top of the Rockafellar Center. I guess we'll do the Empire State on our next trip but we had a great view from here. We decided to go just before sunset so we saw a bit of day and night

Notice the really bright section on the bottom right of the night picture? Thats Times Square...
Central Park was also a fascinating place - its massive and the people seemed to be enjoying the good weather. 

We spent the rest of the weekend wondering around ...everywhere, Little Italy, China Town (looks like Hong Kong) Soho, The Village, Harlem - yep - we did alot of walking - we were exhausted by the time we got on the plane to go home. The amazing part about all the different parts of the City was that they're just that - so extremely different. 5th Ave is crazy with loads of people and a constant yellow sea of cabs, but Harlem is quiet and calm. 
It's really a fantastic place - I'm definately going back! 
Check out picasa for all the pics.