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.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Washington Adventure

So, I won't tell you how fantastic Durban was - you all know - we loved being there! I'm so grateful that we got to come home for Christmas and New Years. Thanks to everyone who made it so great. 

So on to our latest adventure... we got stuck in Washington for 9 hours on our way back to Detroit on Saturday. It was a combination of a slightly delayed flight and an extremely long line at border control - we missed the flight by about 15 minutes...

We decided to make most of the time by visiting the Washington sites. A very nice tannie at the airport told us which bus to take and where to go. We ended up at the National Mall - here's a map and the route we took and places we stopped off at to take some pictures. We didn't have time to go inside any of the buildings of museums but this trip definately piqued our curiosity enough to want to come back for a longer visit.

1. This was where the bus from the airport dropped us off - $3.10 for the bus ride - not bad for an unplanned trip to Washington...

 2. The first thing we saw was the United States Capitol. When I saw that I thought - how cool is this?? It's really an amazing feeling standing in front  of something you've seen on TV a million times before. Throughout the day I kept thinking "Wow - I can't believe I'm here". The construction of the Capitol on Capitol Hill began in 1793 and the cornerstone was laid by George Washington himself. The  Reflecting Pool in the front was completely frozen.

3. We took a stroll down Pennsylvania Ave and happened across the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building. No men in black suits to be seen - but I'm sure they were watching... We also came across the Newseum - which is a daily collection of Newpapers from around the world - as you can see the Obama buzz is still big here

4. Next stop - The White House. There are alot of trees and extensive grounds surrounding the building itself. Only one small opening in the trees allows a view of the building from the front. So here it is  - Barack's new home...

Just in front of that spot is The Ellipse - which is a big open field where we found alot of foriegners playing soccer! Prean said they were not very good

 5. The World War II Memorial has another frozen pool and 56 pillars representing the US states. 

6. Past another Reflecting Pool - this one 618 m long and 51 m wide, we finally reached the Lincoln Memorial. Its quite an enormous structure that takes the form of a Greek Doric Temple and has massive columns all around it.The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. 

The Bollywood picture...

7. Back past the Reflecting Pool - we walked over to the Washington Monument. This is the large, tall, sand-colored obelisk that is a United States Presidential Memorial constructed to commemorate the first U.S. president, George Washington. The monument, made of marblegranite, and sandstone, is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 169.294 m in height. 


8. The National Museum of American History - The Smithsonian ( from the movie National Treasure) - I really want to go back to visit that some day soon. By the way - all the museums around the National Mall are free...

 9. Finally, after covering about 8km we got a Chilli Dog and took a break in the National Gallery of Art, where we watched people ice skating on an open pool. The Natioanl Gallery of Art is basically a park with modern art pieces. 

So that was it - our Washington Adventure - we headed back to the bus stop - got our flight to Detroit and passed out for the 2 hour flight!

Posted by Picasa