• Fashion Forward!

    Cape Town, South Africa…the beautiful surroundings of this city has spawned a recent surge in up and coming and hip designers The hillside is full of magazine worthy contemporary homes that overlook the amazing beaches of Camp’s Bay and Clifton and now the city has an cool emerging design scene focusing on clothing and interiors with an ode to that amazing African color sensibility.

    African style seems to always include an evocative use of color mixes. Art galleries, street art, and the new interior design hub of Bree Street showcase these ideas. Quirky interior design shop, Sarah Ord, seems to be getting acclaim for her melding of this aesthetic into a her own contemporary language for home decoration.

    Long Street has a concentration of cool womenswear shops. A plethora of Vintage clothing that’s been reworked, great artisan jewelry, and contemporary young clothing designers. The focus is on the unknown brands and more artistic young talent as opposed to the international mega labels!

    Adjacent to Long Street is also Greenmarket Square, which is a bustling open air market filled with African crafts using unlikely materials and colors. You can find some clever takes on classic crafts here.

    I have also discovered the pop up shop concept here, a way to showcase an edgy new idea. SECRET is a gold clad emporium I stumbled upon that was totally chic with a mix of hand selected items.

    Finally there is Montebello Design Center specializing in locally inspired and made products. There are loads of creative types in little nooks and crannies making one of a kind gems!

    Creativity is so refreshing and I love being exposed to different points of views and aesthetics! I am inspired even by things that I personally wouldn’t wear or typically gravitate to!




  • A Dutch Treat!

    Cape Town, South Africa…today was my last full day in this place that I have been totally taken by. I travelled a short distance out of Cape Town to the historical settlement of Stellenbosch. Set in the famous South African wine region by the same name, this valley is revered for its wine making and the beauty of this small Dutch town that dates back centuries.

    The second oldest European settlement in the province after Cape Town. Stellenbosch was founded in 1679 during the period of control by the Dutch East India Company. Hence the Dutch architecture that makes up the beauty of the town which is full of homes and cottages that are all finished with a striking white-lime wash with black hatch roofing. The area is set in the Jonkershoek Valley and is full of rolling vineyards and the town itself became known as the City of Oaks, due to the large number of grand Oak Trees that line the streets. These oaks were originally planted to provide the wood for the wine barrels so they would not need to be imported…but these Oaks grew too porous to be used and now are beloved and protected parts of Stellenbosch!

    Dorp Street is lined with beautiful cottages and a myriad of little shops and cafes. You can definitely spend an afternoon here strolling the shops and galleries and some of the regions most acclaimed restaurants are situated on vineyards in the nearby valley!

    It is a testament to the entire area of the Western Cape that so much beauty is housed in a relatively close distance…a week here and I have discovered gem after gem. Each day I am in awe of another site that captivates the senses! Stellenbosch was just icing on the delicious cake of my time here! I understand why this region is a favorite of locals for weddings…I can totally picture nuptials in one of the many grand vineyards that line the road to Stellenbosch!

    Cape Town may be a long way away from home, but definitely a place everyone should put on their list!

  • Something’s Fishy!

    Cape Town, South Africa…I have been really enjoying South Africa…food is of course a highlight of any trip…the chance to eat things you have never had before and experience brand new flavors! Being situated on the water, Cape Town is a haven for seafood! But, I have been perplexed by fish I have never heard of and makes ordering very difficult…

    Besides the typical Salmon, Tuna, and Yellowtail, there are a myriad of different species that are not popular in the USA or anywhere else I have travelled for that matter. So I did some research and compiled a list of some of these local delicacies…I have tried most and have really enjoyed the seafood of Cape Town!

    Here is an overview:

    Hake: They are a mild fish, having a more subtle flavour than cod. Hake is considered one of the best fish in the whiting family because of its firm, sweet, white meat and medium flake. Commonly used for delicious local fish & chips.

    Kob or Dusky Kob: a much sought after fish, due to its firm, white flesh & mild flavor ensuring an outstanding culinary experience…usually prepared simply and delicious.

    Kingklip: this fish has mild, sweet flavor with firm and dense flesh resembling monkfish, but softer and with large loose flakes. I have experienced a popular cajun preparation of this that was outstanding! The denseness holds up and is a delicious fish.

    Soldierfish: This red fish with meat is kind of mushy, so you have to cook it longer so that it dries out a little. It can be fishy tasting but it is very popular in Japan as well as here in South Africa.

    Snoek: This is the fish most associated with South Africa. It is sold fresh, smoked, canned and frozen. It is oily, extremely bony (although the bones are large and easily removed from the cooked fish) and has very fine scales which are almost undetectable, making it unnecessary to scale the fish while cleaning. Snoek has a very distinctive taste. It is prepared very much like tuna from sandwiches to Snoek cakes.

    Bluenose: also known as antarctic butterfish: Bluenose have firm textured flesh, which is moist and succulent. The pink/white flesh whitens on cooking. Bluenose are regarded as premium fillets, which suit most cooking methods.

    I love learning about anything new and I love to eat! I make every trip into a culinary experience from street food to fine restaurants, this way you really can get a feel of a place!



  • Flower Power!

    Cape Town, South Africa…besides the stunning mountain scape and magnificent ocean side, Cape Town showcases a beautiful array of botanical treats.

    Exotic flowers can be seen at the Company Gardens right in the city and also at the awesome Kirstenbosch Gardens. The Protea is the national flower and the Grand Protea is prominently displayed at Kirstenbosch! Horticulturists would be in heaven in this town over the flowers on display at the gardens or at the wild fauna that blankets Table Mountain.

    Nature can really stun you with it’s intricate beauty! Seeing it all come together in Cape Town is a treat for any visitor!







  • A Day on the Sand!

    Cape Town, South Africa…summer weather descended on Cape Town today with sun glaring down and temps rising above 80 degrees making for a perfect Saturday! Captonians do one thing when the weather gets nice; they go to the beach…

    There is no shortage of stunning sand beaches here! No need to travel far as the beautiful people flock to the sand on the other side of Table Mountain within the confines of Cape Town…no need for a big trek to find this city’s glorious beaches!

    The fashion crowd goes to Clifton beach…there are 4 beaches here nestled between the rocks. I choose beach 3, as it known as the must-visit beach and the unofficial gay beach! Small yet beautiful, the beach is set in a small alcove, a long winding set of steps below the main road. The waves are amazing to watch but even more relaxing to hear as they crash ashore! I set up my spot and rent a umbrella, soon enough I am snoring away under the South African sun…Suddenly I am awakened by the screaming of other beach goers as I am simultaneously swept away in a massive frigid wave that takes over most of the sand. I am drenched, but luckily my iPhone was saved, I retreat to the rocky edge to be safe from the aggressive sea! Locals laugh at my and other’s beach goers unfortunate circumstances and I have to feign stupidity with my water logged towel, bag, and clothes…a cute dog runs over to comfort my embarrassment! He becomes my new beach buddy! Swimming really isn’t part of beach life as the water gets colder as the seasons switch to warmer.

    After enough sun, I stroll to Camps Bay, the bustling wide sand beach with an array of “be seen” celebrity haunts that line the beach…I settle in to a cafe for a late lunch and watch beautiful Capetonians stroll by and local Afrikaans entertain along the busy thoroughfare! I realize this city is a blend of San Francisco but with better weather, the urban beach culture of Sydney, and the body beauty vibe of Los Angeles!

    But comparisons aside, Cape Town is a true original! Sitting on the beach of Camp’s Bay with Table Mountain’s “Twelve Apostles” named grand buttresses behind me…I really can’t think of another place like this!

    This is just a preview of what the coming summer months must be like here! I can understand why weekends start at noon on Fridays year round! I too would have a problem focusing on work on Fridays knowing the beauty of this city is calling!





  • A View for Days!

    Cape Town, South Africa…I have travelled the world and I have never been amazed by a city like this one! It’s blend of stunning natural beauty and cosmopolitan urban cool that is so inviting…the beach, the vistas, and the waterfront set a perfect backdrop for an array of delicious restaurants, a happening night scene, and beautiful fun loving people.

    I treated myself to more of Cape Town’s natural beauty today with a day long trip down the peninsula to Cape Point and back! Stunning cliffs, impressive flora, and mesmerizing sea views could be seen all along the way…

    Starting out in the fishing village of Hout Bay then down to the Cape of Good Hope until finally reaching Cape Point! The point is a lighthouse topped place where two different seas meet…one cold and one warm. This spot at the tip of the peninsula overwhelms you with it’s beauty as well as it’s display of mother nature at her fiercest! The churning seas crashing ashore and the strong gale force winds that almost knock you over give you a sense of the Hell the seas can hold yet the jaw dropping views beyond the horizon seem to give you a glimpse of Heaven!

    What I witnessed today was not made by human engineered nor dreamed up by modern technology…it is one of nature’s great displays of grandeur!

    Sometimes words cannot capture the awesome experience that feeling it with all your senses can!











  • Wild Kingdom!

    Cape Town, South Africa…I set out today to further explore on a day trip to Cape Point outside of Cape Town. Along the way, the day unexpectedly turned into a zoo of sorts!

    I encountered some of the famous and adorable wildlife of South Africa! I started the day with a boat ride from Hout Bay to Duiker Island, better known as Seal Island…This island showcases a large colony of Cape Fur Seals! They are so cute to watch as they play and knock each other off the rocks into the sea and then warm themselves under the African sun.

    A further drive out of town and I stopped at an Ostrich Farm…they look harmless but supposedly they can be dangerous! But they frolicked and posed for my camera. Later, I even spotted a wild Ostrich feeding along a beautiful stretch of coastline…

    On the way to Cape Point, the van was besieged by aggressive Baboons looking for food! They crawled on cars and stubbornly stopped traffic by blocking the road. It’s hard to believe these clever yet funny looking creatures can really cause so much havoc!

    I was startled at the Cape of Good Hope by a creature that was so effectively camouflaged to the rocks that he snuck up on me, almost causing me to tumble off into the sea in total shock! I still don’t know what this opossum looking animal is…

    Finally, a stop at Boulders Beach to see the African Penguins! They are a unique breed of Penguins because they make a donkey like sound that has earned them the nickname “jackass penguins”. They mate for life and are monogamous, and they can usually be seen in pairs!

    Nature is an incredible thing…both the beautiful vistas and unique species of all kinds that make up this wonderful world!












  • Dark Moments in History!

    Cape Town, South Africa…I have been enthralled by the natural beauty around this city, but no one can visit South Africa without paying respect to it’s tumultuous history.

    Remnants of Apartheid and the country’s history with racism are all around. It is not something Capetonians want to forget, there are museums, monuments, and memorials to this part of their history throughout the city. I was chilled by some of these sights, especially knowing some of these racist policies were going on in my lifetime!

    District Six, the neighborhood forcibly depopulated by the Apartheid government has remained a barren grass filled memorial. The Iziko Slave Lodge Museum is the oldest surviving slave building that was originally built by the Dutch East India Company in 1679. And the building that once housed the Race Classification Board and it’s poignant race designated benches are still part of downtown Cape Town.

    Growing up in the United States, we are guilty of being very insulated to some important events in world history. We all know who Nelson Mandela is, but many of us fail to understand what he went through and what went on here during Apartheid! Visiting his prison cell on Robben Island is sobering. I am deeply moved by the struggles of South Africa and I am proud my travels have opened my eyes to pay witness to this history!





  • Grape Nuts!

    Cape Town, South Africa…I took off today to the famous vineyards of South Africa. This region is known for it’s many fine wines, so I thought, if anything, it would be a beautiful outing into the countryside!

    I am not a wine connoisseur, well honestly I don’t drink it at all…but it’s an experience! So let’s try it!

    It’s an absolutely stunning area filled with grand estates set amidst rolling fields that slope up the mountainside. The blue skies make a perfect backdrop for this verdant area of wineries! It is early Spring, so the grapes are just beginning their season’s growth hence the barren branches.

    We arrive at the vineyard estate of Groot Constantia…this historical wine farm was founded in the late 1600’s! Originally, the grapes were brought over from Dutch vineyards and over the centuries this has become a world class wine region.

    Part of the stop is a wine tasting of their award winning vintages…oh boy, 7-8 glasses of wine and a few crackers to balance it! I am gonna need a burger to counteract all this alcohol!

    I sample all the different flavors and I am educated by my pourer on the subtle flavors and harmonies…I taste Groot Constantia’s famous Sauvignon Blanc amongst many others!

    I am totally drunk and in my stupor I am totally enamored by the underwater diving duck…now I am seeing things? Do ducks really submerge themselves head first? Hmmm…I took a pick just to make sure I wasn’t imagining…

    We arrive at another winery, Eagles Nest, and I decide I better sit this one out! For now I’ll just take in the stunning scenery and work off this drunken feeling…20120912-152149.jpg20120912-152246.jpg20120912-152342.jpg20120912-152424.jpg20120912-152446.jpg20120912-152601.jpg



  • I’m on Top of the World!

    Cape Town, South Africa…I wanted to take advantage of this perfect weather! It’s 65 degrees, clear, and sunny…the epitome of a textbook Spring day. Since I am now in the southern hemisphere, seasons are reversed…so back home it is exiting summer, down here it’s slowly heading into summer!

    Table Mountain is the symbol of Cape Town…Nelson Mandela proclaimed this was South Africa’s natural gift to the world! This majestic mountain that is flat on top (hence the name table mountain) is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever been…it’s even older than the Himalayas! This mountainside rises above the city and can be seen virtually from everywhere…

    Taking the circular cable car up the steep mountainside is not for the faint of heart! It’s circular shape allows it to go up or comes down while the inside rotates like a “lazy Susan” to offer everyone a 360 degree view. As if going up in this thing isn’t enough, they have to spin you around too?

    Well the top is a photographic dream! Views over all of Cape Town and coast…amazing terrain and foliage cover the top. A walk around this summit is quite easy. I am still pinching myself from the magnificence of the panorama… You feel like you are on top of the world!

    Wow, what a feeling!