Wednesday, September 9, 2015

African Interview

So excited to be featured on Zoom Vactions blog as Photography contributor 
Take a look

make sure to check out a selection of my photography from the August tour on

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Portraits in NYC

I jokingly commented on my friend/colleague, soft good stylist, Steven's photography skills when he posted a picture of himself on line  for his 62 birthday. 
Well I was fortunate enough that he let me photograph him and we had such a fun afternoon taking images and  catching up!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Lunch with Chef Latiefa Larney

Such a highlight having a traditional Cape Malay meal prepared for us by the Amazing private chef  Latiefa
Cape Malay cuisine is such a flavorful  taste of the history of South Africa, using spices on the trade routes from India and the east with local  seasonal ingredients available in South Africa.
 She made me a complete vegetarian meal!!!! Unbelievably Delicious!!!

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens South Africa

Some of the rare and beautiful colors and textures from my visit... and remember this is winter.
 The Botanical Gardens are considered one of the most important horticultural spaces in the
world as it is home to an extremely rare collection of flora.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Grootbos Caves tour to a Spectacular Sunset

 I had been so interested in the "future tour" we had to race to see the ancient caves with artifacts dating back 8000 years. It was a hike but the timing could not have been more perfect. The sun blasted out from a cloudy day and gave me the most spectacular sunset at the ocean

Sustainability Grootbos

I was able to take part in the "future tour" of  Grootbos. It explained a program run by the hotel in environmental sustainability for the hotel and local township. I learned that a majority of the food and plant life in and around the hotel was grown at a local farm...all possible waste from the garden was composted...seed saving...farming  and there was a training program to teach the locals in these processes, with classes available in hospitality service all leading to jobs within the respectful industries  

After the farm we were privalaged to visit the township... where I learned of "Smilie" roasted..smoked goats head.... Thank you but Im a vegetarian 

Horseback Grootbos

Beautiful morning exploring the landscape of Grootbos on Horseback.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Forest Lodge at Grootbos

After arriving from the blue train we made out way along the coast 2hr east of Cape-town to Grootbos and the Forest Lodge. It was an unbelievably beautiful and serene location.
I was overcast most of the day there ...and I was constantly reminded by locals that it typical winter weather. I found it so calming and the colors to be so lush and peaceful.
The food was sensational and presented so beautifully.. many vegetarian options but I could not resist photographing the ostrich burger, spectacular presentation.
We were fortunate to be invited to a private  candle light dinner in the wine cellar.... I had some fun with our servers.

At the end of the day the sun would break for the most awe-inspiring sunsets

Landscapes of South Africa from Blue Train

Again with the extremes...... and South Africa/Africa is Huge! 
It so much bigger and diverse than I imagined

Monday, August 10, 2015

Blue Train Pretoria to Cape town

The Journey begins on the Blue train, a luxury excursion from Pretoria to Cape town. It's a  beautiful train and the amenities are sensational. The Staff is spectacular, anticipating your every need and making you comfortable the whole day and a half journey.
On board you are inundated with relaxing comforts, beautiful scenery, sparkling Wine, MCC tasting as well as wine tasting along with amazing food prepared by the on board Chef, who made me some SPECTACULAR vegetarian meals!!! My fav being the vegetable biryani 
It is a perfect way to easy some of the jet lag and get acclimated to the luxuries of South Africa

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Ketsi.... reunited after 30 years

In 1984 Our family had no idea what to expect when we  hosted an AFS foreign exchange student named MoeKetsi for a  year of High school in Urbandale Iowa. 
I never thought or realized the situation going on in South Africa at the time and how much bravery and courage  he had to come to our house at the age of 16/17yrs. 
I am so proud to call him my brother and have this chance to spend some time at his home with his beautiful Family. 
Even though it was womans day (Holiday) in South Africa, his wife made and delicious meal for me and we had so much fun catching up at the house. I so enjoy goofing around with his 2 sons nieces and neighbors
After a spectacular meal his family gave me a tour of Johannesburg and Soweto, where I was honored to meet his mother and other sister. We also stopped by Mandela's birth-home and his wife school across the street 
It was an unbelievably joyous day and I can not thank him and his family enough  for showering me with their love and hospitality.

Apartheid museum and visit to Soweto

My journey begins with a trip to the Apartheid museum and I don't quite know how to express the emotion of the museum and how it feels in person.....Its very moving but still feels so current and ongoing
After I met up with my exchange brother and he gave me a tour of Soweto, Mandela's birthplace along with his own.... down the street
 All I can think is I've not seen a place with such extreme differences....not good or bad.... just such extreme

WOW I'm in Africa

Friday, August 7, 2015

Dubai UAE

Dubai and the UAE is just Awe-inspiring and surreal! Spectacular display of ingenuity, creativity and wealth. I am so happy I had the chance to visit and stay at The worlds most Luxurious Hotel, The Burj Al Arab, which lived up to its title.
While I was there temperatures got well into the 100's as this is the desert and it is summer...duh
I enjoyed taking a dip in the Persian Gulf, visiting the old souks (markets), the marina and the Dubai mall
And it wouldn't be complete without a trip up to the 148th floor viewing deck of the Burj Khalifa