Monday, August 31, 2009

Feeling Centered

I finally feel like I'm back to normal after 3 days in bed and 2 days not moving far from the couch, plus another 2 days forcing myself to go to work even when I felt like I still wanted to snuggle up on the couch and watch "Amazing Animal Moments" dvd. But by Saturday I had a heavy case of cabin fever and couldn't wait to go outside and do something. Plus, once again, Cape Town treated us to another gorgeous weekend, and there was just no way I was going to spend it feeling sick.

Saturday we went into town to go to the farmer's market. There wasn't anything we needed, but it was a new one that we'd never gone to before and just wanted to check it out. We bought some delicious chicken, almond and apricot sausages that we had that evening for dinner. After our market tour we decided to head up the coast a bit and check out the West Coast National Park. It was absolutely stunning up there and we even visited with some Ostriches (I feel like it should be Ostri).

~so I like flowers...~

~mussel colony~

We have a great guest photographer this week at Salt Heart, these last photos are just a few of what Eliot captured of our beautiful day.

Sunday we got up early and went for breakfast at a place just up the road from where we live. It's right on the beach and it's called The Orca Cafe, which was perfect because we watched the whales jumping right off the coast while we had breakfast. No on else in the restaurant seemed to notice, so when our slightly awkward waitress came over I told her "There's whales jumping out there!" to which she replied "yes" almost like "duh, they're on our payroll." After breakfast we both got in the water to do some surfing (I knew the salt water would help clear out the rest of my sinuses). And in the afternoon we went down to the waterfront to watch the F1 Grand Prix. Eliot is a huge Formula 1 fan, and I have to say, after being to 2 races up in Shanghai I really enjoy watching it too. But I realized this weekend that my absolute favorite part about watching it is at the very end when the winners get to go up on the podium. They get so excited to be up there (especially if it doesn't happen for them very often), and I just love seeing someone accomplish something they've worked so hard for. It's just my favorite part, thought I'd share it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This past weekend was not so exciting. Saturday started off as a normal day. Eliot got up early to go for a kiteboarding lesson, and I was pretty excited to get some things accomplished for myself. I did manage to go to the farmer's market and pick up a couple of things, but by the time I got home I was already feeling horrible. Achy, chilly, feverish and all I wanted to do was climb under a blanket and take a nap.

Sunday, I wasn't feeling great, but I thought I was on the mend, and had only caught some little bug that was going around. I even got out of bed long enough to go and watch the F1 Grand Prix with Eliot at a pub just down the road from us. But about half way through it, I was ready to go back to bed.

Monday I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a bus. Everything hurt, I just wanted to go to sleep but because I was so achy our bed didn't even feel comfortable. My head was throbbing, and to make things worse I could feel and ear infection coming on. The last time I remember feeling this bad was when I got my wisdom teeth out in June 2008. So Eliot got off work a bit early to take me to the doctor and to see if she could release this awful thing that was possessing my body. She gave me some antibiotics, along with some pro-biotics and vitamin C and told me to rest for a couple of days.

Today (Tuesday) I don't feel 100%, but I'm definitely getting better and hopefully I'll make it back to work tomorrow. Eliot has really taken care of me and been awesome through all my moaning, complaining and generally just acting like a princess. I'm so lucky to have such a great guy who looks after me so well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

In the Kitchen

So as I mentioned, we've been really enjoying having a good kitchen and have been doing quite a lot of cooking. We also get quite a variety of fruits and veggies in our CSA bag every week, which makes finding recipes and experimenting with new veggies really enjoyable.

This week, amongst many other things, we received kohlrabi.

I'd never even heard of this before, but a quick google search of the root vegetable and I also discovered a new favorite food blogger, Morta Di Fame, who gave me a great recipe for this veggie. Pasta Con Cavalo (kohlrabi): A very delicious and light garlic tomato sauce served over fettuccine and, of course, the cooked kohlrabi. The recipe is really simple and I was delightfully surprised with how much I liked the kohlrabi.

~Simmering Sauce~

~Kohlrabi cooking with the pasta~

~Pasta Con Cavalo~

Weekend Happenings

~View from our braii porch as the sun sets in Cape Town~

So I've started working now, and the weekends have become very precious to me. It seemed like in China we never really had weekends, just one day a week Eliot and I got to hang out together, and the rest of the time he was working and/or I was going to classes. So on the downside I've started working (nothing too exciting so I won't bore you with the details), but on the plus side, we actually have real weekends that we try and cram pack full of stuff we really love doing (weather permitting). Friday night we had a "proper braii" at out place with some good friends. Now that we have a kitchen and can buy the ingredients we like, we really enjoy having people over for dinner, or just drinks.

Notice the name of the wine? Delicious South African wine named after my hometown :)

On Saturday we mostly just laid low and chilled. It wasn't an absolutely spectacular, sunny Cape Town day, although Eliot did manage to get some good body surfing in.

Sunday though we managed to get out on the water and go sailing! We took out a 46' sail cat with the guys that Eliot works with and they're significant others. It was a beautiful day, and the weather was perfect for being out there. Although I didn't take too many photos. I guess I was too busy sipping wine and enjoying myself to be bothered. After we got off the water we ended the day by body surfing at the beach in front of our place until the sun went down. It's safe to say, I'm really loving being here, and I feel like there's always so much to do, and 2 day weekends are not enough.

View of Table Mountain and the Lion's Head from Table Bay

Eliot at the helm

Mike and Anthea

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Baboon Avoidance

Sheesh! Where do we live that I have to title my blog something like "Baboon Avoidance?"

I almost hate to report on another nice weather weekend here in Cape Town. It's definitely not like any winter I've experienced before. On Saturday Eliot and I spent a good part of the day in the water body boarding. We've both gotten ourselves kitted out with wetsuits and boards, so it was nice to go for a splash. Eliot goes out pretty far to catch the bigger waves, but I was having a hard time and feeling like I was going to drown trying to get past the wave break. I kept getting pounded wave after wave so eventually I decided to go a bit shallower (where my feet could at least touch) and catch those waves. There were tons of people out enjoying the water and the sunshine. It's kind of funny going to a beach and seeing everyone wearing wetsuits instead of swimsuits. Didn't get any photos of our beach adventures. Cape Town kind of has a reputation of petty theft, so my camera would have surely been taken if I'd left it on the beach.

On Sunday we really wanted to go and hike Table Mountain, the icon of Cape Town. But when we got up in the morning we couldn't see the top of the mountain because it was covered in clouds. We've both been warned about how the weather up there can change quite drastically and may have nothing to do with what's going on down at sea level. So people always say that if you can't see the top of the mountain, it's best not to hike it.

Instead we went down to Cape Point National Park and did a great hike around there. We parked the car and hiked down a mountain that led us to the beach. It was so beautiful and we didn't see another person the whole 2 hour hike. But we did run into a family of baboons. The trail went along the beach, and then curved up and went back up the mountain. But there was a part of the trail that the trees and brush had grown over creating a sort of canopy, but a very LOW canopy that you have to duck under. The family of baboons were hanging (literally) around this area of the trail and up in the trees. We aren't really scared of the baboons, but we've heard horror stories from people about how they can be very vicious if they think you have food. We didn't want to disturb them, or give them any reason to feel territorial, so we decided to hike over the large rocks down by the beach. We eventually found our way back to the trail and continued on our hike up the mountain.

A great weekend and to top it off, Monday was a holiday so we had an extra day to just chill. I wish every weekend was a 3 day weekend.

Baboons on the road when we entered the park. This is the only place in South Africa where these creatures are protected.

Foliage along our hike.

Near the Beach.

Our friendly tour guides.

Where we're headed to.

Eliot pausing to take in the view.

And then he dared me to stand on this rock, hanging out over the cliff. Do you think he's trying to get rid of me?

Down to the Cape Point Lighthouse.

The end of the world.

It actually wasn't that warm up here. It was pretty windy and I got chilled, but for some reason that never seems to phase him.

Cape Point

The Cape of Good Hope- Barely to the North West of of Cape Point.

Okay time to go! I'm freezing!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Love it All

We had another great weekend in South Africa, and lucked out with the weather once again. (Although as I'm writing this now it's pouring down rain with lots of wind outside.) Friday night we had over 2 very dear friends, Mike who went to school with Eliot in Maine and who also lived with us for 6 months in China, and also Scott, a Chinese guy that the guys worked with out in China and who is in South Africa for another month, working on logistics. We had a nice time, sipping wine and teasing Scott about the South African accent he's picked up.

Eliot and I have also signed up with a local market to get fresh organic produce every week. On Thursday we get sent a newsletter via email telling us what is going to be in the next weeks "Wild Bag" and we reply to it by the following day, in order to pick up our produce the following Wednesday. The market gets all their produce from local farmers in the area and it's all certified organic. I have to say, it's a ton of stuff and when we picked it up last week I was worried that we wouldn't be able to use it all up. But so far nothing has gone to waste, and it's a good way to guarantee that we cook veggies for dinner every night.

This week in out Wild Bag we got turnips... My mom has never cooked turnips, I don't think I've ever had them in my life, so needless to say I was a bit unsure of what to do with them. Of course since the internet has EVERYTHING I was able to get a good recipe for them here. Carrot-turnip gratin. I know it's not the best way to use fresh veggies (coating them in sour cream and cheese), but it seemed like every recipe I looked at for turnips called for either excessive amounts of bacon or butter. But everyone seemed to love it, and it's definitely something I would make again.

~Turnips and Carrots~

~Chopped and ready to be cooked~

~Before going into the oven~

~The finished piece~

~Gorgeous Grapefruit~

On Saturday we had a pretty laid back day. We went out to have lunch and then ended the day at the beach. Eliot got in the water to go body boarding and I mostly just froze on the sidelines. But now we've gotten me a board too, so I can join in. Here's a photo of the Cape Town sunset.

And finally, Sunday we went over to our friend Will's house. He just got back to South Africa (from China) for a couple of months and his folks were having a "small" get together for him and his girlfriend, Rebecca. We had an awesome braii, and his family is the type of family that makes you feel right at home. Thanks you guys! And here's Rebecca, her first time not only in South Africa, but also ever leaving China. I'm so happy she's here! It's so nice to have familiar faces around in a new place.

I know, completely random blog, but that's kind of how things have been so far. Just to add to the randomness, here's some flower I bought on the day we arrived, and two weeks later they are still looking beautiful. (And no, they're not fake.)

Alright, that's all for now (I know thank goodness right?), but I hadn't written anything in a while and thought I would just let you know what we're up to.
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