Tag Archives: perfect moments

JNB>VFA>DUR: PART I

23 Feb

When my father first proposed the idea of taking me to South Africa for my 30th birthday he only had one condition:

“I don’t want to plan a bit of it.”

How could I resist?

My dad clued me in on the budget and gave me free reign creating an unforgettable 16 day itinerary for our family. In order to do so it was important for me to keep my travel companions in mind. (Sadly, E. Dohrmann had to sit this one out due to a work conflict.) A brief overview: My dad and step-mom are a social, outgoing and fairly active couple in their mid sixties. My dad’s perfect vacation normally involves Disneyland, a cruise ship, and noise cancelling headphones. Felice is a dance teacher who cares deeply for the preforming arts and culture in general. Her ideal vacation normally includes: attending a performance of some kind and a day at the spa. They both love to cook, drink red wine and look to traveling as a way of connecting with the world. It was important for me to create an itinerary that included fun, sun, adventure, culture, good food and enough creature comforts that this trip would feel unique and exciting without being too scary or out of the box.

First let’s get one thing straight: There’s no easy way to get South Africa from Portland, OR. It’s as simple as that. It took multiple flights, 31 hours, and several laps around the plane before we arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa. And don’t forget about the impromptu airport yoga that happened between layovers (important to keep the blood flowing!), and the constant shuffle of Bob Marley, Paul Simon, the Talking Heads and Nina Simone on the iPod. The first ten days of our trip went something like this: Jo’burg>Victoria Falls>Durban>Hluhluwe. It was a crazy amount of traveling to do in such a short amount of time but I wouldn’t change a thing. After all, how often do you have the opportunity to visit one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, dip your toes in the Indian Ocean, and take in a 6 day safari tour?

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE ( but are not limited to):

01. Hunting and finding the most beautiful seashells alongside the local fishermen in Durban
02. “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! Oh my!” We supplemented elephants for bears and cheetahs for tigers on this trip but “Oh My” is right! I didn’t realize how emotional I’d become being so close to these beautiful beasts. I was simultaneously freaked, elated, nervous and incredibly humbled (and tearing up more often than not!)
03. A visit to a local Zulu Village and neighboring elementary school outside of Hluhluwe
04. Watching adventure junkies putting in rafts just below the towering Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls
05. Drinking cocktails at sunset, also known as a “sundowner” in these parts
06. Sunsets in general. With or without booze. Absolutely brilliant, full, and breathtaking.

IMG_8793Jo’Burg Airport

IMG_8908Sundowner Cruise on the Zambezi River
(I could get used to this!)

IMG_8895(photo by Dad)

IMG_9030
Victoria Falls

IMG_9057Durban Sunrise

IMG_9065Durban Boardwalk

IMG_9061(photo by Felice)

IMG_9479

IMG_9411
Zulu Ancestor’s Hut

IMG_9410Zulu School

IMG_9406  IMG_9454Lion Pride

IMG_9498

IMG_9109 One of many breathtaking sunsets

Stay tuned for PART II: Capetown and the Winelands

Hello: Los Angeles, CA

24 May

I recently joined E. Dohrmann on a business trip down to Los Angeles. I used to live there but man-oh-man, how things have changed over the last eight years. One of our bestest friends in the entire world recently escaped the Portland rain and moved to Downtown LA. Being in his presence over the week made this large city feel very small and quite familiar. We spent a lot of time up on the roof of his building taking in the sights and marveling at the glorious weather.

We booked at The Standard in Downtown LA. We loved our spacious room and the vibrant hotel scene. (Emphasis on the word scene). While E. tended to business during the day I sipped on rooftop poolside cocktails. The location proved perfect for nighttime bar hopping, catching up with friends, and discovering this blossoming area. Continue reading

New York in Pictures

18 May

Sealing the Deal

18 Aug

Amsterdam

I took this shot on our second-to-last-night in Amsterdam. Evan and I had just left our favorite coffee shop, after having been engrossed in an epic checkers battle, and we could still taste the fresh mint from our tea circling our breaths. We began to walk back to our place, blissfully lost in chatter, amazed by the fact that while only our third visit to the city, the walk felt as though we had made it a thousand times. It wasn’t until we went to cross over the canal that it donned us that the sun was beginning to set. The light was reflecting off the water, the water was lapping up against the houseboats, and somewhere in the near distance you could hear the triumphant ringing of bike bells. The moment was so perfect it made us both stop in our tracks. My heart melted the minute I checked the viewfinder. I made this bold declaration the spot: One day we will live in this city.