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The Trip of a Lifetime

14 Dec

At the Beijing Airport - Ready for Take-Off!

Our honeymoon trip to South Africa was one of the most magical experiences of my entire life.  It was 3 weeks of total bliss, and I would love to share all of the details of our adventure.  Perhaps if you have African Safari dreams of your own, then our journey and experience will help in planning your trip.  It is not an easy trip to plan, and it requires lots of outside help – but  every second spent researching or working with Intosol, our travel agency, whom we loved BTW (www.intosol.com) was well worth it.  (Please note – I truly believe that planning this trip without an agency would have been impossible!  We were very involved, but there are some things you just can’t book properly without the assistance of an expert when it comes to South Africa and Mozambique!)

Our  journey began with Emirates.  What an airline!  As first time Emirate’s passengers, we were pleasantly surprised by the free flowing Moet, the delicious Pommerol (in-flight Pommerol…are you kidding me?), the lobster, the remarkably large seats (almost like a little condo in the sky) and did I mention THE BAR?  I felt like we had stepped back in time to the days of Pan Am glamour.  Is there any better way to kick start a honeymoon than by toasting bubbly in a beautiful, fully stocked Sky Bar at 35,000 feet?

In-Flight Accommodations

The flight from Beijing to Cape Town is by no means a short one – but it certainly was a fun one thanks to my travel partner.  After nine hours in the air, we had a three hour layover in Dubai (where I learned that Wal-Mart quality L’Oreal lip-glosses are the price of Chanel and Chanel glosses are the price of…well – solid gold I guess.)  For the record, I stood in a ten minute line and then didn’t buy them.  I have my limits. I also learned that Emirate’s Airport Lounges are fantastic.  Sorry Continental – you know that I love you (and I am rather sad about the merger with United) but Emirate’s really puts your bagels and granola breakfast buffet to shame.  From Dubai we hopped back on board for another ten hours… Cape Town bound.  (FTA “for the Americans” – it is a similar travel time for you, albeit a much different route.)

Around 4PM South African time –  we were back on solid ground, rested, and ready for a night on the town.  Cape Town that is.  Upon arrival, we were graciously greeted at the airport by our driver who helped with our bags and began to share his favorite list of fun facts about the southern most and second largest city of South Africa. Population 3.5 million.  He beamed as he shared his knowledge of the Cape’s first settlers -the Dutch in 1652 – but he really lit up when we passed the recently built World Cup stadium.  Out with the old and in with the new.

After twenty plus hours of travel, my first priority was a bath.  Thanks to the wonderful concierge at the Cape Town One & Only  (http://capetown.oneandonlyresorts.com/)for the honey moon suite upgrade, on top of the upgrade from American Express Travel Services, we were greeted with the most incredible bath tub (bathroom actually – okay the entire hotel room was ridiculous) that neither Brett nor I had ever seen.  Check-in was seamless and by 5:30 we were sipping on the pre-chilled champagne welcome gift from the hotel and munching on canapés while waiting for our giant bubble bath to fill up.  Obviously there was no possible way we were hungry, as we had basically been eating since take-off, but we managed to choke down a few! I probably should have been more diligent in reminding myself that I had a wedding dress to wear in 3 days…oops!

By 8:45 we were dressed and ready.  And, thanks to the excellent team at One & Only, who had already taken care of booking a table for us a couple of weeks in advance at La Colombe, a contemporary french meets asian restaurant settled in the middle of the beautiful Constantia Uitsig winery (http://www.constantia-uitsig.com) we had the perfect dining spot awaiting us. (Please note – the restaurant is actually quite small and books early so be sure to plan ahead.)

The decor is quaint.  One very large chalkboard meun, hand written daily is personally carried by a waiter to each table during the carefully guided ordering process.  The chill in the air is relieved by the wood burning fireplace and the growl in your belly (or lack there of in our case) is satisfied by the melt-in-your-mouth tasting courses.  And obviously, the wines are quite nice.

In front of our personal chalkboard menu at La Colombe in Cape Town

More of our Cape Town time tomorrow and then on to the Safari…and then the wedding ceremony…and then the mountains..and then the beaches of Mozambique!   That’s right…the Blonde in Beijing is back.  Sorry for the lack of blogging.  Life sort of sucked the “blog” out of me for a bit – but now I am back.  Thank you so much for continuing to check-in!  Please stay tuned…

 

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6 Responses to “The Trip of a Lifetime”

  1. mona December 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Yeay!!! I am so glad you feel like writing again…I have missed your blogs. And Jenny Leeper congrats on new baby and thanks for threatening Morgan to blog again!!!! ha!

  2. Pigeon Heart December 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    You have do much fun. I live vicariously through you until I too join the ranks of the travelers once again. Thanks for sharing*

  3. Jean Blankenship December 14, 2011 at 11:50 pm #

    Morgan, I am so glad you are writing again! How else could I keep in touch with my wonderful granddaughter. Now it is time for yu to settle down and get some rest. Actually you have seen the world, haven’t youo? I vove you, and Brett! Mama Jean

  4. Sarah December 15, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    As if my list wasn’t long enough, now I have to figure out a reason to fly Emirates. I am not even going to show Chip those pictures. Hope all is well, and can’t wait to read more 🙂

  5. J December 17, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    Emirates is pretty spectacular even in the very last row of coach! If a company can make that palatable on international flights–you know they’re doing something very right!

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