Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hittin' the Road... AGAIN!

This will be my last post for July. The husband and I are celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary today by hopping a plane to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to  enjoy a cruise on the Mekong River. The college coed is back at university for second summer session, the 10th grader is hanging with the grandparents in Texas and the dog/house will be in the capable hands of our cleaning lady over the course of the next 12 days. Time for me and my better half to soak up some Asian culture.

Here are some of my favourite travel memes I'm sharing. See y'all on the flipside in August!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Zee Ladies Trip to Paree

We returned from Africa Tuesday morning, then turned around and went to Paris on Friday with the 21 and 15 yr old daughters. We've all been before, of course, but we still had a good time taking in the usual iconic sites. We walked a 10K on Saturday and enjoyed delicious meals at Laduree as well as Cafe de Flore. 

The coed met up with one of her best friends from college that is studying abroad in Rennes, France, this summer. Both of our rooms had a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower, but one had a darling terrace we really enjoyed.

Our Eurostar train trip was delayed, both departing and returning, due to an earlier train that stalled on the tracks and migrants at Calais that got past the barriers and were blocking the chunnel entrance.

Two things in Paris that caught my attention - all of the locks removed from the famous Pont des Arts bridge since the metal grilles were replaced with plexiglass, and several Asian women having their bridal portraits taken in front of Parisian icons like the Louvre and Notre Dame.

Monday, July 4, 2016

South African Lodge, Days 7-10

We spent the rest of our time at a hunting lodge in the Lephalale region in the northern part of South Africa. We were in tents with one amenity I really appreciated - electric blankets for chilly nights. However, the outdoor shower was NOT appreciated since it got down into the 50s when the sun went down, so I was a reluctant bather. 

The girls were assigned a tent within the inner fence, while the husband and I had a tent outside of the fence. The same area where wild critters can roam. Every night I'd brandish my little flashlight in search of the beady eyes of the resident rhino, Bucks. He wasn't a bad sort, just big and scary. And territorial about his food when he forced a standoff and we all quickly backed down when we realised he thought we posed some threat to the alfalfa they throw out for him every couple days. 

While at the lodge for the hunters in our group to do their thing, we went for a cruise on the Limpopo River, took a game drive in the Shelanti Animal Reserve, and just enjoyed relaxing in the lovely common areas of the lodge. The weenie dog Milo was a favourite. I was a fan until the overconfident little brat raced out to bark at and dance around the dangerous feet of the rhino. Good grief, it was tense and I kept waiting to hear the crunch of Milo underfoot. The kids were shouting for Milo to back off, and he finally did. 

I didn't film Milo aggravating the rhino because I was using my hands to cover up my eyes, but I did catch the rhino running some wildebeests away from his alfalfa earlier in the day. He was a big guy, but pretty swift on his feet as he whips around.

All of the other animals that had gathered for some grub gave Bucks the rhino a wide berth when he wanted it. As always, the warthogs made me giggle, rushing around with their tails straight up in the air like antennas.

Below is a pic of most of our safari group. Per the usual, it was a small world. We traveled thousands of miles from our homes in England and Texas to run across two other families, one from Dallas and the other San Antonio, staying at the same lodge. 

Pretty flowers, but get a load of those thorns.

Milo, the lodge's resident weenie dog, challenged a sable the day before it took on the rhino. The sable was not impressed.

The warthogs, kneeling to eat, were comical. They'd swivel around on their knees in search of food on the ground. 

Thank heavens the fire ants back home in Texas don't have the same mound construction abilities as the termites in Africa!

Best part of returning to South Africa - no mosquitos! The weather was just perfect, blue skies and mild temps the entire time. Late one evening, we walked over to see what critters might have wandered up to the area where they put out food and we saw a large meteor shoot across a big expanse of the sky before it burned out. 

A Walk with Lions, Day 6

We rolled out of bed with the sun on our final day in Zimbabwe to stroll with the lions. We were all really relieved to discover the lions were actually four cubs, approximately 7-8 months old. The cute factor was ramped up the nth degree with this excursion. With the sun still on the rise, a lot of my pictures are shadowed. But I think you get the drift of how freaking darling the cubs were. Here kitty, kitty, kitty with the great big paws and claws!

The yawns were contagious - see pics above and below!

And, finally, two videos to wrap up this fur-filled post.