Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kalk Bay: Collectibles and Funiture Finds.

Reminder: If you haven’t signed up for my giveaway for custom designed earrings, sign up here. The giveaway ends Friday March 2nd, so hurry up!

One of our first weekends back in Cape Town, we rode the train down to Kalk bay. That was an adventure in itself! 
(Luckily, we do have a car now, and I’ll be posting about it soon.)

One of the view from The Brass Bell.

We ate at The Brass Bell, were disappointed; we then bought gelato and looked around at the shops. 

The Calamari was good.

Some of the shops have some very unique, retro, or African objects!

Painted mural on tiles of early settlers and natives.

Cute old trash can!
Blue and White.
Red and White

Retro flowers on dinner service.

Old soda bottles in worn wooden box.

Rustic stone sink.

Old radio- I've never seen a dial like this!

Old baby pram.

"Baoule Chair"- Hard to find info on these.

Beautiful mirror made of shells. They have 2 of these!


Girl's comb and bursh set.

Hair dryer.
Old Fur coats made in Cape Town. I forget what kind of fur.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures! Not the best quality, but I was taking them surreptitiously!

 Song of the Post:  Circle by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians.  Taking you back to 1988!

Friday, February 17, 2012

One Year of Living in Cape Town and a Giveaway!


I can’t believe I’ve lived in this beautiful, challenging place for a year now. It does feel like “home” to us. We’ve come a long way, literally and figuratively.  I thought that I’d list some of the highlights and milestones of our life in the last year.

Our first home here.
  •           We arrived at 11:30 at night. My very first impression was that it was windy and hot.
  •           I learned pretty quickly how much my visa status affects my civil liberties. No bank account for me!
  •           We explored a little of the western cape and saw penguins, baboons, eland, tortoises, eagles and many other animals.
  •           We learned how to drive on the left side of the road, manual transmission. Not that hard, really.
  •           We learned how to use Rand instead of Dollars- I still have to do a conversion in my head every time.        Here is the conversions list I developed.
Our second home here.
  •           I’ve learned that I have too much stuff. Too many books.
  •           I’ve made my peace with washing dishes, but the bathroom and floors are my dreaded enemies.
  •           We learned how to ride Segways.
  •           Our dogs have made life bearable, even on the toughest days.
  •           We’ve become better cooks.
  •           We eat out less.
  •           We are healthier and value exercise and fresh foods.
Beautiful wine farms.
  •         We learned how hard it is to keep in touch with even the people you are closest to. Sometimes, it is “out of sight, out of mind.”
  •           I’ve learned a new skill- Beadweaving.
  •           I’ve learned a new way to move- belly dance.
  •           We have both developed our skills of patience.
Beautiful beaches.
  •           We are learning how to communicate better. When you only have each other…you need to be open and honest about your needs and goals.
  •           We’ve learned that friendships can come in all shapes, ages, and abilities.
  •           Living here has helped us clarify our priorities in life.
  •           We celebrated one year of marriage, and are over half way towards our second year! After eight years, he’s still my best friend and light of my life.
Scenic vistas.

This list could go on and on. But I’ll spare you.

Our new theme for the year is “to make this year better than the last.” It shouldn’t be that hard, now that we have a year “under our belts.” We are more confident here and are learning how to navigate the Rainbow Nation. What a challenge and privilege we have gotten to live through. 

We are ever grateful for the life we have together.

So in celebration of our one year Cape Town-aversary, AND this being my 100th post, I am having a giveaway!

I’m giving a pair of spiral earrings away. Something like these here:

Really Easy Rules of the Giveaway:

All are welcome! Friends, family, followers, or potential followers, worldwide!

Here’s what you do: 
·  Please leave a comment for me, saying what are your top 4-5 favorite colors, and I’ll make you a custom pair of earrings! 
·  If you don’t have a blogger profile, make sure you leave an e-mail address so that I can reach you if you are the winner! (If you’re worried about spamming, you can write your e-mail address to look like this: “withoutcomplexities at gmail dot com.”)
·  For extra ballots: become a follower through Google Friend Connect (it you aren’t already) of Lovely Light, Google Plus me, and/or follow me on Facebook and let me know in a comment here (a separate comment for each one). 
·  This means that you have up 4 chances (via three comments) towards winning a beautiful handmade pair of earrings! I will use a random number generator to pick the winner.
·  If you are the winner and do have a blog, I’d love it if you gave me a little “shout out” and picture on your blog. No expectations though!
·  The giveaway will be open for two weeks, closing on Friday, March 2nd. I'll announce the winner a few days after.

Good Luck!

Song of the Post: The Weight by The Band. This is hands-down, one of my all-time favorite songs.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Movie Review: Safe House

Yesterday, after a 3-hour belly dance class, the hubs and I decided to see a movie. We read a few reviews and when one that we read was based in Cape Town, that was it- we knew we had to see it.

Now, please bear in mind that I am in no way a professional movie reviewer, as you will soon realize, but I really felt I had to tell people about it.

Safe House” stars Denzel Washington (The Pelican Brief, Antwone Fisher) and Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal, Green Lantern) . Two beautiful men. Ryan plays a CIA agent that runs a “safe house” that Denzel, an “off the reservation CIA agent,” is taken to stay the night. The bad guys who were after Denzel break in and mayhem ensues. Ryan starts to realize some people in the CIA were bad and starts to align with Denzel.

Ryan Reynolds shirtless. (source)

I won’t give any more away, but I do want you to know that it is graphic and has lots of violence. The film is “grainy” and makes some of the chase scenes look incredible. It was Denzel and the CIA that brought the trouble to CT; it was not locals creating problems.

Denzel Washington. To be fair, I searched for a shirtless picture of him too, and was unable to find one! (source)

And the scenery- very much Cape Town, and it felt like the city I know. You know how some movies take place in a city, but they really didn’t film there? Not this movie- all real Cape Town places. I recognized many of the roads and buildings in the movie, and I thought that the movie portrayed Cape Town in a balanced way. One of the opening scenes was Ryan riding a motorcycle on a curvy road- I drive De Waal Road at least once a week! And last week, I was across the street from The Standard Hotel, one of the “seedy hotels” that they seek refuge in.  The only thing I’m not sure of is how accurate they were with the physical location of different places. The American Embassy is not in the city centre, but fairly far away from where the movie portrayed it to be located.

Standard Hotel Maitland Cape Town
The Standard Hotel in Maitland, Cape Town, South Africa. (source)

As Lance Harris of TechCentral says, “The real fun lies in spotting the locations where Safe House was filmed. It’s not every day that we get to see American actors tear around the streets of Woodstock in frantic car chases, or shoot up Green Point Stadium, and then, absurdly, escape on the metro train. This isn’t a postcard-perfect Cape Town either, but one that spans from pretty views of Table Mountain to the shacks of Langa and the grit of, erm, Parow.”  

Overall, I enjoyed the movie and was glad to see Denzel and Ryan in a movie together. Although Denzel’s aging nicely, has anyone noticed that his nose is growing bigger?

And Ryan? he’s….um…he’s cute. Nuff said.

P.S.- I've almost reached 100 posts, and I'm thinking of doing another giveaway!!! What do you think?

Song of the post: Shot a Man Down by Peachy Keen. They are a South African band, from Cape Town, and I have to thank A Daft Scot’s Lass for spreading their goodness.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our Trip Home to Cape Town: Part 2.

This is a continuation from my last post about our flights back from the United States to South Africa. Again, I love taking pictures from airplanes, so be prepared!

The windows of the Dubai airport are beautiful.

 When we arrived in Dubai, we had to check in AGAIN, and were able to get seats next to each other. The part of the airport we were in was pretty desolate at that time, so we changed clothes in the bathroom and freshened up (a new strategy put in place after we realized how stinky my husband got on the way to Denver).

There is a huge garden and pond in the airport.

Rush hour: is at 3 a.m.!! Duty Free shopping never ends here.

They are apparently obsessed with Tang.
Kraft cheddar cheese.

We had to wait a long time for our 3:50 a.m. flight and luckily learned that if you have a layover longer than six hours, you are given a voucher for a free drink and meal.  A few other nice things about the Dubai airport is that they provide free strollers and small shopping carts- for the duty free shopping, but everyone uses them to cart their carry-on luggage also. The bathrooms- there are apparently two different types, the “western” and the “eastern” which have different toilets (or none at all, just holes in the ground) and bidet hoses.

The men's "eastern" bathroom. Picture from the hubs- he was a little freaked out and had to document it.

We laid on the lounge chairs, used the free wifi there, and tried to sleep. We got a little annoyed with each other, but it didn’t last long. I thought that was pretty good for as long as we had to travel! We grabbed a quick mocha coffee and then went to the desk to check in.

Me, tired and lounging.

They notified us that we had been upgraded to business class! Then we felt REALLY lucky! We were trying not to smile too big or give them cause to double check and take it all away as a mistake. We were given champagne before takeoff and our orders were taken for breakfast. We loved the way the seats reclined and how big the screens were.

The champagne. Nuf said.
The Leg Room changed my life.

Dubai lights.

Emirates's ceilings have constellation lights.

 The bathrooms had fresh flowers and free combs, toothbrushes, etc. The food was mostly good and I loved the different courses. The only unfortunate thing was that the screen system needed to be re-set twice.

Fresh orchids in the bathroom. Necessary?

Mmm.  Can you say warm croissant?

Breakfast of cheese souffle with vegetables.

Lunch's Salmon Pastrami appetizer.

Godiva chocolates and traditional Arabic Desserts of pistachio green mafourkeh and creamy halawet al jibin. Forgot to take a picture of  the braised beef tenderloin I had for lunch

I stayed alert for most of the flight, so I was awake for the most amazing sunrise. I’ve never seen colors like that, with the horizon seemingly to never end. 

Amazing sunrise.

And then we were back under the clouds and flying over South Africa. It was beautiful! Seeing the green farmland and tall mountains was inspiring.

"Cotton ball" clouds.

Doesn't the farmland look like Colorado's?!

 Finally, I saw the blue-green ocean and the majestic shape of Table Mountain, and I knew... 

False Bay is amazingly beautiful.

I was home.

Table Mountain hiding behind the "table cloth" of clouds.

Song of the Post: Before I Knew by Basia Bulat. Some of you may recognize this from a Subaru commercial int he USA.

The audio on this version is great, the video not as much.

The video is better in this one, music is stylistically different. You choose.