Thursday, March 31, 2016

Our Little Corner of the World...Checking Out South Africa's Wines!

So...what do a couple of Californians do when visiting CapeTown you ask???
Well...visit wineries of course!!!

The first winery we visited was Anura...a lovely little winery! 
South Africa is very much like California in climate and terrain.
So of course, their wines are wonderful!
And Anura was no exception!

At Anura we got the full tour...

This is a small winery, so they don't do their own bottling...
...they have a mobile bottling service that comes to their site and bottles the wine!

They do still have their oak wine caskets...

They had a really nice cheese and sauce sampling for us...
 ...and as it turned out...their wines were my favorites of the day!!!

I'm looking for a book club down here in SoCal...
...and I think the one in this sign would fill the bill!!!

I don't think I could pull this look off anymore...
maybe a few years ago!!!
(Few being a relative term...)

These markets were in every town!

Now...when was the last time you went somewhere that had
Kudu, Warthog, Springbok and Zebra on the menu?

This building is a great example of the Dutch influence on the architecture of the CapeTown area.

This is a close up of the thatched roof...a really interesting roofing material.

And on to the next winery!!!
Ernie Els...

...if you recognize the're probably a golfer!

The grounds were pretty amazing...

...a great spot for solving the problems of the world...

...or just hanging out with friends...

...or ending a great day of touring!

Then, back to the hotel...
...where you find rose petals on the bath mat!
Pretty classy place!!!!

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Our Little Corner of the World...Visiting Cape Town, South Africa!

Sooo...have you ever gone to a fundraising dinner and gotten caught up in the live auction?
In 2014 we went to the Jack Webb fundraiser dinner for the Los Angeles Police Historical Society Museum, and yes, we got caught up in an auction bid war!
TheChief took a chance on his last bid, and sure enough...we were the big winners!!!
We bought a trip to South Africa and Victoria Falls, Zambia!!!
Sooo...In August of last year, we traveled 10 1/2 hours to London, then after a 5 hour layover,
and another 11 hour flight...and arrived in Cape Town, South Africa!
It was beautfiul!!!

So on our way from the airport to the hotel...
we saw a flock of flying flamingos!
They were really far away and I've blown this up way beyond what it should be...but hey!
How often do you see a flock of flying flamingos???

We stayed at Table Bay Hotel in Capetown...and yeah...this was the view out our window!

Right next to the hotel was a huge mall...
At first I thought it was jet lag making me see a US mall in my mind!!!

Our first day we went on a tour of some of the "Townships" in CapeTown.
Prior to the end of Apartheid, these townships were the underdeveloped urban areas that
were inhabited by solely by non-white Africans, Coloured, and Indians.
Our guide was black African, and was very honest and open about the social structure of the
townships in relation to CapeTown proper, and the remaining white social structure.
He told us that the structure of the South African society has definitely changed, and that things
were definitely better, free-er.  But also, that there was still a long way to go towards
a fully integrated society.

One of the first places he took us to was this Community Art Center.
Here, community members learn trades that they can then turn around and utilize to make a living.
Essentially, they were learning various crafts that produced small items for tourist consumption.

My favorite part of the Art Center was the ceramics area...

Next we went to one of the township restaurants... start out by choosing the meat you want cooked...

Then their cooks do their thing!

Next door, the local bar!  Our guide told us it's standing room only on the weekends!

This is a house in one of the neighborhoods just outside of Capetown.
The houses were very reminded me a bit of Mexico.

We made our way back into CapeTown, and visited a lovely little park,
with a view of Table Mountain....


...and we saw our first giraffe!
Not exactly what I had in mind when we booked this trip!

Chilling remnants of Apartheid, in front of a courthouse.
There was a plaque, describing the Apartheid rules and also describing the changes with it's fall. 

At the end of our day, he took us to the beach area...
...reminded me of the bluffs at Huntington Beach and Santa Monica Beach, California!

Just like in California, people were enjoying their time at the beach!

There was a display at the beach featuring one of the art skills taught at the 
Community Art Center that we visited earlier in the day!
An interesting method of recycling!

 Back at the hotel, we headed out back to go to dinner...
this cool area reminded me of Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, California!
Lot's of restaurants, a little wharf area, and even a Ferris Wheel!

We ended our day at a great steak house...
...and had the first of a series of great South African wines!!!

I instantly fell n love with this wine!
Smooth...lovely buttery oak finish...and only $5 a bottle!!!

When we got back to the States, I looked up the vineyard to see if they import to the US...
...they do...but I couldn't find it a local store...then,
 while reading about the wine I discovered that the winery
is owned and operated by Hess Family Estates!
My favorite California Chardonnay...Hess Estate!!!
No surprise I instantly fell in love with this wine!

To visit more little corners of the world, click on the image below!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Our Little Corner of the World...Visiting Capitola, CA...

In November of last year,
we visited with our friends Steve and Sharron in Capitola, on the Northern California coast.

We went there for the Sea Glass Festival...
OK...I went there for the Sea Glass Festival!
TheChief went along for a fun weekend with our friends!!!
It just so happens that the Plein Air Festival was there the same weekend.
And given that the weather was a bit drizzly...we went... might think there's nothing particularly special about this painting...
other than it's done very well, and the artist is a local artist...

 ...guess what was just around the corner from our friend's house?

Cool, eh?

So in our wanderings on the bluff where our friends live...
We visited an open house for a small house in their neighborhood...with a spectacular view!!!

The house was a little two bedroom, teeny-tiny house...
sweet...old California bungalow style...
...updated kitchen...
...did I mention small???

Take a look at the view from their back yard...

...and from their deck above the garage type in-law room/apt. 

Any guesses how much it was on the market for???


Capitola is a favorite spot for surfers...

Just down the bluff walk from the little 2 bedroom house for sale...

My favorite pic from our walk! might be asking what about the Sea Glass Festival...
I was expecting a cool outdoor setting...with booths and cool stuff...
...they had the booths and cool stuff...
...but it was inside in a pretty boring (as in non-photogenic) setting.
I did find a gorgeous Sea Glass pendant for my silver neck collar...

and a cool long necklace.

 Now...if I was a good historian or jewelry buff I could tell you 
exactly how old the kind of crusty sea glass piece is on the necklace...
it's Roman glass...from, like, one or two thousand years ago!

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