A trip of a lifetime
first off — happy new year!!! and i hope you all had a fabulous Christmas (and if you do not celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a fabulous (fill in the blank) with your family).
we had a wonderful trip and it was amazing seeing all (most of) my family and friends after so long. i am really not sure how to put the experience into words… and i’m not the greatest writer, so i just know i will not do it justice… so instead, i will share some photos (I may add more to my photography page at some point – for now, most of the photos are of family and friends)…. and some thank-yous.
thank you to my dad and amanda for welcoming my husband into South Africa… you guys opened your home to us and were amazingly hospitable and accommodating! we had a great time eating, laughing, and talking with you. dad — i am so glad you got to share Matt’s first game drive (safari) with us — you sure did make it memorable! 😉 and thank you for helping us with luggage and for coming out to the airport to see us off one last time!!
thank you to my best friend Ria – you really went above and beyond to try and help us see everything and do everything we wanted to see and do while we were there! you also stood up for me when i was berated with “when are you guys going to have kids” questions… it was so awesome just being able to hang out and grab coffee or a drink with you and Nick – I wish we didn’t live so far away and that those coffee trips could be more frequent! oh – also, thank you for recommending (via facebook i guess) the canopy tour…my family and i had an amazing time zip-lining through the forest, and i’m not sure if i would have pushed myself to do it if it wasn’t for talking to you about it beforehand!
thank you to another close friend of mine Tracy… thanks for offering us your house and for being so awesomely hospitable while we were there! it was awesome going out and dancing with you again! 🙂 brought back some good memories, although we are definitely getting older 😛 thank you for going out of your way to make time for us and for driving us around! 🙂
thank you to my family — Christmas was a wonderful time filled with laughing, eating, talking, playing games, more laughing, and just enjoying one another’s company. i wouldn’t be the person i am today if it wasn’t for my family — you guys are honest, loving, supportive, genuine, care-free, non-judgemental, and just SO much fun to be around. i love and miss each of you so much and wish we didn’t live so far spread out across the world… nanny and grandad — the matriarch and patriarch of our family… you guys are an inspiration of love and unity! thank you!
thank you to my sister… we may not always see eye-to-eye, but i love you with all my heart! you’re becoming a wonderfully kind and sensitive young woman — you still have a ways to go, but don’t we all! ;P it was great to just hang out with you…the novelty of being able to wake you up in the morning never got old! i miss you every day and think of you often! thank you for driving us to the mall…thank you for taking me to the store the night before we left so i could have a last minute pig-out of stuff i miss from home! i’m sorry we gave you a hard time with regard to your driving… you’re a good driver! 🙂 love you little sis!
thank you to my mom. thank you for driving for more than 12 hours in one week… experiencing oribi gorge, tala, and the canopy tour with you was special! (even though you almost threw me into the gorge after watching your other daughter jump off 🙂 ) thank you for everything you did to make Christmas so special!! thank you for making us a priority, even though there was plenty of other family to spend time with. i miss you everyday, but at least i now have some recent memories of hugging you to get me through until we see each other again! 🙂
lastly, i’d like to thank my husband for coming on this adventure with me. you are my everything, and it means the world to me that you love and accepted my slightly dysfunctional family. having you with me made the trip perfect! i’m sorry that you felt guilty or responsible when i was crying at the airport… you are not and have not “taken me away from my family”…you’ve given me the hope to start my own, in a country where opportunities are better. your offer to stay in South Africa warmed my heart and reminded me why i married you — you’re an amazing man and i’m lucky to have you.