A trip to Karen Blixen’s house. July 19, 2019 Part 1

We met up with Collin and Sally for lunch in the dining room at the hotel. Our starter was sautéed mushrooms on toast. A little too much mustard for my taste, to me everything has either too much mustard or black pepper!  Then for our entree Steve and I had the snapper, which we were surprised to find was fried.      We climbed into our Land Cruiser driven by our guide Francis.  The part of town we were in was called Karen, named after Karen Blixen, the author who wrote Out of Africa. This whole area is where her farm once was.   This is considered a very ritzy part of town, many VIP’s live in the area.  There was lots of signs for security firms on all the fences surrounding the properties.  Many of the homes had elaborate gates.  Our hotel had a double set of gates and guards!  Her farm was 6000 acres.  Originally the Baron and her were supposed to raise dairy cattle.  He did a switcheroonie and insisted that they grow coffee instead.  Unfortunately, the soil was too acidic for coffee to grow well.  They should have stuck to dairy farming. We got a tour of the house and the grounds. Here are pieces of equipment that were used on the farm to haul the coffee.  Okay or “Sawa sawa” in Swahili, let’s follow the gang and enter the house.  However you are going to have to wait as I am off for a game drive!  

Oh what a beautiful morning!

After sleeping like a log, it was off to breakfast. I wanted a light breakfast, so it was was just fruit eggs and toast. Who am I kidding? At home it’s usually just coffee and biscotti.
We me a lovely couple from Milwaukee who is going to be at one of the camps we are traveling to also. They will be going to the Ngorongoro Crater at the end of the trip, we are skipping it in lieu of seeing more animals.
After breakfast we took a lovely stroll on the grounds. It is a little oasis here. Back to the room for phone charging and more postings. We will meet up with Collin and Sally for lunch and our afternoon adventures.

House of Waine

We arrived in Nairobi just before ten and Irene who to guide us through immigration. As we had purchased our visas ahead of time it was smooth sailing. Irene introduced us to Ilene who helped us gather our luggage. Then it was off to meet John and Francis our driver.
It was chaos outside the airport with many people holding signs for their pickups. It was nice to have been met inside the airport by the ladies in their neon vests. Irene had our passport picture on file, so it was easy for her to identify us.
Then it was a thirty minute drive to our inn. We were told that security was quite tight in Nairobi. On the way out of the airport there was a soldier with a machine gun, Sally slapped my hand before I took a picture. Wise move of hers, dumb move of mine.
Drivers are crazy here, as our waiter here said “Don’t walk the roads, as they are narrow and everyone is competing for the same space!”
We were told that on the way to the airport, everyone has to get out of their car, interviewed, and even the undercarriage if the vehicle is searched with mirrors on selfie sticks!
Our hotel is located in the area of Nairobi called Karen, its the nicest area of Nairobi. It was named after Karen Blixen who wrote Out of Africa.
After passing through double gates we received a lovely fruit punch and registered for our stay. Steve thought it too sweet. I thought adding a dash of vodka would make it perfect!
We had a lovely suite overlooking the gardens. It was originally assigned to Sally and Collin, but I was mean and switched. Ever so agreeable Sally didn’t care. Steve scolded me as it is Sally’s special trip.
Steve and Sally ate dinner, I stayed in the room and did postings. Ten thirty Dinner is too late for me! We stayed up a little longer, 1:30 local time but 6:30 east coast time.

Amsterdam to Nairobi!

Our flight to Nairobi was going to be on a double decker. As I had never been on a plane like this I was quite excited. There was plenty of room and I could climb up and down the stairs to get my exercise. Lunch was quite tasty, I had the quinoa and salmon to start followed by the haddock and then a chocolate mousse for dessert. I loved the little shoe salt and pepper shakers!
We flew over the Mediterranean, over Egypt, and then across a lot of dessert before night fell and we finally landed in Nairobi. We got to pick some cute little houses for Flying Business Class on KLM.

Off to Africa!

This trip is a celebration of our dear daughter's graduation from college. She was promised a trip anywhere in the world if she accomplished her goal of graduating and so here we are. Here we are at JFK. Sally and Collin met us in Poughkeepsie and we had a car service drive us to JFK. Always the wise choice instead of fighting traffic and looking for a parking space.
Our check in and security went smoothly and the line butters ended up getting flagged by security for more screening so I was quite happy.
We had a nice light dinner at the Delta Sky Miles Club and proceeded to our gate for our overnight flight to Amsterdam. We sat four abreast and it was cute to see that Collin and Sally hold hands during take off just like Steve and I do. 💗 It took awhile to taxi and take off, and all during that time I wondered where my pills were. I knew I had taken my evening pills at the Delta Club, but couldn't remember where I put them! . Finally the seat belt sign turned off and I searched my bag, no pills, and then I found them in Steve's bag where they belonged! Whew! Steve muttered a few words about me losing important stuff while I searched frantically!
Having my pills was quite important to me. Two weeks after our last trip to South America I got a blood clot in my left thigh from calf to thigh. I was hospitalized for three days and was placed on Xarelto. Losing the pills and getting a new clot in the middle of. Africa was not something we were hoping to happen!
So I took half an Ambien and went to sleep. The others enjoyed dinner on the plane. Steve recognized my lie flat bed and eye mask as signs to not wake me for my meal!
I slept fitfully as one does on a plane and woke up at 3 NY time for breakfast and preparation for landing. Next stop Amsterdam airport!

More Sanitago! January

January 6, 2017

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We walked through a beautiful open air market.

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Orange juice freshly squeezed before your eyes.

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A chapel in the Cathedral in Santiago. John Paul II prayed here for peace.

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Outside one of the government buildings a protest was held by some of the indigenous peoples.

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The women wore no tops, they were smeared with what looked like mud.

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The man was wearing an outfit that looked like an animal.

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This is a building in a building. There were a number of pop up craft sellers.

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Our guide Juan Pablo explained how bridges and buildings were made with clay, eggs and water.

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We tried a local favorite. It had peaches, some kind of tea and grain.

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The cart and the seller making out treat.

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It was sweet but very tasty. I hope I don’t get sick!

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We took a drive up one of the highest peaks in Santiago. It was very smoggy.

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Best times for views are in August when it rains.

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There were flamingos being fed by a young girl.

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The carp were so big they looked like hogs!
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This is the ritzy section of Santiago. There were lots of swans but I guess I didn’t take any pictures with my iPhone.
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Lunch at the Ritz Carlton. It feels good to rest and get out of the sun. The picture below is our view at lunch.
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View from our hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton!

Our trip to South America

Join Steve and I on a three week trip to South America. January 5, 2017-January 28, 2017

Steve looking a little bit worried. Pre departure Champagne and room temperature nuts. This is a Dreamliner so the colors in the ceiling are supposed to change during the flight. The ceiling lights appear to be purple and rose. Although the photo shows pink and orange. Not sure if they changed already or it’s the photo. It’s so strange to be on a plane where English is not the main language. Lots of young people on the plane. Everyone is full of smiles.