A Travellerspoint blog

Frankfurt Germany

Day 16

Our flight had a 5 hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany. Not ones to miss a chance to see another country, Alan did a little research and we jumped on the train to hit the city center. Frankfurt was a very pretty city and very different from Frankfort, IL. We stopped in a little café where we were greeted by “Guten Morgen” (good morning) and the sweet smells of fresh pastries. After a bite to eat and some coffee we walked around the Glockenspiel (town square) then boarded the train back to the airport.
Chad and Jen in Germany

Chad and Jen in Germany

Colleen and Alan Germany

Colleen and Alan Germany

Good thing we didn’t waste too much time, the German security was by far the strictest any of us had encountered. Only Chad made it through without being stopped. Alan and Jen had to go and have their camera’s analyzed and Colleen had to go through security again because she had too much water in her water bottle. We boarded our plane and headed toward American soil. Everyone is excited to get home, Colleen and Alan can’t wait to see their dogs, and Chad and Jen our out of their minds to see Jackson.

It has been a great trip and we got to see a lot in our time. South Africa is a beautiful, varied country. Size wise it can fit inside the state of Texas, yet the variety that just we saw between the safari, Cape Town, and Jo-Burg made it feel much bigger. The people of South Africa is what truly make it a place worth visiting. They of course know they have a fantastic country and they are proud now to share it with the rest of the world. Our thanks go to all the people who helped make this dream trip a reality.

Posted by zillichs 10:20 Comments (0)

Johannesburg

Day 15

Karyn wanted to make sure we didn’t leave South Africa without one true South African tradition – a Braai. A Braai is similar to a BBQ or a cookout. Her parents Margie and Steve have Braai down to an art form. At their house in the backyard, Steve built a homemade bar, a brick wood burning fireplace, and covered the whole thing with a thatched roof. The wood they use in the Braai is very thick and heavy, it’s called steel wood. It’s not used to start the fire but once the fire is going a few logs are thrown on and they burn very hot and very long.
Steve cooking Braai

Steve cooking Braai

While the fire was burning we enjoyed Castle, a South African beer, biltong – a dried beef almost like beef jerky, deewors – another dried meat, more like a sausage, and potato chips. The atmosphere was relaxed and we were treated like family, it felt something like being on the river at the Kodiaks. Steve, the grill master, cooked chicken, lamb chops, and boer wors – a sausage kind of like bratwurst (I guess). Margie made a salad that included avocado, raisins, sunflower seeds and a homemade dressing. She also made pap. Pap is a traditional African food that is something like cornmeal. It’s served with a tomato-like stew that you pour over the top. Everyone ate and drank their fill. It was more food than even Chad could finish. Before we knew it we had to go to the airport and our South African vacation was coming to an end. What a fantastic way to end our trip. Having only met them the day before we felt as if we were leaving our very good friends.

Karyn and Chad

Karyn and Chad

Chad and Steve

Chad and Steve

Group at Braai

Group at Braai

Posted by zillichs 10:18 Comments (0)

Johannesburg

Day 14

We checked out of our beautiful guest house in Cape Town and headed toward the airport for our flight to Johannesburg. After returning our rental car we boarded the plane and arrived in Jo-Burg without concern. In Johannesburg we were being picked up and staying with someone none of us had met before. Colleen’s cousin Bridget married a South African named Kevin. When word got out we were traveling to South Africa Colleen was put in contact with Kevin’s sister Karyn. Karyn works for Fairview winery and set up the amazing tasting we had while in Franschhoek. When Colleen asked Karyn how we would recognize each other at the airport, Karyn said she had been following our blog! Karyn and her boyfriend Bruce were waiting for us outside baggage claim and they took us to their cars. One car had a South African flag clipped to one window and a USA flag clipped to the other – a very nice welcome. We went to Karyn’s house and settled in, she opened a couple nice bottles of wine for us including Jen’s new favorite varietal – Pinotage. We were also introduced to a new shot known as a Spring Bok – named after a type of antelope found in South Africa. It is half peppermint liquer (they use one called Old Meester) and half Amarulla (a creamy liquor similar to Bailey’s).
Alan pouring Springboks

Alan pouring Springboks

Karyn’s mother, Margaret “Margie”, brought over a homemade meal of salad, pasta, and bread and we started to gear up for the game. It was by far the coldest day we had experienced in South Africa. It was in the 30’s and with the wind it felt much colder. Not being prepared for this, layering became important so the girls wore just about everything they had, on top and bottom. The 4 of us were joined by Karyn, Bruce, Margie, and Karyn’s cousin Ashley “Ash.” Ash was so excited to go to the Brazil game, she had her Brazil jersey on and even learned a little Spanish from a White Stripes song “I’m drunk on a wagon headed to Mexico!” Imagine her dismay when she found out that in Brazil, they speak Portuguese.

To say the game was freezing would be an understatement. No longer proud owners of ninth row seats we were relegated to the topmost corner of the stadium, 4 rows from the top and 2 seats from the edge. The wind whipped in from the edge constantly. At one point the power went out on the concourse level and they fired up this gigantic diesel generator. It kicked off an incredible amount of heat and at half time we went and stood outside the vent to warm up.
Cold Chad Jen and Colleen

Cold Chad Jen and Colleen

It was amazing to see Brazil play in person. Their mastery of the game and the way they cover the field was truly something to see. North Korea, however, did their homework and was prepared for them. It was a great match.
Brazil game

Brazil game

Brazil vs. North Korea game

Brazil vs. North Korea game

Posted by zillichs 10:16 Comments (0)

Italy Game in Cape Town

Day 13

Chad's Uncle Jack's co-worker Riann is South African, so he and his wife, Yvette, were going to join us for the Italy game. Instead his company sent him to Korea for work the whole time we were there - bummer. So Yvette brought her brother Gerhard. We met them at a Thai restaurant at the beautiful V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Yvette and Gerhard's father was a pharmacist! Colleen's friends Candice & Paul joined us for dinner and the game as well. (Thanks Gerhard for dinner!)

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IMG_3068

Jen's friend Stephanie works for McDonald's and as a major sponsor of the World Cup we were able to buy tickets from her. Our seats were in the 9th row! (Thanks Stephanie!)

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IMG_3092

With Alan's newly developing camera skills, some of these pictures are better than the one's the professionals take. Here is the Italian team standing right in front of us during the National anthem.

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IMG_3122

And after their goal.

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IMG_3187

Posted by zillichs 01:26 Comments (0)

Spa and Africa Cafe

Day 12

Today the boys traveled back from Rustenburg to Cape Town. Jen and Colleen enjoyed a half day at the 12 Apostles Spa. It was so relaxing! The spa is underground in a cave. They had 3 pools...one cool, one hot, and one "brine" pool that was as salty as the Dead Sea.

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IMG_3485

12_apostles

12_apostles

For dinner, we went to the Africa Cafe. Colleen's friend Megan went to this same restaurant in 2004 and brought her a Zulu love bean (meant to bring you love). She met Alan a few weeks later. Zulu power! This restaurant served food from all over Africa family style. They also sang traditional African songs and danced.

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IMG_3493

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C&A_africacafe

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africa_cafe_singers

Posted by zillichs 01:15 Comments (0)

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