Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our African Adventure

While I know I said I would share some journal excerpts with you from our recent Africa trip(I know I've been an extreme slacker about posting), after trying to decipher my hand writing from the bumpy overland trip I've decided it would be better to just give an over all review of the trip over a few posts. I will begin by saying that this was yet another incredible journey I've taken with my wonderful husband, and if you are of an adventurous spirit, and can occasionally conform to a "go with the flow" attitude (something required in Africa), I highly recommend doing an African overland trip.

Our trip was a total of 13 days with travel, as we left our apartment for JFK Airport on Thursday, May 13th and returned on Tuesday, May 25th. I must interject here, that I now believe that travelling mid-week is the much preferable option (I returned to work on a Wednesday of a short week, as it was Memorial Day Weekend, and I definitely couldn't have planned it better). We flew into Nairobi, Kenya, by way of Zurich, Switzerland, and flew back to New York from Dar Es Salaam airport via the same route. From the map below, you can see that Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam are a 12 hour drive from one another, and we spent our most of our vacation in some form of vehicle seeing the country.

While travelling this way could be exhausting, and you may be thinking that your idea of spending your first vacation in a year and half is not in a huge truck

I must say that it was honestly the most amazing thing to look out the window and see this unique and colorful country go by. Small children would wave and run after our vehicle, extremely excited to see Westerners, and I would be lying if I said it didn't warm my heart every time to see their smiling faces. As Mr. B would say this was a country where they may be poor, but you couldn't feel the poverty, they were poor but that was just how they lived. I couldn't agree more with that statement, and I was continuously intrigued as we drove by the small villages and the witnessed the way life was lead. It was amazing to me to think of all the things us Westerners deam necessary to survive when I saw the way the African people throughout Kenya and Tanzania lived. I found the landscape and the people to be extremely beautiful, and overall the trip was extremely eye opening.

Our trip was organized by a group called Nomad Tours(, which we booked through a lovely woman named Nicky at The group was a total of 12 people from all around the world (literally), and we were led by a tour guide and a cook. Mr. B and I went the more budget route, and were on the camping tour, and we stayed at some great camp sites and the tents were the nicest I've ever seen. We began our trip in Nairobi, where we met up with our new pals for the next 10 days, and headed towards Arusha.

The trip to Arusha consumed our entire first day of the trip, but as I said earlier I was alert and excited as I gazed out of the window at all of the sights. I kept missing pictures because we were driving, and either we went to fast or the road was to bumpy to capture what I was looking at, but here are some images of what we saw as we drove along.

The roads in Africa were something else as well! We would be driving along and you'd see something like this:

(picture courtesy of AR from our group), and you'd be off onto a dirt road on the side of the main road until eventually you found a paved road again. It was really wild, and really bumpy! They also threw stones along the road in place of parking cones, something I found highly amusing.

After a full day of travel we arrived in the town of Arusha, which didn't really seem like much of a town, but it was more populated then the villages we had passed, and had a Shop Rite super market, so I guess it could qualify. There was time to relax for the evening at our pretty campsite, where we had a delicious meal (I stayed veggie with the hubs for the trip) made by our chef, and got ready for our excursion to the Serengeti which we would leave for in the morning.

More exciting posts about Africa later. Sorry for being MIA! SB.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


So obviously I've been a bit MIA the last 2 weeks, and I realized I never posted that I'd be on vacation for 2 weeks! That's right, vacation, an alien word I'm not used to using since I hadn't had one in a year and half, and it was much needed! Mr. B and I went on an amazing trip to Africa, overlanding from Nairobi, Kenya down to Dar Es Salaam/Zanzibar with a Safari into the Serengeti. It was an incredible trip, and I plan to share some excerpts from my journal in the next few posts! So, that's why you've been missing me, I'll be in touch now. :) SB.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Like My Profile Picture??

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Book Review: "One Thousand White Women" by Jim Fergus

If you have not noticed, I've listed book recommendations on the side of my blog, and I've decided that it would be beneficial to review them for my readers. I'm an avid reader, and really enjoy historical fiction. This book "One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd" by Jim Fergus was an excellent book, that I highly recommend.

This book was originally recommended to me by my mother, and while she and I don't always see eye to eye on books, I decided to give it a try. I found the book to be captivating and heart wrenching, and I was completely drawn in by the triumphs and tribulations of the characters.

This novel is based on actual historical events that took place in 1875, when 1000 white women were traded to Native American tribes by the United States Government for horses, as a method of integrating the Indians into American society. The book follows the journey of May Dodd, a strong and smart woman who travels with the other members of the "Brides for Indians" program across the plains to marry men from the Cheyenne Tribe. May marries the chief of the tribe, Little Wolf, and struggles to fit in to a world that is unfamiliar, unsure of where her loyalties should lie. The story follows the bonds she shares with the rest of the women in the program, and their struggles to learn who they are, and confront why they've all come to be members of the Cheyenne Tribe.

I loved this book, it sucked me in from beginning to end. It literally made me cry at parts, as Fergus' ability capture May Dodd's character is impeccable, and her story is truly special. If you like historical fiction books, I suggest you don't pass up this novel. Hope you enjoy! SB.

Bar Crawl in the Burbs

Mr. B and I participated in a Bar Crawl this past weekend in the suburb where most of our friends have moved recently. I will admit when the hubbster first mentioned the idea of going on a bar crawl in suburbia, I was not all that keen to participate. I thought to myself, "is this really what we've come to?" It really made me feel like an old looser to be heading deeper into New Jersey then I already lived to engage in an activity that was so not the type of thing older married people with babies and houses usually do. I felt like I was handing in my "youth card" by agreeing to go, but the truth is it was a hell of a lot of fun.

I learned at this little function, that a parent with a baby sitter is more then ready to take advantage of a night off! While all of our tolerances are a bit lower, and I did hear a few complaints about it being past peoples bed times, this little crew partied late into the night, and we all held our own drinking more then our fair share. I hope those parents that were with us, were not as hung over as I was, or if they were that their children stayed with in-laws or grandparents until later in the day!

A big part of this "bar" crawl also seemed to be a recruitment tour for the town. I can't pretend I wasn't convinced by the end of the night that it would be great to move to an area where a lot of cool friends were there to soften the blow of suburbia. Hence, I think the evil plan could have taken root just a little.

Overall it was an awesome night, that helped me realize that it may not be that bad to move into the burbs. I was having a panic attack on the way there at the idea of living there, but the fun night made it less scary. I guess taking that next step into growing up won't be that bad, I hope. SB.