“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

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Lion Sands 1933 Lodge at Sabi Sands: Here, I Am Megan Fox

We’re nearing the end of our trip. I’m in mourning. When I travel I find myself to be romantic and bold. My hat sits at a jauntier angle. I think it’s a good idea to buy some lacy g-strings despite the post-pregnancy hemorrhoids. My life is scored by an internal soundtrack (the theme music from Out of Africa is currently playing in my head and I am wearing a crisp white shirt and waiting for Robert Redford to arrive in the 1929 De Havilland Gipsy Moth bi-plane). My breasts ride higher and my ass in a skirt looks like two ripe melons in a hammock.

Two days from now I return to the mom-tine: wake kids up, pack kids food, drive kids to school … just writing this incites a Pavlovian reaction to drink gin and tonic.

But I still have one full day of fabulous left. After an arduous travel day from Cape Town to Johannesburg to Nelspruit to our lodge I was a bit flatulent and weary. But I was instantly revivified when I arrived at the Lion Sands 1933 Lodge to this:

Lions Sands 2

The great room at the 1933 Lodge. I imagine Hemingway back from wrestling lions.

The lodge kitchen where many a meal were made to fatten me up like a spring ham.

The lodge kitchen where many a meal were made to fatten me up like a spring ham.

Lion Sands 3

The entry way where Hepburn and Spencer had their first liaison. Or so I imagine.

All five kids bunked together in the kids room and decorated their individual bunks with their toys and teddys from home.

All five kids bunked together & decorated their beds with toys from home.

The kids don't know I walked 15 miles to school in the snow. But I'll remind them.

The kids don’t know I walked 15 miles to school in the snow. But I’ll remind them.

My and Henry's bed. We could conceive Christ here. But we're old

My and Henry’s bed. We could conceive Christ here. But we’re old.

The Great White Henry asleep after seeing bush babies.

The Great White Henry asleep after seeing bush babies.

When I bathe here I become Megan Fox, but with a better body.

When I bathe here I become Megan Fox, but with a better body.

On this patio I could pen something as great as Sylvia Plath's "The Bel Jar," only less suicidal.

I could pen something as great as Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar” here, only less suicidal.

The pool where the kids tried to drown me.

The pool where the kids tried to drown me.  Very “Lord of the Flies.”

The view from the pool.

The view from the pool. Can you see our visitor wearing the fake nose and the fat suit?

I think we can all agree I’m a mediocre photographer at best, because what you can’t see in these photographs is how purple soft the gloaming is in the afternoons, how redolent the air of jacaranda and rich, red bush dirt, how the crickets sing and the hippos bay. (A hippo bay will cause your bowels to tremble in terror. You may, in fact, lose your shit.)

I know this is a sign of my limited literary scope when I trundle out this tired cliche: The bush is a “magical” world, but even better are the people.

Thank you Moses for walking me to my room after dark when I didn’t want to be a bother. I know losing a guest to a famished lion would be bad for business, but more importantly your gentility, chivalry and graciousness would be insulted.

Faith, your passionfruit cheesecake is divinity itself. You will be paying my Weight Watchers bill next month.

Israel, you were always there with warm, moist towels after a safari drive and were quick with the aforementioned gin and toics when necessary.

Lucas you are as kind as you are handsome and made our stay extraordinary.

That’s it from the bush for now. Thanks again to Destinations South Africa for planning our trip, and the More Hotels for providing us hearth and home.


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5 comments

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  1. Rosie Carrillo
    Rosie Carrillo 25 February, 2013, 12:51

    You’ve had me mentally receiting quotes from Isak Dineson – Out of Africa. Her words, (in the voice of Meryl Streep,) embody for me the enduring enchantment you can hold for a particular locale. There are a couple such spots, that will forever live in my heart. I have loved every deliciously vicarious second, shared by you in your photos and Blog! Thank You! Be safe….

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    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 25 February, 2013, 23:18

      Hi Rosie — There is something about visiting a new place that seems to peel away cynicism and instill wonder. xo

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  2. todopedrosalinascomes
    todopedrosalinascomes 7 July, 2013, 17:02

    First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had difficulty
    clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems
    like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying to figure out how to
    begin. Any suggestions or hints? Cheers!

    Reply this comment
  3. Scarlett Dingel
    Scarlett Dingel 9 July, 2013, 10:37

    Megan Fox said of being a popular media topic that, though she is not on the same level as Jennifer Aniston, Britney Spears, or Lindsay Lohan, she does find it difficult and that there have been times when people have avoided being around her because they do not want to end up in the media’s spotlight. “I need to behave in a way and handle myself in a way that will cause people to take me seriously,” ..-;:

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    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 10 July, 2013, 10:05

      I love Ms. Fox — she has a wicked sense of humor and is self-deprecating.

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