Wine Tasting and Cheetah Petting in Cape Town, South Africa

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Traveling can be The Agony and The Ecstasy. Just so you don’t want to garrote us for galavanting in the sub-tropical South African veld here’s a little Agony.

Willa barfing on the plane from Johannesburg.

Willa barfing on the plane from Johannesburg.

Fellow traveler Jamie's son got the stomach flu.  Why they look like Mary, Joseph and Jesus is beyond me.  Beatific even when sick.  Damned youth.

Jamie’s son has the stomach flu, but the family is still beautiful. Not fair.

But then, after a five-hour jostling coach ride and a two-hour flight and feeling just a little sorry for our smelly selves we arrived at the More Quarters Apartments in the Gardens district of Cape Town and felt like we’d entered the Holy Land aka The Mothership aka the Celestial Kingdom.

After checking in we bathed and fumigated ourselves then promptly ordered room service and went to bed.  We are no longer 20-year old boomerangs who can party for two weeks straight suffering only a hangnail and a maniacal facial tic.

We are old-ish and need our sleep. Then yesterday morning our fourteen-person party sallied forth to (in my opinion) literally the most beautiful place on earth. Stellenbosch wine country, which also includes the small town of Franschhoek which has some of the best dining and shopping in the world (the dress I’m wearing in some of the photos below was purchased there – and the ridiculously tall heels).

I’m moving to Stellenbosch with all the money I make on this blog. Which means I’m not moving there. Except in my dreams.

We visited two vineyards, the Anura and Tokara for wine tasting. Tokara sits atop a hill with a three quarters view of the Stellenbosch valley and reminds me so much of the Getty museum off the 405 in L.A. that I wondered if I hallucinated the 24-hour transatlantic flight (I’m still a little bitter about that.)

Our day was pretty much cheese and olive and bread dipped in wine. If we were Romans we would have needed to visit the Vomitorium. I am getting fat on this trip. There’s really no nice way to say it. But I am deciding I’ll deal with the fallout when I get home most likely eating nothing but Shame and Regret for a month.

Here are my admittedly inadequate photographic journals of our day:

Stellenbosch on a clear day.

Stellenbosch on a clear day.

Stellenbosch

Around each corner, beauty. This was taken from Anura Vineyards.

After our wine tasting we rushed off to pet cheetahs at a local cheetah preserve:

I camouflaged with a little leopard print in my dress.  Leopards can beat up cheetahs which was comforting.  This is Eigg and she is 8 month old.

I camouflaged with a leopard print dress. Leopards can beat up cheetahs which was comforting.

Today we’re just going to kick around Cape Town, then celebrate Jamie’s 27th birthday with dinner at the Dutch colonial-era Mount Nelson hotel.  I never thought I’d be back in Cape Town let alone visiting the Mount Nelson where I stayed when I had a job in CT over thirteen years ago.

Thanks for letting me share this journey with you.  This trip wouldn’t have been possible for us had it not been for Destinations South Africa and The More Hotels.  xo

 

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4 comments

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  1. Susan
    Susan 21 February, 2013, 13:21

    Oh, my God, someone deserves to be able to move there, why not you? I’ll help you get there. At least I can say I commented on a blog of a person who made enough money to move to their dream place.

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  2. Girl to Mom- Heidi
    Girl to Mom- Heidi 23 February, 2013, 08:35

    Hi Shannon, Heidi from L.A., I love seeing the pictures and I’m ridiculously jealous of your trip! I so want to do this with my family. You look beautiful.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 24 February, 2013, 01:26

      Hi Heidi — Thank you! I have to say I never wanted to go on safari, but I have been completely enchanted and hope to be able to come back in the future. I was just saying to Michael this morning that this place is magical.

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