Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Saturday is for shopping

Every Saturday, Kelsey and I go grocery shopping for the week. It's a bit like living in NYC - you can't just go to one spot and expect to find everything you need. Recently, we've developed a little loop that takes us to all of our favorite spots in just under two hours. 

We usually start with a quick breakfast somewhere to rally the spirits. Here's Kelsey on the very cold Veranda of Cafe Picobella, our little neighborhood Italian restaurant.

As you can see above, it's got some cool graffiti and a great view of traffic.

It's also got one of the coolest brick ovens I've ever seen (in back)

We then proceed to Impala Fruiters, a wholesale fruit and vegetable outfit. I think that box of oranges is about $2.70.

Inside it's quite an array of fresh produce jammed into tiny aisles.

Got to choose the broccoli carefully.

You get the basic USA stuff here, like beets, but you also get nice local fruits, like papayas.

When you ask for eggs, ask for "wohlfart's"!

The next stop is Impala Bakery, Olivia's, purveyor of fine breads, cakes and pies. This weekend we met the owner & manager, a fine Greek gentleman from Summit, NEW JERSEY. His relatives still own a restaurant there. Also, when people ask where we are from, we become instant local celebrities.

After we make a few impulse purchases at Olivia's (cough custard tarts cough, ahem), we head over to see our good friends at Impala butchers. We learned about this gem from Marina, who clued us in not only to the delicious meat products, but also to the wonderfully friendly people who run the shop. These gentlemen will happily cut any piece of meat you like, with an awesome bandsaw. Their biltong and döerwoers is, true to name, the best in town.

We would like the one on the right, please.
(As you can see, these guys hang their meat. Jonah asked how long they age it for, and our friend said they prefer to age meat for a minimum of three weeks.)
Hands down, best meat we've ever purchased. If you visit, we will go.

And what the heck, we'll take the middle one here too.

The last stop in the Impala strip is, of course, vying for top spot: LIQUOR CITY! This store contains some of the best wine in the country, at unbeatable prices. Believe me, we know, we've done our research.

Okay. We won't beat around the bush; we love cheese. Anyone and everyone we know gets this. Around our fourth month in Joburg, someone asked, 
"Haven't you been to the Cheese Shop in Linden?" 
Why, NO, we had not. 
And we have never looked back.
These ladies carry some of the best local cheeses, and are the SOLE PROVIDERS of Imported, Legitimate Pecorino Romano. It's safe to say that I love them.
 We can safely say that we highly recommend any of their cheeses, I particularly like the Belegen, Hougenot, and Kiliminjaro, ...oh and don't forget the local gorgonzola. Yum!

In addition to cheese, there are hard sausages, jams, preserves....

and the best olives.

So, as you can see, this upcoming weekend, we have a nice little Saturday planned. Impala fruiters, the butcher, the cheese shop, and maybe a visit to the candlestick maker?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Delta Park

While we were home, a lot of people asked about the relative size of South Africa. The following picture shows nicely that the USA (3.794 million square miles) is approximately 8 times the size of South Africa (471,000 square miles). The longest distance in South Africa (from Musina to Cape Town) is 1189 miles, or a little further than driving from Lubec, Maine to Wilmington, North Carolina. 

On Delta Park

Midas: On Saturdays, Mom and Dad make us get into the car and we go to this place called Delta Park (I think). I don't really like the car very much because Dad's driving is terrible, but Melly never seems to notice. 

Midas: Lie down, Melly, it's the cops!

Midas: I always know when we get to the park, because Dad says bad stuff about the driving of other people through this narrow gate. 
Mella: Inside this fence are some really delicious poops. You should try one.

Midas: Dad says I "bother" people, so I have to wear this necklace.

Midas: I don't really get this place. Mom said it's a Nature Center and I can't pee on it, so it's not very interesting in my opinion.

Midas: I don't really understand why Mom gets upset with me for jumping the fence at home when she's always making me jump fences at the park. I don't think she's very smart.

Mella: Often, a tree like this will have a delicious poop underneath it. The key to getting it is act totally natural, then wolf it down when nobody is looking.

Midas: This guy is really big, and Mom said he's like her boss or something. She seemed really happy to see him.

Mella: Another good time to snack on a poop is when Dad is taking pictures of stuff.

Mella: I'm hiding in the tall grass, waiting to pounce on these two idiots.

Mella: I don't get it. I go and do a cool thing like making a motor boat with my tail, and Dad doesn't even thank me for spraying duck poop and rotten leaves all over his jeans.

Midas: This is the place where I like to chase the baseball. One time I also chased a big dog here, and he got so scared he ran out of the gate and down the street. But then Mom caught me and I had to put my necklace back on.

Midas: On these long walks, we like to stop for a water break. I'm the handsome brown dog on the left. 

Midas: Biting your sister is an important part of a walk. She's so dumb, she doesn't even know that I'm supposed to win this wrestling match.  

Midas: These people are liars. There isn't a single tiger guarding the premises. Instead, there's a really lame old dog that just barks and won't let me sniff his butt.

Midas: Walking Mom and Dad around the park is very tiring. Please stop bothering me.

Midas: Go on without me, I'm just going to pass out here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Well, it's been two weeks since we got back from our trip home to the USA. We didn't take all the pictures we wanted (so please, friends, if you took some photos send them to us!), but here are a few of the highlights.

You'd think this is NYC, but actually it's the Gautrain, Southern Africa's only viable piece of public transportation. It's actually really really good. But you have to drive to the station. Thanks for the lift, Pia!

Bags checked 3.5 hours ahead of time. Hmmmmm, what should we do?

After a few short hours at the bar, plus a vodka tasting at duty free, Mr. Mandela cheerfully bid us goodbye and safe travels.

Kelsey's especially happy because TSA let her keep her knitting needles.

After 14 hours of NOT SLEEPING, very tired at JFK.

The bridge that takes you home. To New Jersey.

No time to pose, 3 hours of traffic plus Dunkin' Donuts spells E-M-E-R-G-E-N-C-Y

Even the deer tan in NJ

The day after we landed, we headed to DC and Annapolis to see our friends and family. Lindsay and Dave took us to the Amish Market

Where we somehow resisted this chocolate covered bacon

But happily indulged in a breakfast log and two cheesesteak logs. They did not disappoint. 

At Lindsay's baby shower

Then we were off to Long Branch, NJ to party down the shore with Neil and Katelyn, with a cameo from the Wizard. Monday night shots? I think so!

Which way to the beach?

Nobody does pizza like Jersey.

This tree loves freedom more than anything. 

Then a quick stop in Tom's River to see Grandma Glennon (AKA Hot Wheels), and Uncle John and Aunt Norma.

Phew! Back to Bridgewater to snuggle our favorite pitbulls for a night or two before Kelsey left for Utah and the Evolution conference.

Flying over the Great Salt Lake. No angel Moroni sightings yet.

Our hotel looked like barracks from the outside, but the inside was pretty sweet!

 Hike down from Hidden Peak, descending nearly 2500 feet from 11,000! Snow in June, too!

Then, back from Utah for Augie's 22nd birthday!

The very next day, we left for Masterchusetts. Here's Kelsey and Joe at Rock Shelter, close to Spencer, MA.

Peeking out the window of Lucy Stone's house, near Brookfield, MA.

Follow the red string to chart the cat's movements.

We popped up to Maine to meet Brigid, our new niece.

And were treated to a feast of pork and pickled carrots, cabbage and beets.

Goodbye Hubbardston! Off to see all of our friends' children!

With Baby Maeve in West Boylston, MA

Too much fun for little Joey!
But not for Vincent!

Livi is by far the smartest 2 year old we've ever met. She can even identify Pat Sharp

The stone library in Princeton Center, where I grew up.

And no trip to MA is complete without Indian Pudding ice cream from Rhoda Springs!

Back in Jersey we left our Ipad unattended while enjoying the pool. Love ya Katelyn!

And it was time for some serious loungin!

Pitbulls for peace

Oh yeah. Chinese take-out.

Then to Aunt Barb's to say hi to Mor Mor.

And the cousins!

And then a bit of pizza.

Stay classy til next year, USA! We won't miss the traffic, but we'll sure miss the family and friends!