Day 27

  • Slept in which means waking up at 9am (thank you, internal alarm clock)
  • The gods of exercise were really frowning on me today: gym was already closed by the time I wanted to go AND exercise room on our roof was closed for heavy winds. Ended up working out in the kitchen so thanks @Morganne for watching and cheering me on.
  • Went down to the V&A waterfront with Brooke and Morganne
  • While they went to check out the Zeitz Museum of Modern Art, I headed to Exclusive Books (in the mall) to utilize their café
  • Played lots of sudoku, read my book, and updated the blog
  • After Brooke and Morganne saw a movie, I met up with them and three of Brooke’s Duke friends to grab a pub dinner while watching soccer
  • Started pouring rain during dinner and we got absolutely drenched on our way to the Uber. Begrudgingly blessing the rains down in Africa.

Day 6

If I lived today a thousand times over, that still wouldn’t be enough. Today was truly one of my favorites. We started the morning with a lunch trip to Kloof Street House, a delicious and eclectic restaurant on (you guessed it!) Kloof Street. When I asked for her guidance, my cousin Tabor, a Cape Town pro, insisted that we head to Kloof Street House for Sunday lunch because of the live jazz performance they have! Thank you x10000, Tabor, because the jazz made the meal absolutely unforgettable. If you’re ever lucky enough to spend a Sunday in Cape Town, definitely head there but beware: you should probably make a reservation ahead of time!

After a lovely lunch, we browsed down Kloof, popping into a few shops and gathering inspiration for Tess’ budding fashion line that she’s building while here in Cape Town. We ended up in the Company’s Garden, right behind the parliament buildings of South Africa. We strolled a little bit, laughed a little bit, and (I) fed a few squirrels (including an albino one??). Fantastic photo evidence can be found in the gallery. As we were leaving, we ran into the cutest dancing troupe. I’d love to know more about the specific culture/area they were representing, but for the time-being I’ll let you indulge in a video of their performance:

Following a quick walk home (and also a quick change of the Facebook profile picture post-Garden), we grabbed our books and headed out to Camps Bay for the sunset. We lounged on a blanket in the sand and pranced along the coastline, almost as if it was summer! But, sadly, it is, in fact, winter and our toes got quite chilly quite quickly. Around 5:45, we finally watched the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean… not something that people see very often. With the view of Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles, and Lion’s Head in the background, this view was absolutely stunning. So much so, that I literally had to FaceTime my parents (and my second half, Matt Gillam) to show them the gorgeous vista. We stayed in Camps Bay for dinner, grabbing some delicious pizza at a beachside restaurant (Mantra), then headed home for an early night. A few Mad Men episodes later, here we are. Xhosa word of the day is “beautiful”: entle.

Day 5

This morning got off to a slow start, with Tess, Morganne, and me (roommates) lounging in bed as we listened to the blissful sound of rain. In a city where day zero of a drought looms within the next year, rain is always a feat to be celebrated. Morganne and I zipped off to the local grocery store, Woolworths (very similar to Whole Foods), and picked up more of their incredible premade meals… from samoosas to wraps to soups to pies they have it all.

Around 11:30, we took off for Old Biscuit Mill, a shopping hub in Woodstock (suburb) that turns into a huge food/craft market on Saturday mornings. Food stalls were spread throughout the market offering selections from curry to paella to baked goods to pho and every cultural dish in-between. After a few rounds, I stuck with some Korean glass noodles and a grilled chicken seaweed burrito (“edo”), both of which were absolutely fantastic. This market is a must for any visitors and I place I hope to hit up every Saturday from here on out. The craft booths boasted beautiful jewelry, vintage clothes, and stylish bags and nearby shops provided an array of fashion, spices, and kitchenware. My wallet shed a few tears at the good ol’ Biscuit Mill.

We returned home to bask a little bit more in the glory of rain before heading upstairs to work out in the rooftop gym room (no machines, just mats and space). As sunset approached, we loved getting to squat, jump, and stretch all while looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Cape Town skyline. Pictures to come. Morganne and I stayed out on the rooftop deck reading as the sun truly set, providing a wonderful viewing point for the ~golden hour~.  Up there, I finished “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas which I cannot recommend enough. If you don’t believe me look at the list of awards it’s received: William C. Morris Award, Michael L. Printz Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and the longest for the 2017 National Book Award. Published in only February of 2017, this novel is simply incredible and also a very quick read.

Returned from the rooftop to whip up some delicious dinners / bran muffins (Woolworths mix for the win) and now we’re all laying in bed watching movies until we fall asleep. Xhosa word of the day is “delicious”: nandi.