Although the title of this post is Day 1, it is actually Day 3. My journey began at 3:30 a.m. on the morning of October 3. After a two-hour drive to the Las Vegas McCarran Airport, we boarded the plane and began our 29 hour flight. To be honest, I thought the flight would be worse than it actually was. I was recently in a car accident and was extremely worried about the lack of movement for that amount of time; however, I did take the opportunity to move as much as I could and didn't get sore or stiff at all. A great friend, who is a nurse and who has also traveled to South Africa, loaned me a pair of embolism socks, so I didn't have problems with circulation. I read a wonderful novel titled Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry and watched several movies including Incredibles 2 and Ferdinand. (I know...they are children's movies, but they were so enjoyable.)
After the long flight ended, I was greeted by my good friend, Laurie Hackett, who picked us up from the airport and drove us to her home on Kloof Street. ("Kloof" in Afrikaans means valley. It is a very common word such as it is in the US - death valley, sun valley, etc.)
I woke this morning at around 7 a.m. (11 p.m. MST) Laurie was making coffee in the kitchen as I groggily wandered into the bathroom. Afterwards, I stopped in the kitchen to say hello, but I was so incoherent that when Laurie looked at me, she simply said, "You should go back to bed, honey!" I'm not sure if I responded, but I do know that I made it back to bed.
I finally awoke at 11:30 a.m. and have been feeling rested all day. After getting ready for the day, we went on a walking tour of downtown Cape Town. Laurie is a wonderful tour guide. She is very knowledgable of the culture and history of South Africa, particularly of Cape Town. We walked along Kloof street, Bree Street, and Long Street. We viewed the Parade Plaza where Nelson Mandela addressed thousands of South African citizens when he was released from prison in the early nineties. We enjoyed a walk through The Company's Garden Park (the Central Park of Cape Town). It was beautiful with trees from all nations, and a flower and vegetable garden. We viewed the steelwork architecture of the Central Library, and had a great brunch at Bread Milk and Honey. I reached over 14,000 steps today touring the neighborhoods and downtown streets of Cape Town. It was wonderful.
After a couple hours relaxing at the apartment, we gussied up for dinner. We walked two blocks to a new hangout called The Moveable Feast, a French restaurant. The dinner and conversation were, oh, so good. I enjoyed a tender Springbok flank in the most divine sauce with a side of Pom Puree (otherwise known as mashed potatoes).
Today was a great day. I am a little awed by the fact that although I am halfway around the globe, I don't feel like I'm too far away from home. Yes, I do hear many different languages spoken on the streets and there a beautiful people of all colors here. It isn't a small town like little St. George, but being with my sister and best friend sort of makes it feel like home.