WIN With The Entertainer 2018

The first time I ever heard about The Entertainer was a few years back, when a friend had mentioned that it was her new favourite secret Santa gift to give at Christmas time. After doing some research, I could see why. It actually sounded a bit too good to be true – an app that qualified you for offers on the places you already frequented – two for one meals at tons of restaurants, and special offers and discounts at thousands of places from beauty and fitness to hotels and shops.

The first time we personally used it was at the now-closed Smile restaurant – it was a quick and easy process and since then I have been a really big fan of the brand.

2017 has come and pretty much gone and I don’t feel like we’ve used the offers enough – so I was really excited to be invited to the launch of the Entertainer 2018 this week and hear about all the new offerings for next year.

Having a kid and a baby on the way is expensive. There are days when I actually wonder how we can ever resume a normal life – once school fees, medical aid bills, food and clothing is out the way, we are pretty much left with money to cover the bare necessities – so luxuries such as restaurants other than Spur and niceties like going for a wax or having my nails done have gone right out the window. The last time I had my hair done? May. I look like I’m trying to bring the mullet back.

The event was awesome – and so nice to catch up with fellow bloggers. We were all treated to pizza, beer buckets and hilarious comedy at parkers Comedy Club (one of the venues you can find on The Entertainer) as well as an amazing goodie bag to take home. How are these travel mugs? I’m convinced I was their muse for this one.

I’ve spent a bit of a time in the last fe weeks reflecting on the year that was, and trying to decide on what I want to change in 2018. Not to be funny, but I genuinely want to start taking advantage of loyalty and rewards programs more. Everything from my Medical Aids Vitality program to my Banks ‘discount’ points and what the Entertainer can offer me.

So, in a declaration-slash-bucket-list-slash-resolution list I’m going to jot down just some of the ways in which The Entertainer app is going to make my life easier, more fun and help save me some cash dolla in the process:

Firstly, away with the unintentional ombre and 80’s rock hair. My hairdresser is already on the app, first win!

Being 6.5 months pregnant, I cant reach my toes, and therefore anything below my ever expanding belly needs to now be supervised by someone other than my well-meaning but functionally useless manicurist of a husband. A quick search of the app shows that theres a nail bar 4km from my house. Sorted

 

 

In exactly 3 months I will be giving birth, which means I will need to shed a sheet ton of pasta baby weight afterwards. I’ve attended several Switch classes and loved them, and now I see the Lonehill branch is also on the app. Sweet. Sweat.

 

It was our wedding anniversary last month and we didn’t go out because, well, I’m sober, and what’s a dinner without a delicious bottle or two of fermented grape? I told my husband I wanted to save a really nice night out for after baby was here – so he will be given the app and he can choose a lovely spot to wine and dine his wife (on the cheap).

Having an active toddler means I’m always on the lookout for places to take him. He will be three in May which means he will finally be allowed to go to Bounce – and I think I’m more excited than anyone. Boom, thank you The Entertainer. There are actually so many cool spots for kids (and kids at heart) on the app.

 

 

With a newborn, comes mess. Apparently I’m not the only one who needs one because dry-cleaners are-a-plenty on the app.

 

 

Every year we go on a girls weekend to a really local lekker place. I’ve blogged about these pics trips before. Every several years we go for a week and make it an International destination. We have gone to Zanzibar, Machadadorp, Rosendal, Clarens, Ballito and The Drakesnberg to name a few. So far we have our 2019 Overseas choices down to about 15 venues. Including Morocco, Bali, The Maldives and Mauritius. I am the most excited about the travel benefits on The Entertainer – because 20% discounts means more moola  for beachside cocktails…

These are just a few of my prime selections for 2018, using The Entertainer. The good news is that I am giving away one subscription to a lucky Jozi/Pretoria resident. The app is valued at R500 but will save you thousands in the New Year.

To enter, all you need to do is tell me the top 3 things you would use the most on the app – be it travel destinations, restaurants or excursions.

Leave your answer in the comments – the winner will be drawn and announced this Friday. For an extra entry into the draw make sure you follow my blog and share the link to my page and post on your wall.

Good Luck!

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A Glamping Experience!

Is anyone else feeling like this year must just end now? I am so ready for 2018. Although 2018 has been great (baby news, renovations and other lovely things) it has also been a year of difficulties. My pregnant body is tired of 7-day-work weeks and although that wont change come 1 January, at least it will feel like somewhat of a fresh start.

I’ve been revelling in my rare ‘off’ days lately, and so it was such a treat to be invited by Tented Adventures to come sty at one of their camps for a weekend a month or so back. Barry and I were all too eager to ditch the dry heat of Jozi and head to the Pilansberg Nature Reserve for 2 nights of bush bliss.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – the website for Tented Adventures promised ‘an authentic African safari experience‘, but it also mentions ‘tent’, and to me anything in a tent is camping. So, it was with excitement and a little trepidation that we headed off early Saturday morning.

Upon arriving at the camp we were greeted by the friendly camp manager, Bennie, who showed us to our ‘room’ and told us to relax for a few hours until our 5 pm game drive. The tent was actually perfect – on a raised platform with plug points, a fan, hotel quality duvets and a sturdy bed, I could have quite comfortably stayed there for a week or more. The private area, to the side of the main camping site, had several tents and then the main tent – where guests would eat dinner together or grab a hot coffee and rusk before the 4 am game drive.

The heat was ferocious as we arrived, and unfortunately Barry had to leave to head back to town as we arrived to find a battery for his car. I took advantage of the alone time and static heat and stillness and dozed on the bed. Something I did the very next day as well. There really is something about the bush that just makes you so relaxed.

There aren’t ablutions on the site so guests do have to walk several hundred metres to the main campsite and ablution facility. I am no princess, but shared ablutions have never been my thing, ever, so I must admit it was the least favourite aspect of my trip. I can also blame my pregnancy, but having to wee all the time meant frequent dusty walks to and from the tent to the loos. I mastered the ‘roughing it’ look and managed to avoid washing my hair the entire duration of our trip.

Dinner was served after the game drives in the main tent. The food was simple but tasty, and we were so exhausted after 4 hours of game spotting that we downed our food and headed straight to bed. The website did mention that drinks were included, but they weren’t. Next time I would be better prepared and bring along snacks, such and booze for us to enjoy at mealtimes and on the drives. Luckily theres a campsite shop so Barry could buy some beer. No-fun knocked up over here nursed her water and Sprite. On the second night there was a power failure so we all headed to the main lodge restaurant for supper.  Not at all associated with Tented Adventures, this was one of the worst culinary experiences of my life – but made hilarious and fun due to the crowd we were with and the absolute comedy of the evening. The Manyane camp in Pilansberg really is stuck in the 1970s and the overall place could do with a huge revamp (and some waitron training!). Again, our camp manager Bennie really made a huge effort to make sure we were all fed and looked after and did his best at helping us in a situation he had zero control over.

Breakfasts were also served at the main restaurant and if you are a foodie, I wouldn’t suggest touching Pilansberg with a 10 foot barge pole. However, if like me, you are an animal and wildlife lover, then you can overlook the catering and come just for the game drives. An absolute highlight of our trip, we were fortunate enough to see of of the Big 5. Our rangers were enthusiastic and super knowledgable and I would go back and back and back just to relive the sightings and animals we saw. Game drives take place twice a day and after every drive you are met by the staff who make sure you are escorted to your tent or off the vehicle safely.

Tented Adventures is really reasonably priced and perfect for the bush lover who isn’t quite ready to take the camping plunge just yet, but is keen to dip their toe into some tented water. No kids allowed, which means apart from game drives there really is nothing to do except relax, read and refresh.

For more info, head on over to their website to find out more.

Thank you Tented Adventures – you prepped me so well that I actually went proper camping 2 weeks later!

 

 

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Crushing on 22 Months

There are some days of being a parent where I wonder what the hell I’ve gotten* myself in to, and other days where it’s decidedly the absolute best thing I have ever done. I’ve had one of those days-turned-weeks recently, and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve bred a #LegendChild or because he’s at a certain age, but my little human has hit champion status, and I am absolutely loving him at the moment (not to say I don’t ever love him, but he’s just even more awesome than normal lately.)

Here are a few reasons why i’m totally crushing on 22 months.

  • He can understand, comprehend and communicate. Have you ever heard a parent say to their small child “I am so proud of you“? I remember hearing moms say it and I would puke a little bit in my mouth every time. What the actual fuck could you be proud of in a toddler? Proud that they didn’t shit their nappy? Proud that they didn’t have a tantrum? Proud that they were beginning to look like small adults? I totally get it now. When your child gets to the age where they mimic, talk, learn, copy empathise and communicate, when they start acting out instructions and learning routine and doing clever things like acknowledging life, you actually think your heart might explode from the proudness. I promise. It’s real. So don’t mock charge next time you hear a mommy coo’ing over their child’s seemingly mundane behaviour, because your kid learning to put a lid back on a toy, unplug the bath, wipe up a spill, tell you who their best buddy is  or hand you a steak knife that you’d accidentally left on their plastic dinner plate (not my proudest moment) without slicing their arteries open, is pretty much the equivalent of them bagging an MBA or receiving a job offer from Richard Branson.
  • They can be bribed. Which means resisting a nappy change can be halted in one fluid sweep with the simple threat of confiscating their dummy. Giving them medicine can be easily done with the promise of a sweet (or a raisins in my sons case) afterwards. Suddenly, every day goods become bartering gold mines. As long as the bribery object in question is treated with excitement and an air of pricelessness, your child will want it, and therefore will do everything to get it.

“Carter, if you don’t stop shouting I will not let you hold this plastic comb!”

  • They do things that are hilarious and video-worthy. Like the day my son learnt to say the word ‘fuck’, see below. It is both my most and least proud moment.

(I wasn’t going to share this as we had just returned home from overseas, my house is in shambles and I still have those nightmare inducing pink tiles, but hey, what the fuck right? PS – any flooring companies out there willing to do a makeover in my home? Let’s chat.)

  • They travel well. You may or may not know that we recently returned from a week away in Mauritius (blog post on that coming soon!)  and despite the “are you batshit crazy?!” comments from other moms who couldn’t believe we would be travelling with a kid under 2, he was better behaved than most of us. He even travelled well on an aeroplane, which may or may not have had anything to do with the ice cubes he was sucking from my breakfast GnT.

 

  • They can be trained. I may have lost a set of crystal goblets along the way, but my son can now bring me a glass of wine and replace said empty glass on the table when I’m done. I mean, if that alone isn’t worth having a kid, then I don’t even know what is.

*Dad, if you’re reading this, then yes ‘gotten’ is a word and no, I shall not replace it with something more satisfactory.

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A Walk On The Wild Side

I’m back at work. Which means I’m desperately trying to find my new normal, whilst nonchalantly dressing up my fat jeans and re-learning how to wear a bra that doesn’t have boob flaps in them. To celebrate my last weekend of dedicated motherhood, I did a very un-motherhood thing and went away. This then meant that Carter had his first sleepover, and of course it also meant that my little treasure slept a solid 13 hours. Typical.

Before you start judging and throwing hypothetical rotten tomatoes in my face, please understand that I needed to get away. Because what’s a grief stricken almost-back-to-work mom to do? Drive three hours out of Joburg and drink her body weight in wine, that’s what.

The fabulous folk at the Protea Hotel ‘Ranch’ in Polokwane kindly hosted us for one of their ‘Chefs Tables’. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect (I mean, Polokwane??) but reality far exceeded my expectations. The Ranch Hotel is situated on a private game reserve just 25kms south of the Limpopo’s capital city, and from the second you drive in through the gates you feel relaxed. It’s very seldom that the drive up to a hotel reception includes roaming Blesbok instead of bellboys. I already knew that this place was going to be special.

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We arrived, unpacked, jumped on the beds (kidding. KIDDING) drank a sherry and made our way to the bar for a pre-dinner drink. I told you, we were wine serious that night. The resort is magical, and I’ve already book-marked it for my next annual girls holiday.

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The dinner, and the main reason for our trip, blew my mind. Hosted and created by ‘Chef Dan’ the food, ambiance and company was superb from start to finish. I loved how we were an intimate table of 10; we were joined by local media, tourism members and a few journalists from Joburg as well as the owner and marketing manager of The Ranch.

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I judge a good meal on the creativity of the vegetarian option (Lord, let me never see another carrot in phyllo pastry again) and Chef Dan and his team quelled my fears with each course.

Our food ranged from Salmon Tartar Blinis, to Gorgonzola Gnocchi, Beef Fillet Bordelaise and mouth-watering king prawns. Dessert was a South African take on a British tea – Rooibos pannecotta and honey gel cubes. Each course was served with a wine, and we drank everything from Champagne to Merlot to Petit Rouge. Not kak.

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Full and happy we stumbled back to the bar for a nightcap (I really cannot emphasise the seriousness of my task here friends). There we sat and chatted about the resorts history and got to know our fellow diners a little bit more.

The next morning we were up at sparrows poep to go and walk with the lions (No, not the rugby team, although some might argue that’s the fastest they’ll ever get. Yes, that’s a thing you can actually do there – and no, apparently sleeping in even when childless is not an option). Sadly, the rain was bucketing down so we we had to ‘paws’ (weak, I know, but this mum dumb brain is lingering) the lion walk. I’m seriously hoping to crack another nod to go back and experience the walk another time.

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All round a fantastic way to wrap up the last 4 months of maternity leave. Although, at the rate I’m going, these work fat pants may be here to stay.

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The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Mates

I have strep throat. Which is actually a good thing, as strep throat always means I’ve gone away with the girls. There have been some deviations to the strep – such as the plague like rash that covered my legs in Zanzibar, or the double bronchitis and laryngitis that rendered me to the sick bay in Dullstroom.

This weekend marked another year of what we’ve fondly labeled ‘Team Vino’. An annual getaway with the girls to a (generally) local destination in SA. I don’t know why, but this trip has been my favourite one so far. It might have something to do with the 40+ bottles of wine consumed over the space of 48 hours, or the ‘only 2 hour ‘cos I’m hungover’ hike which turned into a 6 hour trek through some of the finest countryside South Africa has to offer. It may have something to do with the box of grape cigarettes bought, when none of us is a smoker, the cheese and biscuits for breakfast, the 4 pm pizza and champagne or the very flamboyant ‘special friend’ Johann who we met at the local backpackers for shots of Potency and red lipstick.

I suspect however, that this girls weekend was my favourite because in-between the drunken karaoke, the debate over the decline in bobby pins, or the hysterical laughter upon finding out that the UFO we were all convinced was floating on the horizon was in fact a far away mountain fire, this weekend was all about 8 very close friends, spending 2 very special days together.

It was about 3 hours in to the mountain hike when one friend commented (look, it could be due to dehydration, but go with me) “we are all so smart, and great, and clever, and nice”. And she’s right. The 8 of us, some friends from high school and some picked up along the way, are some of the most creative, smart, savvy, intelligent and funny people that I have the privilege of calling my friends. There’s Alison, who I have been friends with for 27 years. Alison is the smartest chick I know. She’s the one who’s trying to convince me to start a podcast on the blog. She’s a terrific hugger, and she doesn’t give a shit about your personal space issues. She’s also the only person I know who hair is always ‘blowing in the wind’ perfect in photographs. When I grow up I want to be like Allison.

There’s Ilona. I met Ilona through a series of circumstances which weren’t terribly pleasant – but like the light at the end of the tunnel, there she was. All bronzed legs, boobs and loud laughter. Ilona is always up for anything. She’s my go to person when I’m in desperate need of a glass of wine. Or a shot of tequila. She’s the first person to get involved. She’s also a terrific dancer, a bloody genius and has a daughter who is going to rule the world one day. Ilona doesn’t give a shit about most things, but she gives a whole lot for her friends. Ilona was the witness at our wedding. That’s how much I trust her.

Amy is my sister from another Mister. It’s sometimes hard to explain the relationship we have. Other girls are loud ‘squeals and ohmigodss’ and hugs. Amy and I are tinned soup and Pick n Pay vests. We know what the other person is thinking and tend to communicate in silence a lot of the time. Amy is revoltingly skinny. She borrows my clothes and looks magnificent in them. Amy ‘bought’ me a cleaner as a housewarming, that’s the kind of person she is. Amy too, is bloody smart, and she’ll Web MD your ass in a nano second. Funny rash? Amy will tell you what it is before it has a chance to itch.

If it does begin to itch, then Candice will have the cream for it. Candles, as I fondly refer to her, came into my life like a rocket ship. It’s hard to picture time before her. If you ever need a motivational pep talk, or someone to talk you down from a ledge, call Candice. She will throw profanities like confetti, but man alive it’s a treat. Candice always looks amazing. Dolled up, dressed down, no makeup or dressed in a burlap sack, she pulls it off.

“Hey Candles, where did you get that burlap sack”

“The burlap sack store”

Speaking of clothes, I’ve resolved to never ask Kerith where she ‘got those great leggings from’ because the answer is always something along the lines of ‘The South of France’. Possibly the most well travelled person I know, Kerith and I share a strong love for makeup and sarcasm. Kerith will also always tell you about things that you have no interest in hearing, but she doesn’t care, and tells you anyway. Just this weekend she went on for about 25 minutes about a local dam and its history. It’s a bloody good thing I like you, Kerith.

Remember I told you that Candice will always have that cream for that rash? Lauren is the one who makes sure that there is sufficient cream left in the tub. My favourite A typer, Lauren and I met when we each had broken wings. We nursed ourselves back to full flight on a diet of quiche, Greys Anatomy and Red Wine. Lauren says I saved her, I say she saved me. Either way, we found ach other and rely heavily on our conversations of what gym programme to do on a certain day, what tagine is right for which curry and when the best time to plant a seasonal vegetable is.

Have you ever seen a close up of the sun? That’s pretty much how bright Shannons smile is. She is possible the most radiant soul I have ever met. Almost as well traveled as Kerith, and as up for anything as Ilona, Shannon is the biggest sport of them all. Just last year she took up triathlon, and I’m pretty certain next year she’s going to be winning them. If one ever needs a glass of wine, Shannon will be there with the corkscrew. She’s also flipping clever. And attractive. An all rounder really.

So there you have it, just 7 of my closest friends. There are more, so many more, and in each of them I have found a friend soul mate.

There’s just something about spending time with those you love the most, and the busier our lives get, the harder it is to do. We’ve already planned next years trip – ideas of Botswana, Namibia, Seychelles and Mauritius are doing the rounds. I don’t care. As long as I end up with these girls by my side, a couple of bottles of wine and some lifelong memories, I’ll be happy.

Even if it means more strep throat.

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Zanzibar
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The Rankin Honeymoon – Penang

The cab ride from the harbor at Lemut to Penang took around 4 hours. Our cab driver, Geoff, had a severe case of verbal diarrhea and did not stop talking the entire way. This twice divorced father of one ex factory worker and numerology fan was a hoot and kept us entertained the entire way.

I knew I would love Penang the second we drove onto the Island. Penang Island is part of the state of Penang, on the west coat of Peninsular Malaysia.

Malaysia has another island called “Pulau Pinang”, which is a diving site located in South China Sea and part of the Johor Marine Park, which consists of a group of islands: Pulau Aur, Pulau Dayang, Pulau Lang, and Pulau Pinang itself. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

The Island is huge – not the sandy half moon complete with palm tree you would expect – this place is full of homes, malls, restaurants, universities and has a population of 700 000 people. It;s alos diverse and full of history, and I couldn’t wait to explore it all.

We stayed at the gorgeous Shangri la Hotel in the suburb of Batu Ferringhi. Our room and view was gorgeous and the hotel was right on the beach. We quickly made friends with the barmen at our beach bar and the majority of our fruit content fr the next 3 days came from the fresh margaritas they made us.

Lime and Cranberry Margaritas

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The view from the pool – facing the hotelImage

View from our room

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No Honeymoon bubbly – this time it was a rose. Because that’s the most practical thing to give a traveling International tourist. 

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ImageImageOur hotel also had ‘first in Penang’ Cronuts. Score!

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Friends we had met in Pangkor Laut had told us about a restaurant to try in Penang called ‘Long Beach Cafe’. Lucky for us it was apparently on the road we were staying on – so on our first night we set off to find it. Our road was also home to the famous Penang night market so we spent hours browsing and looking for the restaurant. We could not find it, so to avoid starving (I jest, we never went longer than an hour between meals) we decided to eat a huge indoor food hall. We later found out that that was in fact Long beach cafe and it was delicious! I chose from the Indian stand and Barry from the Malay. There were about 30 stalls to choose from, and the food was dirt cheap and delicious.

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Barrys R15 chicken, rice and prawn dish

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I ate my prawn curry before we remembered to take a photo

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Now, the part I was most excited for was a visit to GeorgeTown – the capital of Penang. Known worldwide for its street art, I was dying to take photos and explore the town. And explore we did – street art is everywhere and walls, roads and everything in between is covered with art. One of the more famous street artists is Ernest Zacharevic. He incorporates objects such as bicycles and swings into his murals and people flock from all over the world to see his work. he is often referred to as ‘The Banksy of Penang’.

I call this ‘Barry reads a map in the back of a bus’

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Being the cool cats we were, we were allowed to sit at the back of the Hotel bus and make out.

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Malaysia is obsessed with Owls. Obsessed.

 

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I call this one ‘Barry reading a map under the shade of the tree above him. In black and white’ 

 

 

 

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So about 4 hours and 15 km into our George Town trek, I realised I may have a spot of heat stroke. Considering it was over 40 degrees with a humidity level of 100% I wasn’t particularly surprised. I credit my survival that day to Coca-Cola and ISO 1000.  Here is Barry sampling the delicious-ness that is ISO 1000 (sugar and water in a tin, 2 bucks, sorted). Also, as much as I love curry – when you are hotter than the front chair in Satan’s hell you feel like anything but. Alas, it was all one can find to eat – so ate curry we did.

 

 

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Note the sweat patches still (this is after sitting for an hour to cool down)

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An old man sells plums from his home in Love Lane

 

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Town Hall

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Taking cover under a bridge and waiting for the rain to pass.

 

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One of the attractions in Penang is a train ride to the top of Penang Hill. Taking our chances with the rainy weather we set off one day to hopefully catch break in the showers and get the view. Unfortunately it rained solidly the entire day, but even though the view was obscured the train ride itself was worth the trip.

 

 

The train taking us up Penang Hill

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Selfies at the top of Penang Hill

 

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I don’t know what I expected from the inside of the building in Penang Hill – but it was very similar to a canteen – with the bottom floor consisting of an Owl museum (of course, so logical) and various vendors selling fruit, and the top floor consisting of more vendors selling local Malay food. Typically the only counter serving ‘french fries’ had a very long queues. I’m not sure why people travel if they aren’t willing to sample the local cuisine.

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Unfortunately the rain obscured any chance of a view

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The rest of our time in Penang was spent reading, swimming, eating, drinking and sampling every flavour of margarita at the beach bar (we were unanimous in our decision that lime was the clear winner).

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This Tom Yum soup was one of the spiciest dishes I have ever eaten. It took me over an hour to finish, and several bears to put out the fire in my mouth. I then managed to get some in my eye – Barry was lovely – in between laughing he even managed to get some photos of me writhing in agony. 

 

 

Tom Yum Soup

 

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Angry Birds water, anyone?

 

 

 

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The Rankin Honeymoon Part 1 – Kuala Lampur

Choosing a Honeymoon destination is not easy. You need to think of places undiscovered, places you will probably never go again, romantic places, interesting places, exotic places. Then there’s the other options to consider – budget, time, tsunamis…

Our original Honeymoon choice was Kenya, but after hearing the prices we quickly forgot that plan. Islands such as the Maldives and Mauritius, although beautiful, just didn’t appeal to us – we wanted sea and sun and sand yes, but we also wanted food and photos and adventure and culture. It was only after my parents suggested it, that Malaysia became an option, and then the only option.

Choosing the country was where my involvement ended, and Barry’s took over. He planned the entire thing from start to finish and, if I may say, did a bloody good job!

The itinerary was a surprise until the day we left, and because we managed to fit so much in I thought it best to break #therankinhoneymoon blog series up into bite size chunks.

So here goes; the first installment. Kuala Lampur.

‘I don’t sleep well in pla…’ was about all I managed to get out before I passed out and slept literally all the way from Joburg to Dubai. They will tell you planning a wedding is exhausting and they will tell you, you will sleep. They were right. From Dubai we caught another flight to Kuala Lampur and apart from sleeping most of the time as well we still managed to fit in copious amounts of GnTs – Emirates are not stingy with their cocktails.

Landing in Kuala Lampur you are greeted by…well, nothing. Its 9pm and you’re exhausted so apart from fruit stands selling dessert in egg shells and the striking humidity of the place, it all looks very ‘Joburg’. That is until you see it in the day.

Our first night was a on-event. By the time we managed to get to the hotel, check in and shower it was well after midnight Malaysia time and because we had been flying for around 23 hours we quickly fell into bed. Into a King sized 1000 thread bed at the Majestic nonetheless, but fall we did.

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The Majestic Hotel
The Majestic Hotel

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The Majestic Hotel
The Majestic Hotel

Breakfast at this hotel, and all the others, looked like something out of an all you can eat Malay buffet. Delicious!

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The Majestic Hotel
The Majestic Hotel

Cue day 1 – the official start of Honeymoon and trying to impress me Barry suggests we go shopping. Our hotel transfer takes us to a shopping mall in a district called ‘Bukit Bintang’.

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Bukit Bintang
Bukit Bintang

Sadly for me the cheapest shop was a Louis Vuitton, and apart from browsing and silently weeping at the things I could never afford (apart from a coveted Urban Decay ‘Naked’ eye shadow palette from Sephora, of course) we left and explored the city.

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Shopping at 'The Pavillion' Kuala Lampur
Shopping at ‘The Pavillion’ Kuala Lampur

The comparison between that side of the mall and a few kilometers away is incredible. Not far from the skywalks and air-conditioned malls lies the place we had been dreaming of leading up to the trip. Malaysia’s version of China Town is a heaving, sweating, steaming, foodgasmic mess of people, sights, sounds, cars and energy. Street food markets and massage parlors litter the streets and even though its frenetic and overwhelming, its also incredible to watch as each and every person, shop and stand has its place.

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Visiting Kuala Lampur
Visiting Kuala Lampur

The well known street food market only opens up after 6 pm, so we grabbed lunch and explored some more before heading back to the Pavillion to get ready for our 7 pm Petronas Towers Tour.

A definite tourist trap but a must see – The Petrona Towers are an iconic landmark in Kuala Lampur and the price was semi-worth it to get to the top and get a birds eye vie of this vibrant city.

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Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers

We made our way back to China Town – now having established that we had walked at least 15-20 kilometers that day – and wandered around. I found a luggage store to buy a backpack in and I’m so glad we popped in – there in his dog crate was the sweetest bulldog we had ever seen. His name was Tiger, and Barry and I spent 20 minutes playing with him in the back room much to the shop owners surprised delight.

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"Tiger"
“Tiger”

Dinner in China Town is still one of our favourite meals from the trip. I based everything I ate from there on out on the Tom Yum soup I had and Barry’s word of the holiday became ‘Nasi Goreng meaning ‘mixed fried rice’. We also grew very fond (read fat) of the local beer ‘Tiger’. Alcohol in Malaysia is eye wateringly expensive (as we would soon discover at our next stop) and even a beer at a street market worked out to be R60.

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China Town at night, Kuala Lampur
China Town at night, Kuala Lampur

Feet aching and bellys bursting we returned back to our hotels satiated, sweaty and sleep deprived.

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