CHAMPAGNE OCCASIONS & HONEYMOONS

There is something so delicious about this time of year!  Apart from the turkey and trimmings….. it’s a thing called love and family and sweet beginnings. Many a canny mother or dad seem to know to keep a special bottle of champagne hidden away for that “unexpected” occasion.  Champagne

We are going to the New Year’s Eve celebration of the NC Symphony again this year and I hope we are treated once more to another romantic evening.  Last time as we gathered for the second half of the concert the young girl sitting next to me, a total stranger, turned to me in sweet joy to show off her brand new engagement ring!  Her boyfriend had proposed to her during the interval and she was beside herself with delight!! A whole row of unassociated persons united for a few short minutes rejoicing, laughing and exclaiming with the happy young couple.

Yup, it’s the time of love, family and sweet beginnings.  Planning a wedding can be stressful and a somewhat daunting undertaking – but planning the honeymoon afterwards can be the easiest part if you turn to experts for help!  We have that expertise in romantic destinations.

This is the perfect time to try an exotic trip to Africa.  It’s surprisingly affordable.  Combine the elegance of the Cape winelands and the stunning scenery of the Peninsula with the thrill of a photographic safari in the bush.  Makoro canoeOr travel to the golden sands and pounding surf of the Indian Ocean and on to Big Five Wildlife in Zululand.  Glide on makoro canoes through the Okavango Delta, watch elephants splash and play in Botswana, marvel at the magnificent Victoria Falls and end your journey sipping sundowners as you watch the sun set from the top of ancient granite boulders. Marriage is a big adventure and what better way to celebrate than starting out with your own African adventure?

Do you dream of the sun-bathed islands of the Caribbean and see the two of you relaxing on white sand beaches, toes in warm aqua oceans while sipping something tropically colorful?  There are so many wonderful resorts to choose from on a bewildering array of islands, each with their own particular charm.  It makes all the difference to have expert assistance in picking out the one just right for you.

Perhaps it’s the time-drenched cultures of Europe that appeal.  A rambling wander through countryside dotted with castles, vineyards, olive groves or lavender fields.  Castle ChateauxJourney down a river on an elegant cruise, ride bikes or hike mountain trails, take a fast train or test drive a new Mercedes, focus on food or beer or art.  There are so many ways to make memories in Europe and what a special way to begin your life together!

Planning honeymoons and destination weddings are some of our most favorite trips.  It’s such a wonderful way to begin and as we celebrate our 33rd year of marriage – we think we know what we are talking about!  We’re looking forward to hearing from you in 2014 and beginning those plans.

Homecoming

After nights of sleepless excitement we have finally arrived!  We are back in Zimbabwe – our home land – as visitors.  How strange it all looks and yet how familiar.

Familiar sights

Our son was there waiting for us at Harare International Airport, the plane was early, all our luggage arrived and accounted for, the immigration and customs officials polite and rather bored, the airport clean if shabby and outside the sun is shining in a blue sky.  The countryside looks lush and green with long grass and flowering trees evidence of the past season’s good rains.  It seems informal markets selling wonderful woven grass and reed goods, wooden furniture and sculptures are back in business along with the tree-cutters who advertise their wares on hand painted metal signs hammered into the trees on many a corner.  A new addition are the sellers of “air time” who rush out into the traffic at each intersection to help you keep your all-important cell phone topped up!  Incredible dodging and weaving in between vehicles who behave as if these intrepid vendors are bionic or at the very least, invisible!

Baskets and benches

Avenues of dappled shadow and hard-edge sunshine bring good memories flooding back.  Riding home from school, heading off to matches, afternoon teas and morning playgroups.  There is a smile growing inside of me.  We drop our bags in the spacious guest suite of our friend’s home and gather outside on the patio to begin the unraveling of time and stories.  We sit under the shade of a large canvas umbrella and look out over the impeccably manicured lawn, luscious tropical plantings, their swimming pool and tennis courts as we chat and exchange news and slowly the last few hectic days fade steadily away.  And then as if to complete our homecoming, at four o’clock Blessing arrives carrying the tea tray.  It’s laden with teapot and mugs for a hot cuppa and freshly baked home-made crunchies, our most favorite of biscuits.  Ahhh!  Such a civilized tradition and one we have missed!

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