A Travellerspoint blog

San Fran & Seattle

After NYC it was time for us to make the long trek to San Fransisco. We arrived at the airport with about 5 minutes to spare (we blame the cocktails at the comedy club!!) and eventually got to San Fran late that evening, and much to our surprise it was really cold! We had expected to avoid cold weather for the rest of the year so we literally only had one warm top and no long pants – not ideal! Our (very small) hotel was right on the entrance to china town which was cool and quite central. Our first day in San Fran we took the cable car to Fisherman’s wharf where we went to the aquarium (yes, another one!!) and then on a bus tour of San Fran, which was awesome (but we pretty much froze to near death during the tour!).
TASHLEY ON THE CABLE CAR

TASHLEY ON THE CABLE CAR


SAN FRAN VIEW

SAN FRAN VIEW


TASH ON THE CABLE CAR

TASH ON THE CABLE CAR


ASH ON CABLE CAR

ASH ON CABLE CAR


TASHLEY ON BUS TOUR

TASHLEY ON BUS TOUR


We got to see a great view of the Golden Gate bridge, and learnt a lot about the city, which is really beautiful and much cleaner then NYC!
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE


TASHLEY AT GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

TASHLEY AT GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE


Our tour guide was really enthusiastic, but again we had to strain to understand his accent! After some more shopping (our bags are getting fuller by the day) we got some Chinese food for dinner and had an earlyish night.

The next day we rented bicycles and confidently set off to explore San Fran, map in hand.
TASHLEY BIKING

TASHLEY BIKING


TASH BIKING

TASH BIKING


ASH BIKING

ASH BIKING


Things started off well and we made it to Golden Gate park without too many issues. Here we went to the California National museum of science which was great until Tashley got split up and we spent an hour trying to unite – it was the longest time we’ve been apart for practically the whole year and very traumatic! When we finally found each other it was back in the saddle and off to the bridge, confidently wielding our map. That’s where things started to go wrong – we landed up on a hiking path (we blame the map, of course) which was definitely not made for cycling on, as Tash found out the hard way after coming off her bike in a very ungraceful way. Turning around we had to carry our bikes up about 100 stairs and then push them on another hiking trail before some more stairs and finally tarmac. We had gone on a crazy detour and still do not know where we went wrong, at least we can say we saw more of San Fran on a bike then most people! We finally reached the bridge to find the view was obscured by some crazy mist so we didn’t even get to take nice photos (luckily we had some nice ones from the day before). After some scary downhill cycling to the small town of Sausalito we made it to the ferry dock where we joined the long line of tourists waiting to ferry themselves and their bikes back to Fisherman’s wharf.
VIEW WHILST BIKING

VIEW WHILST BIKING


It was with great relief that we gave our bikes back to the rental place at the wharf. It is really a great way to tour a city – next time we’ll just make sure we have a GPS with us. After a delicious dinner at Boudin’s bakery (sourdough pizza and sourdough bread with clam chowder) we headed back to the hotel, a little worse for wear, but proud of ourselves for completing our version of the tour de France! After a nice lie in the next morning it was off to the airport and onto Seattle where the weather continued in the same vain as San Fran.

Our first evening in Seattle was spent catching up with Tash’s family (Uncle Tim, Aunt Rita and cousin Amy – who are keen followers of our blog). Yesterday we did the tourist thing again and went on a duck tour of seattle.
RIDE THE DUCKS

RIDE THE DUCKS


For those of you who haven’t seen a duck, it’s a vehicle that can go on land and in water.
DUCK WATER TOUR

DUCK WATER TOUR


We bought “quackers” – these whistle type things in the shape of a duck’s beak that make a quacking noise – hours of fun really!
TASHLEY DUCKS

TASHLEY DUCKS


Definitely taking those home for use at sports matches! While we were on the water part of our tour we saw the house boat that was used in the filming of Sleepless in Seattle – pretty cool. We then used Tim’s handheld GPS (finally!!) to navigate to the Pike Place market and then to the shops in town. After some yummy lunch we headed to the space needle where we got a 360 degree view of the city – luckily the weather had cleared a bit by now so we had great views!
SPACE NEEDLE

SPACE NEEDLE


VIEW FROM NEEDLE

VIEW FROM NEEDLE


TASHLEY AT NEEDLE

TASHLEY AT NEEDLE


We came home to a great home cooked meal and some boardgames with Amy and her boyfriend, David. Its been really great to do some relaxing after some hectic travelling!

Posted by Tashley 15:00 Comments (1)

The Big Apple & Boston

After Orlando it was off to NYC and Boston.
WELCOME TO THE BIG APPLE

WELCOME TO THE BIG APPLE


We arrived in NYC and somehow managed to navigate the airtrain and subway and after walking for a few blocks we arrived at Dave’s house. For those of you who don’t know, Dave used to work in tax in BVI and transferred to the New York office in the beginning of June (very handy for us as we got to stay in the middle of Manhattan for free). He lives in a great apartment with his dog Blackie (who is the sweetest dog ever – Blackie used to be a stray dog in BVI until Dave started looking after him and took him with to NYC). On the day we arrived we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant famed for their Margheritas (which were delicious!) and then went to the Top of the Rock (observation deck of the Rockafella centre) where we had an amazing view of the city.
TOP OF THE ROCK

TOP OF THE ROCK


TOP OF THE ROCK

TOP OF THE ROCK


DAVE AND ASH AT TOP OF THE ROCK

DAVE AND ASH AT TOP OF THE ROCK

It really is a concrete jungle, there are so many massive buildings – quite a change from BVI! That night we took a cab (the driver drove like a maniac and there are a few pedestrians who are lucky to still be walking!) to a small restaurant - Cluney’s, which was really quaint and served delicious food. We then went for some pitchers of Sangria in the meatpacking district which was fun.
DRINKS AT MEATPACKING

DRINKS AT MEATPACKING

On our first full day in NYC we went on an uptown and downtown bus tour of the city. It really was a great way to see the city, however the bus guides were really difficult to understand due to their foreign accents and the one guy was so bad we had to get off the bus and wait for the next one.
9/11 MEMORIAL

9/11 MEMORIAL


THE BULL

THE BULL


We learnt a lot about the history of the main buildings (Americans seem to be fixated about having the tallest buildings in the world so we heard a lot about the great race to build the biggest one) – makes you think they might be compensating for something?? We also went on a boat trip around the island, including a trip round the statue of liberty which was cool to see (although it was much smaller then we had thought it would be).
STATUE OF LIBERTY

STATUE OF LIBERTY

New York is such a busy city, there is just so much going on! Its also a lot dirtier then we anticipated! That night we went to the Bentley hotel for appetizers and cocktails at their rooftop bar which gave us a great view of the new york at night.
VIEW FROM ROOFTOP BAR

VIEW FROM ROOFTOP BAR


TASHLEY AT ROOFTOP BAR

TASHLEY AT ROOFTOP BAR

Tuesday morning we hopped on a bus to Boston where we stayed with some awesome people we had never met before (friends of Elliot’s, who works with us in BVI), they were so welcoming and we really appreciated them letting us strange saffas live with them for a while. Our first afternoon in boston was spent exploring the city, we walked around and ended up in Boston commons where we had some dinner. The next day we started off with a visit to the aquarium which was really cool – much nicer then sea world as we actually got to see some fish!
AQUARIUM

AQUARIUM


We then went on a whale watching boat trip which was absolutely breathtaking! We saw around 15 humpback whales feeding, they are truly majestic animals and simply massive!
TASHLEY WHALE WATCHING

TASHLEY WHALE WATCHING


WHALE WATCHING

WHALE WATCHING


WHALE WATCHING

WHALE WATCHING


We also saw some smaller minki whales which look more like dolphins. Apparently we were really lucky to see as many as we did, so we were very happy! We then got on a bus tour of the city which was cool until it started to rain. We got off at the Harvard stop in search of some Harvard hotties, unfortunately we found none and got lost in the process so we landed up walking for an hour or so trying to decipher the map (honestly, how do people survive without a GPS?). We finally made our way back to Harvard square where we found a student pub which had half price food and great cocktails.

The next day it was back to NYC and after making Dave a homecooked meal it was time to see the lion King on Broadway.
LION KING

LION KING


The show was AMAZING, and very South African – it made us super homesick! Dave had never seen the movie (we think he may be the only person on earth who hasn’t) but he seemed to enjoy the show as much as we did! We went for some drinks afterwards in the theatre district where the cocktails were named after actors and actresses, pretty cool!
AFTER BROADWAY DRINKS

AFTER BROADWAY DRINKS


Our last day in NYC we spent exploring the shops and got some great bargains. That night we went to a comedy show (really funny!) and afterwards we met some aussie boys who were up from Fort Lauderdale for the weekend and we went to a pub/club and had a great time partying in NYC.

Posted by Tashley 14:40 Comments (1)

Leaving BVI, Cayman Islands and Orlando

Unfortunately, we did not get a chance to add a last blog before we left the BVI. The last weeks were full of many exciting things including Andy’s visit, farewell Silo A drinks at the Willy T, a boat trip (perhaps to the Willy T again), International Dinner, a pub crawl around BVI and our leaving party. It was with very mixed emotions that we said goodbye as the friends we made there were and are truly special yet we also had exciting times ahead. Anyway, see facebook in the coming weeks for last BVI photos!

CAYMAN ISLANDS

Our first stop on our whirlwind adventures was to the Cayman Islands to visit Gareth who is working for Deloitte there for 18 months. We met Brett, another friend from JHB, at the Miami airport as he was also going to visit Gareth.
Welcome to Caymans

Welcome to Caymans


We were very excited to be back in warm Caribbean weather and after settling in and catching up with Gareth, we headed off to the beach. Caymans was not as built up as we expected after what everyone had told us but has a nice balance of having beautiful sea and beaches yet still offering more shops and entertainment. We had a nice dinner on the water and got introduced to Bushwackers, delicious.
Bushwackers

Bushwackers


On our second day, we headed to the infamous seven mile beach which was amazing. We then went to Margaritaville for a truly American (read: HUGE portions) lunch and then made our way home and bumped into Will and Kate – we had a lot of fun with them.
Will and Kate aka Tashley

Will and Kate aka Tashley


Will and Kate aka Tashley

Will and Kate aka Tashley


That night we were off on the Jolly Roger, a pirate ship which sails around the bay while everyone onboard drinks, dances and has a “jolly” good time.
Jolly Roger

Jolly Roger


Aboard the Jolly

Aboard the Jolly


Tashley

Tashley


Was great fun and ended up experiencing some Cayman nightlife after a much needed KFC meal. The next morning was a bit of a slow start as we prepared ourselves for our second bar crawl in 2 weeks, this time in the Cayman Islands.
Pub Crawl

Pub Crawl


Was a lot of fun and some of the bars were right on the beach which offered truly spectacular views!! After the pub crawl, we were treated to a most delicious braai, oh how we have missed those.
On Sunday, we were going to Sting Ray City. Being a bit apprehensive after Gareth mentioned they flick their tails like dogs, it was one of the most memorable days! We sailed there on a catamaran which was nice and relaxing and got to see some views of Caymans along the way.
ON THE CAT

ON THE CAT


We arrived and were surprised to see how many sting rays there were and also how big they were. After a quick intro by the guide, we made our way on our own and with the help of the boys, wrangled some rays down for hugs, kisses and forced love.
TASHLEY

TASHLEY


STING RAY CITY

STING RAY CITY


TASHLEY AND STING RAY

TASHLEY AND STING RAY


STING RAY CITY

STING RAY CITY


We quickly learnt that having a squid in hand definitely helps attract the rays and we spent a while with our new friends. The cat then sailed onto Rum Point where we had more bushwackers and lunch and after a quick dip in the ocean, were on our way back home.
RUM POINT

RUM POINT


Our last evening was spent enjoying another delicious braai and spending time with the boys which was great. Thanks again boys for having us!! The next morning we woke up the earliest we had woken up for about a year as we had to leave around 5:45…but onwards to Mickey Mouse we went!

ORLANDO – MAGIC KINGDOM, SEA WORLD, AQUATICA, UNIVERSAL AND WET AND WILD

On our first proper day in Orlando, we went to see Mickey, Minnie and the gang at Magic Kingdom, Disney World.
ASH

ASH


MAGIC KINGDOM

MAGIC KINGDOM


MAGIC KINGDOM

MAGIC KINGDOM


Sporting Minnie Mouse ears (surprisingly we were not the oldest ones wearing these), we made our way around the park, posing with the characters and enjoying the rides.
TASHLEY AND GOOFY

TASHLEY AND GOOFY


TASH

TASH


ASH

ASH


We watched parades and then finished a magical day by spending some time with Mickey, Minnie, Cinderella, Belle and Sleeping Beauty.
TASHLEY AND MICKEY AND MINNIE

TASHLEY AND MICKEY AND MINNIE


ASH AND BELLE

ASH AND BELLE


TASH AND BELLE

TASH AND BELLE

Day two we went to Sea World. After meeting Shamu the Orca, we went to watch Free Willy in action in an orca show.
TASHLEY AND ORCA

TASHLEY AND ORCA


It was insanely hot so we sat in the “soak” zone and definitely got a nice cool down when the orcas splashed us with their tails.
FREE WILLY

FREE WILLY


We walked around a bit more and went on their rides, one of which was Manta which was so much fun, and then made our way to Aquatica – the water park linked to Sea World.
MANTA RIDE

MANTA RIDE


TASHLEY

TASHLEY


The queues here were really long but we managed to make our way through them all including one where the ride goes through a tunnel where you see some black and white dolphins. Was a bit too quick to see them properly but had fun nevertheless.

Day three we went to Universal.
UNIVERSAL

UNIVERSAL


Due to a late arrival by our shuttle, we had a late start so decided to leave Universal Islands of Adventure (which has the thrill rides) to the next day. We started off by visiting Shrek in his 3D adventure and had many more 3D adventures after this.
SHREK IN 3D

SHREK IN 3D


SHREK, DONKEY AND TASHLEY

SHREK, DONKEY AND TASHLEY


The highlight was definitely a ride where you could choose your own song to listen to as you rode, makes the ride so much more enjoyable. After lunch, the heavens opened which resulted in us (and the rest of the park) buying a poncho to keep us dry and continue enjoying the park.

Day four we went to Islands of Adventure where the new Harry Potter exhibit has opened and this was unbelievable!! We headed there first as we heard queues were insane and wow were we impressed. Hogwarts looks just like it does in the movies, right down to the shops, trains and Butterbeer on offer. Tastes pretty much like a coke float but we enjoyed it.
HOGWARTS

HOGWARTS


HARRY POTTER

HARRY POTTER


TASH AND BUTTERBEER

TASH AND BUTTERBEER


ASH AND BUTTERBEER

ASH AND BUTTERBEER


The Harry Potter ride was unbelievable which resulted in us going twice. The ponchos came in handy with all the water rides on offer and kept us from getting completely soaked.
GETTING READY FOR JURASSIC

GETTING READY FOR JURASSIC

On our last day, we decided to rent a car as there were no shuttles to Wet N Wild and with the cost of that plus the cost of a trip to the airport, a rental was cheaper. Arriving to collect it, they informed us they did not have a GPS navigation system as ordered but they would give us a map…we were stumped. Getting wearily into the car armed with a map that does not talk to us and tell us where to go, we made our way to Wet N Wild without getting lost!! Not only that, we also made it to the factory outlets, back to the hotel and to the airport without a hitch – we are still proud of ourselves!! Wet N Wild was not as adventurous as we thought it would be but we enjoyed some fun in the sun and will be quite content if we do not see a theme park or endless lines again for a while!!
THING TASH

THING TASH


THING ASH

THING ASH

Posted by Tashley 14:29 Comments (2)

The past few weeks

Wine tasting, work drinks, diving and Anegada

Rugby Club Wine Tasting
The weather in BVI has been somewhat disappointing lately - we’re not freezing like everyone back home, but consistent rain has led to a definite diminishing of our perfect tans! On one such rainy day we were supposed to go on a boattrip but thanks to the weather it was postponed. We ended up going to the Rugby Club wine tasting instead. We were definitely not disappointed as we sampled some delicious wine (the South African ones were the best, no bias involved of course!!)
WINE TASTING

WINE TASTING


The weather cleared up a bit and we got to enjoy the awesome views at Bananakeet while sampling every bottle available! We ended up taking 3 bottles of wine home which we “won” in the raffle, so all in all we weren’t too sad the boattrip got cancelled!
WINE TASTING SUNSET

WINE TASTING SUNSET

Deloitte after-work drinks at the Watering Hole.
The drinks we organized did not get off to a great start as they ran out of Savannah’s half an hour into the function (we had nothing to do with that!!) However it was great to catch up with everyone in a non-work environment.
SRIDHAR AND SAVANNAS

SRIDHAR AND SAVANNAS


KERRY, ANNY, TASH AND WILL

KERRY, ANNY, TASH AND WILL

Diving at the Rhone
The RMS Rhone is a shipwreck just off Salt Island and one of the most popular diving spots in the BVI.
THE RHONE

THE RHONE


The ship sunk when it hit a rock while trying to shelter from a tornado. Only one passenger survived and their porthole, number 26, is considered lucky if you rub it three times.
LUCKY PORTHOLE 26

LUCKY PORTHOLE 26


We spent an awesome day diving there and exploring the wreck along with GuyP, Phil and Wayne. It’s really beautiful as the parts of the ship are covered in muti-coloured corals and there are swim-throughs that you can go through so it feels like you’re inside the ship.
RHONE

RHONE

RHONE

RHONE

TASHLEY DIVING

TASHLEY DIVING

TASHLEY BEFORE THE DIVE

TASHLEY BEFORE THE DIVE


We saw massive lobster, crabs, lizard fish and a variety of other smaller fish. No rays or turtles to be seen unfortunately, but still beautiful dives!

Day Trip to Anegada
This past Sunday we went on iSpeed (this really, really fast boat) to visit one of the only flat islands in the BVI – Anegada.
ON ISPEED TO ANEGADA

ON ISPEED TO ANEGADA


ANEGADA

ANEGADA


The weather gods were not smiling down on us as the weather was pretty miserable for most of the day. However, after a speedy drive in our horrid rental car (only in the BVI can they get away with charging $90 dollars per day for a car that doesn’t have a driver’s door handle) we arrived on Loblolly beach where we got in a snorkeling session before lunch. While we were snorkeling we came across a really big fish with scary teeth – none of us new what it was so we kept circling it and got really close. Turns out it was a great barracuda, something you should not get close to ever! Luckily we were distracted by a beautiful spotted sting-ray which we followed away from the danger zone. After lunch we took a scenic tour of the island (ie. We got a bit lost) and then chilled on Cow Wreck Beach until it was time to board ispeed and go home.
PAINKILLER CHAIR

PAINKILLER CHAIR

Posted by Tashley 10:08 Comments (1)

Fordy, Rob and the McGarvies' Visit

April was definitely a busy month for us with respect to visitors – no sooner had Nicole left than Fordy and Rob arrived. We took them to the Watering Hole where they had a taste of home in the form of Castles and Black Label.
WATERING HOLE

WATERING HOLE


Afterwards, we hit our local joint, the Grand, where some amusing conversations were had as the French Canadians and Saffas tried to understand each other.
THE GRAND

THE GRAND


Thanks to Will and Kate, Friday was a public holiday which we spent on the beach…after watching repeats of the Royal Wedding. It was then time to go and fetch Ash’s sister and brother in law, Linds and Rich. They were welcomed in true BVI style as we had a blackout while trying to cook them dinner. On Saturday, we went on yet another boat trip – our third in a row (definitely giving them a break for a bit).
BOAT TRIP CREW

BOAT TRIP CREW


BUBBLING POOLS

BUBBLING POOLS


We did the usual route with an extra stop at the Bubbling Pools, home-made painkillers in hand. As usual, the Willy T had some memorable moments before we headed home…some to bed…some for more drinks at Mulligans.
SHOTSKI

SHOTSKI


SHOTSKI

SHOTSKI


CREW AT WILLY T

CREW AT WILLY T


On Monday, we returned home at 5:15 after a hard day’s work to find the boys running up the driveway. Thinking they were being boys and playing ball, we were pleasantly surprised to find they had engineered a make-shift braai. Our hearts melted. Marinated meat, delicious salads (well done Fordy on your first ever salad) and great drinks made the night truly memorable.
BOYS AND BRAAI

BOYS AND BRAAI


Fordy and Rob were off the next day but we still had Linds and Rich until the weekend and lots more dinners, drinks and laughs were had. See you all in London – we’re there for a month (just jokes Rich).

Was great having so many visitors – we’re still here until the end of June so the rest of you still have time to make a plan!

Posted by Tashley 08:17 Comments (0)

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