Highlights of my adventure in Kenya

Visiting Kenya was solely for the purpose of business but I was lucky enough to spend one day as a tourist and that was all it took for me to fall in love with this beautiful country. Flying to Kenya from South Africa is relatively short and comfortable. Flights were booked via Sure Travel on South African Airways and was one of the quickest routes we could have opted for.

During my short time in Kenya, I only visited Nairobi and stayed at Hotel Emerald which was conveniently located in the heart of Westlands. The best thing about the hotel was definitely the widely recognized Vista restaurant which specialised in Indian Cuisine.  I shared this journey with my good friend Linda Jooste, who enjoyed Nairobi just as much as I did.

10378932_10154689014155298_6874525497580375595_n

One day in Nairobi. What can you do?

Transport

Kenya is a large city with attractions spread out in multiple directions. Using public transport is not an ideal option for a first time visitor, using private cars however is safe and convenient. I booked a daily service with Karanja Cabs; his rate was well priced and he only has a fleet of semi luxury vehicles, which makes travelling such a pleasure.

10609680_10154688986250298_7390995289595995227_n

Giraffe Centre

This sanctuary was established in order to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe that is found only in the grasslands of East Africa. The Giraffe Centre was started by Jock Leslie-Melville, the Kenyan grandson of a Scottish Earl, when he and his wife Betty captured a baby giraffe to start a programme of breeding giraffe in captivity at their home. The main attraction for visitors is feeding giraffes from a raised observation platform. The centre is also home to several warthogs and elephants which freely roam the area along with the giraffes.

10610902_10154689014550298_5048947920856977071_n

Elephant Orphanage

The David Sheldrick Wildlife trust is dedicated to the protection and preservation of Africa’s wilderness particularly endangered species. It is estimated that one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory, a lack of action could see the loss of wild elephants in Africa by 2025. The main attraction at the orphanage is the show put on by the baby elephants. They start by stomping around, playing in the mud and drinking milk from huge baby bottles. It’s extremely playful and fun to watch but heartwarming at the same time.

Tip: Get there early to secure your seat in the front of the line

10386831_10154688999120298_1588952361763854304_n

10645030_10154688996595298_8653181576482689177_n

Maasai Market

If culture is what you are after and a little bit of shopping too, then don’t make the mistake of not visiting the Maasai Market. It’s a great experience for all travelers. This open-air market is located at different venues during the week, so make sure you check your timetable before planning a visit. The market owners enjoy a good bargain, so chances of getting what you wanted for 50% less than the asking price is very promising. You can find dozens of unique curios, beads, hand crafted furniture and oil paintings at the Maasai Market so ensure you carry enough cash! I have a particular weakness for cultural artifacts so this was my all time favorite thing to do.

10606603_10154689017115298_6113216260278766024_n

Why are some people born to travel?

There are some people who never feel the urge to leave the house. They’re content to stay in the city they came from, the couch they sit on, and the 360 degrees that immediately surround them.

Then there’s the rest of us: the people who can’t sit still, perhaps meditate to Anthony Bourdain, and always keep their passports on them – just in case.  Whether you call it wanderlust, a love of travel or regular old curiosity – the fact remains the same: Your hunger to explore simply cannot be quenched, no matter how many vacations or journeys you take.

Continue reading
Dan Scotti, Editor of Elite Daily explain the scientific explanation.

Visiting Los Angeles

The next stop after our stay in Las Vegas was California. We stopped in Los Angeles for 4 nights.
Our accommodation was sponsored by the amazing Sirtaj Hotel which is located in the heart of Beverly Hills and just off Rhodeo Drive. This hotel could not have been more perfectly located. Immediately after arriving in LA, we had already begun feeling like celebrities and knew that the lifestyle of the rich and famous was what we were meant for….just kidding! We certainly did not fit in with our Prius amongst Cadillac’s and Maserati’s which were all over. The decor at the hotel was amazing! It was a fusion between Indian and modern. The food was exceptionally good and I ate their Chicken Tikka almost every day.

So, what did we do in LA?

On our first day, we went on the Celebrities Hollywood Homes tour with Jeff from Star Track ToursIt was so exciting to get a feel for where the celebs sleep, play and eat. We went to the famous Runyon Canyon Park, where celebs are always spotted walking their dogs or going for a run. We drove by tons of celeb homes including The Kardashians…my all time favs. Even though they all live in gated communities, we got to see where Kimye lives as well as Khloe Kardashian. It was a great and informative tour through a stunning and very pricey area.

The next day was spent at the incredible Universal Studios. Although it isn’t as large as the one in Florida, it was still a phenomenal experience. From meeting dozens of characters to thrill seeking rides, it really was a special place. Jacques obviously went on every single ride…twice! Me on the other hand…I tried my luck with just two.

 

It was great taking a Studio Tour through the film sets at Universal and being a part of some of our favourite TV shows. We visited the incredible Wisteria Lane where Desperate Housewives was filmed, met some of the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park and even encountered the eerie plane crash from War of the Worlds. I’m a huge fan of Bates Motel, so it was so cool to come face-to-face with Norman Bates at the legendary Bates Motel set. The highlight, however, was the King Kong 360 3-D created by Peter Jackson – The world’s largest 3-D experience, only on the Universal Studios Hollywood Studio Tour. Two curved screens, each measuring a massive 187 feet wide by 40 feet high — the equivalent of 16 movie theatre screens — surround the Studio Tour tram. It blew our minds!

The next day was spent visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame which was such an entertaining experience. This LA strip is filled with tourists, entertainers and just amazing sights and sounds. If you really want to feel the Hollywood vibe in LA, then this is the place you need to be at.

We visited the iconic Santa Monica Pier where we ate Churros, walked on the beach and watched the sunset. Although it signified the end of Route 66, our journey was not over yet.

Screenshot 2015-02-05 15.31.36

The last we thing did in LA before leaving was visiting the Dash store. Although it was Christmas Day and it was closed, it was still pretty awesome to have seen the store. I’m a huge Kardahsian fan so being here after following the Dash journey was incredible.

Next Stop….San Francisco

Meeting Penn and Teller…no it’s not Bullshit!

During our stay in Las Vegas we went to the Penn and Teller show. If you love “magic” and illusion then these guys are definitely no strangers. I love watching illusionists but love knowing even more how stuff is done.  Their showtime network television show Bullshit! takes a skeptical look at psychics, religion, the pseudoscientific, conspiracy theories, and the paranormal.

They are iconic entertainers who have been performing since the 70’s. Their show was amazing but definitely not as amazing as meeting them at the end. As soon as the show was over we quickly followed Teller who took a selfie of us with my phone….yes he grabbed my phone and quickly took a picture of us before letting us take a picture with Penn. Teller also spoke to us which was great as he is not known for speaking during his shows. It was the best moments of the trip….and we’re best buds with them now…okay, maybe not!

IMG_1340

IMG_1344

Welcome to Las Vegas Nevada

Las Vegas was an awesome place to visit. We decided to stay outside of The Strip at the very luxurious Westin Lake Resort and Spa. They sponsored our entire stay in Vegas. The resort was a dose of heaven. The entire hotel is Eastern themed with a Moroccan influence. We were given the Suite on the top floor of the hotel. Our room was amazing with spectacular views of the lake. It featured a huge bedroom as well as a private lounge and balcony.

IMG_1188
The resort itself was breathtaking. I would love to come back during the summer. There were multiple pools to choose from, a hot tub and private cabanas with beds and TV’s. It’s the ultimate destination for anyone visiting Vegas. The Westin offers a free shuttle to The Strip which was so convenient for us.

IMG_1149

IMG_1156
Las Vegas is great, maybe a little underwhelming if you are not a gambler but nevertheless an experience! We did so much in Vegas which included The High Roller, visiting the “Eiffel Tower”, watching the famous Bellagio Fountains and seeing the Penn and Teller show at the Rio. Jacques also enjoyed the thrilling rides on top of the Stratosphere. I just watched from the sidelines…!

IMG_1357

IMG_1297

IMG_1299

IMG_1352

IMG_1298

Visiting Arizona and the Grand Canyon

The next stop after Albuquerque was Flagstaff, Arizona. We arrived in Flagstaff and headed straight to the Lowell Observatory. Lowell Observatory is best known for the discovery of the planet Pluto. It was established in 1894, placing it among the oldest observatories in the United States, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965. In 2011, the Observatory was named one of “The World’s 100 Most Important Places” by TIME.


That night we slept for about 2 hours before deciding we were going to head to the Grand Canyon to watch the sunrise. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

FullSizeRender (4)
Before leaving Arizona, we drove to Page to see Horseshoe Bend. Wow! Words can’t describe how amazing this place is. This natural canyon formation which is surrounded by the Colorado river is surreal. Tons of people visit each year and we were so blessed to finally tick this off our bucket list.

IMG_1145
Driving through Arizona was magnificent. The canyons and different coloured rock formations that sandwiched the road was definitely the prettiest thing I have seen.

Staying at Studios Nob Hill, Albuquerque

Arriving at Studios Nob Hill in Albuquerque was a jaw dropping experience. I have stayed at many places around the world but Studios Nob Hill was so different. It literally felt as if it was a home away from home….but even better! Immediately upon walking in, one gets this “homely” feeling and you know that you are going to love this place. After staying at so many hotels, it was nice to just relax in an environment that was so welcoming. We loved the fact that the unit was self catering with a fully equipped kitchen, a flat screen TV with tons of channels as well as a laundry area…hello clean washing!

Award-winning designer, Gaye Roth, has helped Roy Solomon with a full renovation of this building in a contemporary retro style. She has designed and remodeled spaces for herself and others and believes that a fun, artistic, hip space will make a guest’s stay much more pleasant. Having traveled extensively, she knows what is needed in a space away from home.

As owner and manager of Studios Nobhill LLC, Gaye makes sure the property is eclectic, contemporary and comfortable in every detail. Her use of color has won attention and awards and has given her projects constant notice.

All 450 square feet of this beautiful studio has been fully remodeled and designed by local award winning designer. Silestone countertops and a fully equipped kitchen, hardwood floors throughout with slate floors in spacious bath. Shower with pebble flooring and accented with dalle de verre colored glass window. Contemporary furnishings by local artists and original art.

Eating at the amazing Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria

We are currently in Albuquerque, New Mexico and would have never imagined that we would find a little piece of Italy right here. Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria sponsored our dinner during our visit to Albuquerque. Their restaurant is located in Nob Hill. Nob Hill is a vibrant district bursting with eclectic shops, swank dining, and chic nightspots. Route 66 neon signs and  architecture combined with predominantly locally-owned shops, galleries and restaurants make Nob Hill a hip and fashionable area located just east of the University.

About the owners

Amore Neapolitan Pizzeria is owned and operated by Gabriel and Kimberly Amador. It’s a family restaurant that is certifiably, authentic Neapolitan — the only hand-made, hand-stretched, Neapolitan pizzeria in the state.

FullSizeRender (1)

The food

Gabriel started us of with a Caprese Salad which consisted of Fresh house-made mozzarella, fresh tomato, olive oil, basil and a balsamic reduction. It was so fresh and refreshing and the mozzarella was divine! The portions are so generous and you could definitely share this.

IMG_0897

For mains I had one of the speciality pizzas. I chose the Maestro “Roberto’s Burrata Pie” which had Pecorino Sardonic, Italian white truffle, porcini mushroom, grape tomato, house-made mozzarella, basil and olio. I don’t know where to even begin with this one. This was honestly the best pizza I have ever had. It was truly authentic Italian pizza. The grape tomatoes were so incredibly fresh and so delicious. The pizza is amazing and you definitely do want to share it with anyone…be greedy! It’s so worth it.

IMG_0898

My favourite part of the meal was definitely dessert! Gabriel made us this divine Dolce di Amore Dessert Calzones. It’s a airy pizza dough filled with your choice of filling and topped with confectioner’s sugar. I chose the chocolate hazelnut finished with confectioner’s sugar and fresh strawberries. It was different to what I would normally have for dessert but that’s only because I never knew this amazing dish existed. It was so good that I actually saved some for a midnight snack.

FullSizeRender (2)

On a side note, check out their awesome pizza boxes. I am in love with their logo and branding! Definitely the coolest place ever!

IMG_0899

Amore is truly a gem and I encourage everyone to visit this restaurant. The food is authentically Italian and you can just taste the quality. Gabriel is such an amazing person and just makes the vibe in the restaurant even better. He is definitely one of the nicest people I have met on this trip.

Follow Amore

facebook twitter

Lunching at Bistronomy B2B in Nob Hill

Upon arriving in Albuquerque we visited Bistronomy B2B for lunch. Their food is served incredibly fresh with everything prepared in-house and all ingredients sourced locally! I tried the Pierre Wild Mushroom Burger with cheese and Cajun Fries. It was mind blowing! The flavours fused together so perfectly and the cajun fries was delicious. The dipping sauces, to go with the fries, was out of this world. 3 Dipping sauces included Smokey Ketchup, Curry Ketchup and Pesto Mayo (which was my absolute favourite).

IMG_0876

I love the personalized branded burger buns, which are also home made and served so fresh and delicious!

IMG_0879

The restaurant does not usually serve dessert but the chef treated us to some Almond and White Chocolate Macarons. I love macarons and these were so so so tasty! My only regret was not asking for some more.

IMG_0880