Sheesh. I'm a blubbering mess right now.
My very first day as a teacher was these students' first day of high school. I still have the notecards they filled out with their name, how they were feeling about their first day, and a current goal they had for themselves. Almost all of them wrote either "scared" or "nervous" and that they wanted to graduate high school and go onto college.
Four years later, they are strong, confident young men and women, now a little scared and nervous about the next chapter of their life--college. I had the privilege to take senior pictures for some of my students I have gotten the closest with over the past four years, and words don't even come close to describe how special that was.
I am so, so, so proud of these guys and the LHS class of 2014. You are smart, hilarious, resilient, beautiful, and have taught me more than you could have every possibly imagined.
I love you all so much and I can't wait to see you walk across that stage!
This is the last installment of South African photos-- the iPhone edition.
The last couple of weeks have been rather packed in regards to reconfiguring the new curio quilt site, a trip to the delta (pictures coming soon!), and figuring out and updating our new Lang Thomas Photography website. This post almost made a home in the draft's tab, but I quickly realized that would be quite a loss.
Ahh...how I so wish I could go back.
I know I'm a broken record...but I refuse to fix this one: A trip to SA is something I think everyone should put on their bucket list.
Getting there is a little pricey and inconvenient (lonnnng plane ride), but when you are there, all of those traveling woes will float away. The food is wonderful, the dollar is incredible strong, the people are sweet and kind, and it is the most visually appealing place I have ever been.
Chapman's Peak Drive is one of the most famous drives in the world. You feel like you're in a maserati commercial--even though you're driving a Ford Figo rental.
Foodie heaven. Every Saturday, there is this incredible marketplace with tons of great food from local eateries as well as pop-up shops from Cape Town's hippest boutiques and UK designers. If you're looking for good eats and garb, you must go to the Old Biscuit Mill and the Woodstock Exchange.
The photo above is action packed. One of our favorite parts of the trip was the time we spent at Boulder's Beach napping and swimming with penguins (currently tied with goats for my favorite non-domesticated animal). After that, we went to the southernmost tip of Africa, The Cape of Good Hope.
Also included in the photos above are some glimpses from our safari at the Gondwana Game Reserve along the Garden Route and our time exploring wineries (and eating lots of truffles) around Stellenbosch. The two wineries we loved were Ernie El's and a more modern one, Hidden Valley.
In and around Cape Town, we did lots of hiking, exploring, eating and shopping. For hiking and exploring, you most definitely need to go to Table Mountain and Lion's head as well as take the ferry out to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.
In regards to food recommendations, I could write an entire blog post. I'm going to spare you and myself the work of doing so and redirect you to the SA blog that made every meal a raging success. Thank you Miss Moss for being so incredibly hip, tasteful, and willing to share Cape Town's best secrets.
So where do I begin?
How about I start off with some business news--Lang and I have completely redesigned our wedding photography website and we're super pumped about it! Curioquilt will remain as the site for our personal photos (ie: our South Africa trip), but all wedding photography things can be found here. Check it out and tell us what you think! We really value you and your feedback.
Now, business aside--
let's get to it.
The point of the paragraph below: You Must Go To South Africa.
We packed our bags and spent two weeks with our newfound friends, the Marshalls. During that time, we ate ostrich burgers, climbed one of the seven natural wonders of the world, saw Nelson Mendela's prison cell, swam with sharks, napped with penguins, perused markets, refueled at local roasters, slept in a grass huts, chased sunsets, drove on the other side of the road --just to name a few.
This trip has forever changed Lang and I. Between the sweet time and conversations with the Marshalls and our adventures around the city and the cape, we left with new perspectives and inspiration. Because our days were full and on our two legs, we sadly rarely had our camera's on us (they're not the easiest things to lug around). We did manage however to pull them out a couple of times and those photos are below. I'll be putting up another blog post of our iPhone pics soon.
Such beauty, awe, and life can be found in this land of restoration, hope, and geographic wonder.
You must find a way to go there someday.
This is what we woke up to each morning. A bright and cheery room with Nichole feeding her sweet babes. You may recognize these kiddos from a newborn shoot we did last year. They're still just as cute. Only now they can find their way around an iPad and whistle.
We woke up bright and early and drove to Simons Town to go shark diving with the great whites. We drove up to this island full of thousands of seals, threw out some chum, and jumped in the cages. Aside from Lang getting seasick, it was an amazing venture.
This is Boulders Beach, a national park in South Africa. Here resides not only ginormous boulders, but hundreds of penguins. They are such sweet animals. Here you can swim with them or nap with them on the beach. It was one of our favorite experiences.
In South Africa, there are lots of Baboons. They know how to open car doors, backpacks, and most all things human. They're pretty funny creatures, but don't be fooled--they're also one of Africa's most dangerous.
This is Cape Point or The Cape of Good Hope. This is the southernmost tip of Africa and said to be where the Indian and Atlantic Ocean collide. It is a sight to be seen. On this day, there was this beautiful cloud cover and mist over the peak.
On our last two days, Lang and I drove on the Garden Route to Gondwana Game Reserve. There we stayed the night in a grass hut on the reserve with the animals. It was amazing. Don't let "grass hut" fool you. They were incredible. I wouldn't mind living in a grass hut for the rest of my life.
During our time there, we went on two safaris. We were able to see an elephant, giraffes, a rhino, hippo, tons of zebras, and lots of other smaller African wildlife.
The Marshall family is an amazing one. Over the course of the two weeks, we got to know them really well. We are so thankful for not only their incredible hospitality, but also their encouragement to go out and live abundantly. The trip wouldn't have been the same without them and their awesome boys.