Not Your Typical Day in Lucerne

Lucerne, Switzerland

Do you know what Fasnacht is? No? Don’t worry. Neither did I.

We had planned to visit the peaceful and elegant town of Lucerne for just one day. I’d been before and wanted Jack to witness it’s beauty. It was summer when I went last so I knew it would be different but I can tell you, with all certainty in the world, I was not expecting to experience anything like Fasnacht .

Fasnacht is the name for Lucerne’s 6-day carnival that celebrates the good things life: happiness, alcohol, music and costumes.

Fasnacht 2015

I was navigating our short drive from Zurich to Lucerne so I had my eye out for road signs and street names. As soon as we saw a sign that alerted us we were in Lucerne, I saw them. “OMG, I just saw people in the alleyway with really big heads.” I yelled. I was excited, confused, and a bit scared. Before I tried to explain, we started seeing them everywhere: people in extraordinary costumes, some with large instruments. And these people were everywhere: on the bus, on the streets, in their cars and in restaurants. We seemed to be the only real humans in the area. It was mayhem.

Fasnacht 2015Fasnacht 2015Fasnacht 2015Fasnacht 2015Fasnacht 2015

 

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Hello from Zurich!

Zurich, Switzerland

“Ugh, I can’t believe we HAVE to go to Europe” said no one, ever. People have definitely thought it though.

It’s so laughable, but that was the sentiment just before our direct, over-night flight from Nairobi to Zurich. We were heartbroken to leave Africa but just after touching down in Zurich we became two little emoticons with hearts for eyes and a smiles as long as fondue forks.

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2 Friends Beach Hotel in Entebbe


Lake Victoria Uganda

If you’re going to Entebbe and you like food, boy, have I got a hotel recommendation for you! It’s called 2 Friends Beach Hotel and yes, it is as pleasant as the name leads you to believe.

The location is perfect, the hotel is clean and the staff is friendly – what more could you want? Oh, actually, I have 10 more things!

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Gorilla Trekking in Uganda!

Bwindi Gorilla Trek

There is a picture of me from when I was 4 years old on a trip to Universal Studios Orlando. The picture, taken just after going  on the King Kong ride, features the smiling faces of my mom, my dad and my brother. I, on the other hand, look petrified. My dad is holding me and I am hysterically crying. Obviously, being near a gorilla was the worst thing that has ever happened to me, then and since.

Growing up I just figured I must have been scared of gorillas. Never did I think that I would see them in the wild. But I did! In Bwindi, Uganda. And I didn’t even cry.

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On Safari: A Hot Tip!

Safari in Africa  Safari in Africa  Safari in Africa

Do not forget to bring binoculars! 

Yes, they seem like just a fun safari prop, but they are not. You will use them. Not having your own is completely and totally enraging.

We forgot ours in Nairobi.

Luckily, our driver had the eye sight of an eagle. He could see lions from miles away that we couldn’t see through the binoculars. We had a system going where we’d be in charge of the binoculars (Jack mostly, I had my camera) and as soon as we could tell Daniel had heard or seen something unusual we would pass the binoculars up to meet his hand. No need to even speak. What a team!

I’ll say it again, because my mom always said repetition is the key to remembering things, do not forget your binoculars!

Asilia Naboisho Camp: Take Me Back!

Mara Naboisho CampMara Naboisho CampMara Naboisho CampMara Naboisho Conservancy Asilia Africa Naboisho CampAsilia Africa Naboisho CampAsilia Africa Naboisho CampAsilia Africa Naboisho CampAsilia Africa Naboisho CampAsilia Africa Naboisho Camp

A few days into our safari Jack and I had the same thought: How do we bring both of our families here together. Who’s birthday is coming up? Birthdays are always a good excuse for travel. We came up with the idea of celebrating my dad’s and Jack’s mom’s birthday at Naboisho camp. They both turn 55 this year. A girl (and boy) can dream, right?

We dream for everyone to visit! Asilia’s Naboisho Camp in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is such a special place.

We miss it so much.

We miss the animals. We miss the people. We miss the 5:30am wake up calls of coffee and hot chocolate. We miss the (very dangerous) buffalos and hippos eating right outside our tent in the middle of night and waking us up. We miss our vehicle and Daniel, our driver. I miss the head to toe ponchos. We miss the outstanding food and drinks. We miss walking past zebra and wildebeest grazing at the camp and being all like, “oh, hello”. We miss the hot towel-lets they greet you with after every game drive. We miss the early morning game drives and the sunrises that came with them. We miss the smiles of every staff member. We miss our tent and our outdoor shower. I miss the hot water bottle that was placed between the duvet covers and sheets every night before bed.

I miss the fact that every single detail was thought of and taken care of.

We’ve only gotten to experience a safari at one camp, so we don’t have anything to compare it to, but Asilia’s Naboisho Camp surpassed every expectation we had. If you are planning a trip and have no idea where to go, I would 100% recommend choosing this camp. I would also recommend booking your travels through TrueAfrica.

Maybe if I write about it enough I can get the whole family on board for a trip this July. Wait, forget their birthday, that’s just in time for mine!

On Turbulence

Turbulence Turbulence Turbulence Turbulence Turbulence

In the span of 10 days I took more small planes than I ever thought I would in my life.

Having never taken one before, I was terrified. I cursed Jack for not sitting next to me on our first one even though it wasn’t his fault. I was sweaty and resting against the (lucky) person’s seat in front of me. I think I even grabbed for him during touchdown on the “landing strip” at the “airport” in the conservancy.

By the 4th flight, I started to feel more comfortable and I owe that to Moses, one of our camp managers.

Over breakfast one morning we were talking about small planes and I mentioned how much turbulence we got coming into Mara Naboisho Conservancy.

He replied with, “I’m so jealous.”

“ummmmm. WHAT! Jealous?” I yelled.

“Yes” he said, completely straight faced.  “I love turbulence. It’s like being on a roller coaster.”

I thought he was crazy. Everyone did. I left it at that because I swear I was going to grab him by the ears and give him a long lecture on why lying is bad.

Then, the best thing happened the next day on our flight back to Nairobi. We hit turbulence and I laughed. I just thought, “Moses would love this!”

Don’t get me wrong, I still got scared. But if I was going to go through it anyway and Moses was not, I might as well enjoy it on his behalf.