Monday, 27 February 2012

Honeymoon Pt 20 - The Final Instalment - Kenya & Home

Today is my 1 year blogiversary!  I started writing my blog here (although I did originally start it elsewhere on the 12th before switching to blogger) one year ago today!  So much has happened in that time and I am absolutely loving writing about all the things that interest me or what I'm getting up to.  By far the best thing about blogging has been getting to know some lovely fellow bloggers and finding a whole new social life and real friends as a result!  I have just returned from a weekend in Leeds with 8 other girls from around the country and had such a wonderful time.  (Blog post to come - I'm pretty sure there will be an influx of write-ups about PenDo as our little gathering was named.)  Today, however, is my 20th (Oops, I didn't mean to drag it out so much!) and final instalment of the honeymoon report...

When we arrived in Kenya for the last leg of our Honeymoon trip, I was a little nervous.  We were staying with Nik's family as his parents grew up in Nairobi and he still has a lot of relatives living there.  I was finally going to get to meet Nik's grandmother (his Dad's Mum).  She couldn't make it over for the wedding as she was a grand age of 91 (now 92) and it is such a long journey.  I needn't have been nervous at all as she and all of the family (some of whom I had been able to see at the wedding) were all lovely and so welcoming.  Oh and his cousin's children are especially cute!

Our time in Kenya was spent with various members of Nik's family and I loved getting to spend a bit more time with them all.  We saw his grandfather on his Mum's side most days and lived with his Dad's brother and his family during our time there.  I also got to meet other aunts, uncles and cousins, it was great fun!  I don't have many pictures from our time in Kenya due to having lost the compact camera (it's less convenient to carry the SLR around and more conspicuous) and I was just enjoying spending time with everyone and exploring the area.  It was nice to have a break from being behind the lens after all of the safari photography but I do regret not taking more of everyone.

As well as just chilling out with family after all of our travelling, we got do do a few fun things while in Kenya.  The obvious one was shopping!  We were no longer restricted by weight limits on internal flights, in fact we had our first class flight (also booked with BA miles) on the way home to look forward to with about 93kg baggage allowance so I was delighted to finally be able hit the shops!  This is where the initial idea for re-decorating our study came from.  I saw the string balls I showed you previously hanging from a tree by the side of the road and thought they looked great but was convinced Nik wouldn't agree.  But he did, as long as I could think of where we'd put them (one would have looked a bit odd - I wanted 3) so I thought of our study which was in much need of sorting out and re-decoration and somewhere we could hang pictures of our safari trip.  Job done :)

String Balls
So, what other souvenirs did we purchase??...

Painting of figures
x 2
Carved wooden sign for my door at work
Wooden Masai Figurines

Masai Necklace


Malachite Trinket Box

Spotty soapstone abstract Elephant

Soapstone Carved Hearts (olive green of course!)

Another fabtastic day was getting to see the baby elephants up close behinds the scenes at the Daphne Sheldrick Centre.  Nik's Nanaji (grandad) set this up for us as Nik's uncle, Sanjay is the vet there!  Such an amazing experience!  We got to walk out the back to where the little ones live in the woods and while he checked one of the smaller ones they suspected of having an eye injury (it turned out to be absolutely fine), we got to stand around petting the elephants while we waited!!

Nik, a handler, Nanaji, Sanjay and his children

They then led them all down towards the main area of the centre for the paying guests to see them get fed and bathe and play...

We spent some money and made a donation in the gift shop before heading back to a nearby shopping centre for coffee (I had an amazing mango milkshake instead!)

While we were staying, Nik's Aunt and Uncle organised a BBQ at their home so we could spend some time with more family and friends who Nik doesn't get the chance to see often.  The food was absolutely amazing, my favourite were the fresh spiced lamb steaks!  We visited a nearby Japanese restaurant another evening which had really fresh delicious sushi!

We also had a great night out with Nik's cousins at a wedding reception.  Apparently it's normal for extra guests to just rock up at weddings over there - they had about 400 guests anyway so didn't notice and we had a fab time at the free bar and enjoying the yummy buffet Indian dinner.  The cupcakes were SO good, we managed to track down where they were from and bought some more for everyone the next day!  The most memorable thing for me about the night out was going out in the bullet proof car!  An actual bullet and bomb proof Mondeo.  I think it came from an ex-politician!?  Nairobi can be a scary place at night and they have had issues before with hijacking and break-ins at their home, so security is a very high priority.  They rarely go out at night and when they do, only in the Mondeo.  They have their own security guard at the double gated entrance to the house and a big guard dog.

I was honoured to visit temple with Nik, his Aunt and his grandmother while I was there.  It was such a beautiful building with seriously amazing statues and paintings on the wall and ceiling, so colourful and vibrant!  His grandmother mentioned that we had just been married recently so we were each given a floral garland to wear and Nik and I had red string tied round our wrists as a blessing, his right wrist and my left.

When we had to leave Kenya, I was at the stage of being sad to leave but also looking forward to getting home to see everyone, catch up on the post-wedding gossip and start planning our new African themed study!  Our flight home was also an exciting part of our trip as we had the 1st class to look forward to.  I was very excited to see David Walliams in the Business Lounge at Nairobi and assumed he would be on our flight to London (I wondered if he had been there to do some filming for Comic Relief and it turns out he had).  I was a little disappointed though when sat in the gate after going through extra security checks, I smiled at him only to be met with a rather unfriendly glare.  I suppose it was the middle of the night and he might not be used to people smiling at him, maybe he was worried I might start trying to talk to him but I thought he looked particularly grumpy.  Ah well.  I was quite pleased when he got on the plane in front of us and turned right while we got to turn left!

Our flight home was lovely, although it was still an old plane so apparently not the most impressive 1st class cabin (says Nik who seems to be one of these lucky people who always gets free upgrades!)  By far the best thing about 1st class was the flat beds - being able to sleep and arrive home refreshed and not exhausted makes such a huge difference!

We received super cosy jersey pyjamas, slippers and socks to change into when we got on-board and were asked by the stewardess whether we wanted to eat before she made our beds up.  We were the only ones who had dinner (again, it was the middle of the night but I wasn't going to miss out on 1st class food!) and she set it up for us at either end of my seat (the foot of where the bed goes and my seat on either side of the pull out table) so we could effectively sit across a table and have dinner together!  We got a table cloth and everything, so posh!!

After dinner, we used our fancy Anya Hindmarsh wash bags to get ready for bed while she made up the mattress and covers for us and I slept until we were almost about to land!  I had a smoothie on the plane but waited for the 1st class lounge experience again for a proper breakfast at Heathrow!

Sunrise from the plane
We had booked a cabana at Heathrow which was great for a shower and a nap after breakfast.  We also booked a complimentary treatment in the spa - I went for the head, neck and shoulder massage which was bliss after a long flight!


Cabana Bathroom

Breakfast was amazing too - again we could choose from anything on the menu.  I went for the Eggs Benedict and Nik had the full English and we had toast and pastries, juice and coffee.  It was SO delicious!

Sadly, we did have to return home in the eventually but as you already know, we are enjoying life as a married couple and we still have plenty to keep us occupied.  The study is finally finished with all our little African touches and I will be revealing it very soon!!!  :D

In an effort to make it easier for you to comment and following Kirsty's advice, I have removed word verification (I will endeavour to delete any spam comments asap if blogger doesn't catch them first).  Please go and read her wonderful writing about how we should all try to comment more on blog posts - I am guilty of the exact problem she discusses but am making a concerted effort to try to comment more on other blogs I read from now on!  They really do make me so excited to receive them so I plan to show my appreciation on other blogs I read also.


Penny said...

Happy bloggiversary! Great to meet you this weekend, can't wait to do it all again soon!

Bex said...

Thanks Penny! Loved meeting you too - SO much fun was had! x

Prettiest Hobo said...

hello Beckles... I would say that R thanks you for the honey monster pjs but that would be a huge lie. I wanted to wear them to work today but he wouldn't let me.
ps. You ARE delicious, but I think when you're talking about the breakfast you had in the post above, you meant to say 'it was delicious,' not 'I was delicious' xxxx

Bex said...

Beckles, I love that nickname! Thanks for the heads up about the delicious thing! I did indeed mean 'it' not 'I'. :) x

thebabywife said...

Baby elephants!!

Your whole honeymoon experience sounds amazing - I am rather jealous! What a way to start married life, absolutely perfect :) xxx

Butlerbythesea said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful information with us ...many thanks.

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