Day #1 with Lori
in Cape Town...
July 4, 2006
Knock. Knock. Knock.
What could that be? It was Lori at around 10am arriving at our room. There was one slight problem though. It was Lori…sans
luggage. Apparently British Airways did a less than stellar job with making sure that her backpack followed her over here to Cape
Town. This was definitely going to be a challenge for Lori’s ‘everything needs to be just so’ attitude. Luckily I am the yin to her
yang so I could possibly keep her from panicking. Well, at least from panicking too much.
We filled in the reception about what was going on and just wanted them to be aware that they might be receiving a call from
British Airways with a reference number for Lori’s luggage (this is what they told her at the airport).
But because this was the first beautiful day in Cape Town since I had arrived, it was time to get out into the city.
This was also the first day that Table Mountain wasn’t sitting beneath dark gray clouds and, for that matter, it was also the first
time that I could confirm that Table Mountain even existed. Because of this, I informed Lori that we were going to head out to the
cable car that would take us up to the top of Table Mountain. After all, the cable car does not even operate when there are
overcast skies. We needed to take advantage of this opportunity.
We took the rotating cable car all the way up to the top. As for the views…all I can say is “Holy Moly”. We walked around the
perimeter of the top of the mountain to see the 360 degree views. There were a couple layers of fog out that gave the mountains
in the distance an even more beautiful look. More importantly, there was a sun in the sky that was gleaming onto ocean producing
glistening waters. Overall, I considered this whole experience quite a treat considering that this is Cape Town in the winter.
After Table Mountain, we had the taxi driver drop us off on Kloof Street – a cool little street just outside of the city center. I got
some recommendations of places to go from a friend who used to live here while she was doing her master’s program and she
suggested a place called Melissa’s that was on this street. This was a gourmet foodie’s heaven. I ended up buying a bag of
meringues with amaretti cookie chunks and some of the best Florentine cookies of my life. Seriously. There were loads of other
things I would have loved to buy but I had to draw the line somewhere.
Kloof Street eventually turns into Long Street. Long Street is where I went yesterday for lunch so I was already familiar with it.
It has some great restaurants and shops mixed with funky architecture. Lots of the architecture actually reminded me of New
Orleans. We then saw the opposite extreme of architecture when we went to the gardens and saw nothing but traditional colonial-
style buildings. Walking around this city just felt oh-so-comfortable. Children were entertaining themselves feeding the many
squirrels that roamed the area. This was just so nice and relaxing. I felt like I could just plop myself on the grass and read a book
all afternoon. But because time is not extremely on our side, there was going to be no reading books all afternoon on this trip to
I’m not so sure that Lori agreed but I even voiced to her that this is one city that I have come across where I know I could easily
spend an extended amount of time. I was convinced of this when she was using the Internet and I was reading fliers stating prices
for apartments. Wowsas.
Don’t worry, though. I’m not changing my address any time soon.
On our way back home, I wanted to stroll through the Malay Quarter. Turns out this is not necessarily a neighborhood that one
‘strolls’ through. We learned that it’s one that one ‘looks over their shoulder’ through. Don’t get me wrong…we didn’t experience
anything shady. But as we were snapping a few pictures a nice man in his car told us to watch our cameras. The transformation
from naïve tourists was quickly made. But that didn’t stop me from ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ at every block of colorful houses that we
saw. I seriously think that some houses said “Okay, what is the brightest color of paint we can find?” And surprisingly, with the
random bright colors neighboring one another, it totally worked. I couldn’t wait to turn all of the different corners to see if the
next block of houses was better than the ones that I had just seen. I also have to mention the cutest dog that was appearing to
hold down the fort at one of the buildings. It was the cutest black dog that just plopped its head over the building and just sat
there. One thing that is so nice about being here (amongst Europe) is being reacquainted with domestic doggies. I’m a dog person
so this kind of stuff really makes my day.
We got back to our hotel. Remember that reference number Lori was supposed to receive from British Airways? Well, there was
no reference number waiting. We would now have to hold out hope for tomorrow morning and that her backpack would come in
on that flight. This was testing everything Lori is about but I am happy to announce that she was hanging in there quite well. We
decided (or I decided for us) that nothing could be done to change the situation so we should head down to the Waterfront so she
could check it out.
We looked into different shops in the case that she would need to do an impromptu mini-shopping spree on British Airways. We
went into an outdoorsy shop and this is where I threw in the towel and decided it was time to get a piece of clothing that would
keep me warm in these winter months. A black zip-up fleece. This might not sound like a big deal to anybody…but I have never
bought such an item in my life. I mean I have one…but that came from the first company I worked for out of college – complete
with company logo in the top left-hand corner. I was now investing in one. And I have to say that it felt sooo good against my skin.
The only downside was that I have absolutely zero room for it in my suitcase. Literally none. Prior to this I have seriously been
sitting on top of it just to zip it shut. Since I know my threshold for cold weather I figured space was taking a backseat to warmth.
After posing with statues of Nelson Mandela and three other South African Nobel Peace Prize winners, we were on our way to eat.
All of this shopping/looking had built up an appetite in both of us. We noticed a super-cool restaurant on our way down to the
Waterfront and decided that would be where we would eat.
The restaurant was Capella’s. The area was De Waterkant. The scene was hip/cool/swank with dim lighting and the coolest light
fixtures. The clientele was dressed in style. Remember when they would do ‘one of these things is not like the other’ on Sesame
Street? Well, those things that weren’t ‘like the other’ would be me and Lori. We donned flip flops, sweatshirts and casual pants.
If we could have changed, we would. But Lori had no options other than the outfit that was going into its 50th hour. While I did
have one option, I decided to take one for the team. That ‘team’ was ‘Team Luggage-less Lori’. Once we sat down, we were able
to forget about our appearance and put our focus on what a nice meal we were about to have. Oh, how I love having people to eat
nice meals with! I am not taking it for granted for a minute. Good wine, good conversation, good food, good wine…oh wait – did I
already say that?
It was really all about ‘Mission: Get Lori To Relax’. And I feel that the mission was accomplished…
A view from Table Mountain.
The Malay Quarter.
Lori and I after dinner.