our thanksgiving in cape town

I've been trying to come up with a creative way to introduce our trip to Cape Town, but to call it beautiful, incredible and refreshing sounds redundant after all my other posts about all the amazing places we've been lucky enough to visit this year.  Nonetheless, it was all of the above and more.  Cape Town is the confluence of mountains, white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise oceans (the Atlantic and the Indian), exotic wild animals and completely reliable infrastructure, not to mention world-class shopping and dining.  Oh and hundreds of incredible vineyards are only 20 minutes away.  It's like all the great things about California without the Californians.  And thanks to the exchange rate, everything is on sale.  Joey wants to move there.  I'd happily live in Cape Town if my family wasn't so far away or if we could convince them to move with us.  Anybody?  Take a look at my photos and get back to me...

Getting to Cape Town was no easy feat.  We'd heard horror stories about our airline (Arik) and transiting through Lagos, both of which we faced.  But to our complete and utter shock, our flights were on time and everything went smoothly.  I guess after all of our other travel woes we'd finally earned enough karma to redeem for a trip.

Smoothly or not, we still had an hour drive to the Abuja airport, an hour wait for the flight, an hour flight between Abuja and Lagos, a five hour layover in the Lagos airport that is not air-conditioned (who needs A/C when it's only 90 degrees outside?), followed by a six hour flight to Johannesburg, and another five hour layover in the Johannesburg airport (I heart Woolworths in the airport) before boarding our final two hour flight to Cape Town.  Yes, we planned another 23 hour trip, and just like the other ones, it was totally worth it.  

After departing the rental car desk, we proceeded to our car.  Anyone who's ever ridden with Joey will attest he is not the best driver (sorry, honey).  So imagine having to get in a car with Joey behind the wheel on the other side of the car.  Terrifying.  Then add in driving on the other side of the road.  And the driver is saying how he's never been so freaked out to drive before and can't figure out where to drive.  Fantastic.

But somehow we made it to the hotel, and I even managed to take a few pictures on the way.  We may have also gotten lost in the meantime, but there was certainly no yelling or parking of the car or freaking out while trying to figure out where in the hell we were because I was convinced we were going to get carjacked.  I will admit to the pit stop at the burger place.  

The massive burgers in our bellies allowed our brains to focus on something other than food (and the beer may have chilled our sleep-deprived selves out), and we found the hotel.  I took a shower and unpacked while Joey took a nap, and then we were off to explore the V&A Waterfront along the Atlantic.

Our room was called "American Graffiti" at Villa Zest

We wandered past the shops and restaurants, and even into a mall (you can go ahead and cue Handel's Messiah here).  We drank cappuccino and tap beer and ate warm goat cheese while enjoying the crisp air of the South African summer evening.  

Wishing his family happy Thanksgiving.

We compensated for missing Thanksgiving at home by celebrating our first Thanksgiving as just the two of us at the chichi chain, Nobu (remember what I was telling you about everything on sale?  Even Nobu is (barely) affordable with the South African rand at 8.5 to the dollar).  We decided to order our own tasting menu, including copious amounts of sushi and Wagyu beef, ordering so much the waitress came back half-way through to see if we still wanted the rest of the food.  We, the perpetual fat kids on vacation, didn't.  It was. That. Much food.  A true Thanksgiving dinner indeed.

Pork belly and such.  Nom nom nom.

how best buy tried to screw me and funny emails from frank

As you may be aware, I ruined my camera on our trip to Ghana.  Actually, the rain ruined my camera, but I probably should have known better than to take a camera in a rain forest and expect it to stay dry.  Since my blond roots tend to show more often than not, I always buy the warranty.  If it's a high-ticket item, chances are I'm going to drop it, lose it, break it or get it wet (like the time I bent the setting on my wedding ring by 90 degrees when I fell into the sump pump hole in our basement).  As such, when I originally bought the G10 back in 2009, I also bought the warranty.

This proved a smart decision in the summer of 2010 when the G10 just stopped working (I swear).  I took the camera and the warranty into Best Buy and after about a month of wrangling back and forth, they replaced it with a brand-new G11.  Best Buy's replacement of the G10 with the G11 constituted fulfillment of the original warranty, so I purchased a new warranty for the G11.

So when we got back from Ghana, I mailed the G11 (minus the battery, lest the pouch reject it), the warranty, the receipt and detailed instructions (including an explanation for the Geek Squad as to why the battery was missing) to my always-willing-to-help dad.  I asked him to please take it to Best Buy right away because I was afraid they would take longer with the holiday rush and I needed a solution no later than January when we meet in Italy (so he could bring the battery).  Three weeks later, my dad sent me this:

Hello Kid,

Just got your camera in the mail today.  I unpacked the box, read the notes, immediately put on my coat and shoes, got in my car, and drove as fast as I could to Best Buy!  (The cop couldn't keep up so I didn't get a ticket)  When I got to the parking lot there was a front row spot just waiting for me!  After making an older woman pee her depends, I jumped out of the car and ran into the store as fast as my new tennis shoes would take me................Just to frigin' wait in line for about a half hour because some couple can't figure out that they can't get cash back without a receipt!  After they finally got done, I go up to the counter only to find out that "ITS A GEEK THING" and I should have been in the line on the other side of the circular barrier!  I go around and after another fifteen or twenty minutes they told me there was no battery in the camera.  After a few minutes of explanation they finally said it would be no later than Dec. 17th for an answer whether they would junk it and give you a new one, or repair it.  So now we wait.  I'll let you know as soon as I get the word.   

Anything else I can do, just call someone else!  Just kidding, you know I'm here for you two!!  

Love you guys 

In the meantime, I decided to buy the T2i, which I also had sent to my dad (again, thanks to the battery).  But, because the price keeps fluctuating so much, I told him not to open the box just in case the price goes down enough for me to exchange it.  Here's his response:

Got it Kid. Won't open till I hear from you. This camera thing is like a game with new moves all the time! Like getting my orders from my secret agent boss!

Smart ass.

So a few days ago, Best Buy called my dad and said they'd made a decision on the camera.  They were going to give me a new one - yay!  But there was a catch:  Best Buy wanted to replace my top-of-the-line, $500 point-and-shoot with a puny, little $199 X230HS.  The geek fed my dad some line about technology getting better and prices dropping and compared it to the cost of LED TVs.  Then the geek straight-up lied and said the X230HS is better than the G12.  For those of you who don't know anything about cameras, this is like trying to replace a Mercedes with a Dodge. 

The geek also offered a $199.99 Best Buy gift card.  Oh woo hoo!  Now I only have to spend $300 more dollars to replace the camera on which I already bought a $70 warranty!

Obviously when my dad relayed this offer, I told him to please share with Best Buy my feelings about it.  Feelings that included my favorite four letters, or as they'd call it here in Nigeria, 419 (fraud).  Dad said he'd take care of it.  Then I got this email:

Subject:  The Camera Saga Concluded

OK Kid,

After a short demonstration of Consumer Reports magazine and a full presentation of documents from all the online services Mom could find.....................you now have a BRAND NEW CANON G12 CAMERA IN THE BOX!!!!!!!! 

Tell me what the hell you want me to do NEXT!!

Love you.

Silly Best Buy.  Don't try to scam someone who lives in Nigeria!

P.S.  Don't I have the best dad ever?