July 11, 2018
Photo Dairy: Africa in Black and White

Photo Dairy: Africa in Black and White

July 11, 2018

When I think of Africa, I think about vibrant colors and a contagious energy. Their sunsets are bright orange, their textiles showcase the rainbow, and their hospitality is above and beyond. What makes Africa so unique to the rest of the world is their amazing wildlife. Giraffes with their long necks, cheetahs with their spots, and zebras with their beautiful stripes to name just a few. I love photographing landscapes and architecture, but while in Africa I had fun capturing all the unpredictable animals. We would watch a herd of elephants for an hour, and they would entertain us the entire time. Every second, an animal seems to be doing something different (except for lions, they tend to nap a lot), so I took a lot of photographs... over 5,000 a lot.  

While I have my editing routine in Lightroom, I wanted to mix things up a bit for this post. Goodbye vibrance, hello monochrome. I usually never edit in black and white, but it was fun seeing how dramatic that edit can be especially with my elephant and zebra photographs. I mean they are already monochromatic, right? 

My favorite would have to be the first elephant photograph below. I want to have it printed on a large canvas and hung above my computer. What are your thoughts on black and white photography? Do you prefer colorful photographs or something more simple and dramatic?      


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June 27, 2018
Best Places to Visit in Dubai During Your Honeymoon

Best Places to Visit in Dubai During Your Honeymoon

June 27, 2018

With an upcoming wedding and honeymoon coming up, I thought this guest post would be perfect for the blog! Neha Singh blogs over at Dubai Wikia, and today she will be sharing some must-sees and dos while honeymooning in Dubai. Check out her blog for all things Dubai including city guides and food recommendations! Lyndon and I have thrown around numerous cities, countries, and islands while deciding on where to go for our honeymoon. I want to venture away from the usual Caribbean island but at the same time, not go somewhere that we would want to take Aiden as well (ie. Japan). Lyndon does want to go somewhere beachy for a little bit, while I want to take in some culture. Let's see where we wind up!     

Honeymoon is that time of your life when you set aside all other things and focus on that one person who makes you truly, truly happy. It’s a delightfully romantic time which you’ll cherish for a lifetime; each moment spent together during your honeymoon will spark nostalgia when you think back later. So it’s important that you choose the most romantic, the most exotic destination to celebrate the beginning of your life together. Dubai is that exotic, unforgettable destination you want for your honeymoon. Read on and you’ll be just as convinced as we are!

1 | A Romantic Hot Air Balloon Ride Over The Desert

The next morning, enjoy the fabulous desert sunrise. If you coordinate with your tour provider, you can enjoy a hot air balloon ride in the desert on the morning after your overnight safari. Grab an unmatchable view of the entire desert with its dunes, valleys, wadis, craggy peaks and hills and oases from high, high above. If you want, you can ask for a couples-only balloon ride and enjoy the most romantic time up there, just the two of you. What a boatload of selfies you could take!



2 | A Weekend Of Pampering At Talise Ottoman Spa

Head over to the Talise Ottoman Spa at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel for a delicious couples spa. Ask for the Romance 1001 Roses package; you’ll feel like royalty. Enjoy the candles, the roses, the softly running water and the milk and honey baths. The ambient lighting lulls you into a dreamy state even as the soft music and the fragrance from the candles caress your senses.



3 | A Romantic Walk Down JBR

The Jumeirah Beach Residence walk is one full mile of fantastic cafes, hotels, resorts, restaurants, all the way from the Ritz Carlton Hotel to the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel. The walk is parallel to Jumeirah Beach Residence; you can walk the entire stretch of the beach, feasting your eyes on the incredible plush crowd and the huge supercars and superyachts parked at the marina.



4 | A Fun-Filled Day Spent At Dubai’s Waterparks

The Wild Wadi Waterpark is located in front of the spellbinding Burj-Al-Arab. Scream in joy through the 12 acres of thrilling rides, slides and spills. White Wadi Park is home to the largest wave pool in the Middle East – the Breakers Bay. Then there’s the AquaVenture Waterpark, located close to Atlantis The Palm. Furious water rides join up with innovative thrills and spills to make this one of the top waterparks in Dubai. If you cannot visit both, visit at least one of these two waterparks – they are absolutely mind-blowing!



5 | Spend A Day Enjoying Ice Cold Temperatures At Ski Dubai

What about saying goodbye to the sweltering desert and saying hello to sub-zero temps for a day? Ski Dubai, the largest indoor snow park in the world offers the perfect atmosphere for cosy togetherness. That’s 3,000 square meters of snow; 1.85 meter-high ice mountain with 5 fantastic slopes of varying difficulty; one 400 black diamond run, the first in any indoor snow park; sled and toboggan runs, climbing towers, ice cave, an icy body slide, giant snowballs and more. It’ll be the most unforgettable honeymoon trip ever. Ski Dubai is one of the best places to visit in Dubai for honeymoon.



6 | High-Tea At The Burj Al Arab

If you can stay overnight at a suite in the Burj-Al-Arab hotel, it’ll be the height of your honeymoon. If you cannot, then high tea at the luscious SkyView Bar stands high on the list of things to do. The iconic sail-shaped hotel is the very last word in ostentatious luxury. The Burj Al Arab is the third tallest hotel in the world. Enjoy the choreographed coloured lighting show on the walls at night together.



7 | Blissful Shopping Together At The Dubai Mall

Going shopping in Dubai is the height of romance, especially in the midst of the dazzling displays of gold and more gold and high-street and designer brands of Dubai Mall. You can spend an entire weekend here; there are 1,500 plus retail outlets, 22 cinema screens, and 120 restaurants. There’s the incredible Dubai Aquarium at the ground floor, where you can hold hands and walk through the acrylic viewing tunnel for an up close encounter with 33,000 marine creatures. If you’re very into shopping together, time your honeymoon to coincide with the famous annual Dubai Shopping Festival in January and February or the Dubai Summer Surprises Festival in July and August.



8 | A Romantic Dhow Cruise Dubai With Dinner

A romantic dinner on a sparkling, golden dhow is a definite treat. Whether you take a dhow cruise on the Dubai Creek or on the Dubai Canal or along the Dubai Marina (or all the three!), you’re bound to have an unforgettable experience. Enjoy the incredible landmarks of Dubai as they pass by, while you dig into a multi-course international buffet dinner. Watch in fascination as belly dancers gyrate to appealing tunes and Tanura dancers twirl away like dervishes. Hand your feet and hands over to the henna artists to tattoo pretty designs.



9 | A Wonderful Night Spent In The Desert

What could be more romantic than spending an entire night curled up with your honey under the bright star-lit skies of the desert? Your overnight safari begins with a thrilling set of desert sports – dune bashing, sand boarding, quad biking and camel riding. Be sure to take a tripod and telephoto lens with you and capture some fantastic pictures of the sunset and of each other against it. Then retire to the welcome Bedouin tent where you can enjoy some cool entertainment – belly dancing, Tanura show and henna tattooing. Enjoy your international buffet dinner and finally, settle down under the stars together for an unforgettable night in the desert.



10 |  A Romantic Evening At the Burj Khalifa

The 2,722 feet high Burj Khalifa has 163 floors in all. This simply huge, unbelievably tall structure has two observatory decks – one on the 124th floor and one on the 148th floor. From these two observatory decks you can see the whole of Dubai and beyond. Trust us, there’s nothing more romantic than to hold hands on the highest observatory deck of this stupendous skyscraper and enjoy the mesmerizing view of glittering Dubai as far as the eye can see. Don’t forget to peep down at the incredible Dubai Fountain’s choreographed dancing. Delight in the beautifully embellished gardens that surround the fountain. It’ll be a spellbinding experience!



Conclusion

Dubai is just the place you want to head to if you want a special, romantic, unforgettable and Instagram-worthy honeymoon. Book a trip to this mesmerizing city today and collect spectacular memories for your experience albums.

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May 15, 2018
The Colorful Streets of Bo-Kaap // Cape Town, South Africa

The Colorful Streets of Bo-Kaap // Cape Town, South Africa

May 15, 2018

From the pastel-hued townhouses of Notting Hill to the colorful island of Burano, I'm a sucker for all things color. Bo-Kaap is a neighborhood less than two miles away from the coast that adds a little something extra to an already beautiful Cape Town. Bo-Kaap, formerly known as the Malay Quarter, is known for its bright colored houses and cobble stoned roads but before all the color, all the homes in the area were painted white. Bo-Kaap dates back to the 1760's when rental houses were built and leased to slaves. These people came from Indonesia, Malaysia, and the rest of Africa to work in the Cape and were known as Cape Malays. 

While these houses were being leased to the Cape Malays, they had to remain white. When slaves were eventually allowed to buy and own property, the rule was lifted and all the houses were painted bright colors by their owners to express their freedom. Bo-Kaap is also home to South Africa's oldest Muslim mosque. The Auwal Mosque began construction in 1794, but Muslims were not allowed to worship in public until 1804. Besides being easy on the eyes, Bo-Kaap is also rich in history. The Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum is a great place to immerse yourself in Bo-Kaap's culture and learn more about the Cape Malays and their history.  

Bo-Kaap is also home to cute boutiques, jewelry and diamond stores, and some great Cape Malay cuisine. It's a great daytime destination while in Cape Town and walking distance from City Centre and the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. After spending the morning in Bo-Kaap, Lyndon and I walked over to the Watershed to do some shopping and the walk was about 30 minutes which wasn't bad at all. Some parts of the walk wasn't exactly pedestrian friendly, but we made it even in the summer heat.

When in Cape Town, I highly recommend making a quick stop in Bo-Kaap and walking around their colorful streets. The neighborhood is fairly small and you can spend as much or as little time there as you want. While you can explore Bo-Kaap anytime during the day, I would try to void walking around at night or exercise caution when doing so... plus you can't see the fun colors in the dark!     
                

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