Accidental twins

Thursday (tomorrow) is twin day in the elementary. Abby and I decided that we’d be twins together. We racked our brain for shirts we could wear with jeans. Monday night Abby looked through my closet to find a shirt. It was tough!! We finally decided on a Banana shirt that we both have (in different colors).

Then I walked into her classroom yesterday (Tuesday, NOT twin day) morning and this had happened. I guess we have more clothes in common than we thought!

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Today (Thursday) we were planned twins! Look closely…our shirts are the same just different colors :)
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[Fall 2013] A Kuwaiti restaurant…in Kuwait

Seriously there aren’t that many. There are just a few Kuwaiti restaurants in the country and a friend of ours helped us find a good one. It’s not too far from our apartment and it was a pretty cool to be able to sit down to a Kuwaiti meal (we’ve tasted Kuwaiti food before at AWARE Center functions, but never a whole meal).

Because we went way back in August I don’t have a lot to say besides it was a great experience! We ate lots of yummy food for cheap and we’d definitely go back. Check out Desert Girl’s post for the low-down on Kuwaiti food & restaurants. We ate at Freej Suwaileh.

all our pictures

[Fall 2013] A new apartment!

I’m just now realizing the magnitude of how horrible we’ve been at blogging. Wow. I guess that’s what working and teaching (on top of our regular jobs) and taking classes (Masters) and traveling does to you. If you want to keep up with our professional lives, check out our other blogs (Jeff, Lissa, Lissa COETAIL).  If you want to keep up with us on a more daily basis, there’s Facebook and Instagram.

The big news of this year is that we moved up to the 15th floor. We’ve really enjoyed making the apartment feel like home. The views aren’t too bad either! We have given up fast & reliable internet but there are sacrifices for this view…

Our new apartment
Views from the 15th floor

[In case we didn't share before, here are some pictures from our old apartment: first pictures and a couple months later.]

As I sit writing this, here is my view:

It’s cold! (weather again)

I have a whole list of posts that I’ve been meaning to write. Some of them I’m not even sure what I was going to write about. Shoot. We’ve been bad bloggers!

Last time I wrote about how nice the weather was. That was after it rained. I don’t think I did a good job of sharing how crazy the rain was. Now it’s cold (it’s been in the high 30s and low 40s a couple mornings when I’ve gone running!).

our apartment...at 3pm.

our apartment…at 3pm.

Happy holidays!

We leave for Sri Lanka in exactly 12 hours!! WOO!

This will be the first time in our entire lives that we don’t spend Christmas in Michigan. Weird. But we’re incredibly excited to explore Sri Lanka, celebrate our 5th anniversary and enjoy time on the beach with Patrick & Ashley! Love to all near and far!

xoxo
Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2013

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The weather is gorgeous (now)!

It rained a lot this week. There was some pretty serious flooding in Kuwait. All schools were even closed to students on Wednesday so the schools could clean up. But now the weather is GORGEOUS! The outside of the buildings are just a little cleaner and brighter. The air is clear and we can see for miles from our 15th floor apartment. I’m pretty sure we can even see Iran from our kitchen (my phone doesn’t do it justice!).

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Our Guide: Kruger National Park, South Africa

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Where we stayed:

This was a week-long trip broken into 4 parts. Our first stay was at Lisbon Hideaway in Graskop. It’s a trio of stilted cabins overlooking a stream with a field in the distance. As we arrived during the dark of night, I can’t imagine a more perfect place to wake up to South Africa. During Part II we stayed at Africa On Foot (seen above). It’s an unfenced camp located in the middle of a private game reserve. It is also incredible. It’s eco-friendly, offers home cooked meals and completely worth the money. I can’t speak enough about this place. I’d go back in a second. Part III was in Kruger itself, split between three of their wonderful restcamps; Olifants, Orpen and Skukuza. Each camp offers a simple room with ensuite bathroom, porch and full outdoor kitchen. They were perfect for what we needed. Olifants offered a fantastic view, Orpen offered a feeling of seclusion and Skukuza offered the most amenities. You’re not going to go wrong picking a restcamp. We finished our trip by staying at Del Roza Guesthouse in Middleburg; an absolute diamond in the rough. This walled off oasis is smack-dab in the middle of an atrocious industrial town, and I’d spend every weekend there if I could.

What we ate:

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Like its most famous natural inhabitants, South Africa is carnivorous. Pork, beef, chicken and game are abundant and cheap. Every accommodation we stayed at had a braai (read; grill) as this is the main method for cooking anything in SA. We were more than happy to oblige. We mainly grilled proteins and vegetables with few exceptions. We were also introduced to Pannekoek at Harry’s and grilled chicken at Nandos. Wow. We ate like kings and drank like sailors. We tried a few local treats like biltong and amarula (though not together).

What We Did:

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I’m struggling to think of everything, so I’m going to list it out;

- Saw some National Geographic-level scenery on the Panorama Route.
- Went on multiple safari’s in an open-air truck.
- Drove a manual transmission automobile on the wrong side of the road.
- Watched (and photographed) two lions getting it on in a dried out riverbed.
- Witnessed an absurd amount of wildlife that we’ve only ever seen in zoos.
- Almost got into a fight with a water buffalo.
- Sat with our mouths open as a herd of elephants passed by our tiny car.
- Visited Ellis Park, arguably the most famous rugby stadium in the world.
- Many other things I probably forgot but were equally awesome.

Pro Tips:

* Vodacom offers cheap data plans for your smartphone. 3g is iffy in the park, unless you’re near a restcamp. Wifi is virtually nonexistent.

* Pack a flashlight and go on a “night-shine” in the restcamp. Walk along the fence and flash your light into the trees and outside the fence. Decide how badly you want to know what belongs to the eyes reflecting back at you.

* You can fly into Johannesburg and rent a car or fly into several closer airports and rent a car. Weigh carefully your options. You miss NOTHING on the drive from Jo-burg to Kruger that you can’t get from flying into a closer airport. It all depends on if the increased ticket price is worth it for you. I can tell you this; it’s worth thinking about.

Picture Dump; Africa on Foot
Picture Dump; Kruger
Picture Dump; Panorama Route
Picture Dump; Lissa’s iPhone
Picture Dump; Videos
Picture Dump; Everything Else

We workout!

Life has been crazy around here. We have lots of things to share…however no time to do so!

In the meantime, we wanted to share some pictures from our gym. Occasionally they have a photographer and occasionally we get into some pictures.

  • Last year I participated in a group ‘personal’ training session. A picture of me made the info page.
  • A few weeks ago I went to the launch of the Gravity Training System. Here is an album that includes some pictures of me.
  • Jeff and I went to the Les Mills release last weekend. We did an hour of Grit. Don’t judge us for how tired we look.
  • You can find all their albums here. We pop up sometimes.

We’re approaching our Kuwait weight and bodies…and working hard to get there!

Our summer in pictures

 

Now that we’re back in the swing of things in Kuwait we want to share our summer adventures! It was an amazingly crazy, awesome summer that we’ll never forget! Besides our major events, we spent lots of time geocaching, drinking, going to Darkhorse, and enjoying the company of friends & family.

June 10-13: Heidelberg

June 15: Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

June 16-22: Treehouse (week at a lake in northern MI with Lissa’s family)

June 29: Wedding weekend! (my brother got married…let’s just say I was emotional!)
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Wedding day

July 1-8: Boulder, CO
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iPhone

July 8-12: Jackson, WY
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iPhone

July 12-16: Seattle, WA
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iPhone

July 16-19: San Juan Island (we didn’t see any orcas, but we did see lots of bald eagles!)
Fancy Camera
iPhone

July 22-25: Madison, WI
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iPhone

July : Tigers game (the first time they’ve won a game we’ve been to!)
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iPhone

August 3-11: Holland camping (with Jeff’s familiy)

August 11: Ward family golf outing (much fun is always had!)

Our Guide: Heidelberg, Germany

Where We Stayed:
Because we had such an amazing first experience with airbnb in Athens, we tried it out again in heidelberg – we were not disappointed! Our flat was perfectly suited for our needs and only cost us ~$70 a night. You can read the review on airbnb’s website, but if you don’t want to click through just take my word for it. Or thing worth mentioning is that it was NOT near the city center, which was fine with us. We definitely felt more local where we were.

What We Ate:


Oh man, where do I start? German food is heavy and delicious. We tried two local breweries or “braueri” , Lowenbrau and Kulture. Both were excellent. We sampled the schnitzel and liver dumpling soup at Lowenbrau and split a mountainous plate of pork in mushroom sauce, asparagus and spaetzle at Kulture.

We kept things light with salads at a little cafe off of Bismarkplatz called MEDOC. They were HUGE, fresh and delicious. Anyone looking to change things up a bit away from the heavy food, I recommend it.

Our other restaurant experience that’s worth mentioned was “Schnitzelbank.” It’s a hole in the wall place off of a side street and if you’re in Heidelberg, you need to go there. It’s family style seating, which means there are a bunch of long tables and you share them with whoever is around. It amazed us how many people didn’t know this when they walked in and it was fun to watch them squirm with the discomforting idea of sitting next to someone they don’t know. Lissa and I started with snails in garlic and butter sauce then split Gorgonzola schnitzel and a plate of bratwurst, fried potatos and sauerkraut. It was all fantastic. Do yourself a favor and find this place, try the garlic schnitzel and let us know how it is. We were dying to try it but couldn’t tear away from the other two.

What We Did:

Frankfurt is a wonderful walking city, and walk we did. It was vacation and I had a cell phone, so we grabbed a few geocaches throughout town. Have I mentioned that this is the single-best vacation game ever invented? We walked up and down the Bismarkplatz, visited the Shloss, hiked all over the Philosophenweg, and stopped at cafes and bakeries in between. Honestly, you only need a day or two for Heidelberg. We stayed 3 and were lazy, relaxed and laid back about it. We loved it.

Pro Tips:
* If you fly into Frankfurt, take the Lufthansa shuttle from the airport. They’ll bring you right to the crowne plaza downtown and they’ll do it for €42 per person, round trip (€40 if you flew Lufthansa to get there). Just be sure to make a reservation!

* As soon as you get into Heidelberg, buy a Heidelberg card. It gives you entrance to a bunch of places and, most importantly, gives you free and unlimited access to public transportation. It’s totally worth it.

* if you’re looking for a prepaid SIM card, go with TMobile. I’ll save you the hassle of checking out the other places, whose prices are absurd. We paid €10 for 100MB of data, which is more than enough for 3 days, even with geocaching ;)

Want to see all our photos?