It was a long journey to South Africa. I knew it was going to be long, obviously, but the actual length of the voyage had really not dawned on me until I was strapped into my cramped seat, Ambien in hand, being served my second airplane meal of the day and the man one row behind me began the loudest snoring that I frankly have ever heard in my life (including Martha Seminski). When the THREE suitcases that plowed over his foot did not abruptly wake him, I knew that it was time to take my magic sleeping pill and hopefully wake up in Johannesburg.
Some details for the logistically minded of you, and those who wish to partake in my traveler’s hell—we departed from Detroit around 10 am on Friday, May 24. From there we flew to Washington Dulles and enjoyed a five hour lay over, from which we took a 17 hour flight to Johannesburg, stopping briefly in Dakar Senegal to refuel. That’s right, folks, 17 hours on one of many planes. Exhausted, we then cleared customs and boarded our final plane of the day to my much-anticipated home sweet home, Cape Town where we found refuge in the airport hotel until morning. After a night of pretending to sleep, but tossing and turning due to jetlag, the sun rose on Sunday, May 26 and we boarded a plane headed to Port Elizabeth where we rented a car and drove to Amakhala game reserve. Yes, my father, the one and only “vacation guy” drove for an hour on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car. One hundred family fights later we ended at the Amakhala lodge, otherwise known as paradise.