Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Buddalicious has come to an end as a new chapter in our lives begins. Please join us at our new blog:


Thanks so much for checking in on us. If you live in California, please give us a shout on the new blog!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Doing What She Loves

Maddie cools down Griffin

My dear friend, Jamie - a fellow PPM (Preschool Posse Mom) - was kind enough to invite Maddie over to her place to help exercise her horses. Maddie has taken riding lessons in the past, but we didn't really pursue her interest here in Virginia (I know, of all places, Virginia should have been THE place!). Anyway, Maddie has been having a ball being in the barn and riding all three of Jamie's beautiful horses.

Here, Jamie has some fun with the charming Thomas:

Jamie not only loves and keeps her three horses, but she also teaches lessons. In the photo below, you can see that Jamie is the only one that Maddie TRULY listens to!

If you would like to see all the photos from this morning (including Josie and new favorite friend, SweetPea!) Just click right HERE. Till next time...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hangin' with my Homies

Lovely girls night out last night with Jamie, Sharon and Lori. Celebrating Sharon's (cough, cough)nd birthday. Lots and lots of laughs with this group. We shut the place down - though according to Sharon that's not saying much. Apparently we (Jamie, Lori and I) were supposed to supply some eye-candy for the birthday girl...Instead, we took her to one of the best restaurants in town which she so diplomatically described as "The Morgue Restaurant".

You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh, but you can't take the Pittsburgh out of the girl... We love her anyway!!!
Happy Birthday Sharon!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

We're Moving

For those of you on my personal email list, this is old news. While we were in Africa, James accepted a new job. His new position requires that we move from Virginia to Orange County, California. Since our return from our trip, we have been consumed with the business of selling, buying, packing, and organizing for the move. This will be the Fifth home that James and I have had since we have been married.

The photo above is of our new home. We will be official owners, provided all goes as scheduled, in early August. We are downsizing because the price of real estate in CA is still ridiculous.

I have been working with my dear friend, Danielle - the design girl - to create a new blog to document the move and our new lives in California. Many of you might have noticed that Danielle has done the blog design for Buddalicious for well over two years. She is a treasure. If you have a blog and you want a snazzy design, check with Danielle. She has a number of really cool products and services. As soon as the new blog is ready, I will post the address here.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our Final Day in Africa

It has taken me three weeks to document our incredible journey to Africa. Our final 24 hours in Africa, for me, were the most inspiring. I spent nearly 18 months preparing, planning, saving for, and anticipating our trip to Africa.

Like most of our fellow travelers, James and I enjoy ‘going local’. We tend to wander off the beaten track –travelling by bus or rail to areas that aren’t considered ‘tourist’ attractions.

We came upon our last lodge, The Islands of Siankaba, when our travel advisor, Julian suggested this area would meet my request to visit a village and contribute in a small way to the local community.

The directors of the lodge are truly committed to ‘giving back’ to their community. The staff at the lodge is all local villagers. They not only work at the lodge but they literally carried the logs that the lodge was built from. The Directors met with the local chief and an agreement was struck. Everyone involved would benefit from the opening of the lodge.

Profits from the lodge support a medical clinic and pre-school on the Island. I had requested in advance to take a walking tour of both these facilities. Given we arrived on the island on Friday, May 22, we missed seeing the school in session. Our host, Jean Claude, arranged for us to dine on Saturday evening with the headmaster of the pre-school - Malindi Lubinda.

Malindi was a barman at the lodge when the Directors took note of his intellect and ambition. They paid for Malindi to attend college. Upon completion of his studies, Malindi returned to the Island and established the pre-school. I was so inspired by Malindi’s passion for educating the children and setting an example of excellence for them. We shared a wonderful evening together: Ed and Marty, me and James, Malindi and Steven – our host for the evening meal. We laughed, shared stories and experiences and truly became friends over the course of the evening.

Malindi teaches 55 children (ages 3-7) in this classroom:

Here is the foundation for the new pre-school:

This is the village store:

This is the village church:

Here are some more images from our visit to the village:

Here is a photo of Malindi and I after a lovely evening of great conversation and fine dining:

Here, James and Victor - our village guide and host- pose outside the walls of the village:

James and I remain committed to the village and the pre-school. Malindi and I are in contact via email about twice a week - checking in on each other and sharing news about events in Zambia and Virginia. If you are interested in helping Malindi with the preschool - be it through book donations, children's clothing, etc. Please leave me a comment and I will give you the address for them.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Victoria Falls

Mosi-oa-Tunya (the Smoke that Thunders)

Victoria Falls, as you might imagine, is an awesome sight. The Zambezi River recorded it's highest levels in over 50 years in April. The water was still flowing fast and wild when we visited. We had been convinced by our host at Siankaba, Jean Claude, that the hiking down to the Boiling Pot was a "must" for any visit to the Falls. Being game for anything, we told our guide, Oliver, that we would leave first thing in the morning on Saturday. I should have read this before agreeing:

The whole volume of the Zambezi River pours through the First Gorge's 110-metre-wide (360 ft) exit for a distance of about 150 metres (500 ft), then enters a zigzagging series of gorges designated by the order in which the river reaches them. Water entering the Second Gorge makes a sharp right turn and has carved out a deep pool there called the Boiling Pot. Reached via a steep footpath from the Zambian side, it is about 150 metres (500 ft) across. Its surface is smooth at low water, but at high water is marked by enormous, slow swirls and heavy boiling turbulence.[4] Objects--and humans--that are swept over the falls, including the occasional hippo, are frequently found swirling about here or washed up at the north-east end of the Second Gorge.

I was thankful for all the cardio workouts I had been doing at the gym... It was a rough climb down. Being part mountain goat would have helped, but alas, it was up to us to figure out a path down the jagged rocks to get to the bottom of the gorge walls. It was worth it, and the climb back up was much easier - as far as navigating the rocks. This is where the cardio kicked in! I was the second one up to the top - just a minute behind my husband.

Once we finished with the Boiling Pot, we made our way around to all the scenic overviews of the Falls. One could stay dry at the higher levels, but if you wanted to be in the 'mist' - serious rain gear was needed. I got wet, even wearing the raingear. The sneakers I was wearing had to be tossed when we got home. They didn't have a chance to dry out while we were in Zambia and after a day and a half in a plastic bag, well, you can just imagine the stink. Even 2 washings with bleach didn't help!

This one of Ed cracks me up - If you look behind him, to the left you will see a baboon sneaking behind him. I kept seeing the baboons, but every time I told Ed, Marty & James - they never saw them!

I finally caught one of the baboons in the act!

This is the market that is at the entrance to the Visitor's Center at Victoria Falls.

Next post will be the Village Walk James and I took with our guide, Victor.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Savuti to Zambia

On our final morning at Savuti, we had an abbreviated morning drive. Our plane to Kasane, Botswana would pick us up at 11AM. We would go through customs in Kasane then fly over the border of Botswana to Livingstone, Zambia. This was our last game drive as our time in Zambia was to be spent exploring Victoria Falls.

We came upon a troop of agitated Chacma Baboons. At first, we didn't know what had them so upset. Then Goodman pointed out some unwelcome visitors on the left side of the trail:

The wild dogs looked hungry. As much as they look like our own domestic canines, don't be fooled... They are ruthless predators and can take down an antelope in a matter of minutes. They won't take on the baboons - the primates are too fast, have too many options for escape and they outnumber the dogs by a handsome ratio. Here, one of the dogs sizes up a baboon:

Chacma Baboons are a social animal. They travel in large, family groups and are quite vocal. I found this family quite cute:

After watching the theatrics of the canines & primates, we moved along to the runway. One of the other guides, Vincent, would meet us at the runway with our bags. We were off to another country and other great adventures.

Here is the approach to Kasane Airport (I got to sit next to the pilot!):

Once we cleared customs in Kasane, we followed the beautiful Zambezi River downstream, coming upon Victoria Falls. Our pilot received clearance for a fly-over - so we enjoyed a spectacular view of the falls before landing in Livingstone.

It was a 30 minute drive from the airport to our lodge, The Islands of Siankaba. This was the most meaningful part of the visit to me - I was so excited to visit this lodge.

We were greeted at the mainland reception building and within a few minutes were on our boat, to get to our island hideaway. The four of us (me, James, Ed & Marty) were the only visitors at the 6 chalet resort. We had the entire staff at our disposal, which was a luxury we had not ever experienced. Our chalets were accessible by a network of rope bridges which dangled above the very swollen Zambezi River:

Here is the view from the deck of our chalet:

And of course, no day is complete without a 'Sundowner' - which we joyfully enjoyed from our boat:

Our first Zambian sunset:

The following day, Saturday, we were off to visit Victoria Falls and make the descent to the 'Boiling Point'. You'll love seeing the photos!!! Until tomorrow...!