Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our Honeymoon: Part One

SERIOUS QUESTION: have you ever thought to yourself:

"Mmmm... I wonder how many photos of wild animals
and other people on honeymoon that I can handle before I start throwing up?"


Well now is your chance to find out!

Honeymoon Part One:

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For our surprise honeymoon - I was completely spoilt by Mr Husband with not only one but two incredibly gorgeous and idyllic destinations. The first part of our honeymoon involved some road-trippin' to Exeter Game Lodge in the Sabi Sands Reserve where we spent four dreamy nights surrounded by the African Bush and Stars -

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{cocktails off our balcony where we spent a few private lunches and many a cocktail hours}

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{our private infinity pool with a view to the bush and river bed}

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{hot husband-beast before he worked on his tan}

The lodge itself that we stayed in was absolutely gorgeous and I loved all the details that went into each tiny thing to make our stay feel so pampering and luxurious -

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indieBerries: WARREN! WARREN! Come look here! The toilet paper has real ribbon wrapped around it!
The Warr: oh, cool.
indieBerries: Warr, did you hear me?
The Warr: Yes, I heard you.
indieBerries: Ok, what did I say?
The Warr: You said the toilet paper has real ribbon wrapped around it.
indieBerries: ok you did hear me - but then your reaction was completely inappropriate. Could you try again please - with a little more enthusiasm.
indieBerries: ok.. getting better. But you should've known I was always going to keep it.

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Even the awesome shampoo and conditioner bottles had me all riled up. I basically spent the first 27 minutes of honeymoon arrival running around like a crazy person snapping pictures. Yeah, sorry about that husband - probably not what you had in mind for the first hour of crossing over the honeymoon threshold. 

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You know when you can just tell that all the interior details have so carefully been selected and co-ordinated? Yeah. that.
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The above pic is surprisingly deceiving. Our bed was so huge that if we each lay on our backs on either side of the bed with our arms stretched out we didn't even touch eachother. That's not very honeymoon-like. However, they did use other means to make sure we remembered we were on honeymoon - 

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The big double doors from our bed opened out onto our private balcony with our own infinity pool which overlooked the river bed. We also had an outdoor shower which opened up to the big ol' warm African sky. Trés Romantique.
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{above: view from the outdoor shower.
Our indoor shower was completely glass which meant we could also look out over the riverbed.}

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Even our private mini bar was so well stocked with lime, tabasco, worcester sauce, tomato juice, salt and pepper, gin, tonic, vodka, whiskey, Amarula and amazing white and red wines. We could have gotten totally sozzled every single boozy-afternoon/night without even leaving our lodge. But of course we didn't  - because we had to leave our lodge to indulge in all the game drives. (But don't you worry - there were plenty of sun-downer drinks breaks on these game drives.)

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The personal attention to detail was phenomenal - every night on our sunset drinks break we had different snacks - ranging from dried fruit to popcorn to biltong and chips. And after the first sundowners they had already picked up our personal preferences and casually would slip in - 
"What would you like to drink tonight? We've packed an extra bottle of red for the two of you... "

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lavatory/lavatree. Hilarious. I know.

On our first night's game drive - our game ranger made a joke about how the fireflies seem to be much bigger in Africa - and as he was talking he drove around the corner and we began to see massive fireflies up ahead. (COINCIDENCE!!) The fireflies seemed to be betting bigger and bigger as we approached - only for us to discover that the "fireflies" were in fact big lanterns that were hanging in the tree with a huge bucket of champagne on ice hanging right next to it - 

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"Welcome to Exeter River Lodge!"
let's have a pit-stop in the middle of the bush next to this champagne-tree!
clink clink.

If we decided to amble over to the main lodge in the afternoons we were always served with something delicious to snack on or a fancy cocktail or drink to take our fancy - 

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After returning to our lodge one afternoon we saw that they had sent over some sweet treats - fudge, brownies, pistachio-nut and date balls as a "happy honey mooney" ha. The entire Exeter Lodge is run on a butler system - and it was completely indulgent to be waited on hand and foot by some of the most awesome personalities. We immediately hit it off with Ronnie, our butler - who cracked some jokes about "would you like still or sparkling water? You know, the jumping kind or the lazy kind?"

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One evening after returning from our evening game drive, one of the hosts came running after us to tell us "I'm so sorry! You left one of your sliding doors open this afternoon and some monkeys have gotten into your room! We have sent house-keeping over to clean up - so maybe could you just have a glass of sherry here while they sort everything out for you!"

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Of course I was furious - because we had seen those monkeys that afternoon hanging around the lodges - and whoever had left the door open (WARREN) had now basically invited them into our room to take whatever they could find.

indieBerries: Warren did you leave the door open?
The Warr: Well... I don't think I did...
indieBerries: Well that's just great. They have probably stolen all my precious things.
The Warr: But I thought that I was your precious thing?!
indieBerries: Don't push me, Dyer.

It turns out that the monkeys had been in our room - to set up a romantic dinner for us to enjoy in the privacy of our own lodge. Not only was there champagne on ice waiting for us - but also two Springbok shooters, all curtains closed, candles lit, roses-petals ala-honeymooney and a soakingly-good bubble bath that had been drawn for us - with our gowns and slippers laid out ready for our private honeymoon dinner -

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"Warren and Share"
It's like Cher - but more magnanimous.

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and. THE FOOD.
um. the most tender stack of Springbok, the most incredible lambs, ribs, warthogs, duck, roasted vegetables, soups, sauces, puddings, salads, breakfasts, steaks etc etc etc.

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Actually, I don't want to talk about the food.
It makes me too depressed - I loaded up the extra kgs on my belleh faster than you can say 


- which is exactly what they served every day on our early morning game drives:

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I mean....
Hot chocolate. Coffee. Amarula.
at 7am.
With dunking-cookies.

I know,
Shut your drool trap
and kiss your pre-wedding-bod goodbye.

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"yeah, ok - I'll have a cookie. And a rusk.
And another of those rocka-mocha-choca things
Oh you're not going to eat that Warren? - ok, I'll have it."

The kind of place where you literally stuff your face,
Before breakfast.

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The Game Viewing itself was unlike anything I have ever seen before. Not only did we manage to see all of The Big Five - but we saw the "baby-five" - all the big five mothers with their cubs/babies. It was the most incredible experience and I have never seen so much interaction and activity at a Game Lodge before. 

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After our first night drive and the half way through our first morning drive we had seen all of the big five apart from lion - I told Warren that I would fill in, in case we didn't see any -

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Luckily though we saw some Lion pretty soon after I started perfecting my ROAR in Warren's ear.

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Lion head-butt, it's like a fist pump - but for lions.

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humans - you are so. intolerable.
why won't you leave?!

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morning sunrise coffee near the hippo-pond.

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This picture above is black and white - in case you were confused.

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{krrrr. come in leopard. come in. krrr. over.}

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I love the colours so much in this pic above, that the nerd in me even made a little colour swatch of it. lol.
I actually think it would be a really cool large art-print...

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mommy leopard leading her cub to a kill.

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{mom and baby feasting on impala kill}

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{leopard mom teaching her cub to stalk buffalo:
was incredible to watch this little leopard attempt to stalk this buffalo -
buffalo gave a little snorting sneeze  -
leopard cub decided in a very big hurry that it was not worth it. haha
very funny mr buffalo - give it five years and that leopard will be back...}

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{the above is also warren's pic - he was redeeming himself from the horny-buffalo snap}
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giraffe taking a crap.

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{hyena with kill. We watched while the hyenas were chased off the kill by some lions}

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(good thing we used such an awesome depth of field for these shots. That was real smart of us)

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{When you are on honeymoon - you will try to impress your new spouse with fancy tricks- this is me showing Warren my bushwhacking skills:

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I can basically turn a regular piece of grass into a higher powered whistle-device.

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- If you are going to the bush with your partner and you need some fancy tricks - just give me a holler - I will give you a tutorial.

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"i'm checking the rules - how are you always winning? i think you're cheating." - che.

We made bets on these many backgammon games - but more on that to come...

* * * * *

There is something so incredibly romantic about being in the African Bush  - where you lose all concept of time, you wallow in everything so naturally beautiful and completely absorb the vast awesomeness of our country. You become so emotionally aware of life - you sleep deeper, you dream harder and you fall in love all over again. It's a place where you set your body to the sun and your mind to the open starry skies.

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It was the most relaxing, indulgent and incredible start to our honeymoon - We drank red wine near roaring open fires, we played backgammon until Ché won, we sipped GnT's from our rim-flow pool whilst watching buffalos sun themselves in the river, we drank cocktails on our deck, we listened to elephants in the night crushing the bushes beneath our lodge (there isn't any other sound like it), we indulged in the most decadent foods, we saw the most incredible wildlife interactions, we wrapped ourselves in cozy blankets on our early morning game drives, we took showers beneath the African stars, we read love letters to each other and we completely celebrated the awesomeness that is "us".

* * * * *

Dear The Warr,

I am in no way capable of thanking you enough for our amazing honeymoon. I haven't even finished editing half of the awesome snaps we have - and I haven't even started on honeymoon part two. So before I get all soppy and emo-fest, just wanted to say -
You're a man in a million - I'm so blessed that you're mine.
I love you.

* * * * * 

Also a huge thank you to the team at &Beyond for making our honeymoon stay so personal and special. We hope to be back soon for some more rocka-mocha-chocas...


A Daft Scots Lass said...

all I can say is WOW...un-believe-able!

I love how your butler spelt your name :-)

GeeGee said...

I love the spelling of your name too, that's so cool! Also love the 'mooney monkeys. And the baby 5...that's just wow...amazing experience! Well done Mr W Husband!

cleverbirdbanter.com said...

Amazing! LOVE the ribbon-on-TP detail, brilliant!

Bailey Schneider said...

WOW!! Honeymoon Part 1 was INCREDIBLE! You are super lucky to see leopard! It's so rare! I can't wait to see Honeymoon Part 2

Shirley said...

I'm completely jealous! =D Fantastic! I absoluetly love all the surprises =)

Princessnoo said...

Thank you for sharing part of your honeymoon with us. Loved this amazing, gorgeous, brilliant post xxx

Gaelyn Cokayne said...

Oh wow how beautiful - and you are so right about being in the African Bush!! I totally get the excitement about the toilet paper being ribboned haha!

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Che Kershaw said...

the african bush is SO incredible!! I've always thought I was more of a "beach girl" but looking back now - i really do think this is way more romantic :) x

Che Kershaw said...

thank you thank you! look out for honeymoon part two! x

Che Kershaw said...

thank you Bailey! the leopard cubs were my absolute favourite! part 2 coming soon! x

Che Kershaw said...

hahaha i totally took it.

Che Kershaw said...

hahaha "hello share!" ;)

Che Kershaw said...

Mr Husband did so so well! and then he hit me with honeymoon part 2! (coming soon!) mooney monkeys haha! :)

Lulu Johnson said...

Che I love this post! We went to two of the &Beyond camps in the Serengeti for our honeymoon earlier this year! What an amazing company! So many of the same features in those camps as in your pictures! How awesome are the bath products? And they did us a Private dinner too--Absolutely magical:) Ah I want to go back there so badly! Lulu x

Che Kershaw said...

ah it was SUCH a luxurious TREAT! best and most romantic time ever! (and bath products to die for!) x

Phumi said...

Amazing pics, amazing place. love my country. Awesome start to an amazing journey. have fun you two. I will be joining you in matrimony land next year too :) So i will be revisiting all your wedding posts for handy hints- so if you remember any more tips months later, please do still share....

Che Kershaw said...

ah no ways!! CONGRATS!! such an exciting time!!!! i will definitely be sharing loads more wedding tips so stay tuned!! :) YAY!! happy planning! and yes - AFRICA is AWESOME!! x

Rhianne said...

yup, I'm suitably jealous :) WOW!! Everything looks stunning, I love the ribbon and the elephants! eeee elephants!

p.s. I laughed so much at Warr's pic, I should be ashamed, but I'm not, Thomas would do the same

Che Kershaw said...

BOYS. hahahaha ;) we had the most amazing time!! x

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