Text and images by Heather Rider and Jamie Grumet.
Heather and I had three days to acclimate to the 9 hour time change and we decided to spend that time in Cape Town.
After roughly 3 solid hours of radiant sunshine, the clouds took over and we quickly realized we left the start of a beautiful California Summer for a drizzly African winter. Or as Heather put it, she left the Bay Area for the San Francisco of the southern hemisphere – but with rhinos, leopards and fewer hipsters.
Our hotel of choice was the Westin Cape Town, where we ended up spending the majority of our time. We bounced back and forth between the downstairs restaurant and the executive lounge…both had great food… although, the room service menu proved to be our nightly entertainment (and had the best pork eggrolls I’ve ever had…ever…I even figured out a way to order the room service only eggrolls at the restaurants. )
Anyway, the room service menu is pretty awesome:
inappropriate use of quotation marks/pop tarts…
….Now, we must talk about the most unusual discovery at the hotel: the co-ed nude sauna. A very progressive move on the Westin’s part, as we learned that this is really not a common arrangement. Honestly, I almost didn’t believe Heather when she told me, so of course we headed straight to the 19th floor to check it out.
We walked in and there was a man- totally naked strategically placed in the “thinking man” position that shielded everything but the side of his body. At this point, Heather and I felt like we bombarded his quiet moment and weren’t quite sure how to respond. It was a bit different than visiting a place like Esalen where you expect everyone to be naked. Here, it kind of throws you. Do you make eye contact in this setting? Do you say hello? Or do give 2 feet a personal space and leave everyone alone? We decided to look down and say hello and run to the corner where there was a beautiful nighttime view of Cape Town.
Then the next day we did a few interviews that were really fun.
We met up with Laura Dean the first Baby Calm and ToddlerCalm teacher in South Africa. She is awesome! Laura initially came to interview us, but we ended up becoming fast friends and casually chatting about parenting and non-profit work for several hours. If you are local to the area definitely check her out.
Finally, we ended our delightful stay in Cape Town with a trip to The Food Lover’s Market, which is basically the prepared foods section of Whole Foods, but with a more diverse selection & a third of the price tag. Also, cheese grater lamps. Basically, an all around win.
Next stop- Hoedspruit!