Breaking news: Another Birth in Largest Mountain Gorilla Group
Care to meet some of the family? We work with Volcanoes Safaris to create mountain gorilla safaris to Africa. Ready to experience the indescribable? Email me now! firstname.lastname@example.org
Just back from a morning game drive—saw Wildebeests (which they say God created so other animals would never go hungry—ouch!), more giraffes, warthogs, a female leopard—so beautiful we suspect it was just really a very, very large stuffed animal (right!!!), zebra, and several elephants. We saw a mama elephant actively nursing her baby, several other females (some walking right next to our vehicle), and one "playful" teenage male (about 15 years old). Our ranger/guide said the teens when filled with testosterone (you can see traces of it on their hind legs) become "playful." They like to "strut their stuff" and one needs to watch their body language. Unfortunately, I don't recall studying elephant body language 101 in college—darn! This guy came so close to us I thought he was going to wrap his trunk around Michael! He back off at the last moment—a very good thing! Our ranger knew we'd be safe but we certainly got our morning adrenaline rush!
We arrived this afternoon at Royal Malewane and it is truly royal. We are in a 2-bedroom suite with the requisite plunge pool, full kitchen with granite counter tops, to-die-for shabby-chic meets Ralph Lauren decor, gorgeous African art, sumptuous meals—including the elegant 4 course dinner in the bush! Dining room overlooks a watering hole so you can eat and do some game viewing at the same time. And, at our bush dinner tonight there were several amazing things of note—the top 2 were an Oriental rug under the table and, even more incredible, a real bathroom with flushing toilet and hot and cold running water in the sink.
Deep breath—inhale, hold it, exhale. Again, deep breath—inhale, hold it, exhale! Sorry, I just needed to calm down after going through security at Washington Dulles Airport’s new security checkpoint. Today was the first day this airport is using a new method for us travelers to get through security. There is now one mass locale—a winding maze of lines (“To the left, please. Sir, you go to the right. Next!”). We arrived at security at 1:45 PM, a slow traffic time for Dulles; however, it took us 45 minutes to clear security!. Two mazes met at one point and the TSA agent would usher 10 of one line, then 10 of the next. Somehow, being treated like a rat in a maze, I begin to behave that way. “Hey, Michael, did you see the guy in that other lane? I think he’s going to try to get in front of us! You block him with your shoulder and I’ll swing my backpack at him!”
I’m hopeful that when the powers that be–TSA, ABC, XYZ, whoever—get the kinks ironed out (perhaps consider using a steam roller???), things will flow beautifully (ahhh, the power of positive thinking). Several people missed their flights. We, on the other hand, are being pampered in the “Clubhouse” — Virgin Atlantic’s lounge for Business and First Class. And this, my friends, prompts a round of applause for our hosts, Swain Tours and South African Airlines, who shares this piece of tranquility with Virgin. Okay now, let’s all clap together! Come on, I can’t hear you! Think of it as clapping for Tinkerbell, if you clap the dehumanizing maze at security will become a vague and distant memory!