Wednesday, March 27, 2013

{Quick Update}

Oops! Well, I made it for four days of travel updates and then we lost our wifi connection for a couple days and it's been a whirlwind since then!
Just wanted to check in before we fly up to Kruger National Park for our safari tomorrow, where I'm fairly certain we won't have wifi access (how will I ever survive?! joking. kind of.).
If you're missing me like crazy, you can always check out my Instagram, where I've been keeping up on posting. We even took Bri's advice and created a hashtag for our trip photos (#DenfeldsinSA). You can check those out here!
Thanks for all your great comments on the South Africa posts so far. It's a truly incredible country and we are having the time of our lives!
Excited to post more photos soon, but those will have to wait until we return to Amsterdam! 
Hope everyone has a happy Easter weekend!
{Photo taken at the Knysna Elephant Park}

Thursday, March 21, 2013

{South Africa Day Four}

Our fourth day in Cape Town was adventure-filled!
We started the day with a drive to Simon's Town to see the penguins on the beach. 
Did you know you could see hundreds of penguins on a beach in South Africa? Incredible! If you go to Boulder's Beach you can actually stroll in the sand and get right up close to them - as in, inches away! 
The penguins are just the sweetest things and they didn't seem to mind the people around. There are very strict rules that you don't touch them or torment them in any way, so they seemed super happy to just be lounging in the sun. 
I really wanted to take one home, but apparently that's really against the rules. Too bad.
After Simon's Town we drove down the coast a little bit to Kalk Bay. It's a tiny little beach town with not much to it, but our hotel recommended the Harbour House for lunch. We dined on another giant platter of sushi and took in a gorgeous view. 
We barely had time to catch our breath before we went back to the hotel and changed into hiking clothes. We had heard that a sunset hike up Lion's Head was a must, but we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into! This isn't like the hikes we know and love at home. There were several times we were convinced the hike was over because we couldn't see a trail. Well, that's because you had to climb rocks and basically scale the mountain to get to the top. It was intense.
But as you can see, the view at the top was totally worth it.
Quick story on that photo of me standing on the rock with the city below. Corey really didn't want me to get on that rock. But I couldn't resist the amazing photo opportunity. So after 10 minutes of back-and-forth (me insisting it would be fine, Corey insisting I stay right where I was), I got on the rock :) I'd say the photo was worth the risk, right?
We ended this long, fun and exhausting day with an awesome casual dinner at the Royale Eatery (they specialize in burgers and Corey said his rivaled any burger he'd ever had in the States. Score!). Oh, and they also specialize in milkshakes. We shared an out-of-this-world banana and peanut butter milkshake. Hey, I had just scaled a mountain, I deserved it!
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

{South Africa Day Three}

On our third day in Cape Town we woke up bright and early for our tour to Robben Island. We’d heard from many people that we should book this tour in advance, so we always knew Tuesday would be Robben Island day. As you can imagine it was fascinating and powerful. We learned so much and all of our guides were spectacular. If you’re ever in Cape Town I highly recommend you do this!

After our tour we ate sushi for lunch at Willoughby’s. It’s this sort of strange restaurant in the indoor mall at the V&A Waterfront. Not the kind of place I would’ve picked if I was just strolling by, but we got it as a recommendation from an instagramer so we went for it. And I am so glad we did. The last time I ate sushi was 5 months ago, so I was seriously overdue. I was a happy girl!

After sushi we made our way to Kirstenbosch Gardens. We didn’t get to see much of it when we went for the concert on Sunday night, so we knew we wanted to return. We got there too late for any of the tours (but we hear the shuttle tour is great!), so we just spent time strolling around on our own. It ended up being perfect because we were there during golden hour (photographers you know what I mean), so I was in heaven. The gardens are so breathtakingly beautiful, I kept saying “oh my gosh can you believe this?” “Holy crap this is so incredible!”. It’s another must-see in Cape Town.  

We ended our night with a super romantic dinner at Fork – another great recommendation from a blog reader (you guys are keeping me well-fed!). 

P.S. I'm not sure what's going on with the size of the fonts and I'm way too tired to figure out how to fix it, so sorry about that! :)

{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

{South Africa Day Two}

Yesterday, after 12 hours of sleep, we woke up to rain in Cape Town. 
We surprisingly weren't that bummed. We just took it as an excuse to really slow down, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and French press coffee at our hotel and get settled into vacation mode.
We had originally planned to hike Table Mountain, but since it had rained that morning conditions wouldn't be great, so we changed plans and decided to drive to Cape Point instead.
What could take you around two hours to drive ends up taking an entire day because the scenery is so breathtaking you just keep stopping to take photos (and this is typical - not just because I'm photo crazy!).
We didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into when we left the hotel, which is why I hiked in hot pink pants and floral boat shoes :) But hey, I made it work!
It turned out to be an incredible sunny day with some of the most stunning scenery we've ever laid eyes on!
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

Sunday, March 17, 2013

{South Africa Day One}

We arrived in Cape Town today!
After an 11 hour overnight flight and driving on the wrong (to us) side of the road, we made it to our hotel!
We had just enough time to shower and freshen up before heading out for the afternoon for a summer concert at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. 
I am so glad we booked this in advance and made it work with our schedule because it was so much fun. South Africans really know how to dance and have a good time!
Despite being really tired from sleeping on a plane and still not feeling 100% myself after my illness last week, we still managed to have an awesome and memorable first day in Cape Town.
But just to keep it real - we are ending it with cereal in our hotel room and an early bedtime. Need to catch up on our sleep so we're well-rested for the upcoming adventures :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

{Happy Friday + Meet Jenna!}

Happy, happy Friday!!!
You may or may not have noticed that I haven't blogged since last Friday.
Well, Tuesday I got really sick with the stomach flu or food poisoning or something that had me completely bed-ridden and miserable. 
That put me out of commission until Thursday. 
Thursday was an insane day at work because it was my last day in the office before our two week trip to South Africa (!!!). 
And right now, as you read this, I am in London for the day.
So needless to say, it has been a craaazzzyyyy week and I have many things on my to-do list that have yet to get done.
But alas, tomorrow we're off to Africa. A place I honestly never even dreamed of going. It just seemed so far away. We couldn't be more excited! 
Everything we've read and heard about South Africa is that it's the most incredible place in the world.
As I was packing I realized that I completely forgot how to prepare for big trips like this - it's our first vacation over a week since our honeymoon in 2010!
I have a feeling I didn't do a very good job packing for all our activities, but only time will tell :)

I have this crazy idea that I'm going to blog a photo and a travel memory  each day(ish). While we're gone. Knowing me, I can't be sure this will actually happen. But I'm putting it out there because I want it to happen. I think it'd be really awesome to look back on, and I also think it would be fun to keep you guys updated on what we're up to. It may be a photo from my camera or just one from my phone (but I promise it won't be one I already instagramed). So, wish me luck with that!

And last, but certainly not least I want to introduce you to another sponsor! It's particularly awesome and coincidental that I'm introducing you to Jenna from A Home Away From Home this week because she just so happens to live in South Africa!! In my opinion she puts my blog to shame as she posts about all her incredible and unique travels through Africa.   She got engaged to the love of her life last summer and is planning on getting married in South Africa this December! You should really head over and check out her exciting life. I have a feeling she'll become a new daily read for those of you that don't already know her! A little more about Jenna below (in her own words!).
Hello Explore.Dream.Discover readers!  My name is Jenna and I blog over at A Home Away From Home about my life as an American ex-pat living in South Africa.  South Africa started out as a semester study abroad experience for me, but after I met and fell in love with a local I just sort of never left, and still find myself here five years later!  Most of my posts are about our adventures in and around Johannesburg, but you'll also find plenty of travel, ex-pat, and recipe posts thrown in for good measure.  And... in the most recent turn of events Jurgen proposed {!!!}, so you can bet that a quite a few wedding-related posts will also be making their way into the mix soon :)  I hope you'll stop by and say hello!

Friday, March 8, 2013

{Happy Friday + Meet Emily!}

Happiest of Fridays everyone!!! We’ve been out of town the last two weekends, so I am feeling super thankful for a weekend in Amsterdam. I am taking a French macaron baking class with some girls on Saturday and other than that will be packing and preparing for our big trip to South Africa (we leave in 8 days!!). Even though we booked this vacation three months ago I feel like it totally snuck up on us and I have a million and one things to do before we leave!!

Today I also have another lovely sponsor for you to meet! Emily, the author behind Hopeful Wandering, is an adorable girl who is living out a bit of a fairytale romance. She’s an American and she is dating a cutie British fellow! And get this, they met through being pen pals!! How awesome is that? She writes a lot about their relationship (including hilarious conversations in which you realize that American English and UK English are very different) and about her time studying abroad in Paris last Spring. Head on over and check her out!!
Hey y'all!! My name is Emily and Hopeful Wandering is my blog. I'm 22, finishing up my Business Degree in College, and trying to figure out a way to get back to Europe. So far so good though as I currently have an opportunity to be a grad assistant next spring in Paris, and i happen to be in a little LDR with a guy named Tom, he's from England. My blog discusses everything from the silly Skype conversations i have with Tom to all of the shenanigans i got into while studying abroad over in Paris last spring. There's just a lot going on which has been fabulous and crazy all at the same time!! So I hope you'll head over to myblog, check it out...stay a know the drill ;) 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

{Five Things About Moi}

I've seen this circling around Instagram and blogs and thought I'd join in - why not? 
I'm tagging all of you next! Leave a link in the comments if you've done this - it's always fun to learn more about my readers!
I hate being cold with a fiery passion and rain annoys the crap out of me.  I feel like a totally different person when the sun comes out- my happiness level spikes! Don’t ask me how I’ve survived my entire life living in Portland and Amsterdam (two very grey and rainy cities). My sisters (who both live in LA) are constantly trying to convince me to move to California. Of course I’m tempted, but I know I’d never be able to go back to Portland after being spoiled with so much sunshine, so for now I just get my dose of sun on tropical vacations!
At one point in my life I truly felt like I had no “passions” – like, whenever someone would say “follow your passion”, “follow your wildest dreams” – I felt like I didn’t have either of those. Now, totallyyyy different story. Every day I find a new hobby or interest that I feel is calling my name: photography, calligraphy (sure I’ve never picked up a pen, but I’m dying to learn!), interior design, cooking, baking, videography, event planning, you name it!
Super random… But I can drive a stick shift! I think this is cool because most of my friends (and Corey!) can’t. While I find this useful, I also hate being the only one out of me and Corey who can drive manual because it has caused me to have to drive in crazy European cities (like Paris) and I would much prefer to leave those shenanigans to the huz. We’re off the Cape Town in less than two weeks and we will be driving a lot (on the wrong side of the road!) and we paid almost double to get an automatic so Corey could take the wheel :)
I’m stubborn as a bull. Makes sense because I’m a Taurus! One of the biggest things my marriage has taught me is how to say I’m sorry, and admit when I’m wrong. This has been extremely hard for me to do in the past, but Corey is probably the least stubborn person in the world and the first to apologize (even when it’s not his fault!). I’ve learned so much from him and feel so lucky to have him as my life partner. I’m a better Liz thanks to that guy!
I do too much.  My mom will attest to this time and time again. I try to do it all. I succeed many times, but those few times where I break down because I’ve put way too much pressure on myself and overplanned my schedule…It ain’t pretty.

Now it's your turn! Five things about you... Go!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

{Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Graham!}

Our weekend in Scotland was absolutely perfect.
Megan and Stephen tied the knot on a rare + gorgeous sunny day in Glasgow.
We then wined and dined and celebrated the happy couple at the ridiculously amazing Cameron House in Loch Lomond.
It was an incredibly beautiful day that honored an incredibly beautiful couple. 
Keep an eye out for wedding photos and recaps over on Megan's blog.
Once she's finished recapping I'll post some photos over here too!
Thanks again to the Grahams for letting us be a part of their special day - and an even bigger thanks for trusting me enough to photograph this momentous occasion. I truly hope I did your wedding justice - it was pure perfection!

Love you guys and congrats again!
{Photo © Liz Denfeld Photography}

Saturday, March 2, 2013

{Scotland Here We Come + Meet Danica}

Well, we're off again! This time we're heading to....
But not just that...
We're going for a very special occasion...
Megan + Stephen are tying the knot!!!
Corey + I are so excited to be there for this huge moment in their lives.
And even better - Sophie will be joining in on the celebration, so I finally get to meet her! Hooray!
We'll be instagramming the weekend away, no doubt. So feel free to follow along if you'd like:


I'd also love to introduce you to a darling new sponsor! Danica from GoodHeart is a sweet girl who writes her blog from our old hometown of Portland, so I'm always longingly reading her posts missing home! She's super sweet, posts fun outfits (this one would be perfect in Amsterdam) and inspiring quotes. Find out more about Danica below and then hop on over and to her blog and you’re sure to find a new daily read!
Hi everyone! I'm Danica and I blog over on Goodheart . I'm a recently turned 24 year old (as of February 27th!) Texas girl, who decided to move to Liz's hometown, Portland, Oregon. It's now been almost two years since I moved, and I'm loving it! Thessaloniki, Greece is possibly my favorite place in the world, I'm a big fan of cold weather, and I love chai tea lattes. My blog is all about fashion, travel, photography, and other things I find inspiring. Come on over and say hi! 

{Scotland photo by Megan}