Dear Europe (Day 7)

Yes, it’s been a year since my trip…I realise this….but I’ve already spoken about my lack of blogging in the last year here.  After much consideration I decided to complete my posts on my trip regardless of the time-lapse.  They are lovely to look back on and with so many awesome memories they are definitely worth putting up.  So I’ll steadily be posting the last few days of my holiday last year.

So….Day 7…the day I meet up with my tour group from TopDeck Tours.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.  Here I was all on my own in a strange country where very few people understood me waiting to join a group of people I didn’t know from a bar of soap.  The group was only scheduled to arrive at 2pm as I was joining up with an already existing group who had been traveling for a week already, so I went for a bit of a walk about in the morning to explore my immediate surroundings.

Rome is AMAZING!  It is the strangest mix of absolutely ancient history and modern buildings all rolled into one.  There is so much to see and the locals LOVE the foreigners…it’s the strangest thing…they just want to chat to you and find out all about you.  I wasn’t brave enough to explore the public transport system yet at this point, but I headed back to the hotel lobby to meet up with my group.  They were slightly late, but when they walked in I was engulfed in a group of loud, all over the world awesomeness.  The group consisted of people from Australia, Canada, America, China, Italy, Japan, Korea (north and south), Nieu-Zeeland and Romania, and of course when I joined South Africa.  I was immediately included and regarded as a friend and some of them I still consider friends:) The tour guide, Micelle, is actually originally from Rome, so we were in for a treat.

Shortly after their arrival we set off on a walking tour of all the major areas of Rome.  Micelle showed us how the public transport system works and gave us a map of the city with all the major touristy things marked and he made sure to indicate to us where our hotel was situated.  The walking tour basically teaches you all about the city and its history without going into all the major touristy places….so we went to the Colosseum but we didn’t go in etc. There would be plenty of that the next day when we were free to roam Rome.  It was during this walkabout that we ate ALL the gelato in Rome…truly, nobody makes it like the real Italians.

A street scene from our walkabout in Rome
A street scene from our walkabout in Rome

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The Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain

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That's our tour guide, Micelle, sitting up top telling us a story...
That’s our tour guide, Micelle, sitting up top telling us a story…

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A mixture of old and new
A mixture of old and new
The Colosseum..it is majestic!
The Colosseum..it is majestic!

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We ended off the day in a quaint little restaurant where we had a choice of all kinds of awesome Italian dishes and wine and where I scored a LOT of free wine due to the fact that I was South African.  I thought Micelle had been joking when he said I will probably find that people in general would be drawn to me because of where I come from..he was not wrong. I even got a tour of the wine cellar:) After dinner we went out for a couple of drinks and then headed back to our hotel…super tired and excited for all the exploring we would do the next day.

Love
Ruby
xxx

 

Dear Central Gauteng 10 Pin Bowling Association

I’m a bit late with this post….considering that the actual event took place ALMOST a month ago, but better late than never right? RIGHT?

So, on 16 August 2014, I spent the morning at the Ten Pin bowling alley at the Zone in Rosebank along with some of my social media tweeps and some professional ten pin bowlers.  We took part in an invitation Pro-Am tournament called The Predator Cup.  It was the first time the pros decided to have an event like this and I think they did a spectacular job.  Not only did we get to have a really fun morning, but each amateur was spoiled with a brand new pair of bowling shoes and our beverage of choice from Vida (this alone makes the day a winner in my books).

This is how my day started.....working all the hours of the night the week before hadn't done me any favours
This is how my day started…..working all the hours of the night the week before hadn’t done me any favours

It was lovely to see some of my favourite social media people again, and as always, pretty awesome to meet some new ones.  Each amateur was paired with a Central Gauteng league player…..some of whom have also played for South Africa.

The ever handsome Mister Hans Haupt striking a pose
The ever handsome Mister Hans Haupt striking a pose

I was lucky enough to be paired up with Leigh…..who is not only a fantastic ten pin bowling player, but also a genuinely nice guy.  The pros were tasked with coaching their individual amateurs before and during the tournament and of course to help keep the team average as high as possible, just in case the amateurs sucked.

#TeamAwesome There was never any doubt in our minds that we would be crowned winners :P
#TeamAwesome There was never any doubt in our minds that we would be crowned winners 😛

There were two competitions running at the same time….the first one was an elimination: EAch team played a total of 3 games.  During the first round only the top 8 teams qualified, during the second round only the top 4 of the previous 8 qualified and during the 3rd round they determined which two teams would play in the final.  The nice part was that even though some teams were eliminated during the first round already, they kept on playing and finished all 3 rounds and the information was needed for the second competition, being the Marathon.  For the marathon they counted all the scores from each round and determined which team scored highest pin fall overall.

It was a lot of fun AND my team-mate and I won BOTH events!! We managed to get to the final where we battled it out with Quint and Jo to finally lift the Trophies AND we scored the highest pin fall overall too.  We are officially #TeamAwesome.

My pro doing his thing. Now THAT is how you bowl a perfect strike
My pro doing his thing. Now THAT is how you bowl a perfect strike
Doing my best to look all pro like during the finals.  Picture courtesy of Jenty:)
Doing my best to look all pro like during the finals. Picture courtesy of Jenty🙂

We learned a lot about the actual game too.  In professional bowling you have to wait for the person next to you to finish bowling before stepping on the lane to bowl in order not to disturb them and whenever someone makes a really good shot (and even sometimes when they don’t) everyone on that lane gives them a high 5.

The Central Gauteng guys also have weekly leagues and they offer coaching.  So should you guys be interested you should go to their site and give them a call.  It’s a really fun and social sport and I suspect we’ll be doing social bowling way more often…..maybe next year I’ll even be able to convince some of the social media guys to form a team for one of the fun leagues??

Smiling proudly with my two trophies....#TeamAwesome
Smiling proudly with my two trophies….#TeamAwesome

Love
Ruby
xxxxx

Dear MINI

Everyone who knows me KNOWS that ever since getting my MINI last year I have been MINI-crazy.  I absolutely adore my car.

On Friday night I was super excited to be attending the launch of the new Limited Edition Bayswater.  I had no idea what to expect, but they wowed us with a 3D Projection in Nelson Mandela Square.  I think they stressed a little bit as Jozi decided to grace us with an epic rainstorm shortly before the event was due to start, but the rain finally cleared and the program could go ahead. For those of you who didn’t get to see it…..there is a YouTube video here 🙂

And the cars were BEAUTIFUL! I’m not going to go into the technical details here…we ALL know it’s not my strong point but you can find all the details on their website:) I will however show you some pictures to tease 🙂
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All in all I think everyone had a really fun time and I got to meet some interesting new people, which, at the end of the day, is my favourite part of any event I get to attend…well that and the wine:)

Love
Ruby
xxxx

 

 

Dear 2012

I can hardly believe that I’m sitting here writing my annual “end of year” blog already. It feels like just yesterday that I was jetting off to the States to see in the new year in Times Square with my closest friend.  But here I am, looking back and reflecting on the year that’s been.  My initial reaction when thinking about this year is that it was a really really tough one…but it wasn’t all bad. There was a lot of good contained in this year too…a lot of happy moment shared by myself and the ones I consider dear to me.

Every year I write a little post listing big events or things I’ve learnt and this year shall be no different.  Please feel free to add anything I’ve missed in the comment sections…since you guys share such a big part of my life anyway:)

  • I kicked of the year with a massive party in my favourite city in the whole world.  My close friend and I traveled to the States to conquer Washington DC and New York and to party in Time’s square along with millions of other people.  It was one of the most memorable experiences of my entire life, and to be honest when I think about it I can almost not believe that I was really there:)

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  • The rest of our holiday in the US and I extended my stay with a week to go visit my brother and sister-in-law.
  • I get to spend my brother’s birthday with him for the first time in many years

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  • I felt Baby B (nephew) kick for the first time and I accompanied my sister-in-law on one of her visits and was able to hear his little heart beat.  I’m not broody at all…never have been. But hearing that little heart beat…my eyes filled with tears and that little baby stole my heart right then and there…even though he was still a few months away from being born.
  • The Italian somehow managed to squeeze over my walls and swept me off my feet…sadly it didn’t last and later in 2012 we broke up.

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  • After months of waiting (having ordered it in October 2011 already) and secret keeping (very few people knew) my gorgeous and epic car arrived in January. My little MINI, spec’d to a level of crazy and exactly as I wanted it:) MINI FTW!!!
  • For the first time I was faced with the harsh realities of being self-employed. It’s a scary world and I’m grateful that it was only a small scare.
  • My gran became seriously ill and was admitted to a hospital in Durban.  I flew down for one night as we were all convinced she wouldn’t make it thought the weekend.  I return to Jozi broken-hearted, convinced I’d never speak to her again
  • My gran makes a miraculous recovery from the pneumonia and is sent home…but the cancer is back with a vengeance and we all know it won’t be long.
  • My close friend got engaged to the girl who stole his heart:)
  • Early one morning I ended up in ER with everyone convinced I was having a heart attack.  Biggest SCARE EVER! I made hospital art after the ECG.

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  • I move into a new home.  I LOVE it! probably twice the size of my previous place and I have a little garden.
  • I meet the neighbourlady…which in the few months that I’ve lived in the new place, has become an amazing friend.
  • My gran passed away peacefully while taking an afternoon nap. I think this was the one single event that shaped my opinion of this year. It broke me. Utterly and completely.  She was the strongest most amazing woman, she was my best friend and just like that she was no longer with us.  I still feel my eyes filling with tears just thinking about it.  I miss her so very much.
  • Baby B is born the day after my gran passed away. The most beautiful and perfect little boy and despite not actually being able to hold and cuddle him he has stolen my heart:)

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  • My mother receives my grandmother’s Ruby ring that my grandfather gave her on their 40th wedding anniversary and she decides to give it to me. Ruby being my birthstone and all. (happy tears) I wear it every single day:)

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  • A rather scary event (work related) forces me to reconsider my chosen profession.  I love my job…but is it worth the danger I put the people I love in?  It took weeks of prayer, planning and a lot of personal analysis to figure this one out.
  • I took my parentals to see my dad’s all time favourite band when they were in SA – The Moody Blues…what an awesome concert!

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  • I turned the big three oh.  Most other people I know had a little episode when they realise they were turning 30…me not so much.  If nothing else it has brought me to a place in my life where I’m less concerned about what others think and more about the happiness of myself and the ones I love.  It’s brought a new confidence and a happiness all on its own.  So I’m 30..so what…age is just a number:) It has also brought along a new motto: Some will, some won’t, so what, next.
  • I went to see Madame Zingara and became part of the show:P

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  • My mother had to go for a really big operation and I was a complete wreck.  Grateful that I was in a position where I was able to work from their home for a week and look after her.
  • Christmas 2012…our first without my gran…a joyful and sad event.
  • It’s been a year of incredibly long hours and hard work and a lot of pressure work wise. I still haven’t quite figured out how to relax…I’m trying my best to master this art though:P  But I still tend to go overboard and work myself to the edge of a burnout.
  • I’ve learnt that no matter how hard you try, for some people nothing will ever be good enough.
  • The ones who hurt us the most are the ones we trust and love the most, because it is to them that we open our hearts, our dreams, our desires and our weaknesses.
  • I’ve once again realised that you can make really good friends in the most unlikely of places.
  • Not everyone who proclaims to be your friend will treat you as such.
  • True friends are worth more to me than any riches
  • People will judge and oppose that which they do not understand.
  • It has been a long year…I’m beyond tired and I’m still working.  No holiday plans for me yet and it was with shock that I realised that I haven’t been off since returning from the States in January.  Not a weekend away, not a weekend off, mostly work work work and more work. But it has been a good year and despite some events that made it seem like a yucky year I have been blessed.  I realise that a lot of people who read my blog do not share my beliefs when it comes to God, but how can I say goodbye to a year without including the most important part of who I am and what I believe.  God has provided me with a lot of grace and love and understanding and comfort this year.  He has also blessed me in ways I can not even begin to explain or even comprehend.  He is my Rock:)

Well my lovelies, I think that about sums it up. My 2012 in a nutshell.
As far as 2013 goes…I think this is going to be a big year all round.  There are many exciting things in the pipeline…weddings, engagements, work things, friend things, family things and hopefully some epic holidays and fun times with the people dear to me.  I wish you guys all the best for 2013.  Make every single day count.  Do what makes you happy. Take responsibility for your actions. Tell the people you love that you love them as often as you can…they might not have a tomorrow. Laugh a lot. Dance and be silly.  Work hard.  Do your best in all you do. 2013…look out, we’re coming for you!

Love
Ruby
xxxx

 

Who wants a mini Ruby care package 2?

So as you guys saw in the previous little giveaway, TomTom has launched a little campaign. They’re sending me the cutest little gifts and clues relating to POI (Points of Interest) on their TomTom devices. I’ve decided to turn this into a series of mini competitions on my blog:) So here’s how it’s going to work. I’m going to post a picture of the little gift. If you want to win a mini Ruby care package, you have to guess what the point of interest is and leave a comment with your guess. If there are no correct guesses by Sunday 09 November 2012 I’ll give you guys a clue. If there is only one correct guess that person obviously wins the package. If there are a few correct guesses I will literally throw all the names in a hat and draw a winner:) So here is your first clue:

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Those are measuring spoons, in case you can’t see:) This is a tricky one…so let your mind wander and tell me where you think your TomTom will take you:)

The competition closes Tuesday 11 December 2012) at 17:00.

Love
Ruby
xxxxx

HINT:  So since no one managed to figure out the picture clue…here’s a dead giveaway hint for y’all: What is the origin of the popular Master Chef Reality Series?

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

The winner is: Andre! Whooop! Congrats dudy!

*This competition was not launched by TomTom or their PR company, and as such they can not be held liable in any way.

Who wants a mini Ruby carepackage?

So TomTom have launched a little campaign. They’re sending me the cutest little gifts and clues relating to POI (Points of Interest) on their TomTom devices. I’ve decided to turn this into a series of mini competitions on my blog:) So here’s how it’s going to work. I’m going to post a picture of the little gift. If you want to win a mini Ruby care package, then you have to guess what the point of interest is and leave a comment with your guess. If there are no correct guesses by tomorrow morning I’ll give you guys a clue. If there is only one correct guess that person obviously wins the package. If there are a few correct guesses I will literally throw all the names in a hat and draw a winner:) So here is your first clue:

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In case you can’t tell…that would be a giraffe:) So guess away!

The competition closes tomorrow (Tuesday 4 December 2012) at 17:00.

*This competition was not launched by TomTom or their PR company, and as such they can not be held liable in any way.

Love
Ruby
xxxxx

HINT: So since nobody has managed to get the answer right so far, we’ll give you a hint:) “Malmon the famous animated Giraffe escapes to go to which island mapped out on the TomTom device?”

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED

And the winner is : RandomThoughtSo! Whoop! Congrats Cath:)

Dear Secret Santa

So this year I decided to take part in the blogger Secret Santa initiated by @thestilettoMum and I promise that I deserve a really lovely Christmas gift because I’ve been insanely good and it’s been a rather tough year…everyone deserves a pick me up:)  I’ve attached a list of guidelines to help you find the perfect Ruby friendly gift:)

  • I ❤ blades….knives, swords, short swords…they make me happy:)
  • My current colour obsessions involve turquoise, french carnival blue, mint and white.
  • I adore candles (as long as they aren’t flowery scented…that gives me headaches)
  • I’m a bit of a stationery whore O_o
  • Big big fan of red wine and coffee
  • Nail polish is always a big favourite:) I have a wide variety of colours and I change colours almost as often as I change clothes:)
  • Shoes and handbags = Achilles heel
  • I have a soft spot for unique clocks..I own quite a few of these already
  • I’m obsessed with strange and unique necklaces and bracelets

Well, I hope this helps you in your Secret Santa Shopping Quest:)

Love
Ruby
xxxxx