Dear Europe (Day 6)

The day I leave my travel companions behind in Switzerland and jet off to Italy had finally arrived. I was super nervous and super excited all at the same time.  I was up early to make sure all my stuff was packed and ready to go and then all 6 of us jumped on a bus to Zürich.  The plan was that we would lock up my suitcase in a locker at the train station in Zürich (as I would need to catch a train to the airport from there later in the day) and explore Zürich (read visit the Lindt factory) for the day.

Zürich is an incredibly beautiful city, and I’d be lying if I said that I wouldn’t love to live there. It is an interesting mix of old and new and not a second goes by without feeling safe and secure…even when you’re a female walking all on your own. There are fresh water fountains throughout the city, everything is CLEAN and we were amazed to find tons of people just swimming or floating along the river going through the city. Apparently this is the “in” thing to do during summer in Zürich.

How awesome is this piece of "art" I found in a shop window?
How awesome is this piece of “art” I found in a shop window?
MINIac for life:)
MINIac for life:)
The view from one of the many parks....those dots in the water = people swimming/bobbing
The view from one of the many parks….those dots in the water = people swimming/bobbing
Proof that I was there... :P
Proof that I was there… 😛

 

One last selfie with G before leaving
One last selfie with G before leaving
Fresh water fountains everywhere in the city
Fresh water fountains everywhere in the city

We spent the day visiting little markets and exploring and finally spent a good amount of time and money in the Lindt factory. Guys….this place is heaven…I swear. You can smell the chocolate from blocks away and because everything smells like delicious Lindt chocolate even the lampposts and side walks look good enough to eat. And then you walk inside and there is just chocolate EVERYWHERE…more kinds than we could ever imagine here.  Right in the centre is a Lindt ball pick and mix bar with so many different balls…..the choices seemed endless.  I bought a fortune of chocolate….for me, as gifts, for my folks…for me.. *side eyes*.

A rather limited view of the inside of the store at the factory...Lindt FTW
A rather limited view of the inside of the store at the factory…Lindt FTW

And then it was time for me to catch the train to the airport.  I was a little sad to say goodbye to my friends…it had been an amazing week with them.  But I was super excited to see Italy and France and to meet new people. Switzerland had stolen my heart. It is an amazingly beautiful country. EVERYTHING about it is awesome…and even now as I think back I can’t recall a single thing I didn’t love.  But my Alitalia flight was waiting and Italy was calling my name.  Tonight I’ll be sleeping in a hotel room in Rome and tomorrow…tomorrow will be filled with Italian adventures.

Love
Ruby
xxxxx

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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