February 25th, 2018 ♥♥♥

Howzit?! (Insert South African accent to really get the vibe of the local greeting). Our first month of Living Abroad has so far been pretty amazing….and busy!

We arrived on December 30th, 2017 to a sunny, gorgeous 80-degree day (or rather “26-degree Celsius” -that’s how we roll now). As we waited for our bags to arrive, I looked over at Dave and must have said for the TENTH time – OMG we live in Africa. Ahhh!

We cruised into our new neighborhood called Green Point. Green Point is like the Williamsburg of NYC- hip, young, vibrant, with lots of coffee shops and restaurants within walking distance. This was perfect for two people who just arrived with no car and no idea what they’re doing. We met our realtor, who kindly informed me 2 weeks earlier when I found her online from LA, that we were arriving during Cape Town’s PEAK summer season and almost everything was sold out. YIKES. Luckily,  she found us a place, and to our relief it was lovely.

Living Abroad in Green Point Cape Town South Africa

Living Room and deck of our one month rental in Green Point. Hard to tell but that’s all ocean in the background.

Living Abroad in Green Point Cape Town South Africa

2 bed, 2 bath- this is the one we slept in. Fun Fact: there are no outlets in bathrooms, and electricity is pay as you go here via a machine in your home.

Living Abroad in Green Point Cape Town South Africa

Enjoying the view and coffee from our temporary home on New Years Day.

We dropped our bags off and immediately set off to explore our new neighborhood. The main strip where all the restaurants and coffee shops are was an easy 5 minute walk from our place. We drank our first “Flat White’”, their version of cappuccino and it is DELICIOUS.

Giovannis Coffee Flat White in Green Point Cape Town

Giovanni’s Flat White in Green Point- yes that’s chocolate powder on top :) It’s got a good Italiano vibe here too- you sit at the counter and these old Italian men serve it fresh and hot. It’s packed every morning with locals. It also has a gourmet deli in the back- but it’s super intimidating to order. Everyone is fast, all knowing and direct.

Lucky for us, one of our closest friends and bridesmaids Ashley was in town. Turns out, her family was already heading to Cape Town for NYE so we got to spend lots of time with them over the next few days exploring the sites and quickly making new local friends. It really helps to have beautiful girlfriends to dangle as bait!

Tigers Milk Bar Cape Town South Africa
Cause and Effect Bar Cape Town South Africa

New Friends! They’re a fun bunch. Taught us so much about S. Africa from politics, to the water crisis and the best places to eat and shop.

Lions Head hike Cape Town South Africa

First hike up Lions Head Mountain on New Years Day 2018. Such a beautiful feeling to get to the top and take in that view.

 Lions Head hike Cape Town South Africa

Hiking partner!

Lions Head hike Cape Town South Africa

Ashley’s Dad, Peter, me and Dave taking a much needed breather.

Lions Head hike Cape Town South Africa

Stern Family (missing Court) !

After having the most warm and welcoming start to a new year, we sadly said good bye to the Stern family and went right back to exploring mode! We had several missions to accomplish:

Mission #1: Get an African Cell phone number:     

We’ve ditched our American numbers that we had for 15 years each. But you can still use our American numbers to find us on Whatsapp- that’s the app that is free texting and calling internationally.

Mission #2: Get Health Care:

Health care here is fantastic. You know how in the States with credit cards you can earn points? Well here, you get health care where you earn points for each time you work out. Those points can essentially wash out your gym cost completely and even get you a free smoothie a week! Also, if you keep at it, you get discounts on flights on Emirates and hotels etc. Basically in this country, you get financially rewarded to stay healthy.

Mission #3: Get a Home:

Dave had one week of free time before he had to begin his new job so we mostly used that time to find a home. We searched so many gorgeous neighborhoods from the beach to the waterfront. Here are some that we saw:

Living Abroad Apartment Hunting in Waterfront Cape Town

The Waterfront : an affluent , beautiful but very touristy neighborhood. Lots of expats live here so that has it’s pro’s but it didn’t feel like authentic Cape Town. Amazing view of the famous Table Mountain but also a con was that it came completely furnished and we really wanted to create our own home here.

Living Abroad Apartment Hunting in Mouille Point Cape Town

Mouille Point: A very upscale and older community. A little too low key for us, but I really appreciated the finishes of this building- beautiful modern lighting choices and sleek grainy wood.  Also ,the view didn’t hurt- but there was no real “neighborhood” vibe, and that’s a deal breaker for us.

Living Abroad Apartment Hunting in Camps Bay Cape Town

Camps Bay: the most popular beach area of Cape Town. This one was literally ON the beach in an exclusive cove, but it would have been slightly over our budget. Also, there were no coffee shops and stores to walk to and it would have felt a tad isolating. Again, no real neighborhood vibe. But it was beautiful!

Living Abroad Apartment Hunting in Camps Bay Cape Town

Camps Bay: Dave took this right outside the home from prior pic. We were in awe.

After all was explored and done, we ended up realizing….we simply love where we were at in Green Point. The ease of wandering around, walking to a cute grocery store, a happening coffee-shop, and a 5 minute drive to the gym- those were all crucial. Especially for me who’d be at home and alone so much the first few months while settling in and finding my way here. So we found a brand new gorgeous 3 bed, 3 bath right here in Green Point!

Living Abroad Apartment Hunting in Green Point Cape Town

This picture doesn’t quite do the place justice but the view is of the Cape Town City and the Waterfront, and the ocean. Similar to our rental now. But most importantly, it’s a 5 minute walk to Giovannis and many more.

Mission #4: Buy a car: 

Buying a Jeep in Cape Town South Africa

Yes. We are typical Americans who bought a used Jeep in Africa. Ay.

Mission #5: Begin work:

Dave is settling in well at work. He likes everyone there, held his first outing for his employees and really enjoyed learning about their different backgrounds.

Living Abroad in Green Point Cape Town South Africa

Leaving for his first day at his new hotshot job! So proud of my man!

Mission #6: Set up a home:

Most of my days are spent feverishly running around town,  furniture hunting (my version of heaven). Since we came here with just our clothes, we’re starting fresh.

Living Abroad in Green Point Cape Town South Africa

IN PROGRESS: By the time I post this I will have re arranged it. We’re doing an African-Modern vibe but the devil is all in the details of which we have NONE yet.

Living Abroad in Green Point Cape Town South Africa

View from our deck. Missing a coffeetable still and not pictured are some cool lanterns (trying to do a Moroccan vibe on a budget.)

Mission #7: Have our first visitors in our new home:

Our dear friends Rachel and Rich from NYC are always down for an adventure! We had such a special time exploring Cape Town,  visiting the wine country, meeting cool cheetahs and making friends with penguins. But, most of all we enjoyed spending quality time daring each other to make a fool out of themselves. (Mostly me).

Visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach

Visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach

Cheetah Sanctuary South Africa

Met some sweet babies at the Cheetah Sanctuary

Wine Tasting at Beau Constantia

Wine Tasting at Beau Constantia

It’s been a busy 7 weeks of living in Africa, but I would say for our first month living abroad, so far, so good!

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4 replies
  1. Sherri Williams
    Sherri Williams says:

    It was a long wait, but well worth it. You’re doing a beautiful job with this blog, Vee! Keep it coming! PS: Grandmommy loves this and is trying to figure out a way to save everything you post. ????????

    Reply
  2. crunfola
    crunfola says:

    Love reading about your life in Cape Town, especially the day to day living and culture! Glad to hear all is going well and can’t wait for the next update. :)

    Reply

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